As a woman, getting a medical degree in the 1880s was no small task, and Martha Hughes Cannon was determined to do so in order to better serve those in her Utah pioneer community. Her Quiet Revolution by Marianne Monson (Shadow Mountain, 2020), a work of historical fiction, captures the life of this frontier doctor,

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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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Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan is a powerful story about a rich and spoiled Mexican girl whose sudden impoverishment in the 1930s takes her into the migrant worker camps of California. It teaches much about the Great Depression as well as discrimination during that period.  At the beginning of the novel, Esperanza lives a

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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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When I was a kid, I had a bike and a backpack. I’d ride up to the library at least once a week all summer long and check out a bag full of books. The next week, I’d take them all back and restock. If I found an author I liked, I would check out

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Love by the Morning Star by Laura L. Sullivan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers, June 2014) is a World War II historical fiction novel for teenagers with an amusing role reversal! Much like in stories like The Prince and the Pauper, in Love by the Morning Star, two girls get assigned to the wrong roles. When

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Sometimes a clever and intriguing story line makes a novel great. Sometimes, it is the interaction of a number of interesting characters. And other times, a novel is great because because of the carefully developed setting that gives life to the situations and characters. In One Came Home (January 2013, Knopf Books for Young Readers),

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Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse (1991) is a coming-of-age story, this time dealing with a 12-year-old Russian immigrant traveling alone. But Rifka is not an ordinary traveler. She expects to do “everything” once she reaches America, but first she has to get there. When sickness keeps her behind, she learn to survive on her own, hoping

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I have found that since I began homeschooling (two years ago now) and since my second child has been born, I have refocused most of my reading energy to picture books and chapter books, especially those that I loved as a child. This week I revisited the family of five girls, All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney

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Friends of Liberty by Beatrice Gormley is a chapter book about two girls living in Boston during the early years of the American Revolution. One of the girls (Kitty) is from a wealthy Tory family, and the other girl (Sally) is from a more modest family that supports the revolutionary leaders. Although the girls are

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