My Happy Life

I have to be honest.  When I first finished My Happy Life by Rose Lagercrantz, I wondered, "What was that about?"  It didn't particularly strike me as a great book. But the more I thought about it, the more the story grew on me and the more I liked it. Dani, the main character, is... Continue Reading →

Emily’s Fortune

Emily lives a very quiet life.  She never runs, never shouts, and hardly plays.  She lives with her mother and the wealthy Miss Luella Nash, who doesn't like noise at all. But then, Emily finds herself alone in the world, after a horrible carriage accident.  And suddenly, everyone wants to make decisions for her -... Continue Reading →

Gooney Bird Greene

Have you ever met that uber-confident child?  The one who knows who she is and is not afraid to be herself?  Gooney Bird Greene is such a child.  Her presence lights up the classroom.  Everyone looks forward to seeing her and hearing her stories. The kind of confidence Gooney Bird exhibits is endearing in a... 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 →

White Fur Flying

Every time I read a book by Patricia MacLachlan, I am in awe of her gift of telling simple, yet heartfelt stories. White Fur Flying is no exception. Zoe's family rescues dogs.  Not just any dogs, her mother rescues Great Pyrenees, "140 pounds of white fur."  (To be honest, I'm not a dog lover, and... Continue Reading →

Rickshaw Girl

Mitali Perkins takes readers to Bangladesh in her novella Rickshaw Girl. Naima is an artist. She loves to create the traditional designs the girls in her country create for special celebrations. But one day her artistry is thwarted when she sees how hard her father works, and feels sad she can do nothing to help... Continue Reading →

Kaspar The Titanic Cat

Johnny Tott knows that Kaspar is a special cat.  He traveled to London's Savoy Hotel with his owner, a Russian opera singer. Johnny gets to know and admire Kaspar as he gets to know and admire his owner, the opera singer.  But when tragedy befalls the singer, Johnny decides to care for Kaspar. Then Kaspar... Continue Reading →

No Fighting, No Biting!

Early chapter book shelves are full of books about the most popular movies, TV shows and cartoon characters, so when I find a good reader which both my children and I can enjoy I rejoice! No Fighting, No Biting! by Else Holmelund Minarik is a classic. I loved the illustrations by Maurice Sendak (Where the... Continue Reading →

My Little House books

  When I first came across the My First Little House Books series, I was disgusted.  Is there no end to repackaging, marketing and otherwise destroying my favorite books? But curiosity overcame my disgust and I picked up a variety of them and brought them home to read and evaluate. I was pleasantly surprised at... Continue Reading →

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