Title: Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep
Author: Liz Kessler
Illustrator: Sarah Gibb
Reviewed by: Nikolas, Grade 4
This book is the second one about Emily Windsnap. It is not always clear who is telling the story because it is partly told by Emily Windsnap, the mermaid, and partly told by a girl named Mandy Rushtown who doesn't like Emily. When Emily is talking, the beginning of the chapter has a picture of the sea. When Mandy is talking, you see an M at the beginning with a little picture under it. In this story, there is also a monster named Kraken who is supposed to protect Allpoints Island. These three things come together because Kraken is trying to destroy a cruise ship and then captures Emily. Mandy sees when Emily is taken, and decides to try to save her. The main message is that you should like people who haven't done anything to you.
The story takes place at Allpoints Island and all around the Bermuda Triangle. On Allpoints Island, merfolk and humans live together. There are the Grand Caves where Neptune comes. There is the mermaid school where you learn about fish and which ones are bad. There are the Emerald Caves and a beautiful lagoon. There is also Kraken's cave where they awake the Kracken.
Mandy Rushton is a mean girl at first, but then she learns that it's not fun to be mean. Mandy does not start at Allpoints Island. She starts on a cruise ship that is sucked into the Bermuda Triangle and is off course. At the end, she gets to be friends with Emily because she realizes that Emily has not done anything to her and so that she could give being nice a try.
I recommend this book because it is a good story and it is adventurous and mysterious. Sometimes I was surprised, and sometimes it was exciting. The most interesting part was when the water turns glassy at the Bermuda Triangle and then the Kraken comes out. It was interesting because I never thought that water would become still before a monster came out. I would have thought that it would have been all choppy, like when Neptune comes in! I think that this book is a fraction better than The Tail of Emily Windsnap which is the first book because it has more excitement to it.
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: Warriors 2: Fire and Ice
Author: Erin Hunter
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Reviewed by: Alex G., Grade V
This book is about four different clans of cats. Windclan and Thunderclan are fighting together against Riverclan and Shadowclan. The reason for their fighting is because Riverclan and Shadowclan don't want Windclan to return to the territory they lost in a previous war. Two cats named Fireheart and Graystripe, who belong to Thunderclan, hide a friend named Ravenpaw because an enemy from its same clan wanted to kill him. When Fireheart and Graystripe return to their clan the war starts. At the end the strongest and the bravest of all prevails.
The message the book "Warriors 2" gives to the reader is to help a friend when he most needs it. Another message is to never do something that is against the rules.
The book "Warriors" 2 takes place in the woods close to neighborhoods. It takes place during the Winter months. The setting is very important because imagining the cats fighting during extreme weather conditions makes it harder to win a battle. So strategy, strength endurance are all qualities needed to survive and win a war. And as a reader, imagining these scarce conditions makes the story more powerful.
Graystripe is the second main character of the story. He is is a gray cat with yellow eyes.This cat is very strong, intelligent and brave. Graystripe learns several lessons throughout the story. He learn the importance of following clan rules and that he should always tell the truth or else people won't believe him. Graystripe reminds me of my brother Sebastian because he is strong and intelligent.
I wouldn't recommend this book. When I read the summary on the back of the book I expected the book to have a mix of action, adventure and peaceful moments but instead it was full of wars and adventure and no peace.
The type of reader that I think will enjoy this book are those readers that like constant violence.
Title: The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop
Author: Kate Saunders
Reviewed by: Nadia C., Grade IV
The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop is about the Spoffard family. When they receive a letter from a lawyer stating that they had inherited Mr. Spoffard’s great uncle’s chocolate shop and house they jump at the chance, and move in. The next day Pierre’s (one of Mr. Spoffard’s great uncles) immortal, talking cat, Demerara takes the Spoffard twins, Oz and Lily, and their new neighbor, Caydon to the secret ministry of the unexplained (SMU), where they find out that they are witches! Once they sign the official secrets act, they find out about their first mission. Their evil great-great uncle Isadore (who is immortal) is trying to find his brother’s golden molds, so he can sell his immortality chocolate to an evil gang that wants to take over the world! Their mission is with the help of the SMU, to dive for the tram that Isadore crashed to murder his brothers, find Marcel’s mold, and transfer it to a high-security government vault. They get the mold but Isadore kidnaps Oz. They have to rescue him. Will they make it?
The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop takes place in London, England.
One of the characters, Lily Spoffard, has dyslexia and is constantly being teased about it at her school. To make it worse, everyone thinks her twin brother, Oz is a genius. So it is a big relief to Lily when she finds out that having dyslexia only makes her a better witch.
I liked the The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop so much I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Author: Erin Hunter
Genre: fiction, fantasy
Reviewed by: Alex G., Grade V
This book is about a small orange cat that goes and lives with other cats in the wild. This cat is named Rusty and it gets its name changed to Firepaw. This group of cats are called ThunderClan.
These cats are trying to survive in the wild and in order for these cats to survive they need to protect their hunting ground from other clans and animals.The way they protect their hunting ground is by fighting for the territory. In the end of the book two clans named shadow clan and thunder clan fight a war for the territory.
At the end the bravest of the clans win and the losers were the ones who broke the rules.
The message of the story is that breaking rules is not the best way to go. And the creatures that show bravery, the ones that follow rules and the ones that show respect for each other are the ones that triumph.
The setting takes place in a very big forest where different kinds of cat clans live. The forest covers very dark areas, where it can be extremely dangerous, and areas with much more light and safer to be around. The setting is extremely important because it is where all the story takes place.
The main character in this story is Firepaw. Firepaw is an orange cat with a bright yellow neon color eyes. Firepaw grows and changes significantly throughout the story. He starts as an apprentice and then he becomes a great warrior.
Firepaw learns that if he follows rules, shows respect for others and shows signs of bravery, he can succeed in life.
Although Firepaw doesn't necessarily remind me of myself or anyone I know I do think that when I also follow rules, show respect for others, have a good attitude, and follow my instincts and my values, I can become a winner in life.
I wouldn't recommend this book because is very repetitive, very descriptive and too many wars.
The only type of reader who I can think of that could enjoy this book is someone with a special interest in nature and violence.
Title: Summer Reading is Killing Me
Author: Jon Scieszka
Illustrator: Lane Smith
Genre: fiction, fantasy
Reviewed by: Dylan V.
The book is about three pals that are a team called The Time Warp Trio and their adventures inside books. Their names are Joe, Freddie and Sam. This time, the Time Warp Trio have a difficult mission. You see, Joe has a special book and Sam accidently puts their summer reading list inside the special book. So now,the bad guys from the book on the summer reading list take over (like the Devil, Frankenstein, Mr.Teddy and a giant 266 pound chicken) and the Time Warp Trio have to stop them. Although, they have to face some scary challenges. I think the main message in the book is to try to find the joy in reading books no matter how scary it seems. Would you like to know more? You could by reading The time Warp Trio #7: Summer Reading is Killing Me!
The book takes place in New York City, but during part of the book it takes place in Hoboken.
Sam is a character who isn't a big fan of reading. He likes to let lose and have fun. So summer is probably his favorite time of the year.
I enjoyed the illustrations very much, they really helped me visualize the story. Also, the illustrations were really funny and simple.
I recommend this book because it's funny and I think other readers would laugh a lot, too.
Title: The Wizard of Oz
Author: L. Frank Baum
Reviewed by: Sheridan K., Grade IV
This book is about a girl named Dorothy who lives in Kansas with her aunt and uncle. She and her dog, Toto, are blown away by a tornado to a magical land called Oz. She meets a scarecrow who needs brains, a tin man who needs a heart and a lion who needs courage. They travel together to meet the Wizard to ask him for help and they're trying to avoid the Wicked Witch of the West. The message is that other places might be wonderful but there's no place like home.
The setting is mostly in Oz. It's important because there are a lot of magical things that go on there.
Dorothy is the main character. She is always in good spirits. That reminds me a little but of me because I'm usually in happy spirits. She is kind because she takes her new friends with her and helps them. Of course, she learns there is no place like home with your family.
This is the second time I read this book and I read it on a Kindle, which had some small black and white illustrations. They were nice. Previously, I read a book with lots of colorful illustrations and they were very pretty.
I know it's a famous movie and most people have seen it. But you should read the book too, because it's a little different. I really enjoy magical stories and I like that it's up to the reader to decide whether everything that happened was just all one of Dorothy's dreams.
Title: The Tail of Emily Windsnap
Author: Liz Kessler
Reviewed by: Sheridan K., Grade IV
Rating: *** 1/2
Emily lives on a houseboat with her mother. When she goes swimming for the first time in seventh grade, she finds out she's half mermaid.
She sneaks out one night into the ocean and meets another mermaid named Shona who becomes her friend. They go on an adventure to find Emily's father who was imprisoned by King Neptune because he married a human. Emily has a couple of enemies who make it hard for her to find her father.
The message of the book is that nothing is stronger than love and you should never give up.
This book is mostly set in the ocean. Of course, that's important because of the magical sea characters.
The time seems like now.
Emily has brown hair that she is growing out. When she is on land she has legs and when she is in the water she has a tail. She learns to keep on trying even if things seem difficult.
There are small black and white illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. They go nicely with the book because they are sea themed. They gave me an idea of what things looked like. For example, one picture was of the dock where Emily's houseboat was.
I really liked this book. I think other girls my age would enjoy reading it because the two main characters are girl mermaids. But boys might like it too, especially because it has King Neptune in it and it's an adventure story.
This is the first book in a series and I've already started reading another one of the books.
Author: Paul Fleischman
Illustrator: Kevin Hawkes
Reviewed by: Nikolas C., Grade III
Weslandia is a book about a boy who does this summer project. So here's how the summer project goes: He is going to create a new civilization. He does this by digging and letting new seeds come in and make new plants. Wesley makes bug repellant and sunscreen from the plants. He makes clothes from the plants' skin. He invents a new language. At the end of the summer he has a lot of new friends because he is so cool and creative.
The book takes place in Wesley's backyard. He lives in an ordinary town. It is summertime.
Wesley is the main character. He is very creative because he just wants to see what happens if he digs up some ground. At the beginning, he doesn't have any friends because he is different.
The illustrations seem so real. I can't believe how the artist drew it.
I love this book. I like it because it is so imaginative and he makes up his own games and his own alphabet and language. My favorite part of the book was when he has no shortage of friends. I have a personal connection with Wesley because I am so imaginative and Wesley is so imaginative.
Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green
By Helen Phillips
Reviewed by Nadia C., Grade IV
Madeline and Ruby's dad, also known as the Bird Guy, is threatened that if he does not capture the last Lava-Throated Volcano Trogons for a spa known as La Lava, they will harm his family. When Ruby fails to decode his letter in time, and they travel to La Lava, they have to figure out a way to save themselves, their dad, and the birds before it's too late.
The story takes place in the present. The author doesn't specify where it takes place, but she does say the setting is based on Costa Rica.
Madeline Flynn Wade is a main character. Madeline freaks out a lot and is very scared by The Very Strange and Incredibly Creepy Letter . She is twelve years old and has brown hair. Madeline has a Spanish tutor and is annoyed that her younger sister, Ruby, is constantly outshining her.
I loved Here Where the Sunbeams are Green and would definitely recommend it to other readers! I think people who like mystery, suspense, and adventure would especially like it.
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