Julia’s Review: Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins?

Jessica Jenkins

A third review by Julia this week.  Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins? by Liz Kessler

Three words:  funny, exciting, unique
Favorite part: I really liked when Izzy got a super power.
Favorite character:  Izzy because she was most like me- nerdy and a little geeky.
How I felt:  I got excited in this book, especially when they broke in to the house where Max was imprisoned.

Synopsis from Candlewick “Jessica Jenkins has always been a perfectly ordinary girl—until one day part of her arm vanishes in the middle of geography class! Jessica’s friends Izzy and Tom are determined to help her develop her newfound invisibility, though Jessica is more concerned with discovering where the ability came from. When it becomes apparent that there may be other kids developing strange powers of their own, Jessica marshals them into a slapdash band of “slightly superheroes.” But when an unscrupulous adult discovers the origin of their powers and kidnaps one of the team, the rest must put their heads—and all of their skills—together to avert disaster.”

Julia’s Review: Lucky Strike

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Another review by seventh-grade expert, Julia.  Lucky Strike by Bobbie Pyron

Three words:  touching, charming, comfortable (the town felt comfortable, not like the book itself was soft and cozy)
Favorite person: Chum because he was nice to everybody. I sort of pitied him because he was just looking for a friend, but no one wanted to be his friend until Nate and Gen came along.
Favorite part:  When Ruth and Rebecca found the turtle nest.

Synopsis from Arthur Levine Books “Nate Harlow would love to be lucky, just once!

He’d like to win a prize, get picked first, call a coin toss right, even! But his best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn’t think for one second that there’s such a thing as luck, good or bad. She doesn’t care what names the other kids call them. She cares about being right, about saving the turtles of Paradise Beach, and she cares about Nate.

Then, on his birthday, at the Goofy Golf mini-golf course, Nate is struck by lightning — and survives! Suddenly baseballs are drawn to his bat-popular kids want HIM on their side. It seems the whole town of Paradise Beach thinks Nate has the magic touch.

But is there room for Gen in Nate’s lucky new world?”

Julia’s Review: Paper Things

Paper Things

 

This spring, I posted about Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson.  Recently, my expert reviewer, Julia wrote the following review.  Julia is a rising seventh grader.

Three words:  heart-wrenching, horribly real, painful (not like it was a bad book, just Ari’s situation was painful)
The book made me feel. . .  sorry for Ari because she had lost so much and was very lost in the world. I was confused by why they had left home.
Favorite character:  Daniel. He was so funny and kind and made Ari feel much better.
Favorite part:  When they organized Crazy Hat Day and got the school traditions back.

Synopsis from Candlewick “When Ari’s mother died four years ago, she had two final wishes: that Ari and her older brother, Gage, would stay together always, and that Ari would go to Carter, the middle school for gifted students. So when nineteen-year-old Gage decides he can no longer live with their bossy guardian, Janna, Ari knows she has to go with him. But it’s been two months, and Gage still hasn’t found them an apartment. He and Ari have been “couch surfing,” staying with Gage’s friend in a tiny apartment, crashing with Gage’s girlfriend and two roommates, and if necessary, sneaking into a juvenile shelter to escape the cold Maine nights. But all of this jumping around makes it hard for Ari to keep up with her schoolwork, never mind her friendships, and getting into Carter starts to seem impossible. Will Ari be forced to break one of her promises to Mama? Told in an open, authentic voice, this nuanced story of hiding in plain sight may have readers thinking about homelessness in a whole new way.”

A Little Bit Scary Picture Book: Wolf’s Coming!

Wolfs Coming

Picture books are an excellent way to explore scary emotions in a controlled, safe environment.

I read Wolf’s Coming! written and illustrated by Joe Kulka at preschool story time five times last week.  With each group, I enjoyed watching the children’s eyes widen as they scrunched closer to their caregivers whenever I turned a page.  Until, that most important page which allowed them to release their fear.  The relief on their faces was priceless.

 

 

 

Julia’s Review: Omega City

Omega City

Omega City by Diana Peterfreund

Three words:  thrilling, well-written, forever interesting

This book made me nervous and worried for the characters. I was on the edge of my seat every minute, because the plot was just real enough to make a reader really scared.
My favorite character was Fiona. I know she’s the villain, but she was so evilly cunning, and had such a perfect balance of clever practitioner and sly trickster that I felt a little sorry for her when she was arrested.  My favorite part was when they were being chased by Fiona and her thugs and the place was flooding. I seriously thought Savannah was going to die.

Synopsis from Harper Collins:

“Gillian Seagret doesn’t listen to people who say her father’s a crackpot. His conspiracy theories about the lost technology of Cold War–era rocket scientist Dr. Aloysius Underberg may have cost him his job and forced them to move to the middle of nowhere, but Gillian knows he’s right and plans to prove it.

When she discovers a missing page from Dr. Underberg’s diary in her father’s mess of an office, she thinks she’s found a big piece of the puzzle—a space-themed riddle promising to lead to Dr. Underberg’s greatest invention. Enlisting the help of her skeptical younger brother, Eric, her best friend, Savannah, and Howard, their NASA-obsessed schoolmate, Gillian sets off on a journey into the ruins of Omega City, a vast doomsday bunker deep inside the earth,.

But they aren’t alone inside its dark and flooded halls. For while Gillian wants to save her dad’s reputation by bringing Dr. Underberg’s secrets to light, there are others who will stop at nothing to make sure they stay buried . . . forever.”

The Bus Ride

The Bus Ride

I’m missing sharing picture books on the blog.  So I’m back to it.  During the summer it’s hard to write often.  Expect brief posts.  Today’s is about an engaging, delightful book.

The Bus Ride by Marianne Dubuc – A little girl goes on her first bus ride without her mom to grandma’s house.  I poured over these illustrations which show story upon story.  After reading the girl’s story. . . open the book again, flip through the pages and look at each sketch of turtle.  Repeat for cat, the bunnies, mouse, sloth and more.

Julia’s Review: Murder is Bad Manners

Murder is Bad Manners

Summer reading has started at the library, which  means all the books I’ve been meaning to write about will have to wait.  Thankfully, I have Julia to keep the blog going this summer.

Murder is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens

Three words:  captivating, pageturner, complex and surprising

This book had me biting my nails nonstop- it was so interesting that I just couldn’t stop reading! I loved how surprising the ending was; most mysteries just have the detectives follow a hunch and then it turns out they’re right. This was very different in a good way.  My favorite character was Miss Griffin. She managed to fool everyone until Daisy accidentally ran into her!  My favorite part was when Daisy and Hazel found the diary and got chased by Miss Griffin. At first I was like “Uh-oh, she’s after them,” but then I realized that this wasn’t just their teacher, they were literally being chased by a serial killer!

PS- I don’t know why I’m so fond of smart villains, I’m just like that.

Synopsis from Simon and Schuster “Two friends form a detective agency—and must solve their first murder case—in this start to a middle grade mystery series at a 1930s boarding school.

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are best friends at Deepdean School for Girls, and they both have a penchant for solving mysteries. In fact, outspoken Daisy is a self-described Sherlock Holmes, and she appoints wallflower Hazel as her own personal Watson when they form their own (secret!) detective agency. The only problem? They have nothing to investigate.

But that changes once Hazel discovers the body of their science teacher, Miss Bell—and the body subsequently disappears. She and Daisy are certain a murder must have taken place, and they can think of more than one person with a motive.

Determined to get to the bottom of the crime—and to prove that it happened—before the killer strikes again, Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects, and use all the cunning, scheming, and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?”