Simon’s cat is a rather complicated book. It’s about… a man named Simon and his cat. Hey! I guess it’s not so complicated after all!
The book tells the story of Simon, a young man with a big cat, who finds a kitten in a box in his backyard. Feeling pity for the kitten, Simon brings it into his home. But without his knowledge, the kitten gets into quite some trouble. It begins to fight with Simon’s other cat, and destroys everything in the home! Yet Simon always comes at the wrong times- when it looks like his cat is the culprit. This sparks a lot of arguments and competitions between Simon’s cat and the kitten.
The kitten is constantly playing tricks on Simon’s cat and getting itself into dangerous situations, such as playing with the hedgehogs or releasing the rabbits. It also ruins the cat’s litter box, and rips Simon’s pants and shoes! The fights are endless! It seems like the cat and the kitten will never be friends! But towards the end of the book, the cat and the kitten learn to get along. They begin to get used to each other, and they even become friends.
I enjoyed this book. It really gives you an image of what the story is trying to tell! I would recommend it to anyone, even young children. Through silly pranks and stupendous surprises, the story of Simon’s cat and the kitten is truly a great one. And the greatest surprise yet? The entire book is in pictures!
BOOK NAME: A Thunderous Whisper
AUTHOR: Christina Diaz Gonzales
Ani was never important. She was always a quiet, insignificant little girl. Her mother, a short-tempered sardine seller, called her neska. At first, Ani thought this was an affectionate nickname. Yet then she found out it just meant girl. People often made fun of her for being the daughter of the sardinera (sardine seller). Growing up during Spain’s Civil War, Ani didn’t have an easy life. Her father was away, bravely fighting for Guernica, the city Ani lived in.
After years having no friends, Mathias moves into town. He is a young, free-spirited boy, who has a limping problem and walks with a makila, a walking stick. Could Mathias be her first friend? Ani is curious to know what the story behind his family is. After all, who would move to Guernica during this dangerous time? After a movie theatre mishap, Mathias discovers that his father is a spy! Suddenly, a world of promise is before him and Ani. They have the chance to help Mathias’s father and his spy group on their missions. Through many lies and confusing envelopes, the two friends succeed in their missions.
Yet on one terrible day, Guernica is bombed. The village is destroyed, and many are killed. Ani and Mathias manage to survive, but they lose everything. Their world is turned upside down. Left as orphans, they cannot get over the pain of losing their parents and all of their loved ones. Padre Inaki, the kind priest of the village’s church, takes Ani and Mathias into his home. They help his wife take care of all of the injured survivors. But wait- there is hope! Ani reunites with her father, but she must break the news to him that his wife has been killed. And her father cannot stay for long. He must return to continue fighting.
Through helping those in need, Ani and Mathias realize that they can make a difference, far beyond their own village.
I really enjoyed this book. I have to admit- I almost cried during certain parts of it. There are some chapters that may be intense for young children, and I would therefore recommend it to anyone ages 12 and up. Ani and Mathias’s courage is simply inspiring.
BOOK NAME: Gathering Blue
AUTHOR: Lois Lowry
Gathering Blue is an amazing book about a young girl named Kira. Kira’s father had been killed on a hunt, even before she was born, and her mother has now died of illness. In Kira’s community, if you can’t do work, you might as well be brought to the field to be eaten by the beasts. Kira, who was born with a twisted leg, is too young to weave by herself, so she has the small job of picking up the scraps at the weaving shed. Now that both of her parents have died, Vandara, an evil woman in the community, wants Kira to be taken to the field.
Kira is taken to court. The judges decide that Kira can stay in the community, but now she will have a new job. Every year, the entire village would get together, and the “Singer” would sing a long song about all the good and bad things that had happened to the village. While he sang, he would wear a robe Because of her magnificent abilities in weaving, Kira will repair and restore the Singer’s robe. She will now live in the government building.
In the building, Kira meets Thomas the Carver. They eat their meals together and become good friends. Slowly, Kira begins to notice some strange things about her community. Could people be keeping secrets from her? Kira is determined to find out.
I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone ages 12 and up. Kira’s courage is truly inspiring, and everyone should learn from her.
This book is a sequel to The Giver. Read Mairen’s review of The Giver.
BOOK NAME: Mockingbird
AUTHOR: Kathryn Erskine
When Caitlin Smith, a 10 year old girl who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, experiences the tragedy of her brother Devon being murdered in a middle school shooting, she is desperate to find closure. Yet as she looks for closure, she realizes that this is not something simple to grasp. Her father, a widower, is still in terrible depression and grief over the loss of his son. Although Mrs. Brook, the school counselor, has sessions with Caitlin and tries to help her through this tough time, Caitlin still feels like no one understands her.
Before his tragic death, Devon was an eagle scout. He was working on making a chest as part of this position. The chest remains unfinished in the living room of the Smith home, and Caitlin’s father even puts a sheet over it. Caitlin tries to convince her father to finish the chest, yet he is still not ready.
In school, Caitlin has trouble with friends. No one wants to befriend her because of her syndrome and because they do not want to create an awkward situation after the loss of her brother. Caitlin doesn’t think she will ever find a friend, until she meets Michael, the son of the principal of Devon’s middle school, who had also been killed in the shooting. Could Michael be her first friend?
Throughout the book, Caitlin tries to deal with the troubles of her life. She works hard to adapt to life without her brother. Towards the end, Caitlin begins to understand what finding closure is all about.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a little tough, so I would recommend it to anyone ages 10 and up. Caitlin’s story is inspiring. I learned so much from the way she deals with the challenges in her life.
BOOK NAME: The Secret School
Ida Bidson is devastated when she hears that her teacher, Miss Fletcher, must travel to take care of her sick mother, and therefore her one-room school is closing. Since it is almost the end of the school year, Mr. Jordan, the mean head of the school board, decides to save money and refuses to hire another teacher to substitute. This ends all of Ida’s dreams of taking her exit exams, and maybe going to high school! But wait… could there be a solution?
Tom Kohl, Ida’s best friend who is in eighth grade with her, tells her that he thinks she should be the teacher. At first, Ida is quick to decline the idea. But as she thinks more about it, she starts to convince herself that maybe, just maybe, she could be the teacher! After all, that is what she wants to do in life! So after voting with the class, Ida Bidson, who is only 14 years old, becomes the teacher. Yet the kids know that if they tell the school board, Ida will not be allowed to be the teacher, so they make it a secret school. At first, Ida has some troubles. It’s not easy to teach seven children in one room, especially if the kids are from first to eighth grade! Yet soon enough, Ida begins to get
used to playing the role of “Miss Bidson”, and is a great teacher.
One day, the school board finds out about the secret school. Will they close the school down? Or will Ida speak up and find a way to allow the school to continue?
I really enjoyed this book. Although it is an easy reader, I would recommend it to anyone. The book is great for ages eight and up. The characters are well developed, and sometimes the suspense of the story is unbearable!
BOOK NAME: Calli Be Gold
AUTHOR: Michele Weber Hurwitz
Calli Gold is the youngest in a family of overachievers. Her sister is an ice skater and her brother
is a basketball champion. The family calendar has different colored Post-it notes on it; one color
for every member of the family. The one who has the least Post-it notes is Calli. She doesn’t
have ice skating practices or basketball games. As a matter of fact, she doesn’t have a specific
talent. Calli’s parents keep tossing her into different activities, hoping that one day she will
find her life’s dream. But Calli thinks she’s fine just the way she is! Yet that’s not enough in her
family. “Be Gold” is the family motto, and if you’re not an expert at something, it’s almost like
you’re not part of the family.
When Calli’s teacher informs the class that they will begin a “Peer Helper Program” with the
second grade, Calli is paired with a boy named Noah Zullo. At first, Noah seems impossible to
be with. But something about him makes Calli not give up, and try her best to be patient with
him. Sure, he may be strange, but that doesn’t stop Calli from working with him.
Can Calli work with Noah, and find her talent at the same time?
I really enjoyed this book. Although many books have the same basic story line, the author uses
many details that make it different and exciting. I definitely recommend this book to anyone
ages 8 and up.
BOOK NAME: Secrets from the Sleeping Bag: A Blogtastic! Novel
AUTHOR: Rose Cooper
I am so excited to review Secrets from the Sleeping Bag. After reviewing Gossip from the Girls’ Room and Rumors from the Boys’ Room, I am proud to say that this book is just as awesome, just as juicy, and just as hilarious as the other two!
Sofia Becker, a.k.a. Blogtastic Blogger, is back, and she’s going to spend the summer with herbest friend Nona at Camp Krakatow (which mysteriously sounds a lot like Crack-a-toe)! There’s just one problem: How can she write on her Blogtastic Blog if she’s at camp? Sofia decides to bring her notebook, and she’ll post everything she writes when she gets back.
Sofia is bummed when she finds out that she and Nona have been put in different bunks. The girls’ bunks are named after butterflies, and Sofia’s bunk is called the Gray Hairstreaks! Yuck! In addition to that, some girls in Sofia’s bunk are… interesting. There’s Gabby, who can’t stop talking, there’s Olivia, who yells at everyone and never likes what anyone says, and Sofia’s counselor is the meanest one in all of camp! At first Sofia hates Camp Krakatow, but then things start getting better! Sofia likes the activities, and the Gray Hairstreaks and Monarchs bunks even have a prank war with each other! Sure, maybe Sofia had a few mishaps, like accidentally attaching tissue paper to her hands with super-glue, or falling out of her canoe, but overall,
things work out great! With every day at Camp Krakatow comes another adventure!
I loved this book! Sofia is hilarious! I love what she writes in her notebook! I would recommend this book to anyone ages 10 and up. It will definitely have you rolling on the floor!
BOOK NAME: Toliver’s Secret
AUTHOR: Esther Wood Brady
Ellen Toliver lives in New York with her mom and grandfather during the American Revolution.
She leads the normal life of a young girl, except for the fact that her house is filled with
redcoats (British soldiers). Her grandfather is a barber, and all of the soldiers come to his shop.
One day, Ellen catches her mother baking a snuffbox inside a loaf of bread. When she asks what
the purpose of this mysterious bread is, her mother merely dismisses the question. Ellen gets
suspicious. Why would her mother be baking a loaf of bread with a snuffbox hidden inside?
When her grandfather is injured on the ice, Ellen finds out the story. Her grandfather is a spy for
the Americans, and in that snuffbox is an important message for General Washington. Ellen’s
grandfather was going to deliver the message, but now he can’t!
Suddenly, it’s all up to Ellen. She will deliver the message. The instructions sound simple
enough: Disguise yourself as a boy, cut your hair, go to the harbor, get a boat ride to Elizabeth-
town, and give the loaf of bread to a man named Mr. Shannon. Ellen agrees to take the
message for her grandfather. Yet everything goes wrong! First, she ends up on a ship filled with
British soldiers, and then she ends up ten miles away from where she has to be! At times, Ellen
feels like turning back and going home, but she doesn’t give up. The entire country is depending
I really enjoyed this book. It may be easy for kids ages 10 and up, but is still definitely a great
read! Ellen’s display of courage and determination is something we can all learn from. I would
definitely recommend this book to anyone.
BOOK NAME: Beacon Street Girls: Worst Enemies/Best Friends
AUTHOR: Annie Bryant
Try being a girl who has lived in Australia, Africa, and Paris, and is now moving to Brookline. Try having no friends. Try accidentally zipping the tablecloth from the lunch table in your pants on the first day of school, and humiliating yourself in front of the entire cafeteria! You would not want to be Charlotte Ramsey.
Charlotte has just moved. She is going into seventh grade, and she doesn’t know anyone. On the first day of school, her homeroom teacher, Mrs. Rodriguez, assigns lunch groups. Charlotte is put with three girls; Maeve, Katani, and Avery. Lunch doesn’t go too well. The girls don’t get along. Things only get worse when Charlotte zips the tablecloth into her pants and walks off, drenching the girls in milk and French toast!
Katani tells their teacher that the lunch group is not working out. They finally settle on an agreement: the four girls will have a sleepover. After that, if they still don’t get along, they can switch lunch groups. The sleepover turns out surprisingly well, and Charlotte starts thinking that, just maybe, she has found new friends. But then Charlotte tells a big lie, and her friends find out the truth. Will Maeve, Katani, Avery, and Charlotte ever be friends again?
I really loved this book! I can relate to a lot of the troubles that the characters have (though I can’t relate to zipping a tablecloth in your pants!). The book is extremely well written, and makes you feel like you are in the story, experiencing the troubles of friendship and moving, and the excitement of finding new friends.
BOOK NAME: The Meanest Doll in the World
AUTHORS: Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin
Annabelle Doll, Tiffany Funcraft, and the rest of their families are dolls with secret lives. When the Palmer family, the people that own them, are asleep or away, the dolls move around and visit each other’s houses.
One day, as Annabelle and Tiffany are on their way back from an exploration in the attic, they suddenly hear the Palmers coming home. Caught on the spot, with no idea what to do next, Tiffany and Annabelle see one of the human’s backpacks, and hide in there. They stay there for the night, but in the morning, they find themselves in a place no live doll would ever dare go to: SCHOOL. They realize that they will be stuck there until the Palmer’s daughter finishes school. Tiffany decides to tour the building. Although Annabelle is a little hesitant at first, she agrees to tag along.
Oh no! The kids start getting out of class, so Annabelle and Tiffany jump into a backpack that they think is the right one. Very quickly, though, they realize that they are not in the Palmer’s house. They learn that in this new home, the dolls are alive as well, and there is one doll, named Mimi, that thinks she rules over all dollkind. When Annabelle and Tiffany are able to decrease Mimi’s power, they jump into the backpack they came in, and hope that when they get to school, they will find the right backpack and get back to the Palmer’s house. Little do they know that Mimi wants revenge on them, so she follows them all the way home. What will the dolls do about Mimi in their home? How will they catch her? How will they stay safe?
I really loved this book! It provides you with a look on the human world from a different perspective. When I read the book, I felt as though I was a doll with a secret life as well, going on all the adventures. I would recommend this book to anyone ages 9 and up.
Sylvia Mendez never imagined that she would be forbidden to attend Westminster Elementary School because of her Mexican ancestry. Aki Munemitsu never imagined that she would be forced to go to an internment camp because of her Japanese ancestry. And most of all, both girls never imagined that their worlds would one day collide.
In this book, which is based on a true story, Sylvia and Aki both face different challenges during World War II. Sylvia’s family moves to an asparagus farm that they are renting. Sylvia’s father, Mr. Mendez, wants her and her brothers to attend the closest school to where they live, Westminster Elementary School. Yet he is told that because his children are of Mexican descent, they must enroll at Hoover Mexican School, quite a distance from where they live. Aki Munemitsu lives on an asparagus farm and attends Westminster Elementary school. But when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Aki and her family are forced to go to an internment camp and abandon their farm. That’s when the Mendez family rents the farm.
One day, when Sylvia accompanies her father to the internment camp to deliver the rent payment to the Munemitsu family, she meets Aki and sees how terrible life is for the Japanese-American people. The girls become friends, and send letters to each other. At the same time, Mr. Mendez goes to court against Westminster Elementary School for its segregation against Mexican-American children. Will he convince the court that segregation in schools is wrong?
This is a great book! Many kids look at a book and say, “If it’s history, then I’m not reading it.” Yet although this book is based on history, it is amazing. I would recommend it to anyone ages nine and up. Sylvia and Aki taught me so much about the history of our country and of the injustices that went on during World War II.
BOOK NAME: National Geographic Readers: Titanic
AUTHOR: Melissa Stewart
Most of us know the story of the Titanic. A huge ship, which everyone thought was unsinkable, hit an iceberg and sunk. Less than half of the passengers survived. Yet here’s something you might not know: The reason such a small percentage of people survived was because there were not enough lifeboats for everyone to board. Before the ship had set sail, lifeboats had been taken out so that first-class passengers could have more room on the deck!
The new National Geographic Kids book, Titanic, has many interesting facts about the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic. Did you know that the last living survivor of the tragedy, Millvina Dean, was three months old when she boarded the Titanic, and she passed away in 2009?
I learned so much from reading this book! There are also paintings that look real! I would recommend Titanic to anyone ages 7 and up.
I would also like to tell you about the new National Geographic Kids program, “Super Readers”! There are different book levels for super readers, depending on how advanced they are in reading. For every four books you read, you can go online and get a prize! Although the books are thin and easy for older kids, I would still recommend it to children at any age. Enjoy the program, and keep on reading!
BOOK NAME: Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist
AUTHORS: Liz Kessler
Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist is a story of adventure, friendship, mystery, and determination. It all starts with Emily–a semi-mer (half human and half mermaid) who finds a strange diamond ring. The diamond ring gives Emily a weird feeling; it feels like the ring talks to her and digs into her skin. As soon as Emily puts the ring on, she can no longer get it off.
Emily soon finds out that this ring is property of King Neptune, the king of the sea. Neptune is angry at Emily for taking it, and curses her that at midnight, under the full moon, she will turn either fully human, or fully mermaid. She will also have to say goodbye to one of her parents forever, because one of her parents is human, and the other is a mermaid.
Emily learns the story behind the ring, and that there is a pearl ring that matches it. If she finds the pearl ring, her curse can be broken! Then Emily discovers that the full moon is that night, and she only has a few hours left to find the pearl ring! She sees a castle far away. Is it possible that this castle can help her achieve her goal?
I didn’t really like this book. I felt that certain parts were very confusing. I’m also not a very big fan of fantasy. Yet if you like fantasy, you will definitely enjoy this book!
BOOK NAME: The Egypt Game
AUTHOR: Zilpha Keatley Snyder
April comes to live with her grandmother, while her famous mother is on a tour. She moves in to her grandmother’s house, at the Casa Rosada. Also in the Casa Rosada building lives the Ross family. Melanie Ross, who is April’s age, quickly becomes her friend. They share their interests with each other, and discover that they both love ancient Egypt. They find a yard behind a store, owned by the Professor, and decide to create a secret Egypt game there, based on the customs of ancient Egypt.
Soon enough, the Egypt game has six members. They make their own hieroglyphic alphabet, and have Egyptian names. Then, when a little girl is murdered in their community and the police can’t find the criminal, all kids are told not to play outside, and the members of the Egypt game are afraid that they will never be able to return to Egypt (the yard behind the store). Soon, though, the talk dies down, the kids slowly return to play outside, and the members of the Egypt game return to Egypt.
One night, April and Marshall go to Egypt to get April’s math book. Someone grabs April, covers her mouth, and tries to drag her away. Finally, the strange person runs off. People think the criminal is the Professor, because no one really knows anything about him. Can they affirm their suspicion? Can the Egypt game continue?
I really loved this book! I love ancient cultures. My favorite character is April. She seems stuck up in the beginning of the book, but she really is nice. I recommend this book to everyone! It is definitely worth reading!
BOOK NAME: The Eiffel Tower’s Daughter
AUTHOR: Bethany Huang
Swanilde is a French girl, whose world turns upside down when her divorced mother gets remarried. If that wasn’t enough, she overhears that her new stepfather is a spy for the French government. Swanilde decides to travel to her real father, and warn him. Who knows what this spy could be hiding?
On the way to her father, Swanilde meets a boy named Val, who she later finds out is her brother, who had run away many years before. Val and Swanilde reunite with their father. But then, Swanilde discovers that her family had been hiding a secret from her for her entire life. This secret is too hard to bear, and Swanilde decides to run away.
Swanilde ends up in France, Egypt, and even Greece! She goes on many journeys, which lead her to discover how important family really is.
I loved this book! While I was reading it, I could not put it down! I saw that there was a page about the author, so I decided to check it out. I was completely surprised when I found out that the author is actually ten years old! She writes amazingly well, and I strive to be like her. I hope you will read this book, it is worth your time!
BOOK NAME: Last Shot
AUTHOR: John Feinstein
Eighth grader Stevie Thomas is super-psyched when he finds out that he won the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s writing contest! As his prize, he gets to be a junior journalist at the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament! He is not so excited to find out that he’ll be joining another winner, Susan Carol Anderson. He doesn’t let that ruin his excitement, though, and counts down the days for he and his father to go to New Orleans for the tournament.
The big day comes, and Stevie soon arrives in New Orleans. He gets to meet many basketball reporters, and even staff from the different colleges participating in the Final Four. He meets Susan Carol, and as time passes by, he realizes that she’s not that bad. Both of them get to tour the Superdome, where the court, team locker rooms, and reporter rooms are located. They even get press credentials, which allow them to get anywhere.
As they are exploring the Superdome, they overhear someone blackmailing Chip Graber, the star player of Minnesota State University, saying that he had to lose the final game, or else… Who is the man? Why would he threaten a player? Stevie and Susan Carol are determined to solve the mystery! Through lies and even danger, they try their hardest to put the pieces together. Will they be successful?
I loved this book! I was glued to the pages from the day I started it, to the day I finished! I am not really interested in sports, but the author made everything easy to understand. This book is long and has some parts that may be scary for some people. Be sure to ask your parents before reading it. I fell in love with this book, and I hope you will, too!
BOOK NAME: Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Anne Brady
AUTHOR: Ellen Emerson White
Margaret Anne Brady lived in an orphanage in England. She was dressed in shaggy clothing, and not in the very best condition. Although the sisters at the orphanage were nice, Margaret Anne could have been better off. One day, opportunity comes her way, and Margaret Anne is invited to travel to America on the R.M.S. Titanic, as a helper for an American woman named Mrs. Carstairs. Margaret Anne accepts the offer.
The big day comes, and Margaret Anne boards the ship with Mrs. Carstairs. She is fascinated with all the luxuries of the ship. A young man helps them get settled in their cabin. Margaret Anne finds out that his name is Robert. Robert and Margaret Anne fall in love with each other.
One night, as Margaret Anne is sitting quietly in her bed, she hears a knock on her door. It’s Robert. He tells her to put on a life jacket, and go to the deck for a drill. But shortly after, he returns and says quietly, “You’ll not want to take your time, Margaret.” Margaret has a shocking thought, that maybe this was not a drill. She goes up to the deck, and soon figures out that the ship is sinking. She does not want to leave Robert, the love of her life, but ends up having no choice, and boards one of the life boats that will save her. She tries her very best to save Robert…
I really liked this book. It had a lot of description. It really gave me an image of how the Titanic looked. Also, in the book, there are pictures of the Titanic. One of my favorite parts of the book is the conflict between Mrs. Carstairs and Margaret, because of their different cultures. You’ll have to read the book to find out if Margaret saves Robert. I really suggest that you do.
BOOK NAME: Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life
AUTHORS: James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
Rafe Katchadorian was an ordinary boy. Yet after this book, he was no longer ordinary.
Rafe started Hills Village Middle School. As many of you can imagine (especially those who just entered middle school like me), he wasn’t too excited. To him middle school was the start of three years of prison. At the assembly on the first day of school, everyone had to follow along as the principal read the handbook. Rafe’s imaginary friend, Leo, gave him the idea to try to break all the rules in the handbook. He started with the first one, pulling the fire alarm.
You’ve probably guessed by now that things only went downhill from there. This rule breaking game started having a points system, and Rafe tried to get as many points as possible. That fired up Miller the killer, the school’s biggest bully. Miller thought that Rafe was trying to prove to be the worst boy in the school.
Throughout the book, you’ll join Rafe on his adventures through school, family, and even girls! And at the end of the book, you’ll discover that Leo may not have been just an imaginary friend after all.
I really loved this book. Rarely do books make me laugh, yet this one had me cracking up on almost every page! One of my favorite parts was the illustrations. They look like real doodles in a notebook. My other favorite part was the surprising ending. But I’m not going to tell you that part….. you’ve just got to read the book…..
BOOK NAME: Julie Story Collection
AUTHOR: Megan McDonald
In this collection of six stories, Julie Albright, a nine year old girl, must face the difficulties of her new life after her parents’ divorce. She has to move to a new home with her mom, and only gets to see her dad on the weekends. She has to switch schools, and she’s pulled away from living across the street from her BFF, Ivy. And if none of this was bad enough, her parents don’t really seem to understand the pain.
But slowly Julie learns that the best way to deal with change is by making some changes of her own. She makes a petition which convinces the school to let her play on the boys’ basketball team. Her family (yes, both mom and dad!) participates in Ivy’s family’s Chinese new year celebration. She’s even the first fifth grader to run for student government president. It takes some time, but Julie makes some great friends at her new school, and soon gets used to her new life.
Read about Julie’s good times and hard times in the Julie Story Collection.
My favorite character in the book is Julie. She works so hard to make changes, and I think that her persistence is a true example. I also like Ivy, because I love to see all her Chinese customs. They are so different from our customs! I really loved them!
BOOK NAME: Silent Stranger: A Kaya Mystery
A hawk frequently circles above the woman’s head, so Kaya thinks that a hawk may be the woman’s wyakin, or Guardian Spirit. She therefore calls the woman Hawk Woman. Hawk Woman kicks and punches in her sleep, as if she’s having a bad dream. Kaya still doesn’t know what this woman is doing in their tribe.
Hawk Woman has a strange connection to Kaya’s dog, Talto. One day, she disappears with Talto, and Kaya must follow the footsteps to uncover her story. Read The Silent Stranger to find out what Hawk Woman’s story is.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved reading about the Native Americans. Their culture always fascinates me. I also love all the Native American names, which are so different from ours. They name their children according to things in nature. I find that very interesting.
Throughout the book, Kaya’s feelings change towards Hawk Woman. Kaya keeps trying to convince herself not to have bad feelings with Hawk Woman. I think this is a very important lesson. Just because a person may be strange on the outside, we should not have bad feelings towards them, because they most probably are good people.
BOOK NAME: Number the Stars
AUTHOR: Lois Lowry
As Denmark surrendered to Germany during the war in 1940, life became harder for the Danish Jews. It was 1943. Annemarie Johansen and her Jewish neighbor Ellen Rosen were best friends. Annemarie had a little sister Kristi, and she had another sister Lise, who died in an accident two years earlier. Her parents never told her what had really happened to Lise. Ellen, the Jewish girl, was an only child.
Soon, the Germans started capturing Danish Jews and relocating them. Ellen came to live with Annemarie and the rest of the Johansens, and pretended to be part of their family. Peter, the boy who was originally engaged to Lise, helped hide Ellen’s parents in a safer place. It was very dangerous for a non-Jewish family to hide Jews in their homes. If they were caught by the Germans, they too would be killed! But even though times were tough for both families, through much courage, Annemarie managed to save her friend.
When the war ended, Annemarie found out that Peter was a member of a group that tried to destroy the Germans, and he was killed. That’s when the truth is uncovered about Lise. Lise was also part of that group, and the Germans had caught her, too. Annemarie decided to wear Ellen’s necklace with the Jewish star, until she sees her friend again.
I really enjoyed this book. The character I think I am most like is Ellen, because I am Jewish, just like her character was. I follow all the traditions she does in the book. I also loved Annemarie’s character, because I really admire what a great friend she was.