Monday, February 22, 2016

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Reviewed by: Ian, age 11

It moves slowly, but speeds at times. The end is nice makes you feel that Buck and John have a special bond. Buck gets in a dramatic fight with Spitz the "Devil Dog" of the team.

John is my favorite character because he has faith in Buck to help him. John helps Buck back to strength and Buck helps him out of countless problems. 

Genre: Fiction 

Setting: Alaska, Arctic circle  

Introduction: Buck has a lovely house, owner, and food. But one day he gets taken away and sold to be a sled dog... 

Themes: Eat or be eaten, Loyalty, Standing for what is right, and Strength in the hardest of times. 

Recommended Age: 11 and up

Full Disclosure: Sometimes a bit savage. "Dogs eats Dogs".

Rating: 4 stars

Other Books: White Fang 

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl

Reviewed by:Bronwen, age 8

the Magic Finger because it was pretty easy to read. It has no chapters at all. It is fantastic! There is so much imagination! 
It is by Roald Dahl, so it is amazing! when I read it changed my life with stories ! 

Genre: Fiction  

Setting: the Country

Introduction:the  Magic Finger is about a girl who has a magic finger and turns her friends into birds! They  make a nest and live in it then three giant ducks come and start living in their house!


Themes: Family, Friendship, 

Recommended Age: 7 and up, younger for read alouds

Rating: 5 stars

Other Books: The BFG,  The Twits, The Witches, and    George's Marvelous  Medicine, Matilda, James and The Giant Peach, and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The BFG by Roald Dahl

Reviewed by: Bronwen, age 8 

I think you will love this book. It made me want to read more! It helps me want to be nicer to my siblings and family members.

Genre: Fiction

Setting: Giant Country and London, England

Introduction: A little girl named Sophie meets a friendly giant. He takes her to his home and she finds out that the other giants are much taller than her friendly giant. The other giants are also bullies who like to eat children. Sophie and the BFG try to trap the other giants so that they won't eat any more children.

Themes: Friendship, kindness, bullies, friends can be different

Recommended Age: 7-11

Rating: 5 stars

Other books : The Magic Finger, The Twits, The Witches, and    George's Magical Medicine, Matilda, James and The Giant Peach, and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling

Reviewed by: Bronwen, age 8

I love this book because it inspires me to read more. My favorite characters are Hermione and Harry because they are smart and brave. I like Dumbledore because he is funny and wise and intelligent. I hope you love this book.

Genre: fiction

Setting: present-day England


Harry Potter is a eleven year old  boy who lives  with his horrible aunt  and uncle, but one day, his life changes ...

Themes: family, bravery, smart is good, magic

Recommended Age: 8 and up

Full Disclosure: none

Rating: 5 stars

Other Books:  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Pottery and the Deathly Hallows

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Alchemist

Reviewed by: Henry, Age 13

A wonderful book with great life lessons.

Genre: Allegory

Setting: Asia (mostly)


A young shepherd is having the same dream about the pyramids and treasure over and over. While in a town, he meets a strange man who claims he is a king. He inspires the boy to follow his dream and find his treasure. Along the way he learns great lessons.

Themes: Personal goals, greatness, happiness, learning, destiny, wisdom, and other things.

Recommended Age: 11 and up.

Full Disclosure: nothing

Rating: 5 stars

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Freedom Factor by Gerald R. Lund

Reviewed by: Kimball, age 15

This book was a great read. The speculation of an America with no Constitution was interesting and eye-opening. This book was written in the 80s and it's startling to compare times then to times now, even with the Constitution. It also gave important insight into political corruption and how politicians use each other. The protagonist's controversial political views are also interesting, and I found myself wondering if some people who read this book today would think that the amendment his party proposes in the beginning would be a good one to actually add to the Constitution, and have to read the rest of the book to learn why it would not be.

Genre: fiction

Setting: America


Bryce Sherwood is a dedicated proponent of the 29th amendment bill, proposed to "give government  back to the people." It would allow congress to pass a vote of no-confidence in the president and oust him if he creates an impasse between the legislative and executive branches. Sherwood does not realize how this affects the system of checks and balances, and believes the Constitution should be updated. But then he meets Leslie Adams-- a member of the Save the Constitution group and an outspoken opponent of the bill. Despite their differences, they find themselves falling in love. But Bryce hasn't changed his mind in the least, and so drastic measures are taken. Nathaniel Gorham, a little-known founding father from Massachusetts, comes from the spirit world to show Bryce the error of his ways. Gorham gets into Bryce's personal life-- he appears on Good Morning America in an episode only he can see, he shows up at dinner during an important speech he attends, and ultimately ruins his relationship with Leslie, all the time attempting to teach and lecture him about the bill's effects and the importance of the Constitution. When all else fails, Gorham transports Bryce to an alternate reality. Bryce doesn't know why things are so different: the police are so oppressive, the borders are different (the original colonies are no longer part of the United States) and the Declaration of Independence has a death sentence attached to it. When Bryce finally finds Gorham again, he learns the horrible truth about the universe he has been roughly ejected into: the Constitution of the United States was never ratified.

Themes: know when you're being used, the Constitution is vital to freedom, checks and balances hold the entire Constitution together

Recommended Age: 13

Rating: 5 stars

Monday, August 10, 2015

Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue by Tom Angleberger

Reviewed by: Kimball, age 15

This book was the conclusion of the FunTime story arc in the Origami Yoda series. The ending is brilliant
and the message is stronger than before. This book will change your perception of characters from the previous books. This book also directly links its analogous "FunTime" program (a parody of Common Core) with Common Core itself by stating that FunTime meets the Common Core standards. I think this book does a very good job of forcefully expressing the author's views in a non-partisan way.

Genre: fiction

Setting: McQuarrie Middle School


Someone has stolen Tommy's latest case file and given it to Rabbski in an attempt to prove the Origami Rebel Alliance are the good guys. The mysterious person's notes to the principal are pasted throughout the book-- but if Rabbski doesn't listen to them, the students are in huge trouble.
The students have won a major victory against the FunTime Menace-- but it doesn't feel major anymore. Nothing's really changed, because they're still watching FunTime and haven't gotten their electives back. Rebels are losing resolve and support for the Origami Rebellion is dropping. And to make matters worse, Origami Yoda's advice starts taking a turn for the dubious. He wants them to show the case file to their evil principal! But they can't follow or ignore the usually wise puppet's advice, because someone steals it anyway, and the one question in Tommy's mind is-- who?

Themes: don't judge people until you really know them, standardized curriculum is not a good thing, stand by your friends

Recommended Age: 12 and up

Full Disclosure:

There is a controversial chapter in the book in which the word "gay" is used. Two bullies pick on Murky for wearing a pink shirt. They prank him so that he doesn't end up getting into the school picture. Tater Tot, who knows these bullies, tells Sara about it, and the students Photoshop Murky into the school picture and give the bullies pink shirts. The reason the author included this chapter was because of an incident from his own childhood in which a friend was bullied in the same way, and the story didn't have the happy ending as shown in the book. The chapter's message is that people should be tolerant of others, not whether homosexuality is right or wrong.

Rating: 4 stars

Other Books:  The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Darth Paper Strikes Back, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett, Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus