Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, a review

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool Published 2010 by Delacorte Press, 351 pages Genre: Historical middle grade/tween fiction, Newbery Medal winner Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker arrives in the dusty, underpopulated town of Manifest, Kansas, during the height of the Great Depression, sent there by her drifter father who for some reason thinks she needs to stop […]

Book Review: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi

Newbery Award winner historical fiction set in medieval England, for tweens

Crispin: The Cross of Lead, by Avi, Book 1 in the Crispin trilogy Published 2002 by Hyperion Books for Children, New York, 262 pages Genre: Historical drama for tweens This book won the Newbery Award when it was published, and more recently the author has published two sequels. It’s A.D. 1377 in rural England. A […]

Starr Tree Farm by Ellen Parker, a review

Starr Tree Farm by Ellen Parker Published 2013 by Crimson Romance, 200 pages Genre: sweet romantic suspense Laura has been widowed just a year. She decides to move from St. Louis back to her home town in Wisconsin and finds herself farm-sitting for her uncle and aunt. She’s also setting up a business, a bookstore, in […]

The Fifth Man by John Olson and Randy Ingermanson, a review

Someone seems to be bent on killing them, and they don’t know who it is. Is there a murderous fifth man on Mars?

Light of Eidon by Karen Hancock, a review

Abramm is calling himself Brother Eldrin, and all he wants is to be left alone by his family. But his family isn’t happy about it, not the least because it’s the royal family, and he’s now second in line to the throne. Soon Abramm discovers that the holy orders that have been his life for the past eight years are a front for evil people who want to use him as a puppet.

Firebird by Kathy Tyers, a review

Lady Firebird Angelo was born the third daughter of the queen of her world. That sounds like she might have had an easy life. But the warped rules on her planet dictate that she must die as soon as she drops down to fifth in line to the throne. It’s not just those in the royal family; this happens to the heirs of all the major houses on her planet. She’s a “wastling,” born to be wasted. Her time comes, and Firebird, a pilot, is sent on a suicide mission along with other wastlings. But her enemy saves her life. What can she do now?

Book of Days by James L. Rubart, a review

Cameron Vaux has lost both his father and his wife, Jessie. Now he fears he’s losing his mind, the same way his father’s mind went, one memory at a time. He latches onto an idea mentioned by both his father and Jessie: God’s book holding all memories. Problem is, Cameron doesn’t believe in God.

The Hunger Games movie

My friend Jim Tudor watched the Hunger Games movie with no expectation. Here’s his take on the movie:

The Hunger Games, a review

Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old living in America some time in the future when it has devolved into a cruel empire, loves her little sister more than anything. So when that little sister is chosen for the Hunger Games, Katniss doesn’t hesitate. She takes the sister’s place. She finds herself fighting 23 other teens to the death in a high-tech arena, for viewing pleasure in the ultimate reality show. Only one person can win, and that winner gets plenty of income for life, unlike everyone else in the conquered territories–who is starving or nearly starving.

Peril: A Fast Track Thriller by Suzanne Hartmann, a review

Joanne’s an Illinois homeschooling mom struggling with the fact that her husband is losing a battle with cancer. She’s a survivor herself–she recovered from paralysis, thanks to an experimental adult-stem-cell treatment. Her family’s future looks uncertain, but she tries to trust God about it.