Colin

Lionel and Louise

book cover

by Stephen Krensky

Reviewed by Rebecca

I read a book called Lionel and Louise by Stephen Krensky. This book is about a little boy named Lionel and his big sister Louise. They go on a lot of adventures. They go camping in the backyard and to the beach. Sometimes Lionel bothers Louise, and Louise gets angry. I liked this book because it was funny.

Read “a list to grow a seed” by Rebecca.

To Love a Seed
by Rebecca

Love it
Plant it
Grow it
Wait for it
Have fun with it.

Henry and Mudge and Annie’s Perfect Pet

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by Cynthia Rylant

Reviewed by Rebecca

I read a book called Henry and Mudge and Annie’s Perfect Pet, by Cynthia Rylant. Annie is Henry’s cousin. In this book, Henry and his family take Annie to the pet store to find the perfect pet for her. I liked this book because Annie picked a nice and cute pet who plays with her, Henry, and Mudge.

Colin

Frindle book cover

by Andrew Clements

Reviewed by Colin

Have you ever wanted to invent a word that everyone would use?  I read a book called Frindle by Andrew Clemens, which is about a fifth grade boy who invents the word “frindle” to mean a ballpoint pen.

Soon, everyone from kids at school to the whole country is using the word “frindle” instead of “pen.” Everyone likes the new word except Mrs. Granger, Nick’s strict fifth grade teacher.  Mrs. Granger’s rule is that anyone in her class caught using the word “frindle” will have to stay after school to write, “I am writing this punishment with a pen,” 100 times.

What happens next?  To find out, read Frindle.  I liked this book because it was funny and exciting.

Stink, The Incredible Shrinking Kid

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by Megan McDonald

Reviewed by Colin

“Shrimp-o!  Runtsville!  Shorty pants!”

I read Stink, The Incredible Shrinking Kid, by Megan McDonald.  It is about a boy in the second grade named Stink, who does not like being the shortest kid in his class.  Every day, he makes his sister Judy measure him.  He is always the same height, three feet eight inches.  Then one day, he discovers he is actually shorter than he was before!

You should read this book to find out what happens to Stink.  It is a funny book, and it involves a newt and the fourth President of the United States.  I would recommend this book for ages 6 and up.

The Haunted Bridge

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by Carolyn Keene

Reviewed by Colin

I read a really good mystery book called The Haunted Bridge by Carolyn Keene. In this book, a detective named Nancy Drew goes to a summer resort to find a gang of jewel thieves and to see who put a scarecrow at the end of a bridge and why. I liked this book because it was very exciting and puzzling, but not scary.

Hoyt photo

Freddie's Cousin Weedly book coverFreddie’s Cousin Weedly

by Walter R. Brooks

Reviewed by Hoyt

There is excitement at the Bean farm, a small country farm in New York State. The farmer and his wife (Mr. and Mrs. Bean) are off on a trip to France, leaving their talking animals in charge!!! But the excitement of their departure turns to worry. Some of the Beans’ relatives show up at the farm to steal a valuable heirloom. Freddy the poet, detective and master of disguise pig is on the case. But Freddy’s over shy cousin Weedly comes over for a visit. Jinks the cat is determined to break Weedly of his shyness but goes too far! To top it all, Freddy is planning a play! Will the Bean animals be able to control the chaos? If you are anything like me, you will love this book and the whole series!!!

Read a poem by Hoyt.

Mischief
by Hoyt

My teacher kept me after school,
for apparently I broke a rule.
He said, “Did you put tacks in my chair?”
I replied, “I wouldn’t dare.”
“Did you put a snowball above the door?”
“I don’t do that stuff anymore.”
“Did you dip Jane’s braids in ink?”
“Of that thing, I wouldn’t think.”
“Did you call your brother names?”
“That is untrue like all your claims.”
“What do you do wrong then?” he said
with surprise?
“Well,” I said, “I do tell lies.”

Brandon

book coverHoles

by Louis Sachar

Reviewed by Brandon

I read an amazing book called Holes, by Louis Sachar. The book is about a boy named Stanley Yelnats (Yelnats spelled backwards is Stanley), who is arrested for stealing some shoes and is sent to a place called Camp Green Lake. Camp Green Lake isn’t really a camp at all and the lake is no longer there. It is actually a burning hot place where boys who commit crimes go. At Camp Green Lake, Stanley and all the other boys are given very little food and water and are forced to dig a massive hole every day that is five feet wide and five feet deep. The Warden and the so-called counselors (really guards) claim that digging holes will build the boys’ character, but that’s a lie.

Why are these boys really digging holes? The mystery goes back to Stanley’s great-great-grandfather and the outlaw Kissin’ Kate Barlow.

If you want to read an exciting adventure story involving danger, cruelty and deadly yellow-spotted lizards, then choose this book!

book coverSounder

by William Armstrong

Reviewed by Brandon

I read a tragic book called Sounder by William Armstrong.  It is about a poor black boy who grows up in the South after the Civil War with his hunting dog, Sounder.  What the boy wants most is an education, but the nearest school is eight miles away.  When the boy’s sharecropper father is arrested for stealing a ham to feed his starving family, Sounder is shot by the police for following the father to the prison and then disappears.

A few months later, a bloody, limping Sounder comes home, and the sympathetic boy tries to make his dog healthy and strong once again.  After that, the boy hears that his father has been taken out of prison and forced to work in travelling labor camps, so he persuades his mother to let him go searching for his father.

Will the boy ever find his father?  Will he ever get an education? Most importantly, what was it like to live in the South as a black boy in the late 1800s after slavery?  To find out, read this book!

Boys Without Names book coverFarmer Boy

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Reviewed by Brandon

If you think the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder is just for girls, think again!  One of the books in the series, Farmer Boy, is about her husband, Almanzo Wilder, when he was a boy my age (10).  He lived on a farm in northern New York State back in the 1860’s. I would recommend Farmer Boy to both boys and girls because it shows how a young American kid lived one hundred years ago, and how different his life was from ours.

Back in those days, boys my age had really hard chores to do.  Almanzo had to wake up every day when it was still dark to milk the cows.  He had other daily chores such as feeding livestock and putting fresh hay into the animals’ stalls.  After his chores, he had to walk one mile to school!  His school was very different from ours because it was extremely small; kids of all ages were crammed into one classroom.  If a student made a mistake, the teacher would whip him!  Sometimes, older kids beat up the teacher!

The farm kept Almanzo and his family busy year round.  In the winter, he helped his father use saws to cut 20 foot ice blocks from a frozen lake to keep their food cold.  This job was so dangerous that Almanzo almost drowned by leaning over a hole in the ice!  In the spring, Almanzo and his family had to plant wheat, pumpkin, oats, peas, potatoes, grain, and carrots all day long.  They also had to shear sheep and store the wool in the barn.  In the summer, they had to gather hay and make butter to sell in New York City.  In the fall, Almanzo had to help harvest all the crops.  For his birthday, instead of getting a game or a toy, Almanzo got a yoke (a piece of wood that straps onto oxen’s necks to connect them) for his oxen so that they could pull heavy loads.   At the end of the book, because Almanzo showed he was responsible, his father allowed him to break (train) and raise his very own colt.

I liked Almanzo’s life because I would like to raise and care for farm animals, but I would not like all that work.  I recommend this book for ages 9-11.  I hope you read and enjoy it!

book coverBoys Without Names

by Kashmira Sheth

Reviewed by Brandon

If you enjoy books that take place in different countries and are based on real life, you’ll enjoy Boys Without Names by Kashmira Sheth. This book is about an eleven year old boy named Gopal who lives in India. He and his family move from their poor town to Mumbai (a large city in India) to have a better life. When Gopal gets a job in a factory, he is forced to work as a slave with other boys for no pay and little food. The boys can’t see their families and are not allowed to communicate with each other by name or in any other way. Worst of all, their boss is cruel and beats them if they don’t do their work well.

Will the boys ever escape? Will Gopal ever see his family again? To find out, read this book! This may be one of the best books I’ve read. This book is for ages 9-12.

Cora

School's Out book coverSchool’s Out

by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Reviewed by Cora

This book is about a girl named Rachel who is Amish and lives in Pennsylvania. She has a cat named Cuddles. She gets into lots of trouble. One time she let fireflies go in her room, and another time she brought frogs to church. To find out what happens you’ve got to read this great book. This book will make you laugh out loud…it made me. There is a series of books called Rachel Yoder, Always Trouble Somewhere.

Gabe

Early Sunday Morning coverThe Fantastic Secret of
Owen Jester

by Barbara O’Connor

Reviewed by Gabe

This book is great. It’s perfect for kids and even family read alouds. Owen Jester is a young boy who has a unique adventure. The fantastic secret is a perfect secret because he finds something that is really cool that he uses. There are some unexpected changes of events that are fun. I don’t want to give away any secrets because this book is full of surprises. This is a great story for kids from 8 to 12.

Early Sunday Morning coverEarly Sunday Morning:  The Pearl Harbor Diaries of Amber Billows

by Barry Denenberg

Reviewed by Gabe

This has been my favorite book I’ve read so far in my lifetime of reading. The book is written as a diary of a young girl in 1941 who moved to Hawaii. She is writing about what it was like during the attacks on Pearl Harbor. She wrote about the days before the attack, the day of and the days after. It was exciting and very dramatic. In some parts it was gory. I think this book would be fantastic for a boy or a girl for ages 8 to 16. I was sad when I finished it because I didn't want it to end. Now I am interested in looking for more things about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Soldier X book coverSoldier X

by Don Wulffson

Reviewed by Gabe

It starts out when Erik, a part Russian, part German boy, turns 16 on a train bound for Russia during the Second World War. When he gets there, he finds out how grim the war is when his friend, Hales, dies. Discovering that he's behind enemy lines, he changes into a dead Russian soldier's uniform to survive. After being wounded and taken to a hospital, he meets Tamara, one of the nurses. Together they are in danger of being killed by the communists in the hospital so they run away.

I liked the action scenes and the writer's style. I also liked the adventure that the two had to get to America, and I'm sure you will too. There are some gruesome and somewhat terrifying scenes throughout the book, which is a war action/adventure based on the lives of two remarkable people. I recommend this book for ages 9 to 14. If you like books about war heroes and action, read this book!

Sign of the Beaver book coverThe Sign of the Beaver

by Elizabeth George Speare

Reviewed by Gabe

This book was about a 13 year old boy named Matt who walked to the Maine wilderness with his father many years ago. Once they got there, they built a log cabin for their family. Matt's father left Matt in Maine while he returned to get the rest of the family. Matt stayed alone for a long time, but eventually made friends with some Indians nearby. He learned a lot about the wilderness from his friend Attean. This book was exciting, sometimes funny, sometimes sad and I couldn't put it down. I would highly recommend this book for ages 7 and up, for both boys and girls, especially those who enjoy wilderness adventure books. It would also be a great family read aloud book.