Assignment #4 summaries

Assignment #4 Summaries

The Watsons go to Birmingham, 1963

The Watsons go to Birmingham, 1963 is about a ten year old Kenny and his family. Who are his mom, dad, little sister Joetta, and brother Bryon. They go to visit Grandma which, is quiet an adventure. They go to South Birmingham, Alabama, toward one of the darkest moments in America’s history. This book is now a movie. A Newbery Honor-winning American classic.

We Are The Ships

Refer to assignment #2 summaries

Good master, Sweet Ladies

This book is about Hugo, who has to prove his manhood by hunting a wild boar. There is Nelly, who supports her family by selling live eels and the peasant’s daughter, Mogg, who gets a clever lesson in how to save a cow from a greedy landlord. There are many other wonderful characters. These are stories that bridge to the people and places of medieval England.

Hitler Youth

This book is about Hitler, Germany’s most powerful groups in history. This book explains Hitler’s life. It explains how he gained the loyalty, trust, and passion of so many of Germany’s young people. The author’s research includes telling interviews with surviving Hitler Youth members.


Final: Outside Reading Annoted Bibliographies

Annotated Bibliographies

Davis, E. (2008). Stinky: A Toon Book. New York: Little Lit Library.

Stinky is a monster who loves pickles and possums, but is deadly afraid of people. When a kid enters his swamp, this monster comes up with lots of different crazy ideas to scare him. Stinky however, learns soon that bats, rats, and toads are not the only friends he can find in the swamp.

This hilarious and heart- warming story proves that even monsters can make new friends. There is an underlying lesson about getting to know people who are different from you.  There are many elements of fantasy in the illustrations. Pages are broken up into  different pictures on each page helping readers visualize the story.


Goble, P., & Bradbury Press. (1978). The girl who loved wild horses. Scarsdale, NY: Bradbury Press.

This is a story about an Indian girl who loves horses. The village people notice she understands them in a special way. She falls asleep and is awaken by a rumbling sound. She grabs on to one of the horses and realizes later she is lost. A year later, she was found. Glad to be home, her parents noticed she was not happy. They let her go live with the wild horses. The village people later notice a beautiful stallion they believe is her.

This Native American folktale is full of luscious illustrations. The author’s art reflects their culture and customs. It reveals colorful details. Art and storytelling combine show the love of and harmony with nature which characterizes the Native American culture.


Kinney, J., Jacobson, N., Bowers, D., Gordon, Z., Bostick, D., Harris, R., . . . Simpson, B. (2012). Diary of a wimpy kid: Dog days. Moore Park, N.S.W: Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment South Pacific

Greg is a middle school student who finds himself stuck in school where he shares the halls with kids who are taller and meaner than him. He is undersized and a weakling. Greg meets Rouey and uses his popularity to his advantage. Recorded in his diary with comic strips and his own words unfolds hilarious results.



It is a fun book. Visually very appealing and the layout of text and cartoons is great. It is written for any child thoughtful about growing up and who is looking for a friend. Good transition between writing and pictures.


Tonatiuh, D., Middleton, M. T., & Abrams Books for Young Readers,. (2013). Pancho Rabbit and the coyote: A migrant’s tale.

Pancho Rabbit heads north hoping to make money. Years past and he doesn’t return. His eldest son, Pancho Rabbit, leaves to look for him. A coyote helps him in return for food. When the food runs out, the coyote is about to eat him. Then the father arrives and saves him. Pancho learns his dad money that he had earned and saved was stolen. They return home and the family has to decide who will and how they will return home.

This book is perfect for mature reader. The author brings to life the hardship and struggles faced by thousands of families who seek a better life for themselves and their families. The use of animals was brilliant.


Williams-Garcia, R. (2015). P.s. Be Eleven. Turtleback Books.

Eleven year old Delphin feels overwhelmed with responsibilites and worries. Just starting the 6th grade she is self-conscious about her height and nervous about her first  school dance. She is supposed to be taking care of her siblings. Her uncle is from from Vietnam and seems different. Her father has a girlfriend. At least, she has her mother who she can write too. This historical novel set in the 1960’s, features vivid characters, insight into family relationships, and a strong sense of place.

Assignment #2

Assignment 2

1. The book “It’s So Amazing” has the evaluation criteria of style. The book is informative startingfrom the beginning of reproduction. The first page is about meeting the birds and the bee to theend of the reproduction process being Let’s Celebrate an explanation of birthdays. This book isnot just informational but it has its own unique style or voice in expressing the information. Thepresentation of the information has animated, colorful pictures. The message of the book isexpressed in a comical way and comic book way of formatting the pictures. The author’s showsenthusiasm is expressed in the title being “It’s So Amazing”. An added touch of passion is shownon the inside cover when the author writes a note to the reader.
2. The book “Spiders” has the evaluation criteria of Design. The artful appearance is attractive andreadable. There is a picture of a different spider on each page that matches the information. Thepictures are real life pictures taken from a professional photographer named Nic Bishop. Thebook states the location of the spiders which is French Guiana and Costa Rico. This gives thechildren an accurate picture of what the spiders are supposed to look like. The pictures areappropriate and clear and placed appropriately. The pictures help the children comprehend thetext.
3. The book “We are the Ship” has the evaluation criteria of Design and Accuracy. An importantelement to this book is an artful appearance. The artwork is different from the other books. Theauthor decided to use oil paintings. Nelson’s paintings have been exhibited in many galleries andmuseums around the world. The author quotes he wanted the oil paintings to be breathtaking intheir perspective, rich in emotion, and for theses last heroes of our national game. The picturescomplicate the text. The author’s text is accurate information. He researched with books,documentaries, and films on the subject, and a number of web sites dedicated to Negro Leaguehistory.4. The book “Ballons over Broadway” has the evaluation criteria of style. This book is not just abook of literature. The illustrations and presentation of text is lively and unique, The illustrationsare a mix of watercolor, illustrations, collages, paper from old books to make paper-mache’puppets, fabrics and all painted or altered to illustrate what it may have felt in Sorg’s world.

5. The book “Rosa” has the evaluation criteria of Design. The illustrations compliment the text. Theauthor captured Rosa Parks’ essence in the pictures of her with great detail. The textures andpatterns of the clothing and accessories are realistic looking. The illustrations are used withwatercolors and collage. There is some strong verbal language used but, it stressed thedissimulation between the two races.
6. The book “Me…Jane” has the evaluation criteria of style. The illustrations are whimsical,childlike watercolor and ink illustrations make this book stand out. It has minimal text. It was anold-fashioned type with subtly colored illustrations with the use of ornamental engravings formthe 19th, and early 20th century. The message of the story is inspirational to young readers. Itencourages kids to dream big.7. The book “Primatives” has the evaluation criteria of design. The book is readable and invitingwith the illustrations. The author was creativity with the illustration and clear text. It made ahistorical topic become fun for children to learn about. Even though the book is short it is agreat starting point to studying apes.8. The book “How they Croaked” has the evaluation criteria of style. This book is entertaining withthe text but also with the illustration. The information it states is interesting and creative. Forexample, it notable Einstein quotes, Cremation 101, and Phobias. There is a picture of everypage from pictures of feet to bugs. The pictures are all in black and white. These colors matchthe front cover of the skeleton. The colors and words give it a creepy, deathly feel to it.

Download file

File type:

Download annotated PDF

Includes comments

Generating PDF…

Sorry, a problem occurred while generating your PDF.
Downloading document…

Sorry, this document could not be downloaded.

Assignment #1

The Three Little Pigs

Visual Effects:
1. Line: The lines are very fine and have a blended look on their bodies. This gives them a fluffyfeel. It sets a fairytale like mood with a delicate feel to the story. The lines on their clothes aremore distinct and sharp. This gives them a stronger feel.
Evaluation Criteria:
2. Plot: The pictures help the plot move the action forward. There is a conflict and series ofhappening. The wolf trying to destroy the three little pigs. The resolution being the three littlepigs scaring the wolf away.
Martina the Beautiful cockroach:
Visual Effects:
1. This whole book shows a 3-D illustration. On page six, the 3-D illusion is more emphasized withthe roster and the other characters are faded into the page. This makes the reader focus on themain characters.
Evaluation Criteria:
2. Plot: There is a conflict when the Martina is ready to get married but does not have a husband.Another conflict arises when she does a coffee test on potential suitors and they fail her test. Thisstory can be relevant to young children. Teaching them that you may not always get what youwere initially expecting in a situation. There is a clear series of events that lead up the cleverending.
This is not my hat:
Visual Effect:
1. The shapes vary in this book. They make the big fish very big with small plants. They make thesmall fish with big plants. To convey the difference of sizes between the fishes.
Evaluation Criteria:
2. Plot: There is conflict between the big fish and little fish because; the small fish took the bigfish’s hat. Illustrations help to figure out the sequence of events.

The Legend of the bluebonnet:
Visual Effects:
1. Color: On the first page the colors are blain with tan, yellow and brown. The land is a tan color.This shows the reader the lack of water the land has had. The grass would be green if it has hadthe appropriate amount of water.
Evaluation Criteria:
2. Cultural Markers: Pictures depicted the Native American culture. The Indians were dressed allalike for representing their tribe. They had tribal names and traditions.
Olivia and the best teacher ever:
Visual Effects:
1. Texture: This book shows a 3-D illustration. On the second page, the 3-D concept is emphasizedwith the pigs but, not with the surrounding around. This makes the reader focus on the maincharacters.
Evaluation Criteria:
2. Plot: The emotion growth of the main character is evident in the book. The character starts withbeing hopeful that her teacher could be teacher of the year. Changes to disappoint when theteachers evaluator leaves the room upset with the chaos in the room. The character ends withbeing proud because she made her teacher feel special by having the class show her what theyhave learned from her.
Where the wild things are:
Visual Effects:
1. Composition: On page nine, the picture of the Max on the boat traveling to the wild animals. Thispage answers the question of the title, “Where the Wild Things Are”. Shape dominates this pageit shows the initial encounter of Max and the wild things. The wild things look excited by theirbody language and facial expression and Max’s facial expression shows he is agitated.
Evaluative Criteria:
2. Setting: The themes of the relationship between Max and the wild things have personal resonancefor the child reader in a way that is meaningful and worthwhile. . Children can relate to Max withhaving a thirst for curiosity and energy to play with others. Children often play dress up andpretend they are in island or castle. The children connect to this story with having their own makebelieve animals or toys similar to Max and the wild things.

The Paper bag princess:
Visual Effects:
1. Color: There is five main colors used. Black, red, orange, green, and yellow. One the first oncepage. On the female there is not much color on her dress except one the characters faces and redhearts near her face. On the male there is a lot of color from head to toe. The focus of color wasmore on the male to convey the symbolism that he is more important and focus needs to be onhim.Evaluation Criteria:2. Setting: The pictures show the setting in the king and queen days. From the location being thecastle to their regal clothes and crown.
Mirror, Mirror:
Visual Effects:
1. Color: On Rapunzel’s Locks page colors help represent the mood of negative to positive. The leftside the colors are dark. The clouds are dark blue and black conveying a negative atmosphere.On the right side, the colors are bright. The clouds are light blue conveying a positiveatmosphere.
Evaluation Criteria:
2. Style: This book is individual in its writing. It is written one way then twisted to the opposite. Itmakes the reader realize how a sentence can be rearranged and have different meaning. Thepoint of view can interpret in two ways. Most of the fairytales have a positive and the negativeviewpoint.
It’s a Book
Visual Effect:
1. Shape: The portions of sizes vary within the characters. One character is very big with anexaggerated head. The other character is medium sized with a larger head. The bigger characteris educating the medium character. Maybe the author did this for a reason to indicate that thelarger character is older.
Evaluation Criteria:
2. Illustrations: The pictures are entertaining and intriguing. The character has distinct facialfeatures and body sizes. The illustrations compliment the words of the story. There is text inbold to emphasize the mood.

My teacher is a monster
Visual Effect:
1. Color: They used the colors well to convey the emotion. The teacher’s skin was green torepresent evil and aggregated. She wore a black dress with pointy heels to represent a witch.
Evaluative Criteria:
2. The pictures illustrations captivated the mood of the teacher. In the beginning she was a greenugly dinosaur teacher, in the middle when she became nice she, turned into a normal lookingwomen. In the end, she returns back into a green monster. The text in bold displayed theemotion in that moment.

Download file

File type:

Download annotated PDF

Includes comments

Generating PDF…

Sorry, a problem occurred while generating your PDF.
Downloading document…

Sorry, this document could not be downloaded.

Assignment #4

Campbell, Susan. 2005. Scholastic Nonfiction. New York: New York

Hitler Youth’s story is set in the past people can still relate to the Jews how get tortured by Hitler. This book educates young reader on actual historical events. It explains who Hitler was as a person but also explains the role of the other main characters which were the Germans. The book explains that the Germans would kick the Jews out of their house. They would separate them away from their families, and if a Jew was walking on the sidewalk and even looked at a German soldier that was even in the slightest way a smirk or a glare, the German Soldier would just attack the Jew.  This allows young readers to have empathy for the Jews and how Hitler changed the world.


Curtis, Paul Christopher. 1995. Laurel-Leaf. New York: New York

The Watsons to to Birmingham, 1963  theme of this story is based on the Civil Rights Movement and the importance of family. For example, the bombings during the Civil Rights Movement, problems with Byron and Kenny, and so many more problems. Many of the Watson family members change during the story. An example, Byron changed from a disobedient child, to a mature, young man full of respect. This shows how our beliefs and attitudes change and evolve over time. When it comes to the importance of family, The Watsons are just like any family. In the end Byron learns how much he appreciates his family.

Nelson, Kadir. 2006. Jump At the Sun/Hyperience Books for Children. New York: New York

We Are the Ships theme is unforgettable. This novel had historical information and events in chronological order. Starting from the very beginning of baseball to ending with Jackie Robinson. Throughout the book as a reader you learn how baseball evolved but, as the historical events that were happening at that time. Young readers get educated on segregation.  Even though this book is about the past, baseball is still relevant today. Baseball is a popular sport to watch and Jackie Robinson is still remembered till this day. The timeless idea that is still relevant today is the issue of intergrading races. Making the decision to have African Americans play professional baseball with other races shows how society and sports have evolved and improved our society and baseball.

Schiltz, Laura Amy. 2007. Oxford University Press. Cambridge: Massachusetts

Good Masters, Sweet Ladies setting sets the tone of the story. The landscape gives the reader insight to the direction the story is heading. The author does a marvelous job description the village in the year 1255. Instead of the village being a fairytale place. It is explained to be full of lice and maggots.  The words and the illustrations connect well to give an illusion of a place you would not want to live there. The book explains drunken fathers beat their families, and children beat each other. The lord controls the local economy so that his people must grind their grain at the local miller. These vivid details help the reader completely absorb the setting and the story.

Assignment #3 summaries


Cleary, B., Zelinsky, P. O., & Juvenile Collection (Library of Congress). (1983). Dear Mr. Henshaw. New York: Morrow.
This book is about a young boy named Leigh. He writes to his favorite author Mr. Henshaw. He writes him for years. He lets Mr. Henshaw know about his parents and his admiration towards his books. Leigh also gives Leigh a look at his daily life. Mr.Henshaw really gets to know Leigh and his family. Leigh writes about when his dad makes him frustrated.

Draper, S. M. (2010). Out of my mind. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
This book is about Melody Brooks, a young girl who has cerebral palsy and therefore cannot communicate in conventional ways. The narration is due to Melody’s inability to speak or communicate in a conventional manner. Melody tells her story through thoughts in her head, expressing herself quite naturally in a way that is unusual from the way in which she communicates in the real world. Since the dialogue is different with many conversations taking place inside her head rather in time. She types how what she is thinking and feeling. There are some words in bold in the dialogue to help highlight important thoughts. The bold words also help the reader identify the mood.


Lord, C. (2006). Rules. New York: Scholastic Press.
The book Rules is about a girl named Catherine. She gives her descriptions of how she is feeling and what she is doing in her daily life. She describes how other people talk and express themselves. Catherine makes the reader strongly connected with her, and is able to empathize with her as she struggles to find her own identity and escape from the preteen pressures of fitting in.


Urban, L. (2007). A crooked kind of perfect. Orlando: Harcourt.
This book is about events in Zoe’s life. Zoe goes through learning how to deal with friendships, boys in school, her dreams and her passion for the piano. She has a dream to go to Carnegie Hall. This helps the reader understand Zoe’s attitude in having big dreams. I interrupted the ending as a place for new beginnings for Zoe and her family. With a new house they moved into she would make new friends and her new school and a new piano to practice and create more music.

Pastis, S. (2013). Timmy Failure. Somerville, Mass: Candlewick Press.
The book Timmy Failure is about a young boy named Timmy. He explains his thought and feeling about his life. He has a negative viewpoint. He insults his friends and teachers and his parents. He tends to make himself and his so-called best friend look incompetent on a number of occasions. He struggles with emotional growth as he states on page three that he has to overcome obstacles such as his mother, school, best friend and his polar bear. He is somewhat delusional with the real world around him.


Paterson, K., & Diamond, D. (1977). Bridge to Terabithia. New York, NY: Crowell.
This book is about, Jess Aarons is an eleven-year-old boy living in a rural area of the South who loves to run. He dreams of being the fastest boy in the fifth grade when school starts up in the fall, feeling that this will for once give him a chance to stand in the spotlight among his five sisters, and might win him the attention of his preoccupied father. Most people have been in a situation when they are good at something and someone else comes along and is better at it. The book has many twists and turns from them discovering Terabithia to Leslie drowning. The ending has a meaningful ending when Jess would continue visit Terabithia in Leslie’s honor and keep her spirit alive.

Assignment #3

Brigde of Terbithia
Jess and Leslie’s friendship is the central theme is their friendship. The reason that Jess and Leslie’s friendship is so magical is because it allows them to rejoice together and escape into their own worlds. Both characters go through their own personal despair and growth. For example, Jess leads a life full of everyday hardship and dissatisfaction. We sense that before Leslie came along, he was in danger of sinking under the weight of these combined pressures and reluctantly accepting conformity. This friendship allows both Leslie and Jess, particularly Jess, to find their true selves. Their friendship allows them to learn for each other. For example, Jess’s artistic abilities are strengthened by Leslie’s imagination, which provides perfect for new and innovative artwork, and Leslie’s strength and courage are tested and developed when Jess encourages her to help Janice Avery. Jess discovers in himself ability for invention and creativity; Leslie uncovers a desire for spirituality when Jess brings her to church.
The plot has multiple events that are true to life. For example Jess Aarons is an eleven-year-old boy living in a rural area of the South who loves to run. He dreams of being the fastest boy in the fifth grade when school starts up in the fall, feeling that this will for once give him a chance to stand in the spotlight among his five sisters, and might win him the attention of his preoccupied father. Most people have been in a situation when they are good at something and someone else comes along and is better at it. The book has many twists and turns from them discovering Terabithia to Leslie drowning. The ending has a meaningful ending when Jess would continue visit Terabithia in Leslie’s honor and keep her spirit alive.
Dear Mr. Henshaw
This book has a distinct way of being written. The language is written is letter form. The main character Leigh Botts writes to his favorite author Mr.Henshaw. The author shows the date on the left hand corner. In the middle he shows the message Leigh writes to Mr. Henshaw. The author adds a creative touch by having Leigh end his letters with saying goodbye by writing “your number 1 fan Leigh Botts” or “Your grateful friend Leigh Botts”. Leigh writes different closure depending on his mood. There is a dialogue between Leigh and many people in his life. The interesting part is that you never get to see the direct dialogue between Leigh and Mr. Henshaw. Leigh explains that Mr.Henshaw writes him back but it is not visable seen. This adds a element of mystery and using your imagination. The point of view is from the main character Leigh. The illustrations in the book give the reader a better interpretation of the mood.

This book is written in The protagonist, Leigh Marcus Botts point of view. The main characters are Leigh and Mr. Henshaw. Leigh writes to Mr. Henshaw through the letters, and later, through the diary that he keeps. Leigh describes himself as “just a plain boy. . .the mediumest boy in the class.”Leigh seems to be Bright, sensitive, thoughtful, and a bit of a loner, Leigh classifies himself as “Just a boy nobody pays much attention to.” The author, Henshaw, is revealed only through Leigh’s responses to his letters. Henshaw, exasperated with questions from school children, gives silly answers to some of Leigh’s questions and includes his own set of questions. Upon receiving Leigh’s answers to his own questions, Henshaw shows a more adult concern for a troubled child, and he tries to help, even though he is busy with his own life. From the beginning to the end the reader witnesses the emotional growth Leigh goes through from living with his parents to his parents’ divorce. He is mad at his father many times and in the end of the book he forgives his father and does a generous thing by letting his dog stay with his dad. The book ends with stating his emotional state as being sad but grateful at the same time.
The book Rules is written in the first person point of view, from Catherine’s perspective. She gives her description of how she is feeling and what she is doing daily. She describes how other people talk and express themselves. For example, the author writes, “Kristi exhales loud and long in my ear. “Will you still help me make posters?” The dialogue is detailed and interesting. The interesting part is that there are words in bold that I am figuring is what Catherine is saying in her head. The dialogue makes the reader strongly connected with Catherine, and is able to empathize with her as she struggles to find her own identity and escape from the preteen pressures of fitting in.
This book shows Catherine’s search for an independent identity. She is constantly trying to figure out her role between her family, friends, and romances. Catherine is kind, artistic, and intelligent, but she is not without her flaws. Like many children her age, she deals with peer pressure, and her dealings with David or Jason make her nervous, upset, or afraid, as she fears the “cool” kids, like Kristi, might think she is “uncool.” She has to develop rules for herself. One important rule is “No dancing unless I’m alone in my room or it’s pitch-black dark.” Conflicts do arise slowly from different events. For example, when Catherine cannot decide about whom to go to the dance with but, in the end figures it out.

Out of my mind
The style of this book is unique because of the dialogue and point of view. The point of view of this novel is unique not because it is the first-person point of view, but because it is in the voice of someone who cannot speak or communicate in a conventional manner. The narrating character is Melody Brooks, a young girl who has cerebral palsy and therefore cannot communicate in conventional ways. The narration is due to Melody’s inability to speak or communicate in a conventional manner. Melody tells her story through thoughts in her head, expressing herself quite naturally in a way that is unusual from the way in which she communicates in the real world. Since the dialogue is different with many conversations taking place inside her head rather in time. She types how what she is thinking and feeling. There are some words in bold in the dialogue to help highlight important thoughts. The bold words also help the reader identify the mood.
The main character in this book is a unique individual. Melody is an eleven-year-old girl who has cerebral palsy, therefore she has little control over her body and cannot speak. Despite this, Melody is very intelligent and she desires to find a way to communicate with the people around her. The reader understands her perspective and witnesses her challenges and emotional growth she goes through. For example, due to her inability to communicate in a meaningful way, most people assume Melody is mentally retarded. Some of her other conflicts are when Melody attends regular school, but she is placed in the special needs class with other students who are mentally unable to participate in regular classes. Melody finds this class extremely boring and she learns more from the television. All Melody wants is to be a normal girl. Therefore, when she is placed in inclusion classes and receives a computer that helps her speak and participate in class, she feels that she is on her way. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to give Melody the benefit of the doubt.
Timmy Failure:
The main character “Timmy Failure” has a unique point of view.His viewpoint is negativity when he calls his best friend an “idiot”. There are a number of situations where he insults teachers, his parents and fellow students; He tends to make himself and his so-called best friend look incompetent on a number of occasions. He struggles with emotional growth as he states on page three that he has to overcome obstacles such as his mother, school, best friend and his polar bear. He is somewhat delusional with the real world around him. I think young readers can relate to him with some obstacles he faces and having big dreams for them but, he is not a role model for children or someone children should want to be like.

Gender and Culture:
There is a stereotype in this book having to do with his name “Timmy Failure”. Even though Timmy believes he is the best detective in town. Timmy’s delusional outlook about himself, feeling entitled to everything and his home life. With his name you might think he fails in life often but, to Timmy he is a winner and is going to be a successful business owner. Timmy does fail in certain areas of his life such as, Timmy doesn’t respect other people’s property for example his mom’s closet or his stepdad’s car. He disregards school by refusing to study and makes his teacher have a nervous breakdown, and doesn’t care if he ruins other people’s futures by sabotaging group projects and ruining his friend Rollo’s perfect GPA. I think he should be awful Timmy instead of Timmy Failure.

Assignment 5&6

Assignment #5 & 6

The Graveyard Book
Gaiman, N. & McKean, D. (2008) The Graveyard book. New York: Harper Collins Pub.
This book is about a boy named Bod. Owens has lived in a graveyard all his life. He is raised and educated by ghosts, but he cannot leave the graveyard he calls home. However, when Nobody begins to investigate how he ended up in his graveyard, he discovers a secret society from which he may never be safe.
Yes, this book is set in a graveyard; the book gives the exact location of being in Old town, and walk up the hill. An important description is that is covered with “some ten thousand souls”. The description of the graveyard is how I would imagine a haunted graveyard to be. By day, it’s a normal cemetery but, by night it is mysterious with the dead souls awaking. At first I was confused with the time period. I thought they were from the 1800’s by the way they act and talk. But, there is little hints that let me know we’re in the 21st century. Scarlett talks about cell phones, and shool yard bullies taking videos of their victims. I enjoyed all the descriptive words that helped me visualize this book.
This book can be interrupted different ways. There is a theme of friendship when Bod shows curiosity about the people buried in the various graves. Silas helping him learn how to read. He uses some books but, mostly the gravestones. Once he takes interest in the graves he learns something new and interesting about each one. For example, when Bod goes to Hell he goes through a grave that also happens to be a ghoul gate. There is also a theme of symbolisms. The author says he got the idea for The Graveyard Book form his experience of practically living in the library when he was a kid, transported to other world through books. We might think of the graveyard as Bod’s own library, and of each grave as a book, which leads to something new and exciting.

Skulduggery Pleasant
Landy, D. (2008). Skullduggery Pleasant: Playing with fire. Harper Collins Children’s Book: London
This book is about a skeleton and a twelve year girl named Stephaine Edgley. They meet through her uncle and go on an adventure fighting demons, and magic. They go a quest to fight for Stephaine’s family legend. Throughout their quest they become friends. They conquer the evil sorcerer Serpine.

Characters and Plot:
The main characters are uncommon characters. The main male character is dead. He’s also a walking, talking skeleton that can do magic. The main female character is a twelve year old girl named Stephaine Edgley. I was suprising to find out that she would being fighting demons with Skulduggery. This allows young readers to relate to the story. Some little girls and boys dream about being a hero and fighting crime. Also, it hits close to home for readers who are close to their family because, the main purpose of the story is for Stephanie to stop evil sorcerer Serpine from searching for her unless ancient legend. The relationship between the main characters is entertaining, magical and lots of humor.
The plot is believable, logical, and internally consistent. This book has a good flow, change of events. The beginning sets up the information the reader needs to know to understand the main purpose of the book. The book explains that after Stephaines uncle death. See meets one of her uncle’s oldest and strangest friends. The meeting of this friend set up the fantasy in the book. This is when she gets tossed into a world of magic with Skuldugger. After fighting and overcoming their obstacles, the book ends with Stephaine back in your normal world.

Cosmics Squad
Holm, J. (n.d) Comics Squad: Recess!
This book is about eight separate stories that are centered around what happens or doesn’t happen during recess. This book is like a comic book. It is full of laughter and vivid illustrations. It is a contribution to classic Sunday comics. With popular characters from Babymouse and Lunch Lady and brand-new soon-to-be favorite characters from superstars including Dav Pilkey, Raina Telgemeier, Gene Yang and many more.
Theme & Setting:
The theme of all stories is supposed to be what happens or doesn’t happen during recess, but the connections between the stories and the theme are often tenuous. All of the comics are colored in shades of black and orange, which make one wonder if a Halloween theme was originally intended. One of my favorites stories was “Jimmy Spinkles in Freeze Tag” written by Eric Wight. It was one of the funniest stories to me.
The setting is at one of my favorite places in grade school, which is recess. The author is very creative with the eight stories in the book. A unique story to me was Babymouse. There was some editing choices that were different for example, when Babymouse binoculars is placed not after the story about Babymouse, but on a different page altogether; and a page on how to draw Betty, another one of the characters, is placed not near her story but at the end of the book. The author was very creative with the humorous and imaginative dialogue and vivid illustrations.

Gregor the Overlander
Collins, S. (2003) Gregor the Overlander. New York: Scholastic
This book is about Gregor and his toddler sister, Boots, fall through a grate in their laundry room and into the land of the Underland, a world far from earth. Surrounded with giant intelligent bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders. Taken in by the humans who live in an underground city, at first they only want to find a way back home. But then Gregor learns that his father, who disappeared years before, is in the Underland too, held prisoner by the rats, who are about to launch a war on the humans. In the end, He defeats the rats, and the Underlanders think that Gregor is the warrior of the prophecy.
Plot & Theme:
The Plot is logical and internally consistent with adventure. The logic of the order of events in the book is apparent from the beginning. As a reader you find out that Gregors dad died two years ago and lives with his mom, sister and grandma. I automatically knew there was a reason that the dad’s death was mentioned. His dad’s death ends up being the focus point of the storyline. The book ends with him finding his dad. Even though, Gregor found his dad in the end. There was a fair amount of adventure. The rats and spiders being enlarged give the story an element of creativity and fantasy. The plot has a great framework and also has great meaning.
There are several themes in this book. It addresses war, prejudice, broken families, and the nature of trust and friendship. Some readers may also recognize themselves in Gregor, who manfully struggles to accept the loss of his father and to support his mother, even though he cannot always help comparing his life to the lives of other children. Collins deals with all these issues subtly and sensitively, never moralizing and never shrinking away from portraying the world as she sees it, intermingled with both the good and the bad. As a reader, you realize the amount of bravery it takes to overcome the creatures of the Underland. I admired him for his bravery and determination in finding his father. He was rewarding to see the transformation and maturity of Collin. This book is great for parents to show child about family and self growth.

Rapunzel’s revenge
Hale, S., & Hale D. (2008). – Urban, L. Rapunzel’s revenge. New York: Bloomsbury.

This book is about is a twist on the tale of Repunzel. After using her hair to free herself from her prison tower, this Rapunzel ignores the pompous prince and teams up with Jack (of Beanstalk fame) in an attempt to free her birth mother and an entire kingdom from the evil witch who once acted as her mother. In the end, she frees her mother and entire kingdom from the evil witch.
Theme & Style:
There is a theme of friendship and bravery. Rapunzel does not conquer her challenges alone she has her friend Jack to accompany her. Jack leaves his old life to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter. Rapunzel could be an inspiration to young readers because of her curiosity and integrity. It is impressive to see Rapunzel battles a wild boar, a sea serpent, killer coyotes, and outlaw kidnappers. In a land filled with liars and thieves, Rapunzel maintains her integrity. This story could show kids not to give up when times get rough. She had a goal and overcame her challenges to uncover her past.
This book has several unique components. It is an action-packed graphic novel follows a comic book format (illustrated by Nathan Hale) and is cleverly peppered with fairy tale references. The Hales apply a new twist to the classic tale. The main character has the characteristics of a modern woman with a strong, sassy, braid-whipping character who waits for no prince. Nathan Hale’s art is stylistically reminiscent of a picture book. It provides a snazzy counterpoint to the folksy text. A dash of typical fairy-tale romance, a strong sense of social justice and a spunky heroine make this a great choice for younger teens.

Selznick, B. (2011). Wonderstruck. New York. Scholastic
This book is about Ben and Rose who secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. In the end, after fifty years apart, these two independent stories, Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in pictures weave back and forth with symmetry.

The book Wonderstruck is appealing to readers that enjoy illustrations. There is more illustrations than text. The story is richly layered and full of small, important details, both in words and pictures. This book could be interesting for adults and young readers. Adults should find themselves more than challenged to delve into all the symbolism and fine details. Kids and adults will be captured by the compelling prose and beautiful pencil drawings. I went back and forth at various pictures to find clues, more details, but often just to marvel at the story unfolding in front of me. I would read this book over again and would share it with my younger niece.
Brian Selznick books: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, The Houdin Box, The Boy of a Thousand
All three have a quest they are trying to achieve. In Houdini Box, Victor is trying to unlock the box to uncover houdins secrets. In the boy of a thousand, Alonzo is trying to solve the mystery of the creature stalking his town and make his dream of becoming The Boy of a Thousand Faces come true. In The invention of Hugo Cabret, Hugo is trying to save his undercover life and precious secrets.

Love that dog
Creech, S. (2011). Love that dog. New York: Harper Collins.
This book is about the story of Jack, his dog, his teacher, and words. The story develops through Jack’s responses to his teacher, Miss Stretchberry, over the course of a school year. At first, his responses are short and cranky: “I don’t want to” and “I tried. Can’t do it. Once his teacher feeds him inspiration, Jack finds that he has a lot to say and he finds ways to say it. Jack becomes especially fond of a poem by Walter Dean Myers titled “Love That Boy,” and it is this poem that gives Jack a way to tell the story of his beloved dog, Sky.
This book is a wonderful story told in free verse and in journal format. The story evolves in a series of short, pithy poems written by Jake as he responds to his teacher’s attempts to introduce a love of poetry and elicit more information in his responses. It is told completely in Jake’s words, although you can easily conclude the teacher’s comments. This is one my favorite book that I have read. This would be a great tool for English teachers. Even though I am a dance teacher I can relate in the way children give up on dance steps. I could use this story to help motivate those students. This is a perfect resource for teachers and students alike.
These books are all centered on life, love, relationships and especially family relationships. For Creech to grow up in a big family in Cleveland, Ohio, helps her to learn to tell stories that wouldn’t be forgotten in all of the commotion: “I learned to exaggerate and embellish, because if you didn’t, your story was drowned out by someone else’s more exciting one.”