The publishing powers-that-be claim today’s readers are impatient. If you don’t hook them on the first page, the first paragraph even, you’re not publishable. Vintage Reads always start a little slower. Teach your children patience for this book. … Read the rest
Last month I interviewed one of the Scriblerians’ own, Cynthia Toney, regarding her Birdface series. Cynthia also has another book out which is historical fiction, and I loved the story. I don’t give five stars all that often, so you know it’s wonderful!… Read the rest
The “coming-of-age” story. When a boy becomes a man.
…and now Miguel is a great read for boys ages nine through thirteen. Joseph Krumgold really gets into the head of a kid during that in-between age, wanting to be respected as a man yet child enough that he’s not quite ready for a man’s responsibilities.… Read the rest
Set in the late 1930s, Thimble Summer captures the era’s atmosphere of farm life in Wisconsin. Elizabeth Enright wrote this while people were just beginning to recover from the Dust Bowl further south, and the book gives an excellent sense of the Depression years through a child’s eyes.… Read the rest
Lois Lenski’s American Regional books have been likened to the Little House books of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Yes, the similar settings are hugely important to the story, but Lenski’s style is far different than Wilder’s, and I like them both. … Read the rest
Twelve-year-old Andy Rusch walks to school and walks home for lunch. He’s free to roam the countryside surrounding his small town of Serenity the whole day long, and his parents have no trouble with him befriending the village’s odd-man character, Onion John.… Read the rest
I read this Newbery winner when I was in junior high school. Ordinarily, I didn’t go for man-against-nature type of stories. I didn’t go for a novel told in first person present tense. But Island of the Blue Dolphins featured a girl who had to survive totally alone on her island.… Read the rest
When a tree leans, it will rest on its sister.
Fifteen-year-old NAWRA from Darfur lives in a camp for refugees displaced by the Janjaweed’s trail of murder and destruction. She can’t read or write but when an organization called “Save the Girls” pairs her with a girl in the states, she gets her best friend to be her scribe her thoughts and experiences.… Read the rest
Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.
Silent wars leave the most carnage.
The Saturdays, first book in The Melendy Quartet, is a delightful trot into yesteryear’s childhood. Elizabeth Enright created a family of four siblings who live an “ordinary” life in New York City, yet their minor escapades become “special” adventures.… Read the rest