Episode 21: Kaitlyn with Novelann | Middle Grade Book Recommendations with a 13-year-old

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This week, I had the opportunity to interview Kaitlyn Krauss, a 13-year-old avid reader. I work with her dad, and it was through him that I recently found out Kaitlyn has started her very own book review and recommendation website called Novelann. It's designed for kids and parents to help their middle grade readers find wholesome books to enjoy. 

Kaitlyn's Helpful Book Review website, Novelann

Even as an adult, it can be hard to find books to read. That's even more of an issue when you're a kid looking for books. She describes the dilemma this way on her website, "I wanted to start a book review site because my mom would take FOREVER to find relevant reviews on books I wanted to read because there were very few review sites from a Christian perspective. Many friends of mine had this same problem. So, I started Novelann."

 I love how she saw a problem and found a solution! 

We also had a delightful time swapping book recommendations on today's episode.  Below are the books we talked about on the episode, as well as some extras we both thought of afterward and have been emailing each other. 

If you have any book suggestions for Kaitlyn, feel free to comment below! You definitely need to check out her website, http://novelann.com/.  She's also recently set up her own Bookshop.org Shop, which you can find here: https://bookshop.org/shop/novelann 

Books Kaitlyn recommended to Laura 


The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson (4 books)

Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein (4 books)

The Hero's Guide to Saving your Kingdom by Christopher Healy (3 books)

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart(4 books)

Funjungle by Stewart Gibbs (5 books)

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass (2 books)

The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton (the Adventure series)


Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park and Ginger Knowlton 

The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, Detectives Extraordinaire by Polly Horvath

The Rise and Fall of Mt. Majestic by Jennifer Trafton

The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern, edited by William Goldman

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart

Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish by Jennifer L. Kelly 

The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech - Kaitlyn says, "I actually read this during quarantine 😀 "

The Green Ember by S.D. Smith

Kaitlyn's mom recently read aloud Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawl to Kaitlyn and her siblings  

Books Laura Recommended to Kaitlyn 

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster 

New Kid by Jerry Craft  2020 Newbery Award Winner 

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George 

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle 

The Mostly Invisible Boy by AJ Vanderhorst 

The Inventors at No 8 by AM Morgen 

The Sweetness At The Bottom of the Pie (Flavia De Luce #1) by Alan Bradley

Echo By Pam Munoz Ryan - especially amazing on audiobook 

The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander 

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate - Kaitlyn read The Tiger Rising recently and didn't enjoy it. I was hoping she would like this one better. She's already read it! 

The Giver by Louis Lowry 

The Dragon Keeper Chronicles by Donita K Paul 

The Wizard of Oz series by L. Frank Baum - Who knew there were 14 books?! 

The Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - Kaitlyn has read several times and enjoyed. 

We also talked about Read Aloud Revival as a resource Kaitlyn's mom uses to find books for her and her siblings to enjoy. Sarah at Read Aloud Revival wrote a book called The Read Aloud Family, which I read and learned a lot from. 

Kaitlyn hopes to get more books from publishers to review in the future. There are many ways to do that, but I've only experienced getting books digitally and directly from authors so far. If you're interested in getting Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) digitally from publishers, I've used both Book Sirens and NetGalley with some success. You'll want to be ready to write reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads, as this is what is requested by many. Additionally, if you have a blog or social media where you're posting about the books, often you can link to those as well. 

Until next time, with lots of literary love from my library to yours, have a wonderful day. 

~ Laura 


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Library Laura
Laura is an avid reader who is happiest when surrounded by books, tea, blankets and/or friends. Host of the Library Laura Podcast.


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