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Library Finds: Great Books for Everyone

The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry: I cannot think of when I have laughed more. Perhaps with The Princess Bride, the book. A great read-aloud book about four children who are trying to get rid of their parents while their parents are trying to get rid of them. The glossary and bibliography at the end are just as hilarious to read as the story itself. For ages 8-12 (Book Rating: 10)

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park: A 2002 Newberry Book award winner and a beautifully written story about an orphan in 12-century Korea who becomes an apprentice to a gruff potter. I appreciated this book's realistic portrayal of the time period and the making of ceramics. Rather sad, thought provoking, and educational. For ages 8-12. (Book Rating: 8)

Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt: A 1967 Newberry Award winning book about a girl who goes to live with her strict aunt for ten years. I thought Hunt did a superb job portraying believable characters and emotions through the first-person narrative of her protagonist. I'd put this book in the same category as Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, but it's more modern and less wordy. For Ages 12 and up. (Book Rating: 9)

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill: Another Newberry Award winner about truth, magic, and sorrow. Much of the book has a poetic-like cadence to it. The book follows a child enmagicked in her infancy by a witch who saves a town's yearly sacrificial baby from being eaten by wild animals. This book reminded me of Pixar's movie Inside Out. For Ages 8-13. (Book Rating: 8)

Wonder by R. J. Palacio: This book is wonderful. I was nervous that it might be unrealistically sad, but it wasn't. This book tells the story of a boy who was born with a deformed face. He and his parents finally decide it's time to try going to school. The story is told from multiple perspectives and done very well. And it ends happily! For ages 8 and up. (Book Rating: 10)

Austin Family Chronicles,  by Madeleine L'Engle. I recommend all these book (except the third) in this five-book-series that follows the Austin family as they grow, vacation, move, and meet new people. I think you could probably skip the third book out and not miss much. My favorite one was the fourth, A Ring of Endless Lightwhich also won the Newberry Book Award in 1980 for good reason. This book so accurately captured the mind of a poet/writer that I wanted to give it to all my friends so they might understand me better. These books beautifully weave sweet Christian truths into both simple and difficult situations in children's lives. For Ages 12 and up. (Book Rating: 9)

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine. Another Newberry Book award winner. I believe I read this book in one day. It was so delightful! Nothing at all like the Miramax movie made in 2004. It tells the story of a girl who was cursed from birth into absolute obedience to all orders given to her. Funny, sweet, and romantic! For Ages 12 and up. (Book Rating: 10)


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