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A Mouse, an Owl, and a Mountain Dog: New Books for Older Readers

Sugar, by Jewell Parker Rhodes On the River Road Plantation, ten-year-old Sugar hates all things sweet, and hates her name. Slavery is over, but she and her family must harvest cane to make a living with her fellow plantation workers. Sugar is curious and vexed by this “freedom,” and cures her restlessness with the elders’ […]

October 16th, 2013

Drowned Towns, Eccentric Puzzles, and Time-Traveling Kids: New Books for Older Readers

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein Mr. Lemoncello, an eccentric game and puzzle designer, has funded a library in his home town. For the grand opening, Mr. Lemoncello (think Willy Wonka) holds an essay contest and a dozen lucky twelve-year-old winners will be the first to enter and encounter the mysteries of this […]

September 18th, 2013

Songs, Scouts, and Essays: New Books for Older Readers

The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata Newbery Award winner (Kira-Kira) Kadohata has created another sweet and gentle story about Japanese Americans living in unusual situations. Twelve-year-old Summer is convinced that her family has nothing but bad luck. She nearly died from malaria and harbors a fear of (and fascination for) mosquitoes, which are everywhere. […]

August 28th, 2013

Dolls, Wishes, and Secrets: New Books for Older Readers

Doll Bones by Holly Black, with illustrations by Eliza Wheeler The co-author of The Spiderwick Chronicles series has crafted a truly creepy tale of an old bone-china doll and the three friends that she may or may not be haunting. Zach’s dad threw away his action figures, so he can no longer play the game that […]

July 10th, 2013

Cats, Birds, and a New Colfer Series: New Books for Older Readers

Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron by Mary Losure, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering He couldn’t speak. He had no clothes. He lived in the forests, under the harsh, cold moon, as wild as a wolf or a fox. He was a young boy and when they caught him; they called him […]

June 19th, 2013

Escaped Prisoners, Grave Robbers, and Detectives: New Books for Older Readers

Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz Eleven-year-old Annie and her younger brother, Rew, live with their grandma in a run-down house at the edge of the forest. Gran tells them that their mother didn’t want them, and their father died in a fight with an angry man. Annie and Rew get the most joy reading […]

May 22nd, 2013

Resentment, adoration, ambivalence, love: siblings

In the three years that we’ve had this blog, we have never had a post explicitly about siblings. Which is surprising given that siblings are such a dominant part of childhood and an enormous part of almost all children’s books. So here are five siblings books from J Fiction that, with their mixed-up and conflicting […]

May 2nd, 2013

Science, Dragons, and Revolutions: New Books for Older Readers

Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor This beautiful new picture book tells the story of Rachel Carson’s life, from her nature-loving childhood through her 1962 publication of Silent Spring, the book that launched modern environmentalism. Carson was a biologist by training at a time when few women entered scientific […]

April 17th, 2013