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... 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 →

The Garden of Abdul Gasazi

Author and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg specializes in the dreamy, the spectacular, and the wondrous.  His picture book, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, is no exception. Alan is all set to care for Miss Hester's dog while she visits her sister.   He plays with Fritz until he's completely worn out, then takes him for an... 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 →

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 Mapmaker’s Sons

Tom Hawkins does not remember his parents.  He feels compelled to climb around the buildings at his boarding school in England - especially on stormy nights. One night, as he climbs to the school's bell tower, he runs into trouble. He's not sure what kind of trouble, exactly, which makes it worse.  Men in black... 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 →

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