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Esperanza Rising

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Esperanza thought she'd always live a privileged life on her family's ranch in Mexico. She'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants, and Mama, Papa, and Abuelita to care for her. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard work, financial struggles brought on by the Great Depression, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When Mama gets sick and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances-because Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.

Author: Pam Muñoz Ryan

Rating: 4.5

Genre: Biography, Historical Fiction

Pages: 304

One of my favorite quotes:
"I am poor, but I am rich. I have my children, I have a garden with roses, and I have my faith and the memories of those who have gone before me. What more is there?" 
–Pam Muñoz Ryan

This book is one I …

The Wingfeather Saga

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Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog, Nugget.

Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers' groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of mean

Author: Andrew Peterson

Rating: 5

Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Christian Fiction

Pages: 290

Series: 4 book series

One of my many favorite quotes:
"And in the middle of it all, he felt t…

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place

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Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels. Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies. But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for…

The Torch Keepers

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The King's blue flame quivers as a new fire arises, and Kadira must hold fast to his torch. It's destiny; she's a torch keeper.

A fiery revolution sweeps across the kingdom of Érkeos, and each person must choose a side. Kadira, a girl set apart to serve the King, finds her city engulfed in the Liberation's emerald flames. Her blue eyes mark her as the enemy, and she flees from death. It stalks her anyway. When she meets Rekém, the Liberation warrior sent to kill her, she rebels against the King's ways. Two armies collide; indecision isn't an option. As hearts and lives hang in the balance, Kadira and Rekém could bring destruction or liberation to the entire kingdom.

Author: Hosanna Emily

Rating: 4.5 

Genre: Young adult fiction

Pages: 298

Two of my many favorite quotes:
"Safety isn't our goal–faithfulness is."
– Hosanna Emily, The Torch Keepers

"Life isn't about being safe. If we worried about that we'd miss out on all the adventures."
– Ho…

Wilderking Trilogy

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12-year-old Aidan Errolson, comes from a long line of adventurers. His grandparents were among the first settlers of Corenwald's Eastern Frontier. His father had been one of the kingdom's greatest warriors. Aidan, on the other hand, lives the quiet, comfortable life, of a nobleman's son. He never has any real adventures, and that, he believes, is the one great injustice of his otherwise happy life.  All that will change the day he first hears the bark of the bog owl, and meets Dobro Turtlebane. Dobro is one of the feechiefolk, a tribe of half-civilized swamp dwellers who fight too much, laugh too loud, cry too easily, and smell just terrible. But another meeting on that remarkable day may change Aidan's life even more profoundly. Bayard the Truthspeaker arrives with a startling pronouncement: Aidan Errolson will grow to be the Wilderking, the long-prophesied wild man, who will come out of Corenwald's forests and swamps to lead the kingdom back to its former glory.…

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