(E) Ages 12-15

*Rwendigo Tales by J. A. Myhre

Dr. Myhre wrote the engaging Rwendigo Tales, a middle grades series with spiritual overtones, based upon her experience as a doctor serving in Africa. Note: ...
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Tree. Table. Book. by Lois Lowry

Newbery author Lois Lowry poignantly depicts a cross-generational friendship in Tree. Table. Book. Tree. Table. Book. by Lois Lowry. Clarion (HarperCollins), 2024, 194 pages. Reading ...
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The Selkie’s Daughter by Linda Crotta Brennan

The Selkie’s Daughter presents its protagonist with a profound choice between two natures. The Selkie’s Daughter by Linda Crotta Brennan. Holiday House, 2024, 202 pages. ...
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Making Sense of Dog Senses by Stephanie Gibeault

Making Sense of Dog Senses is a fascinating introduction to the way dogs experience their world. Making Sense of Dog Senses: How Our Furry Friends ...
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This Day in History for Kids by Dan Bova

This Day in History for Kids is a year-long tour through historical events political and cultural, trivial and profound. This Day in History for Kids: ...
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The Night War by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

The Night War is the WWII story of a Jewish girl in Paris choosing to be brave when Nazis take everything from her. The Night ...
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Kentucky Derby Book List: Books for Young Horse Lovers

The Kentucky Derby runs every first Saturday of May. Will there be another Triple Crown winner this year? Will an underdog horse come from nowhere ...
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Animal Albums from A to Z by CeCe Bell

Animal Albums from A to Z is an alliterative avalanche of amusing, applause-winning auditory adumbrations from the zoological zeitgeist. Animal Albums from A to Z ...
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On All Other Nights, edited by Chris Baron, Joshua Levy, and Naomi Milliner

On All Other Nights uses the perspective of 14 authors to detail every step of the Seder Meal observed by Jewish families during Passover (recipes ...
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Offsides by Lori Z. Scott

Dani just wants to play soccer and have the best senior year ever, but she's suddenly alert to the signs of a sex trafficking ring ...
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The Looking-Glass Illusion by Sara Ella

The Looking-Glass Illusion brings the story from The Wonderland Trials to a clever and satisfying conclusion in this fantasy series for teens. The Looking-Glass Illusion ...
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Olivetti by Allie Millington

Olivetti features an uncommon protagonist—a manual typewriter—with the keys to unravel a mystery. Olivetti by Allie Millington. Feiwel and Friends, 2024, 246 pages. Reading Level: ...
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The Wild River and the Great Dam by Simon Boughton

Follow the construction of the Depression era’s greatest building project in The Wild River and the Great Dam. The Wild River and the Great Dam: ...
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*One Big Open Sky by Lesa Cline-Ransome

One Big Open Sky fills a history gap with the story of black settlers heading west in wagon trains. *One Big Open Sky by Lesa ...
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Something Like Home by Andrea Beatrix Arango

A poignant novel-in-verse explores the question: "What is home when your world turns upside-down?" Something Like Home, Andrea Beatrix Arango, Random House Books for Young ...
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Finding Normal by Stephanie Faris

In Finding Normal, a 12-year-old girl must learn to make a new life when her home is made uninhabitable by a flood. Finding Normal by ...
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Max in the House of Spies by Adam Gidwitz

Max in the House of Spies begins the story of an 11-year-old German boy who believes he has what it takes to be a secret ...
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*Houses with a Story by Seiji Yoshida

Houses with a Story offers both a fascinating tour of storybook dwellings and a springboard to imagination. *Houses with Story: A Dragon’s Den, a Ghostly ...
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The Observologist by Giselle Clarkson

The Observologist is a fun and fascinating introduction to wonders of creation available for viewing in your own back yard. The Observologist: A Handbook for ...
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Arc of a Scythe Trilogy by Neal Shusterman

The Arc of a Scythe Trilogy is a thought-provoking dystopian series for mature teens; it has problematic elements but raises good questions about the essential ...
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Across so Many Seas by Ruth Behar

Across So Many Seas tracks the destiny of a Jewish family exiled from Spain in 1492. Across So Many Seas by Ruth Behar. Nancy Paulsen ...
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Yours from the Tower by Sally Nichols

In Yours from the Tower, three young ladies overcome obstacles and find true love in late 19th-century England. Yours from the Tower by Sally Nichols. ...
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Eagle Drums by Nasugraq Raney Hopson

The Newbery Honor novel Eagle Drums portrays the mythical origin of a cherished tradition of the Iñupiat people. Eagle Drums by Nasugraq Raney Hopson. Roaring ...
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Between Two Brothers by Crystal Allen

In Between Two Brothers, a boy struggles for forgiveness and reconciliation after his older brother is seriously injured in a traffic accident. Between Two Brothers ...
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*Once a Queen by Sarah Arthur

Sarah Arthur's YA fantasy novel Once a Queen imagines a world like ours where stories come to life, but individuals have to return to reality. ...
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The Sacred Sacrifice by Hannah Paris

In The Sacred Sacrifice, Paris is proposing we use Bach's St. Matthew Passion in Lent and Easter much like we enjoy Handel's Messiah during Advent ...
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Newbery Gold: The Eyes and the Impossible by Dave Eggers

It wasn’t on our Bingo Card, maybe because it was published early last year and we (I) kind of forgot it. But The Eyes and ...
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2024 Newbery Buzz #4: Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow

Simon Sort of Says was longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Could it win the Newbery? We're continuing our long-running Newbery ...
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The Boy, the Cloud, and the Very Tall Tale by Heather Smith

A 12-year-old works through grief in The Boy, the Cloud, and the Very Tall Tale. The Boy, the Cloud, and the Very Tall Tale by ...
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Newbery Roundup 2: Mexikid, The Swifts, and Shira and Esther’s Double-Dream Debut

This is second of our roundup series of possible Newbery contenders for 2024. See the first roundup here. Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir by Pedro Martin. ...
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Newbery Roundup 1: Jawbreaker, When Sea Becomes Sky, Duel

Two weeks from now (January 22), the American Library Association will announce their Youth Media Award winners, including the Newbery and Caldecott. We’ve kept an ...
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2024 Newbery Buzz #3: The Puppets of Spelhorst

Kate DiCamillo's very first book won a Newbery honor, and she has won two Newbery medals on top of that. Is The Puppets of Spelhorst ...
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Attacked! by Marc Favreau

Attacked! is an engaging, accessible account of the “day that shall live in infamy,” seen through the eyes of individuals on both sides. Attacked! Pearl ...
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Who’s Got Mail? by Linda Barrett Osborne

Who’s Got Mail? is a friendly introduction to the long history of an everyday convenience. Who’s Got Mail? The History of Mail in America by ...
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Family Style by Thien Pham

In Family Style, cartoonist Thien Pham recalls his escape from Vietnam and growing up in America through a series of meals. Family Style: Memories of ...
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2024 Newbery Buzz #1: A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat

A First Time For Everything has already won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Could it also win the Newbery? We're kicking off ...
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What It’s Like to Be a Bird by David Allen Sibley

What It’s Like to Be a Bird is an endlessly browsable resource for budding birdwatchers by a well-known authority in the field. What It’s Like ...
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Remember Us by Jacqueline Woodson

Remember Us is a quiet novel that ponders the conundrum of change and permanence. Remember Us by Jacqueline Woodson. Nancy Paulsen Books (PRH), 2023, 192 ...
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*Daughter of Arden Trilogy by Loren Warnemuende

The Daughter of Arden Trilogy is an epic retelling of an older fairy tale; in its new version, strong echoes of Christian faith mingle with ...
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*Journey to Bethlehem by Leland Ryken

Journey to Bethlehem is a lovely anthology of historic Christmas poetry, hymns, and devotionals. Starred review! *Journey to Bethlehem: A Treasury of Classic Christmas Devotionals ...
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Niche Nonfiction for Teens (AKA “Living Books”): A Book List

Living Books Are Full of Ideas Those of us in Charlotte Mason educational philosophy circles like to talk about "living books." A living book is ...
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Stocking Stuffers for Book Lovers

Of course books make the best gifts for bibliophiles, but some of those oversize tomes don't fit comfortably in a stocking. Here's a list of ...
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The Winterton Deception 1: Final Word by Janet Sumner Johnson

Final Word introduces the Winterton family, dictionary magnates with lots of money and plenty of secrets to hide. The Winterton Deception 1: Final Word by ...
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*Watership Down: The Graphic Novel by Richard Adams, James Sturm, and Joe Sutphin

The graphic-novel version of Watership Down combines the dramatic force of the original story with winning art. *Watership Down: The Graphic Novel by Richard Adams, ...
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Bruno is a 9yo German boy living during World War II who isn't happy with his father's new work assignment until he makes a friend ...
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Bea Wolf by Zach Weinersmith & Boulet

Calvin and Hobbes meets the Nickelodeon channel to retell Beowulf in a colorful, creative, graphic novel. Bea Wolf by Zach Weinersmith & Boulet. First Second, ...
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The Hiding Place, A Christmas Carol, Hinds Feet on High Places, and Les Miserables: An Engaging Visual Journey

The four books in the Engaging Visual Journey series provide beautiful, dignified forms to stories that are dearly loved spiritual classics. The Hiding Place by ...
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A Stubborn Sweetness by Katherine Paterson

"A Stubborn Sweetness" is one of 15 short stories that celebrate the truth, beauty, and goodness of the real meaning of Christmas. A Stubborn Sweetness ...
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Nothing Else but Miracles by Kate Albus

Nothing Else but Miracles features a spunky and imaginative protagonist making the most of hardships on the WWII home front. Nothing Else but Miracles by ...
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diary of anne frank

Which Version of The Diary of Anne Frank Is Best?

A lengthy post in which Betsy seeks to answer some of the many questions she and the RR team have received over the past several ...
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The Weary World Rejoices, edited by Melissa Kruger

The Weary World Rejoices is a collection of Advent readings from the Gospel Coalition that relate to the Advent wreath. For teens and up. The ...
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Awaiting the Manger by Ocieanna Fleiss

Awaiting the Manger, an Advent devotional for teens and up, uses stories from the Old Testament to point to the coming of Jesus. Awaiting the ...
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He Came Down From Heaven by Laurel Sauder

He Came Down From Heaven offers 25 days of biblical readings and cultural enrichment for families who celebrate Advent. He Came Down From Heaven: A ...
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*Enemies in the Orchard by Dana VanderLugt

In Enemies in the Orchard, an American girl and a German POW discover a shared humanity among the tragedy of war. *Enemies in the Orchard ...
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*Seeds of America Trilogy by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Seeds of America Trilogy powerfully examines some of the complex ideas of the American Revolution: freedom, justice, and equality for all. Seeds of America ...
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Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fever 1793: Yellow fever sweeps through Philadelphia, challenging young Mattie to the core in this historical fiction novel for young teens. Fever 1793 by Laurie ...
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Things in the Basement by Ben Hatke

Ben Hatke’s graphic novel Things in the Basement takes an intrepid protagonist through centuries of art and symbolism. Things in the Basement by Ben Hatke. ...
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*The Puppets of Spelhorst by Kate DiCamillo

The Puppets of Spelhorst is a bittersweet fairy tale with engaging characters and an enthralling conclusion. *The Puppets of Spelhorst: A Norendy Tale by Kate ...
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The Mona Lisa Vanishes by Nicholas Day

The Mona Lisa Vanishes tells of an astonishing theft while tracing the background of the world’s most famous painting. The Mona Lisa Vanishes: A Legendary ...
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*The Vanderbeekers Ever After by Karina Yan Glaser

The Vanderbeeker family faces their greatest challenge yet in this last volume of a beloved series. The Vanderbeekers Ever After by Karina Yan Glaser. Clarion ...
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Chinese Menu by Grace Lin

Chinese Menu traces the origin of everybody’s favorite Chinese dishes, from wonton soup to rice fortune cookies. Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends behind ...
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Code of Silence and Back Before Dark by Tim Shoemaker

A heart-pounding mystery series, with hidden twists and turns at every corner and a powerful message. Note: this is a guest review. See below for ...
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Impossible Escape by Steve Sheinkin

Impossible Escape tells the story of one determined teenager who survived Auschwitz and became one of the first to reveal details of the Holocaust. Impossible ...
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The Improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall by Ali Standish

The Improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall series imagines the mysterious education of a classic mystery writer. The Improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall by Ali Standish. ...
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*The Carver and the Queen by Emma Fox

An adventurous fairy tale set in Imperial Russia, perfect for teens who enjoy books like The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis. *The Carver and ...
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What came from the stars

What Came From the Stars by Gary D. Schmidt

What Came From the Stars is mysterious, offering hope for those grieving and illuminating the strange power of art. What Came From the Stars by ...
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Dust by Dusti Bowling

Dust is the story of an asthma sufferer challenged to “use her breath” to fight a wrong. Dust by Dusti Bowling. Little, Brown, 2023, 328 ...
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Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef

In the tradition of Susan Cooper, a lyrical, dark fantasy for mature middle grade readers. Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef. Simon & Schuster Books ...
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SmART: Use Your Eyes to Boost Your Brain by Amy E. Herman

SmART, a young-reader version of the best-seller Visual Intelligence, employs art as a way of teaching observation and interpretation. SmART: Use Your Eyes to Boost ...
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authority vs anarchy book list

Authority vs. Anarchy: A Book List for Teens

Authority vs. Anarchy: Opposites? Two sides of the same coin? Romans 13 reminds us to obey our governing (civic) authorities. Exodus 20 and Ephesians 6 ...
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The Switch by Roland Smith

A 13-year-old boy must help his large family survive an ElectroMagnetic Pulse in The Switch. The Switch by Roland Smith. Scholastic, 2022, 303 pages. Reading ...
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ancient literature

Reading Ancient Literature with High School Students

Some of us love ancient literature, especially the great Homeric epics. Others shudder at the thought. I'm in the former camp, but I haven't always ...
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Stuff Kids Should Know by Clark and Bryant

Stuff Kids Should Know draws from a popular podcast to detail the fascinating histories behind some everyday realities. Stuff Kids Should Know: The Mind-Blowing Histories ...
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Ultraviolet by R. J. Anderson

A first-person psychological thriller inside one young woman's remarkable consciousness. Ultraviolet, by R. J. Anderson. Carolrhoda Lab, 2011, 303 pages.  Reading Level:  Young Adults, Ages 14-upRecommended ...
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Starboard by Nicola Skinner

Starboard takes a young reality-TV star on an involuntary voyage of self-discovery. Starboard by Nicola Skinner. Harper 2023 (US edition), 398 pages. Reading Level: Middle ...
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Most of P. G. Wodehouse book cover

The Most of P. G. Wodehouse by P. G. Wodehouse

An excellent introduction to P. G. Wodehouse via his short stories and one delightful novella. The Most of P.G. Wodehouse by P. G. Wodehouse, Touchstone, 2000.  ...
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How to Stay Invisible by Maggie C. Rudd

In How to Stay Invisible, an abandoned boy attempts to make it on his own and discovers he needs other people. How to Stay Invisible ...
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Ginny Off the Map by Caroline Hickey

In Ginny off the Map, a geography-obsessed sixth-grader learns to meet people where they are and find “true north” in her own family. Ginny Off ...
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In the Tunnel by Julie Lee

In the Tunnel takes readers into the savagery and family upheaval of the Korean War . In the Tunnel by Julie Lee. Holiday House, 2023, ...
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Race against Death by Deborah Hopkinson

Race against Death surveys the fall of the Philippines during WWII, the fate of American prisoners left there, and the bold plan to rescue them ...
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Comics: Whys, Hows, and Wherefores

(Originally published at Redeemed Reader on November 27, 2013) Most kids enjoy comics or their upscale cousins, graphic novels.  Of those who enjoy them, many ...
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Alternative Physics: Larklight

(Originally posted at Redeemed Reader on July 27, 2013) The Larklight Trilogy, by Philip Reeve, decorated throughout by David Wyatt: Larklight (2006), Starcross (2007), Mothstorm ...
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Talking About Money

(Originally published at Redeemed Reader on June 1, 2012) We think of summertime as beach days, catch-up-on-our-reading days, vacation days, camp days (more on that ...
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High School World Literature: A Thematic Approach

High School World Literature: What to Cut? "World literature" can mean literally any book ever written. The hard part of planning a world literature class ...
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When Clouds Touch Us by Thanhhà Lai

When Clouds Touch Us follows up the award-winning Inside Out and Back Again with the further adventures of a Vietnamese refugee family in the 1970s. ...
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Buffalo Flats by Martine Leavitt

Buffalo Flats takes readers to the Northwest Territory of Canada, for an unforgettable story of spiritual growth and romance. Buffalo Flats by Martine Leavitt. Margaret ...
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*Nearer My Freedom by Monica Edinger and Lesley Younge

Nearer My Freedom uses the actual text of an 18th-century memoir to create a poetic account of an extraordinary life story. *Nearer My Freedom: The ...
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*Arthur, the Always King by Kevin Crossley-Holland

The lavishly-illustrated Arthur the Always King communicates the doomed majesty of the Arthurian legend. *Arthur, the Always King by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Chris Riddell. ...
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The Firefly Summer by Morgan Matson

Noting one important consideration, The Firefly Summer is an enjoyable light read with a theme of family solidarity. The Firefly Summer by Morgan Matson. Simon ...
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Big Tree by Brian Selznick

Big Tree, by best-selling author-illustrator Brian Selznick, attempts to capture the wonder of creation without a Creator. Big Tree by Brian Selznick. Scholastic, 2023, 525 ...
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*The Labors of Hercles Beal by Gary Schmidt

The title character of The Labors of Hercules Beal works through his grief by duplicating, in contemporary terms, the 12 "labors" of his mythical namesake. ...
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Sunshine by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Sunshine is the true story of a young man finding joy amid sorrow at a summer camp for seriously-ill children. Sunshine: How One Camp Taught ...
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Two Books about Sexuality for Kids and Teens

Books about sexuality for kids and teens are not new, but these days, it's getting harder to separate the wheat from the chaff. Well-meaning titles ...
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Abandon Ship by Michael J. Tougias

Abandon Ship! tells the little-known story of a World War II sea disaster with a surprising twist. Abandon Ship! The True World War II Story ...
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Button Pusher by Tyler Page

Button Pusher is the graphic-novel memoir of a boy who struggled with ADHD before learning to manage it. Button Pusher by Tyler Page. First Second, ...
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The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams by Daniel Nayeri: A Book Discussion

The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams by Daniel Nayeri: Betsy and Janie Discuss Betsy: Janie, you and I both (eagerly) received advance ...
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Iceberg by Jennifer A. Nielsen

In Iceberg, a 12-year-old stowaway experiences history's worst maritime disaster. Iceberg by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Scholastic, 2023, 339 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 ...
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School Trip by Jerry Craft

School Trip, a companion novel to Newbery-winning New Kid, launches the Riverdale Academy students on a tour of Paris. School Trip by Jerry Craft. Quill ...
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A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat

In A First Time for Everything, Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat looks back on a life-changing tour of Europe as a 13-year-old. A First Time for ...
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Not an Easy Win by Chrystal D. Giles

Not an Easy Win is the encouraging story of a displaced young man finding purpose and life lessons in the game of chess. Not an ...
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