Just as Saturday mornings were reserved for kids on TV programing in the 50s and 60s, this blog reserves Saturday Mornings for book recommendations for kids.

Today’s recommendations both come from a Kane Miller EDC Publisher’s “Extraordinary Life” series of very readable, fantastically illustrated biographies.

The first is The Extraordinary Life of Malala Yousafzai, written by Hiba Noer Khan and illustrated by Rita Petruccioli. It pulls no punches, and covers the attack on Malala in a straight-forward manner without making that the only thing about her life.

The second is a biography of Neil Armstrong , The Extraordinary Life of Neil Armstrong written by Martin Howard and illustrated by Freida Chiu. Chronicling the life of the first man to step foot on the moon, this biography describes Armstrong’s life as a “nerd,” and gives hope to young nerds everywhere.

Both of these books are wonderfully written and illustrated and should interest kids from 8 to 14. This reviewer, although an adult learned many things about the two individuals from reading their biographies. I ordered these books from the publisher for young friends, and will look for more biographies in this series. These are darned good reads for kids!



Saturday morning TV programming was reserved for kids’ cartoons back in the 50s and 60s.

Not one, but two recommendations today–both aimed at tweens and early teens.

Being the new girl is always hard, but Ruby has it harder than most.

Raised in rural Kansas, Ruby felt right at home in her red, Converse sneakers. When her grandmother falls sick and needs Ruby’s mom to come to Florida as her caregiver, Ruby’s life is uprooted. Three women in the house, Nana Dottie, Ruby’s mom, and Ruby herself provide plenty of drama, miscommunication, and short fuses resulting in harsh words and hurt feelings. “Will Ruby find a way to fit into a new life that she never asked for…Or will she find herself clicking the heels of the old red sneakers hoping for a chance to go home to Curly Creek [Kansas]?”

Another shoe-themed book, Superstar by Mandy Davis is another kid’s book I read this past week.

Son of a fictional astronaut, Lester and his mom adjust to life on their own after a tragic explosion of Lester’s dad’s pace capsule.

Lester loves flight, space, and everything connected with it, but he has to “give it all up” because it reminds his mom of what happened to his dad and makes her sad. Lester is bothered by loud noise, bright light, and when his routine is interrupted. Because he reacts strangely, sometimes “childishly,” it makes him the perfect target for bullies. Up until now, when he turned ten, his mom homeschooled him, but now she must work to support them, and Lester must go to a nearby elementary school.

His misadventures at school and his efforts to adjust make readers feel compassion and some confusion towards Lester. A pair of Superstar sneakers and a passion for science experiments come in to play. Will Lester always be the “weird kid, or will he become a Super Star in his own right?

Both of these books were fun to read, contained great life lessons and were a “darned good read.”


Thanks to Carla of Carla Loves to Read for the super illustration above. Check out her blog; it’s a winner!

This morning’s recommendations are aimed at girls, specifically twelve-and- thirteen-year-olds.

K.L. Going wrote a moving novel, Pieces of Why, in 2015, but it is timely today with its universal narrative and message. Tia’s dad is in prison; she has been told why, but during the story, she finds out her mother has lied to her. Many family mysteries come clear as she digs to find answers, knowing she won’t like what she finds. Only her singing talent saves her from bearing an unbearable burden and eventually heals the rift between her mother and her. It is a moving, empathetic story of a young girl’s difficult life.

The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin is the story of two best friends and how, as so often is the case, a boy comes between them. Julia and Eliza are related in a convoluted way, so they tell people they are cousins. More importantly, they are best friends. While Julia’s mother is deployed to Afghanistan, Julia is sent to live with Eliza and her family at Mohawk, a summer hotel and retreat. This is the perfect situation for the girls until a note from Michael, the groomsman at the stable’s son sends Julia a note asking her to meet him at the Lily Pond one evening after dinner. Julia’s preoccupation with Michael is something she attempts to keep hidden from Eliza, but doing this ends in estrangement and a near tragedy. This one will have you holding your breath with fear and anticipation as you read.

These books are ones I read for my younger blogging friends whom I follow with interest and provide me with entertaining and engaging reading from their blogs as well as teach me about technology by thinking “If they can do it, so can I!” This post is dedicated to them.


Today’s post is a recommendation for two books I recently read, which were given to me for my LFL (Little Free Library). Both books are about kids in America’s earlier years.

Patricia McLachlan, author of the wonderful Sarah, Plain and Tall, has written (in 1993) a heart-wrenching, heart-warming story, titled, simply, Baby. It tells the story of twelve year old Larkin, who finds a year-old baby in a basket in his front yard. She has a note attached to her clothing saying the baby’s name is Sophie, and her mother will return for her when she can. Sophie quickly loves her way into the heart of the family. Of course, the inevitable day arrives, and what happens to Sophie and the family’s reaction constitutes the rest of the awesomely written novel.

Just Juice is Karen Hesse’s successful attempt to describe what it was like to be a child during The Great Depression. The book’s heroine is very empathetic to others, especially her father, both of whom can’t read and hate schooling of any kind for that reason. Nine year old “Juice” is hounded by her school’s truant officer, and eventually not being able to read causes trouble for Juice and the entire family. It is an interesting page turner that will cause the reader to wonder and worry about the outcome enough to finish it in one sitting.