Chapter Books

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

Book Review: Justin Morgan Had a Horse

Book Review: Justin Morgan Had a Horse
Author: 
Henry, Marguerite
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I liked this book because it was very catchy. For instance, at the end of a chapter, it left you at a cliffhanger. For example, Little Bub, later called Justin Morgan, was about to run in the biggest race in his life, and then the chapter ended. Also, it was a great book for kids because it didn’t have too much detail about the Morgan breed, but it still gave you the feel of the great horse.

My favorite character is either Little Bub or Joel, the main character. I liked Little Bub because he was such a good runner and puller and because of his funny little neigh. Joel and Little Bub became fast friends partly because of that neigh, and as the author describes it, “like the sound of a bugle.” His ability to run so fast helped the schoolmaster (Justin Morgan) to pay off his debts. I liked Joel because of his determination, like when he served for his state in the militia, to help care for the horses. He worked odd jobs in peoples houses to get much-needed supplies, such as water
pails and blankets. Also, I admire Joel in his hopefulness and patience.
For example, he had expected a letter from the schoolmaster and he waited for months. He stayed hopeful, and finally the letter came! Another example was that when the stranger bought little Bub, he didn’t give up looking for him, and he finally found him!

Right now, if I was the author, I would change three things. One, I would change the schoolmaster dying. Two, I would change the author not revealing who the anonymous buyer was for Little Bub. Three, I would change the scene where the small puppy ran out onto the racetrack. I thought Joel shouldn’t of interfered with the schoolmaster’s life.

Reviewer's Name: 
Kyle

Book Review: Justin Morgan Had a Horse

Book Review: Justin Morgan had a Horse
Author: 
Tytle, Harry
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

My favorite character in the book was Little Bub because of his personality.
He was a very hard worker and he was brave. He stepped into a boat without hesitation. He worked all day pulling down trees. He was in pulling matches at night.

I liked this book because it had really good descriptions. The author wrote great descriptions like “You are as skinny as a fiddle string!” I also
liked the suspense. When we read about the races we didn’t want to stop.
My least favorite part was that the schoolmaster died. It made me sad because he was really nice. He was like a grandpa to Joel. He was loving because he took Joel on a trip.

Reviewer's Name: 
Seth

Book Review: The Great Gilly Hopkins

Book Review: The Great Gilly Hopkins
Author: 
Paterson, Katherine
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Very good, as all Katherine Paterson novels are. A quick read, and like her other novels, it shows rather than tells. My only problem with the book was the ending was too abrupt for my taste. I would have liked for it to be longer and show her life with her grandmother and the effects of Courtney's visit.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Wonder

Wonder
Author: 
Palacio, R. J.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Wonder revolves around a kid who is starting middle school and the people around him. This kid, Auggie, has facial deformities and they cause others to treat him differently. The book follows eight different perspectives. Each character has their own distinct voice. This is probably the novel's greatest strength, as it makes each character much more realistic. It has many touching moments and carries a great message. It is one of the best books published in recent years.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Caroline J.

Book Review: George

Book Review: George
Author: 
Gino, Alex
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book made me cry. I read it in one sitting. It took me about 3 hours. I just kept turning the pages as fast as possible. It was beautifully written. I just felt for George and wanted to protect her from all her pain. I'm not transgendered and I don't know how it feels to be so, but I imagine that this is exactly right. Wonderful.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: George

Book Review: George
Author: 
Gino, Alex
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

George is a well-written book about the confusion of a boy who knows that deep down that she is really a girl. Writing from George's point of view, the author expresses George's frustration as a transgender child who unfortunately experiences bullying from the other kids. Luckily, George does have a best friend who understands and supports her. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

Reviewer's Name: 
Lisa

Book Review: Planet Tad

Planet Tad
Author: 
Carvell, Tim
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This is an absolutely hilarious book told in the form of an online blog based on the MAD magazine feature of the same name. If you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the Origami Yoda books, or like MAD, you will love this book. It tells a story in journal/ blog form about a 13 year old boy named Tad who is trying to survive middle school along with doing other things such as growing a mustache, doing a kickflip on his skateboard, and finally getting girls to notice him (which all end up in disasters.). He also makes funny observations on just about everything, from Hansel and Gretel to Peeps. It is laughing-so-hard-you-can't breathe type funny and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the books above.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: 
Jacob U.

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