Books for 10-12 year olds
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Books for 10-12 year olds
For years I have been looking for a young adult fantasy trilogy
I read when I was 11 or 12 and I just canbNov 2007t remember the title.
The main character is Alana (hope IbNov 2007m spelling that right) and
she has a twin brother. When their parents decide to send Alana
to the castle to learn magic and be a lady-in-waiting and send
her brother to learn sword fighting and the like, the twins
swap places. The brother becomes a famous wizard and enters the
story again later on but the books follow AlanabNov 2007s adventures.
Does this ring a bell for anyone out there? I read the whole
trilogy many times, once out loud with a friend over a series
of sleepovers and I am just dying to gift these books to my own
daughterb&I can see the shelf they were on at my library back in
Boston where I grew up b& before the remodelingb&
The author is Tamora Pierce. She has a number of series. I
believe Alanna may actually be a tetralogy. Even better than
Alanna (IMHO) is the Protector of the Small series, featuring
Keladry of Mindelan -- who becomes a knight in her own right,
not under the guise of being her brother. Great books for a
It's called Alanna: The First Adventure and it's by Tamora
Pierce. I, too, was obsessed with that series when I was younger!
I just went looking for it at the library today but it was
already taken out .
I believe you're thinking of the Lioness Quartet (not a
trilogy) by Tamora Pierce. I would also recommend the Wild
Magic books, the Protector of the Small books, or the
Trickster's Choice books, which are also by Tamora Pierce and
also include Alanna, though not as the main character.
-a 12 year old fan
the author's name is tamora pierce, the girl is alanna. the series is:
The Song of the Lioness Quartet: Alanna: The First Adventure / In the Hand of the
Goddess / The Woman Who Rides Like a Man / Lioness Rampant. they are available as a
boxed set on amazon, but you might check the independent booksellers first or try
alibris.com or abebooks.com. all the books are available as unabridged audiobooks as
well. nice to listen to while falling asleep at night or on long car rides.
check out robin mckinley's series (dragonsong, dragonsinger, etc) if your daughter
likes the alanna books. and tamora pierce has written other series' too.
The Alana books are by Tamora Pierce, and I believe there are 4
now. They are wonderful!
Those are great books, I enjoyed them too. The series is
called the Song of the Lioness and it is a quarter. The author
is Tamora Pierce. The first book is called Alanna: The First
If you like those books there are other series by the same
authors centred around different character where Alanna shows
up as an adult. These are Immortals, Protector of the Small,
and Daughter of the Lioness.
I loved that series too! You're looking for the Alanna series by Tamora Pierce.
Yes, I read those, too! They are wonderful books by Mercedes
Lackey, but I can't recall the exact one with the character! I
like the world she creates, where kids from all walks of life,
are discovered to be ''special'', and are chosen by their
companion, who is a ultra-smart horse. They develop a
telepathic bond with this companion, and then get to leave
their families to go live with other gifted children and become
Mom on Hayward Fault
The series you are remembering is by Tamora Pierce. It is
called ''The Song of the Lioness'' and there are three
books ''Alana: The First Adventure'', ''The Woman Who Rides Like A
Man'', and ''Lioness Rampant''. School Library Journal recommends
the series for 5-8th graders. I was introduced to the series by
a sixth grade student of mine, and thought they were good and
recommened them to others. There is some sexual content.
The books you want are the Song of the Lioness trilogy by Tamora
Pierce. They're about Alanna and her brother in the kingdom of
Tortall. Actually, there are a LOT of Tamora Pierce books; these
are the ones I started with, too. Enjoy!
Yes! I love those books! They're by Tamora Pierce. The first one is
Alanna, The First
Adventure, in the Song of the Lioness series. Then there's In The Hand
of the Goddess,
The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, and Lioness Rampant. I didn't come to
until I was an adult, but boy I wish I had read them as a kid. I kept
thinking I had to be
a boy to have adventures.... Tamora Pierce is very prolific, all her
books are good, and
she's super great with kids if you ever get a chance to see her live.
I asked my sister as I know she and her teenage daughter loved
these books. Here is her response, verbatim:
''The Alana series is great - author is Tamora Pierce, and the
quartet is called the Song of the Lioness. She has written
prolifically, about many created worlds - this website give a
good overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamora_Pierce''
My 9 year old son took my copy of Dan Brown's ''Digital Fortress'' (the
author of the
Da Vinci Code) and has read it with a lot of enthusiam. I wouldn't mind,
I'm sure the book introduces many explatives, not to mention mature
are not necessarily appropriate for a 9 year old boy.
Can you please recommend any author or books that are more in keeping with
maturity of 9-10 year old? Digital Fortress has the following tags, so
these lines would probably catch and keep his attention.
Intelligence officers/ Fiction
Computer security/ Fiction
Fiction / Espionage
Fiction / Thrillers
Fiction / Technological
thanks in advance!
I may be mis-remembering, but when I was young (maybe 12-13) I really
enjoyed the James Bond books (tamer than the films, if memory serves), and
above all, Alistair MacLean. Formulaic, it's true, but I found them
-- Been there, done that
It's not exactly a thriller, but the Philip Pullman trilogy ''His Dark
Materials'' is awesome...it starts with ''The Golden Compass'' (which is
coming out as a movie soon--but I'm sure the book is better!).
You might also check out:
''A Series of Unfortunate Events'' (Lemony Snickett)
''The Westing Game'' (Ellen Raskin)
''The Phantom Tollbooth'' (Norton Juster)
My son enjoys the Anthony Horowitz books, such as Stormbreaker, Ark
Angel, and so on. Those feature the teen protagonist Alex Rider and
totally fit the action/adventure/thriller bill. Horowitz has a Gate
Keepers series, too, but I don't know much about those.
I've been hearing a lot of great reviews about the Young Bond series by
My sister read a lot of Agatha Christie at a young age. You could also try
other classic detective/mystery - Sherlock Holmes (haven't there been new
versions of that?), Poe. And what about the Hardy Boys - have they been
updated for a hipper audience?
Mom of Two
I second the Horowitz suggestion; ''Stormbreaker'' was a great read. There's
also a Tom Clancy series written for tweens -- no doubt formulaic, but isn't
that part of the point? I think it's called Net Force, or something like
that. Also Gary Paulsen (of ''Hatchet'' fame) had a teenage crime-fighter
series or two.
As always, I suggest you talk to your local children's librarian. They
really do this kind of work for a living!
-- Children's Librarian (on hiatus)
Can anyone recommend a good book, or books, for our son. He
absolutely loves computers and technology, but lives in a house
where there is little of it. Maybe a book discussing very
recent advances in computer-related technology, that is like a
reference book (good qualtiy and comprehensive).
Ludite mom wanting to encourage technophile son
I heard a review on NPR the other day of a children's book that sounds like it might interest your son. It is called: ''Transformed: How Every Day Things Are Made'' by Bill Slavin. It explains and illustrates the manufacturing process of all sorts of every day objects. The reviewer loved it, I want to buy it myself. rina
My technophile husband loves Wired magazine. It is pretty cutting-edge and has good pop culture and newsy info about tech stuff.
HELP!!!! My 10 yo son does not like to read. He CAN read, he
reads when he must(school, instructions etc.) but I can't get
him to sit down an read a book without a fight.
We've been testing him for comprehension or visual issues. He
seems fine. He's a slow reader and says everything is boring.
I've tried taking him to the library and getting him a variety
of things that he's interested in, kid magazines, etc.
He'll read comics and his electronic game manuels.
He has to read a book a month for school and he still has not
finished his September book.
I was a slow reader in grammar school too but once I found some
books I liked I would read.
My son would do electronics 24/7 if we allowed it.
We limit elec. to weekends and occasional weeknights if my
husband and I are both out and both boys are home alone.
So...2 questions here....how to motivate him to read, and what
do you all recommend for 10 yo boys who like bionicles, Captain
Underpants (yes, he has read ALL of those many times over),
animals, and all the electronic games (he likes too cook also).
I've been a children's librarian for ten years, and I've heard your complaint from a
number of mothers: they say their son ''doesn't like to read,'' but upon further
questioning it turns out their son doesn't like to read *novels* but is happy reading
nonfiction that teaches them a useful skill (video games, cooking, or drawing),
factual nonfiction (about science or history), or comic books (including sophisticated
graphic novels). In your post, you make two conflicting statements: ''I can't get him
to sit down an read a book without a fight'' and ''He'll read comics and his electronic
game manuels.'' Don't worry! Adult men tend to read more nonfiction than adult
women, so this is a trend that begins in childhood. Unfortunately the problem, I'm
guessing, is that his teacher requires him to read a *novel* every month.
So: 1) you could ask his teacher if grade-level appropriate nonfiction can sometimes
apply for his monthly reading, or 2) you can help him find novels that feel real, like
nonfiction does, or have subversive humor, like Captain Underpants does. Have you
spoken to your friendly neighborhood children's librarian? If I were you, I'd leave
the two of them completely alone (*please* don't hover over the transaction saying,
''He hates to read.'') so she can work her magic. She can get to know him
personally, interview him about his likes and dislikes, and be an unbiased advocate
for reading (she doesn't give him grades or homework, after all).
-- Children's Librarian
My ten year old nephew (now 20!) did not seem to enjoy reading--
said it was boring, etc. The books that finally got him turned
on were the Goosebumps series (mildly ''scary'' mysteries). I
started reading them to him at bedtime, then he became engaged
enough to continue on his own. Another motivator was that he
was allowed to stay awake, in bed, with the light on and read
as long as he wanted (believe me, at ten, it doesn't go on too
late!). Good luck!
Perhaps you can turn his love of electronic games to your
benefit. It might be useful to offer him time with his
electronic games based on the amount of time he spends reading.
You determine the relative amounts (equal time playing for
reading, more time, less time...). Maybe an extra treat when he
finishes a book. While some call this bribery, others see it as
teacing a child that rewards come to those who wil work for them.
We had a child who was a slow reader and hated to read. Our
reward method got him over the ''hump,'' and now he reads (and
writes stories) all the time.
- the bribing, er, rewarding, parent
I didn't make suggestions in my first post, since it's hard to say what he'll like
without actually speaking to your son...but as a children's librarian I can't resist!
If he likes animals, you might try novels where a child has a realistic encounter with
a wild animal (like George's ''My Side of the Mountain''). Gary Paulsen's many books
are very boy-oriented, and he'll learn lots of practical stuff (surviving in the
wilderness, sailing, raising sled dogs, riding the rails, etc.). There are science fiction
series that feel like video games (like ''The Virtual War Chronologs'' by Skurzynski).
And there are many recent fantasy series with pretty gross subversive humor (the
''Pure Dead Magic'' series is one).
I wish you luck finding more books he'll enjoy! And for your son's sake, I hope you
can recognize that in his own way, he *is* reading.
-- Children's Librarian (again)
I am a credentialed teacher and former K-6 tutor. I have 3
suggestions to help develop true, intrinsic motivation for reading:
1. Build on what he likes. Try asking the teacher if a certain
number of comic books could count the same as a novel. If this
is one of your son's only reading interests, it should be
2. Find a reading buddy/mentor/tutor for your son. It sounds
like he is resisting your input. This is very common. If he has
a classmate who loves reading, take them to the library or
bookstore together. Go look for books for yourself while they
browse on their own. They can hunt for the ''cool'' books better
if you're not lurking. If his friends aren't into reading, try
to find an older kid or hire a tutor. I recommend Classroom
Matters, where I used to work. If you find the right tutor
match, it can do wonders in building confidence and interest in
3. Let him decorate a reading corner in his room. Have him
choose a chair or beanbag that will be comfortable and fun to sit
in. Get a lamp he likes and put it on a short bookcase next to
the chair. Add posters or wall paint to make the space different
from the rest of the room.
To answer your second question, your son seems to enjoy books
with a sense of humor. He would probably like Sideways Stories
from Wayside School and other books by Louis Sachar. Try books
by Daniel Pinkwater, Jules Feiffer, and Roald Dahl.
If he likes comics, have you looked into what's available in
graphic novels these days? Maybe it's not your idea of a great
read, but there's a lot of stuff out there that's quite literate
and maybe more his thing (and can be a transition into various
sorts of fiction, as well). The children's librarians at your
local public library can probably make some good suggestions,
and if you're in or around Berkeley, Rory Root, who owns Comic
Relief on University, is a great resource.
I don't truly know the answer for you... I can only chime in
because I had the same problem as your son. My parents were big
readers (with Master's degrees in English and American
literature), and my lack of enthusiasm for reading was a huge
dissappointment to them. One thing that helped me was when my
Dad pointed out that I didn't have to sit down and read a book
from start to finish- he gave me ''permission'' to read the last
chapter first, if I wanted, or to flip through reading the first
line of each chapter and jump right in wherever it gets
interesting; books that aren't too linear are good for this
approach- like biographies. My Dad also gave me short stories,
and he even read some of the required books to me---or just the
first chapter or two. Has he tried books on tape?
The truth is, he may not ever be a big reader, but then some of
us just aren't...
(My mother took me to Berkeley Shakespeare Festival from age 10
and would whisper explanations to me... That for me was WAAAAAY
better than reading Shakespeare!)
Hi, Your son sounds a lot like mine. He is 12 now, a good
reader, but only enjoys it when he finds just the right book (and
then he can't put it down!). He, too, would do video games all
day if permitted, and likes animals, and at 10, loved Bionicles
and Capt. Underpants. As a family of avid readers, we just
couldn't' believe we had a child who didn't love to read
everything! We always figured he'd a least enjoy reading
non-fiction to learn all about animals, etc. In elementary
school, that just didn't happen. When he was 9 or 10, one
series he did enjoy was the Bailey School Kids series. He also
read some of the Bionicles chapter books. Now, a little older,
he has really started to get into something called Drizzit (or
something like that),by R. A. Salvatore. It's a series of novels
that sounds a lot like it's based on Dungeons and Dragons. Those
might be a few years away for your son, but could interest him
later. I've talked to several parents who found that boys,
especially, often became more willing readers in middle school,
when their interests and reading level get into synch with each
One other thing - my son loved, and still loves, comic-strip
books like Calvin & Hobbes, Foxtrot, etc. Also, occasionally,
Tin Tin and Asterix books. I figure any reading is better than
no reading, so didn't have a problem with that (though he
couldn't use them for monthly book reports!).
I am a special education teacher at a Hayward Elementary School
and one free motivator is a web site called Book Adventure.
The address is :
This is a free website that gives you book suggestions at the
child's reading level and has on-line quizzes they can take.
It keeps tracks of their scores and they can earn prizes all
from the web site. You may also want to suggest it to your
child's teacher/school if they aren't aware of it. Teachers
can get a print out of each child's participation and scores.
(I think parents can too). We give extra credit or ''eagle
feathers'' (part of our school's reward system) for students who
work this program. Good luck.
One simple thing that springs to mind is that you say he likes
comics-- so try some of the European or Japanese comix which have
much more text (often with more difficult and varied vocabulary)
and are often book length. Tintin and Asterix spring to mind
right off. Also, you might try reading chapter books too him--
especially ones that are part of a series. Enid Blyton (British
Author0, Andre Norton (Science Fiction), C.S. Lewis (Science
Fiction/Fantasy with a Christian undercurrent). Or just go find
the most rib bustingly funny books you can find and try those.
We tried all those humorous books too-TinTin, Captain Underpants,
Chet Gecko etc. He is a gamer and also likes to read comics,
graphic novels and gaming magazines. But for school required
reading: he would read the Illustrated Classics because he loved
adventure and there were pictures on the pages (every other
page!) to help him with putting words into context
visually...Anyway those turned out to be good so we are keeping
with that genre...He read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
(sci-fi) and listened to it on audio book CD at the same time. He
continues to read graphic novels-you can find historical and
adventure genres if you look thoroughly in those sections or hit
a comic book store like Dr. Comics-Mr Games on Piedmont Ave. I
notice that he likes to get books that sometimes are the basis
for movies-The Time Machine, The Last of the
Mohicans, Treasure Island, I Robot and so forth. We sometimes get
the abridged versions of the ''classics'' so the language isn't
overwhelming.Best of luck, Anon.
I find that for my 10-year old daughter, the best motivator for almost everything is to do an
activity WITH her. She certainly spends time reading on her own, but we often find time to sit
down in a cozy spot and read together, where I usually read out loud to her and sometimes
she reads while I listen. I've noticed that over the last couple of years, her stamina and
interest in being the reader has increased quite a bit. I really believe that this is one habit in
parenting that reaps enormous benefits for parent(s) and child(ren). Your child will associate
reading with being calm and loved and you get to spend that really sweet time without any of
the stress and/or conflict that can come from almost everything else. Spending that kind of
time together gives us an excuse to talk about subjects that matter, whether it's about issues
that come up as a result of the book we're reading or something else.
I wasn't a reader either. But I am now! When I was 10 I
preferred soccer and stuffed animals. My mother worried about it
because everybody else in the family was bookish (and involved
in education/academia/publishing). She tried to encourage me to
read by giving me books as gifts - these just stared at me from
the shelf and made me feel guilty. What /did/ work was to
* require that I do my homework, in all subjects
* encourage me in whatever I /was/ interested in reading
(Tintin, Asterix) - take me to the library but don't dictate
what I check out
* have ''reading dinners'' where all the family members eat
together at the table, but read silently while eating. That gave
me the good example of my mother and sister reading, but let me
choose what to read.
Eventually studied literature in grad school
It's wonderful that you are examining the reasons your child
isn't reading. And it is true that there are many activities that
compete with reading in this day and age.
But let's take another look at the situation.
Start by asking yourself a few questions. How much does
your child see you read?
Does your child have friends who enjoy reading?
Do you spend time reading and enjoying a book together.
My son is an adult now, but I used to trade off reading
chapters of books with him. And I was careful to support
any book choices he made to read to himself.
And as for that September book, was that a poor book
choice? Or is your child using that to take issue with you?
And are the TV and the computer off often enough to
encourage serious reading.
My son is very much the same way, and it is still a struggle. I
have worked out a solution that works well for us (and it will
only work if you have a cooperative teacher). I allowed him the
oppportunity to read a Manga (Japanese comic) novel for every
non-comic novel. We used books based on Magic the card game, age
approppirate science fiction and R.L. Stine horror books. He is
a very visual child, and comic books definitely appealed to him.
I woudl suggest you look for comic novels (and enlist the help
of the salespeople at a store like Comic Relief), so that you
can find beautiful books that hae real story lines. Often, I
found that my son was challenged just as much with the comic
books as he was a ''regular'' book. If you find a series of books
that he likes, then work through the entire set.
My son at that age would only read books that he liked and had
issues with having to read ''chapter'' books or any books required
for school, even though he would read encylcopedias and game
manuals, which seemed pretty advanced. What I did was read out
loud with him taking turns (I'd read one chapter, he'd have to
read the next). Ususally we would both get very interested and
find it hard to put the book away. It's a bit time consuming,
but one of my cherished memories was reading CALL OF THE WILD.
At the end of the book he was so moved about the dog he was
tearful, saying how he wished he had a dog like that.
I want to recommend two great books for older kids my husband and I read
last weekend. These are a wonderful read for the 9 & up set, and are just
as good for adults as for the 9 year olds. They are:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
These are about an orphaned boy who lives with his nasty aunt, uncle, and
cousin. His life is miserable until one day he gets a letter from
Hogwart's School of Wizardry and Witchcraft; he discovers that he is a
wizard and there's a whole society of wizards and witches he has been
totally unaware of. Not only that, he finds out he is famous among witches
and wizards for defeating a powerful Dark Wizard when he was an infant
(this is how his parents died).
He gets his school supplies (capes, wand, cauldron, an owl, etc.) and goes
to school. The first book is about his first year at school and the second
book covers his second year. Harry and his friends struggle through their
classes ("Charms," "Defense Against the Dark Arts," "Potions") which are
held in a vast turreted castle full of ghosts, poltergeists, and enchanted
objects. These books are fantastically imaginitive and among the best
young adult novels I've read. They would be especially great for family
reading out loud. They are available in hardbound, but Amazon.com and
Barnes and Noble.com has them for half off, about $8 each. The second book
won a slew of awards, including the National Book Award.
Also, in Sept/Oct., a third book will be released, called Harry Potter and
the Prisoner of Azkabar. It will preseumably cover his third year at school.
Even though I'm the only one in the family who has a specific interest in
chilren's literature, I got my husband started on these and he couldn't put
them down. Stayed up all night finishing them.
I read Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling to my 7 year old
daughter and 9 year old son. It was such a magical, exciting and wonderful
book. We went through a sad period when we finished the book but luckily we
got a copy of the sequel and it is so good the kids beg and plead for me not
to stop reading, but I don't want to finish the book too fast and end such an
About books ages 7-12. My son, now 10, has been a big reader all along.
There are certain books he reads over and over. Among them are Lizard Music
by Pinkwater, Chicken Trek, by Manes, the short story collections by Paul
Jennings (They al l start with "Un" --Undone, Unreal, Un???etc. When he
was younger he loved the Wayside School series (L. Sachar, I think) Also
the TimeWarp trio series by Sziesca(sp?) He's read that new Harry Potter
book about 4 times. He's always loved non-fiction. There's a series of
books called the "Imponderables" by Feldman with titles such as How Does
an Astronaut Scratch an Itch? Most of these are available at the Berkeley
I recently asked a friend with a 10-year-old daughter the same question,
and here's an excerpt her answer (with editorial comments from the mom):
"Over the years she has enjoyed the Betsy-Tacy books; the Beverly Cleary
series; the Moomintrolls (Tove Jannson, sp?); The Hobbit; the Oz series;
the Pye stories; The Witch Family (my personal favorite); Dr. Doolittle
stories (a bit boring if you ask me...); and is currently VERY into the
Redwall series (Brian Jacques--it's not unlike the Hobbit in that is
adventurous and occasionally violent, and all the characters are animals,
but in medieval settings). Oz, Doolittle, and Cleary are probably too easy
for a nine or ten-year-old."
Also, my own favorites from my childhood (can't recall exactly how old I
was, probably about 8) include anything by E.L. Konigsberg, especially
Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth (girl
protagonists); About the B'Nai Bagels (boy protagonist), and From the
Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. For girls in particular, the
All Of A Kind Family books by Sydney Taylor, which are about five sisters
growing up on New York's Lower East Side in the early part of the century,
More books for ages 7-12. My children really enjoyed Brian Jacques's
'Redwall' books, especially 'Martin the Warrior', 'Mossflower' (with a
female heroine), and 'Redwall.' Elise (at 13) is re-reading them this
vacation, with great delight. They are classic tales of good vs. evil
using animals as characters, with battles, intrigue, escapes, treachery,
and heroic deeds. Along the way there are fantastic meals,
stories-within-stories, lots of humor and - most interesting to me - a
wonderful treatment of linguistics. The different animals have distinctive
speech patterns. The moles have a slurred, slow speech. The pigeons use
clipped short sentences. The mice use a more standard English. They are
great read-aloud novels. Altoghether there are about 10 or 12 books in the
My son, from the ages of 5 to present (8) loves Roal Dahl books:
Matilda was his all time favorite when he was five (I read it to him).
He loved Charlie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, The Magic
Finger, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Geroge's Marvelous Medicine. The last
three he has read a few times himself since he learned how to read.
He also now loves all the Animorph books (he loved them before they were
a TV show). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was a big hit too.
Right now he's totally into Shell Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk
Ends". I haven't gotten him the other Shell Silverstein ones because
he's still enjoying that one so much. I was mortified when he took a
green highlighter and started highlighting all his favorite poems, but I
had to let it go (with a little help from a friend) since he takes it
around with him to show and read them to his friends or relatives.
I hope this is the correct address to answer this request, which I
forwarded to my 12-yr-old daughter.
Here are some really good books for girls from about 10-12
Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
By J.K. Rowling
Alanna the First Adventure
By Tamora Pierce
By Tamora Pierce
The Woman Who Rides like a Man
By Tamora Pierce
In the Hand of a Godess
By Tamora Pierce
By Tamora Pierce
By Tamora Pierce
In the Realms of the Gods
By Tamora Pierce
The Taranchela in My Purse
By Jean Craighead George
Julie of the Woves
By Jean Craighead George
By Jean Craighead George
Julie's Wolf Pack
By Jean Craighead George
Of Two Minds
By Perry Nodelman and Carol Matas
By Perry Nodelman and Carol Matas
this page was last updated: May 27, 2012
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