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

Thursday, August 8, 2013

That's A Possibility!: A Book About What Might Happen

That's A Possibility!: A Book About What Might Happen
by Bruce Goldstone
Henry Holt and Co. (June 4, 2013)
Review copy from the public library

This book was mainly about possibility. Stuff like: impossibility, probability, certain, and other types of math things. It showed examples of what was possible and impossible. This book was mainly about math!

What I Liked Best – There were a lot of colorful examples. It’s easy for anyone to understand. It also taught a lot about math! Our favorite page was: Squidgy teddy bear!!! He was so cute!  --S/D

Fog Island

Fog Island
by Tomi Ungerer
Phaidon Press (April 16, 2013)
Review copy from the public library

Finn and Cara, two young siblings, venture off one day in their curragh. They accidentally get taken away by strong currents, and into fog island. *insert dramatic music here* There they meet the fog man. He shows them how he makes the fog, and promises to take it away in the morning for Finn and Cara to go home. In the morning, the fog man is gone, so Finn and Cara set off home. They get caught in another storm, but this time their parents retrieve them and they all live happily ever after.

I think the moral of this story was that adventures are sometimes nice. Finn and Cara still got home, even though they had been scared of the fog island in the beginning. They met a very nice man and there was no harm done. The illustrations were wonderful, and I liked how the author put the text on the bottom of the page.  --SA

The Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery

The Price of Freedom: How One Town Stood Up to Slavery
by Dennis Brindell Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin
illustrated by Eric Velasquez
Walker Childrens (January 8, 2013)
Review copy from the public library

This book is about how three runaway slaves go to Ohio from Kentucky. One of them gets caught but the people in the town come out and get the man back. This is a really good book that shows people should care for one another and live in peace.  --SR

America the Beautiful: Together We Stand

America the Beautiful: Together We Stand
by Katharine Lee Bates
illustrated by Bryan Collier, Jon J. Muth, Mary Grand Pre, Raul Colon, Sonia Lynn Sadler, Yuyi Morales, Leuyen Pham, Chris Soentpiet, Diane Goode, John Hendrix, and Jon J Muth
Orchard Books (January 1, 2013)
Review copy from the public library

America the Beautiful is about peace. On the pages you can sing along with the lyrics. There are some quotes on the pages too. There are facts about the Constitution and Democracy. The pictures go with the lyrics. There is a flag made out of kids which shows their differences.  --FA

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great

Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great
by Bob Shea
Disney-Hyperion (June 25, 2013)
Review copy from the public library

I LOVE THE BOOK! Probably because it’s some what about unicorns… but to be serious, the book is pretty funny. I recommend this book for all ages, I think it’s just a quick, fun, short read.

This book is about a goat being jealous of a unicorn. In the beginning, the goat lists things about a unicorn he’s jealous of. In the middle, the Unicorn shows up and lists things about the goat he’s jealous of. In the end, the goat thinks they should be a team.  --NA

Goat is awesome and amazing at the beginning, but when Unicorn pops out of nowhere, everything is ruined. Unicorn can fly, turn stuff into gold, AND EVEN MAKE CUPCAKES RAIN!! I mean, who wouldn’t want that? Goat doesn’t like Unicorn at all. Then, all of a sudden, Unicorn starts complimenting Goat about how amazing Goat is!! Goat doesn’t believe it, then he goes all like “We’d make a great team!” And they become best friends!!!

What I Liked Best – FINALLY A BOOK ABOUT UNICORNS!!! I love Unicorns so much, and Municorns even more *dreamy face* (Municorns are a monkey and unicorn combined.) This book was really funny, and it was a great read. I recommend it to 2nd and 1st graders, AND BOYS TOO BECAUSE THERE ISN’T JUST A UNICORN.  --SA

Goat used to think he was pretty cool, that was until unicorshowed up. Goat made marshmallow treats, and unicorn made cupcakes rain! It was so UNFAIR, how come everyone liked unicorn? How come everyone wanted to be friends unicorn? So what if unicorn could make stuff gold, and won the talent show. Blah. Blah. BLAH! Can goat ever be friends with unicoror will goat always hate the great and wonderful, thinks he’ so great unicorn?
ReviewPersonally I really liked this book; mainly because I like anything involving  unicorens. This book was just perfectly Disney. I would rate it a 4 out 5 stars. If I were the author though I would have added a bit of more sparkle inside the book. This book is a fiction book, because goats don’t really exist. ;) Anyways, if you’re looking for a unicorbook, read this fabulous, awesome book.   --SS

Bean Dog and Nugget: The Ball

Bean Dog and Nugget: The Ball
by Charise Mericle Harper
Knopf Books for Young Readers (May 14, 2013)
Review copy from the public library

This book is pretty weird… but that’s what makes the book AWE-SOME! I recommend this book to early readers because it doesn’t have much words. This book is a simple read, but it’s very enjoyable!

This book is about Beandog (an oval figure) and Nugget (a circular figure) trying to get a ball back.

Beandog got a new smooth and shiny ball, he went to show it to Nugget. Beandog wanted to play catch but threw it at Nugget when she wasn’t ready. The ball got “stolen” by a big, green and scary bush. They tried, and tried to get the ball back but nothing was working. In the end, Beandog and Nugget got the ball back by dressing up as a hero, and a ninja, and by hitting the bush with a rake and a broom. --NA

Thursday, August 1, 2013

White Fur Flying

White Fur Flying
by Patricia MacLachlan
Margaret K. McElderry Books (March 19, 2013)

This book is about a family who cares about pets and shelters them in their house until they find an owner or someone else to care of them. Next door a new family moves in. They are very quiet. The two families become a little friends. Phillip (in the new family) is very quiet and doesn’t talk at all. He loves dogs and Alice and Zoe like to hang out with him. The girls love pets too. Once one dog called May leaves and Kodi, the family dog, is left alone. Another day 2 new dogs come and soon the puppy called Jack goes missing and so does Phillip. So Zoe's mom and Kodi search and find them both and surprisingly Phillip talks and keeps on talking. Then Jack goes to live with Phillip and his family.  


by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (May 7, 2013)
Review copy from the public library

This book is about an African American slave who is named Sugar. Sugar and her mother get freed and her mother dies shortly thereafter. Sugar’s dad was sold. She cuts cane in Louisiana and gets taken care of by the Beales who live next door. Sugar is wild and often gets in trouble and she and the ex-master's son end up being friends. Mr.Wills, the ex owner, doesn’t approve it and arguments break out.

One day people from China called Chinaman come to work on the cane fields. They and the ex-slaves soon become very close friends and look after one another. Soon Billy gets really sick and the Wills had to let Sugar in so she can make Billy feel better. After a couple of days he gets well and the master treats his workers well while they work on cutting cane. Mr. Will fired Mr. Peter the one who whips slaves. He got fired because he smacked Beau, a Chinese man. He got revenge by starting a fire and burning all the cane. Mr.Will had no money for the next year’s crops so he sold the farm to someone else and left for New Orleans. Sugar and the Beales go north in hopes to find their daughters. --SR

Ferdinand Fox's First Summer

Ferdinand Fox's First Summer
by Mary Holland
Sylvan Dell Publishing (March 5, 2013)

This book is about Ferdinand who is a red fox. It’s his first summer and he hasn’t come out of his den yet and hasn’t seen the world. One day Ferdinand goes outside of his den with his 4 brothers and sisters. As he gets older he has to learn how to do stuff on his own like find food because their mother growls at them if they want their mother’s milk. They also learn to leap so they can catch their food. In the end of the book it talks about Ferdinand and his siblings sleeping in cold weather and that they curl up in a ball. --FuO

The King of Space

The King of Space
by Jonny Duddle
Templar (March 12, 2013)

This book is about a kid named Rex who wants to be the king of space. He lives on a small moon in the Gamma Quadrant, on his parents moog farm. At school everybody laughed at him for explaining his plan to be the king of space, The next day he brought his warbot to school and said he would make 1000 of them and conquer the universe. When he made them he crushed the resistance in the Western Spiral. Then he crowned himself king of space and the Galactic Alliance was annoyed. So he captured princess Kooki and the Galactic Alliance came to get her back. In the end he told his mom to tell them he was tired and didn’t want to play anymore.

I think the artwork is good. It was made on a computer. I like and recommend this book. J.J.

The Fellowship For Alien Detection

The Fellowship for Alien Detection
by Kevin Emerson
Walden Pond Press (February 26, 2013)

This book is about 2 kids who try to save the world from aliens. In the beginning Haley explained in school about missing time in towns where there were abductions. Then she went on a trip to see a fireworks show. On the 4th of July aliens tried to abduct her but a guy named The Alto saved her.

While that happened Dodger was being used as a radio with his powers that he got from when he was abducted by aliens as a kid. Soon he got tired of it and controlled the radio lunch box to hit the kids who were using him as a radio. Then he went to some mines to find a map to the town of Juliete. After that aliens came but he drove them off using his crystal he found in the radio lunch box.

Towards the end Haley and Dodger met. Soon more aliens came and Dodger controlled one of the spaceships with his crystal. They then went to the town of Juliete and saved the world.

I like this book because it has sci-fi action with aliens. I would recommend this book to teens.  --J.J.

Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More!

Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More!
by Carole Gerber
illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
Henry Holt and Co., (February 5, 2013)

This great book is about seeds, bugs, and plants and it is actually a poem book. What I like about it is illustrations. They are beautiful and colorful. I also liked the poems because you could learn something from them like germination and what some bugs eat and also how seeds get around. It had some personification in it too because there were bees talking to each other and plants were talking and one poem had a plant talking to a rabbit and the rabbit ended up eating the plant. I think this book is good for maybe Kindergarten, first, second, and maybe third. I thought this book was a great book, and if you read it, I think you might like it too! R.Y

Monday, July 22, 2013

Spy Camp

Spy Camp
by Stuart Gibbs
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 2, 2013)

Well, to understand most of this, it’s best if you read Spy School before you read Spy Camp. Anyways, Spy Camp is about a 13 year old boy named Ben Ripley. He was accepted to Spy School as a first year in the first book and goes to a Spy Camp in the summer. He and his friends discovered there was a mole in the CIA Academy of Espionage the year before and that the mole was their “friend.” His name was Murray Hill and he worked for a secret agency called SPYDER and their plans were to overthrow the CIA. In Spy Camp, Ben gets classified mail from SPYDER, who asks Ben to double-agent for them. Ben gets taken out of Camp and gets ambushed by SPYDER. The remaining of the book is Ben living in the wilderness with Alexander Hale and his daughter, Erica Hale. They thwart SPYDER’s plans and that’s the end of the book.

I liked that this book was unpredictable and that it was so suspenseful, especially in the end when Ben stops a missile from attacking leaders of the World, such as the President of the United States of America (representing the CIA), the Prime Minister of England (representing MI-6), and more. I disliked that it ended so quickly! I wanted to read more but the author stopped so suddenly, it seemed like a cliffhanger (it isn’t one.) Overall, I loved this book. 5 out of 5 for this! --YJ


by Kirby Larson
Scholastic Press (August 27, 2013)
review ARC from Cover to Cover Children's Books

This book is about a boy named Hobie whose father is fighting in World War 2. He has a dog named Duke who is his very best friend. He gives up Duke so Duke can go fight in the war. It is a very difficult situation to give Duke away because he loves him so much.

After Duke leaves, Hobie meets kid named Max who is German and Hobie eventually becomes friends with him. 

He realizes he misses Duke so much that he attempts to get him back from his short time commander. Hobie would write things that are a bad about Duke to the commander to try to get him back. He fails. They get news that his dad is a prisoner in a German jail camp. That saddens everyone in his family.

You'll have to read the book to find out if Hobie ever sees Duke or his father again. --Sv

Light in the Darkness

Light in the Darkness: A Story About How Slaves Learned in Secret
by Lesa Cline-Ransome
illustrated by James E. Ransome
Hyperion Book CH (January 29, 2013)
review copy borrowed from the public library

This book is about how slaves would secretly learn to read. They would do it at night and quietly in a place called a pit school. If the masters found that they learned letters, they would whip them for very letter they learned. For example, if they learned 26 letters the masters would whip them 26 times. Some moments where freaky when some masters came really close to their secret hiding spot. This is a really good book and is perfect for grades 2 and 1, but good for all readers. --Sv

My Epic Fairy Tale Fail

My Epic Fairy Tale FAIL
by Anna Staniszewski
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (March 5, 2013)

Jenny is an adventurer. What’s an adventurer? In basic terms, it’s a person who travels to fantasy worlds saving creatures (and they tend to get into trouble ….. A LOT). Jenny has been sent on adventure, not so interesting… but this time it is. She’s going to [dramatic music plays] The Land of Tales. Okay so maybe that didn’t sound SO dramatic, but Jenny might finally find out where her missing parents are. She just has to do three impossible tasks for the Witch Idle (who looks more like Jenny’s math teacher), who has taken almost all the land's magic. That sounds so easy! A whole land (who already hates her) depending for her to get the land's magic back, and the pressure of finding about her parents. Will Jenny be able to complete this task?

Rating: This book was very...interesting. In the beginning I wasn’t much of a fan. I decided to finish the book anyways, because what would it cost me? In the middle things got interesting, I couldn’t/wouldn’t dare to put it down. There was a lot of adventure in this book (duh!), and it kind of just left you hanging. You would be: “What is going to happen?” “Is she going to die?" (and that happened often) If I was the author though, I would put just a hint of more action in the first chapters. I would rate this book a 3 out of 5. --SS


by Bob Staake
Schwartz & Wade (April 9, 2013)
review copy from the public library

A blue bird.

A lonely boy.

A new friendship.

So I know that was a very, VERY short summary. I think that this book isn’t the kind to have a two page summery or anything, considering the book has absolutely no words...whatsoever.

Even though the book didn’t have any words, I enjoyed it very much. There was an effect on me when I read (or looked) at it. The book was actually very simple. The pictures weren’t drawn with too much detail, and I don’t remember if there were even any numbers on the pages.  

Still the book had power. I guess I just enjoyed the simplicity to it. This book deserves a 5 out 5. --SS


Here's a different take on this book:

There was a little boy walking home from school and he looked very sad and lonely. Then a blue bird started following him and it became his best friend. But when they came into the woods, a group of mean little boys made fun of the little boy. When the little boy and the blue bird tried to leave one of the boys threw a stick at them and it hit the poor little blue bird. Then the group of mean boys left so they would not get in trouble, leaving the other lonely little boy behind. He picked up his blue friend, and walked all alone in the forest. Then all the sudden, a small little red bird appeared. Then more colorful birds came and picked up the little boy and they flew him in the sky. The little boy let go of his blue bird, and the blue bird began to fly.

I love this book because it’s sad and happy at the same time. I think this book is good for kindergarten to first. But really, I think anybody can read this book. After all I read it and you can too! R.Y

On A Beam of Light

by Jennifer Berne
illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
Chronicle Books, 2013
review copy borrowed from the public library

This picture book is about Albert Einstein and how he wondered a lot. Einstein loved math. He would ask questions and think a lot . He discovered many things like atoms and light speeds. This is a really good picture book with many details. --Sv

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Popularity Papers: Book 5

The Popularity Papers: Book Five: The Awesomely Awful Melodies of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang
by Amy Ignatow
Amulet Books
March 25, 2013

This book is about two girls named Lydia and Julie. Lydia starts a band. For their birthday they get music supplies. The problem is they don’t know how to play the instruments. Julie gets a nice teacher and Lydia gets a mean one. They have some of their friends join the band. It goes pretty well. Some of them learn quickly and others take longer to learn. You've got to read the book to find out more. --Fa

House of Secrets

House of Secrets 
by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini
Balzer + Bray
April 23, 2013

The book I read is House Of Secrets. The authors of this book are Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus. The main characters are Brendan, Elanor, Cordealia, Wind Witch, Slayne, Will, Captain Sangray, Storm King and Penelope.

In the beginning the Walker family buys a house. Then the Wind Witch comes and she is mad because the house they bought was her father's. She sent Brendan, Elanor, and Cordealia into two books. The books are Savage Warriors and The Heart And The Helm.

In the first book they met Slayne who tried to kill them but a guy named Will saved them. After that a colossus picked up the house. Then another one came and wanted to eat the house so the two colossuses fought. The good colossus put the house on a branch of a tree. In the morning the branch broke and they entered the second book.

When the house fell into the sea they met a girl named Penelope who was a skeleton that came to life. They also met pirates who killed Penelope. Then Will killed the captain. Slayne came back to kill the kids so first he killed Will. Then the Wind Witch came back but her father was mad that she was trying to take his powers so they fought. While they fought the kids found The Book Of Doom And Desire and went back home.

I like this book because it is funny in some parts. I recommend this to 7th and 8th graders due to some violence and language.  --J.

Strike Three You're Dead

Strike Three You're Dead
by Josh Berk
Knopf Books for Young Readers
March 12, 2013

The book I read is Strike Three You’re Dead. The author of this book is Josh Berk. The main characters are Lenny, the Mikes, Maria, Blaze O. Farrel, Ramon Famosa, and R.J. Weathers.

This book is about a baseball murder mystery. In the beginning Lenny wins an armchair announcer contest. He practiced announcing with his friends Mike and Other Mike. When he goes to the game a promising young pitcher R.J. Whethers died. Lenny suspects that it was murder.

Lenny and the Mikes had several suspects. At first Lenny and the Mikes suspected PhilzFan1 who helped them later in the book. After that they thought it was Famosa but he was way too nice so it wasn’t him. In the end it took a long time to figure it out but Lenny realized who did it.

I like this book because it has a lot of action and violence in it. I recommend this book to teens. --J.

Picture Day (Missy's Super Duper Royal Deluxe #1)

Picture Day (Missy's SUper Duper Royal Deluxe #1)
by Susan Nees
April 30, 2013

Summary: Missy can’t wait for picture day, but when she can’t decide what to wear, her mother helps her out. Missy does not like the outfit her mother gives her. The fit she throws at school won’t help it. And neither does Oscar. Or maybe…maybe Oscar can help.

What I Liked Best About This Book: I read this to my little brother. He liked it. It’s a little first grade book! It’s really weird how much I can relate to Missy, though. Except it’s not usually just on picture day, it’s usually every day when I don’t have an outfit and my mom has to choose. I think every girl can relate. --S.A.

You Only Die Twice

The Genius Files: You Only Die Twice
by Dan Gutman
January 22, 2013

The book that I read is The Genius Files: You Only Die Twice, the third book of the series. The author of this book is Dan Gutman. The main characters are: Coke, Pepsi, Mrs. and Dr. McDonald, Evil Elvis, Mrs. Higgins, and the bowler hat guys.

This book is about two kids named Coke and pepsi who are being chased down by an evil Elvis impersonator who wants to kill them. In the beginning it is Coke and Pepsi's aunt's wedding with Dr. Warsaw. In the past few books he tried to kill Coke and Pepsi. On the 4th of July a weird message appeared in the sky saying LEVEL VIS I. Then Bones and Mya, Coke and Pepsi's friends came to tell them nobody was trying to kill them anymore and left.

Coke, Pepsi, Mrs. McDonald, and Dr. McDonald traveled to go see the largest chest of drawers in the world and a chest of drawers fell out of it and almost hit Pepsi. At the Poe Center For Health Education a giant brain almost fell on Pepsi. Then she falls in a hole looking up. After that they went to the birthplace of Pepsi where an evil Elvis impersonator captured Pepsi but Coke saved her. They bought fireworks just in case Evil Elvis came back.

They traveled to Tunnelvision where a remote controlled car almost hit Coke. Then they went to Coca-Cola world and he almost got thrown into a giant shredder. In the end Coke and Pepsi fought Evil Elvis who turned out to be their aunt Judy.

I like this book. I like it because it has a lot of action. I recommend this book to teens. --J.

City of Death

City of Death
by Lawrence Yep
February 5, 2013

This book is about a group of humans and mythical creatures who need the legend Yi’s magical arrows. The arrows are the weapons they need to stop the villains Roland and Badik from ruling the world.

In the beginning Bayang gets captured while eating tainted food that makes her fall asleep and Scriye and friends Try and rescue her. In order to rescue her in the viziers palace they had to beat up bad guys. Then they found her and set her free. After that they go and fight Roland and Badik and win. In the end they destroy a creature that can destroy the earth called a Kemshap with the arrows. I like this book because it has a lot of action through the book. --J.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Meanest Birthday Girl

The Meanest Birthday Girl
by Josh Schneider
Clarion Books (May 7, 2013)

This book is about a girl named Dana. It’s her birthday and she thinks she can do what she wants. She was mean to this guy and ate some of his lunch. After she had her party this guy who she did mean things to give her a gift.You have to read the book to know more -- if someone else starts doing what she did.I  think this book should be for first graders.  --Fa

Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?

Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell
by Tanya Lee Stone
illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (February 19, 2013)

This book is about a young woman who at first didn’t want to be a doctor. She couldn't be a doctor because women couldn't be doctors, they were supposed to become wives and mothers. Or maybe teachers, or seamstresses. But being a doctor was not an option because men thought they weren’t smart enough. So she thought of an idea and she sent out multiple applications to medical schools. And she got back 28 no’s in all. In different ways, the letters all said the same thing: Women can not be doctors. They should not be. One day she got an envelope from a college. The answer was yes. She packed her bags and went to Geneva Medical school in upstate New York. People didn’t accept her. Sometimes she would stay up till mid night studying. Elizabeth Blackwell proved that she was as smart enough as any boy. On January 23,1849, Elizabeth graduated with the highest scores in her whole class and she became the first woman doctor in America. --Fu

The Smurfs Anthology

The Smurfs Anthology
by Peyo
Papercutz (June 25, 2013)
review copy from the public library

The Smurfs Anthology is 6 stories about the Smurfs and it a graphic novel. I think it cool how the problems or situations get fixed. If you like the Smurfs, you should read it.

P.S. It isn’t like the movie that much. --Fu

All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens

All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens
by Gloria Whelan
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (April 2, 2013)

Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

Summary: Young Rosalind James is living two worlds in the 1920′s of India. There is the world of her heritage, in which she stands with a British Indian Army major for a father, a muted mother, and two aunts who go by Aunt Louise and Aunt Ethyl; along with a few helpful friends. The second, where Gandhi and his fellow followers surround her in India. The two worlds plow into each other, Rosie begins to rethink everything she has been taught about the rules of the British. Should she choose to help India? Or should she keep quiet and be a lady?

What I Liked Best About This Book: First off, this was a terrific book! It was hard to understand sometimes – and yes, this book is for young adults – but I somehow managed to understand; still, the dictionary did come in handy. I really liked Rosie as a person, and not just as a character. The author gave her a lot of hard times, and very difficult decisions. Rosalind was mature about it though, and always had a friend to keep her accompanied. Even if it was her Aunt Louise. --SA

Monday, June 24, 2013

Missy's Super Duper Royal Deluxe #2: Class Pets

Missy's Super Duper Royal Deluxe #2: Class Pets
by Susan Nees
Scholastic Inc. (May 28, 2013)
review ARC provided by Cover to Cover Children's Books

This great book is about Missy bringing home class pets. 

First, she had to get ready. She made a sign that said welcome pets! Then she packed her lunch and she needed Pink, her cat to look her best and so she brushed Pink. But after all that hard work, she saved her best for last. She had to ask her mom if she was even allowed to bring home a class pet. And of course her mom said NO. They would be noisy and messy. And smelly. What if they were to get lost? Missy asked again sweetly, then loudly and even on her head! But the answer was the same. No.

Then right before Missy headed to her bus stop, she asked one more time. Missy said it would only be a few days and they are so cute and cuddly and she promised to take very good care of them. So her mother thought for a few seconds and her answer was… YES! IF Missy eats her veggies, combs her hair, and make her bed. And so Missy promised to do all those things. Then she went to school. 

At school everyone was happy for Missy. Until Tiffany came along and said that she was going to get a class pet too and that was going to be Eenie-Meenie, Miney, and Moe. But Missy wanted Eenie-Meenie, Miney, and Moe. But Tiffany can pick first because she is new. So Missy has to make a plan so that noodle head does not take Eenie, Meenie, Miney, and Moe. So in library, Missy started annoying Oscar, a class mate, until he started to read about pets. That’s when she had an idea! She could tell Tiffany that they are disgusting and smelly and dirty and worst of all, they could get lost! Then Tiffany would not want them. At recess, Missy told her that they are bad, smelly, and they could get lost. But that noodle head still would not budge. 

So at the end of the day Tiffany picked Eenie-Meenie, Miney, and Moe, and Missy got the gold fish. Then Missy gave Tiffany some rat food and that’s when Tiffany freaked. She thought that Eenie-Meenie, Miney, and Moe were gerbils and not rats! She threw them and ran. Thankfully Missy caught the rats and so she got to take them home. -- R

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hide And Seek

Hide and Seek
by Kate Messner
Scholastic Press (April 1, 2013)
ARC provided by Cover to Cover Children's Books

This book is about how Anna, Jose, and Henry meet again in Washington D.C to see the Sliver Jaguar Cup. Unfortunately, the parents noticed something weird about it and they realized it was fake. So they go to Costa Rica because they believe the cup is there. They leave the three kids in a friend-owned hotel and leave. Some important events happen like they visit Rainforest and so on forth and then in the middle they meet Alejandro and notice he is giving a illegal tours to see the Green Macaw birds that are almost gone. Then they sneak around and find nothing is weird about him and then they leave. Some time passes and then Jose got mad at Anna, Henry, and Sofia (the hotels owner's daughter) and he goes on his own and then he sees a man at the counter that looked exactly like Vincent Goosen the head of a gang who steals art. Jose thoughts became reality. He and Alejandro investigated and found many pieces of evidence that he knew who stole the Cup. Then some time passes with some details and then Mr. Loupe was once a part of the gang that steals art called Serpentine Prince and he stole the cup and hid it under his bed. With the help of his friends, Jose was able to catch Mr. Loupe and police arrested him but he didn’t catch Goosen and he disappeared. 

This is a really good book. This book is good for grades 4 to 7. --SR

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Life of Ty: Penguin Problems

by Lauren Myracle
illustrated by Jed Henry
Dutton Juvenile (May 2, 2013)
review ARC provided by Cover to Cover Children's Books

This book is about this boy named Ty and his school and family. He goes to school (like we do) and his mom had a baby so her attention was her mostly on the newborn. Ty doesn’t know that and he is only 7 so he thinks his mom doesn’t care about him anymore.

Then some events happen like he digs out his baby stuff and go to school. Then he has this trip to the aquariam and he gets lost ( kind of ). He meets these penguins and this penguin comes up to him and made piu noise and so he thought it was saying take me home with you. Ty had noticed that the other penguins (like his family) didn’t care about him and so he took the penguin home. 

His teacher got mad at Ty for going off on his own and he got a phone call home and his mom was MAD. He told...well his sisters found out he brought a penguin and they said they would take it back for him if he learns his lesson. His mother came in and she left the baby in there and it ended up the baby and Ty became friends.  --SR

Bink and Gollie: Best Friends Forever

Bink & Gollie: Best Friends Forever
by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
illustrated by Tony Fucile
Candlewick (April 23, 2013)
review copy provided by the publisher

Summary: Bink and Gollie return in the third book, Bink and Gollie: Best Friends Forever. Like usual, there are three chapters. The first is Empire of Enchantment, Gollie finally finds out that royal blood is in her veins. She ventures off to say hello to her fellow servants, but in the end decides that friends are better, so she goes back to Bink! The second chapter is Why Should You Be Shorter Than Your Friends? Bink doesn’t like the fact that she’s short and Gollie can do everything she can’t. She orders a ‘stretch-o-meter’, and well… things get a little rusty. But have no fear, for PEANUT BUTTER IS HERE! Oh, and Gollie. The third chapter is Kudos, Bink and Gollie. The two friends try to get into their version of the world book challenge.

What I Liked Best About This Book: Well, first off, IT’S BINK AND GOLLIE. Who doesn’t love those two? It might be better for younger kids, like first graders. Although, it’s always fun to read a book like this. Bink and Gollie always have funny things to say. There have been three Bink and Gollie books so far, and I’ve read all of them. It might seem a little kid-ish, but this is like another version of that Pigeon book to me.  --SA

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Odd Squad

by Michael Fry
Hyperion Book CH (February 12, 2013)
review copy from the public library

I liked this book, but I would recommend it for older readers because there is a bit of language in it.

This book is about a group of three kids who try to stop a bully from bullying other kids. In the beginning, the main character, Nick, is stuffed in a locker again by a bully named Roy. After that, two other kids who were bullied by Roy. Nick, Roy, and the other kids who were bullied are all forced to be on Safety Patrol. Lots of other bad stuff happens, like Roy talks to Nick's crush and Nick lays on an ant mound.

In the end, Nick and Roy become friends. They even worked together to get Roy's stuffed pig back. To do this, they had to climb through a vent. --Ja

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Dash of Magic

by Kathryn Littlewood
illustrated by Erin McGuire
Katherine Tegen Books (February 12, 2013)
Review ARC provided by Cover to Cover Bookstore

This book is about a girl named Rosemary Bliss and she loves to bake and should never have trusted her Aunt. Lily Le Fay is Rose's aunt and she kept the book. She said she would protect it but she used it and now has she has her own tv show and magic ingredient that goes with her other baking suplies. She is very evil! 

In the beginning Rose went to her aunt's tv show with her family in disguise. Rose challenged her to the gala in Paris to see who gets the cookbook (if Rose wins she gets the cookbook and if Lily wins Rose's family can not get the book or try to ever again). Next they went to their great-great-great grandfather's house to get a copy of the cook book in a different language that only her great-great-great grandfather can translate. Then they head off to Paris to compete. Then Rose's sister ate one of her aunt's cakes and turned into a 2 year old again. 

In the middle Rose wins a cooking challange by getting magical ingredients. Then she finds another ingredient for the next baking challange and she needs to find Mona Lisa's whisper and moves on to the next challange. Next Lily makes a team go home by switching olive oil with freashly squeezed lemon juice. 

In the end someone wins and doesn't do their part of the cookbook. And the person who does not win says something bad about the other person and gets escorted by security. --Fo

Dog Diaries

by Kate Klimo
illustrated by Tim Jessell
Random House Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (January 8, 2013)
Review ARC provided by Cover to Cover Bookstore

This book is about a dog named Ginger who is a golden retriever. In the beginning she is a pup in a mill with her family and wants to play but her sister went over the rainbow when she was sleeping (dog heaven). Then her mom got taken away and Ginger gets adopted by a family and then runs away because the owner left to go to his mom's house because she was sick. Then Ginger gets taken to another mill and got adopted by another family. There was a son and he only liked cats but his parents got him a dog. Ginger bit the kid and met their cat for the first time. Then something bad happened and someone saves the kid. After that the kid took swimming lessons. --Fu

Safe Social Networking

by Heather E. Schwartz
Capstone Press (February 1, 2013)
Review copy from the public library

Safe Social Networking is packed with facts about how to be safe on your electronics. Facts like: whatever you post on the internet can never be deleted! So be careful! You should most definitely read this book if you are on a social networking site, like pinterest, facebook, or twitter! There are some tips on how to keep your password unknown, keep private information to yourself, and just how to be safe! This book is really good, and I recommend it to anyone who uses electronics a little more than they need to. --So.

The Granddaughter Necklace

by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
Arthur A. Levine Books; First Edition edition (January 1, 2013)
Review copy from the public library

This book is about a beautiful necklace passed down from generations of women. It’s kindness, and bravery, that gets these women the owner-ship of this necklace. The story is told from a the women who has the necklace at the moment, and she tells the story of how the necklace got passed down from generation to generation. Like how one women (was a girl back then) baked cookies with her mother, and when she saw a poor family she handed them the cookies without hesitation. At the end the necklace is not just a necklace it’s a story of it’s own just told by the beads and string, not words and paper.

I would rate this book a possible 5 stars out of 5.It is a fantastic book, taking you back in time. Although it is a picture book, it’s an amazing picture book, that would put a smile on your face. In my opinion it was a very pleasant read, taking my eyes off chapter book for a bit. --Sh.