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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Reading Level 4, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 146
1. Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby, 336 pp, RL 4

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby winner of the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery. And, while this award is well deserved,  Icefall is so much more than a mystery - it is a coming of age story and a story within a story as well, with memories coming together to create something greater than the mystery itself. In fact, Icefall reminds me of Shannon Hale's Newbery Honor winning Princess

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2. Capital Days: Michael Shiner's Journal and the Growth of Our Nation's Capital by Tonya Bolden, 96 pp, RL: 4

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, is set during the days before the American Revolution and is narrated by a thirteen-year-old slave girl. It is one of my favorite historical fiction novels and why I was so excited to read Capital Days: Michael Shiner's Journal and the Growth of Our Nation by multi-award winning author Tonya Bolden. For this book, Bolden, who was writing another book when

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3. Hero by Sarah Lean, 196 pp, RL 4

Hero is the newest book from  Sarah Lean. I reviewed A Hundred Horses last year and was impressed and moved by her story of a mysterious girl without a family, another girl mourning the absence of her father and a legend about wild horses. Hero didn't quite grab me right from the start, the way A Hundred Horses did, but once I was hooked I could not put the book down. Hero begins with

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4. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mulally Hunt, 267 pp, RL: 4

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt will (and has in many advance reviews) be compared to RJ Palacio's Wonder for her portrayal of an outsider on the edges of mainstream education, an increasingly popular theme in middle grade literature. Palacio's main character Auggie, who struggles with a physical deformity, shares narrative duties with a few other characters, but his voice is

0 Comments on Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mulally Hunt, 267 pp, RL: 4 as of 2/16/2015 5:53:00 AM
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5. Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai, 260 pp, RL: 4

I had the good fortune to listen to Thanhhà Lai talk about her new book, Listen, Slowly, before sitting down to write this review. In this interview, Lai talks about how she came to write her first, multiple-award-winning book, Inside Out and Back Again, the semi-autobiographical story of a young refugee's move from Vietnam to Alabama: I have very specific reasons for writing in prose

0 Comments on Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai, 260 pp, RL: 4 as of 2/20/2015 3:53:00 AM
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6. Crossover by Kwame Alexander, 237 pp, RL: 4

I am embarrassed to admit that I had The Crossover by Kwame Alexander sitting on my bookshelf for almost a year before it won the Newbery Award this year. I read the blurb about basketball phenom Josh Bell and his twin brother Jordan and couldn't get excited, even though I LOVE verse novels and am continually amazed by them. It's just that I have zero interest in sports and sports stories.

0 Comments on Crossover by Kwame Alexander, 237 pp, RL: 4 as of 2/23/2015 7:41:00 AM
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7. The Popularity Papers: The Less-Than-Hidden Secrets and Final Revelations of Lydia Goldberg and Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow, 208 pp, RL 4

Tomorrow marks the end of a really, supremely, special era that began back in 2011. Book 7 of The Popularity Papers, The Less-than-Hidden Secrets and Final Revelations of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang, will be published. Amy Ignatow may have been capitalizing on the popularity of the Dork Diaries and Diary of a Wimpy Kid when she created the diaries of Lydia and Julie, 5th graders

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8. Magic in the Mix by Annie Barrows, 278 pp, RL: 4

You probably know Annie Barrows for her fantastic ivy + bean series, now 10 books strong (you can read my review here) but my first introduction to Annie Barrows was when I reviewed her book The Magic Half in 2010. Published in 2007, this story captured my imagination and has stayed with me. I was THRILLED when I learned that Barrows was working on a sequel and am happy to say that it's

0 Comments on Magic in the Mix by Annie Barrows, 278 pp, RL: 4 as of 9/15/2014 5:08:00 AM
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9. Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire, 479 pp, RL 5

Many of you probably know Gregory Maguire as the author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. I discovered it a year or so after it was published in 1995 in the bargain section of the bookstore where I worked and remember how thrilling it was to read back then. Long a fan of fairy tales, I was amazed to learn that a meal could be made of a behind the scenes, adult

0 Comments on Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire, 479 pp, RL 5 as of 10/27/2014 6:27:00 AM
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10. Winterfrost by Michelle Houts, 259pp, RL: 4

Winterfrost  by Michelle Houts features a mythical creature that captured my imagination as a child - gnomes, also known as "nisse." Gnomes was one of the first books I remember purchasing with my own, hard earned money, and I think it also is the first encyclopedic book about a fictional creature. Winterfrost  is a superb story that combines holiday and cultural traditions with a story of

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11. Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny, 355 pp, RL 4

Full disclosure here:  I have been a fan of Jason Segel's since watching the television show Freaks & Geeks ages ago. Having grown up with the Muppets, I was further impressed by Segel when I heard an interview in which he spoke passionately and thoughtfully about co-writing and acting in the Muppets revival movie. This, along with the fact that Segel had the good sense to team up with

0 Comments on Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny, 355 pp, RL 4 as of 12/22/2014 11:48:00 PM
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12. The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, illustrated by Kevin Cornell, 224 pp, RL 4

  The Terrible Two is the first book in new series created by authors with serious pedigrees in kid's books and humor, Mac Barnett and Jory John and perfectly, illustrated by self-proclaimed "mediocre illustrator and humorist," Kevin Cornell. As a parent, bookseller, composer of personalized book lists and librarian, I get asked for funny books all the time. Unfortunately, writing (good)

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13. The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford, illustrated by Kelly Murphy, 203 pp, RL 4

**This book really got my wheels spinning and I found that I had a lot to say about it before even getting to the plot. Skip to the third paragraph if that is what you came for...** Despite my love of girl detectives and historical England, I have to admit that I felt a bit more skeptical than excited when The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Moonstone arrived at

0 Comments on The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford, illustrated by Kelly Murphy, 203 pp, RL 4 as of 1/19/2015 6:01:00 AM
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14. Masterminds by Gordon Korman, 336 pp, RL 4

Way back in 2011 I reviewed Swindle by Gordon Korman. As a bookseller and now a librarian, it is the perfect go-to book for boys who don't like to read. My quick pitch for Swindle, which is now a seven book series, is to tell kids and parents that it's basically a heist story, like the movie Ocean's Eleven but with kids. Korman is a skilled writer who can tell a fast-paced story with

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15. The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver, 246 pp, RL 4

THE SPINDLERS is now in paperback! Lauren Oliver is the author of the brilliant YA dystopian trilogy that beings with Delirium and a society where romantic love is considered a disease that should and can be eradicated from the human experience on a child's eighteenth birthday (after all, love can make you feel like you are on the top of the world or in the depths of despair.) She is also

0 Comments on The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver, 246 pp, RL 4 as of 5/22/2014 3:46:00 AM
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16. The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier, 366 pp, RL 4

The Night Gardener is the second novel from Jonathan Auxier (check out his fantastic blog The Scop) with perfectly creepy cover art by Patrick Arrasmith. Auxier's first book, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, an excellent story that reads like a cross between Peter Pan and Treasure Island with a bit of Dickensian drama thrown in for good measure. With The Night Gardener, Auxier has set

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17. Wait til Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn, 184 pp, RL 4

I have long known (from personal and professional experience) that somewhere around fourth grade, readers get a serious taste for spooky stories. Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories Trilogy, the first of which was published in 1981, is perennially popular with all readers and just received a cover update by the inimitable Brett Helquist, although I do miss Stephen Gammell's original, creepy

0 Comments on Wait til Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn, 184 pp, RL 4 as of 5/26/2014 4:06:00 AM
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18. About Average, by Andrew Clements, 128 pp, RL 4

ABOUT AVERAGE is now in paperback! <!-- START INTERCHANGE - ABOUT AVERAGE -->if(!window.igic__){window.igic__={};var d=document;var s=d.createElement("script");s.src="http://iangilman.com/interchange/js/widget.js";d.body.appendChild(s);} <!-- END INTERCHANGE --> Andrew Clements is a prolific author of the bestselling (as in, 2.5 million) story about a boy who makes up a new word,

0 Comments on About Average, by Andrew Clements, 128 pp, RL 4 as of 5/31/2014 9:49:00 AM
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19. The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry, 772 pp, RL 4

If, like me, you are slightly put out by the fact that your copies of the four books in The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry do not have matching covers. At least, this is the case if you bought the books as they were released (no pun intended.) The Giver was published in 1993, Gathering Blue in 2000, Messenger in 2004 and Son in 2012. You can buy them all in hardcover with the new covers,

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20. The Story of Buildings by Patrick Dillon, illustrated by Stephen Biesty, 96 pp, RL 4

For those of you not familiar with the amazing work of Stephen Biesty, be sure to read my review ofInto the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea and Air, written by Stewart Ross. Sadly, most of Biesty's cross section books are now out of print, but his work shines even brighter when he pairs with other authors, as in Into the Unknown, and now The Story of Buildings,

0 Comments on The Story of Buildings by Patrick Dillon, illustrated by Stephen Biesty, 96 pp, RL 4 as of 6/24/2014 5:16:00 AM
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21. The Genius Files, Book 1: MISSION UNSTOPPABLE by Dan Gutman, 285 pp, RL 4

Confession: Even though he has been around for a long time and his books take up a lot of shelf space, even though I have heard him speak at a conference and was entertained, enthralled and excited by what he had to say about kids, books and reading, I have not read a book by  Dan Gutman until now. His Baseball Card Series is a staple for me as a bookseller and librarian - a sports story

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22. The Unwanteds: Book 1, by Lisa McMann, 400 pp, RL 4

The Unwanteds, the first book in Lisa McMann's Unwanteds series came out in 2011 and the blurb on the cover, "The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter," didn't grab me, despite the fact that I read and admire both series. I was  burned out on dystopian settings and wary of any book that is compared to Harry Potter. But, The Unwanteds won the California Young Reader Medal medal for best

0 Comments on The Unwanteds: Book 1, by Lisa McMann, 400 pp, RL 4 as of 8/11/2014 4:46:00 AM
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23. Fleabrain Loves Franny by Joanne Rocklin, 263 pp, RL 4

Fleabrain Loves Franny is the newest book by a favorite of mine, Joanne Rocklin, with fantastic cover art by Kelly Murphy. Fleabrain Loves Franny begins in 1952 when three life changing things happen to ten-year-old Franny Katzenback: she contracts polio and she reads  and is enamored with the new book by E.B.White, Charlotte's Web, given to her in the hospital by Sister Ed, an enthusiastic

0 Comments on Fleabrain Loves Franny by Joanne Rocklin, 263 pp, RL 4 as of 8/12/2014 5:10:00 AM
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24. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1: The Mysterious Howling, by Maryrose Wood, illustrated by Jon Klassen, 267 pp, RL 4

I have had a copy of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood on my shelf since 2010 when it was released. While the plot sounded interesting, I have hung on to it for over four years, hoping to get to it someday, because of the completely charming  illustrations by a favorite of mine, Jon Klassen. Now, four years later and four books into

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25. El Deafo by Cece Bell, 233 pp, RL: 4

Cece Bell's graphic novel memoir, El Deafo, with color by David Lasky, tells the story of losing 80% of her hearing at age four and has been getting a lot of well deserved advance attention. The  review copy boasts stellar blurbs from, among others, R.J. Palacio, author of Wonder, and Raina Telgemeier, author of the graphic novel, Smile. Palacio, Telgemeier and Bell's amazing books about

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