Real Life in 1960s Mississippi: A Page Turners Review of “Glory Be” by Augusta Scattergood

glorybeBy Zoe

I chose Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood because it is a mixture of two of my favorite genres, history and fiction. The cover caught my eye and I read the back. It is about a girl named Glory, who is living her life in Hanging Moss, Mississippi, in 1964. She has her ups and her downs, and this book has a lot of real life situations that happened in the 1960’s, like racism. My favorite part is when Glory explains what “Junk Poker” is to her friend, Laura.

So in summary, I think that Glory be is fantastic. Augusta Scattergood did a really good job describing the characters. I really like this book and you might like it too.

The Page Turners is a 5th Grade Review Club hosted by the BCS-BNS Library.

Realistically Unrealistic: A Page Tuners Review of “Navigating Early” by Clare Vanderpool

navigatingearlyBy Talya

First, before go into the review, here is a brief summary of the book so you know what’s going on…

Jack Baker is now stuck at Morton Hill Academy, a boarding school for boys, since his mother passed away and there was no one to take care of him. He was left with his father, an army general who spends most of his time away at war. They, father and son, don’t have much of a relationship because they never spent time together and Jack is used to being around his mother. At Morton Hill Academy, Jack meets one of the most peculiar boys he has ever met in his life. His name is Early Auden. The two boys befriend each other and soon they find themselves alone at school during a school vacation break. Early persuades Jack to come along, and together, the two energetic school-aged boys trek the Appalachian Trail, unraveling the story of the number pi, looking for a giant female black bear, and trying to find Early’s brother who was lost in the war. It all ties up with the present day happenings and the boys get caught up in the theory of pi in which the digits of pi never end.

I liked the way the author described the atmosphere and the thoughts and feelings of the two characters on a quest. The author, Clare Vanderpool, beautifully described the setting, making you feel like you were personally seeing the characters in real life. The feats in the story were realistically unrealistic in a really awesome way. The characters were caught up in magically unrealistic situations, and they seemed to deal with them in a realistic way appropriate for the dilemma. I also appreciated how the author tells the story from Jack’s point of view, but how she also tells the story so that it seems almost as if Jack is watching himself and Early from the sidelines. I liked Early because I thought that he wasn’t an everyday character. He had interesting idiosyncrasies like listening to Billie Holliday only when it was raining, sorting jellybeans when he was angry, and many more that defined his personality. I never got bored in the book because some exciting and intriguing adventure seemed always to be underway.

I think that Navigating Early would appeal to someone who is interested in wildlife and puzzles. You would also have to be interested in how the characters and events meet up. That means you have to be a ‘deep reader,’ being into the book to uncover comparisons that practically tell the story.

The Page Turners is a 5th Grade Review Club hosted by the BCS-BNS Library.

Lots of Emotion: A Page Turners Review of “Paint the Wind” by Pam Munoz Ryan

paintthewindBy Gigi

Paint the Wind, by Pam Munoz Ryan is about a girl named Maya who lives with her very strict grandmother. Her parents died and all she has left of her mother are some plastic horses. Meanwhile very far away near canyons in Wyoming there is a mother horse who is giving birth to a newborn foal. Maya hates her grandmother’s rules and the mare is hoping that her baby will survive. Somehow their paths will cross.

I really liked this book because there was lots of emotion like when Maya was describing how much she doesn’t like her grandmother’s rules, and adventure, but I can’t tell you what it is. I really liked how the point of view switched between the horse and Maya. Each chapter left you wondering what would happen next. I loved this book.

The Page Turners is a 5th Grade Book Review Club.

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

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
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

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.


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.”
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.”

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