Monday, August 12, 2013

The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett by Tom Angleberger

The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett (Origami Yoda #4)The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett by Tom Angleberger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another fun addition to the Origami Yoda series! As with the others, I had several instances of literally laughing out loud while reading! :)

This time McQuarrie Middle has a big problem - the school did not meet the requirements to pass the STANDARDIZED TESTS!!! Now the school has no elective staff and, well, no elective classes (art, music, LEGO club, etc.). During the time that would normally be elective class meetings, students are subjected to videos and worksheets that are designed to help them pass the test!

Tommy, Dwight, Kellen and friends decide to start a rebellion (at the suggestion of Origami Yoda of course). This time EVERYONE gets to have an origami Star Wars character and they try to recruit students to join the rebel alliance and bring down the Dark Side a.k.a "Funtime" ("learn the FUNdamentals"). Will large numbers of students, mad math skills, and the Force be enough to bring down the program? Find out in The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett!

Highly recommended!

View all my reviews *I loved the "Sven" reference (a nod to the previous book I read by Angleberger, Fake Mustache).

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

Fake MustacheFake Mustache by Tom Angleberger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The more books I read by Tom Angleberger, the more I adore him as an author. I'm not sure how popular this book will be, but fans of the author will not be disappointed by the quirky humor and zany characters in Fake Mustache.

A cute fun book for upper elementary and middle school-aged students. Lenny, the main character, finds himself in the middle of a world domination plot involving his best friend. In the midst of running from hypnotized henchmen and even his own family, he forms an unlikely alliance with Jodie O'Rodeo the star of a recently cancelled television series. Could the friendship turn . . . romantic? Maybe, but they have to save the world first.

Great fun! Highly recommended!

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet by Kirk Scroggs

Tales of a Sixth-Grade MuppetTales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet by Kirk Scroggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published 2011.

This is a cute, quirky book in a style similar to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, but I would say for a slightly younger audience (probably grades 3-5).

The story's main character, Danvers Blickensderfer, idolizes The Great Gonzo (yes, the Muppet). Danvers spends his time trying to perform stunts reminiscent of those of Gonzo on the old Muppet Show. Danvers is not the most popular kid in school nor the most academic or athletic. He tends to have the same level of success with stunts as Gonzo did back in the day. Danvers life takes a turn when he mysteriously transforms into a Muppet version of himself.

The book is silly and corny, but a fun, easy read. I think elementary-aged students would enjoy it, but adults who recall the original Muppet Show would appreciate the references and jokes, too.


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The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

The Magician's ElephantThe Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published 2009.

Another awesome tale from the fabulous Kate DiCamillo! I had great difficulty putting this down even for small bits of time.

This is a beautiful tale of a young orphan boy hoping, wishing and searching for the long-lost sister that he has always been told is dead. It is also the tale of a lost elephant, a bewildered magician, and the connection between all of the characters.

Themes include honesty, following your heart and never being defeated (no matter how difficult your situation).

The Magician's Elephant would be an excellent read aloud for upper elementary students!

Highly Recommended - This is a MUST READ!

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

The Tiger RisingThe Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published 2001.

At times, I had to put this down or I was going to start crying. It is so sad what this boy, Rob, has gone through and continues to go through in his young life. Rob finds friendship and, through the tiger, may find peace and emotional freedom as well.

Kate DiCamillo has an unbelievable way with words. The images and feelings one has as they read this are so real and deep. I loved it, but at the same time found it difficult to read - emotionally and mentally, not in terms of readability.

Themes include loss, being bullied, emotional freedom and friendship.

Great read aloud for upper elementary. This could be used in a reading group or book club with older elementary or early middle school readers.


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