Sunday, August 31, 2014

Liliana reviews Half Brother

I read a book called Half Brother written by the author Kenneth Oppel. I found Half Brother captivating in so many ways. Every time I tried to put the book down I failed to do so and picked it back up again. The main character Ben Tomlin's life gets turned upside down when a chimpanzee named Zan unexpectedly becomes a so/called family member. Zan is part of his fathers experiment to see if animals can acquire language. He said in order for Zan to learn sign language they must treat him exactly like a human. Overtime Ben's relationship with Zan grows stronger and stronger, until Ben insists that Zan is his brother. Meanwhile Ben begins to truly hate his dad. He had said to Zan that he was his father but now Ben realizes that Zan was nothing more than a test subject to his father, and in his dads eyes Zan belongs to science. But Ben has bigger problems. Problems meaning he might lose Zan forever. This book was outstanding.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Olivia reviews Circa Now

Circa Now by Amber McRee Turner is a great book filled with magic, humor, and a LOT of funny pictures!! In the beginning of the book, Circa Monroe's father dies in a tragic tornado. Throughout this book Circa has to handle with her fathers death, her mothers depression, and a strange boy showing up at her doorstep that doesn't remember anything from his past.

Circa and her mother take the boy in and find out many interesting snippets of his past. Meanwhile, Circa plays with her fathers photo editing technology that he used to use for his job (he restored old photos). Suddenly, everything she edits turns up in real life! Miles's past becomes more and more tangled with her edits and it's going to take a lot more than an undo button to fix it.

Rating: 5/5


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

End-of-Summer Book Club, Wed. 8/27, MI Public Library, 6:30-8:30 pm

End-of-Summer Book Club 
Mercer Island Public Library Meeting Room
Wednesday, August 27, 6:30-8:30pm
For middle school students, including incoming 6th graders
Stop by to chat with teen librarian, Carrie Bowman, and former IMS teacher, Mrs. Behnke, about books you've read this summer. We can't wait to hear about your favorites! We'll share our summer reading, treats, and the famous cookie bar treats, too. 
Come get some ideas for fall reading . . . 
no need to share unless you want to.
Drop by the meeting room anytime from 6:30-8:30pm.
Presented by Ms. Bowman and Ms. Behnke

Can't make it on Wednesday, 8/27 to our evening book club, but want to share your summer reading?
Stop by the blog anytime to share what you’re reading this summer and to get ideas from other readers.  You won't be able to post, but leave a comment here.  Then I'll create the post for you.  In order to comment, you need a google account and need to be logged in. 
If you’re unable to add a comment, send your thoughts to me  (,
until the end of August, and I’ll add them to the blog.  

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Callum reviews 4th book in Wings of Fire series

A Book review for The Dark Secret

The Dark Secret is the fourth installment in the book series Wings of Fire. It is about five dragons, the dragonets of destiny, and their quest to stop the world war between tribes by choosing a queen of the Sandwings tribe. There is also the Rainwings, Seawings, Nightwings, Icewing, Mudwings, and Skywings. The dragonets are Starflight, a Nightwing, Tsunami, a Seawing, Glory, a Rainwing, Clay, a Mudwing, and Sunny, a Sandwing. This book is focused on Starflight and the Nightwings. He gets kidnapped and is taken to the kingdom of the Nightwings, which no other tribe knows about. He finds out that the Nightwings have a set of backup dragonets to fight in the originals place. He becomes friends with the Nightwing in the group. They both didn’t grow up on the volcanic island, so they both want to escape. They learn that the Nightwings are planning on attacking the Rainwings and taking over their kingdom. They team up to try and stop them.
I really like these books because I really want to find out which bratty queen they choose. Trust me-none seem like a good fit. I would read this book if you like fantasy. I would also recommend reading the other books first. I really want to read the next book in the series.

                                                                            -Callum M.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Reviews from Ellie G.

Zebra Forest, Adina Rishe Gerwirtz, 4/5

This book was exciting and interesting to read! Some parts got too descriptive but mostly the story stayed thrilling!

Almost Home, Joan Bauer, 4/5

In Almost Home the characters really come to life. This is one of those books that can make you cry after just a few chapters.

Flora and Ulysses, Kate DiCamillo, 3/5

In this book the story never loses energy! The only problem I had was that in some parts the story could get hard to follow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Book Trailer and Review for The Fourteenth Goldfish

Jennifer Holm's newest book, The Fourteenth Goldfish, will be available on August 26th. Click to watch the book trailer featuring author, Jennifer Holm, or read a review of the book by a blogger at the Teen Librarian Toolbox. 

Some previous books by Jennifer Holm include Turtle in Paradise, Penny From Heaven, My Only May Amelia and sequels, the Babymouse series, and the Boston Jane series. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Books Read in August or Anytime this Summer

I can't believe that it's already August 9.   I hope you're finding some time to read!  I know that your 7th grade teachers will be interested in hearing about the books you read this summer.

Try to read at least three books during the summer.  Post the book title, author, and your rating.  You might also want to include the genre.

Feel free to share your thoughts about the book, but remember you don't have to post a lengthy review.   You might choose to use a star rating system of 1 - 5 stars, with 5 stars being the best book you've ever read, and 1 star indicating that you didn't like the book.

If you have trouble commenting on this post, email your comments to me (, and I'll post them on the blog.

Even though your book review will show up as a comment on this post,  I'll make a separate blog post for each of you who submit book reviews.  So far that includes Sophia K. and Callum M. (one student from the 1/2 block and one student from the 4/5 block).  Let's see which class can have the most posts for the summer.  I'm hoping to see your name in the title of a blog post soon.  Share what you've been reading and encourage others to read good books too!

Happy reading!

Book Reviews from Sophia K.

Although I have read many books already this summer, here are three that I enjoyed:
Nature Girl, by Jane Kelley. I rate this book a 5 star. This book was both funny but serious plus it had great some hooking moments! I could definitely connect with it! I would recommend it to fourth graders but not any higher than eighth grade.

Confessions of a Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella. I rate this book a 4 star. I thought this book was realistic fiction. This book was very funny and crazy. I learned a lot about money and everyday life. I didn’t like some of the parts because of how dramatic they were, but other then that I liked the book.

The Candy Makers, by Wendy Mass. I rate this book a 3 star. If your looking for a candy coated mystery this book is for you. The only thing was that it was very difficult to follow. But it had amazing details and mouthwatering surprises!

- Sophia K (former student of yours 2014)

Book Review from Callum who traveled to Norway

A book review for Shadow on the Mountain

         Shadow on the mountain is a book about Norway’s resistance during the second
world war. It is based around three characters, Espen, the main character, Ingrid, his
sister, and Aksel, a Gestapo officer. It’s told from their points of view but not in first
person. Espen is a boy, who starts off the book at thirteen, and is eighteen the end of the
book. He is a part of Norway’s underground, and is the same age as Aksel. Aksel is a
Gestapo officer who thinks, along with many Norwegian Gestapo,  that Nazi Germany is
the right way for Norway to be run. Ingrid starts the war at ten and is 15 by the end of the
book. She is Espen’s sister, and carries around diaries that are very harmful to her
existence. She learns more and more about Espen’s secret life as the story progresses.
         Espen and his friends, Per, Gus, Leif, and Stein are part of a soccer team. As the
Nazi’s become more and more involved with people’s life, their soccer team gets
controlled by Nazi’s and Aksel. Looking for something else to do, the guys meet up in
the woods. They decide they want to be remembered as heroes in this war and will do
anything to help beat the Germans. They join the resistance along with Espen,
codenamed Odin, and together help and risk their lives. Espen and his friends face
a lot of tasks that will require their lives if failed.        
       The book is based on a real life event. At the end you learn about the real life of
Espen. The book as a whole is very interesting, and I would recommend it to anyone
going to Norway, or looking for a spy and war book to satisfy your reading cravings.                                                                                          
       You can learn more about Norway’s resistance at the Norway Resistance museum in
Oslo. It features exhibits showing stuff about the war. So many people were working
underground it made the Nazi’s look stupid! One guy put his diary on toilet paper. It
shows you how serious the penalties were for owning something such as a radio or a
censored book. The book and the museum made me realize just how bad they suffered.
It made me super happy to be born after the war.

                                                                   - Callum M.