The Rock of Ivanore by Laurisa White Reyes, a review

In The Rock of Ivanore by Laurisa White Reyes (2012), Marcus Frye has learned a bit of magic that sometimes works. He’s the 14-year-old orphan apprentice to the magician Master Zyll.

Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson, a review

In the book Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson (2006), Silver is a plucky 11-year-old whose parents and sister vanished four years ago. She’s being cared for by a selfish mean woman in the family mansion, Tanglewreck, one of those old English manor houses with a lot of mysteries to it.

Diary of Wimpy Kid #1 by Jeff Kinney, a review

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (2007) is a hot book where middle-schoolers are concerned. It’s a #1 New York Times bestseller, and its sequels are too. Many parents, though, aren’t so thrilled. So what is it about this book that is so appealing to kids?

One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul, a review

In One Realm Beyond (2014), a YA series opener from Donita K. Paul, Cantor D’Ahma has grown into a young man. He leaves his elderly mentors and sets off to learn how to become a Realm Walker, using the gifts he was born with. His mentors don’t tell him much about what to expect, though. […]

Grace Hopper, Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark, a review

How to engage kids in STEM subjects? One way is to have them read intriguing biographies of STEM scientists of note, especially ones that have an engaging story or two in their past. Grace Hopper is one of these people.

The Book of the King by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry, a review

The Book of the King (2007), by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry, tells a tale full of the supernatural. Its young protagonist, Owen, is one courageous guy.

Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage, a review

Rise of the Dragons by Angie Sage (2019), a middle-grade novel and series opener, involves two worlds.

The Edge of Extinction: The Ark Plan by Laura Martin, a review

The Edge of Extinction by Laura Martin, a series of two books published in 2016 and 2017, provides a dystopian Jurassic Park tale for middle-graders. Plucky Sky Mundy, in an underground colony in what once was northern Indiana, is just one of a few hundred humans alive, survivors of a plague.

We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey, a review

One thousand refugees from Earth, likely the only survivors, are in a spaceship orbiting a populated planet, hoping for permission to land. If they can’t live on Choom, they’ll perish –their food and fuel are nearly gone. They came because they were invited twenty years ago when they set out from Mars, asleep on autopilot. […]

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage, a review

Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage (2012), tells a middle-grade whodunit with the unforgettable Southern voice of a rising sixth-grader, Mo. Mo lives with the eccentric proprietors of the town diner, Lana and the Colonel. No matter that the Colonel has amnesia and can’t remember his life before he got to the North Carolina hamlet […]