Monday, April 16, 2012

Number The Stars

Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry

Review by Cora, age 11.

This book takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark in September 1943, the third year of the Nazi occupation of Denmark.  A 10 year old girl named Annmarie has a friend named Ellen, who is Jewish. The Nazi's are taking all Jewish people to a relocation far away, so Annmarie and her family try  to hide Ellen's family at their uncle's house just off the border of Switzerland, but find out that hiding from the Nazis is a lot harder then it sounds.  The Nazis are everywhere!  There are many times where Ellen's family is nearly discovered.  That kept me turning the pages!

Annmarie and Ellen weren't exactly real people, but they were based on childhood's friends of the author.

It must have been sometimes boring and sometimes scary to stay hidden all the time for Ellen.  I can't imagine how hard it must have been.

There is also a character named Peter, who helped the Jews escape to Switzerland. He was a real historical person and a hero.

I think Lois Lowry wrote this book to help us not forget about this time in history.  It was not just a boring history book because of all the exciting things that were happening and there was always excitement in every chapter.

I read it in two days because I couldn't put it down!

I recommend it for all ages, unless you're a young child who is easily scared.  

The Willoughbys

The Willoughbys
by Lois Lowry
Review by Annalise Rose, age 10.

The main characters names are Timothy, he is the oldest, and then there are the twins, Barnaby and Barnaby, most people just called them Barnaby A and Barnaby B. Then there was little Jane, the youngest and the only girl, besides her mother of course.  They lived in a tall thin house, with an attic as a play room.  Whenever Timothy, or Tim for short did not like something none of the other kids were allowed to like it either.

One day they found a baby at their door step! They brought the baby in the house to show their mother. When they showed the child to their mother she just wanted to drop it of somewhere, but Jane did not want her to, because she thought it  looked cute with its little curls. Then her mother walked over and cut off her curls, and jane did not think it is cute anymore. You might guess from this that the mother was mean!

One day the kids mother and father got invitations for a free ship ride called The Reprehensible Travel Agency, which the children had sent to the house in order to possibly get rid of their rotten parents (they were hoping a giant squid would eat them).  Of course that would mean a baby sitter for the children left behind. They went through so many baby sitters, till finally a plump little lady got the job!

Did the parents get eaten? And by the way, if you think the children were mean for planning this, you should see how the parents try to get rid of the children! HINT: they've been reading too much Hansel and Gretel!
I would recommend  it! It's a great read aloud book.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

J.F.K. (John Fitzgerald Kennedy)

By Delaney McDonald, grade 6.

My story about J.F.K. is a very important story it’s about his childhood, his teenage and young adult years, and then his presidency and death. As we already know J.F.K was the 35th president of the United States of America or USA for short. He did miraculous things for our country and he didn’t stop trying until he accomplished it.  The world would be very different if John Fitzgerald Kennedy never became president of the USA. Many people didn’t like what he did at first but they got used to it. He always tried to good and never tried to do anything badly. Now let’s begin with his childhood.

            As a child J.F.K. was sick all the time. Everyone called him jack so that’s what I will call him as well. He had a high fever one time and got VERY sick. He is only 2 and a half and there is no rooms in the hospital for him. His mother Rose should not even try to take care of him. He needs to go to the hospital. It is not healthy for Rose to take care of Jack because she is about to have her fourth child soon. You see Jack had a very bad disease called scarlet fever. Scarlet fever is very dangerous it could kill you! The best medical assistant comes by and sees how bad jack is. And fortunately he got jack in the best hospital in town.

            Every day after work Jacks father would come and visit him. The father was so scared Jack was going to die because Jack was in the hospital for two months! Luckily Jacks fever started to go down a little bit and Jack went home on the end of the second month. Jack had two sisters the first sisters was named Rosemary and the other named Kathleen. Kathleen was the child about to be born. Then Jack had one brother named Joe Jr.                   

            Now let’s learn about Jacks teenage and early adult years. Jacks teenage years were sometimes crazy and sometimes cool.  In 1935 Jack graduated from Choate.  Jack also went to Harvard University. Then Nazis crossed the Cologne Bridge during Germany’s invasion of Rhineland in1936! That act of aggression threw the nation of Europe in to conflict. Then in 2000 (when I was born) Hasbro Toy Company made a doll of Jack! Later on Rose Kennedy’s challenges encouraged her family to help others. Jack had a bad school report one time.  It read “English 86, Latin 55, History 77, Mathematics 95, Science 72, and Religion 75”.

His grades were not very good were they? As you can see Jacks worst subject was Latin. Most students (for an unknown reason) had to learn Latin. No one really knows why but it seemed to be very important to people back then. His schools were both in Connecticut. Jacks high school was teaching a catholic education.

            Are you ready to learn about Jacks presidency and death? I thought so. As a president Jack got to do all sorts of cool stuff. Jack got to of course be president. Jack got to meet many voters all the time! A man named Bobby worked closely with Jack all the time! I bet he got tired. Now I could go on and on about his presidency. But if I did that then I would have absolutely no room for his death.

            Now Jack’s death was so sad to everyone to see him die. Jack got shot in the head by a man named Lee Harvey Oswald. Lee got caught and arrested on November 23. A lot of people came to his funeral. People traveled all across the world to see his funeral.

Jack did so many things for the world. He died protecting us and giving people rights. He is the one who inspired Martin Luther King Jr. to be president and help people. Without Jack the world would probably be a very bad place. Jack was amazing! So the next time when you feel like giving up remember how Jack never gave up and how he made a difference in the world.    

                        THE END

            This story was dedicated to everyone who needs to be encouraged.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Princess and the Goblin

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

Review by Annalise, age 10.

The princess and the goblin is a great book for people who like young but brave princesses, and a lot of adventure. It is a great book.  I would recommended it.  The main character's name is Irene, and she is a very curious princess. One of her good friends name is Curdie. Curdie is a miner boy, who lives in the mountains. But sometimes Curdie and Irene get on each other's nerves. When Curdie and Irene meet Irene's nurse Lootie (who watches Irene)  Lootie did not like Curdie because he was just a minor boy and she didn't trust him.  But in the end Lootie decides he is not so bad after all. 

Curdie is a very important character because one day when he is sleeping against a rock, he hears goblins talking about invading the palace!  He goes and tells his parents first (they sort of believe him).  He waits a while before telling Irene because they are not getting along.

Irene has a grandma living in the tower but Curdie doesn't believe her and that's another reason why they aren't getting along very well.

The goblins invade the palace through the holes in the boards of the floor!  By the time Curdie decides to tell what he knows about the goblins, they are already coming up through the floor!  The goblins have their own creatures called the Cobs too and Irene gets chased by one that looks like a long legged cat.  There are many others, some of them have clown heads, and they are all a little freaky!

Usually when you read books about princesses they are usually very proper.  But Irene is curious and trusts herself, which I like!

P.S.  We just found out that a famous choreographer named Twyla Tharp did a ballet based on this story!

Monday, March 5, 2012

War Horse

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Review by Cora, age 11.

War Horse takes place in World War 1, where a young colt named Joey grows up on a farm
 with his owner and best friend Albert. But when the war starts Joey is separated from Albert and sent to France to fight.  They needed the horses for pulling carts and riding into battles.  I think this is interesting because my mom didn't know that!   Albert is too young to be a soldier.

Joey wonders if the war will ever end and if it does ever end will he find Albert again?  I liked that it felt like I was reading a book that was written by a horse!  Except this horse had good spelling.  Hahahaha!

War Horse is a great book with excitement and adventure. I loved War Horse because it has a great beginning and end of the book  The middle was good too.

Joey is a unique horse with a white cross on his forehead and has a sun burst red coat. He tries to find Albert after he was sent off to war and meets many friends, like a horse named Topthorn, along the way. War Horse was made into a movie as well but i would suggest reading the book before the movie and if you're like me, you'll have to get it at the Redbox or something because we missed it at the theater!  


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Brave Potatoes

This is my children's all time, hands down, flat out, for sure, tru dat, favorite book for forever.  And ever.

I actually don't really know why... it's a little strange, a little nonsensical, a little bizarre.  The rhymes are odd and change patterns.  The illustrations are cute but they don't really pop and they aren't full of bright colors.

There's just something about it though...

Basically the plot is this:  the potatoes are spunky little moms and dads and spuds who sneak off from the county fair at night and head out to ride the Zip.  They're fearless, you see.

But Hackemup the chef is a ruthless vegetable killer and he's got his mouth set on some taters...

He potatonaps the heroes and brings em back to his kitchen...for his soup, for his stew, for his chowder and his brew...

What other book will teach your four year French cooking terms?

Of course, our brave potatoes rebel and what comes of Hackemup we'll never know...
...would you care to taste the soup?

We no longer own our copy which is a shame because I believe it's out of print.  Nevertheless, we all have the entire thing memorized and like to shout out things like,

Get in line, potatoes! Now the end is near!  The cabbages are quaking! The onions are in tears!


Have you heard the story yet of Idaho and Juliette?  A spud by any other name is still a spud and tastes the same.


Potatoes never listen.  Potatoes have no ears.

 Read it to your spuds today.  You'll be quoting in no time.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wednesday Wars

Guest writer:
Delaney McDonald

"Wednesday Wars"

This was a funny book about a boy named Hooling Hoodhood and all his junior high suffering from his teacher Ms. Baker, his family and other kids in his classroom. It takes place during the Vietnam War, and Mr. Baker’s husband is in the war and MIA (missing in action). Heather, Hoolings sister is a war sympathetic and is very strange. She becomes a flower child and her parent’s disapprove of her support against the war.   Hooling is a boy who thinks his teacher is out to get him and make his junior high days miserable. This story is great because there are rats, fighting, adventure, family problems and so much more. It made me think about my own life in some ways too, so that was cool. The main theme is all about Hooling and how he copes with becoming his own person, instead of a gutless wimp that his sister calls him.  His teacher Ms. Baker makes him read Shakespeare, tear apart complicated sentences, etc. He has a active imagination and loves books about adventures. When he gets suckered into doing a Shakespeare play he finds out how much he loves Shakespeare and how good of an actor he is. He even makes people cry. In the end everything works out. Ms. Bakers husband is found, Hooling finds out Ms. Baker actually is helping him and not torturing him and the bullies stop picking on him. I give this book 3 ½ stars. It would get more, but it’s really long!