Syndicate content

Welcome to Books to Hoot About! the children's book review blog from InfoSoup librarians and users!

chapter book

Originally posted in: APL Picks for Kids

How To Steal A Dog

bookcover
Author: Barbara O'Connor

Georgina and her family suddenly find themselves homeless. Living out of a car with her mother and little brother while her mother works two jobs makes Georgina think about what she can do to help the situation. She comes up with a wild idea to steal a dog and claim reward money after the owner posts reward signs for the lost dog. As the story unfolds, Georgina and the reader grow fond of a mysterious man named Mookie, an old woman named Carmella, and a little dog named Willy. Sometimes, the best lessons happen in the worst of times. Although the topic is sad, the story is told in a loving way that keeps the reader engaged throughout.

I recommend it for both boys and girls, grades 5-7.

Originally posted in: APL Picks for Kids

Gregor the Overlander

bookcover
Author: Suzanne Collins

Book 1 of the Underland Chronicles

In this fantasy, eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister, Boots, fall into an amazing underground world underneath New York City. This Underland is populated with humans and various giant-sized talking creatures. These creatures include bats called “fliers”, cockroaches called “crawlers”, spiders called “spinners”, and rats called “gnawers.” They have all lived in harmony but “The Prophecy of Gray” has changed that existence. The prophecy states that Gregor may be the “overlander” destined to save the humans from the warlike rats. Gregor is more interested in finding his way home, until he discovers that fulfilling the prophecy might also mean finding his father. Thus there are two quests unfolding in this story. One is that the Underlanders must fulfill the Prophecy of Gray and prevent being annihilated by the rats. The other is Gregor’s quest to find his father and bring him home.

Read more»
Originally posted in: APL Picks for Kids

Small As An Elephant

bookcover
Author: Jennifer Jacobson

A touching story of self-reliance and survival. Eleven year old Jack Martel is abandoned by his mom, who is close to him but suffers from episodes of mental illness. He is left alone at their camping site in Acadia National Park in Maine. Jack must find food in any way he can—digging through trash for lobster leftovers, eating carrots from an older lady’s garden, dining on employees’ lunches while spending the night in an L. L. Bean store. He avoids authorities for fear they will permanently separate him from his mom. His passion for elephants sustains him as he steals a small elephant figurine for comfort, ponders elephant words of wisdom, and seeks to view a very special elephant.

Read more»
Originally posted in: APL Picks for Kids

Lotta on Troublemaker Street

bookcover
Author: Astrid Lindgren

5 year old Lotta becomes angry with her mother when assigned to wear a scratchy sweater. She cuts the sweater up and runs away to find a new home. Her next door neighbor lets her set up a little house in the backyard, and Lotta decides she will live there forever. Lotta ends up going home in the end, of course! I like this short chapter book by the author of Pippi Longstocking, because I think so many children can relate to Lotta's anger.

Recommended for 1st to 3rd grade students, younger for reading aloud.

Originally posted in: APL Picks for Kids

The Burning Bridge

bookcover
Author: John Flanagan

Book 2 of the Ranger’s Apprentice series

This sequel is packed with exciting adventures. Will, his friend Horace, and the Ranger Gilan, travel to Celtica, a neighboring country to Arluen, to ask for their help in the battle against the rebel warlord Morgarath. When they arrive in Celtica they find all the people gone. They encounter a girl, Evanlyn, hiding from the Wargals. She describes how the Celts were either killed or enslaved by these creatures. Gilan rides to tell the king of the news and Will, Horace, and Evanlyn are left to find out what the Wargals want with the Celts.

Read more»