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: 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: Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard Genius
Author: Frank Asch
Reviewed by: Nikolas C., Grade III
The book is about a boy who is very creative but his pesky little brother is always getting in his way. He decides to go to another planet to get away from his brother. He builds a space ship out of cardboard boxes and builds a lot of other things. He doesn't get to space in this book, but it is a series of three books, and in the last book he might!
I think the setting is in the future because Alex invents things that haven't been invented yet and aren't even close to being invented!
Alex is the main character. Alex dislikes his brother and he loves Zoe Breen who he sits behind in study hall. He is nice because he invents things and he lets his brother try them out although he doesn't like him. He is imaginative because he makes up things and then he builds them and they work and it is amazing!
There are a couple illustrations that I like since they show you what Alex invented. I like them because they make you feel like you could actually make it.
I would recommend this book to you because if you don't have a brother, if kind of shows what brothers are like! The story is very good because it's like the book is telling a true story but it can't really happen. The author did a good job telling the story so it seemed real. There are three books in the Cardboard Genius series and I read all of them and I love them!
Title: The Dumpster Diver
Author: Janet S. Wong
Illustrator: David Roberts
Reviewed by: Nikolas C., Grade III
Is garbage really garbage? Have you ever stopped to think that you can make so many things out of it? If you like to think about making creative things, then read The Dumpster Diver. In this book, the dumpster diver team works together. The kids help the Dumpster Diver get all the beetles and bugs off him and the garbage treasure he pulls out of dumpster. Then they make the garbage into something else like a paraskater!
This story takes place in a back alley and an apartment building in a city. It looks like New York. The most important places in the book are the dumpster and the basement and Steve's apartment.
Steve is a person who doesn't want to buy stuff that is in the store. He is extraordinary. He likes to go in the back alley and dive in the the dumpster to find things. He is very cool because he can make a lot of good things. He has a good and creative mind. This character reminds me of myself because I like to be creative too.
I like how the words that tell the story are on cardboard, bits of paper, and tape in the pictures. I made a connection between the pictures in this book as the ones in the book Iggy Peck, Architect. They kind of look the same, especially the boy named Johnny. Both books have the same illustrator! I love David Roberts illustrations because you can feel like you are there.
I recommend this book because it just takes you away to this place and you want to go dumpster diving! It seems so fun and I love their creativity. Anybody else who wasn't creative would want to be creative after they saw what they could do with garbage in this book. It just bursts you away to creative land!
Title: Iggy Peck, Architect
Author: Andrea Beaty
Illustrator: David Roberts
Reviewed by Nikolas C., Grade III
Iggy Peck, Architect is about a boy who loves to build buildings out of anything he can find like apples, peaches, pancakes, cat food, and diapers. When he gets to second grade, the teacher doesn't like buildings so she asks him to go to Principal Howe because he was building something he wasn't supposed to. But when they go to Blue River Pass, Iggy saves the day because he can build so well.
The story takes place at Iggy's school and outside at Blue River Pass. It is just ordinary time, buy maybe it is in the future.
Iggy Peck loves to build things. When he was two, he built a Leaning Tower of Pisa out of diapers. Some were dirty and some were not! He built a castle out of chalk. Because he's such a good builder, he is able to save the day!
The illustrations look very realistic and it's very cool how Iggy's buildings look compared to real life. The buildings that he makes don't look fake like something is going to fall down. I love the details like when the teacher Miss Lila Greer says to the class that she doesn't want anybody building anything. She throws books in the garbage to show she doesn't want any talk of buildings in the room. The pictures are sometimes funny, and if you look really closely, you can find some funny things. If you look at the second to last page, you can find something that you wear!
I recommend this book because even if you don't like architecture, it actually makes you want to build things because you see all these great buildings. It interested me because at Princeton Junior School I build a lot of things with the blocks, and I really like architecture. My favorite building of Iggy's was the castle of chalk because it looks beautiful and very realistic. I have never made anything out of chalk, but it would be hard because chalk is very roly poly!
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.
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