Words in the Dust

What is truly amazing about Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy is that this young man could write such a beautiful book from the first-person perspective of a young Afgani girl. Zulaikha (thankfully, there’s pronunciation guide in the back of the book) loves her family, especially her older sister and her father.  They don’t... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

The Ranger’s Apprentice

So many people have recommended that I read The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan, I've quite forgotten who first mentioned it to me.  But it wasn't until after reading book recommendations from my writing classes - almost a third of whom chose to write about The Ranger's Apprentice - that I finally picked up... Continue Reading →

The Boy on the Wooden Box

If you have seen Schindler's List, you will know the basic story of The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson. Leyson was the youngest boy Schindler was able to save from the Nazi killing machine.  He relates his story of growing up in rural Poland, moving to the big city after his father... Continue Reading →

Soldier’s Heart

The newspapers today are full of stories of soldiers struggling to re-adapt to civilian life, living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among other things.  It made me ask the question - what about the soldiers of the past?  Did veterans of World War I or II suffer from similar issues?  What about those who fought... Continue Reading →

The Lord of the Rings

Technically, JRR Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings as a sequel to The Hobbit.  However, while The Hobbit is a great story for upper-elementary-aged children, The Lord of the Rings is a darker story, much more intense and scary. And like The Hobbit, learning how to read The Lord of the Rings will greatly increase... Continue Reading →

The Hobbit

I will admit to trying to read The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien many, many times as a preteen and a teenager.  I could not get through the first chapter. It wasn't until I was an adult, and took a class on Tolkien, that I was able to force myself through the book. So why am... Continue Reading →

Emily of New Moon

If you love Ann of Green Gables, you will enjoy reading L.M. Montgomery's Emily of New Moon trilogy. Emily is a spirited, imaginative girl - quite similar to Anne.  But while readers meet Anne as an orphan, readers share in Emily's shock when her beloved father dies.  She soon discovers her lot is to move... Continue Reading →

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