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!

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.

Summer books and audiobooks available online

Picture books/short chapter books

Logo of We Give Books

Always available to read on a computer with internet, We Give Books offers an online library of 150 picture books as well as short chapter books for kids 0 – 10, including well known books http://www.wegivebooks.org/.  The organization also donates books for each book read.

Check out the summer reading program with weekly book selections and corresponding activities for ages 0-3, 4-7, and 8-10.

 Young Adult Audiobooks

sync

Download MP3 Audiobooks with SYNC.  Free weekly offerings over the summer for high school students with many titles appropriate for middle schoolers.  There are two well reviewed book options each week: a YA (young adult) fiction book or a classic novel.   http://www.audiobooksync.com/

Summer Reading Kick Off Events

Children’s reading levels often slide over the summer; however, this does not have to happen. Every year, the Brooklyn Public Library campaigns and encourages everyone, especially children, to continue reading over the summer.

The Brooklyn Public Library is launching the 2013 Summer Reading Campaign with fun activities and give-aways for kids and young adults:

Thursday June 6th from 2:00-4:00 pm at local branches, and 10:30am – 3:30pm at the Central Library with special appearances by Spiderman. Check out our local Carroll Gardens Branch – 396 Clinton @ Union.

The theme this year is “Discovering Hidden Treasures” and the statewide theme is “Digging into Reading.”   Discover summer reading lists, game boards, and of course, summerreading.org

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