written for ages 9-12


There is no place like home

Jennifer Minicus | 27 Nov 2015
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
Rendi did not know how hard running away would be.


Revenge-seeking ghosts steal ship from museum

Jennifer Minicus | 10 Nov 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Lewis has unexpected roommates.


Not all popular books are worthwhile

Jennifer Minicus | 4 Nov 2015
written for ages 9-12 | not recommended
Best-selling fantasy story falls short.


Book Reviews

Best books for girls ages 10-12

Jocelyne Freundorfer | 27 Oct 2015
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
A school librarian provides a list of suggested titles.


Classic children's book elicits ambivalent reaction

Jennifer Minicus | 29 Sep 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Should reviewers ignore personal taste?


Boy's imagination opens mysterious gate

Jennifer Minicus | 23 Sep 2015
written for ages 9-12 | acceptable
Teddy has a vivid imagination.


Book Reviews

Famous illustrator highlights courage of WWI soldiers

Jane Fagan | 16 Sep 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
A slice of Australian history


Local bookstore worker solves mystery

Jennifer Minicus | 8 Sep 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
A warm story about family and literary classics.


Children seek to avert war in cultural exchange

Jennifer Minicus | 19 Aug 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended with reservations
Lexie's class is sending a Friendship Doll to Japan.


Orphans uncover kidnapping scheme

Jennifer Minicus | 13 Aug 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Caro befriends a mouse living in the walls of her orphanage.


Giant rats capture New Yorker

Jennifer Minicus | 5 Aug 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Gregor had no idea there was another world underground.


It takes a village - or a lighthouse

Jennifer Minicus | 20 Jul 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended with reservations
Can a school replace parents?


The book was better than the movie

Jane Fagan | 15 Jul 2015
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
Two movie versions fail to capture Roald Dahl's story.


Toy canoe sails the St. Lawrence

Jennifer Minicus | 7 Jul 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
A young boy sends his handmade boat on an adventure.


Boy nearly dies after bee attack

Jennifer Minicus | 26 Jun 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Native Americans befriend a young settler.


The New York Times compared this book to the Narnia series

Jennifer Minicus | 8 Jun 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended with reservations
No lion, no wardrobe and no allegory.


Scientists discover that aliens cause climate change

Jennifer Minicus | 2 Jun 2015
written for ages 9-12 | acceptable
Government and big business are behind the cover-up.


This spooky story has a more adult perspective

Jane Fagan | 28 May 2015
written for ages 9-12 | not recommended
A watered-down horror story aimed at children.


Parents lose boy overseas

Tim Golden | 5 May 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Peter makes the most of a tough situation.


Affirmation empowers

Jennifer Minicus | 1 May 2015
written for ages 9-12 | highly recommended
A young elf proves that compassion is stronger than any weapon.

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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
2-7 years 13-16 years
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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