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$5.39 $2.60 list($5.99)
121. Chrysanthemum
$10.87 $10.66 list($15.99)
122. The Earth, My Butt, and Other
$11.53 $10.00 list($16.95)
123. Shakespeare's Secret
$6.29 $1.99 list($6.99)
124. Stuck in Neutral
$8.95 $4.47 list($9.95)
125. The Ironwood Tree (The Spiderwick
$5.95 $4.11
126. I Can Be Safe: A First Look at
$10.87 $6.95 list($15.99)
127. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
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128. Over the Moon : An Adoption Tale
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129. The New Baby
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130. A Potty for Me! : A Lift-the-Flap
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131. The Princess and the Potty (Aladdin
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132. The Egypt Game (Yearling Newbery)
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133. Cliques, Phonies, & Other
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134. I Love You Like Crazy Cakes
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135. Dear Mr. Henshaw (Cleary Reissue)
$12.24 $10.90 list($18.00)
136. Remember : The Journey to School
$5.99 $3.68
137. Whale Talk (Laurel Leaf Books)
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138. The Tiger Rising
$13.56 list($15.95)
139. At Home in This World, A China
$7.19 $2.99 list($7.99)
140. Big Mouth & Ugly Girl

121. Chrysanthemum
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688147321
Catlog: Book (1996-09-20)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Sales Rank: 6820
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. When she was old enough to appreciate it, Chrysanthemum loved her name. And then she started school. "I'm named after my grandmother," said Victoria. "You're named after a flower." Chrysanthemum wilted. Life at school didn't improve. In fact, it got worse. Then the students were introduced to their music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly, Chrysanthemum blossomed.... ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for kids and grownups alike
Chrysanthemum loves her name- she whispers it to herself constantly. Her parents reinforce how unique and special she is, which is why they chose her "absolutely perfect" name. Chrysanthemum thinks her name is perfect, too- that is, until the day she enters Kindergarten and the kids make fun of her. From that day on, she is crestfallen every day she returns home from school, and it's up to her parents to bolster her confidence. Still, there's no hope for poor Chrysanthemum's broken spirit- until a substitute teacher with an equally unique name teaches the class, and makes all the girls wish they had a perfect name like Chrysanthemum, too. Kevin Henkes' books are great for kids, and equally enjoyable for adults(look for the subtle designs in the illustrations, like Chrysanthemum's Father reading child psychology books while her Mom comforts her)- it's the little attention to details that makes Henkes a favorite kids author.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Chrysanthemum is Absolutely Perfect"
When Chrysanthemum was born, her parents thought that she was absolutely perfect and felt that her name must fit that. Chrysanthemum loved her name until she went to school and all her classmates teased her about it. One day, by the help of a teacher, Chrysanthemum and her classmates realize that her name is not all that bad. The text and illustrations in Chrysanthemum blend together to form a delightful book for both kids and adults. The story also explains a valuable lesson, and that is, to be nice to others, no matter how different they are. The language is simple, but also involves some complex adjectives: "precious", "priceless", "fascinating" and "winsome". Repeated verses in the text can also be found throughout the story. "She did not think her name was absolutely perfect. She thought it was absolutely dreadful." This sentence is repeated several times and is like the chorus to a song. The repeated lines provide consistency throughout the book. Another repeated line is "Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum." The repetition of this line aids in the concordance of the story. Kevin Henkes also makes the print of the story life-like at one point. "Chrysanthemum grew and grew and grew." As the font grows larger, it grabs the attention of the reader. This is a singled out event, which makes it even more memorable. Another instance of language playing an important part in this story is when Chrysanthemum is teased. Her reaction is the same every time; "Chrysanthemum wilted." This is a brilliant metaphor for a children's book. It gives a human flower-like characteristics. In addition, the illustrations fit well with the text. The pictures actually add to what the text is trying to get across to the reader. The drawings in Chrysanthemum are very simple but effective. Some books rely just on illustrations to tell the story, some just rely on text, and others rely on both. The author of Chrysanthemum relies mainly on text to tell a story, although the illustrations do help the story to be more appealing. The text alone may seem to be boring and monotonous, but Kevin Henkes makes it exciting and produces the central focus of the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A perennial (ha ha!) classic
If you were to single out the one picture book author that most successfully puts their finger on the pulse of children's hopes and fears, the award for Greatest Long-Distance Therapist would go to none other than Kevin Henkes. I am a huge fan of "Lily's Purple Plastic Purse" and I found a great deal of enjoyment in "Owen" (though I feel it's not his strongest work). Even "Wemberly Worried" covers a lot of ground by directly confronting the fears of worrywarts everywhere. With "Chrysanthemum", Henkes discusses originality and how being different (even if you're different in name alone) can single you out in both good and bad ways. As a Henkes fan, I consider this book to be amongst his strongest.

Chrysanthemum feels that her name is absolutely perfect. She likes how it looks and she likes how it sounds and she likes that it is her name alone. Everything's going great until Chrysanthemum starts school. Suddenly everyone's making fun of her name. She has a class full of Sams and Eves and Victorias. There doesn't seem to be a place for a girl with as wildly original a name as Chrysanthemum. One student in particular, Victoria, makes it her goal to continually ridicule poor little Chrysanthemum day in and day out. Talking about it with her parents helps a little, but the next day the same thing occurs. It seems that Chrysanthemum is doomed to be unhappy until she meets the music teacher Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly everything in Chrysanthemum's life is a whole lot better.

I liked the moral of this lesson and the way in which Chrysanthemum learns that it's okay to be original. I also liked the epilogue in this tale wherein the leader of Chrysanthemum's tormentors abruptly forgets her lines in the school play and our little heroine is vindicated. Call me shallow, but I always enjoy it when the villains in a piece "get their's". This is probably indicative of a singular shallowness on my part. Just the same, the fact that the similarly tormented Molly of the children's book, "Molly's Pilgrim" never receives any vindication has always bothered me. So kudos to Kevin Henkes for punishing the bad guys mildly! Hear hear!

There are other less personally petty things I like about this book too. I always love a good Henkesian drawing. I love that the parents in these tales are always caring, available, and attentive to their children's needs. In this book I was especially amused by Chrysanthemum's father running to child psychology texts (like "The Inner Mouse Vol. 1: Childhood Anxiety" and "A Rose By Any Other Name...Understanding Identity") to help his daughter. I loved the extraordinarily cool Mrs. Twinkle with her hugely pregnant stomach, ballet shoes, and tail that twists into a musical staff. I loved it all.

If you have a child being teased by fellow classmates for being a little off, this may not be THE best book to offer, but it's pretty darn good. Give it a shot and see what you think. If you love Henkes, you won't be disappointed.

2-0 out of 5 stars not good for bibliotherapy
If you're looking for a cute, whimsical picture book to launch into a discussion with your child about respecting differences, this one has a major flaw. Love the pictures, love the whimsy, but when the little girl, Chrysanthemum, is teased for her name during naptime (the other girl snickers that chrysanthemums grow near worms and dirt, ugh), the teacher replies with sarcasm, "Thank you for sharing." Well, little kids don't get sarcasm--they take it literally. Why does the teacher not step in and say something straightforward about how that's an ugly statement? I don't want to teach my child that kids can get away with being nasty and teachers will look on in approval. True, a second teacher stands up for Chrysanthemum, but I think to let a teacher make a crack like that, without having some character call her on it, sends the message to kids that you can't trust teachers to do the right thing. At least the girl could've told her parents exactly what happened so they could say, "That teacher was wrong and we're going to talk to her" or something.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written
This book is beautifully written! Keven Henkes tells a great story about appreciating our differences as individuals. I would highly recommend this book! ... Read more

122. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
by Carolyn Mackler
list price: $15.99
our price: $10.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0763619582
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Sales Rank: 3908
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Coming-of-Age Journey
Virginia Shreeves, a "larger than average" fifteen year-old, lives by the Fat Girl Code of Conduct, part of which entails no romantic relationships. Still, she's aching to be French-kissed. Enter Froggy Welsh IV, her new catch. They "don't score high on the communication front" but he's an a-okay kisser. Plus, he makes adolescent life a tad better for Virginia, who comes from a picture perfect family consisting of a beautiful, skinny sister named Anais, a father who confesses he prefers skinny women, a brother, Byron, currently enrolled at Columbia U, and a fit and trim mother who fills three-quarters of her dinner plate with salad, while advising Virginia to do the same. Virginia contemplates her existence in such a household, one that seemingly would be 100% ideal - without her, that is. High school life isn't much better. A member of the bony clique of "Bri" girls makes a weight comment in the school bathroom that seriously dents Virginia's self-esteem. Virginia's stuttering best friend has moved to Walla Walla (no pun intended). She feels alone. Eventually, however, she expands her horizons, branches out, and chooses to at last spread her wings. She is able to confront Froggy about their secret rendezvous, tell her father to stop commenting about her weight, and accept herself for what she is: beautiful. She comes to understand that numbers on the scale are not significant - physical and mental good health are. And Virginia's admiration for Byron, with his good looks, smarts, and charm, quickly changes with one phone call from Columbia. She also finds that people change, often times into not what you'd want or expect. Still, we all must deal with this or something like that one time or another in life. Mackler has done it again with this fab follow-up to her debut, "Love and Other Four-Letter Words."

5-0 out of 5 stars The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
Virginia Shreeves is a teenage girl with ordinary teenage problems. Virginia is an overweight teenager and is always pressured by her mother to lose weight. Her mother is like this because when she was a teenager she was also overweight but now, is skinny as can be. Her father is a slim man with a very good job. She also has a beautiful sister who is also skinny but does not live at home anymore. She is in Africa for the Peace Core. Finally, Virginia has a brother, Byron, who is very handsome and seems to be perfect. At the beginning of the book, Virginia only has one good friend. It's her best friend, Shannon. Shannon moved to Walla Walla, Washington for the whole school year. This is hard for Virginia in school because she doesn't really have any other friends. This is especially hard at lunch when she does not have a table to sit at. Ms. Crowley notices this and tells Virginia she can go to her room during lunch. Virginia goes to her room almost every day. Ms.Crowley and Virginia become really close. Another person very important in her life is Froggy Welsh the Fourth. They like each other and they hang out at her apartment sometimes but, Virginia follows her "Fat Girl Code of Conduct." It says that she can't show affection for any boy in public. They get in a fight and don't talk for a long time. Around this time, Byron date rapes a girl at a party and is suspended for the semester at Columbia. This helps Virginia realize that her brother isn't perfect. That no one in her family is perfect. Virginia has been on a diet for a while at this point but, food is her comfort and she needed it at this time. Shannon helped her get away from everything by inviting her to go to Seattle with her and her parents for thanksgiving. Virginia's parents don't want her to go so; Virginia buys a non-refundable ticket to Seattle. Her parents are upset with her, but still allow her to go. In Seattle, even though Virginia knows her mom won't like it, she gets her eyebrow pierced. When she gets back home, Virginia misses Shannon a lot. For Christmas, the family always attends a fancy party at a friend's house. For the party Virginia buys a purple dress, her Mom does not like it. She says it doesn't go with her hair. After this comment, Virginia dies her hair purple to match her dress. On the way home, even though her Mom doesn't like the things she has been doing recently, she tells her that she wishes she was as brave as Virginia. Virginia likes that her Mom admires this about her. When Virginia gets back to school she finds out one of her teachers has died from a heart attack. Virginia has made a new friend in school, her name is Alyssa. Alyssa helps Virginia start a club for a website she would like to make. It's for teens that want to speak there mind. The website is great, many people helped, as well as Froggy. This is when Froggy and Virginia become friends again. The ending to this book is fabulous. Overall, I enjoyed the book very much. I loved Virginia's emotional and physical journeys throughout the entire book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A little mature for people under 10, but a great read...
I currently read this book, and would definitely put it under one of my favorite re-reads. It is a combined book that teaches you many different lessons like don't compare your body to other people, never compare your self to other family members, and so many well taught lessons.
Virginia Shreves is not you "skinny as a pencil" kind of person. She isn't like other teenagers, she wouldn't know what to do without the web, eats junk food like it is good for her, and lives by the "Fat Girl Code of Conduct". She also isn't your "most popular" person in the world, even if fact the school, but she will live.
Virginia's bff just moved to Walla Walla, Washington for a year, and just like her computer, she doesn't know what to do without her. Since she is on the "lager-than-average" size, she doesn't have friends. Her only friend is Shannon, and now she is gone. Virginia thinks that her life is ruined but maybe not....
I think that Carolyn Mackler did a fantastic job on the plot and this book deserves a medal. You can relate to Virginia, she is like your average teenager, except with some problems. You can understand how she feels in the book, or at least I know I did. I felt that I was right next to Virginia, and feeling and seeing what she did.
This is a great book, and I recommend it to everyone. Why? It is written extremely well, a great plot, and you can relate. Now that is some pain points that I look for in a great book, and this is one of them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Make sure you have time to read it all in one sitting!
I promise you, once you pick up this book you will not want to put it down. Virginia is a girl all teenage girls can easily relate to. She feels she isn't good enough and that she HAD to of been switched at birth. Virginia begins to rebel, and goes against her parent's rules. All teenagers, well girls at least, should read this book and know that to be loved, you have to be who you are.

4-0 out of 5 stars Coming-of-age with a teenage twist
Virginia Shreeves' journey of self-acceptance and self-discovery is sure to become a favorite novel for any teen, whether they have confidence or lack in that area. Mackler has created a real character with real feelings who deals with the real problems and questions of a real life. THE EARTH, MY BUTT... strays from the usual teenage fluff I'm often drawn to in the Borders/Barnes YA section.

Virginia is insecure for being "larger than average." A so-called romance is heating up between her and Froggy Welsh IV, yet he refuses to acknowledge her outside the Shreeves' apartment, which is where in-between or after-class rendezvous take place. Virginia does not have the self-esteem to realize she deserves a happy and sincere relationship. In fact, sadly enough, she doesn't think she deserves one at all.

Even sadder is her best friend, who recently moved away to Walla Walla, the only person at school Virginia truly connected with. Her brother Byron was once her hero and seemingly perfect with his rugged good looks - but a phone call from Columbia U changes everything. He's been accused of date rape and he returns home, not necessarily a changed person. Viriginia's just beginning to see his true colors and at times, it's a difficult thing to accept.

Byron isn't the only home life problem. Mr. Shreeves openly prefers skinny women, Mrs. Shreeves incessantly fills her plate with salad and only cares about weight, and the only normal family of the Shreeves clan, Anais, Virginia's sister, is away in another country as part of the Peace Corps. What is so ironic is that Mrs. Shreeves is a renown psychologist who talks to adolescents of their problems, yet she cannot seem to address the problems so clearly present in her own family.

As she battles low self-esteem, imperfections, and a seemingly perfect family, she expands her horizons and realizes people can change, not always for the better, and that those who you know can easily jump out and reveal their true selves. The result of that isn't always pretty. She also comes to see that perfect really never is ideal - and that it doesn't exist, for that matter. Readers will rejoice to find a heroine who is just like them or at least a protagonist, with whom they can indeed relate to. There's a little bit of Virginia in all of us, I do believe. ... Read more

123. Shakespeare's Secret
by Elise Broach
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805073876
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Sales Rank: 49860
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Hero changed into a T-shirt, grabbed a book, and padded barefoot into her sister's room. The large windows overlooked the backyard. She could see the moonlight streaming over the trees and bushes, making long, crazy shadows across the grass. Was there a diamond hidden out there somewhere? She looked at Beatrice, already settled under the covers. She wanted to tell her about the Murphys, but at the same time, she didn't. She wanted to keep the secret. To have something that belonged only to her.

A missing diamond, a mysterious neighbor, a link to Shakespeare-can Hero uncover the connections?

When Hero starts sixth grade at a new school, she's less concerned about the literary origins of her Shakespearean name than about the teasing she's sure to suffer because of it. So she has the same name as a girl in a book by a dusty old author. Hero is simply not interested in the connections. But that's just the thing; suddenly connections are cropping up all over, and odd characters and uncertain pasts are exactly what do fascinate Hero. There's a mysterious diamond hidden in her new house, a curious woman next door who seems to know an awful lot about it, and then, well, then there's Shakespeare. Not to mention Danny Cordova, only the most popular boy in school. Is it all in keeping with her namesake's origin-just much ado about nothing? Hero, being Hero, is determined to figure it out.
In this fast-paced novel, Elise Broach weaves an intriguing literary mystery full of historical insights and discoveries.

... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare's Secret
My mom called me for dinner but I just couldn't put the book down.Flipping after page after page I couldn't stop reading.This book Shakespeare's Secret was truly a page turner book.After learning about Hero,then her family, the mysterious boy, her neighbor, and many other interesting characters I couldn't stop reading about the diamond and where it's hidden.When I finished the book I knew i would never forget this wonderful book.I have it next to my bed and it is a comfort when I read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great suspenseful novel
In every way, this is a terrific novel.Hero is a bright, thoughtful, funny girl whose anxieties and sufferings in middle school will resonate with every reader.But the most impressvie thing about Shakespeare's Secret is the story.The plot weaves details of English history and Shakespeare's life together with the suspenseful search for a missing diamond.It is a riveting story that kids will love.My seventh and fourth graders couldn't put this book down once they'd started!It is one of those special books that becomes an instant favorite.Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars The book was amazing!
I got an advanced copy of the book, and i was just blown was so mysterious and fun.i really learned a lot from reading it.i think that Elise is a great author and can't wait to read more of her books.I am not the kind of person who loves reading, but this book, i could not put down!
who knows? maybe they'll make a movie of it!(it was that good!) ... Read more

124. Stuck in Neutral
by Terry Trueman
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0064472132
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: HarperTempest
Sales Rank: 29509
Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Shawn McDaniel is an enigma and a miracle--except no one knows it, least of all his father. His life is not what it may seem to anyone looking at him. Not even those who love him best have any idea what he is truly like. In this extraordinary and powerful first novel, the reader learns to look beyond the obvious and finds a character whose spirit is rich beyond imagining and whose story is unforgettable.

My life is like one of those "good news-bad news" jokes. Like, "I've got some good news and some bad news--which do you want first?"

I could go on about my good news for hours, but you probably want to hear the punch line, my bad news, right? Well, there isn't that much, really, but what's here is pretty wild. First off, my parents got divorced ten years ago because of me. My being born changed everything for all of us, in every way. My dad didn't divorce my mom, or my sister, Cindy, or my brother, Paul--he divorced me. He couldn't handle my condition, so he had to leave. My condition? Well, that brings us to the guts of my bad news.

Books for the Teen Age 2001 (NYPL), Books for Youth Editor's Choice 2000 (Booklist), Top 10 Youth First Novels 2000(Booklist), 2001 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA), 2001 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers (ALA), and 2001 Michael L. Printz Honor Book

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Reviews (116)

4-0 out of 5 stars Review on Stuck in Neutral
I really liked this book because it had alot of emotion and true thought. A boy named Shawn Mcdaniel has cerebal palsey and a dad that's trying to kill him. And if that's not enough, he can remember everything he ever heard, and saw. It could be an extrodinary gift, but noone will ever know because he can't talk, or communicate with anyone. He's a vegetable. I like this book because his father loves him, very much. Shawn goes through seizures every day, and when his dad see's him having them he feels that he's suffering. But really Shawn looks forward to them. His dad feels that he should put him out of his misery, by killing him. It's a story of bad new's and good news. The only part I don't like about this book is that at the end it has kind of a cliff hanger ending. Out of nowhere the book just ends. I wish I could know what his father was going to do to him, or if he did anything at all. This is a very good book because, it keeps you interested,and you never know what is going to happen. I would recommend it to anyone who likes fast reading with emotion in the thought.

3-0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Read
Stuck In Neutral is a book about a boy, Shawn, who can't control his muscles, so he can't talk, walk, write, ect. The book is written in first person, so you can see everything in Shawn's point of view. Throughout the book, Shawn explains his frustrations about not being able to show his family and everyone else what he is really like, what he feels when he has his seizures, and about his thoughts on what he thinks his father was going to do.

The book, is based on some truth, but in several parts it is quite fictitious. Stuck In Neutral is a good book to read to get the feeling of what it's like to live with someone with that kind of disability, but might not be accurate in showing what it's like to have that sort of disability because you would only know if you actually have it, which the author doesn't. I have to admit, I didn't particularly enjoy the book because on many parts I found it a little hard to believe. However, the book did broaden my outlook on disabled people and their abilities. The book wasn't the best, but I still recommend that some people read it because it makes you think more about what disabled people really go through.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stuck in Neutral
This is a book that you won't want to put down, even after you have read the last sentence. As a reader, you feel honored to get inside the head of Shawn, a 15-year old boy with Cerebral Palsy. You are able to see how the world seems or feels to someone like him. I laughed and cried while I read this book. You might not, but you will definitely think. Be prepared because the book deals with serious issues, such as euthanasia.

4-0 out of 5 stars good piece of work
My only complaint is the book was extremely short. I hoped maybe the plot could have been a bit more developed, but unfortunatly- the writer felt it wise to leave the rest to the reader. I guess thats a virtue, but I was left wondering and wishing that I could delve deeper into Shawn's life and truth.

The story's plot was unique, and the end left me biting my nails and begging for more. If you want a good read, this is definatly your book!

5-0 out of 5 stars mikes magnifacent all time best reviews
this book is about a boy named Shaun McDanial, a young crippled boy who cant move or talk. His parrents are divorced, and he lives with his mom. On the outside he looks misrable and barly alive but on the inside hes is the happiest person ever. he livs in Seattle and he loves going for walks to see new things. As the book progresses his father starts seeing him more and more. In one scene his father was sitting outside with him and a crow flys by and his father throws a glass cor when it starts flying towds him. Then he says, "If i wasn't here the bird could of atacked you." His father sees him more and more and he thinks his son is misrable but he is extreamly happy. on the last time he takes his son he brings him to his house and then tedders on killing his son. you will need to read the book to see what happens.
Stuck in Neutral is an outstanding novel about life and how to value it. Truman realy brings you through a thrill ride of emotions and nail-biters. He had the caricters comeing to life and he creates realistic dioloug between him and his father.
Stuck in Neutral is a edge of your seat kepp you reading every night novel.I recomend this novel to any one who wants to read a novel that will teach you to love and charish life. This is and exrordanary novel and i hope you will read it to. ... Read more

125. The Ironwood Tree (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 4)
by Holly Black
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689859392
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Sales Rank: 2252
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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After a brief breather in book three (Lucinda's Secret), the Spiderwick Chronicles heat up with doppelgangers, then dwarves, then a dastardly double-cross, as this five-part series approaches its dramatic end.

The Grace kids (9-year-old twins Simon and Jared, and 13-year-old Mallory) might think that things have finally quieted down for them, but the nefarious faerie world has many more surprises in store. In the second chapter, titled, "IN WHICH the Grace twins are triplets," a mysterious and menacing shape-shifter shows up at Mallory's fencing match--and before Simon and Jared can suss out what's up, their sister disappears, presumably kidnapped. Eager to recover Mallory, the two descend into a strange subterranean world beneath a nearby quarry, only to find themselves prisoners and then privy to a wicked (and almost unbelievable) plan. The twins do end up tracking down Mallory, but only in very peculiar circumstances--not the least of which that she's wearing a dress.

Author Holly Black once again skillfully manages to weave in plenty of creepy details (including a bloody final chapter) without whitewashing or leaving young readers feeling too creeped out--and she gets able assistance from Tony DeTerlizzi's ever-evocative pen-and-ink drawings (especially in the looming menace of the Mulgarath). Fans of the serieswill have a hard time waiting for the final installment, titled fittingly, ominously, The Wrath of Mulgarath. (Ages 6 to 10)--Paul Hughes ... Read more

Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars going strong and holding the suspense...
Well, I bought it the second day it was released and had it finished, in a few hours. That's the great thing if you have a few hours you've finished the book, that's also the sad thing... now I have to wait for book 5 til Sept.

This series is fun and charming and exciting, regaurdless your age. I teach school and don't always make time for myself. These books are perfect fits into a hectic day and the small amounts of time I save for myself. Since that time is cherished I like making the most of it and Spiderwick books fit into my precious time ... so they have to be good for me, to recommend them.

Grandma's do you want a fun read that is as exciting as Harry Potter, that will impress your grandkids and help them remember your activities, something you can do in a few short hours together. This is it!

Excited Teacher in Nevada

5-0 out of 5 stars The Spiderwick Chronicles
this series of books is amazing i am 13 year olds and i love it once you read the first page you go to another world of fantasy and go crazy with all the things in the book I really,really recomend it. yesterdsay i read the first page and I got involved in to page 50 and if it wasn't for my mom I would have already finished it.


4-0 out of 5 stars "The Stones Tell Me...The Stones Know All..."
"The Ironwood Tree" is the fourth of the five books in the "Spiderwick Chronicles", concerning the Grace children (the eldest Mallory and the twins Simon and Jared) and their involvement in the faerie world. In previous books they have gained some general knowledge on how to deal with these faeries (which is based on real fairy folklore) thanks to the "Field Guide to Faeries", written by their great uncle Arthur.

The "Ironwood Tree" delivers on the previous book's promise of dwarfs, with a journey underground and the first appearance of Mulgarath the ogre, mentioned in "Lucinda's Secret". When the twins accompany their mother to Mallory's fencing meet, Jared notices a young girl rummaging through his sister's bag. Going to investigate, Jared confronts a shape-shifting faerie that immediately turns into a terrified little boy when Jared threatens him with a knife - just in time for the principal to catch him.

Despite being faced with suspension, the twins discover that Mallory has been kidnapped by the dwarfs, and must venture into the abandoned quarry in order to rescue her. From there comes encounters with the dwarf king, the hoardes of dwarfin treasure, an enchanted Mallory, a knocker, and finally the terrible Mulgarath, leaving this particular reader longing for book five.

After a brief lull in the action in "Lucinda's Secret" (which was still a good read) Holly Black picks up the action once more, with more faery encounters, captures and escapes, and a rather bloody final chapter. The detail of the dwarf kingdom is wonderful, with a myraid of mechanics and treasures that the dwarfs have created (including the famed Ironwood Tree), and Black effortlessly sprinkles in touches of fascinating faery lore. Some things I didn't quite agree with: the dwarfs prove themselves to be quite stupid, considering - 1. They didn't check to see if they had the real Field Guide, 2. They let the twins escape so easily from their cage, and 3. they actually gave weapons to Mulgarath (and their reasons for allying themselves with him are never explained). I've always quite liked dwarfs in the fantasy genre, but these ones are just too idiotic to be likeable.

Also, I was a little disappointed in the children's mother: I would like to think that if my child was accused of threatening a younger child and he pleaded innocent, I would give him the benefit of the doubt and stick up for him. Mrs Grace however is all to ready to believe that her son would do such a thing - shame on her!

However, Tony DiTerlizzi's illustrations just keep getting better and better. The shapeshifter in particular is downright creepy - and Mulgarath is just fantastic. He is obviously evil, but the skill of DiTerlizzi's pen makes you appreciate the work that went into creating him: he is huge, magnificent and regal - and therefore looks quite appealing. The dwarfs are fairly unoriginal in their appearence (short, squat, long beards, etc), but their treasure trove and the frog/bug-like knocker is wonderful.

Even though there sadly are some characters missing (Thimbletack, Hogsqueal, Byron the griffin), there is a hint as to a mystery character that the goblins have captive, and what the children will have to do in order to win the day. I can't wait for book five: "The Wrath of Mulgarath."

5-0 out of 5 stars In Which a Most Horrible Betrayal Occurs
In the most exciting installment yet, the children are taken underground to the Dwarf kingdom. One thing that resonated with me while reading the book was that Dwarves are often mentioned as skilled craftsmen, but there is rarely anything to show just exactly how skilled they are (there are notable exceptions: see Tolkien). I was fascinated with the description of the lock on the cage that Simon and Jared were held in, that to create it the Dwarf had to use a hammer the size of a pin. The author's description of that particular scene, with the lock unlocking, was visceral and real.

Aided by the marvelous illustrations, this is also the scariest book yet. Mulgarath is truly a frightful looking creature, and the ending reveals a most terrible betrayal, which spells certain disaster for the children - and the world - unless the children can think back to "what has gone before". The author knocks us over the head, just in case we missed it, with some considerable foreshadowing by leaving a portrait blacked out - a mysterious hero who may come and save the day in the next book.

It's a shame Mulgarath wasn't introduced earlier. He seems like a highly workable character, but I believe that we will see MUCH of him in the final book, aptly titled "The Wrath of Mulgarath".

Frankly, I can't wait. I wish I hadn't started reading these books until all of them were published!

5-0 out of 5 stars If only....
I'm 14 years old, and I'm addicted to the Spiderwick Chronicles. We bought the first two for my little cousins, and I paged through them while wrapping them. I had to go out and buy my copy! Although they say these books are for the younger ages, I still think that older audiences would enjoy reading this series. They're filled with adventure, wonderful descriptions, and original characters. I highly recommend them for anyone who likes a good light fantasy read. ... Read more

126. I Can Be Safe: A First Look at Safety (First Look at...Series)
by Pat Thomas, Lesley Harker
list price: $5.95
our price: $5.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764124609
Catlog: Book (2003-06)
Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
Sales Rank: 273631
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Book Description

This friendly little book acknowledges kids’ fears and makes them aware of things they need in order to feel safe in different situations. They learn, for instance, to look both ways when crossing a road, to wear special clothing for sports, to know their parents’ names, phone number, and emergency numbers, and many other details. A First Look At… is an easy-to-understand series of books for younger children. Each title explores emotional issues and discusses the questions such difficulties invariably raise among kids of preschool through early school age. Written by a psychotherapist and child counselor, each title promotes positive interaction among children, parents, and teachers. The books are written in simple, direct language that makes sense to younger kids. Each title also features a guide for parents on how to use the book, a glossary, suggested additional reading, and a list of resources. There are attractive full-color illustrations on every page. (Ages 4–7) ... Read more

127. 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

128. Over the Moon : An Adoption Tale
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805050132
Catlog: Book (1997-09-15)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Sales Rank: 3986
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Your baby has been born! She is wonderful. Come quickly and get her."

This is a magical, reassuring story of one adoptive family's beginnings, told in words and pictures that are just right for the youngest child--an ideal story to share with families everywhere.

A long-awaited baby is born, and the adoptive parents who have been dreaming of her fly far, far away to bring her home.
... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, heart-warming book
This is a lovely adoption story, particularly for young children adopted from Central America or South America. The illustrations are beautiful, dynamic and colorful, and the story is gentle and joyous. The story captures the excitement and joy of traveling to bring home an adopted child without dwelling on details, so it is easy to add the specifics of your child's adoption as you read. The book emphasizes the permanence of adoption, and that the child was meant to be the child of the adoptive parents. My 2 year-old daughter, adopted from South America, loves the story, and requests it before nap-time and bed-time.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love this book!
As the mother of a 3-year old adopted from China, I've bought quite a few adoption-related children's books, and I like many of them. But this one I love! Although it's not directly tied to Chinese adoptions, the story is similar to ours (we're a 2-parent family; we adopted a baby; we traveled to get her). The illustrations are lovely and the story captures the happy anticipation we felt as we waited for our child. Most importantly, the author gave me words to use in explaining my daughter's birth to her: "You grew like a flower in another lady's tummy until you were born. The lady couldn't take care of you so Mommy and Daddy came to adopt you and bring you home." I just love those 2 sentences and feel grateful to have them. And my daughter asks me to read this book just about every day!

5-0 out of 5 stars A fun adoption book just right for youngsters
I like the magical urgency expressed in the words of one adoptive family flying 'over the moon and through the night' to pick up their baby and love her 'forever and always.'It is a simple story that can be understood by small children. The illustrations are charming and stress the importance of the family unit.
Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald, author of ADOPTION: An Open, Semi-Open or Closed Practice?

5-0 out of 5 stars Love this Book
This is about the best book we have that deals with how we became a family - hands down! Our daughter was born in China as is our Number #2 daughter who we are expecting any day now. I found alot of the "classics" in the "how we became a family" to be not my cup of tea or piece of crazy cake, as it were."Over the Moon" approaches the "how you were born" subject so beautifully that we felt comfortable reading it to our 3 year old (over and over and over........) and would have felt comfortable reading it to her 2 years ago! A very gentle, happy, gorgeous book!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Story...It could be mine!
As we await the finalization of the adoption of our daughter from Guatemala, I read this book over and over again! I feel as though it tells our story. The illustrations are bright and appealing. I cannot wait to share it with my daughter. A must have for any adoptive family. ... Read more

129. The New Baby
list price: $3.29
our price: $3.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307119424
Catlog: Book (2001-03-07)
Publisher: Golden Books
Sales Rank: 2156
Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this well-loved Little Critter picture book, our funny younghero has to get used to a new baby sister. What a problem. The baby doesn't payattention when Little Critter reads to her. She cries when he makes silly faces.And she can't understand the jokes he tells. It's seems like an impossible task,but Little Critter finally figures out what you CAN do with a new baby -- andbecomes a very good brother. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book for the Big Brother/Sister
This is such a cute book...I found it when looking for some book to get for my son to help him get ready for the arrival of his little sister...what I really liked was how it explained how the baby wouldn't be able to really do anything right away...that was very helpful because of course my son who is 2 thought that his sister would be able to play with him and everything right away...but after reading his books he realized she was going to be a little baby and wouldn't be able to do everything he wanted...he is now very excited for his sister to get here and he loves reading it...he now likes to read it to us...definatly a perfect book for either the Big Brother or the Bid Sister.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best I've Found
After looking at many different books to prepare my 2 year old daughter for a new brother, this was the best one! It didn't get into where babies come from, but more about what a sibling can do with a new baby and what to expect.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for young toddlers
We got this book for our 15 month old when we found out we were having another baby. He absolutely loves this book! He carries it around and even sleeps with it in his crib. Even though he's really young, he is very careful with the thin pages. This book is great!

5-0 out of 5 stars Such a great book for preparing child for new baby!
My son is 16 months old and he loves this book! It has been so helpful in trying to prepare him for becoming a big brother. Even though he is young, we are able to tell him about what babies can and cannot do so he will be ready when his brother arrives. I think out of all the books we bought, we will be able to reinforce more about babies with this book than any of the others. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who needs to prepare a child for a new siblings arrival!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for young kids expecting a new sibling
I bought this book and two others in an attempt to prepare my son for the birth of his sister. He was 22 months when she was born. The other books ordered were too sophisticated for him. This book was a hit - he requested it every night before and after she was born. I liked that it used short simple language to explain what it would be like with the baby around and gave ideas to the older sibling for ways to play with the new baby. The "What to Expect" book and Calliou's book were both not as good. ... Read more

130. A Potty for Me! : A Lift-the-Flap Instruction Manual
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689874235
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: Little Simon
Sales Rank: 108727
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Book Description

Mommy got me a brand new potty!
But I'm not ready yet!
I want to run and play.
Uh-oh, I peed in my pants.
But Mommy says, "That's okay!"

Children will love following along and lifting the flaps to see the child play, sit on thepotty, eat, sit on the potty, sleep, and then sit on the potty...until finally there is success.

Written from a child's point of view, this new potty-training book will help children join in the final refrain, "I'm so proud of me!" ... Read more

131. The Princess and the Potty (Aladdin Picture Books)
by Wendy Lewison
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0689822537
Catlog: Book (1998-12-01)
Publisher: Aladdin
Sales Rank: 14257
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Once upon a time, there was a diaper-wearing princess who wouldn't use her potty. Her royally frustrated parents were beside themselves: what could they do? They pleaded, they demonstrated, they brought in potties from all over the kingdom: pink potties, polka-dotted potties, musical potties, even one that glowed in the dark. But with every new potty, the Princess would only say "Take it away!" and wear her diaper instead.

In this comical look at toilet training, Wendy Cheyette Lewison and Rick Brown turn an all-too-familiar dilemma into a royally funny romp. A must for toddlers and parents trying to keep a sense of humor about toilet training. ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book to motivate toddlers into toilet training!
I feel this book is an excellent tool to aid in the toilet training process. I bought character underpants and a neat potty, but it wasn't until my daughter read about someone else getting their panties, did she take an interest in going to the potty. The princess' experiences resembled her own - i.e. preferred going in her diaper, didn't want to have anything to do with the potty, and her OWN panties excited and motivated her. It helped her to have someone to "relate" to. We still have a ways to go, but I believe this book gave her a step up in the process.

5-0 out of 5 stars No 'special potties' needed! Funny, gets them interested.
As I began reading this book about a little girl whose royal parents buy her every color and pattern potty imaginable to get her to potty train, I was a bit worried my child would begin demanding her own 'pink potty'. However, as you read you discover none of these bribes work with the little girl-she simply doesn't want to (sound familiar? It did for me). Anyway, only the thought of soiling the princess' pretty, new undies gives her the desire to run to the potty in the end. And it is then that she discovers she doesn't need any of those fancy potties, the closest potty will do(which is the plain, old potty)! Now, my daughter couldn't care less about pretty panties when we began to suggest potty training. ... This was her favorite book and it is so cute she actually continued choosing it in her nightly read selections for some time after potty training. ... Anyway, would reccomend this Princess and the Potty to keep the task at hand foremost in their little minds and then one other for more specific step-by-step instructional which can tend to be not as attractive for them to want to read. Good luck! If you stick to it and let them feel the few messes and help clean up, you'll succeed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Our little girl was really reluctant to use the toilet. I found this book really helpful because it showed a little girl having issues using the toilet. At the end there is a lovely picture of a happy little girl sitting on the toilet - very useful.

3-0 out of 5 stars "Less Than Fairy Tale Reactions"
While this story happens "once upon a time," it sure sounds like some contemporary families I know. Princess is a royal - um, challenge who refuses to use her potty. King and Queen worry more about what the neighbors will think and about pleasing the princess than finding an effective solution. Even in my own home, we were overindulgent when training our firstborn on her own little throne (Stickers? Silly songs and dances? Nothing but a royal hassle!).

Since then we have read almost every potty book available on the market (over two dozen!). Most fit into two categories: INSTRUCTIONAL books that introduce the skills needed to master the potty; and those that are primarily ENTERTAINING, for children who understand what is supposed to happen on the potty, but need extra time to make it happen.

This text is more detailed than most, the vocabulary more difficult (with words like chambermaids and pantalettes, for example). But I found Wendy Cheyette Lewison's fairy tale ENTERTAINING. Unfortunately my little ones found it a little too lengthy and lost interest before I reached the end. Too bad. The Princess and the Potty is a delightful read from the once upon a time to the happily ever after.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun and Helpful For Toddlers and Parents
What a great "potty-learning" story! I was a little sceptical when I first saw the title - I thought it sounded silly. But after reading more descriptions and reviews I changed my mind. Boy am I glad I did! My 22 month old daughter loves it and so do I.
The pictures are fantastic and the story is done very well. I like how tactfully it is told. It feels like you are reading just any other fairy tale about a princess but it is nicely wrapped around the potty :-) Great reminders for parents too.

My daughter really gets into this book. She really likes the part where the princess says "This potty doesn't please me, take it away!" And always grins and nods her head sharply. (Maybe it's just the way I read it, but it's cute anyway.)

She loves to sit on the potty with this book and has me read it to her several times a day (esp. at bedtime) and also "reads" it to herself during the day. Unfortunately, though, it is soft cover with paper pages (most of her books are board books) she is pretty good with it but it still gets slightly damaged. I have to be careful to put it away when she is done with it so that it doesn't get trampled or lost under her toys and therefore crumpled.

Definitely a keeper, get it for you and your princess. Great to have in the library. (We also have "The Potty Book for Girls" and "My Potty Book for Girls") ... Read more

132. The Egypt Game (Yearling Newbery)
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Alton Raible
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440422256
Catlog: Book (1986-01-01)
Publisher: Yearling
Sales Rank: 18432
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (145)

5-0 out of 5 stars As wonderful as I remember
I read this book when I was in the fourth grade. (My best friend and I were reading through the shelf of award winners.) She read it next. As soon as she finished the book, we set up our own game, a cross between the Egypt Game and what we'd understood from her older sister's class production of Macbeth. We had hours of fun playing that way, and I loved having a book that showed characters who played imaginatively. (And there aren't that many role models who don't spend all their time on their computers or on the organized sports field these days. See the preceding review from the person who said that she didn't like the way the characters used too much "ammagination." I ordered this book recently to read aloud to my third graders, and they loved it! Now there are several Games going on in our neighborhood. The book was as good as I remembered it.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Egypt Game
Melanie Ross didn't think she and April (the new girl) would get along.
Actually, they become best friends. They have a lot in common. Like they are both crazy about old Egyptian things,they are in the same class, and live in the same apartment.
When they find an empty storage yard behind A-Z shop, owned by the Professor,they get the craziest idea and start the Egypt Game there. After a lot of ceremonies, three more Egyptians join the game. Now there are six Egyptians (Melanie,April,Toby,Marshall (Melanie's brother),Elizabeth,and Ken).
A little girl was murdered and the murderer wasn't found. The kids in the neighborhood cannot play outside until the murderer is found. Strange things happen to the Egyptians and they are in trouble,life risk wise.
I enjoyed the book a lot.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fun read
The Egypt Game is one of my favorite children's books with an Egyptian theme. My absolute favorite would have to be The Cat in the Mirror by Mary Stolz which I highly recommend. It seems that so much of the best Egyptian themed fiction (especially fantasy) is written for children. Another recommendation that comes to mind is Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander

4-0 out of 5 stars EGYPT GAME
excellent book!! the charectors in this book are so realistic, that you feel like you know them. very moving book, humorus... i really recommend this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Egypt Game
The language is a little out dated, as this book was written in 1967. Nonetheless, it's heart is in the right place and it is still a delightful fantasy / fiction story for kids. ... Read more

133. Cliques, Phonies, & Other Baloney
by Trevor Romain
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1575420457
Catlog: Book (1998-09-01)
Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing
Sales Rank: 25571
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Encouraging book for kids trying to do the right thing
Cliques are tough on kids. The ones in cliques feel a false sense of empowerment and the ones outside can feel isolated and powerless.

This books breaks down playground dynamics for kids so they can see the why. If they understand the why maybe recesses won't seem so discouraging.

Wonderful book for kids to read to feel strong and hopeful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
My mom bought me this book yesterday, and I thought it was so good that I finished it within 30 minutes. It really told me a lot about cliques, and friends. I've never been in one, and I wouldn't want to be in one, but I've always been excluded by them, and made fun of, so this was a great book. It told me that even though people in cliques act like they're cool, really they're just looking for a group of people to hang around with so they look tougher.

I think this is a great book for any kid/teenager who is either involved in cliques, or excluded by cliques. This is a great book for both, and a must read for anyone who has met up with cliques and phonies. ... Read more

134. I Love You Like Crazy Cakes
by Rose A. Lewis
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316525383
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 5321
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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Mother-love is profound, however a baby comes into a woman's life. ForRose Lewis, the journey to motherhood begins with a letter to Chinese officials,asking if she can adopt from the "big room with lots of other babies." Theinfants in that room in China are each missing a mother, but Lewis is missingsomething, too--a baby. She travels to China to meet her new little girl andfalls head over heels in love. Taking her baby home to America, Lewis introducesher to all her family and friends, and they begin their life together.

A touching love story, I Love You Like Crazy Cakes will warm the cocklesof any new parent's heart, especially those who have recently adopted a child.It's an ideal story for lap-time reading, and will inspire parents and kids totalk about their own first "meetings," whether at birth or in an adoptionagency. Jane Dyer, illustrator of the bestselling Time for Bed by Mem Fox, Oh My Baby, Little One by KathiAppelt, and many other marvelous picture books, uses a pastel palette ofwatercolors to capture the tender moments between the American mom and herrosy-cheeked Chinese baby. (Ages 3 to 6) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars Heart Warming, Beautifully Illustrated
I am just now beginning the long process of adopting a child from abroad. It will most likely take 1-2 years, and this book will help keep me going when I lose faith.

It is a treasure of a book both for people considering international adoption, and also for those looking at domestic adoption as well. A simple and touching story that tells about the joy all parents feel when meeting their children for the first it through birth or adoption.

This was a truly heartwarming story. Short and easy to read, it's destined to become a bedtime classic.

The illustrations are lovely and a storybook should be.

All in all, a excellent excellent book.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Love This Book Like Crazy Cakes
Rose Lewis opens a window to her heart that makes this book a universal story for anyone who has known a special love. She has accomplished what might seem impossible. It is not only a children's story, but an intensely personal journey that will resonate for anyone of any age who has experienced the magic of falling in love. As you read this to your children, you will think back to the moment when you first held them in your arms, looked into their eyes and forged a life-long bond. At its end you will understand the pure simplicity of true love. The book's illustrations, by Jane Dyer, alone make it worth buying. Its text will bring tears to your eye and warmth to your heart.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for every adopted child's library
A beautiful book; strong loving feelings are projected from the mother to her daughter. The positives of adoption are explained with empathy for the child's situation. Children reading this will feel proud of their origins, whilst feeling safe and secure in the care and love of their parents. Beautiful illustrations reflect the texts message of love and bonding between mother and daughter.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good For Single Adoptive Mothers
I enjoyed this book, but think that it is especially appropriate for single adoptive women. The adoptive mother is mentioned, but not an adoptive father or adoptive partner. The book is adorable, no matter what the adoptive parental situation is, but if you are a single adoptive mom, you MUST get this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Addition to Any Family's Library
One of my favorite roles as a parent is introducing my children to families of many types. In "I Love You Like Crazy Cakes", my children can understand that sometimes Mommys and Babies become a family by being united via airplanes and adoption officials and guess what? The amazing love is the same.

I especially loved that the author shared the gratitude and love for the "other" mother who provided the gift of this baby into her life. Beautifully stated and at times, overlooked.

The illustrations must be mentioned also: they are stunningly beautiful with the emotions of the subjects literally entering my heart from the page. ... Read more

135. Dear Mr. Henshaw (Cleary Reissue)
by Beverly Cleary
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380709589
Catlog: Book (2000-06-30)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Sales Rank: 27305
Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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When, in second grade, Leigh writes to an author to tell him how muchhe "licked" his book, he never suspects that he'll still be writing to him four years later. And he never imagines the kinds of things he'll be writing about:

Dear Mr. Henshaw, I am sorry I was rude in my last letter... Maybe I was mad about other things, like Dad forgetting to send this month's support payment. Mom tried to phone him at the trailer park where, as Mom says, he hangs his hat.
It's not easy being the new kid in town, with recently divorced parents, nodoganymore, and a lunch that gets stolen every day (all the "good stuff," anyway). Writingletters, first to the real Mr. Henshaw, and then in a diary to a pretend Mr. Henshaw, may be just what he needs.

This Newbery Medal-winning book, by the terrifically popular and prolific Beverly Cleary (Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Runaway Ralph), exhibits a subtlety and sensitivity that will be appreciated by any youngster who feels lonely and troubled during the transition into adolescence. Winner of numerous other awards, including two Newbery Honors, Cleary teams up with Caldecott winner Paul O. Zelinsky, who creates a quiet backdrop for the realistic characters. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

Reviews (94)

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good
A classic story that many children in today's society can really relate to with the rising divorce rate. Leigh speaks on their level, simply looking for some one to reach out to.

Dear Mr. Henshaw is a great book for kids that are having troubles with their life, like everyday children. Reading this book as an adult I associated it with my personal life. Leigh has problems with his parent's divorce, he hates not being able to see his dad. This leads him to a lot of emotional stress. Through this mess one of his teachers makes him write a letter to his favorite author. Leigh writes Mr. Henshaw a letter that asks him all sorts of questions about himself. After this the two of them write back and forth for a couple of years. This relationship gives Leigh confidence in himself when Mr. Henshaw tells Leigh that he should keep a journal. This journal allows Leigh to get his feelings out. Things stop bothering Leigh so much and by the end of the book he starts to enjoy his life more. This book is really good for an upper elementary child, and can even for an adult. Simplistic artwork for the cover, which demonstrates that this story is about an average boy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Young Student Copes With Life By Writing Fan Letters
"Dear Mr. Henshaw" is mostly a collection of letters a young boy, Leigh Botts, sends to his favorite author, Mr. Boyd Henshaw, over a four-year period. By the 6th grade, Leigh is a regular fan. In his letters, Leigh describes his confusion at home over his parent's divorce and being friendless and picked on at his new school. After receiving some tips about writing from Mr. Henshaw, Leigh soon begins his own diary and learns how cathartic writing can be for him. He even wins a writing contest and meets "a real live author" who congratulates him and encourages him to keep writing.

It's no wonder "Dear Mr. Henshaw" won the Newbery Award in 1984. Although an entire book devoted to fan letters and diary entries might not excite some younger readers, Mrs. Cleary somehow makes this book very appealing and relative to children. There are also several illustrations done by Paul O. Zelinksy for those who enjoy drawings and not just writing. I remember reading "Dear Mr. Henshaw" when I was a kid and would highly recommend it to other children around seven and up.

5-0 out of 5 stars How I felt about this book
I am a student at West Virginia State University, and read this book for my Children's Literature class. Our assignment was to select a Newbery winner and report on it. When I selected this book I wasn't aware it was going to have such an affect on me. I am from a divorced family and if I would have had something like this to read when I was younger I may have learned ways to cope with what I was going through. I recommend this book to all children whether their parents are divorced or not. This book will also prepare them with what is going on in others lives. Sometimes children aren't as considerate with their peers as they should be. I enjoyed this book, and I know you will too!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Book For 5th Graders
Wow, what a great book for fifth Graders! The book "Dear Mr. Henshaw" by Beverly Cleary is about a boy named Leigh Botts. Leigh moves to a new town with his mother. His parents are divorced and he is lonely. Leigh writes a letter to his favorite author Mr. Henshaw. He askes Mr. Henshaw lots of questions and Mr. Henshaw writes him back. Leigh begins to write to Mr. Henshaw all of the time because it helps him figure out his own feelings. He becomes a better writer for this. Leigh enters a writing contest and the winner gets to meet a famous writer. Do you think he will win the contest? Do you think that famous writer could be Mr. Henshaw? Do you think that Leigh will make new friends at his new school? Will Leigh's parents get back together? All of these questions can be answered by reading this great book.

3-0 out of 5 stars this book was ok
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary was an ok book. Its all about an 11 year old boy named Leigh Botts and what he writes in his letters and journal. The letters are to Mr. Henshaw an author of "Ways to Amuse a Dog." Leigh is having a tough time because his parents are going through a divorce and he needs someone to talk to. Leigh finds out that someone is stealing his lunch every day. So he makes an alarm for his lunchbox. Leigh also has a dog named bandit who stays with his dad who is a trucker. and Leigh stays with his mom. this book was ok. I would not recommend it. ... Read more

136. Remember : The Journey to School Integration
by Toni Morrison
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 061839740X
Catlog: Book (2004-05-03)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 40280
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Book Description

Toni Morrison has collected a treasure chest of archival photographs that depict the historical events surrounding school desegregation. These unforgettable images serve as the inspiration for Ms. Morrison"s text—a fictional account of the dialogue and emotions of the children who lived during the era of "separate but equal" schooling. Remember is a unique pictorial and narrative journey that introduces children to a watershed period in American history and its relevance to us today. Remember will be published on the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision ending legal school segregation, handed down on May 17, 1954. ... Read more

137. Whale Talk (Laurel Leaf Books)
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440229383
Catlog: Book (2002-12-10)
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Sales Rank: 49730
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There’s bad news and good news about the Cutter High School swim team. The bad news is that they don’t have a pool. The good news is that only one of them can swim anyway. A group of misfits brought together by T. J. Jones (the J is redundant), the Cutter All Night Mermen struggle to find their places in a school that has no place for them. T.J. is convinced that a varsity letter jacket–exclusive, revered, the symbol (as far as T.J. is concerned) of all that is screwed up at Cutter High–will also be an effective tool. He’s right. He’s also wrong. Still, it’s always the quest that counts. And the bus on which the Mermen travel to swim meets soon becomes the space where they gradually allow themselves to talk, to fit, to grow. Together they’ll fight for dignity in a world where tragedy and comedy dance side by side, where a moment’s inattention can bring lifelong heartache, and where true acceptance is the only prescription for what ails us. ... Read more

Reviews (57)

4-0 out of 5 stars Whale Talk
Chris Crutcher builds a story about challenging the status quo and finding the common humanity that unites those who believe they are alone in the world. The Tao, or T.J., grows up in Washington where racism dominates the town. T.J. attends Cutter High School where they are known for their respectable athletic program. One of the prize symbols to wear is an athletic jacket earned in a sport. Mike Baubour, a known enemy of T.J., tries to prevent Chris, less fortunate than many, from wearing his dead brother's letter jacket. T.J. fights to organize a male swim team. After he finds his teammates, including Chris, he sets up the criteria for earning a letter. This stirs up controversy among the Athletic Council, and finally come to a conclusion: each swimmer must better there time every meet to earn a letter. T.J.'s determination throughout the novel sets him above the pride of Cutter's athletic program and sets him in each teammates pride. T.J. is determined to achieve success for each one of his teammates, which would equal success to him. This book shows great teamwork, pride, and success when not everything comes easy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Whale Talk
The book Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher is a wonderful book for all religions and races. That is because in the book T.J. is black, Japanese, and white, but in school he is mostly considered black. One day T.J. spots all-school jock Mike Barbour picking on Chris Coughlin, a retard whose dead brother is the best athlete in the school ever, for wearing his brother Brian's letter jacket. So, T.J. decides that he will get Chris a jacket of his own. He does that be creating a swim team. Meanwhile T.J. is visiting a woman who helps kids with family problems. T.J has become more of a teacher than a student. He gets involved with a father that really dislikes T.J. The daughter adores T.J. so the family, minus the father moves in with them. T.J.'s family continues to get a lot of hang up calls which they know is the father. In the swimming world, T.J. gets 6 unique guys to go out for the team. T.J. is by far the best swimmer. The team gets a practice facility and an interim coach, Icko who lives at the workout place, until the teacher Simet can get permission. Practices are hard, but usefull as the team improves greatly. The team does horrible in the season, except for T.J. who wins the 50 meter and the 100 meter at regoinals. The team keeps on getting questions on weather swimming is a sport which might deny their privilege to a Cutter jacket. The book ends with many controversial decisions made by both sides. I believe the author, Chris Crutcher wrote about the book to teach the world about racism. He wants to show how it is tearing the modern world apart. Whale Talk is a wonderful book for teens and adults. Children should not be allowed to read the book because of some profane language and sexual harasment. They also will not get the idea about racism and prejudice. Teens, on the other hand, will understand the book and it will teach them about modern conflicts. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher is a wonderful for teens and adults.

5-0 out of 5 stars Got a whale of a tale to tell you friends...
A good book rises above its own premise. Reading a short synopsis of this story without knowing anything about it beyond its plot could easily suggest to the average viewer that it's going to be awful. Think about it. A multi-racial protagonist and his motley crew of rag tag misfits puts together an unlikely swim team and everybody learns a little bit about what it's like to walk in another person's shoes. Bleaugh! That's the kind of After School Special plotting that can get a book seriously ignored by its intended audience. Now I had never read a Chris Crutcher book coming into this. Frankly, I know the man has a reputation for producing darned good books. Then I read "Whale Talk" and found, to my incredible relief, that this was not really a book about a swim team. It's about the circle of abuse and the amount of control an individual has over his or her own actions. It's about hurting other people and what the cost of that can be. In short, the book takes amazingly gigantic themes, renders them bite size, and gives them humanity and humor. It's the humor part that really impressed me.

T.J. Jones (actual name The Tao Jones... pronounce it, I dare you) is probably one of three people of color in his small Washington town. Adopted by his parents when he was a seriously abused toddler, T.J.'s a pretty well put together kid. That's probably in no small part due to his amazing mom and dad and his fantastic (some might say godlike) child therapist, Georgia. Which isn't to say that T.J.'s life is bereft of odd problems. His favorite teacher, Simet, is trying to lure T.J. into helping him start a school swim team. There are a couple problems with this plan. For one thing, T.J. refuses to join any organized sports. Cutter High School is run by and for its jocks. These jocks have been trying for years (unsuccessfully) to get T.J. onto one of their teams. Also, the school has no swimming pool. So T.J. isn't exactly thrilled about the idea of getting roped into this situation until he sees some of the local heavies beating up a mentally handicapped kid because he refuses to stop wearing his dead jock brother's letter jacket. Suddenly our hero has a mission, and the mission is clear. To create a swim team comprised of the kind of guys who otherwise could never be able to get involved in an organized sport. Even better, he's going to get each and every one of them a letter jacket.

This is just the barest of outlines describing this book. T.J. has a lot going on in his life and this includes his father's guilt about accidentally killing a toddler some thirty years before, a girl who tries continually to wash her skin clean of pigment, her psychotic father who is both a wife abuser and T.J.'s enemy, and a team that becomes closer as their problems become clearer. This is truly a book written about a man for men. Which isn't to say that girls won't love this tale, or that it's bereft of strong female characters. In fact, Crutcher is especially good at balancing women who've been abused in the past with their far stronger counterparts. No, when I say that this is a boy book, I'm referring to the fact that the central focus of this story rests squarely on the male swimming team. Sure, T.J. has a girlfriend but her presence in this story is probably just to prove to the viewer that he's a well adjusted guy with a well adjusted gal. Honestly, his relationship is not the focus of this tale. And that's kinda refreshing.

I think what I liked best about this book was that it recognized that behind every crazed idiot, there's a reason they act the way they do. Crutcher isn't the best young adult writer that knows about abuse (that honor belongs squarely to Alex Flinn) but he comes close. A person could learn more from reading this book about the cyclical nature of violence than they would from almost any other source. I'm praising the book beautifully, but it's not without the occasional flaw. Consider, for example, the character of Tay-Roy. This is a bodybuilder that joins the team and has, basically, no real personality. As far as I could determine, everything Tay-Roy does could have been accomplished by T.J. They're similar in every respect, except that Tay-Roy's slightly better looking. It's odd that Crutcher would have kept himself from omitting extraneous characters like this one, but as flaws go, this one's pretty minimal. The worst I can say is that it slightly derails the flow of the text. Big whoop.

What Crutcher has as a writer that puts him heads and tails above and beyond his peers (some, at any rate) is his sense of humor. You cannot dislike a book where the main character is named The Tao Jones. You just can't. I mentioned that I think that Alex Flinn is the all-powerful guru of abused teens, but what Crutcher doesn't have in superior knowledge he makes up for in funnies. I'm sick and tired of all the deadly depressing books out there. If every writer could fill their texts with half as much pleasurable writing as Mr. C, I'd have a heckuva harder time figuring out which book to read next. In the end, "Whale Talk" accomplishes that mighty difficult task of being a good book about a near impossible subject. Abuse. Whether or not you agree that Crutcher wrote about this topic with the correct amount of respect, you have to admit he wrote about it well. I tip my hat to the man who's books I will now have to devour one by one to satiate my now uncontrollable young adult literature craving. Such is life.

5-0 out of 5 stars english project
Picture your high school's outcasts, the kids no one talks to and no one really knows. Now imagine if you heard that this motley crew was about to become your high school's new varsity swim team. The same kids who are picked last for every team in gym, who has never been seen near the weight room or the track, who are the last people you would imagine wearing your high school letter jackets. Despite his natural athletic ability, the main character T. J. has always shunned Cutter High School's sports teams because, as he says, "something inside me recoils at being told what to do, and that doesn't sit well with most coaches, who are paid to do exactly that." However, when a favorite teacher asks him to help start a swim team at Cutter, T. J. sees an opportunity to turn the school's narrow idea of what an athlete is, privileged, good-looking, white, and male on its head.
Chris Crutcher is an excellent writer that keeps you reading. I could not put the book down. The reason why I liked the book so much is that it is dramatic, had a good conflict and kept me reading. Whale Talk is an awesome book that I would recommend to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars GRIPPING!!!
I recently read Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. It's about a boy, T.J. Jones, who gets together a group of misfits and outcasts to join a swimming team. As usual in Chris Crutcher's books, there's another story behind the sport.
When I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. Crutcher grabs you in this story with ways that sometimes you wouldn't think possible or interesting. He puts together real problems, not just he said-she said stuff, but things much more realistic. This book is definitly worth reading!!! ... Read more

138. The Tiger Rising
by Kate Dicamillo
list price: $5.99
our price: $5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0763618985
Catlog: Book (2002-07-01)
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Sales Rank: 7317
Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Approx. 2 hours
2 cassettes

From the best-selling author of Because of Winn-Dixie comes the moving story of an eleven-year-old-boy, Rob Horton, who finds a caged tiger in the woods behind the hotel where he lives with his father.With the help of his new friend, Sistine Bailey, Rob must decide what to do with his discovery and at the same time come to terms with his past.
... Read more

Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars Book Review:The Tiger Rising
Tiger Rising, by Kate DiCamillo, is about a girl named Sistine who has just moved to a town in Florida, and meets a boy named Rob. Rob doesn't have to go to school for a while because he has a rash on his leg. One day he is out in the woods and he finds a tiger. The owner of the Kentucky Star Motel, where he is living, pays him to feed the tiger. Rob shows Sistine and she thinks he should let it go. In the end Rob ends up letting his emotions out of his "suitcase" that have been closed up for years. This book is about Rob finding himself. I thought it was a great book. I loved how Kate DiCamillo created the characters. They weren't really described very much, but you could picture them in your head. I really enjoyed reading this book. I'm sure you will to.

5-0 out of 5 stars almost as good as the first one
The book The Tiger Rising is an excellent book.It is about how this kid named Rob finds a tiger in a cage in the woods who meets someone and becomes best freinds.One of the friends wants to free the tiger. This book
is recommended for grades 3rd to 5th.The characters have a lot of emotion. The author's style makes the book more interesting.This book is good for people who like characters that are always changing their minds about something. The Tiger Rising has characters that are very willing to save something.This book's author has many books relating to The Tiger Rising.

5-0 out of 5 stars AGAIN AND AGAIN
Kate DiCamillo has done it again. Along the same lines as "Because of Winn-Dixie" this story gets deep into the heart of it's main character.

As a media specialist, I highly recommend ALL of DiCamillo's books. Buy them, check them out at a library, borrow them. Whatever you have to do...just read them. WONDERFUL!

4-0 out of 5 stars Tiger Rising
Rob Horton, a young, brave boy who is about to find something amazing in his life. As he lives in the "Kentucky Star Motel" with his dad, and he finds a tiger in the back of the Motel. A new person comes to his scool, called Sistine, and they both become best friends. Together they go and visit the tiger after school everyday. Whenone day they let the tiger out of his cage and the tiger runs to the motel. When they hear screams and shoots of a gun they knew what happened. The best friends learn what its like to lose something close to them, and how to get through it.
"Tiger Rising" is a great book of family, bravery, and friendship. Dicamillo keeps you reading this book. Dicamilo also has you visualize whats happening in the book. I learned what it was like to lose something close to you. From this book I also learned what frindship really is.
"Tiger Rising" is an exciting, page-turning book. I would recomend this book to anyone who likes an exciting, page-turning book. Also to someone who like's when they can visualize whats happening in in the story. And a story with friendship and family.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Tiger Rising
Title of Book: The Tiger Rising
By: Kate DiCamillo
Reviewed by: R. Gabayeron
Period: 5

The book The Tiger Rising is about a young boy named Rob Horton getting used to his surroundings after this mother died. Everyday on the school bus, his two brothers always tease him. Their names are Billy and Norton Threemonger. One day before the bus arrived, Rob went out into the woods and discovered a tiger locked in a cage. On that same day, there was a new girl named Sistine Bailey. At school, Rob was called into the office because the principal was concerned about something he had on his legs. The principal told him that his parents thought what was on his leg was contagious. He gave Rob a note to give to his father. Rob's father disagreed with what was on the note. While Rob wasn't at school, he did a lot of woodcarvings and helped his father. When his father didn't need any help, Rob helped Willie May, the housekeeper. Rob told Sistine Bailey about the tiger, and she wanted to free him. Rob wasn't sure it was the right thing to do. Beauchamp, the owner of the motel (where Rob lives) gives him the keys to the cage to feed the tiger everyday. Later on, Rob asks Willie May if he should free the tiger and she told him about her bird and when she let it free. Her bird died and it reminded Rob when his dad shot a bird. When Rob and Sistine freed the tiger, it ended up dying because Rob's father wanted to protect him. They had a funeral for the tiger, and everyone had some words to say. Sistine said a poem about him. Rob went back to school with Sistine and they became best friends.

I thought the book was okay because Rob and Sistine freed the tiger, but it died. "It ain't our tiger to let go," said Rob. This showed that Rob didn't touch things that weren't his. In one part of the book, Rob was scared to let the tiger out because he thought it might eat him. Sistine told Rob that it wouldn't eat them unless it was hungry. At the end, Rob let the tiger out because he wanted it to be free.

"You want to get introduced proper?" said Beauchamp. Beauchamp, the owner of the motel, asked Rob to feed the tiger everyday. Rob asked him if he was going to free the tiger. Beauchamp said he might sell it or just kill it and make a coat out of the skin. The owner didn't seem to care about the tiger. Beauchamp told Rob to keep the tiger a secret, but he told Sistine and Willie May.

My favorite part of the book was when Beauchamp gave Rob the keys to the cage of the tiger. This was my favorite part because Rob told Sistine that he got the keys. Sistine was so excited and then they freed the tiger. The sad part was when the tiger died and they gave it a funeral. Everyone loved the tiger very much. Rob's father was sorry to kill the tiger. He just wanted to protect his son. ... Read more

139. At Home in This World, A China Adoption Story
by Jean MacLeod
list price: $15.95
our price: $13.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0972624414
Catlog: Book (2003-09-04)
Publisher: EMK Press
Sales Rank: 29899
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"I am nine years old and someone a lot like you. Part of my life has been like a puzzle needing pieces, but I am understanding more about myself and my life everyday. This is my story..."
So begins the honest, lyrical reflection of a pre-adolescent girl on what she knows of her adoption from China, and the strength she gains from her acceptance of her bittersweet experience.
The book addresses the underlying feelings and emotions that color the world of the China adoptee. At Home in This World effectively describes and empowers a young girl looking for acknowledgement, empathy and emotional validation. It also enables pre-teen readers to put their early lives into perspective, while emphasizing the supportive love that encircles them within their own families.
What is your life story? Everyone has a one, and with a little detective work you will be certain that no one has a life story as extraordinary as your own...
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Takes the child's feelings into account
There are at least two things that make this book stand out from the growing field of literature about adoption from China: it is told from the perspective of a child, rather than an adult, and it takes into account the sad feelings, as well as the happy ones that we parents remember so well.

In her introduction, the author (a mother of two girls from China) describes how she first put together an adoption story that emphasized all the wonderful things about adoption including a " heavy on adoption-day photographs." Then she realized that "The relentlessly positive spin I chose to put on my girls' pre-adoption birth story was confusing to my daughters, who recognized buried feelings that didn't always parallel mine." She found that she needed to address and legitimize these feelings.

This is not to say that the book is sad. The young narrator tries to make sense of why her birthparents would leave her, she wonders what they look like, she notes that she looks like a "confused little baby" in her adoption video, and she talks about early dreams she had of being lost after she went to sleep at night. She says "I understand all of these things in my head, but it is so much harder to understand in my heart." She concludes her story by saying that she is bringing her sides together ..."One girl from two places who is growing up to be at home in this big, wide world."

After the story, the author includes some information at questions that parents and children can discuss after they read the book.

The book is illustrated with charming watercolors by Qin Su, a native of China. They have a fresh, direct quality to them.

This belongs on adoptive parents' bookshelf along with Mommy Far, Mommy Near by Carol Antoinette Peacock and Kids Like Me in China by Yin Ying Fry.

5-0 out of 5 stars At Home in the World
I highly recommend this book, especially for pre-teen children who are just beginning to think more deeply about issues raised by international adoption. The watercolors are beautiful, the concept is excellent and the narrative well written and very strong. At Home in This World will help older children think about the issues surrounding their abandonment and adoption and may help many of them articulate their own ideas and feelings. I especially like that this story is told through the voice of an older child rather than an omniscient narrator or parent. It invites the reading child to identify with the narrator and leaves room for the child to spin the story as she wishes. An important contribution to the emerging literature written for internationally-adopted children.

5-0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS!
I think the best way to share the impact of this book is to relate the following--after I read the book to my daughter, Jaclyn, who was adopted at the age of 4 from China, she silently cluctched the book to her chest and then placed it in the pile of "treasures" she has. Needless to say the book had a powerful impact. This book was very needed as there was truly a void in books that help the slightly older girls express "their" story. Jean did a fabulous job in doing this and in conveying, as part of the education guide, the importance of helping our kids relate and understand their stories. The book also has captivating photos and is truly a treasure!!! I can't recommend it highly enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars An essential book for children adopted internationally
From the moment my own adopted daughter said, "I don't look like anyone in my family", I realized again the importance of explaining her story in words that she could understand and take to heart. "At Home in this World" is the book that so many adoptive parents have been waiting for.....a story told in words that children can truly understand. The main character writes: "Part of my life has been like a puzzle needing pieces, but I am understanding more about myself and my life everyday." Our adopted children want this more than understand their stories and how their lives began. "At Home in this World" is the perfect book to help an adopted child know that there are others feeling the same way they are. It doesn't downplay the very real feelings that adoptees often have about not being able to know their birthparents or wishing they looked like their new family. It is honest and genuine. I found it to be a very empowering book for my daughter, showing her that it is okay to speak openly about the truth that she did indeed have a life before adoption.

After reading this book, my almost five year old daughter and I were in the car with a whole vanful of teens. My daughter turned to my son's friend and said, "see my brown eyes? My birthparents gave them to me." "At Home in this World" was an important book that helped show my daughter that she has her own story to tell, one that has both loss and joy, and one that she can indeed be proud to call her own. I can't recommend it more highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars At Home In This World
This is the book I've been waiting for. Jean MacLeod has so eloguently put to words the thoughts and feelings of my own daughters who were adopted from China. There has been a large void in the adoption book industry, but this book now fills it! Written in the first person, At Home In This World, is the narrative of a 9 year old girl who was adopted from China as an infant, trying now to make sense of her past, and to understand her feelings of the present. Just as my own daughters struggle to make sense of their lives from long ago in China, and now as part of our family, so does the child in this book. The author has normalized those feelings and thus helps the adopted girls of China to see that ALL their feelings about their journey are normal and perfectly fine to have. I love this book, and will buy a copy for both of my daughters. This is a book for them to treasure, and to someday share with their own children, as they describe the journey they have lived. ... Read more

140. Big Mouth & Ugly Girl
by Joyce Carol Oates
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0064473473
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: HarperTempest
Sales Rank: 40079
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Big Mouth

No I did not. I did not, I did not. I did not say those things, and I did not plan those things. Won't It anyone believe me?

Ugly Girl

All right, Ugly Girl made a mistake. I'd told my mom what I'd heard in the cafeteria, and she'd told Dad. Evidently. I'd thought for sure they would want me to speak up for the truth.

... Read more

Reviews (41)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Mouth that cried Wolf
The Young Adult book field is not one that comes to mind when I think of the body of Joyce Carol Oates'work. Yet here it is from the prolific Oates, "Big Mouth and Ugly Girl."
BMUG chronicles the high school and family life of Ursula Riggs(known to herself as "Ugly Girl") and Matt Donaghy (Big Mouth).
The plot is very simple and up-to-date newspaper headline-wise as Matt is accused of plotting to blow up his high school and Ursula, though heretofore not a friend of Matt's, comes to his rescue out of a sterling sense of "what is right."
Both Ursula and Matt suffer from what most of us suffered in high school: self-esteem problems, not feeling part of any group, hating our parents and siblings, etc.
Oates,being the master craftswman that she is, takes this rather tepid plot and fills it with telling details of both Matt's and Ursula's life after the accusation which sets the plot in motion:"It was like Matt had been wounded somwhere on his body he couldn't see, and the wound was visible to others, raw and ugly. When they looked at him, they saw just the wound. They weren't seeing Matt Donaghy any longer."
Under normal high school clique circumstances Matt and Ursula would have never made a connection. But through Ursula's sense of what is right and her acting upon it; and despite her parents objections, Ursula and Matt become a couple.
The moral of the story is simple but definitely needs restating to teenagers, but not only to teenagers, especially when it is restated in the glorious, tight and controlled prose of Joyce Carol Oates.
What Oates has done is pare down her gorgeous style to the bare minimum of words necessary to convey a mood, a thought or an emotion. What lessons and morals are to be learned can be easily picked off like so many berries off a tree. But in no way whatsoever does the storytelling seem didactic or obvious or over-simplified.
Joyce Carol Oates has fashioned a novel for teenagers brimming over with morality and resposibilty but has done it in a way that does not talk down to her specific audience. All of we Oates fans need not be wary of this book as it is wriiten on the highest level of craftsmanship and deserves a special place in the oeuvre of one of our finest contemporary writers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Bookreview Big Mouth & Ugly Girl
The young adult novel "Big Mouth & Ugly Girl" by Joyce Carol Oates is about a popular boy named Matt and an outsider-girl named Ursula.
Matt has got many friends, gets good marks and he often makes people laugh about his jokes. Ursula has got only some false friends in her basketball team. She is an outsider and likes to do everything alone. Because of a bad accusation Matt and Ursula find together and the plot rises... .
Both characters are real-life characters. Ursula is a moody but self-confident girl who does not care about pretty High School stuff. Matt is known and liked by a lot of people. Matt is not the best looking guy but in spite of his brainy and comic manner he writes for the school newspapers and is the vice president of the school. To my mind Joyce Carol Oates' intention is to make the people understand and to persuade the reader not to leave your friends whatever will happend. And that you should fight against all prejudices in every case!

My personal opinion is that the book and the contents is easy to understand. The author used a simple sentence structure and hardly colloquial language. I think the novel can be read easy alone at home for example. Another possibility is that you read the novel in groups or in classes. All in all the story is not as exciting as a oscar-nominated movie but the plot and its development is interesting and often change unexpected.
I liked to read the book very much, you should try it, too!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good romantic tale
First off, from the descriptions in the book, the "Ugly Girl" in this novel really doesn't sound all that ugly to me. She's tall. She's athletic. She's a tomboy. And if the girl on the cover is supposed to represent what she looks, she's actually not too bad looking.

All in all, the Amazon review is pretty on target. Matt and Ursula are great, full blooded characters. The supporting characters are not. In a sense, the book is about these characters in a sort of vacuum. And the climax and ending of the story has some of the most purely romantic scenes of any book I've read, because it's real. Their relationship feels honest. When the sentiment comes, it's believable rather than sappy. A nice romantic tale for teens--male or female.

5-0 out of 5 stars Baskkeettball!!
I first picked this book up because of the title. How interesting and unusual the title was. I started reading it, and got extremely bored. But, it didn't stop me. I read on to learn that Ursula (ugly girl) was a lot like me in various ways. I had a keen love for basketball, and so did she. She always tried her best in basketball, but sometimes it wasn't enough. Her parents didn't come watch her games; they didn't really care.

The book switches sides and introduces you to Matt. Matt is a friendly guy who is the "Big Mouth" in reference to the title. Matt makes a joke that he's going to blow up the school, which is overheard, and a dispute calls out. Matt is in serious trouble, not only with his higher school authorities, but the police.

Matt is well-liked, popular and interestingly funny. Ursula is...well ugly. Urusula stands up for Matt, which surprises him, because he hasn't ever talked to Urusula. He tries sending her e-mails, chickens out a lot, but soon befriends Urusula.

Urusula's parents tell her to stay away from Matt. They stereotype him as a "Bad, horrible" kid, not knowing that his mis doings were unintentional. Urusula and Matt start hanging out together more and more. Matt's life is turned upside down, and Urusula helps him through the horible times.

I believe anyone would enjoy this short story. The book is so simple, but it rewards you with so much more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crouching MOuth hidden Ugly
Big Mouth, and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates is an excellent book. This book is a perfect example of not "Judging a book by its cover or title." In the beginning I had absolutely no intention of checking this book out. I mean the title to me was pretty dumb. I had my heart set on Lance Armstrong's autobiography, but it was checked out. I then went to find Silent to the Bone, but that was also checked out. At this point all the books that I really wanted to read were gone and I was getting desperate. I had no choice, but to borrow this book and see what happens. Fortunately, this book was just outstanding. The whole entire book really appeals to teenagers and the types of things they go through.
Even so, the thing that I liked most about this book was that the author really made it appealing to teenagers. I was really able to relate to Matt and Ursula, which made the book even more fun to read. For example, I was able to relate to the pressures that their parents gave them to do certain things or how their friends left them when something bad happened. Therefore, this book is very well written and worthwhile to read. It teaches you a lot about friendship, loyalty, and doing the right thing. ... Read more

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