Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship

Hatkoff, Isabella. Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship. New York: Scholastic Press, 2006. ISBN: 0-439-82973-9.

The book called Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship is about a baby hippo making friends with an old tortoise. When a tsunami strands a baby hippo, locals make an effort to rescue the helpless creature. Even though it was a struggle, the rescuers rescue the hippo and take him to an animal sanctuary where the hippo met an unlikely friend, an old tortoise named Mzee. This book is about how this friendship cam to be and was told by 6 year old Isabella Hatkoff. I thought this book was very touching and amazing. I never would have thought that a dangerous hippo could become best friends a 120 year old tortoise. I thought it was astonishing that the hippo, named Owen, had to be rescued by so many people and that he could be so dangerous. I recommend this book for ages six and up.

Reviewed by K.M. 6th Grade, Van Buren Middle School

A Mama for Owen

Bauer, Marion Dane. A Mama for Owen. Illustrated by: John Butler. Simon and Schuster: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-689-85787-4.

Owen is a hippo who lived with his mother until rain fell and the river ran fast, and Owen got washed away from his mother. After getting washed away onto a different shore Owen has to find a way to survive. Can Owen find a different mother to take care of him? A Mama for Owen is a fantastic book, I liked how they tell the real story. I recommend this book to grades first through third. I like how they make the pictures look so realistic with water colors.

Reviewed by: J.B., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary.

Wolf! Wolf!

Rocco, John. Wolf! Wolf!. Hyperion: 2007. ISBN: 978-1-4231-0012-6.

Wolf! Wolf! is a retelling of an old story of the boy who cried wolf. In the beginning an old wolf hears a voice. Later he found the voice was a boy playing tricks on the villagers. The wolf tells the boy to take a goat and tie it to a fence post in his garden. Wolf! Wolf! was a spectacular book. I would recommend this book for kindergarten through fourth grades. The illustrations were also spectacular for kids, but the pictures could use a little more detail. It was a fabulous book to read.

Reviewed by: R.P., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary.

Dream Bedroom

Craig, Rebecca. Dream Bedroom. KingFisher: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-7534-5966-9.

The book Dream Bedroom will give you exciting ideas for your bedroom and facts about recycling. This book can teach you about making fun crafts and recycling at the same time. It makes you think about the environment and how you can recycled at your own house by making seats into door hangers and making many other fun crafts. I think the book Dream Bedroom is an awesome book. The reason I like this book is because it will get kids off the couches watching television and start using there crafty brains. The photographs are very exciting and make you want to make a craft as soon as you see it. I would recommend this book for grades third through seventh, who are very crafty.
Reviewed by: A.D., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary.

Labrador Retrievers

MacAulay, Kelly and Bobbie Kalman. Labrador Retrievers. Crabtree: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-7787-1762-1.

Labrador Retrievers is a book about how to, if you're up to the challenge, take care of a Labrador Retriever. Labrador Retrievers are big, strong dogs who need lots of room to roam and run. labs need to be groomed everyday and they love to swim, but they might be scared at first. There are also some labs who help people who are physically challenged. are you and your family ready to care for a Labrador Retriever? I liked the book Labrador Retrievers because it is very informative, plus it gives loads of details about Labs. If you had never heard of Labs you'd have learned a lot because it is so informative. I'd recommend this book for grades third through sixth. If your getting a Lab you should probably read this book.

Reviewed by:S.H., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary.


Suen, Anastasia. Wired. Illustrated by: Paul Carrick. Charlesbridge: 2007. ISBN: 978-1-57091-599-4.

Wired is a story about how electricity is made and goes to your house. Electricity is made at a dam when water spins a turbine. The electricity goes to a step-up transformer and makes 345,000 volts! The electricity then goes to a step-down transformer to make 13,000 volts which goes to your house. The electricity goes to a service panel and then into switched and outlets all over your house. I think the book Wired is an informational book about electricity, because if explains how its made and how it gets to your house. I think this book would be good for third graders and anyone who likes electrical science.

Reviewed by: K.I., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary.

Two Sticks

Protopopescu, Orel. Two Sticks. Illustrated by: Anne Wilsdorf. Farrar, Straus, Giroux: 2007. ISBN:13-978-0-374-38022-9.

Two Sticks is about a girl that has her own two sticks and runs around everywhere. Her mom and dad tell her to stop but she runs to a creek and she is on a big log. She makes big holes in the log with her sticks and then falls into the water. There are a lot of crocodiles, and she plays with them. She is walked home on a crocodile's head and she wants to bring it in her house, but her parents tell her to get it out. Then she finally gets her own drum. I think this story is made with paint. I liked this story because of the details and it rhymes. The story shows a picture for everything, and it doesn't look so scary. I think this story is good for grades Preschool through third.
Reviewed by: T.R., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary.

Beauty and the Beaks

Auch, Mary Jane. Beauty and the Beaks. Illustrated by: Herm Auch. Holiday House: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-8234-1990-6.

Beauty and the Beaks is about chickens in the chic-hen and the hens Matilda, Lucille, Hattie, and MJ are trying to save a turkey named Lance from being made into Thanksgiving dinner. Read this book and find out what happens. It had drawings, computerized drawings, and puppets all printed together. I think this book is boring because Beauty and the Beaks looks like Big Bird, and I hate Big Bird. I think that this book is appropriate for children ages one to four, because it is a little kid story.

Reviewed by: W.W., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary

Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson: Against the Odds

Burleigh, Robert. Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson: Against the Odds. Illustrated by: Mike Wimmer. Simon and Schuster: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-689-86276-2.

Stealing Home is about a famous baseball player named Jackie Robinson. It is a biography of Jackie and a story. It has illustrations of Jackie Robinson. Jackie played for the Dodgers for most of his life in baseball. Jackie got married to Rachel Robinson in 1946, Then on a sad day in 1972 Jackie Robinson died. I loved this book Stealing Home because it tells all about Jackie and his career. I extremely recommend this book to anyone who loves baseball. Also, I think that grades third and up would enjoy this book.

Reviewed by: D.C., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Abracadabra! Magic with Mouse and Mole

Yee, Wong Herbert. Abracadabra! Magic with Mouse and Mole. Houghton Mifflin Company: 2007. ISBN: 9780618759262.

In the book, Abracadabra! Magic with Mouse and Mole, Mole wants to find out about magic, so he and Mouse go to a magic show, and find out that magic is fake. The pictures go with the story sometimes. The book has a table of contents and bold words. I think this book was okay, because the magic is not something that could happen. People who like magic would like this book. I would recommend this book to kids 1st grade through 3rd grade.

A.N., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tales from the Brothers Grimm

Edens, Cooper. Tales from the Brothers Grimm; A Classic Illustrated Edition. Chronicle Books: 2007. ISBN: 9780811854597.

This book has 15 classic Grimm tales wtih beautiful watercolor illustrations. This books holds some of the world's most well known fairy tales; from Little Red Riding Hood to Sleeping Beauty. It even has foreign tales, such as Rose Red abd Rose White, and the Changeling. This book will make you want to read the classic tales again and again.
This book was very good and had all of the classic tales and some new ones that I have never heard of before. The book had beautiful watercolor pictures. This book is appropriate for 8 year-olds and up. Cooper Edens took the classic tales and retold them in his own way, different from anything else I have ever read.

Reviewed by S.R., Van Buren 7th Grade

How it Happens at the Motorcycle Plant

Shofner, Shawndra. How it Happens at the Motorcycle Plant. Clara House Books: 2007. ISBN: 9781881508991.

This book tells you the facts about how motorcycles are built. The book tells the steps. First, the frame of the bike is welded together. Then, second, it tells you about how the painting job is done. The third thing in the book is the finishing of the paint job. The other parts of the book talk about the assembly line, then about the testing of the motorcycle when it is all done. The last thing is packaging for people to buy and enjoy.

My opinion on this book is that it was a good book to read and it made me want to keep turning the pages. I would recommend this story to kids ages 7 through 13, or grades 4 through 7. The pictures in this book go along with the words the author wrote.

Reviewed by C.D., Van Buren 7th Grade

What's So Bad About Being an Only Child

Best, Cari. What's So Bad About Being an Only Child. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Farrar, Strause and Giroux: 2007. ISBN: 9780374399436.

The book What's So Bad About Being an Only Child is about a girl named Rosemary Emma Angela Lynette Isabel Iris Malone. She is an only child and in the beginning of the book and no one knows what to name her. Her grandparents, mother, father, aunts and uncles don't agree on one name so her parents give her all six names. As Rosemary goes into middle school she starts getting bored and starts going to her friends' houses and all of her friends have brothers and sisters. So she things that her life is incomplete. If you would like to learn more about Rosemary, you will have to read the book. I think this is an excellent book about being an only child. Even though I, myself, am not an only child, I truly think that this book is a good book for kids that are an only child. I also recommend this book for kids that are by themselves in their family, and for kids grades 3 though 6.
B.L., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary

The First Music

Pritchett, Dylan. The First Music. Illustrated by Erin Bennett Banks. August House Publishers Inc.: 2007. ISBN: 9780874837766.

The First Music is about all kinds of different African forest animals who make sounds into music. All of the animals make sounds except the frogs. The frogs sit and watch all of the animals dance and sing for seven days. The first day a new sound came and Monkey went to find out who made the noise. Monkey began playing along with the noisemaker and soon everyone began singing and dancing except for the frogs. The readers will have to read the book to see what the frogs decide to do.

I thought that The First Music was very entertaining and very believable because of the true animal sounds that some animals do. Erin Bennett Banks did a wonderful job on the illustrations and pictures in the book. Dylan Prtichett was very good at describing what the animals did in all the singing and dancing. I recommend this book for 3rd through 6th graders who are interested in music.
M. M., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary

The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians

Morris, Carla. The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians. Illustrated by Brad Sneed. Peachtree Publisher: 2007. ISBN: 9781561453917.

In this fictional story there is a boy named Melvin who was raised by librarians. Everyday after school Melvin goes to the library to meet with Marge, Betty and Leeola. Melvin loved to read books because he wanted to learn a lot. Melvin had always gone to the library ever since he could see over the front desk. I enjoyed the part where Melvin has just returned from a field trip and had gotten a jar of bugs. He ran to the library and then all of the bugs got out. I really like the book The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians because of all the excellent details about living in a library. I felt like I was inside the book every times I read it. The book was very exhilarating. I recommend this book for kids 3rd to 6th grade.

E.B., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gorgeous Gifts

Craig, Rebecca. Gorgeous Gifts. King Fisher: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-7534-5967-6.

The book, Gorgeous Gifts, is very interesting. This book is filled with gift ideas from every day household items. you will not find these in stores. There are many ideas from sock puppets to drums, and bracelets to bookmarks, readers will love! I enjoyed this book. It was very interesting and had great ideas for things you would normally throw out. I recommend this book for ages eight to fifteen.

Reviewed by: B.R., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

Snow Day

Laminack, Lester L., Snow Day. Illustrated by: Adam Gustavson. Peach Tree: 2007. ISBN: 978-1-56145-418-1.

Someone hears the weatherman say that they will get snow. He fantasizes school being cancelled and being able to sake a snow fort, watch television, go sledding, and do many other winter activities. Unfortunately, when they wake up the next day, they lookout the window and notice kids walking to school! Will they arrive at school on time? If you want to know you should read this book to find out. I enjoyed this book primarily because of the surprising twist at the end, and the fact that it was about school being cancelled because of snow. The art work was created using oils on paper. The illustrations are creatively drawn. I would recommend this book for first through fifth grades.

Reviewed by: S.K., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

The Pink Refrigerator

Egan, Tim. The Pink Refrigerator. Houghton Mifflin: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-618-63154-4.

Dodsworth's motto is do as little as possible, but one day he went out to his junk yard and saw a pink refrigerator and the refrigerator had big plans for Dodsworth. I believe this book is quite inspiring to do new things. I think this book is very good, and I would recommend it to kindergarten through 3rd grades.

Reviewed by: K.T., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

The Australian Outback Food Chains

Kalman, Bobbie and Hadley Dyer. The Austrailian Outback Food Chains. Crabtree: 2007. ISBN: 10 0-7787-1950-2.

This summary is about the book The Australian Outback Food Chains. The book is about food chains. The book tells you all the animals in the food chain. At the end it tells you how people can stop the populations of the animals from getting out of control. I liked the book, but it tended to get boring. I would recommend this book for ages 10 to 20. I would also recommend this book to people doing reports on Australia or food chains, and to people who enjoy reading about the outback.

Reviewed by: T.R., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Coming Distractions: Questioning Movies

Baker, Frank W. Coming Distractions: Questioning Movies. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-7368-6766-5.

This book was about the different media that is used in movies like music, advertisements, graphics, and other different things that go into movies to catch your attention. It talks about how movie makers secretly incorporate things into the movie that you might see, but don't recognize why it's there. This book taught how different media was used in movies and I learned new things about why some movies get my attention and others don't. Overall, the book was good and I would recommend the book to kids from the age of eight to twelve years old.

Reviewed by E.H. 7th Grade, Van Buren Middle School

Sled Dogs

Haskins, Lori. Sled Dogs. New York: Bearport Publishing, 2006. ISBN: 13-978-1-59716-171-8

This book was really just about what sled dogs are and how they train to become a sled dog. It also tells about the 1925 disease that came over the town of Nome and the struggle to get the medication to Nome. The book also tells about the Iditarod and some of the racers and dog teams. I really enjoyed this book because I love animals, especially sled dogs. I think that children who have a love for animals will really appreciate this book. I recommend this book to ages 4-8.

Reviewed by: M.S. 7th Grade, Van Buren

Cowboy & Octopus

Scieszka, Jon. Cowboy & Octopus. New York: Viking, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-670-91058-8.

This book, Cowboy & Octopus, is about a cowboy becoming friends with a amazing octopus. This book shows how two totally different people and there great friendship. The book Cowboy & Octopus would probably be for ages 7-9. This book was a very good book. It was funny, but nice at the same time. I would definitely recommend this book for your young ones. This book showed how two completely different people like the octopus and cowboy can e good friends. The pictures were very good. They had pictures of animated objects, but at the same time pictures of real life things. This book was very funny and entertainin. But will two completely different people stay friends forever? Read and find out.

Reviewed by L.E. 7th Grade, Van Buren Middle School

Sporting Events : From Baseball to Skateboarding

Kaufman, Gabriel . Sporting Events : From Baseball to Skateboarding. New York: Bearport Publishing, 2006. ISBN: 1-59716-132-2

This book is about all kinds of sports from baseball to skateboarding. It also includes questions about the sports. It mentions which sports came came into existence first. It also has photos of professionals playing the sports. The pictures come with captions to tell who and what sport they are playing. This book could be good for ages 6-12. Sporting Events is a good book to learn because it has a lot of facts. I think this is a good book because it was well written.

Reviewed by: O.O. 7th Grade, Van Buren

At the Controls: Questioning Video and Computer Games

Andersen, Neil. At the Controls : Questioning Video and Computer Games. Mankato, Minn.: Capstone Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-7368-6768-9

This book is about the author's point of view about multiple types of games. It includes why games have advertisements on the game play. Why some games have different game play. It talks about what a mod is. It tells about some of the workers that work on making a game and what they do. Another topic that it includes is that you can go online to a forum which is other people's ideas about the game. This book also tells about a thing called an Easter egg hunt which is a hidden level or items that are normally hard to find. It also includes a cool timeline and so many other cool ideas. It is an all around good book. I recommend it for ages 11 and up.
Reviewed by: T.N. Grade 7th Van Buren

Surfer of the Century

Crowe, Ellie. Surfer of the Century. Illustrated by: Richard Waldrep. Lee & Low Books: 2007. ISBN: 978-1-5843-0276-6.

This book is about a young man that is a tremendous surfer that can surf almost any wave. He gets put into a 100 yard swim competition that he wins, because of his fast stroking arms and legs. He travels to many other competitions and faces his most difficult competition. Will he win or not? My Opinion of this book is that it has a great detail and smart choices of words. The painting show shadows and adds great detail to the story. I recommend this book for grades 5th through 8th. This book would be great for people who are interested in swimming.

Reviewed by: K.B., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

The End

LaRochelle, David. The End. Illustrated by: Richard Egielski. Scholastic: 2007. ISBN: 13: 978-0-439-64011-4.

The book The End is about how a story usually ends, but with a weird backwards twist of a tale of a soggy knight and a princess, a dragon and bunnies with two giants. Why is the knight soggy? Nobody knows, I guess you will have to find out by reading the book. My opinion of this book is it is a very twisted tale of two people, and many fairy tale creatures. I would recommend this book for ages five to ten. I was not very surprised but was kind of confused by this backwards story.

Reviewed by: I.R., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

Good Enough to Eat

Cole, Brock. Good Enough to Eat. Farrar Straus Giroux: 2007. ISBN: 9780374327378.

Scraps-n-smells, Skin-n-bones, and Sweets-n-treats were the different identities of one girl. This girl was a pest to the people in her town, but they ended up needing her when an ogre came. She first met the ogre as Scraps-n-smells. The ogre refused her so she went back to town and said "I need a sword." She then went back to the ogre a second time as Skin-n-bones. The ogre refused her again so she returned home for her dowry. This last time she went to the ogre as Sweets-n-treats and the ogre ate her up. By using her wits, she was able to escape the ogre.
I recommend this book to second through fourth graders because there is some violence that younger kids don't need to see. Also, I think that age range would enjoy it the most and be able to read the italicized words.

Reviewed by K.R.,Van Buren 7th grade

Celebrate! It's Cinco De Mayo!

Levy, Janice. Lopez, Loretta. Celebrate! It's Cinco De Mayo!. Albert Whitman & Company: 2007. ISBN: 9780807511763.

In this non-fiction book, a boy listens to his grandfather tell the story of Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican independence day when they gained their independence from France. The French forces went into Mexico with better weapons and a larger army, but Mexico won the war by using a special tactic.
I thought this was an interesting book for children around the ages of 5 to 9. It was very informative. I also enjoyed reading the Spanish subtitles and learning some Spanish.

Reviewed by A.C., Van Buren 7th grade

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How Big Is It?

Hillman, Ben. How Big Is It? Scholastic: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-439-91808-4.

This book How Big is It? was an interesting book to read. It includes facts and photographs of the " biggest" of the big. You can learn about many unusual facts and details with this book. The photographs give great comparisons with objects and fit great with the text. To learn about the largest diamond, submarines, number, and more is exciting and fun with the help of this book.

My opinion of the book, How Big is It?, is it was a pleasure to read. Just looking at the cover did not appeal for me to read. I thought it would be a boring fact book, but it was just the opposite. It was an exciting book to read filled with fun facts. The reader will learn a lot with this unusually fun fact book. Readers ages eleven and up will certainly enjoy and make the most of this book.

Reviewed by: R.K., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

Marja's Skis

Pendziwol, Jean E. Marja's Skis. Illustrated by: Jirina Marton. Groundwood Books: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-88899-674-9.

The book Marja's Skis was an interesting story about a young girl named Marja, and everybody thinks that she is too small to do anything. But when Marja's father dies people come to take care of her father's team of horses. When Marja comes home from school she sees that one of the men staying at her house is drowning. Do you think she believes she is big and strong enough to save him? I believe this is an interesting book. Also, I think that the book was sad or sorrowful because her father dies and he was the only one who thought she was strong enough to go to school. I recommend this book for kids ages five and up.

Reviewed by: H.B., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

Still My Grandma

Abeele, Veronique Van den. Still My Grandma. Illustrated by: Claude K. Dubois. Eerdmans Books: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-8020-5323-3.

Camille absolutely loves her Grandma and her Grandma loves her. Camille and her Grandmother have all kinds of special things they do. One day when Camille goes to stay the night at her Grandma's house, and Grandma starts acting strange. Camille starts to really worry when her Grandma puts her shoes in the fridge. Still My Grandma is a very heart warming yet sad book. You really feel awful when you find out what happens to Grandma, but your heart melts when Camille still loves her grandma even though she has Alzheimer. I believe that ages 4-9 years would really enjoy this book.

Reviewed by: M.D., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

All Kinds of Eyes

Miller, Sara Swan. All Kinds of Eyes. Marshall Cavendish Benchmark: 2008. ISBN: 976-0-7614-2514-9.

The book All Kinds of Eyes is about the amazing world of eyes. The reader gets to read about the amazing functions an eye can do. The amazing thing about this book is you get to learn about the eyes of animals. My favorite part was learning about the insects eye. I recommend this book to grades four and up.

Reviewed by: S.S., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.


Curlee, Lynn. Skyscraper. Atheneum Books: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-689-84489-8.

Skyscraper is about many different tall buidlings or towers. This book tells you about the names of some buildings or towers. It has many compairing remarks against other building or towers. The first part of the book tells you about how towers can be really powerful and lists the heights of some other towers too. This book also shares facts about what the towers and building are used for. My opinion about this book, is that it has many facts and is really educational. Any age that is interested in buildings would enjoy this book. I also found this book to be very long.

Reviewed by: S.M., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

White Fang

London, Jack. White Fang. Illustrated by: Cynthia Martin. Adapted by: Joe Dunn. Magic Wagon: 2008. ISBN: 978-1-60270-055-0.

White Fang is about two men who are on a sled with dogs, and then they were attacked and where left with six dogs. Then the man sees the wolf and runs after it, but then the man is gone. This is a good book for third graders. This is a good book because I love dogs and White fang is a cool book to read. If you get this book you are cool.

Reviewed by: S., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

Junk Collector School

Dahlin, Adam. Junk Collector School. Illustrated by: Emma Akerman. Translated by: Joan Sandin. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux: 2007. ISBN: 978-91-29-66736-4.

In this book, Andy is almost six and he wants to start a collection. So Andy goes to Jake, because Jake is the best collector. Andy is thinking about what to collect, but he can not find anything to collect, because Jake has almost everything. If you want to know the rest of the story you should read the rest of the book. In my opinion the novel was terrible, because if did not have a climax. I would recommend this book to grades 1st through 3rd.

Reviewed by: C.W., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

Oscar and the Mooncats

Rymond, Lynda Gene. Oscar and the Mooncats. Illustrated by: Nicoletta Ceccoli. Houghton Mifflin: 2007. ISBN: 978-0-618-56316-6.

Oscar and the Mooncats is about a wildcat named Oscar and the moon that is low enough that Oscar can jump onto it. Oscar meets other cats, and they play around for awhile. All of a sudden the mooncats tell him there is milk. If you would like to see how the milk is involved with the story you should go read this book. As a reader of Oscar and the Mooncats I think that it was a wonderful book that students in the 1st grade and below would very much enjoy.

Reviewed by: B.N., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

Homes on Water

Barber, Nicola. Homes on Water. Crabtree Publishing: 2008. ISBN: 9780778735472.

A waterside home is a home located next to a river, lake, canal, ot by the sea. In some places, there are whole cities on the water. People would use the water to get through life. Also, some people even live in boats called house boats. House boats can be big or small. There can also be floating schools. People also go to work on the water. This is all about homes on water.
My opinion about this book is that it was very interesting in some parts. I also learned some stuff about homes on water. It was also pretty boring after reading and reading about homes on water. The pictures were good and colorful. I would recommend this book to about 3rd and 4th grades. Also, my favorite pictures would be the pictures showing the big cities on the water.

Reviewed by M.E., Van Buren 7th Grade

Inventing the Radio

Fedunkiw, Marianne. Inventing the Radio. Crabtree Publishing: 2007. ISBN: 9780778728177.

Signal warnings were used before radios. It took too long and sometimes came late, so in 1821 Michael Furaday created the early radio. Later on, Gugielmo Marconi created an advancement on radios that were used on ships. Radios saved lives, caught criminals, spread news, and broadcasted music. Radios were on air in the early 1900's. KDKA was the first station. Radios were later used in homes all across the world. When more stations came along, there were soap operas and radio dramas. They have FM and AM frequencies. Walkie-Talkies were invented to be used while walking and talking. Now there are radios for travel, such as MP3 players. They are still coming up with more!
Inventing the Radio is a good book for research. The pictures explained the text very well. My favorite picture was on page 10, of the Titanic. This book is probably for people ages 11 and up. It has a couple of hard words to understand. This gives a very good description of what is inside a radio. But, if you didn't need it for research, I don't think you would want to read it. It's not the most interesting book I've ever read but if you like radios I htink you will enjoy it!

Reviewed by H.C., Van Buren 7th Grade


Chichester Clark, Emma. Piper. Illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark. Eerdmans: 2007. ISBN: 9870802853141.

In the story Piper, Piper's mother used to always say to him when he was a puppy, "Always obey your master, always look both ways before crossing the street, and always help anyone in danger." Mr. Jones takes Piper home, and treats him badly. I think this book is sad. I recommend Piper for grades 1 through 3.

Jordan, Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary

Little Whistle's Christmas

Rylant, Cynthia. Little Whistle's Christmas. Illustrated by Jim Bowers. Harcourt: 2007. ISBN: 9781599612546.

This fictional adventure is about a young guinea pig. His name is Little Whistle, and he lieve in Toy Town, a toy shop. It is Christmas, and Little Whistle is telling his friends. Little Whistle's friends are toys, and they begin to wonder how they were made. So the toys write a letter to Santa to find out where they came from. To find out who made them you have to read this book! I thought Little Whistle's Christmas was very adventerous and entertaining. I would recommend this book for preschool through 2nd grade.
B.C., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary.

The Old House

Edwards, Pamela Duncan. The Old House. Illustrated by Henry Cole. Penguin Group: 2007. ISBN: 9780525477969.

Throughout this fictional story book readers have a chance to read about a house and other animals and plants that have human-like qualities. There once was a house that no one lived in for a very long time. If it is not sold it will be demolished. A family stops at the house but they do not buy it. The old house is still feeling bad for himself. His friends try to help him but nothing works. Will someone live in this old house?
My opinion of The Old House is that it is a very interesting book. I especially liked how the author gave the characters human-like qualities. I also loved the illustrations, you could really tell that the house was old and needed some repairing. I think that the illustrator really made the characters so that little or big kids can relate to them. The age I recommend for this book is 2nd grade to 5th.

E.M., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Life Cycle of a Emperor Penguin

Kalman, Bobbie and Robin Johnson. The Life Cycle of an Emperor Penguin. New York: Crabtree Publications, 2007. ISBN: 9780778706304.

This book talks about the life cycle of an emperor penguin. The pictures in this book are mostly photographs and some sketches. The book talks about mature penguins, and about baby penguins and their parents. I think the book The Life Cycle of a Emperor Penguins is quite interesting because it describes a lot about Emperor Penguins. Most of the words in this book are easy, there are very few hard words. I would recommend this book for fourth grade and up.

P.R., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary

Endangered Bears

Kalman, Bobbie. Endangered Bears. Illustrated by Richard Sobol and Barbara Bedell. Crabtree Publishing: 2007. ISBN: 9780778718611.

Endangered Bears is about bears who are becoming extinct. It shows different species of bears around the world and how they are endanged. This book explains how bears are treated, and how polar bears are affected by global warming. Bears live a painful life when captured. The drawing of the life cycle shows how big the bears get. I think that Endangered Bears is very educational and has amazing photographs and drawings. Some photos and drawings explain the words. I would recommend this book for 3rd to 6th grade.

K.L., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary

A Second is a Hiccup: A Child's book of Time

Hutchins, Hazel. A Second is a Hiccup: A Child's Book of Time. Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. Arthur A. Levine Books: 2007. ISBN: 978043983I062

A Second is a Hiccup: A Child's Book of Time is a book about time, months and years. This book could teach kids about the years and what they are. This book is a rhyming book, and little kids would probably love to read it. I think A Second is a Hiccup is entertaining. I would recommend this book to grades kindergarten though third grade.

B., Grade 5, Arcadia

Amazing Materials

Hewitt, Sally. Amazing Materials. Crabtree: 2008. ISBN: 9780778736134.

Amazing Materials talks about lots of materials, like plastic, gold, water and lots more. This book has a lot of colorful photographs throughout the book. Some of the words are in bold. In this book there are activities for kids to do. In the back of the book there is a science experiment. I thought Amazing Materials was okay. I did not like the subject. The book is for younger children because the words are really big and easy. I recommend this book for grades 2 through 4.

G.C., Grade 5, Arcadia Elementary

Dear Miss Perfect

Dutton, Sandra. Dear Miss Perfect. Houghton Mifflin: 2007. ISBN: 978-0618-67717-7.

Dear Miss Perfect is a wonderful book and I enjoyed reading it. I think that all of the topics were good choices. Dear Miss Perfect is about realistic animals that all have problems and write to Miss Perfect. She responds with her opinion of what they should do about their problem. I would recommend Dear Miss Perfect for 3rd grade and up. I really enjoyed reading this book, because it was very silly and I love animals.

Reviewed by: A.B., Grade 6, Arcadia Elementary.

Jules Verne 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Bowen, Carl. Jules Verne 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Minneapolis, MN: Stone Arch Books, 2008. ISBN: 978-1-4342-0447-9.

Jules Verne's classic retold by Carl Bowen in a graphic novel. When ships are being sunk by an unknown creature, scientist Peirre Aronnax, along with his servant Consiel and the harpooner Ned Land, set out after the creature, but fall into an unforgettable adventure. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a book with a gripping plot and well-drawn pictures. Because of the moderately difficult words I recommend this for grades 3 and up.

Reviewed by J.S. 7th Grade, Van Buren Middle School

Rip Van Winkle's Return

Kimmel, Eric A.. Rip Van Winkle's Return. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-374-36308-6.

Rip Van Winkle was a man in the 1600's. While other men worked, Rip would fish. All of the children in town loved Rip, but his wife did not really like him. One day Rip was in the woods and sat down and fell asleep for 20 years. When he woke up his life would be changed forever. I did not like this book, it was boring and lacked detail. I would recommend it to 1st - 4th grade, but I would not buy this book.

Reviewed by G.W. 7th Grade, Van Buren Middle School

Composting: Nature's Recyclers

Koontz, Robin Michal. Composting: Nature's Recyclers. Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books, 2007. ISBN: 978-1-4048-2194-1.

Composting is unique and also strange because it is a bunch of waste. There's a heap that's in a yard. When leaves fall from trees they can rot and turn into bits of soil call humus. Some leaves get recycled. If a tree falls, insects eat it then wood-peckers will make a hole and it becomes a home for other animals. The tree may decay. Plants need sunlight, air, warmth, water, and humus. A compost heap needs green or colored things that are fresh. Also needs brown things and needs to stay damp. Flies and beetles lay eggs into grubs that munch on the heap. Soon the heap is full of decomposers. The smallest decomposers are fungi and bacteria. They work really hard. When the heap is finished they have turned it into a heap of humus. I would recommend this book for 4th grade and up.

Reviewed by K.T. 7th Grade, Van Buren Middle School

Endangered Zebras

MacAulay, Kelley. Endangered Zebras. New York: Crabtree Publishing, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-7787-1864-2.

This book is about endangered zebras. It tells you about things like where zebras live and how they behave. It also talks about their body and gives you facts like how zebras can run upto 35mph. It also talks about how they find food and water and how most are losing their land. I think this is a wonderful, fun, and educational book. It gives very good facts, details, and opinions. The pictures go with the text. This book would probably be for any age.

Reviewed by T.H. 7th Grade, Van Buren Middle School

Virtually True: Questioning Online Media

Wan, Guofang. Virtually True: Questioning Online Media. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-7368-6767-2.

This book is about surfing the web and explains how to do so. It gives you definitions of some of the words that you might see on the web. It also explains how ads work to get you to click them. It also explains how some information can be false on the web and how to find correct information. I liked this book, I liked how it explained the definitions of some of the words. This book gives you a lot of information on the web. I would recommend this book for ages 8 and up.

Reviewed by C.M. 7th Grade, Van Buren Middle School


Otfinoski, Steven. Koalas. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-7614-2526-7.

The book is about what koalas eat, how they sleep, what kinds of species, how much they weigh, the baby koalas, and who their predators are. They also tell how they take care and protect baby koalas and about when they die. Very interesting. It has good facts about koalas so people can learn about koalas. The age would probably be ages 8-10. I think this book is very good and fun to read.

Reviewed by D.M. 7th Grade, Van Buren Middle School

Classic Cars: 1931 - 1980

Mort, Norm. Classic Cars: 1931 - 1980. New York: Crabtree, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-618-77330-5.

This book talks about how classic cars have developed from 1931 to the 1980s. I like the classic muscle cars of the 1960s, plus how people love to buy and restore the cars so then they can auction them off for more money. Then it explains how they bought them and how much they bought them for! My opinion of this book is that I like the book because I love cars and how they look when they are restored. Plus I love how the engines roar. I would recommend this book for kids in 3rd grade and up.

Reviewed by M.D. 7th Grade, Van Buren Middle School

Bad Bears Go Visiting

Pinkwater, Daniel. Pinkwater, Jill. Bad Bears Go Visiting: An Irving & Muktuk Story. Houghton Mifflin Company: 2007. ISBN: 9780618431267.

While Irving and Muktuk are cheating each other at cards, their friend Larry visits them at the zoo. Irving and Muktuk learn what a visit is and when Larry leaves, they visit an unsuspecting family. Everything goes down hill from there. I thought this was a good story with a nice theme for kids between the ages of 5 and 8. The illustrations fit into the story well for young children and they kept my interest as well. It sends a good message to younger kids.

Reviewed by O.G., Van Buren 7th grade