Category Archives: Children

Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret by Wanda Coven

Heidi Heckelbeck has always been homeschooled, but now she’s going to public school for the first time in second grade. And it is not a good experience. There’s a mean girl, a play she has to perform in even though she doesn’t want to, and already knowing what they are learning because her mother taught her at home. I think the Heidi Heckelbeck books would have been very useful for my middle son when he went to public school for the first time in second grade and hated every minute of the half year he attended. The end was extremely abrupt and left off on a cliffhanger which my boys and I did not like. I recommend this book to young readers ready for chapter books. Bonus if it’s a young reader transitioning from homeschooling to public school for the first time.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 128 (this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 35,045
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Scaly Tale, Ripley’s Bureau of Investigation

The first Ripley’s Bureau of Investigation book, Scaly Tale, is the story of teens searching for the lizard man. The story itself is pretty dumb (my 9- and 11-year-old sons agree), but the many facts included on the side and at the end were quite interesting and made it a bit more worth reading. I recommend it for kids who like Ripley’s Believe it Or Not factoids.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 128
Pages Read in 2017: 34,915
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Nine-year-old Peter has quite the difficult life all because of his little brother Fudge. Fudge is always getting into Peter’s stuff and messing up his plans. Meanwhile, Peter feels completely forgotten since everyone is always focusing on Fudge.

All the times I read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing when I was a kid, I never really picked up on just how much of a brat Fudge is and just how much his parents’ parenting skills led to his brattiness. My 11-year-old did not like the book at all, mainly because Fudge is, as my son says, a demon child. I still like the book, though. It’s pretty funny. I recommend it for kids right around Peter’s age.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 119
Pages Read in 2017: 32,586
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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Where Do You Think You’re Going, Christopher Columbus by Jean Fritz

Where Do You Think You’re Going, Christopher Columbus? tells the story of Christopher Columbus. It is made a bit gentle for kids, but does not shy away from things like capturing natives and sending them to Spain to be sold as slaves. Like all books by Jean Fritz, it’s easy to read and understand. I highly recommend this book for kids learning about Christopher Columbus or the opening of exploration of the new world by Europe.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 118 (this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 32,426
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Fritz for This School Year

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Hidden Tales from Eastern Europe by Antonia Barber and Paul Hess

Hidden Tales from Eastern Europe is a collection of seven stories from Slovakia, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Russia, Croatia, and Romania. They all have nice morals and are fun to read. I highly recommend this book!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 118 (this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 32,346
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Adrian for This School Year

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Along Came Galileo by Jeanne Bendick

Along Came Galileo is a biography aimed at upper elementary age kids. It’s easy to read and while short, it covers all the main points of Galileo’s life. It includes quotes from Galileo at the end of each chapter and an index at the end. I recommend this book for kids studying Galileo or famous scientists.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 111 (this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 30,413
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Adrian for Next School Year

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Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess by Richard Platt

Written in diary format, Castle Diary tells the story of one year (1285) in the life of a young boy sent to be a page at his aunt and uncle’s castle. He begins learning things he will eventually need to know to become a knight. The end is a section of information about castles, the fuedal system, and knights. This is an excellent book for elementary school age kids interested in or studying castles, knights, and medieval times.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 106 (this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 29,196
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Adrian for Next School Year

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