Starred Reviews

*Exploring the Bible by David Murray

Exploring the Bible, a “DIY” guide for 8-12 year-olds, introduces a practical, workable way for kids to start studying the Bible for themselves. *Exploring the ...
Read More

*Twelve Days in May by Larry Dane Brimner

For middle grades and up: a photographic, journalistic look at those famous twelve days in May when a group of whites and blacks bravely tried ...
Read More

*Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renée Watson

For middle grades: A compelling look into the life of Betty before X (Malcolm X) and the influence of the black church in the racially charged 1940s. ...
Read More

*The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

The Book of Boy breathes life into the squalor and splendor of the late middle ages, with the tale of a parentless child and a ...
Read More

*Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution by Natalie S. Bober

Starred review for this young adult biography that showcases a thoughtful--and thought-provoking--Abigail Adams against the backdrop of tumultuous American history. *Abigail Adams: Witness to a ...
Read More

*Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (Retro Reads)

75 years later, this Newbery-Award winning story about Johnny Tremain is still a great historical fiction read about the birth of America. *Johnny Tremain by Esther ...
Read More

*Honey for a Teen’s Heart by Gladys Hunt

Honey for a Teen’s Heart applies the wisdom of Gladys Hunt’s read-aloud approach to the adolescent years.  Adult *Honey for a Teen’s Heart: Using Books ...
Read More

*Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt

Honey for a Child's Heart was one of the first books advocating for building a Christian family culture around books. *Honey for a Child's Heart by ...
Read More

*The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

The Vanderbeekers, a loving family with normal unloving moments, face a Christmas-eve challenge with humor and heart. *The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan ...
Read More

*Comforting, Training, and Teaching Minds: Catechism Devotionals by Starr Meade

Family devotionals centered around the Heidelberg and Shorter catechism are based on Scripture and are designed to help families memorize the catechisms. *Comforting Hearts, Teaching Minds: ...
Read More

*Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

Same Kind of Different As Me is an emotional and spiritual memoir of two men who became friends despite their backgrounds, races, and preconceptions. *Same Kind ...
Read More

*Voices of Christmas by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Voices of Christmas is a beautiful and poetic exploration of the different characters in the Christmas story--perfect for middle grades kids! *Voices of Christmas by ...
Read More

Retro Reads: *The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

The Witch of Blackbird Pond is a modern classic with good reason: young Kit Tyler faces the questions all adolescents face as she tries to ...
Read More
echoes of eden cover

*Echoes of Eden by Jerram Barrs

Starred review for Echoes of Eden, in which Barrs offers guidelines for evaluating art and literature from a Christian review. *Echoes of Eden: Reflections on ...
Read More
cover of westing game

Retro Reads: *The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

A middle grades mystery that has become a modern classic: The Westing Game is just as engaging as ever! *The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. ...
Read More

*The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch

Starred review for this book about a tech-wise family that is characterized by 10 commitments reflecting the proper pace of technology in a family's life ...
Read More

*You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

In this appealing multicultural novel, three generations of a Bengali family find life and love in America. *You Bring the Distant Near  by Mitali Perkins.  ...
Read More

Reformers, Puritans, and Covenanters: Biography Anthologies by Hannula

*For Christ's Crown: Sketches of Puritans and Covenanters By Richard Hannula. Canon Press, 2014. 223 pages.  Just as the title implies, this volume is all ...
Read More

*12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke

Tony Reinke sounds a timely warning about our society’s growing addiction to electronic devices. *12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke.   Crossway, ...
Read More

*Cody and the Fountain of Happiness by Tricia Springstubb

Eight-year-old Cody's enthusiasm for life is contagious in this sunny chapter-book series. Cody and the Fountain of Happiness (Cody series #1) by Tricia Springstubb, illustrated ...
Read More

* My Daddy Rules the World by Hope Anita Smith

Just in time for Father's Day, this picture-book collection of poems celebrates the daily presence of a loving dad in the household. *My Daddy Rules ...
Read More

The Sign of the Cat by Lynne Jonell

In this winning historical fantasy, a bright lad (fluent in the cat language) chafes at his boring life until an unexpected adventure on the high ...
Read More

*Beauty by Robin McKinley

This is one of the retellings of Beauty and the Beast we are featuring as part of our Beauty and the Beast Adventure. We are exploring ...
Read More

*The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson

An epic middle grades fantasy series full of adventure, toothy cows, heroes and heroines, and dragons. *The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson. Rabbit Room Press. ...
Read More

*Wingfeather Tales (The Wingfeather Saga) edited by Andrew Peterson

A delightfully diverse collection of "tales" written and illustrated by a group of authors and illustrators who are themselves fans of the Wingfeather Saga! *Wingfeather ...
Read More

*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.    ...
Read More

*A Pocket Full of Murder by R. J. Anderson

A plucky girl sets out to prove her father's innocence —aided by a street boy— in this magical murder mystery.   A Pocket Full of Murder (Uncommon ...
Read More

*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 ...
Read More

*100 Cupboards Series by N. D. Wilson

Henry discovers 100 cupboards that lead to other worlds in this complex middle grades fantasy series that mirrors the creation-fall-redemption narrative framework of Scripture. 100 ...
Read More

*Answering the Cry for Freedom by Gretchen Woelfle

These brief biographies of 13 African Americans during the Revolutionary War demonstrate the power of self-determination as well as the power of faith. *Answering the ...
Read More

*Under Our Skin by Benjamin Watson

For Christians of all colors who are concerned about racial tension, Benjamin Watson shows the way to reconciliation. *Under Our Skin by Benjamin Watson.  Tyndale, ...
Read More

And the Winners Are . . . .

Last Friday, Janie and Betsy gave their best guesses as to which books the ALA would delight to honor in their annual Youth Media Awards.  ...
Read More

4 Excellent New Picture Books

[Reviews and recommendations from Pamela!] Four excellent new picture books to enjoy with the children in your life--worth seeking out as all are starred reviews! ...
Read More
Anna Hibiscus Series by Atinuke

*Anna Hibiscus Series by Atinuke

An illustrated chapter book series set in contemporary Africa that celebrates large families, its childlike protagonist, and traditional values. Enjoy this review from the archives! Originally published ...
Read More

*Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol

A modest, well-read boy detective solves crimes great and small in these classic mysteries. Enjoy this post from the archives! (originally published July 8, 2015) ...
Read More

*The Imagination Station (Series) by Marianne Hering and Paul McCusker

More than simply a "Christian version" of the popular Magic Treehouse books, the Imagination Station books are a solid chapter book time travel series. Enjoy this post from ...
Read More
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 ...
Read More

*Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larsen

Hattie Big Sky draws upon the experience of the author's own grandmother to create this enthralling story of hard-won optimism and frontier grit. a review from ...
Read More

*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 ...
Read More

The Way Things Work Now by David Macaulay

This update of Macaulay's classic reference guide to technology embraces the digital revolution with wit and (mostly) clarity. The Way Things Work Now by David ...
Read More

*Some Writer! by Melissa Sweet

A wonderfully engaging biography of E. B. White for children: full of photographs, collage-style art, and interesting details. *Some Writer! The Story of E. B. ...
Read More

*Ghost by Jason Reynolds

A kid from “the projects” learns to put speed in service of character building and achievement. *Ghost by Jason Reynold.  Atheneum, 2016, 180 pages Reading ...
Read More

*When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin

The power of stories is front and center in this beautiful, imaginative companion to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Starred review. A 2016 Christmas ...
Read More

*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 ...
Read More

*The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz

This one-of-a-kind novel blends medieval history, fantasy, humor, adventure, and philosophical questions that have vexed the ages. *The Inquisitor’s Tale, or, Three Magical Children and ...
Read More

*The Radical Book for Kids by Champ Thornton

This fun and friendly compendium of Bible facts, everyday knowledge, history, how-to, wise counsel, apologetics, and doctrine is a terrific resource for every Christian kid. ...
Read More

Trial and Triumph/ *Radiant by Richard M. Hannula

Church history anthologies of men and women from all over the world in story format for middle grades and up! Trial and Triumph: Stories from ...
Read More

*The Book of God by Ben Avery

This comprehensive, accessible guide to the history of the Bible in graphic-novel format will have young readers referring to it again and again. *The Book ...
Read More

*Miracle Man by John Hendrix

A new “life of Jesus” picture book presents the Son of God as compelling and dynamic in word and deed. *Miracle Man: the Story of ...
Read More

*Lily: The Girl Who Could See by Sally Oxley and Tim Ladwig.

A beautifully illustrated picture book biography about a brave woman artist-turned-missionary to the Arab world. *Lily: The Girl Who Could See by Sally Oxley and ...
Read More

Winnie-the-Pooh: Two True Stories

Two picture books about the real Winnie-the-Pooh that both make delightful reading! *Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick and ...
Read More

*Brother Andrew: Behind Enemy Lines by Nancy Drummond

Read the remarkable story of a man who helped smuggle millions of Bibles into restricted countries in this middle grades biography. Brother Andrew: Behind Enemy ...
Read More

Monks and Mystics by Mindy and Brandon Withrow

Book 2 of the History Lives series offers an exciting look at the Medieval Church: its movers and shakers and controversies. Part of our Church History ...
Read More

*The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross by Carl Laferton and Catalina Echeverri

This picture book beautifully brings the creation-fall-redemption story to life!  *The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross: the True Story of Why Jesus Died and ...
Read More

*Freedom on Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated R. Gregory Christie

Congo Square held a unique place in the slavery experience and holds a special reminder for Christians as we all look forward to Sunday! *Freedom ...
Read More

*The Ology by Marty Machowski

In The Ology, children and families can access deep Biblical truths, carefully explained and gorgeously illustrated.   The Ology by Marty Machowski, illustrations by Andy ...
Read More

*God’s Design by Sally Michael and Gary Steward

Sally Michael's newest Making Him Known family devotional delicately handles roles of men and women, sexuality, and gender issues in a manner that invites whole ...
Read More

*Calvin by Martine Leavitt

A schizophrenic teen embarks on a quest for self-discovery and truth that becomes a struggle for survival. Calvin by Martine Leavitt.  Farrar Strauss and Giroux, ...
Read More

*The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung

A vibrantly illustrated retelling of the story of the Bible: Jesus's redemption of God's people. *The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the ...
Read More

Bible Review: *HCSB Essential Teen Study Bible

The HCSB Essential Teen Study Bible presents 99 “Essential Doctrines” with extensive scriptural backup and application. *The HCSB Essential Teen Study Bible.  B&H Kids, 2016, 1312 ...
Read More

*A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen

The building of the Berlin Wall pits lovers of freedom against an oppressive regime in this gripping novel for middle graders. *A Night Divided by ...
Read More

Ask-a-Librarian: 30 Great “New” Books

Ask-a-Librarian is an occasional feature in which we answer a reader's email query. Here at Redeemed Reader, we love children's books from all eras and all ...
Read More

*Retro Reads: North to Freedom by Anne Holm

North to Freedom (I Am David) by Anne Holm.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1963 (first edition), 256 pages. Reading Level: 10-12 Appropriate for: ages 12-up Bottom ...
Read More

*Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss

*Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss. Random House, 1949. 56 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Bartholomew and the ...
Read More

*Water is Water by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin

*Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin. Roaring Brook Press, 2015. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture ...
Read More
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead. Wendy Lamb Books, 2015. 304 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12Recommended For: Ages 12-15 Bottom Line: Three best friends attempt ...
Read More

*Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

*Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley. Dial, 2015, 304 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, age 10-12 Recommended for: all ages Bottom Line: Circus Mirandus, a magical ...
Read More

*The Golden Plate by Bernadette Watts

The Golden Plate is a picture book about Isobel, who struggles to hide her sin, and the relief of confession in restoring her friendship with ...
Read More

*Gingerbread for Liberty! by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch

*Gingerbread for Liberty! How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch. HMH Books, 2015. 32 ...
Read More

*The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

*The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown, 2009. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: All Ages Stunning illustrations, a vast ...
Read More

*The Grasshopper and the Ants by Jerry Pinkney

*The Grasshopper and the Ants by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown, 2015. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Vibrant, colorful ...
Read More
cover of Through Gates of Splendor

*Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot

*Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot. Tenderly House, 1981 (reprint, orig. 1957). 274 pages. Reading Level: Young adult (ages 12 and up)Recommended For: ages 10 and ...
Read More

*Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

*Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith. Groundwood Books, 2015. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 A little ...
Read More
cover of If You Plant a Seed

*If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

*If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson. Blazer + Bray, 2015. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 0-4 Recommended For: Ages 0-8 If you plant a ...
Read More
cover of mr. squirrel and the moon

*Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser

Mr. Squirrel and the Moon is a delight for the ears and the eyes. This picture book is highly recommended! *Mr. Squirrel and the Moon ...
Read More

*Daily Bible Reading Program for Children: 7/52 Bible Study

*Unfortunately, it looks like this program is no longer available. Consider this review a source of inspiration! If you create something like this, be sure ...
Read More

*Hostage Run by Andrew Klavan (The MindWar Trilogy, Book 2)

Hostage Run (The MindWar Trilogy, Book 2) by Andrew Klavan. Thomas Nelson, 2015. 352 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Recommended for: Ages 12 and up Bottom Line: In ...
Read More

*Mikis and the Donkey by Bibi Dumon Tak

*Mikis and the Donkey by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2014. 89 pages Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages ...
Read More

*Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell

*Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell. Candlewick, 2014. 50 pages. Reading Level: Easy Readers, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Age 4-8 Rabbit’s friend Robot ...
Read More

*Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcy

*Finding Truth: Five Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes by Nancy Pearcey. David C. Cook, 2015. 383 pages Reading Level: Young Adult, ...
Read More

*Red Butterfly by A. L. Sonnischen

*Red Butterfly by A. L. Sonnischen. Simon & Shuster, 2015, 392 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 12-15 Bottom line: In ...
Read More
cover of *The Father Brown Reader

*The Father Brown Reader: Stories from Chesterton adapted by Nancy Carpentier Brown

*The Father Brown Reader: Stories from Chesterton adapted by Nancy Carpentier Brown, illustrated by Ted Schluenderfritz. Hillside Education, 2007. 147 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12 ...
Read More
cover of *Lulu and the Rabbit Next Door

*Lulu and the Rabbit Next Door by Hilary McKay

*Lulu and the Rabbit Next Door by Hilary McKay, illustrated by Priscilla Lamont. Albert Whitman and Co., 2014. 91 pages. Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 4-8 ...
Read More

God’s Word by Sally Michael

*God’s Word by Sally Michael, illustrated by Fred Apps. P&R, 2015. 128 pages. - a joint review from Megan and Betsy Reading Level: Middle Grades, ...
Read More
cover of Blue Birds

Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose

Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose. Putnam, 2015. 400 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: Ages 10-12 Bottom Line: This historical novel-in-verse ...
Read More

*Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson

*Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson. G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 2015. 32 Pages. Reading Level: ...
Read More

*The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Adam Rex

*The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Adam Rex. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: ...
Read More
cover of The Ordinary Princess

*The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye (Retro Reads)

*The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye. Puffin, 2002 (originally published in 1980). 128 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Recommended for: Ages 8-10 ...
Read More

*Faerie Gold edited by Kathryn Lindskoog and Ranelda Mack Hunsicker

*Faerie Gold: Treasures from the Lands of Enchantment edited by Kathryn Lindskoog and Ranelda Mack Hunsicker. P&R, 2005. 304 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages ...
Read More

*Mission Accomplished: A Two-Week Family Easter Devotional

*Mission Accomplished: A Two-Week Family Easter Devotional by Scott James. New Growth Press, 2015. 64 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages ...
Read More

*Pioneer Girl: the Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder

*Pioneer Girl: the Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder (edited by Pamela Smith Hill). University of South Dakota Press, sale 2014. 400 pages. Reading Level: ...
Read More
cover of Caddie Woodlawn

*Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. Aladdin, 2006 (reprint; originally published 1935). 288 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12Recommended for: ages 8-12, especially girls Bottom ...
Read More

*Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg

Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg. Puffin Books,reprint edition, 1986. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 0-4 Recommended for: ages 0-4 Bottom Line: Young and ...
Read More

*Mockingbird by Allan Ahlberg

Mockingbird by Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Paul Howard. Candlewick Press, 1998. 24 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 0-4 Recommended for: ages 0-4 Bottom Line:  Young children will love ...
Read More
cover of Nana in the City

*Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo. Clarion, 2014. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8Recommended for: ages 0-8 In this 2015 Caldecott Honor, Castillo ...
Read More

*The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Pope

The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Pope.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001.  272 pages Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 5 (ages 12-14) and up ...
Read More

*Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

This book is a "Best of the Best" pick from our Winter Book Fair. CLICK HERE to see more gift ideas! *Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim ...
Read More

*Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt’s masterpiece first published 40 years ago, is as timeless as its title characters. *Tuck Everlasting (40th Anniversary Edition) by Natalie Babbitt, ...
Read More

*Rise by Trip Lee

*Rise: Get Up and Live in God's Great Story by Trip Lee.  Thomas Nelson, 2014.  240 pages.  Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 and up Maturity ...
Read More
cover of Firefly July

*Firefly July by Paul Janeczko and Melissa Sweet

*Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul Janeczko and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Candlewick, 2014. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ...
Read More