Thursday, December 29, 2011

Return of the Homework Machine by Dan Gutman

AR Book Level:  4.7

This book is a sequel to "The Homework Machine" that I already reviewed.  In "Return of the Homework Machine", they find out that the most important piece of the homework machine (the part that let them cheat on their homework) was not destroyed.  The person who finds it can do a lot more than just cheat on their homework.  In this book, they aren't just playing around because someone dies.  The kids are telling the police what happened like in the first one.  They threw the homework machine in the grand canyon in the first book.  One of the kids from their class went looking for it and meets up with Richard Milner who was the guy bothering the five kids in the first book.  The kids try to get to the homework machine first, but they are too late.

I like it because it's interesting and the teacher gets involved.  If you read the first one and liked it, try the second book.  I am going to read another book by Dan Gutman.

Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

AR Book Level:  5.7

In Once Upon a Marigold, a troll named Ed finds a young boy in  the forest.  He takes the little boy home with him and the boy doesn't remember where his home is and doesn't want to go back.  Ed and his dogs raise the boy named Christian.  As Christian grows older, he starts to send p-mail (notes sent by pigeons) to a princess across the river.  He started sending Princess Marigold the p-mail because he thought she looked lonely and he wanted to know what book she was reading. Christian decides to get a job at the castle because he is grown up and wants to meet other people.   He hides his identity from Marigold, but soon learns he needs to help her because her evil mother is trying to kill her.

I liked this book because it had five different dogs in it.  It was really really funny.  It has a sequel called "Twice Upon a Marigold" and I am reading that right now.  I think is a good book for ages 8 and up.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet

By Graham Salisbury
AR book level:  2.8

In Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet, Calvin is a boy with only a mom and a babysitter is going to live with them starting in like two days.  He doesn't like it because they are giving the new babysitter Calvin's room and Calvin has to go into the old, dirty garage storage room.  Calvin finds a centipede in the storage room and thinks that if they are going to be roommates, he should at least not get out so Calvin's mom won't squash him.  Calvin brings the centipede to meet your teacher day and it gets loose and Calvin gets in trouble quite a few times.  This bully at school says that since Calvin made him spill juice on his new shirt that Calvin would have to pay (not in money!).  Calvin tries to run away from the bully and gets away but forgets to walk home his little sister Darci.  Once he's almost home, he remembers Darci and runs back to school trying not to get caught.  At school, he goes to Darci's first grade classroom and bangs on the doors and yells for her.  Read the book to find out how Calvin gets away from the bully.

I thought the book was funny, but it wasn't my favorite.  I recommend this book for someone who wants to learn about living by the ocean and different foods since Calvin lives in Hawaii.  I think that boys would like this book more.  It was an easy book and had lots of different pictures.  The picture I used for this post is one of the ones from the book.

Red Blazer Girls: Ring of Rocamadour

By Michael Beil
AR book level:  4.4

The Red Blazer Girls are a group of friends who are seventh graders.  They got their red blazers as part of their Catholic school uniform when they started seventh grade.  Sophie sees an old lady and screams.  The woman appears in a upstairs window by the church.  Sophie and her friends decide to investigate who the lady is.  The lady's father hid a 14th birthday present for his granddaughter the day before he died many years ago.  The lady sends Sophie and her friends on a treasure hunt to find what he hid to give back to her daughter Caroline.

Throughout the book, they use real subject skills to figure out the clues.  They use math, religion, literature, and other subjects to find the gift.  I liked this book because it had long and funny chapter names.  I liked that it seemed like Sophie was really telling you the story.  You'll like this book if you like mystery with a twist.  This book is kind of harder to read.  I had to ask my mom questions about the math and religion and some of the words in the book.  There are two other books in this series.  I want to read the other books soon. 

PS This book has love!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Roxie and the Hooligans by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

AR book level = 5.3

Roxie is a 9 year old girl.  Her Uncle Dangerfoot is an explorer and his partner is the famous Lord Thistlebottom.  Roxie memorized Lord Thistlebottom's book called "Lord Thistlebottom's Book of Pitfalls and How to Survive Them".  There are a bunch of bullies at her school called Helvetica's Hooligans.  Roxie falls into a dumpster with the Hooligans and it's dumped into the sea.  The girls swim to an island with two robbers on it.  Roxie remembers from the book how to survive all the things that happen on the island throughout the book.

This book was short, but was pretty good.  I liked that Roxie stands up for herself.  Whenever the Hooligans wouldn't do something, Roxie would stand up and say that she would do it by herself.  I would recommend the book.  It's really fast to read.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Savvy by Ingrid Law

AR book level = 6.0

In this book, a girl named Mibs has a family that when they turn 13 they discover their supernatural power, called their savvy.  Mibs can't wait, but all the sudden her dad gets into a ten car pile-up.  She goes to a bunch of different places in a bus with two adults named Lester and Lill.  Also in the bus are Will Jr. and Bobbi, two other kids, and Fish and Sampson, Mibs's brothers.

I liked this book.  You will want to read it if you like magic and adventure.  It took me awhile to read the book, but when I got going, I read the last part really fast.  I finished it last night.  There is another book in this series called Scumble, about another member of Mibs's family.  I am going to try to get it at the library sometime soon.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Harry Potter Series

I love Harry Potter books and movies!  My favorite character is Ron Weasley.  I do impressions of Ron.  My friends, Sydney and Rory (who are in my class) have read all the Harry Potter books and said that my impression was good.

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, a boy who does not know his parents gets some awkward letters (a lot) and figures out that he is a wizard.  He goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  He makes two new friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. They figure out a deadly beast lives in the 3rd corridor.  They figure out the sorcerer's stone is under a trap door the beast is guarding and learn that if they don't save the sorcerer's stone their world and ours will come to an end.

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, it is Harry's second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and when mysterious writings in blood were seen on the wall saying the heir of Slytherin will petrify the students.  Harry does a lot of different things to figure out who the true heir is and in the end, finds himself smarter than his teacher and fighting over Ginny Weasley (Ron's sister).  The best part is when Ron, Fred, and George pull up to Harry's locked window and attach a bungie cord to the window, rip the window off, and then Harry says "what are you doing here?" and Ron says "We're coming to rescue you of course!"

Again, I love these books.  Please check them out at your local library.  I am reading the third book now.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All About Lauren

Here are some things about me.  This isn't everything about me because there is a lot more about me than what books I like.

I am in 3rd grade.  I like to play spies with my friends.  I play on a soccer team at the U9 level.  I play goalie a lot.  My team name was Blue Blaze.  I don't know what my team name will be in the spring though.

I like mystery books and fantasy.  Some of my favorite books would be Harry Potter, Philippa Fischer, and Grace Lin books.  I usually read three or four books at the same time because I think it makes them go by faster.  I am currently reading Savvy, The Red Blazer Girls, Harry Potter book 3, and Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator.  Watch for reviews on these soon.

I have a lot of pets.  I love animals.  On Sunday Dec. 4, 2011, I will be participating in the Holiday Run for the Capital Humane Society.

My favorite subjects at school are spelling, reading, recess, music, writing, science, and PE.  I don't like grammar, math, social studies, or MATH.

Read as much as you can.

Keep reading, Lauren

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Magic Kitten and Puppy

My dog Prince with the books I read
Books Read:
Magic Kitten: Moonlight Mischief by Sue Bentley (AR book level 4.1)
Magic Puppy: A Forest Charm by Sue Bentley (AR book level 4.4)

In Magic Kitten: Moonlight Mischief, Flame (a magic kitten) escapes danger by going to the human world.  A young girl named Eve can't believe she has to visit a family friend's kennel.  Then she meets Flame.  Flame makes the time away from home go quickly.

In Magic Puppy: A Forest Charm, Storm is a magic wolf.  He comes to Earth and disguises himself as a puppy.  A girl named Cassie is nervous because she doesn't know who to talk to while camping.  When Storm appears, she knows everything will be alright.

I read these books near the end of first grade.  These books are at an easier level.  You would probably like them if you like fantasy, magic, and animals.  The stories talk about getting through stuff in your life like Cassie learns to keep trying and you'll get there.  That's why I liked these books.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Grace Lin Chapter Books

Books read:
Chapter books:
The Year of the Dog (AR book level 4.2)
The Year of the Rat (AR book level 4.6)
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (AR book level 5.5)

Picture books:
The Ugly Vegetables
Dim Sum for Everyone
Kite Flying
The Red Thread
Lissy's Friends
Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same

Grace Lin drew a rabbit because 2011 was the year of the rabbit.
I love Grace Lin.  I have read three of her chapter books and some of her picture books.  My favorite Grace Lin book would have to be Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.  In this book, there are lots of old Chinese stories all over it.  They are real Chinese myths.  This book talks about a young Chinese girl named Minli.  Her parents are poor so she looks for the old man of the moon, an old Chinese legend.  Minli takes a journey full of miracles and stories and meets lots of different people on her way.  I have a copy at home that is signed by Grace Lin.

Other books I have read by Grace Lin are The Year of the Dog and The Year of the Rat.  These books are sort of like an autobiography.  The stories talk about two girls, Pacey and Melody.  In The Year of the Dog, Pacey finds a new friend named Melody.  They are both Chinese living in America.  They become really good friends.  They figure out their families are different in some ways, but the same in others.  In The Year of the Rat, Pacey figures out that Melody is moving.  Pacey doesn't like it because Melody is her best friend.  In the end, a miracle happens.

I liked all these books.  I was excited to meet Grace Lin at the Plum Creek Literary Festival.  She even called me on stage, but she didn't know she was one of my favorite authors.

The Homework Machine

Book read:
The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman (AR book level 4.8)

In The Homework Machine, four 4th graders share a secret.  The 4 kids are not ones you would think would go together.  One is very smart, he created the homework machine. The second one is pretty cool in school.  One is just plain old stuck up.  The last one is really dumb.  These four kids use the homework machine which does their homework in less than an hour and always gets every question right.  They get into trouble because the teacher can tell they aren't doing their own homework, especially the cool and dumb ones.  During the summer, they end up recording everything they did that school year with the homework machine and other stuff.

I liked this book because it is a great mystery book.  I liked that it showed everything in what month happened and tells which person is talking in their own thoughts.  I think it was exciting and funny and would recommend it for kids 8 - 12 years old.

Flat Stanley Series

Books Read:
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
Stanley, Flat Again! (AR book level 3.3)

Stanley is a young boy. He has a younger brother named Arthur. Stanley has a lot of different adventures. In Flat Stanley, he becomes flat because a billboard that hangs right next to Stanley's bed falls on top of him.  In school, our class mailed out different Stanleys across the world like Stanley's parents mailed him to California. I mailed mine to my cousins in Sweden.

In Stanley, Flat Again, Stanley becomes flat again because of his OBP (osteal balance point), a part of his skeleton that allows him to become flat.  First, he helps Mr. Lambchop's old college friend win a boat race.  Then, he becomes a hero by saving a girl in his class.

I thought these books were OK.  They are kind of easy to read.  In my opinion, they are for ages 5 to 7.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Book Suggestions

Do you have ideas for books I should read?  Post them as a comment and I will look for them at the library.

The Sisters Grimm: Fairy Tale Detectives

Book Read:
The Sisters Grimm: Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley (AR book level 5.2)

Two sisters named Daphne and Sabrina go through a hard time where their parents disappear.  They are orphans for two years and have escaped from many different houses.  Then all of the sudden, an old lady claims that she is their grandmother.  Sabrina and Daphne figure out that they are descendents of the Brothers Grimm.  In the first book, they learn they are fairy tale detectives and that they need to save their long lost grandma from a giant.

I liked this book because it used the classic Grimm fairy tales and a hint of mystery.  It was funny.  I am looking forward to reading the other books in this series.

The Wicket Chronicles

Books read:
Ely Plot by Joan Lennon (AR book level 5.9)
Fen Gold (AR book level 5.9)

The Wicket books are cool and there is a lot of treasure and travels.  The first one is called Fen Gold by Joan Lennon and is about a young orphan boy who lives with monks in medieval times and travels to a faraway place called Ely, where me does something EXTREME!  Pip (the boy) and Perfect (a dragon) have many more adventures.

I like these books because they make me feel like I am a part of the story and in the back of the books it tells you about the inspiration of the books and TRUE facts.

Philippa Fisher Series

Books read:
Philippa Fisher's Fairy Godsister by Liz Kessler (AR book level 4.1)
Philippa Fisher and the Dream-Maker's Daughter (AR book level 3.8)
Philippa Fisher and the Fairy's Promise (AR book level 4.0)

The Philippa Fisher books are great and funny and exciting.  Philippa is a young and kind kid.  She has three adventures.  The first book (Philippa Fisher's Fairy Godsister) is when Philippa meets her fairy "Godsister" and in the second book (Philippa Fisher and the Dream-Maker's Daughter) Philippa goes for a vacation (that happens because of something from the first book) and finds a new friend and an old friend.  In the third, Philippa Fisher and the Fairy's Promise, Philippa gets trapped at ATC (Above the Clouds) and has a few adventures.

I like the Philippa Fisher books because they make me feel like I can do anything.  If you like the Philippa Fisher books, read the Emily Windsnap books which are very good.