Riddles, Ravens and Roaring Fun: Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen

Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle by George HagenGabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle
George Hagen
Random House Children’s/Schwartz and Wade Publishing

In a world in which men have all but forgotten their friendship with ravens, one twelve year-old boy will rediscover an ancient tradition. Gabriel’s adventure begins the day he rescues a young raven and answers its riddle. With the help of Gabriel’s friends, he and his raven will embark on a dangerous journey and battle evil creatures to save Gabriel’s missing father.

There are some slightly dark … Continue reading

Bringing the Wonder of Science into Young Minds: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

14th_goldfishThe 14th Goldfish
Jennifer Holm
Random House Children’s

For eleven year-old Ellie, sixth grade brings new and uncomfortable changes. Her best friend seems to have left her behind. Her goldfish has died. And her mother brings home a strange, fussy teenaged boy who claims to be her grandfather.

Grandpa Melvin claims to have discovered the secrets of eternal youth. Now that he’s a teenager, though, no one will take him seriously. With the help of Ellie and another student, he hopes to complete his research and finally win that … Continue reading

Through the Balustrade by M B Dahl

throughthebalustradeThrough the Balustrade
M. B. Dahl
Taberah Publishing

For the first time in her life, Roxan has a home of her very own. Safety. Control of her own space. Yet trouble isn’t far behind her. A shadowy figure threatens her from the window. Her new boss seems bent on punishing her. When a peddler offers her answers for the relentless persecution, she reluctantly agrees to follow him to a forbidden area. The journey jolts free memories which have been trapped in Roxan’s mind, but she wants nothing to do … Continue reading

World War I Through the Eyes of a Child: Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne

Stay Where You Are and Then LeaveStay Where You Are and Then Leave
John Boyne
Henry Holt & Co/MacMillan

When Alfie’s dad left for war, everyone said he’d be home by Christmas. That was four years ago. Now his father doesn’t write or contact the family at all. Alfie’s mother says it’s because he’s on a secret mission for the government, but Alfie knows she’s lying. His father is dead, and no one wants to tell him the truth.

To help support his mother and without her knowledge, Alfie … Continue reading

Bold Christian Writer Tackles College Addictions: It’s Addicting by Laura L Smith

itsaddictingIt’s Addicting
Laura L. Smith
Playlist Fiction

Palmer, Hannah, Claire and Kat begin the spring semester ready for any challenge. Kinda. Palmer wants to be among the elite writers of the university magazine, but she can’t seem to break into the group. That is, without a glass of Moscato in her hand. After years of being the supportive best friend to the girl who could have any guy, Hannah finally has a boyfriend of her own. When a chance to see Germany with her guy arises, Hannah really wants … Continue reading

A Book Worth Losing Yourself In: Word Changers by Ashlee Willis

wordchangersWord Changers
Ashlee Willis
Conquest Publishers

In an attempt to escape from the turmoil of her home, Posy hides in the library. She begins reading and wakes to find herself trapped within a story. The king and queen treat her as their daughter, but the king’s advisor and the prince know she is an imposter. Posy simply wants to return home, and the only way to do that is to find the real princess and bring her home.

Posy embarks on the journey to find Princess Evanthe, but she … Continue reading

Counting by 7s and the Power of Community

counting_by_7sCounting by 7s
Holly Goldberg Sloan
Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Group

A car accident changes everything for Willow, a twelve year-old prodigy. Her family is gone and she is at the mercy of the state’s resources for childcare. As she pulls together the paths of her life that have led her to this tragedy, she reaches out to the only friend she has: a young Vietnamese girl whose brother shares the same guidance counselor as Willow does.

Mai convinces her mother to care for the girl and fight … Continue reading

Marauding Islands, Nearsighted Mermaids and Swarming Sea Monkeys in Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve

Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip ReeveOliver and the Seawigs
Philip Reeve
Illustrated by Sarah McIntyre
Random House BFYR

When Oliver’s parents disappear along with some islands in the bay outside his home, he decides to follow them. Raised by world-renowned explorers, Oliver isn’t daunted when the islands turn out to be living, migrating creatures or when a nearsighted mermaid blunders into his expedition. Oliver befriends the island and mer-girl and together they set off to rescue his parents.

Each character in the story faces an obstacle which … Continue reading

A Wish That Changes Everything: Fire Wish by Amber Lough

Fire Wish by Amber LoughFire Wish
Amber Lough
Random House BFYR

When Zayele is promised to the prince against her will, she vows to escape her fate and return home to her family. The perfect opportunity arises when a curious jinni who wanders too close. Zayele seizes the girl and forces the jinni to take her place.

The jinni girl, Najwa, indeed takes Zayele’s place. Instead of returning home as she asked, Zayele finds herself trapped in the jinni world, where she is mistaken for Najwa. There she learns … Continue reading

Review: Bird Face by Cynthia Toney

birdfaceBird Face
Cynthia Toney

A cruel comment from a classmate sends thirteen year-old Wendy into a spiral of self-doubt. What can she expect when even her own father barely takes an interest in her life? Mysterious notes from “AFREND” help Wendy see there’s still hope. Who could the notes be from? A cute boy perhaps? When the nasty comments continue to wear her down, Wendy is forced to take drastic measures. She tries changing who she is, hoping it will be enough put the taunting behind her.

This story delves … Continue reading

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