Filled with footnotes, idiomatic expressions, allusions, and puns—both funny and dry, Mightier than the Sword is Drew Callander’s and Alana Harrison’s newest middle-grade novel illustrated by Ryan Andrews. In this interactive book that encourages writing, drawing, and doodling, the very fabric of Astorya is under attack, and a non-fictional human suffering from amnesia must rescue Prince S, save the storied characters from the vicious Queen Rulette, and open a starway so that he can return to his world and restore his identity. However, in order to do all that, he has to first survive the Land Under the Couch inhabited by the Dust Bunnies, obtainRead More →

As its title conveys, Smoke in the Sun by Renée Ahdieh swirls with mystery and pulses with energy in equal measure.  A sequel to Flame in the Mist, this companion novel completes the stories of Yumi and Mariko, fiercely independent and competent women with formidable intelligence in a world that expects its females to be submissive, obedient, and coy. Set in Japan at a time when samurai, daiyo, and shōguns defended with honor, this fantasy-adventure focuses not only on the shifting allegiances and political intrigue of the Emperor’s court, but also on other social issues troubling the kingdom.   As a member of the BlackRead More →

Middle-grade readers looking for an adventure story with a dash of history and a little mystery will likely enjoy A.M. Morgen’s new book The Inventors at No. 8. Set in 1828 London, Morgen’s historical fiction novel takes the reader on a treasure hunt with George, the Third Lord of Devonshire who is weighted by fear and self-doubt but has a stubborn streak; Ada Byron, a sharp, funny, and rarely humble girl who always has a plan swirling in her scientific mind; Oscar, a gifted artist who knows colors and the minerals that produce them; and Ruthie, an orangutan who has learned semaphore and can readRead More →

1957 is the year that Frisbees soared, postage stamps cost three cents, and the Russians launched Sputnik.  It was also a time when women were typically kitchen-bound and wore skirts and aprons.  However, Kathleen Curie Gordon’s mom is not a Betty Crocker mom; she’s a professor of nuclear chemistry.  With a woman who resists convention as a mom and two older sisters playing from that same playbook, ten-year-old Katy, the protagonist in Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages, has learned to keep asking questions and to never settle for being ordinary. And Katy, who is more comfortable in cleats and a ball cap, isRead More →