Monday, July 30, 2012

Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan
AR book level:  4.7

As I said before I really really really like Greek mythology.  So my mom thought that I would like this book which I did. 

Percy Jackson is a sixth grader who has dyslexia and ADHD.  He gets in trouble a lot in school so he gets kicked out of a different school each year.  At the end of his field trip, his teacher grows wings and talons and attacks him.  He fights her off with the help of his favorite teacher who gives him a pen that turns into a sword. After this, no one knows it happened or even remembers the teacher.  Percy overhears his favorite teacher and his best friend talking about him and the teacher he fought. 

After being chased by monsters again, his mom takes him to a camp for half-bloods, kids who have one parent who is a Greek god/goddess and one mortal parent.  Percy's mom is killed taking him to the camp and he does not know which god is his father.  At camp, Percy learns who his father is and is sent on a quest to prevent the gods from fighting and therefore making a war.

Mostly the two reasons I really liked it is that you learn a lot about Greek mythology and it was super-duper funny.  My favorite character was Annabeth, whose mom is Athena the goddess of wisdom.  I like her because she is smart and she is always acting like she is the best, but in a good way.  I also like that the three friends Percy, Annabeth, and Grover have nicknames for each other.

I am reading the second book in this series now.  I will probably be done before school starts with it.  There are five books in the series.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dog and Puppy Chapter Books

I like dogs a lot so I read all of my shorter dog books recently.  I decided to combine these together in one post since they are pretty similar.  I have two dogs of my own so I am constantly looking at dogs.

Me with Buttercup, Daisy, and Prince. 
Buttercup came from the shelter.
Puppy Place by Ellen Miles
       AR book level:  4.0
  • Goldie
  • Snowball
  • Shadow
  • Rascal
Alfie All Alone by Holly Webb
         AR book level:  4.3
Harry the Homeless Puppy by Holly Webb
        AR book level: 4.0

All of these books are short and quick to read.  They have quite a few pictures.  All the books deal with a puppy in search of a home.  In the Puppy Place books, two kids foster dogs while looking for their perfect owner.  The books teach a little about each breed of dog and good dog ownership.

In the Holly Webb books, Alfie All Alone has to do with a girl who gets Alfie as a puppy when her mom is pregnant, but they decide they can't keep him so they take him to the shelter.   In the end, he gets a new home.  Harry is a puppy whose owner moves and can't keep him.  A girl volunteers at the shelter and becomes friends with Harry.  He is a hyper Jack Russel Terrier puppy so he doesn't work with the first few homes he goes to, but he does find a home.

I liked the Holly Webb series better.  They seemed more realistic.  The Puppy Place kids foster a new dog every week basically.  These books help kids realize that it is hard to take care of a pet.  Getting a pet from a shelter or volunteering at a shelter can help them get used to new people and find a good home.  When I am old enough (you have to be 13), I would like to volunteer at the shelter.  I adopted a rabbit from the shelter last summer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Red Blazer Girls books 2 and 3

by Micheal Beil

The Vanishing Violin (AR book level: 4.4)
The Mistaken Masterpiece (AR book level: 4.7)

Since I first posted by the Red Blazer Girls book series, I have read book 2 The Vanishing Violin and book 3 The Mistaken Masterpiece.  I wanted to update you on my thoughts on the series.  This series follow four seventh grade girls who after solving the mystery in "The Ring of Rocamodour" set up the Red Blazer Girls Detective Agency.  In the Vanishing Violin, there is robbery of a violin that the girls discover was already stolen once and they help the sisters' at their school discover who is cleaning the school after hours.  The Mistaken Masterpiece has the girls helping one of the priests figure out if the painting his father inherited is real or not.  It also has Sophie dog sitting for a famous actor from a vampire movie.

I liked these two books as much as I did the first one.  These ones didn't seem as realistic as the first one.  The girls still use different subjects or techniques to figure out secret messages and codes.  There is a fourth book coming out October 2012. 

See my review of the first book, Ring of Rocamodour here:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cinderellis and the Glass Hill

by Gail Carson Levine

AR book level: 4.3

This book is by the same author that wrote Ella Enchanted. 

Once upon a time, there was a farm boy and his two older brothers.  The farm boy's name is Ellis and Ellis makes magic powders.  When he was little, he tried to show his floating powder make a teacup float up the chimney to his older brothers, but when they came into the room they saw Ellis covered in cinders so ever since they called him Cinderellis. Ellis keeps making new and different powders trying to make his brothers like him, but they don't pay attention. 

On the other side of the kingdom, there is a castle.  There is a lonely princess whose father the king is always going on quests to find different things.  All that Princess Marigold has for company is her orange cat that her father brought back from a quest.  One of the king's quests went terribly wrong and the King had to stay at the castle for a few years.  Since he could not go on a quest, he made a glass hill and men were supposed to ride their horses up the hill and get three golden apples from the princess to win a chance to marry her.  Marigold didn't want a husband she didn't know. 

Cinderellis tries to compete to get up the glass hill using his powders. 

I liked this story because it was one of those stories based on the Cinderella Story, but wasn't an old fashioned Cinderella story.  I thought that Cinderellis was pretty cool to think about all the ingredients he put in his powders.  For example, in his fluffy powder, he put in feathers from a pillow.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Eddie: The Lost Youth of Edgar Allen Poe

by Scott Gustafson

AR Book level: 5.4
This book is a fictional story about the author Edgar Allen Poe as a child.   Edgar is also known as Eddie.  Eddie's parents died and ever since he has a demon who he talks to when he is lonely and is his friend.  The story takes place when Eddie wakes up in the middle of his neighbor the judge's yard.  There are a lot of people yelling at him.  Eddie's cat and the judge's prize rooster are tied in Eddie's pillowcase on the top of the barn.  To avoid a beating, Eddie asks for 24 hours to figure out who really did it.

I liked the book because it was a mystery book and the demon and Eddie's pet crow were really funny.  There were a lot of pictures in the book and they were so good they seemed like real pictures.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters

This was the book I got for finishing the Barnes and Noble summer reading program.  All you had to do was read 8 books and then you got to pick out a free book from the list at the store.

by Rachel Vail
AR book level: 5.2

Justin is a 3rd grader.  His name isn't really Justin Case, but he got that nickname doing a project where he kept saying "Just in case."  One of the school bullies said maybe that's how he got his name and ever since everyone has been calling him Justin Case.  The book is written in the form of Justin's journal.  There is an entry every day during the school year.  In the book, Justin talks about what happens at school, home, and with his family. 

I liked the book because it was super duper funny and the beginning of the book he is a worrier, but towards the end he gets more brave and doesn't worry as much.  It was easy to read as there were breaks at the end of each day's journal entry.  I thought that his family was funny especially his little sister who wrote a poem about dog poop that she read to the school.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Grimm Legacy

by Polly Shulman

AR book level: 4.0

 Elizabeth needs a job so she asks her social studies teacher what job he thinks she would like.  He says the library would be good.  She goes to the library and takes a test.  She passes and gets the job.  It's a weird library because it has very few books, instead of checking out books, you check out objects.  There is a Grimm section in the library and Elizabeth has to work at the library for awhile before she is trusted enough to get a key to that section.  She goes to get something for her friend from the Grimm section and she gets locked in because she doesn't know the password to get back out.  When she finally gets out, one of the librarians tells her to go to the head office and she gets her key.

After talking to her co-workers, she finds out there are items being stolen from the Grimm section.  In the book, she tries to figure out who the thief is.

I liked this book because it's very funny and magical.  I really like fairy tale themes.  This was a modern fairy tale that included stuff from the original Grimm Fairy Tales like Snow White's mirror that showed a different version of herself, a mermaid's comb that made your hair silky when you used it, and Aladdin's magic carpet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Juliet Dove: Queen of Love

by Bruce Coville

AR Book Level:  5.0

Juliet Dove is a sixth grade girl who is teased about walking to school with her neighbor because everyone says that they are boyfriend and girlfriend.  She gets mad, says rude comments about the girls who tease her that she can't stop herself from saying, and runs away.  She ran so far that she got lost and found herself on a street she didn't know.  She enters a magic store on the end of the street.  When she goes in, a women from the back of the shop gives her a mysterious necklace.  The necklace turns out to be magical and makes all the boys in her class fall in love with her.  Juliet finds out that the woman who gave it to her was the Greek goddess of discord, Eris.

 The necklace is stuck on Juliet's neck.  Juliet tries to figure out how to remove it with the help of other Greek goddess and Cupid.  She is also helped by the magic shop's real owner's two talking rats.

I liked this book because of the two talking rats.  This book is full of humor.  I like Greek goddesses.  I really like how they tied in the Greek mythology with a funny story.  I liked that this book was elegant and exciting.  I didn't want it to stop because I wanted to keep listening to it so much. I listened to this as an audiobook.  It had a variety of cast which made it very cool to listen too.

I would recommend this for people that like adventure and mythology.  This book is one of the books in a magic shop series, but it's the only one in the series I have read.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ella Enchanted

by Gail Carson Levine
AR Book Level:  4.6

When Ella was born, she was given a gift from a fairy.  That gift turned out to be a curse.  The gift of obedience so Ella always had to do whatever anyone told her.  When Ella's mother died, Ella's dad became poor all of the sudden. He decides to remarry someone rich.  The person he marries have two daughter who figure out Ella's gift and use it to get her to do what they want.  Ella goes through many adventures trying to break the curse.

I would recommend this book to people who like a twist on fairy tales.  This book is a twist on Cinderella. 

I liked this book because it was full of adventure but still your basic Cinderella story.  This story was different from the original Cinderella because it is full of fairy tale creatures whereas the original only had her fairy godmother.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I'm back!

Sorry I haven't been blogging for awhile.  I have been really busy, but I am hoping to get quite a few posts done over the summer.  My soccer season just ended.  We won our division in our regular season and finished second in a tournament.  I am still taking piano lessons and I start drum lessons this week. 

I have read a bunch of books recently so look for posts on:
  • Finished through book 11 of the 39 Clues
  • Eddie: The Lost Youth of Edgar Allen Poe
  • Ella Enchanted
  • Started the Lemony Snicket books - A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Judy Moody
  • The Grimm Legacy
  • Time Warp Trio
  • and more!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

39 Clues

Books Read:
Maze of Bones
One False Note
The Sword Thief

When Grace Cahill died, her grandchildren Amy and Dan Cahill were sad.  In Grace's will, she said there would be a competition for 39  clues.  If you wanted to be in the competition, you had to give away your $1 million inheritance.  Amy and Dan think about what they could buy with the money, but all the sudden they think of the contest and decide to join.  They race against six other teams, made up of distant relatives.  By following the clues, Amy and Dan can unlock a powerful secret.  Along the way they learn that their family is related to many famous people including Ben Franklin, Mozart, and even ninjas.  The other family members are all trying to get the Cahills.

I liked these books because they make you learn very interesting things while also making you think "Oh what's going to happen next, I hope I can keep reading."  Two of the characters are very funny - Nelly, their babysitter/Au pair, and Dan.  I am looking forward to reading the next book "Beyond the Grave".

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Avalon: Web of Magic Book 1

 By Rachel Roberts
AR Book Level 3.9

This book is filled with magic and animals.  The first character that is introduced has a mother who is a veterinarian.  She's used to working with injured animals.  One day when she was walking some of the dogs who live at the kennel, a few of the dogs ran into Old Ravenswood Preserve.  There she finds a rock in a stream.  The next morning, she wakes up and in her pocket is the rock, but it is no longer rough, it's smooth.  She learns that the stone is magical and they find a bunch of cool creatures including a wolf made of mist and a talking ferret.  There is another girl who lives at Ravenswood Manor who found a different stone in a field.  She is friends with the wolf named Stormbringer.  They try to help the talking ferret, Ozzie find a portal back to his magical world.

I liked this book because it includes three different points of view of the three girls in the story.  If you like this book, I would try the Ivy and Bean series about two friends who you wouldn't think would go together but they do.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

SOS files By Byars, Betsy

book read:   
SOS files  by Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffy, and Laurie Myers ( BL 3.8   1.0 pts. )

In this book, students are assigned to write about a time were they had a SOS (Save Our Ship!). Their teacher says that everyone got EXTRA CREDIT (YAY!), except 1. So, everyone  reads their stories again, and the teacher reads the last one that is not signed.  They figure out  who did not get extra credit.

This book is very short, although it's pretty funny. One of the students even recites a speech by ABE LINCOLN!                                                                                                                                                 

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator

Book Read:
Gild Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison (AR Book Level:  6.5)

Gilda Joyce is a smart, fashionable psychic investigator or so she thinks.  Really, Gilda Joyce is a psychic investigator in training with red hair and lots of freckles.  At the end of the last day of school, Gilda's teacher goes around and asks what everyone is going to do this summer.  Gilda who is planning on spying on plaid pants (the guy who works at the store) makes up a lie and says she is going to San Fransisco to write a novel.  There's only one way to make Gilda's "lie" not a lie - to actually do it.  Somehow Gilda manages to get her long lost relative to invite her to San Fransisco.  Her long lost relatives house is actually a mansion, and did I mention the mansion is haunted?  Gilda helps her cousin investigate her aunt's death that happened years ago.  And yes, in the end she manages to write a novel.

Gilda manages to get herself into a lot of trouble and she is pretty clumsy.  This book was very entertaining.  If someone reads to you and you close your eyes, you feel like you are watching a movie.  There are more books in this series and I would like to read them when I have more time.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Extra Credit by Andrew Clements

In December, I tried out for the Reading Classics team at my school.  I am on the team now.  We have to read books from a specific list and in March we compete by answering questions about the books.

Book Read:
Extra Credit (AR book level:  5.3)

I read this book for the Reading Classics team.  In the book, Abby Carson is not a very good student.  Well, she's good at it, but she doesn't get the point.  Her teacher tells her she has to repeat sixth grade.  So, she has to do an extra credit project.  She pulls a paper out of the project box and the assignment is that she has to write a letter to someone from any country she would want.  She picks Afghanistan because she loves the idea of climbing mountains, but in Illinois, where she lives, there are no mountains. 

I really liked this book because with every letter came a new surprise.    I liked learning about the similarities and differences between kids in the United States and kids in Afghanistan.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spiderwick Chronicles

Books Read (AR book level: 4.0 - 4.4)
The Field Guide
The Seeing Stone
Lucinda's Secret
The Ironwood Tree
The Wrath of Mulgarath

I loved the Spiderwick books.  In these books, three kids and their mom move into their great aunt's house.  Everyone thought that their Great Aunt Lucinda was cookoo.  The kids, Jared, Mallory and Simon use the dumb waiter at their house to go upstairs and go to the old attic.  There Jared found a secret library and in it a clue.  He didn't know what the clue was for, but later in the book he finds "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You".   The book tells about magical creatures who live in the invisible world around you.  The creatures from the book are real and want to get the Field Guide because they don't want to be discovered.  With help from their house brownie Thimbletack, the three children will have to save the book and their family.

I liked these books because they had magic and fantasy.  I am reading the book that the series in based on "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You" now.  I think that the Spiderwick series and the Field Guide are great books for any one who likes fantasy.  There is even a second series of books based on the Field Guide too.