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$10.87 $6.95 list($15.99)
1. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
$11.53 $9.18 list($16.95)
2. The Recess Queen
$9.71 $6.36 list($12.95)
3. Shredderman: Secret Identity (Shredderman)
$10.85 $8.98 list($15.95)
4. Nobody Knew What to Do: A Story
$11.55 $3.99 list($16.99)
5. The Veritas Project: Hangman's
$10.88 $3.45 list($16.00)
6. Hooway for Wodney Wat
$11.53 $11.48 list($16.95)
7. Say Something
$5.39 $1.89 list($5.99)
8. Stepping on the Cracks
$3.99 $2.47
9. Ready, Freddy! #5: Talent Show
$11.55 $6.95 list($16.99)
10. Mr. Lincoln's Way
$6.29 $3.95 list($6.99)
11. King Of The Playground
$13.97 $7.98 list($19.95)
12. Brundibar (New York Times Best
$11.17 $7.46 list($15.95)
13. Colder Than Ice
$5.39 $2.95 list($5.99)
14. The Boy Who Lost His Face
$6.26 $1.50 list($6.95)
15. So You Want to Be a Wizard: The
$8.06 $5.89 list($8.95)
16. Blue Cheese Breath and Stinky
$3.99 $2.37
17. Danger on Midnight River : World
$5.39 $1.24 list($5.99)
18. Bootsie Barker Bites
$4.99 $2.45
19. How to Be Cool in the Third Grade
$4.99 $3.02
20. The Monster's Ring (Magic Shop

1. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
by Patty Lovell, David Catrow
list price: $15.99
our price: $10.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399234160
Catlog: Book (2001-08-01)
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Sales Rank: 10509
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Molly Lou Melon may be tiny, clumsy, buck-toothed, and with a voice"like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor," but she doesn't mind. Hergrandmother has utmost confidence in her, and tells her at every turn to believein herself. "Sing out clear and strong and the world will cry tears of joy,"Grandma says. But Molly Lou's self-assurance is put to the test when she movesto a new town, away from her friends and beloved grandmother. During her firstweek of school, Ronald Durkin taunts Molly Lou Melon in the dull-witted butsharp-edged manner of career bullies, calling her "shrimpo" and "bucky-toothedbeaver." Our heroine barely flinches as she systematically sets out to proveherself, and Ronald Durkin ends up feeling pretty foolish.

First-time author Patty Lovell's message is clear and simple, and the theme isfamiliar enough to strike chords with every reader, young and old. David Catrow,illustrator of Take Me Out of theBathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs, Rotten Teeth, and other popularpicture books, depicts a very weird-looking, very appealing little girl withwarmth and cartoonish humor. Any child who is less than perfect will cheer withjoy to meet Molly Lou Melon, a girl who doesn't let anything--or anyone--shakeher belief in herself. (Ages 5 to 8) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Molly Lou Melon is a Winner.....
Molly Lou Melon is the shortest girl in the first grade, has buck teeth that stick out so far she can stack pennies on them and has a voice like a bull frog squeezed by a boa constrictor. But she also has a very wise Grandma who has always told her to walk proudly, smile big, sing out loud and clear and "Believe in yourself and the world will believe in you too!" Unfortunately, her family moves away from Grandma and now Molly Lou Melon has to go to first grade in a new school. And on her first day she meets Ronald Durkin, class bully. He calls her shrimpo and bucky-tooth-beaver and follows her around calling out honk-honk and making fun of her schoolwork. But Molly Lou remembers everything her Grandma told her and soon Ronald Durkin is put firmly in his place..... Patty Lovell has written an uplifting and engaging picture book with a gentle message that won't be lost on young readers. Her simple, yet powerful text is complemented by David Catrow's bold, bright and joyous artwork and together they've authored a terrific story that's summed up on the book's last page, in Molly Lou's letter to her Grandma..."Everything you told me was exactly right." Perfect for youngsters 4-8, Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon is a treasure you'll want to read and share, told with great insight, wisdom and humor.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite story
I bought this book for my own Molly Lou Melon complete with buck teeth. What an uplifting book teaching great self esteem. I could read it over and over. The illustrations make the story even cuter. I read it to my daughters kindergarten class and they LOVED it. Brings a smile to everyones face. This book is a treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS BOOK!
I absolutely love this book! Everything about it! I can't help but smile when thinking of Molly Lou Mellon.

5-0 out of 5 stars We love Molly Lou!
This is an excellent book for young kids. It teaches kids to be proud of who they are. The colors are vibrant and the artistry is wonderful.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best books ever
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is such a wonderful, heartful book. Its message, to believe in yourself, is so important and its delivered in a funny, nonthreatening way that is fun but gets the important messages across. It is so wonderful on so many teaches about self confidence, how to deal with bullies, how to deal with moving, positive influences of other adults, like grandparents. The art is also so wonderful and playful. You'll just fall in love with Mary Lou Mellon, even if you are a boy! ... Read more

2. The Recess Queen
by Alexis O'Neill, Laura Huliska-Beith
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0439206375
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: Scholastic
Sales Rank: 28420
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Oh, would that all bullying problems could be solved so easily! MeanJean is the reigning Recess Queen, pushing and smooshing, hammering andslammering the other kids whenever they cross her. And then one day a puny newgirl shows up on the playground and catches Mean Jean completely off-guard. Notonly is little Katie Sue not the least bit intimidated by the bully, sheactually asks her to jump rope with her. In no time flat, Jean and Katie Sue arebest buddies, and the playground is safe for all again.

Sure, it's simplistic, but there's a strong element of truth in this energeticrhyming story by Alexis O'Neill (Loud Emily). Bullies arepeople, too, and sometimes nothing is quite so effective as ingenuousdisarmament. Big, bold, funny acrylic and collage illustrations by LauraHuliska-Beith (The Book of BadIdeas) bounce right along with the text. (Ages 5 to 8) --EmilieCoulter ... Read more

Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Mean Jean the Recess Queen
My kids like this book, I think it is ok! It is the illustrations that really make it. As for sending a message about isn't crystal clear!It's nice enough, my kids like it and that is what matters!Recommended for 4-7 year olds.

5-0 out of 5 stars School Counselor
Wonderful resource when having difficulties with bullies. We will be using this one on our unit on bullies. Sometimes using your humor to disarm a bully is just what is needed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bully for Alexis O'Neill
Ms. O'Neill has taken on the (very current) topic of school yard bullies in a very good way. This book should be a hit with any parent whose children are in the early school years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hoppity, skippity, jumpity, ringity, zingity, YESSSSSS!
I recently read this book to a first grade class. The children loved the fabulous illustrations and the fun rhyming language in the story. Of the 4 books I read the girls seemed to all prefer The Recess Queen. I am going to look up other books by both the author and illustrator. They both have great style.

5-0 out of 5 stars What Makes a Classic?
What makes a classic? Read "The Recess Queen" and you'll recognize it instantly. Alexis O'Neill's tale of a spunky heroine, a legendary bully, a playground filled with astounded children will please young and not so young readers for many years. Rollicking words keep a perfect beat in time with innovative book design and captivating mixed media illustrations. I expect this one will not stay on my classroom library shelf for long. There will be too many eager readers vying for a chance to read aloud. Who knew that reading could be so much fun? Who knows what a scary place a playground could be? Ask your child. She knows. It's all in "The Recess Queen." ... Read more

3. Shredderman: Secret Identity (Shredderman)
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375823514
Catlog: Book (2004-02-10)
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Sales Rank: 30073
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars a great , great , great book that kids will love.
i have just finished reading this book, and i have to say that i really liked it a whole bunch.

this book is about a kid who is, well .. a nerd. he doesn't have many friends at all. there is this bully named bubba who gets away with doing a lot of mean stuff. being mean to kids , stealing , being a jerk.. and yes even to poor nolan.

a lot of kids can relate to that.

when a surprisingly cool assignment comes up , of becoming a reporter, nolan, gets a genius idea!!!!! go and report on bubba,....but use the alter identity of .....SHREDDERMAN!!!!!!

and nolan knows a cool way of doing it in the most unconventional of method. starting a website to show everyone how bad BUBBA is. sounds easy, but the way he is able to put it together and tell everyone about it , without anyone finding out who SHREDDERMAN really is, is genius!!!!!!!

this book is great for kids 8-12 years of age. and the reading of this book goes by very quickly.

kids will definitly want to know what SHREDDERMAN will come up with next.

5 stars .... well deserved.!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read!
What a fun read! Kids, as well as adults, will enjoy Shredderman. Definitely, NOT the same old, same old! Can't wait to introduce Shredderman to my fourth graders. I know they'll enjoy him as much as I did. There are a lot of topics in the story ripe for discussion. Can't wait for Book 2. ... Read more

4. Nobody Knew What to Do: A Story About Bullying (Concept Books (Albert Whitman))
by Becky Ray McCain, Todd Leonardo
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807557110
Catlog: Book (2001-03-01)
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Sales Rank: 28809
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Straightforward and simple, this story tells how one child found the courage to tell a teacher about Ray, who was being picked on and bullied by other kids in school. Faced with the fact that "nobody knows what to do" while Ray is bullied, the children sympathetic to him feel fear and confusion and can only hope that Ray will "fit in some day." Finally, after Ray misses a day of school and the bullies plot mean acts for his return, our narrator goes to a teacher. The children then invite Ray to play with them, and, with adult help, together they stand up to the bullies. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Important For All To Read
This book is very important for all to read. It holds the key to teaching children and adults the difference in telling on someone or actually reporting a problem. It is easy reading with full meaning and will be meaningful no matter what the decade or school or premise. It should be circulated to immediate attention in all school libraries especially.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This book is literally "timeless" for all ages, especially for adults as well as children. It should be placed in school and church libraries, and discussed over and over again for making certain understanding is there. The Publishers should keep this book out front for many, many years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great and Important Story
This is a great lesson and beautifully written. Children of today need to know there is a difference in helping each other, when reporting or being afraid comes to mind. The lesson is clear in this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars For All Ages -
This book is rated among the timeless and yet it is VERY TIMELY for this period of our lives. It is not only interesting, but it guides 'anyone' to understanding the difference in "telling" and in "reporting something to prevent harm". The author is at the top of the list for the very best of authors in Childrens' Books!

5-0 out of 5 stars Oustanding resource!
This book and Eleanor Estes' book The Hundred Dresses are the only two childrens' books about bullying that I recommend. This book presents clear, effective ideas about how bystanders and teachers can work together to make a difference in stopping school bullying. ... Read more

5. The Veritas Project: Hangman's Curse
by Frank Peretti
list price: $16.99
our price: $11.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0849976162
Catlog: Book (2001-01-29)
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
Sales Rank: 12279
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Trouble is brewing in Baker, Washington. Three popular athletes havebeen stricken with a mysterious ailment--or phenomenon--that leaves them rantingincoherently, paranoid, and eventually comatose. Ever ready to seek truth andjustice, teen twins Elisha and Elijah and their parents hop in their van, theHoly Roller, and head to Washington. As members of a top-secret presidentialinvestigative team, the Veritas Project, the family must be prepared togo undercover at any moment. Soon they are deeply embroiled in a deadly mysterythat involves witchcraft, bullying, the ghost of a boy who hanged himself longago, and a most diabolical weapon.

Frank Peretti, well known for his Christian thrillers (This Present Darkness/Piercing theDarkness, TheVisitation, etc.) draws from his own experiences of not fitting in as achild to create this alarming tale of vengeance. The twins and their parentsoccasionally turn to their faith for guidance, but the crux of the story lies inthe danger that comes from treating less cool kids like second-class citizens.References to the tragedy at Columbine remind readers just how painfully realthe problem is. Peretti seems to use the twins' father as a voice for his ownviewpoint: "Metal detectors may keep weapons out of the schools, and securityofficers can maintain at least a surface tranquility, but these will not keepout the pain, anger, and loneliness that cause a child to bring a weapon toschool in the first place." (Ages 13 and older) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Reviews (80)

5-0 out of 5 stars Frank lives up to his reputation
If you love Christian suspense, or even if you don't, you will after you read this. Twins Elijah and Elisha and their parents make up a highly secret investigative team. The family goes all over the country to find "not only the Facts, but the Truth behind the Facts." In a small Washington town, a highschool's star athletes are coming down with a mysterious illness that leaves them insane. The Springfield family is sent to investigate, finding a mysterious ghost, a second class system, and witchcraft surrounding them. They soon realizes that there is the Baker High that everyone chooses to see, and the second Baker High where people are harrassed, abused, bullied, stolen from, and made fun of every day. What measures will people go to to stop it? Enough to murder? I loved this eerie book! Not one section was boring, I was hooked to every page! The only problem is that I have to wait till the next book comes out...

5-0 out of 5 stars Hangman's Curse
The Hangman's Curse is Frank Peretti's first installment in a new series, The Veritas Project, aimed at young teens. The story unfolds just as if it is a story right out of today's headlines and deals with the issue of bullying on the high school campus. The Springfield family, consisting of twins Elisha and Elijah and their parents, make up the investigation team working on The Veritas Project. The program's mission is to investigate and solve strange mysteries, crimes, and occurrences, seeking not only the facts, but the truth behind the facts. In Hangman's Curse, the Springfield family's assignment is to discover the truth behind the mysterious form of madness that is inflicting Baker High School's athletes. What is causing this madness? Is it tied to the superstition of a curse left by the ghost of a student who has haunted the school since he hanged himself at the school in the 1930's? Who is the ghostly figure with a hawk on his shoulder that is seen by those tormented by the mysterious madness? Is he Abel Frye and is Abel Frye the student who hung himself? What is the meaning of the crude etching of a hangman figure on the lockers of each victim? It seems that it is the bullies that have been targeted and are the ones contracting the mysterious illness. Are they suffering a form of revenge from a group of students that is meeting secretly practicing witchcraft? What is the truth? The answers are uncovered as you follow the Springfield family's quest for the truth behind the mystery. The Hangman's Curse is a fast-paced and riveting page turner. The truth behind the mysterious madness will surprise the reader. Teens as well as adult fans of Peretti will enjoy this book. When finished, the reader will be eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice and fun.
"Hangman's Curse" and "Nightmare Academy" are entertaining and easy reads. If you've been doing heavy research or reading this is a good switch. Light, and fun, I enjoyed it after a long study program I was in.. I read both books back to back so this review will be seen under both books.

I liked "The Visitation" better, but all three are worthy of your money..

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book That Will Keep You Hanging
Frank Peretti is an excellent writer. All of his books keep you in suspense. This book highlights the problems of teasing and making fun of those who are different, and is helpful if you are teased. Also, if you tease others maybe this book will help you see how much it hurts.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Sweet Book
This book is awesome! I Absolutely loved the part with the witches, spiders, and typical science nerd. It is about the Veritas Project,an undercover government team made up of a family of Christians. It makes an awsome book and will probably make an even sweeter movie. I also Reccomend book 2: nightmare academy. ... Read more

6. Hooway for Wodney Wat
by Helen Lester
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395923921
Catlog: Book (1999-03-15)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books
Sales Rank: 47342
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Poor Rodney Rat can't pronounce his R's and the other rodents tease him mercilessly. But when Camilla Capybara joins Rodney's class and announces that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than any of the other rodents, everyone is afraid. It seems she really is bigger, meaner, and smarter than all of the rest of them. Until our unwitting hero, Wodney Wat, catches Camilla out in a game of Simon Says. Read along with Wodney as he surprises himself and his classmates by single-handedly saving the whole class from the big bad bully. Children will delight as shy Rodney Rat triumphs over all and his tiny voice decides the day, R's or no R's. ... Read more

Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooway for Lester and Munsinger!
They've done it again! The team who brought us such memorable books as A Porcupine Named Fluffy and Tacky the Penguin are at their absolute best with Hooway for Wodney Wat. Funny text and hysterical illustrations combine to make the perfect read aloud book. I laughed so hard I cried. A must have!

5-0 out of 5 stars To Be a Hero, Just Be Yourself.....
Poor Rodney Rat...he can't say his R's, and life at P.S. 142, where all his classmates tease him mercilessly, is pretty miserable. "All of this teasing day in and day out made Wodney the shyest rodent in his elementary school. His squeak could barely be heard in class. He gnawed lunch alone. And while the other rodents scurried and scooted about at recess, Wodney hid inside his jacket. Then one day, a new student, Camilla Capybara, entered the class and began to wreak havoc. "I'm bigger than any of you. I'm meaner than any of you. And I'm smarter than any of you." And she meant it! That afternoon, poor Wodney Wat's luck turned from bad to worse. He was chosen to lead the daily game of Simon Says and his speech impediment, unfamiliar to Camilla, suddenly became an asset..... The dynamic duo who brought us the wonderful Tacky books, have written an engaging story that will have kids cheering for this shy little underdog as he becomes the class hero and saves the day. Helen Lester's simple, gentle text is complemented by Lynn Munsinger's bold, bright, and expressive artwork, and together they've authored an entertaining story about an endearing character, that's filled with insight, wisdom and humor. This is a story that will inspire little ones to have courage, and to stand up and believe in themselves. "And from that day on the pupils of P.S. Elementary School for Rodents never teased Wodney again. He was their hero. "Hooway for Wodney Wat!" they cried. "Woot! Woot! Wooty-toot-toot!" Perfect for youngsters 3-7, Hooway For Wodney Wat is a treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Root (Woot) for the Underdog
In this story, the Wodney Wat starts out as timid and tucked inside himself because he was teased for who he was. As the book progresses, he becomes happier with himself and is able to have fun with all the students. That was the happy ending, in my opinion.

4-0 out of 5 stars It covers a variety of content areas!
At first glance, one might think that this is a book solely meant for entertainment. However, after the initial reading, one discovers that the text can provide the primary/elementary child with instruction in a variety of skills: animal identification, phonemic awareness, rhyme, as well as social skills like acceptance, tolerance, cooperation, and handling bullies, all character development skills so necessary in today's world.

And, besides that, it's a fun read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooway For This Book!
This story is about a rat named Rodney who couldn't pronounce r's. Instead, he pronounced his r's as w's. The other kids made fun of him at school until he chases a bully away and becomes the class hero. We liked this story because Rodney was very shy and nervous and at the end of this story he is proud of himself. You should read this story because it teaches you about tolerance and spirit. ... Read more

7. Say Something
by Peggy Moss, Lea Lyon
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0884482618
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
Sales Rank: 75173
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

At this school, there are some children who push and tease and bully. Sometimes they hurt other kids by just ignoring them. The girl in this story sees it happening, but she would never do these mean things herself. Then one day something happens that shows her that being a silent bystander isn't enough. Will she take some steps on her own to help another kid? ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Valuable Advice for Children, Teachers, and Parents
Peggy Moss's first book is a short, sweet, smart look into the everyday world of a school-aged girl who 'says nothing' when she sees children being bullied, she merely notes it. When it happens to her, she learns a lesson. It's obvious to readers that, of course, we should speak up or speak to someone being bullied, but how many of us do? And how many of us, like this young girl, have been bullied ourselves? With wavery watercolor illustrations by Lea Lyon, of a diverse student population, Moss's book reminds us to be kind, to be present, to be aware that others exist and deserve inclusion. It's an obvious message, but one that is overlooked too often. The writing is simple in the best sense. Children will learn from this book, and hopefully will keep it in their hearts.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book will change the way kids respond to bullying
I only wish I had read this when I was in elementary school, then maybe I would have had the guts to stand up and say something to the bullies. (Also, it would have been a great resource for my parents when I was subsequently bullied myself.)
My son is only 17 months old, but I intend to make sure he has the courage to say "That's not cool!" when someone is being picked on. Thank you, Peggy Moss!

5-0 out of 5 stars "Say Something" Is Right On!
Say Something is an exceptionally meaningful book that artfully allows the reader to grow in step with the main character. Through the eyes and voice of a "bystander" to bullying, we learn: (1) everybody is vulnerable to teasing/bullying; and (2) when we witness wrongdoing, we can and must take action. This book offers the material needed to launch important discussions at school and at home.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read for kids, teachers, and parents
I read this book with my two children, and they immediately responded to it. They've since become "Say Something" believers and have carried the practice with them to school. They also insisted we buy extra copies for their school library so other kids could read it. A terrific book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Be part of the solution!
In my school, of course, teasing and bullying are against school rules but some people do it anyway. If the teasing stops within 30 seconds they were probobly just joking. If it dosen't stop I try to get the kids interested in something else. For me that has always worked but in the future I might just have to stand up for other kids rights. So what this book is saying is, don't just stand there or walk away, be part of the solution! Like the title says, Say Something! ... Read more

8. Stepping on the Cracks
by Mary Downing Hahn
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380719002
Catlog: Book (1992-10-01)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Sales Rank: 248010
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Margaret and her best friend Elizabeth both have brothers fighting the war against Hitler and, like everyone else they know, they are filled with feelings of patriotism. But the girls are also involved in their own personal war at home. Gordy Smith, the worst bully in sixth grade, teases and torments them, and Margaret is scared to death of him. But when Gordy and his pals Toad and Doug grow bolder than ever, Margaret and Elizabeth come up with a daring plan to get even. That's when the girls discover a shocking secret about Gordy that turns their lives upside-down and draws them into a startling confrontation with family, friends...and their own strongly held ideas. ... Read more

Reviews (46)

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book!
Nowadays there are so few books written about the era of war times, and fewer about the families of military personal and what they go through. Stepping On The Cracks is a wonderful book written about two friends Margaret and Elizabeth and the notorious class bully Gordy. Gordy continously bothers and bugs the two girls and the only thing that they want is for him to leave them alone. When all hope seems lost they discover something that Gordy his hiding. Gordy is doing everything to help his brother Stuart (who is a deserter from the army) keep hidden so he is not taken away. Of course Elizabeth and Margaret take full advantage of this situation, so they make a plan to blackmail Gordy. This plan goes well for a few days but Stuart gets desperatly sick and is in need of a doctor. The girls do not want to turn him in, so they do their best to take care of him from giving him soup to playing "hookie" at school. Margaret at first did not accept Stuart because her very own brother was fighting in the war and risking his life. She thought he was a plain sissy but as she gets to know him better she realizes that there is a gentler side to him. Eventually, she gets feel sympathetic for him but his health was getting worse by the minute. This book goes through all the different feelings that Elizabeth has with her brother and family to her own views about war. She struggles over the choices about turning him in or if she should take him to see the doctor. Mary Downing Hahn is a brilliant writer and this book goes through many twists and turns.

I really liked that the book was written by the view of a kid who had her own personal views conflicting from her family. It shows that we should have our own views which is very important nowadays. It also teaches us to look beyond someones outside to what might be the problem of their actions. Gordy had huge family problems that attributed to his snappy attitude and controlling personality. These days kids just take things for what they are and they either accept it or they don't. If they dont accept something they leave it alone without any followup on what might be the cause. Im glad that someone had the guts and talent to tackle these huge topics.

I think that anyone will enjoy this book, whether it be a light fun read or if you want to really soak all the information this book offers. It has a very wide range of readability, I think that anyone can read it from a 5 grader doing a book report or an adult.

You will be suprised by the twist ending as I was and I hope you enjoy this wonderful book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great WWII Literature
Stepping on the Cracks, is a marvelous story set in the small town of College Hill during World War II. The major characters in this novel are Margaret and her friend Elizabeth. (Margaret narrates the story.) They both have brothers fighting the war in Europe. They are having their own personal battle with Gordon (Gordy) Smith. He is the worst bully in sixth grade and Margaret is absolutely terrified of him. When his harassment of Margaret and Elizabeth gets increasingly worse, the daring Elizabeth concocts a plan to get even with Gordy. That's when they discover an appalling secret about Gordy. He is hiding a deserter from the army, his brother Stuart! They use this information to blackmail Gordy into being nice to them. Nevertheless, when Stuart becomes ill, the girls try to nurse him back to health and they begin to understand his point of view about the war. They also realize that Gordy has been living in an abusive home, which made him become abusive as well. The author is trying to tell us that a person's environment often instigates his or her actions. However, when Stuart's illness takes a turn for the worse, other people begin to get involved in his plight. The story has another tragic twist before it reaches its moving conclusion.
Anyone who is interested in historical fiction will find this book engaging. I believe that this book is most suitable for all children in grades 5-10. It may also be of special interest to older people who were children during World War II. Cultural background is not a factor when it comes to enjoying this book One of the best features of this book is its map and key at the beginning. They bring a sense of realism to the story by placing everything in a definite location. A part that wasn't so great was the fact that the girls' parents did not understand Stuart's anti-war sentiment. For example, Margaret's mother beat her when she finds out that she was helping a deserter. I also would like to know what happens to Gordy. This is one of the best pieces of historical fiction I have ever read. I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stepping on the Cracks
Stepping On The Cracks is a book about 2 girls named Margaret and Elizabeth that have brothers that are fighting in the war against Hitler. In the neighborhood there's a boy named Gordy that bugs them and torments them. When Gordy and his friends Toad and Doug go to far Elizabeth and Margaret come up with a plan to get even with them. When they go and try to get even they find out a shocking secret that would shock their parents and most likely the whole town.
I really liked this book. I didn't think I would like it to begin with but it was really good after I raid a couple of chapters. There weren't any times in the book that wouldn't make sense to me but for some people there might be times that they may get a little to confused but as you go along it would make sense.
I think kids between the ages of 10 and 13 would really like and enjoy this book. When it comes to which gender would like the book more I would say that both boys and girls would like it equally.

5-0 out of 5 stars A GREAT NOVEL
Stepping On The Cracks by Mary Downing Hahn has been one of the best Novels I have read. This book is about how a little town College Hill is reacting to World War 2. The book starts off in the summer time with Margaret and her best friend Elizabeth playing monopoly thinking about their brothers in the war. This was one of the best realistic fiction books I have ever read about this time and era, all the details were great. The author actually makes you see what is happening with the great sensory detail
. For instance I thought I could see Gordy's face white as a ghost with only his scare from his father beating him.
Well later in the book Elizabeth is angry with Gordy and his gang took apart their tree house. Being mischievous they follow Gordy in to the wood to find their hide out. Gordy tells them that there is a crazy man in the woods and it ends up being Gordys own brother, Stuart the deserter from the army. Elizabeth and Margaret are furious and threaten the big mean bully Gordy that there going to tell on his brother so he goes to jail. Gordy begs and makes them new tree house. Stuart is now getting sick in the wintertime. So the two girls feel sorry for him they try to help but he just get worse and worse. Barbara (Stuart's close friend) to take him to the doctor he ends up being really sick. Margaret's brother Jimmy is not writing back and later dies in Belgium. Stuart is now better and goes over to his house to settle the score with his drunken father. His father beats him and is arrested. Gordy's family moves in with his grandmother in North Carolina. Stuart gets married to Barbara! Now that the Americans are wining the war every thing is almost the same in College Hill. Except for the missing loved ones.
In the book I like all the suspense and all the interesting changes that happened throughout the story. When Gordy is the meanest bully in the school and then he becomes friends with Elizabeth and Margaret. That was pretty cool. One of the things I really didn't like it when Jimmy died because you got so emotionally attached to him.
I think any American good-hearted person would enjoy this book no matter what gender male or female, personally I thought it was written as a good family novel and 12-14 year olds.
While I was reading this book I went through many emotions. At times you almost wanted to cry and other time you where filled with laughter. This was a truly great drama. Also many of you are wondering where did they get the title. Well in the story they had a rhyme which was step on a crack and break Hitler's back. They did this a lot and it centered around the whole war so it pretty simple.
If you want to read a good book and you like American down to earth stories check out this book! You will cry, laugh and worry about every one like they were your closets friends.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stepping On The Cracks
Stepping On The Cracks is a great book filled with excitement and patriotism. In this book young and courageous kids bump into many surprises along the way. This book takes place during the time of World War II in the tiny town of College Hill. The book focuses on Margaret, Elizabeth, and Gordy. Margaret and Elizabeth are best friends that can't stand Gordy who is, of course, the school bully. The two girls and their families are going through a rough stage that includes a lot of stress and anxiety because both Elizabeth and Margaret have brothers that are fighting in the war. On top of everything going on with their families they have their own personal issues with Gordy; he keeps picking on everyone in the 6th grade, especially Margaret and Elizabeth. Elizabeth, who can sometimes have a bad temper, wants sweet revenge, and she gets even more than what she ever thought she could get. Margaret, who follows along and usually does what Eizabeth wants, gets persuaded and joins in on the whole revenge idea.

Just when Elizabeth and Margaret started to enjoy blackmail they realize that they want to help Gordy. Without much enthusiasm Gordy allows them to help and for the girls, the idea of revenge fades away more and more. Gordy's family wasn't an average one and Margaret and Elizabeth see a different side of him and they learn more about what his family is like "behind the scenes." Both of the girls try to help out and they want to tell someone about Gordy's little secret but they promised not to tell a living soul. Finally, not even Gordy can stand trying to solve his problem so the 3 kids go to a loyal friend, Barbara, who helps out more than what was required.

I think that readers from ages 9- 13 will enjoy reading this book. Stepping On The Cracks teaches many valuable lessons. I definitely recommend this book to people interested in books about friendship and how friendships evolve. The main theme in this book is the importance of trust. Throughout the book, that's a quality that the characters demonstrate. ... Read more

9. Ready, Freddy! #5: Talent Show Scardey-pants : Talent Show Scardey-pants (Ready, Freddy!)
by Abby Klein
list price: $3.99
our price: $3.99
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Asin: 043955604X
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: Blue Sky Press
Sales Rank: 21059
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Book Description

I have a problem. A really, really, big problem. My class is having a talent show, and I have no talent!Everyone's excited about the first grade Grandparents Day talent show--everyone except Freddy. He thinks he has no talent, and bully Max Sellars's teasing is making him feel even worse! But when Freddy's dad teaches him some magic tricks, it just might make Freddy a star, AND get Max off his back. Tricks are tricky though, and when things go awry, Freddy must count on Papa Dave and his sister Suzie to make some extra-special magic happen, both for the talent show, and for Max!
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10. Mr. Lincoln's Way
by Patricia Polacco
list price: $16.99
our price: $11.55
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Asin: 0399237542
Catlog: Book (2001-08-01)
Publisher: Philomel Books
Sales Rank: 84146
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Mr. Lincoln is the coolest principal ever! He knows how to do everything, from jumping rope to leading nature walks. Everyone loves him . . . except for Eugene Esterhause. "Mean Gene" hates everyone who's different. He's a bully, a bad student, and he calls people awful, racist names. But Mr. Lincoln knows that Eugene isn't really bad-he's just repeating things he's heard at home. Can the principal find a way to get through to "Mean Gene" and show him that the differences between people are what make them special?

With Patricia Polacco's trademark illustrations and gentle text, Mr. Lincoln's Way celebrates the unforgettable school principal who touches the lives of his students and truly empowers them.
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Again, Polacco shows how an educator can change a life
Ironically, it was my daughter who told me about this book. A lab student from the University read it to her 2nd grade class and Ingrid was immediately besotted. I am the one who usually recommends books to this first year teacher! When she began her year of teaching back in August, the first gift I gave her was my beloved THANK YOU, MR. FALKER, my favorite Polacco book. I wanted her to know how important a teacher is in the life of her students. I still think of Eleanor Mills, my sixth grade teacher many, many decades ago!
Anyway, MR. LINCOLN'S WAY is one of six Polacco books that I gave to my daughter for her birthday. It is the touching story of an African American Principal and how he cares so much for his students that he goes out of his way to reach 'the problem child.' "Mean Gene" (who is white) is the school bully; he terrorizes the children, especially those who are different because of their race or nationality. Mr. Lincoln discovers that Gene is passionate about birds and gives him a project--filling the school atrium with birds. Gene ends up having a complete personality change which is even noticed by his teachers. The key to this story is Principal Lincoln who takes the time to discover why Gene acts out--a cruel, racist father. As teachers, we sometimes have students who are 'unlovable' and we never take the time to think why: Did this child have breakfast? Is he even loved? Is he beaten at home? I think if we spent more time learning about our student's backgrounds, we could touch more lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mr. Lincoln's Way
I liked the book because it was showing people that it doesn't matter what color you are or what heritage you came from, everyone is the same.

5-0 out of 5 stars A powerful lesson for kids, teachers and administrators
In Patricia Polacco's "Mr. Lincoln's Way," she shows the power of teachers and administrators to reach even the most unreachable kids. Typically for Polacco, she weaves magic with her illustrations and makes the story intriguing as well.

"Mean Gene" is the bully of the school, the one who has been taught to hate anyone different from himself. But Gene has also been taught, by his grandfather, to identify and love birds. He knows everything about birds, from the types of trees they like to nest in to the kind of food they need to eat. Mr. Lincoln latches onto this talent and nurtures it, asking Gene to be in charge of figuring out what should go into the school's atrium. As Gene eventually blossoms, so do the ducks who live in the atrium--and as he helps herd the ducklings towards the pond, so is he led by Mr. Lincoln towards greater understanding and tolerance.

This is a lovely book for just about any age. Younger kids can just enjoy the pictures, while older kids may want to discuss the idea of prejudice and consequences for actions. It's a treat to see a black principal with a whole culturally diverse student body, too. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great and Touching Story
Have you ever been hurt by a bully? This book could help you understand why a kid in your class might be a bully. This book is also great for teachers and principals by showing them how to help kids who bully others. Mr. Lincoln is the kind of principal that all students would love to have--he's the coolest and he is very kind! He helps a bully in this story by being kind to him. He teaches this boy many things.

We are Mrs. Moore's fourth graders from Murphy Elementary School and the illustrations from this book are based on our school. We see the ducklings in our atrium every year. This book is so good that we think it deserves the Caldecott award. ... Read more

11. King Of The Playground
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
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Asin: 0689718020
Catlog: Book (1994-01-01)
Publisher: Aladdin
Sales Rank: 33438
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is an outstanding book for children to read.
This book will definitely appeal to many children, especially those who may be dealing with a bully. Everyday Kevin walks to the neighborhood playground in hope of having great fun. But each day, without failure, a boy named Sammy is there. Whenever Kevin approaches a piece of equipment, Sammy will say he can not go on it because he is the "King of the Playground" then threatens to hurt Kevin if he does not listen. Together, Kevin and his father discuss what Sammy is doing to Kevin, and they work through the difficult situation. Soon Kevin gains enough confidence to stand up for himself, and does with remarkable results! I enjoyed seeing how Kevin could open up to his father and how they, together worked out the problem. The understandable text and colorful illustrations flow together smoothly, and add a great deal of feeling to the plot.

5-0 out of 5 stars great problem solving and coping skills exhibited
As a Kindergarten teacher I make a point to read this book every year to my students, to show them that a scary or seemingly hopeless situation can result in a good friendship with a little perservernce and creativity. I like the fact that the Dad was a good source of support for the child, and that the Dad is shown working outside and inside the house in some non-traditional roles. Buoyed by his father's support, Kevin returns to the playground, always trying new ways to secure a spot on the playground. Children need more tools like this for resolving conflict in a non-violent manner. ... Read more

12. Brundibar (New York Times Best Illustrated Books (Awards))
by Tony Kushner, Michael di Capua
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.97
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Asin: 0786809043
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: Michael Di Capua Books
Sales Rank: 20299
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Based on a Czech opera that was performed 55 times by children in Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp, Brundibar is an odd, urgent little tale of a brother and sister who are desperately trying to get their hands on some milk for their sick mother. They race to the village center, only to discover that they need money to buy milk. Unfortunately, all the money in town seems to be going to the nefarious hurdy-gurdy man, Brundibar. Enter three talking animals and 300 willing children (bearing balloons stating "WE DON’T MIND SKIPPING SCHOOL"), and things start looking up for little Aninku and Pepicek. Retold by playwright Tony Kushner and illustrated by Caldecott Medal recipient Maurice Sendak, this operatic story is just nutty enough to become a favorite for open-minded young readers. Sendak fans will smile to see the village baker, who bears a striking resemblance to the baker in Sendak's In the Night Kitchen. His chaotic, jam-packed illustrations reveal witty little subplots to the libretto text (written all in upper case), which sharp-eyed readers will enjoy discovering. (Ages 5 to 8) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nothing ever works out neatly...
A book sorely in need of annotation. Retold by Tony Award winning playwrite Tony Kushner and illustrated with grace and aplomb by Maurice Sendak (the thinking kid's illustrator), the tale of "Brundibar" is retold in an entirely new format. Originally an opera performed by the children of Terezin (a Nazi concentration camp) for those Germans who had to be convinced that everything was just ducky in the camps. The children were, needless to say, killed after the final performance of this piece, and so the opera is as light-hearted as it is chilling. In the plot, two children attempt to find fresh milk for their ailing mother. Only milk will do. But they are chased away by the nasty Hitler look-alike, Brundibar, and must gather their forces (some 300 children or so) to face up to the bully.

Sendak and Kushner have created a story that fulfills several needs. It tells a story that has links to horrors unimaginable. At the same time, they have created a whole new text that deserves examination. That and it's darned purty. The pictures in this book are amazing, filled with tiny details that make a person think. When the brother and sister gather 300 children with them for aid, a Kilroy character holds a sign saying, "People are happy helping. It's never hard to find help. It is only hard to know that it's time to ask". The fact that Kilroy is best associated with the American GI forces in WWII may or may not be important to the scene. At any rate, it sparks dialogue. The book is Sendakian in the extreme due to the odd combination of realism and outright peculiarity. The ice-cream seller is going to give me nightmares for months, I'm sure.

I don't think this is necessarily a book for children. And there is nothing wrong with that. Why can't we have a couple picture books in this world that are NOT for children? We have animated films for adults. And video games for adults. Why not picture books that tackle history and art in one fell swoop? That isn't to say that this book is inappropriate for children. It isn't. They may, in fact, be enchanted by the tale. But in the event that they are not, it comes as little surprise. Kids aren't going to grasp the eloquent scene of children flying on blackbirds away from their sobbing mothers. Or the black smoke that billows from the oven conjured up by the children's singing.

A problem with the book comes with the lack of further information about the story's origins. The story never directly says anything about Terezin, and the brief bookflaps only mention the incident in passing. Facts (that the children of Terezin died after the show, for example) are not gone into with any depth. An author's afterword, or perhaps some sort of note explaining what inspired this story, would be greatly appreciated. Similarly, the illustrations are filled with little details that would yield a lot of pleasure for readers if they understood their significance. When the children are banned to the alleyway and sit under newspapers, what do the newspapers say? What is "skola" as written on the fence in one scene? Is it significant that the milkman is from Mekos Dairy?

"Brundibar" isn't a perfect creation. But it's a necessary one. Even if you don't understand it completely, you should at least try.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow.
I think I'm qualified to say whether a book has real quality as a book for kids--this one does. The story is lovely, a straight-forward folktale/teaching story on the importance of working together to overcome adversity. The language glitters and charms, as anyone who has seen Tony Kushner's plays would expect. And Maurice Sendak's illustrations are his most lucid, enchanting and charming since In The Night Kitchen. My five-year-old loved it, loves the story of two enterprising children defeating an adult bully, and has asked to have it read for the past few nights, since we got the book.

The backstory of the book--the fact that it is based on an opera written by the children of Teresienstadt concentration camp--is hinted at very subtly. If one is aware enough to pick up the clues (ranging from a gateway that reads "Arbeit Macht Frei," like the entrance to Auschwitz, to the yellow stars marking Jewish characters, to the barely legible program from the premiere of the opera, behind a handwritten note), the story is there. I found it gave the story a depth and resonance that stayed with me. If, on the other hand, you don't know about it--I certainly wasn't going to point it out to my kids, just yet--the book still works beautifully.

All in all, this is a beautiful work from two of the most remarkable artists who have been active in American popular culture in the last fifty years.

2-0 out of 5 stars Pretentious adults take note. Children beware!
An excellent book for the same pretentious, self-congratulatory grown-ups who give themselves little kisses of self regard for their Channel 13 memberships and who shiver with uncontrollable pleasure at the very mention of "culture," or "art." Children, however, will be, as mine was, and I was, bored. My child is too young to also have been repelled by Tony Kushner's fake, artsy-fartsy poeticisms that make reading the book out loud a tedius struggle, though he was not too young to have wondered, as I did, if an actual STORY was going to begin at some point. A good reliable general rule of thumb, especially where children's books are concerned, is that when critics fling about raves involving high school lit terms like "allegory" the cautious reader without a lot of loose pocket change will walk on by. THE WILD THINGS, for eg, is a great book that hasn't got much of a story story, but that has a LOGIC and a story type rythym and language that doesn't try to force the ball out of the park.

5-0 out of 5 stars priceless
Over six decades ago, the opera Brundibar (Czech slang for bumblebee) was written. When the writer (Adolf Hoffmeister) was imprisoned by the Nazis in Terezin, the opera he and Hans Krasa wrote was smuggled into the camp. The children performed the opera; it kept their minds off the impending doom. The Nazis even filmed one of the 55 performances for a propaganda film, showing Terezin to be a model city for the Jews. Kushner and Sendak collaborated for over three years on this book, which recreates the opera in book form. At one point, Sendak even tore up all his drawings and started over. This is a masterpiece for children as well as adults. The prose is lyrical in tempo and style; the drawings are exquisite. The use of colored and Italian pencils evoke the crayons that the children of Terezin used (under the teaching direction of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, who was deported to Terezin in 1942, and then murdered at Auschwitz in 1944.) In the story, a brother and sister are sent by a doctor to the village's market square to fetch milk for their ill mother. Here they meet the milkman, the baker, and the ice cream maker. But without money, they can buy no milk. They spy Brundibar, a children hating, loud, brash, mean, street musician, dressed in a Napoleon hat and old medal filled uniform. With him around, they can make no money singing to pay for the milk. But with the help of some talking animals and other children, they perform a lullaby and earn the needed funds to help their mother. Brundibar is defeated (When performed as an opera, the children and audience understood that Brundibar represented their jailers.) Adults will note the last page, in which Brundibar writes a final note. Bullies and Brundibar vow to return one day. The note is written on the replica of a crumbled invitation, the actual party invitation that the Nazis used to invite dignitaries and Red Cross officials in 1944 to the actual performances, replete with a dancing man with a Jewish star on his costume (who is recreated in the role of the doctor).

5-0 out of 5 stars An Instant Classic
Brundibar is another complex yet simple Sendak work. Tony Kushners lyrical prose matches perfectly with Sendak's incredibly vivid and beautiful illustrations.
Like other Sendak works, this book has several levels. It's a great kids story about bullies and how they can be dealt with. On a more adult level, its about how WWII and the Holocost affected the children of Europe, christian as well as jewish.
The text is adapted by Kushner from the libretto of the Opera by the same name. While the words stand up well on their own, the book flys on the wings of Sendaks wonderful art. Several stories are told within the story if the reader pays close attention to the details present in every illustration.
This book is destined to be a classic. (...) and buy a timeless piece of art from people who helped define the artform of the picture book. ... Read more

13. Colder Than Ice
by David Patneaude
list price: $15.95
our price: $11.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807581356
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Sales Rank: 326929
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars On the mark
David Patneaude has a bead on the push-and-pull of middle-school society. His main character is realistically torn between the flattery of a popular bully and the cameraderie of new friends who are way outside the in crowd. That alone will cause young readers to buy into this story. Patneaude adds suspense, some memorable characters, and drama, along with a satisfying conclusion. Young readers will almost certainly forgive the preachy and over-long finale wherein the bullies get their due. If you like this book, though, don't bypass this author's earlier novels Someone Was Watching and Last Man's Reward. ... Read more

14. The Boy Who Lost His Face
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679886222
Catlog: Book (1997-04-15)
Publisher: Yearling
Sales Rank: 17083
Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars THE BEST BOOK EVER!
This book was so amazing. David is a normal kid trying to fit in with the popular kids, and when he helps an operation to take Mrs. Bayfield's cane, he flips her off and gets cursed... Or does he? After that David loses his old friends but gains a bunch of new ones that remind everyone of the three stooges. To top that, things like his pants falling down while asking someone out, or his zipper being down when he walks into class happen to him. I couldn't put this book down. My mom usually reads the same books I read if I say they are good, and she loved it too. I had read Holes not that long ago, and thought it was great, but this book is one million times better. I really suggest that people read this.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very good, funny book
I recently read this book and I liked it a lot. There are a bunch of swears in it, but hey, that's how normal kids their age usually talk anyway. It is a book about a kid, David, who everyone says is totally uncool. When he tries to become cool by helping steal a "witch's" cane, she puts a "curse" on him. Now it seems he can't do anything right. He spills things left and right, he walks into class with his fly unzipped, and his pants keep falling down. He goes to the

"witch's" house to see how he can get rid of the curse. He finds out, but how will he be able to pull off what the "witch" wants him to do?

A book full of imaginative writing, suspense, and a surprise ending. I would reccomend this book to ages 10-up. Not for people who don't like swearing.

4-0 out of 5 stars This book is the reason that kids love Louis Sachar
I remember discovering this book in my 5th grade classroom library. It was a big, secret hit because it had SWEARING in it, which of course my friends and I thought was hilarious. But it was hilarious because it was in a BOOK, in the school library no less. God knows we knew the words already, and we certainly knew how to use them. For a while it was fun to just remember the pages with the dirty words and giggle over them, but eventually I decided to sit down and actually READ the book. And it made a big enough impact on me that I still remember it now, eight years later. Louis Sachar must remember middle school better than most of his peers, because he writes about how it is. Middle school students adore his books because they're accurate; kids know when they're being talked down to. Middle schoolers, yes, even your precious 9-12 year olds, know how to swear, know how to fight, and know how to flip off old ladies. Kids are not nice, not in the least, and at least Louis Sachar can write a book that they can relate to. It's pointless to suggest that a book aimed at this age group should be held responsible for upholding any grand morality. When you're 12, you really don't care. But if it's a book that kids will want to read, that teaches how to stand up for yourself and appreciate the friends you have, well... isn't that the point?

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book
This was an Awesome book! My son loved it! People have to just get this....most children know what these words are and are interested about reading books that are more realistic. Kids in their school use this language, and your kid probably does too. To even say shame on Sachar is completely wrong. [...] Maybe you should make sure the books your giving your kids are what you want kids to read. This is one of Sachar's best books and the language makes it more realalistic and interesting. I would reccomend this book for 10+ .

3-0 out of 5 stars Mr. Sachar, why did you have to go blue?
David and Scott had been best friends since grade school. They were the type of friends who walked to and from school everyday and spent most of their free time together. However, in middle school Scott, who is smart, good looking, and athletic, finds himself being invited to hangout with the popular boys. At first, David also hangs out with the popular kids, but his acceptance into this group is only due to his association with Scott. David doesn't particularly like Scott's new friends and he knows that they are just barely tolerating him. But even worse is that David gets the feeling that Scott, his best friend, is embarrassed by David's presence when hanging out with these "cool" kids.

David tries to fit in and even goes along with a vicious prank on an elderly woman even though he knows it was wrong. (During the prank, the woman puts a "curse" at David.) However, David's attempts to fit in fail and gradually he gets the idea that his friendship with Scott is over. To emphasize that they are no longer friends, Scott with his new buddies decide to make David's school life miserable. David finds himself alone and seemingly cursed in the unfriendly world of middle school.

Yet David makes new friends. There is Larry, an odd guy, who constantly wears blue sunglasses, and claims to have lived all over the world. And there is Maureen (better known as Mo) a petite girl with short hair and "a-don't-mess-with-me" demeanor. And then there is "Ms. Williams"- the girl David likes and has given hints that she likes him too. David should be happy. He has new friends and he is on the verge of asking Ms. Williams out. However, Scott and his buddies not only continue to tease David, but also start picking on his new friends and his younger brother. Even worse is that David thinks that the "curse" put upon him, which he believes is causing to do a lot of dumb, clumsy, and obnoxious stuff, is ruining his chances with Ms. Williams. So David must find a way to beat the curse and in doing so he must also confront the bullies as well as his own guilt and fears.

Louis Sachar's depiction of middle school life certainly rings true in many aspects. (I had a close grade school friend who abandoned me for the popular crowd in junior high.) Also, Sachar recognizes that sometimes fighting back is the only thing that will make a middle school bully back off. (I tried for months to ignore the bullies who had targetted me. However, that only encouraged wanna-be kids to see me as an easy way to increase their social standing. It was only after I finally stood up and I clobbered a wanna-be that most of the teasing ended.) Sachar's depiction of a middle school brawl is graphic and very realistic.

Also realistic is the language used by the characters. However, I have to agree with some of the other reviewers here that this sort of language is inappropriate for the age group this book is marketed for. Yes, I used this sort of language when I was 12, but I don't think the use of it should be encouraged in a book for kids 9-12. It's also unneccessary. I think there are some good lessons to be learned from this book such as moral responsibility and standing up for yourself and your friends, but the inclusion of some very harsh language will make teachers and school librarians less likely to recommend it to their students. ... Read more

15. So You Want to Be a Wizard: The First Book in the Young Wizards Series
by Diane Duane
list price: $6.95
our price: $6.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 015216250X
Catlog: Book (2001-06-01)
Publisher: Magic Carpet Books
Sales Rank: 28452
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Something stopped Nita's hand as it ran along the bookshelf. She looked and
found that one of the books had a loose thread at the top of its spine. It was one of those So You Want to Be a . . . books, a series on careers. So You Want to Be a Pilot, and a Scientist . . . a Writer. But his one said, So You Want to Be a Wizard.
I don't belive this, Nina thought. She shut the book and stood there holding it in
her hand, confused, amazed, suspicious--and delighted. If it was a joke, it was a great one. If it wasn't . . . ?
... Read more

Reviews (146)

5-0 out of 5 stars . . . And You Thought You Knew Manhattan . . .
"So You Want To Be A Wizard" is the beginning of an exciting and tantalizing series where wizardry and life in the city are a little too close for comfort. Nita, an intelligent but physically unendowed 13-year-old, finds refuge in the kid's section of the library after a particularly bad beating by a group of school bullies - and finds a book that not only tells her that there *is* magic but how to get it, why to get it, and how to use it.

Kit, a 12-year-old Hispanic boy with school troubles similar to hers, teams up with her in a wizardly Ordeal to gain their powers. Shifted "sideways" into an alternate Manhattan, they discover both their wizardly talents and find friends in each other.

I originally read first High Wizardry (the last books in the series), then Deep Wizardry (the second book) and then this, before going on to A Wizard Abroad. I also enjoyed her Feline Wizards series, of which only two books are in print so far. However, other YA readers may not: they are on an adult reading level and you need to appreciate this.

I also recommend other books (most of these are fantasy) by Patricia Wrede (her Dragons series, "Dealing with Dragons", "Talking with Dragons", etc), the Unicorn series by Tamora Pierce ("Black Unicorn", "Red Unicorn"), the "Hero and the Crown" and "The Blue Sword" by Robin McKinley.

All of these books, including (especially!) So You Want To Be A Wizard have strong female protagonists. I am, after all, a 13-year-old girl and really dislike the knight-in-shining-armour- rescues-the-damsel-in-distress stuff.

I believe you will really enjoy So You Want to Be A Wizard. Either buy it here or ask for it at a library. Interlibrary Loan works really well!


5-0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best books I've ever read!
I have read almost every fantasy and sci-fi book that I can find and this was one of the best. It's about a girl named Nita (Juanita) who's having a hard time at school and takes refuge in the library to avoid getting clobbered. There she finds a book titled 'so you want to be a wizard' that tells her about her potential to be a one. She thinks it's all a joke but she reads it anyway. Nita, a hispanic boy named Kit, and a white hole named Fred that they picked up try to open a world gate to get Nita's pen back and have their plans go horribly wrong. Flung into a different dimension for fiddling with the world gate they have to battle the Lone Power and his oddly deranged machines to escape. I'm in 7th grade and I have lent this book to all my friends and even the ones who don't like to read love it. If you like fantasy and/or science fiction then this is definetly the book to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars So you want to be a wizard
This book is great and really magical. It's about these two kids who discover a whole new world then the one they know. My kids enjoyed Harry Potter, and this book is just as good, but it shows this different magic. A magic that is more usuall unlike the one in Harry Potter. We really enjoyed this book, and all the other in the series.

5-0 out of 5 stars very happy it was recommended to me...
My mom recommeded this series to me a while ago, and I'm glad she did. I'm reading the series a bit out of order, but I'm still enjoying it. This is the first book in the series. It begins with Nita, a thirteen-year-old girl who has the misfortune of being beat up a lot by a bully. While hiding in the library, Nita comes across a book called _So You Want To Be a Wizard_. The book gets her on the road to becoming a wizard. In the process, she meets Kit, another young wizard-in-training. There are probably other people who've explained the book better than I ever could, so I'm not going to bother. I really enjoyed this book, because all the characters and their magic seemed so real to me. Also, the author designed some of her world's "rules" with people like me in mind: early on, Nita reads that one good sign of a potential wizard is that the person can't go to sleep without reading something first. Since this book was enough to make me wish magic were real, those lines made me smile. Hey, I can dream, can't I? I highly recommend this series and book to everyone, young and old.

4-0 out of 5 stars Young Wizards Afoot
One of the fantasies that many children have is to have some kind of power. This fantasy is particularly strong when children are in elementary school and they so often feel powerless or helpless. Juanita (Nita) Callahan and Christopher (Kit) Rodriguez fall into this category. Kit has been advanced a couple of grades in school, so he is teased for his intelligence and his size. Juanita tends to speak her mind, which frequently gets her in trouble with the supposedly cool crowd.

Juanita is in the library one day, hiding out from the ever-present bullies, when she runs across a book titled "So You Want to Be a Wizard." At first Nita wonders whether the book is some sort of joke, or fictional. After she reads the Wizard's Oath, she soon discovers that the book is remarkable in how it keeps itself up-to-date as information about the world and the skill level of its reader changes. Nita also discovers that she has become a wizard.

Nita soon meets Kit and discovers that she is not the only wizard in the world. One of the first requirements of being a wizard is to go on an Ordeal, which has a level of difficulty that that matches the power of the wizards involved. Nita and Kit are quite powerful and they go up against the Lone One in a world he made to prevent the Lone One from unmaking the entire universe. In the course of trying to keep the level of entropy in the universe at the lowest level possible, and keeping the Lone One from unmaking the universe, Kit and Nita find themselves in situations where they risk death. At one point in the book it is only through the sacrifice of two remarkable beings that Kit and Nita survive their sojourn into the Lone One's world.

While Diane Duane wrote this story about children in elementary school, I feel that it is a very mature story in many ways. This story does have a number of intense moments and may be unsuitable for some children under the age of 8 or 9. Additionally, Diane's vocabulary may present an additional hurdle for some ages. However, the story does not treat children as persons to be protected by adults, and the children find that they do have power to affect their world. One balance Diane brought into the book is an extremely strong code of ethics. Wizards must behave very morally or bad things can happen to them.

This book is a worthy introduction to the Young Wizards series and an enjoyable read. ... Read more

16. Blue Cheese Breath and Stinky Feet: How to Deal With Bullies
by Catherine Depino, Bonnie Matthews, Charles Beyl
list price: $8.95
our price: $8.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591471125
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: Magination Press
Sales Rank: 128802
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17. Danger on Midnight River : World of Adventure Series, Book 6 (World of Adventure)
list price: $3.99
our price: $3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440410282
Catlog: Book (1995-07-01)
Publisher: Yearling
Sales Rank: 20690
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Danger on Midnight River
Danger on Midnight River by Gary Paulsen is an adventure story. Daniel was a strong swimmer, but the swift-moving current was too much for him. It was all he could do to keep his head above the surging waves. A couple of times he thought he heard someone yelling. But for now he had his own problemes. The river was freezing cold and it offered no way out

4-0 out of 5 stars Review of Danger On Midnight River
Danger On Midnight River by Gary Paulsen is a world of adventure book .
Danger On Midnight River is about when a character named Daniel helps save his worst enemies because they make fun of Daniel. This book is very interesting ,and could probably help you in daily life today. Also, this book made me want to read the next chapter, the next chapter, and the next chapter. So, if you like adventure books, this would be the book for you. Read this book to find out what happens to Daniel and his worst enemies. By: Nicole Smith

4-0 out of 5 stars Danger on Midnight River
I like Danger on Midnight River by Gary Paulsen. It was a good adventure story. I liked it because it was realistic and made me think of my life. You see, Daniel (the main character) did not want to go to camp, but he got in the van anyways. Did Danny end up at camp or did he end up somewhere else? Read this adventure story to find out!

4-0 out of 5 stars Lessons Learned
This book is great for kids; short (and exciting) enough to keep their interest, and packed with lessons for everyday life. Main character Daniel Martin isn't the brightest kid in school--he gets made fun of a lot. But when he and his classmates get stranded in the wilderness, he saves the day.

Will help to teach children not to necessarily judge others by their appearance. Not as charming as Hatchet, but still a great read. Paulsen is definitely a master of tales of the wild.

3-0 out of 5 stars Adventurous Daniel
Danger on Midnight River is a typical adventure book written my Gary Paulsen. The main character is a twelve-year-old boy who is taunted by his peers. I did not find this book as attractive as Hatchet. However, the theme was pretty much the same. Daniel Martin, the main character in the book, has to survive in the Premonition Mountains. Also, Daniel has to save three other boys whom at one point made fun of him. Of course, Daniel saves the day! I did not like this book, I have read better books by Paulsen. ... Read more

18. Bootsie Barker Bites
by Barbara Bottner, Peggy Rathmann
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0698114272
Catlog: Book (1997-05-01)
Publisher: PaperStar Book
Sales Rank: 249378
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

1-0 out of 5 stars horrified!
My three-year-old daughter was horrified by the artwork and the scary Bootsie Barker. She is seen tearing a book, then terrorizing a little girl, then holding her hand over the little girl's mouth so she can't yell for help! Pulling her by the hair, throwing her pet salamander, pinning her to the floor by stepping on her and pulling her braid while her face is smashed into the floor! I have yet to find the humor here....HOW is this funny? And how does this little girl eventually cope with this bully? She threatens her back!! NOT the example I want to teach my child. (By the way, where was the mother when all this behavior was taking place?) This book will NEVER be read again in my home! I am astonished at the previous high reviews!

5-0 out of 5 stars My All Time Favorite Book!
This would have to be my favorite book ever, I remember begging my mother to read it to me when i was little,and I even memorized the whole thing. To this day i can quote my favorite lines. This is a book that i highly reccomend for anyone and their children. I am in my teens now and I still enjoy going back and reading "Bootsie Barker Bites"

5-0 out of 5 stars Bootsie RULES!
Whenever I read this story to a group of children, I'm a librarian, they're on the edge of their seats waiting for the next horror from Bootsie. Everyone knows a Bootsie, has been a Bootsie, or lives with a Bootsie sibling. The ending is satisfying in that Bootsie doesn't reform but her victim uses her intelligence to solve her problem. (With some help from mom) A good read-aloud and a wonderful story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unusual plot, engaging book
Bootsie Barker Bites tells the familiar tale of the uncongenial playmate, but it provides a much les conventional, and much more satisfying, ending. The story is interesting, funny, and encompasses a useful lesson about coping with mean kids.

The narrator of Bootsie Barker Bites hates playing with Bootsie, but she has to, because Bootsie's mother is her mother's best friend. Bootsie is mean - she treats the narrator very badly, breaks her toys, tries to hurt her pet lizard, and claims she is a dinosaur who will eat the narrator right up. The narrator grits her teeth and bears it until she discovers Bootsie will be staying at her house for the night; then she thinks up a plan that turns the tables on her unpleasant playmate.

Most authors would have forced an unrealistic but ultrasweet ending from this plot by having Bootsie and the narrator become friends. Barbara Bottner knows that isn't how real life usually works, so she provides a different ending. Bootsie doesn't change; the narrator's ability to cope with Bootsie changes. In addition to being thoroughly satisfying, this ending gives kids a small, easy lesson on dealing with difficult people.

The illustrations in the book are energetic and fun. The artist has done an excellent job of making Bootsie look like the archetypal evil toddler. And the small details of the pictures - the toy turtle on every page, the changing expressions of the stuffed animals, etc. - help hold kids' attention and make the book fun to reread.

Overall, this is a solidly entertaining children's book that contains, but not does not force, a message. Bootsie Barker Bites is fun for reading out loud or privately; kids enjoy it, and so do adults.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - my daughter memorized the book!
What a wonderful well written book. My 3 year old son and 4 year old daughter have memorized the book. They now read it to me. The words between the main character and Bootsie the bully are creative and my children love it. They now know what a salamander is and what a paleontologist does. Buy this book! ... Read more

19. How to Be Cool in the Third Grade (Puffin Chapters)
by Betsy Duffey, Janet Wilson
list price: $4.99
our price: $4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0141304669
Catlog: Book (1999-07-01)
Publisher: Puffin Books
Sales Rank: 171413
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
I have been struggling to get my nine year old son to read. However, when I brought this book home, I could not get him to put it down. He read the entire book in one sitting and laughed outloud throughout the book. He loved the book and cannot wait to get more books by the same author. He could easily relate to the characters and situations in this book. This is a must buy for all third grade boys.

4-0 out of 5 stars How to be cool.....
This was a nice little story about Robbie who wants to start off the new school year the right way. He begins to make a list of things he must do to make himself cool, such as getting jeans and changing his name. He is paired up to work with Bo, a bully who is repeating the third grade. Robbie, get scared, but when he faces his mother and simply tells her he would like some jeans and that he can walk to the bus stop by himself, she agrees.

He has a revelation that people did not know what he wanted them to do unless he asked them to do it. From then on, he had a new outlook. For his first meeting with Bo, they hit it off and Robbie became one of the cool kids. But, not because of his new jeans or that his mom stopped kissing him at the bus stop. Robbie became cool because of the way he thought about himself. A good lesson for all children at such an impressionable time in their lives.

This is a good introduction to chapter books. The 13 chapters are dealt out over 69 pages. All of the chapters are short enough to hold an elementary child's interest. The illustrations are beautiful and really add to the story. I would recommend this book as a way to lead children into chapter books and/or to begin a discussion on what being cool is, and the importance of self-worth.

The only thing I felt this story was lacking was some of the realism and consistency of the characters. At times Robbie, Doug and Bo can be young for their age and then on the next page seem to be overly mature for the third grade. Robbie's parents have also become caricatures.

Why 4 stars?:
Nice story, nice illustrations, good introduction to chapter books. Wonderful way to introduce topics of coolness, bullies and self-confidence. Characters can become somewhat unbelievable at times, but all in all a book worthy to be added to your classroom library. This book also lends itself well for reading groups and read-alouds because the chapters are so short.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book For Kids!
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a great book to give a child 7-10 years old. Children often experience many feelings when entering a new school or third grade. This book address some of those issues such as school bullies, clothes, and names children consider as funny. It also encourage children to communicate those concerns to their parents. It's funny and very well written. Children will love reading it to find out how Robbie deals with his mom kissing him in front of other kids, the school bully and changing his super hero underwear.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book was one of the most entertaining books I ever read
Robbie was getting ready to go to school. He was going into third grade and he wanted to be cool. He didn't want his mom to kiss him, but his mom ran out in time to kiss him. It was not cool when his mom kissed him.

When Robbie got on the bus, Bo Haney tripped him. Bo Haney was the school bullie. His life was going to be horrible. He wondered if he was ever going to be cool in third grade.

Robbie made a check list of things in his notebook to be cool. But everything wasn't working out. In school Bo Haney was calling Robbie "Wobbie". This was a problem because he didn't like Bo saying that.

Nothing was going right for Robbie. Read this book and find out all about Robbie and how to be cool in third grade.

I think you should read the book so you can be the next one to go on line with your review. The people that read the book will really like it because it is about a kid. It is a children's book ... Read more

20. The Monster's Ring (Magic Shop Books)
by Bruce Coville
list price: $4.99
our price: $4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 068985692X
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Aladdin
Sales Rank: 98917
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

It all starts when Russell Crannaker buys a "monster's ring" from weird old Mr. Elives. Russell is sure the ring is just a silly magic trick -- but he follows the instructions anyway, and slips it on his finger. Then he whispers the magic chant, twists the ring once, and suddenly he's sprouting horns! Hair covers his face and hands. Russell has become...a monster!

Russell quickly learns how to change back and forth from human to monster. But he hasn't paid enough attention to the directions, and when he puts on the ring on the night of a full moon, and twists it three times, Russell realizes he's gone too far.... ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Russell turns into a monster
I think the book was excellent because this kid Russell Crannaker turned into a demon-like creature. He bought a golden ring from a magician shop because he wanted to scare his bully, Eddie. Will Russell stay as a monster forever? Read this book to find out what happens with Russell.

5-0 out of 5 stars He was Hooked!
This was one of the first books my son in second grade read on his own. He was quickly hooked on reading! A book like this that can challenge a 7 year old boy and draw him into a magical world where he is excited about reading deserves 5 stars. The plot is solid and not so predictable as many early reading series.

3-0 out of 5 stars Like the others.....
Like the other books in this series, this book focuses on a kid that buys a magic item. This item happens to be a ring, and it turnds the kid into a demon-like creature. This book was interesting and fun to read. I enjoyed it a lot.

5-0 out of 5 stars Twist it thrice, no one has dared!
I am 17 years old, soon to be 18, and this book still gives me goosebumps. I always have loved the book, and I always wish I could find a place like Elvin's Magic Supplies. Not that I need the ring, but there were so many other things there... Man, I want to go there!

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't know what will happen next!
Monster's Ring is really exiting to read.As soon as something good starts to happen something better begins.This book would've been better if Bruce Coville had changed when "Russel" attacks his school.Then I would've given five stars! ... Read more

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