As a homeschooling veteran, I review middle-grade stories to help parents, librarians, and teachers choose good books.
Look for author news here too!
Kia struggles to find a place socially on the track team, leaning heavily on her boyfriend. It’s not easy. And then her abuser–her grandfather–shows up and actually moves in with Kia and her mother. It’s a recipe for disaster, especially for the little six-year-old girl that her grandfather is getting to know as a volunteer at a day care.
So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’s Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary D. Schmidt, illus. by Daniel Minter
Here’s a truly notable book about Sojourner Truth, set apart by its amazing illustrations and its jewel-toned prose.
Middle-grade voice involves a (usually) sassy or joking twelve-year-old who's finding himself or herself in a pickle and agonizing about it in a very funny way. It's unique to middle grade books, as far as I can tell. I've talked about it before, and even have a...
Rob Currie’s debut middle grade novel, Hunger Winter, tells a suspenseful tale of brave kids in World-War-II Holland.
I know I said I'd be reviewing middle grade books on this blog, but this picture book is just too irresistible. Can YOU roar like a dandelion? How is that, exactly, roaring like a dandelion? This is an ABC book by Ruth Krauss, a widely known children's book author of...
Andrew Peterson's middle-grade Wingfeather series that started out as an amusing tale full of rollicking names moves to epic scope along the way. In this fourth book, The Warden and the Wolf King (2014), it builds to a mighty conclusion full of heroic deeds. Andrew...
We learned in the second book that the fangs, which look like beast-humans, are actually recycled humans. In fact, the bad guys nearly succeeding in turning young Kalmar Wingfeather, the 11-year-old next king of Anniera, into a wolfish fang.
I am reviewing North! or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson, Book 2 in the Wingfeather Saga (2009).This mid-series book could suffer from middle-of-story sag.
I’m reviewing On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, by Andrew Peterson, Book One of the Wingfeather Saga (2008) . In this middle-grade book, the three children of the Igiby family are being raised by their mother and their grandfather. They live just outside Glipwood, a rustic village on the edge of the sea, in the house built by their grandfather many, many years before.
In Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner (2010), Book 1 of a trilogy, Goldie is a protected child. She’s so protected that she has never been in any kind of danger, never petted a dog, never seen a snake, and … never been off a leash.
She calls herself a cynic as she copes with her mother, who dotes on a pretty porcelain lamp named Mary Ann instead of her tomboy daughter. And Flora adores comic books, especially those about an unassuming janitor who transforms into a shining light of rescue. Plainly, she’d like her own life to be more like that.
In Dreamtreaders, a middle-grade story by Wayne Thomas Batson, Archer Keaton, age 14, serves humanity as a Dreamtreader. In his dreams, what he imagines becomes “real.”