Girls Book Blog by Girl Museum

Welcome to the first book blog by girls for girls.
This is a new project created by the Girl Museum to encourage girls to read, write, think and share about books and ideas that are important to them.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Utterly Me, Clarice Bean by Lauren Child

I really enjoyed Utterly Me, Clarice Bean. This is a very fun, interesting and witty book. I would recommend this book to any girl who likes comedy books. I would also recommend this book to anyone who likes or has heard of the author Lauren Child (also illustrated for the children’s show Charlie and Lola).

I really like how Clarice Bean (the main character) compares almost everything to her favorite book character Ruby Redfort. Clarice is the kind of girl who likes figuring things out (by the way) she also likes to use the word “utterly” a lot. She is a giant mystery solver just like her hero Ruby Redfort, girl detective.

When she is trying to do her book report and project on ruby when her best friend Betty Moody completely disappears. It gets even worse rat voiced Mrs. Wilberton pairs her with the most annoying boy in her class. Mrs. Wilberton thinks she has the concentration of a fly. In Clarice’s defense, its sort of hard to concentrate on school when someone steals the trophy for the school book project, you’re dad might be a secret agent, your new project partner might ruin things and your best friend is missing.

I love the way Lauren child sets up Clarice’s diary were all the words and letters are different sizes and how adjectives like the word down are actually spelled going down the page. I love how crazy looking but descriptive the pictures are in the book. I think that this book should be read for enjoyment especially if you’re bored, you’ll never put it down. I think this book needs a sequel because many girls would enjoy it, especially if it became a series.

-Review by Jada O. (12)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fran That Time Forgot (Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist Series) by Jim Benton

In The Fran that Time Forgot, there is a pretty house in Franny's neighborhood, with an upstairs round window that always had weird stff going on behind it. Behind that window was Frannie K who was working on experiments. She had been working on them ever since she was a little girl.

One day her mother said to her, "You can't have your cake and eat it too." Franny said, "Oh really?" And with one of those evil mad scientist looks on her face, she went to her lab to create the instant cake machine. All you have to do is eat a piece of cake, then push a button on the machine, and it automatically comes back to you.

One day at school, there was a science fair and Franny thought she could bring in her instant cake machine. But while she was going to school, she thought of all of her other inventions from the science fair. She thought they were dangerous - such as electric scissors, chicken "fingers," and tornado in a can. When she got to school, they announced the winner of the science fair, from third place to first place. They said the names of the third place and the second place prizes. Franny did not like her middle name. She thought it was not a good thing. So she told her teacher, "You don't have to read my name. Just give me the certificate." Her teacher said, "Nonsense! Everybody deserves to have their name read." And then she went on to say, "Franny Kissypie Stein." All the other children laughed. One of the kids said, "We've been afraid of a girl whose middle name is Kissypie?" Franny dragged her certificate all the way home. After she got home, she went to her lab and invented a time-machine that she could go in to change her middle name so that none of this would have happened.

When she got back in time, she saw baby Franny in the nursery. She took a pencil out of her pocket and erased the middle name "Kissypie" to "Kaboom" and told the baby Franny not to let anyone laugh at her.

Then she went back home and time-travelled to the science fair. The teacher read out the names in first, second and third order again. When she finally got to Franny's name, she read out "Franny Kaboom Stein" and then all the kids laughed because they thought the Kaboom name was funny. Even Franny burst out in laughter. Then she realized she cannot change the past. She ran home and had some cake from her instant cake machine.

This book is funny, irresistible, and entertaining. It's the most memorable of all the Franny K. Stein books in the series. I would recommend it to kids in second grade to fourth grade. I read it in third grade. Franny K. Stein taught me that you have to accept yourself for who you are because it didn't work when she changed her name to Kaboom.

-Review by Maia T. (9)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of most true-to-life novels I have ever read. Harper Lee, the author, had the novel published in 1960. The book is loosely based on Lee’s childhood growing up in the 1930s. Themes include prejudice, injustice, and tolerance. After reading the novel, the reader will come away with a deeper respect for the universal saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!”

To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in a 1930s small, southern, but conversational town. Brimming with contradiction, the novel is full of racism, hypocrisy, fear, doubt, and sexism existing alongside kindness and graciousness. In some ways the world has not changed, we continue to face the same contradictions. How we choose to deal with injustice shows what kind of character we possess. In the novel each person’s character is revealed by how they respond to certain events.

At some point in the book the reader steps into each character’s shoes, and the novel’s characters bring this exceptionally dynamic story to life. There is Jean Louise Finch, known as Scout, the sassy, spunky six year old protagonist; Jem Finch, Scout’s prankish older brother; her father Atticus Finch, the honorable lawyer, who acts as the town’s moral compass; and the gentle Tom Robinson who stands accused. Ultimately there is the heartbreaking Arthur Radley, who proves you should never judge others by petty rumors, but by what a person does. As Atticus said, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

To Kill a Mockingbird tells the story of how a town and two children grew up in the course of three years. When Tom Robinson, an African American man, is wrongly accused of raping Mayella, a young white woman, the town’s prejudices are revealed. All the while, the children wage their own war against the town ghost who hasn’t been seen in years, Arthur Radley. In the end the children learn to reserve their judgment—no longer judging people by the way they look or what others say about them.

The book is a timeless classic because anyone can relate to the story, any and every reader has judged someone by their cover or someone has judged the reader by theirs. I highly recommend To Kill a Mockingbird, for all ages. Don’t judge this book by its cover!

-Review by Blake D. (15)

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Mysterious Benedict Society Series by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society (illustrations by Carson Ellis)

This is an excellent book! This book is about four children who are very special in different ways. Reynie Muldoon is very smart and very good at solving puzzles. George Washington AKA “Sticky” is a mini-Einstein. Next is Kate Wetherall who always carries a bucket with useful tools and is quick on her feet and very flexible. Last, but not least, is Constance Contraire, who is rude but very important to the story (you have to read the book to find out why). Together with Mr. Benedict, the kids help to save the world from an evil genius. This book is very entertaining, I like that really smart kids help to save the world. This book is full of adventure and has really interesting puzzles that they have to solve to save the world—for now…

The book’s illustrations really helped me understand parts of the book. Sometimes when I had a question there was an illustration that would help me figure it out. I cannot describe how amazing this book is. Give it a try!

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (illustrations by Diana Sudyka)

In the second book the Benedict Society series, Sticky, Kate, Reynie and Constance have to save Mr. Benedict from the evil Mr. Curtain and the equally evil Ten-Men. Also, Constance learns more about her special abilities, but if you expect her to not be rude anymore you are mistaken! This book has even more puzzles than the first one and is equally awesome. I love the adventure and this book and how all of the kids are really cool!

As with the first book, the illustrations are great and help understand the story.

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma (illustrations by Diana Sudyka)

In the third book of the Mysterious Benedict Society we learn more about Constance’s mysterious past using an “unusual” machine. This is a good book, but not as good as the previous ones. I thought it should have had more adventures. But I like how Constance learns about her past and stops being as rude! And I like how Kate helped to beat a Ten-Men. The illustrations are still great and help to story along.

Even if it is not as good as the first two, it is still a great book.

-Review by Amy Cate A. (10)

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

The Goose Girl is an enchanting German fairy tale, which was originally written by the Brothers Grimm in 1819. Since then, it has been re-written and translated many times. Shannon Hale is the author of the most recent novelisation, and its great! It is a captivating tale and I loved it! Two chapters in, I was completely hooked! The tale follows Anidori-Kiladra Talianns Isilee, (or Ani for short) a crown princess from the land of Kildenree who grows up being able to talk to birds, and her white stallion, Falada.

Her lady-in-waiting, Selia, is terribly jealous of her as a child and all the way up throughout adulthood. When Ani is older, an arranged marriage is set up for her, and she is sent off to the neighboring city of Bayern. Selia is jealous and convinces half of Ani's guards to cry mutiny and kill the remaining guards who were faithful to Ani. Ani escapes, after a warning from her stallion, Falada, so she gets away and runs to Bayern, hoping to prove to the king that she is the real princess. The rest of the story follows Ani, as she tries to get to the city, and tell the king that the new 'princess' is a fraud.

I really like this book, because unlike other books, it is FULL of twists and unexpected events that keep you on the edge of your seat and then, at the same time it is written with incredible detail and description. It has moments where you're almost cheering Ani along, because everything is just going so well, and in other parts you just want to cry because it's just so unbearably sad.

The other thing that I appreciated about this book was the ending. It was great, because the last few chapters lead to a predictable ending, but the ending was an absolute surprise, and it was a great ending. Overall, the book was fabulous, definitely one of my favourites, and I could read it again and again and again.

-Review by Katie B. (14)