(E) Ages 12-15

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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Noticing by Kobi Yomada

Noticing, a picture book for tweens and older, beautifully illustrates the point that “One of the best things you can be is interested.” Noticing by ...
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Honey and Me by Meira Drazin

Honey and Me explores the fun and challenge of middle-grade friendship in the context of the Orthodox Jewish community. Honey and Me by Meira Drazin. ...
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*Dragonfly Eyes by Cao Wenxuan

Dragonfly Eyes is a slowly-unfolding, beautiful picture of family love and loyalty during the stressful days of China’s Cultural Revolution. *Dragonfly Eyes by Cao Wenxuan, ...
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Bright Island by Mabel Robinson (Retro Reads)

In this "Retro Reads" book, homeschooled Thankful Curtis must leave her beloved island to brave the mainland and boarding school. Bright Island by Mabel Robinson. ...
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Princess of the Wild Sea by Megan Frazer Blakemore

A twist on Sleeping Beauty, Princess of the Wild Sea explores the concept of heroism and the danger and reward of risk-taking. Princess of the ...
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Victory, Stand! by Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes

Victory, Stand!, this year's ALA YA nonfiction award winner, tells the story of the notorious "Olympic fist" from a point of view that makes it ...
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15 Books for 15-Year-Old Boys: A Book List

15-year-old boys: learning to drive. Wrestling with heavy high school work (10th grade is usually more intense than 9th, in terms of work load). Taking ...
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2023 Newbery Winner: Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson

Freewater, this year's Newbery Medal winner, is as much an adventure tale as little-known history. Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson. Little, Brown (James Patterson Presents), 2022, ...
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The Lost Year by Katherine Marsh

The Lost Year uses multiple voices to narrate a sad chapter of history: Stalin’s deliberate starving of Ukraine. The Lost Year: A Survival Story of ...
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A Place for Peter by Elizabeth Yates

A Place for Peter is a good choice for boys who are avid readers and enjoy character-driven, literary coming-of-age stories, or families who are looking ...
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The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen by Isaac Blum

“Hoodie Rosen” introduces teen readers to the Orthodox Jewish world and the reality of antisemitism. The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen by Isaac Blum. ...
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Caldecott Honor Roundup: Ain’t Burned All the Bright, Berry Song, Choosing Brave, and Knight Owl

This year's Caldecott honor books explore a range of moods from wistful to whimsical. Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Jason ...
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trafficking books for teens

Trafficking Books for Teens: A Round-Up

I rarely visit a public restroom these days without seeing a notice for women who are in troubling situations: the text usually reads, "Need Help? ...
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The British Are Coming (Young Reader Ed.) by Rick Atkinson

The British Are Coming recounts the first 4 years of the American Revolution in an engaging style, capturing substance and detail. The British Are Coming ...
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Mr. Lincoln Sits for His Portrait by Leonard S. Marcus

Mr. Lincoln Sits for His Portrait is an unusual and touching look at our nation's 16th president through the then-new medium of photography. Mr. Lincoln ...
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romantic reads for teens

Romantic Reads for Teens: A Book List for Girls and Guys

Enjoy this unapologetic list of romantic reads for teens: great love stories and high romance without LGBTQ elements. For the genre-junkies out there, it's worth ...
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Windswept by Margi Preus

Windswept is a lovely fantasy/fairy tale of children learning to take on the responsibility of stewardship through story, service, and sacrifice. Windswept by Margi Preus. ...
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2023 Newbery Buzz #5: I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

I Must Betray You is one of those novels that straddles the line between Newbery age ranges and Printz age ranges. Will it get some ...
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2023 Newbery Buzz Roundup #2: Frizzy, How to Build a Human, and Attack of the Black Rectangles

The American Library Association will announce the winners of its very influential Youth Media Awards, headed by the Newbery and Caldecott. Since we can't help ...
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Newbery Roundup #1: Freestyle, Swim Team, and Maizy Chen’s Last Chance

Three novels for middle-grades that may be under consideration for this year's top prize Freestyle by Gale Galligan. Graphix; (Scholastic), 2022, 322 pages. (Ages 10-14) ...
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The Lucky Ones by Linda Williams Jackson

In The Lucky Ones, an impoverished family in the rural south takes a big step up during the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s. The ...
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wintry stories

Wintry Stories: A Book List for Middle Grades and Teens

Whether you live in a place with snow or not, January is the perfect month for a cozy snow story (or three). Look for some ...
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The Real Dada Mother Goose by Jon Scieszka

In The Real Dada Mother Goose, popular humorist Jon Scieszka subjects familiar nursery rhymes to every possible variation. The Real Dada Mother Goose: A Treasury ...
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Out of Range by Heidi Lang

Out of Range puts three warring sisters into a life-or-death situation that will destroy their bond—and perhaps their lives—or restore it. Out of Range by ...
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Belittled Women by Amanda Sellet

Belittled Woman features a contemporary Meg, Jo, and Amy reluctantly participating in their mother’s pet project: a tourist attraction reenacting scenes from a certain 19th-century ...
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Looking for True by Tricia Springstubb

In Looking for True, A lonely boy and a frustrated girl find common cause in rescuing a dog from its neglectful owner. Looking for True ...
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productivity for teens

Productivity for Teens: A Round-Up

Do your teens make New Year's resolutions or goals? Perhaps you wish they would? If any of those goals relate to being more productive or ...
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*Berliners by Vesper Stamper

Berliners is the story of a family scarred by war, politics, and false ideology in postwar Germany. *Berliners by Vesper Stamper. Knopf, 2022, 413 pages. ...
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Agent Most Wanted by Sonia Purnell

Virginia Hall, one of history’s most effective spies, is the subject of this engrossing biography. Agent Most Wanted: The Never-before-Told Story of the Most Dangerous ...
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Unbreakable by Rebecca Barone

Unbreakable makes the complicated story of unlocking the Enigma code accessible for young readers. Unbreakable: The Spies Who Cracked the Nazis' Secret Code by Rebecca ...
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*Two Old Women by Velma Wallis

Two Old Women, a legend from Alaska, reminds us to persevere and to seek the good of those around us. *Two Old Women: An Alaska ...
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Peace Is a Chain Reaction by Tanya Lee Stone

Peace Is a Chain Reaction tells a little-known story of World War II and how former enemies of opposite sides of an ocean came together ...
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*The Star that Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson

In a debut novel reminiscent of Maud Hart Lovelace and Laura Ingalls Wilder, a young girl discovers new friends, family, and hope. *The Star that ...
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The Rat Queen by Pete Hautman

Though not for every reader, The Rat Queen effectively exposes the harm caused to individual souls by hiding or excusing their own sins. The Rat ...
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A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga

A Rover's Story employs an unusual protagonist to celebrate science, space exploration, and humanity. A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga. Balzer+Bray, 2022, 294 pages. Reading ...
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Home for Christmas, edited by Miriam LeBlanc

Home for Christmas is a lovely, literary collection of stories, old and new, that highlight the "spirit" of Christmas. Home for Christmas: Stories for Young ...
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The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander

The Door of No Return uses beautifully modulated verse to communicate the humanity of the Ashanti people and the horrors of the African slave trade. ...
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family advent devotionals

Family Advent Devotional List

Do you have a favorite family Advent tradition? Perhaps your family does a Jesse Tree together. Or maybe you have an Advent wreath on your ...
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Black Bird, Blue Road by Sofiya Pasternack

Black Bird, Blue Road is set in a neglected period of world history and explores the subject of death through a lens of Jewish mythology. ...
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The Holy Ghost by John Hendrix

In The Holy Ghost, author/illustrator John Hendrix freely exercises his imaginative powers while contemplating the third Person of the Trinity. The Holy Ghost: A Spirited ...
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Wildoak by C. C. Harrington

Wildoak is a gentle story about a girl finding a voice and a cause in the natural world. Wildoak by C. C. Harrigan. Scholastic, 2022, ...
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truth and story

Truth and Story

(Note: Betsy and I are indebted to Ethan Pettit, librarian and Children's Literature professor from Covenant College, who enlightened us so much in seeing Christ ...
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*Church History by Simonetta Carr

Simonetta Carr’s Church History is a must-have for Christian families, good for years of reference and encouragement. *Church History by Simonetta Carr. Reformation Heritage, 265 ...
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*The Red Palace by June Hur

Eighteenth century Korea comes to life in The Red Palace, a gripping—and gritty—historical mystery for teens. *The Red Palace by June Hur. Feiwel and Friends, ...
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Our Hymns, Our Heritage by David and Barbara Leeman

The Leeman’s excellent student hymnal has been republished by Moody Press, with additional songs and supplements. *Our Hymns, Our Heritage: A Student Guide to Songs ...
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wonderland trials

The Wonderland Trials by Sara Ella

Alice wants to be a Wonder and compete in the Wonderland Trials, but she's just an ordinary Normal girl in this inventive take on Alice ...
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American Shoes by Rosemarie Lengsfeld Turke

American Shoes is the memoir of a young girl trapped in Nazi Germany with her family as the world is convulsed with war. American Shoes: ...
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*Jack Zulu and the Waylander’s Key by S.D. Smith and J. C. Smith

Jack Zulu finds adventure where he least expects it in this new middle grades fantasy series opener from S. D. Smith. Jack Zulu and the ...
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Fantasy Books for Teen Girls: Keeper of the Lost Cities Read-Alikes

We have several fantasy book lists here on Redeemed Reader, but this list is especially for those who enjoy books like Keeper of the Lost ...
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Keeper of the Lost Cities: Is it Safe? Is it Good?

Keeper of the Lost Cities is a wildly popular series for teens; what do we think about it? Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon ...
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Yonder by Ali Standish

Yonder is a thoughtful and moving historical novel about the nature of heroism. Yonder by Ali Standish. Harper, 2022, 348 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ...
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Labor Day: Books about Work

Readers: this is an adaptation of one of the first posts on Redeemed Reader, way back in 2011 (written by Emily Whitten, the "I" in ...
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Lines of Courage by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Lines of Courage follows five young protagonists through the epoch-making carnage of World War I. Lines of Courage by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Scholastic Press, 2022, ...
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Brand New Kid by David Almond

Brand New Boy explores the "humanity" of manufactured humans through the eyes of curious middle-school students. Brand New Boy by David Almond, with pictures by ...
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Maze Runner Series: a Christian Response

High octane, fast-paced adventure books for teens, the Maze Runner books raise interesting questions if readers can stop long enough to ponder. The Maze Runner ...
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Quick Summer Reads: Treasure Tracks, High Score, and Wretched Waterpark

Three entertaining novels for the adventure-seeker, the heist-lover, and the doom-aficionado. Treasure Tracks by S. A. Rodriguez. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2022, 214 pages. Reading Level: ...
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lord of the flies a christian response

Lord of the Flies: A Christian Response

When British boys are stranded alone on an island, can they govern themselves? Reading Level: Teens, ages 12 and up Recommended For: Teens, ages 15 ...
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*Marshmallow Clouds by Ted Kooser and Connie Wanek

In Marshmallow Clouds, two poets look at the world, both the sublime and the mundane, through expressive wordplay. *Marshmallow Clouds: Two Poets at Play among ...
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The Islanders: Search for Treasure by Mary Alice Monroe

The Islanders Series features three friends spending enlightening and adventure-filled summers on an island off the coast of South Carolina. The Islanders: Search for Treasure ...
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High School British Literature: A Lively Approach

High School British Literature: Dull and Difficult? When I arrived at college, I was absolutely, 100% convinced that British lit was my jam. But it's ...
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Graphic-Novel History: History Comics and Who HQ

Telling history and science through pictures is an obvious way to teach, but watch out when a series attempts to do more than communicate the ...
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Spineless by Samantha San Miguel

A sickly young man finds both adventure and wisdom in Spineless, an enjoyable debut novel set in turn-of-the-century Florida. Spineless by Samantha San Miguel. Union ...
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*Love and Other Great Expectations by Becky Dean

*Love and Other Great Expectations puts romance in its place as part of life’s great adventure (but not all of it). Love and Other Great ...
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Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A. F. Steadman

The much-hyped fantasy series opener Skandar and the Unicorn Thief breaks new ground in unicorn lore. Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A. F. Steadman. ...
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New From Here by Kelly Yang

New from Here looks at the recent pandemic through the perspective of an Asian-American family hoping to escape the virus in California. New from Here ...
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Trapped in Terror Bay by Sigmund Brouwer

Trapped in Terror Bay takes readers into the mystery of the ill-fated Arctic voyage of the Franklin Expedition, 1845. Trapped in Terror Bay: Solving the ...
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Crazy Horse and Custer: Born Enemies by S. D. Nelson

Crazy Horse and Custer: Born Enemies addresses the bloody and complex history of the U.S. Indian Wars with honesty and clarity. Crazy Horse and Custer: ...
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My Own Lightning by Lauren Wolk

My Own Lightning follows the author’s previous Newbery-honored novel, Wolf Hollow, with a more hopeful conclusion. My Own Lightning by Lauren Wolk. Dutton, 2022, 307 ...
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Rip to the Rescue

Rip to the Rescue is a true-to-life World War II adventure featuring heroic teens and one heroic dog. Rip to the Rescue by Miriam Halahmy. ...
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watership down

*Watership Down by Richard Adams

Richard Adams' classic tale employs noble themes of vision, courage, and sacrifice among some of the most humble and ordinary of animals in their quest ...
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Each of Us a Universe by Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo

Two girls with big problems draw resilience from each other and the "Magic" of the Universe. Each of Us a Universe by Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo ...
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The Dragon and the Stone (Dreamkeeper Saga #1) by Kathryn Butler

The Dreamkeeper Saga weaves Christian themes, Arthurian legend, and reliable fantasy tropes into a promising series for middle-graders. The Dragon and the Stone (Dreamkeeper Saga ...
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*The Sower by Scott James

The Sower employs biblical allegories of seeds and planting to recap the story of the Bible and its effect on human history—and on us. *The ...
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The Woman Who Split the Atom by Marissa Moss

Brilliant physicist Lise Meitner, overlooked by history, receives her due in this well-written and -illustrated biography. The Woman Who Split the Atom: The Life of ...
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Bestselling YA: A Look at the 2022 Market

Aside from one graphic-novel romance series, novels about death and murder dominate the current YA scene. Where's hope? What are kids reading these days? As ...
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The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

In The Last Mapmaker, a low-born but spirited girl, an aged craftsman, and high stakes at sea make for a satisfying adventure. The Last Mapmaker ...
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Hilde on Record by Hilde Lysiak

Hilde Lysiak, whose doggedness as a 9-year-old investigative reporter made her a star of journalism, tells her own story. Hilde on the Record: Memoir of ...
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Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies

Rannoch is marked from birth, a deer who faces his destiny in this Watership Down read alike for teens. Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies. Firebird, ...
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Alias Anna by Susan Hood and Greg Dawson

In free verse, Alias Anna tells the story of surviving the Holocaust in Ukraine by hiding in plain sight. Alias Anna: A True Story of ...
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brave and bold

Brave and Bold by Marty Machowski

Brave and Bold draws on Machowski's knowledge of Scripture and experience in the Army to firmly call young men to integrity and excellence. A wonderful ...
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Polo Cowboy by G. Neri

Cole learns to be a polo cowboy despite bullying and prejudice in this interesting follow-up to Ghetto Cowboy. Polo Cowboy by G. Neri and illustrated ...
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The School for Whatnots by Margaret Peterson Haddix

In The School for Whatnots, popular children's author Margaret Peterson Haddix explores how good intentions go awry. The School for Whatnots by Margaret Peterson Haddix. ...
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The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill

In The Ogress and the Orphans, a winning fairytale, kindness and love overcome suspicion. The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill. Algonquin, 2022, 390 ...
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Wake Up Missing by Kate Messner 

Wake Up Missing mixes science with science fiction: DNA manipulation, nefarious plots, and excitement. Wake Up Missing by Kate Messner. Walker Childrens, 2013. 272 pages. ...
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Itch: the Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter by Simon Mayo  

Solid science adds heft to Itch, a present-day sci-fi novel with elements of an international spy thriller. Itch: the Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter, ...
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*The Biggest Story Bible Storybook by Kevin DeYoung

The "Biggest Story" brand continues with a family-friendly Bible Storybook that provides food for thought even to grownups. *The Biggest Story Bible Storybook by Kevin ...
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Troublemaker by John Cho

Troublemaker honestly pictures generational, cultural, and racial conflict against the background of the Los Angeles riots of 1992. Troublemaker by John Cho. Little, Brown, 2022, ...
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*A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser

A Duet for Home portrays the plight of the homeless as far from hopeless—or helpless. *A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser. Clarion Books, ...
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rabbit stories

The Velveteen Rabbit Turns 100: A Bunny Booklist

The Velveteen Rabbit turns 100 There was once a velveteen rabbit . . . Once upon a time, there were three little rabbits and their ...
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A Jesus Easter by Barbara Reaoch

Explore the story of Easter with A Jesus Easter, a family devotional for Lent with interactive questions and journaling prompts. A Jesus Easter: Explore God's ...
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*Out of My Mind and Out of My Heart by Sharon Draper

Out of My Mind and its sequel, Out of My Heart, welcome readers into the rich inner life of Melody Brooks, a bright pre-teen with ...
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A Cloud of Outrageous Blue by Vesper Stamper

A peasant girl in pre-Plague England holds the key to key to healing and "outrageous blue" hope. *A Cloud of Outrageous Blue by Vesper Stamper. ...
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cover of Becoming

Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama's Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers is a winsome, engaging look at how one young woman went from Chicago's South Side to the White ...
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Pony by R. J. Palacio

Pony mixes elements of historical fiction and fantasy to create a memorable coming-of-age tale. Pony by R. J. Palacio. Knopf, 2021, 304 pages Reading Level: ...
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Northwind by Gary Paulsen

Northwind follows a boy into the northern wilderness to be reborn in the harsh cradle of nature. Northwind by Gary Paulsen. Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2022, ...
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Across the Rainbow Bridge by Kevin Crossley-Holland

Across the Rainbow Bridge puts Norse mythology in its original context of tales told around peat fires on long winter nights. Across the Rainbow Bridge: ...
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Christian Easter Gifts for Kids and Teens

Do you give Easter gifts in your family? Most families I know give gifts—a lot of them—at Christmas, but give minimally (if at all) at ...
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