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
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