Chapter Books

Book Review: Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale
Author: 
DiCamillo, Kate
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The best way I can describe Raymie Nightingale is to say that it is a book you can fall into. Kate DiCamillo is a master of characters and story, and Raymie Nightengale is no exception. This author weaves magic through words. We enter Raymie’s life mid-stream; she is ten years old and floundering a little. Through some new, strong friendships, she discovers strength in numbers – and in herself. The subject matter might be a bit much for some. Raymie’s dad has “run off” with a dental hygienist. But DiCamillo is never heavy-handed with the details and navigates the discomfort with aplomb.

Reviewer's Name: 
Kristin

Book Review: Island of the Blue Dolphins

Book Review: Island of the Blue Dolphins
Author: 
O'Dell, Scott
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book is about a girl who lives by herself on an island. It's a story of empowerment, as the main character learns to live and thrive alone. She doesn't seem to let her circumstances get the best of her. I'd recommend this novel to young girls in particular as the narrator is a strong and capable girl.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Little House on the Prairie

Little House on the Prairie
Author: 
Wilder, Laura Ingalls
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Such a classic. You might think that a book about frontier life on the prairie would be boring, but it's not. Well, I did skip a few places that detailed the construction of the cabin etc. Otherwise, it's relaxed in most places and downright exciting in others. The book is told from the perspective of the middle daughter, Laura Ingalls. I love that the author is writing about her family. Thumbs up!

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

Book Review: The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
Author: 
Edwards, Julie
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

**Spoiler Alert** Let me just say this, don't read this book out loud to your young child. It took forever to get through it and I was so sick and tired of it by the end that it turned into a chore. I didn't really get into it, it just seemed silly to me, but my daughter liked it. A major sticking point for me was the author's failure to explain why the antagonists of the book were actually on the side of the Whangdoodle in the end. Meh.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: My Brother Sam is Dead

Book Review: My Brother Sam is Dead
Author: 
Collier, James Lincoln
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

When I started this book I could not understand why it had been banned. It seemed so innocuous. I only read it because it was in the free pile where I work. I looked it up and it was for violence, language, and an unpatriotic view of the Revolutionary War. Fair enough. It is violent and unpatriotic for sure, which is why I liked it. It's also a very good story and is about as accurate an account of the Revolutionary War era as can be reasonably expected from a work of fiction for young people.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: James and the Giant Peach

Book Review: James and the Giant Peach
Author: 
Dahl, Roald
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Roald Dahl specializes in tapping into the feelings of injustice that kids experience. It's frightening when you first find out life isn't fair. But he rights this wrong by imposing justice where oppression once existed.

This is and odd book. There are giant peaches, giant talking bugs, and cloud monsters! But it was endearing and enjoyable.

My 6.5 year old daughter was riveted off and on throughout the story, but I think the target audience is a bit older.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

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