Book Lists!

We continue to compile specialty, middle-grade book lists for the hard-to-please reader in your life.  Check back often, as we regularly update our archive.  And if you have a suggestion for a book list you’d like us to tackle, leave a comment below and we’ll do our best.

Note: We’re changing the way we do the book lists, but don’t worry, we’ve created a book list archive with all the content from 2010-2016, available as a PDF!

2016 Book Lists:

21 responses to “Book Lists!

  1. Hannah Wellington

    I can’t believe I found this site and there are reviews of my and my children’s all time favorite book, The Crystal Navigator. My daughter and I read it together and we just loved Lucy and Sam. Sam is so funny in a genius kind of way and Lucy is adorable. I can totally picture Miss Lang with her sparkly shoes. But our favorite of all time is Wilbur. My daughter wanted his picture beside her bed. The stories about the artists are amazing and fascinating. I would love to see this book used in middle schools across the country. Does anyone know if the author is writing another book?

  2. Wow, what a great list you’ve compiled! Thanks for this resource! 🙂

  3. Fiona Witkower

    I was one of Dr. Nancy Lodge’s students when she taught at Tufts. She was the most inspiring teacher I ever had so I expected her book to be inspiring as well. I was not disappointed. My children loved it. They loved the mix of technology, science, art history, the funny endearing magic Corgi Wilbur, the genius kid Sam, and Lucy. She is every 11 year old, struggling, scared of being laughed at, worried about grades but with a belief in magic that is not disappointed. I felt like I was flying when she flew back in time. I felt I was there in Leonardo’s studio while he was painting a girl named Lisa, there on the scaffolding of the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo. I know this book has won some awards and is in some schools but it ought to be required reading in every school. It’s a brilliant book written by a gifted teacher and writer. Please review it. Thank you, Fiona Witkower, MD

  4. Pam Whitekower

    I second this. Is just read Professor Lodge’s to me 9 and 11 year olds. They laughed a cried; they want to meet the author and ask her what happened to Wilbur after Lucy jumped into the blue rose and went home. They were completely enthralled by her discussion of the artists. This book should be required reading for middle grade children and recommended for children of all, ages. The reader feels everything Lucy feels the wonder of flying, the fun she has with Wilbur, even her panic when Wilbur’s starts to die, marooned on the dark hill in van Gogh ‘s Starry. Night. We believe ind iwuid moors and pink moon, ww believe in navigators and Wise One. Everybody’s original ideas are worthy; everyone has magic inside him. All we need is a guide like Wilbur to unleash it.

    Fiona Witkower Reply:

    Couldn’t agree more. This book is a classic.. See my review. Dr.Lodge has posted letters from some of the children who have been inspired to write, to read, to study art by her book. It’s beautifully written, never condescending, there are parts that will make you laugh, parts that will have you weeping, and you’ll never be bored. I don’t understand why it hasn’t gotten more attention. It’s miles above most middle grade fiction.

  5. Nancy Burmeister

    Let me suggest a brilliant new MG book called The Crystal Navigator by Nancy Kunhardt Lodge, granddaughter of Dorothy Kunhardt, author of Pat the Bunny. Here is a magical quest story in the classic tradition of the Wizard of Oz. The Crystal Navigator is a page turner packed with delicious imagination, originality and message. Through time travel, fantastical imagery, colorful characters and strange happenings Nancy Lodge not only takes us into the lives of Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Vincent van Gogh but also into their paintings! Her protagonists, Lucy and Wilbur, actually participate in their art, giving it a unique perspective. Tucked within this enchanting tale are life-enhancing messages such as the concept of Wise Ones, everyone has the ability to form original ideas, everyone has magic in them and, indeed, the value of looking at a painting until it speaks to one personally. -A classic that with the technology of today would make an amazing film.