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    $5.99 $2.95
    1. Tangerine
    $11.53 $9.99 list($16.95)
    2. Last Shot : A Final Four Mystery
    $17.95
    3. Speed Improvement for Young Athletes:
    $5.50 $1.95
    4. Stone Fox
    $3.99 $2.00
    5. Hour Of The Olympics (Magic Tree
    $6.29 $2.94 list($6.99)
    6. Maniac Magee
    $5.39 $1.95 list($5.99)
    7. In the Year of the Boar and Jackie
    $5.36 $0.74 list($5.95)
    8. Arthur's Family Vacation - With
    $5.40 $2.50 list($6.00)
    9. Baseball in April and Other Stories
    $9.99 $6.24
    10. Sasha Cohen: Fire on Ice : Autobiography
    $5.99 $3.68
    11. Whale Talk (Laurel Leaf Books)
    $10.85 $7.77 list($15.95)
    12. Duck on a Bike
    $5.39 $1.49 list($5.99)
    13. The Million Dollar Kick
    $4.95 $0.10
    14. On the Court with... Venus and
    $10.87 list($15.99)
    15. Abner & Me (Baseball Card
    $4.99 $3.17
    16. On the Court With... Shaquille
    $5.39 $1.00 list($5.99)
    17. The Contender
    $11.53 $6.48 list($16.95)
    18. Babar's Yoga for Elephants
    $11.53 $11.27 list($16.95)
    19. H Is for Home Run: A Baseball
    $3.99 $0.99
    20. Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping (I

    1. Tangerine
    by Edward Bloor
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0439286034
    Catlog: Book (2001-06-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic Signature
    Sales Rank: 7848
    Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Paul Fisher¹s older brother has always been the football-playing hero of the family. But when the Fishers move to Tangerine, Florida, Paul enters a place where weird is normal. And suddenly the blind can see. TANGERINE as named a 1997 American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, an ALA Top-Ten Best Book, a Horn Book Fanfare Book, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and an Edgar Award Nominee. ... Read more

    Reviews (311)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Tangerine
    Peter Pan
    Genre = Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
    Tangerine
    Edward Bloor
    6th - 8th grade

    Paul Fisher is a 12 year old boy who has just recently moved with his family from Houston, TX to Tangerine,FL. The town is smaller then Houston and the people seem all the same. Paul's older brother Erik, the star football player, finds himself right at home in Tangerine because of the extreme passion for football in the area. Paul feels that his parents pay more attention to Erik than they do to him and his soccer career. Paul attempts to play for his school soccer team but because of his visual impairment, supposedly involving an incident where Paul stared at an eclipse, he is not able to play. When Paul sees the oppurtunity to go to a new school he jumps at it. When he starts befriending people at his new school, a downward spiral of unspeakable events begins to unfold. If you want to find out what happens to Paul and his family, read Tangerine by Edward Bloor.

    I would recommend this book very much to anyone looking for a good story full of rich imagery. This story shows people how it is to be visually impaired and tells a great story all the while. **** out of ***** stars. Also this book can be used in the classroom too. It is a good way to teach description and metaphor to your students. Because of the great character building, you can also do a character analysis activity with it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Tangerine
    Tangerine, by Edward Bloor, is a novel that is not like any book I'v ever read. It tells the story of Paul Fisher, a seventh-grader who has just moved form Houston to Tangerine County, Florida. Paul is legally blind- he has to wear "Coke-bottle" glasses so that he can see. His parents tell people that Paul's eyes were damaged because he didn't listen and stared at a solar eclipse too long. Paul has always been overshadowed by his older brother Erik, placekicker extrodinare. He plays a part in the "Erik Fisher Football Dream"- but just what his part is remains to be seen.

    When Paul moves to Tangerine, everything is different. Lightning knows where to strike. Schools get sucked up by sinkholes. People get killed- and no one really does anything about it. With the help of some friends, Paul sees the truth in things that other people seem blind to. Can Paul finally shake off the shadow of his older brother? In Tangerine, anything is possible.

    Edward Bloor's first novel is well written and the plot keeps moving, keeping you constantly interested. I would reccommend it to any young adult looking for a good read.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Let down by the touted Tangerine. WARNING: SPOILERS!
    I finally read this after having many people recommend it to me. I was pretty disappointed in the book for several reasons. One, I did not find the writing that great. I felt it needed to be edited, probably by 100 pages or so. There are so many repetitive passages, such as Paul trying to remember over and over how he became legally blind as a small child. Also, the plot wanders at many times, with too many quirks. Mud fires, lightning, and sinkholes all occur in this small town much too frequently, leading the reader to wonder, *WHY* would anyone ever move there?!

    The main reason I was disappointed in the book, though, was the plot line with the older brother, Eric Fisher, the football star. Erik is a star football kicker with many dark secrets. In the end, he is exposed, Paul's parents express their regret, and life is good.

    Having grown up with a violent sibling, I know that the family dynamic is never "cured" so easily. A lot of times, parents are aware of what their children are up to, but simply feel helpless. The Fisher family are all characterized as one-dimensional, and therefore, any problems and resolutions simply feel like a nice little tale, not reality.

    My advice, avoid this well-intended but disasterous book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best book since "Holes"
    Here's a blow by blow of my experiences while reading, "Tangerine". After twenty pages I said to myself, "Hm! The man can really write!". After fifty pages I said, "Wow! This book is as good as 'Holes'!". After one hundred and fifty pages I was fully engrossed. After two hundred and fifty pages I was bodily grabbing people off of the street, forcing copies into their hands while chanting something along the lines of, "One of the greatest kid's books ever written!", or words to that extent. Now that I've finished the book and given myself a little time to reflect I can clearly decide whether or not this initial euphoria was short lived or not. Ladies and gentlemen, I am more than a little pleased to report that I was right all along. "Tangerine" is one of the greatest children's books to be written in the last ten years. It is brilliant, socially conscious, filled to the brim with sympathetic (and uniquely unsympathetic) characters, and funny to boot.

    Paul Fisher is moving again. His father is a civil engineer by trade, so Paul's a little used to picking up and leaving for the next town. In this particular case, the family's moving to Florida to live in a gated community. Once there, each member will be able to start doing what they enjoy best. His brother, Erik, will continue to wow everyone with his football skills, his father will continue to worship those skills and spend all his time with his eldest, his mother will join the community's neighborhood association, and Paul will join his school's soccer team. Paul's a goalie by training, and despite his eye troubles (he has almost zero peripheral vision due to a mysterious accident in his youth) he's the best. Not like anyone notices, of course. The rest of the family is too caught up in what Paul has wryly dubbed the Erik Fisher Football Dream. The fact that Erik is a seriously disturbed individual seems to go entirely unseen by Paul's parents and it becomes clear that when his brother's activities go from threatening to criminal, Paul's the only one who can come out with the truth. Along the way he has to battle lightning storms, sinkholes, underground fires, flash frosts, and angry neighborhood associations.

    That's the plot in its barest form. As I've copied it down here, I haven't even begun to delve into the fact that Paul transfers himself from his local hoity-toity school in the suburbs to a far more rough and tumble public facility. He makes friends with the kids in that school, faces racism on the part of his old school chums, and begins to understand a little more about white privilege. What other school age novel deals with racism, classism, social consciousness, and environmental concerns and so well at that? The precarious nature of Paul's new home becomes clearer and clearer when expensive koi fish are eaten by the native ospreys, muck fires spring up regularly in the backyard, and termites start eating the houses. The more the humans attempt to bend nature to their will, the funnier the situations become. This would not be a bad book to pair with the similarly Florida set story, "Hoot".

    I was a little surprised at the psychopathic nature of Paul's brother. Having just finished reading Diana Wynne Jones's excellent, "Archer's Goon", which contains the most evil little sister in literature, I was amazed to find that my next book, "Tangerine", contains the world's worst elder brother. Erik and his brother have exactly one conversation in this entire novel. Beyond that, all we know of Erik comes from Paul's slowly clearing memories about the accident that damaged his sight and Erik's own actions. As Paul's parents strive to prove that they're a perfect family, things become worse and worse. I liked that Paul was as mature a kid as he was. Though he certainly says words and thoughts that are a little old for a seventh grader, you feel safe with him as your narrator. When he overreacts, you understand why. The same goes for when he doesn't react at all.

    I'll skip telling you about the symbolism that also went into this tale. Needless to say, if you've a kid that needs to read a book that's rife with it, just pick this one out. I'm still amazed that this was Edward Bloor's first novel. The level of the writing is not only impressive, but also intense. This is the first book I've read (outside, I'll admit, of Harry Potter) that actually made me interested in sports. I loved reading about Paul's soccer games and how he compares them to football. Best of all are the characters in this tale. Even Paul's parents, horribly flawed but earnest, are at least trying to be good people. The book is, above all, honest. And I appreciated that.

    The highest praise I can offer "Tangerine" is this: Long after I finished a chapter or two I would find myself puzzling over the multiple meanings and layers of the text. Whole sentences and ideas kept popping up to be reread and regurgitated. If you want a children's book that will make you think about a host of different ideas and points of view, read "Tangerine".

    3-0 out of 5 stars Tangerine
    Sally Pickles
    Genre: Contemporary Realistic Ficton
    Title: Tangerine
    Author: Edward Bloor
    Publisher/ ISBN: Scholastic Inc. ISBN: 0-439-28603-4
    Grade Level: grades 6th-8th
    Gist: Paul is a twelve year old boy who has recently moved to Tangerine Florida. Paul lives wih his dad, mom , and older brother. Paul plays soccer and his brother Erik is a bug time football star. Paul enrolls in a new school and begins making new friends. Everthing seems to be going fine until a series of bad events begin to take place. If you want to know what happens to Paul and his family then read Tangerine. It is a great book and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
    I would recommend this book because it is very realistic. It shows that anything can happen that you least expect. It is also scary and keeps you on the tip of your seat. All together it is a great book and I hope you read it.
    Classroom Uses: You ould do many activities with this book some of the thigns could be; a sinkhole activity where you find out how a sinkhole works. Also, you could do a character analysis activity. This would help you if you were a teacher. ... Read more


    2. Last Shot : A Final Four Mystery (Final Four Mysteries (Hardcover))
    by JOHN FEINSTEIN
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375831681
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-08)
    Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
    Sales Rank: 5125
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Greatbook
    This book was one of the best books i have ever read. It has a lot of action and mystery.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Read
    I loved The Last Shot. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I read it. I also really admire the character, Susan Carol Anderson,she was just so outgoing. She also didn't care about what other people thought. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to read it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Middle School Adventure
    As a middle school teacher with 18 years of experience, I found Last Shot to be a solid, if somewhat old-fashioned, mystery that should be recommended to all middle school students, most definitely adolescent sports fans, who may be reluctant readers. The plot includes enough suspense and suspicion to captivate the reader, yet is free of harsh profanity and other objectionable material that is so abundant in today's young adult fiction.
    Especially refreshing are the two main characters, who will stop at nothing to 'right the wrongs' they've encountered on their unique adventure. They demonstrate intelligence,motivation,and resourcefulness in their mission to out-wit a few loathsome characters in the NCAA arena. Last Shot is an easy read and worth the time.

    4-0 out of 5 stars excellent sports book for teens
    This book is full of factual background on the Final Four from the author's experience, which makes it really interesting.I'm buying copies for several teens I know.It's the kind of book that when the teen leaves it lying on the coffee table, dad or mom will wind up engrossed in it.

    There are, at this date, two reviews of this book with attacks on the author but no comments on the book.I have no idea what theman is like, but this book is really good either way.The author he could be a total jerk or an angel for all I know -- he's probably just some guy who annoys other people.There are a lot of those.

    However, I can say that this book is most likely NOT derived from another author's book on blackmail in the Final Four; both books would be derived from real life scandals of the 50's and 80's.The idea that blackmail or other unethical/illegal techniques would be used in the highly lucrative field of professional sports is not a recent one nor one which need be derived from fiction.One can find both fictional and real-life cases of this going back a lot farther than the past decade.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great read by Feinstein
    As an adult drawn to this book by Fienstein's 'non-fiction' name, I was incredibly surprised how much of a page-turner this was. Mr. Feinstein has performed the difficult task of creating two highly likeable and lifelike characters, while at the same time building a suspenful plot that contains numerous twists and turns the average reader won't be able to predict.

    Anyone with teens and pre-teens should be buying this great book as a favor to their young readers.

    And by the way, adults will enjoy it too! I certainly did. ... Read more


    3. Speed Improvement for Young Athletes: How to Sprint Faster in Your Sport in 30 Workouts
    by George Blough Dintiman
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $17.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0938074253
    Catlog: Book (2002-07)
    Publisher: Not Avail
    Sales Rank: 32249
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This new book addresses the number one concern of millions of parents and athletes, age 9-19 in baseball, basketball, football, soccer, rugby, field hockey and tennis: "How can I improve speed in short sprints for my sport?" Step-by-step instructions show you how to first locate your weaknesses, then eliminate them by completing just 30 specific easy-to-follow workouts. This must read and must do book produces amazing results with a program that will also work for you. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars From a parent and age group coach
    Eleven of my age group soccer kids completed the 30 workouts in this book in ten weeks. After seeing the improvement in acceleration and speed, the other 8 team members and their parents are sorry they didn't join in. The 30 workouts alone are worth the price of the book. You don't need a sports science background. If you are looking for a "just do-it" approach that improves speed in short sprints, this book is for you. The book cuts to the chase. There is no need to dig out anything. Everything that is included is important and the program works.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Univ Prof., Track Coach, Author, Former NFL Speed Consultant
    March 3, 2004

    Reviewer: George R. Colfer, PhD.


    After reading two mixed reviews from 2002 and 2004, I decided to read and review this book. Considering who the book was written for (i.e., young athletes), I would recommend it as a Resource and Guide for Speed Improvement. No book is ever perfect for all audiences regardless of size, length or type. When I see a title for "young athletes," I usually hold my breath as most imitate what works only for highly skilled athletes. The first thing I liked about the book was the introduction including "How to use the book" (pg. 11) and Chapter 1, which offers assessment to determine readiness for certain components of the workouts. Another example was regarding Plyometrics (pg. 90) where the author states a leg strength requirement and who by age level should avoid plyometrics, although I would rather see this at the beginning of the section as many youngsters "do" and don't read. Dr. Dintiman is very knowledgeable and also proven in the area of speed and running improvement. He has a much higher level book now in it's 3rd or 4th printing. Speed Improvement for Young Athletes is readable and follows a "how to do it" approach without a lot of "hype." My experience with speed is that it first requires self-motivation. There is a lot of material and equipment necessary which is why I think a youngster following this program would need the guidance of a coach, very knowledgeable parent or as part of a camp or clinic-type setting. The information and programs are proven to be effective with no doubt. Implementing them from reading about them may require some assistance as Dr. Dintiman mentions in the introduction (pg. 11-#1). Speed endurance is a relatively new term and is well covered in Chapter 7, but a more complete definition may be helpful. In the next edition, I would recommend updating some of the strength training photographs and I would find an index at the end to be very helpful. However, these do not detract from the content and program construction of the book (i.e., the 30 workouts), which achieves the author's purpose.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Clinical Exercise Physiologist
    Dr. Dintiman, an international authority on speed improvement, has produced a much needed text which offers excellent instruction on how to improve sport specific sprinting speed. What makes this book unique is that it is the first text specifically geared to the young athlete. The concepts in the text are based on internationally accepted research and proven instructional methods. The assessment program offered by the author is finely tuned to specifically uncover the young athlete's strengths and weaknesses. This allows valuable training time to be focused on specific points of identified weaknesses. Speed Improvement For Young Athletes: How To Sprint Faster In Your Sport In 30 Workouts, is a must purchase for any coach, parent, or individual who desires to produce a faster and quicker young athlete.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Value
    The book is very simple and tertiary. Lightly discusses a number of topics. Details related to form and execution are lacking for someone who claims to have their Doctorate. The illustration is worse than what I can create on my home computer. The real issue I have is that the author and the publisher are both deceptive in their practices. Although the book appears to be a significant volume...in fact, it is triple spaced text with 20-26 font all to increase the number of pages to appear as if the book is a significant volume. In addition, the basics for any book such as an Index are missing entirely. This book is a joke even if it was priced at $3-$4 it would not be worth the shipping & handling.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Parent, Coach, and University Professor's Review
    While focusing on several insignificant items, the reviewer for the "School Library Journal" missed an opportunity to fully appreciate an excellent book, concisely written with a practical approach, by the leading expert in the world. The favored work of the above reviewer,for the "School Library Journal," consists only of illustrated exercises with no workouts to follow, no specific information on training programs and little help to anyone, including young athletes, coaches, or parents. "Speed Improvement for Young Athletes" has more useful information on previously tested and proven techniques than anything ever written. It is a book that "gets to the point" and prescribes 30 specific workouts for age group athletes for all sports. This is not a research book and there is good reason to keep it clearly organized and understandable for the young athlete. "Speed Improvement for Young Athletes: How to Sprint Faster in Your Sport in 30 Workouts" is by far the best book on the market, and I highly recommend it for the young athlete who wants to move from the theory to actual practice and conditioning with effective gains in foot speed for their sport. ... Read more


    4. Stone Fox
    by John Reynolds Gardiner
    list price: $5.50
    our price: $5.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0064401324
    Catlog: Book (1983-03-02)
    Publisher: HarperTrophy
    Sales Rank: 7990
    Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A Race Against Time

    Little Willy's Grandfather is sick, and it's up to Willy to save their farm from tax collectors. Their only hope is the prize money from the National Dogsled Race. But a lot of other people want to win the race, too, including Stone Fox, who has never lost a race in his life.

    Do Willy and his dor Searchlight stand a chance against the toughest racers around? Can they win the race to save the far, -- and Grandfather -- before it's too late? ... Read more

    Reviews (196)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A five star not too long read
    Stone Fox is a great book for all elementary students. It is about a ten year old boy (named little Willy) and his dog Searchlight. His grandpa is keeping a secret from him which is the cause of grandpa being sick. When little Willy finds out what the secret is he learns that he must get 500$ and fast. What luck, there just so happens to be a dog sled race going on and the prize money is 500$! When he enters he knows he must win and if he doesn't grandpa won't get better and their farm will be taken away from them. Little Willy feels very confident in himself, but the great Stone Fox is coming. He has never lost a race. Does he beat the great Stone Fox? Does grandpa get better? Do they keep their farm? Use my advice and read the book to find out.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Book
    What happens when a little boy enters a sled dog race to win a $500 prize so that he can save his grandfather's farm? You can find out by reading Stone Fox, written by John R. Gardiner.

    Stone Fox is a story about a little boy in a small town in the snowy Rockies whose grandfather doesn't want to live any longer. He hasn't been paying his taxes, so he is in danger of losing his farm. It's up to Little Willy to solve the problem.

    The main characters of this story are Little Willy and Stone Fox. Little Willy is a small, short-haired ten-year-old boy who wants to save his grandfather's farm. He is very talkative and inquisitive.

    Stone Fox is a very tall, tan Native American with long, black hair. He is a very quiet and determined man. Stone Fox hopes to win the $500 prize money so he can buy back land for his tribe.

    John r. Gardiner, the author of Stone Fox, was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Long Beach, CA. Mr. Gardiner has written children's stories that have been told on TV. He has also written Top Secret and General Butter Fingers.

    By the time you finish reading Stone Fox you will realize that even a kid can make a big difference if he or she tries hard. If you like reading about kids doing amazing things, then you will definitely enjoy Stone Fox.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Race
    This book was a good book I liked it. This book was about a little boy who lived with his grandpa. He helped his grandpa grow a farm the little boy also had a dog. The grandpa was not up to date with his payment. Like a day later his grandpa was sick and he could not do anything to help his farm. Now to the good part of the book is the end of the book. There was a sled dog race in town and the boy wanted to enter in it so he went to town the next day to sign up for the race. There was added money for the winner. They had to race that day there was a race for youth and for the adults. For the adults you had to pay 100 dollars to get in the race. But they would not let him in the adult race because he was too young and then finally they let him in the race if he had the money. So he went to the bank to check out his money and he got in the race. So the race had started and their was a lot of people enter the race. He started in the back and worked his way to the front until they saw the finish line and it was the boy and stone fox and the boy was in the lead and they were about 100 feet and the boy's dog died while running. But Stone Fox did not pass the finish line he stop his dog and took out his gun and shot it in the air and told everbody to stop and not to pass the boy. He told the boy to pick up the dog and cross the finish line. And the little boy won the race. And he got to pay for his grandpa's farm after he won the money.

    I would tell someone to read this book because of the race it was a real good long race.

    5-0 out of 5 stars STONE FOX
    I thought the book was the best book I read but It
    had a sad ending thats the part I didnt like.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stone Fox
    I thought the book Stone Fox was a good story.I liked the part where little Willy was racing with searchlightand little Willy was pretending he was racing with somebody else but he wasnt. ... Read more


    5. Hour Of The Olympics (Magic Tree House 16, paper)
    by MARY POPE OSBORNE
    list price: $3.99
    our price: $3.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679890629
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-20)
    Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
    Sales Rank: 1867
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Jack and Annie are off on another adventure! This time they are sent to

    ancient Greece, where a very important event is taking place. Join them as they

    race against time and witness the very first Olympic games!




    ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Take An Hour And Read This Book
    The book you are going to read about is called Hour of the Olympics. Mary Pope Osborne wrote it and she is a great writer. This story is about the first Olympic game. The two main characters are named Jack and Annie. This book comes from a series of books, so this is only one adventure. The problem in this story is that Jack and Annie are at the first Olympics and no girls are allowed. Annie sneaks in and gets caught. Can Jack get her out of this mess? To find out you will have to read Hour of the Olympics.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Hour of BOREDOM
    I did not like this book because it had the most boring mysteries I have ever read.Like most boring books,the kids go somewhere, find what there looking for and, in the case of this book, fly back on a horse with wings.They say boring things along the lines of "how did you learn to read and write?My opinion is that it is a very boring book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic in more ways than imaginable
    "Hour Of The Olympics" is good because of the ways you learn about the Olympics, and the Olympic events, plus the legend of Pegasus, the flying horse. So amazing, I almost applauded so loud my neighborhood could hear me! Trust me, you can't miss out on this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic in more ways than imaginable
    "Hour Of The Olympics" is good because of the ways you learn about the Olympics, and the Olympic events, plus the legend of Pegasus, the flying horse. So amazing, I almost applauded so loud my neighborhood could hear me. Trust me, you can't miss out on this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magic Tree House #16: Hour of the Olympics
    Magic Tree House is the Harry Potter for the ages 6-9 crowd. The stories are always delightful, and they always have action in it. This is a very good book. I recommend to all kids from the ages 6-9. Kids younger than that can have parents read it to them. ... Read more


    6. Maniac Magee
    by Jerry Spinelli
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316809063
    Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 4657
    Average Customer Review: 4.04 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Read by S. Ephatha Merkerson
    Approx. 3.75 hours
    3 cassettes
    He wasn’t born with the name Maniac Magee. He came into this world named Jeffrey Lionel Magee, but when his parents died and his life changed, so did his name. And Maniac Magee became a legend. Even today kids talk about how fast he could run; about how he hit an inside-the-park “frog” homer; how no knot, no matter how snarled, would stay that way once he began to untie it. But the thing Maniac Magee is best known for is what he did for the kids from the East Side and those from the West Side.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (517)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Boy of Many Feats
    Running short of books to read? You're looking for a good to read? Well look no further because Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli, is waiting for you. Jeffrey Lionel Magee, AKA Maniac, is just a twelve year old, scruffy, orphaned boy but as soon as he sets foot in Two Mills, Pennsylvania a legend is born. He's as fast as sound: bunting a frog for a homerun, scoring 49 touchdowns in one day, and beating a kid running backwards and the kid was running forwards. Unfortunutly, Two Mills is split into two ends, with Whites on the West End and Blacks on the East End but does Maniac know about the difference between skin colors? No he doesn't.
    There are many events that take place in the story to move along. First, Maniac's (then Jeffrey) parents die in a famous trolley crash. Then, he goes to live with his Aunt Dot and Uncle Dan who hate each other. After that he runs away at a chorus recital and isn't seen for a year. Next, he wanders into Two Mills and makes 4 appearances that day, also getting the nickname Maniac. Next, he starts to live at the Beales. Then he leaves the Beales and runs away to the zoo. Then, he is found by an old man,Grayson, who lets Maniac stay with him. After that, Grayson died. Maniac runs away to Valley Forge waiting for death. Then he meets Russell and Piper McNab, who invite him to their run-down house which will later be turned into a pillbox. After that, he provoaks Russell and Piper to stay in school by doing "heoric" feats. After that, Maniac doesn't stay in one set place and starts goes all over. Finally, Maniac stays with the Beales forever. Those are some important events in Maniac Magee.
    Many people have different opinions about Maniac Magee. I believe this is an excellant book, everything clearly stated. I would recommend it to kids who are in thier seventh month of fourth grade through their fifth grade. I liked everything about this book except one thing which is the way the McNabs' house is described with roaches and things like that. This book truly deserves its five stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nothin' Scares Magee
    Maniac Magee is another awesome novel by Jerry Spinelli. Jeffrey(a.k.a Maniac) Magee has very bad luck when it comes to families. He can never seem to stay with a family for very long. His parents die in a train crash. After that he runs away from his aunt and uncle. He ends up in Two Mills, Pennsylvania.
    Two Mills is split into two sections. East End, which is all black people, and West End is all white people. While in Two Mills, Maniac meets a girl named Amanda Beale. She lends Maniac a book to read. Maniac then goes to a man named Finsterwald's backyard. There was a kid there. Maniac carries the "petrified" boy off the lawn. The boy ran away. Maniac is then served dinner by the Pickwell family. They didn't even notice him. After that Maniac plays baseball with John McNab and is the first person ever to hit a homerun off of him. He then ventures into the East End(Remember, Maniac is white). He meets Mars Bar Thompson. Mars Bar rips the book that Amanda gave to Maniac. Amanda comes to the rescue and invites Maniac to stay at her house. To know what happens next, you have to read this book.
    I really like the way Jerry Spinelli writes. I'd really recommend this book and other books by Jerry Spinelli to people of all ages who love adventures.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Uh...no...
    Right...well, I suppose you could say I didn't fully understand the point of this book. A little boy's parents die, he has to live with his feuding Aunt and Uncle and then he runs away one day. When he finds a place to live he runs away. The book is about a boy running for no reason....right...as I said I didn't fully understand the point.

    1-0 out of 5 stars my review
    My name is Carmen and i'm the reviewer for the book,Maniac Magee.I think this book deserves one star, because it doesn't make sence.This book is talking about a boy who is running for no reason.I don't see why he didn't stay at home because he has to find places to sleep and it's cold at night.I cant compare this book to a movie because no one has ever made a movie like this or maybe iv'e

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rakiem's Book Review
    (...) I give the book Maniac Magee five stars.The reason why I give Maniac Magee a five star rating is because I read this book in fifth grade and most of the books that I read a second time are boring but this one was different.The book is about a kid named Jeffrey Magee and something bad happened to his parents so now he's an orphan and he goes through a lot as a kid.So I think that you should really go buy this book or go check it out of the libary because this a veryawsome book. ... Read more


    7. In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
    by Bette Bao Lord
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0064401758
    Catlog: Book (1986-10-31)
    Publisher: HarperTrophy
    Sales Rank: 56363
    Average Customer Review: 4.22 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams. Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn't know any English, so it's hard to make friends. Then a miracle-baseball-happens. It is 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone's hero. Jackie Robinson is proving that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America and for Shirley as well, on the ball field and off, America becomes the land of opportunity.

    Notable Children's Books of 1984 (ALA)
    Best Books of 1984 (SLJ)
    Notable 1984 Childrens' Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)
    Children's Books of 1984 (Library of Congress)
    1984 Children's Books (NY Public Library)
    1985 Jefferson Cup Award (Virginia Library Association)

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    Reviews (45)

    4-0 out of 5 stars nice book about cultural changes
    On the other side of the world from Brooklyn, New York there lives a little girl known as Bandit. After living in China for 8 years, Bandit's clan gets a mysterious letter from Father, announcing that Bandit, her mother and he will go to Mei guo, meaning beautiful country, which is America. Her new American name is Shirley Temple Wong. That's how Bette Bao Lord begins her book about Shirley. As far as I know, that's pretty much what the author experienced herself. This is a great book about cultural changes, making friends and 'America's Favorite Past time', Baseball.

    As I already mentioned above, a kind, but a little bit shy, girl called Shirley comes to America without the knowledge of a single English word. Shortly after that she attends an All American school. Even though she knows a bit English after a few months, she still doesn't have any friends. Then, on one nice day, when she played Baseball for the first time in her life she makes a spectacular Home Run. The next day Jackie Robinson isn't only the Dodger's hero, but also Shirley's.

    After you read this book, you will probably know more about China, then when you first touched this book. Many of the changes that Shirley has to make are described funny, some even hilarious. You, no matter how old, or what gender you are, you should definitely read this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars In the year of the boar and Jackie Robinson
    This story is about a little Chinese girl, Shirley, who goes to America and interacts with foreign friends. She couldn't speak English and she had a hard time with adapting to the new culture of America. She got interested in a game called stickball but she spoiled all the games because she didn't know how to play. Everyone ignored her. Read the rest of the book to find out if Shirley gets a best friend or not.
    I like the way the author describes the new school and the children in the class. " The room was large, with windows up to the ceiling. Row after now of students, each one unlike the next. Some faces were white, like clean plates; others black like ebony. Some were in between shades" -page.44
    I think people who live in new countries other than their home country should read this book because author makes the story interesting and you'll know what it was like for Shirley and what it was like for you. I felt this book was good for class time but I wouldn't choose for myself if I was not in a foreign country.

    5-0 out of 5 stars my book review
    (...)

    This book starts out in China where a young girl, named Bandit is forced to go to America. She must go because her father wants Bandit and her mother to move to America and make it their home. Bandit is not sad however, because she'll finally get to be together with her father. Bandit takes the name of Shirly Temple Wong and starts her trip to America. At first she struggles but soon, she learns to play baseball and starts making friends.

    Something i like about this book is the way it is clear and understandable and also a little funny. Many people would be able to relate to some of her embarressing moments. I think the book is very understandable because there are no big words and the sentences are kept simple. I could just read through the entire book without going back to make sure i read some paragraph right."One sunny afternoon, Shirly leaned out the third story window of P. S 8 slapping the chalk from the class erasers." This quote is one of the good ones. It is clear and the author keeps it simple with enough detail to satisfy the reader.

    One part that was funny, and i could relate to was when shirly got lost on her way back from the store."What a fool she was! Nothing but a fool. Utterly ashamed, she hid her face in her arms." This quote from the book describes Shirly after she is lost and gives up. I remember many times when i was young and would get lost alot and start getting scared.

    My favorite part of the book was when Shirly is told to go home. She thinks that the kids hate her and want her to go home, but really they meant to get her to run to home base. It is funny how some things can be misconcieving and how people may think very differently from others.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Multi-Cultural Clash?
    My book is called In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. The author of this book is Betty Lao Lord. This story is about a girl named bandit. She gets a letter from her father telling her she is coming to America. It's a long plane ride and a long train ride but she finally made it. Then she thought about what she had to do to fit in in America. She had to speak English and make new friends. Well that didn't go very well. The first person she met punched her in the face but the next day she apologized and taught her how to play stick ball so she wouldn't get in trouble. When she ran the bases everyone called her Jackie Robinson because she was pigeon-toed. Then she started to get interested in baseball. She watched every game from there on that Brooklyn Dodgers played. She was heart-broken when they lost to the Yankees in the World Series. But her next quest was to become class president.
    I thought this was a great book. I couldn't put the book down. I would give the book five stars. I would give it five stars because it kept me guessing until the very end. It was also very funny.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
    Reading this story I feel as if I am the protagonist, Shirley Temple, of the book. I think the author has done a good job by writing this book such a story as this, especially for children who move from one country to another. Bette Bao Load's style of writing is so vivid. I can picture Shirley. I like the author's style. This story is about Shirley being in a new country, with no friends and she can't speak English properly. Later Shirley is able to make friends. We can learn a lesson from this story of Jackie Robinson. Shirley wanted to make a difference in her life as well as in America. The book is really good and it makes you realized that we are here for a purpose come what may, with strong determination life will be good . ... Read more


    8. Arthur's Family Vacation - With Stickers (Arthur Adventure Series)
    by Marc Brown
    list price: $5.95
    our price: $5.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316109584
    Catlog: Book (1995-04-01)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 110326
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars We Liked This Story
    This story is about Arthur going on vacation with his family. Arthur didn't really want to go away with his family. He wanted to be with his best friend. At the end of the story, Arthur really does have fun and comes back to show his friend all the pictures. We liked this story because Arthur did a lot of fun things with his family.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Arthur's Family Vacation by Marc Brown
    It's the last day of school and Arthur wants Buster to come with him on vacation instead of going to camp. Arthur's mom and dad say that he can't come so he's disappointed. Everybody packs their stuff and they load the inside of the car and the roof. Arthur's family gets to the hotel. They only have one tiny little room for all of them and the pool is smaller than D.W.'s bathtub, she says. They have problems on their vacation. First, only the parents enjoy their dinner, then they try to write postcards, but they haven't done anything yet. Next it rains. Arthur fixes their trip by planning out a whole bunch of fun stuff for the family. On Friday it stopped raining and it was the best day yet. They went to the beach. When they got home, Buster was already there. Arthur and Buster had missed each other, but Arthur had a great time with his family on vacation. This was a good book, but not the best I ever read. Marc Brown is one of my favorite authors. I'd recommend this book to a second or third grader who likes to watch the Arthur T.V. show. ... Read more


    9. Baseball in April and Other Stories
    by Gary Soto
    list price: $6.00
    our price: $5.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0152025677
    Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
    Publisher: Harcourt Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 219259
    Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In this unique collection of short stories, the small events of daily life reveal big themes--love and friendship, youth and growing up, success and failure. Calling on his own experiences of growing up in California's Central Valley, poet Gary Soto brings to life the joys and pains of young people everywhere. The smart, tough, vulnerable kids in these stories are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to all of us.
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    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book
    I really like this book because you never know what is going to happen next. Also if you like books with varieties of stories then you should read this book as soon as you get it. There is also so much excitement in this great book, like characters get in twists and turns. Read how they get out of their troubles. All readers hear this: if you like excitement than this is the book for you!

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is a must read!
    I am a college student attending Northern Michigan University in the Elementary Education program. I have read quite a number of books this semester and this has to be my favorite. While at first I was not crazy about reading a book that featured Mexican-Americans, I soon erased any doubt I had about the book. This book was not only about Mexican-Americans, it was about every single child that has grown up in the last twenty years. Mr. Soto has truly captured what it is like to grow up. The book talks about riding bikes, talking to girls for the first time, spending time with your grandparents, not having to go on the family vacation for the first time, and wanting to take karate lesson because you saw how cool karate could be. If you have trouble remembering what it was like growing up, read this book and you will remember everything that ever happened to you as a child.
    What this book really hits on is that children grow up and have that same hopes and dreams that every other child in the world has. As a future teacher I would recommend this book to every teacher. While the book may not hold a significant academic value, it definitely holds a strong social value for children. It allows children to see that other children are going through the same exact thing they are. I commend Mr. Soto for publishing such a fine book that looks at the world in the simplest of ways; through a child's eyes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A look at the spirit of children
    Gary Soto reaches the soul of children and their day to day lives. My sixth graders in Minnesota were excied and drawn to all of the characters in his book and chose to keep reading. He touches the human spirit and stuggles so many have faced as middle school kids. Thumbs up and way to go Gary.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Collection
    This is my first introduction to Gary Soto, and I must say that I enjoyed it. Most notable about these books is that they just follow the lives of the various characters in their stories who just happen to be Latino. Except for the glossary at the end of the book, this book was not written to "introduce" us gringo's to another culture. Rather, it's a book about boys and girls who have the same dreams and aspirations that are universal. These characters do not set out to change the world, but rather just get by day by day in the little space of earth that they inhabit. Very well done, perhaps written a bit simply at times, but for the most part, these stories are enjoyable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read this book, please.
    It delivers a warm Mexican-American voice, and speaks to middle schoolers with great authenticity. My Mexican-American students who read this book have commented: "This book is about me, I can't believe how real it is." "Do you have more books by Gary Soto, I want to read them all." I never read a book like this before, it's so real." ... Read more


    10. Sasha Cohen: Fire on Ice : Autobiography of a Champion Figure Skater
    by Sasha Cohen
    list price: $9.99
    our price: $9.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060724897
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: Avon
    Sales Rank: 165955
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars better than most skating bios
    While not as revealing as a celebrity "tell-all", this book was still much more interesting than most of the other figure skating bios I've read. I can understand why Sasha needs to be a little guarded about her feelings with this year being so close to the Olympic season, but maybe she'll write more openly after the games.All in all, I liked this book and it made me more interested in Sasha's skating career.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Waste of Money
    This book is extremely vacant of any interesting insight into Sasha Cohen's life.While she could've explored and actually discussed her reasons for switching coaches and her successes and failures, she gave party line accounts of events and information can be gathered from watching a 4 minute fluff piece on Sasha at a skating competition.It'll take a book from Brennan to unlock the controversies surrounding Sasha Cohen.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Engaging!
    What a fun, well-written autobiography! Honest and candid, this book really gave me wonderful insight into Sasha's life and into the sport of ice skating. Sasha's writing style is very engaging, and when I finished the book, I felt like I knew her! It also linspired me to go out and challenge myself in some way. What a great read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A national treasure
    Sasha Cohen, a genius on the ice, who burst onto the international scene with her amazing short program at the 2002 Olympics, has never really enjoyed the recognition she deserved. Consistently
    undermarked at competitions, she has managed nevertheless by the sheer magnitude of her talent to become one the great skaters of all time, medals or no medals (though by now she has her share of these as well). This book gives us a glimpse at the personal side of her story, on the ice and off, replete with high moments and low. Written in an engaging, frank, informal style -- complemented by striking photos by Kathy Goedekin -- it is a wonderful read that should help draw attention to one of our national treasures, a figure skater whose performances grace the ice with heart stopping beauty. ... Read more


    11. Whale Talk (Laurel Leaf Books)
    by CHRIS CRUTCHER
    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


    12. Duck on a Bike
    by David Shannon
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0439050235
    Catlog: Book (2002-04-01)
    Publisher: Blue Sky Press (AZ)
    Sales Rank: 7288
    Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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    When Duck gets the zany idea to ride a bike one day, each animal on thefarm has a reaction. "M-o-o-o," says Cow. But what she's really thinking is, "Aduck on a bike? That's the silliest thing I've ever seen!" Pig and Pig say"Oink," thinking all the while, "Duck is such a show-off!" But it's not until acrew of kids shows up and leaves their bikes lying about that the true feelingsof all the animals come to light, and for one brief, glorious moment, the farmis a mad, mad world of two-wheeling road hogs (and chickens and horses andgoats). David Shannon, the creator of Caldecott Honor Book, No, David!, fills the pages ofthis barnyard romp with sun-soaked color, charming animals, and unusualperspectives. We see Cat, for example, looming belly-first in the foreground,with Duck merrily pedaling away in the distance. The story itself is nothing towrite home about--No, David! is far snappier and more original--butyounger kids may well enjoy the repetitive crescendo and the goofy finale. (Ages4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for storytime at home, school or the library
    As a children's librarian, I am always searching for the next perfect book to read for preschool storytime. I have read this book to several groups now and always have had an enraptured audience--both children and adults love it. Duck decides to ride a bike for the fun of it and greets the animal on the farm as he passes by. It might sound trite, but in this book, it is all magical.

    The full bleed illustrations are bright and colorful while the story is humorous and engaging. Don't miss the last page either. All the kids love it. This has become my favorite picture book this year and I will be disappointed if it doesn't receive a Caldecott nod. Add this one to your child's library or give it to a favorite child as a gift. Then sit down and read it together. Neither of you will be disappointed! A great companion book also out this year is "Do Like a Duck Does" by Judy Hindley.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Ducky Good Time.....
    "One day down on the farm, Duck got a wild idea. "I bet I could ride a bike!" he thought. He waddled over to where the boy parked his bike, climbed on, and began to ride..." So begins David Shannon's creative and silly picture book, Duck On A Bike. In no time Duck's mastered the art of pedaling, and is zooming around the barnyard waving and calling to his friends. The cow thinks it's silly, and the sheep is sure Duck will hurt himself. The dog thinks it's neat, and the pigs think Duck is a big show-off. Mr Goat isn't so interested in riding, but would like to eat the bike, the horse just wants to remind Duck that he's still faster, and the cat is so self-involved, he doesn't even look up as Duck rides by. And that's when it happens...a whole gang of kids come riding onto the farm, park their bikes, and go inside. And in just a matter of seconds, Duck discovers he isn't the only animal riding around and around the barnyard..... Mr Shannon's engaging text begs to be read aloud, and is full of animal sounds and clever asides. But it's his bold, bright, and busy illustrations that really make this book sparkle. Each two page spread is filled with endearing oversized animals, marvelous facial expressions, and hilarious details. Perfect for kids 3-7, Duck On A Bike is a joyous, manic romp that little animal lovers and bike enthusiasts shouldn't miss.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Duck duck bike
    Not since Doreen Cronin created her own enterprising foul in "Click Clack Moo" has a duck so single handedly taken farm matters directly into his own hands. In this particularly charming tale, a curious duck eyes a shiny red bicycle on the farm. Judging himself a worthy rider, Duck hops onto the bike and visits all the other animals on the farm. Each animal responds with their own particular sound (moos, meows, woofs, etc.) but think what they will about Duck's exploits. When a large bike riding group of youngsters arrive on the farm and head inside the house, their own bicycles become too much of a lure for the barnyard fellows and soon the yard is full of wheeling critters.

    Using a selection of beautiful paints, novel characters, and interesting angles, author/illustrator David Shannon (of "No, David" fame) has created a truly delightful tale. His attention to detail is remarkable. Kids that remember that when Duck passed the goat his thought was, "I'd like to eat that bike!" will be rewarded if they notice that once on such a contraption, the goat makes a point of chewing on the available basket. And honestly, who else could draw a horse sneering any better than Shannon? The curl of the lip is an expression I've often expected on certain finicky animals. Safety conscious parents will note that the pack of kids arriving on the farm, aside from being nicely multicultural and of different genders, are almost all wearing safety helmets. So well done there. And as a personal note, I always give extra points to those illustrators that understand the beauty of the silent gag. The two page spread of the animals eying the new bicycles eagerly will make parents laugh in appreciation and make gleeful those kids that can figure out what is about to occur. And much like the more recent "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus", we can appreciate the troubles that might come from Duck's curious perusal of an unmanned tractor on the last page. All in all, a fun story that would read aloud very very well to large groups of children. Highly recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Story with Perspective
    Duck on a Bike is a whimsical tale about a duck who seizes the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary. After spying a parked red cruiser, he decides to take a ride. As he passes the rest of his barnyard friends, they all express their opinions in their native tongues (moo, meow, squeak, m-a-a-a, etc...) Just like people, they all think something different. Some are scared, one is boastful, some appear jealous, and one could care less. Yet, when a gaggle of kids flies by and parks their bikes in front of a house, all of the animals are struck with the idea that what duck is doing isn't so bad after all.

    It is great to see the barnyard animals grasping at handlebars with hoofs and wings. The pigs ride a tandem bike, rooster a tricycle, and goat gets her wish as she munches innocently on the bike's basket. After all, kids will be kids.

    Shannon uses interesting perspective and great staging to bring the illustrations in this book to life. The bicycles are rendered beautifully, and the style of illustration is very different than the one he uses in the David books. It is worth it to buy this book for the artwork alone.

    Don't pass the last page of this book without paying attention, or else you'll miss the next big adventure duck is planning!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Duck rides on!
    Duck on a bike is a favorite in my house! My favorite! My two year old wants it almost every night. My four year old loves to "read it" and my eight year old really does read it to his brother. The pictures are wonderful. It's simple yet clever and totally enjoyable! ... Read more


    13. The Million Dollar Kick
    by Dan Gutman
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0786815841
    Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
    Publisher: Hyperion
    Sales Rank: 29297
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Big Kick
    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a chance to be a millionare? The Million Dollar Kick by Dan Gutman is about a shy seventh grader named Wisper Nelson that enters a huge contest and gets a chance to kick a penalty shot past a professional goal keeper for 1000000 dollars! The only problem is,she hasn' t played soccer since she was 8. What is she to do? She decides to get training from a goalkeeper that plays high school soccer. She works extremely hard. When the big day comes something goes terribly wrong. will Whisper make the kick? Read and find out!

    I think this is a spectacular book! I would recommend this book to anyone who is into sports. This book also has a lot of twists and turns so if you like surprises, this is the book for you!

    5-0 out of 5 stars the greatest book
    in the book million dollar kick a girl plays soccer. she scored her own team and then she won a prize and gets to kick a million dollar kick. she had to score on her teacher. will she make it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another Kick!
    Dan Gutman has done it again with "The Million Dollar Kick", a sequel to "The Million Dollar Shot".

    I know Dan Gutman through e-mails, I once met him at my school two years ago in Oklahoma City.

    The character in this book "Carmen Applegate" was the name of my librarian at my elementary school. Also, another small character "Dan Mills" is the librarian at my middle school. "Bobbie Frisk" is the name of a teacher in the same district, though I have to tell you I don't her.

    Please try to read all of Dan Gutman's books, they are very good, and I am sure you will enjoy them.

    And also go to [their website] and find out about Dan's books, do some cool activities, read some of his rejection letters for "Honus & Me", and a lot more cool stuff! ... Read more


    14. On the Court with... Venus and Serena Williams
    by Matt Christopher, Glenn Stout
    list price: $4.95
    our price: $4.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316138142
    Catlog: Book (2002-06)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 135483
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    Book Description

    The Williams sisters have captured the attention of the tennis crowd like no one has in recent years. Taken alone, each is a force to be reckoned with on the court. Each has the skills, the determination, and the strength to make it to the very top of her sport. Yet through all the competition-even times when they face each other on opposite sides of the net-they remain true to each other.

    Serena has just won the Wimbledon 2002 singles title by defeating her sister and is currently ranked #1 in the world.Playing as partners, Venus and Serena won the Wimbledon 2002 doubles championship as well. ... Read more


    15. Abner & Me (Baseball Card Adventures)
    by Dan Gutman
    list price: $15.99
    our price: $10.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060534435
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Sales Rank: 657843
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    16. On the Court With... Shaquille O' Neal
    by Matt Christopher, Glenn Stout
    list price: $4.99
    our price: $4.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316164739
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 50631
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    17. The Contender
    by Robert Lipsyte
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0064470393
    Catlog: Book (1987-04-01)
    Publisher: HarperTrophy
    Sales Rank: 61612
    Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Before you can be a champion,
    you have to be a contender.

    Alfred Brooks is scared. He's a highschool dropout and his grocery store job is leading nowhere. His best friend is sinking further and further into drug addiction. Some street kids are after him for something he didn't even do. So Alfred begins going to Donatelli's Gym, a boxing club in Harlem that has trained champions. There he learns it's the effort, not the win, that makes the man -- that last desperate struggle to get back on your feet when you thought you were down for the count.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (258)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Contender
    First thing I want to say: Excellent book! I think Lipsyte did a wondrous job portraying a young, scared boy growing into a determined, mature man.
    Alfred Brooks is scared. He is a high school dropout with a job at a grocery store that is going nowhere, and fast. His best friend is sinking more and more into drugs. The neighborhood thugs want him, to either beat him up or to join them. After one of these beatings, Alfred decides to start going to Donatelli's Gym, a boxing club in Harlem that is notorious for champions. While training, he learns from Donatelli that it's the effort, not the win, that makes the man. It's if you can be hit and hurt, but still struggle to stand on your feet when everyone thought you were done. I loved the book. I think it would make an excellent movie and should be done so soon.
    While reading this book I was inspired to start working out and feel better about myself. After reading this book I understood the importance of determination, discipline, and dedication when trying for your goals. I learned that if you have what it takes to become a contender, then you can do anything you want to.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Contender
    This book is about Alfred Brooks. He is a high school dropout and doesn't know what to do with his life. His mom died and he is living with his Aunt Pearl. He works at Epstein's Grocery Store which is owned by 3 Epstein brothers. Alfred hangs out with people that want to break into the store. Alfred doesn't tell them that there is a silent alarm in the store. His best friend James gets caught and the others don't trust him anymore. He goes to Donatelli's gym to workout and he goes there every chance he can. He finds out that Lou Epstein used to be a great boxer. Alfred learns how to box and gets a chance to fight. Will Alfred win the fight? Will he continue boxing? What will happen next? Find out by reading The Contender.
    I liked this book because the good descriptions made it easy to imagine the people. You could also tell how Alfred felt at every point in the book. For example before he was going to fight in a match his stomach felt like an "ice ball". The sounds you could imagine too. "When Alfred was hitting the peanut bag it sounded like a machine gun". The one thing I didn't like about it is the way the city was described. There wasn't enough detail to imagine it. All I knew was that it took place in Harlem. I don't think that the author should just assume that people know what Harlem looks like. I read other books that took place in Harlem and the author described it much better.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Alfred and His Problems
    I read the book THE CONTENDER by Robert Lipsyte. I really enjoyed the book because it's not really long nor hard to understand. The book is really action packed and keeps you wanting to read it more and more. The main character is Alfred. Alfred's conflict is that his best friend James want's him to go to the store he works at and help him break in so they can steal. The place Alfred works is at the supermarket that James wants to rob. Alfred gets jumped on the way home from the supermarket one night by one of James' friends who wanted help to rob the store.After Alfred gets jumped he decides that he wants to take boxing lessons. Alfred goes to the gym to see what it was like and tries to walk out but Mr.Donatellie stops him. Alfred decides to give boxing lessons a try and doesn't realize how much work it would really be. If you want to know more I recommend that you read the book THE CONTENDER.

    4-0 out of 5 stars THE CONTENDER
    The Contender
    The contender is a great book explaining some of the problems people have in the ghetto with great detail. I especially like the way in which the author works around the problem which Alfred (main character) getting beat up, bullied and having racists always on his back. Alfred tells his friend about his job and how sometimes that the store he works at is empty on Sundays. His friends decide to break in and steal money from the store but Alfred doesn't go and forgets to tell them about the new alarm in which goes off and cops come and arrest his friends. Alfred hides, but all of his friends who didn't get caught want to kill him, so he must learn how to fight. He actually becomes a Boxer. I think this book greatly describes the thinking of teenagers today and gives meaning of what teenagers face everyday. Also on pages 8 and 9 in chapter one it describes a place where he can be himself and can hide and get away from the world, which is a secret place. Overall I think Contender is a must read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars a knockout of a book
    the contender was an exellent book that I would recomend for others. you read along a young man's path from a school dropout to an in shape boxer.through boxing, alfred brooks, is able to find himself. I thought this book was good because it deals with real life problems such as drugs, education, and violence. this is a very good book for a teenaged boy. it teaches good ethics like never give up, never lose faith, and always keep punching. ... Read more


    18. Babar's Yoga for Elephants
    by Laurent de Brunhoff
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0810910217
    Catlog: Book (2002-09-03)
    Publisher: Harry N Abrams
    Sales Rank: 9691
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Well before yoga became fashionable via Sting and Madonna, the beloved elephant king Babar and all the residents of Celesteville were finding peace and tranquillity through yoga. And now elephants everywhere can join them! Through easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step illustrations, Babar's Yoga for Elephants presents 15 positions and stretches as well as helpful breathing exercises. The book also provides useful advice on what to do with your trunk while in position, a dilemma that human yoga books often ignore.

    Written by Babar himself, the book explains how yoga was introduced to Celesteville and how he and Queen Celeste keep fit doing yoga on their many travels. Including a pull-out poster showing Babar in yoga poses, Babar's Yoga for Elephants is sure to become a classic for elephants as well as their human friends. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Darling Book
    Hatha Yoga is generally form based. Elephants need to know the "proper" position for their trunks while they perform asanas. The author shows where the trunks should be positioned for maximum effect.

    Humans can also follow the book's pictures, sans the trunk positions, and perform a nice hatha class.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stretch, Breathe, Relax, and Enjoy.....
    As Babar earnestly tells us on page one, archaeololgists recently discovered drawings on cave walls of elephants in yoga positions. After much research and study, these scientists came to the conclusion that "not only were elephants capable of performing yoga, it seemed they had invented it." Unfortunately, over many millions of years, this ancient art was forgotten. But now, yoga has once again become popular among elephants, especially in Babar's home of Celesteville. "The life of a modern-day elephant is stressful and complicated. Yoga turned out to be exactly what we in Celesteville needed, offering calm and control in days that were busy and demanding..." Join our friendly and endearing pachyderm as he explains in detailed, easy to follow, step by step instructions and pictures, fifteen yoga exercises. And then join Babar and Celeste on their many travels and adventures as they demonstrate just how they use them. Often they try and match their yoga positions to the things around them. "I think it is a nice way to meditate. This allows us to connect to the world around us." At the Metropolitan Museum of Art Babar posed in the Arm Balance position and looked just like a skyscraper. Paris' Eiffel Tower inspired Proud Warrior, and Venice's Piazza San Marco was the perfect setting for Standing Head to Knee. And at the Golden Gate Bridge, he and Celeste enjoyed doing the Cobra together..... Laurent De Brunhoff's engaging and humorous text begs to be read aloud and shared and is complemented by his playful and entertaining, signature illustrations. Together word and art create a clever how-to picture book, that will have youngsters out of their seats and on their mats, practicing yoga poses and breathing exercises, stretching, and improving their balance and strength. Perfect for kids of all ages, Babar's Yoga For Elephants is a timeless treasure and a sure classic in the years to come. As Babar reminds us on the last page..."Do a little yoga every day. At first you may not notice any difference. But keep it up, and after a few weeks I believe you will feel better in body and spirit. All of us in Celesteville hope that Yoga for Elephants will bring you peace and inner harmony."

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Elephant Aide
    After teaching Yoga for 30 years, it's wonderful to have my favorite character Babar, as an aide. I'll use his book as a humorous textbook for my practice.
    Thank you dear Babar, I've always admired you.
    SUSIe

    5-0 out of 5 stars what a smashing success
    I very much enjoyed the adventures of Babar when I was younger. This book has just tickled my fancy and I am ordering one for my yoga teacher and partner. It is well done, entertaining, extremely accurate (how do elephants get into those poses when I can't?) and a great treasure for someone into the practice of yoga. This will be on my list of Eastern-themed gift books to give this Holiday season, along with my other favorite gift book Open Your Mind, Open Your Life by Taro Gold.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pachyderms Practicing Peaceful Poses
    I bought this book after seeing some of its illustrations - a little elephant in red shorts turning a backward sommersault - in a magazine. Written in an endearing, matter-of-fact tone by Babar the elephant, the book begins with Babar's explanation of how it came to be known that elephants are actually capable of doing yoga. In the next several pages, Babar provides the reader with instructions of very basic yoga poses, and he himself illustrates how to do the movements. The illustrations of Babar folding and stretching himself into yoga poses are hysterical and adorable. Babar then takes the poses on the road, while travelling internationally. He uses the yoga to relax and meditate in front of inspiring world famous monuments. This book is fun for children as well as adults. Entertaining, cultural, clever, imaginative and just so darn CUTE. ... Read more


    19. H Is for Home Run: A Baseball Alphabet (Sleeping Bear Press Alphabet Books)
    by Brad Herzog, Melanie Rose-Popp
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1585362190
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
    Publisher: Gale Group
    Sales Rank: 18370
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Now anyone can be one of the "boys or girls of summer" and get a home plate view of America's favorite pastime in "H is for Home Run: A Baseball Alphabet."this new offering in our line of children's alphabet books brings the game of baseball to entertaining and informative life.Sports writer Brad Herzog pairs easy-to-read rhymes with detailed expository so that readers are pitched baseball's facts, faces, history, and places from A-Z. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A "Hit" For Young Baseball Fans
    When I was recently looking for a book for a very young baseball hopeful, I came across H IS FOR HOME RUN. The book is more than an "alphabet book." It not only has an appropriate baseball term or tidbit of baseball for each letter, it also has an informative bit of baseball information. The text is well written and the illustrations are marvelous. It is the perfect book for any young slugger, but I can also see it being helpful for baseball illiterates like me-people who pretends to know something about the sport but are to embarrassed to ask. ... Read more


    20. Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping (I Can Read Book 2)
    by Peggy Parish
    list price: $3.99
    our price: $3.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060511060
    Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
    Publisher: HarperTrophy
    Sales Rank: 3394
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Camp Out

    Amelia Bedelia has never been camping in the great outdoors before. She's trying her best to do exactly as she's told, but pitching a tent is not the same as throwing it into the bushes, and catching a fish with your bare hands isn't easy. As usual, the mixed-up housekeeper makes this camping trip one hugely entertaining adventure.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rita says this book gets five stars....
    My granddaughter Rita is helping me write this review. She says this is one of her favorite books, and she recommends it to other kids. Rita read this book when she was in first grade. She's in second grade this year.

    Rita says the story starts when the familiy is going on a camping trip. She says Amelia's Dad says "Let's Hit the Road" and and Amelia picks up a stick and starts hitting the road. Amelia seems to always get things wrong. When they get to the campsite she falls in the river and her clothes are all wet.

    But one day, Amelia's Dad forgets his own birthday, so Amelia Bedelia makes a cake and fancy dinner for him. And the family starts singing "Happy Birthday to You." And he thanks Amelia Bedelia for the cake. Amelia finally does something that pleases her Dad. The End.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for Beginners
    This is a great book for young children. There is no bad language just good, clean reading. It's funny and amusing and will keep your children laughing.

    3-0 out of 5 stars It is a good book.
    It is about a funny camping trip. My favorite part is when Amelia Bedelia goes boating, and takes all the boats with her. I am seven years old. ... Read more


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