14-year-old Kevin has a talent he’s very proud of: telling lies. In fact, he thinks that by lying about everything, he makes his life easier; after al...more14-year-old Kevin has a talent he’s very proud of: telling lies. In fact, he thinks that by lying about everything, he makes his life easier; after all, he tells people what they want to hear and he often gets his way.
Then Kevin begins to push his luck when he goes from telling small lies to telling huge lies, and things start to get a little messy. For example, to get out of doing his share of a school project, he doesn’t just tell his partner that he’s not feeling well—he tells her that he suffers from relapsing-remitting inflamobetigoitis…and she believes him! He also lies to his older brother and sister, which leads to a fight—so they get their car taken away. Things keep spinning out of control until Kevin is forced to tell the truth about everything he’s been lying about…but does telling the truth make his life any easier than lying did?
This is a short, funny book that readers will be sure to enjoy. Kevin is a likable character whose rationalization for lying will (almost) have readers convinced that lying is okay. Those who enjoyed this book might also enjoy The Adventures of Jack Lime (Leck).(less)
I didn't love this book; yeah, it was cute, but I thought that the taller one was an adult, so I thought their relationship was weird. Even later lear...moreI didn't love this book; yeah, it was cute, but I thought that the taller one was an adult, so I thought their relationship was weird. Even later learning that they're friends doesn't make it extra special for me or anything. Kids will probably like it, but it's not really for me.(less)
The Flood family isn’t what you’d call totally normal—Nerlin and Mordonna, the parents, are a wizard and a witch, respectively; Valla, the oldest of t...moreThe Flood family isn’t what you’d call totally normal—Nerlin and Mordonna, the parents, are a wizard and a witch, respectively; Valla, the oldest of the seven children, works at a blood bank (and brings his work home with him!); Satanella was once a cute little girl, but after a terrible magic accident involving a shrimp and a faulty wand, she turned into small dog; Merlinmary is completely covered in hair, so nobody knows if it’s a boy or a girl; Winchflat is the family genius—except that he looks like he’s already dead; the twins Morbid and Silent only speak to each other telepathically; and Betty, the youngest, is the only “normal-looking” child in the family—but she still possesses magical powers. The Flood family thinks that everything in their lives is perfect—except for their next door neighbors, the Dents.
The Dents are as obnoxious as can be! Their lawn is littered with garbage and old cars, their dog Rambo attacks anyone who comes near the house, the television stays on at full volume all day and night, the family communicates with one another by yelling, and the children are bullies. It comes to a point where the Floods decide that they aren’t going to stand for this anymore and take measures to change the Dent family’s ways.
This story is hilarious! The Flood family brings to mind those in The Addams Family and The Munsters—spooky and weird, but in a funny way. The author’s tone is humorous throughout the entire book, which is sure to make readers snicker. Continue reading about the Flood family in the rest of The Floods series!(less)
Miss Penelope Lumley, having graduated from Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, interviews for a position as governess at Ashton Place. Strange...moreMiss Penelope Lumley, having graduated from Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, interviews for a position as governess at Ashton Place. Strangely, Lady Ashton doesn’t provide much information about the children during the interview; in fact, she seems to avoid talking about them at all. But before she knows it, Penelope is signing the (very generous) contract and is hired!
During the interview and while she’s getting situated in her new room, Penelope hears a strange sort of howling. Having a soft spot for animals, she decides to follow the noise to see if she can locate the source of the poor creatures. In the barn, she finds who is making the noise and she is quite shocked—three children are howling! It turns out that Sir Ashton found the children while hunting—apparently they were raised by wolves—and he decided to keep them. He and Lady Ashton are only recently married, and she has no desire to raise three feral children…hence, the hiring of a governess. Now it falls to Penelope to teach the children how to speak English, wear clothing…basically, how to be human beings! This will be no easy task, but Penelope is not a quitter.
This is a great book! It’s very entertaining—readers will enjoy reading about the wild children and how Penelope lovingly handles them. This is the first book in the new series The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. Readers who liked this book might also like The Willoughbys (Lowry) or The Collected Tales: Nurse Matilda (Brand). (less)
12-year-old Kevin feels like he has a lot to live up to: his father is a famous former Bears player and his younger sister is a super soccer player. K...more12-year-old Kevin feels like he has a lot to live up to: his father is a famous former Bears player and his younger sister is a super soccer player. Kevin, on the other hand, isn’t good at sports at all. Needless to say, his father is not pleased with him.
Kevin prefers staying in the basement with his video games and his lazy dog Cromwell. While flipping through channels on the tv one day, Kevin comes across a dog agility competition. He was about to change the channel when he notices Cromwell’s reaction to the show; he appears excited! Kevin is shocked by Cromwell’s behavior after this; Cromwell now seems to want to run around and jump through the tire swing in the backyard. Kevin’s best friend Jack suggests that they find an agility class for them to join as an outlet for Cromwell’s energy. Kevin is skeptical, but he goes along with the idea (despite the fact that his dad is adamant that dog agility is not a real sport).
This is a great book! Kevin is a very likable character with funny responses to those who try to make fun of him for being so bad at sports. Cromwell is entertaining, too. Readers who enjoyed this book might also enjoy The Problem with the Puddles (Feiffer) and Dog Lost (Lee). (less)
Amanda and Leo have celebrated their shared birthday together since their first birthday, and they are each other’s best friend—that is, until Amanda...moreAmanda and Leo have celebrated their shared birthday together since their first birthday, and they are each other’s best friend—that is, until Amanda overhears Leo say something mean about her to his friends at their 10th birthday. Angry and hurt, Amanda hasn’t spoken to Leo since that day.
Now it’s a year later, and Amanda and Leo are both turning 11—but they will celebrate their birthdays separately for the first time ever. Amanda is glad when her birthday is over and can just forget about her awful day—if she has to hear about Leo’s cool party one more time, she is going to lose her mind! When she wakes up the next morning, she’s happy that it’s finally Saturday and her and Leo’s birthdays are behind her. But the strangest thing happens…when she wakes up, it’s not Saturday at all—it’s Friday (and her 11th birthday) again! To make things worse, when she wakes up the next morning…and the next morning…it’s still Friday!
No one besides Amanda seems to notice that she keeps living the same day over and over again; everyone else is living Friday for the first time—that is, except for Leo, who she learns is living the same day over and over again too! After a year of not speaking, Amanda and Leo work together to figure out why every day is their 11th birthday.
This is a very cute book that might call to mind the movie Groundhog Day. Amanda is very likable (as is Leo, once he’s forgiven). Readers who enjoyed this book might also enjoy Take Two (DeVillers) or The Secret Language of Girls (Dowell). (less)
Nick Allen has always loved trying out his ideas—especially in school. It's not different for him in fifth grade! When his strict, dictionary-obsessed...moreNick Allen has always loved trying out his ideas—especially in school. It's not different for him in fifth grade! When his strict, dictionary-obsessed Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Granger, assigns him—and only him—a special paper and presentation on the very first day of school, he decides not to get mad, but to get even. While working on this assignment, Nick learns about words and their origins, which he talks about during his presentation. All of this gets him thinking…why not try to make up a word, if all words were simply made up by someone long ago anyway? And so he tries out his idea, using the word “frindle” instead of the word pen. Surprisingly, Nick’s new word becomes popular with all of the students in the school! Needless to say, Mrs. Granger is not pleased about this.
This book is a great example of how kids can take control of a situation by using their brains and imaginations. Nick is a bright, friendly character with a mischievous side who wants to see if his ideas will work in the real world. (less)