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As a homeschooling veteran, I review middle-grade stories to help parents, librarians, and teachers choose good books.

Look for author news here too!

 

Being Clem by Lesa Cline-Ransom, a review

Being Clem by Lesa Cline-Ransom, a review

Being Clem by Lesa Cline-Ransome tells a coming-of-age story set in 1940s Chicago. A nine-year-old African American boy loses his soldier father, a hero. It's sad, especially because his father has been gone so long that Clem hardly knew him. As time goes by, Clem...

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Spark by Jill Shope Hackman, a review

Spark by Jill Shope Hackman, a review

Spark by J.M. Hackman tells the Christian fantasy tale of Brenna, a Pennsylvania schoolgirl just turning 16. Brenna discovers to her dismay that flames shoot from her fingertips when she’s angry. After she sets a school display on fire, causing the sprinkler system to...

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The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt, a review

The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt, a review

I was delighted to find Tonke Dragt's novel The Letter for the King. It was originally published in 1962 in the Netherlands. It won many awards and sold a million or so copies, but it made its way into English only after fifty years, in 2013. Now Tonke Dragt's tale is...

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Thick as Thieves by Susan K. Marlow, a review

Thick as Thieves by Susan K. Marlow, a review

Susan K. Marlow's middle grade novel Thick as Thieves tells a tale of 1880s California, ranching in the San Joaquin Valley. Thirteen-year-old Andi Carter immerses herself in caring for her horses when her mare gives birth to twins. At school one day, a new kid sits...

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Light of Mine by Allen Brokken, a review

Light of Mine by Allen Brokken, a review

Light of Mine by Allen Brokken tells an allegorical tale of three children, ages 6, 9, and 12, set in what seems like 19th century rural America. The idyllic farm life of Ethan, Aiden, and Lauren descends into turmoil when Dad declares that he will leave to fight approaching Darkness.

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