Kids Book Reviews

Book Cover
Winthrop, Elizabeth
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about Mrs. Phillips, a housekeeper who has cared for William since he was born. But now, years later, she decides to return to her family. Since Mrs. Phillips doesn’t have children, she gives William a toy castle that has been traveling down her family tree for centuries.

This castle is placed in William’s attic as the name suggests. But since William has been with Mrs. Phillips forever, William tries to stop her from leaving him, but eventually Mrs. Phillips doesn’t change her mind, so, finally he goes to see the castle, where he discovers magic and then traps Mrs. Phillips inside the castle by shrinking her. Then, when Mrs. Phillips gets angry with William, he decides to turn her back to normal, but for that he has to go on a quest in another world, where he encounters many challenges including escaping an enchanted forest, defeating a dragon, and then turning Mrs. Phillips back to her proper size.

With this book constantly keeping you on your toes, I'm going to go with 4/5 stars for Castle In The Attic.

Reviewer's Name: Gurman G.
Genres:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Rowling, J.K.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is an excellent adventure novel with an great perspective of family, love and death. The novel tells the story of a young boy named Harry Potter who learns that he possess magical powers and is the son of two powerful wizards. The story follows his life as a orphaned child living with his aunt and uncle where he learns of his magical powers and is invited to Hogwarts, the school of witchcraft and wizardry. At this school he meets his fellow wizards and friends and undergoes a spectacular journey through which he finds his identity. Although Harry's life and story is quite unique he is a character that many people can and will relate to which makes this story a excellent read as you can envision yourself in his shoes. It is through the authors excellent storytelling techniques that the reader will be engaged and enticed through the novel.

Reviewer's Name: Talal
Genres:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Rowling, J.K.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book trails Harry Potter, who mysteriously gets selected into the Triwizard Tournament played between three major wizarding schools, in which one player's name is drawn by the Goblet of Fire. This means that only 3 players can play.

But this contest gets weird when the Goblet of Fire selects Harry Potter's name. As per the rules, Harry has no escape route and he must compete in this vicious contest, including challenges like fighting dragons, saving hostages underwater, and finding a way out of a labyrinth.

This book is full of memorable moments and interest, like in one part, a Sphinx, which is a human head on a lion body, is placed in the maze as an obstacle. This Sphinx asks a riddle to Harry Potter, if he gets it right, Harry gets to continue with the contest, but if not, the Sphinx would attack.

With a lot of adventurous parts, this book is definitely a good read. So I'm going to go with 4/5 stars for Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire.

Reviewer's Name: Gurman
Genres:
Book Review: Ghost
Reynolds, Jason
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I had taken a break from reviewing books until I read Ghost. This book is really well written. The narrator is believable and the plot illustrates his struggles and growth. Ghost is a troubled kid who stumbles onto a track team and turns his life for the better. I both loved and hated the ending, because it was so good but I didn't want the book to end. Great quick read. I highly recommended giving it a whirl.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
96 Miles
Esplin, J. L.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

John and Stewart’s father is a survivalist. At their home in a remote part of Nevada, they have everything they need to sustain them for six months – water, food, gas, even a generator to keep the refrigerator running. So when the power goes out for half the country, the brothers aren’t too worried, even though their father is away. They’re doing better than a lot of other people who weren’t prepared. But then, a group of men come in pickup trucks and they take everything. They force John and Stewart to kneel on the floor at gunpoint and one man tells John, “I’m sorry, kid, but we need what
you’ve got.”
Now, their only chance for survival is to walk 96 miles in the blazing desert heat to a friend’s ranch. There’s also a time limit. It’s important that they make the trip in three days - no longer than that – and Stewart won’t believe that he’s not going to die.
Then they encounter another set of siblings, Cleverly and her younger brother, Will. Cleverly decides that her best option is to join them, but John is not certain whether having Cleverly and Will tag along will help or hurt his chances to get Stewart to the ranch in time.
Every day is a struggle to find food, drinkable water, and to keep Stewart on his feet. Together, the four of them experience the desperate things that people feel justified to do in times of crisis and the best and worst of human nature, both in themselves and in others they find along the way.

Reviewer's Name: Cynde
How I Became a Spy
Hopkinson, Deborah
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

On his very first assignment as a civil defense messenger in World War II London, Bertie Bradshaw finds the diary of a spy lying in the street. He eagerly reads about the young spy’s training and how she parachuted into France to assume her new covert role. Things soon begin to sound dangerous as one by one her fellow agents are captured by the Nazis. Then the diary suddenly changes into code.

Bertie decides to trust a gutsy American girl, Eleanor, and his best friend David, who is Jewish, with the secrets in the diary. In a race against time, they must try to decode the final messages and then track down not only the spy who wrote them but also the traitor who is leaking information to the Nazis - information so vital that it will affect the success of the invasion of France and the lives of countless allied agents.

I immediately felt affinity for Bertie because he is a believable thirteen-year-old, forgetting his helmet and his training at first but then gaining courage and confidence as the story progresses. Bertie is also struggling with what seem to be panic attacks, stemming from the bombing of his house and the separation of his family, which makes his determination all the more admirable. I also enjoyed Little Roo, Bertie’s trained rescue dog, who has more to do with the success or failure of the venture than you might think.

Reviewer's Name: Cynde
The Lightning Thief
Riordan, Rick
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is an amazing book about Greek Mythology. Percy Jackson, the main character, learns who he is and sets off on a crazy journey to return something very valuable. He has to fight dangerous monsters along side his two friends and save his mom. Percy learns that there are actually Greek gods and that they probably want to kill him. This book is a great book for all ages and I would definitely recommend it.

Reviewer's Name: Lily K.
Rain Reign
Martin, Ann
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Rain Reign is about a girl named Rose who loves homonyms. Homonyms are words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. She purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms. When a storm hits Roses town, Rain goes missing. Rose must find Rain even though it means going out of her comfort zone.
I really liked this book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes fast reads. Even though it was a great book, there were a couple slow parts that I really had to push through. This book was an amazing fast read. It really sucked me into the plotline.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Cover of the book Wonder
Palacio, R. J.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Wonder is about a boy with Treacher Collin Syndrome (TCS) who goes through the adventures of a sixth grader. To everyone else, this may be just the first day of school. But to Auggie Pullman, this is the first day in a public school. Before sixth grade, he was homeschooled. Through the ups and downs in of middle school, Auggie Pullman manages to get through it, make new friends, and shows he doesn't care what they think or say. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an emotion pulling book or just a good and fast read. I loved this book. There was never a dull moment. I couldn't put this book down for a second. Whenever someone asked me for a good recommendation, this was first on the list. This book was one of the best books I have ever read.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie H.
The Undefeated
Sheinkin, Steve
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Undefeated is about a Native American named Jim Thorpe who is an amazing athlete and becomes an Olympic medalist. Him and his coach, Pop Warner create an unforgettable team with the legendary Carlisle Indian Football Team. Then Carlisle Indian Football Team was known for having the most wins in 1907. The team goes through an adventure of close games, injuries, and amazing plays.nI really liked this book. I couldn't put this book down for a second. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Native American history or likes sports. This book also shows some of the plays the Carlisle Team played.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Bloom
Oppel, Kenneth
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is kind of like an apocalypse story, but instead of zombies, it's plants. Now, I know that sounds boring, but these plants, they are carnivorous, they kill people, and they are scary. They come unexpectedly, and soon, they are all over the world. People are dropping like flies, and nobody knows how to stop it. But three kids on Salt Spring Island may have the answers people need. For some reason, they are not affected by the sleepy gas the plants let off, or the acid they use to digest their prey. How can these three teenagers save the world? And how are they connected?

I really enjoyed this book, even though, to be truthful, it scared me a little bit at times. It was an interesting take on the apocalypse, and I loved seeing it play out. This book is part of a series, one that I am still reading, and I am already looking forward to the next one! This book has hardly any swearing in it, and plenty of action. I shouldn't give too much away, but I'll tell you this: I never though plants could be so scary! I hope you enjoy this book

Reviewer's Name: Marian
Rita & Ralph's Rotten Day
Deedy, Carmen Agra
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Having a fight with your best friend can really ruin your day. This is exactly what happens in Rita and Ralph's Rotten Day by Carmen Agra Deedy and Pete Oswald. Right in the middle of a crazy fun day an accident happens, someone gets hurt, feelings get hurt and that brings trouble. The ups and downs of friendship are beautifully portrayed in this charmingly illustrated book for kids age 3 - 8.

Reviewer's Name: Barbara
Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot!
Bell, Cece
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Enter the wacky world of Chick and Brain. Chick insists on politeness, Brain struggles to understand Chick, and Dog has a chicken dinner in mind in the book Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot by Cece Bell. Kids who are getting the hang of reading will enjoy the comic book style of this early reader as well as the absurd humor. This is a laugh-out-loud read for kids age 5 - 8.

Reviewer's Name: Barbara
Allies
Gratz, Alan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Alan Gratz has given us a gripping tale in the book Allies. The invasion at Normandy during D-Day is seen from the viewpoint of a number of allies who's stories weave in and out of the fray during that first day of fighting. True to life characters, from soldier to resistance fighters, and and edge-of-the-seat story line will compel readers age 9 -15 to keep turning pages.

Reviewer's Name: Barbara
The Willoughbys
Lowry, Lois
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The four Willoughby kids have a problem. Their parents don't like them and they are planning to go on vacation, permanently, without the kids. Put into play an abandoned baby, a very sad old man and a pretty great Nanny and you have an endearing and entertaining plot by beloved author, Lois Lowry. The Willoughbys can be described as a winning combination of the Penderwicks and Series of Unfortunate Events for kids age 8 - 12.

Reviewer's Name: Barbara
Genres:
The Unmapped Chronicles: Casper Tock and the Everdark Wings
Elphinstone, Abi
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

When Casper hides from the boarding school bullies, he finds himself magically transported to a land of enchantment and is immediately arrested as a criminal by a cranky girl named Utterly Thankless and her little dragon. Thus begins a headlong crash into a quest to save Utterly's kingdom complete with monsters, magicians, witches, trolls, griffins and other unearthly dangers. Kids 8-12 will enjoy the fantasy escapade Casper Tock and the Everdark Wings by Abi Elphinstone.

Reviewer's Name: Barbara
The Lions at Night
Boehman, Jessica M.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Two stone lions who guard the entrance of the New York Public Library jump off their pedestals one night and scamper into the subway. I wonder where they will go? Join lions, Patience and Fortitude,as they enjoy a night out. This wordless picture books is an enchanting gem to read and explore over and over again. Ask your child questions about what is happening. Let them tell the story and practice creating sentences and story lines. You'll be surprised at what they come up with. For ages 3 - 9.

Reviewer's Name: Barbara
Matilda
Dahl, Roald
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Roald Dahl's Matilda, is a good short read. The concept of a heroine rising to action is decently intriguing. However, the book feels very lackluster with its characters being so one dimensional. While the characters are great for its intended audience, creating some depth to characters can always benefit a novel. Overall, the book is great for younger reader and those looking for a short book that has a lot of fun packed into it.

Reviewer's Name: Steven
Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio
Kehret, Peg
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio is about a girl named Peg who is diagnosed with polio. Polio (poliomyelitis) is a disease that causes paralysis. You can get it by consuming contaminated water and food or by contacting an infected person. Peg gets dragged away to the hospital without even getting to say goodbye to her family. For the next couple weeks Peg must take on not moving, feeding tubes, and physical therapy to get her muscles moving again. I really loved this book. It messed with my emotions the whole time. I was either balling my eyes out or smiling ear to ear. This was one of the best books I have ever read. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a nonfiction, emotion pulling, great book.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Book Cover
Messenger, Shannon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Keeper of the Lost Cities is about a girl named Sophie Foster who has never fit in with her family or classmates. One day Sophie learns that she is an elf and a very powerful one as well. Sophie is then taken to the Lost Cities where the other elves live. To keep her human family and herself safe, she must leave everything and begin her new life in the Lost Cities. Sophie is enrolled at Foxfire, a very prestigious elven school. There she must re-learn many things, and if that isn't enough, someone is out to get Sophie and the secrets hidden inside her mind. This book was really popular with my classmates in sixth grade. I have just now gotten a chance to read it and I really enjoyed the book. This is the first book in the series and the author ended the book with me wanting more. I personally think the book is well written. It took me on the adventure with Sophie in a different reality. Some names in the book such as the school name and things that were considered top secret had some really plain names compared to the characters names and names for stones or chemicals. Other than that, it was a really good book. This book may be better for older elementary or middle school readers, but if you're curious about reading it, I would give it a try. Don't let the size of it intimidate you.

Reviewer's Name: Emma M.