Friday, June 25, 2010

Miss Spitfire by Sarah Miller

Miss Spitfire will make you cry or be happy for the girl named Helen Keller. When Helen was born she was healthy and fine. When she was 18 months old she got a really bad fever that caused her to be deaf and blind. Her parents knew she needed help so they hired a woman named Annie Sullivan to teach Helen Keller sign language and Braille. Annie Sullivan helped Helen. They find out that they get along together. Helen grew up and went to college, she wrote her biography, and became a hero to other people. Annie stayed with Helen for many years.

At the end of the book is a list of places to get more information about Helen Keller.

Linnette Chavez Bravo, 7th grade

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Bethie had a older sister named Elizabeth who died at age 13. Bethie actually never knew anything about her sister. Bethie is now 13 and her mother calls her Elizabeth. Bethie's mom is having a mental breakdown, and her parents drive Bethie to her aunt's house in a different town and they leave her there. Bethie starts wondering why they left her there.
Her aunt, her cousin, and people in the town act strangely around her. Bethie tries to figure out why. What she finds out confuses and angers her.
I felt as puzzled as Bethie when she was left at her aunt's house without knowing what was happening. I would be shocked also to know that I had a sister that I didn't know about for 13 years.
Nimsi Canales, Grade 8

Friday, January 29, 2010

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time so you could change something bad to good?
Miranda and Sal have been best friends since they were little, but everything changed when Sal got punched in the stomach. After that, Sal acted like he didn't want to be friends anymore, Miranda's extra house key goes missing, and her father's shoe disappears. Then a mysterious note comes for Miranda that says, "I am coming to save your friend's life, and my own. I ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter." The notes keep coming and they say things that no one else knows, events that happen in the future. Miranda does as the notes say and she begins writing the letter, but she doesn't know who the letter is for until the end.

When You Reach Me is also related to a book called A Wrinkle in Time. Miranda is reading A Wrinkle in Time, which is also about time traveling. A Wrinkle in Time is a book you can check out in the library.

Jason De Leon, 12 years old, 7th grade

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Misfits by James Howe

Bobby Goodspeed is a misfit at Paintbrush Falls Middle School. Not only is he a misfit but his friends are too. Skeezie is like a small version of Elvis Presley, Addie will do anything to stop injustice, and Joe is a gay boy who changes his name at least twice every week. The other kids call them names like marshmallow fluff, lardo, stupid, idiot, know-it-all, etc. In order to stop the name-calling, Bobby, Joe, Addie, and Skeezie start a new political party for the school student council elections. The election doesn't go as they planned, but they actually made an impact at school and no one is name calling anymore. But there is more to the ending and if you want to find out read the book. It really got my attention. The book relates to people at school right now.

Juan Garcia, 8th grade, 13 years old

Calvin Coconut: The Zippy Fix by Graham Salisbury

Stella is always teasing Calvin. She calls him names and makes fun of him. One day, Calvin decides to do something about it, but then the guilt is killing him. I loved Calvin Coconut. He teaches us that when you do something bad to someone it doesn't make you happy, I can't wait to read the next book coming out, Dog Heaven.

Xiomara Mijango, 7th grade, 12 years old

Basketball Bats By Betty Hicks

The Bats are an unbeatable basketball team. The Tigers are an unbeatable team, too. The Tigers challenge the Bats to play Around the World. The Bats are worried because the Tigers have a player that's older, faster, and better than them. Both teams are good, but who will win?

Jesse Alexander Polio, 13 years old

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rose by Jeff Smith

Rose is a story of a battle between good and evil. The good people and the good dragon battle bad rat creatures and the bad dragons.
I liked how the illustrator, Charles Vass, showed how the world started. Jeff Smith should write a sequel.
Carlos Ortiz Melendez, 11 years old