Tag Archives | middle readers

Poetry on the Court and Diamond

Basketball season has peaked and poetry month is almost over, but here are some sports novels in verse (not so strange a genre as you might think), plus a poetic tribute to baseball, that are well worth a look. The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander. Harcourt Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, 237 pages. Age/interest level: 10-up. Basketball Rule […]

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Back to the Bibles

Last year we ran an extensive series of posts on the lucrative market of “specialty” Bibles, particularly for teens and children. That market just keeps on pumping, so it seems like a good idea to make this an annual feature. Today we’ll talk about new or new-ish Bibles for various age groups and demographics; tomorrow, […]

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The Shakespeare Stealer–and an Interview with Author Gary Blackwood

The Shakespeare Stealer (1998), Shakespeare’s Scribe (2000), and Shakespeare’s Spy (2003), by Gary Blackwood.  Penguin Group; Puffin Books.  Age/interest level: 12-16. True story: in 1998 I was shopping around a manuscript about a 14-year-old boy in 16th-century London who through a series of happy misfortunes becomes an actor in William Shakespeare’s theater company.  Before starting […]

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Middle Grade Fiction with Fibonacci, Tesla, and More!

When I was a child I read large numbers of mysteries and was always somewhat irritated when I had to go to math class. I did just fine in math class, but all that specificity got in the way of my more verbal and creative side. If you have children that sound like this–or, believe it […]

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Adventuring with Wilder Good, Gannon & Wyatt, and a Giveaway!

NOTE: The giveaway contest is closed–congratulations to Nellie, who recommended Ivanhoe as her favorite adventure story.  “High interest” children’s literature (see our explanation here), covers many genres and age levels.  Today we look at some worthy titles in the travel/adventure genre for middle graders–and you, lucky reader, may have a chance to win three of […]

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Retro Reads: The Sword in the Stone

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 […]

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Sequelville: in Which We Follow up on Some Old Favorites

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 […]

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Middle Grade Winners: Cheesie Mack and Jack Strong

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 […]

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Portrait of the Fantacist as a Young Man: Carpet People

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 […]

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You Read the Book–Now See the Movie! (well, not quite yet)

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 […]

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Dragons and Time Fetches: More Middle-Grade Fantasy

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 […]

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