#5OnFri: Upper Middle Grade Historical Fiction

Historical fiction is like your personal time machine.  Hop into a book and whisk off to medieval England, the Wild West, or ancient Rome—the options are endless.  Historical fiction takes facts and events from the past and deftly weaves them into a fictional tale about characters we grow to love. Plenty of recent books for… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Superhero Novels for Adults

Superheroes are not just for kids anymore, if they ever really were. With the popularity of the Marvel movies and television shows, people in capes and spandex out to save or rule the world have definitely gone mainstream. As a lifelong comic book reader and superhero story fan, I couldn’t be happier about that.  … Read more »

How Mirror Characters Can Illustrate Literary Themes

Stories often feature characters who share traits or functions but use them in opposite ways. Think about Frodo Baggins and Gollum, Harry Potter and Voldemort, or Marianne and Elinor Dashwood. The characters in each pair reflect one another’s similarities while contrasting their differences in approaching those similarities. These pairs are known as “mirror characters” –… Read more »

#5OnFri:  Upper-Middle Grade Fantasy and Science Fiction

Do you know a tween or young teen who has moved on from Harry Potter but isn’t ready for Hunger Games?  Loved Inkheart but found Twilight too heavy on the sappy romance? Have I got the list for you!  From under-aged criminals to giant cockroaches, there are some attention-grabbing books available! Here are five fantasy/science fiction… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Fabulous Steampunk Books

I had never even heard of steampunk before I got a job at a Victorian Fair one summer.  The woman leading the orientation asked us for examples of “Victorian-themed” movies that we could use for inspiration.  Someone suggested a Sherlock Holmes movie and she said, “No, that’s more steampunk.”  My mind snapped to attention and… Read more »

#5onFri: 5 Books That Make Great Audiobooks

I never thought I’d be an audiobook lover. I thought audiobook narrators were unnecessary middlemen, interfering with the golden process of communion between the author’s brain and my own. But practicality sometimes trumps ideals: when I started commuting half an hour each way to work, I decided to hang up my reservations and give myself… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Great American Novels That Feature Outsiders

Washington’s Birthday is coming up and, in honor of that, I want to talk about American novels. There’s been a lot of debate about what constitutes the “Great American Novel.” With so many voices, and so many different experiences in American life, this list should be huge. Since we only do five books on a… Read more »

A Case Study on Trust as a Literary Theme

Trust is an essential aspect of relationships. By keeping promises and telling the truth, we prove that we honor our agreements and value the people in our lives. The confidence we win from others as a result can be life-changing. However, as we’ve witnessed in literature (and in daily life), we’re not always quick to… Read more »