Monday, February 20, 2012

Special Section: Reviews by El Cajon & Sweetwater School District Students

Angleberger, Tom. Horton Halfpott: Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset. New York: Amulet Books, May 2011. 978-0-8109-9715-8. $14.95. Ages 8 & Up. Reading Level: 5.8

Horton Halfpott: Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset by Tom Angleberger is a hilarious mystery. Mysteries are usually serious but this one is funny. Horton Halfpott is a servant and was blamed for stealing a lump-shaped diamond. Horton is not the thief but he must solve the mystery because all kinds of things are going missing. Guess who is blamed? Yup, Horton.  M'Lady's wig, Col. Sitwell's monocle (I didn't know what that was...I looked it up), and Old Crotty's keys go missing. Really the whole story starts with M'Lady Luggertuck's corset. Does that have you curious? You should read it, but not in public because you will laugh out loud. People will think YOU are crazy!
Marley, age 11, Grade 5

Banerjee, Anjali. Seaglass Summer. New York: Yearling, Reprint 2011. ISBN 978-0-385-73567-4. $6.99. Grades 3-5.   

Seaglass Summer is a story about a girl named Poppy. While her parents are traveling in India, Poppy must stay in Washington State with her uncle, a veterinarian. She thinks being a vet sounds like a fun job. But, while working at her uncle's clinic, she finds out how hard it is. Poppy gets to care for the animals by weighing them, feeding them, and walking them. She also learns how frustrating some owners can be, but she also sees that the owners love their pets so much it hurts. Poppy realizes how much responsibility it is to be a vet and that a vet cares for the owners, too.

If you like realistic fiction and you want to learn more about responsibility and how to care for your pets, you should read this book.
Chrystal, Grade 4

Bruel, Nick. Bad Kitty Gets a Bath. Random House: NY.ISBN 978-0-312-58138-1 Reading Level: 3.7

This is a fiction(al) story about a bad kitty needing a bath. How do you give a kitty a bath? I say very carefully! The poor kitty stinks because a puppy chased her, and she ran into the garbage. Stinky! Her owner tries to figure out how to give Bad Kitty her bath. So, he gets an ambulance, bandages, and a suit of armor. Oh, and extra underwear, and a doctor on speed dial. This story is very humorous. But, it is also about bravery. That owner HAS to be brave to give a cat a bath! I wouldn't do it, would you?
Chrystal, Grade 4

Holm, Jennifer and Matthew Holm. BabyMouse: Mad Scientist. ISBN: 978-0-375-86574-9. Random House: NY, 2011. Reading Level: 2.6   

BabyMouse's dad tells her to enter the science fair. he thinks she should do an experiment on amoebas. So, they went down to the nearby pond to get some samples. BabyMouse ends up talking to the amoeba. Yes! How did she see it? Through a microscope of course! Babymouse gave the amoeba some cupcake. She was excited to take her talking amoeba to the science fair. But, when they got there, EVERYONE had done an experiment on amoebas! Everything turns out ok, BabyMouse gets second place! You'll have to read the book to find out how!
Ananda, Grade 4

Holm, Jennifer and Matthew Holm. BabyMouse Burns Rubber. ISBN: 978-0-375-85713-3. Random House: NY, 2010. Reading Level: 2.8    

The BabyMouse books have some CRAZY humor! In this one, BabyMouse enters a car race. But, the only problem is that BabyMouse has to make her own car! BabyMouse asks her friend for help. She builds her car and places a bet that she can beat a world famous racer. There is a lot of suspense in this story. You have to read how BabyMouse, out of the blue, wins the race.
Ananda, Grade 4

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