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
The True Meaning of Smekday and its sequel Smek for President are comedic science fiction romps for middle school students. These are the books that inspired the animated movie Home, which is a family favorite. If you haven’t seen it, you should.… Read the rest
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
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
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
Growing up, I had always heard of the book, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, yet had never read it. I guess a story about penguins just didn’t draw my attention, but since my hometown is stuck in the deep freeze right now, Antarctica and penguins came to mind.… Read the rest