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The House of Months and Years by Emma Trevayne

Posted by Sherry on 6/16/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, General |

This middle grade fantasy about a spooky house that allows certain “special” people to travel through time and space didn’t quite work for me. I’m trying to figure out why. 1) I think it’s it’s a little too creepy, spooky for my tastes. An older man/ghost, Horatio, takes on ten year old Amelia as a […]

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A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest by J.A. Myhre

Posted by Sherry on 6/6/2017 in 2015, Africa, Children's Fiction, Kenya |

Ten year old Mu has lived with the family of his great-uncle, the mukumu (a African traditional priest who can cast curses and give protection from them), for as long as he can remember. Mu is treated more as a servant than as a member of the family, but at least he gets to go […]

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A Traveller in Time by Allison Uttley

If ever the term “time slip” applied to a book, it’s this one: Penelope Taberner Cameron slips in and out of two time periods, the twentieth century and the late sixteenth century, like butter slipping about on a plate. She never knows exactly when or how she will slip out of her own time at […]

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The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Posted by Sherry on 5/26/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, General |

The Goldfish Boy is a problem novel from a British perspective. I liked reading it because I have a family member with OCD. However, I’m not sure that the protagonist, Matthew, rises above the level of the stereotypical “child with an illness who learns to overcome”, and his parents are extremely annoying when they take […]

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The Family From One End Street by Eve Garnett

Posted by Sherry on 5/25/2017 in Children's Fiction, England, General |

Published in 1937, The Family From One End Street and Some of Their Adventures by author/illustrator Eve Garnett broke new ground by detailing the joys and sometimes misadventures of a large working class British family. “Mrs. Ruggles was a Washerwoman and her husband was a Dustman.” (A dustman for us Americans who don’t collect “dust” […]

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Journey Across the Hidden Islands by Sarah Beth Durst

Posted by Sherry on 5/24/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, General, Japan |

“‘Once, there were two princesses, Sisters. One trained to be a warrior, at the top of a mountain. She was never allowed to go home. The other trained to be the perfect princess. She was never allowed out of the palace. Until one day, when their father said they were ready . . .’ ‘They […]

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Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

Posted by Sherry on 5/9/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, General |

Really good science fiction for middle grade and young adult readers is really hard to find these days. I mean the old-school, space travel, fighting space aliens, survival in a hostile environment kind of science fiction. Not evil corporations are taking over the world, dystopian pseudo-sci-fi. Hunger Games wannabes are easy to find. Old-fashioned Heinlein/StarTrek-type […]

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The Silver Gate by Kristin Bailey

Posted by Sherry on 5/8/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction |

This middle grade novel has a medieval, feudal setting, and the author kept me guessing all the way through as to whether it would turn out to be fantasy/fairy tale or realistic fiction. In the story, Elric must take care of his sister Wynnfrith after their mother’s death and protect her from the villagers who […]

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Summer Reading: Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grades

Posted by Sherry on 5/5/2017 in Children's Fiction, General, Nonfiction, Summer reading |

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. Originally published in 1930, this book is the first in a series of books about a group of adventurous children and a sailboat. Swallows and Amazons introduces the Walker children—John, Susan, Titty, and Roger—their camp on Wild Cat island, the able-bodied catboat Swallow, and their frenemies the two intrepid […]

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Summer Reading: Fourth and Fifth Grades

Posted by Sherry on 5/4/2017 in Children's Fiction, General, Nonfiction, Summer reading |

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. The link goes to an interview with my then-eight year old daughter about her impressions of this award-winning book about India Opal Buloni, her smiling dog, and her preacher daddy. First line: “My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to […]

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