Author Archive

Chapter Books With Boy Appeal

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Check out one of these new chapter books for middle grade readers.  The stories are unique and guy approved!



The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

A basketball story written in verse, The Crossover deals with the family and school life of a 14-year-old boy, as well as the pressure on the court when your dad is an ex-pro.



The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham

Mysterious creatures appear in a small town, wreaking havoc on the citizens and forcing everyone to defend themselves.  Can one 11-year-old hold the key to saving life as they know it?



Knightley & Son by Rohan Gavin

One book is causing its readers to commit crimes and see visions.  A father and son detective team needs to find answers, and uncovers an entire crime organization in the process.



The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth

In a bleak, dystopian world, one boy is offered a hopeful future in an institution for children.  He quickly realizes the sinister side of this place, yet escape seems impossible.




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2012 Mitten Award Winner

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin is this year’s Michigan Library Association Mitten Award winner!  

Breaking Stalin’s Nose is the story of 10-year-old Sasha Zaichek, living with his father in the USSR under Stalin’s communist rule.  He has spent his whole life waiting for the day when he will become a Soviet Young Pioneer, but then his father is arrested and everything Sasha has known and believed in begins to unravel. 

This book is an excellent springboard for informing children of all ages about world history and Communist governments in a format and style that directly appeals to them.  Through humor and straightforward prose the reader can begin to understand what life as a child may have been like.


The Mitten Award Honor books this year are:

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City. There he meets Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben’s story is told in words; Rose’s in pictures.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Award-winning artist Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg, capturing his genius, his dedication, his zest for play, and his long-lasting gift to America–the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio 

Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
The Mitten Award is designed “to recognize and promote quality literature for youth, ages 0-12, and the ability to communicate to that audience through literature.”  The award was established in 1999 by the Children’s Services Division of the Michigan Library Association.

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Now Playing!

Friday, March 4th, 2011








Actor Alex Pettyfer is cornering the market in YA books-turned-movies, as he presently stars in “I Am Number Four” and “Beastly.”  He previously starred as Alex Rider in a film version of Anthony Horowitz’s Stormbreaker and is slated to star as Jace in a movie based on Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

In rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a fifteen-year-old who has hidden on Earth for ten years waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien.

Beastly by Alex Flinn

A modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast from the point of view of the Beast, a vain Manhattan private school student who is turned into a monster and must find true love before he can return to his human form.
Leave a comment and answer the age-old question, which is better, the movie or the book?

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