Friday, February 26, 2010

Book review by Brittany

I read the book The Witches. The story is told by a boy. It takes place in Norway and England. The main characters are the witches, a boy, his grandma ,and a mouse. Grandma, tells the boy all about witches, how their bald and have no toes! Then she tells him about the kids who have disappeared such as Harald who tured in to stone. He moves to England after his parnets die, from a car crash. He goes to the hotel where his grandma is sick. He wanders around and he finds a room then goes in. He hides behide a screen and plays with his mice. All the sudden wicthes come in to the room...

I thought this was a magnificent book. I loved this book because when it told you about wicthes you could see them in your mind. My favorite part was when the mouse went in to the kitchen and got his tail cut off. The boy reminds me of me because my aunt always told me storys in her Donald Duck voice. Something interesting is the wicthes have blue spit and write with it. I highly recommed The Wicthes because it have so many details you might have a dream about it.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Book review by Lily

I read the book Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. The main characters are Mama, Papa, Esperanza, Miguel, Abuelita, and Isabel. It takes place in 1924 in Mexico and California. In this book a very tragic thing happens to Esperanza when a family member of hers passes away, her papa. Her uncle tried to force her mama to marry him but she said no. Then, he burned down her house, so she said I will think about it in order not to get hurt anymore. Finally she said yes but after that she made a plan to escape to California. Mama and Esperanza went with Miguel and his parents to California, but they had to leave Abuelita behind because she got hurt from the house fire. They met up with Miguel’s family in California and the next thing you know they moved in next door. Now they had to go to work since they lived in a Mexican migrant farming camp. Esperanza didn’t know how to work in the house so Isabel, her cousin, had to teach her how to work in the house doing chores and taking care of babies. Mama got sick from a dust storm so Esperanza had to go to work in the fields and packing plants. Then a strike happens. Esperanza and Miguel get in to a fight so Miguel leaves California, and no one knows where he went. Then mama gets better and Miguel returned with Abuelita and Esperanza learns that change can be good.

I loved this book! I liked it because it was a great book and it shows you that change can be good. My favorite part was when Miguel got back home to California with Abuelita. When Isabel learned to crochet and Esperanza said “don’t ever be afraid to start over” was another favorite part of the book. This book reminds me of Homeless Bird because both girls have to go live in another place, learn how to take care of themselves, and learn different jobs. I found it interesting and surprising that she bought a piƱata that looked like one she had back home. She was going to give it to her sick mama. Then some strikers came up to her asking for food and she looked at the kids. All of them looked so sad she gave them the caramel filed piƱata. I would recommend this book to everyone in my class, but I mostly recommend it to the girls in my class because it is about a girl that has to basically start her life over in a new place.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Book review by Charlie

The Battle of the Labyrinth is an amazing book with adventure and danger. The main character is Percy Jackson. Percy is an unusual half-blood (half Greek God half mortal) and is a kid of one of the three most powerful Greek Gods, Poseidon. One day, at Camp Half-Blood (Percy’s home), Percy falls into a giant statue which leads into a gigantic maze known as the LABYRINTH. When he gets out of the maze, he explains about the maze and is sent on a quest back in the maze with Annabeth (daughter of Athena), Grover (Satyr), and Tyson (Cyclops). Their job is to find Daedalus (inventor of the labyrinth) before the evil Titans do. Together they are on a dangerous journey, being attacked by monsters and Kronos (the Titan lord) at power. They must find Daedalus and get his help, but he’s closer than they think.
I really enjoyed reading The Battle of the Labyrinth because of its adventure and its danger. My favorite part was when a war broke out between the Olympians and the Titans. This is my favorite part because the characters are showing courage and commitment to their sides. One thing that I found was very interesting was that neither of the sides really won the battle. I think this is interesting because usually in books one side wins whether it’s the good guys, or the bad guys. One other thing I found interesting was that Kronos wasn’t exactly himself. I think this part was interesting too because when Percy sees him he’s not being himself. I think Percy Jackson is a bit like Harry Potter. Both books are about lonely boys growing up not knowing what they are, and both boys have great fame. I recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure, magic, danger, and a legend of a hero.

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

Book review by Kate

For my book report I did the Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo. It was a great mystery and part adventure story about a ten year old boy named Peter Augustus Duchene. Peter had a troublesome life. His father died at war and his mother died trying to give birth to his baby sister. But Peter doesn’t know his sister is alive or dead. Was his soldier instructor, Vilna Lutes, lying that Adele, his baby sister, is dead? And will an elephant actually appear in Europe? Well, that all does happen and an elephant does appear and crashes through in a magic act, but will the elephant ever help Peter? Will Peter ever find his sister Adele? You’ll see if you read the Magician’s Elephant.

Well, Peters adventure starts when he has a copper coin and uses it for a fortune teller so he can ask questions, but what he’s about to find out is that his sister is alive! And an elephant is going to help him find her. But Peter is thinking how, how can an elephant come to Europe? Well, he finds the elephant when a magic trick is being performed in a coliseum. And everyone was fascinated! But when Peter meets the elephant everything changes. And Adele is hoping she can find the elephant. That was my favorite part. I would absolutely recommend this book to others, and if I would rate this book one to ten I would rate it a ten because it was very exciting.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Who Was Anne Frank?

Book review by Aria

I read the book Who Was Anne Frank? Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl who lived in Amsterdam when World War II broke out in 1939. She became famous when her diary was published after her death. The main characters are Anne, her parents Otto and Edith Frank, her older sister Margot Frank, and friends Meip Gies, Jan Gies and the VanPels family. Anne and her family go through many struggles along the way. In the book the author explains in detail the family’s life in the “Secret Annex.” Anne has many hopes and scares while in hiding. She ends up liking the VanPels son and she almost gets caught when someone drops a bag of rice. The ending is sad when Anne, her sister and mother die in a concentration camp.

This is a good book because it has many facts and details about Anne’s life. My favorite part is about her childhood. One story is when Anne and a friend sprinkled water from the balcony on the pedestrians below. Another favorite part is when the Franks made their own movie theater including refreshments and ticket takers. At this time, Jewish people were not allowed to go to the public movie theaters. I learned Anne was very outspoken at an early age. While in hiding, it was interesting to learn how quiet the people had to be. Any noise could get them caught by the police.
I hope you will read the book to find out more about World War II history and Anne Frank.

The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman

Book review by Michelle

My book review is about the book The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman. The main characters are Judy, Sam, Kelsey and Brenton. They only have two things in common; they are all in 5th grade and HATE HOMEWORK! Then suddenly all four of their worlds are turned upside-down by this crazy homework machine. What are they supposed to do, keep using it or leave it alone? Always do homework or no homework ever again?!

I thought this was a good book. I like this book because it always keeps you excited and you never know what is going to happen next. My favorite part was when you meet all of the characters because you get to see what the book is really going to be about. If I had a homework machine I would use it, and it would definitely help. One thing I found surprising and interesting is how close their friendships got. It’s hard to find a good friend. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure. They would love it. I would rate this book a 9 out of 10.

Dispatch from Vancouver

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls by Meg Cabot

Book review by Charlotte

I read the book Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: Stage Fright. It was a really good book. The main character is Allie Finkle. There are a lot of other main too including; Sophie, Caroline, and Erica are her BFFS. Her enemies are m & d, Marianne and Dominique, and Cheyenne makes fun of her all of the time! This book takes place at Allie's house, Erica's house and their school. In this book Allie and her class make a play about a princess named Penelope and the realm of recycling. Now the pressure is on and Sophie and Allie are trying out for the part of Princess Penelope so Cheyenne, their enemy, won't get it. At the same time Allie's mom drops the bomb that she got another job as a movie reviewer. In the end the play ends up being really good.

I liked this book because it has good humor. My favorite part was when all of the drama started. When Sophie spat out at Allie because of her shoes. She said they ruined the whole play. One of the things that I found interesting was when Allie didn't get the part of Penelope. I would recommend this book to any girl, but you have to read the series in order to know what has happened.

The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Book review by Nina

I read ThePrincess Academy. The whole book is told through Miri’s point of view. She lives on Mt. Eskel, a city in the country of Danlan. When the priests of Danlan announce that Mt. Eskel is the home of the future princess all girls under the age of 18 are forced to go to the academy. But when competition is fierce, it is up to Miri to save them all.

I thought this was an awesome book. There were a lot of similes. I liked it because there were so many cliff hangers that I just couldn’t stop reading. I thought it was surprising when everything was perfect. Then a twist came in the story and the girls got captured. I would recommend this book to everyone in our class.

Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Book review by Enya

In Once Upon a Marigold the main characters are Christian, Marigold and an Elf, Christian’s foster parent. It takes place in a far away city. In the book Christian goes on a great adventure to find a job at the castle. He is in love with a princess there and he needs to knock it off when he gets a job on the patio. The patio is where the princess likes to go. She is either out there playing with her pet dogs or writing letters to her best friend who lives across the river. She doesn’t even know this person. This mysterious person ends up being Christian.

I thought that this book was a great page turner. I liked it because I thought it was a great read and I liked the content of it. I usually don’t like books with fairy tales or princesses. I thought this book was great! My favorite part is the end because it is probably the most predictable part. Probably the most happy too! I don’t think that this book wasn’t like any other because it was happy, sad, funny, and all around just a great book. I would recommend this book to everybody because the main characters are a boy and a girl.

Eragon by Christopher Paulini

Book review by Ella

In the book Eragon the main characters are Eragon, the boy, Broom, Eragon's helper, Saphiria, the dragon, Durza, the evil shade, and the Varden, the dissenters. In this book Eragon finds a dragon egg but thinks it’s really a stone. The stone hatches while he is sleeping and he raises the dragon to be big and strong. The only problem was that the evil king Galibox banned dragons in fear that they will hatch, find there rider and take away his power. When the king finds out he sends the rasac to kill Eragon, but instead they kill his uncle. Eventually Broom finds him and tells him he is going to take him to the Varden so he can trane Eragon and defeat the king. When they get to the Varden they find out that Durza the evil shade and the king have ordered an attack against the Varden to destroy them. When they come there is a great battle. I can not tell you anything else except the ending is good.

I thought this book was great because the detail the author gave was good and I enjoyed the book. I also thought it was too long because it takes forever to read and the character Eragon went way too many places. Over all I rate this books 8 out of 10. I think this book would be good for grades 5-8.

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell

Book Review by Bella

I read the book Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell. The main characters are Nikki, Mackenzie, Chloe, Zoe and Nikki's mom and dad. The story takes place in the current time. It is about a girl named Kikki who wants two things - a cell phone, and to fit in at her new school. First, she bought a phone off eBay, but it was a pay phone. Later, she got a present and she thought it was an iPhone, but it was a journal. When she moves she gets a locker next to a girl named Mackenzie who is the most popular girl in school. She is in the PPC Club, which stands for the Pretty, Popular, Cute Club. Everyone crowds around Mackenzie's locker, and Nikki can never get to her locker, so she starts to write in her journal. She writes about her life and what it is like to be the new girl at school.

If I could rate this book 1 to 10 I'd rate it a 1,000,000,000,000,000! It was the BEST BOOK EVER! The story was funny, and it reminded me of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. My favorite part was when Mackenzie passed a party invitation and Nikki thought it was for her, but it wasn't. I would recommend this book to every girl in our class because it was a good story for girls. The most surprising thing was how important Nikki's journal became to her when she really didn't want it in the beginning of the book.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dispatch from Vancouver

It was so exciting to see Lindsey win her Gold Medal in the Downhill! We were all screaming and jumping up and down, and after the race she climbed over 4 fences to get to us so she could give us all hugs. We went to two celebrations after the race and also went to the Medals Ceremony where they awarded her the Gold Medal. I was very proud to see her on the top step of the podium and hear our national anthem. My uncle took my picture with Lindsey (and her Gold Medal!) but I won't be able to share it until we get home.
Today was the Super Combined which has one shortened Downhill run and one Slalom run (with lots more gates). Lindsey was in the lead after the Downhill run, but near the bottom of the Slalom run, she was trying very hard to ski fast and caught a tip of her ski on the wrong side of the gate and fell. Hopefully she'll have a great race on Saturday in the Super G and bring home another medal!

The Boy Who Dared

Book Review by Cody

I read the book The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. It's about a young boy named Helmuth and the life he lived when the Nazis and Hitler were in power in Germany. All the Germans thought Hitler and the Nazis were great because they were so tough and their speeches were powerful and convincing. But some of the Germans thought Hitler and the Nazis were suspicious and suddenly Hitler began banning all different country's books, buying goods from Jewish businesses, forcing German citizens to sing nothing but German songs and forcing them to listen only to German radio stations. When Helmuth was young, he thought he was going to grow up to be a Nazi because many told him he would some day be a great soldier.

Once Helmuth got older, he began to realize that all the Nazis stood for was wrong and they were headed for war. As Hitler and the Nazis defeated one country after another, the countries started to team up with each other to try to defeat the Nazis. The Nazis were making progress until they got trapped on the British border line. But on German radio stations, it reported that they were OK and that everything was good. But Helmuth's family (his two brothers, his mom and his step-dad) had an illegal radio and Helmth's brother told him to put it away and never get it out again for fear of getting caught by the Gestapo. But Helmuth took the radio out and listened, against his brother's wishes.

Helmuth listened to the BBC radio station which was illegal, and learned that the Germans had not been truthful about what they were reporting and he brought his friends over to listen to it too. They were all very nervous when they listened to it. Helmuth thought of a plan to make flyers about what was really happening during the war. His friends helped him make the flyers but Helmuth said if they got caught they could blame everything on him. He met a new friend and decided to show him the flyers. Little did he know that his so-called friend was going to turn on him and tell the Gestapo. His friends did what Helmuth told them to do from the start and blamed it all on him. All the friends went to court and since all of them blamed Helmuth, he was executed and the rest served different amounts of time in jail.

Dispatch from Vancouver

Dispatch from Vancouver

We're having a fun time even though Lindsey's first event has been postponed to Thursday because of too much rain and warm temperatures. We went to a party at the Red Bull house and Lindsey was there. It was good to see her. Lots of TV people were there too. Today we went skiing and went almost to the top of Whistler Mountain. We also watched part of the Men's Downhill race from the hill which was fun. Bode Miller (from the USA) won the Bronze. One more day before Lindsey's first race, the Downhill. I'll write more soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

A Review by Sayaan

The Boy Who Dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti is a dynamic, suspenseful story about Helmuth Hubner, a brave kid who tried to tell the truth. Helmuth lived in Germany while Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer, was in power. This book is histroical fiction based on a real person. During World War II, Hitler lied about how Germany was winning the war. Helmuth's brother Gerhard bought a radio on the black market. Helmuth listened to the English news when it was verboten. Helmuth and his friends put flyers about the truth everywhere in the town. Then Helmuth gets caught for putting the flyers everywhere. He goes in jail for more than a year.

I would rate this book a billion out of 10 (one being the worst and ten being best). It is a very exciting book because it is super suspenseful and you don't know what is going to happen to Helmuth and his friends. My favorite part was when Helmuth puts the flyers around the town. Something that surprised me was that Helmuth was a real person. I would recommend this book to everyone because it is a fantastic book with a surprising ending.