Starclimber (Matt Cruse #3)

by Kenneth Oppel

Conditional Recommendation: Matt, Kate, Captain Walken and a new crew embark on the first expedition to space and on the way discover new celestial life forms and face dangerous odds of making it back to earth.

Age: Young Adult
Series: Matt Cruse, Book Three
Hardcover: 390 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (2009)
Genre: Adventure

Award: CLA Book of the Year for Children Award (2009) Continue reading

The Lost Heir (Wings of Fire #2)

by Tui T. Sutherland

Conditional Recommendation: Told from the perspective of Tsunami the SeaWing, the five dragonets of the prophecy travel to the kingdom of the sea in search of Tsunami’s parents and discover mystery and intrigue.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Wings of Fire, Book Two
Hardcover: 296 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (2013)

Genre: Fantasy Continue reading

Mara, Daughter of the Nile

by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Conditional Recommendation: A slave girl yearning for freedom plays double spy for two contenders to the Egyptian throne and the political intrigue, clever plot, and sprinkling of romance will satisfy you all the way to the end.

Age: Young Adult
Series: Stand Alone
Paperback: 279 pages
Publisher: Puffin Books (1953)

Genre: Historical Continue reading

Front Desk (#1)

by Kelly Yang

Conditional Recommendation: Chinese immigrants Mia Tang and her family work hard to run a motel and achieve the American Dream while confronting obstacles like prejudice with determination, hope, and kindness.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Front Desk, Book One
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (May 29, 2018)
Genre: Contemporary

Awards: 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature Continue reading

The Meeting Place (Song of Acadia #1)

by Janette Oke & T. Davis Bunn

Unconditional Recommendation: In Acadia, a chance meeting creates a strong bond of friendship and faith between an Englishwoman and a Frenchwoman during a time of hostilities and impending war between their homelands.

Age: Young Adult
Series: Song of Acadia, Book 1
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (1999)
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Awards: Christy Award for North American Historical (2000) Continue reading

The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire #1)

by Tui T. Sutherland

Conditional Recommendation: Told from the perspective of Clay the MudWing, the dragonets of destiny come out of hiding and enter the world only to discover it more dangerous and violent than they were expecting.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Wings of Fire, Book 1
Hardcover: 336 pages  
Publisher: Scholastic Press (2012)

Genre: Fantasy Continue reading

Mattie’s Unspoken Vow (A Newly Weds #5)

by Margo Hansen

Unconditional Recommendation: A shotgun wedding to a stranger, a tangle of relationships, and strange circumstances happening all over Sand Creek make for an engaging and sentimental finale to the series.

Age: Young Adult
Series: A Newly Weds series, Book 5
Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises LLC (2013)

Genre: Historical Christian Romance Continue reading

Where the Red Fern Grows

by Wilson Rawls

Conditional Recommendation: An engaging tale of friendship and adventure shared by a boy and his two hound dogs.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Paperback: 249 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (1961)
Genre: Adventure, Animal

Awards: Massachusetts Children’s Book Award (1987), North Dakota Children’s Choice Award (1981). Continue reading

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

by Elizabeth George Speare

Unconditional Recommendation: Katherine “Kit” Tyler must learn to live in a Puritan community with her relatives but befriends the Witch of Blackbird Pond and risks being persecuted as a witch herself.

Age: Young Adult
Series: Stand Alone
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (1958)
Genre: Historical

Awards: Newbery Medal (1959), Dorothy Canfeld Fisher Children’s Book Award (1960) Continue reading