The 5th Grade Review Club Presents: The Friendship Matchmaker by Randa Abdel-Fattah

friendshipmatchmakerReviewed by Mikala

The Friendship Matchmaker is about a girl named Lara Zany. Lara has specific ways of trying to help people make friends: she listens to what they like and finds them a friend based on that. She finds people one or three friends to form a bond with (never two). She also gives advice on what to wear to school and what to read in school. She even wrote a guide about what to do when you are trying to make friends. Then a new girl named Emily comes. She was breaking all of Laraʼs rules: her clothes her books, everything! So Lara goes and tells her kindly what she is doing wrong. Emily explains why sheʼs wearing what she is, and that she isn’t going to change. Then she criticizes Laraʼs methods of helping people find friends. Lara has had enough! She and Emily decide to have a competition to see who can assign the girl they pick a true friend. Lara picks a girl named Tanya to help, but then Lara starts to like Tanya as a friend. Who will be Tanyaʼs best friend? Who will win the friendship competition? Read The Friendship Match Maker to find the answers to these questions.

Sounds like a great summer read! What’s on your list? Coming Soon: Summer Reading Recommendations from members of the 5th Grade Review Club!

The 5th Grade Review Club Presents: THE GREAT GREENE HEIST by Varian Johnson

Reviewed by Adedayo
great-greene-heist-cover

Jackson Greene is a supporter — and a big one — of the word allegedly. He is what many teachers call a troublemaker. But he has left his old ways of being a trickster behind — or has he? When duty calls, Jackson’s mission is to face his arch nemesis, KEITH. Jackson and his brainiac friends try to stop Keith from cheating in the school’s election. However, Keith has the advantage. He is very popular with the teachers at his and Jackson’s school, especially Dr. Kelsey. But back to Jackson.
One of his best friends, named Gabriela is rather… Okay, very attractive. As the book progresses, Jackson struggles with beating his arch nemesis, getting a girl, and most of all… Pulling off THE GREAT GREENE HEIST!

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes books that have a clear story “mountain” outline, but this particular book is never boring, and has a climax in every chapter. And now I only have one more thing to say; GET OUT THERE, AND GET READING!

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Reviewed by Eoin
florauly
In this book by Kate DiCamillo, a young girl named Flora sees her neighbor being pulled across the lawn by a super-fast, super-sucking vacuum. As she watches, she realizes that her neighbor cannot control the machine and there is a squirrel in their path. The vacuum is going to swallow the unsuspecting squirrel. “Holy bagumba!” she yells. With a poof and a fwump, the squirrel disappears into the vacuum.

Leaping up from her perch in her bedroom window, she run out the door to try to help. Her neighbor is staring at the little tuft of a tail that is the only thing to be seen of the squirrel. Flora yanks the tail and pulls out the squirrel, which appears to be dead. By performing CPR, she brings it back to life. She and her neighbor discover that the squirrel has super-natural powers. She sneaks the creature into her house, naming him Ulysses.

He is very opinionated and has the obedience of a dog.

That may sound more intriguing than I found it. They have more adventures, but it never manages to pull me in.
Unlike the great Because of Winn-Dixie, these characters seem bland and unappealing. The bond between all the characters (including between Flora and Ulysses) feels false and fake. It is not very strong and seems really artificial—no bond of love, friendship, or even hatred. Something. But there was really nothing there.

I started this book with high hopes because I love another one of her books (Because of Winn-Dixie). But I could barely make it through the first 50 pages. I would never discourage anyone from her other writing because she can be exceptional, but in this case, the book seemed so artificial that I never felt like I was in any kind of world or story.

HEY READERS! Has anyone else read this year’s Newbery Award winner? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Digital Citizenship Resources You Can Use Today

ID-10097399A wonderful collection of resources from Michael Gorman’s Educational Technology and Learning blog.

Includes information about and links to sites such as the PBS Webonauts Academy (“Webonauts Internet Academy is a web original game for PBS KIDS GO! that gives kids 8- to 10-year-old an opportunity to have some fun while exploring what it means to be a citizen in a web-infused‚ information-rich world. It is an engaging experience on its own but becomes all the more powerful when parents and teachers use game play as a springboard for conversations about media literacy and citizenship in the 21st Century.”) to Netsmartz Teens, “Understanding You Tube and Digital Citizenship”, and more. and are available now. Check them out!

The 5th Grade Review Club Presents: Brave Girl and Bindi Babes

Reviews by Ava

bravegirl
BRAVE GIRL by Michelle Markel

Clara Lemich, a teen, has just started her new hard life in America as a shirtwaist maker. She and all her fellow co-workers work long hours and get paid only a few dollars a month. Now Clara along with all her other co-workers say “STRIKE! Strike for our jobs! Strike! for equality! Strike for our own rights!” Those were the reasons why they were striking. Read the book to find out how Clara deals with the struggles of mistreatment.

I really enjoyed reading how this person Clara Lemich dealt with these struggles through her life and how strong and brave she was. Thanks to so many people like Clara Lemich today almost all girls are treated equally. So girls, you got to stand up, you got to learn to be strong, smart be tough and to everyone, be brave.

BindiBabes

BINDI BABES by Narinder Dhami

Bindi Babes is about three sisters named Amber, Jazz, and Geena. Their dad invites their auntie to come and live with them after their mother died. As soon as their auntie came, she took control of everything and they were surprised when she told their dad what to say. Now they need to get rid of her and the only way to do that is for her to get married. Now the girls have been up and down trying to find her an eligible husband, but that’s not the only problem. Will they be able to get their auntie married and fix all their other problems? Read the book to find out. I really enjoyed this book and I hope you enjoy it too!

The 5th Grade Review Club Presents: Great Reads for Poem in Your Pocket Day!

blackberryinkBlackberry Ink
Reviewed by Eoin

This witty collection of poems is by Eve Merriam. These poems are funny and simply fun. They are full of cute rhymes and adorable pictures. They are also enjoyable for any age. Here is just one of her intriguing poems.
I’m sweet,
Says the beet.

I’m boss,
Says the sauce.

Oh, no,
Says the dough.

I’m mean,
Says the bean.

Don’t be a goop,
Says the soup.

I’ll give you a poke,
Says the artichoke.

Go jump in a lake
Says the chocolate cake.

Please, please,
Says the cheese.

One Leaf Rides the Wind, by Celeste Davidson Mannis
Reviewed by Esmé

Seeing that this month is poetry month, I have the perfect book for you…
One Leaf Rides The Wind is a great poetry book for all ages. It goes by number, such as on page 8, the poem is:

“What do flowers dream?/Adrift on eight pond pillows, pink-cheeked blossoms rest.”
oneleaf
The illustrations are beautiful. A great thing about this book is that it has little descriptive facts (about what the plants represent in Japanese gardens.) For that poem on page 8, the fact was: “White, yellow, and pink lotus flowers flourish in ponds, their plump blossoms perched atop floating leaves, or pads. They represent purity and mirror the soul’s ability to reach beyond muddy waters to the sunlight of a better existence.” So if you happen to pass this book in the library or in the bookstore, check it out!

The Surrender Tree, by Margarita Engle
Reviewed by Adedayo
Surrender Tree
Something I want you to know about The Surrender Tree is that it’s different. It’s what I would call a story in verse. It has 5 or 6 different characters, and they have different perspectives on the freedom of Cuba. Or I could just reference the cover: “poems of Cuba’s struggle for freedom.” I would definitely recommend this story. Sometimes it’s a bit confusing (it’s about human beings, and we’re very confusing!) and it is a good piece of realistic fiction. Although sometimes gruesome, you can really understand what it was like to live in such hard times. 5 out of 5 stars for this one!

An excerpt:
In the beginning, the character Rosa says
“Some people call me a child-witch,
but I’m just a girl who likes to watch
the hands of the women
as the gather wild herbs and flowers,
to heal the sick.”

The 5th Grade Review Club Presents: Saving Baby Doe by Danette Vigilante

Reviewed by Adedayo

SavingBabyDoe_coverLionel Perez was abandoned by his dad when he was seven years old. At thirteen, he feels anger against his dad; he hates him and considers him a bad example. When Lionel and his best friend Anisa find a baby in a VERY STINKY Porta-Potti, Lionel wants to be a better example than his father. As the book progresses, he becomes attached to this baby, and he feels that it is his job to be the loving father of this baby. He goes past many limits for the well being of this baby, and his relationship with his mom changes for the better. Lionel is like any other middle schooler who has to face tough choices in his life at the Red Hook projects. But a man named Mr. Owen helps him change his ways. Mr. Owen influences Lionel to be brave, be strong, and to make good choices in life. Mr. Owen is like Lionel’s father, and he shares some of the same experiences. His son left him because Mr. Owen used to hit him with a belt buckle because of his choices. And as you will soon see, everyone has at least one thing in their life that they want to change.

I think you would like this book if you enjoy books with suspense, action, and a few red herrings. The book includes many different relationships with many different characters, and it makes it seem like Lionel Perez is a real person living in the Red Hook projects! I like the way she doesn’t make Lionel the perfect little boy, and he makes some BAD choices. But he realizes he made a mistake and he tries to fix it throughout the book. I would give this book a five star rating (although you may find some parts mature, such as the intro, where someone gives birth to a baby. The book also mentions sex in some points.)

The 5th Grade Review Club Presents: Blubber by Judy Blume

Reviewed by Esmé

blubberbyjudyblume“And uh…whale oil is obtained by heating the blubber of the whale”. That is how it all started. Linda Fischer wrote an essay on the whale and in return got the nickname of “Blubber”. Wendy the class president started it. Jill and her best friend Tracy Wu laughed at it. When Blubber stepped on the bus that day “Hi Blubber” was what she got and “Blubbery Blubber…blub, blub, blub” from the girls in the back. Spit balls from boys, tripping from Wendy and her coat was stolen by Jill. All she gets is bullying.

This book has all you need in a fiction book. Suspense, humor, sadness and more. Its humor is great, although it has some curse words. This book takes you through so many adventures, such as Halloween with Tracy, Warren’s Bar-Mitzvah, Jill’s little brother Kenny’s facts! It is great fun.

One of my favorite parts is when they do a prank at Halloween. I can’t tell you more about it, you just have to check it out. I recommend it to readers who enjoy adventure, suspense and fun in their books.

The 5th Grade Review Club Presents: The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Reviewed By Mikala
unforgottenThe Unforgotten Coat is about a girl named Julie who has a pretty normal life. Then she meets a boy named Chingis and his brother Nergui. They are from Mongolia and recently started going to the school that Julie goes to. The boys call Julie their “good guide” and expect her to look out for them. Nergui believes a monster is looking for him. Nergui says the monster makes things vanish. Nergui and Chingis are very scared of the monster, but Julie doesnʼt believe in the monster. Julie looks out for Chingis and Nergui. For example on “wear youʼre own clothes to school day” (their school has uniforms) she switches clothes with Nergui so the monster wouldnʼt find him. One day she realizes the boys are not in school, so she tries to find them. She finds them in a forest and tries to help them escape the monster. Read more to learn what happens to Julie, Chingis and Nergui in this mysterious novel.

I think this book would appeal to people who enjoy mystery books. People who enjoy following a complicated story line might also enjoy it.

I enjoyed this book because it was very suspenseful. Frank Cottrell Boyce added many descriptions, so you can picture everything as you read the story. I found this book a little confusing at times. I would highly recommend this book to anyone as it has a great mixture of fantasy and reality. So, if you need a book to read stop by the library and check out this awesome book.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑