Category Archives: juvenile books

Holiday Books

Hi, Sweeteas,

Here’s a revised list (new titles!) of last year’s recommended JFIC holiday books. Ask Santa for some of these, or borrow them from your local library.

All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown by Sydney Taylor

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

Christmas with Anne and Other Holiday Stories by L.M. Montgomery

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse by Nicholas Gannon

Dreidels on the Brain by Joel ben Izzy

The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson

Father Christmas and Me by Matt Haig

The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford

The Golden Dreydl by Ellen Kushner

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel and Trina Schart Hyman

Kringle by Tony Abbott

The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

A Little House Christmas Treasury by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Lotterys More or Less by Emma Donoghue


The Naughty List by Michael Fry

The No-Good Nine by John Bemelmans Marciano

Nutcracked by Susan Adrian

The Nutcracker Mice by Kristin Kladstrup and Brett Helquist

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Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

The Power of Light by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Santa’s Kwanzaa by Garen Eileen Thomas and Guy Francis

A Shiloh Christmas by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Top Elf by Caleb Zane Huett

Tru and Nelle: A Christmas Tale by G. Neri

The True Gift by Patricia MacLachlan

The Vanderbeekers of 141st St. by Karina Yan Glaser

When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke

Winterfrost by Michelle Houts

Young Scrooge by R.L.Stine

Happy holidays and happy reading!

“Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?” ~from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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Outdoor Adventures

Hello, Sweeteas,

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Happy first day of summer vacation!

I’ve put together a great list of juvenile books about outdoor adventures. Check them out!

Bears of Blue River (The) by Charles Major
Bearwalker by Joseph Bruchac
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry
Call of the Wild & others by Jack London
Cay (The) by Theodore Taylor
Chasing at the Surface by Sharon Mentyka
Downriver & others by Will Hobbs
End of the Wild (The) by Nicole Helget
Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (The) by Jacqueline Kelly
Explorer (The) by Catherine Rundell
Gentle Ben by Walt Morey
Girl Named Disaster (A) by Nancy Farmer
Gone-Away Lake & sequel by Elizabeth Enright
Hatchet & others by Gary Paulsen
Heart and Mind of Frances Pauley (The) by April Stevens
Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green by Helen Phillips
Hoot & others by Carl Hiaasen
Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
Incident at Hawk’s Hill by Allan W. Eckert
Island of the Blue Dolphins & others by Scott O’Dell
Island Series by Gordon Korman
Julie of the Wolves & sequels by Jean Craighead George
Jungle of Bones & others by Ben Mikaelsen
Keeper by Kathi Appelt
Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo
Leepike Ridge by N.D. Wilson
Lemons by Melissa Savage
Little Savages (The) by Ernest Thompson Seton
Lost in the Barrens and others by Farley Mowat
Lumberjanes Series by Mariko Tamaki
Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGee
My Side of the Mountain & others by Jean Craighead George
Nature Girl by Jane Kelley
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury
Operation Redwood by S Terrell French
Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C.Holling
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Quicksand Pond by Janet Taylor Lisle
Rascal by Sterling North
Sign of the Beaver (The) by Elizabeth George Speare
Skeleton Tree (The) by Iain Lawrence
Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
Someday Birds (The) by Sally Pla
Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
Stranded Series by Jeff Probst
Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls
Swiss Family Robinson (The) by Johann D. Wyss
Treasure at Lure Lake by Shari L.Schwartz
True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp (The) by Kathi Appelt
Walkabout by J.V. Marshall
Week in the Woods (A) by Andrew Clements
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Wild Life by Cynthia DeFelice
Wild Robot (The) by Peter Brown
Wilder Boys Series by Brandon Wallace
Wilderness by Roddy Doyle
Winter Camp by Kirkpatrick Hill
Wonder at the Edge of the World by Nicole Helget

My favorite from the list? The Wild Robot by Peter Brown:

A stranded robot learns about life by caring for an orphaned gosling and becoming an integral part of an island’s community of wild animals. An unusual and tender story about family and community values. The sequel, The Wild Robot Escapes, is now available.

Have a wonderful summer full of awesome books and adventures!

“Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have our tea first?” ~from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

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Asian / Asian American Characters

Hello, Sweeteas,

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Here’s a website with some great middle school books that feature Asian or Asian American characters.

Middle School books featuring Asian or Asian American characters

And here are two of my favorites books by Grace Lin (both inspired by Chinese folklore):

Happy reading!

“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” –Lin Yutang

 

 

 

 

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For Women’s History Month

Hello, Sweeteas,

I don’t want Women’s History Month to end without a few book recommendations. Here are some of my favorite classics/modern classics written by female authors and featuring strong female protagonists.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson

Happy reading!

P. S. Happy Easter too!

“Every clever bunny knows that tea refreshes – top to toes. So put the kettle on and brew, a lovely cup for me and you.”  -Found on Pinterest

 

 

 

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Five 2017 Gems

Hello, Sweeteas,

Here are five delightful 2017 books I recently enjoyed:

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell (2017) *****

Fred, Con, Lila, and Max are flying back to England from Manaus, Brazil. The small plane they’re on crashes in the Amazon, and the pilot dies. They must learn to get along, figure out how to survive in the jungle, and try to find their way back to civilization. Just as they’re running out of luck, Fred finds a map that leads them to an abandoned ancient city and its one mysterious inhabitant. Explorer is a thrilling survival story with interesting characters!

The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange (2017) *****

It’s 1919, Henrietta’s brother has died in a fire, her mother is severely depressed, and her father has taken a job abroad. She, her mother, nanny, and baby sister are now living in a new house full of strange secrets. Things start to get difficult when a doctor wants to place her mother in a mental hospital and his wife wants to take away her sister. How can Henrietta—who’s just a child— save her mother and baby sister and restore her family? Help comes from her brother’s lingering presence and the mysterious woman living in Nightingale Wood. This is a wonderful story of courage and perseverance in the face of overwhelmingly negative circumstances.

Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray (2017) ****

Molly thinks her mother, a potion maker, and her unusual family life are too different from her classmates’. She longs to be “normal” like her best friend Ellen. Molly’s grumpy neighbors are angry because of her mother’s noisy rooster, so her mother decides to make a potion that will quickly grow a tree between their houses. Unfortunately, she accidentally drinks the potion and turns into the tree. Now Molly must figure out how to save her mother before the neighbors start cutting down the tree branches that are reaching onto their property.  With the help of her inquisitive classmate Pim, she starts to appreciate the value of both the normal and the wondrous.

The Doorman’s Repose by Chris Raschka (2017) *****

Have you ever wondered what the lives of people living in a New York City’s posh apartment building are like? Here are ten fascinating stories about the inhabitants (including the mice) of one of those old buildings. The book gives young people a glimpse of adult life and an awareness of how people (and mice) living in close proximity affect each other. And did I mention that the elevator has feelings? A fun and poignant read!

The Murderer’s Ape by Jacob Wegelius (2017 English Translation) *****

Sally Jones, an extraordinary and super-talented gorilla, and the Chief are friends and partners. They operate a cargo boat business and live a pleasant and carefree life traveling from port to port. Unfortunately, their way of life is upended when one of their jobs turns out to be a dangerous con that ends badly, their boat sinks to the bottom of a river, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder. Sally Jones escapes and embarks on a quest to prove the Chief’s innocence. Her talents and good heart win her some good friends, but there are many–especially the ones behind the botched job–who seek to destroy her. This fabulous story is told from the gorilla’s point of view and contains wonderful characters, exotic settings, and exciting adventures.

Happy reading!

“If I were a wizard, I’m pretty sure my Patronus would be a steaming cup of coffee.” –Anonymous

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Holiday Books

Hi, Sweeteas,

Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Joyous Kwanzaa! There’s still time to ask Santa for a few awesome holiday books. Or you could borrow them from your local library. 🙂

Some suggestions:

All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown by Sydney Taylor


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson


A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig


Cabin Fever (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 6) by Jeff Kinney


The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse by Nicholas Gannon

The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson


Dreidels on the Brain by Joel ben Izzy


Father Christmas and Me by Matt Haig


The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig


Greenglass House by Kate Milford


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis


The Naughty List by Michael Fry


Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee


Santa’s Kwanzaa by Garen Eileen Thomas and Guy Francis


Top Elf by Caleb Zane Huett


Tru and Nelle: A Christmas Tale by G. Neri


The Vanderbeekers of 141st St. by Karina Yan Glaser


When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke


Winterfrost by Michelle Houts


Young Scrooge by R.L.Stine

Happy reading!

“Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?” ~from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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September/October Reads

Hello, Sweeteas,

I trust you’ve all had a wonderful beginning of the new school year.

September is Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), so here’s a fantastic website on latinx YA, middle grade, and children’s literature:

www.latinosinkidlit.com

And here’s the link to the Young People’s Literature National Book Award longlist (scroll to the bottom of the page.)

www.nationalbook.org

Also, it’s Banned Books Week (Sept. 24-30).

You can participate by reading books from this list:

Frequently Challenged Children’s Books

Finally, here are five book recommendations:

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman ****

Twelve-year-old Nick runs away from his unpleasant uncle and ends up an apprentice to the bewildering and powerful Wizard Smallbone. Magical adventures follow!

Quicksand Pond by Janet Taylor Lisle ****

Quicksand Pond has a history of murders and disappearances. That’s where troubled Terri lives with her problem family. When twelve-year-old Jessie comes with her family to spend the summer, the two girls form an unlikely friendship that deeply affects both their lives.

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder ****

Six children live on a mysterious island that provides for all their needs. Once a year, a boat appears, bringing a new child to join them and taking the eldest away. What will happen if one year the eldest refuses to leave?

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk *****

When she was but a newborn baby, twelve-year-old Crow was set adrift in a small boat from one of the tiny Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. She was rescued and raised by Osh, a solitary man living on another one of the islands, with the help of his neighbor, Miss Maggie. An unexpected sighting prompts Crow to investigate the mystery of her birth.

Brilliant by Roddy Doyle and Emily Hughes ****

The Black Dog of Depression has descended over Dublin and only the children can stop it. One night, siblings Raymond and Gloria decide to run after the elusive dog. As they chase the dog, they are joined by dozens, then hundreds, and finally thousands of other children. They have one weapon against the dog’s negative power: the word “brilliant.”

Happy reading!

“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.” -Abraham Lincoln

 

 

 

 

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