Palace of Stone (Princess Academy #2)

by Shannon Hale

Conditional Recommendation: A young girl from a small mountain village must decide who to believe, who she wants to be, and which side to take amidst the political unrest of the lowland city.

Age: Mature Middle Grade
Series: Princess Academy #2
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (2012)
Genre: Magical Realism

Mood: Gray Continue reading

The Whipping Boy

by Sid Fleischman

Unconditional Recommendation: A bratty prince and his whipping boy have many adventures when they inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Hardcover: 90 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (1986)
Genre: Adventure, Comedy
Mood: Light

Award: Newbery Medal

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The Shadow Throne (The Ascendance Trilogy #3)

The Shadow Throneby Jennifer A. Nielsen

Conditional Recommendation: The boy king must, against all odds, use all his cleverness and ability to save his kingdom from the three nations who wage war against him.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: The Ascendance Trilogy #3
Hardcover: 317 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (February 25, 2014)
Genre: Adventure

Mood: Gray

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Princess Academy (#1)

by Shannon Hale

Unconditional Recommendation: Through education and friendship a young girl learns where she belongs in her mountain community.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Princess Academy #1
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury (July 16, 2005)
Genre: Magical Realism
Mood: Light

Award: 2006 Newbery Honor

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The Two Princesses of Bamarre

by Gail Carson Levine

Unconditional Recommendation: A timid young princess finds her courage when she faces fantastical creatures on her quest to find the knowledge to save her beloved sister.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Paperback: 241 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (2001)
Genre: Fantasy

Mood: Gray

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To Win Her Heart

by Karen Witemeyer

Unconditional Recommendation: Using beautiful language, this book handles enduring truths about life and the Lord, has an engaging plot, and gives you a sweet love story.

Age: Young Adult
Series: Stand-alone
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2011)
Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Mood: Light

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Anne of Green Gables (#1)

by L. M. Montgomery

Unconditional Recommendation: A young orphan girl with a zest for life and a big imagination gets into adventures, scrapes, and makes many hilarious mistakes as she makes Green Gables her home.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Anne of Green Gables #1
Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: L.C. Page (1908)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Mood: Light

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The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2)

by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Conditional Recommendation: Experience high suspense and perilous adventure as a young king is forced to leave his kingdom and outsmart his enemies while in disguise in order to save his country.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: The Ascendance Trilogy #2
Hardcover: 331 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (2013)
Genre: Adventure

Mood: Gray

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The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1)

by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Conditional Recommendation: Orphan boy uses his cunning and wit to stay alive amidst the treacherous plot of a nobleman in this suspenseful adventure.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: The Ascendance Trilogy #1
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Scholastic (April 1, 2012)
Genre: Adventure
Mood: Gray

Awards: E.B. White Read-Aloud Award Honor Book (2013), Lamplighter Award winner (2014) Continue reading