Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers is not only a true coming-of-age story set in the early 1900s, but it also records old, satisfying values and codes of conduct that made the USA the strong nation it became.… Read the rest
Icarus Down by James Bow is a YA Sci/fi that takes the reader on a fast-paced journey to a planet far from Earth. Sixteen-year-old Simon Doud lives in Iapyx, one of thirteen cities suspended down deep chasms. The sun on the diamond lands above can kill a human in less than five minutes.… Read the rest
Anthropomorphic. What a mouthful! But many children’s stories are anthropomorphic. Simple definition: a literary device attributing human qualities to animals or objects. However, Robert O’Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, an anthropomorphic story, is not merely fantasy.… Read the rest
All of the Above is a contemporary, based on a true story, middle-grade novel dealing with inner city kids and their hardships.
Based on a true story, All of the Above is the delightful and suspenseful story of four inner city students and their quest to build the world’s largest tetrahedron.… Read the rest
May B., by Caroline Rose Starr, is an inspiring Middle Grade story about twelve-year-old Mavis Elizabeth Betts, a girl with dyslexia who dreams of being a teacher someday.
Written entirely in verse, the 240-page book is a quick and engrossing read.… Read the rest
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven is an engaging contemporary Young Adult novel most suited to high school readers. It addresses some of the concerns and problems of overweight teens.
My favorite of the two Jennifer Niven books I’ve read
I’d like to see more contemporary realism like Holding Up the Universe that encourages teens to draw upon their personal power and offers them hope of happiness without being sugary-sweet.… Read the rest
Doll Bones by Holly Black is a dark Middle Grade mystery most suited to fifth grade and up. While Doll Bones won a Newberry Honor Award, it is creepy, deals with the occult, and therefore may not be suitable for all children.… Read the rest
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty is a dark Middle Grade mystery most suited to fifth grade and up. The setting is the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, 1899 where we are introduced to a very interesting girl named Serafina.… Read the rest
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is a bittersweet teen fiction about a boy struggling to come to terms with his mother’s serious illness.
Connor, a twelve-year-old-boy, is faced with unbelievable stress – a dying mother, a father who has split from the family, a recurrent nightmare, a domineering grandmother, and bullies at school.… Read the rest