This review was written by a 5th grader from Northwood Elementary School.  Thank you for sharing great book suggestions with us!

Malamander by Thomas Taylor is one of the best books I’ve ever read. This action-packed book is hilarious and suspenseful and creepy at the same time. Thomas Taylor did a great job at making characters feel real. My favorite part was when Herbie Lemon thought that the Malamander was chasing him and when Sebastian Eels got eaten. I rate this masterpiece five stars.

Herbert Lemon is working at the Grand Nautilus hotel when a strange out-of-towner named Violet shows up asking to be found by her parents that lived in the town but went missing. Join Herbert and Violet as they search for Violet’s past, encounter half dead souls, greedy authors, and the elusive malamander.

Other books you might want to check out are: Gargantis, Harry Potter, and The Sasquatch Escape.

– Carter

The Name of This Book is Secret

This review was written by a 5th grader from Northwood Elementary School.  Thank you for sharing great book suggestions with us!

One of my favorite books I read this year was, The Name of This Book is Secret. Cassandra is a survivalist and is prepared for EVERYTHING!

Cass and her friend Max-Ernest discover the Symphony Of Smells, a box filled with vials that each have a unique scent. They accidentally stumble upon a mystery surrounding a dead magician’s diary and the hunt for immortality.

One of my favorite parts is in the beginning. Before we meet the characters there is a narrator who tries to talk you out of reading this book. It is very funny. This book is awesome. It is filled with puzzles. It is complete with a mysterious narrator.

Look on the adventure shelves for this book!


Happy Reading! 📚

The Westing Game

This review was written by a 5th grader from Northwood Elementary School.  Thank you for sharing great book suggestions with us!

The Westing Game

By Maeve

Ellen Raskin made one of the best books I’ve ever read. The Westing Game is a mystery with multiple plot twists and mind blowing chapters. But an unexplainable thing happens: Sam Westing passes but he will let his last game be his best game.

This book is about 16 heirs and one game. The person who wins the game gets the money… or do they? In this book the main character is Sam Westing but all of the heirs are main characters too.

This is one of the best mysteries and mind boggling games I’ve ever witnessed. There’s a bookie, a burglar, a bomber, and a mistake. My favorite part is the ending! I had no idea The Westing Game could have the best ending ever. This story is a mix of sadness, anger, confusion, and love. If this was a movie I’d watch it!

Thanks for writing and sharing your review Maeve.  So happy to have your reading recommendation here! I loved this book too.  I’ve read it few times – and it doesn’t lose any excitement.  It is so detailed and so well crafted, I can’t remember all the details.  When I looked for the cover to add to your review I learned there has been a movie.  Who knew?!  I bet the books way better.

Happy Reading!📚

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springsby Betty Birney

reviewed by the students in 3E – 2012

Sassafras Springs is a small town in Missouri.  Eben doesn’t think there’s anything exciting about his town.  He wants to go somewhere new; someplace special like the Seven Wonders of the World.  His dad challenges him with a bet:  if he can find seven wonders in Sassafras Springs in seven days his dad will buy him a train ticket to visit his cousins in Colorado.

Eben begins his amazing adventure through his town, listening to people’s stories and hearing about their unique adventures.  Will he find the wonders in time?  Will he be able to go.  Read The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs to find out.

If you’d like to see how Betty Birney got the idea for Sassafras Springs click in this link.  Sassafras Springs is based on a real place.

I am Number Four

I am Number Four

by Pittacus Lore

10 years ago the Mogadorians invaded the planet Loriens because they were running out of resources for food and water. All of the Loriens fought gallantly but the Mogadorians took them down without a fight. If the Loriens didn’t do something their race would become extinct. They managed to get 9 garde and nine cepan off of the planet and onto a rocketship that would fly to the land that was closest, Earth. Before leaving each of the gardes was assigned a number so if the Mogadorians were to try to kill the last of the Loriens in fear they would get theirlegacies and restore the planet that is rightfully theirs they would have to be killed in the order of their number. With only their cepans to guide them, the young and powerless gardes have to spread out and go into hiding. Even though they look like all the other humans in the world, they can tell who they are so they will never be safe.


Number four has just got 3rd scar. He is next in line. He will be killed next. Number Four must relocate and go into hiding immediately. He knows that he must develop his legacies fast in order to protect himself, his cepan and most importantly his race. To find out if he can do this before the Mogadorians track him and find him read I Am Number Four.


The ages that are recommended for this book are for 6th graders and any age above because of the tiny bit of romance. I loved reading this book because there was action that never ended. I also enjoyed reading the sequel; The Power Of Six were I learned more about the Loriens and some other events that tie perfectly into the story. These were great adventures that have you getting to know and like the characters, feel the suspense and have you wanting more. I am looking forward to reading the third book. READ IT!

~Jenny Long “READ IT!” Review

The Hunger Games

North America has split into 12 districts. When the number gets higher the poorer the district gets. A girl in district 12 named Katniss Everdeen is having a tough time getting food for her familiy, on top of her father dying, and having her mother in the house since the tragedy happened. But with her extreme skill in archery she manages to get by. The Hunger Games are approaching and the picking of the contestants is about to begin. The  hunger games is where one person from each district is choosen to compete in an arena in the capital where the contestants are to fight for their lives. The last one to live is the winner and gets to live in one of the Victor’s Mansions in their district. When the hunger games picks her sister, Primrose, Katniss takes her sisters place to be in the hunger games. Along with her teammate Peta Melark they head to the arena where Katniss uses her extreme archery skill to battle for her life.


A movie of The Hunger Games is coming out in March!

Review by Jenny

Gilda Joyce – Physic Investigator

Gilda Joyce – Psychic InvestigatorGilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator (Gilda Joyce, #1)

By:Jennifer Allison

Fiction, mystery and comedy

5 Stars

Review by: Sophia

Gilda Joyce – Physic Investigator is going to be the most action packed mystery book you’ll ever read. I couldn’t put it down. This thrilling novel by Jennifer Allison is bound to have you hooked until the very end, from all of the creepy truths Gilda and her cousin, Juliet, find to the ghost that is said to haunt their mansion. The plethora of events is sure to keep you reading. I absolutely loved it! This awesome novel is about a 13-year-old girl named Gilda Joyce. She ends up going to her gloomy cousin house for the summer to help her write a novel that she promised her class by the end of the summer. The tower outside the mansion is where her aunt is said to have committed suicide.  Gilda Joyce loves to go explore creepy places so she of course tried to open the tower door but it wouldn’t open.  What will happen you ask?  Well you have to read and find out.  Jennifer Allison has written three other novels.  You might like to read them all.

Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonata (Gilda Joyce, #3)Gilda Joyce and the Ladies of the Lake (Gilda Joyce, #2)Gilda Joyce: The Dead Drop (Gilda Joyce, #4)

Pendragon – Book One: The Merchant of Death

The Merchant of Death (Pendragon, #1)Pendragon – Book 1:  The Merchant of Death

By: D.J Machale

Review by: Adil

Five out of five stars

I’ve read some of the best books ever (well, in my opinion), Harry Potter, Eragon, and many others, but this is my favorite book of all. I loved the book so much because of the plot and the characters. I liked the characters because they are mysterious, funny, and always seem to be open (besides one named Loor). It’s a great, page turning fantasy that I couldn’t put down. The main character, Bobby, is a seemingly normal 14 year-old. He goes to school, and is a basketball star. He’s normal in every way besides the fact that he’s a Traveler. I can’t say anything about travelers without either confusing you or giving important stuff away, but I guarantee it makes the book a lot more interesting. Read it and find out!

The Penderwicks

The Penderwicks

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (The Penderwicks, #1)reviewed by Gus

The Penderwicks is a five star must read. It’s about 3 girls that are always getting into trouble, a strange boy with a mother who is no fun and summer fun. I think the sequel; The Penderwicks on Gardam Street is just as good, without the boy. The third has just come out, but I have not read it yet. This series is written by Jeanne Birdsall and is realistic fiction. If you want comedy, fun, and a hard to put down read, The Penderwicks is for you.

The Sherlock Files: The Hundred Year Old Secret

The Sherlock Files The Hundred Year Old Secret

By Tracy Barrett

The 100-Year-Old Secret (The Sherlock Files)Genre: Mystery

Rating: 5 Stars

Review by: Ryan

Summary: Xena and Xander find out they are related to the famous detective Sherlock Holmes when they move to London from the United States. They are given Mr. Holmes’s casebook. When they receive the casebook they will try to solve a mystery any way they can but, they don’t know how dangerous mystery solving can be.

Ryan’s Review: I loved this book because I was on the edge of my seat through out the whole book. I also like mystery because I like to guess what’s going to happen next.

If you didn’t like the first book or thought it was ok try reading these books

  • The Beast of Blackslope (2nd)
  • The Case That Time Forgot (3rd) (The best book in the series)
  • The Missing Heir (4th) (I haven’t read this yet! It just came out)

All of these books are great and even better than the first!

If you like mystery, action, solving things and putting yourself in the characters shoes you will definitely like this book! This book will make you read the others!

There are not many slow or boring parts in this book, which, I think a lot of people like. The only parts that are slow are when they are thinking about the case or at the start of the book when they introduce you to Xena and Xander. All of this kept me reading all of these books.

Tracy’s new book Dark of the Moon! Coming this fall!