Murder is Bad Manners

Life at an English boarding school can be so boring. Hazel Wong has discovered that. She's actually rather OK with boring, but her friend Daisy Wells is not. Daisy has been in trouble for reading mystery novels, but that doesn't stop her. Daisy convinces Hazel to start a secret detective agency at school. But they... Continue Reading →

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

If you love games and strategy, you’ll love Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. The famous game inventor Mr. Lemoncello has built a brand new library in his home town in Ohio. To celebrate the grand opening, he’s invited twelve 12-year-olds for an all-night lock-in in the library. Kyle Keeley is determined to... Continue Reading →

Nooks and Crannies

Tabitha feels unloved. In fact, she is unloved. Her parents don’t love her, in spite of her efforts to earn their love. Her best friend in the world is a mouse. One day her world changes because of an envelope. In the envelope is an invitation to visit the country estate of the reclusive Countess... Continue Reading →

Letters from Cuba

Esther is determined to join her father in Cuba and work to get the rest of her family out of Poland. She is the oldest child, after all, even if she is a girl. Papa agrees, and Esther travels alone across Europe and the Atlantic to join him in Cuba. Her new home enchants Esther,... Continue Reading →

One Time

Gina Filomena has a new neighbor whose wide, welcoming smile catches her off-guard. She like his smile. She likes his imagination, which makes her look at her neighborhood differently. When Antonio shows up at her class, and offers his generous smile to everyone, Gina feels a bit put out. But the tenor of the whole... Continue Reading →

Ms. Rapscott’s Girls

Ms. Rapscott runs a boarding school for daughters of the world’s busiest parents. They are so busy, they barely have time to box their girls up and send them to Ms. Rapscott. In fact, one set of parents forgot to close their box - which meant Dahlia never made it to school. If you think... Continue Reading →

The Penderwicks in Spring

Note: I wrote this review in 2015, but am just now publishing it. Excitement reigned at my house last month. My youngest daughter realized that the library finally had processed the newest book about one of our favorite literary families, the Penderwicks. The day we got the email that her hold was ready, I made... Continue Reading →

Bronze and Sunflower

Bronze and Sunflower are the names of two children in China who become inseparable friends - and eventually family. This sweet story by Cao Wenxuan was translated from Chinese by Helen Wang. Set during the Cultural Revolution, Bronze and Sunflower is a story of love, hardships and family life in the Chinese countryside (and not... Continue Reading →

The Summer We Found the Baby

On the last day of summer, Julie and her little sister Martha find a baby. A real, live baby in a basket on the steps of the library. Their neighbor, Bruno, is on his way to catch the train on an important errand for his older brother when he spots them. Errand forgotten, he follows... Continue Reading →

Stone Fox

This short book by John Reynolds Gardiner must have been a reader for my children when we were homeschooling, because I don’t ever remember reading it before this morning. Little Willy is concerned for his grandfather, who suddenly took to his bed and quit talking and laughing with Willy. Doc Smith says nothing is wrong... Continue Reading →

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