Rave Reviews has selected a Winner! Congratulations to the Bentley family!
They reviewed the book, Mason Dixon Basketball Disasters, by Claudia Mills.
Thanks to all our contestants for your great book reviews!
We thought this was a good story. There were a couple of parts of the story that we especially liked. We thought that Bunker was very mean and he quickly became our first suspect. My son thought it was really funny when all Becca had to say was “cheeseburger” to wake up Tyler. I was glad to find out that Dr. Grog was a nice monster who was friends with the animals in the sewers.
We both liked when they were all hanging on to the barrels and racing through the water. My son really liked when Echo peed on the criminal, Clinker’s, head. We also liked the lullaby that Echo’s mom sang to Echo and Grog. Overall, it was a good, entertaining book.
- The Mobley Family
We give it 2 out of 5 stars.
We were not big fans of this book. The time travel was tedious...it reminded us of Freaky Friday just a little because the two Flora's switch places. But, we never get to hear or see the other Flora's side of the story. We see her reflection briefly in a mirror towards the end of the story.
The author does do an excellent job with her descriptions and details. The girls are typical tweenagers...the teachers, the rooms, the clothing all brilliantly shown to us. But, the British language made some things harder to follow...then add to that we move into 1930's England, whew. We had to work to finish this one. We wanted to find out what happens, how Flora returns to the present, and we did like the link between the 1930's and today.
**Spoiler Alert: Flora's childhood friend from the time travel is really her grandmother! That was cool. And Saunder's writing is very good.
- The Albright Family
We give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
We really liked this entire series of Lemonade War books. This was Jessica's favorite of the three. (Any books with a character named Jessie are usually good.) She really enjoyed that you have to use other skills like math to figure out what is going on. The parents missed the vocabulary word at the beginning of each chapter...and the integrated lessons. Book one had marketing and economics, book two introduced the justice system, this book had no other academic lessons. The kids didn't notice.
We wish that they would have somehow also used lemonade in the title somewhere. We're not sure how, but we all agree that it would unite the books and make more people apt to pick up this third book.
There is a lot going on in this story despite the lack of integrated lessons. The grandmother has Alzheimer's and the neighbor boy, Maxwell has Asperger's syndrome. There are simultaneous mysteries and twists and turns.
One thing that really was bothersome was towards the end when Jessie makes a reference to a mental hospital when describing a conversation with Maxwell. We aren't sure that this is appropriate...but again, the kids weren't bothered by it.
- The Albright Family
Whenever Kevin Spencer sees Tina Zabinski (the girl who is, in his opinion, the most beautiful girl in the world) he’s always in danger of making a fool of himself or saying all the wrong things. Kevin decides to take a scientific approach to winning Tina’s heart. But will studying how to get other kids together really help him get together with Tina or will the new kid, Cash, win Tina over before he can? Or, is he missing the obvious on how to win Tina?
Crush shows just how hard romance can be and takes a few surprising turns along the way. Our family really enjoyed this book, even though we hadn’t read Paulsen’s Liar, Liar or Flat Broke. It was a fun, easy summer read – well written and laugh-out-loud funny at some points. There were a few surprising twists that left you wondering what would happen next. We would recommend this book to fans of realistic fiction and also to anybody who enjoys Gary Paulsen’s writing. Even though the book is relatively short, our mom says she thinks the subject matter is appropriate for about grade 4-5 (age 10-11) and up.
- The Fulton Family
My family really enjoyed this book. This story is about a girl, Madison Kincaid, who has just moved into a new town. She is also going to a brand new school. When her friend Ann goes missing she becomes very worried. She feels lonely without Ann to cheer her up. When she meets a boy named Jake who likes mysteries they decide to set out on a hunt for Ann.
But while they are hunting for Ann, a murder rumor is going around, but the rumor is not just for anyone; it is for her second grade teacher, Ruth Shelby. It is said that her husband Mark Shelby killed her in the kitchen. Their neighbor Thelma Bauer said she heard an argument go on in the kitchen, and then glass shattered. Thelma had raced to her window and watched the driveway. Mrs. Bauer said she saw Mr. Shelby come out of the house with a body in his hands, put it in the trunk of his car and drive away at top speed.
Madison and Jake are determined to discover what is behind the cause of all this trouble. Madison's mom has been dead for a while and her dad doesn't pay much attention to Madison. Madison's dad is also a lawyer which means he is working on this case. Madison wants to prove to her dad that she is not a baby anymore and can solve cases by herself. But will she be able to solve two cases at once? And even more importantly, where is her friend Ann, and is Ruth Shelby dead or alive? This story will keep you gripped to the end.
- The Iverson Family
We liked it. It's a good book for upper elementary and a quick read for intermediate students.
Although it takes place in a middle school, the appeal would be more to the upper elementary/intermediate ages. We like that they act like it's a real investigation, like real detectives. It's great to find a quick easy read that we could all discuss and share together.
The adults liked that the new forensic science teacher's last name is Hodges just like a character from the original television series CSI. If you watch any of the detective television shows out there, you can see similarities in the mystery/clue cycle.
Teachers: this would make a great read aloud to integrate language arts and science.
We think we will read more of the books in the series. And, thank you for encouraging us to read together.
- The Albright Family
There were many parts in this book that we really liked. My son was interest when the hooded figure lifted the slab and opened the passage by the tombstone. He wondered what was down there! I liked the part when Echo was being chased by the Raven, but he made a perfect loop and got away. Then the raven flew into the window. We were happy Echo was safe. My son thought it was really funny when the kids were in the graveyard and Tyler was getting ready to take a picture of the hooded man and Tyler sarcastically asked if he should tell the man to say “cheese”.
We like when the kids discovered Captain Trafalgar and I was glad that he ended up being a good, helpful ghost instead of a scary ghost. My son’s favorite part of the book was when Nelson the parrot chased the Raven and when the hooded man, Mancino, was swinging the shovel but it just went through him and he realized that the Captain was a ghost. We also like the ending when Echo decided to leave his crypt and move into the Silver’s attic. We are very excited to read more books in this series.
- The Mobley Family
Archie is a normal boy who tries to do an errand or act on a daily basis and strange things happen to him everyday. Archie meets a new friend named Cyd who can’t believe strange things happen to him until she hangs out with him. From a piano rolling down a hill to being trapped in a house with a leopard you are excited to see what Archie and Cyd do everyday. All of the days adventures come into play when Cyd needs to go to the airport and asks for Archie’s help. This book we would recommend to others with 5 stars because it was entertaining and made us laugh.
- The Bentley Family