Tag Archives: children

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Recommended Ages: 13+ What happens when a filmmaker, vintage photograph collector, and author of a reference work on Sherlock Holmes decides to write a YA novel? What happens is this creepy, funny, weird fantasy involving monsters, time travel, and children with super powers, all accompanied by an atmospheric selection of black-and-white photos. Our narrator on this journey is sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman, a smart-mouthed rich kid from ... Read More »

Book Review: The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

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The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens Recommended Ages: 12+ Kate P barely remembers her parents. Heck, she doesn’t even remember her last name; only the letter P. Mostly she remembers the night her parents disappeared, when her mother gave her a cherished locket, told her to take care of her younger brother and sister, and promised to return someday. Since then, Kate, Michael, and Emma have spent ten years moving from one orphanage to another, ... Read More »

“Child-Proofing Harry Potter”: A Rebuttal

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My friend Brandon knows me very well. This past Sunday, he posted a New York Times editorial to my Facebook wall. It was entitled “Child-Proofing Harry Potter” and was written by Lynn Messina, a mom and novelist. The title raised red flags for me immediately. Then I read the editorial itself and found that not only were the red flags completely justified, they were accompanied by some sirens and flashing red lights as well. See, ... Read More »

Book Review: The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech

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The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech Recommended Ages: 10+ The first author to win both the Newbery Medal (for Walk Two Moons) and the Carnegie Medal (for Ruby Holler) here deviates from her general habit of depicting present-day kids in dramatic situations. Instead, she conjures a make-believe kingdom somewhere in medieval Italy, with a king and a queen, a princess and two princes, hermits, peasants, servants, and knights. King Guido of the Castle Corona is ... Read More »

Book Review: The Wall and the Wing by Laura Ruby

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The Wall and the Wing by Laura Ruby Recommended Ages: 11+ The author of Lily’s Ghosts brings us a book so funny that it hurts, set in a magical world so weird that it can only be New York City. She doesn’t come right out and name it, though. She describes it as “a vast and sparkling city, a city at the center of the universe.” But it’s also a city that has grown upward ... Read More »

Book Review: LightLand by H. L. McCutchen

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LightLand by H. L. McCutchen Recommended Ages: 11+ I don’t know anything about the author of this book except that her first name is Heather, and that Scholastic (the U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter series) believes in her. Now that I’ve read this book, I believe in her too. I hope she will continue to write books as interesting and touching as this. It begins with two quirky kids, best friends since they were ... Read More »

Review: 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison

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13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison Recommended Ages: 11+ Being able to see fairies isn’t all sparkly dust and tinkly bells. Tanya has been able to see them since she was a baby, and it’s a living nightmare for her. Her parents are fed up with what they see as serious behavioral problems. And the winged creatures that visit her on moonlit nights do not bring wonder and enchantment, but threats and punishment when she doesn’t ... Read More »

Review: Tom Trueheart and the Land of Dark Stories by Ian Beck

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Tom Trueheart and the Land of Dark Stories by Ian Beck Recommended Ages: 10+ In the sequel to The Secret History of Tom Trueheart, the youngest of seven brothers in the last surviving family of storybook heroes must, once again, set out to save the older six. Not only that, but he must rescue five princesses who were spirited away on their wedding day before the helpless, horrified eyes of their wedding guests. Also, he ... Read More »

Book Review: Storybound by Marissa Burt

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Storybound by Marissa Burt Recommended Ages: 11+ Lately a lot of writers have been sending us dispatches from the Land of Stories. According to sometime Glee star Chris Colfer, it’s a cluster of magical kingdoms where a pair of children from our world, transported through a family heirloom storybook, discover the true history behind many of your favorite fairy tales. In another account by Ian Beck, the Land of Stories is a country where designated ... Read More »

Review: The Seven Keys of Balabad by Paul Haven

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The Seven Keys of Balabad—buy it by Paul Haven Recommended Ages: 11+ Oliver Finch is an all-American boy who likes wearing blue jeans, a T-shirt, and a New York Yankees baseball cap. But thanks to his father’s career as a journalist and his mother’s interest in archaeology, he finds himself living so far from Yankee Stadium that, in his time zone, the night games start at 5:00 the next morning. The country is Balabad, somewhere ... Read More »