Tag Archives: reviews

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

$16.99

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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Customer Review:

Saving Mr  TeruptSaving Mr. Terupt

Rob Buyea

Delacorte Books for Young Readers

$16.99

Available July 14, 2015

Saving Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea is the third book in a series I really love. This book shared another school year full of experiences of Buyea’s characters/Mr. Terupt’s students.

Mr. Terupt’s fifth grade students: Peter, Anna, Jeffrey, Alexia, Danielle, Luke and Jessica, make posters, raise money, and try to save their favorite teacher’s job as their town suffers unexpected budget cuts. Which teachers should keep their jobs?  Which teachers should go? Is there a way to do it fairly?

I enjoy how the author breaks apart the story so that each character has their own opportunity to speak and share how they feel about a specific setting, event, or what’s going on at home.  This is definitely a book I would recommend to people who like determination, adventure, and friendship changes.

~ Madeline, age 10

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Staff Review: Smartest Kids in the World

SmartestKidsintheWorldThe Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way

Amanda Ripley

Simon & Schuster

$15.99

Available now

Can you imagine a teacher earning 4 million dollars? Can you imagine allowing your son or daughter to buy a pillow made for sleeping in class? How would you react to your son or daughter failing a class? As a teacher, how would you feel failing a student? How do you feel about the ones you have, intentionally or unintentionally, let fall behind? How do you adapt your teaching style so that every child succeeds and wants to succeed?

Amanda Ripley’s book made me ask myself those questions and a plethora of others.

Teachers have one of the most important jobs in the world. Students need good teachers and we, as adults, need to make sure children learn from the best every day.

In this book, Amanda Ripley highlights the adventures of Kim, Eric, and Tom, three American teenagers, as they spend academic years abroad in Finland, South Korea, and Poland respectively. Through their stories, Ripley highlights the pros and the cons of the educational systems in those “smarter countries,” while comparing them with the pros and cons of our own system. She makes this comparison in a compelling way, so compelling to me that I, in turn, am challenging you to read her book and to make changes yourself.

If you care about the future of our nation’s children, read this book! ~ Rebecca

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Customer Review: The Red Queen

RedQueenThe Red Queen

Victoria Aveyard

HarperCollins

$17.99

Available now

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is by far one of the best young-adult novels I have ever read.  With an interesting protagonist, a unique setting, and a wild plot twist leaving you wanting more.  The book surrounds a girl named Mare who lives in a world where the blood in your veins determines the life you live.  Mare discovers that she is different and is a powerful weapon to some.  Her life as she knows it will never be the same

~ Emily

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Morse Pond Review: Listen, Slowly

9780062229182Listen, Slowly

Thanhha Lai

HarperCollins

$16.99

Available January 2015

Listen, Slowly by award winning author Thanhha Lai is the story of a 12 year old Mia who is growing up in Laguna, California and looking forward to her summer at the beach with her friends. However, her parents inform her that she will be traveling with her grandmother to Vietnam to learn more about her family’s culture and find out what happened to her grandfather who went missing during the Vietnam War. Mia is very upset about this arrangement. Yet, during the course of the novel, Mia (Mai in Vietnam) learns a great deal about the Vietnamese culture as well as about her family, herself and life in general. I could not put this book down! The author’s voice made the characters both believable and intriguing. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a wonderful story, especially if you liked Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai. Her books are enthralling. This is one of my new favorite books!

Mrs. Abbott, Library Media Teacher

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Morse Pond Review: The Story Thieves

9781481409193The Story Thieves

James Riley

Simon & Schuster

$16.99

Available January 2015

I really liked this book. I would recommend this book to both boy and girls. The Story Thieves is about this boy named Owen who has always wanted to star in his own books. Owen hates the real world’s chores and homework. When he sees his classmate Bethany climbing out of a book in the library, he discovered that Bethany is half fictional and is looking for her fictional father who is lost in a book. Owen makes a deal. He will not say a word if Bethany takes him into his favorite series, the Kiel Gnomefoot series. It might help Bethany find her father or ruin the series. The Story Thieves is a fantasy book and a very good one. I could not put it down after the first page. I hope that you like this book. Happy reading!

~ Sophia, age 10

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Morse Pond Review: Terror of the Southlands

9780062194367

The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates: The Terror of the Southlands

Caroline Carlson, Dave Philips

HarperCollins

$16.99

Available now

Hilary Westfield is the Terror of the Southlands. She’s had some great adventures! However, the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates doesn’t think she’s been acting very piratical. To keep her status of Terror of the Southlands, she has to go on a very fearsome quest. Everything goes wrong when the enchantress gets kidnapped. Should Hilary  go on her fearsome quest to keep her title of the Terror or should she attempt to save the enchantress? This thrilling sequel is full of action, adventures, and suspense. All in all, it is a great read.

~ Ryan, age 11

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Morse Pond is Buzzing about “The Next Big Thing!”

For the past couple of years, I’ve been working with Mrs. Abbott, who is the amazing and passionate librarian at Morse Pond Middle School in Falmouth, MA. Mrs. Abbott coordinates two book clubs, one for the 5th grade and one for the 6th grade. Thanks to many generous sales reps and publicity people at publishing houses, I have been able to bring ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) of books for the kids to read and review. In the spring of 2013, our Random House rep highly recommended Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. I read it, loved it, and handed my copy to Mrs. Abbott. She read it, loved it, and passed it on to one of the 6th graders in the book club who read it, loved it, and reviewed it. That review kicked off a series of events that none of us could have anticipated, culminating a Mr. Lemoncello Weekend, where Chris Grabenstein visited Morse Pond AND we had an after hours event for 12 kids at the Falmouth Public Library.IMG_5995*

In preparation for this school year, Mrs. Abbott and I had a conversation about how many amazing things happened because of a seemingly small gesture: handing someone a book and telling them they have to read it. However, word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the most important factors in publishing. So we decided we wanted to see what books would capture the attention and imagination of Morse Pond’s book clubs this year.

We don’t know what will happen, but here are the steps so far . . . I asked people from various publishing houses to make recommendations of what books they think could be “The Next Big Thing.” Kate (Random House), Bernie (HarperCollins), Debra (Candlewick), Barbara (Simon & Schuster), Eileen (Algonquin Young Readers), Lisa, (Little, Brown) all kindly sent a few contenders. I also picked up ARCs from Abrams, Macmillan, Scholastic, and Penguin at a recent conference (see the full list of books here). Mrs. Abbott and I talked about each book and let the kids decide which ones they want to read. We’ve explained to the kids that buzzing — both via word of mouth and in written reviews — is crucial to this project. IMG_6039Mrs. Abbott put this awesome board up in the library and kids can post their comments about the books for their peers. Kids are talking to each other, their families, and teachers about some of their favorites. Mrs. Abbott can’t stop talking about Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai! Reviews are starting to arrive and will be posted here on the Eight Cousins blog — readers are, of course, free to read and review books not on the list. Although we don’t know what *will* happen, Mrs. Abbott and I already seeing a lot of middle school kids getting really excited about books, reading, and buzzing!

~ Sara

 

 

 

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is a favorite at Eight Cousins, Morse Pond, and the Falmouth Public Library. It was one of the Eight Cousins 2013 Picks of the Year, was one of Jill Erikson’s (Head Reference Librarian at the Falmouth Public Library) Summer Reading Picks, is currently listed on the Morse Pond Battle of the Books, and continues to get rave reviews from everyone who reads it.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Staff Review: Marina

9780316044714Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Marina

$19.00

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Available today

Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s final young adult novel is beautifully written and darkly captivating. Its onlydisappointing feature is the unfairly long time it took to be released in the US—it was originally published in Spanish in 1999. Oscar Drai, the lonely 15-year-old protagonist, wanders through parts of 1980 Barcelona that remain locked away ina frozen, post-war Spain. It’s in these anachronistic wanderings that he meets Marina, an equally lonely girl with whom he follows a mysterious woman from a graveyard to an abandoned greenhouse suffused with the stench of death. This act drags them into a web of all-too-real stories from the same era as their wanderings, and from which they are soon unable to disentangle themselves, as their investigations grow steadily more disturbing and dangerous. However, all the intrigue, suspense, and horror of their encounters with reanimated prosthetic limbs, faces ravaged by acid, and the ubiquitous black butterfly become simply a distractionfrom the devastatingly poignant ending. This novel defies categorization, seamlessly blending mystery, adventure, and suspense with a touch of the supernatural and a dash of romance. All of this is woven together in an incredible gothic story with achingly beautiful language and plot twists that keep the reader breathless and glued to the text until the final page.

Warning: I gasped and shouted audibly in public while reading this book. It’s that good.

~ Cara

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Morse Pond Review: Fallout

9780763655341

Fallout

Todd Strasser

Candlewick Press

$16.99

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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,