Sunday, September 8, 2013

Squish #5: Game On!

Squish #5: Game On!
By: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Random House Books for Young Readers (May 28, 2013)

Like all the other Squish books, I couldn’t put it down.

I recommend this Book for ages 8 through 11.


Squish gets really obsessed with this video game (like really obsessed, like how I’m obsessed with One Direction), and pays attention to nothing else. When Squish fails a Moby Dick project, he starts getting concerned about his life, and decides
to stop playing the game for a while.  --N.

Saving Animal Babies

by Amy Shields
National Geographic Children's Books (April 9, 2013)

I love this book because number one, I love baby animals! And two, you can learn and give really good advice from this book because it gives you good information on what to do if you find a specific baby animal. I learned about a few animals from rescue stories in this book and they always had a good solution for the problem. I also liked how the author wrote this book because it is written in such a way that lots of people can understand. I read this book and understood the problems and solutions but, a second grader could read it and and be the same as me. I think this book is good for maybe kindergarten to third. I also think is great for any animal lover! --R.Y.

The Thing About Luck

The Thing About Luck
by Cynthia Kadohata
Atheneum Books for Young Readers (June 4, 2013)

Summary: One year, Summer’s family had no luck. Only bad luck. It all started when Summer caught malaria – a rare disease spread by mosquitoes. But the bad luck doesn’t stop there. Right before harvest season, Summer’s parents are whisked away to Japan for family issues.

The mortgage is payed by harvesting, though. So who do Summers’ parents send in? Her grandparents: Obaachan and Jichan.

This harvest season is like no other.

A boy starts “interacting” with Summer, which gets her grandmother disappointed. Summer drives the combine truck (I was never able to figure out what it’s name exactly was, or if it even had an exact name). But mostly, the bad luck goes away.

What I liked best: This book reminded me a bit of Beholding Bee. The books were really different, of course. One thing that made me think it was similar was: Summer and Bee both had bad luck. And they both got rid of it.

Honestly, I couldn’t understand some of the harvest stuff. It was a bit confusing and there was a lot to take in. The author did a good job of explaining, but I kept going “okay, maybe if I keep reading it’ll get easier."It was a still a good read, and the sketches helped! --S

Monday, August 12, 2013

Brief Thief

Brief Thief
by Michael Escoffier
illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo
Enchanted Lion Books (April 2, 2013)
Review copy provided by the publisher

Leon the lizard has to poo. But.. there is no more toilet paper! DUN, DUN, DUN! Then Leon discovers some old briefs hanging on a tree. Why not use those underpants? But there are always consequences for using someone’s underpants to do your business, and Leon will learn them.

Review: This book was just hilarous, mostly it was the end. I would rate it a 4 out of 5 stars. Brief Thief is a short picture book, with very simple pictures. What I found interesting was this book was published in another country, France. So, this book was acutally first published in France, and then translated into English. Read this book if you just want to try something a bit different, or maybe just want to laugh. --SS

Summary: A little lizard is enjoying his day, when suddenly, he has to poo. So he goes and uses the bathroom, but oh no! no toilet paper! Then, the lizard finds a pair of underwear, but they’re full of holes. The lizard uses them, throws them away, and walks off. BUT WAIT. His conscience starts talking to him and tells him to clean them. The ending will surprise you, but it’s really funny!!

What I liked best: This book was really funny, and I LOVED the ending. I would recommend this to younger kids. ages maybe 5 and younger? It was a great read, and I'm sure many others will enjoy it.  --SA

Saturday, August 10, 2013


by Jeffrey Salane
Scholastic Press (April 1, 2013)
review copy from the public library

This book is full of adventure. It’s set in present day and the story unfolds all around the world. The main character is M, a pre-teen girl who attends a school called Lawless. Her guardian is Zara, an older kid. They learn at Lawless how to be successful at the art of heisting.

I’d hate to be a spoiler but the ending is terrible (this is just my opinion).

I’d recommend this book to fourth, fifth,  and sixth graders who like adventure and crime stories. -FP


by S. X. Bradley
Evernight Publishing (February 8, 2013)
review copy from the public library

This book is about a girl named Autumn who wants to become a FBI profiler. Her first case turns out to be her sister's murder and she is determined to figure out who killed her and why. She also nearly gets herself killed in her plan to find the murderer. She finds out who did it and he goes to jail.I n the end she gets into this school so she can pursue her dream. And she will be the first one in her family to go to college.  --Fu

How My Summer Went Up in Flames

How My Summer Went Up in Flames
by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Simon Pulse (May 7, 2013)
review copy from the public library

This book is about a 17 year-old named Rosie. She set her ex boy-friend's car on fire. Before the court date she goes to Arizona and Texas other places on a road trip with her bff, Matthew, and his friends Logan and Spencer. In Texas she mets Avery and Logan. She already met her before so they stayed at her house for a week then left. They also went to the Grand Canyon. Rosie accidentally dropped her phone down the Grand Canyon. Her phone had a tracker so she told her parents what happened. Then on July 9th it was her court date. The judge said she had to do community service. You have to read the book to figure out more. I give the book five stars. It is awesome.  --Fa

Forest Has a Song

Forest Has a Song
by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
illustrated by Robbin Gourley
Clarion Books (March 26, 2013)
review copy from the public library

This is a book with many different poems about nature and the forest. These are very interesting poems on different topics such as animals, seasons, and different types of trees. I like that it is about nature. And I like how it's written. I recommend this book to people who like nature and poetry.  --Fu

Hilda and the Bird Parade

Hilda and the Bird Parade
by Luke Pearson
Flying Eye Books (April 2, 2013)
review copy from the public library

Summary: Young, blue-haired Hilda had moved to the city, and her mother will no longer allow her to venture out. Her friends come to fetch her, though. They show her the ‘best places.' After they hurt a bird, Hilda forgets about them and becomes friends with the bird instead. Hilda soon realizes she is lost, and the bird realizes he has lost his memory (he can talk). In the end, Hilda finds her mother, and the bird remembers who he is. Someone important.

What I liked best: Wow. First off, I'd like to thank the librarian who helped me get this book. When she said the publishers did a good job, I didn’t know it was going to be this amazing! The plot wasn’t very big, but it was still a great read. I loved how the text changed, and how the images overlapped. All in all, it was simply amazing.  --SA

Otis and the Puppy

Otis and the Puppy
by Loren Long
Philomel (March 12, 2013)
review copy from the public library

Summary: Otis makes a new friend in Otis and the Puppy. Do you know what it is? You guessed it, a puppy! When Otis and his friends decide to play hide and seek, Otis finds everyone but puppy! Everybody looks for him, but nobody can find him. When everyone is asleep, Otis goes out to search for his new friend. Both of the friends are scared of the dark, but they aren’t anymore when they find each other.

What I liked best: This was a really cute Otis book. Everyone loves puppies, so I’m sure many others will enjoy it. I loved how Otis went off to search for his friend, and how they got over their fears together!  --SA

The Popularity Papers: The Awesomely Awful Melodies of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang

The Popularity Papers: The Awesomely Awful Melodies of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang
by Amy Ignatow
Amulet Books (March 5, 2013)
review copy from the public library

Summary: Lydia and Julie are back from their road trip, and ready to start the seventh grade!! Lydia decides she wants to start a rock band and become a pop star. Julie agrees, but only after Lydia promises this is not another disaster to make them popular. Add in Roland and Jane, and you’ve got the Macramé Owls! None of them really know how to play their instruments, though. But you can still rock on anyways!!

What I Liked Best About This Book: Honestly, I didn’t read the last book in the Popularity Papers, so I was a little behind and completely confused on why Lydia’s hair was now all blue. AND MELODY WAS BEING NICE, YOU GUYS!! That is a big deal. I am not even joking. Anywho, it was a great read and I enjoyed it. Looking forward to more Popularity Paper books!  --SA

Here we go again. Lydia and Julie are back from their road trip, and about to turn 13. Seventh grade is going to be different, because Julie and Lydia have started a band. With Jane as another singer, and Roland playing a weird-thingy-like-a-violin, the band is the talk of the whole school. But--there is one problem. None of them know how to play, and even with lessons The Macrame Owls sound… horrible. Will this just be another popular failed plan? Or will The Macrame Owls find a way to rock?

Review: I just love the Popularity Papers for many, many reasons! First of all, you don’t know what the book is exactly. It’s not a comic, or chapter book. It’s just a mix of everything combined together. Second, it never gets boring. The books always have something going on. This book has to be one of my favorites because everyone has changed and things are getting very interesting. I can’t wait for the next book to come out. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars, because it’s a fun book to read.  --SS

Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year

by Bill Harley
illustrated by Adam Gustavson
Peachtree Publishers (September 1, 2013)
Review ARC from Cover to Cover Books

This book is about Charlie and how he gets Mrs. Burke for 4th grade. Everyone (mostly kids) thinks that Mrs. Burke is the meanest teacher of 4th grade. He starts off the year in a bad way and gets in trouble at least once a day and his parents say that he better straighten up. He makes a new friend named Hector, a kid from Chile. His other friend Tommy is in another classroom. One day he gets his shoe stuck on the roof of the school because he is trying to help the first graders to get the ball that was stuck there. He had a talk with Mrs. Burke and she joked about his shoe throwing history. He realizes that Mrs. Burke was just trying to be funny and that’s when he felt a lot better having Mrs. Burke as his teacher.  --SR