Tag Archives: middle grade fiction

Morse Pond Review: The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson ElementaryThe Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary

Laura Shovan

Wendy Lamb Books


Available April 12, 2015

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary is a window into what it feels like when a place you love might get torn down. But the fifth graders in Ms. Hill’s class are not going to let that happen. Each character has a unique personality. Humorous and poetic, this book really shows what it means to stand up and have school spirit. My favorite character in the story is Sydney. I like that she was a little bit tomboyish and girly at the same time. My favorite part is when Shoshanna stood up for herself and tells Hannah Wiles she is not going to be her servant anymore. I really liked this book and I hope Laura Shovan will continue writing poetry.
~ Josephine, age 11

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Morse Pond Review: A Bandit’s Tale

Bandit's TaleA Bandit’s Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket

Deborah Hopkinson

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers


Available April 2016

A Bandit’s Tale is a great book that opens a window to what it was like to live in the 1800’s. Rocco Zaccaro is an Italian immigrant who thinks that it is normal to be begging for pennies that are supposedly going to his family back in Italy. Then, he meets The Prince of Bandit’s Roost, who turns his life into one of riches, running, and sausages. If you like history and adventure, this is the book for you!

~ Ned, 5th grade

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Morse Pond Review: Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics

MrLemoncellosLibraryOlympicsMr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics

Chris Grabenstein

Random House for Young Readers


Available January 2016

This book is impossible to put down because of all of Mr. Lemoncello’s games and the excitement it brings. The new teams from all over the country compete against the original Lemoncello’s winners. Kyle Keeley and his friends try to compete against the top library nerds including, Marjory, a girl who knows everything and is totally against Kyle and his friends. They start to play the games and Kyle and his team realize how good the other teams are and start to lose hope. Yet, they continue to try their hardest and work as a team. I loved this book. If you liked the first Mr. Lemoncello’s Library story, then you will be sure to like this one. The first book in is still my favorite, but this one is amazing!

Sophia, age 11

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Staff Review: Nuts to You


Nuts to You

Lynne Rae Perkins

Greenwillow Books


Available August 2014

Play is the organic form of childhood learning, and Perkins uses the apparently playful nature of squirrels to create child characters who love adventure, sometimes take undue risks, help one another, get carried away with their games, and try hard to do the right thing. When a hawk nabs Jed and then accidentally drops him into the tree canopy near the “frozen spiderweb” half a mile distant, TsTs happens to see the escape and note that it appears to be “three, maybe four realms” away. She alerts a skeptical Chai and they set out along the “buzzpaths” in search of Jed. Through luck and squirrel sense, they do eventually reconnect with Jed, but in the meantime a new problem emerges: people with chainsaws are clearing trees and brush from beneath the power lines, drawing closer and closer to the squirrels’ home territory. The adventurers set out to warn their home community, and try to move the entire group to a safer neighborhood. Excitement escalates as they rush to stay ahead of the threat, and at the same time devise a plan to persuade their friends and families to accept the change before it’s too late. Perkins does an especially skillful job of creating distinctive characters, both major and minor, admirable and otherwise, whose roles play out in believable fashion. Illustrations and amusing footnotes throughout the book top up the entertainment.


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Morse Pond Review: Prisoner 88

9781580895606Prisoner 88

Leah Pileggi

Charlesbridge Publishing


Available now

Prisoner 88, a great book by Leah Pileggi, is filled with heart and always has you thinking. The main character, Jake, a ten year old boy, wound up in prison by protecting his Pa. Going to prison when he was ten was not the easiest. It wasn’t because he was leaving his Pa, it was because the other prisoners did not treat him right. It took a little while for Jake to settle in. He was a bit unsure of things. He worked with the hogs and, because he was so young, the prison provided him with school. Throughout his few years at the prison he learned things he probably never would have otherwise. For Jake coming from where he had come from, prison gave him good things and bad. This book is well-told and is a great historical fiction book.

~Liadan, age 11

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Morse Pond Review: Prisoner 88

9781580895606Prisoner 88

Leah Pileggi

Charlesbridge Publishing


Available now

Prisoner 88 by Leah Pileggi is a great book about a brave boy named Jake. He’s been through a lot for his age, winding up in prison by protecting his Pa. In prison not everyone likes a young boy like Jake around. He makes some friends and some enemies. This book has a surprising end and keeps you thinking what will happen next.

~ Ella, age 11

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Morse Pond Review: Fallout



Todd Strasser

Candlewick Press


Available now

The book Fallout by Todd Strasser is a very exciting book. It is filled with lots of action and mystery. It is the summer of 1962 and there is a possibility of nuclear war. Scott’s dad is the only one who actually prepares for war. He goes and builds a bomb shelter. He builds it to protect his family and stocks it with enough food and water to keep the four members of the family alive for two critical weeks. In the middle of the night in October, the unthinkable happens. I would recommend this book to kids ages 10 to 12.

~ Cole, age 10

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Morse Pond Review: Prisoner 88


Prisoner 88

Leah Pileggi



Available now

Prisoner 88 by Leah Pileggi is a book for kids who likes stunning events surrounded by some yelling and bossing around. It is about a boy who shoots somebody and gets caught. Then, he is sent to jail for a few years. He has to deal with old men getting in fights with him and getting bossed around a lot. He gets assigned a job from the Warden to get the pigs to grow to be nice and healthy for the lunch room everyday. Every week he gets asked how the pigs were doing. He has to say ‘’good’’ or ‘’bad.’’ If he says bad, he does not get paid and someone else get assigned the job. After a year or so he gets the routine down, wakes up feeds the pigs, and has a bacon and salad lunch. Soon, it is his last year. So he gets his hopes so high he could explode, but unfortunately the warden keeps him there. If you like books with hard, rough, violent, suspenseful moments, then this is the book for you. So, if you like it come out and get one!

~ Conner, age 11

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Morse Pond Review: It’s All Greek to Me

0142401161-1It’s All Greek to Me

Jon Scieszka

Puffin Books


Available now

If you like the Time Warp Trio series, you will like It’s All Greek to Me. It’s all about Fred, Sam, and Joe. A blue book brings the trio way back into the time of Greek mythology. Then, they lose it. They try to find the blue book which is their only hope to get back home! When they run into some gods and goddess, a fight starts. Will they ever get back home? Read the book to find out!

~ Nick, 10

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Morse Pond Review: Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab

9781594746482Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab

Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hickensmith

Quirk Books


Available November 2013

Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab by Tom Pflugfelder is about two kids named Nick and Tesla.They go to live with their uncle for the summer. Their uncle is a crazy scientist. They are going to solve a mystery. This book also has built-it yourself gadgets. This is an amazing book for soon to be scientists and anyone who likes a good mystery.

~ Adam , age 11

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