Adventure/Thriller

Titan and the Wild Boars by Susan Hood and Pathana Sorhiran

The true story of the daring rescue of the Thai Soccer team will bring its tension and drama home to young readers. Titan and the ...
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The Lady Is a Spy by Don Mitchell

This biography of Virginia Hall for young people tells the little-known story of a daring World War II spy. The Lady is a Spy: Virginia ...
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When We Were Lost by Kevin Wignall

This tense survival tale illustrates contrasting forms of leadership as teens struggle to find their way out of the Brazilian jungle. When We Were Lost ...
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The Ranger’s Apprentice Series by John Flanagan

A best-selling series for young teens set in a Medieval-esque, pseudo European world that combines adventure, heroism, villains, danger, and a touch of love. The ...
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Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Fast-paced and far-out, this series opener mixes theoretical science with human joys and sorrows. Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez.  Disney (Rick ...
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The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Popular children's author Margaret Peterson Haddix begins another sci-fi/adventure series for middle-graders. The Strangers (Greystone Secrets #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix. HarperCollins, 2019, 416 pages ...
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*The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (Retro Reads)

A middle grades novel packed with life in ancient Egypt and an orphan's adventure among the tombs of the dead. *The Golden Goblet by Eloise ...
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*Time Sight by Lynne Jonell

A disgruntled boy gifted with "time sight" discovers a way back into his own family's history. *Time Sight by Lynne Jonell.  Henry Holt, 2019, 389 ...
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The Odyssey: a Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds

This graphic-novel adaptation of The Odyssey has some beautiful panels and a few problems. The Odyssey: a Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds.  Candlewick, 2010, 248 ...
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The Iliad: a Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds

Gareth Hinds' adaptation of The Iliad is an excellent introduction to Homer's classic for middle graders and teens. *The Iliad: a Graphic Novel Adaptation by ...
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*By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman (Retro Read)

Jack and Praiseworthy must use their wits and resourcefulness if they are to strike it rich in California's goldfields in this funny middle grades novel. ...
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Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Truett

With Explorer Academy, National Geographic launches an action sci-fi series taking readers to the world's natural wonders. The Nebula Secret (Explorer Academy #1) by Trudi ...
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Spy Runner by Eugene Yelchin

A dauntless 11-year-old boy confronts a possible Russian spy in this Cold-War-era thriller. Spy Runner by Eugene Yelchin.  Henry Holt (Godwin Books), 2019, 343 pages ...
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*Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins

Chiko and Tu Reh learn to face challenges and love their enemies in modern day, war-torn Burma in this realistic fiction novel for teens. Starred ...
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Literaritea: Classics and new favorites

Literaritea is a fresh series in which Megan offers a taste of her experiences reading picture books and poetry aloud to her five boys, ages 2-12. Ideally we have teatime with our literature, but not always. These are the books that resonate with all of us and if I don't own these titles yet, I ...
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*Monster Blood Tattoo Trilogy by D. M. Cornish

Foundling, Lamplighter, and Factotum by D. M. Cornish. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2006-2010. Ages 12 & up. Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 12-14 Recommended for: ages 12 & ...
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Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen

A teenage girl enlists in the Jewish resistance in Poland during World War II. Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen.  Scholastic, 2018, 385 pages. Reading Level: ...
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Black Rock Brothers by S. J. Dahlstrom

Wilder Good, now thirteen, continues his outdoor adventures with his biggest challenge yet. Black Rock Brothers (Wilder Good #5) by S. J. Dahlstrom.  Paul Dry ...
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Five Favorites: Old and New

With leaves changing and school beginning, our Redeemed Reader intern, Zoe Watters, shares five books that can be enjoyed any time of year.  As she ...
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The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride is just as delightful in book form as it is in movie form (or vice versa, depending on which you've already experienced!). ...
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Retro Reads: The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's adventure classic, The Lost World, a book that has clear links to Jurassic Park! The Lost World by Sir Arthur ...
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Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier

Mysterious maps, sea creatures, and an island kingdom where dark secrets threaten to emerge . . . All the makings for an excellent story. Isle ...
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Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

The story that inspired the movie chain: Jurassic Park is more complex than the movie in every way--and not for kids. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. ...
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Rapid Fire: Five Recent YA

Reading YA takes time. Books often stretch to 400 plus pages, and sometimes at the end of the day, those 400 pages aren't worth an ...
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The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer Nielsen

This YA fantasy adventure places a spunky nobleman’s daughter in the middle of a “traitor’s game” between her corrupt father and a compromised opposition. Ages ...
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The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

A teenage "Mad Wolf's Daughter" in late medieval Scotland stakes her claim to legendary status. Ages 10-14 The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras.  Penguin ...
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Raffie on the Run by Jacqueline Resnick

Raffie, an intrepid subway rat, embarks on a fearsome quest to rescue his little brother in this lively animal adventure with memorable characters.  Ages 8-12 ...
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Survivor Diaries by Terry Lynn Johnson

The Survivor Diaries series present 10-and-11 year olds in life-threatening situations, who find the courage to persevere and . . . survive! Ages 7-11 Survivor Diaries: ...
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Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Invictus takes science-fiction to the max with a wild ride that involves time travel, doppelgangers, and parallel universes.  Ages 15-up Invictus by Ryan Graudin.  Little, ...
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Edge of Extinction Series by Laura Martin

Living on the edge of extinction: Cloned dinosaurs plus dystopian autocratic society plus a renegade band of treetop dwellers equals a fast-paced middle grades sci-fi ...
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2018 Newbery Buzz #3: Refugee

Janie and Pamela continue our Newbery discussions with Refugee, a novel that carries political significance as well as literary value.  Ages 12-15. Janie: Alan Gratz ...
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The Origins Trilogy by Keith Robinson

The Origins Trilogy: Christian science fiction that simultaneously delivers good adventure AND reasoned arguments for Creation and the flood? Read on! Ages 16-up The Origins ...
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The River Doubt and the Amazing Amazon: 4 True Stories for All Ages

Teddy Roosevelt travels the River Doubt, Percy Fawcett hunts for the City "Z," and a tiny fish is making headlines in conservation efforts for the ...
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*Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork

Disappeared offers teens a complex look at making moral choices amid drug crime and kidnapping along the Mexican border. *Disappeared by Francis X. Stork.  Scholastic, ...
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Poe: Stories and Poems: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Gareth Hinds

Poe: Stories and Poems is just as gripping, psychological, and scary in this well done graphic novel format as it is in the original prose.  ...
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The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

Nonstop action, intriguing characters, and startling observations raise this adventure tale above the pack. The Explorer by Katherine Rundell.  Simon & Schuster, 2017, 324 pages ...
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Beneath by Roland Smith

A unique YA series-opener, Beneath takes us below the streets of New York City where trouble is brewing. Reading level: Middle grades, ages 10-12 Recommended ...
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The Trail by Meika Hashimoto

A boy takes to the Appalachian Trail to ease a guilty conscience, in this adventure novel for middle grades The Trail by Meika Hashimoto.  Scholastic, ...
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Reading Diana Wynne Jones: an Author Portrait

You just finished a good book.  Now what?  Many book lovers can relate to this sad, unsatisfied feeling.  But what if you banished that feeling, ...
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Portrait of a Reader: The Adventurer

Portrait of a Reader is a new feature in which we try to "unpack" a particular kind of reader. The portraits will overlap; most people will ...
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The School Ship Tobermory series by Alexander McCall Smith

The School Ship Tobermory series takes a crew of likable middle-graders to exotic ports in pursuit of adventure. School Ship Tobermory and The Sands of ...
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Refugee by Alan Gratz

Refugee weaves the stories of three children fleeing intolerable situations in their home countries, from 1939 to the present. Refugee by Alan Gratz.  Scholastic, 2017, ...
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In the Shadow of the Sun by Anne Sibley O’Brien

This excellent character-driven adventure saga sheds light on the darkness of North Korea while exploring family and cultural relationships. In the Shadow of the Sun ...
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Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray.  Little, Brown and Company, 2017. 512 pages. Noemi Vidal will die for her country, but an abandoned spaceship and a ...
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Shipwreck Island by S. A. Bodeen

Shipwreck Island (Shipwreck Island #1) by S. A. Bodeen.  Feiwel & Friends, 2014, 184 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 10-14 ...
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The Battle of Seattle by Douglas Bond

A little known slice of American history comes to life in this Christian middle grades historical fiction novel about the Battle of Seattle. The Battle of ...
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Will Wilder series by Raymond Arroyo

The Will Wilder adventure series, though not marketed as Christian, draws its inspiration from the Bible, with numerous biblical references embedded in a fast-paced narrative. ...
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Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke

This exciting graphic-novel series opener pits a fatherless boy and an adventurous home-schooling girl against aggressive garden vegetables. Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke.  First Second, ...
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The Martian: Classroom Edition by Andy Weir

A snarky, totally believable science fiction narrative for teens. The Martian: Classroom Edition by Andy Weir. Broadway Books, 2016. 400 pages. Reading Level: Teens, ages 15-18Recommended ...
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*A Little Taste of Poison by R. J. Anderson

The stakes are higher than ever for Isaveth Breck, plucky heroine of A Pocketful of Murder, when the future of her city is threatened.    ...
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*The Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rogers

Aidan, fifth son of a Lord of Corenwald, befriends Feechies, defeats a giant, and leads a loyal group of followers in this middle grades fantasy ...
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Zita the Spacegirl Series by Ben Hatke

*Zita the Spacegirl Series by Ben Hatke

Zita the Spacegirl and her intrepid friends battle the forces of evil in extra terrestrial dimensions in this lively graphic novel series. a review from ...
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*The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart

A magic watch, a family secret, a mysterious city dictator, and one brave boy make for a great read in this clever, inventive mystery. One ...
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Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz

A 13-year-old saboteur in the Hitler Youth meets the challenge of his life in this page-turning World War II thriller. Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz.  ...
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Fires of Invention by Scott Savage

This dystopian fantasy series (with steampunk overtones) kicks off with a fabulous mechanical flying beast and two intrepid teens. Fires of Invention (Mysteries of Cove ...
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Gears of Revolution by Scott Savage

A dystopian/fantasy series continues with our heroes’ search for the legendary Leo Babbage Gears of Revolution (Mysteries of Cove #2) by Scott Savage.  Shadow Mountain, ...
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*Ember Falls by S. D. Smith

The Green Ember saga continues with desperate battles, unexpected heroism, and enough dangling plot threads to make readers eager for the next volume. *Ember Falls ...
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Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee and Susan Elizabeth McClelland

Grit, friendship, and hope come together in this bittersweet memoir for teens. Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North ...
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The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

Haitian folklore comes to life in this spooky story about jumbies, a brave girl and her friends, and oranges. The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste. Algonquin ...
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The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford

A swashbuckling, complex middle grades fantasy set on board an unlucky pirate ship in the midst of war. The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford. Henry ...
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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The movie version of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children opens today, and since none of us regular reviewers have read the book, we're happy ...
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Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World by Judd Winick

The exuberant boy-robot Hilo is back from “the void,” pursuing his mission to destroy his arch-enemy Razorwark and discover his own origin and purpose. Hilo ...
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The Double Cross by Jackson Pearce

A 12-year-old spy trainee proves his calling in spite of obvious physical drawbacks, in this entertaining middle-grade adventure. The Double Cross, and Other Skills I ...
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Retro Reads: Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

In this British children's classic, the brave Swallows (four siblings) are at war with the piratical Amazons (two sisters) in one glorious summer of sailing, ...
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The Trials of Apollo Book 1: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

This storyline of the series, which focuses on the now mortal god Apollo, is great in theory, but the first book is lackluster and inappropriate ...
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The Eye of Midnight by Andrew Brumbach

A thrilling tale set in 1920s New York pits three children against a foe that bears an uncanny resemblance to modern-day Islamism. The Eye of ...
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Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key

In a fast, thrilling read, a 13-year-old boy must display courage, ingenuity, and persistence in extremely dangerous circumstances. Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key.  ...
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Indiana Jones has Nothing on Vesper Holly!

This post is brought to you from Redeemed Reader's archives; please enjoy!  Ginger-haired, green-eyed, and very determined, 16-year-old Vesper Holly is ready for anything, especially an adventure.  Possessing ...
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The Uses of Terror

Yesterday I made a distinction between “terror” stories and “horror” stories—the latter based squarely on our elemental fear of death, often with buckets of blood ...
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Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve

Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve. Random House, Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 8-10 Recommended For: Ages 8-10 Bottom Line: A rollicking chapter book adventure with ...
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Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon.  Greenwillow Books, 2015.  368 pages.  Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Recommended for: Ages 15 and up Bottom Line: A darker steam-punk fantasy, Illusionarium ...
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Fallout (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond

Fallout (Lois Lane) by Gwenda Bond. Capstone, 2015. 202 pages Reading Level: Young adults, ages 12-15 Recommended for: ages 12 and up Bottom Line: Fallout ...
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Wilder Boys by Brandon Wallace

Wilder Boys by Brandon Wallace. Aladdin, 2015. 220 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 (especially boys) Bottom Line: Questionable premises ...
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The Whisperer by Fiona McIntosh

The Whisperer by Fiona McIntosh. Knopf, 2014. 390 pages Reading level: Middle grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-14 Bottom line: The Whisperer spins a ...
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Masterminds by Gordon Korman

Masterminds by Gordon Korman. Balzer & Bray, 2015, 336 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 12-15 Bottom Line: Masterminds raises some ...
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The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes

The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes. HarperTeen, 2015. 306 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Recommended for: ages 15-18 Bottom Line: ...
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Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Avalon by Mindee Arnett, Balzer + Bray, 2014. 415 pages. Reading Level:  Young Adults, (ages 12-14) and up Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) and up Readers meet ...
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Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire

Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire.  Candlewick, 2014. 496 pages. Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 12-14 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-15) and up Bottom Line: ...
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The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp

The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp.  Tor, 2014. 295 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-14) and up Bottom Line: ...
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Sky Run by Alex Shearer

Sky Run by Alex Shearer. Sky Pony Press, 2014. 228 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (ages 10-12) and up One-line ...
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Threatened by Eliot Schrefer

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer. Scholastic, 2014. 278 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 15-18 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) One-line Summary: Threatened, one of this year’s ...
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The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henty, read by Jim Weiss

The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henty. Audiobook read by Jim Weiss. Greathall Productions, 2004.  Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8 and upMaturity Level: 4 (ages 11-12) ...
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One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul

This review was written by a Redeemedreader intern and high school student.  Thanks, Grace! One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul.  Zondervan, 2014. 416 pgs. ...
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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Delacorte, 2014. 242 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, Ages 12-14 Maturity Level: 7 (Ages 16-up) Then he pulled out ...
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The Night Gardener

The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier. Amulet, 2014, 350 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (age 10 and up) Teenage Mollie ...
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The Finisher by David Baldacci

The Finisher by David Baldacci.  Scholastic, 2014, 497 pages.   Reading level: Young Adults, 15-18 Maturity level: 6 What do you get when you blend a ...
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Almost Super by Marion Jensen

Almost Super, by Marion Jensen. Harper, 2014, 251 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 8-12 Maturity Level: 3 (ages 8-10) Every four years, on February ...
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Retro Reads: Lloyd Alexander’s Vesper Holly Series

Readers will have a hard time forgetting Lloyd Alexander's plucky heroine, Vesper Holly. Ginger-haired, green-eyed, and very determined, 16-year-old Vesper Holly is ready for anything, ...
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Far as the Curse is Found: Two Novels Dealing with Death

This seems like an odd time of year to talk about death, but the joy of the Christmas season wouldn’t be joyful at all if ...
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Call of the Klondike: a True Gold Rush Adventure by David Meissner

This middle grade history uses original letters and contemporary news accounts to recreate the drama of the Alaska Gold Rush.  Call of the Klondike: a ...
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Journey by Aaron Becker. Candlewick, 2013. 26 pages

Journey, by Aaron Becker.  Candlewick, 2013, 26 pages.  Reading Level: Picture books, 4-8 Recommended for: ages 4-8 and up Bottom Line: Journey uses luminous illustrations--and ...
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The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer

The Reluctant Assassin (W.A.R.P., #1), by Eoin Colfer.  Hyperion, 2013, 352 pages.   Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 10-12 Appropriate for: ages 15-up Bottom Line: ...
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Beowulf: Legend, Worldview, and Contemporary Narratives

When I used to teach high school British Literature back in the day, Beowulf was always our first big study. It's first chronologically, and it's ...
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Good Old Fashioned Adventure

The False Prince (2012) and The Runaway King (2013), by Jennifer A. Nielson.  Scholastic, about 350 pages each.  Age/interest level: 10-up. When we first encounter ...
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The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus 3) by Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3), by Rick Riordan.  Hyperion, 2012, 608 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Maturity Level: 4 (ages ...
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Zeus, King of the Gods by George O’Connor

Zeus, King of the Gods, (#1 in The Olympians graphic-novel series) by George O’Connor.  First Second, 2012, 80 pages. Reading Level: Picture books (graphic novel), ...
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Solomon Kane, Puritan Avenger

We're closing out Halloween week with something a little different.  About two years ago, I began hearing of a new movie called Solomon Kane, based ...
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Swash and Buckle: the Chronicles of Egg

Deadweather and Sunrise, by Geoff Rodkey.  Putnam, 2012, 296 pages.  Age/interest level: 10-up. Thirteen-year-old Egbert Masterson, or Egg as he will soon be called, is ...
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Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Coming up on Friday, an interview with Andrew Klavan himself!  And we have a copy of Crazy Dangerous to give away!!  Read on ...
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Bad Trips

Summer is the traditional time for road trips, and road-trip novels traditionally roll out in the spring.  A title from this year and one from ...
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