Saturday, October 22, 2011


by Deborah Howe
Meet Harold the dog who tells a tale of mystery. Is that bunny, Bunnicula, truly a vampire? Well, if you ask Chester the cat, you might find out. Funny and mysterious. Check your celery for fang marks the next time you look in the veggie drawer.
Review originally appeared at

Alvin Ho Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things

by Lenore Look
At home, Alvin Ho, second-grader, is Firecracker Man, but, at school, he won't say a word. He's Alvin Ho and he doesn't talk at school. He does have one friend, Flea, who wears an eye patch and walks with a peg leg. How can Alvin learn what he needs to know about the world, such as how to make friends, how to be a gentleman, how to stop being so afraid?

Review originally appeared at


by Donna Jo Napoli
Albert has an enormous heart. He lives in the city and cares very much for the birds who come near his window. He cares so much that one day he sticks his arm out of the window and ....what happens next is a wonderful story of compassion and giving your all to help someone else.
Review originally appeared at 

Al Capone Does My Shirts

by Gennifer Choldenko
Twelve-year-old Moose Flanagan, his sister, Natalie, and his parents have just moved into their new home and their new lives on Alcatraz Island. Dad has a new job working for the prison, and Moose has a new job trying to make a place for himself and coping with Natalie who is autistic. The family is trying to find a school for Natalie and trying to make the struggles with Natalie seem as normal as possible, so Dad doesn't lose his position. A lot of responsibility falls on the shoulders of Moose, and he slowly comes to the realization that he needs the help of the most famous inmate, Al Capone.
Review originally appeared at

A Corner of the Universe

by Ann Martin
Hattie lives with her family in their home which has been turned into a boarding house. She knows all the boarders and their peculiarities. She can't walk around town without word getting back to her family about where she's been and with whom she's been talking. It's a world of order and familiarity, until she learns one day that she has another uncle, Adam, who has been away at school since he was 12. Now he's 21, and he's coming home, but Adam doesn't quite fit into the orderly world Hattie has known. He has problems ... mental problems. What will the world look like with Adam in it? Profoundly moving!
Review originally appeared at

4 Kids in 5E and 1 Crazy Year

by Virginia Francis Schwartz
You have been sent here to room 5E because the E stands for Excellence says the new teacher, Ms. Hill. Willie's first thought is she's made a mistake and that E is for error. The school is overcrowded with fifth graders and a special class has been created pulling students from each fifth grade class. Destiny, Willie, Giovanni and Max are the four students whose hearts and minds we will share. Ms. Hill is about to work some magic with this group as she coaxes them to try and to reach inside to find their very best selves. As they open themselves, they begin to see the strengths in those around them. Through their journal entries we mee the girl who can keep a secret and the boy who is trying to survive in spite of the great pain he is experiencing. Then, there is the boy who is afraid he will fall behind and everyone else will succeed. The fears and the hopes of the students make this a powerful story.

Review originally appeared at

Saturday, October 8, 2011


by Ingrid Law
When her father gets into a car accident, Mibs must use her savvy, or magical ability, to wake him from his coma. Check out Savvy, Ingrid Law’s award-winning first novel.  Reviewed by Kidzworld.

The Birchbark House

by Louise Erdrich
The Birchbark House is a great book. It is about an Indian girl named Omakayas. She was found and adopted by her new family. All the people in the village where she lived died of smallpox. Omakayas does not know that she was adopted. Her new family takes good care of her and treats her like their own daughter. Then Omakayas' family gets sick with smallpox, after a person who was infected with the disease was brought to the village and burned. Luckily, Omakayas doesn't get the disease. To find out if her family recovers from the disease you will have to read the book.
       This book was very interesting. I really enjoyed reading it. I especially liked the book because there was no magic in the book. This story can actually happen in real life and at that time. I found many interesting characters like Omakayas. She is very playful and caring. I especially like when Omakayas helped a little bird that hurt its wing. I liked what she did because I am a bird lover. This book is unique because when you read it because you feel like you are in the story. You won't want to put it down.  Reviewed by AW at the Spaghetti Book Club.

Kate and the Beanstalk

by Mary Pope Osborn
A starving little girl named Kate was supposed to trade her cow for money to buy food. Instead of trading for money, she traded their only cow for magic beans. Kate gave her mother the beans, but her mother got very angry and she was disappointed at Kate. Kate's mom threw the beans out the window and overnight a beanstalk grew. Kate climbed the beanstalk and when she got to the top she saw a castle. She met a fairy who told her a story about a giant who killed a good knight and took over his castle and his three treasures. Now the giant and his wife live in the castle. The fairy wanted Kate to do three tasks to get back the treasures. Kate had to steal a chicken that laid golden eggs, a bag full of golden coins, and a magical harp that plays by itself. She went in the castle to do the tasks. If you want to find out if Kate completes the tasks, read this book. Reviewed by Nitzan, Dylan, and Tom at the Spaghetti Book Club.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


by Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats isn't too suprised to find himself at Camp Green Lake, digging holes in the dried-up lake bed, day after scorching day. After all, his family has a history of bad luck.
The boys at Camp Green Lake must dig one hole each day, five feet deep and five feet across. But what are they digging for? Why did Green Lake dry up? And what do onions and lizards have to do with it all? The answers lie in Stanley's own past...

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

by Jon Scieszka
You may think you know the story of the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf – but only one person knows the real story. And that person is A. Wolf. His tale starts with a birthday cake for his dear old granny, a bad head cold, and a bad reputation. The rest (as they say) is history.  Review by the Teaching Library.

Flat Stanley

by Jeff Brown
Stanley Lambchop wakes up one morning to find a  bulletin board has dropped on him in the night, leaving him happy and healthy, but only half an inch thick. It’s a little unusual, but he finds he can fly like a kite, be sent on a vacation through the mail and can use his special new skills to catch some art thieves. Still, he’s glad when his brother Arthur thinks to use the bicycle pump to inflate him back to his normal shape.  Reviewed by the Teaching Library.