Saturday, November 11, 2017

Jackie Ha-Ha by James Patterson

I wasn't sure how much I would like this book when I first picked up. The pink cover with girl as the main character almost turned me away, but since it was by James Patterson, one of my favorite authors, I decided to give it a shot.

This is about a girl named Jacky Hart who is telling her daughters about her childhood as Jacky Ha-Ha. She loves to make people laugh, even with her stutter, but makes a promise atop a ferris wheel to try and be more mature. With her mom gone and dad doing something fishy, Jacky and her sisters are left running and cleaning the house. How will Jacky survive when the new English teacher wants her to try out for the school play and make a speech in public?

Even though this book did not appear to be what I normally read, I really enjoyed it. I like how, even though she lived with many sisters, the littlest one was practically in charge. I love how the funny storyline also had some mystery in it. I think that this book is meant to show that you should you can't accomplish anything without believing in yourself first. I'm excited to read the next one when it comes out and I think all kids who enjoy James Patterson books will enjoy this one too.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Galactic Hot Dogs 3: Revenge of the Space Pirates by Max Brallier

For my birthday in August, my aunt and uncle sent me the first two books in the Galactic Hot Dogs series.  They also pre-ordered me the third.  It was released on 24-October and arrived in my mailbox the same day.  I spent last night staying up to finish it!

In the third installment of the Galactic Hot Dogs series, Humphree has just won the hot dog eating contest when a space pirate named Rani kidnaps Cosmo.  Rani is the same space pirate who originally brought him to space and she's back to finish out her plans.  While on Rani's ship, the Looting Star, Cosmo dreams about his past and how he first came to space.  When he realizes that the reason he was kidnapped was for his rubbery friend, Goober, he starts to get suspicious.  Who is it that really wants Goober and how will Cosmo protect his friend?

I really loved the first two books in the series already, and I think this one is even better.  I love how it shares Cosmo's origin story which he doesn't want to talk about in the first two books, and I like knowing how the whole adventure came to be.  Even though there were several new characters introduced in this story, the author did a great job explaining their stories so the reader could easily follow along.  It's also funny how Cosmo uses Earth references and the space people don't understand what he is saying.

Kids who enjoy books like Stick Dog series, Creature from My Closet series, or The 13 Story Treehouse series will also really love the Galactic Hot Dogs series.  It's a hysterical read that keeps you turning the pages.  I highly recommend reading this series in order, and I hope the author writes a fourth book in this series.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Cay by Theodore Taylor

The Cay by Theodore Taylor is the second book I read for literature this school year.

With war raging around him, including the seas, Philip and his mother race to escape their island home and head back to the United States.  When the boat carrying them to safety is hit by a torpedo, his whole world changes.  With only Timothy, an elderly African sailor, and Stewcat, the cook's pet cat, as his companions, Philip must learn how to survive on a deserted island while he hopes for a chance of rescue.

While I was assigned The Cay to read as a school novel, I really enjoyed it.  I'm looking forward to reading the sequel which tells Timothy's backstory and Philip's future.  Even though it is a single book, each chapter felt like its own individual story and helped add on to the big picture.  Philip's island adventure felt like it could have really happened and it was interesting to see how his relationship with Timothy changed over the story.  I also liked how Stewcat was always there when Philip needed him, like he was Philip's loyal pet.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Hamstersaurus Rex by Tom O'Donnell

At the start of the school year, Sam Gibbs' sixth grade class mysteriously acquires a hamster.  Having a class pet will be fun, won't it?  When the hamster begins to growl, Sam decides the perfect name for the hamster is "Hamstersaurus Rex"!  Everyone is extremely psyched about their new furry friend, but not even 10 minutes into class, Hamstersaurus Rex escapes.  Sam and his best friend Dylan are determined to find him before the school bully does first.  But when the hamster gets into the Dino-Blast Power-Packer Ultimate Muscle Mix, that's when Hamstersaurus Rex begins to change and the real adventure begins.
I really loved this book!  I thought it was adorable because, after he ate the muscle mix, Hamstersaurus Rex turned into his own breed of tiny dinosaur.  For a small guy, he could roar really loudly and he could eat over 100 times his own weight!  Although there weren't a ton of pictures, the ones in the book really helped tell the story and added to the humor.  My favorite picture was when the illustrator compared the main character's hair to a narwhal or a sad unicorn.

I discovered that this is the first book in a series.  The second one is out already and the third comes out in January.  I can't wait to read both of those.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Strip Mall! by Tom Angleberger

Tom Angleberger is one of my favorite authors and Guardians of the Galaxy is one of my favorite movies.  When I saw that Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Strip Mall was out, it was on my must-read list.

This book is about Rocket and Groot, two members of the Guardians of the Galaxy and former criminals, and their tape dispenser, Veronica.  After getting attacked by space pirahnas, the three crash land onto an uncharted planet called "Planet Strip Mall".  Searching for food, water, dry cleaning services, and a way off the planet, the trio wanders into many stores where they repeatedly get attacked by robots and toilets.  How will they survive?  Will they get off the planet?  And will Rocket ever get to use the bathroom again?

I think was one of Tom Angleberger's best books, and I really like his other books!  I thought it was really hilarious that these former master criminals were getting beaten by robots and toilets.  I also loved how it was Rocket and Groot, and a tape dispenser, that were fighting the battles.  The doodle-style of the illustrations was perfect match for the silliness of the story as well as telling parts of the actual story.  I think kids who like Marvel would really like this book and I can't wait to read the sequel!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson

I was browsing at the library when I found a newer James Patterson book that I hadn't read yet.  Since I really like his other books, I decided to check it out.

Pottymouth and Stoopid is about two friends named Michael and David who received the nicknames "Pottymouth" and "Stoopid" back in preschool.  The problem is, the boys are in now in seventh grade and are still stuck with these nicknames.  Everyone they know thinks the nicknames are true, but they aren't.  The boys go on a mission to prove that they are much more than these silly descriptives, but it's not as easy as they think.  Will a new tv show, surprisingly similar to their lives, help or hurt their cause?

This is a really awesome book!  I think it is one of James Patterson's best novels.  I think it describes a lot of bullied middle school students' lives and I hope it will encourage kids to be more like Michael and David and stand up for themselves against whatever is holding them down.  Besides a good message, I think it is a hilarious book that a lot of kids will enjoy.  The trouble the boys get into, the ridiculous words that David makes up, and the nearly impossible stunts they pull make this a really fun read.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli

The Door in the Wall was the first book I read for literature this school year.

When a boy named Robin gets sick and loses the use of his legs, and his parents leave to serve the king and queen, Robin must figure out how to survive.  He is cared for by several monks during this time.  When Robin must reunite with his parents, he sets out on a journey to find them and hopefully regain the use of his legs.  But a war is raging around them and presents other obstacles in their mission.

I really enjoyed this book, although I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it in one sitting instead of over the course of a school assignment.  I liked how, even though Robin was crippled, he still believed in himself and could do the things he needed to do to undertake his journey.  I found it interesting that many of the skills used in the book are still skills used today, like when Robin and one of the monks made his crutches using woodcarving.