Monday, October 5, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

To learn more about It's Monday! What Are You Reading? visit Mentor Texts

Genre: Fantasy
AR level: 5.4
Grade appropriate: 3rd and up

Overall: 3/5-- I feel like maybe I’m being overly critical. There was nothing inherently wrong with this book, it just wasn’t that great.

Creativity: 5/5-- Time/creation runs like a river and sometimes a stream shoots off from the main flow. This is called a pirate stream. Two characters meet because of this pirate stream of time and end up working together to save it.

Characters: 3/5-- Both Fin and Marrill are likable but there’s nothing about them that really makes you feel like you are in their shoes.

Engrossing: 3/5-- It doesn’t suck you in or make you want to stay up nights reading it.

Writing: 2/5-- This is such a hard thing to pinpoint, but I think this is where this story falls short. The plot is fine in and of itself, but the unfolding of it seems scattered or lacking something. Quirky spellings like Khaznot Quay also really detract from the story line.

Appeal to kids: 3/5-- The cover is the big draw. That’s what made me pick it up.

Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

Language: none
Sexuality: none
Violence: none--There is some fighting against the bad guys, but nothing graphic or disturbing.
Drugs/Alcohol: none


This book, I loved. A historical story set in San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century, it’s one to add to our Newbery list.  There is a plague scare in Chinatown and the area is quarantined, but only if you are Chinese… Lizzie and her friends try to get their beloved cook out of the quarantine. This books discusses racism from that time that is often forgotten and gives a fascinating look at medical practices at the time.  A fantastic book.

Genre: historical
AR level: none yet
Grade appropriate: 4th and up

Overall: 5/5

Creativity: 5/5-- different take on racism from other things being published right now. Who knew there was a plague outbreak in San Francisco in the early 1900s? A glimpse of a time and place I didn’t know much about.

Characters: 5/5-- definitely felt a kinship to Lizzie and felt you were fighting right alongside her.

Engrossing: 5/5

Writing: 5/5

Appeal to kids: 4/5-- It’ll be one you have to sell them on. Once they get into it, they will like it.

Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5

Language: none

Sexuality: none

Violence: mild-- Lizzie’s older brother is earning money as a fighter. There are some drunk men who try to burn down Chinatown. Lizzie also gets attacked by some drunk men when she is out late at night. None of these scenes are graphic.

Drugs/Alcohol: mild-- Lizzie crashes her uncle's work luncheon where they are drinking whiskey. She encounters some drunk men late at night who act violently.

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