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Archive for November, 2012

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

syndetics-lcTales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. Peter Hatcher has a two-and-a-half-year-old little brother named Fudge who is a one kid wrecking crew.  This little kid is constantly causing trouble for Peter in one way or another: Fudge scribbles all over his poster project for school, throws a fit in a restaurant and smears mashed potatoes on the wall, tries to fly at the playground while Peter is supposed to be watching him and breaks out his front teeth, and refuses to eat unless he can pretend he’s a dog and eat with his plate on the floor.  Peter wishes they could just trade Fudge in for a real Cocker Spaniel. Worst of all, Fudge gets all the attention and almost NEVER even gets in trouble for anything he does!  Luckily Peter has his best friend Jimmy and his cool pet turtle Dribble.  But Fudge goes way too far when he messes with Dribble the turtle—I don’t want to give away the ending, but Fudge ends up in the hospital! If you have a little brother or sister, you will definitely be able to relate to Peter’s story—but anybody who likes funny stories will love this book.


By bjones on November 26, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Realistic Stories

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Inside Out & Back AgainInside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai. This novel was written in short, free-verse poems which initially made it hard to get into, but eventually I didn’t even notice it anymore.  The book is set in Vietnam during the time of the Vietnam War. 10-year-old Ha sadly learns that her mother wants to get her and her three brothers out of there before things get even worse.  Traveling by boat, their first stop is a tent city in Guam and from there they move on to Florida.  After finally finding a sponsor there whom Ha calls “the cowboy”, they are taken to live with him and his unfriendly wife in Alabama.  There, Ha and her family experience major culture shock, and she is constantly teased and tormented by her classmates.  She slowly begins to assimilate with the help of a nice neighbor/teacher who had lost a son in the Vietnam War.  I found this book to be very interesting, especially after reading that it was somewhat based on the author’s own experiences.


By bjones on November 19, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction

Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen

Dear George ClooneyDear Reader,

Meet Violet, the funny and quirky main character of Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen.  She’s a little bit angry these days because her father left her mother to live in a fancy house in LA with his new wife and adorable toddlers. Meanwhile, she’s still living in a falling-apart house in Vancouver, Canada, while her mother dates a series of losers. Also, the girls from school (Thing One and Thing Two) keep teasing her, and the boy she likes doesn’t seem to like her back. Things aren’t looking good for Violet, but that’s about to change because she has a plan. And it starts with getting rid of the newest boyfriend of her mother’s, Dudley Wiener, and finding a better one…like George Clooney! Along the way, Violet does some things she shouldn’t, visits the hospital twice, and makes some surprising friends. Get ready to cringe, laugh, and root for Violet!

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Coordinator

By bjones on November 12, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Claire B

The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff

Thing About GeorgieThe Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff. The thing about Georgie is he is short, really short–in fact, he is a dwarf.  This was okay when Georgie was an only child, but now his parents are having another baby.  How long, Georgie wonders, before Baby Godzilla (as Georgie likes to call his sibling-to-be) is taller than he is?  If that wasn’t bad enough, Georgie has been cast as Abraham Lincoln, the tallest president, in the school play.  Oh, and did I mention that his best friend is no longer talking to him?  Life does not seem to be going his way.  But the thing about Georgie is, there is a lot more to him than just one thing.  In the end, he will surprise you.  I loved this book and hope you will also love learning all the things about Georgie. 

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By bjones on November 5, 2012 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Picks by Mary S., Realistic Stories