Dragon’s Gate

A friend recommended Dragon’s Gate by Laurence Yep after reading it with her high schooler. I was about to hunt it down at the library when I discovered it on my own bookshelf. Apparently, Dragon’s Gate had been a part of our homeschool curriculum as an independent reader, so I had never read it. I... Continue Reading →

Treasures of the Snow

One of my favorite stories from childhood is Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John. This is a sweet, difficult story of families living on a mountain in French-speaking Switzerland. Hard feelings and frustrations lead to an unforgettable and unforgivable accident. How the two families, especially the children, work through the ramifications of the... Continue Reading →

The Hero and the Crown

I read The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley on a summer vacation a while ago, and my social media friends told me that McKinley had written a prequel to that wonderful book. I kept my eyes open for it, and discovered a copy at a thrift shop while on vacation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I... Continue Reading →

Things Hoped For

I generally consider author Andrew Clements a middle-grade fiction author. He has written some heart-felt and incredibly funny books, most notably Frindle, which my whole family has enjoyed. While the age listed for his book Things Hoped For is 10 and up, I might consider upping the age a bit - particularly for sensitive readers.... Continue Reading →

Little Bits of Sky

I had an evening to myself this week so I read this gem of a book, Little Bits of Sky by S.E. Durrant. As my daughter says, “What? I’m not crying! You’re crying!” (Which means there were tears. Sad tears. Happy tears.) Little Bits of Sky is a beautiful, heartfelt novella. It contains some beautiful... Continue Reading →

The Worst Night Ever

I’m a big Dave Barry fan. He’s got a great sense of humor and I’ve welcomed his fairly recent foray into middle grade fiction. The Worst Night Ever is a sequel to The Worst Class Trip Ever, although you don’t have to read the class trip book first to read this one. I enjoyed this... Continue Reading →

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

For all the books I’ve read, I can’t believe I’ve read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl for the first time. Charlie is an unlikely recipient of a golden ticket to see the inside of Mr. Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory. The other children who have golden tickets are spoiled, rotten and selfish.... Continue Reading →

Stones in Water

When Roberto decides to sneak away to attend a movie one afternoon, he has no idea that it means he will never see his parents again. German soldiers raid the theater, round up the boys and send them to a work camp. As Roberto and his friend Samuele struggle to survive, they vow to stay... Continue Reading →

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

Several different people recommended Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga series to me. So of course I️ had to read it. I’ll admit that this fall has been pretty draining personally, which meant it took me a bit to get into the series. It starts with On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. Peterson’s humor... Continue Reading →

My Brother Sam is Dead

Tim loves his big brother, Sam. He knows Sam is smart, brave and always knows the right thing to do. Then Sam enlists in the Revolutionary Army, against the wishes of Tim and Sam’s father, who is loyal to the king. Tim is torn between love for his father and brother. How can he choose... Continue Reading →

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