This week we begin a series of occasional posts called Retro Reads: those modern-day classics you may have missed in your teen years or before you were even on the radar screen. We’ll do this mostly by author: Beverly Cleary, E. L. Konigsburg, Elizabeth Speare, Natalie Babbitt—and any favorites you’d like to suggest? We launch […]
Sometimes fans of a popular book DEMAND a sequel (see Origami Yoda, below), and sometimes the entire series is planned out from the beginning. Whether a series conclusion lives up to its promise is another story, but all of these sequels have their charms. Click on the highlighted title of the previous book to read […]
We’ve written about “middle-grade losers” before–those feckless, clueless fifth-and-sixth grader boys (exhibit A being The Wimpy Kid) so popular with boy readers of that age and younger. Here we try to balance the ledger with a couple of fifth- and sixth-graders who have a lot going for them, but just a few little problems appropriate […]
The Carpet People, written and illustrated by Terry Pratchett. Clarion, 2013, 261 pages. Age/interest level: 11-up Sir Terry Pratchett, grand old man of fantasy/science fiction, began his career at the age of seventeen, with this very book (the original version is included in the appendix of this edition). He revised Carpet People while in his […]
When we started Redeemed Reader a few yeas ago, one of our first friends was Douglas Bond: teacher, musicologist, and novelist. We’ve interviewed him several times, by email and podcast, but just a few months ago, we started getting wind of a very exciting project in the works: a movie version of one of his […]
Handbook for Dragon Slayers, by Merrie Haskell. HarperCollins, 2013, 226 pages. Age/interest level: 10-up. When our story begins, Tilda, age 13, has no interest in dragon-slaying; she just wants to write the definitive book on the subject. Or the definitive book about something. Due to a lame foot and a retiring personality, she’d just like […]
Tommysaurus Rex, by Doug TenNapel, Scholastic (Graphix), 2013, 238 pages. Age/interest level: 8-12. Ely’s best friend is a dog, which seems pretty normal except that Tommy (the dog) is his only friend. Ely’s parents worry about this, but worry takes a back seat when Tommy is hit by a car. To help Ely get his […]
This is our last “buzz” post, but tomorrow Betsy and I are going to go out on a limb and make some predictions about the winner–maybe even name some titles that should be the winner. The Truth of Me, by Patricia MacLachlan. HarperCollins, 2013, 114 pages. Age/interest level: 8-14. Janie: Robert, the latest in a […]
(Janie and Betsy are continuing their chat about some of the outstanding children’s literature being touted for the coveted Newbery award–yes, there are people who speculate and handicap and figure the odds, just like for the Oscars and Golden Globes. See our thoughts about The Real Boy, Flora & Ulysses, and The Center of Everything. […]
River Rats, by Leslie J. Wyatt. Royal Fireworks Press, 2013, 212 pages. Age/interest level: 10-14. Kenny Barton would be the first to admit he doesn’t have it too bad. A Missouri farm boy’s life in 1940 doesn’t lack for hard work and long days, but when the work is done adventure calls: fields and woods […]
Betsy and I are back to dialogue about childrens’ books that the American Library Association may delight to honor. This year’s ALA Youth Media Awards will be announced on Jan. 27 (and in connection with that, we have our own exciting announcement to make–stay tuned!) For today, a middle-grade realistic novel with a dash of […]
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- The Spiritual World of The Hobbit + Giveaway January 23, 2014
- Meet Lulu and Freddie: 2 Terrific Chapter Book Characters (+ a Giveaway) March 5, 2014
- Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Part 1 March 7, 2014
- ALA Midwinter Conference Reflections January 30, 2014
- Librarians’ List: Easy/Leveled Readers, part 1 March 8, 2014
- Melinda Speece: I visited Ukraine with a group called HopeHouse In...
- Cathy: Great list, thanks!...
- Mandi: My boys liked Henry & Mudge, Mr. Putter & ...
- Betsy: Exactly, John! That's a good description of the F...
- Janie: Heather: I can't explain the wording choices for ...
- Melinda Speece on Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Part 1
- Cathy on Librarians’ List: Easy/Leveled Readers, part 1
- Mandi on Meet Lulu and Freddie: 2 Terrific Chapter Book Characters (+ a Giveaway)
- Betsy on Librarians’ List: Easy/Leveled Readers, part 1
- Janie on Sorting Out the Children’s Bible Market