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.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball by Dori Jones Yang

I received a copy of The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball from SparkPoint Studio as part of their Beat the Back-to-School Blues Blog Tour.

This book is based on a true story.  In the 1870s, the Emperor of China sent over 100 boys to America to learn English, go to college, and come back and modernize China.

In the beginning of this story, a Chinese boy named Woo Ka-Leong and his elder brother, Woo Ka-Sun are chosen for the Chinese Educational Mission.  They travel to America to live with a new family, the Swanns, in New England, and take up the new names of Leon and Carson.  Leon adapts to American life quickly.  He learns English, he makes friends, he even plays baseball.  Carson has more trouble--he misses China and wants to go home.  He does not like America and Leon fears that he might be going crazy.  Leon is also worried about balancing his Chinese traditions with his new American interests.

I was a little unsure at first with the title because I don't like baseball as much as other sports, but the book was really interesting!  It was not as much about baseball as it was about Leon's life in America.  I felt like the book got good quickly and stayed consistently enjoyable.  It had me excited to continue reading the next chapters.

Even though this book was fictional, it had a lot of real events that happened during the Chinese Educational Mission to America.  The real students did live in homes and attend schools in New England.  They also really attended the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and met President Grant, and they really played on baseball teams.  The director of the program, Yung Wing, is Mr. Yung in the book as well.

I think this book is good for middle schoolers and up, including adults.  Anyone who enjoys historical fiction would enjoy reading about this event in American history that many people don't know about.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies by Jonathan Rosen

I received a copy of Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies from Sky Pony Press to review on my blog.

What would you do if your favorite toy came to life?

In Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies, it really happens.  A 12 year old boy named Devin Dexter and his cousin, Tommy, have discovered something odd.  They think that Devin's new neighbor, Herb, is a warlock!  They try all sorts of ideas to prove it, but nevertheless, they fail.  When the brand new toy, the Cuddle Bunny, comes to life, Devin and Tommy are even more convinced that Herb is behind it all.  But no one will believe them!  It's up to Devin and Tommy to stop Herb and prevent the Cuddle Bunnies from taking over the city.

I thought this was a really good book and one of the best books I've read in quite awhile. I like how Devin thinks that Tommy is annoying, but that they must join forces and work together to defeat the Cuddle Bunnies.  I also love how the Cuddle Bunny toy is super cute, so no one expects them to turn evil.  Everyone thinks that Devin and Tommy imagining things.

Kids who like mystery books will definitely enjoy Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies.  I think this would be a great book for Halloween time, and I'm really glad that Sky Pony Press picked my blog to review it.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

This Can't Be Happening at MacDonald Hall! by Gordon Korman

My mom ordered me this series for my birthday.  She said she read them as a kid and that she thought I would like them.  I've read the first three already and I am just starting the fourth.

The first book introduces Bruno and Boots, two best friends who attend the boarding school, MacDonald Hall.  Bruno is a natural-born troublemaker who comes up with all kinds of schemes.  Boots is more cautious, but gets dragged along into Bruno's plans.

When Headmaster Sturgeon decides it is time to split them up, Bruno and Boots will do anything to get their old room back.  From practical jokes to crazy schemes, they will stop at nothing, but will they go too far?

I really enjoyed this book!  I loved all the pranks and practical jokes Bruno and Boots played on their new roommates.  One of my favorite pranks is when Bruno decides to become a "skunkologist" and keeps a pet skunk in his room. I liked how, no matter what happened, Bruno had a new plan, while Boots tried to play it safe, and that they could always get the girls at Miss Scimmage's School to help.

As I finish reading the different books, my mom and I are going to watch the new Bruno and Boots movies too.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Galactic Hot Dogs 1: Cosmoe's Wiener Getaway by Max Brallier

I got this book for my birthday and I was really excited to read it.

Galactic Hot Dogs is about a boy named Cosmoe, his best friend Humphree, and their robot sidekick F.R.E.D.  When Cosmoe and Humphree cook up a Mega-Dog for the Intergalactic Food Truck Cook Off, everything begins to go wrong.  The Evil Princess Dagger steals their Mega-Dog.  When they finally get their food back and try to leave the planet, they are accused of kidnapping the princess!  The Queen wants her daughter back, and everyone in the galaxy are trying to catch Cosmoe and Humphree.  From video game competitions to fighting evil monsters, Cosmoe and Humphree experience it all.

Galactic Hot Dogs is a great book because of all the funny moments and the jokes in the story.  I really liked the illustrations and felt they helped the reader follow the story of Cosmoe and Humphree's crazy adventures.  Besides the main characters, Goober is also a fun part of the story. He is an elastic blob stuck to Cosmoe's wrist and kind of like having a special super power.

I received the second book for my birthday and read it immediately too.  I can't wait for the third book that is coming out soon.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Stick Sketch School: An Animal Art Artventure by Billy Attinger and Rachel Kochackis

I received a copy of Stick Sketch School: An Animal Art Artventure from Quarto Books to check out and share.

Stick Sketch School: An Animal Art Artventure teaches you how to draw simple stick animals.  If you are just starting to learn to draw, this book will really benefit you.  Its step-by-step process helps you to draw cute and easy critters.  

Or, if you like to draw cartoons, this is a book for you!  It can gives you new ideas for animals you want draw or new ways to draw animals you already like to doodle.  It even has instructions for extinct and magical creatures you might not have thought to draw!

While reading and using this book, you'll travel from the hot savannas to the deepest depths of the ocean to the prehistoric era.  Each chapter teaches you a different group of animals you might like to draw.  There's furry friends, icky animals, mythical creatures, and more.

Some of my favorite animals I've drawn from this book are the giraffes, the panda, and the elephant.  I plan to use photos of my drawings, so I can animate them on Scratch, a coding program.

I think this book would be good for anyone interested in learning to draw.  It's good for kids and adults alike!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look

The second book in the Alvin Ho series is called Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters

Alvin is back and is preparing for the great outdoors. In this book, Alvin's Dad decides to take Alvin and Anibelly camping. Freaked out of his mind at what could possibly happen, Alvin prepares for any situation. But when things start to go downhill, Alvin starts to wonder if he is even going to live through the camping trip.

The second book in the Alvin Ho series was even better then the first book.  I just loved how he thought up every possible camping disaster and kept getting more scared.  I thought this was a great continuation of the series and I think fans of the first book will love the book as much as the first.

Monday, August 28, 2017

CatStronauts: Mission Moon by Drew Brockingham

I found this book while browsing through books at the library.  It looked kind of cute, so I decided to check it out.

CatStronauts: Mission Moon is the first graphic novel in a new series.  In this book, Earth has an energy shortage.  The best astronauts are sent to the moon to plant solar panels to collect solar power.  They have five day to train, build a rocket, and complete their mission.  But, by the way?  The whole world is made up of cats.  Can Major Meowser and his team save the planet?

This book was really funny.  It was a shorter read for me, but it really made me laugh.  I liked how everyone in the book was cats, from the President of the United States, to the astronauts, to regular citizens, but they also still had very "cat" names like PomPom and Waffles.  My favorite character was Waffles because he was always eating and he reminded me of myself.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Losers Club by Andrew Clements

In The Losers Club, a boy named Alec is enrolled in an extended day program because both his parents are working.  He is supposed to join a club while there, but all he wants to do is read.  Alec decides to make his own club--a reading club.  Since he does not want anyone else to bother him while he is reading, he names his club "The Losers Club" so no one will want to join.  How will he be able to prevent other people from joining him and just be able to enjoy his books in peace.

This book reminded me a lot of myself because I love to read and never want to stop.  I'm always finding new books, just like Alec in the story.  I liked how the books Alec mentions in the story are actual books, and that the author has a checklist at the end of the book listing the books in the story.  If I had a chance, I'd like to join a club like Alec's.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Almost Super by Marion Jensen

Almost Super is the first book in a new series that I found at the library the other day.

This book is about a boy named Rafter Bailey and his brother, Benny, whose entire family are superheroes. They are in a constant war with the Johnsons who are the supervillians. When Rafter and Benny suspect the Johnsons of stealing their powers, they know they have to try to get their powers back. But how will they fight the Johnsons without their true powers?

I thought this was a great book because Rafter and Benny were supposed to get good powers but they ended up useless ones. They still made the best of their powers and tried to help their family.  Even when their parents didn't believe in them, they kept trying to help save the day.

I can't wait to read the sequel!

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman

The Gollywhopper Games is the first book in the Gollywhopper Games trilogy by Jody Feldman.

This book is about a boy named Gil whose receives a ticket to compete in the Gollywhopper Games.  The games are a puzzle scavenger hunt for kids, put on by the Golly Toy and Game Company.  Gil's dad promised him that, if he won, they would move to a different city to get away from the "incident".  Gil is more determined than ever to win this competition, but he has to get through puzzles, trivia, and other competitors first.

I really liked this book because it was full of the puzzles that Gil had to solve and the reader could try to solve themselves, if they can figure out the logic.  I also liked that each of the rounds of puzzles was completely different.  At the very end of the book, there is also a puzzle meant for the reader to try to solve.

This book reminded me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Mr. Lemoncello's Library.  I think people who have liked those books will also probably like Gollywhopper Games too.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things is about a second grader named Alvin Ho. Along with his brother Calvin, his sister Anibelly, and his dog Lucy, he goes on adventures doing scary things (or at least to Alvin, they're scary). Alvin is afraid of everything, even simple stuff like school. He is so afraid of school, he can't even talk when he is there. How will he ever make it through second grade?

I enjoyed Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things because he is constantly afraid of one thing or another. I like how he is always looking for his family members (even his dog Lucy).  It's funny how, when Alvin is at home, he is fearless, but when he is anywhere else, he is a scaredy cat.

This funny book is good for elementary students. It is also the first book in the Alvin Ho series and there are 5 more titles after it.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Creature from My Closet: Katfish by Obert Skye

The Creature from My Closet: Katfish is the fourth book in the Creature from my Closet series.  This book is about a boy named Rob whose life has been ruined by other creatures that have come out of his closet in the prior books.  Rob has become an outcast at school, so his science closet sends a creature named Katfish to the rescue. With a little help from Katfish and his friends, will Rob earn back his life at school? Find out the answer in The Creature from My Closet: Katfish.

I thought The Creature From my Closet: Katfish was a great book because, just like the rest of the series, a creature came out of his closet that is a mix of two other popular book characters. In this book it was a mix of Ariel( from The Little Mermaid)and Katniss( from The Hunger Games). Other characters from the closet include Wonkenstein (Willy Wonka and Frankenstein), Potterwookie (Harry Potter and Chewbacca), and Pinocula (Pinocchio and Dracula).

This series is good for elementary and early middle school.  It's funny to read and a good mix of the story with fun drawings in between.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve

Pugs of the Frozen North is part of the "A Not-So-Impossible Tale" series, written by Phillip Reeve.

When True Winter comes, two friends, Sika and Shen, and their 66 pugs decide to enter the race to the top of the world.  If they win, they will get their wishes granted by the Snowfather.  One competitor will stop at nothing, even if it means cheating.  How will Sika and Shen reach the top and win the race?

I liked this book because of all of their funny adventures during the race. I also enjoyed it because of all the silly ways Sir Basil tried to trick Sika and Shen and the rest of the racers during the race.  I thought the pugs were adorable and it made me laugh to think about them being sled dogs.

For more fun activities about Pugs of the Frozen North, check out the website for the book!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Story Thieves by James Riley

The first book in the Story Thieves series is about a boy named Owen.  One day, while at the library, he catches his classmate, Bethany, climbing out of a book.  Bethany is forced to reveal her secret to Owen and he learn Bethany is half fictional. Owen promises to not tell anyone if she takes him into his favorite book series. But once the characters find out Bethany and Owen are there, everything goes wrong. Can Owen and Bethany restore order while keeping their own lives?

Story Thieves was a great book because it told me about all the adventure you can have by just reading a book. It felt like I was really in the book as I read and I really liked Owen and Bethany's adventures. I think this book, and the series, would be a good choice for middle schoolers.

I'm looking forward to reading the next books in the series.  There are two more books out already and one coming out at the end of September 2017.