Monday, November 27, 2017

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Title: Island of the Blue Dolphins
Author: Scott O'Dell
Genre: Traditional Literature
Product Details

     Island of the Blue Dolphins, a Newberry Award Winning story by Scott O'Dell, describes the adventurous journey of Karana and her thirst for survival, no matter the perils or hardships that come her way. Karana, a strong Indian girl,  is left behind on her island after her tribe decides to leave. Once she is faced with a new existence alone, she must face many challenges merely to survive. No matter what comes her way, wild dogs, hunters, time, Karana must find her courage, strength, and knowledge of survival to find a new way of life that makes the best of her situation. Will Karana realize how strong she is? Will her tribe find their way back to her island?

Fish in a Tree

Title: Fish in a Tree
Author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Fish in a Tree, an inspiring book by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, shows how Ally persevered through dyslexia and bullying to learn to read. Ally, a loving, creative girl that loves to draw, just wanted to be “smart” like everyone else. However, she wasn’t doing well because she was trying to cover up what she didn’t know. With the help of a new teacher named Mr. Daniels, Ally starts to realize she can turn the impossible to possible. Will she be able to finally read, or will she get stuck in a world of words that don’t make sense?


Title: Wishtree
Author: Katherine Applegate
Genre: Fantasy

     What I love so much about Katherine Applegate is her ability to create such heartwarming stories. There isn't a moment in Wishtree that isn't whimsical or delightful, but also emotional and real. Hearing a story from a tree's perspective was unexpected and enjoyable. Red is very insightful and sees everything, having been around for such a long time. Seeing the world through her eyes opened mine to the things we don't take the time to notice or appreciate. Because of that, anytime I walk by a tree I want to be a little more observant and open myself up to how the world sees me. This book is a lovely, sweet story that goes deeper than you might imagine if you take the time to think about it. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Magnus Chase and The Hammer of Thor

Product Details
Title: Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Fantasy

Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor, a mythological adventure by Rick Riordan, details the journey of Magnus Chase and his mission to retrieve Thor's hammer before Ragnarok begins, which is the end of world as we know it! Magnus is a child of Frey who has been tasked with leading a quest to retrieve Thor's hammer, which was stolen. Loki, Thor's mischievous brother who is chained up well below ground, wants to begin Ragnarok, the end of days. His thirst for power is driving him to upset the world as we know it, humans and Norse Gods alike. Magnus and his trusted groups of friends must come together, bundle their talents, and hopefully locate the hammer before the world ends. Will they succeed, and will Magnus finally realize how powerful he truly is, not because of his godly powers but because of the people he surrounds himself with?

Land of Stories - The Enchantress Returns

Product Details
Title: Land of Stories The Enchantress Returns
Author: Chris Colfer
Genre: Fantasy

I have to say it, I LOVE Fairy Tales! Any fantasy story around this topic makes my heart happy. What I love so much about this series is just how many fairy tales are wrapped up into each story. I love that in this particular telling, Sleeping Beauty's mother is Belle (from Beauty and the Beast). It is such a fun interpretation and I loved how Chris Colfer connected them. We heard from Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella and the Evil Step Mother, to the Frog Prince and more. If you love this type of story you have to see how they all work together in these adventurous tales. I can't wait to dive into book 3 very soon!

The Honest Truth

Product Details
Title: The Honest Truth
Author: Dan Gemeinhart
Genre: Realistic Fiction

There is no denying the power of this book, The Honest Truth. Mark's story is beyond heart-breaking, motivating, and inspirational. What stuck with me (one of the many things) was Mark's perspective on photographs. On his journey he brings his camera to capture moments in time he wants to remember. They aren't "typical" photos though as Mark explains: "It's like, I don't know, grabbing a little piece of life. All this stuff happens, all the little moments go flying past, and then they're gone. And then you're gone...But when you take a picture, that one moment isn't gone. You caught it. It's yours. And you get to keep it." After a tough year in my life, this really spoke to me. I love the idea of capturing moments in time and keeping them close. It isn't the most beautiful photo or filter that matters, it is what moment is captured and what memory that creates!  I will look at all my photos differently now thanks to Mark and his beautiful adventure! 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Fourteenth Goldfish

Title: The Fourteenth Goldfish
Author: Jennifer L. Holm
Genre: Science Fiction

I really enjoyed this book for a lot of reasons. Not only did you really love the characters, but who knew finding the “fountain of youth” could be so complicated, and related to jellyfish??I think what I connected to most in this story though, was the theme of change. Change is extremely difficult for many, including myself. I loved watching Ellie navigate change in her own life, but how change in the lives of those around her also impacted her. Even as an adult, this idea rings true. As much as I want to stop time, stop change from happening, I can’t, no one can. And what this story really reminded me of it how I shouldn’t want it to. Without change there is no progress, we don’t get to experience what comes next, good or bad, and what kind of life is that? Ellie realizes this for herself, but she helps others realize it as well, including her mother and grandfather. This book was a great reminder about how life keeps moving forward whether we want it to or not and that many beautiful and amazing things can happen because of that.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Freddie in the Shade

Title: "Freddie in the Shade"
Author: Pam Munoz Ryan
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Image result for freddie in the shade story

“Freddie in the Shade,” a short story by Pam Munoz Ryan, describes that change isn’t always bad. Freddie, a boy entering sixth grade, is shy and doesn’t want anyone to see his emotions. He wants for the changes in his life to stop, mainly by not moving from San Diego to Minneapolis. However, his dad and his new stepmom are going to have a baby and he knows that will change everything. By keeping his sunglasses on, staying in his room, and getting a job at a bakery, Freddie is able to avoid some of these changes. Will Freddie ever get back to a normal life and learn to like change?

Monday, August 28, 2017


Title: Dragonwatch
Author: Brandon Mull
Genre: Fantasy

"Deep Thinking" Response

For me, I was beyond excited when I heard about this book. Having loved the Fablehaven series that came before it, there was no doubt this new series would bring me the same excitement and joy. When Fablehaven ended after book 5, Brandon Mull had said he was done with these characters for a while, leaving me upset and wondering when they might be brought to life again. SIX YEARS LATER this book finally came and it was everything I was hoping for. Not only were the characters the same, but the adventure and action hit right away. Seth is still mischevious, Kendra is still strong and wise beyond her years, and the fantastical creates of Fablehaven and the other magical preserves were still exciting my imagination. I cannot wait for more books to arrive in this series as Kendra and Seth are now caretakers of the most important preserve, Wyrmroost. Can they contain the dragons who are looking to reclaim their power over the world? I for one cannot wait to find out!

The Selection Series

Title: The Selection Series
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction

Summary Response: 

The Selection by Kiera Cass is a fantasy story that details America Singer's life as she enters "The Selection" along with 35 other accomplished, beautiful young women. America is an average girl in a low caste who only joins the Selection to make her family happy. When she is selected she finds herself vying for the heart of Prince Maxon, a position she can't decide if she wants to be in. Not only does she offend the prince on her very first day, but she quickly realizes her heart might not be ready to love again. Whether she likes it or not, America and Prince Maxon form a quick bond as both of them navigate a life they didn't choose. Will they end up falling for each other during this competition, or will they both return to lives where happiness is hard to come by?

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Sweetest Fig

Author: Chris Van Allsburg
Genre: Fantasy
Title:  The Sweetest Fig

The Sweetest Fig is about this guy how is so so neat but the and he walks into work one day.  And the patient didn’t have any money but what she did have is two figs and the dentist said, “No no no that isn't money that is figs.”  Another thing she said, “These are powerful.” So the dentist went to his house that evening and sat down and had the fig.  Bibot thought this is the best fig ever.  Also, Bibot had a dream that night about wearing the perfect suit and then he woke up that morning and he went into public and wasn’t wearing his suit.

I think the best part about the book is Bibot went into public without any clothes on and everyone was looking at him and he was wondering why everyone was looking at him. I think you would like this book because it is a very good book, but it teaches you always be kind to others if you want to be treated kindly.

By Nora T

Thursday, February 2, 2017

James and the Giant Peach

Taken from Kenna M's Blog...

Title: James and the Giant Peach
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Fantasy

"James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl shows that even though it’s tough, you can always do it! James Henry Trotter wanted to live a happy life. Unfortunately, his parents die and he has to move in with his aunts. These aunts aren’t just any aunts, they MEAN and treat James like their slave. One day, a little man comes and gives James a bag with magical green things in it. Will these beans give James a way to find a happy life full of adventure? I recommend this book because it has a lot of emotions at the beginning when his parents die, you feel kinda sad. I liked this book because it was funny because some of the names were silly, like Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker."

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Taken from Katherine P's Blog...

Title: Fantastic Mr.Fox
Author: Roald Dahl
Genre: Fantasy

Summary: "Fantastic Mr.Fox by Roald Dahl tells it isn’t right to steal but sometimes you need to do it for your family. Mr.Fox wants to eat food and have a good life with his family, but Mr.Fox is eating the farmers' chickens. The farmers want to kill Mr.Fox and stuff him. Mr.Fox dug a hole so the farmers wouldn't find him and his family. Will Mr.Fox survive or will he be killed and stuffed? I liked his book because when you think the book is over and everything is fine it’s not because the farmers are going to come back! I like that because it makes the book more interesting. Finally, I recommend this book because it’s very interesting and you can’t put this book down because it’s so so good."

Dear Mr. Henshaw


Title: Dear Mr. Henshaw
Author: Beverly Cleary
Genre: Traditional Literature (Newberry)

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary shows that even if you go through tough times, you should always try to find the good and be helpful. Leigh Botts wanted his parents to be back together and for people to not eat the good things in his lunch! Unfortunately, his parents do get divorced and his dad is on the road all the time. Leigh decides to write to his favorite author Mr. Henshaw to talk about his problems and ask for advice. Will Leigh get the help he needs or will his life continue to be miserable? What we liked about this book was that it was emotional. There were parts that made us happy like when his lunch alarm worked. There were also parts though that made us sad, like with Leigh’s dog. We would recommend this book to people because you can connect to the emotions and you learn some good life lessons too!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Land of Stories Book 1

Title: Land of Stories The Wishing Spell
Author: Chris Colfer
Genre: Fantasy

     The Land of Stories the Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer shares the story of Alex and her twin brother Conner and their discovery of a family secret. Alex and Conner are struggling with the death of their father. When Alex receives a mysterious book called The Land of Stories she soon discovers it is magical, so much so that it pulls her and her brother inside of it. Stuck in this new, unfamiliar world, the two siblings must figure out how to find their way back by collecting the items necessary to cast the Wishing Spell. Will they find their way home or will they be lost in the fairytale world forever? I love this book because it combined so many of the fairytales I love from Cinderella to Snow White to Red Riding Hood. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy and getting lost in another world. It is also filled with adventure so you never know what will happen next.

The Julian Chapter

Title: “The Julian Chapter”
Author: R.J. Palacio
Genre: Realistic Fiction


“The Julian Chapter” by RJ Palacio shows us that we should feel remorse when we do something wrong or mistreat others. Julian wanted to be popular and to have Auggie Pullman out of his school. He gets caught writing terrible notes to Auggie and gets suspended. His parents blame the school and decide to sue and put Julian in a new school. Then, Julian spends the summer in Paris with his grandmother and learns, finally, that he was WRONG! I liked this book because it shows that we all have the ability to change. Even though Julian didn't make a lot of good choices when it came to Auggie, he finally learned what it means to treat others with kindness and respect, thanks to his Grandmere. I recommend this book because like Wonder it has a lot of heart and finally shows us Julian's perspective. In Wonder we know him only as the villain, so this story allows us to understand him and his family better.