Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

Wow, what a wildly exciting sci fi action novel (for adrenaline fans starting in Grade 5 and up) this is!  This promising, action-packed start to the Chronicle of the Dark Star series takes us to the year 2213 and introduces us to Liam who lives with his scientist parents on Mars (Earth is no more).  […]


Taking Flight by Michaela dePrince

Taking Flight by Michaela dePrince

By the time she was four, Mabinty Bangura was a war orphan, living in an orphanage constantly threatened by the “debils” who were indiscriminately killing men, women and children. After fleeing to Ghana, Mabinty and her best friend were adopted by an American family. They became Michaela and Mia, the eighth and ninth children in […]


A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

In Elana K. Arnold’s poignant and fast-paced chapter book (great for 3rd  to 5th graders), a 10-year-old autistic boy with the nickname of Bat befriends a baby skunk.  His veterinarian mother brings home the orphaned kit and Bat’s world changes.  He wants to spend every moment caring for the little critter, and discovers that he […]


A Perfect Day by Lane Smith

A Perfect Day by Lane Smith

Can there be a more perfect spring read aloud? Everyone is having a wonderful spring day — the dog, the cat, the bird, the squirrel — even Bert who arranges everything for these happy animals. Then from the white pages comes bear — and in the end only bear is having a perfect day! Grab […]


Finders Keepers by Keiko Kasza

Finders Keepers by Keiko Kasza

In each picture book she writes and illustrates, Keiko Kasza provides plot twists and surprises galore.  You never know where her tales will take you.  She is the perfect author to use to introduce the idea of narrative to young readers (preschoolers and early elementary).  Just look at all The Dog Who Cried Wolf, The […]


Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez

Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez

Young readers cannot help but cheer for Lucía, the cape-wearing star of this energetic, vibrant picture book.  Cynthia Leonor Garza’s text zips and bounces along as she introduces our young heroine, first seen pulling some cool superhero moves on the playground.  Alyssa Bermudez’s vibrant art leaps off the pages as Lucía flies off the monkey bars, […]



The Matchstick Castle by Keir Graff

The Matchstick Castle by Keir Graff

In Keir Graff’s delightful and creative middle grade adventure, a boy named Brian hopes to have an exciting summer playing soccer with his pals.  However, his scientist dad must fly away for a once in a lifetime chance to work in Antarctica, and sends him to stay with his uptight uncle, aunt, and cousin Nora in Boring, […]


The War that Saved My Life by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

Cruel and neglectful are the kindest things to say about these two English children’s mother. When they are evacuated to the countryside to avoid the Blitz, they are immigrants in a new, strange land. Understated, sad and triumphant, this is an important book for adults and children.


Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo’s effortless prose and endearing young characters shouldering heartbreak make this a beautiful book for both middle grade readers and adults. It slides along so quickly and cleanly with so much humor and good cheer, you don’ t realize at first how much you are hurting for Raymie and her friends. This is the […]