Title: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Written by: Roald Dahl
Illustrated by: Quentin Blake
Reviewed by: Shyam K., Grade 3
The book is about a boy, named Charlie, who wins a trip to a magical land called the Chocolate Factory. Once he is there, he has many wonderful and fantastic adventures. The message is about peace, unity and cooperation, and not being greedy.
The setting in which Charlie lives is a very poor house, with his poor family. He wins a prize to come to a great chocolate factory owned by Willie Wonka. The fact that Charlie is poor is important, because the other children who win the prize are very rich, spoiled brats.
Charlie is the main character of the book. Because he comes from a very poor background, he is not spoiled, like the other children. He listens to Mr. Wonka, is kind and caring, and does not abuse the privileges that Mr. Wonka gives him.
I liked the illustrations and they help to keep me interested in the story.
I would recommend this book highly to other readers, as it is a fun, wonderful story, full of magical adventures.
Title: Home on the Range
Written by: Lucy Nolan
Illustrated by: Mike Reed
Reviewed by: Lucas V., Grade 4
This book is about dogs who get loose and get into food carts and have ridiculous names like "sit" and other tricks. They get lost and the coyotes come after them. But then the owners come and get them. The dogs have fun adventures. They are only gone for one day!
The whole story takes place in the desert. It's dusty, bright, and hot with lots of sand, strong winds and cactus.
The main characters are "Down Girl" and "Sit". They also meet another dog named "Git". Down Girl and Sit like to chase squirrels like normal dogs. But Git is a farm dog who heards cows and takes care of the farm.
The pictures help tell the story. They help to show a bull or a stampede. They were nice.
Title: Rapunzel: The One with All the Hair
Written by: Wendy Mass
Genre: fiction, fairy tale
Reviewed by: Sheridan K., Grade 4
A witch imprisons Rapunzel in a tower on her birthday. The witch makes the cook put magical herbs in Rapunzel's food and it makes her hair grow. A prince named Benjamin tries to rescue her. He gets into a lot of adventures and trouble with his cousin, Elkin.
This book is organized in an interesting way because the chapters alternate between telling Rapunzel and Benjamin's separate stories. The twist is how their two stories come together in the end.
The message of this book is to never give up, which is similar to the other books I've read this summer. The story is mostly set in the tower and in the woods. It seems like it's a long time ago because, for example, they travel in carriages on dirt roads.
Title: The Lucky Baseball Bat
Written by: Matt Christopher
Illustrated by: Robert Henneberger
Reviewed by: Asher M., Grade 3
This book is about a boy named Marvin. He really thinks baseball looks really fun. The boys would not let him play baseball because he was small and they didn't know his name. A teenager named Barry Wilton gave him a glove and a bat. Marvin was really excited that he got a glove and a bat. He went to the field and the coach, Jim Cassell, gave him a position. Marvin feels that without his lucky bat he cannot hit. Marvin's bat gets lost and he felt that he couldn't hit the ball. When he gets his bat back, he plays really well, like a major league baseball player. And then, in one game against the Bears, his bat splits into two. He lost confidence in himself without his lucky bat. The main message is that if you want to do stuff you have to have confidence in yourself.
The book was written 60 years ago. There are old-fashioned words like "swell." Boys and girls couldn't play baseball together a long time ago.
Marvin learns a very important lesson. There is no such thing a lucky bat, just hard work. The lesson is have confidence in yourself. This character reminds me of myself. Just like Marvin doesn't have confidence in himself about hitting the ball, sometimes I don't have confidence in myself about some things.
The illustrations help to tell the story. The illustrations helped me to get through the book. It's a long book. It has 123 pages.
I like this book. It's good for kids who are scared of doing things. It helps kids get confidence in themselves by reading about Marvin's story.
Title: Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman
Written by: Marc Tyler Nobleman
Illustrated by: Ty Templeton
Reviewed by: Dylan V., Grade 5
This book is about a person who was also behind the creation of Batman. You see, a man name Milton (Bill) Finger met Bob Kane (Bob was a cartoonist) at a party, and Bob had an assignment to create a superhero. He had the name down, but the picture just didn't look right. So, Bob went to Bill for help. Bill made the finishing touches to the new superhero and the publisher loved it. And thats how Batman was created. Although, Bill didn't stop there. He created villians, a vechicle, even his own sidekick. You want to know more?, you could if you read Bill the Boy Wonder the Secret Co-Creator of Batman.
I learned that there were 2 creators of Batman. One was known more and the other was almost a secret. I also learned that Bill created Robin as well.
The drawings showed images of the Great Depression (which takes place in the 1930s) and it was very detailed.
Yes, I recommend this book for other comic book readers because people might like Batman and think they would like to know the true creators.
Title: Citizen Scientists
Written by: Loree Griffin Burns
Photographs by: Ellen Harasimowicz
Reviewed by: Alexander J., Grade 4
This book shows that anyone can go in their back yard and do scientific things, like studying different parts of nature. You don't have to be a professional scientist or naturalist to do it.
The book starts with four chapters; Fall butterflying, winter birding, spring frogging and summer ladybugging. Each chapter has its own story, then a quick quiz to see if you can identify the facts you learned. The last page of each chapter is a page called "When You Go" that gives you a list of things you should bring when you do the different activities. It also has helpful hints like don't put bug spray on your hands when you want to handle the insects you find.
In the back of the book there are resources for different books, field guides and web sites that help you find everything you need to know about butterflies, birds, frogs and ladybugs. There is also a glossary that shows a lot of different words in alphabetical order that lists what tools and terms that citizen scientists can use.
I learned how to photograph ladybugs, tag butterflies and count frog calls (I already knew how to go birding). When I first read about ladybugs, it said in the story that they were going to be chilling them and I was surprised and wondered how to do that. It turns out that they put them in a vial and then a cooler to stop them from moving so that they could be photographed. I was also amazed that the little vials they put ladybugs in have no holes for air, but they contain enough air for a ladybug to live for several days without the cap being opened.
I also learned that you can count frogs by listening to their individual calls. At first I thought that you had to find the frogs in order to count them, but if you're listening and then hear a frog call coming from somewhere else, then that's a new frog.
I also learned how to tag Monarch butterflies which is cool. The tag is a light sticker and you place it on the discal cell in order to track their route. You can even put messages on the tags so you can send them to someone in a different country. It's the same idea as a message in a bottle, except on land with butterflies.
In the book there are some illustrations but mostly photographs. The photos show whats happening in the chapter. For example, in the butterfly chapter there are photographs of butterflies and caterpillars and also people with butterfly nets catching and tagging butterflies.
The photographs were helpful, especially for the frogs because it was talking about all these different types of frogs but I didn't know what they looked like. The photographs helped because each frog had its own picture with a caption below telling what type it was.
I would recommend this book to people who like nature and animals. Especially if they don't know how to do activities in nature or how to get started with them.
Reviewed by: Janiah A., Grade 5
This book is about different types of species. The book tells you where the species go and does all year. It tells you where you could see them a lot too. It tells you also how to help scientists discover more about the species as well. This book does in fact tell a story and tells who has impacted on the species. This book mainly reports facts on the animals and insects.This book is organized by chapter. The first thing in every chapter is what a class or a family and people did involving the particular species.
I learned more about butterflies,birds,frogs and ladybugs. A new fact about butterflies is the they only live for about a week and a half. One other fact that intrigued me was about frogs was that a lot of frogs now have deformity problems.Some of them do because they have been in an accident or have been hurt by a predator. I have more questions about how you can help frogs with their deformities.
The photographs of the animals and insects were great! I loved them. They definitely added a lot to my reading experience.
I felt like this book helped me and encouraged me to go outside and get into nature and see what kinds of things I can find. Yes I am going to recommend this book to others. It's great for gardeners too. I think people who are into nature and like to know new facts about different types of things out there would enjoy this book.
Title: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Written and illustrated by: Brian Selznick
Genre: Historical fiction
Reviewed by Nikolas C., Grade 3
This story is about a boy named Hugo. He lost his dad in a fire at the museum that he worked in. He went with his uncle to a train station and one night his uncle didn't come back and so he had to go on his own. He lives in the walls of the Paris train station and he keeps the clocks working. Nobody knows he lives there. Hugo also works on repairing the thing that his dad built which is called an automaton. An automaton is a wind-up machine that is like an old-fashioned robot. He thinks that if he fixes the automaton then it will write a message from his dad.
Hugo meets an old man named Papa Georges and a girl named Isabelle. Papa Georges takes Hugo's father's notebook and makes him work for him. Isabelle tried to help him get the notebook back. Papa Georges rips the pictures up that he has drawn. Together the kids try to figure out why Papa Georges is so mad about the pictures in Hugo's notebook and it is a mystery with surprises at the end.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret takes place in the Paris train station in 1931.
Hugo is a creative boy. He wants to build things that no one else has ever built. He feels that life is hard and he is always running away from the station inspector. Hugo always has to steal stuff like his food and he has to work hard at not being seen. At first Hugo didn't like Isabelle but then he learned that she was a good friend.
The illustrations are just awesome because they help tell the story, unlike other books where pictures just go with the story these pictures are part of the story. The whole book has 533 pages and there are 284 Pages of pictures. There are also some real illustrations from George Melies who was a real film maker and is a character in the book. There is a photograph from the train station of an accident that turns up in the story in a dream that Hugo has.
I recommend this book to you because it is about friendship and it's about life and how you live it and if you live in a bad way you just aren't going to have fun. If you live it in a good way you are going to be a good person and have a lot of friends and have a good life. I think it made me read faster because the pictures told so much of the story so you can predict what was next. The automaton was cool how it wrote a message and they are really real!
Title: Fake Mustache
Written by: Tom Angleberger
Illustrated by: Jen Wan
Reviewed by: Kayla H., Grade 5
This book is about two seventh graders. One asks to borrow money from the other to buy a mustache. The kid who bought the mustache becomes a bank robber. He tells everyone that his best friend who gave him the money is the robber. The one kid goes and looks for the criminal mastermind. On the way to finding him he meets a superstar Jodie O'rodeo. They become boyfriend and girlfriend. They find the robber and they also save his life. The two seventh graders became best friends again.
The setting is takes place in Hairsprinckle. The story takes place in the present time.
Jodie O'rodeo, one of the main characters, is a very big risk taker. She always likes dangerous situations. Jodie grows to be more mature and wiser. She does not remind me of anyone I know, but I do like to take risks like her.
The illustrations helped me picture what was happening. they did not distract me from my reading. The pictures were of the people and the places in the story. I really enjoyed the pictures.
Title: Julian, Secret Agent
Written by: Ann Cameron
Illustrated by: Diane Allison
Reviewed by: Irion T., Grade 4
The main message is to not be scared to try new things. The book is about three kids who are one day stuck in a post office, because of the rain and they see three criminal wanted posters and Julian came up with the idea of trying to solve a case. After it stops raining they are going to check every place they can think of like the hospital, the market, the café’ and more.
The setting is the town it has a lot of buildings a hospital a market and a park.The time is now.
One main character is Gloria. At first she starts out scared, but at the end she stops being scared. Gloria does not really learn a lesson. She is always the one telling the boys they shouldn’t do that. Gloria reminds me of my cousin because she always telling us that we shouldn’t do something.
The illustrations help the reader get an image of what everything looks like. The pictures help because if you can’t make a picture in your head they are right there on the page.
I recommend this book because it is a good book to read it really is exciting and I really like everything about the book. I think people who like adventure fiction would love to read this book
Title: Dog Diaries: Buddy
Written by: Kate Klimo
Illustrator: Tim Jessell
Reviewed by: Lucas V., Grade 4
The book is about a dog named Buddy. He was the first dog that became a seeing-eye dog. The story is told as if Buddy is writing a journal and telling his story. There are more dogs than him that become seeing eye dogs, some of them are Buddy's friends.
I learned that seeing-eye dogs, especially German Shepherds are very well trained. I learned about Ms. Eustis and how she helped to start the first seeing-eye training school in 1929.
There are black and white drawings in the book and photographs at the end. I liked the photographs at the end because it showed what the real Buddy and Ms. Eustis and Morris (the first blind person to get a seeing eye dog) looked like.
I like this book. And I think people who like reading long and interesting books about animals would like this since it's actually a really nice book. People who have dogs should read this book, too.
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