Series Review: Dragonbreath

Disclaimer: The Dragonbreath series has nothing to do with Dragon’s Breath ice cream. It’s not that easy to find a local author to support, but my son did it for me. Ursula Vernon is an author out of Pittsboro, which is a town not that far from here (Durham, NC) and a place I will…

Book Review: The Wheel on the School

You  might think, anymore, that I’m pulling your leg when I say a book was my favorite in fourth grade. It does seem like I say that a lot, but fourth grade was a golden year for me, so by “fourth grade” I mean around fourth grade. And in reality, I’ve only made this claim…

Book Review: Flora & Ulysses

I haven’t really jumped on the Kate DiCamillo train, though it seems everyone else has. I suppose that she has been on my radar, just out of sight, for several years. She just keeps going—getting movie deals, winning awards, and taking names. Her books boast the Newbery Medal (twice!, and also an honor and finalist),…

Book Review: The One and Only Ivan

I’m not averse to a story in which animals are personified. I’m not averse to a story in which animals are personified but being sneaky about it right under the nose of unsuspecting humans. But there was something about The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate that somehow defied both these categorizations and got…

Book Review: The Phantom Tollbooth

It may seem like there are a whole lotta books that I have been enthusiastically looking forward to reading. It would seem that way because it is that way. I have always been an avid reader and a curious individual, and there are so many books that I haven’t quite got around to yet, including…

Book Review: One Crazy Summer

I found One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia on a list of recommended reading for fourth or fifth grade, and we finally got around to it this year. I didn’t really know what I was about to read, though I could see all those awards, all but covering the front of the book. I enjoyed it. It’s…

Book Review: Inside Out and Back Again

The first thing you’ll want to know about this book—for better or worse—is that it is a novella in poem form. Of course, even if you don’t know it, you’ll notice it the second you open the book. A pleasant free verse type of poetry, it is a painless way to introduce poetry into a…

Author Review: Roald Dahl Novellas

My fifth-grade son has finally started reading novels on his own, and I am very happy to announce that his first, second, third, fourth, and fifth novels are by Roald Dahl. If you didn’t catch it already on the blog somewhere, I am a huge Roald Dahl fan, and so I of course would prefer…

Series Review: Alice in Wonderland

I was looking forward to reading Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (for us, bound in one volume) out to my son, because I remember having enjoyed them in high school. To this day, one of my very favorite poems is “The Jabberwocky,” from Looking Glass. What I found, unsurprisingly,…

Series Review: How to Train Your Dragon

It’s hard for me to believe that I didn’t do this review earlier, though we did finish reading as I was tackling a sizable backlog. Boo! This series deserves better than a months-stale review. But it is what it is, and the least the series deserves is a late review. Amazon’s blurb for the first…

Book Review: Half Magic

When I made the Best Books list and started on the adventure of reading to children as they grew, I did not realize that so many of the “classics” of children’s chapter books come from the 50s. Even if they weren’t written in the 50s, many of them take place in or around the 50s.…

Book Review: Homer Price

I must have been writing this review in my head while reading this book, because I feel like I already wrote it. I looked on the blog, I looked in the blog drafts, and I even searched through my Word file. Nothing. Must have been in my head. Why? Because this book is so surprising.…

Book Review: When You Reach Me

In my daughter’s sixth grade class for the recent semester, the kids had to read one of four selections that their teacher presented. My daughter did the first read and turned in the assignment, then decided to read the other three before the semester was through. She has always said this teacher had a great…

Book Review: Where the Red Fern Grows

This is a classic. I chose it from a third grade reading list, to read out to my son at bedtime. I had read it—finally, as an adult—maybe fifteen years prior, but had basically forgotten the entire thing. When I started reading, though, the basic feeling came back to me, and I was in the…

Book Reviews: Mouse Soup and Mouse Tales

Mouse Soup and Mouse Tales, by Arnold Lobel. As far as I can tell, the two books are not exactly related, but they look like a series, are titled like a series, and are meant for the same age group. And both are about mice. I picked these books up after my son so thoroughly…

Series Review: Frog and Toad

The Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel, which we read in Harper’s Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury, which includes all four Frog and Toad books: Frog and Toad Are Friends Frog and Toad Together Frog and Toad All Year Days with Frog and Toad Arnold Lobel, 1933-1987, was a children’s book illustrator and writer.…