Classic children’s book elicits ambivalent reaction

Jennifer Minicus | 29 September 2015
Should reviewers ignore personal taste?

The man behind the award

Jennifer Minicus | 26 March 2015
Randolph Caldecott's illustrations have provided inspiration for hundreds of children's picture books.

Beloved author continues to enchant young readers

Jane Fagan | 30 October 2014
Imaginative characters never go out of style.

Witness to murder

Jennifer Minicus | 12 September 2014
Can twelve-year-old Smith uncover the murderers' motives before becoming the next victim?

Does gender matter?

Jane Fagan | 13 June 2014
Is inclusive language necessary in children's literature?

The worst thing about summer vacation

Jennifer Minicus | 19 May 2014
The dreaded required reading list.

Is there truth behind this legend?

Jennifer Minicus | 10 January 2014
A possible origin of the Hungarian people.

Should young ladies know how to swim?

Jennifer Minicus | 09 December 2013
A must read for young women hoping to marry someday.

A story that tugs at the heart

Jane Fagan | 03 October 2013
A classic read-aloud for younger children.

War pits brother against brother

Jennifer Minicus | 22 August 2013
An award winning book about the American Civil War.

A Treasured Classic Revisited

Tim Golden | 16 June 2013
A fitting conclusion to the trials of Mister Toad.

Books of innocence and experience

Clare Cannon | 13 June 2013
Why are so many adults reading young adult literature? It used to be the other way around.

A “Must Have” for Every Child’s Personal Library

Jennifer Minicus | 29 April 2013
An absolutely charming collection of stories from the woman who wrote the lyrics to "Morning Has Broken."

The Adventures of Richard Hannay

Tim Golden | 16 April 2013
A quintessential spy story.

The Swallows and the Amazons Series

Tim Golden | 07 March 2013
Three families of children enjoy themselves outdoors.

Spindle’s End

Tim Golden | 20 December 2012
A modern retelling of an old fairy tale for young adults.


Jennifer Minicus | 16 October 2012
An amusing yet touching memoir of life in Wisconsin during WWI.

The Secret Garden

Tim Golden | 04 September 2012
A timeless classic

The Door in the Wall

Jennifer Minicus | 24 May 2012
This classic Newbery winner teaches some important lessons.

Cosmic Trilogy

Tim Golden | 19 May 2012
The first book in a science fiction trilogy from a beloved children's author.

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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

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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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