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 →

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 →

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 →

Lyddie

Lydia and her brother Charles were determined to keep their little farm going even after their father left to find work in the west and their mother took their younger sisters to their aunt and uncle’s house. Then their mother wrote to let them know she had hired them out to different places to pay... 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 →

Iron Hearted Violet

Iron-Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill is the most thought-provoking middle grade fiction book I’ve read recently. In the fantasy genre, it tells the story of an unusual princess - an ugly one. She and her friend awaken an evil god, the Nybbas, who whispers lies to the entire kingdom. Violet and Demetrius must find more... Continue Reading →

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko Timely. Sensitive. Amazing. All describe If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko. I love this author (of Al Capone Does My Homework, etc.) and how she handles the subject of race, bullying and family in this book. The chapters are short, which... Continue Reading →

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

Will's life on the African farm is magical. Day after blissful day roaming the plains on her horse with her monkey and best friend. Suddenly, her life changes and she's sent to England for school. How will she learn to live so far from her beloved Africa? I loved Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell... Continue Reading →

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