Thursday, October 13, 2016

Best Friends for Never

Best Friends for Never

Written by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

Scholastic Press, 2016, Ages 12+

After Hattie and her three best friends watch one of their classmates publicly get de-friended in the school cafeteria.  Hattie and her friends make a loyalty pact promising each other that they will not mistreat each other.  But, Hattie unwittingly breaks the pact, her friends start to ignore her.  In fact, they literally do not even know who she is anymore.  Can Hattie figure out what to do in order to make things right again?  This is a story of loyalty and friendship and Vrettos brings poignancy and gentle humor to this story.

There is quite a bit of repetition throughout the book.  Repetition is always good because is indicates importance.  For example, "Forgotten, Promised, Forgotten, Promised" (p. 85) and "Break the Jinx, Break the Jinx, Break the Jinx" (p. 145).  This second phrase is used a lot throughout the book.  The author uses lots of descriptive words to describe the friendships and events that happen throughout the book.

There are no illustrations in the book, but there are pictures on the front and back covers.  The front cover has bright colors with three teen girls wearing the same shirt and one teen girl wearing a different shirt.  They are standing in grass with the title of the gook in girly colors: pink, purple, and white.  The back cover is a picture of four teen girl's shoes with a quote in girly colors: pin purple, and white.

I would recommend this book, it talks about friendship, which is one of the main things we all have in our lives.  I would say this book is for young adolescents ages 12 and up.

Reviewed by Brooke M.

Women who changed the world: 50 Amazing Americans

Women who changed the world: 50 Amazing Americans

Written by Laurie Calkhoven, Illustrated by Patricia Castelao

Scholastic Inc., 2016, Ages 10+

This story is about the real lives of women who have been empowering and inspirational to women throughout the United States.  Fifty women are discussed who have changed our nation for the better by making progress for women all over the country.  In the past, women have not had the right to vote, own their own property, or even be expected to excel in their education.  These women discussed in the book have overcome the odds by speaking out and even risking their own lives to prove the point that women should be equal to men and should have equal opportunities.  Some women discussed in this book include Pocahontas, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lucille Ball, and Maya Angelou.

The author's writing style is right to the point and very factual.  However, the tone of the book reflects positivity.  The personality and the voice of the book make the book very pleasurable to read.  It focuses on uplifting women.

The illustrations of this book are fun to look at because they resemble actual people (the people discussed in the book), but they look like cartoon characters.  They are colorful and show the bodily expressions that the people would be likely to portray in real life.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  There were so many amazing stories shared about all of these women, and I think other women would really enjoy reading this book.  The women talked about have so many different qualities about them that make them inspirational whether it's their athletic ability, their ability to get politically involved, or their ability to think outside of the box.  This book would most likely be enjoyed by girls just starting their teen years and older because they are just starting to learn about their roles in this world.  This book is appreciative towards women fighting for equality.

Reviewed by Ciara G.

Melissa's Octopus and other Unsuitable Pets

Melissa's Octopus and other Unsuitable Pets

Written and Illustrated by Charlotte Voake

Candlewick Press, 2015, Ages 3-6

Melissa, Thomas, Betty, and Arthur all have this one thing in common: they all have unsuitable pets!  All of the pets described in this story are unusual because they are too big, too messy, too free-spirited, and tend to be able to break things such as tables, ceilings, and even floors.  They are all unusual pets to have unlike having a cat or a dog as usual pet would see.

This picture books uses humor throughout the book and her words go along with the pictures so you can see a visual representation of all of the words.

The illustrations go along with all of the words of the story.  They are also bright and colorful watercolor illustrations.  The artwork will make reading this story very enjoyable because of their bright colors and shape & size.

I thought this book was very cute to use in an early childhood classroom.  I would definitely recommend this book to other because you can easily use this story in your classroom and make a whole lesson on what animals are good and not good to be pets?  You can even turn this lesson into a unit on animals and pets in general.  I would say this book would be good for ages 3-6 in an early childhood classroom.

Reviewed by Brooke M.