Chapter Books

Book Review: The House with a Clock in its Walls

The House with a Clock in its Walls
Author: 
Bellairs, John
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

There is evil afoot in this book about a fat young boy whose parents both died in a car accident leaving him to live with his strange uncle who lives in a mansion with secrets. An uncle being driven insane by a clock's incessant ticking countered by a strange neighbor who makes excellent chocolate chip cookies. The adventure is just beginning. Into a cemetery, are the dead rising? A car chase all across the county and an eclipse of the moon. A house that grows defenses? Windows that change on their own? Read this book and find out not just what the evil is, but to determine which is better, the book or the movie?

Reviewer's Name: 
Rachel

Book Review: Chihuawolf

Book Review: Chihuawolf
Author: 
Ganny, Charlee
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

This is a cute book about a chihuahua that wants to become a werewolf to impress the dog he loves. Paco is brave but diminutive, with the heart of a lion. His small stature keeps him from being a proper suitor for his love, an Afghan hound. Determined to win her love, he goes on an adventure, looking for a werewolf. But when his love gets dognapped, Paco and his friends spring into action to save her. Along the way, Paco learns that it's not size that matters, but what is in his heart.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Merci Suárez Changes Gears
Author: 
Medina, Meg
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Merci Suárez Changes Gears just won the esteemed Newbery Award last month. Merci is a new sixth grader attending a private school. Her Cuban family lives in three small houses that sit in a row. Grandparents, aunt, twin nephews, mom, dad and brother are part of Merci's daily life for better or for worse. Merci's schoolmates, however, are mostly mean to her, maybe because Merci does not come from the same affluent neighborhoods with pools and parks galore. Merci Suárez Changes Gears is a gentle story of how Merci's sweet family and school intersect, all while Merci is growing and changing. In fact, Merci's household is changing quickly and somehow Merci has to learn to change gears to keep up.

Reviewer's Name: 
Betty

Book Review: Meet Yasmin!

Meet Yasmin!
Author: 
Faruqi, Saadia
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqi and Hatem Aly, is an innovative pick for readers age 5 - 8. It is chock-full of colorful illustrations that support the simple but intriguing text. This early chapter book tells the tale of spunky, creative Yasmin and her family as they move through everyday situations. The familiar settings will help young readers decipher new or difficult words as they read. The back matter of the book contains a page of discussion questions, a glossary of Urdu words, information on Pakistan, crafts to explore and a recipe for a yummy drink.

Reviewer's Name: 
Barbara

Book Review: Fish in a Tree

Fish in a Tree
Author: 
Hunt, Lynda
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This is a well told story of dealing with a disability and the difference that having positive relationships makes in that ongoing struggle. I loved the short chapters and the peaks into each character's life.

Reviewer's Name: 
Mary

Book Review: The Misadventures of Max Crumbly Middle School Mayhem

The Misadventures of Max Crumbly Middle School Mayhem
Author: 
Russell, Rachel
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

It's about a teenage boy who deals with bullies and he ends up in the ventilation systems of his school on the weekend and he found burglars trying to steal the schools new computers.

Reviewer's Name: 
Delaney

Book Review: Ms. Bixby's Last Day

Ms. Bixby's Last Day
Author: 
Anderson, John
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Ms. Bixby is a special teacher. She makes a difference in the lives of her students including Topher, Steve, and Brand. As each boy narrates the story, we realize what she means to each of them and we understand the lengths they go to to tell her this.

Reviewer's Name: 
Carol

Book Review: Squirrel in the House

Squirrel in the House
Author: 
Vande Velde, Vivian
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Twitch, the school-yard squirrel and Cuddles, the dog next door, don’t get along. Twitch narrates the book and explains why squirrels have such a better life – they have no rules. During the holiday celebrations, Twitch heads inside Cuddles’ house and mayhem ensues. The day turns serious when a young human gets into trouble. Can Twitch & Cuddles work together to save the boy? Read & find out.

Reviewer's Name: 
Carol

Book Review: Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale
Author: 
DiCamillo, Kate
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Taking place in Florida in 1972, Raymie Clarke is trying to win the Little Miss Florida Tire competition in hopes of getting her father, who has left town with another woman, to see her picture in the paper and return home. Along the way, she meets two girls who are also entering the contest, and falls into an unlikely friendship.
I loved this book. It was superbly written and Raymie's voice was so believable as to think she was a real girl. It's a bittersweet book, so beautiful and filled with longing, determination, and a bit of magic. I've read other books by Kate DiCamillo but this one is my favorite. I'd love to see this as a movie. 5 stars!

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

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