Lines of Courage

Jennifer A. Nielsen is one of the few authors who I consistently read and gladly purchase. Her newest book, Lines of Courage, is an exploration of life in Europe before and during World War 1. Nielsen follows five children from different countries: Felix, from Austria-Hungary, Elsa, from Germany, Juliette, from France, Kara, from Britain, and... Continue Reading →

I Must Betray You

Set in Romania, 1989, I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys follows 17-year-old Christian Florescu as he navigates life and protests under the brutal regime of Nicolas Ceausecu. Christian dreams of becoming a writer, but chances aren’t likely. His family is already marked because of his grandfather, an outspoken critic of the current regime and... Continue Reading →

Highly Illogical Behavior

Lisa Praytor is highly motivated. She desperately wants out of her small California town, and she has just the ticket. She is going to find that crazy kid who walked into a fountain in junior high school. She's going to befriend him, fix him and write an amazing essay about it, which will earn her... Continue Reading →

Magyk

Other than Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia, I'm not a huge fantasy fan. I did, however, really enjoy this story. Bonus for middle-schoolers (& high schoolers) who love fantasy, this is the first of many in this series - seven, if I counted right. This story had everything. Fight between good and... Continue Reading →

The Skylark’s War

I was reading chapter 8 in The Skylark’s War by Hilary McKay when I had a moment of deja vu - I’ve read this book before. I searched the archives - no record. Then I realized I had dozens of reviews on social media I am working on getting onto my blog. I scanned through... Continue Reading →

Summer of Gypsy Moths

I was rather shocked by the plot twist at the beginning of Summer of Gypsy Moths. At the same time, I thought author Sara Pennypacker did a good job of revealing the thought processes of the two main characters in the midst of it. The result is a beautiful story of finding a place and... Continue Reading →

The Outlaws of Sherwood

My daughter has wanted me to read The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley (author of my favorite, Beauty) for over five years. I kept promising to read it, and she nearly gave up hope. But I’ve read it - and thoroughly enjoyed it! In McKinley’s version of Robin Hood, Robin is an apprentice forester... Continue Reading →

The Blackthorn Key

Christopher Rowe is training to be an apothecary in London under a master who he has learned to love. But when fellow apothecaries are murdered, he is thrown into solving a terrifying mystery - with the help of his good friend Tom. Exciting, with puzzles within puzzles. Great for reading or listening for older elementary... Continue Reading →

Night Witches

This is the first World War II novel I've read focused on the Russians. The Night Witches were women pilots who flew thousands of dangerous missions against the Germans. Author Kathryn Lasky is a good writer (Her Guardians of Ga'Hoole series are a favorite.) 13-year-old Valya is caught in the battle of Stalingrad - her... Continue Reading →

The Vanishing

Sophie is proud of the hard work she’s done to become the top student in her class. She didn’t used to be a diligent student, but after several moves and several schools, she decided to work hard and make her parents proud. But the day her teacher is to chalk her name on the board... Continue Reading →

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