Holling C. Holling, b. 1900

Posted by Sherry on 8/2/2017 in --August, Birthdays, Early Chapter Books, Education and Homeschool |

August 2nd is the birthdate of author Holling Clancy Holling, who wrote several books that are wildly popular among homeschooling moms and their children: Paddle-to-the-Sea. A native American boy carves a small canoe and sends it off on a journey from Lake Superior to the Atlantic Ocean. It takes four years, an many mishaps and […]


What’s New in My Library?

I have a private, subscription library in my home—sort of a school library for literature lovers and homeschoolers. It gives me an excuse to purchase and rescue those treasures of books that I find in the thrift store or at the garage sale. I bought lots of books this week, first at the Books Bloom […]


Oliver and the Seawigs: Not-So-Impossible Tale by Philip Reeve

Posted by Sherry on 10/22/2014 in 2013, Children's Fiction, Early Chapter Books, General |

An army of sea monkeys. A boy villain named Stacey de Lacey. A nearsighted mermaid. Rambling Isles that walk/swim around the ocean. Sarcastic seaweed. A talking albatross named Mr. Culpepper. And a beach optician. Not in that order. The author of this stew of ridiculous is the same Phillip Reeve who wrote a dark Arthurian […]

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Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, The Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist Attractions by Lenore Look

Alvin Ho is back again, kind of like his namesake, the chipmunk. (Actually, the two have nothing to do with one another. I just was reminded of Alvin the Chipmunk for some reason and wanted to post a picture. Maybe because both Alvins have a penchant for getting into lovable trouble.) This time Alvin Ho […]

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Wanderville by Wendy McClure

Posted by Sherry on 5/19/2014 in 2014, Children's Fiction, Early Chapter Books |

Inspired by The Boxcar Children books, Wanderville is a story of unwanted children making a place for themselves in spite of uncaring and inattentive adults. The believability factor in this story for younger middle grade readers is low, but it is a good adventure. A group of orphans are sent west to Kansas on the […]


Cybils 2013 Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books

Posted by Sherry on 10/5/2013 in 2013, Early Chapter Books, Easy Readers, General |

I served on the judging panel for this Cybils category two years ago, and I was introduced to some wonderful books and authors for the 8 and under crowd. Here are a few 2013 nomination suggestions for this category: Odd Duck by Cecil Castllucci. Friendship, weirdness, and ducks. NOMINATED as a Graphic Novel. All About […]


Whatever After: Fairest of All by Sarah Mlynowski

Abby and her family have moved to a new town, Smithville, and things in this new place are just not right! For instance: 1. Everyone in Smithville calls Coke, Pepsi, and Orange Crush soda. Pop is a much better name. Pop! Pop! Pop! Coke pops on your tongue. It doesn’t soda on your tongue. 2. […]


Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery and a Very Strange Adventure by Lissa Evans

Posted by Sherry on 11/5/2012 in 2012, Children's Fiction, Early Chapter Books, Fantasy Fiction, General |

Stuart Horten moves to a new town and finds out that his great-uncle was a magician, a performing magician who invented and sold magical illusions. But Teeny Tiny Tony Horten was also a real magician who disappeared one day and left a trail of clues for finding his magical workshop to the boy who was […]


Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones

Posted by Sherry on 10/26/2012 in 2012, Children's Fiction, Cybil Awards, Early Chapter Books, General |

It’s possible that I kept thinking of Pippi Longstocking when I was reading this book by Diana Wynne Jones, author of Howl’s Moving Castle and many other fantasy favorites, because Paul Zelinsky’s illustrations reminded me of Lauren Child’s pictures of of Pippi. Maybe it’s just the electric pigtails that both Pippi and Earwig share. It’s […]


Cold Cereal by Adam Rex

Posted by Sherry on 10/4/2012 in 2012, Children's Fiction, Early Chapter Books, Fantasy Fiction, General |

Once upon a time I read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and I became a vegetarian for about two days. Cold Cereal by Adam Rex may convince me to give up breakfast cereal for the duration. I know it’s fantasy, bordering on satire, but the satirical elements are effective. For example, from a footnote about […]

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