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Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel

Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel by Ruth McNally Barshaw
Recommended for: Grades 3-5

11-year-old Ellie loves to draw. She keeps her notebook with her everywhere she goes and always draws and takes notes about what is happening around her. Her notebook comes in especially handy this summer, when she is forced to go camping with her pain-in-the-neck relatives: Aunt “Ug”, Uncle Ewing, her cousins “Er-ick”, “Prissy Tiffie”, “Boring Bossy Deanna”, and her brother, “Ben-Ben the monkey boy.” Ellie just knows that this will be the worst summer vacation ever, but as she doodles and observes, she finds that her annoying family isn’t that bad after all. When her notebook is discovered, Ellie learns some lessons about the power of the written word and making assumptions. This is a fun book with tons of pictures! It is the first of a series.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Number of comments: 1


The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

Fans of the first Mysterious Benedict Society will thoroughly enjoy this second offering.The same band of four friends is back; Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance are once again in for some big adventures.The story begins with their happy reunion, but things quickly take a turn for the worse when they discover that Mr. Benedict has been kidnapped by his evil brother, Mr. Curtain, and the children have only 4 days to save him.Each member of the Society is needed for a unique reason as they solve riddles, outsmart the bad guys, and race across the ocean and through Europe in the hopes of finding Mr. Benedict in time.A real page-turner with the same great mix as the first installment: adventure, action, mystery, puzzles, and a lot of heart.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Legend of – The Worst Boy in the World

Legend of – The Worst Boy in the World by Eoin Colfer
Recommended for: Grades 3-4

Will is the second oldest in a family of 5 boys.  His other brothers are always complaining, and Will never has his parents’ attention when he has something he wants to gripe about. So he and his Grandad devise a plan; they will swipe stories every week, each venting a complaint of something bad that has happened to them.  Grandad’s stories are always better, involving things like shark bites and tinfoil used for toilet paper.  When Will’s father remembers a story from Will’s babyhood, he is excited to finally have a story to beat Grandad’s.  Like the other “Legend of” books in the series, this is a funny story with hilarious pictures and a nice moral in the end. Highly recommended for reluctant readers.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Dark Is Rising

The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
Recommended for: Grades 5 – 7

Will, the seventh son of a seventh son, learns on his 11th birthday that he is an immortal Old One, destined to help protect the Light and battle the Dark. The story unfolds as he travels back and forth through time, collecting the 6 Signs of the Light, under the watchful eye of his mentor and protector, Merriman. The book has an ominous and eerie tone; the battle between good and evil reaches epic proportions. The series starts with Over Sea, Under Stone.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Recommended for: Grades 5-7

Four children, all orphans or runaways, reply to an ad recruiting “gifted children looking for special opportunities.” After passing a series of tests, they are formed into the Mysterious Benedict Society, whose task is to help Mr. Benedict in his fight to save the world from the evil Mr. Curtain. This book will keep you on your toes as you try to solve the riddles and guess what might happen next. As the 4 unique children grow to become close friends, you will grow to love their company, too. Any fans of Roald Dahl will love this book where clever kids save the day.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Legend of Spud Murphy

The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eoin Colfer
Recommended for: Grades 3-4

Will and Marty Woodman are disappointed to hear that they have to spend weekly time at the library during the summer, because their mom thinks it’s “educational” and a good way to stay out of trouble.But their mom doesn’t know about the dreaded librarian, “Spud” Murphy (so named because she uses a potato rocket to pelt kids who break rules).This hilarious book (with equally funny illustrations) follows Will and Marty as they turn from rule-breakers, to eager readers, to even (*gulp*) friends of the librarian.A book with a lesson of sorts, but still funny enough to interest and entertain reluctant readers.A great read for fans of other goofy stories by authors like Dav Pilkey or Jon Scieszka.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Sandry’s Book

Sandry’s Book by Tamora Pierce
Recommended for: Grades 6-8

Lady Sandrilene fa Toren (Sandry) discovers she has magical ties to fabrics and threads.She is taken to Winding Circle, a home and school for other young mages.Here, she befriends Tris, Briar and Daja, each with unique magical abilities.The young mages each get taken under the wings of an older mage for guidance and apprenticeship.When an earthquake strikes, Sandry must use her magical weaving skills to save herself and her friends.A wonderful fantasy, this book will make readers want to get their hands on the sequels, Tris’s Book, Daja’s Book, and Briar’s Book. (The Circle of Magic series)

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Third Grade Wedding Bells

Third Grade Wedding Bells by Colleen O’Shaugnessy McKenna
Recommended for: Grades 2-3

Third grade is tough for Gordie when he fears that his favorite teacher, Ms. Tingle may be leaving to get married. To make matters worse, he is cast as the Prince in the class play of Snow White and must kiss Lucy Diaz, class bigmouth. This author knows third graders and this is just one in a series of her “third grade” books about Gordie and his classmates.

Reviewed by: Ms. Fisher

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Gregor and the Marks of Secret

Gregor and the Marks of Secret by Suzanne Collins
Recommended for: Grades 4-6

The 4th volume in the fabulous Underland Chronicles. Gregor and young queen Luxa go on a mission to save the missing “nibblers”. They determine that the “gnawers,” led by the Bane, are bent on destroying all the mice. This book leads us to another prophecy involving Gregor and the probability of an all-out war in the next book! Lots of action, flying on bats and suspense as we get to know Luxa a little better and Boots is still around to make us laugh.

Reviewed by: Ms. Fisher

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Martin Bridge Ready for Takeoff!

Martin Bridge Ready for Takeoff! by Jessica Scott Kerrin
Recommended for: Grades 3-4

A trio of stories that highlight the trials and tribulations of young Martin as he deals with a grouchy schoolbus driver, the death of his neighbor’s hamster while in his care, and rivalry with another scout over a spaceship contest. Great transition chapter book for a boy, complete with sequels Martin Bridge on the Lookout and Martin Bridge Blazing Ahead.

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Number of comments: 1