Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beautiful, Precious Middle Grade Books

I have two books for you today. Since the last book was a silly, fun mockery of Sci-Fi and horror, I figured I ought to offer a variety of choices for those who might not find the other books to their taste. You'll love these, even if you loved Attack of the Killer Bunnies. I did.

1. The Penderwicks: The Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy, by Jeanne Birdsall
2. Heart of a Shepherd, by Rosanne Parry

Both of these have a sweet innocence that at first made me think the setting was in the 1950's or earlier, but then in the Penderwicks, when one of the sisters says, "Cool!" I thought, "Wait a minute!" And Heart of the Shephard also seemed like historical fiction-- until I realized the father had been sent to Iraq as an officer in the Reserve.

Both are sweet, precious novels. Heart of a Shepherd deals with spirituality with grace (so to speak) and respect for its readers. Nothing is shoved down anyone's throats. The POV is just perfect and the writing is lovely. The protagonist is also an eleven year old boy who lives on a cattle ranch, so it's a nice choice for upper elementary boys who might be ready to wrestle with the Big Questions in life.

The Penderwicks took me back to reading Little Women or The Bobsey Twins. The ending is just awesome.

I cried at the end of both books, so be warned. Of course, I cry easily (Mr. Holland's Opus made me BAWL at the end), so it doesn't mean that YOU will cry. Just sayin'...be prepared.

And most of all? Enjoy!

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