There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom

TaBitGB cover

Written by: Louis Sachar

Published in 1987

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Grade Level: 4-6

Summary: Bradley is the oldest kid in the fifth grade, and everyone hates him. Jeff is the new kid. Colleen has a crush on Jeff. Carla is the new school counselor, and she’s on a mission to help the students in this school start to believe in themselves.

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Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome

USaAS cover

Written by: Clarabelle van Niekerk & Liezl Venter

Illustrated by: Clarabelle van Niekerk

Published in 2006

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Picture Book

Grade Level: K-4

Summary: This book tells the story of Sam and his family, and how they found out he has Asperger’s syndrome. The story talks about Sam’s differences, and provides information and tips for children to use with a friend who has Asperger’s syndrome.

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Junie B. Jones: Books 1-3

Written by: Barbara Park

Illustrated by: Denise Brunkus

Published: 1992-1993

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Humor

Grade Level: K-3

The Junie B. Jones series is made up of short chapter books documenting the life and problems of Junie B, a little girl who has just started kindergarten. I bought all of the kindergarten series (and some of the “Junie B., First Grader” series) from a garage sale a year or two ago. I decided to review three books to start out with, as the books are so short and easy to get through.

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Same, Same, But Different

SSBD cover

Written & Illustrated by: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

Published in 2011

Genre: Picture Book, Realistic Fiction

Grade Level: PreK-2

Summary: Same, Same, But Different is a story about two pen pals from America and India. Elliot and Kailash draw pictures of their homes and lives to send to each other. Throughout their correspondence, they discover that while some parts of their lives are very different, other parts are exactly the same.

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Dork Diaries: Amy’s Review

Dork Diaries amy read

The book, Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life, is about a girl named Nikki Maxwell. This book is mostly set in a school named Westchester Country Day. The main characters are Nikki, Chloe, Zoey, Mckenzie, and Brandon.

I like this book because of three reasons. The first reason is that there is tons of humor. Okay, maybe not tons, but plenty. The second reason is that the pictures match with the story. The third reason is that it’s just plain dorky!

My personal favorite part is when Nikki says her life motto. “Bloodsuckers CANNOT be trusted!” The reason she says this is because she is allergic to “bloodsuckers.”

I think this book deserves… five stars!

5 blue star

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This review is all from Amy. I haven’t read Dork Diaries yet, though now I’m curious about these “bloodsuckers” Amy mentioned… I’ve heard that the Dork Diaries series is basically Diary of a Wimpy Kid but with the main character being a girl. I’d be interested to see how true that is.

Amy will have more reviews like this (of books I haven’t read) since she is a bit older and enjoys reading so much. A lot of her reviews will (probably) be of YA books geared towards the upper middle school grades, especially since she isn’t around my house very often to read the picture books I’m bringing home from the library.

Today Was a Terrible Day

Today Was a Terrible Day

TWaTD cover

Written by: Patricia Reilly Giff

Illustrated by: Susanna Natti

Published in 1980

Genre: Picture Book, Realistic Fiction

Grade Level: K-2

Summary: Ronald Morgan is having a terrible day. Anything and everything seems to be going wrong, until a note from his teacher brightens his day.

Cover/Illustrations: The illustrations in this book aren’t my favorite, but they’re not bad. Natti used a lot of muted and somber colors, which match the tone of the story. The pictures compliment the narrative and are helpful in understanding what’s going on.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Written and Illustrated by: Jeff KinneyIMG_1011

Published in 2007

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Humor

Grade Level: 3-5

Summary: “A novel in cartoons,” Diary of a Wimpy Kid tells the story of Greg Heffley over the course of one year in middle school. The book is written in the form of a diary journal and includes cartoon drawings on each page that help move the story along. Greg and his friend Rowley get into several ridiculous situations throughout the year, involving both their families and the school. The book covers several smaller stories that occur in one and two month chunks.

Cover: The cover on this book is gorgeous. It really gives the feel of a diary turned journal by a middle schooler. It even has some shiny “tape” to give the effect of pictures and strips of paper being taped onto the book. The cover clearly conveys the intent of the story.

Illustrations: Jeff Kinney includes comic book style illustrations on every page of the book. The pictures are fun to look at and are needed to make sense of the story. In this book, the illustrations are just as important as the words… maybe even more important. There are several instances in the book where the words would make no sense without the illustrations to give them context.

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