Scott couldn't wait for this day, the day when he would enter high school. He and his friends would no longer be kids, and the girls were sure to much better looking. Then he has his first day. After losing his way several times, having the back of his head slapped mutiple times, and his lunch money stolen, Scott is not so sure that high school is all he thought it would be. He finally comes up with his singular goal for his freshman year. He wants to win over the girl of his dreams - the girl he was friends with in elementary school who has now turned into a supermodel. He joins all kinds of clubs and organization just for a chance to be near her and maybe reconnect, but each new thing seems to leave him farther from his dream.
I read this several years ago and remembered laughing. Poor Scott. He tries so hard to do everything and ends up running himself thin. I can definitely relate to this type of story. Though I never joined every organization my crush was involved in at high school, I certainly did a lot in high school. His English teacher sounded like someone you would have loved to have, and his experiences ring true even while he is explaining them to his unborn brother. This book is on my bookshelf if you would like to read it. It has a few cuss words and an attempted suicide.
Has your dog ever protected you from a bear? Have you ever tried to jump out of a window onto a horse? Gary Paulsen and his friends have had these experiences with many more that you might not believe, or you may just believe. They say sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, and that certainly applies for some of Paulsen's adventures.
Some of the adventures are more interesting than others. Some of them made me laugh. Others made me gasp. My students must have wondered what I was reading several times. What is great about the book is that you could skip around and read one story and not another and still get a sense of the book.
You will want to read Peak before reading this review.
Once you've climbed Mount Everest, there might not be a lot left on your bucket list. However, the climbing world has not given up on Peak Marcello, the kid who climbed a skyscraper but failed (on purpose) to climb Mount Everest. Billionaire Sebastian Plank wants Peak to be part of a climbing team for the "International Peace Ascent." Maybe if people around the world could see different kids from different nations working together to make a climb, they would realize we can get along. However, this climb for peace will become anything but peaceful.
After reading Peak, I was ready for an exciting story, but it takes a while for the action to pick up. I appreciate that the characters were established before the plot picked up, but it seemed rather slow at the beginning. However, once you get into it, Roland Smith delivers a tense and exciting story that keeps you turning the pages, and this story, even more than Peak will leave you pondering what it really means to strive for peace in a world where people want to take it away.
This is the final book in the Origami Yoda series.
The kids at McQuarrie Middle School have finished their testing, and they are now ready for their amazing trip to Washington, D.C. It would seem that there would be no need for Origami Yoda, but there are serious problems that can arise from a field trip. The most serious of them all is being on the wrong bus. Your bus can determine a lot of things: your friends, your chaperones, and even your bathroom habits.
Having been on several school field trips, it was a déjà vu experience to read. We didn't have puppets on the trip, but everything else was there. Angleberger has a knack for writing about a school bus trip and making it entertaining. I'm sorry to see the Origami Yoda series end, but he did a nice send off, and all the characters were able to finish up their character arcs even Dwight and Harvey.
You will want to read the others in the series before reading this review. The first one is Origami Yoda.
With their talk to Principal Rabbinski, the kids at McQuarrie Middle School were sure their time with FunTime and its annoying review questions would soon come to an end. However, nothing has changed. The Origami Rebel Alliance has had enough. They want their electives back! They want their field trip back! They want their frozen steak back! Will they finally be able to change the hearts and minds of the school board?
This book is really the second half of The Suprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett. The kids face the same enemy, and they have the same major problem. However, now they have a new hero. Princess Labelmaker has taken the latest Origami Yoda case file and given it to Principal Rabbiski with labels. I enjoyed the labelmaker once I got used to the new format, and the ending was pure Star Wars fun. So if you enjoyed the other Origami Yoda books, you should check this one out as well.
Also I wanted to mentioned that the author, Tom Angleberger, has posted a tribute to Carrie Fisher who passed away recently. She was the actor who portrayed Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies. If you want to read it, the link is below.
Carrie Fisher Tribute
This is a series book. The first one is Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
You would think after defeating Darth Paper and bringing Dwight back everything would be just fine. Of course not. Everyone knew when they saw the posters for "FunTime" that something fishy was going on. Yes, FunTime may have a dance and a singing calculator, but don't let that fool you.
Yes, test anxiety is a real thing, and yes, even teachers and principals have it. However, I am not opposed to poking fun at even some serious subjects. The students came up with some interesting ideas on how to combat FunTime. It's been a while since I read Fortune Wookiee so I was afraid I would be lost, but I was able to pick it up pretty quickly. Angleberger still uses his dry Star Wars humor to make you laugh. Watch out for Jabba the Hutt. When he came into the story, I laughed out loud while reading.
Tag wants to be a gladiator. Lucia wants to be free to marry someone she loves. Neither one see a chance to follow their dreams living in Ancient Rome. Tag is a slave, and Lucia is a young woman. Despite their circumstances, they start planning and dreaming for the future they see for themselves together. Then their world erupts.
So the novel gives away the ending because it has a volcano erupting on the front. However, there is a part of the ending that I was not expecting, and I have to say the author did a decent job of making the ending while not happy, at least, realistic and somewhat hopeful. If you are someone who is looking for a completely happy ending, this is not the book for you. For those who enjoy books about historical events like the Titanic or the Holocaust, this might be something you're interested in. It was a great tragedy that could have been avoided, but people did not heed the warnings.
For more information about Pompeii, here is an interactive website from Discovery Kids.
Leo Caraway is a no-nonsense, Harvard-bound, Young-Republicans-president teenager. When he gets caught "cheating," his entire life seems to fall apart. He only has one option, the last place he would ever go to find help, his dad. His biological father is none other than a famous punk rock star named King Maggot. If he can get his dad to pay for his college, then he won't have to worry about the scholarships he lost.
I have to admit to being a little put off by this story at first, but once I got to know Leo's character, I thoroughy enjoyed it. The situations he puts himself into to finally get what he wants are hilarious: throwing yourself on the crowd or trying to find a lost poodle. You have to root for a guy who is willing to make a change and realize what is most important in life. There are a few mentions of band members using drugs and some mature relationships mentioned vaguely. So it may have some issues that are not for every reader, but it's definitely worth trying out if you like a good laugh.
He doesn't remember much beyond his cage, but when a new elephant joins the mall "menagerie," Ivan tries to remember what life was like before he came to the mall, before he knew Mack. Out in the wild, where he remembered being a gorilla.
Two things colored my view as I was reading this book. One was listening to The Life of Pi as I read this book. Pi has an interesting section about how he thinks zoos are great for animals, and then I'm reading The One and Only Ivan where Ivan is in deep depression being at the zoo. Then I find out that Ivan is not in a zoo; he's in a mall. The second was I became bored with this book until I read the note in the back. This note should have been placed in the front and would have made this a more interesting reading. Ivan's story is based on a true story of a gorilla was at a mall. Applegate tries to get inside the head of Ivan as he is at this mall, and I completely missed that. I have to say I didn't enjoy the book for the most part, but I can't help but think that I let other things color my judgment.
Princess Petunia is kidnapped by a man who wears a wolf mask. She likes to wear a red cape and carry a pistol. It's your classic Little Red Riding Hood with a twist. In this version though, our heroine is ready to defend herself against all attacks, and the villains are not the wolves. There is a more sinister force working in this fractured fairy tale that also combines elements of the Twelve Dancing Princesses.
I have to say for such a promising beginning this book did not deliver. Possibly because this is the third in the series, and there was a lot I missed and was not explained in this book. There was also not a lot of interaction between the two main characters, and so the romance seemed a little far-fetched for me.
Ms. Miller is reading