Title: My Life as a Cartoonist
Author: Janice Tashjian
Illustrator: Jake Tashjian
Reviewed by: Nikolas, Grade 4
This book is about a boy named Derek who has a monkey named Frank. Derek likes to draw cartoons. One day at his school, a new kid named Umberto comes. Umberto eggs Derek on to a fight and both boys get detention for a week. At first the boys don't get along, but in detention they have to do a comic strip together in a week or else they get detention extended for another week. They manage to get it in before the deadline, and they also become best friends.
The setting is at Derek's house and it branches off to his mom's vet's office because she is a vet and takes care of animals. It takes place at the school. It also takes place at a dog park where Umberto saves the day and it takes place at the ocean where Derek puts a smile on Umberto's face.
Derek is a confident boy. Even though stuff is hard he gets through it. Derek wants to train his monkey for Umberto but at the end, Umberto says he doesn't really need a monkey in his house. Derek reminds me of Snoopy because Snoopy fights through all sorts of things and gets a little frustrated like Derek. But Snoopy keeps on trying and goes away feeling proud when he succeeds.
There are cartoons in this book that mostly explain what some complicated words mean. Like for the word 'dissipate,' it shows a stick figure with pieces of him coming off of him like a mosaic. I like the illustrations, and once in a while there is a funny cartoon like the one in the beginning of the book. This comic is funny and is part of the story because it shows one of Derek's cartoons. It also gets you interested in the story.
I recommend this book to readers that like to read stuff about someone's life because it teaches you how times can be hard but you just have to fight through it. My favorite part was when Umberto got to get back on the ocean because his first time on the ocean was when he was a baby so I felt good for him that he got to go surfing again. Something surprising was at the end when Derek and Umberto became friends. This book is a series of "My Life" books and there is also My Life as a Book and My Life as a Stunt Boy.
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.
Author: Louis Sachar
Genre: Mystery, Adventure
Reviewed by: Nikolas C., Grade 3
This story is about a boy named Stanley Yelnats which is Stanley Yelnats spelled backwards! Stanley gets in trouble because shoes fall from the sky, and he picks them up and starts running. A police officer saw the shoes and it turned out that they were the stinky sneakers of Clyde Livingston, a famous baseball player. As punishment, Stanley gets sent to Camp Green Lake which used to have the biggest lake in Texas but now it doesn’t have a lake and isn’t green and isn’t really a camp. It is a bad camp to build character where you have to dig holes that are five feet deep and five feet wide every single day. Would you like to go to a camp like this? I don’t think I would.
There is a second story in this book about Stanley Yelnats’ great great grandfather named Elya and Madame Zeroni. Elya was in love with a girl and wanted to marry her but there was a pig growing competition to see who would marry her. Madame Zeroni told Elya to carry the pig up the mountain every day, and on the last day he should carry her up the mountain and let her drink from the stream. Elya did this and became strong and had a great pig, but he learned that the girl didn’t really love him. He decided to go to America and he forgot to carry Madame Zeroni up the mountain and so she put a curse on him and the ever since then the Yelnats family has had bad luck.
There is also another story in the book that took place one hundred years ago. There was a lady named Kate Barlow that made the best peaches in town. She was a teacher and everything was great until she fell in love with Onion Man Sam. Kate becomes an outlaw and robs lots of people around Green Lake.
The main character is Stanley Yelnats. He is nice, thoughtful and meaningful. He was not a bad kid, but he was in the wrong place at the wrong time so he got arrested. At Camp Green Lake he had a really nice friendship with a boy named Zero. Together they escaped the camp and figured out a way to survive.
I like this book and I think you would like it too because it is a very good explanation of something that looks bad but in the end works out well. I really recommend this book because it is fun and adventurous. At the beginning it doesn’t make sense, but in the end all these stories come together and you understand it more. My favorite part was the end because I was so amazed that I didn’t see all the connections from the very beginning. I was surprised and happy!
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: Toys Go Out
Author: Emily Jenkins
Illustrator: Paul O. Zelinsky
Reviewed by: Makayla T., Grade II
This book is about toys that are best friends and go out on adventures. It takes place at school, at a little girl's house and at the beach.
The stuffed animals talk and move around. Lumphy is the buffalo that is nice.
There are not many pictures, but the few show the scene.
I might tell my friends to read Toys Go Out because it is funny and creative.
Title: Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman
Author: Marc Tyler Nobleman
Illustrator: Ross MacDonald
Reviewed by: Dylan V., Grade V
This book is about 2 boys named Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The weren't too popular in school and they both didn't have alot of friends, until they met each other. They made their own comic books. Jerry does the writing and Joe was the illustrator. One day Joe thought "What if someone could be super - strong, be super - fast and fly?" So, he jotted some notes down, went to Joe's house and created Superman. You want to know more about the book? You could if you read Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman .
Something I learned from this book is that you don't need to be super to do something great.
The illustrations looked almost like the real thing and really good. I'll try and draw like that someday.
I recommend this book for other people because it was a really interesting story.
(Also because Superman is my favorite superhero)
Title: The Penderwicks
Author: Jeanne Birdsall
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Reviewed by: Nadia C., Grade IV
The Penderwicks is about four sisters, Batty, Jane, Sky, and Rosalind Penderwick, and their dog Hound. Right before summer vacation a greedy landlord sells the house that they usually rent for the summer. Instead, Mr. Penderwick rents a cottage on the border of the Arundel grounds. While exploring, Sky encounters a boy named Jeffrey. Over the three weeks that they stay at Arundel the Penderwick sisters form a close friendship with Jeffrey. In only three weeks Jeffrey saves Batty’s life twice, and in return the Penderwicks help his mother understand his true feelings about Military school.
The story takes place in the present, on the grounds of a mansion called Arundel.
Mrs. Tifton is Jeffrey’s mother. She usually means well, but is often cruel to Jeffrey and the Penderwick sisters. For example, Mrs. Tifton and her boyfriend, Dexter Durpree secretly plan to marry and send Jeffrey to military school, even though Jeffrey wants to be a musician!
I would recommend The Penderwicks to people who like thrilling and funny adventures, but don’t really like fiction that is completely made-up.
Review by Antonia O., Grade V
The Penderwick sisters had looked out for each other after their Mother passed away. There are 4 sisters. Rosalind (12 years old) she is the responsible one. Skye (11 years old ) she is teaching her self algebra.. Jane (10 years old) she writes stories and plays soccer. Batty(4 years old) is really shy. The 4 sisters are on their way to a place called Arundel. On their way Batty found a dog. The dog is part of the hound family. The 4 sisters can't wait to explore new things and places there. They found 2 cute little rabbits while they where exploring .The Penderwicks sisters find themselves staying in a place called Arundel. They also meet a very interesting boy named Jeffrey. Jeffrey's mom wants him to go to military School but Jeffery dose not want to go to military School. The Penderwicks sisters try to help him out.
I think people should read this book because is about 4 sisters helping out a boy from going to military School. If you are a kind person that loves helping others, then this book is for you! This book is a wonderful book.
Title: The Lemonade War
Author: Jacqueline Davies
Reviewed by:Antonia O., Grade V
Evan and Jessie are brother and sister. Jessie had skip two grades and is going into 4th. Evan is mad that Jessie is going to be in the same class. Jessie finds that good news because Jessie wants Evan to introduce her to the whole class. Jessie and Evan have an argument. Evan and Jessie have a lemonade war. they want to see who can make the most money in the hot days in summer. Evan does his lemonade stand with a boy name Scott. Jessie does her lemonade stand with a girl name Megan. I think the main message here is never have a silly argument with a family member. But if you do, you can always make up.
Reviewed by Lucas V.
This book is about a Lemonade War between a brother and a sister. They compete to get the most money by the end of a week. Whomever gets the most money also gets to keep the other person's money and do whatever they want with the money.
The book takes place in the present. The setting is mostly in their neighborhood during the summer break.
There are two main characters, Jessie and Evan. Jessie is smarter than Evan (she skipped a grade). Evan is a good salesman (he made $100 in five days). They are very competitive and don't get along well. By the end of the book they learn how to get along and they learned about business and marketing.
I'd recommend this book to people who like doing chores or having a lemonade stand. Or anyone who just likes reading books or learning about business.
Title: The Lemonade Crime
Author: Jacqueline Davies
Illustrator: Cara Llewellyn
Reviewed by: Kayla H., Grade V
This book is about the life of a
couple of fourth graders. They have a pool party and a kid's money disappears. A lot of people assume that this kid at the party stole it and bought a 20/20 xbox with the money. They have a fake court to decide if the person who "stole" the money is guilty.
The setting takes place in a town like Princeton. The time is the present.
The character I am going to describe is Jessie. Jessie grows to be more responsible and more caring. Jessie learns that you should always try to make things better. She reminds me of myself because she always tries to make everything better in a bad situation.
There are not a lot of pictures in this book, but when you do see one it helps you
understand what is happening. The illustrations help me draw a bigger picture of the story in my head. The illustrations are mostly letters to someone or about something. There are no pictures of the characters or the scenery. This makes me use my imagination to picture the characters and the scenery. I like imagining what they look like rather than seeing them in an illustration.
I would recommend this book because it really draws you to want to read more of it. I would recommend this book to people who like mysteries. I liked how all through the book it kept you wondering how the story would end.
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