One girl goes on a very unique trip to Grandma’s house in The Bus Ride by Marianne Dubac (Kids Can Press, 2015). At first, as she boards a bus with her mother’s watchful eye, the reader may believe she is just any kid traveling to Grandmother’s house. To the reader’s surprise, this girl enters a

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The Left Behinds series so far contains two different historical fiction novels with time travel adventures in which preteens must save the day. In The iPhone that Saved George Washington, three kids travel to 1776 to discover that George Washington has been shot. Can they reverse this alternate history before history is changed forever? In Abe

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We recently listened to an amazing audiobook that surprised me by its depth and language. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin is a Newbery Honor book for good reason. By weaving Chinese traditional folktale into a modern story about a girl living in poverty, Ms Lin creates a fairy tale odyssey that

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Remember the last dream you had that seemed to be completely random? One minute it makes sense: the next minute it doesn’t. Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman is a strange, dream-like story. It is a story told by a father to his children as an explanation of why he took too long to go to

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I love Jane Yolen’s talent for writing extends from children’s picture books and poetry to middle grade and older books! Her books almost always seem to delight or intrigue me, and her recent contribution to the middle grade bookshelf is no exception. Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen (Macmilian Children’s Publishing Group, October 2014) is a fantasy novel

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My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet (published 1948) won the Newbery Honor upon publication. It is an adventure story about a child and geared for a child. In this story, a child named Elmer Elevator (called “my father” throughout the book) befriends an alley cat, who tells him of a captured dragon forced to

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Super Red Riding Hood by Claudia Dávila (Kids Can Press, August 2014) is a twist on the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood, with an emphasis on the super powers of Ruby, a girl who has no fear … or does she? With delightful cartoon-like and friendly illustrations, Ruby’s story shows us that sometimes our

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When I saw The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber (originally published 1950; republished New York Review of Books) had an introduction by Neil Gaiman and was a part of The New York Review Children’s Collection, I was intrigued. The Thirteen Clocks is a short and bizarre fairy tale. Or fantasty story. Neil Gaiman describes it as

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The cartoon-like illustrations in Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke (First Second Books, September 2014) perfectly match the child-like imaginative story.  It begins with fantastic personification: Julie’s house came to town and settled by the sea. And Julia is obviously not a normal girl, for when she decides to open her home to lost

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The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit (published 1907) is a tale of modern magical enchantments. Three children, Gerald (Jerry), Jimmy, and Kathleen (Cathy), stumble upon a large estate that reminds them of a castle; in their play-acting, they stumble upon a sleeping girl they decide must be a princess. Despite her later declaration that she

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