the half drowned king

The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker

The Half-Drowned King is about two young people, Ragnvald Eysteinsson and his sister Svanhild, who were raised by their stepfather following their father’s death. The stepfather takes over their lands and, in theory, Ragnvald should get them back when he becomes an adult. The story takes place in the ninth century in the lands that would

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walking the choctaw road

Walking the Choctaw Road by Tim Tingle

Tim Tingle is a Choctaw author, speaker and storyteller extraordinaire.  The stories in this book take place in several states and throughout history. My goal is to highlight a different book and author for every state. I’ve placed this book in Oklahoma, though it would be equally at home in any of the other states

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ship of dolls

Ship of Dolls by Shirley Parenteau

What a novel way to promote friendship between two countries: with dolls! Dr. Sidney Gulick, an American missionary who lived in Japan for 25 years, was dismayed over the deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Japan in the early 1900s. His idea was to promote friendship between the two countries by sending U.S. dolls to

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good behavior by blake crouch

Good Behavior by Blake Crouch

Good Behavior is a set of three novellas about Letty Dobesh, a thirty something pickpocket and con woman who is good at her craft. She has just one problem, she is a little too fond of drugs and alcohol. She lost custody of her young son due to drug use and her goal is to get

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Dash by Kirby Larson

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, over 110,000 men, women and children of Japanese descent were forced from their homes and into internment camps. The majority of the interned were American born citizens. This story is based on the true story of Mitsue Shiraishi and her dog Chubby. Life in Seattle is good to 11-year

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navigating early

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Jack Baker’s mother has died and his father is away in the military.  Jack is sent to an all-boys boarding school in Maine where he meets Early Auden, an orphan. Early is an “odd” boy, according to Jack, who is fascinated and obsessed with the number Pi. Early can “read” stories in numbers and is

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esperanza rising

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Pam Ryan was inspired to write Esperanza Rising by her grandmother’s childhood experiences. Although it was written in 2000, Esperanza Rising is still extremely popular and part of many school curriculums.  Esperanza Ortega (13) is the doted on daughter of a wealthy rancher. She lives in luxury with servants to help in the house and

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my name is not easy

My Name Is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson

Debby Edwardson wrote that this story was inspired by the experiences of her husband and his two brothers while at a Catholic boarding school in the early 1960s. She also incorporated additional events of the time that had significant impacts on Native Alaskan communities. The audiobook starts out with an author’s note which contains several

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ink and bone

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – Of Books and Libraries

Have you noticed the tendency of authors to focus on books and reading? Take The Reader by Traci Chee as an example of this self-reflective preoccupation. This is not surprising given that writing and books, and readers and reading, are at the center of an author’s life. However, there are others for whom books are

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the detectives assistant

The Detective’s Assistant by Kate Hannigan

The Detective’s Assistant was inspired by the life of Kate Warne (1833-1868), who is credited as being the first professional female detective in the United States. She worked for the Pinkerton Detective Agency in Chicago and was instrumental in uncovering the Baltimore Plot; a plot by secessionist to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln. Author Kate Hannigan

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flesh and bones

Flesh & Bones by Paul Levine

I very much enjoyed listening to Flesh & Bones by Paul Levine.  It is a fun story about a lawyer, Jake, who takes a case defending a model, Chrissy. Jake is a former pro football player turned lawyer and Chrissy is an international fashion model. After too much booze and drugs as well as a series of bad

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Worth by A. LaFaye

Farming in the late 1800s was backbreaking work full of uncertainties. Worth describes the difficulties of farming, the fragility of life, and the conflict between farmers and ranchers for land during the pioneer years. Nathaniel Peale, 11, lives on a Nebraska homestead with his parents.  He takes pride in the way he is able to

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