Throwing Marshmallows
Throwing Marshmallows
“Learning can only happen when a child is interested. If he’s not interested, it’s like throwing marshmallows at his head and calling it eating.” ~ Katrina Gutleben

Favorite Kid Lit/Young Adult Fantasy

Authors: Lloyd Alexander, Leigh Bardugo, Cassandra Clare, Susan Cooper, Edgar Eager, Cornelia Funke, Neil Gaiman, Kerstin Gier, Rachel Hartman, Diana Wynne Jones, Melina Marchetta, China Mieville, Garth Nix, Tamora Pierce, Terry Pratchett, J.K. Rowling, Angie Sage, Brandon Sanderson, Maggie Stiefvater, Jonathan Stroud, Ysabeau Wilce, Jane Yolan

Please note that the line between children's and young adult books as well as the line between young adult and adult books can be very subjective - the books on this list span all age groups.

Lloyd Alexander

Victoria Aveyard (YA)

Red Queen
By Victoria Aveyard
Glass Sword (Red Queen)
By Victoria Aveyard
King's Cage (Red Queen)
By Victoria Aveyard

Leigh Bardugo (YA)

Cassandra Clare (YA)

Susan Cooper

Other books in the Dark is Rising Sequence: Silver on the Tree

Edgar Eager

Half Magic
By Edward Eager, N. M. Bodecker (Illustrator)
Knight's Castle
By Edward Eager
Magic by the Lake
By Edward Eager, N. M. Bodecker (Illustrator)
The Time Garden
By Edward Eager, N. M. Bodecker

John Flanagan

Other Books in the Ranger's Apprentice Series: The Sorcerer of the North, The Seige of Macindaw, Erak's Ransom, Halt's Peril, The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, The Lost Stories, The Royal Ranger

Cornelia Funke

Inkheart (Inkheart Trilogy)
By Cornelia Funke
Inkspell (Inkheart Trilogy)
By Cornelia Funke
Inkdeath (Inkheart Trilogy)
By Cornelia Funke
Dragon Rider
By Cornelia Funke
Reckless (Mirrorworld)
By Cornelia Funke
Fearless (Mirrorworld)
By Cornelia Funke

Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book
By Neil Gaiman
By Neil Gaiman
Norse Mythology
By Neil Gaiman

Kerstin Gier (YA)

Rachel Hartman (YA)

By Rachel Hartman
Shadow Scale (Seraphina)
By Rachel Hartman
Tess of the Road
By Rachel Hartman

Diana Wynne Jones

Read my mini-review of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci. And more discussion about Diana Wynne Jones.

Dark Lord of Derkholm
By Diana Wynne Jones
Year of the Griffin
By Diana Wynne Jones
Fire and Hemlock
By Diana Wynne Jones

Robert Jordan

Alethea Kontiss

Melina Marchetta (YA)

China Mieville

Un Lun Dun
By China Mieville

Garth Nix

Also in the Keys to the Kingdom series: Lady Friday, Superior Saturday, Lord Sunday

Also in the Abhorsen series: The Creature in the Case

Tamora Pierce (Kid Lit & YA)

Terry Pratchett

The Tiffany Aching books are truly best when listened to on audiobook. Nothing can compare.

The Wee Free Men (Discworld)
By Terry Pratchett
A Hat Full of Sky
By Terry Pratchett
Wintersmith (Discworld)
By Terry Pratchett

Philip Pullman

C.J. Redwine (YA)

J.K. Rowling

Other books in the series: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 

Angie Sage

Additional Books: Syren, Darke, Fyre

Brandon Sanderson (YA)

Truly one of my all time favorite authors: Where to Start Reading Brandon Sanderson

By Brandon Sanderson
By Brandon Sanderson
The Emperor's Soul
By Brandon Sanderson
Steelheart (The Reckoners)
By Brandon Sanderson
Firefight (The Reckoners)
By Brandon Sanderson
The Rithmatist
By Brandon Sanderson

Victoria Schwab (YA)

Maggie Stiefvater (YA)

Jonathan Stroud

J.R.R. Tolkein

Ysabeau Wilce (YA)

Jane Yolen

Wizard's Hall
By Jane Yolen

Favorite Kid Lit/YA Fiction

Authors: M.T. Anderson, Linda Buckley-Archer, Juianna Baggot, Suzanne Collins, Susan Cooper, Cory Doctorow, Kate DiCamillo, John Green, Bruce Hale, James Howe, Brian Jacques, George Orwell, Elizabeth Marie Pope, John Scieszka, Elizabeth Wein, Elvira Woodruff, Marcus Zusak

Please note that the line between children's and young adult books as well as the line between young adult and adult books can be very subjective - the books on this list span all age groups.

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Dystopian Fiction

M.T. Anderson (YA)

By M.T. Anderson

Cory Doctorow (YA)

Little Brother
By Cory Doctorow

Julianna Baggot (YA)

Pure (The Pure Trilogy)
By Julianna Baggott
Fuse (Pure Trilogy)
By Julianna Baggott
Burn (Pure Trilogy)
By Julianna Baggott

George Orwell

1984 (Signet Classics)
By George Orwell
Animal Farm
By George Orwell

Suzanne Collins (YA)


Kate DiCamillo

Brian Jacques

Historical Fiction

Elizabeth M. Pope

The Sherwood Ring
By Elizabeth Marie Pope

Marcus Zusak (YA)

The Book Thief
By Markus Zusak

E. Wein (YA)

Code Name Verity
By Elizabeth Wein
Rose Under Fire
By Elizabeth Wein

Humorous Fiction

Bruce Hale

James Howe

Read my mini-review.
Additional Books: Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allen Crow

Fractured Fairy Tales

Realistic Fiction

John Green (YA)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
By John Green, David Levithan
Looking for Alaska
By John Green

Melina Marchetta (YA)

Jellicoe Road
By Melina Marchetta

Time Travel

L. Buckley-Archer

Susan Cooper

King of Shadows
By Susan Cooper



John Scieszka

Elvira Woodruff


Favorite Kid Lit/YA Non-fiction

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Horrible Histories - Terry Deary

Lots more titles in the series. Also have DVDs.

Cartoon History


The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
By Hans Magnus Enzensberger
The Cat in Numberland
By Ivar Ekeland
Mr. Base Ten Invents Mathematics
By Bethanie H. Tucker
From Zero to Ten: The Story of Numbers
By Vivian French, Ross Collins

Murderous Maths

Sir Cumference Series - Cindy Neuschwander

Lots more titles in the series.

Penrose The Mathematical Cat Series - Theoni Pappas


Horrible Science

Lots more titles in the series.


Favorite Graphic Novels/Comic Books

Authors: Rich Burlew, Jennifer L. Holm, Dave Kellett, Kazu Kibuishi, Jeff Smith, David Peterson, Andy Runton

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Comic Books

Sheldon - Dave Kellett

Calvin and Hobbes - Bill Watterson

Graphic Novels

Squish - Jennifer L. Holm

Squish #1: Super Amoeba
By Jennifer L. Holm, Matt Holm
Squish #2: Brave New Pond
By Jennifer L. Holm, Matt Holm
Squish #3: The Power of the Parasite
By Jennifer L. Holm, Matt Holm
Squish #4: Captain Disaster
By Jennifer L. Holm, Matt Holm

Amulet - Kazu Kibuishi

Bone - Jeff Smith

Read a review by Jason.

Mouse Guard - David Peterson

Mouse Guard: Fall 1152
By David Petersen
Mouse Guard: Winter 1152
By David Petersen

Owly - Andy Runton

Wordless graphic novel.

Order of the Stick - Rich Burlew (YA)


Favorite Early Reader/Picture Books

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Early Readers

Mo Willems

Other books: Should I Share My Ice Cream?, Let's Go for a Drive, I Broke My Trunk, A Big Guy Took My Ball, My New Friend is So Fun!, Can I Play Too?, Elephants Cannot Dance, I am Invited to a Party!

Jane Yolen

Other books: Commander Toad and the Space Pirates, Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy, Commander Toad and the Voyage Home, Commander Toad and the Dis-asteroid, 

Picture Books

Arnold Adoff

Cindy French

Bill Martin, Jr.

Peter H. Reynolds

Diary of a Wombat
By Jackie French
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
By Bill Martin Jr, John Archambault
Ish (Creatrilogy)
By Peter H. Reynolds

Leo Leonni

By Leo Lionni
By Leo Lionni
A Color of His Own
By Leo Lionni
An Extraordinary Egg
By Leo Lionni

Mo Willems

Other books: The Pigeon Has Feelings Too, The Duckling Gets a Cookie, The Pigeon Needs a Bath


My Favorite Fiction

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Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice
By Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility
By Jane Austen
By Jane Austen

F. Scott Fitzgerald

E.M Forster

Harper Lee

The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Room with a View
By E. M. Forster
To Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee

Edith Wharton

The House of Mirth
By Edith Wharton
The Age of Innocence
By Edith Wharton


Deborah Harkness

N.K. Jemisin

V. E. Schwab

Patrick Rothfuss

Ellen Kushner

Highly recommend the audiobook version with full cast and produced by Neil Gaiman. Extremely well done.

Swordspoint (Riverside)
By Ellen Kushner
The Fall of The Kings (Riverside)
By Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman

Favorite Curriculum/Learning Resources

Some of my favorite resources for History, Language Arts, Linguistics and Languages, Math, and Science.

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Oxford Press- A Very Short Introduction

Have titles on just about any subject you can imagine (including math and science). Appropriate for high school level.

Oxford Press - The Medieval & Early Modern World

British History

Viking/Nordic History

World History

The Story of the World audiobooks are fantastic as well.

US History

John Adams
Starring Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney

Ken Burns

American Experience

American Experience: Robert E Lee
Starring Narrated by Michael Murphy
American Experience: Triangle Fire
By American Experience

Language Arts/English

Languages and Linguistics

Logic/Critical Thinking



The Story of 1
Starring Terry Jones
By Marilyn Burns
By Jean Kerr Stenmark, Virginia Thompson, Ruth Cossey
Basher Science: Algebra and Geometry
By Dan Green, Simon Basher

Ed Zaccaro


Joy Hakim

Crash Course

John Hudson Tiner

Note: Tiner's books do include some elements of religion (mostly in the emphasizing of the Christian beliefs in the applicable biographies of scientists.) I like the narrative tone of the books and did not find the religious aspects to affect or to be too distracting from the science.

Real Science for Kids

Lots more titles in the series for various levels. Read my review of Real Science 4 Kids

Level I Chemistry
By Rebecca W. Keller Ph.D.
Real Science-4-Kids Biology Level I
By Rebecca W. Keller Ph.D.

My Favorite Non-fiction

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Books on Creativity

Consciousness Raising Books


Food for Thought