Wednesday, May 26, 2010


By: Gordon Korman
Sixth-grader, Griffin Bing, is known as "the man with the plan".  He loves to create and execute a perfectly planned idea.  Griffin is also bothered by the lack of credit the adults in his community give to kids.  So, when a local antique dealer swindles him out of a valuable Babe Ruth baseball card he discovered, Griffin decides to devise the ultimate plan - and steal back the baseball card!

Mrs. Senechal says:
As you know, I have read an enjoyed many books by Gordon Korman.  Swindle is another great book with lots of suspense and action!  I appreciated how Griffin liked to make careful plans and that he used his friends' individual talents to create a team to carry out his grand scheme.  I also like that Griffin and his friends experience real problems as they attempt to complete the plan.  Thanks for encouraging me to read this one, Mackenzie!

A Season of Gifts

By: Richard Peck
This book is a companion to Peck's A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder.  When the preacher's family moves in next to Mrs. Dowdel, they have no idea what they are in for.  She claims she is not a "church person", but seems to find creative, and often secretive, ways to help the family.  As in the first two books, Mrs. Dowdel knows how to create a buzz in her rural Illinois town!

Mrs. Senechal says:
I have loved reading many of Richard Peck's books, and this book was another success.  I love the character of Mrs. Dowdel - I can just imagine what the family thought of her as they moved in.  She seems to be strange and selfish!  However, as the story goes on, the family is continually surprised by Mrs. Dowdel and eventually begins to act as her accomplices in some of her schemes!


By: Anthony Horowitz
Alex Rider is only 14 when his uncle (and only living relative) dies in a car accident.  Suddenly, Alex finds out that his uncle was actually a James-Bond-like spy, and his employers want Alex to take his place!  With only a few weeks of training, Alex is sent to infiltrate a millionaire's computer manufacturing compound.  Alex must find out if there is a secret plot in the millionaire's plan to give away free computers.

Mrs. Senechal says:
If you like spy movies and nonstop action, then this book is for you.  It seemed as if Alex was barely escaping a life-threatening situation every few pages!  I like the excitement of imagining a 14-year-old as a super-spy.  There were a few times when some of the narrow escapes were hard to believe, but I definitely enjoyed the book.  Thanks for the book suggestion, Peyton!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

By: Tom Angleberger

Dwight is the weirdest kid in school, but Tommy wonders if his finger puppet, "Origami Yoda" has magical abilities. It seems that Dwight makes lots of goofy and strange choices, but if the students ask Origami Yoda for advice, it almost always proves to be wise words to follow. This book is a collection of Tommy's and his friends' stories of information about Dwight and advice they've gotten from Origami Yoda.

Mrs. Senechal says:
As a Star Wars fan, I couldn't pass by this book. At first the story seemed a bit silly, but I have to admit that reading all of "Origami Yoda's" lines while imagining I could hear them as Yoda would say them made me laugh. I also thought the author did a good job of portraying what middle school kids are often thinking. It's a quick, fun read - especially if you like Yoda.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Whole Nother Story

By: Dr. Cuthbert Soup

A most interesting collection of characters is found in this book including a hairless dog, secret agents, an inventor, a cowboy poet, and three fairly normal children. The unfortunate part for the children is that they and their inventor father must continually move around, changing their names, and trying to escape from all who want to steal their father's valuable invention. The children would like to live a more normal life and make friends, but if they stand any chance of getting their mother back, they must help their father protect his invention until he can crack the secret code.

Mrs. Senechal says:
I chose to read this book based on the funny things listed on the back cover, and I am glad I did! I laughed out loud all through the book. My favorite character is the youngest brother who constantly wears a sock puppet named Steve on his hand. Steve has some of the funniest lines in the book! Besides being funny, the book has good action. The only part of the book that disappointed me was that the end of the book is definitely not the end of the story! Now, I'll have to wait for the sequel...