Book Reviews by Kids

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A to Z Mysteries: The Empty Envelope, by Rob Roy

Review by Sourya M., 3rd grader

The Empty Envelope is such a mysterious book. If you like mysteries, then you should read A to Z Mysteries. The Empty Envelope is about stealing a valuable stamp. Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are trying to solve the mystery. The A to Z Mysteries makes you wonder about a lot. For example, this book makes you wonder how and why they stole the expensive stamp. There are five envelopes, but one is empty. Also, there are two crooks in the whole book. Start reading if you want to find out who the two crooks are and which envelope has the expensive stamp.


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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain

Review by Jason L., 6th grader

I read the Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, which is about young Tom Sawyer, a boy who goes on adventures and always manages to get himself into trouble. His troubles become worse when a murderer is on the loose… Tom is a very brave and heroic character. He managed to get himself and another character, Becky, out of a cave. He is also very smart and resourceful, as shown when he uses a kitestring to find their way out. Trouble strikes when Injun Joe murders a young doctor, and accuses Muff Potter. Tom and Huck saw everything, so Tom told everyone the truth, and Injun Joe fled. Later, Tom met the murderer in a cave… I really enjoyed this book even though it was very short. I also liked the storyline, because it makes you think and wonder what happens next. This was my first time reading a book by Mark Twain, and now I understand why he is famous for his books. The only reason you shouldn’t read this is if you can’t understand the language and slang people used back then. But other than that, I think the Adventures of Tom Sawyer was a great book!


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Allergic, by Megan Wagner Lloyd

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

Allergic is a really nice book! I absolutely enjoyed reading this graphic novel and I would definitely recommend it! This sweet story is about a 10-year-old named Maggie who really wants a dog. She has waited all her life, and finally she will get a dog for her birthday! There’s just one problem…. When her family goes to pick out a puppy, Maggie bursts into hives and rashes. She is severely allergic to any animal with fur or feathers!
Without a dog, Maggie starts to feel lonely. She just changed schools, doesn’t have friends, and feels left out of her family. Her twin brothers, Noah and Liam, don’t pay attention to her. And Maggie’s mom and dad are too occupied with getting ready for the new baby. Maggie finally made a friend named Claire. But Claire wasn’t very thoughtful and adopted a dog, knowing that Maggie was very allergic. Now Maggie can’t go over to Claire’s house! Maggie was super mad. How could her best friend do this to her? The theme of the story is to appreciate what you have and not be so jealous of other people. I give this book a thumbs up!


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Apocalypse Taco, by Nathan Hale

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

This is a graphic novel which features eleven-year-old twins named Ivan and Axl and a sixteen year old named Sid who take a break from their theater club to get food at Taco Bear. When there, weird things start happening and their food starts attacking them! Their world is turned upside down and they need to save it from destruction. This book is very creative and full of humor. I would recommend this to anyone. This book shows the danger of artificial life.


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Around the World in 80 Days: Retold from the Jules Verne Original, Adapted by Deanna McFadden

Review by Srisharan S., 5th grader

I really like this book because it is really interesting. It is about a man named Phileas Fogg and his new butler named Passpertout who wants to go around the world in 80 days so he can win a bet. In the first four days they went to Paris and Italy. They then went on a streamer called Mongolia. Also there was a detective named Fix and he thought Fogg was a robber. Next they went to Africa and sailed to Bombay. There they saw an elephant and took that elephant to Hong Kong. From Hong Kong they went to Japan and then to the Americas. They were almost finished; they just had one last stop in England and Fix was chasing them everywhere they went. When they went to England and Fix arrested him thinking he was the criminal but he wasn’t. James Strant was and Fogg was free to go and innocent. Also, while he was in England he thought he lost the bet but the butler’s watch and Fogg’s watch were not in the correct time so they were able to make it and Fogg won the bet. As you can see I really like this book because it is so interesting.


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The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea; a graphic novel, by Raina Telgemeier (Series Book 1)

Review by Caitlyn C., 4th grader

The Baby-Sitters Club is an awesome series! This book is not the original, but it is still great! The Baby-Sitters Club is a club of four girls who are in 7th Grade. Their names are Kristy Thomas, Claudia Kishi, Mary Anne Spier, and Stacey McGill. They each have different personalities. For example, Claudia likes to paint and make crafts, and Stacey McGill is from New York City! Together, they form a club to baby-sit kids around the neighborhood. You can make one call and reach four experienced Baby-Sitters! 
Throughout the book, it shows lots of funny but problem solving situations, like when Claudia had to babysit two boys and two girls who fought over toy trucks and Claudia had to calm them down by reading to the kids. There was a scary situation when Mary Anne babysat two kids who had a witch next door, and Mary Anne had to get their cat out of the witch’s garden. I think this book is an outstanding book and I would recommend it to anybody. This book makes you want to read the real series!


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The Baby-Sitters Club: The Truth About Stacey; a graphic novel, by Raina Telgemeier (Series Book 2)

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

I enjoyed reading this awesome graphic novel! The story is like an adventure, and I think you will really like reading this book!
This story is about a girl, Stacey, who has diabetes and can’t eat sugar. She just moved here from New York, and because of her sickness, Stacey struggles to make new friends. But when she joins the Baby-Sitters club, she doesn’t tell her new friends about her diabetes. Stacey’s afraid her new friends, Kristy, Mary Anne, and Claudia won’t be her friend if they found out she was a “sick girl.”
The Baby-Sitters club is a club of baby-sitters who baby-sit kids in their neighborhood. Soon, the Baby-sitters club gets a flier for another baby-sitting club. It looks like a competition between the Baby-Sitters club and this new club! But the Baby-Sitters club has a secret weapon – friendship and teamwork!
The theme of this book is to be honest and not hide your secrets so your friends can help you. This is a really fun book and I would really recommend it!


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The Baby-Sitters Club: Mary Anne Saves The Day ; a graphic novel, by Raina Telgemeier (Series Book 3)

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

I loved reading Mary Anne Saves the day! It’s so funny and full of awesomeness!
This graphic novel is about a girl, Mary Anne, who is part of a club called The Baby-Sitters Club. She has three friends, Kristy, Stacey, and Claudia. Mary Anne’s mother died when she was a baby, and ever since her father has been overprotective. He makes her wear her hair in braids, wear clothes that look like they are for three-year-olds, and doesn’t let her redecorate her room!
One day, the BSC had a big fight. Mary Anne is now on her own, and she has to make new friends and sit by herself in the cafeteria. But during lunch, Mary Anne meets Dawn Schafer, a girl who recently moved there from California. They become fast friends, and Kristy feels left out. But when Mary Anne is baby-sitting for Jenny Prezzioso, she starts burning up and Mary Anne can’t call her friends for help. Can Mary Anne save The Baby-Sitters Club from breaking up?
The theme of this book is to be nice to your friends or it will backfire. I enjoyed reading this book and I think you would too!


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The Baby-Sitters Club: Claudia and Mean Janine; a graphic novel, by Raina Telgemeier (Series Book 4)

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

I liked reading Claudia and Mean Janine by Raina Telgemeier! It’s very interesting and funny. You will love reading this graphic novel!

In this book, Claudia is part of a Club called The Baby-Sitters Club. She’s the vice president, and she has four friends in the club, Kristy, Mary Anne, Stacey, and Dawn. But Claudia also has a mean big sister, Janine. Janine is a genius. She always aces tests, and studies 24/7. Claudia, on the other hand, loves art, doesn’t pay much attention to school, and likes to babysit.
Claudia and Janine’s grandmother, Mimi, is a kind woman who always listens to everyone and treats both Claudia and Janine fairly. But Claudia and Janine don’t get along well. They always fight about math and babysitting.
One day Mimi is watching Claudia and Janine. Claudia and Janine are fighting, as usual. But then, something terrible happens to Mimi. Will Claudia and Janine figure out how to get along and help Mimi get better?
The theme of this book is you must learn to get along with your friends and family in order to help. I loved reading this book and I give it a thumbs up!


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The Baby-Sitters Club: Dawn And The Impossible Three; a graphic novel, by Gale Galligan (Series Book 5)

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

I really enjoyed reading Dawn and The Impossible Three! I love this book because it is super funny and fun to read!
This book is about a girl, Dawn Schafer, who moved from California to Connecticut. She doesn’t have many friends, but soon she is invited to join the Baby-Sitters Club, and now she has four new friends, Mary Anne, Stacey, Claudia, and Kristy. But things aren’t going well after Dawn takes a baby-sitting job for the three Barrett kids. Since she’s the newest member of the Baby-Sitters Club, she’s very excited for this job. But the Barrett kids are too much to handle. Their house is always a big mess, the kids always misbehave, like when Buddy gave Mary Anne the “Bizzer Sign,” which is when you make the L sign with your fingers and say “Bzz,” and Mrs. Barrett never gives Dawn any rules or instructions. Dawn really wants to be a good part in the BSC, but she can’t figure out how to be compatible with Kristy. What can Dawn do?
The theme of this book is to speak up in order for things to change. I liked reading this graphic novel and I give it a thumbs up!


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The Baby-Sitters Club: Stacey’s Mistake; a graphic novel, by Ellen T. Crenshaw (Series Book 14)

Review by Gracie S., 4th grader

This is a graphic novel based on characters by Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters club. Stacey was a member of The Baby-Sitters Club but she had to move to New York City. She is excited because her friends from the BSC are coming to visit. When they get there, she is annoyed by her old friends. Each one of them acts weird or annoying and Stacey is upset because she doesn’t remember them acting this way. This reminds me of when my cousin comes to visit from Virginia. Sometimes she is annoying! I liked this book. It reminded me of my family.


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The Baby-Sitters Club: Claudia and the Bad Joke; a graphic novel, by Ann M. Martin (Series Book 15)

Review by Gracie S., 4th grader

This book is about girls who baby sit in Stoney Brook. I liked it because I live in Stony Brook. In this book, there is a little girl who likes to prank people and play jokes on people and she took it way too far. She asked to go on swings and she knew that the swing her babysitter Claudia would go on was broken. Claudia fell off the swing and broke her leg. I felt upset at the girl because babysitters are fun to have and you should never play jokes on someone who could get hurt by your joke.


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Baby-Sitters Little Sister: Karen’s Worst Day ; a graphic novel, by Katy Farina (Series Book 3)

Review by Gracie S., 4th grader

In this book, Karen is having a terrible day. Everything seems to be going wrong for her. She gets in trouble and gets sent to her room. Karen feels like she is having lots of bad luck. She had a bad dream about falling off a cliff and actually fell off her bed. Many other bad luck things happen to her. Sometimes I feel like my days are unlucky too, but this book made me feel better because Karen had a REALLY bad day! It also reminded me of my brothers because Karen’s brothers took her out for ice cream. Her day started to get better once that happened. I really liked this book!


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Baby-Sitters Little Sister: Karen’s Birthday ; a graphic novel, by Katy Farina (Series Book 6)

Review by Gracie S., 4th grader

This is a Baby-Sitters Club book. Karen, the main character, is having a birthday. She is excited for her birthday and makes a list of invitations of who she wants to celebrate with. Her parents are divorced and they both plan different parties. She really just wants everyone to be together in one party for her birthday. Her step brother calls her greedy, but it’s only because she pretends that she wants 210 presents! Her favorite present is when she can celebrate with everyone she loves. This book reminds me of my birthday and having different family parties for different parts of my family.


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Bad Kitty Takes the Test, by Nick Bruel

Review by Jessie-Marie P., 3rd grader

In Bad Kitty Takes the Test, Bad Kitty receives a letter in the mail. Inside the envelope is a note which reads, “Dear Bad Kitty: You have not been acting like a cat. You let the baby dress you up for Halloween, you got stuck in the vet’s blinds, and you let the puppy sit on you when you were sleeping. You must take a test to make sure you are still a cat!” Her owner was very confused but still she made her go to the school and take the test. Strange Kitty was leading the class. Chatty Kitty was there and was very scared. There was even a kitty that didn’t look like a cat there, and for some reason Uncle Murray showed up. The book was very good and very funny. I recommend that you read it to find out the ending!


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Bailey’s Story, by W. Bruce Cameron

Review by Catherine E., 5th grader

I gave the book Bailey’s Story a thumbs up review because it was a great story about friendship between a dog and his boy.  You will really like this book if you like dogs.  
In the beginning, Ethan, the boy, gets a puppy named Bailey.  They make a special bond with each other.  Ethan plays with Bailey, walks him, and sleeps with him at night.  After a while their bond is strong. 
The villain in the book was a boy named Todd.  He was jealous of the friendship between Ethan and Bailey.  Todd did many mean things to Ethan, for example in the winter they would race down the hill on a sled and Bailey would be so excited to play he would jump on Ethan’s sled.  That caused the sled to be heavier and Ethan to win the race.  Todd then started yelling at them and saying they were cheaters. This is one example of how Todd was mean to Bailey and Ethan. Bailey began not to like Todd, and the special thing about dogs is they can sense when someone isn’t nice!
The end is my favorite part of the book.  Bailey caught someone setting the bushes on fire. He started biting this villain which left a blood trail to the house where he/she lives.  He then starts barking to make his family aware that the house was on fire.  In the end, Bailey was a real HERO!


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Because of Mr. Terupt, by Rob Buyea

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

This is the story of a group of 5th graders. This book is told from the perspective of seven of them. All of them have different personalities and don’t necessarily get along, but will Mr.Terupt be able to fix that? This is a heartwarming book and amazing writing. I would recommend this book to anyone. The theme of this story is you should take responsibility for your actions.


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Because of Winn Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

I really liked the book Because of Winn-Dixie! It is very inspiring! I liked how the author writes exactly how the main character, India Opal, thinks and feels about her stray dog, Winn-Dixie.
In this book, Opal (she likes to be called by her second name), discovers a stray dog in a supermarket called Winn-Dixie. She decides to adopt this dog and also name it Winn-Dixie. At first Opal’s father, nicknamed The Preacher, doesn’t think they should keep Winn-Dixie.  But then he finds out Winn-Dixie is a stray and decides Opal can keep it. Together Opal and Winn-Dixie have many adventures. Opal has a father but not a mother. Her mama left her when she was three years old. She wishes her mama was with her on all her adventures and wants to learn more about her mama.
Opal does not like The Dewberry boys named Stevie and Dunlap because they always tease her. Opal calls them “Bald-headed babies.” The Dewberry boys don’t like Opal either. They always chase Opal and Winn-Dixie on their bicycles.
One day Winn-Dixie goes missing. Opal and her father search everywhere but Winn-Dixie is nowhere in sight. Opal is sad and continues to search even though her father wants to give up. Will Winn-Dixie be found? Read this wonderful book to find out!

Review by Ethan Y., 4th grader

I read the book “Because of Winn-Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo. A 10-year-old girl, Opal, who is lonely and feels abandoned by her mother. She adopts a stray dog named Winn-Dixie. Winn-Dixie helps Opal make friends with people in town. She meets the Pet Store owner, Otis, the librarian, Miss Franny, and Gloria Dump. Opal learns that all three people have something in the past that has hurt them. In the story, through the discovery of her dog and the actions that follow, Opal begins to allow herself to open up with new people and accept their love and friendship. This eventually helps her to accept the abandonment of her mother, repair the relationship with her father, and find joy in the people who are still in her life. In the end, Opal and Gloria host a party and invite everyone they know. When it starts to rain, Opal can’t find Winn-Dixie anywhere, even after searching the town. Will she be able to find Winn-Dixie? I would recommend this awesome book and give it a thumbs up.


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Behind the Bedroom Wall, by Laura E. Williams

Review by Valentina Sofia T., 6th grader

This book is about Korinna who is a part of a local Nazi youth camp. We see her realize that the world as she knew it was wrong. I liked this book because it showed how the youth camps influenced the kids from such a young age and how they were being brainwashed. I enjoyed reading it because of the different and diverse range of characters from the Jews to the overtly loyal Germans. It showed how people change and that you don’t realize the terror others endure until you see it for yourself. The book was written with the emotional roller coaster that Korinna goes through and conveys all the different emotions that she feels.


Belly Up, by Stuart Gibbs

Review by Finn D., 6th grader

I recommend The FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs because of the twists and surprises around every corner. It is also very funny and there are many characters to read about.  The first book in the series is called Belly Up.  In this book, Henry the Hippo is murdered and the main character, Teddy Fitzroy has to figure out on his own who committed the crime.  He makes friends with Summer McCracken, who is the famous daughter of J.J. McCracken, who is the creator of FunJungle.  Teddy is faced with dangerous situations, a snake let on the loose, tigers breaking out of their exhibit and the annoying security guard, Marge, who is always harassing Teddy.  J.J. McCracken can’t be trusted even though he acts as though he is on Teddy and his friends’ side. Teddy has to investigate without people knowing, or else he could get in trouble. I recommend reading this book series if you get the chance and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.


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Beyond the Bright Sea, by Lauren Wolk

Review by Nora T., 5th grader

Beyond the Bright Sea is a heartwarming story of a girl named Crow who was washed up as a baby on a remote island in the 1900s. As Crow grows older she wants to find out her real parents and if she is from Penikese. As she comes closer to finding out the truth things get thrown in the path. 


The BFG, by Roald Dahl

Review by Jason L., 6th grader

This spectacular novel, by Roald Dahl, is about Sophie, an orphan, and the BFG, a giant. Her life is pretty miserable, until the Big Friendly Giant comes into her life. She sees amazing things in Giant Country that no human has ever seen before, and learns about the other gruesome giants living there who gobble up human beings for supper, so she and the BFG embark on a journey to stop them once and for all. The BFG is a very kind-hearted giant, who, unlike the other man-eating giants, refuses to eat human beings, which makes him unpopular among the other giants. He is always willing to help humans, which is how he got his name, the Big Friendly Giant. I enjoyed reading this book because it was fascinating reading about a giant’s life. I also thought it was kind of funny, because a lot of the words the BFG says doesn’t make sense, and sometimes he gets his words jumbled up. Lastly, I like how the plot moves rapidly from one scene to another, where all of them are interesting, funny, and action-packed. To conclude, I think this was an awesome book, and I’m sure many others would agree.


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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

It’s the late 1900’s and a boy named William is struggling through a famine. Actually, the entire continent of Africa is. The president wasn’t being very helpful at all. Many people were willing to fight for only a bucket of maize. These desperate events and fights lead to danger and harm all around. The population severely decreased, and many people started to resort to stealing from other people. When William was booted from school, he became very into energy and how things work. He develops windmills that help his community. He was invited to a tech conference and suddenly became popular among successful engineers. Read this amazing book to find out more.


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Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson

Review by Valentina Sofia T., 6th grader

Jesse has no friends at school and is even looked down upon by his parents. He is constantly looking for the approval of others until he meets Leslie. She helps him gain confidence in himself and gives him something he hasn’t had in a long time, a friend. I loved the book through its ups and downs. And I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good, interesting read. The book had happy moments and sad moments like any good book, you never know what the next thing would be. The book is enticing for you to read on and the conclusion was beautifully written. It was a heartfelt story and there were no parts in it I would change even if I had all the power in the world to. It can leave you in tears or cheers when it all has ended.

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Review by Emma Y., 6th grader

Bridge to Terabithia is a realistic fiction book by Katherine Paterson. It is a story about a boy named Jess Aarons who lives with his parents and four sisters. However, despite his busy household, Jess feels alone. His dad is always at work, and his mom has to deal with his two older sisters, Ellie and Brenda. The two have one word to describe them: “obnoxious.” Joyce Ann is his younger sister, and is crying all the time. May Belle, his closest sister, is also younger than Jess, but is too young to accompany him everywhere. All this time he has allows him to practice running. Later, when the school year started, and the races started, he would be the fastest runner in fifth grade. However, after the first race, Jess sees something shocking.

Bridge to Terabithia is a really fascinating book that I enjoyed reading. I loved the friendship between Jess and his best friend, Leslie, the two are very imaginative because they created an imaginary world, Terabithia. I couldn’t put it down until I finished reading it, and I loved the ending. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an amazing book!


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Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

It’s 1936 in Flint Michigan, and Bud Calloway is being fostered yet again. This time he’s being placed with the Amoses, a family of a mother, a father, and a twelve-year-old boy, two years older than Bud. Todd, the son of the Amomses, bullies Bud to no end and blames it on Bud. The mom tells Bud to sleep in the shed. Bud runs away with his suitcase and his most prized possessions. He runs three towns over and a man stops his car to let Bud in. Bud goes in and is driven to Grand Rapids where someone who might be his dad lives. Dropped off at the club of his famous “father”, the man claims that he isn’t his father. Bud tries to connect the man with his family. His only evidence is a few flyers his mom gave him. A parentless black boy on the run during the Great Depression, the boy faces discrimination and many hardships. Will he find his father?
The book Bud, Not Buddy was great. I thought it was very interesting how the author (Christopher Paul Curtis) used some of the people in his real life and a real event to shape the remarkable book. The author had me instantly intrigued and I always wanted to read more. The worst part of this book was being done with it. For anyone into historical fiction this is the book for you.


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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a sweet book! I give it a thumbs up! It is about a boy named Charlie Bucket who is sweet and kind and lives with his mom and dad and his four grandparents. Their names are Grandpa Joe, Grandma Josephine, Grandpa George, and Grandma Georgina. They live in a small wood house in a big city. They are very poor, and they don’t have much to eat, but they don’t starve.
Charlie LOVES chocolate, and he only gets to eat a single bar on his birthday. On the other days, he passes by a giant chocolate factory owned by Willy Wonka on his way to school. Grandpa Joe knows all Wonka’s candy secrets, and Charlie hopes he can visit his factory someday.
When Willy Wonka sends out five golden tickets to come and see his factory, the world goes in a candy-bar craze. Charlie longs to see Wonka’s chocolate factory but knows he doesn’t have a chance at finding a golden ticket. But when Charlie finds some money in the street and buys some candy bars, he gets an unexpected surprise. Charlie Bucket is about to go on one of the craziest events of his life!  


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Charlie Thorne and The Last Equation, by Stuart Gibbs (Series Book 1)

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

This book is about a bright young girl (Charlie Thorne) whose IQ is equal to Einstein’s. This is why it makes sense for the CIA to enlist her help with a top-secret mission, discovering Pandora’s Box. They figured that to find something that Einstien hid, you have to be as smart as him. As soon as Charlie gets roped in, things get dangerous. Together, a group of CIA agents and Charlie travel around the world, trying desperately to find Pandora. Unfortunately, things won’t be so simple. Other people were looking for Pandora too. In Israel, a mole in the CIA is found, a group of terrorists attempt to kill Charlie and the others, and the Mossad gets involved in the search.
This thumbs-up read is perfect for anyone looking for a book full of laughs, twists, turns, and heartbreaking moments. No matter if you’re into fantasy through historical fiction, this book is perfect for you. Read this great book to find out who will get Pandora – if anyone.


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Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliett

Review by Richard B., 5th grader

Chasing Vermeer is a mystery written by Blue Balliett. Petra and Calder are two fifth graders who find themselves in the midst of an FBI crime investigation. While studying art in their class, a series of coincidences pulls them together. Suddenly, the famous painting by Johannes Vermeer, A Lady Writing, is stolen! Petra and Calder begin investigating on their own, using clues from their neighbor, Mrs. Sharpe and their teacher Miss Hussey. Many twists and turns occur throughout this book and the reader becomes hooked on the book! I recommend reading this book because it was fast-paced and had hidden messages in the illustrations which was fun to solve! This is also the beginning of a series, the next in the series is the Wright Three which focuses on the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright


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Children of the Red King: Midnight for Charlie Bone, by Jenny Nimmo (Series Book 1)

Review by Holden C., 6th grader

If you like the Harry Potter series, this series is totally for you! When 10 year old Charlie Bone accidentally discovers he has magic powers when he looks at a photo of a missing baby, he realizes he can hear the voices of the people in the photograph. When his mean Grandma and her three evil sisters find out about his powers, they send him off to Bloor’s Academy where he is to learn to control his powers. He makes some friends but also makes some enemies too. This is a great, underrated book that will make you want to read the next one. I highly recommend this book. The theme of this book is that with great power comes great responsibility. Charlie must only use his powers when necessary.


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Children of the Red King: Charlie Bone and the Time Twister, by Jenny Nimmo (Series Book 2)

Review by Holden C., 6th grader

When Charlie Bone’s ancestor, Henry Yewbeam, is sent forward in time by his evil cousin, Zeke, his great-great-nephew, Charlie Bone, must try to help him escape from Bloor’s Academy before it is too late. In addition, Charlie also has to prevent his evil Grandma and aunts from destroying the balance of the good and the evil. This is a gripping book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, eagerly flipping the pages to find out what happens next. The theme of this book is that friends are there to rely on and will help you along the way, as Charlie’s friends do for him.


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Children of the Red King: Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy, by Jenny Nimmo (Series Book 3)

Review by Holden C., 6th grader

During the summer semester at Bloor Academy, Charlie keeps getting into more trouble. When a mysterious girl named Bella starts plotting against him, he must find ways to survive. In addition, he must find a strange invisible boy named Ollie Sparks who is in danger.  Charlie and his friends plan to save his life. This is another amazing Charlie Bone book filled with action, suspense, and intrigue. The theme of this story is trust because many times during the story when Charlie didn’t know something, he had to trust other people. I would highly recommend this book.


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Children of the Red King: Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors, by Jenny Nimmo (Series Book 4)

Review by Holden C., 6th grader

In this installment of the Charlie Bone series, Charlie once again has to deal with lots of problems!  A new character is introduced, Joshua Tilpin.  He enrolls at Bloor’s Academy and seems to have magnetic abilities. In addition, Billy Raven is promised new parents, but he gets the horrible de Greys for parents which is not good. This causes Charlie and his friends to try and rescue Billy from the de Greys but will they succeed? But more importantly, can Charlie trust Billy enough to tell him about his past? The theme of this book is that friends are needed to help get through the tough times.


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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis (Series Book 2)

Review by Richard B., 5th grader

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a fantasy book by C.S. Lewis. In this book, Lucy and her siblings Peter, Edmund, and Susan are sent to the British countryside during WW2 at the Professor’s house. While there Lucy discovers a magical place called Narnia. In Narnia, it is forever winter because of the White Witch. The people of Narnia are waiting for Aslan to return to defeat the Queen/White Witch. There is a prophecy that when four human siblings sit on the throne Winter will end and the Queen/White Witch will be defeated. I would give The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe a thumbs up. It has characters who grow and change, it is suspenseful with cliffhangers at the end of chapters. I would recommend this entire series by C.S. Lewis as it is well written and fun to read.


Thumbs up!

City Spies: Golden Gate, by James Ponti (Series Book 2)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I like this book. I give this book a thumbs up because it is a nice mystery book. It starts off with a kid named Sydney. She is a surfer from Bondi Beach, Australia. She is a mission leader for City Spies. This is a group of agents under the British Secret Intelligence Service (BSIS). After capturing a villain in Paris, they are gearing up for their next mission. She is going undercover on the vessel Slyvia Earle. Brooklyn is a new member who will be accompanying Sydney on her trip. They are going to San Francisco for their next mission. Lets see what happens to the City Spies as they go on their new mission to San Francisco. Read the book to find out.


Thumbs up!

Consider the Octopus, by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

Consider The Octopus is a great book about how a girl named Sidney somehow got roped into a voyage on a ship called the Oceana II. The Oceana II was heading for the Pacific Ocean to attempt to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Jeremy, a boy on the ship, was supposed to recruit scientists to help raise money for the ship. Sidney became a stowaway on the ship. She agrees to become a part of a mission called Code Pink Octopus. Along with some visiting students, they invite a national TV reporter to bring attention to the mission and get more grant money. But the top-secret plan is exposed. Aside from all that, this book also helped me learn more about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. If you want to learn more, I rate this book thumbs up and it is a perfect fit for everyone.


Thumbs up!

Danger Down the Nile: Treasure Hunters, by James Patterson (Series Book 2)

Review by Bharath K. R., 6th grader

In their second adventure, Tommy (Thomas), Storm (Stephanie), Bick (Bickford), and Beck (Rebecca) Kidd had no parents. Their mom was in Cyprus, being held. Their dad had mysteriously disappeared in a storm in the middle of the sea (first book).Now the Kidd children were on a submarine, looking for the pair of sunken Spanish Galleons off the coast of Florida. Bick is the one writing the book while Beck draws the pictures. The Kidd’s are always having adventures. They went from the US to Egypt to Zambia to the coast of Kenya to China.They were on a quest for the legendary Mines of King Solomon. From exotic Cairo to the perilous jungles beyond, they have to use all their survival instincts to make it through alive. They might even be able to find their parents. But they ran into people that tried to stop them from continuing on their quests, such as their number 1 enemy, Nathan Collier. I read the book and it makes me want to read more of their exciting adventures. I highly recommend reading this book.


Thumbs up!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley’s Journal (Series Book 1), by Jeff Kinney

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a great and humorous book! I would give it a thumbs-up!
This book is about a middle schooler named Greg who lives with his mom, dad, older brother Rodrick, and little brother Manny. He has a friend named Rowley who Greg thinks isn’t a normal middle school kid. Rowley has velcro shoes and sleeps in his parents’ bed and likes this pop singer named Joshie. 
One day the school makes an announcement. They are looking for a new cartoonist for the school newspaper. When Greg and Rowley hear this, they decide to make the best comic ever. They came up with this comic called Zoo-Wee Mama. But after a while, Greg thought the comic wasn’t good anymore. Greg came up with a new idea and showed it to Rowley. But Rowley thought it was a terrible idea and continued to make Zoo-Wee Mama comics without Greg.
When Rowley becomes the new cartoonist, Greg gets really mad. They had a big fight in front of the whole school, but then some teens spotted them and made them do something really bad that involved moldy cheese. What did they do to Rowley and Greg? Read one of my favorite books to find out!


Thumbs up!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diper Overlode, (Series Book 17) by Jeff Kinney

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

This book is one of my favorite books. I really like this book. This book starts off with a character named Greg Heffley and his brother Rodrick. Rodrick has a band named Loded Diper. One day they see a poster of the Battle of the Bands so Rodrick and his friends try to compete in it and they get inspired by Metallichihuahua. But Rodrick’s group has little money. They tried to copy all the things the famous Metallichihuahua did but failed. They first tried music videos but that went wrong. Then they played at concerts and they did very badly. They found a competitor named Stank. Stank was very famous and good. Loded Diper wanted to beat them. But Bill, the main singer of Loded Diper, found a girl and Rodrick did not want her because she was doing songs in her style. After that Bill quit. Read this book to find out more about what happened to Rodrick and his crew members.


Thumbs up!

Dog Man: Grime and Punishment, by Dav Pilkey

Review by Aariv A., 4th grader

In the book, Dog Man Grime And Punishment! A cop named Chief has won his town’s reward for being the best chief of the town because he fights like a warrior and stands up for peace and equality. One day he was in a big explosion! So, he was rushed to the hospital but at the time he was a K-9! So, he was sewed onto a human’s body and that is why he is Dog Man! Another character in the book is the Mayor, who fired Dog Man. But the Dog Man saves the mayor’s teddy bear (Mr. Snookums) and then he gets his job back. He also must fight Grampa Petey’s dad who is in jail! Because then Grampa would take over earth because he is an 8-legged spider as a cat! My favorite part of the story is when Dog Man got sewed onto a human body. I give this book a thumbs up. I will highly recommend this book to other children because it is very funny, and it will keep them busy and help them to learn new words!


Thumbs up!

Double Fudge, by Judy Blume

Review by Caitlyn C., 4th grader

Double Fudge is an awesome book! I really liked reading it and recommend it to you. Double Fudge is about a boy named Peter who has a little brother named Fudge and a little sister named Tootsie. Fudge is obsessed with money. He creates his own money called “Fudge bucks”. He plans to make a lot of money and use them to buy the entire world! One day, Grandma takes the boys to The Bureau of Printing and Engraving, and they accidentally run into their long-lost cousins, The Howie Hatchers, two perfect twins named Flora and Fauna and a weird younger cousin, also named Farley Drexel Hatcher, just like Fudge! When they move into Peter and Fudge’s apartment, the six kids get into a lot of funny situations! Read the book to find out what the Panda Poop Club is! This book is an amazing book and it made me laugh a lot!


Thumbs up!

El Deafo, by Cece Bell

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

El Deafo is a super funny and interesting book! I really enjoyed reading this graphic novel and I totally recommend it!
This book is about a girl Cece who one day gets really sick. After spending a few days in the hospital, Cece is glad to be home. But something doesn’t seem right. Cece can’t hear anything!
After a few weeks, Cece goes to the doctor to get her hearing checked. She has to get a hearing aid that she must wear on her ears and chest. The hearing aid does help but everything sounds weird.
In first grade, Cece gets a bigger hearing aid that comes with a microphone called the Phonic Ear. For the first few days, she struggles to make new friends. But then Cece realized something incredible. With the Phonic Ear, she can hear her teacher in the classroom, the hallway, and even in the bathroom! Cece has amazing power. Maybe even a superpower! Make way for El Deafo, Listener for All! Will Cece use her powers to find a true friend?
The theme of this book is to not judge yourself on the outside, but on the inside. I really liked this book and I give it a thumbs up!


Thumbs up!

Esperanza Rising, by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Review by Chloe C., 5th grader

Esperanza lives in Mexico, where she has a big home, a loving family, and riches. But on her 13th birthday her papa dies and while they are mourning, their house burns down, losing all of their possessions. Esperanza’s evil uncle offers to marry her mother, and Abuelita, Esperanza’s grandmother, injures her ankle and goes to live in a convent. Esperanza, her mama, their loyal servants Hortensia, Alfonso, and their son Miguel all escape to America for work to survive. They wait for Abualita to get better and withdraw her money from the uncle’s bank so they can live better again. Esperanza has trouble adapting to their new lifestyle, but Miguel’s little cousin Isabel helps her figure things out. A dust storm strikes and mama gets sick. She goes to the hospital and they cannot visit her for months. Esperanza works to make money. When Mama gets better and comes home, Esperanza goes to show mama the money she has saved, but Miguel has stolen it! Then a week later Miguel returns with Abuelita, that is why he took the money. They all return home and they all live happily again. I liked this book and would recommend it.


Thumbs up!

The Eyes and the Impossible, by Dave Eggers

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently read a book called The Eyes and The Impossible by Dave Eggers. It is a story about how the animals of a park on a very small island work together to protect the Equilibrium. The elder bison in the park ask one of the dogs to become the “Eyes;” therefore, he is responsible for seeing and reporting everything. When some new paintings arrive in town, he gets carried away watching them and is almost taken for good as a pet. The Assistant Eyes must act to save him. Overcome by a sense of gratitude, the dog decides to hatch a plan to free the bison. However, it’s not going to be easy. It will require the cooperation of every animal in the park. With so many steps one is bound to go wrong, right? If you’re interested, check out this book now. I rate it a thumb’s up. *Be aware that there are some sad moments in the story.


Thumbs up!

Fourth Grade Rats, by Jerry Spinelli

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

I really liked the book Fourth Grade Rats! I think it is so funny and charming and entertaining. Even
though I am in fifth grade I still love reading this book. It is nice to remember those old days.
This book is about a boy named Suds Morton and he is in fourth grade. He has a friend named Joey. In their school there is a chant that says fourth graders are rats. Suds doesn’t really like that but Joey says he has waited years to become a rat.
Joey starts telling Suds about how to become a man, from eating meat, to touching spiders, to even saying no to his mom! Suds tries but can’t seem to get the hang of it.
Is Suds going to be able to become a rat? Or will he run crying to his momma?


Thumbs up!

Freak the Mighty, by Rodman Philbrick (eBook)

Review by Jack L., 6th grader

Max is very tall and bigger than most kids. He also isn’t that smart either, and is bullied. One day, a new kid named Kevin shows up. He is really smart but extremely small. They become friends quickly, go on adventures, and call themselves Freak the Mighty. Read to hear about their adventures. This book is heartwarming and full of adventure. The theme of this book is that it doesn’t matter what you look like because even though Kevin and Max look different, they are both great people.

Thumbs up!

Review by Mingi K., 6th grader

The book, Freak the Mighty, by Rodman Philbrick, talks about two main characters named Kevin Dillon and Maxwell Kane – who are also known as Freak the Mighty. Although they have many differences, they get along with one another. They go on quests and meet danger but they always manage to escape by guiding each other. Every day they had fun until 2 tragic events happened. First of all Killer Kane, Maxwell’s father, escapes from prison, and secondly, something goes wrong while Kevin gets surgery, and coincidentally it was on the first birthday of Freak The Mighty’s birthday. Read more to find out what happens next! I recommend this book to those who like heartwarming stories and books about adventure.


Thumbs up!

Front Desk, by Kelly Yang

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

I loved reading Front Desk! It’s the best book in the whole world!
This great story is about a girl named Mia Tang. They are immigrants from China, and Mia is curious about what will happen in America.
Her parents search for a job, and soon, Mia’s parents are asked to be managers of the Calivista Motel, run by a mean and horrible man, Mr. Yao. Her parents are desperate for a job, so they sign up. They realize they will get paid $150 a day and get free rent living at the motel! They’re all for it.
But once they start working at the motel, things are going the way they were expecting. It started when Mr. Yao changed the deal. Now Mia’s parents make only $750 a month! Fortunately, the weeklies, customers who stay at the motel frequently, are very kind and understanding. What can Mia do to become more successful? Read this great book to find out more about all the funny things that happen at the Calivista Motel!
The theme of this book is to work hard for your dream and it will come true. I loved reading Front Desk and I think you will too!


Thumbs up!

Fudge-a-Mania, by Judy Blume

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

Fudge-a-Mania is a fantastic book! It is so silly and funny and I would totally recommend it! It is about a boy named Peter who lives in New York City with his five year old brother Fudge and his one year old sister Tootsie. Peter has a dog named turtle and Fudge has a myna bird named Uncle Feather.
One day Fudge tells Peter some news. He says he’s going to marry Peter’s enemy Shelia Tubman. That news is bad enough, but apparently Peter’s parents have news for him too. They say their family and Peter’s grandma are going to stay at a house in Maine next to Shelia Tubman! Peter is going to stay with Fudge and Shelia for three weeks! What is Peter going to do?
Read one of my favorite books from Judy Blume to see all the crazy stuff Fudge and Peter did on their trip to Maine!


Thumbs up!

George’s Marvelous Medicine, by Roald Dahl

Review by Reviewed By Caitlyn C., 4th grader

George’s Marvelous Medicine really is a marvelous book! It is about a boy named George who has regular parents but an awful Grandma. She is lazy, selfish and cruel. She is always telling George to get her tea and medicine, and tells him silly stories about not growing up. 
One day George just decides to get rid of Grandma once and for all. He whips up a medicine to replace the old one, in an attempt to cure her wickedness. George mixes in normal stuff, like sugar and vanilla, but then he gets a little creative. George adds toothpaste, shaving cream, lipstick, and nail varnish. George runs into the stable and dumps in animal pills, for sick animals. He boils it all up and voila! George’s Marvelous Medicine is born. 
When George gives his Grandma the medicine, she turns red-hot and starts to grow! She busts through the house and out the street! George and his family are all in shock, especially his dad. After that crazy experience, George and his dad try to re-create George’s Marvelous Medicine so they can sell it, but every time they mix, they never seem to get it right. 
When one medicine makes something small, an idea sparks. What will it be? Read this marvelous book to find out! I really like this book because I like how they experiment with ideas to make a medicine. I would recommend it to you!


Thumbs up!

The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill

Review by Jack L., 6th grader

The story The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, starts at a witch’s house called Xan. Every year in the woods near the protectorate, the people of the protectorate sacrifice a child and leave it at the edge of the woods. The council of elders says that to keep the Witch in the woods happy they must sacrifice the last born child of the year. Xan saves the baby every year and brings it to the cities on the other side of the woods known as the free cities. Usually, Xan feeds the baby starlight. But one day the moon is hanging low and she accidentally grabs some moonlight and feeds it to the baby. Moonlight enmagics the baby and Xan has to take it in. She named the baby Luna , but Luna is slowly siphoning magic out of Xan slowly making Xan weaker. In the protectorate, one of the highest members of the council named sister Ignatia is a sorrow eater who needs sorrow, so she says that they have to sacrifice a child every year. This leaves the protectorate being controlled by sister Ignatia and the other superiors.


Thumbs up!

Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift

Review by Olivia P., 5th grader

In this book Dr. Lemuel Gulliver tells us about his adventures. He tells us that after a couple years on land he feels an urge to go to sea. So, he packs up and boards the Antelope, a ship heading to the south seas. A terrible storm comes, and Dr. Gulliver becomes shipwrecked. He has adventures when meeting the Lilliputians on this island, but he soon finds a canoe and heads back to England. But he finds himself longing for the sea, so he sets sail once again. This time his ship went ashore to explore the land but soon turns back because of danger, but they forgot Dr. Gulliver! He explores and soon finds himself once again on an adventure when he encounters the Brobdingnagians. When he finally arrives back in England, he has stories to tell. When reading this adventuresome book, I found Dr. Gulliver looking in different points of view on each island. It is a very important moral to learn to have a different perspective. I suggest reading this book because it makes you wonder what will happen next.  


Thumbs up!

Guts, by Raina Telgemeier

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

I really enjoyed reading Guts by Raina Telgemeier! It is really funny and interesting and I would really recommend it! This graphic novel is about a 4th grader who one day wakes up with the stomach flu. But after a few days, she is okay. However, her troubles aren’t over. She goes to school and has to deal with friends, food, and therapy.
Raina has to put up with a classmate Nicole who teases her about her tummy aches and another girl, Michelle, who calls Raina a Pooper Diaper Baby! Luckily, she has one good friend named Jane who also likes to eat sushi and also loves writing stories.
Raina is always getting stomach aches. She avoids many foods because she believes it will make her sick. But if Raina doesn’t eat, she will get sick. Good thing she starts going to therapy. Her therapy makes her feel better, but now Raina is scared her friends won’t like her if they find out she goes to therapy.
The theme is to not worry so much and enjoy your life. I thought this was a great book and I give it a thumbs up!


Guns for General Washington, by Seymour Reit

Review by Olivia P., 5th grader

The American Revolution has taken many tolls on both sides. The Patriots are struggling from lack of gun powder, artillery, food, firewood, proper shelters, and clothes. The treacherous war was making everyone miserable. Then Henry Knox came up with a plan that would definitely save Boston. He would travel up to Fort Ticonderoga, then he would take some of the guns, cannons, building supplies and a lot of gun powder. It is a very difficult, long, and perilous journey to get to Fort Ticonderoga.  While Henry and Will Knox travel up to the fort and back to Cambridge, Massachusetts they face many difficult challenges. General Howe is unaware of this plan against him. He is just waiting for a fresh batch of soldiers to arrive. George Washington is anxious to see if Henry and Will Knox are able to bring back the much-needed supplies. The very fate of the colonies hopes to win the war and the captured city of Boston lies on Henry’s plan. Read this wonderful historical fiction novel to find out if Henry and Will succeed on saving Boston.


Thumbs up!

The Heroes of Olympus : The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 1)

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

The Lost Hero is the first book in the thrilling Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, which focuses on Greek and Roman mythology. When Jason wakes up on a school bus, he remembers nothing. Two people claim to be his best friend, but he doesn’t know them. Leo who is kind of like a class clown, likes machines and engineering. Piper doesn’t like to be popular, but is very kind and caring. When the school bus arrives at the Grand Canyon, wind spirits attack and it causes something big. This book has tons of shock, thrill, and humor. I would recommend it to anyone and I would recommend them to read the Percy Jackson series first to get some background. This is one of my favorite books and has amazing story telling. I think the theme of this story is teamwork can accomplish anything. When they are separated, they always find a way to work together to solve problems.


Thumbs up!

The Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune,by Rick Riordan (Series Book 2)

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

The Son of Neptune is the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. When Percy wakes up, he doesn’t know what happened. He has no memory of anything. He is forced to fight off Gorgons for days and days, but no matter how many times he kills them, they come back and he is getting tired. For some reason they can’t kill him. He is low on food, but water heals him and rejuvenates him. When he is about to give up, an old lady appears on the side of the road. She gives him a choice: live in the water peacefully by himself, or go on a dangerous path where there is hardship, sadness and pain, but it could save the world. Read to find out what he chooses. The theme of this story is acceptance. The people who accepted him became stronger and better and they also helped Percy along the way.

Thumbs up!

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I really like this book. It is one of my favorite books. I really enjoyed it. The story starts off with a boy named Percy Jackson who is confused. When he woke up he did not know anything except his name. His memory is bad even after wolf goddess Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight. Percy manages to be in Camp Half Blood despite the fact he has to keep killing monsters. The camp doesn’t ring any bells. Only Annabeth does. Hazel is supposed to be dead. She was a good girl but then she used her gift for an evil purpose because of that mistake the world is at risk. She wishes she could run away. Frank does not know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him. Read more to find out more about what is happening in the story.


Thumbs up!

The Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 3)

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

The Mark of Athena is the third book in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. This book continues the quest of the chosen demigods. When Annabeth’s mother, Athena, visits her, she gives her the worst present of her life: the mark of Athena. To save the world, they must find the statue of Athena to unite the two camps. If they don’t succeed, the two camps will destroy the world before Gaia and her giants can. To get the statue of Athena they must face their most difficult challenge yet. The theme of this book is trust. Reyna needs to trust that Jason, Percy, and their friends didn’t attack the camp on purpose and that their ultimate goal was to help.

Thumbs up!

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I really like this story. It is a very good book. It starts off with a kid named Percy Jackson uniting with his best friend Annabeth after being 6 months apart. Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. Annabeth, Jason, Piper, and Leo fly on Argo II. Annabeth thinks Jason can assure the Romans that Camp Half-Blood is just coming in peace. Annabeth’s only worry is in her pocket she has a gift from Athena. It has a demand. She is worried because she has other quests too so why would her mom want her to do this one also. But her biggest fear is that maybe Percy might have changed in a way and adapted to Roman style. If you are interested in this book you can read it.


Thumbs up!

Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 4), by Rick Riordan

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I really like this book because of its interesting story. This book starts off with Hazel standing at a crossroads. She and the remaining people in the Argo 2 could return home with the Athena statue and stop both camps from going into war. Or they can continue the search for the House of Hades, where they can rescue Percy and Annabeth. Gaea, bloodthirsty Mother Earth has set a date of August 1 for her to rise into power. Annabeth and Percy are scared of making it through Tartarus. They are barely able to stumble on the dark landscape. There is no way of finding the Doors Of Death because Gaea’s strongest monsters are guarding it. Despite it being almost impossible to do, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods know there is only 1 choice. It is the riskiest choice of all. If you are interested in this book, read House of Hades. This will surely be a good book.


Thumbs up!

Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 5)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

This story is the finale of the Heroes of Olympus series. This book is the best book since it is the finale. It starts off with Nico warning that going through the House of Hades will stir the demigods’ worst memories. Nico may actually become a ghost. Jason’s ghost is his mother, who abandoned Jason when he was little. He knows he will not break promises like she did. He will complete his line of the prophecy: To Storm or Fire the world must fall. Reyna fears all of the ghosts of her ancestors. She can’t let this distract her from getting the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half Blood before the Romans vs Greeks war breaks out. Will she succeed? Leo thinks his plan might not work. Heroes, monsters and gods all have a role in this epic finale to the Heroes of Olympus series. Read this book and learn more about this epic finale.


Thumbs up!

Holes, by Louis Sachar

Review by Srisharan S., 5th grader

This book is a great book and is one of my favorite books. I really like this story because it is an adventurous book. You will always be curious what will happen next in the story. This story is about a kid named Stanley who thinks he has a curse passed down from his great-great grandfather. One day someone randomly drops a pair of famous baseball player’s Clyde Livingston’s shoes at a charity. Stanley is wrongly accused of stealing them and ends up in Camp Green Lake, a juvenile work camp. The story is he overcomes challenges to get away from Camp Green Lake and ends up unknowingly breaking the curse. Along the way he meets Zero. Zero is a descendant of Madame Zeroni. Madame Zeroni wanted to be lifted up the hill and drink the water. Stanley lifted up Zero on the mountain and gave him freshwater, ultimately breaking the curse. Stanley is innocent and gets a lot of money and gold given to him. Zero hires private investigators. His dad, an inventor, created sploosh which Clyde endorsed. Read this book to find out what happens to Stanley and Zero at the end.


Thumbs up!

Home of the Brave, by Katherine Applegate (reserve from another library or download ebook)

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently read Home of the Brave in my class. Home of the Brave is a great book, an exemplary model of what all young authors should be doing. It is full of descriptive language and detail. Home of the Brave is about a boy in fifth grade named Kek, an immigrant from Sudan. He moves to Minnesota not knowing any English. He has to adapt to a new climate, language, and way of life. He is placed in an ESL class, along with some other students. He came alone. His cousin and aunt moved a year and a half ago because of a conflict in Sudan. His dad died and he doesn’t know where his mom is. He keeps hoping to see her again. America is very overwhelming to Kek. In fact, when he walks into a grocery store, he cries. The theme of this story is hope because Kek hopes to find his mother. This book is detailed, descriptive, and definitely earns a thumbs-up.


Thumbs up!

The Homework Machine, by Dan Gutman

Review by Caitlyn C., 4th grader

The Homework Machine is a very interesting book. I really like it and I would recommend it. It is about five kids who are in fifth grade and are very different. Sam Dawkins, also nicknamed Snikwad, moved to Arizona from Oregon because his father was in the air force. Kelsey Donnelly does her homework but she hates it. Judy Douglas likes homework because she and her friends would always go to each other’s houses and do their homework. And Brenton Damagatchi, well, he’s not like any other kid. He doesn’t like watching TV or playing with other children, he likes to play chess with himself. Together they are the D squad, because their last names all start with D. 
When Brenton shows Sam, Kelsey, and Judy the Homework Machine, everything changes. The HW machine could do your homework in one second instead of spending hours on it. They even nicknamed it, “Belch”. Every day the D squad comes over to Brenton’s house to watch Belch do their homework. Things go great until the police catch them. Brenton tries to erase all the evidence, but Belch starts to become smarter. 
Will the D squad be able to destroy Belch in time? Read this book to find out!


Thumbs up!

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912, by Lauren Tarshis (Series Book 1)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

This book is one of my favorite books. This story is about the sinking of the Titanic. This story starts with a ten year old boy named George Calder. He has a sister named Phoebe. They both are traveling on the Titanic with th
eir Aunt. There George ran everywhere to experience the other rooms, dining, and more on the Titanic. George wanted to go to the Engine room and then while returning back to the passenger area saw a man named Marco and he had a son named Enzo. He was 4 years old and came from a small town in Italy. He went back to his family. While on his stay on the Titanic, he also met the inventor. After doing some more fun adventurous things there and getting in trouble a lot. Then comes a day on their voyage to America where the Titanic ship hits an iceberg. His sister and Aunt and Enzo all got on a lifeboat. The crew did not allow Marco and George on the ship. They both sink deep into the cold sea. They found a piece of wood that will hold him. A larger boat Carpathia landed them safely in America.


Thumbs up!

I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001, by Lauren Tarshis (Series Book 6)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I like this book. I give this book a thumbs up. Lucas loves football and he also loves his dad’s best friend Uncle Benny. Both of them work at the fire department. Benny taught Lucas about football. Next morning, Lucas takes the train to NYC instead of the regular bus to school. He saw a plane crashing into the Twin Towers. The firefighters rushed to help everyone. They helped most of the people. Everyone at the fire department did not know where Uncle Benny was. What is going to happen 2 months from now…


Thumbs up!

I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871, by Lauren Tarshish (Series Book 11)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I really like this book. It is one of my favorite books. I give this book a thumbs up. Oscar did not want to leave his farm to go to Chicago. The smog/pollution and the busy streets were so different from the calm, environmental farm where he lived. Shortly after he arrives, a huge fire has started in the City of Chicago. A whole city looks like it is about to explode. An army of firemen help but the fire eats up everything in its path. Along the way Oscar meets new friends. Oscar and the new friends try to survive until their parents come. Will they survive? Read this book and find out.


Thumbs up!

I Survived the Children’s Blizzard 1888, by Lauren Tarshis (Series Book 16)

Review by Aura V., 5th grader

I am reviewing this book because it’s one of my favorite books. I love this book because it has action in every chapter, the author really wanted to hook you in. The main character in this book is John Hale, a boy whose parents wanted to move to Dakota from Chicago in 1888. John is a shy city boy, not a tough pioneer boy. John was having recess at the school-room when an unexpected blizzard arrived. John was involved in a big, strong, blizzard. This blizzard was the “Children’s Blizzard”. Read the book to find out how John manages to survive one of the deadliest blizzards in history!


Thumbs up!

Impossible Crime, by Mac Barnett

Review by Aariv A., 3rd grader

Mac Barnett is an American spy as a kid and is on a secret mission to help The Queen of England protect the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. Since she knows somebody is going to steal it at night, she locks them in a tough brick room, but they fall asleep. Mac finds out, calls the queen and reveals the person who stole it. They play a golf game while the thief is in jail playing a card game behind tough steel bars. The Queen is very happy and thanks Mac with 5 pairs of gloves and a note for his absence and tells him to give it to his teacher. Read the book to know who stole the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. I highly recommend this book to all readers who love mystery books.


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In Your Shoes, by Donna Gephart

Review by Emma Y., 6th grader

In Your Shoes is a story about a boy, Miles Spagoski, and a girl, Amy Silverman. Miles is a boy who is always worried and is good at bowling. He loves his family bowling center, and goes there every day before school with his best friend Randall Fleming. Amy just moved from Chicago to Pennsylvania, is new at school, and lives above her uncle’s funeral home, a place she dislikes. She loves writing, writes stories based on her life, and hopes her stories come true, so she can have a happily-ever-after, just like her story.
In Your Shoes is a wonderful story told from two perspectives. The author teaches us that life consists of many ups and downs. Something may be terrific one moment, and then terrible the next. Or it could be the complete opposite. We can also learn that life sometimes doesn’t give us second chances. The beginning starts out a little slow, but if you keep reading, I think you’ll like this book. The ending completely blew my mind. It was so sweet and I loved it. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a sweet, fantastic page-turner!


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Inkling, by Kenneth Oppel

Review by Emma Y., 6th grader

Inkling is a story about a boy named Ethan Rylance who meets an ink blot, which he becomes best friends with soon after. Ethan names his new best friend “Inkling,” and Inkling can be anything he wants to be, because he’s entirely made of ink. From the moment Inkling comes to life from the pages of an artist’s sketchbook, he is on a mission to unblock the Rylance family. Mr. Rylance can’t think of a new idea for a comic book. Ethan promised to illustrate for a group project in school, but he can’t draw. In school, a girl from another group named Vika was the best artist in their grade, and she knows that Ethan can’t draw. So when she sees his drawings, she doesn’t believe that Ethan drew them. Her guesses are confirmed when she sees what’s inside Ethan’s room.
Inkling is a really interesting book that I enjoyed reading. Inkling is a really funny and bubbly character in the book. There are a few pictures in the book that make the book more enjoyable to read, and I loved the ending. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an awesome book!


Island War, by Patricia Reilly Giff

Review by Olivia P., 5th grader

This book is about two kids from Long Island who move to an island very far west in the Aleutian island chain. The beautiful island is filled with lots of birds. The two kids live there peacefully along with fifteen other residents until Pearl Harbor is bombed. The islanders believe one thing, that the war won’t hit their island. They think if it did hit the peaceful island that the American army would evacuate them first. When a ship appears on a foggy day the girl from Long Island believes it is the American army there to evacuate them but during church a terrible thing happens, and she realizes that the ship wasn’t what she thought it was. Read this amazing book to find out if it was the American Army or the enemy.


Jacky Ha-Ha: My Life Is a Joke, by James Patterson

Review by Addison S., 5th grader

Jacky Hart is back and better than ever! In this book Jacky’s parents ruin her summer by making her get a summer job. She thinks it is going to be dull, but she is so wrong! This summer she has to deal with 2 boys, babysitting her little sister, running the best booth on the boardwalk and attending rehearsals. Jacky soon figures out that multitasking is not her kind of thing. Everything comes to a halting stop when she makes a huge mistake. This could cost her a fortune. I think the theme of the book is, don’t assume until you have proof. I would definitely give this book a thumbs up! Get cozy and warm up with this funny, engaging and hectic book!


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James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl

Review by Caitlyn C., 4th grader

I love James and the Giant Peach! It is about a boy named James Henry Trotter who, until he was four, had a very happy life. He had two loving and kind parents. They all lived peacefully in a house beside the sea.
Then one day James’s parents went shopping in London, and something very unexpected happened. They both got eaten by an angry rhinoceros! Life from that point on wasn’t very fun. Poor little James had to live with his two terrible aunts, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, and work for them. Aunt Sponge was very fat, while Aunt Spiker is as thin as a wire. They are both equally mean, lazy and cruel. 
Then one day James meets an old man who knows everything James has been experiencing. He gives James a bag of magical crocodile tongues and whispers some special directions. If James dropped them, the tongues would use their magic on someone else. But when James hurries to the house to follow the instructions, he trips! The crocodile tongues go into the soil, giving an old peach tree the power to sprout a giant peach! James decides he’s going to live there, and goes off on an adventure! 
On the way, he meets many magical creatures who guide them to NYC and help him survive. James is finally happy to get his life back! I love this book because it is full of adventure and mystery, and really funny! I would really recommend it to you!

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Review by Aura V., 5th grader

I would recommend this book to students because I think it is out of this world! This is a fiction book with a main character called James. James had a horrible life. He lived with his two mean aunts that forced him to work. Until this giant peach appears growing on a peach tree in their backyard. One day when James was working outside he found an unusual hole in the peach. At first he thought it was made by raccoons but noticed it led somewhere. When he entered he found a living room with a large grasshopper, spider, ladybug, earthworm, and a centipede. He created a bond with them so they decided to escape before they got caught. They escaped by rolling down the mountain inside the peach. Landing to find extraordinary things that no one has ever seen before. Read this book to find out how this group of friends survived and had the journey of their lives!


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Judy Moody: Mood Martian, by Megan McDonald

Review by Caitlyn C., Fourth grader

Judy Moody is an awesome book! In this book, Judy Moody is trying to stay in a good mood for a whole week! She will need help, so she goes over to her friend’s house to get some advice. But it isn’t really helping. The only thing that puts Judy in a good mood is finger knitting. She knits and knits and knits onto her long chain until her house can’t even fit the amount of yarn she has knitted! But when her mom says she has to stop knitting, Judy starts to struggle in keeping her good-mood streak. Will Judy be able to keep her good mood going? Read the book to find out!


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The Kane Chronicles: The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 1)

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

Sadie, Carter, and their dad, who is an Egyptologist, go on a trip to the British Museum. It turns out, their dad blows up the Rosetta Stone unleashing 5 ancient Egyptian gods and it becomes Sadie and Carter’s job to save the world. This is a very thrilling book full of adventure and will keep the reader at the edge of their seat. I would recommend this to anyone, especially people who like Rick Riordan’s writing, as he is the author. Sadie and Carter have a lot of troubles on their journey, but the theme of this book is to not doubt your abilities.

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Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

This book is a great start to learning more about Egyptian Culture. This is a great book and is one of my favorites. You have to read it! This book starts off with a boy named Carter and a girl named Sadie. Their dad’s name is Julius Kane. Their Mom passed away. Julius Kane studies Egyptian Culture. One day he went to a museum and was looking at a stone. After he opened the stone there was a huge explosion. Set, an evil villain who wanted to be king again, attacked Mr.Kane. Both Sadie and Carter want to see their father back. As they go along their adventure they discover that they are related to Pharaohs and Magicians in Egypt. The duo unknowingly hosts Iris and Horus. While their father is captured by Set. Carter and Sadie challenge Set to a battle after learning a lot of things. Who will win? Read The Red Pyramid to find out more about this book.


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The Kane Chronicles: The Throne of Fire, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 2)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

This book is a great Egyptian story. I liked this book. It showed me more about Egyptian Culture. The second book in Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles series is titled The Throne of Fire. The narrative centers on the characters of Sadie and Carter Kane, who are descended from Egyptian pharaohs and magicians. This story takes place in Egypt and the United States. The two are on a quest to stop Apophis, the god of chaos, from becoming powerful and destroying the entire planet. They need to discover the deity Set’s secret name, which is buried someplace in Cairo’s First Nome, in order to accomplish this. On this quest they have to find the Book of Ra in 3 different parts of the world. This book will release Ra, the fire god back. Along the journey, they come across a variety of underworld animals in addition to gods and goddesses from Egyptian mythology. At the end they release Ra but now have Meshikov’s forces to deal with. Read this book to see what happens to Carter and Sadie.


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Katt vs. Gogg, by James Patterson

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

When the Dogg family and the Katt family go on vacation, they are sworn enemies, but when their children get lost in the woods, they must work together to escape the woods. This book is fun and I loved reading it. I would recommend it to anyone. The theme of this book is that even though you are different, it doesn’t mean you can’t become friends.


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The Land of Stories : The Wishing Spell, by Chris Colfer (Series Book 1)

Review by Caitlyn C., 4th grader

The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer is a great book. It is about a boy named Conner and a girl named Alex, who get stuck in a fairy tale world called “The Land of Stories” inside an actual book. They have to find a way out using the Wishing Spell. The Wishing Spell is a spell that will grant one wish to the people who collect the items needed for the spell. Along the way, Conner and Alex meet many familiar characters from fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood. These characters have interesting stories to tell and it’s not what you remember from the fairy tales you read before. The characters help Conner and Alex search for the items for the spell, like Cinderella’s glass slipper and a strand of Rapunzel’s hair. Conner and Alex have many adventures to race against an evil witch who also wants to cast the spell. They meet many monsters and goblins on the way. The book is full of adventure and mystery and it’s just fun to read. This book is one of my favorites and I would recommend it to everyone.


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The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns, by Chris Colfer (Series Book 2)

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

The Land of Stories is an awesome series! I would definitely recommend this book! In book two, Alex and Conner are visiting the land of stories again. Alex and Conner are thirteen years old and are twins. Alex is a girl who really likes fairies and magic and The Land of Stories. She has blond hair pulled back by a headband. Conner is a boy who likes visiting The Land of Stories and often dozes off in class. 
One day Alex and Conner are teleported into The Land of Stories to find out the Enchantress has returned! The Enchantress is the one who cursed Sleeping Beauty a long time ago. She is also known as Ezmia. Ezmia has been attacking kingdoms and mastering the seven deadly sins to make a portal to the Otherworld (the world we live in). When Alex and Conner hear about this, they embark on a mission to find the most prized possessions of the six most hated people in the world to create the Wand of Wonderment. Whoever holds the wand is invincible. Can the twins, their mom, their mom’s boyfriend Bob, and all their friends collect the items and destroy the Enchantress? Read this awesome book to find out!


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Last Kids on Earth and the Midnight Blade, by Max Brallier (Series Book 5)

Review by Richard B., 5th grader

I rate the book, Last Kids on Earth and the Midnight Blade, a 4.5 out of five. One reason is because the story’s amazing! It is a great monster apocalypse book. But what’s bad about it? You have to read all the other books that came before in the series. But the whole series is great! To me the plot and characters are the best part. This is a great thriller and fiction book. The characters are all like real people, they have flaws, no one is perfect. In my opinion the best part of the book is when they have the goo slime fight on page 101-130 when they have a NERF battle of some sort and a giant eyeball comes out of the ground covered in vines. The last kids on earth is an amazing book.


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Liar & Spy, by Rebecca Stead

Review by Valentina Sofia T., 6th grader

Georges (silent s) just moved out of his home because his parents are tight on money and he is being bullied at school. He joins a spy club and makes a new friend, Safer, from here on his life gets a lot more interesting. I would recommend this book if you like books with unexpected twists and turns. If you like books like Percy Jackson you would likely like this book because they are similar since they have unexpected betrayals but in different ways. If you enjoy books with adventures but also mysteries this is the book for you.


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Lily to the Rescue: Two Little Piggies, by W. Bruce Cameron (Series Book 2)

Review by Olivia H., 4th grader

Lily to the Rescue is a great book for animal lovers. It is told from a dog’s point of view. Lily lives in a family of five. The parents work at an animal rescue and the children help out. At the beginning of the book, the mother gets a call asking her to help rescue two baby piglets who were running loose in a store. They bring the piglets home to take care of them until they find a good place for them. Lily has fun chasing them around and playing with them, but the family needs to find out where they came from so they can bring them back home.
I would definitely give this book a thumbs up! The story is about cute animals and at the end of the book there are interesting facts about pigs including that they can even be trained to play video games!


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Lincoln’s Grave Robbers, by Steve Sheinkin

Review by Richard B., 5th grade

Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin, is a true crime thriller set in Chicago, Illinois in 1875. In the book, Benjamin Boyd is the nation’s top counterfeit engraver, wanted by the operatives of the US Secret Service. When he is finally arrested, his fellow counterfeiters devise a plan to get him out of prison. In this real-life thriller, the author describes the lengths Boyd’s fellow counterfeiters will go to to get him out of prison. They devise a plan to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body from his grave, hide it near Lake Michigan and hold it ransom for $200,000. In this book, the author takes you on a journey of real-life events through the eyes of the detectives and counterfeit gang involved in this wild scheme. Sheinkin’s book Lincoln’s Grave Robbers is a thumbs up from me!


Thumbs up!

Linked, by Gordon Korman

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently read Linked by Gordon Korman. Link Rowley is known for being a famous star athlete in a small town in Colorado. His dad, a member of the Board of Commerce, is trying to turn that out-of-the-way-town into “the next Orlando.” He invested in new land for an amusement park. A famous social media figure– Real Tok– went there to vlog about Swastikas being spray-painted all over the school. He tries to figure out who did it. Link’s dad tries to sue him for making the town look bad in front of millions of people. To show support, the art club starts paper chaining six million links to represent the amount of people who died in the Holocaust. The principal doubts the small town can accomplish such a thing, but should he? I found it very interesting and exciting. The book is very suspenseful and always left me wondering what would happen next.


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Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Little Women is a great book about four sisters who love and support each other. Meg, Amy, Beth, and Jo are the four children in the March family. They used to be wealthy, but their family lost a lot of money. They desire to get money, ashamed of their poverty. They all want something too pricey. Although they love each other, they sometimes have conflicts. Their neighbor, a boy named Laurie, figures prominently into their lives and becomes close friends with Jo. When they were younger, they used to play a game called Pilgrim’s Progress. While their father is a chaplain in the Civil War, they all make a resolution to improve in their own way.
I thought it was very interesting to learn about how the girls matured and moved their lives forward, traveling, writing, and getting married. I was very satisfied with this book.


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Loot: How to Steal a Fortune, by Jude Watson

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I really like this book. It is one of my favorite books. It starts in Amsterdam. A man falls on the rooftop of a house on the road. His name is Alfie McQuin. He is a cat burglar and he is almost dying. Alfie says his last words to his son. His son’s name is March. He told March to find the jewels. As we go along in the book March realizes that his father was not talking about the Loot. He was talking about Jules. She is the twin sister of March that he never knew that he was related to. They had to find his twin sister. Both of them March and Jules get caught by the police and they both go put into the world’s worst orphanage. They do not want to follow the strict rules that have been placed in the orphanage. They wanted to pull off a heist so they could live their lives with money and freedom. But they quickly face issues and crime. As you can see this is one of my favorite books. This book is a very good book and I hope you get to read it.


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Lost in the Sun, by Lisa Graff

Review by Valentina Sofia T., 6th grader

Lost in the Sun is about a boy who is trying to recover from the past. Trent had caused the death of a boy and is often anxious, he learns to forgive himself and others. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good read. I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes realistic fiction or anything of the sort. I loved it through the happy moments and sad moments. The author showed all the ups and downs to being human within each character and was able to humanize the characters. None of the characters were put on a pedestal or were said to be the worst.


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Lunch Lady: Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco, by James Patterson (Series Book 6)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I like this book because it has funny parts in the book. This book starts with a boy named Rafe. One day he got a letter from his school. When he opened the letter it had said that Rafe got selected to take part in the art trip. It also said that the trip was a week long in a California camp. He represented the Hills Village School. The place that he is about to go has a famous Brilliant Bluebird Diamond which has recently gone missing. He packed his bags and got ready for the trip. They went to California. Rafe imagined Hollywood but they left Hollywood and went on a camping trip. There in the camping area was a man named Brushes McGarrity and Rafe got interviewed by a local news company. After going on the trip and exploring the amazing art in the caves. Rafe wanted to figure out the thief of the blue diamond. Solving the mystery, they found out that someone close that they knew stole the original Bluebird Diamond. But luckily, Rafe got away safe and the police captured the man. As you can see I really like this book.


Thumbs up!

The Magic Finger, by Roald Dahl

Review by Caitlyn C., 4th grader

The Magic Finger is my favorite Roald Dahl book! It is about a girl who has these neighbors, William and Philip Gregg. The girl likes to play with William and Philip. Her life is pretty ordinary. 
One thing NOT ordinary about her is the Magic finger. She tries not to use it on anyone, but sometimes she gets out of control. It happened to her teacher, Mrs. Winter. The teacher told the girl to spell CAT and the girl failed. The girl accidentally uses the Magic finger on Mrs. Winter and turns her into a cat! 
Now, one thing the Gregg boys like to do more than anything is to go hunting. Every Saturday they take their guns and look for things to shoot. The little girl can’t stand hunting. And when she finds the boys shooting some ducks, well, she just kind of lost it. She uses her Magic finger on them and turns the Gregg family into birds! From then on, the Gregg family must build a nest, find things to eat, and survive as life as a bird. 
Will the Gregg family be able to get back to their human form? Read this great book to find out! I give this book a big thumbs-up because this book is really funny and I like how the author describes life as a bird. I’ve always wanted to be a bird! So read this book! You’ll really like it!


Thumbs up!

Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli

Review by Holden C., 6th grader

After Jeffrey Lionel Magee’s parents are killed when the trolley they were riding on was hit by a drunk driver and plunged into a river, he was left with his aunt and uncle who don’t get along or love him. At three years old, he ran and ran and ran until he found a town called Two Mills, Pennsylvania. There, he found that the town was divided into two sections which were the white section and the black section. Maniac starts exploring and making friends in both sections, but can he bring the two sections together and make them live in harmony? This is a good book with a great lesson and I would recommend it. The theme of this book is that it doesn’t matter how you look, it’s what is on the inside that matters.


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Marge in Charge, by Isla Fisher

Review by, Olivia H., 4th grader

Marge in Charge is a funny book about two kids who have a crazy, but fun babysitter! This book is a series of three different stories about Marge and the kids. In the beginning, she looks like a normal babysitter but when the parents leave she becomes who she really is – Marge! In each story something bad happens, but Marge comes to the rescue and makes everything better and funnier. In one story, Jack doesn’t want to take a bath and Marge fills the sink with bubbles. It overflows and the bathroom is filled with bubbles. In another story, she goes to music class at school with the kids. Marge has to watch the class and she ends up giving everyone different instruments to play. They parade around the school causing all sorts of noise and craziness! I give this book a big “thumbs up” and recommend it to any kids who like to laugh and find crazy events amazing and funny! It would be a good choice for anyone in third, fourth or fifth grade. 


Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers

Review by Olivia P., 5th grader

This book is about the Banks children, Jane, Michael, John, Barbara and their new nanny, Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins flew in with the wind when Mrs. and Mr. Banks advertised that they needed a nanny. She told them she would stay ‘til the wind changes. And she stayed true to her word. Mary Poppins is very vain, selfish, secretive, and rude. She takes the Banks children on wild adventures but after they are done, she acts like they never happened.  I read the book then watched the movie and I definitely like the movie better. The movie and book are very different. I thought in the book Mary Poppins would be a kind nanny, but she wasn’t.  I don’t suggest reading the book.

It sounds like Mary Poppins’ character is very different in the book than in the movie. Would you agree? Do you think you would like Mary Poppins? As they say, “To each their own.” This means everyone has the right to their own opinion. If you read this book, send us a review and give us your opinion.
~ Emma S. Clark Library


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Measuring Up, by Lily LaMotte

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

Measuring up is such an amazing and inspiring book! I really liked it and I would definitely recommend it! Measuring Up is about a girl named Cici who moved from Taiwan to Seattle and loves to cook. She used to do everything with her A-Ma (grandmother) but when she moved she couldn’t take A-Ma with her. As Cici starts a new school and keeps cooking, she longs for A-Ma to come to Seattle.
Soon Cici makes new friends. As she adapts to America, Cici realizes American people think Taiwanese food is weird.
But one day she sees a poster for a cooking contest. The prize money is enough to buy a plane ticket for A-Ma! Cici decides to sign up and starts practicing.
As she crushes all the other contestants in the cooking contest and makes it to the finals, Cici must cook up the winning dish to bring A-Ma back.
This story is about courage and practicing. The theme is to believe in yourself and practice and you will succeed. I totally recommend it because it is so funny and inspiring.


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Middle School Winter Blunder, by James Patterson (Series Book 15)

I really like this book. It is one of my favorite books. One day in the winter things heat up at Hills Village school. Rafe gets an opportunity to join Dr. Deerwin to join a research study on polar bears. Rafe is very excited about this trip because this is like a one in a million chance meeting a polar bear. But he is scared because he thinks he will freeze like an ice pop. The place that they are going to is cold, freezing Alaska. Rafe might get a meltdown. But he will be with Penelope who he has a crush on. A polar bear Dr. Deerwin was tracking went missing and poachers from the tundra stole it. Rafe and Penelope along with their new friends will come and save the day in their most exciting trip out of all of them.


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Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James, by Ashley Herring Blake

Review by Nora T., 5th grader

This is the perfect book for you if you love romance, happy endings and feeling good. The main character is a girl named Sunny St. James and she is a heart transplantee. Her mother and father left her as a baby for their best friend Kate, but now her mother wants them to be reunited again. While juggling all of this she meets Quinn, and the kissing quest begins.


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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

In a house on Egypt Street, there lived a rabbit. He was an arrogant, overdressed, china rabbit doll who was loved by his owner, Abilene Tulane. She loved and took care of him everyday, but when he was lost, Edward Tulane’s adventure began traveling from home to home, place to place. Follow him on the thrilling journey to see where he finally ends up. This book is amazingly good and will make you care about it. The theme of this story is, as it states in the book, “If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless.” This shows everyone needs to be loved.


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Mr. Terupt Falls Again, by Rob Buyea

Review by Holden C., 6th grader

The kids in Mr.Terrupts fifth grade class get the opportunity to loop with him for one more year, their last of elementary school.  They are excited to start school again, but in the new year, there are new problems for everyone. In the beginning of the school year, Mr.Terupt gives them surprising news. Their school has to pull off a very special project. As each student deals with personal problems and challenges, the reader wonders if happiness and success are possible. The theme of this book is to not give up and to believe in yourself.


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Mixed Up, by Gordon Korman

Review by Richard B., 5th grader

The book Mixed Up by Gordon Korman is a fun fiction book. The book is hard to put down! It has an amazing plot. In the book Leo and Reef notice that they have memories from things they have never done. For example Reef remembers gardening but it is not something he has done before! It had two amazing plots that interconnected at the end. Leo and Reef both were characters with problems. They both have one common problem: they are swapping memories! The idea of swapping memory is really good. I would give the book Mixed Up a thumbs up. It was a good book and I definitely recommend it. They all are great characters. It made me want to read more by Gordon Korman.


Monstrous Devices, by Damien Love

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

One day, a twelve year old boy named Alex receives a mysterious package in the mail. Inside is a small tin robot from his grandfather. There was also a note saying, “This one is special.” He thinks nothing of it but then weird events start happening. Toy robots start coming to life and a crew of dangerous people come after him and his grandfather. This book has an amazing storyline, but I think the story was extremely slow. The theme of this book is that trust is needed in relationships. If you want, you can still read this book, but I wouldn’t really recommend it. I didn’t enjoy the book that much.

Not every book is for everyone. Maybe you would feel differently. If you read this book, send us a review and let us know what YOU think.
~ Emma S. Clark Library


Mossflower: Redwall, by Brian Jacques

Review by Olivia P., 5th grader

When Tsarmina takes over Mossflower after her father’s death she makes the lives of the woodlanders miserable. She eventually declares war on the woodlanders. Bella of Brockhall knows they have no chance defeating the powerful Queen Tsarmina, so she sends Martin, Gonff, and Young Dinny to go to Salamandastron to get her father Boar the Fighter so he could kill Tsarmina. The travelers face many challenges along the way, but they reach Salamandastron and Boar. While all of this is happening Tsarmina is plotting a horrible plan to bring death to all the woodlanders and has gotten herself a partner after her old one died. The woodlanders have come up with their own plan to flood Tsarmina’s castle, Kotir. Will the travelers come back with Boar? And who will win the war? Read this very intense book to find out all the answers to these questions and more! 


Thumbs up!

Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, by Erin Dionne

Review by Emma Y., 6th grader

Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking is a mystery book by Erin Dionne. It is a story about a girl named Moxie Fleece who knows and follows the house rules. That is, until she opens the front door to a mysterious stranger. Ever since she was nine, she was strictly instructed not to open the door to anyone she didn’t know. It was one of the family rules, and until that day, she had always followed it. Once she opens the door, she is suddenly involved in Boston’s biggest unsolved mystery, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art theft.
Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking is a really fascinating book that I enjoyed reading. I loved the friendship between Moxie and her best friend Ollie, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art theft really fascinated me. The author caught my attention with the antagonist, The Redhead, and the suspense just kept building up. I couldn’t put the book down, and I was satisfied with the ending. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an amazing book!


Thumbs up!

Nancy Drew Clue Book: Last Lemonade Standing (Series Book 2), by Carolyn Keene

Review by Caitlyn C., 4th grader

The Nancy Drew Clue Book Series is the best! My favorite one in the series is book #2, Last Lemonade Standing. It is about three girls named Nancy, Bess and George. Together they are the Clue Crew! In the Clue Crew, the three girls solve mysteries around the neighborhood. Nancy has a book she calls the clue book, where she writes down all the clues to help solve the mystery. 
In this book, Nancy, Bess and George are selling lemonade to save up money for tickets to a concert. Their favorite singer, Katy Sloan, was playing in the neighborhood. When they get jealous of their neighbor Lily’s lemonade stand, they decide to get the recipe from Hannah, Nancy’s housekeeper, top-secret lemonade recipe. But when they set up the stand to sell more lemonade, their lemonade recipe goes missing! 
Will the Clue Crew be able to find the recipe, and make it to Katy Sloan’s concert? Read the book to find out!


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Ninja Kid: From Nerd to Ninja, by Anh Do (Series Book 1)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I really like this book because the character in this book Ninja Kid is cool. In this book it is Ninja Kid’s 10th birthday and he found out he is the last Ninja on the earth. Since he is the last Ninja he got prepared with all Ninja Equipment. Then Ninja Kid and his friend Kenny went to school. On their way returning home, all the students saw a giant spider and the spider liked insect spray. When the spider was near Ninja Kid, Ninja kid found a big purple rock and threw it at the spider making the giant spider die. Up in the sky Ninja kid saw a red helicopter and the person inside there was angry at Ninja Kid. Then they went home. On their way they saw more giant spiders. This time Ninja Kid used his shrinker tool to shrink all the spiders and the red helicopter into tiny things. When they went home they all had cake and celebrated. My favorite part of the book is when Ninja Kid shrinks the helicopter and spiders and saves the day. As you can see I really like this book. It is one of my favorite books.


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Ninja Kid: Flying Ninja, by Anh Do (Series Book 2)

Review by Srisharan S., 5th grader

I really like this story. My favorite character in this story is Ninja Kid. I like Ninja Kid because he is a smart ninja kid. I like this story because it is a cool story. In this book a man named Andrew wants to get a powerful rare purple stone. Ninja Kid wants him to stop. Then Ninja Kid and his grandma practice with a jetpack with his friend Kenny. Then they went to the dentist and Ninja Kid saw objects moving around but the dentist did not notice it. Then while they were heading home the roads were flooding. Then they went to school and the whole classroom had objects flying everywhere. After school, they went home and practiced more things on the jetpack. The next day they went to the zoo and all the animals were acting crazy but Ninja Kid and Kenny helped calm the animals down and got rid of Andrew using their tools. Ninja Kid and Kenny had a successful mission. My favorite part in this book is the part where Ninja Kid and Kenny get jetpacks. As you can see, I really like this book because it is so cool.


Nutcracker Mice, by Kristin Kladstrup

Review by Olivia P., 5th grader

The mice at the Mariinsky Ballet Theatre in Russia are struggling to keep the audience. Esmerelda knows The Nutcracker ballet has to be a success, but it can’t be because the mice are the villains. The theater is in huge trouble if no one likes the performance because audience members pay admission with food. A small audience means little food for the mice at the theater. When Esmerelda meets another mouse who always goes to the mice performances, she knows she has to change the storyline of the dance and the way she dances. She goes to her brother to have him change the storyline, so the Nutcracker is evil, and the mice are good. When Esmerelda finds out the head custodian’s daughter has a doll with dresses that are mouse sized, she steals the dresses and some paintings from the producer’s office to help the ballet be a success. Will Esmerelda succeed? Will the head custodian lose his job because the mice keep outsmarting him? Read this amazing book to find out.


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Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, by Judy Blume

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

Otherwise Known As Shelia The Great is a really good book! I liked it a lot and would totally recommend it! It is about a girl named Sheila and she is 10 years old and lives in New York City with her mom, dad, and older sister Libby. Sheila is scared of swimming, spiders, and dogs.
One day Sheila’s parents make an announcement. They are going to move to Tarrytown for the whole summer! They will stay at a house owned by Professor Egran and his three sons. When Sheila hears this she says it is a bad idea and that they should go to Disneyland instead. But her mood turned around when her father said she can have her own bedroom. Sheila and Libby share a bedroom in the city.
As the summer goes on, Sheila makes friends and goes to day camp and has sleepovers. But she also deals with scary spiders and swimming lessons and a dog that comes with the house! Will Sheila survive it all? Read the book to find out!


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Pandava: Aru Shah And The End Of Time, by Roshani Chokshi (Series Book 1)

Review by Vivaan G., 6th grader

The book is about a middle school girl who lives in a museum. The museum has ancient Indian artifacts, as well as several different statues. The time period is in modern time, and the setting is in Augusta, GA, as well as several other “otherworldly” places. First, the story begins with the girl and her friends from school. The girl’s name is Aru Shah. There is a cursed lamp that she is forbidden to light, or touch. When she lights it, time stops, and everyone in the world stops moving, except for her. A demon called the sleeper is released from the lamp! A pigeon then pops out of the lamp and scolds her for lighting the lamp. He then explains that she is a demigod and has to go save the world from the Sleeper. Specifically, the pigeon, (named Subala) explains that Aru is a Pandava, which is one of five brothers, or in this case sisters, from the story Mahabharata. She then finds one of her “soul sisters” and embarks to be claimed. During the claiming, Aru finds out she is the daughter of the king of the gods. Her godly father then gives her a weapon, but it has to be unlocked. Mini’s god father also gives her a locked weapon. The other sister, Mini, finds out she is the daughter of the god of the dead.

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Review by Srisharan S., 5th grader

This is a great book. I really like this book because it is the first book in the series and the story is great. It starts off with a 12 year old girl named Aru Shah. She lives in a museum. She gets told that she is a liar because her classmates don’t believe that the Diya of Bharata when lit releases a monster. When Aru tries to prove her classmates wrong she releases a scary monster named the Sleeper (Duryodhana). When the Sleeper goes away everything around Aru is frozen in time except her. Then she goes and touches a stone of an elephant and a bird named Boo comes out. Boo asks who lit the lamp. It was Aru. Only Pandavas can light the lamp so Aru finds out that she is officially a Pandava. She meets Urvasi and Hanuman who advise Aru. She then figures out who her spiritual father and soul sister are. Is Aru going to defeat the Sleeper in a battle? Find out by reading this book.


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Pandava: Aru Shah And The Song Of Death, by Roshani Choksi (Series Book 2)

Review by Vivaan G., 6th grader

This book is about a demigod girl named Aru Shah. She is the daughter of the king of all of the gods. His name is Indra. Her biological father, the sleeper, is trying to destroy the world because the world has made him a monster. An ally of his is making all the people in the world turn into zombies using a stolen weapon. Aru and her friends have to stop her dad! Aru has five different friends. First, she has a friend named Mini, who’s godly father is named the Dharma Raja, and he is the god of the dead. She also has another friend named Brynne. Her godly father is named Vayu, and he is the god of the winds. She also has another friend named Aiden. He is the son of someone very famous in the god world. She has another friend named Rudy, and he is half snake. He is the prince of a very famous underwater kingdom.


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Pandava: Aru Shah And The Tree Of Wishes, by Roshani Choksi (Series Book 3)

Review by Vivaan G., 6th grader

This book is about a demigod girl named Aru Shah. She is in middle school. She and her friends are trying to stop her evil dad, the sleeper. He is trying to win against fate itself, because fate has made him a monster. Because of this, he is trying to seek out the legendary tree of wishes that will help him win the war against his daughter. Aru has seven different friends. First, she has a friend named Mini, whose godly father is named the Dharma Raja, and he is the god of the dead. She also has another friend named Brynne. Her godly father is named Vayu, and he is the god of the winds. She also has another friend named Aiden. He is the son of someone very famous in the god world. She has another friend named Rudy, and he is half snake. He is the prince of a very famous underwater kingdom. Finally, Aru has two other friends named Sheela and Nikita. They are also demigods. They are daughters of two twin gods named the Ashvin twins. These two gods are often associated with medicine. 


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Pandava: Aru Shan and the City of Gold, by Roshani Chokshi (Series Book 4)

Review by Vivaan G., 6th grader

This book is about a demigod girl named Aru Shah. She is the daughter of the king of all of the gods. His name is Indra. Her biological father, the sleeper, is trying to destroy the world because the world has made him a monster. He is trying to obtain the most powerful weapon in the world! Aru and her friends have to stop her dad from getting the weapon and get the weapon themselves first. Aru has five different friends. First, she has a friend named Mini, who’s godly father is named the Dharma Raja, and he is the god of the dead. She also has another friend named Brynne. Her godly father is named Vayu, and he is the god of the winds. She also has another friend named Aiden. He is the son of someone very famous in the god world. She has another friend named Rudy, and he is half snake. He is the prince of a very famous underwater kingdom.

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Review by Srisharan S., 5th grader

This is the 4th book in the Pandava series. I really like this book because this book is from a traditional story in India. Aru Shah just made a wish on the Tree of Wishes. She forgot what she wished for. She just heard that she had a biological sister named Kara. Kara is the only person that could help escape the Sleeper and get back home. Kubera the god of wealth, promises the Pandavas two weapons but only if they win the trials, or they won’t stand a chance against the Sleepers army. If they did not win the trials the Sleeper would conquer Lanka and then the Otherworld. Kubera also promises the strong and powerful Nairrata army for fighting the Sleepers army. Will the Pandavas win? Read the 4th book of the Aru Shah series to find out.


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Pandava: Aru Shan and The Nectar Of Immortality, by Roshani Chokshi (Series Book 5)

Review by Vivaan G., 6th grader

The book is fiction. The plot of the book is about a middle school aged girl named Aru Shah, and her friends. The setting is in Otherworldly places, and is set in modern times. Aru Shah is a demigod that is a reincarnation of five famous siblings. She is the daughter of the king of all of the gods, named Indra. Two of her friends are also demigods. One, named Mini, is the daughter of the god of the dead, named the Dharma Raja. The other, named Brynne, is the daughter of the god of the winds, Vayu. Aru also has four other friends. Two of them are twins.​​ One is named Sheela, and the other is named Nikita. Both are daughters of the Ashvin twins, and Sheela has the power of prophecy. Aru’s other two friends are cousins. One is named Aiden, and he is the reincarnation of the wife of the five siblings. Aru also has a crush on him. His mom is a very famous person in the Otherworld, which helps him to get into places with ease. His cousin is related to him through his mom, and he is a demon of the water. He is also the prince of the water demons which helps him to get into places as well.

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Review by Srisharan S., 5th grader

This book is a great book. It is the last book in the Pandava series. Aru Shah is in a mess. Her previous teacher, Boo, is now reborn as a chick. Her crush kissed her but now her crush won’t even look at her. This all happened on her birthday! Also Kara, her real life half sister, betrayed the Pandavas by joining her forces with the Sleeper and took the Pandava’s weapons. Aru knows that the Sleeper and his army are heading to find the labyrinth that holds the nectar of immortality. Kara, the soul daughter of the Sun god can only light the way through the dark labyrinth. The Pandavas have the next full moon to stop the Sleeper from being immortal and destroying the otherworld. The Pandavas cannot go inside the labyrinth if they do not have their weapons. They have to find a sneaky get around. Read this book to find out if the Pandavas or the Sleeper gets immortality.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 1)

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

I would recommend this book for many reasons. It intrigued me with its fast paced adventure, amazing plot, and humor throughout. Once I picked up this book, I couldn’t put it down. This is in my top three books of all time.
Percy Jackson is a twelve year old kid who has ADHD and dyslexia. During summer break, Percy and his friend Grover go home. Percy and his mom decide to go to their small family cabin. Once there, Grover slammed open the door and whispered something to Percy’s mom. She then told Percy to get in the car. As they were driving, all chaos broke loose and the underworld was summoned. Percy and his friends must battle to stay alive. The theme of the book is to stick together because Annabeth, Grover and Percy have to stick together to survive.

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Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I like this story. It is one of my favorite books. The book first starts with a 12 year old boy named Percy (Perseus) Jackson. He has attended 6 different schools in 6 years. One day his math teacher Mrs.Dodds tried to kill him and changed into her bat form. Percy was scared that all these incidents would cause him to leave the school. But then one night Grover comes and shows his real form and Percy and his mom and Grover all get in the car. But then a minotaur comes and Percy saves Grover and his mom. Grover tells Percy about how he is a half blood and he is a son of one of the Greek Gods. After this Percy is given a journey/quest to retrieve Zeus’s master Bolt from the underworld. Along this way he will meet a lot of people like Medusa, Cerberus and Pan, among others. At the end read the book to find out if he completes this mission.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 2)

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

I would highly recommend this book. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and will deliver with humor. You will feel like you are in the book with the characters and that you are right next to them.
Now that Percy is starting to understand his powers, more monsters are trying to track him down. He is going to a new middle school with a friend who he met named Tyson. Tyson is over six foot five and extremely strong, but has a very soft heart and doesn’t like fighting. When something happens at Camp Half Blood, Clarrise is chosen for the quest. Because Percy and his friends don’t trust Clarrise, Percy and Annabeth set out to help Camp Half Blood, and to save Grover. The theme that I think this book has is to persevere. Annabeth and Percy showed great determination and didn’t give up.

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Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters is a book about the adventures of Percy Jackson, a thirteen-year-old demigod, and his pals. They embark on a quest to find the Golden Fleece, which is said to have the power to cure the enchanted tree. Thalia guards Camp Half-Blood, a demigod summer camp from Kronos. They meet Tyson who is the brother of Percy. In search of the Golden Fleece, the gang journeys to the Sea of Monsters, popularly known as the Bermuda Triangle. Along the journey, Percy must plan a daring rescue mission to save his old pal Grover, and he discovers a dreadful family secret. At the end Percy fights Luke who now is the main antagonist and as Percy was about to lose, by the nick of time Percy and Luke both get back to camp. At the end the golden fleece was great for Thalia, giving Kronos another person he can use to fulfill the prophecy.


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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 3)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

This is a good book. This book is the 3rd book in the Percy Jackson series. The story is about Percy, Grover, Annabeth, and Thalia who are all Half-Bloods (demigods). They fight monsters, giants, titans, and all evil monsters. They fight these monsters to keep the gods, and mortals safe. In this book Percy’s best friend gets taken. Five people go on a mission/quest to save her and Artemis. Along the way they meet Apollo (god of sun), Atlas (General of Titans) and 2 half bloods. It is a good book and I can always read it again. Luke is the evil character in the book. Kronos arranged a plan to defeat Camp Half Blood but Camp Half Blood and Percy won. Also in this book Thalia gets restored.


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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 4)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I like this book. The first thing that happens is Percy, Chase, Annabeth all try a way to find the mysterious labyrinth. They are trying to find the center. This is where Daedalus works, because they want to talk to him. They have to talk to him before Luke and Kronos do. They have to block Kronos and Luke from finding Ariadne’s string and navigating through the Labyrinth to destroy Camp Half Blood and then Olympus. I recommend you read this book, it is good, funny and a great book to read. My favorite character is Percy Jackson. He is a brave hero and a great character in the book as he fights the evil creatures. Grover is a satyr. His dream was to find the wild God Pan which is believed to have died a long time ago. I give this book a 10 out of 10.


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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Chalice of the Gods, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 6)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I really like this book. If you have read the other 5 Percy Jackson books, read this one. It is very good. Percy Jackson, a modern day demigod son of Poseidon is trying to get into high school. After going on various different adventures like battling monsters, Titans, and giants, Percy is now at Alternative High School where he hopes to have a nice normal senior year. The gods are not quite done with Percy. Poseidon says that if Percy wants to get into New Rome University with Annabeth he needs to fulfill 3 quests to get 3 recommendation letters from the gods. First was to help Ganymede, Zeus’s cupbearer. Percy needs to retrieve his Gold Goblet before it goes to the wrong hands. One sip from that cup and you will be a god. Zeus would not be pleased. Percy Jackson, Grover Underwood, and Annabeth Chase are reunited for their 1st quest all together since the Lighting Thief. They have to find it in time. If so, will they resist the special power of the cup? Read this book Chalice of the gods to learn more about what happens.


Poached, by Stuart Gibbs

Review by Finn D., 6th grader

The second book in The FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs is called Poached. It is about Teddy Fitzroy and his friends. A koala was stolen and replaced with a stuffed animal in KoalaVille, and Teddy is the main suspect when security cams show him leaving KoalaVille at closing time with his school backpack, which is big enough to fit a koala. Since Teddy was framed, the pressure is twice as heavy as the last case. He has to investigate who stole the koala while hiding out from security. All the evidence points to Teddy, and of course his friends don’t believe Teddy stole the koala since the one that’s running the show is Large Marge, a security guard driven by revenge since Teddy has played so many pranks on her. And also because Teddy’s friends and parents know Teddy is a troublemaker, but he wouldn’t go that far. This book always keeps you going, if you know what I mean. There are twists and turns and reveals and suspense and action. I  really recommend reading this book if you get the chance.

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Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently finished a book called Poached by Stuart Gibbs. This book takes place in a famous zoo and amusement park called Fun Jungle. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Texas. The billionaire who owns Fun Jungle, JJ McCracken, strikes a deal with some Australian ambassadors. Thus, he’s able to borrow a koala named Kazoo for 6 months; but after only a few weeks on display, the koala is kidnapped. One kid in a nearby middle school who has great access due to his parents working now is framed for the crime. Whoever did it obviously covered up their tracks well because no one was able to figure it out until the kid who’s framed, Teddy, decides to get involved in the case. Will he be able to solve the case? Read this incredible book to find out more. I definitely give it a thumbs up. It kept me involved and I always wanted to keep reading.


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Refugee, by Alan Gratz

Review by Richard B., 5th grader

Refugee is a historical fiction by Alan Gratz that follows the lives of three different children all at different points in time. Josef is a kid that lived in 1938 Germany, who is moving to Cuba but there are many obstacles along the way. Isabell is a kid who lives in 1994 Cuba, during a time with severe food shortages and no more trade with Russia, due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. During this time her family decides to leave Cuba for America on a small raft. Mahmoud is a young boy who lives in 2015 Syria. During this time, in Syria there is war and many towns and areas are bombed by their own government. His family decides to leave for Europe and faces many problems like, a raft popping and almost drowning with life vests that do not even work. Refugee takes you on a journey through time, showing how characters respond to challenges and tying each child to the others through shocking connections. This book was exciting and well-written. I highly recommend this to others.

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Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

This month, I am reading Refugee by Alan Gratz. It’s a phenomenal story about three kids and their families trying to escape their home countries and find safety. Josef, a boy from Germany, is suffering anti-semitism, and his father was taken to a concentration camp. He tries to leave Germany by sea, but his ship is stopped in Cuba. Mahmoud is fleeing Syria by foot, once his building is toppled by a missile. He boards a smuggler’s raft, only to have it overturned and stranded in the middle of the ocean. Isabel is fleeing Cuba. When their dictator, Castro says they can leave, they build a boat and sacrifice everything to make it to Florida. However, they land in the Bahamas and whoever walks on their soil is sent back to Cuba. This is a problem because Isabel’s mother is pregnant and she has to give birth. What will happen to these children? Will they survive? Read this thumbs-up rated book to find out more.


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Restart, by Gordon Korman

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently finished the book Restart by Gordon Korman. Ouch! Chase Ambrose, feared in his town by everyone, fell off his roof and onto his head. Chase wakes up in the hospital. The doctor realizes that Chase has amnesia when he doesn’t recognize his own mother. When he gets back to school, people stay clear of him. Who is he? He used to be the most feared bully in town, as well as a star football hero, who won the state championship. Two people that were his friends–Aaron and Bear–were sentenced to community service along with Chase in court before the accident for bullying someone out of town. And, to the school, more importantly, blowing up a baby-grand piano. Chase doesn’t know whether he should be the same bully as he used to be or explore a new life. Read this thumbs-up book to find out more.


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Saving Mr. Terupt, by Rob Buyea

Review by Holden C., 6th grader

When Mr.Terrupts’ sixth grade class moved on to seventh grade, his students from the past two years were separated. They each went their different ways and started adjusting to middle school, each of them having their own problems to deal with. Without Mr.Terupt, school was very different for them all. One day, an incident threatened to destroy their friendship and they went to Mr.Terupt for help, but found out he needs help more than they do. The theme of this story is, as it says in the book, “Hard times like these make you better…as long as you have the right attitude about things,” and I would add that the support and friendship of others helps.


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A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning; (Series Book 1), by Lemony Snicket

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

“If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.” This chilling first line really sets the scene for the whole series to come. In this book, we are introduced to the Baudelaire children. The oldest is Violet who is fourteen and loves inventing things. Klaus is twelve and reads any books he can get his hands on and retains all the knowledge he learns. Finally, the youngest child, Sunny, likes to bite things. She is no bigger than a boot, but makes up for it with her four, sharp front teeth. This saddening story begins at Briny Beach where they are informed that their house had burned down taking their parents with it. Understandably, they were devastated, but this was just the start in their miserable life as they have to run from a villain who wants to steal their families fortune. This book is very clever and a must read for anyone. The theme of this story is that no matter how unfortunate the circumstances, people can do brilliant things.


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A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room (Series Book 2), by Lemony Snicket

Review by Holden C., 6th grader

After fleeing their despicable uncle who is still following them, the Baudelaire children are put in the care of their uncle Montgomery Montgomery, or Monty for short. He is an herpetologist and has a lifelong interest in snakes and reptiles. He keeps some in his house in a room called the Reptile Room. He treats the Baudelaires well. The Baudelaire’s are in constant fear of Count Olaf and when he shows up, will they be able to save Montgomery or will they all be too late to stop anything? This is a thrilling book that has ingenious writing and an ingenious plot that will keep anyone engrossed for days. This book is so amazing it will give you chills. I would highly recommend this book and the entire series to anyone. The theme of this book is teamwork because the Baudelaires have to work together to stop Count Olaf from killing them, their uncle, and stealing their families fortune.


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A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window (Series Book 3), by Lemony Snicket

Review by Holden C., 6th grader

Once again on the run from their uncle, the Baudelaires are in despair as their feeling of a safe home was cruelly shattered by Count Olaf when he murdered their Uncle Monty who loved them very much. After their Uncle’s death, they were sent to their new guardian, their paranoid Aunt Josephine. She is scared of practically everything even though her rickety old house is precariously balanced hundreds of feet above a cliff with harsh rough water below. As the Baudelaires start adjusting to their new life and the illusion of safety, Count Olaf finds his way into it. This is an awesome book and I would one hundred percent recommend it to anyone. The theme of this story is that you can’t always rely on other people to help you.


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Sisters, by Raina Telgemeier

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

I think Sisters is an outstanding book! It is a graphic novel and I would totally recommend it if you love graphic novels! It’s about a girl named Raina and she is going on a trip to Colorado to visit her cousins. She is going to drive there with her mom, her sister Amara, and her younger brother Will. 
Amara and Raina don’t get along too well, and during the car trip, they fight a lot and drive their mom nuts. The girls fight over colored pencils and the Walkman, which is a device to listen to music using cassette tapes. So they kick the seat and scream at each other during the car ride. Will also chants and sings loudly in the car and annoys everybody, which doesn’t help.
Raina has always wanted a sister, but maybe a sister isn’t what she asked for. When their parent’s relationship starts to get a little shaky, they must learn to get along together. The theme of this book is when you set aside your differences and get along, you will see the light. I really enjoyed reading this book. I give it a thumbs up!

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Review by Arya A., 4th grader

In the book Sisters, Raina is a little girl who lives in California and she wishes for a sister. After Amara’s little sister is born she quickly realizes that things aren’t how she expected them to be. Amara is cute but she gets grouchy often and likes being alone. They never really get along at all. Then Will is born and they also have to go on a road trip to Colorado for their family reunion. Now they have to get along. The book is mainly about the road trip and some things they encounter together. The book also idolizes how they develop in their relationship.
I highly recommend this book because I think it is certainly a very interesting book and it has a sense of humor with the story. This book teaches kids how to get in better relationships with their siblings and if you have a sister this is a great book for you. My favorite part in the book is when Amara gets a pet snake and it accidentally gets into the car and Raina’s freaking out because she had a childhood incident with the snake. I give it a thumbs up.

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Review by Gracie S., 4th grader

In this book, the main character is Raina. She has a sister and a brother and they’re going on a road trip to California. On their road trip, they were fighting a lot about where to eat, about giving each other batteries for their music player and basically annoying each other. I could relate to this because I have to sit in the middle seat when I travel with my family. They couldn’t decide where to stop to eat and they were arguing about where to go. Their car also broke down. The mom left the kids in the car and they had to get along. I liked this book because it reminded me of road trips with my family.


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Smile, by Raina Telgemeier

Review by Samantha M., 6th grader

I liked this book and would recommend it to anyone 10-13 years old, that may need braces, or is just looking for a humorous read. This is a graphic novel set in the 90s. In the book “Smile,” Raina Telgemeier was having a normal day when she had a terrible accident after a Girl Scout meeting. Because of this accident, she did serious damage to her front teeth, she even had to get fake front teeth to replace them.
I liked this book as it is a good representation of how braces can improve your self-esteem if someone didn’t have good teeth. This shows people who are about to get braces and the side effects to them. It’s written in a funny way, so you can see the point of how someone may not be happy about getting them.
It’s a touching book, and it goes through how sometimes friends change as you get older, bullying, and just the general daily routines of middle school kids. Since this is a graphic novel, the pictures are showing you her daily routines and struggles. I was happy when Raina meets her new friend Theresa and got her braces off. 

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Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

Smile by Raina Telgemeier really did make me smile! This great graphic novel is about a teenager named Raina who one day after a Girl Scouts meeting falls and injures her two front teeth. Raina was about to get braces already. But before she gets braces, the orthodontist has to try many times to fix her two front teeth. Getting braces is hard enough, and Raina still has more to deal with. Friends, boys, and family are all a frustrating part in Raina’s dental journey. 

Raina’s “friends” weren’t very supportive about her having braces. They teased her many times and said she had “dog breath!” They also gave her a makeover as a joke because they thought she didn’t look good with braces. Don’t you wonder how she deals with her not-so-friendly friends? Read the book to see!

The theme of this book is to not take it too hard on yourself and enjoy yourself. Will Raina gain enough confidence to talk to the boy she likes? Will she forgive her little sister for being mean to her? Will Raina finally smile? Check out one of my favorite books to find out!


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Spy School, by Stuart Gibbs (Series Book 1)

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

Recently, I read an incredible book called Spy School. Twelve-year-old Benjamin Ripley’s life suddenly becomes interesting when a world-renowned spy breaks into his home and invites him to become a part of a CIA junior operative training camp. When Erica, a junior spy, and Benjamin find out that he is a mole, bad things happen. A bomb is found under the school, fake coding skills for Benjamin are established in his file, a phony coding system is invented, and Ben is in the center of it all. 52 CIA agents are set out to protect him, yet he is captured. Can Ripley escape?
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is into Stuart Gibb’s incredible works. Even if you have never heard of him, I am sure this book is right for you.


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Spy camp : A Spy School novel, by Stuart Gibbs (Series Book 2)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I like this book. It is one of my favorite books. The story starts off with a kid named Ben Ripley. He is a middle schooler. Ben Ripley is training in the CIA to be an agent. Last year, he spent a lot of time training to be a top level spy. He trained a lot with Erica Hale. She is a very talented spy.  His principal asked him to go to a spy camp on vacation. Ben can’t relax or take a break. At the summer camp, it requires lots of training. Also, SPYDER, an enemy spy group, has been increasing its ranks and is trying to beat Ben and Erica. As they go on this journey, they find a person named Murray Hill. He works with SPYDER. But soon they reveal who his boss is. His boss’ name is Joshua Hallal. A very smart and talented villain. Earlier in the previous story Murray acts like a best friend to Ben but then shows that he is a mole of the CIA and works for SPYDER. Erica and Ben both beat them. They both succeed in their mission.

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Reviewed by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently finished reading Spy Camp by Stuart Gibbs. This book is about how all the students in Spy School, a top-secret training facility for future CIA agents, are taken to Spy Camp for a wilderness training program. Junior Agent Benjamin Ripley is given a job opportunity from SPYDER, the most evil consortium of bad guys. During a covert transport, Ripley is attacked by SPYDER. He is on the run yet again. A few of his fellow campers are taken hostage. Benjamin and a few other members of the CIA crash a Civil War reenactment and attempt to save the hostages. But, as always, nothing goes according to plan. The agents split up, and a few of their radios go dead. Will they be able to save the hostages, and, more importantly, the world? Enthusiastic thumbs-up.


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Evil Spy School: a Spy School novel, by Stuart Gibbs (Series Book 3)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

This is the 3rd book in the Spy School series. I think this book is good because the series is good and it is a great book. Ben gets kicked out of the CIA Spy School and shakes hands with the enemy. During a Spy School game of Flag football or capture the flag, Ben (by accident) shoots a live mortar into the principal’s office. This makes him get expelled from the Spy School of the CIA. Immediately after he gets expelled from the CIA and back to normal life he gets an offer to join the evil crime organization Spyder. Ben accepts this offer. Ben can infer that he is a key part in the sinister plan, but he is not sure what plan it is. Will Ben be able to figure out what Spyder is up to and reveal the plan to the CIA before it is too late? Read the Evil Spy School book by Stuart Gibbs and find out.


Spy School Revolution, by Stuart Gibbs (Series Book 8)

Review by Finn D., 6th grader

Spy School Revolution by Stuart Gibbs is a great book to read, that is, once you’ve read every other Spy School book in the series. Nevertheless, this is a good read for people who like to occupy their time by reading action-packed suspenseful books. Ben finds himself being attacked by one of his fellow spies who supposedly turned to the dark side. Ben knew Erica would never do that, so he followed the clues that Erica left behind for him to find her, and when he does, Erica tells him that she only attacked because she was forced by an evil Spanish terrorist organization named the Croatan. The Croatan then threatened Erica and told her that if she didn’t attempt to kill Ben, then they would kill her sister, Trixie. All in all, Ben is mixed up in a crazy adventure of loyalty and suspense.

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Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently read Spy School Revolution by Stuart Gibbs. This book is about a group of students from the Academy of Espionage, a top secret training facility for people preparing to join the CIA. While at a meeting, student Benjamin Ripley’s building is bombed. Once the attack is known to have been committed by a fellow spy school student, Benjamin needs to meet up with them. Certain that his fellow student, Erica, has not turned to the dark side, he meets up with her. She warns him of the existence of another consortium of bad guys. They set out on yet another treacherous mission that takes them back in time to George Washington’s house. Will they be able to foil the plot of these evildoers? Read this incredible book to find out more. Thumbs-up!


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Spy School at Sea, by Stuart Gibbs

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I finished a great book called Spy School at Sea by Stuart Gibbs. A CIA junior operative squad of teenagers are posing as the Rokto family as they go on a mission to find Murray Hill, an international criminal. This, like all missions, was not normal. First they boarded the largest cruise ship on earth, the Emperor of the Seas. Ben, one of the operatives, assumes that Murray will be in the Emperor Suite, the most opulent one. It turns out that its occupants are none other than the billionaire owners of the ship, Ben’s friends. The mission is full of many twists and turns and nothing goes according to plan. Read this hilarious story, full of silly moments like when a grown man goes delusional and talks about cheese-loving aliens and throws up every few minutes. This book was so good I read it twice, which I rarely do. Check this book out from your local library today. I definitely rate this book a thumbs-up.


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Spy School Goes North, by Stuart Gibbs (Series Book 11)

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

This incredible book takes place in Alaska, after the first Spy School novel, at a top-secret CIA junior operative training camp. Only a few students are chosen for this special training. Unexpectedly, Erica Hale’s Grandfather, Cyrus Hale, is kidnapped by a Russian submarine. The students invade a Russian base and realize that Cyrus isn’t in trouble at all. Instead, he’s meeting with a long-lost enemy, a Russian agent Ivan and his granddaughter, Svetlana. Immediately, a fight broke out. At their next encounter, captivated by a strong connection with one of the spy students, Svetlana switches sides. Ivan threatens doomsday for all of the U.S. Read this incredible, thumb-up rated book to find out what happens next.


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Star Wars Flight of the Falcon: Lando’s Luck, by Justina Ireland

Reviewed by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I really like this book. It is one of my favorite books. The story starts off when Lando gets caught stealing something on the planet of Hynestia. The queen agrees to free him if he gives the Solstice globe to the empire. Lando is relieved it was a simple task. But it was not simple. The queen’s daughter has stowed away on the Millennium Falcon and wants Lando and L3-37 to take the globe back to the globe’s home planet, which needs the globe to survive. Lando has to choose what’s the right thing to do and what is best for him. If he is lucky he might be able to do both. Read more to figure out what happens in the book.


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Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli

Review by Julianna B., 6th grader

“Stargirl” by Jerry Spinelli is a novel that is about  a boy named Leo and a girl named Stargirl. Stargirl gets bullied for being different, while Leo doesn’t mind it, later catching feelings for her. The theme of this book is fitting in. I would rate this book a thumbs up, and would recommend for the person reading this book review to try it out.

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Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently read Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. I thought that it was an inspiring book that encourages individuality. Stargirl, the new girl at Mica High, is the outcast of the school. The victim, the outsider, the only one who’s not a part of the generic student body. She’s the only one who leaves presents on the desks of other people, sings “Happy Birthday” in the cafeteria, and the only one who is “different.” Then Stargirl’s popularity grows and she sparks independence in all of the students. Suddenly all of the students are copying her ways. At a party, she leads two hundred people in a bunny hop that lasts until the next morning. When she joins the cheerleading squad, one thousand people show up to the games, considerably greater amount than the eight that had been coming. In fact, their dismal basketball team suddenly gains spirit. They are no longer okay with losing. They are on an unbelievable winning streak until they lose a game. The students suddenly turn on Stargirl because she cheered for the other team. Suddenly she is shunned. Facing extreme peer-pressure, she doesn’t know who to be anymore. Read this incredible book to find out more.


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Stick Dog: Stick Dog Gets the Tacos, by Tom Watson (Series Book 9)

Review by Srisharan S., 5th grader

I really like this story. I like this story because it has funny parts in the book. The book is about Stick Dog seeing Karen and she tells that a group of people were hitting a dog. Stick dog was angry so he and his friends went to the place and saw that the dog was a toy unicorn or something. Next, they thought the humans were hitting live birdies but it was a badminton birdie. Then the humans were playing games. Stick Dog and his friends all went to eat some guacamole. Then there was a knock on the door and the human took out chips and tacos. Stick Dog and his friends found the chips and made a plan to get them. They got the chips. They then tried chips and guacamole together and said it was yummy. Then Stick Dog found the taco bag and every one of the dogs had finished all the tacos and they wrapped pinecones in the taco aluminum foil. When the male human opened the taco bag, he saw the pine cone but his daughter called and he put the taco back inside. The humans were playing a game and the dogs broke the unicorn and took the candy and ran away. My favorite scene in this book is when the dogs wrapped pinecones in the foil that the tacos came with. As you can see I like this book.


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The Stolen Sapphire: A Samantha Mystery, by Sarah Masters Buckey

Review by Olivia Anne P., 5th grader

In this book Samantha Parkington and Nellie, her adopted sister, are invited to go to Europe with Grandmary and the Admiral Beemis. Nellie and Samantha meet all the passengers on the old-fashioned ship they are taking, but some aren’t as nice as they seem. One of the passengers found a mysterious gem called the Blue Star that brings bad luck to all who have it.  When all the first-class passengers are dining the lights go out and when they turn back on the gem is gone! As Samantha and Nellie investigate, their French tutor is accused of stealing the gem. They have to find the gem in a couple of days before they dock in Ireland. Will they find the gem, or will the thief get away? Read this thrilling mystery tale that comes right before the other Samantha mystery “Danger in Paris.”


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Superfudge, by Judy Blume

Review by Aura V., 5th grader

I liked this book and would recommend it. I think this book is great for students because it is humorous. This book is realistic fiction and the main character, Peter, has trouble with all these new changes happening. First, he already lives with his super insane brother, Fudge, that’s just starting Kindergarten with Peter in sixth grade, and is practically a genius. Next, he just got the news from his parents that they will be having another baby! Now his parents are so busy taking care of the baby, they have no time to watch Fudge, leaving Peter in charge of him. With all of this happening, his parents decide to take a break from the city and move to Princeton, New Jersey, forcing him to have to leave his best friend, Jimmy Fargo, and completely start over. Now basically Peter is starting a new chapter in his life. You should definitely read this book, Superfudge, to find out how Peter is going to make new friends and survive with his two crazy siblings!


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The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss

Review by Olivia Anne P., 5th grader

The Robinson family has gotten themselves shipwrecked on an unknown island when sailing from Switzerland. As the remaining survivors of the shipwreck they start out on an adventure. They face many perils once they reach land. The boys encounter many strange but wonderful animals. Father, Fritz, Ernest, and Jack create a vast number of creative houses. Also, Father creates many inventions that help them when living on the island. The four children tame many wild animals and love to race them while father, who is very knowledgeable, goes out on adventures and finds many edible foods and stupendous sites. This classic book is very amazing and draws the reader into the adventure like they are one of the characters themselves. Enjoy reading this book.


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The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate Dicamillo

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

Inside the walls of a castle, a mouse is born. He was the only one to survive the litter. He looked different and people said his ears were too big, or that he was born with his eyes open. He was expected to die, but he didn’t. He liked to explore and go into the castle which was restricted, and when he talked to a human, he was banished to the dungeons for betraying the opinions and ideas of the other mice. This is when his adventure started. This book is fast paced and will always keep you entertained. I would highly recommend this to anyone. The theme of this book is that sometimes the impossible is possible.


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Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume

Review by Caitlyn C., 4th grader

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is a fantastic book! I would recommend the book Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing because it is very funny and full of excitement and mystery. The book is about a boy named Peter and his younger brother, Farley Drexel Hatcher, who everyone calls Fudge. Everyone thinks Fudge is adorable, but Peter knows the truth. Peter thinks his  younger brother is a big troublemaker and super annoying! The brothers have many silly adventures everywhere they go. Fudge is always getting in big trouble, and makes a mess wherever they go! When Peter gets a new pet turtle, named Dribble, Fudge is of course causing mischief again! Read the book to find out what happens when Fudge swallows Dribble, and Peter is stuck with no pet. There was another time when Fudge had a tantrum at the shoe store because he wanted to wear the same shoes as Peter but they didn’t have them in his size. But no matter how annoying Fudge is to Peter, the two brothers always love each other! This book will make you laugh out loud and is another one of my favorites.


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Teddy Mars : almost a world record breaker, by Molly B. Burnham

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I love this book because it is about a kid named Teddy trying to get a World Record. This book is about Teddy and his friend Viva seeing a book about Guiness World Record and Teddy tries different ideas to get a world record. They discuss it. Then Teddy got an idea. It was to sleep in a tent for the longest of any age under 12. He tries it. He sleeps there for 162 days. He got a world record and his mom and dad and friends were proud of him. They all helped him create an application and contacted the World Record People. As you can see I really like this book.


Thumbs up!

Tenney, by Kellen Hertz

Review by Catherine E., 5th grader

I gave the book Tenney a thumbs up review because it was about a girl who loved music and worked hard to achieve her goals.  In the end though she didn’t get everything she hoped for, a record deal, and had to learn to deal with the disappointment. 
Tenney signed up to play guitar at the Jamboree.  She got paired with a senior citizen and they had to learn to work together to be able to perform at the Jamboree.  In between signing up for the Jamboree and performing with the senior citizen Tenney had the chance to play at the famous Blue Bird Café.  That performance did not go well.  Then, Tenney decided she didn’t want to perform anymore.  But, the senior citizen she was assigned to work with convinced her to get back on stage.  Tenney did perform with her senior citizen by her side and they performed really well.
At the Blue Bird Café, there was a person representing a music label.  When she didn’t do well, she thought her chances were gone forever.  What Tenney didn’t know was that the senior citizen she was partnered with for the Jamboree was a famous musician.  The same record label person came and saw them both perform and even though she didn’t get a record deal, she was able to get a mentor to help her learn to be better. The lesson that Tenney took away was always try your best and never give up on your dreams!


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Timmy Failure: Zero to Hero (Series Book 0), by Stephan Pastis

Review by Bharath K.R., 6th grader

A boy named Timmy Failure, is a detective. He is famous (or so he says) that there are seven books written about his life. This book is about how he became a detective. His best friend Charles “Rollo ” Tookus writes the book. It’s a really funny book. He says a bowling ball is a bomb disguised as a bowling ball. He solves two “worldwide” cases. One for his missing shirt and another for the books he lost. Soon after he lost the books, he found a polar bear named Total in Becky’s Hair and Nail Salon. Timmy calls it an Intelligence Gathering Site. He thought a hair dryer was a highly classified listening chamber. He has an “enemy” to defeat. Her name is Corrina Corrina. Before she became Timmy’s enemy, Timmy invited her to join his detective agency, Failure Inc. Then Corrina Corrina moves into Timmy’s school and starts her own detective agency, Corrina Corrina Intelligence Agency. Timmy thinks Corrina Corrina is trying to stop his agency from growing. Timmy invites Total into the agency, which was soon named Total Failure Inc. I highly recommend reading this book.


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Timmy Failure: It’s the End When I Say It’s the End, by Stephan Pastis (Series Book 7)

Review by Bharath K.R., 6th grader

Now Timmy has solved many notorious crimes and wishes to enjoy his retirement, his “fans” have begged him to turn his memoirs into a movie, an ode to his greatness. However, he is beset by his “enemies”, the worst of whom is Tom John John, the “buffoonish” (as he says) movie director. Timmy’s father is in town, working at a bar, which is obviously just a cover for his father-son crime-fighting partnership (It’s not true. That’s what Timmy thinks). He comes to see his father everyday at the bar. He gave his movie script to his dad but when Timmy asked for it back, his father couldn’t find it. That led him to another detective case, in which Corrina Corrina and Molly Moskins helped him. His dim-witted partner, Total, wants to reunite with his little brother. Timmy helped him search for him. First, Total asked Timmy to draw him out. Timmy found a fax machine. He helped Total work the machine. Soon Total found someone, but Timmy figured out that he was not Total’s brother. They kept on searching. I highly recommend you read this book.


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Trapped in a Video Game, by Dustin Brady (eBook)

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

When Jesse Rigsby and his friend Eric get stuck in the video game Full Blast, they have to get out quickly; before they will be stuck in it forever. This is a good book that keeps you excited the entire way. The theme of this story is two different people can still get along. Jesse and Eric are completely different and like different things, but they are still friends.


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Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I thought the book was very intriguing. Full of death, confusion, and suspense, this book is well-suited for lovers of pirates and treasure. A master of the famous genre, Robert Louis Stevenson expertly executed a book of fantasy and adventure. Set long ago, a boy gets roped into a treasure hunt. When they board the boat, signs of traitors start to show. Fears of mutiny ripple through the crew; only one side wins the treasure. The action-packed book is full of unexpected twists and turns. You never know who’s good or who’s bad. Reading this book was quite a thrill. I hope if you read it, you will find it so. I think any fan of extreme adventure and surprise ought to enjoy the book. The main character faces many challenges, such as the death of his father. I hope you read this book.


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The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 1)

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

This book takes place after the events of the Heroes Of Olympus series. This is another thrilling and humorous book by the amazing author, Rick Riordan, continuing the adventures of the Greek and Roman Mythology book series. This book starts off with the god Apollo falling from the sky as a mortal (with acne) into a dumpster. He meets a twelve year old girl named Meg in the alley where he lands and their adventure together begins to return himself to his throne on Mount Olympus. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Rick Roirdan’s work because it is as amazing as his other books. This book’s theme is to not just rely on yourself – accept that sometimes you need other people to help you along the way, as Meg does for Apollo.


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The Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 2)

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

This book comes after the Trials of Apollo book the Hidden Oracle. Now that Apollo knows he has to free the five oracles and he has freed the Grove of Diana at Camp Half Blood, he must continue on his journey alone because Meg had left him. On his journey, he must also push on to kill the three emperors who are trying to become gods. This book shows how Apollo is changing. This book is humorous, riveting, gripping, and will keep you on the edge of your seat making you not want to put down the book and keep flipping the pages. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mythology and adventure because this is an amazing combination of both. The theme of this book is empathy because Apollo is starting to realize that his ways of thinking of morals as disposable is wrong and is starting to change his ways and feel empathy.


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The Trials of Apollo: The Burning Maze, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 3)

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

This book takes place after the book Trials of Apollo – The Dark Prophecy. Apollo, Grover, and Meg are forced to travel through the Labyrinth as the Dark Prophecy had said to “travel through the magical maze.” They must fend off monsters and survive the Labyrinth at the same time, and see where the Labyrinth would take them and what their quest would be like fully. Read to find out. This book is amazing and one of my favorites. I would recommend it to anyone one who enjoys Rick Riordan’s work. The theme is that loss is a part of life because Apollo is feeling loss for the deaths of people around him. This is unlike him as a god because he never felt loss because he thought of humans as inferior and didn’t worry of losing himself, as he was immortal.


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The Trials of Apollo: The Tyrant’s Tomb, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 4)

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

This book comes after the Trials of Apollo – The Burning Maze. After Jason’s death by Caligula on the cruise ship, they are taking his body to Camp Jupiter for a proper funeral which leads them to discover the unofficial “fourth emperor.” Will they be able to survive this new challenge? Read to find out what happens. This is an amazing book with amazing writing. I would recommend this book to anyone. The theme of this book is that no one is powerless and everyone has the power to make a change because Apollo feels powerless against the oracle but must gain his courage to make a change. 


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The Trials of Apollo: The Tower of Nero, by Rick Riordan (Series Book 5)

Review by Holden C., 5th grader

This book takes place after the events in the book of The Trials of Apollo – The Tyrants Tomb. Now that Caligula and Commundus have both been killed by Frank and Apollo, they must now kill the last surviving emperor, Nero, and Meg’s stepfather. If Apollo survives he must face his strongest and oldest enemy – the Python who he had to use all his godly strength to defeat the first time. This is the final book and you should read to the end to find out how this amazing series comes to a close. This book really shows Apollo’s progress. This is an awesome book that shows all of Rick Riordan’s writing talent. I would recommend this amazing book to anyone. The theme of this book is that you need courage because Apollo needs courage to fight his mortal enemy and try to beat him.

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Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I really like this book. It is one of my favorite books. Apollo, after spending six months in a bad miserable teenage body named Lester Papadopoulos is finally changing. Meg and Apollo made their way across the USA and back again. They have freed oracles, defeated monsters and suffered a lot of tragedies. Meg and Apollo are heading back to Manhattan. This is the base of Nero, Meg’s bad stepfather. Meg and Apollo along with their friends have to defeat him. Also Apollo has to fight Python, his fierce archnemesis. Will Lester change into the god Apollo? Will Zeus allow it? Read this book and find out.


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Turtle in Paradise, by Jennifer L. Holm

Review by Valentina Sofia T., 6th grader

It is about a girl named Turtle who has to move in with her aunt in Key West. It is a story about change, growth, and realization. It had well-rounded characters that were well constructed and were made to be human, not perfect. The characters are only one part of the book, another part that I loved was the plot. The plot was well-written and felt as though Turtle really wrote and her perspective was shown wonderfully. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves realistic fiction or plot twists. Turtle changes and realizes that she’s found her paradise, like in all the movies and shows she has seen.


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War Stories, by Gordon Korman

Review by Richard B., 5th grader

War Stories by Gordon Korman is a historical/realistic fiction about the Firestone family. Travis is the main character and his Great Grandpa is a War Hero. During World War II, James, Travis’ great grandfather liberated a village called Sanite Regien. Now at 93 James and the Firestone family have been invited back to France to receive a medal. While they retrace the steps of the old soldier they run into trouble. Two mysterious figures seem to follow them around from Normandy to Sanite Regien. This story is told during current time and from young James’ point of view. I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy twists and turns!


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The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently read The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. I thought it was a great book. Samuel Westing is a multi-millionaire who was thought to be murdered in cold blood. Together the sixteen heirs of Samuel Westing must figure out who killed him in order to win the inheritance. Driven by money, the heirs work through several bombs, figure out who was who, and try to solve the mystery. People may not always be who they seem to be, and the identity of the bomber is surprising. I enjoyed learning about each character’s life and motivations. They were all well-developed.
I thought this book was very engrossing and I strongly support it with a thumbs-up. Anyone who is into mystery books will absolutely love this one. If you are into surprises, this book is full of them. Reading this book as a family was very fun and the book certainly did not fail to provide talking points to discuss in a group. Read this amazing book to find out who killed Sam Westing.


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What Was the Age of the Dinosaurs?, by Megan Stine

Review by Catherine Emmerich, 5th grader

I gave the book, The Age of the Dinosaurs by Megan Stine, a thumbs up because it is a great resource if you want to learn about dinosaurs.  It is broken up into the different periods in which Dinosaurs lived. In the beginning dinosaurs were not very big.  Over time they began to evolve.  For example, instead of just having plant eating animals or small meat eating animals, the meat eaters began to grow and become very large! The plant eaters adapted to their environment by growing taller to reach more vegetation to eat.  Then the book discussed how after some time, we didn’t just have herbivores and carnivores, we started getting dinosaurs that ate both meat and plants, which were called omnivores!
Another interesting fact that the books talked about was how the body of the dinosaurs changed.  They began growing spikes on their backs and horns on their head as they evolved over time. They also talked about how meat eaters had sharp pointy teeth and plant eaters had very flat teeth. 
Scientists believe that all the dinosaurs were wiped out because of a HUGE meteor that hit the earth.  Today, they learn about the dinosaurs because of the fossils and bones left on the earth’s surface.  The book discusses the markings on the bones that help tell a story about the life of the dinosaur. 
At the end, they explain that the closest living animal to the dinosaur is a BIRD!


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When Mischief Came to Town, by Katrina Nannestad

Review by Emma Y., 6th grader

When Mischief Came to Town is a story about a girl named Inge Maria Jensen who is sent to the island of Bornholm, Denmark, after the recent death of her mom. Inge Maria’s grandmother is very strict, the people in Bornholm are strange, and the children are supposed to be seen and not heard. During recess, girls are not allowed to run around on the grass, while the boys can. Instead, the girls have to sit quietly on the benches by the schoolhouse. Even though Inge Maria tries really hard to be good, mischief always finds her in the end. However, mischief isn’t always necessarily bad.
When Mischief Came to Town is a really interesting book that I enjoyed reading. I loved how Inge Maria and her grandmother’s relationship became closer and closer throughout the book. Inge Maria’s mischief leads to many funny parts of the book, and I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to see what Inge Maria would do next. Inge Maria filled her grandmother’s life with her energy, mischief, laughter, and joy, and I loved the ending. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an awesome book!


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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin

Review by Caitlyn C., 4th grader

Where The Mountain Meets The Moon is an amazing book! It is about a girl named Minli who lives in the Valley of Fruitless Mountain with her mom and dad. They don’t have much money except for two coins in a blue rice bowl with a rabbit painted on it. Every day Minli and her family work hard in the rice fields, and that rice is one of the only meals Minli and her family can afford. Minli loves hearing stories that her father tells. She especially loves hearing the legends of The Old Man Of The Moon, who had The Book Of Fortune that held the answers to everything. One day Minli decides to take a trip to Never-Ending Mountain to visit The Old Man Of The Moon to ask him why their family is so poor. On the way, she meets many magical creatures that help her on her journey. That includes a talking fish, a mighty king, and a dragon who can’t fly! Will Minli reach The Old Man Of The Moon there and back safely? Or will Minli be in terrible danger? Read the book to find out!


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Who HQ: Where is the Colosseum?, by Jim O’Connor

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

Imagine being a citizen of Rome in A.D. 80. A large structure has just been built; originally specifically for naval battles (they could flood and drain it with ease). Behind the scenes, there is also a complex system of ropes-and-pulleys for elevators, which are used for transporting heavy, exotic animals.
However, the Colosseum wasn’t built sheerly for amusement. It is also used to display social class and the people themselves. Historians suspect that the true purpose of it was for political power and to show off the might of the empire.
This massive building even has a closed ceiling operated by 1,000 sailors. On the second story, 160 immaculately carved marble statues depicting gods and emperors are displayed.
Though, not everyone could go to these events. You have a ticket made from either metal or wood. Your ticket tells you where you were supposed to enter and sit. Events at the structure are sponsored by the emperor and sometimes the upper class. They buy all of the tickets and give them out to win political favor of Rome’s members.
This book is packed with interesting information and is great for anyone who wants to learn more about the Colosseum.


Thumbs up!

Who HQ: Where is the Vatican?, by Megan Stine

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently finished reading a great book called Where is the Vatican? Although it’s specifically about the location of the Vatican, it also has information and fun facts on Popes, like how they are selected, their responsibilities, and their traditions. I learned a lot about the development of Vatican City and the history of the Catholic Church. This incredible book is packed with information about the various buildings in Vatican City and the people who work and live there. The information is presented in an entertaining way with excellent pictures and diagrams. I’m so happy to find this book because I’m going to Italy and wanted some background knowledge on the places I’m going to see. I definitely rate this book thumbs up, and everyone should definitely check it out.


Thumbs up!

Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy, by Tui T. Sutherland (Series Book 1)

Review by Allie H., 6th grader

I definitely give this book a thumbs up. In The Dragonet Prophecy, the first book in the series, Clay and four other young dragons are destined to play a big role in a prophecy. A war was being fought for a long time across all of Pyrrhia, and the five dragonets named Sunny, Tsunami, Starflight, Glory, and Clay need to stop it. The prophecy says that the war will last twenty years. Until then, the five dragonets were ‘prisoners,’ and were kept in a cave so that they will be safe.They want to escape, and fulfill the prophecy now. It is a daunting task, and all of Pyrrhia depends on them. Will their endeavors succeed? This book is filled with excitement and adventure. As the characters face challenges, they help and rely on each other. I would recommend this book for people ages 9-11 years old.

Thumbs up!

Review by Caitlyn C., 5th grader

Wings of Fire is a cool series! I liked book One, The Dragonet Prophecy. It is so cool! I would definitely recommend it. The Dragonet Prophecy is about five dragonets who live under a mountain and are protected by the Talons of Peace, a group of dragons that swore to protect the dragonets for the prophecy. The dragonets are Clay, Tsunami, Sunny, Starflight, and Glory.
The Dragonet Prophecy is a prophecy told by a dragon named Morrowseer that said five dragonets would hatch and end the war between the tribes for the SandWing throne. SandWings are a type of dragon.
One day, the dragonets get sick of living under the mountain and decide to escape. But when they get out of the mountain, they are attacked by a group of dragons! They take the dragonets to the Sky Kingdom to fight in the SkyWing palace. Will the dragonets find a way to escape and find their destiny? Read this awesome book to find out!


Thumbs up!

Wings of Fire: The Lost Heir, by Tui Sutherland (Series Book 2)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I really like this book. I give this book a thumbs up. Tsunami can not believe that she is returning to the SeaWing Kingdom. After spending all of her life in a mountain, she is desperate to feel the water on her scales and to reunite with her mom. The queen welcomes her long lost daughter, but an assassin has been killing the successors to the throne. Tsunami might be next. So she and the other dragonets go to the Sea World for help. But this ocean can contain secrets, betrayal, danger, and maybe even death. What will happen to the Tsunami… Read this book and find out.


Thumbs up!

Wings of Fire: Moon Rising, by Tui Sutherland (Series Book 6)

Review by Srisharan S., 6th grader

I really like this book. It is one of my favorite books to read. Peace for Pyrrhia came for now. The war has finally ended. The dragonets of destiny have a plan for a long lasting peace. Jade Mountain Academy is where all tribes are welcome to learn and live together. Even at the new school secrets arise. Moonwatcher is hiding her ability, confessing she holds long lost NightWing power which can cause trouble. It also gives a secret. The thoughts of a different mind reading dragon which could be a friend or an enemy. Then someone starts fighting at the school injuring dragons and frightening everyone. Moon knows she can help. But revealing her secret is a dangerous choice. Read more to see what Moon does.


Thumbs up!

Wings of Fire: The Flames of Hope, by Tui Sutherland (Series Book 15)

Review by Chloe C., 5th grader

This book is the 15th book in the Wings of Fire series. It is one of my favorites and I really enjoyed it. The book takes place when they are trying to figure out what is controlling a mind control plant. The book is in the perspective of a silkwing (dragon) named Luna. They make it into a cave and meet two characters, one is a human named Cottonmouth, the other is a dragon named Lizard. Cottonmouth started the whole thing with mind control and Lizard got caught and now neither of them can leave the cave they are stuck in. Luna accidentally fell down the big cave and brought a little dragon named Dusky, they make it out in the end, and Lizard and Cottonmouth are stuck. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it.


Thumbs up!

Wish, by Barbara O’Connor

Review by Ethan Y., 4th grader

I read the book “Wish” by Barbara O’Connor. Charlie is sent to Colby to live with Bertha and Gus because she has family issues. Charlie makes the same wish every day to have a family that wasn’t broken. Then, she meets a skinny stray dog and decides to keep him. Charlie names him Wishbone. Does Charlie’s wish come true, and how? Does she go back to her own home with her parents? My favorite character is Charlie because she is determined. She makes the same wish every time. Also, when she meets Wishbone, she is determined to keep him. She and Howard think of many ways to catch him, and when she loses Wishbone, she keeps searching until she finds him again. These two reasons prove that Charlie is determined. I recommend this book to anyone. I also believe that if you continue to do something with determination, eventually your wish will come true.


Thumbs up!

Wonder, by R. J. Palacio

Review by Addison S., 5th grader

August (Auggie) Pullman is different from most kids. When people see him, sometimes they get scared. Auggie isn’t that different though. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream, he rides his bike and he does so many things that are ordinary. Auggie is starting middle school at Beecher Prep for the first time. He has been homeschooled for all his life, until now!!!! When he gets there he notices there are many,many bullies but also friends. Auggie works through all his tough times. Friends are always there for him! I would give this book a thumbs up and I would definitely recommend it! This book has a mixture of feelings in it! 
So get to it, read WONDER!!!


Thumbs up!

Wrecker, by Carl Hiaasen

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

Recently, I read Wrecker. I think Wrecker is among Carl Hiassen’s best novels, and that’s a rather impressive feat. If you enjoy a good laugh while reading, this book is well suited for you. This knee-slapping story takes place in Florida when an innocent kid ran into a beached speedboat while riding his skiff. It’s covid 19 and Wrecker’s mom is constantly getting plastic surgeries. His mom’s ex-husband fled the family and went to Texas to become a stereotypical western guitar-player. This is why it’s so awkward when he returns home for a concert. Intent on getting sued, he copies song titles from famous bands. His step-father, Rodger, is obsessed with golf, which he is unable to do when he is hospitalized with covid. Wrecker is proudly descended from a long line of wreckers, who take from sunken ships, and that is why he has the nickname Wrecker. From just an innocent teenager to the driver of a smuggler’s speedboat, the unexpected plot evolves into madness. Wrecker is tackled by a cop, pinned in the center of an illegal scheme, and ventures to a graveyard nearby every night, with only a toothbrush and ladder. He gets tangled in a mess with someone who may be the only person in Florida with leather gloves. His life is on the line and he doesn’t know who to turn to. He has only one thought on his mind: will he survive?


Thumbs up!

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle

Review by Kyle N., 5th grader

Thirteen-year-old Meg and five-year-old Charles end up on a two-dimensional planet. Meg and Charles meet various characters throughout their journey in time and space. The author makes good use of the themes between fantasy and science, good and evil, and light and darkness through each character that Meg and Charles encounter. I recommend this book because it has some scientific terms and explores this mysterious two-dimensional planet. Many strange and adventurous events occur. This is my book review of A Wrinkle in Time.


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The Year of the Dog, by Grace Lin

Review by Benjamin L., 5th grader

I recently read The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin. The book is about one year of Grace Lin’s experiences in grade school. She is the only Taiwanese-American student in her school and she feels awkward. This is why when a new Taiwanese-American child enters the school, she is so excited to have someone who can relate to her because of her heritage. She and Melody, the new Taiwanese-American girl in the school, become good friends. It’s the year of the dog, which, in Chinese beliefs, is related to the year of the tiger, the year that Melody and Grace were born. This should mean good luck for Grace and Melody because the year of the dog is the year of luck as well as the year to find yourself. Grace Lin is determined to find herself and tries, and fails, at many things in order to do so. Read this book to find out more. I really enjoyed reading this book and the overall experience.