Eagle Eye on Magic Treehouse



This is actually a Magic Tree House book about the Wild West.  It is called Ghost Town at Sundown and I liked this book.  Jack and Annie go to a ghost town and see a ghost, but it is a friendly ghost.  But then they hear horse hooves coming into the ghost town but they are actually bandits who have stolen a cowboys herd of horses.  Jack and Annie get the herd back and the cowboy writes a book.  You have to read the rest of the book to find out the whole story.  It is worth reading and is exciting the whole way through.





The book I read is Dingoes at Dinnertime and it is a Magic Tree House Book.  The reason I like Magic Tree House books is because they are very interesting and they are usually about history.  This book takes place in Australia.  In the book there is a forest fire and Jack and Annie meet a mama kangaroo with its joey in her pouch.  The mama kangaroo gets chased by a pack of wild dogs and she takes off hopping to where Jack and Annie can’t see her and then she throws her baby to safety and then leads the wild dogs away when they chase her.  Then the forest fire gets bigger and soon the whole forest is getting burnt.  Annie runs off to get a koala bear.  I learned that forest fires are a threat to koala bears because they can’t move very fast.  The adventures continue as jack and Annie try to escape from the forest fire.  But you will have to read the book in order to hear the end.  I thought this book was good and I learned a lot from it. 



Dolphins At Daybreak is another Magic Tree House Book.  Jack and Annie go to a coral reef and see dolphins, a hammerhead shark, and an octopus which grabs them and breaks the mini sub that they are in.  They have to get up to get some air right away.  Once they get up to the air the mini sub is broken so they have to swim.  There is no way they can swim that far so the dolphins come and help them.  Jack and Annie both see a shark but they don’t say anything because they both want the other one to stay calm.  So they get back to the coral reef and they solve the riddle that their friend gave to them.  I won’t tell you the answer so that you will have to read the book to find out what happens.  This book was good, but I wouldn’t say it was great.  I like some of the other Magic Tree House Books better.







This is another Magic Tree House book and it is about Hawaii.  Jack and Annie go surfing.  They meet friends on every journey, and this time they meet friends in Hawaii and stay overnight at their friends house.  When Jack isn’t surfing he reads something in their friend’s research guide.  He reads that there could be a huge wave that would wipe them all out because there is a volcano under that island in Hawaii.  There is a small earthquake and Jack reads in their research guide that there is a big wave coming so he gets on his surf board and goes out to warn everyone.  They head for a high hill.  Will they be wiped out?  To be continued…if you read the book.  I think you should read this because it is a very good book. 

Blubber





Blubber is a young readers choice award winner by Judy Blume that was first published in 1974. The story is about the complicated life of fifth-grader Jill Brenner. Jill and everybody else in her class are always bullying Linda Fischer because she is fat. They even go as far as to nickname Linda "Blubber" and force her to eat a chocolate-covered ant while she cries instead of stand up for herself. 

The main theme of Blubber is bullying and how it can hurt peoples feelings. Instead of bullying Linda physically they bully her with words. Being bullied with words is more hurtful because a broken bone can heal but mean words go to your head and they mess with your mind.

This book takes place in Hidden Valley, Radnor, Pennsylvania. Hidden Valley is where a bunch of Jill's classmates live including Jill and her best friend Tracy Wu. Hidden Valley is a very woodsy place therefore there are two signs at the front one says Welcome to Hidden Valley-Speed Limit 25 Miles Per Hour and on the other side a sign that says Watch Our Children. These signs are there to insure the safety of the children. This shows the parents care about their children physically but don't pay close enough attention to see that they are being bullied mentally.

Characters

  • Jill Brenner - protagonist and best friend of Tracy Wu 
  • Linda Fischer - kid that everybody bullies because she's fat
  • Wendy - mean girl in class who everyone is afraid of
  • Mrs.Minish -  Jill's teacher for fifth-grade

I Liked Blubber because it was a good book with characters real kids might be able to relate to. This book teaches kids a good lesson about how bullying can hurt peoples feelings.  I recommend this book to people who like realistic fiction.

Judy Blume has written many books among them are Freckle Juice, Superfudge, Deenie, Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself and many more. Over 80 million copies of her books have been sold and she has been translated into 31 different languages.

 

IL: MG - BL: 3.8 - AR Pts: 4.0

Heidi

Review by bkwrm03

Heidi by Johanna Spyri is a good book about an orphan girl who lives on a mountain with an elderly man named Alm-Uncle. He is very kind to her. Heidi also likes Grandmother, an elderly woman living near Alm-Uncle. When Heidi's aunt, Deit, tries to get Heidi to go to Frankfurt with her, Heidi doesn't want to and Alm-Uncle does not allow it. The reason that Deit wants to take Heidi is because Deit knows of a lonely handicapped girl named Clara who wants a friend. So Deit takes Heidi and brings her to Frankfurt. Heidi has a fun time at Frankfurt, but she becomes homesick and goes home. This is a wonderful story!


abridged: IL: LG - BL: 3.9 - AR Pts: 0.5 
unabridged: IL: MG - BL: 8.2 - AR Pts: 16.0
 

Hoot

Review by George Long III
 Hoot, a Newbery Honor book by Carl Hiaasen, is about a boy named Roy Eberhardt trying to discover a reason why a boy is running across town with no shoes, backpack, or books.  The story is set in Coconut Cove, Florida, where Roy and his family moved to.  Important characters include Roy Eberhardt, Beatrice Leep, foreman Leroy "Curly" Branitt, police officer David Delinko, and Dana Matherson.  As curious as people are, I will try not to reveal too much of the book.  Read on!

     Roy would not have known about the running boy if it weren't for Dana Matherson smooshing his face against the school bus window that morning.  While he was against the window, he noticed a boy running toward the bus stop.  The boy had no books, backpack, or weirdest of all, shoes.  A strange event then occurred. The boy didn't get on the bus, but instead started running away from the bus.  Roy was intrigued as to why the boy was running away from the bus.  For the next few days he ponders where the boy is running to. Roy comes to a decision that he will follow this boy. 

     Friday morning, while Roy was reading his X-Man comic, he notices the running boy.  At the bus stop, Roy runs off the bus to catch him.  He chases the boy, but doesn't catch him at first.  The second time he tries, the boy captures Roy.  Roy finds out that the boy goes by the name Mullet Fingers.  Mullet Fingers lets Roy go, but with a warning.  Later, Beatrice Leep brings Roy to a trailer and notifies him that Mullet Fingers is her stepbrother.  The boy is trying to stop Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House from creating a building on the place where there are owls' burrows.  
     
     Roy decides to join Mullet Fingers and Beatrice with the fight to save the owls.  They come up with a plan to try to convince Mother Paula's to not build at their gala groundbreaking ceremony.  The group tries inventive ways to get some evidence so more people will be on their side.  In this process they are faced with obstacles from the police and site foreman.  Will they manage to get enough evidence to convince Mother Paula's or will the owls' homes be destroyed?  You'll have to read the book to find out!

     I would recommend this book.  Readers will like the twists and turns of Roy's adventure to find out who the running boy is and the group's adventures to save the owls.  I especially liked the part where Mullet Fingers captures Roy because it was suspenseful.  I think the book was fun to read and had a good theme.  Thinking about animals and not being selfish or greedy is something that everyone should do.  I would rate this book five stars out of five.  Carl Hiaasen has also written a few other books to read if you like this one titled Scat, Chomp, and Flush.
IL: MG - BL: 5.2 - AR Pts: 9.0

The Immortal Instruments: City of Bones

I have to say, I wasn't sure if I was going to write any reviews considering Book-Attic prides itself on book reviews by kids for kids. However, since Makenzie will not be reading this book for a while, I am going to tackle the first book in Cassandra Clare's The Immortal Instruments. 


First let me say, I picked up the book at Walmart in search of a newly published vampire thriller just to keep up on with the genre in my effort to become part of it. The summary on the back does mention vampires and werewolves, but that is in no way the typical vampire story.

Clarissa Fray heads to a New York City club expecting the typical club night with her best friend Simon. Instead she meets Jace, Alec and Isabella. The twist, she isn't supposed to be able to see her. Attempting to shake off the nights events, she moves on with her life, but Jace had different plans for her. In time, Clary realizes she is different from other humans, or mundanes as the Shadowhunters call them, and that her short sixteen year life has been nothing but a closet full of secrets. Not only is the world ridden with demons and hunters who destroy them, but she soon finds that ALL stories are real.

 I do have to say, I was incredibly interested to see Clare use a bit of mythology along with the popular Hunter/Vampire themes in a new unexpected way. Warlocks and werewolves, though incredibly important to the story, are not truly what the story is about, though they do serve as a great hidden message about racism, much like that of Rowling's mud-blood reference. Ridden with the ever so typical teenage love triangles (and yes I did make that plural), City of Bones carries a great coming of age message. Readers are able to watch five teenagers fight to find their niche in a rough and crazy world.

I highly recommend this to the millions of Harry Potter lovers that populate the literate world limited to ages thirteen and up due to underlying innuendos. With a reading level of fifth grade, the 485 pages becomes a rather quick read.

Did I mention this the first in a series of four books? Or that IMBD reports  a movie in the making? In the words of Entertainment Weekly, prepared to be hooked!

IL: UG - BL: 5.0 - AR Pts: 20.0

Cinderella Cleaners: Change of a Dress




Cinderella Cleaners: Change of a Dress, by Maya Gold originally published in April 1, 2010 is about Diana Donato, a thirteen year old amateur actress and Cat Portilla (pronounced like tortilla), a 18 year old girly-girl . One day Diana and Cat  find two tickets to the play "Angel" and the after party in somebody's coat at work. Diana and Cat have to be ready to leave from the party in the limo at 12:00 sharp instead of the traditional magic wearing off at 12:00.


Diana and Cat work at Cinderella Cleaners by the counter. Cat works at the register while Diana pushes the dirty clothes cart. Cinderella Cleaners was founded by Diana's grandfather and is run by her father. Because it is a family business, some people treat her differently than they do the rest. It is a salmon colored building with a big neon crown on the roof and a sign that says Have You Swiped Today??? hanging over a coffee machine by the employee entrance.
Characters 

  • Diana Donato: main character and friend to Cat
  • Cat Portilla: friend to Diana and second main character
  • Elise: friend to Cat and Diana
  • Jess: Diana's best friend
  • Nelson: Cat's friend who works as a tailor

I liked Cinderella Cleaners: Change of a Dress because it was like the original yet modern at the same time. Though it doesn't have mice or a prince charming like the original it was still a good book. Cinderella Cleaners Change of a Dress is the beginning of the Cinderella Cleaners series. I recommend this book to people who like realistic fiction.

Gold "Maya Gold is the author of the spin-off novel Harriet the Spy, Double Agent.  She grew up on the Jersey side of the Hudson river and now lives in upstate New York with her fashion-forward teenage daughter. In her spare time Maya  coaches a high school drama club. Cinderella Cleaners is her first series for young readers."(back cover of Cinderella Cleaners: Change of a Dress)


Cinderella Cleaners: Change of a Dress links
Cinderella Cleaners official website
Cinderella Cleaners on Scholastic
Cinderella Cleaners: Change of a Dress on Google Books

Cinderella Challenge

Book-Attic is hosting a Cinderella Challenge.

How many Cinderella stories can you name off the top of your head? The list is never ending and has changed drastically from the Brothers Grim "Ashputtel." The original author created quite a grim story, while the more up to date movies, such as Another Cinderella Story, feature a gorgeous teen fighting for individuality as apposed to the fight for a handsome prince charming. Another example is the recent Nickelodeon movie Rags which is Cinderella for boys.

The written Cinderella story line has been transformed in many ways. Currently, Makenzie is reading Cinderella Cleaners: Change of a Dress which has been modernized to fit children of today. The Cinderella character even wears converse with her dress!

So, as usual here, is the challenge. Watch as many Cinderella type movies as possible OR read Cinderella stories and tell us how they are different from "Ashputtel". If you would like to contribute to the Ashputtel page on Classic.book-attic.com, send the review to mailto:read2012@book-attic.com



I would suggest starting with Ashputtel the original Cinderella by The Brothers Grimm and adding newer stories from there!

The Serpents Shadow

Review by George Long III

The Serpent's Shadow is a book by Rick Riordan. The book is set at various locations, such as Dallas, Texas. There is also a magical realm called the Duat that they enter. Carter and Sadie Kane have had various battles across the world, trying to stop the Egyptian Chaos snake, Apophis, from destroying the world. You will like this book, guaranteed!

The Serpent's Shadow, the third book in the series, is about two magicians (kids), Carter and Sadie Kane, trying to defeat the Chaos snake, Apophis, while trying to restore the sun god, Ra. Carter becomes the pharaoh and receives the crook and flail, weapons of the pharaoh. Sadie has been doing well on many spells, including Ma'at-order. Most of the gods are weak, and might not be able to defeat the Chaos snake. Cater and Sadie have discovered a way to defeat the serpent, but it may cost them their lives. Can they manage to beat Isfet-chaos?

 I like this book, and would recommend this for readers who like action, adventure, fiction and mythology (especially Egyptian).
IL: MG - BL: 4.8 - AR Pts: 15.0

Also written by Riordan:

The Percy Jackson Series  (AR Pts: 57.0)
The Heroes of Olympus   (AR Pts: 56.0)
The Kane Chronicles  (AR Pts: 50.0)
The DemiGod Files IL: MG - BL: 4.3 - AR Pts: 3.0
The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel IL: MG - BL: 3.1 - AR Pts: 1.0