Filigree’s Midnight Ride (At the Heels of History)
Written by Pam Berkman and Dorothy Hearst
Illustrated by Claire Powell
Age Level: 6 - 9
Grade Level: 1 – 4
I love history and historical fiction, and I couldn’t resist reading this book. Imagine combining dogs with history! Bow-wow-wow!
A British family throws out the Pomeranian for causing problems. She is one lucky dog – Paul Revere, the one from that midnight ride, adopts her for his sick little girl. Frances. She gives Filigree her new name, but the neighborhood dogs, the Patriot Pack, see her as a Redcoat. That doesn’t change until Paul makes that famous ride. You’ll have to read for yourself to find out how Filigree saves the day for Paul, and the Patriots.
Please read the Author’s note. It explains what’s true, and what’s not. That’s one of my favorite parts of a book, discovering the truth about historical events. Enjoy – because this book is good to the last page!
Juana & Lucas
Written and Illustrated by Juana Medina
Age Level: 5 - 8
Grade Level: K – 3
Would you like to travel to Columbia? Learn a little Spanish? This is the perfect chapter book for you! Meet Juana from Bogata, Columbia. She’ll show you the best things about growing up in Bogata from a kid’s point of view.
But life isn’t perfect. Juana is failing English at school, and if she doesn’t pull up her grades, Mom is canceling the trip to Spaceland. Juana speaks Spanish, and English makes absolutely no sense. The only one who understands – the dog, Lucas, and he’s no help. Will Juana make it to Spaceland? Read and find out!
PS – if you liked this book, there’s a sequel – Juana & Lucas: No Problemas.
Escape from Baxters' Barn
Written & Illustrated Rebecca Bond
Age Level: 8 - 12
Grade Level: 3 – 7
I loved this book back in 2015, and I still do. From the minute I saw it, I thought of Charlotte’s Web. So did School Library Journal.
The story starts when a stray cat named Burdock overhears someone say he’s going to burn the barn down for insurance money. Burdock calls a meeting of the farm animals, and it’s the beginning of a journey to save their lives. The animals must work together to plan an escape, or face a fiery death. There is a happy ending, but you’ll have to read to find out how the animals made it happen.
I admired this book so much I picked it as a mentor text for a story I’m writing. If I write half as well as Rebecca Bond, I’ll have a good story.
Big Bad Detective Agency
Written by Bruce Hale
Age Level: 7 - 10
Grade Level: 2 - 5
Looking for an easy chapter book that’s funny and punny? Try this one! It’s spun from some of my favorite fairy tales. Big Bad Wolf is accused of destroying three houses, the ones that happen to belong to the three little pigs.
Wolf is arrested. He claims he’s been framed, but he gets one day to prove his innocence. If he fails, he’ll spend his life in jail with nothing to eat but porridge. YUCK!
Wolf is clueless till the fourth little pig shows up with some crazy crime-solving ideas. He has to try them, or face a life of porridge. Read along to find out the verdict – and what’s for dinner.
The Girl Who Could Not Dream
Written by Sarah Beth Durst
Age Level: 10 - 12
Grade Level: 5 – 7
Dreams are a powerful force! That’s probably why this twisted title caught my eye, and the plot didn’t disappoint. Imagine a teen ager who doesn’t fit in and can’t dream. Add in parents who have a book store that’s a front for their real business, selling dreams and nightmares. Sophie notices a couple girls who look beyond tired. She raids her parents’ store to get them dream catchers. Sophie trades the used nightmare-catchers for fresh ones, and she starts to fit in, until Mr. Nightmare walks into the shop and threatens everyone. Only Sophie, the nondreamer, can save them. This is a great story for middle school kids with its mix of fantasy, dreams, and accepting yourself. Bonus points go to Sophie’s clever sidekick, her pet Monster, who’s a cat with tentacles instead of legs.
Owl Diaries #6: Baxter is Missing
Written and Illustrated by Rebecca Elliot
Age Level: 5 - 7
Grade Level: K – 2
This is a great series for young readers who want to get into chapter books. Eva has two problems to solve. Her pet bat Baxter is missing. It’s all she can think about even though she’d love to win a writing contest. It’s impossible! !How can Eva write a story when Baxter might be in danger? Don’t be afraid! Eva finds a happy ending for both her problems!
The Seven Tales of Trinket
Written by Shelley Moore Thomas
Age Level: 8 - 12
Grade Level: 4 – 6
This was one of the first books I read when I started journaling about my reading. I remember loving this story back in 2012. I still do!
Trinket is an orphan. Her mother died, and her father disappeared. There’s only one thing to do – to become a storyteller like her father. She sets off on a quest to become a bard. She must find seven tales of her own, and that isn’t easy. Each story becomes more difficult to find, to tell. Along the way Trinket learns what happened to her father, and it changes her life forever. Curious? You’ll have to read all seven tales for yourself.
The Wizards of Once
Written by Cressida Cowell
Age Level: 9 - 12
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Xar is a Wizard boy without a trace of magic, but he’ll do anything to get it.
Wish is a Warrior girl who owns something forbidden, something magical, and she’ll do anything to conceal it.
Xar and Wish thought they were on a regular adventure, searching for something they needed, something to keep secret from their parents. But along the way they meet and find themselves in the middle of a perilous quest. Something that’s been sleeping for centuries is calling them. There’s danger ahead and an unexpected ending.
Curious? Check out this book. It’s the first of a trilogy. I can’t wait to read the next two to find out what happens to Xar and Wish.
Written by Raman Prinja
Illustrated by Chris Wormell
Age Level: 8 – 12
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Welcome to the Museum, to the Planetarium! This is a Big Book, almost 15 inches tall, and every inch of it is beautiful. Confession – I didn’t read the whole book, but I looked at every single page at least once. I read the pages I was interested in. This book would make a great resource for a school or classroom library. It would also make a great present for someone who loves space. It was so well written, and best of all it wasn’t so technical I couldn’t understand it.
The left side of each page has 3-4 paragraphs of text. The right side has an illustration with a key that’s either numbered or lettered to guide you through what you’re seeing.
Did you know space begins 62 miles above the earth? Take a stroll through the 6 galleries of the Planetarium:
Written by Betsy Cornwell
Age Level: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 – 9
This is one of my favorite books! It’s Cinderella, but she’s a magical inventor. Nicolette is Cinderella. She must fight her stepsisters AND the magical predjudice that divided her parents. Her own father hated magic so much he refused to buy the medicine that would have saved her mother’s life. He remarries someone who’s normal, AKA nonmagical. When he dies, Nicolette finds herself servant to the steps. To survive she renames herself and retreats into a cocoon. But on her 16th birthday, magic finds its way inside. Like Cinderella Mechanica rises from the ashes. You’ll have to read to find out how, but warning . . . this version comes without the perfect Cinderella ending, and it’s still ONE GREAT BOOK!
PS- if you would like to help me and my book, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM, please consider doing one or both of these things – 1. Write an honest review and post it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Good Reads. It helps new readers find my book. 2. Recommend my book to your favorite library or librarian. Getting a book in a library opens up a new world of readers for me and Neil. If your library is short on cash, please consider gifting it to the library in your child’s honor. It’s a wonderful thing for you, your child, and most of all for your fellow readers. All the best – Rinda
Whenever I read or write, I find a comfy chair with a great view. I get my favorite drink, stretch out, and let the words take me away.