Tag Archives: reviews

Boys of Blur, by N.D. Wilson

7 Jul

My heart is racing because I just finished a really great book! Check out the cover of N. D. Wilson’s Boys of Blur:

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 7.54.17 PM

Because there are two boys running on the cover, I thought this book was going to be about sports – but it’s not. It’s got magic, mystery, and zombies! The setting of this book is really unusual.Β It takes place in a fictional town in Florida. In this town, they grow sugar cane, and much of the story takes place in these sugar cane fields – “the muck.”Β Creepy!!

I love the way that N.D. Wilson writes – I was on the edge of my seat! If you are looking for a slightly scary, fast-paced read, this is the book snack for you!



A Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff

24 Jun

I’ve finished my first chapter book of the summer, and I loved it! A Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff, is an interesting story told from many different points of view. Sometimes the story can be confusing because I wasn’t sure how all the pieces fit together, but if you stick with it, it all becomes clear!
In this book, people have Talents, which means they can do something (usually something ordinary) really well. For example, there is a character who is Talented at knitting, and can knit sweaters, scarves, and other things really quickly. There are other characters in the book who are Talented at tying knots, matching people, and spitting. The main character’s Talent is baking cakes. Yum! The author has included several cake recipes, too!

I would recommend this book snack to anyone in grades 3-5, especially to anyone who loves a little dash of fantasy. If you like this book, I would also recommend Pie, by Sarah Weeks, and Everything on a Waffle, by Polly Horvath. We will have this book in the library when school starts again, but I have to warn you: if you want to borrow it, you’ll have to make a cake from the recipes and bring me a slice! πŸ™‚

A Tangle of Knots


By the way, what do you think of the cover?

Neversink, by Barry Wolverton

17 Jul

Do you know what kind of animal this is?

I certainly hope you didn’t say that it is a PENGUIN because it is a PUFFIN! πŸ™‚

The hero of Neversink is a puffin named Lockley. If you are thinking that this puffin doesn’t look very heroic, you’d be correct. Most puffins in Neversink are quiet, go-with-the-flow type birds, even when they are threatened by the owls from a neighboring island. Lockley, though, is different. He even wants to soar, and his two best friends are a walrus and a hummingbird!

Can Lockley save the puffins’ home? Can he protect his wife, Lucy, and their egg? Can he be the hero Neversink needs?

This is the perfect summer read because it takes place near the Arctic Circle, where it’s very cold. If you are looking for a frosty, snowy treat, this is the perfect Book Snack for YOU!

The Lemonade War, by Jacqueline Davies

12 Jul

I have just read the perfect summer book: The Lemonade War, by Jacqueline Davies. Check out this refreshing cover:

This is the story of two siblings: Evan and Jessie. Usually they get along, but when Evan finds out that Jessie will be in his class next year because she is skipping a whole grade level, he freaks out and says some hurtful things he doesn’t mean. This leads to a lemonade-selling competition with each sibling trying everything he or she can to out-sell the other. If you like money, summertime, competitions, and friendships, this is the book for you.

This is a tasty and refreshing book snack for both guys and gals in grades 4 – 6.

The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate

23 May

If you love animals, this is the book for you. But beware – there’s a good chance you need at least a few tissues.

The One and Only Ivan

Ivan is a silverback – a gorilla. He has lived in the Big Top Mall for 9,876 days in his very small domain (he doesn’t like to call it a cage). He is surrounded by other animals, but hasn’t had any contact with any other gorillas since he was a baby. It’s not a good life, but there’s no way out… is there?

The coolest (and saddest) thing about this story is that it is based on a real gorilla named Ivan. He’s still alive in a zoo in Atlanta, Georgia!

Check it out here! And while you’re there, you can find out about the author, too.

This book is a tasty snack for banana lovers in fourth grade and up! πŸ™‚

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

13 Apr

Wonder“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”

Auggie Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to school β€” until now. He’s about to start 5th grade, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances? (From the publisher)

Friends, I read this book all in one sitting – I could not put it down! This is definitely one of the best books of the year, and I absolutely love Auggie.

If you are looking for a realistic fiction book, but want something a little different, this is the book for you. This is not an easy book to snack on – you might need a box of tissues nearby, but it’s one of the most satisfying book snacks of the year. You’ll be thinking about Auggie long after the book is over.

*UPDATE: Check out this very cool site inspired by this book. Will YOU choose to be kind?

Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos

13 Apr

Dead End in Norvelt

Caution: Do not read this book while snacking on milk & cookies unless you enjoy snorting milk out of your nose. Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos is a very, very funny book. πŸ™‚ The main character in the book is a boy named Jack Gantos, and he is growing up in the town where Jack Gantos lived, Norvelt. That doesn’t mean this is an autobiography, though. This novel is semi-autobiographical, meaning that parts of this book are true, and other parts are made up. Which parts are which? Try checking out his website to find out!

My favorite scene is right in the beginning. Jack is playing with his father’s things, including a Japanese rifle. Jack doesn’t know that it is loaded, and when he pulls the trigger, the explosion knocks him off his feet! Jack sees blood everywhere and is afraid that he’s shot himself – but it turns out to be just a nosebleed. (He suffers from nosebleeds every time he gets upset). He breathes a sigh of relief – and then an ambulance pulls in to his neighbor’s house – sirens blaring! Has he shot his neighbor? What will Jack’s father do when he finds out?

We have two copies of this book in the library – you’ll have to get on the reserve list to get a taste of this delicious book snack! Don’t forget you can reserve it today by logging in to the library catalog! I definitely recommend this book to any student in 5th or 6th grade. Check it out!

A Solar Eclipses and a Time-traveling Toy Train?

21 Jul

Hello, my friends! It is so exciting to see so many students coming to Book Snacks to check it out! Thanks for stopping by again!

I have been reading like CrAzY the past week or so, and I wanted to catch you up on the books I’ve read. The first book is by an author that was recommended on this very site in the comments. I knew I had to read something by Wendy Mass this summer, so I chose Every Soul a Star, a book that I’d been eyeballing, but have been unable to read because it’s always checked out of our library!

Every Soul a StarI am not surprised that this book was totally fantastic. So many students told me I HAD to read this book, I knew it would be great. I was surprised, however, at the story! I thought it would just be a story about two girls who don’t want to move figuring out that it is going to be just fine. I was wrong – it’s so much more than that.

Ally and Bree could not be more opposite. Ally’s family runs a campground, Moon Shadow, in the middle of nowhere. Her parents are scientists, and they’ve been preparing for the solar eclipse that is about to happen for years. She can’t even think about living anywhere else. Bree lives in the city, is super popular, and really can’t be bothered with all that “science” stuff. She’s into being popular, not smart. One day, Bree finds out that she is moving so that her parents can conduct research. When she finds out what her new home is like, she is absolutely mortified – she can’t live away from her best friend and become a model if she’s living at Moon Shadow!

But there’s a third story to tell, too: Jack’s story. Jack is offered a trip to the solar eclipse instead of attending summer school, which sounds like a pretty good deal. He’s nervous because he thinks he doesn’t know anything about science, but decides to make the trip with his science teacher anyway.

How will Bree adjust to living “in the sticks”? How will Ally every find the strength to say goodbye? And how does Jack fit in? I really loved the way these three stories came together, and I loved how much I learned about science, too! This book is a good choice for some 3rd graders and most 4th and 5th graders. This is the perfect Book Snack if your family is headed to a science museum this summer, or if you have a backyard to lay outside and gaze up at the stars! πŸ™‚

On the Blue CometThe other book I read that I loved is On the Blue Comet, by Rosemary Wells. It is 1929, and Oscar Ogilvie lives with his father in Cairo, Illinois. In their basement is a huge layout with Lionel toy trains which they are always working on together. Then, tragedy strikes and the stock market crash causes the Great Depression. Oscar’s father has to go to California to find work, and Oscar must live with his prickly Aunt Carmen. I can’t tell too much more without giving this one away because the adventure is non-stop! I couldn’t put it down! I think students in grades 4 – 6 would enjoy this science-fiction novel. (Did you know this book is sci-fi from the cover or description? Probably not!) If you are traveling this summer, even if it’s not on a train, be sure to take this book snack with you! It will make you wonder where – and when – you are headed. πŸ™‚
That’s not all, though! I’ve also read The Goodbye Time, by Celeste Conway and Gifts From the Sea, by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock. I also read Shooting Kabul, by Right now, I’m reading the second Trackers book, Shantorian, by Patrick Carman and Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, by Lynne Jonell. What are YOU reading? πŸ™‚

Baseball Anyone?

7 Jul

Baseball Hall of Fame
So far this summer, I have been on two exciting adventures! My first adventure was a trip to Cooperstown, NY to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. It was very cool to see all uniforms, bats, cleats, and lockers of famous baseball players. They also had a large collection of old baseball cards, which reminded me of Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventures series. If you are into baseball, these books will be right up your alley! Here is a description of the first book in the series, Honus & Me, From Dan Gutman’s website:

Honus & MeWhile cleaning out an old lady’s attic, a boy finds the most valuable baseball card in the world – the 1909 Honus Wagner T-206. He also discovers he has the power to travel through time, using baseball cards as his time machine. So he goes back to 1909 and has an adventure with the great Honus Wagner.

Baseball cards as time machines?! Awesome! Joe’s adventures continue with Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente, and more! If your favorite snacks are ballpark hot dogs and popcorn, this series is the one for you!

More on my second adventure soon! πŸ™‚

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch, by Joseph DeLaney

7 Jul

The Last Apprentice: Reveng of the WitchI picked up The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph DeLaney because I had just finished the second Skeleton Creek book, and was still in the mood for something a little scary and creepy. I definitely picked up the right book! On the back of this book, the reader is warned, “Not to be read after dark,” and they were right! Thomas Ward is the 7th son of a 7th son, which makes him the natural enemy of all evil things. This is why he is accepted as an apprentice to Old Gregory, the Spook. Other apprentices have come before Thomas, and not all of them have survived. Tom will have to prove to Old Gregory, and to himself, that he has what it takes to capture witches, bind boggarts, and drive away ghosts.

The scary parts of this book were definitely scary enough to make me only want to read during the daytime. If you enjoy snacking on Goosebumps and John Bellairs books, this might be just the right treat for you. πŸ™‚

You can also check out the website here. Enjoy!