Sunday, October 25, 2009

3 More Books for Cybils

Strawberry Hill by Mary Ann Hoberman
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 230
ISBN: 978-0-316-04136-2
Source: Library

Allie’s father had to find a new job when the depression hit. His family lives in New Haven and he works in Stamford. It is difficult not seeing them for a whole week. When things look up he finds a house for them. Allie doesn’t want to move and leave her best friend Ruthie behind. When her father tells her their new address is Strawberry Hill she changes her mind. She wants everything in her room painted pink. When she arrives it isn’t what she imagined. She can’t find the strawberries. She makes two new friends, Martha and Mimi. Mimi and Allie are both Jewish. When Martha’s friend from the Catholic school calls her a dirty Jew, she finds out first hand what prejudice is. She learns what true friendship is and teaches Martha not to judge based on what others say.
I looked at the cover and thought this would be a cutsie little read. Boy did it exceed my expectations. The messages about friendship and the faces of prejudice permeated the whole book. It was not a slap you in the face deal. The main character is a fourth grader but I believe my middle school students would love this. The historical information was very accurate. I would definitely recommend this book to my students.

Amelia’s Most Unforgettable Embarrassing Moments – Marissa Moss
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 76
ISBN: 978-0-689-87041-5
Source: library

When I saw this book I wasn’t real sure about it. The cover looks like a composition notebook. Like most middle school students Amelia believed that she had left behind the years when she would be embarrassed by all kinds of things. Then the worst thing of all happens. Her science class is going on a three day field trip and her older sister is going along. Could it get any worse? Oh yes. She gets stuck in her sister’s group. Now she is afraid her sister will tell all of her friends about her most embarrassing moments. I loved this book. It tackled all of the problems and fears new middle school students face. I remember taking a weekend trip with our church youth group. My mother was one of the chaperones. I was so afraid that I would be embarrassed by her. I found out what fun she could be. She was a totally different person with all of the other youth around. I know many of my intensive reading students would love the length of this book and the way it is set up.

Melonhead - Katy Kelly
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 210
ISBN: 978-0-385-73409-7
Source: Library

The pictures and the writing reminded me of one of Roald Dahl’s books. I love his books and loved this one as well. Adam Melon, a.k.a. Melonhead is a very active boy. It seems that trouble was always finding him. The story starts out with a lot of excitement. Melonhead has his foot stuck in a hole in a tree limb. It seems the whole town has turned out. The longer his foot is inside the hole the more it sweats and swells. It takes the jaws of life to remove the foot from the hole. He is an inquisitive kid, who always asks questions. So why is it that he and his best friend Sam are having difficulty coming up with a reinvention for Mr. Santalices’ class? The book was full of all types of surprises. Some of them you are waiting for. You know the antic he has pulled is going to backfire. Something this are absolutely surprising. This was a wonderful book. It was light and fun to read. I would be proud to have this on my shelves at school.

The opinions expressed in these review are mine alone and do not represent the views of the panel.

1 comment:

  1. Yay for Melonhead! I'm so glad you liked him, it's one of my favorite books and went with me on all my booktalks for the summer reading program last May!