The Crossover



The Crossover

by Kwame Alexander

Age: 9+

Interests: basketball, sports, brothers, twins, family, romance, sibling rivalry



Arcady’s Goal


Arcady’s Goal

by Eugene Yelchin

Age: 9+

Interests: history, U.S.S.R., orphans, soccer


Maniac Magee

maniacmageeNEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1991

Maniac Magee

by Jerry Spinelli

Age: 9+

Interests: family, city life, orphans, misfits, homelessness, racial tension

Also by this author: Wringer, Milkweed, Stargirl, Loser, Eggs

Other books about racism in America: One Crazy Summer, The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963, Smoky Night, Amos Fortune, Free man More

King of the Wind

King+of+the+WindNEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1949

King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian

by Marguerite Henry

Age: 8+

Interests: horses, animals, horse racing, history, sport


Shadow of a Bull



Shadow of a Bull

by Maia Wojciechowska

Age: 9+

Interests: Spain, bullfighting, sport, choosing a career


One Hockey Night

BLUE SPRUCE nominee 2012

One Hockey Night

written by David Ward

illustrated by Brian Deines

Toronto: Scholastic Canada, 2010

30 pp.

Ages: 4 +

Interests: hockey, moving to a new home, siblings, Christmas, winter


Cars (2006)


Rated: G

Length: 116 min.

Age: 5 +        Commonsense Media sez: 5 +

Scary Factor: Mack is nudged by bad cars on the highway at top speeds, Lightning rolls out of his trailer onto the highway and is very nearly hit; soon after he races a train and again comes very very close to being hit; in tractor-tipping scene at night he is briefly chased by a very big and scary combine; same combine reappears in a nightmare and crunches up a car

Violence: nothing significant, save for ‘bad guy’ nudging competitors off the race track

Also: first big race quite stressful, with cars crashing and flying all over (though none are seen to be hurt too seriously)

Language: a fair amount… “hell”, “moron”, “idiot”, “holy shoot”, “Lord”, and I’m even positive I heard a reference to “the little bugger” from the old dame (though none of the other websites I’ve checked mention this); plus a lot of sly double entendres, ie. Lightning talks about the ‘Piston Cup’ to the inevitable response “He did WHAT in his cup!?”

Consumerism: film contains a bewildering array of product placement, and triggered an avalanche of merchandise

Interests: cars, car races, sports

Next: Cars 2

Famous, spoiled hotshot racecar Lightning McQueen is accidentally stranded in a small town in the middle of nowhere. He learns how to care for other people and be a true friend before returning to the big time for a championship race.


All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.