The Bookshelf


Thursday, April 9
BRATTLEBORO -- "The Bookshelf" features book reviews written by students from Academy, Green Street and Oak Grove Schools who have been participating in the BEEP Literary Club, organized by Flo Nestor, coordinator of the Brattleboro Elementary Enrichment Program. The books are provided by Everyone's Books and The Book Cellar.

"Gully's Travels"

By Tor Seidler

Gulliver has the best life a dog could want. His owner is a professor who feeds him Prime Premium gourmet dog food. He even has a collar with turquoise jewels on it. Everything changes when his master falls in love with a French woman who is allergic to long-haired dogs! The professor gives up Gulliver and leaves him in the care of the apartment building's doorman. Gulliver is forced to leave Manhattan and move to Queens. Follow Gulliver through many adventures as he travels alone from New York and across the ocean to Europe. I enjoyed the writing style because the author made the characters seem so real. It was a unique story, but it was very sad all the way through. I recommend this book for ages 9-13 because Gulliver experiences some very challenging situations and they may be difficult for younger children to handle emotionally.

-- Reviewed by Jade Newton

"The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had"

By Kristine Levine

"The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had" is about a white farm-boy nicknamed Dit who was living in Moundville, Alabama. His life is pretty normal until an African American family moves in next door to him. That's when his parents told him he had to play with their daughter, Emma. At first, Dit hated Emma and thought she wasn't good for anything. He soon finds out that she is so smart that she can come up with a plan to save the local barber from being falsely accused of murder. This story was filled with suspense, romance, and friendship. "The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had" was a real page-turner that left me thinking for hours about the story. I would recommend this book to fifth to eighth-graders and/or people who love historical fiction. I hope anyone who reads this book loves it just the way I did.

-- Reviewed by Risa Knapp

"Paraworld Zero"

By Matthew Peterson

"Paraworld Zero" is the first book in the new Parallel Worlds series. It is about Simon Kent, an unpopular orphan in middle school, who meets Tonya, a strange girl from another paraworld. When Tonya and Simon are accidentally transported to a hi-tech paraworld called Pudo, Simon learns that he can perform magic on it. But can Simon and Tonya solve a thousand-year-old mystery and save Pudo from destruction?

Although the starting isn't the best and doesn't really make you want to read it, "Paraworld Zero" starts to get interesting in the middle and by the ending it's a real page-turner packed with action. It has uniquely original concepts, like all the parallel worlds coexisting in different dimensions and each sort of like Earth, but different at the same time. I also like the idea of E.M. (electro-magical) waves enabling you to do magic. I think that after "Paraworld Zero" is edited a bit it could be a great book. Packed with Star Wars-like duels and terrifying creatures, it is a great cross between fantasy and sci-fi. I would recommend it to readers in grades 6-plus. My favorite part of the book was when the small Puds and big Puds overcame their differences and worked together.

-- Reviewed by Hadi Tirmizi

"Accidentally Fabulous"

By Lisa Papademetriou

Amy Flowers is perky, funky, has a wacky sense of style and loves school. However, at Allington, the most expensive, fabulous, fancy school in Houston, Texas, she just doesn't seem to fit in. Apparently, most girls at this school prefer to wear silk shirts and chiffon rather than dresses (gasp!) with tomatoes printed on them, and carry hand painted canvas bags. Amy is attending Allington on scholarship, has never ridden in a limo before, and she doesn't (horror!) even have personal assistants. Who would ever befriend her? As it turns out, Amy's new cousin by marriage happens to be one of the most popular girls in school.

This definitely helps, but Fiona, the "queen" of the school, doesn't like Amy at all. Once Fiona decides something, everyone follows. Even Amy's cousin can't risk unpopularity for Amy. Even though she tries to be friendly, it is still up to Fiona to decide whether or not Amy will have any friends at Allington. After weeks of being told what to eat, wear and do, Amy is finally accepted into Fiona's group, and invited to her amazing party. This is a totally big deal, but when she finds out something horrible that Fiona did years ago, Amy's not sure she wants to be her friend anymore. Will Amy be able to get back at Fiona and become accidentally fabulous, or will she mess up her plan and be embarrassed forever? Find out in this fun, silly book, Accidentally Fabulous, which I would recommend for girls age 9-12, or grades 4-7.

-- Reviewed by Linnea Congleton


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