Monday, July 21, 2014

The Black Rabbit

The Black Rabbit By: Philippa Leathers

One morning Rabbit woke up and as he was walking out of his hole he saw a scary Black Rabbit.  The Black Rabbit would not leave him alone.  Rabbit tried everything he could think of to rid himself of him, but he couldn't do it.  Eventually Rabbit headed into the woods, and he believed he was safe.  But there are wolves in the forest, and now Rabbit has a bigger problem.  Black Rabbit comes to the rescue, and Rabbit knows that he now has a friend.

This book was super cute.  I loved the story and the illustrations. The fact that the Black Rabbit was just Rabbit's shadow was so funny. I know that any elementary reader will love this book.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5714-7

The Orphan of Ellis Island

The Orphan of Ellis Island By: Elvira Woodruff

Dominic does not want anyone to know his secret.  He hides it every day at school, but on one class trip it seems that he will have to share it.  His class is on a tour of Ellis Island, and the tour guide is asking everyone to share their story.  When it is Dominic's turn, instead of telling everyone he is an orphan and doesn't know anything about his family, he runs away.  Dominic finds a place to hide, and wakes up later to find that he is in the museum at night. Knowing he will have to wait for someone to find him, he walks around and listens to the recordings of the immigrants that came to Ellis Island, one recording gives him more than he asks for and he is transported back in time.

This was a touching book with a great historical base.  Dominic's story is so much like many kiddos today, and they will relate to it.  I thought the idea of him going back in time, and finding out what it was like for immigrants to come to America was a great story. Great read for upper elementary and middle school readers.

This book was donated to my class.
ISBN: 0-590-48246-7

Thursday, July 17, 2014

On My Honor

On My Honor By: Marion Dane Bauer

Joel isn't sure that he likes being Tom's friend. Tom always likes to do things that Joel is not supposed to do and is a little afraid of.  One day Tom convinces Joel that they should ride their bikes on an adventure.  Joel's father gives them permission, but has them promise not to do anything other than ride to the park.  Along the way, Tom decides that swimming in the river will be fun.  Although reluctant, Joel decides to join him, and challenges Tom to swim out to the sandbar.  Tom disappears, and Joel realizes that Tom has gone under.  He tries to find help, but by the time he does Tom is nowhere to be found.  Joel hides the information and tells a lie to the police and Tom's family. He is distraught with guilt.

I usually do not dislike any books. I wish I had not read this.  It made me so sad, I cannot imagine a boy whose friend has just drown, hiding it from the police and his family.  Not only because that is such the wrong thing to do, but because the guilt that that the child will carry for the rest of his life is unimaginable to me.  When I got to the end of the book, I was shocked and disappointed. It won a Newbery Honor and is based on actual events in the town it is based on, but I don't think that I will have this in my room.

This book was donated to my class
ISBN 0-440-46633-4

The Twenty-One Balloons

The Twenty-One Balloons By: William Pene Dubois

Professor William Waterman Sherman attempted to fly across the world with his twenty-one balloons. He was not successful and was found in the Atlantic ocean floating on his wreckage.  The world wants to know his story, but he is in no hurry to tell them.  When he does finally start talking he tells the tale of his adventures.  No one knows is the professor's tale is true or false, but they all know that it is one that they want to hear.

This was a quirky and fun story for the adventurous readers.  The contraption that the professor makes is out of this world, and unbelievable.  Written with the main character telling the story of his fantastic journey makes it even better and it reads as a nonfiction story.  Even though this story was written in 1947, it still is a great story for students today.

This book was donated to my classroom
ISBN: 0-590-56925-2

Marshfield Dreams

Marshfield Dreams When I Was A Kid By: Ralph Fletcher

This is an autobiography of what Ralph Fletcher remembers as a young child.  He was the oldest child and had 8 brothers and sisters.  He loved his small town, and all the things that his family did together. Fletcher recalls the bests memories he had as a child. This is a perfect book for a study of biographies, or authors.  Upper elementary students will have a great time comparing what it was like for Ralph to grow up and what it is like for them.  I loved the part where there is a girl in his class that always knows that his mom is going to have a baby before he does and she asks him, "Do you know the scuttlebutt?" 

This book was donated to my classroom
ISBN: 978-1-250-01024-7

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Peggy: A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure By: Anna Walker

Peggy lives in the yard and does the same thing every day.  One day a gust of wind carries Peggy to a new place. A place with a lot of people, and none of them will help her find her way home.  Peggy has many adventures in the city, but is lucky to see some sunflowers, like the ones in her yard. Peggy follows them as far as she can, and is still not home. Her pigeon friends find Peggy and help her get the rest of the way. 

This was a cute story.  Elementary school children would love it, even the bigger ones.  Peggy is an adventurer, and it would help with a discussion on what types of adventures the kids would like to go on. The illustrations are beautiful in this book.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-0-544-25900-3

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Across The Universe

Across The Universe By: Beth Revis

Amy and her family have been frozen, and will be awoken in three hundred years to start a new colony.  As she is frozen she dreams on.  Elder has only ever known life on the Godspeed.  He is to take the place of Eldest when it is time, and is learning how to run the ship.  When Amy is pulled from her frozen sleep early, things start to change.  It becomes apparent that things are not what they seem on the ship, and the future they were all hoping for may not come true. Amy is going to fight for what she thinks is right, and to stay alive herself.

While I don't know that I really liked this book, I did  not put it down.  I was hooked on finding out the answer to the crimes that were being committed. I wanted to make sure that Amy survived, and wanted to see what she would do as she found out more and more.  I also so hoped throughout the book that Elder would make the right choices. Interesting book.

I borrowed this from the public library
ISBN: 978-1-59514-397-6