The Downstairs Girl

Historical fiction set in the deep south can give us insight into personal difficulties that other people these days might seem happy to bury. This story focuses on Jo Kuan and the way her own pluck and talent help in the fight against racism and inequality.

Warcross

If you are ready for stories for the next generation, then Warcross is your novel. Warcross brings readers to a near-future world where virtual reality (VR) is literally everywhere.

The Heroes Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

I was always drawn to books with classical heroes and sword play, but like most every kid alive (and as mentioned in previous posts) I loved to laugh. This book has all of this and then some. Slapstick humor and fully fleshed and (wonderfully funny) characters bring this story of down-on-their luck heroes to life.

Land of Stories: Wishing Spell

If I could credit one book with giving my daughter the bug to read, it might be this one. Or perhaps, I’d just credit the whole series. This was the first BIG series that she undertook, and the assembly of fairy tales into an exciting novel was enough to hook her for the rest of the series.

Blood on the River

This book was provided to me by my Mom, because she knows how much I love historical fiction. What I discovered while reading it was a wonderfully crafted book that follows a boy’s journey to the English settlement of Jamestown.

Panic

I was fortunate enough to meet Lauren Oliver at yet another great event at our local bookstore, Edmond’s Best of Books. She was joined by Adam Silvera, and they offered a scintillating talk about writing inspirations, techniques, and character-driven plots.

The Call

By Paeder O’Guilin Published 2016 AR level: 5.5 AR points: 11.0 Word Count: 71019 I suggest 8th through 12th grade. This is a drastic departure from the previous books I’ve written about. Not only is it young adult, but the tone, while not completely devoid of humor, is most definitely dark. As a kid, if…

The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes

Sometimes, you just want to let your imagination run wild. And sometimes, you’re pleased to have someone launch it to a bizarre and wacky universe that feels “out of this world.” That’s what this fantastic middle grade novel does for you.

If I Stay

This is one of those books you should read, but it may not be an easy journey.

This story, about a girl in coma who must come to terms with whether she wants to stay or go, will make you think about death, and that’s not always easy for a society who likes to push tragedy away.

Three Times Lucky

By Sheila Turnage Published 2013 AR Level 5.2  AR Pts: 4.0. Word count: 62,217 I recommend 3rd through 6th grade. This is truly one of my favorite books: quirky characters oozing with unique personality; a quaint setting that is a character in itself; and a mystery that breathes you in. While that’s plenty, my favorite thing…

The Great Treehouse War

I read this novel because my daughter was working on the Oklahoma Sequoyah intermediate book nominations, and she recommended it.

Dreamland Burning

I think the topic of race is a very salient one at this moment in history. And, I think this book does an excellent job showing where we have been, and where we should be going.