recommended


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.


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.


Nepotism undermines military strength

Jennifer Minicus | 28 Jul 2015
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
Will Alexios ever live down his mistake?


This story strikes a blow for female independence

Tim Golden | 17 Jul 2015
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
14-year-old Clare lives with her elderly maiden aunts.


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.


Feminists accuse author of mysogyny

Jane Fagan | 17 Jun 2015
written for ages 7-10 | recommended
Roald Dahl claimed that all witches are women.


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.


Parents lose boy overseas

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


No pet is more loyal than a dog

Jennifer Minicus | 22 Apr 2015
written for ages 7-10 | recommended
Two picture books sure to please canine lovers.


An unexpected hero

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


Banished to Siberia

Jennifer Minicus | 13 Apr 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Two young children set out to find their exiled parents.


True confessions

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


The verdict is in on this year's Caldecott winners

Jennifer Minicus | 24 Feb 2015
written for None | recommended
Worth a trip to the library, but probably not the bookstore.


Cat helps boy overcome dyslexia

Jennifer Minicus | 23 Feb 2015
written for ages 9-12 | recommended
Abby and Ben love the misfit animals in their grandfather's barn.


Educating character through fables

Jennifer Minicus | 17 Feb 2015
written for all ages | recommended
A collection of short virtue stories.


Friendship does not always require words

Jennifer Minicus | 13 Feb 2015
written for ages 2-7 | recommended
This author says it all with pictures.


Children facing starvation

Tim Golden | 23 Jan 2015
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
Mamo and Dani learn to survive on the streets of an Ethiopian city.

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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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