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 →

Squire’s Tale

If you have only heard of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, but haven't read any of their stories, please do!  You don't need to read the original stories in the ancient English.  Gerald Morris has done a great job of retelling the old stories for modern ears. The stories are a... Continue Reading →

A Whole Nother Story

You know you have found an excellent book when everyone in your family loves it - including your 15-year-old and your husband who doesn't enjoy listening to audio books. My 10-year-old picked out A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup to listen to in the van.  The children and I keep an audio book... Continue Reading →


Solveig, her older sister and younger brother, the crown prince, are trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between a narrow fjord and towering mountains.  Their father sent them there, along with a band of fierce and restless warriors, to protect them during battle with his sworn enemy. But mysterious things are happening - food missing,... Continue Reading →

I Survived…

Children ready for short chapter books will enjoy the I Survived... books by Lauren Tarshis (the author of Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree). These action-packed adventures tell the story of a child, usually a boy, who has survived a catastrophe - like the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, 2005 Hurricane Katrina, etc.  The stories... Continue Reading →

Jim Davis

Like every other 12-year-old, Jim Davis longs for thrills and adventures. And unwittingly, he finds it when he comes across a ring of pirates. These pirates aren't friendly, swash-buckling type. They are serious smugglers. At first, Jim finds them to be friendly and interesting. But his 'friend' Marah turns out to be more dangerous than... Continue Reading →

The Klipfish Code

I am convinced that no matter how many books are published about the Nazi occupation of Norway, none will be as good as my favorite, Snow Treasure. But many will come close - and The Klipfish Code by Mary Casanova does. At first, I didn't particularly like 12-year-old Marit, the novel's protagonist. At the beginning... Continue Reading →

Born to Fly

Action. Adventure. And a female protagonist!? Yes! Bird McGill has always wanted to fly an airplane. Her current obsession is a P-40 Warhawk, the plane the US is flying when it first enters World War II. Born to Fly by Michael Ferrari tells Bird's story of not fitting in with the other girls, of finding... Continue Reading →

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