The War that Saved My Life

It seems like a crazy title - how on earth can a war save someone's life? But the title is true to the book. In The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Ada tells her story first-hand. It's a difficult story of abuse and neglect. Ada is crippled, and her mother refuses... Continue Reading →

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver

E.L. Konigsburg is best known for her wonderful book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  She also wrote one of our family's favorite books, A View from Saturday.  Now, I have to tell you about another of her books, A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver. This book focuses on the historical... Continue Reading →

Lizzy Bennet’s Diary

Marcia Williams has created a fun companion to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in Lizzy Bennet's Diary. Williams follows the storyline of Pride and Prejudice closely, including illustrations and small details of life not included in the book - like the fancy buttonholes Elizabeth is embroidering on a new waistcoat for her father. She also includes the "letters"... Continue Reading →

Black Horses for the King

Galwyn Varianus is down on his luck.  His father is dead and his fortune gone, so Galwyn must apprentice to his uncle, a boat captain.  He hates life at sea, but seeing no other option, does his best to fit in and work hard. Then, his uncle agrees to take on passengers - passengers who... Continue Reading →

The Kite that Bridged Two Nations

Can a kite really bridge two nations?  Homan Walsh wonders the same thing.  But Homan loves to fly kites, so when he finds out about a contest for kite flyers, he is ready to compete. The winner will receive $10 and the honor of determining the place to build a bridge between the U.S. and... Continue Reading →

Catherine, Called Birdy

Normally, I am not a fan of diary-form fiction, but I am making an exception for Karen Cushman's excellent book Catherine, Called Birdy. Birdy is an energetic, sharp-tongued girl living in medieval England.  She hates wearing skirts, hemming sheets, spinning, and needlepoint - basically everything about being a daughter of a knight.  She is especially... Continue Reading →

The Coffee Can Kid

Little Annie wants her dad to tell a story.  So she pulls down the blue coffee can, curls up on his lap, and listens to the story about the coffee can kid. Her father tells her of a baby born to a very poor mother in a land far away.  This mother, and grandmother could... Continue Reading →

Shadow of a Bull

Manolo has grown up in his father's shadow.  His father, the great bullfighter Juan Olivar, was killed during a fight when Manolo was just a small child.  But Juan is never far from Manolo's thoughts - the old men in his village won't let him forget.  He must always remember his father was the greatest... Continue Reading →

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