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Jonathan Edwards by Simonetta Carr

I’m spending my Thursdays here on the blog in the eighteenth century, 1700’s. This picture book biography of the great preacher and theologian, Jonathan Edwards (b.1703, d.1758), is just beautiful. The book is hardcover, printed on lovely paper, large print, with both color illustrations and photographs of important documents and places in Edwards’ life. I […]

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Running Out of Night by Sharon Lovejoy

Posted by Sherry on 5/27/2015 in 2014, Children's Fiction, General |

A nameless, motherless, abused white girl and a runaway slave girl named Zenobia are thrown together in a journey toward freedom. Even though the Zenobia gives Nameless Girl the name of Lark, the two find it difficult to trust each other or to trust the people who are willing to help them along their way […]

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The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham

Posted by Sherry on 4/21/2015 in 2014, 2015, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, General |

The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham. The Luck Uglies #2: Fork-Tongue Charmers by Paul Durham. The first book in this fantasy series for middle grade readers, published in 2014, won the Cybils Award for Middle Grade Speculative Fiction. I read it when I was on the panel for Cybils, and I thought I had reviewed […]

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Mikis and the Donkey by Bibi Dumon Tak

Posted by Sherry on 4/15/2015 in 2014, Children's Fiction, General, Greece |

This 89-page little gem of a story takes place in Corfu, a Greek island in the Mediterranean, and it’s about a boy and his donkey. Well, it’s really his grandfather’s donkey. The boy Mikis, however, is the one who names the donkey Tsaki and the one who cares for Tsaki when he is hurt and […]

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Middle Grade Middling

Posted by Sherry on 4/7/2015 in 2014, 2015, Children's Fiction, General |

All Four Stars by Tara Daiman is cute middle grade fiction about a budding restaurant critic and gourmet cook whose parents only know fast food and microwave cooking. The protagonist, eleven year old Gladys Gatsby, is rather deceitful and dangerously inventive, but she has parents who are unbelievably misguided. Not only will they not allow […]

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Short Takes on Middle Grade Speculative Fiction

Posted by Sherry on 1/10/2015 in 2014, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, General, Science Fiction |

The Winter of the Robots by Kurtis Scaletta Mr. Scaletta’s previous books, Mudville and Mamba Point, were both good solid middle grade reads, and The Winter of the Robots continues on in that groove. If your child is into robots or robot wars or science-y adventure tales, then The Winter of the Robots is a […]

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Middle Grade Speculative Fiction: What’s In, What’s Out

What’s IN North, Norse mythology, Northerness “I was uplifted into huge regions of northern sky. I desired with almost sickening intensity something never to be described, except that it is cold, spacious, severe, pale and remote.” ~C.S. Lewis Thrones and Bones: Frostborn by Lou Anders. Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen. Odin’s […]

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Semicolon Speculative Fiction Awards 2014

Posted by Sherry on 1/2/2015 in 2014, Children's Fiction, Cybil Awards, Fantasy Fiction, General |

In reading for the Cybils, I could not resist awarding my own special prizes: The Jabberwocky Meets Rocky Horror on the Farm Weirdness Award: Fat & Bones and Other Stories by Larissa Theule. Illustrations by Adam S. Doyle. Best Speculative Fiction with a British Flair: The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett. The Extremely […]

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12 Favorite Middle Grade Fiction Books of 2014 (Excluding Speculative Fiction)

Posted by Sherry on 12/30/2014 in 2014, Children's Fiction, General |

I enjoyed all twelve of these middle grade realistic fiction books. My favorites are the two pictured to the right. Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff. Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana. Curiosity by Gary L. Blackwood. Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin. I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora. Under […]

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12 Favorite Middle Grade Speculative Fiction Books of 2014

Posted by Sherry on 12/29/2014 in 2014, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, General, Science Fiction |

This list is both difficult and easy. I read over 100 Middle Grade speculative fiction novels because of my role as a Cybils judge, so I have quite a few books to choose from. However choosing only the twelve best isn’t easy. These are my personal favorites and do not necessarily reflect the views of […]

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