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 →

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 →

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 →

First Class Murder

Heads up! If you haven't read any of Robin Stevens’ Wells & Wong mysteries, you are missing out! First Class Murder is the third book in the series. While each book stands alone, you'll understand the characters much better if you start with Murder is Not Polite. (What a perfect title!) I love the developing... Continue Reading →

Sarah Bishop

Sarah helps her father and brother run their small farm on Long Island, just before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. The tensions between the Patriots and the Loyalists in her neighborhood come between her father and brother. When her father tears up the Common Sense pamphlet by Thomas Paine, the local Patriots come hunting.... Continue Reading →

Gone-Away Lake

Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright is a lovely read / listen for all ages. Portia and her younger brother, Foster, visit their cousin Julian every summer. This summer Julian has moved to the country. Portia and Julian explore and find a row of Victorian houses bordering on a swamp. It's a former resort, occupied by... Continue Reading →

Alchemy and Meggy Swann

Karen Cushman is an author I will always read, although I wouldn't put her in my top 10 list. Her books are enjoyable yet definitely for 4th-grade or older. I enjoyed Alchemy and Meggy Swan - a realistic look at the down and out in Elizabethan England. Meggy's parents both reject her. Her village hates... Continue Reading →

The Beatryce Prophecy

The monks of the Chronicles of Sorrowing fear the goat the most. Answelica has taken a piece of each of them with her sharp teeth and hard head. So when Brother Edik finds a child asleep with Answelica, he is terrified. How did that child get there? And what will that goat do to her?... Continue Reading →

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