105 Ways to Give a Book

Book Reviews for Throwing Marshmallows

Thanks to those who de-lurked already, and let it be known that de-lurking can continue for the rest of the week. I’ve already visited some FoMR (Friends of MotherReader), and it’s been very interesting.

Now, I don’t remember if this particular site was a de-lurker or one that I found through my statistics, but I had to notice — and proclaim to all who would listen — that a homeschool site listed me as one of her favorite child literature blogs for moms looking for reading choices. Sadly, I realized that I have not reviewed any books this week. So, now folks may be coming over here from Throwing Marshmallows thinking that their friendly neighborhood homeschool blog led them astray. Let me assure those moms that I do indeed review books, and I am occasionally amusing about it. In the interest of respecting my audience — all thirteen of you — I’m pulling some reviews from the files covering books for a wide range of ages.

Silly Suzy GooseSilly Suzy Goose, by Petr Horzcek
A goose — drawn in the simplest form on white paper and cut out with the pen outline visible — wants to be separate from the crowd. She sees many different animals and wants to imitate them. She wants to slide like a penguin and jump like a kangaroo. (Actually, I’m beginning to wonder where she is in this story. Is it the zoo? Aren’t they concerned that this goose is making herself at home with all of these animals?) When she tries to imitate the lion’s roar, he chases her back to her group — as she flaps, slides, jumps, etc., all the way back. She hides among the group and is glad, sometimes, to look like everyone else. The grammar bothered me a little — “If I was a giraffe, I could STRETCH up high.” Should be “were.” It really bothered other reviewers, but since I mix up my tenses all the time, I wasn’t that miffed. It really is a cute book.

Martin Bridge on the LookoutMartin Bridge on the Lookout, by Jessica Kerrin
This early chapter book features three stories. In the first a girl, Laila, comes to his birthday party a day too late. After being angry at having his plans changed, they begin to have fun together. In the second story, Martin forgets his permission slip to go on a field trip. Since his mom is at work and can’t be reached, he has to spend the day with his old teacher. He sees a kid who was left behind and ends up making friends with him. In the third story, Martin and his friends mistakenly let the class parakeet out the window. The kids think they have found her, but it is a parakeet from another school instead. Fortunately, each bird gets to the right place. These are nice, gentle stories for kids moving into chapter books.

The ProphecyThe Prophecy, by Hilari Bell
Why oh why did they put the unicorn on the cover of this book? It’s going to make this fantasy adventure tale a hard sell to boys with this girly cover. The prince Perryn has done an awful job learning to be a warrior. However, he loves the library and studies for ways to rid the kingdom of a terrible dragon that has been ravaging the land. He finds a prophecy that appears to solve the problem, but he needs a bard, a unicorn, and a special sword. His father the king won’t believe him, so he takes off on his own quest to save the kingdom. It’s a good book, and a fun adventure that could be enjoyed by both boys and girls. Hand it to a boy with the book open, or in a paper bag.

Team MoonTeam Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon, by Catherine Thimmesh
I don’t generally pick up nonfiction unless it’s in my particular areas of interest. But after hearing all the good things about this book from different reviewers, I made myself start reading it. It was great. And I learned stuff. I didn’t realize that upon the astronauts’ descent to the moon, they were almost out of fuel. They had sixty seconds to make it down or abort the effort. Or keep going and probably crash. Wow. I didn’t know about the rigorous space suit testing or the photography lessons the astronauts took to show the best pictures of the moon. And all this done without the sophistication of today’s computers. Really mind-blowing.

Amazing GraceAmazing Grace, by Megan Shull
Grace is a teen tennis superstar. But distracting from her love of the game is the pressure of being famous. It’s not enough that she plays mean tennis, she also has to be perfect all the time to hold up her end in endorsement deals and modeling contracts. It all becomes too much for her and she wants to escape. Her mother arranges for her to go to Alaska for a while and disappear into a small town. Without all the pressures and luxuries that celebrity brings, Grace — now Emily O’Brian — finds herself free for the first time as a teenager. She can go around the town by herself, not worry about her appearance, and maybe even fall in love. It’s a very sweet book. There are some heavy and some cautionary issues, but overall it is very light. Grace does drink in the book at a party, but pays for doing so. Generally a book worth the good buzz.

(Now that I’ve thought this through, let’s just say that I found out about Throwing Marshmallows because she de-lurked. It makes a better story, and encourages folks to say “hi” sometimes.)

4 comments:

Little Willow said...

Yay Amazing Grace!

Stephanie said...

Too funny! I was wondering why I all of a sudden had folks from Mother Reader showing up in my stats...and of course I did not get a chance to post today and really need to get some sleep. Ah well...hopefully folks will come back tomorrow. ;) Now I have to figure out something good to write about...

Thanks for the book reviews! I see a couple that I need to check out for the boys (I will be sure to hide the unicorn...)

julie said...

Hi Mother Reader. Did you see this when it was posted over at another blog?http://subjunctivitis.blogspot.com/2005/02/joan-osborne-vs-tevye-vs-gwen-stefani.html

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go and correct a few old posts.

NYC Teacher said...

These are great reviews. Thank you so much!