Category Archives: Book Reviews for Kids

Mason Talks About Harry Potter for Kids

Hi, this is Mason and I’m writing about the first four Harry Potter books.

The first one is called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  It’s not that scary.  The book is about Ron, Harry, and Hermione trying to get this stone that makes them never die.  This is my second favorite Harry Potter book because it’s not as violent as the other books.  I liked it because Harry made a lot of friends.  Sometimes it was kind of interesting when they were talking about the wands, like when the wands choose you and you don’t choose the wand.

The second book is my favorite.  It’s called Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets.  It’s about Ron’s sister, Ginny Weasley, trying to get into the Chamber of Secrets.  The Chamber of Secrets is where Voldemort lives.  Voldemort is a bad guy.  Ginny wanted to go there because Voldemort told her to in his diary.  She didn’t know it was Voldemort’s diary.  This one was a LITTLE more scary, but the best part is that Harry made more friends, like Neville Longbottom.

The third book is a little scarier than the second book.  It is called Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  It’s about Harry’s godfather, who is not a murderer.  But the Ministry of Magic thinks he is because he was standing right next to Harry’s mother and father’s house when it blew up, so they put him in jail.  But he got out and went to the school to get the real murderer.  I didn’t like it because there are these things called dementors, and they suck up the good feelings.  It made me scared.  I liked this book because Harry Potter saved his godfather and it had a nice ending.

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The fourth book is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  I don’t want to write about the Voldemart part because then I’ll get more scared.  This book is my least favorite.  I didn’t want to read it anymore because it was too scary.  People that are like twelve or up could read it.  I read to page 326 maybe, I’m not sure, because it was about two weeks ago that I stopped reading.

I think kids who are seven and up could read number one, two, and three.   The fourth one should be twelve and up, unless you like scary things.

ImageI found out something cool that people should do if they like Harry Potter, at least books one – three.  They should do this game called Pottermore, there are different levels.  I’m at Diagon Alley where I get my wand, my books, and my robes.  You have to find things to help you get to the next level.  You have to do a lot of levels before you get to the level I’m on.  It’s free, and the address is http://www.pottermore.com.  You have to sign up with your parents’ email.

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I also want to go to Whimsic Alley.  It’s in Los Angeles.  You can get your own wands and stuff.  You can have a birthday there too.  My friend Matthew went to Whimsic Alley, and I looked on the computer, it looked awesome.  Matthew is going to write a review for our blog, which you can look on our website to find out about it.

I hope you liked reading my blog.

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Camille Reviews Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker

Clementine is a girl who goes to school with this bossy little girl named Margaret.  In the beginning of the story, Margaret went into the bathroom because she got glue in her hair, and she brought along scissors.  Then, Clementine went inside to see what was going on.  Margaret was crying inside the bathroom because she got glue in her hair.  She asked Clementine to cut the part with glue off, but Clementine accidently cut most of her hair off.  Then she cried even more, and Clementine got sent to the principal’s office.

Clementine lived in the same apartment building as Margaret.  Margaret’s mom got mad at Clementine, and when she went up to say sorry, Margaret’s mom got so mad at her and she said “Go home and think of what you have done!”

The next day, Clementine went to school and got in trouble AGAIN and got sent to the principal’s office AGAIN because she had colored Margaret’s hair red.  Margaret wanted it to look like Clementine’s, so Margaret asked Clementine to color her hair with an unwashable marker.

After Clementine went to the principal’s office, she cut her own hair and colored it green because she didn’t want it to look like Margaret’s, because she was mad at Margaret for getting her in trouble.

At the end, she got a big surprise party, and Margaret got her another kitten since Clementine’s kitten had died.

I think this book is very funny.  I really like it, it is really like Junie B. Jones because she does funny stuff, like she named her cat Deodorant.  I do like Clementine (the girl) because she is crazy, but I don’t like her because she gets in trouble a lot.  It makes me feel not very happy because she gets in trouble and doesn’t really pay attention a lot.

I would recommend this book to girls who don’t get in trouble a lot, so they don’t get ideas to do bad stuff.  I rate this a 5 out of 10 because I like it and I don’t like it.

If you are interested in Clementine, go to this website and you find out all about Clementine and Sara Pennypacker.  You will find books made by Sara Pennypacker and how to write to Sara Pennypacker.  Cross Country Clementine shows cardboard Clementines in different states that kids took pictures with, like Oklahoma, Connecticut, and Kansas.  I’m going to take a picture with Clementine at Somerset Park and put it on the website.

Warmly,

Camille

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Camille reviews Invisible Inkling, by Emily Jenkins

I like Emily Jenkins’ books.  She’s a very good and funny author.  I like Toys Go Out and Invisible Inkling.  I like Invisible Inkling because it about an animal that is invisible, and I love invisible animals.

Invisible Inkling is a book about a boy named Hank.  He is a boy who found Invisible Inkling.  Invisible Inkling is an invisible animal who Hank found one day in his mother and father’s ice cream shop.  Invisible Inkling took a cone and ate it, but Hank thought, “What in the world is taking that cone!?  The cone is moving on its own!”  Then Invisible Inkling went for a walk, and so did Hank.  Hank went back to their apartment and went for a walk with one of their neighbor’s dogs.  While they were walking, the dog that they were walking kept on barking and barking at midair.  Then Invisible Inkling ran, and the dog ran after him.  That’s how Hank found the invisible animal.

Then he went to school with Invisible Inkling, and Invisible Inkling kept on jumping on people’s heads and hurting them.  People said, “Hank, stop putting things on top of our heads!”  Hank said, “Invisible Inkling, you have to go.”  At the end, finally Hank said, “OK, Invisible Inkling, you may stay,” because Invisible Inkling helped him.  There was a boy named Gilllicut at the school who was hurting Hank, so Invisible Inkling jumped on his head and hurt him, and Gillicut never went back to Hank ever again.

I think the part where Hank said no to Invisible Inkling was bad in the book, because he helped Hank.  I liked how Invisible Inkling jumped on people’s heads, and that he took the pizza away from Hank because he wanted cheesy goodness.  I think seven- and six-year-old kids would like this book.  Teenage kids, not really, because there’s a teenage girl in this book and she’s kind of coo-coo.  She wouldn’t let Hank touch any of her stuff, not even her helicopter book.

I would rate this book a 7 because I love invisible animals, but it wasn’t a really great book because I don’t like Gillicut because he scared me. Here is a video about Invisible Inkling that you can watch. It shows Emily Jenkins and Invisible Inkling, so you can hear how he sounds for real.

Thank you for reading my review!

Love, your friend Camille

NOTE FROM MOM:  This is a great book for kids like my daughter, whose reading skills sometimes surpass her ability (or maybe willingness) to relate to mature content.  The book is thematically written for young kids but is challenging for strong readers.  Emily Jenkins’ other books are among our favorites also.  Both kids love the Toys Go Out books (three in the series), and I recently read the adult book Mr. Posterior and the Genius Child, an entertaining book which I greatly enjoyed.  I related to Mr. Posterior on two levels:  from the viewpoint of the main character (Vanessa, a young girl growing up in the 70’s) and her mother, whose parental ambiguity is a timeless topic.  Check out Emily Jenkins’ site and try some of her books for both kids and adults:  http://emilyjenkins.com/index.html

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We Won a Versatile Blogger Award! by Mason

We won a Versatile Blogger Award, and that is when you get an award for writing a blog!  When you win the award, you have to:

1)  Tell about the person who gave you the award

2)  You have to tell seven things about yourself

3)  You have to tell about 15 or less blogs and give them awards.

First, we have to thank you, Erik, for the award!  Erik reviews books.  Erik is a cool kid who does robotics.  He has a blog called This Kid Reviews Books.

The second thing I have to do is tell you what I’m all about.  The first thing is that I’m funny.  Second thing is that I make a lot of friends.  The third thing is that I’m caring.  The fourth thing is that I live in a big yellow house.  The fifth thing is that I like to play sports.  The sixth thing is that I like to read books.  And the last thing is that when I grow up, I want to be an astronomer.

The last thing I have to do is tell you about other people’s blogs.  The first one is Books for Boys(http://boysbookblog.wordpress.com/). There’s a bunch of books on there, that you can pick out from your library.  There’s a book that I’m reading that I found on that blog, and it’s called Airball.  I’m going to write a review about that one.  I’m going to be writing my Airball blog when I’m done with it (the book).  I don’t know which week I’m going to be done with it, it has a lot of pages.

The other blog I want to tell you about is the Origami Yoda blog.  The blog is about people making origami yodas, and you can make one too!

Sincerely, Mason

Side note from Mom:

Thanks to Erik for the “award!”  I’m happy we’ve had this opportunity to share a few of the blogs that have encouraged Mason to read even more.  We’ve shared three very different blogs:  from a kid, from a librarian, and from an author.  This Kid Reviews Books is a great blog written by a ten-year-old (Erik).  He is wise beyond his years, and a prolific blogger.  I’m sure you’ll find some books for your kids on his blog, and it is also a great encouragement for kids to both read and write, and that it’s cool to be smart!

Books for Boys is a great resource because it is written by a male children’s librarian, and specifically focuses on books that boys would like.  We’ve gotten so many great ideas from this site!  Mason is in the midst of  one of his recommendations:  Airball: My Life in Briefs, by L. D. Harkrader and thinks it is really funny: it’s about a boys’ basketball team that plays in their underwear.  We’ve also put  a couple of his other recommendations on hold at the library:  Ferno the Fire Dragon (Beast Quest series, #1), by Adam Blade, what the blog author (nameless on his blog) refers to as “Fantasy Light” for younger kids; and Floors, by Patrick Carman, comparable to “If Willy Wonka Ran a Hotel.”

Finally, we recommended author Tom Angleberger’s blog about his books (including Origami Yoda, which Mason reviewed  in this post).  Not only is it a fun place to visit, but Tom is great with the kids:  answering questions, posting kids’ pictures, and offering contests.  This is what a children’s author should be; so many seem distant and unaccessible, but he is like a kid himself.  Heck, I wish I were a kid so I could participate!  Want your kids to dork out over books instead of TV shows or video games?  Here’s where to start.

Happy reading!

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Camille reviews Stuart Little: Book vs Movie

This is a book about Stuart Little.  It is about a mouse who goes on adventures to find a bird.  He lives in a house with a mother, father, and brother that are human people.  He got really sick, and a bird  named Margalo came over.  She was sick too…she had the bird fever.  One day, three cats came:  one that lived at the house, and two cats that were his friends.  One of the cats said, “Hey, let’s go and eat that bird,” and the cat who lived there said, “Ok, you can try!”   And then Margalo left because he heard what he said.  Stuart Little went out to find her.  Then he went to another city and stayed there for the rest of his life.

In the movie, it is talking about Stuart Little and doesn’t have Margalo in it.

I liked the book better because he went to another city and he met a girl.  In the movie, he never went to another city and he never met a girl.  They were supposed to have a date, but when they went to the canoe that he worked so hard on making, it broke and things came off it, and then it started leaking.  It made me feel a little bit sad and angry at big boys, because big boys are the ones who smashed it.  It made me happy because at the end, it was a really good story.

I would recommend this book to other kids who already know how to read chapter books.  Boys and girls will like this book, especially boys and girls who like fantasies.  I would rate this book a 5 because it is a kind of good book, not a really good book.

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Great Deal on The Lego Ideas Book!

I bought this excellent book at Barnes and Noble for $24.99 right before Christmas…I just saw it at Costco today for $6.99!  It’s a great book that provides a lot of different, open-ended projects for use with existing Legos.  It allows kids to develop their building skills (and creativity skills) and also can provide some useful Lego byproducts, such as action figure display cabinet built from Legos.

Here it is on Amazon.

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Mason Reviews Upchuck and The Rotten Willy: The Great Escape

Upchuck and The Rotten Willy: The Great Escape is about a cat named Upchuck and a dog named Willy.  They have a fine time together.  They’re friends who have a lot of fun and they go out on adventures to discover the world.  Since they’re animals, they just go find out what people do.  Well, one example is, they crossed the street by themselves and went in a different neighborhood.  The street was a busy street.  They made some friends in the new neighborhood, mostly cats and dogs and one skunk.  The skunk sprayed Willy and Upchuck.

The funniest part is when Upchuck was on top of Willy’s head, and he pushed the button to cross the street.  There was this car with two people in it and the guy said, “Well, would you look at that!  There’s a dog under a cat, and the cat is on the dog’s head!”  And the woman said, “There’s no such thing!  That is a ridiculous behavior!”

I think my rating for this book is an 8.  It was an 8 because it’s a funny book.  To me, I only laughed a little bit, but it’s a funny book.  I think everybody will like it.  It has a lot of pages in it and it has small type too.  It’s not as cool as Origami Yoda, but they’re both kind of funny.

From Mason

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