Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ category


May 28, 2014

Today in Mrs. Keane’s library class, I asked the students to write a book review of a book they have LOVED in their time here at CPS. I was pleased with the results: here are some of them.

cardboard1CARDBOARD by Doug Tennapel
If you’re a person who likes action then this graphic novel is for you.

It’s Cam’s birthday and his dad is really poor and looking for money for a present. He went to his boss and his boss gave him 78 cents so he starts driving back to his house. But then he sees a stand on the side of the road and stops at it. It is selling toys. Then the store clerk gives him suggestions and he gives him a cardboard box, but what Cam’s dad doesn’t know that it is magical. So he buys it for 78 cents and drives to his house. And Cam loves it. They build a pro boxer and he names him Bill and that night he comes alive. But these stupid bullies spray Bill’s legs the next day. So they have to build a cardboard maker and make Bill new legs. Then the bullies steal it and they make evil Cardboard people and monsters. Can Cam and his dad get it back or will the town be overrun with these horrible creatures?


Inkheart_bookINKHEART by Cornelia Funke
When Meggie sees a mysterious stalker outside her bedroom, and Mo, her father, is kidnapped by mysterious men just for a book, she is caught in the story (literally) of her missing mother. An evil maniac, a white washed assassin, and a scarred fire-eater came to being and forced Meggie’s mother into it. To escape the clutches of the maniac Capricorn, Meggie must harness the magic that subdued her own mother to the paper prisons of the pages of Inkheart.


spiderwickTHE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES  by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

The Spiderwick Series is amazing. It brought me to a whole different world. The books are about three kids and their Mom living in an old house that has a circle of mushrooms around it to keep the trolls out from their house so they can’t get to the book that has every little secret about the secret life. The writing is more than descriptive. If you read the first book you would be amazed and you would most likely read the whole series. When I was reading it, it felt as though it was happening.


naturegirl200x305NATURE GIRL by Jane Kelley

Want to know a great book? Well here’s one, Nature Girl. If I had to put this book in one word it would be AMAZING! This book is about a girl who gets lost and travels part of the Appalachian Trail. She ran away from her sister, then realized she was just going to visit her friend, who couldn’t come with her for summer vacation because her mom has cancer. When I read this book, I tried to put it down about ten times, but I couldn’t, because I wanted to know how her adventure ended. Did she get eaten the bear? Did she get caught? Did she ever find her way to her friend’s house? This book taught me not to ever wander off because you might get lost.


holesHOLES by Louis Sachar

This book will leave you on the edge of your seat. This book is about a boy named Stanley Yelnats. He’s accused of stealing a pair of shoes, but did he? You will have to read the book to find out. There’s also other exciting things going on all throughout the book. I think it’s an amazing novel and once you start reading it you won’t want to stop.Stanley also goes to a camp where he has to dig holes because they think he did something bad a.k.a steal the shoes.You should read this book – it won’t disappoint you, trust me.



This book is about a boy named Leo who sells newspapers. Leo is poor and he needs money for his family. Leo gets bullied by two kids named Fletch Skies and his “sidekick” Wilkie Barnes.But one day something happened that is considered an earthquake. Do you think he will survive or not? This book will leave you at the edge of your bed.


the new girlTHE NEW GIRL by Meg Cabot
This book made me feel better and not scared when I found out I was moving to a new school. This girl named Ali is moving to a new school and she is very nervous because in her old school she got bullied. This book gives you advice on moving to a new school. That is why I read it when I found out I was moving to a new school.
I read this whole series they are really good books. I could not let go I was so into it.

junie bJUNIE B. JONES, BOSS OF LUNCH by Barbara Park

This  is a hilarious book.

When Junie B. goes to lunch, with her lunch box from home, and everyone else has lunch from school, she sees a sugar cookie on her friend Herbert’s tray. When she takes a bite out of it, the cookie reminds her of the lady in kindergarten who used to bring cookies into her class. “Mrs. Gutzman”, yells Junie B., then she sees her in the kitchen. She runs into the kitchen and gives her a hug and goes on talking, What will happen when Junie B. goes in the kitchen? What will Mrs. Gutzman do? I read this whole series with my Mom when I was in second grade. It was really funny and Junie B. has a really good personality.


WHAT THE MOON SAID by Gayle Rosengren

April 13, 2014

imgresI just read a great historical fiction book that I found touching and moving. WHAT THE MOON SAID is about an extremely likeable young girl and her family relocating from Chicago to a farm in Wisconsin during the Depression (1930’s) after Pa loses his job. Despite the harsh conditions – the farm is rundown, has no electricity or indoor plumbing – Esther loves the animals and responds to the adventure of living “pioneer style”.  Esther desperately wants her mother , a Russian immigrant who is very superstitious, seeing signs in everything from rings around the moon to the number of birds on the fence post, to show her some affection.  She wants her to be more like her best friend’s mother, but Ma is caught up in the grind of farm life. Through the course of the book, we see Esther respond to tough issues involving school, sickness, and a new best friend, yet she never loses hope or the willingness to try again. If you like the “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, WHAT THE MOON SAID gives you the same feeling.  The past is brought to life as a charming, believable young girl deals with real life situations in ways that make you cheer for her.

FLORA & ULYSSES by Kate DiCamillo

February 28, 2014

flora_cvr_usatoday_rev-3_4This year’s Newbery Award, given to the most distinguished book for children by an American author, goes to FLORA & ULYSSES by Kate DiCamillo.  The author of many popular books such as THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX,  BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, and the MERCY WATSON series, this is a smart, heavily illustrated story with a lot of humor and heart.

Flora is a lonely girl.  Her mother spends all her time writing romance novels, and Flora doesn’t see her father very much (her parents are divorced).  Flora reads a lot of old comic books about “the great Incandesto”, a superhero.  One day she looks out the window and sees a squirrel getting sucked into the neighbor’s vacuum cleaner.  Flora saves the squirrel, who now seems….different somehow.   Has he become a superhero?  How will Flora’s lonely life change because of this squirrel named Ulysses?

EXTRA YARN by Mac Barnett

January 21, 2014

imgresIt’s winter, and we’re all trying to stay warm…plus have a few laughs. I’ve been reading EXTRA YARN by Mac Barnett in lots of my library classes. It is an award-winning  picture book fable about a little girl named Annabelle who lives in a dreary black and white town. She finds a box full of yarn of every color and knits sweaters for everyone in town, plus the pets and the houses, but the yarn never runs out! When a greedy archduke sails in from across the sea and steals her box of yarn, you might think that would be the end of her yarn adventures. The ending puts a smile on everyone’s face, and reinforces the notion that good always triumphs over bad, and kindness can transform a community. EXTRA YARN will give you a warm feeling on a cold winter day.

The Christmas Truce of World War I

December 16, 2013

Last year I discovered these three books about the famous Christmas truce that happened during World War I.  In varying degrees of illustration and text, all three books tell the amazing true story of the Christmas Eve in 1914 when the British and the Germans stopped fighting, sang Christmas carols together (in different languages),  exchanged small gifts and conversation, and even played a rousing game of football.  My fifth grade classes have truly had their eyes opened by this gem of a story, which gives us a glimpse of peace and humanity in the midst of the harsh, violent realities of war.

The “BOO” books by J.H. Lee

November 26, 2013

What are the most popular books in the CPS Library lately?  The “Boo” books by J.H. Lee.  Basically they are pictures with captions of this adorable Pomeranian who has been groomed to look like a teddy bear:

When Bella, a second grade student, asked me if I had any books “about the dog who looks like a teddy bear”, I went to the internet and quickly found what she was talking about.  I now have two copies of each of the books, and they are checked out the minute they come back.  Sometimes it’s nice to just enjoy a picture book that make you say “awwwwww” on every page.


October 18, 2013

galaxy zackHave you ever wondered what it would be like to live on another planet? Are you interested in what the future might be like? The “Galaxy Zack” books might be a good series for you!

In this new  easy chapter book series, a boy named Zack moves with his family from Earth to a planet called Nebulon. The sky, land, and water are different colors than on Earth, the cars fly, and the Nebulites speak very differently. Zack is nervous to move and he thinks no one will like him at school. He has to get used to everything on Nebulon.  There are amazing gadgets; for instance, when Zack pushes a button, his bed comes down from the ceiling at night!   There’s  an Indoor Robotic Assistant (IRA) that is wired throughout the house and does almost everything for Zack and his family.   There are fun pictures on every page, making these books great for beginning chapter book readers, but they would be great for a family read-aloud, too.