Friday, February 27, 2015

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Navigating Early
Author: Clare Vanderpool
Lexile: 790
Length: 306 Pages
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Awards: Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence In Young Adult Literature
Reading Ram Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars


  Jack Baker has been plucked up like a desert plant then put to grow by the ocean. He's from Kansas, but when his mother dies at the end of World War II, his military officer father sends him to a boarding school in Maine. Jack isn't used to the ocean, he still hasn't gotten over his mothers death. And to top it off, his father and him haven't been on the best terms since his mother died. Jack has gotten into the swing of things at school, then he notices something, someone isn't attending the classes. Only one time in math did he see this person, Early Auden. Early's name is called on roll call in every class. When he's not there in all of them, no one worries at all. Jack discovers something about Early, he's... different. Early is smart, really smart. He lives in the basement, and has his own little world. Early sees the world in a different way, he finds stories in numbers. Jack helps Early, he needs it. Early has to go on an adventure, to find something he has to find. With Jack's help, they leave the school and go on an adventure upriver, fight bears and follow the path of Pi.
       I really liked this book a lot! The author is one of my favorites, Clare Vanderpool wrote Newbery Medal Winner Moon Over Manifest, and I loved that book a lot. This author made a great story for this book and I loved this book just as much as the other one! I really liked the parts in between the story with Early telling the story of what he saw in the number Pi. The author did a really good job of weaving all the parts of the story together to make sense. The reason I didn't give this book five stars is because I'm saving that for a really good book, which I don't think I have come across yet. But this book is definitely one of my top choices, it is a great book. You should definitely try this book out. I would recommend this book for sixth grade and up, kids in grade school might not really get it or like it. but overall, this book is wonderful and will make you extend your free time to finish it.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

Tuck Everlasting
Author: Natalie Babbit
Lexile: 770
Length: 139 pages
Genre: Classic
Awards: None
Reading Ram Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

            Winnie Foster lives in an ordinary house with an ordinary family. She does things any child would do, she plays around outside, she explores. Then one day Winnie finds a strange boy in the wood next to her house. He drank from a spring, that Winnie had never seen before, carefully hidden away. Next thing she knows, she is with the Tucks heading to their house a long way out of town. The Tucks are very nice people, but they have a secret. They will live forever. After drinking from the spring a long while before, they miraculously stop aging. But as much of an incredible miracle this may seem, it comes with a price. Watching the world around you, your friends dying, everything you know changing around you, is a tough price to pay. The Tucks are in a prison of never ending life. Winnie can join them, but she must pay the price. Or she can just protect the spring and the Tuck's secret from everyone. I really loved this book so much. It was well written and the story was so meaningful. Living forever would be awful, in my opinion. But making the choice not to would be so hard! This book had suspense, good detail, and hardship. My favorite part was Winnie finding the spring, and the boy along with it. I think that this book represents the wish of some people, but it also has the price you must pay. This book is a classic, it was written 40 or so years ago, but like many others, it is still a very good read. One thing I didn't like about this book, however, was that the author didn't increase the amount of danger with someone finding the spring. The author should have made another threat, like people clearing the forest for wood and finding the spring. Or something else like that. Otherwise, I thought this was a great book and a good, quick read that will have you on the edge of your seat and very sad within the same hour. I would recommend this book for third grade to eighth grade. There is no inappropriate things in this at all, and is a good book for discussion. You should definitely try it out in your free time!

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Friday, February 13, 2015

2015 Caldecott Medal and Newbery award winners

Hello Readers! The Newbery and Caldecott Medal award winners are out! You should definitely check them out! Click on the links and go to the sites of the winners. I cannot wait to read these books, they look great. Check them out of your library and get reading!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Expeditioners and the Secret of King Triton's Lair by S. S. Taylor

The Expeditioners and the Secret of King Triton’s Lair
Author: S. S. Taylor
Illustrations: Katherine Roy

Lexile: None
Length: 391 Pages
Genre: Mystery/Adventure
Awards: None
Reading Ram Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

 Kit West and his siblings are settling into their new lives at the Academy of Explorer Sciences after their father, Alexander West disappears. And then Kit finds happens to find yet another old map his father left them. But why is the government always trying to get those maps? Kit is an expert map reader but can’t seem to locate a place on one of maps. But then him and his siblings, M. K. and Zander, get their chance to go to the strange place on one of their father’s maps. Their chance is an expedition, but they can only go if it gets chosen to be one of the top 10 best expeditions. Now they have to face more dangers than they have ever seen. As well as deal with an unexpected development that stops their plan and adds one more challenge they have to face to get what their father wanted them to discover. Kit, Zander, and M. K. have to face their archenemy, and try not to die, all while the world is on the very edge of war. I loved this book so much! It had it all, suspense, surprises, and humor! I would recommend this book to middle school students and possibly fifth graders. It was kind of an alternate universe type of setting, or maybe a dystopian type future. It had the U. S. and stuff, but with some new things. I think that it was a good adventure and really well written. I cannot wait to read the next book in the series! But one thing I didn’t like about this book was I couldn’t tell whether Kit was a boy or a girl. I know of some Kit’s that are girls, and I assumed that Kit was a girl. Then they started saying stuff like Christopher West, to the main character, and I figured he had to be a boy. It was just confusing for a while because I didn’t know he was a boy. Let’s be clear, Kit, the main character, is a boy. So don’t be confused, I am positive he is a boy. But other than that, you should definitely consider reading this book in your free time. It is a great first book in the series.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Free Runner by Jennifer L. Hawes

Free Runner
Author: Jennifer L. Hawes
Lexile: None
Length: 157 Pages
Genre: Mystery/Adventure
Awards: 2014 Purple Dragonfly Book Award, Young Adult Fiction, Honorable Mention (
Reading Ram Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Hello Readers! I’m back with another book review! Free Runner was written by an author right here in Missouri, Jennifer L. Hawes. I thought that was cool and I had to read it! Free Runner is about a kid named Cameron White, or Cam. He’s a surfer from California, and actually a pretty good one. But when his dad gets a new job, Cam is forced to move to the other side of the planet. They move to cold, rainy, London, which is a far cry from the warm weather in California he is so used to. Cam ends up going to a boarding school, much to his dismay. However, he does meet a new friend, a spunky French girl. After he’s finally gotten accustomed to boarding school, his father suddenly disappears without a trace. No clues are left except a strange package, which vanishes too. Now within the midst of a crime novel, Cam must find his father and prevent a horrible plot from occurring. All the while keeping his friends out of harm’s way. In this new action packed adventure, Cam must use his wits, strengths, and determination to solve the mystery and save the day. Can he succeed before it’s too late? This book is fairly short, and a pretty quick read. It’s only 157 pages, but is still a great book. I really liked this book for many reasons, I couldn't predict what was going to happen! I usually can, so this came as a bit of a shock to me, but that made it even better! It is a good book for both girls and boys, and I would say a good read for adults too. I would recommend it for about fifth through eighth grade, probably even for some lower grades too. There are no inappropriate things at all, which by itself is a pretty good feat. One thing I didn't like, though, was that the actual mystery part of it did not last very long. They found some clues and then solved the mystery, but it was too short! I like books that stretch out the mystery a little bit longer. But other than that I loved it so much and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries.