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Catching up on four (older) favorites

CHILDREN’S BOOKS | Reviews of four books for children ages 7-12

Catching up on four (older) favorites
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The Wild Robot

Peter Brown

(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 2020)

Fresh out of her packing crate, ROZZUM Unit 7134 powers up to find herself on an uninhabited island full of unwelcoming animals. How she got there is a mystery, as is her history, but slowly, the robot adapts and finds “home” in the most beautiful sense of the word, earning the ­animals’ trust and friendship through selfless service and even becoming a mother via adoption. The story is mostly warm, until cold beings from Roz’s unknown past arrive on the island to rip her away from the only life she has ever known. This endearing story will leave readers eager to read Book 2. Ages 7-10

Time for Andrew

Mary Downing Hahn

(Clarion 2007)

In the creaky attic of a creepy old house, Drew Taylor encounters a dying boy who looks exactly like him. His name is Andrew, and he’s come from the year 1910 to plead for his life: He’s sick with diphtheria and wants Drew to switch places with him so that he can receive modern medicine. When Drew agrees and puts on his ancestor’s old-fashioned nightshirt, he’s taken back to an unfamiliar time and family. After weeks of pretending to be someone he’s not, Drew longs to return home, but Andrew, now alive and well in 1994, isn’t switching back without a fight. A fabulous read marred by some vain exclamations of the Lord’s name. Ages 9-12

Football Hero

Tim Green

(HarperCollins 2009)

Ty Lewis has a knack for football. His older brother just got drafted into the NFL, so it makes sense. Too bad Ty’s guardian Uncle Gus won’t let him play. Instead, the gruff, nasty man puts Ty to work scrubbing toilets for his cleaning business while he devises gambling schemes with a dangerous local mob boss. When the gangsters realize they can work Ty and his relationship with his beloved brother to their advantage, they let him play school ball, but soon things go terribly wrong and Ty must play defense off the field to save his brother’s life. Call a timeout for this gripping story. Ages 10-12

The Humming Room

Ellen Potter

(Square Fish 2013)

When Roo Fanshaw’s parents are murdered (don’t worry—it’s not detailed), her mysterious, rich uncle agrees to take her into his remote island “home”—if you can call it that. The strange compound once served as a tuberculosis sanitarium for children, and the place is shrouded in secrecy. Amid eerie rumors, ­distant screams, and an inexplicable humming sound echoing through the walls, Roo sets out on a search for answers. In the midst of that search, she finds an understanding friend, a secret garden, flowers pushing up from the dirt of life, and herself. A beautiful book inspired by The Secret Garden. Ages 9-12

Whitney Williams

Whitney works on WORLD's development team and has spent more than a decade with the organization in various roles. She earned a journalism degree from Baylor University and resides in Texas with her husband and three sons.


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