The Coffee Can Kid

The Coffee Can Kid

Little Annie wants her dad to tell a story.  So she pulls down the blue coffee can, curls up on his lap, and listens to the story about the coffee can kid. Her father tells her of a baby born to a very poor mother in a land far away.  This mother, and grandmother could not care for the baby.  So the mother decides to take the baby somewhere she can have a better life. As you can guess, the baby is Annie, whom her mother named Dong Hee, or...

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The False Prince

The False Prince

Sage is an orphan, always getting into trouble – but the worst sort of trouble is upon him. Bought from the orphanage by a nobleman, Sage finds himself in the company of Conner (the nobleman), his servants (Mott and Cregan), and three other orphans.  Conner’s plan is to position one of them as the missing prince of Carthya, and then elevate himself as the prince’s main advisor. But can he train these ragged orphans to be...

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Behind Rebel Lines

Behind Rebel Lines

Recently, my children and I learned quite a bit about the work women did to help the war effort during the Civil War.  Quite a few women dressed up as men, and joined the army.  Other women were couriers or spies. Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy by Seymour Reit details one such woman. And she was pretty amazing.  Emma Edmonds joined the Union Army as Franklin Thomas.  She wanted to be a nurse on the...

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The Lion Who Stole My Arm

The Lion Who Stole My Arm

Pedru lives in the African bush.  He and his friends fish for their families every day, and his village grow crops for food. He and his friends and neighbors also live in fear… of lions. One day, Pedru makes an impulsive, and foolish, decision, which costs him his arm.  He wants to take revenge on that lion, and works with his father to do just that.  But instead of his lion, Pedru and his father kill a different lion. One with a...

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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby, a timid, widowed mouse, has a dilemma.  And it’s dire.  Her youngest son, always weak, has taken seriously ill.  Thankfully, he’s recovering, but he cannot move to their summer home before the plow comes through the garden and wrecks their winter home. What can she do? Courageously, she seeks advice from some unlikely creatures, which leads her to the rats.  Mrs. Frisby has avoided the rats her whole life.  But now, she...

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The Case of the Deadly Desperados

The Case of the Deadly Desperados

P.K. Pinkerton is in deep trouble… in more ways than one.  He is at the bottom of a silver mine, trying to figure out a way to outwit Wittlin’ Walt, the Very Bad Man after his inheritance. This is where we find P.K. at the beginning of The Case of the Deadly Desperados, by Caroline Lawrence (who also wrote The Roman Mystery series – another series my kids and I really enjoy).  How he ended up there, and how he escapes,...

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Master Cornhill

Master Cornhill

Before the dreaded plague swept through London in 1665, Michael Cornhill lived a very happy life with his foster family.  But Master Cornhill by Eloise Jarvis McGraw is not a book about the plague. The story opens with Michael returning to London after spending a winter in the countryside to escape the plague.  But the London he returns to is much changed – and very few whom he knew the summer before have survived. Alone and bereft,...

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