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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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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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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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Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton

Posted by Sherry on 4/26/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, General |

“Henry Penwhistle’s bedroom door was the sort of door where adventures began.” And that’s the sort of first sentence that makes me think that this book is going to be a great adventure. Immediately, I am reminded of a wardrobe door into Narnia, or Bilbo Baggins’ front door that led him out onto the road […]

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Sir Cumference and the Fracton Faire by Cindy Neuschwander

Posted by Sherry on 3/13/2017 in 2017, Children's Fiction, General, Mathematics |

Is it didactic, a story built specifically to teach a lesson about fractions? Absolutely. Do some of us prefer our mathematics lessons encased in a story? Yes, indeed. Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. And for some people, math equals medicine. The Sir Cumference books are designed to engage young readers […]

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My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo

Posted by Sherry on 3/8/2017 in 2017, Around the World, General, Refugees and Immigrants, Syria |

Young Sami and his family escape from the bombing of his Syrian neighborhood and go to live in a refugee camp, but Sami had to leave his pigeons behind. As others in his family and in the camp begin to make a new life for themselves, Sami cannot think of anything other than his beautiful […]

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The Language of Angels by Richard Michelson

Posted by Sherry on 2/21/2017 in 2017, Biography/Memoir, General, Israel, Nonfiction |

The Language of Angels: A Story About the Reinvention of Hebrew by Richard Michelson, illustrated by Karla Gudeon. I love nonfiction picture books about overlooked and under-reported events and people in history. The Language of Angels is just such a picture book, about Itamar Ben-Avi (Ben-Zion) and his father, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda who were instrumental in […]

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Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education by Raphaele Frier

Posted by Sherry on 2/7/2017 in 2017, General, Nonfiction |

I would like to read I Am Malala, the book that Malala Yousafzai wrote about her own life and her activism on behalf of the education of girls around the world. Until I get around to reading that book, however, this picture book biography, translated into English from the French, gives a basic overview of […]

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