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 →

The Boy on the Wooden Box

If you have seen Schindler's List, you will know the basic story of The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson. Leyson was the youngest boy Schindler was able to save from the Nazi killing machine.  He relates his story of growing up in rural Poland, moving to the big city after his father... 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 →

Emily of New Moon

If you love Ann of Green Gables, you will enjoy reading L.M. Montgomery's Emily of New Moon trilogy. Emily is a spirited, imaginative girl - quite similar to Anne.  But while readers meet Anne as an orphan, readers share in Emily's shock when her beloved father dies.  She soon discovers her lot is to move... Continue Reading →

Through the Skylight

The cover illustration of children riding stone winged lions through the air caught my attention.  It looked interesting - and unusual.  And Through the Skylight by Ian Baucom certainly was both interesting and unusual. Set in modern-day Venice, siblings Jared, Shireen and Miranda are stuck exploring every. single. art. exhibit. in this Italian city.  Their... Continue Reading →

Afternoon of the Elves

Hillary is an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life - until her neighbor Sara-Kate tells her elves have built a village in her backyard. Could it be true?  Hillary isn't sure, but the idea of elves is too interesting to ignore.  So against the advice of her friends at school, Hillary ventures through the backyard... Continue Reading →


Some of my kids are afraid to attend the public schools because they've read so much about bullies.  It doesn't matter what I say, what their public-schooled siblings say - they have seared into their brains the stories they've read or listened to about bullies at school. Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seeger will be 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 →

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