Saturday, April 9, 2016

Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics

Chris Grabenstein, Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics. Random House, 2016.

I've just finished the sequel to Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library called  Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics. Lots of people all over the US Thought they could do better than team Kyle, so Mr. Lemoncello declared a rematch. Each region (Midwest, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest, and Pacific) held contests and training courses and finally selected their four competitors. After Kyle, one of the Hometown Heroes, watched videos of the other competitors he started to feel queasy about the upcoming library Olympics. When the Olympics come, the Hometown Heroes start getting caught in ties with the Midwest team. After a close competition and a squirrel book mystery, one of the teams wins!

I loved this book especially the fast pace of it, and it's one of the best sequels I've read.

If you liked the first book in the series, then you need to read this. It isn't as much of a mystery as the first book, so you shouldn't read it if you want a big mystery.

The Tin Snail

Cameron McAllistar, The Tin Snail: The Little Car that Won a War. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2016.

The Tin Snail is a relatively new book, so you may not find it in your local library.

It's set in France and about a boy named Angelo. His father is a well known car designer. He makes a hit car at the '38 auto show, then his career goes downhill (in a car, of course).  He decides to take a vacation to the French countryside to try to come up with another hit. In the process, he makes a bet with the mayor to make a at that can carry: 

                              A farmer, 
                               His wife,
                            Two dozen eggs,
                       A flagon (bottle) of wine,
                            And two chickens.

(This was a big idea! At the time, only rich people had cars.) Then a war breaks out (World War II) and provides a major obstacle, as the Nazis try to find the car and Angelo's mother gets stuck in Italy. 

I can't give away the ending, so you'll have to read it yourself.

I loved the entire book! I had no idea that the French tried to make a people's car.(The book makes me feel sad it wasn't as successful as VW's Beetle.)

If you like historical books or books with lots of suspense and adventure, then you'll love this book. Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics (see my review of that too) is another suspenseful book you might like too.

The Penderwicks

Jeanne Birdsall, The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. Yearling Books, 2007.

The Penderwicks is about a family of four girls, (from oldest) Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Elizabeth (Batty). Their Dad is a renowned botany professor. They decide to take a special vacation to a little summer home right next to a manor, instead of their usual cottage in Maine.  While they're staying at the vacation home, they get caught up in family business of the people who live in the manor. They also make friends with the neighbor's son, Jeffrey. As they get to know the lady better, they grow to like her less and less, and when they learn Jeffrey has to go to military school, they can't bear it any longer, and work together to stop Jeffrey from going to military school.

If I went any longer I would give away the ending, and trust me, you don't want that to happen.

I loved this book and there are two more in the series that are just as awesome as this one.

If you like thrills, action, and suspense throughout the book, this is the book for you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dead End In Norvelt

Jack Gantos, Dead End In Norvelt. Square Fish, 2013.

Dead End In Norvelt takes place during the Post-WW II era. The book is about a boy named Jack, who gets grounded for half a summer for shooting his father's  Japanese sniper rifle from WW II.  Then he gets grounded for the other half of the summer when he mows down his mother's corn crops to make a runway for his dad's airplane. The only break in his punishment is to go next door to his ancient neighbor, Mrs. Volker, to write obituaries and protect her from her nutty old boyfriend, Mr. Spizz. He doesn't want to hang out with a old lady, but visiting her leads him to a mystery about the deaths of the old ladies in Norvelt. 

The book is one of my favorites, and I've  read it six times. The story is longer than The Cat Who Came In off the Roof, but still short enough to read in a day or two. 

If you like mysteries or comedies you would definitely like this. Jack Gantos also wrote a sequel, From Norvelt To Nowhere, which may be my next post, so stay tuned!

Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Chris Grabenstein, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library.  Yearling, 2014. 

I've just finished a book called Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. It's about a boy named Kyle, who is basically a nobody next to his two brothers, a brainiac and a Jock. Then he wins a essay contest for the first library card to the new library, which was designed by Mr. Lemoncello, the legendary game maker. With the library card comes the prize of a lock-in at the new library. The lock-in becomes too literal when they become part of a contest to get out of the library.  Kyle heads a team, team Kyle, and his arch-rival, Charles Chilington, heads team Charles. The two teams battle until one manages to escape and win the prize.

I completely loved this book. It totally hooks you, and after you read one chapter you cannot stop.

If you like mysteries or board games, then I would  recommend this book for you. Chris Grabenstein wrote two other books, The Island Of Dr. Libris and the sequel to Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics,  which I am reading and will finish soon.


Monday, February 8, 2016

The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof

Annie M.G. Schmidt, The Cat Who Came in off the Roof. Pushkin Children's Books, 2014.

I have just finished reading The Cat Who Came In Off The Roof. It is about a man, Mr. Tibble, who works at a newspaper and only writes about cats. One day, the newspaper's editor-in-chief told him if he wrote another story about  cats he would be fired. He was walking home from work that same day when he spotted a lady in a tree who appears to be hiding from a dog. Mr. Tibble helps her down, and she tells him she used to be a cat. Mr. Tibble tells her of his problems. They talk late into the night and devise a plan. Taking advantage of how the woman can still understand cats, she will talk to the cats in town to get all the latest gossip. Then, Mr. Tibble will make the stories into  articles. By writing the stories he is able to keep his job at the newspaper. This plan works until he writes a story about a man in town whom everyone likes. This is as far as I can go without giving away the ending, so you'll need to read it yourself!
I liked the entire book especially the disagreeable tatters cat. The only problem with the book was the size. It was short, so it left you wanting more.  
If you like mysteries, animals, or fantasy (ish) stories you would definitely like this. She wrote lots of other books like A Pond Full Of Ink. I may read them, so stay tuned for more reviews!