Category archives for Parker
BOOK NAME: Star in the Storm
AUTHOR: Joan Hiatt Harlow
If you like dogs and history, you’ll like Star in the Storm. The book takes place in Newfoundland, an island in Canada, around the time of World War II and the story is based on actual events.
It is about the dog, Sirius, which is named after one of the brightest stars at night. When other dogs chase a sheep into the ocean, Sirius swims out to save it, but it’s too late because the sheep drowns. When Sirius comes to shore with the dead sheep, people think he killed it and they make a rule that all dogs except for sheep dogs must leave the town. Maggie, the master of Sirius, keeps him hidden because she doesn’t want him to leave. Then there’s a big storm that causes a boat full of people to wreck into some rocks by the island. Maggie gets Sirius out of his hiding place and the dog helps save people’s lives. Since Sirius is a hero, the town decides he can stay and Maggie’s family is given a baby sheep so they can turn Sirius into a sheep dog.
The beginning of the book was a little confusing, but it made more sense as I read it.
BOOK NAME: Time Warp Trio: The Good, The Bad and The Goofy
AUTHOR: Jon Scieszka
This is part of a series of books about three boys named Joe, Sam and Fred, who have their own book that takes them to any place at any time and they can’t control it. In this story, the magical book takes the trio to a cattle drive in the Old West, where they ride horses and live with real cowboys before being captured by Indians. The tribe decided to release the boys when Joe performed a magic trick that amazes the Indians. However, one of the Indians tried to scalp them before they left, but the tribe’s medicine chief stopped him.
My favorite part of the book was Joe’s magic trick. I’m not going to tell what he did to trick the Indians because you definitely need to read this book to find out.
There are at least 15 other Time Warp Trio books and I’ve read seven of them. These books remind me of the Magic Tree House series (by Mary Pope Osborne) that I used to read when I was younger because in each one the characters travel in time and you learn about different places and history–and sometimes, the future. I haven’t read one yet that I didn’t like.
BOOK NAME: Weird But True! 300 Outrageous Facts
AUTHOR: National Geographic
Weird But True! really goes with its title. For example, the book says there are some ants that can make themselves explode when attacked and melons shaped like pyramids grown in Japan. This book is full of facts that will amaze you, like that bumblebee bats weigh the same as two M&M candies and some fish can actually walk on land. The freakiest fact in the book was that a chicken named Mike lived for 18 months without a head. How is that even possible? The most shocking facts are that some fish can change from female to male and slugs have 3,000 teeth and four noses. (With that many teeth, a trip to the dentist could last all day.)
I really liked this book because it was fun reading all 300 facts and sharing them with my mom, dad and friends. They couldn’t believe most of it. This is a good book to take in the car on a long trip and read out loud. Let me give you one more fact from the book: People report the most UFO sightings when Venus is closest to Earth. I guess we know where all the aliens live now!
BOOK NAME: Hoot
AUTHOR: Carl Hiaasen
This is book was made into a movie, and I liked the movie so much that I wanted to read it.
It’s a story about a boy who moves from Montana to Florida and becomes friends with a girl and her stepbrother who want to stop a restaurant from being built on top of some burrowing owls. The boy joins them to protect the tiny owls and other creatures that live on the land. The kids play tricks on the company, called Mother Paula’s Pancake House, to make it stop before destroying the owls’ homes. Their tricks include pulling up all the survey stakes on the property, putting big snakes all over it and taking the seat off a bull-dozer and other ground-moving machines that are parked there. It’s funny.
I would say the book is a little better than the movie because it is more detailed and the author’s voice tells you more than what you can see in the movie. I highly recommend reading the book and seeing the movie, but the book is long so make sure you have enough time to finish reading it.
Want more opinions? Read Eleanor’s review of Hoot.
BOOK NAME: Runaway Ralph
AUTHOR: Beverly Cleary
Ralph, a talking mouse with his own little motorcycle, felt under respected so he ran away from the hotel where he lived with his family. He drove to a summer camp and became the pet of a nice boy there, who kept him in a cage in the craft shop next to Chum, a cranky guinea pig.
A cat named Catso stole a watch from a girl and she accused the nice boy of doing it. The boy then found out that Ralph could talk and asked him to help find the watch. Ralph found it in Catso’s bed and put it in the girls’ locker room, where the girl found it and stopped being mean to the boy. When summer camp came to an end, Ralph drove back home to the hotel.
I think Ralph would be a fun pet. I have an old dog named Sonny but he can’t do much of anything any more because he’s 13 years old in human years, 91 in dog years.
In this book, I really liked how Ralph was able to drive a motorcycle and he did a neat trick to get it on the road. This was a fun adventure and easy to read. There are more books about Ralph, but this is the only one I’ve read so far. I’d recommend checking it out.
BOOK NAME: Guinness World Records 2010: The Book of The Decade
If you like to see real-life weird things and lots of cool pictures, you’ll want to read this book. I’ve been a big fan of the Guinness World Records ever since I first learned about them when I was 7. I received the 2008 book from my parents for Christmas last year and really enjoyed looking at all the pictures and amazing records. But the 2010 book is even better because it has cooler records. My favorite record in the new book is the “Fastest Time to Solve a Rubik’s Cube by a Robot,” which is 1 minute and 4 seconds. (How is that even possible?)
I thought the most unusual record was “Most Underpants Worn At The Same Time,” which was 137. The photo in the book shows the winner wearing all the underwear and he looks like a baby wearing a huge black diaper. Another favorite is the “Highest Popping Toaster,” which is 8 feet and 6 inches. I don’t know why someone would need toast shot as high as the ceiling, but the photo in the book of the toast high above the inventor’s head is amazing. I’ve spent hours looking at all the pictures and records in this book and I can’t get enough of it. I might set a new record for most time spent looking at one book.
BOOK NAME: The Get Rich Quick Club
AUTHOR: Dan Gutman
This book is about three 12-year-old friends named Gina, Rob and Quimby, who want to become millionaires by the time they’re teenagers. They start their own club to come up with different ideas on easy ways to get rich, but they couldn’t come up with anything. That is until Gina said they might as well just sit in her yard to wait for a UFO to land and Rob yelled “That’s it! We could make a UFO!” They then made a photo of what appears to be a UFO by throwing plates and other things in the air and taking blurry pictures of them. They took their best photo to the boss of a newspaper company who paid them for it and then they became famous and were on TV. It ended when Rob feels guilty and tells everyone that the picture is fake.
My favorite part of this book is the very end, when there’s a huge surprise. I don’t want to give it away, but let’s just say that they don’t end up with a lot of money, but they do get to see something very amazing that I think most everyone would want to see.
I liked the whole story because I thought it was funny how these kids made everyone think there had been a UFO.
BOOK NAME: Honus & Me: A Baseball Card Adventure
AUTHOR: Dan Gutman
I don’t collect baseball cards, but I like baseball. This story is about a baseball card that’s worth much more than money. It can take you back in time.
It starts when 12-year-old baseball card collector Joe Stoshack helps his old neighbor clean out her attic. She tells him to throw everything in the garbage. While cleaning the attic, he finds an old baseball card for Honus Wagner, which is one of the rarest baseball cards in the world. Joe can’t figure out if he should tell his neighbor about it or not. He takes it home and it takes him back in time to when Honus played 100 years ago in the World Series. While back in time, Joe learns that his old neighbor was actually once a girlfriend of Honus Wagner.
The book tells what life and baseball was like a long time ago. I thought it was interesting how baseball players used to pay people to come to their games instead of the other way around. I didn’t know anything about Honus Wagner before reading this book, but now I know a lot more about him and the way baseball was played so long ago. If you like baseball, you’ll love this book.
BOOK NAME: Explorabook: A Kids’ Science Museum in a Book
AUTHOR: John Cassidy
If you like science, you’ll love this book. It doesn’t tell a story, but it tells you a lot about different parts of science, like magnetism, optical illusions, reflections, light waves and bacteria. One of the pages of the book is actually a mirror on both sides. Another page is like a giant magnifying glass that you can see through, but it’s made of thin plastic, not glass.
My favorite part is the optical illusions chapter, which shows all kinds of photos and drawings that fool your eye into thinking it’s something else. On one page, there’s what appears to be a perfect square on top of a bunch of circles, but when you look closer you realize all the sides are curved. In one photo, there are two girls standing next to two mirrors and one appears to be twice the size of the other, but really they’re the same size because the mirrors are so different in size.
The book has a lot of funny pictures, including one of scientists smelling the arm pits of different people for an experiment. My brothers and I always laugh at that one. The book also comes with two packs of Agar, which you can mix with water to grow bacteria that you can see under a microscope. Bacteria likes to eat Agar.
This book makes science fun and funny.
BOOK NAME: Julian’s Glorious Summer
AUTHOR: Ann Cameron
This book is about two friends, Julian and Gloria. I think they are both 7 years old. It takes place in the summer, which is a really good time to read about when it’s cold outside.
In the book, Gloria gets a new bike and learns how to do tricks. Julian wants to show off and do cool stuff too, but he doesn’t have a bike and he doesn’t know how to ride one. So he looks for jobs and other things to do during the summer while telling everyone he doesn’t like bikes. He is almost mad when his dad finally gets him a bike and Julian then tells his mom that he doesn’t like bikes because he’s afraid of falling down. But Gloria helped teach him how to ride his bike and to do tricks so they both have fun in the end. Julian just had to try to learn.
I liked this book because it’s about riding bikes, which is something I like to do. It can be hard to learn how to ride a bike for the first time without training wheels. This book also is about having fun in the summer, which is also something I like.
BOOK NAME: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
AUTHOR: Jeff Kinney
This is the third of four books that I know of about Greg Heffley, The Wimpy Kid. I’ve read all but one of the books and I like them all. Even though each book has “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” in the title, Greg makes it clear at the start of each one that the book is NOT a diary, but a journal. He explains that diaries are for writing down your feelings and others might think he’s a sissy if they see him carrying around a diary. So his books are journals, which just tell about what happens in his life.
In the beginning of this book, Greg is always accidentally making his dad mad by doing things like watching TV rather than going outside to play and making noises at night that wake up his dad. In the book, Greg admits to having a crush on a classmate named Holly Hills so he tries to make her have a crush on him by doing goofy things, like telling jokes. It doesn’t work. Greg then meets a girl named Trista and he ends up falling in love with her. He plans to bring her to his friend Rowley’s pool for a date, but he runs out of paper in his journal before he tells what happens.
I like the Wimpy Kid books because they are funny and they give me ideas for pranks and jokes to do with my friends, my dad, my mom and my brothers. If Greg were real, I’d like to play with him.
BOOK NAME: Homer Price
AUTHOR: Robert McCloskey
If you like mini-stories, you’ll love this book because it’s full of them. All of the stories were about one boy named Homer Price, who is very smart. In fact, he’s so smart that he can build his own radios. There is a lot of trouble where he lives and he’s always in it, but he also always figures out how to get out of it.
My favorite story in the book is called “Mystery Yarn.” In the story, Homer’s Uncle Telly and the Sheriff try to save as much string as possible to see who can make the biggest ball. Whoever collects the most string gets to ask Miss Terwilliger to marry him. However, what they didn’t know was Miss Terwilliger also was saving string on her own and she ended winning by making a huge ball of string that was bigger than the others. I didn’t expect that.
Most of the stories are just about Homer and his adventures. I thought this book was very cool because instead of being full of different chapters in one big story, each section was a completely different story, which made it interesting and fun.
BOOK NAME: The Playful Chef Cookbook
I tried out two recipes in The Playful Chef Cookbook and both were very good. Each recipe said to wash your hands first, which I thought was weird since they’ll just get dirty while making the food, but my Dad said it’s always a good idea to wash your hands so you don’t get yourself or others sick.
The first recipe I tried was for Eggstraordinary Scrambled Eggs. We followed the recipe but then put cheese on top at the end, which made it taste even better. The other recipe was for Holiday Gingerbread muffins. This one took much longer than the eggs to make and it was much harder. I made these for my Cub Scouts den meeting and everyone there liked them. Everyone had at least two. The muffins kind of tasted like gingerbread men except without the frosting. I would definitely make the muffins again.
Besides recipes, the cookbook has Playful Chef Skill pages that tell how to do different things that are important for being a chef, like how to whisk and how to work as a team in the kitchen. I think this book has tons of good recipes, including Chinese New Year Fortune Cookies and The World’s Fluffiest Pancakes. I plan to try all of the recipes and you should too.
BOOK NAME: Secret Agent Jack Stalwart: The Pursuit of The Ivory Poachers
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Singer Hunt
Jack is a 9-year-old secret agent who lives in England and works for the Global Protection Force. He has a small globe named Whizzy that tells him where to go on each adventure. In this book, which is the sixth in a series, Whizzy tells Jack that he’s needed in the country of Kenya, which is in Africa. Jack goes there and meets Chief Abasi, who show him how people are shooting and killing elephants for their ivory tusks and skins. Jack finds these people, who are called poachers, and uses transformer dust to turn them into different endangered animals, like elephants and rhinoceros. The dust only lasts for an hour, but Jack wanted them to know what it was like to be hunted. When they turned back into people, they were hauled off by the police.
I think Jack Stalwart is really cool because of all the magic gear he gets to use as a secret agent, such as his watch phone, his special backpack, his transformer dust and Whizzy. I also liked all the action in this book. I want to read some of the other books about Jack and I would suggest reading this one, if you haven’t read a Jack Stalwart book yet.
BOOK NAME: True Green Kids: 100 things you can do to save the planet
AUTHOR: Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin
I read True Green Kids, which is a book about things you can do to save the planet. I tried some of the things in there with my family. One was to try to take shorter showers. The book said to time your showers so they aren’t longer than four minutes. The book says most people take seven-minute showers, but if they lasted only four they could save more than 6,600 gallons of water a year! I set a goal of just two minutes. My dad timed me. It was hard. Time would run out right when I’d start rinsing the soap and shampoo so now I try to clean myself faster, but two minutes may be too fast. The book’s suggestion of four minutes makes more sense.
The other thing I did was count all the light bulbs in my house. The book said to count all the CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) and all the normal lights. CFLs use 65-75 percent less electricity than normal bulbs, so there’s less energy, like oil, being used. I counted 90 light bulbs total. Of those, 11 were CFLs. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but the ones that are CFLs are the lights we use the most, which means we save more energy that way.
Another thing that the book said to do is to make sure to turn off all the lights that don’t need to be on. (While typing this, I turned off the lights in the same room I was in because the computer screen was giving off light. See, saving electricity isn’t hard.)
BOOK NAME: Ask Dr. K. Fisher About Creepy-Crawlies
AUTHOR: Claire Llewellyn
Creepy-Crawlies is an interesting book about how a bird named Dr. K. Fisher fixes the problems of other creatures. Some pages of the book are written as letters to Dr. Fisher and the opposite pages are the bird’s letters back.
One of the letters is from a hover fly who says he gets pollen all over him when he drinks nectar from flowers. Dr. Fisher tells him that it’s good for him to pick up pollen and to spread it from flower to flower because it helps the flowers make seeds. Other letters are from a scorpion, glowworm, stick bug, earthworm, millipede and caterpillar.
Other pages of the book are guides to different facts about insects, like their many disguises and wings.
What is really cool is about the book is that on the very first page there’s a real envelope that you can open with a real letter inside from Dr. K. Fisher to you.
I’ve never read a book like this. I like it a lot. What I really like about it is how the bird sends notes back to different bugs to help them out and she writes about bug facts that are really, really cool.