Inside Out and Back Again is the second free verse middle grade novel that I’ve read and enjoyed recently. Perhaps, that’s because it’s the 2011 winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and a Newbery Honor Book for 2012.… Read the rest
Set in 1934 Oklahoma, Out of the Dust inspires its readers with the indomitable human spirit in the midst of tragedy.
Once upon a time, thirteen-year-old Billie Jo had talent as a pianist. Once upon a time, the family farm provided for their needs.… Read the rest
Sleepers is the first in The Blue Planets Trilogy—notice the plural in Planets.
Based on the premise that Earth is not the only planet that can sustain life as we know it, the people on Rison, another blue planet, need to evacuate because their world is ready to implode.… Read the rest
The Midwife’s Apprentice, 1996 Newbery Award winner, realistically depicts the Middle Ages (early fourteenth century) through the eyes of a preteen girl in a simple, narrative style with easy-to-read prose.
Alyce, aka Brat or Dung Beetle, is a street urchin in a small village.… Read the rest
Esperanza lives in the projects in Chicago. She knows she’s poor, but not as poor as many of her neighbors. She knows the streets can be dangerous, and she fears people of a different color. She sees the abuse endured by some of her friends.… Read the rest
Will Stanton, seventh son of a seventh son is turning eleven and this birthday marks the beginning of his awakening as the last of the Old Ones. The Dark is Rising tells how Will, met by Merriman Lyon, comes to power in the modern world and must accumulate the six “signs” to help fight the rising Dark.… Read the rest
Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper is a middle grade fantasy novel and the first of five in The Dark Is Rising series. It features the Drew children: Simone, Jane, and Barney vacationing with their parents in the fictional village of Trewissick.… Read the rest
Painting the Rainbow is a beautiful, multi-generational story of the Greenwood family’s summer reunion. The Greenwoods appear healthy, supportive of one another, ideal—except for the mystery of Jesse’s death more than twenty years earlier.
Thirteen-year-old Holly narrates, but a neat twist is added.… Read the rest
Amber, The Story of a Red Fox, is a fascinating early chapter book that follows a red fox, from her birth to adulthood.
We are introduced to the parents, the playful young kits and their lives in the country as they dodge eagles, dogs, and learn lessons about porcupines and skunks.… Read the rest
Three weeks ago, I promised reviews based on my granddaughters’ favorite books. The oldest finally decided she loved Jane Eyre the best. She’s six, so she read the children’s version from the Treasury of Illustrated Classics. Voracious reader that she is, I give her four more years before she tackles Charlotte Brontë’s original text.… Read the rest