InformationAll PPLD facilities will be closed on Monday, May 25, in honor of Memorial Day.
InformationFriday, May 22: The Penrose Library Children’s area is closed this morning for renovations.

Children's Book Reviews

Book Review: Running Out of Time
Haddix, Margaret Peterson
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I love history, but I also love the present. I love that in this book, both collide to make a fun story!

Becca
Gruen, Sara
4 stars = Really Good

This was my first Sara Gruen book and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I have not read many books from this time period set in Scotland, so it was interesting to see how they were living their lives. I liked the characters (well, except for Ellis, but I loved that I disliked him so much). A slight mystical element rounded out a truly good story.

Krista
Book Review: The One and Only Ivan
Applegate, Katherine
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

A great book that I recommend.

Jaylene
Book Review: The Watson's go to Birmingham - 1963
Curtis, Christopher Paul
4 stars = Really Good

This was a good book. The narrator was very entertaining and the weird Watsons were fun to get to know. The characters had some depth, especially the Byron character, and I think if this book had been an adult novel the characters could really have been explored. It's a kids chapter book and so it's not as fleshed out as it could be, but was enjoyable nonetheless. I would have liked to see a bit more focus on the events towards the end of the novel, but I can see that the purpose of focusing on Byron in the beginning was to show his growth toward the end.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Radiance
Noël, Alyson
4 stars = Really Good

Loved this series about a preteen ghost who wants to grow up so badly and finds her path after alot of adventures. Have to order the set for my school--it will be very popular with the girls!

Lorna
Book Review: How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
Bragg, Georgia
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This book is hilarious, clever, disgusting, educational, and all-around awesome! I read it during my lunch break at work which I don't recommend as the content is really gross. But seriously, read this awesome disgusting book!

vfranklyn
Book Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Kinney, Jeff
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

diary of a wimpy kid

Matthew
Book Review: The City Of Ember
DuPrau, Jeanne
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Tis' book is truly amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jasper
Book Review: Wonder
Palacio, R. J.
4 stars = Really Good

This was a sweet book. I loved Auggie's voice and how different parts of the book were narrated by different characters. I also loved the message, which was to always be kinder than necessary. A feel-good, quick read.

vfranklyn
The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie
Joyce, William
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I don't normally review picture books, but this book was awesome! The story was compelling and beautifully written and the artwork was gorgeous. Zoe fell asleep as I was reading it to her, which is rare for her. Since it's a book about the Sandman, this is a good thing. So beautiful.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Wonder
Palacio, R. J.
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Wonder is wonderFUL. At times your heart is breaking and at others soaring during this story of a boy's experiences in middle school. Even if you weren't born with a chromosomal abnormality that has rearranged your face, you will find yourself in the pages of this book. I am far removed from middle and high school days, but the characters found in 'Wonder' are all distinct reminders of that time, and I suspect young people reading this book will see themselves here too.

Evan
Liesl & Po
Oliver, Lauren
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

A most magical story that weaves together the lives of several seemingly incompatible characters. In the author's note, Lauren Oliver explains that she wrote this book as a manner of dealing with the loss of her best friend, and the concept of death and loss are pervasive throughout the story.

Liesl is locked in a tiny attic bedroom by her evil stepmother. Will is the mistreated orphan assistant of an alchemist. Po and Bundle are ghosts, from the Other Side. Together they embark on a touching adventure in a darkened world and learn the true meaning of magic.

Liesl & Po is a sensitive book that pretty much demands that the maturity and sensitivity of its readers accepts that it is a tale of mystery, fantasy, and magic. If you stop to question the plausibility of certain events within this story, then you've already lost the point. Let yourself be drawn into the warm embrace of Oliver's thoughtful prose and let your heart bloom with this lovely tale of friendship.

Evan
Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
DiCamillo, Kate
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Oh, Kate DiCamillo, you have done it again! Flora is a little girl, a cynic in fact, but the day that her neighbor Tootie vacuums up a squirrel and he comes out with magical powers her cynicism is shaken to its core. Ulysses, as Flora names him, is a sensitive superhero of a squirrel who has a penchant for poetry and is always hungry. In fact, Ulysses is responsible for all kinds of wonderful things, including bringing Flora closer with her mother and father, and giving her a healthy dose of optimism.

Lovely, short comic strips flesh out the major action in the story. All in all, a heartwarming tale that will engage listeners and readers alike.
Younger children will enjoy listening to this story, say first to second grade. 4-6 graders will be able to read this on their own.

Evan
Book Review: The Lightening Thief
Riordan, Rick
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief is maybe the most strange novel I have ever read. I started reading by the recommendation of a friend. She told me it was about the Greek gods in the modern world, and I was skeptical, yet it turned out to be one of the best books I've read. This story is fascinating and strung with believable characters, voice, intriguing plot and even villains that you care for. This story is a must-read!

Hannah
Book Review: The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Cleary, Beverly
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I like the book. It is a wonderful author.

Isabel
Book Review: Peter Pan
Barrie, J.M.
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

From the moment Wendy realizes she'll grow up, to the very end when Peter stole Mrs. Darlings thimbles, this book was brilliant, sad, and filled with adventure. I loved that Tinker Bell was a a 'common' fairy and that Hook was more three dimensional and not an all evil figure. The narrative was beautiful, clever, and even a bit melancholy. Peter is the tragic figure here. But of course, he's fine and happy. I loved how Wendy's daughter and granddaughter played into the mix. Perhaps you stay young forever through your offspring.

Michael Hague illustrates this volume brilliantly.

vfranklyn
Book Review: The Thief Lord
Funke, Cornelia
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This fantasy by Cornelia Funke is very entertaining and quite mysterious. It goes from it's interesting title to a twist ending. If I were you I would definitely read this fabulous novel

Weller
Book Review: The One and Only Ivan
Applegate, Katherine
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This was such a great novel. So sweet and life affirming. I loved Ivan and Ruby and wanted them to be happy. I thought the novel might have gone a darker route, but I'm glad it didn't. A sweet, quick read.

vfranklyn
Book Review: High Rhulian
Jacques, Brian
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I thought that this book had really good characters and gradual development of the plot. It's a really good read and keeps you interested.

Like the other books in the Redwall series, it gives really interesting plots to the characters. The story line isn't too fast or confusing and you can usually figure it out halfway through the book, but it is still a great read.

Caitlyn
Book Review: Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry
Taylor, Mildred D.
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Wow. This book was amazing. It was so well-written that I felt like I was there experiencing everything with Cassie. I wonder if I could be as brave as the Logans when faced with bodily harm. The courage of all civil rights activists blows my mind. My mother's family lived in Mississippi in the 1930s and were white. I hope they were sympathetic to the plight of African Americans, and not racists. But in reality, they were likely racists like most other whites during that time. What would I have been like if I was born during that time period? I like to think I'd be sympathetic and would stand up for what's right, but if you're raised with inequality as your reality how do you overcome it? I guess with education and experience and a knowledge of right and wrong, justice and injustice. But still, would I have had the bravery to stand up for what's right if it means physical harm? I hope so. Brilliant book. Perhaps my favorite children's novel of all time.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Now You See Me`
Mason, Jane B.
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I loved how it was so mysterious and how there was a mystery behind it! It was one of my favorite "Poison Apple Books" I've read yet!!! :)

Zoe
Book Review: Justice League of America
Fox, Gardner F.
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

My favorite characters are Flash and Green Lantern. This book is a bunch of comics all put into a collectors edition!

Lincoln
Book Review: How to be a Pirate
Cowell, Cressida
4 stars = Really Good

This book is really cool. It is about a Viking boy named Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third. It always surprises you and is very funny.

Jasper
Book Review: The Road to Oz
Baum, L. Frank
4 stars = Really Good

I enjoyed this book. I like the whimsical settings and characters. I will definitely be checking out some more Oz books :) I think that both kids and adults will get enjoyment out of this classic story. I recommend it if you're a fan of The Wizard of Oz.

Rachel
Book Review: It's a Magical World
Watterson, Bill
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Ah, Calvin and Hobbes. What's not to love? It's the best comic strip ever written, IMO. Timeless and super clever. Calvin and Hobbes occupies a special place in my heart.

vfranklyn