Summer of the Monkeys

Book CoverTitle: Summer of the Monkeys
Author: Wilson Rawls
Star Ranking: ***** (Everybody should read this book)

Reviewer: Bobby B. (7th grade)

Describe the book in your own words:  Life is full of surprises…birthdays, holidays, and graduations are all full of surprises.  In Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls, there is a different surprise…monkeys near a small farm in Kansas.

Jay Berry is a fourteen year old boy who lives with his family on a small farm in the Cherokee Valley of Kansas.  jay learns that there are monkeys in the river bottoms near his farm, and with the help of  his grandpa and his dog, he tries to catch them for a reward.

Through his monkey-catching endeavors, Jay loses gains and, most importantly, learns a lot.  When Jay finally realizes that gaining trust is the answer to catching his little friends, he does just that and leads the whole caboodle into the corn crib.

What did you think?: I liked this story a bunch.  Through-out the book, I found myself laughing, and at the end, I almost cried.  I admire Wilson Rawls as a writer and would like to recommend his other book Where the Red Fern Grows.

Eleanor & Park

I love it when authors put together play lists for their novels. Rainbow Rowell has FOUR play lists for her novel Eleanor & Park. This book earned a Printz honor in 2014 and is a Teens’ Top Ten nominee. The first track off Eleanor, Side A is “The Good Times are Killing Me” by Modest Mouse. You can view the full collection on Rainbow Rowell’s website.

The Teen Book Club will feature Eleanor & Park and perler bead crafts in September.  Check out a copy from the library and join us in the fall!

Close to Famous

Book coverTitle: Close to Famous
Author: Vera Brosgol
Star Ranking: **** (Loved It)

Reviewer: Charlisa T. (6th grade)

Describe the book in your own words:  Close to Famous is about a girl of age of twelve named Foster and her mother Rayka McFee. They race out of Memphis because an Elvis impersonator who use to be Rayka’s boyfriend broke into their house. They drive to a small town called Culpepper in West Virginia. Foster starts to sell her delicious cupcakes at Angry Wayne’s supplies store. Everybody loves them. Foster meets Macon, Amy, Garland, and many others on her journey. She meets a famous lady who lives in Culpepper by the name of Miss Charleena. Miss Charleena finds out Foster can’t read. She makes her a deal. Miss Charleena will teach Foster how to read if Foster will teach Miss Charleena how to bake. In the end Rayka becomes a famous singer and Foster sends a video of herself baking to a famous baker named Sonny. Sonny writes back saying she is a talented young chef.

What did you think?: I think this book was great. I felt that this book was different from all the other books I have read.  I really liked when Foster started selling her cupcakes and muffins. I also liked the part where Foster sent her video to Sonny and got a great response.

Who would you recommend it to?:  I recommend it to middle school kids who have to travel because of parents traveling for work.

The Pig Scrolls

Book coverTitle: The Pig Scrolls
Author: Paul Shipton
Star Ranking: ***** (Everybody should read this book)

Reviewer: Maggie C. (6th grade)

Describe the book in your own words:   This story is about a pig named Gryllus. He was a human but got changed into a pig by Circe, a minor goddess who often turned unsuspecting visitors to her island into animals!

Gryllus meets up with a prophetess in training named Sibyl. Sibyl took Gryllus on a terrifying and exhausting adventure to save a goatherd who Gryllus calls Bumscruff. Bumscruff has a scar shaped like a lightening bolt on his head. (Remind you of someone?) Gryllus, Sibyl, and Bumscruff travel to the temple of Apollo, but on the way they run into Chimeras, monsters with the head of a lion, body of a goat, and a tail of a snake (not recommended as a household pet because of their tendency to try and eat mortals!).

The group finally reached the temple of Apollo and they asked him for his chariot of the sun. Apollo reluctantly gave them his golden chariot and Sibyl planned on driving it into the crack in the earth created by Thanatos. Thanatos is the embodiment of Death. He’s not really one of the gods and the gods don’t like to have him around much (Understandably!). The  crack in the universe was going to destroy everyone in the universe so Thanatos’ evil master could rule the world and the gods (AHHHH!). All of a sudden Gryllus leaped on the chariot and drove it into the crack in the world and saved the day! Continue reading

Anya’s Ghost

Book coverTitle: Anya’s Ghost
Author: Vera Brosgol
Star Ranking: ***** (Everybody should read this book)

Reviewer: Oisin D. (9th grade)

Describe the book in your own words:   This book is about a girl who falls down into a well. At the bottom is a ghost named Emily who was stuck for ninety years. Emily gets out and helps Anya (main girl) at her school life and personal life. But don’t be tricked, Emily has a darkened past.

What did you think?: This was a masterpiece, a beautifully written story. Every part was not to be missed, every page a poem.

Who would you recommend it to?:  People who love a good book or a ghost story. I recommend it to everyone middle school and up!

41 Days Left!

There are 41 days left to submit a review for the Spark a Reaction summer reading program. There are awesome prizes this year including an iPad mini, movie tickets, autographed books, hardback series, T-shirts, and more!