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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Reading Level 4, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 153
1. The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson, pictures by Garth Williams 97pp RL4

Written in 1958 and winner of the Newbery Honor, The Family Under the Bridge is the story of how an old hobo named Armand, who wants nothing of homes, responsibility and regular work, ends up with all of these as well as a family of children. Set in Paris, France in a time when hobos were more like wandering gypsies than the people living on the streets these days, the story follows Armand

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2. Secret Letters From 0 to10 by Susie Morgenstern, translated by Gill Rosner, 137pp RL 4

First reviewed on 11/16/08, Secret Letters from 0 + 10 left a great impression on me. A wonderful, quiet story, Morgenstern's writing is superlative. Your children will remember this book long into adulthood. Secret Letters from 0 to 10 by Susie Morgenstern is a gem of a book. It turned up on the shelves of the bookstore one day and I was drawn to the cover, its length and the fact that is

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3. Ms. Rapscott's Girls written and illustrated by Elise Primavera, 262 pp, RL: 4

Ms. Rapscott's Girls is the newest novel from Elise Primavera, author of one of my favorite books, Libby of High Hopes and I love it to bits! Ms. Rapscott's Girls, both the book and the titular character, call to mind classics from my childhood like Mary Poppins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and my absolute favorite, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Set firmly in the real world, there are generous

0 Comments on Ms. Rapscott's Girls written and illustrated by Elise Primavera, 262 pp, RL: 4 as of 3/9/2015 3:53:00 AM
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4. The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein, 235 pp, RL 4

Back in 2013 I read and loved Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein. Besides being a book about books, which of course I adore, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is written in a style that will attract a wide range of readers, from the avid to the unsure. In The Island of Dr. Libris, Grabbenstein once again creates an everyman main character, astutely weaving in

0 Comments on The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein, 235 pp, RL 4 as of 3/23/2015 5:15:00 AM
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5. brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, 328 pp, RL 4

Winner of the National Book Award, the Newbery Honor Medal (her third) and the Coretta Scott King Award for Authors, brown girl dreaming is worth every medal and more. Like the Newbery Medal winner this year, Kwame Alexander's Crossover, Woodson's book is a verse novel - two verse novels wining ALA awards in the same year! While Jacqueline Woodson's memoir in verse, brown girl dreaming, is

0 Comments on brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, 328 pp, RL 4 as of 4/22/2015 5:03:00 AM
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6. Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones, illustrated by Katie Kath, 216 pp. RL 4

I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones with perfect illustrations by Katie Kath! First, it is an epistolary novel, one of my favorite kinds of books. Next, in Sophie Brown, Jones has created an ethnic character who speaks matter-of-factly about being discriminated against because of the color of her skin. I am always thrilled to find

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7. 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

0 Comments on Masterminds by Gordon Korman, 336 pp, RL 4 as of 2/6/2015 3:56:00 AM
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8. 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

0 Comments on Hero by Sarah Lean, 196 pp, RL 4 as of 2/13/2015 5:13:00 AM
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9. 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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10. 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

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11. 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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12. 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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13. 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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14. 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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15. 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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16. 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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17. 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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18. 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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19. 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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20. 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

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21. 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

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22. 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

0 Comments on Winterfrost by Michelle Houts, 259pp, RL: 4 as of 12/8/2014 4:41:00 AM
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23. 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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24. 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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25. 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

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