not recommended


So-called "modern classic" promotes relativism

Jennifer Minicus | 31 Oct 2014
written for ages 9-12 | not recommended
I will probably take some heat for this review.


Too much information for children

Jennifer Minicus | 15 Sep 2014
written for ages 9-12 | not recommended
Nate really wants to be an actor.


A lost opportunity

Jennifer Minicus | 22 Apr 2014
written for ages 11-14 | not recommended
Not this author's best effort.


Sweet story, sour delivery

Jennifer Minicus | 4 Feb 2014
written for ages 15-18 | not recommended
A romance for young adults that had much potential, but falls short.


An innocent joke carried too far

Jane Fagan | 3 Feb 2014
written for ages 7-10 | not recommended
An Amazon pick of 2013 falls short.


Emotions, morality, sexuality: when teens are confused

Clare Cannon | 24 Sep 2013
written for ages 13-16 | not recommended
Should we back off, add fuel to the fire, or hand them a road map?


IVF makes superheroes possible

Clare Cannon | 16 Jul 2013
written for ages 9-12 | not recommended
Forget magic; IVF blends fantasy with reality in today's superhero tales.


Was Snow White's Evil Stepmother a Victim of Circumstance?

Jennifer Minicus | 27 May 2013
written for ages 9-12 | not recommended
Have you ever wondered what is meant by, "They lived happily ever after?"


Compassionate Killing: the New Darling of Teen Lit

Clare Cannon | 3 May 2013
written for ages 15-18 | not recommended
Could it influence the next generation of voters, even those who've been taught better?


The Stravaganza Series

Tim Golden | 28 Feb 2013
written for ages 13-16 | not recommended
A series about the avenues of escape people choose when faced with difficulties.


The 2013 Newbery Medal Winner

Clare Cannon | 30 Jan 2013
written for ages 9-12 | not recommended
As a warm-hearted animal adventure, Katherine Applegate's "The One and Only Ivan" is a worthy tale. But it doesn't stop there.


The Sterkarm Handshake

Tim Golden | 20 Jan 2013
written for ages 13-16 | not recommended
The Time Tube allows people from the 21st century to travel to the 16th.


The Midwife's Apprentice

Margaret Hannon | 25 Sep 2012
written for ages 9-12 | not recommended
I like to think that a Newbery award winning book is a sure bet.


Shadowmancer

Tim Golden | 20 Sep 2012
written for ages 11-14 | not recommended
A somewhat confusing fantasy.


Postcards from No Man's Land

Tim Golden | 8 Jul 2012
written for ages 13-16 | not recommended
Winner of both the Michael J. Printz and Carnegie Medals? This reviewer has a different take on this book.


Book Reviews

5 Reasons Why I Won't See The Hunger Games

Clare Cannon | 23 Mar 2012
written for ages 15-18 | not recommended
This review probably won't be popular, but it's important to talk about these issues.


Mission Telemark

Tim Golden | 8 Mar 2012
written for ages 11-14 | not recommended
A disappointing mixture of kids' caper and wartime resistance.


The House of Special Purpose

Maryana Garcia | 4 Mar 2012
written for ages 18 + | not recommended
With such a talented author, I was expecting more.


Dead End in Norvelt

Jennifer Minicus | 22 Feb 2012
written for ages 11-14 | not recommended
Since last year's Newbery winner was so exceptional, I had high expectations for this year's choice. I was disappointed.


Midnight in Austenland

Clare Cannon | 31 Jan 2012
written for ages 18 + | not recommended
A great children's author takes inspiration from an old favourite... and kills it.

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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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