Monday, May 5, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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Odette's Secrets 

Genre: historical

AR level: 4.1

Grade appropriate: 4th and up
Overall: 4/5-- great introduction to the holocaust. Will get kids interested in the topic and they'll read more about it. Odette was sheltered from most of the horrors of WWII.
Creativity: 4/5-- this book is based on a true story but is a unique perspective.

Characters: 5/5-- I loved Odette & really connected with her. Her mother was wonderful in the beginning but as the war wore on she became bitter & less loving. I think that's probably pretty realistic.

Engrossing: 5/5-- it's an easy read & most kids can get through it quickly before their attention wanes.

Writing: 4/5

Appeal to kids: 5/5-- the kids in my library have really liked it. They come in requesting more about Jews in WWII.

Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

Language: none

Sexuality: none

Violence: mild-- war is distant & not witnessed first hand. Odette does get mistreated by classmates because she's a Jew.

Drugs/Alcohol: mild-- Odette's godmother offers "drink" to German soldiers to distract them from looking for her. 


Spy Camp 

Genre: Adventure
AR level: 5.2
Grade appropriate: 4th and up

Overall: 4/5-- I liked this book better than the first. (That seems to be the general conscientious from most other reviewers as well.) It's more exciting and the characters are coming into their own.

Creativity: 5/5-- I would not have been able to guess that Stuart Gibbs would take the kids to camp in the sequel to Spy School. Cool idea!

Characters: 5/5-- I like Ben a lot. He's a good guy who ultimately decides to do the right thing in most situations although it does not always come easy. He sometimes debates whether to do the right thing or the easy thing.

Engrossing: 4/5-- It's a quick read.

Writing: 4/5-- Funny and clever. A little cheese on the part of the bad guys.

Appeal to kids: 5/5-- Kids seem to be diggin this book. It's never on the shelf.

Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

Language: none-- This book had no offensive language as opposed to the first in the series. Just goes to show it wasn't necessary.

Sexuality: none

Violence:  medium-- It reminds me a little of the TV show Chuck, but instead of the main character being the blunderer it's the CIA. Lots of cartoony violence. Nothing graphic. The most disturbing thing is when a bad guy is on a zip line and ends up falling into the ravine. They discuss how he's dead now, but don't go into graphic detail.

Drugs/Alcohol: none

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