written for ages 11-14


Tragedy at sea leads to mystery and suspense

Tim Golden | 28 Aug 2015
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
At age fifteen, Adam must take control of his family's business in 17th century Amsterdam.


Cursed knight rescues damsel in distress

Jennifer Minicus | 11 Aug 2015
written for ages 11-14 | acceptable
A quick summer read.


Everything tastes better on a waffle

Jennifer Minicus | 1 Jul 2015
written for ages 11-14 | acceptable
Primrose's parents are lost at sea.


Life is nothing but a board game

Tim Golden | 24 Jun 2015
written for ages 11-14 | acceptable
A cross between science fiction and fantasy.


City boy meets country boy

Tim Golden | 5 Jun 2015
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
A series of short stories.


A determined young patriot saves West Point

Jennifer Minicus | 22 May 2015
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
Sophia's patriotism is put to the test.


Boy travels through time to find parents

Tim Golden | 27 Apr 2015
written for ages 11-14 | acceptable
Inoffensive but uninspiring.


An unexpected hero

Tim Golden | 17 Apr 2015
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
An Italian family hides Allied servicemen from the Nazis.


Poetry takes the Newbery

Jennifer Minicus | 2 Apr 2015
written for ages 11-14 | acceptable
This year's finalists lack literary merit.


True confessions

Jennifer Minicus | 2 Mar 2015
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
Thirteen-year-old girl turns mutineer.


Djinni, magic and revenge, part 2

Tim Golden | 27 Feb 2015
written for ages 11-14 | recommended with reservations
The Bartimaeus Trilogy's middle book.


Soccer player solves murder mystery

Jennifer Minicus | 6 Feb 2015
written for ages 11-14 | acceptable
Ingrid is an avid Sherlock Holmes fan.


A book that became a TV show

Tim Golden | 1 Dec 2014
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
Robert is bullied by Niker but befriended by Kate.


A battle with a dragon

Jennifer Minicus | 4 Nov 2014
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
A book for fans of historical fiction and fantasy.


A friendship that crosses race barriers

Jennifer Minicus | 10 Oct 2014
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
Young Phillip overcomes racial prejudices.


The origin of the universe

Jennifer Minicus | 24 Sep 2014
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
Bernie has always wanted to create his own universe.


Angels among us

Jennifer Minicus | 14 Aug 2014
written for ages 11-14 | acceptable
Vero discovers he is not really human.


Imaginative book for mature readers to be released this month

Jane Fagan | 11 Aug 2014
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
A story of quest and fantasy.


Newbery runner-up bewitches readers

Jennifer Minicus | 13 May 2014
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
An extremely well-written Victorian Gothic novel.


Adventure and allegory

Tim Golden | 9 May 2014
written for ages 11-14 | acceptable
Aidan finds mysterious scrolls in his grandfather's basement.

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Reading Matters is MercatorNet’s blog about children’s literature. Our goal is to enable parents and educators to find quality books for young people. For an explanation of our evaluation system, click here. We welcome reader input and new reviewers. We love comments on the book reviews. Write to us at jennifer.minicus@mercatornet.com.


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 our picks for
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7-10 years 15-18 years
9-12 years 18 and over
11-14 years all ages

 our standards
highly recommended: you must read this!
recommended: age-appropriate and entertaining
acceptable: not outstanding but not problematic
some reservations: contains potentially problematic scenes or concepts
not recommended: not appropriate for intended readers


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