Into the Book

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Children’s Lit


  1. I picked up At the Back of the North Wind at Half Price Books for 3 reasons: 1) It’s George MacDonald 2) Andrew Peterson’s house is named after this book (North Wind Manor), and 3) the book is simply gorgeous in the Everyman’s Classics edition. Those are reasons of varying solidity, but here are my reasons for why you also should pick up this book. Read on for more: (more…)

  2. In an effort to chip away at my ever-growing “To Read” list, I sat down the other day and picked up The Lightning Thief, first book in the series of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” by Rick Riordan. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. After all, elementary kids these days are crazy about Percy Jackson, which can either mean it’s a really great book, or a really lousy one. As I read through the book almost in one sitting (with a good night’s sleep about halfway through), I found that I was rather surprised by the book. It was a fun and engaging read, and I see why kids love it! But there were many parts that made me question whether The Lightning Thief is for everyone. (more…)

  3. Gary Schmidt is one of my favorite children’s book authors, so when Orbiting Jupiter came out last year, I knew I’d have to get it on my reading list soon. Thanks to a blitz gift by my aunt, I was able to sit down with this book last week and devour it in just over an hour. Like a good Gary Schmidt novel, Orbiting Jupiter leans heavily on emotions and characterization. However, I was also pleased to see new themes and ideas being woven into an entirely new story. Orbiting Jupiter is definitely worth a read-through. (more…)

  4. Piper Hill is an only child. While she does love her little family with their quiet routines, she has always wondered what it would be like to have siblings. One day, her dream comes true, through a rather unfortunate turn of events. When her family expands to include her three cousins and their rowdy dog, Piper begins to learn that family bonds are very complex things. Throughout her first year of being in a blended family, Piper has a lot of growing up to do. But through it all, she learns some very valuable lessons. The Hopper Hill Family is a glimpse into the life of a young girl learning to see, and a family learning to love one another. (more…)

  5. Flora Belle Buckman is a self-proclaimed cynic. She lives with her mother, a divorced writer of romance novels, and visits her father on the weekends. She spends her days reading comic books (much to her mother’s chagrin), and it is from these stories that Flora acquired her life motto: “Do not hope; instead, observe.” But you have to admit, hoping is so easy when impossible events are happening every day, particularly when those events involve a squirrel with superpowers.

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  6. The Wingfeather Saga continues (read book one’s review here) with Andrew Peterson’s second book: North! Or Be Eaten. It’s an excellent second book and really proves the entire series as well worth reading. The book ups the stakes significantly from the first book: betrayals, escapes, and hopeless situations abound. Yet somehow, everything lines up for even bigger happenings in book three.

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  7. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is not quite a normal fantasy novel. After all, the bad guys are so clearly bad, the fantasy names come off as contrived (The fangs of dang? Really?), and the book is just so whimsical. I love Andrew Peterson’s music, but one chapter in I wasn’t convinced that his writing was any good at all. Thankfully, I kept reading — and let me tell you, On the Edge of the Dark Sea is well, well worth the read, and holds much more under the surface than its whimsical beginning promises.

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  8. There are not many authors in this world who write children’s stories about sorrow. It isn’t the sort of thing you would expect. In a world of fairy tales- battles being fought, dragons being defeated, and knights marrying lovely princesses- a story about the internal struggles of a slightly egocentric china rabbit is a bit misplaced. But the magic of stories is not the magic of potions and spells. The magic of stories is that they connect us. Kate DiCamillo connects us with The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and allows even the youngest of readers to understand profound concepts of sorrow, love, and hope.

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  9. Before the days of television and internet, children still needed ways to be occupied. (Imagine being a babysitter without the instant availability of YouTube or Disney channel to keep the kids busy!) In a world with none of these modern conveniences, children turned to books as a primary source of entertainment. Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki Tikki Tavi is the essence of children’s literature: an action packed story filled with adventures and heroics.

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  10. It should be generally assumed that nearly every book worthy of a Newberry Medal will be given a positive review on this site. While many books have made it to the top of my list of quality children’s literature, I would have to say that this one tops them all.. Bridge to Terebithia, by Katherine Paterson, is nothing short of brilliant.

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