Gentle readers, great parents and grandparents!
So glad you are joining me for the second installment of my ‘beat the summer slide’ series. Please click here to read more about the summer slide and my first book review of the series.
I have invited a number of my librarian and teacher friends to share a review for one of their favorite children’s books so that you aren’t just hearing about books I like. If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you have probably picked up on my interest in the Holocaust and all things WWII. Even my summer book list is heavily populated with books that share this theme. Check it out here.
So, in an effort to provide a better balance of books to my summer slide series titles, and in recognition of the fact that not everyone is as interested in that dark period in history, I bring you the lighthearted choices of my equally lighthearted and fun-loving baby sister, Valerie.
In all fairness, I need to admit that I haven’t read either of the books, Val is recommending. But I did buy both of them for the elementary school from which I retired. Both titles were on the Texas Library Association Bluebonnet Reading Program 2014-2015 Master List.
Click on the document above to see all of the Master List nominees for 2014-2015.
Now, onto our first review.
Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School by Kim Baker is a humorous book about a new boy in school, Brian Diaz, who decides to branch out and make new friends by playing a prank on his class. Brian wants to include his friend Hector in on the prank, but knows that Hector cannot keep the secret from his grandmother, the school principal. Once Brian’s first prank is a success, he decides to continue with more tricks but realizes he needs the help of other students for some of the new plans to be successful. The League of Picklemakers club is a group of three boys and one girl created to provide cover for the planning and following through of future pranks. The characters of this book are likable and there is plenty of fast moving humor to keep even a reluctant reader captivated.
My sister has a wonderful sense of humor and makes me honestly LOL in person, through emails and text messages. If she appreciates Pickle for its humor, then this is one funny book. But she isn’t the only one laughing at Brian’s pranks; Amazon customers also loved Pickle and gave it a resounding thumbs up with 4.6 out of five gold stars. The suggested age range for this book is 8-12 years. AR BookFinder rates Pickle at a reading level of 4.6 (fourth grade, sixth month) and the book is worth 7.0 Accelerated Reader points. It has 256 pages. Read their reviews and order your copy here.
You and your children can learn more about author Kimberly Baker, her book Pickle and see a whole list of other Kimberly Baker approved, funny books on her website here. She even provides a link for ordering an autographed copy of Pickle! I will be ordering my copy as soon as I publish this post.
Valerie’s second review is for another Texas Library Association Bluebonnet Award Reading Program 2014-2015 Master List nominee. Whew, that is a mouthful!
Athlete vs. Mathlete by W.C.Mack is a book about the Evans twins and what happens when their roles are reversed. Owen Evans is a basketball player and his brother Russell is very smart and participates in Masters of the Mind competitions. When the new coach orders the taller but not athletic Russell to try out for the basketball team, the twins team together to make Russell’s basketball experience a success. This book is told from both boys’ point of view in alternating chapters and is appealing to both the jocks and brains in every classroom.
Valerie is the mother of two boys while I am the mother of two girls. As a librarian, we both try hard to read books for girls and boys, but I have always migrated toward reading books with female mail characters probably because I was so used to reading with my daughters. I think Valerie is better familiar with books written about male main characters. Amazon.com customers give Athlete vs. Mathlete a 4.5 stars out of five. It would appeal to readers from 8-12 years old and has 208 pages. Look over Amazon reviews and order your own copy here. AR BookFinder lists this book as being a 3.9 (third grade, ninth month) reading level and worth 5.0 Accelerated Reader points.
I found this cute book trailer for Athlete vs. Mathlete on YouTube for you to share with the readers at your house.
Attention Canadian readers (Deena and Christy and Shaunacey): author W. C. Mack was born in Vancouver., B.C. and now lives in Portland, Oregon. Always a Canucks fan, W. C. Mack has also been known to cheer for the Portland Winterhawks. [source]
Thank you, baby sister, for helping to balance my book reviews for this series. I know not everyone is as anxious to read everything written on the Holocaust as I am! In fact, I need to try a lighter read ASAP as I am having my recurring Nazi dreams again!
Please let me know if you read any of these titles with your children. Would love to add their reviews to my blog.
If you have a book review to share, ring me up.
Thank you for stopping by.
Hugs and kisses,