The Gammage Cup

The Minnipins live in a remote valley, cut off from the rest of their world. They remember how their ancestors got to the valley, but nothing that comes before that event. Why did they leave their former home? What were they fleeing? These questions feel irrelevant to the current inhabitants of the valley. Instead they... Continue Reading →

Wolf Hollow

Annabelle enjoys her life in rural Pennsylvania, even if it's a little boring. Just as she is wishing for something exciting to happen, Betty Glengarry walks into her classroom. And Annabelle's life changes. Betty is a problem child, who was kicked out of her city school and sent to live with her grandparents. She threatens... Continue Reading →

The Lost Kingdom

Matthew J. Kirby is back! I was so very happy when I found The Lost Kingdom, his latest book, at the library. I actually grabbed the audio book, which is excellently read by Charlie McWade. The Lost Kingdom is another entry into Kirby’s unique genre, which I call historical fantasy. It’s historical - set right... Continue Reading →

The War that Saved My Life

It seems like a crazy title - how on earth can a war save someone's life? But the title is true to the book. In The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Ada tells her story first-hand. It's a difficult story of abuse and neglect. Ada is crippled, and her mother refuses... Continue Reading →

Lizzy Bennet’s Diary

Marcia Williams has created a fun companion to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in Lizzy Bennet's Diary. Williams follows the storyline of Pride and Prejudice closely, including illustrations and small details of life not included in the book - like the fancy buttonholes Elizabeth is embroidering on a new waistcoat for her father. She also includes the "letters"... Continue Reading →

Black Horses for the King

Galwyn Varianus is down on his luck.  His father is dead and his fortune gone, so Galwyn must apprentice to his uncle, a boat captain.  He hates life at sea, but seeing no other option, does his best to fit in and work hard. Then, his uncle agrees to take on passengers - passengers who... Continue Reading →

Catherine, Called Birdy

Normally, I am not a fan of diary-form fiction, but I am making an exception for Karen Cushman's excellent book Catherine, Called Birdy. Birdy is an energetic, sharp-tongued girl living in medieval England.  She hates wearing skirts, hemming sheets, spinning, and needlepoint - basically everything about being a daughter of a knight.  She is especially... Continue Reading →

The False Prince

Sage is an orphan, always getting into trouble - but the worst sort of trouble is upon him. Bought from the orphanage by a nobleman, Sage finds himself in the company of Conner (the nobleman), his servants (Mott and Cregan), and three other orphans.  Conner's plan is to position one of them as the missing... Continue Reading →

The Giver

Jonas' world sounds perfect.  Everyone realizes when they've given offense, and apologizes.  Those who've been offended always accept the apology.  Each evening over dinner, Jonas' family discuss their feelings, and every morning over breakfast, they discuss their dreams. Their lives are regimented.  Controlled.  Everyone does what he or she is supposed to do.  Jonas knows... Continue Reading →

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