Ah, sigh. When you find the just right book for the just right time in your life, it feels magical! A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus (Holiday House, February 2021) was just right. My then fourth-grader and I read it aloud last year, and it took a lot of willpower to pace

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How to Stay Invisible by Maggie C. Rudd (Atheneum Books, June 2023) is a survival story as well as a moving example of child abandonment and homelessness, but it also stands strong as a story of friendship and finding oneself. Twelve-year-old Raymond has never felt close to anyone, with his parents frequently moving at will

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Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin (Sourcebooks, 2018) is a graphic novel that illustrates the fictional story of two orphaned brothers traveling illegally from their home in Ghana to Europe, hoping to reunite with their sister, who illegally traveled the same route years before. On their journey, they face robbers and homelessness as they

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Bleak House (published serially 1852-1853) is a sweeping saga of epic proportions. Charles Dickens obviously planned the plot carefully, especially by providing an introduction and characters for the bulk of the first third of the novel, so that the last third of the novel would swiftly move to a satisfying conclusion that ties all the

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Delia has recently been orphaned and finds herself among a truly odd assortment of characters when she arrives at Oddfellow Bluebeard’s orphanage. Each child at Oddfellow’s Orphange has something that sets them apart from the others, from the boy with an onion head, to the girl with blue tattoos all over her body, to a

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Given my recent emphasis on Victorian Literature, I don’t think it would surprise you to know I’ve enjoyed all the Charles Dickens novels I’ve read thus far. A Christmas Carol (discussed here) is one I have read regularly during the holidays since I was a teenager, and while I didn’t love the other Christmas novellas,

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The Graveyard Book was my first Neil Gaiman novel. Despite the fact that bloggers seem to have a special fondness for Gaiman, I just never felt inclined to give his books a read. I’m not a huge fan of fantasy (I’m not sure why) and I’m also less inclined to read something just because the

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Oliver Twist surprised me. Oliver’s story is familiar to me: I watched the musical many times as a young girl (my mother fast forwarding past That Scene). I loved the music and found the characters delightful. I always loved Artful Dodger! And yet, when I read the book, I was surprised. I expected this book

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