The Giver

Jonas' world sounds perfect.  Everyone realizes when they've given offense, and apologizes.  Those who've been offended always accept the apology.  Each evening over dinner, Jonas' family discuss their feelings, and every morning over breakfast, they discuss their dreams. Their lives are regimented.  Controlled.  Everyone does what he or she is supposed to do.  Jonas knows... Continue Reading →

The Hueys in The New Sweater

The Hueys are all the same.  And there are quite a lot of them. They think the same, do the same things, and look the same.  No one is different. Until one Huey - Rupert by name - knits a sweater. Then all pandemonium breaks loose. The Hueys in The New Sweater by Oliver Jeffers... Continue Reading →

Night of the Twisters

Dan and his friends live the ideal small-town life in Grand Island, Nebraska.  They swim, ride bikes, hang out together. When a severe thunderstorm alert is issued for that evening, Dan doesn't think much of it.  It's a common occurrence in Nebraska. But what happens next is not. Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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 →

Year of the Jungle

Children dealing with deployed parents can gain comfort from Year of the Jungle by Suzanne Collins (yes, the author of The Hunger Games). Collin's father was deployed to Viet Nam when she was six.  In this picture book, she remembers what life was like with her dad gone, and the questions she asked about his... Continue Reading →

Keeping Score

Maggie Fortini listens to every game her beloved Brooklyn Dodgers play, usually at the firehouse with her father’s former co-workers.  When Jim joins the firehouse, she is shocked to discover he is a huge fan of the Dodgers arch-rivals, the New York Giants.  She determines to never be his friend. But slowly, he wins her... Continue Reading →

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