recommended


Octopus terrifies villagers

Jennifer Minicus | 25 Jan 2016
written for ages 7-10 | recommended
In reality, the sea creature has more to fear than they.


A young adult novel with a message of hope

Barb Szyszkiewicz | 12 Jan 2016
written for ages 13-16 | recommended
Suicide is a difficult and dark subject.


Bullied teen finds an unexpected friend

Barb Szyszkiewicz | 18 Dec 2015
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
A suspenseful read, appropriate for middle- and high-school.


Bedtime proves challenging for older siblings

Jane Fagan | 23 Nov 2015
written for ages 2-7 | recommended
Jessie's big sister can't sleep.


Revenge-seeking ghosts steal ship from museum

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


Boy beats boredom with a balloon

Jennifer Minicus | 21 Oct 2015
written for ages 2-7 | recommended
Nothing ever seems to happen in Sebastian's neighborhood.


Mother confronts youth entitlement

Jennifer Minicus | 5 Oct 2015
written for ages 18 + | recommended
An antidote to the "me" generation.


Classic children's book elicits ambivalent reaction

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


Man goes to great lengths to gain his love

Jane Fagan | 21 Sep 2015
written for ages 7-10 | recommended
Mr. Hopper is a shy, elderly man secretly in love.


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.


Birds of a feather flock together

Jennifer Minicus | 4 Sep 2015
written for ages 2-7 | recommended
Mr. Brown is proud of his hat.


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.

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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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