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Kidsday's recommended reading list

Are you looking for a good book to read? Our Kidsday reporters have read many books over the last few months and they have a done the hard work for you. All these books are good for kids to age 14. Our rating system is 1 to 5. If a book is rated a 5, you have to read it! We will be reviewing more books from time to time, so you won't have to guess what to read next. Happy reading!

"NICHOLAS ON VACATION" Author: Rene Goscinny Illustrator: Jean-Jacques Sempe Publisher: Phaidon Press Nicholas is a kid who loves entertainment. But for vacation he leaves his old gang and goes to Bains-les-Mers after a big decision. There on vacation he met seven friends: Ben, Freddy, Monty, Ian, Justin, Christopher and David. With his new gang he gets into a lot of trouble and has a lot of fun. But then he has to come home once again. Then Nicholas goes away to camp while his parents go on a trip alone. When he gets to camp he feels like he's in paradise! At camp he meets a lot of friends some are crazy some shy and some are cry babies. They did fun activities such as swimming treasure hunts and goes fishing, Nicholas had the best time of his life there. If you are between the ages 9-12, this book is great for your age. Rating: 4 By Ellie Cord Kidsday Reporter, Age 11, Quogue

"NIGHT OF THE HOWLING DOGS" Author: Graham Salisbury Publisher: Laurel-Leaf This book is about a Boy Scout Troop that goes on an adventure in a volcano in Hawaii. Everyone is packed up and ready to go but there's one problem: They all have to walk through a trail in the volcano to get to their campground. So they all start of fine and are supplied well. After about 4 hours in the volcano, they run out of water. Then, they have to walk on hot rocks and weeds. Yes, weed are in the volcano, the characters in the book were surprised also. So, now they are very hot and want to get out and rest. But they can't or they could roll off the trail onto spiky hot rocks and hot lava. They have to stay together very close and a couple of times one troop accidentally almost pushed another troop off the side. They were very scared, but they finally made it out of the volcano and found water. They wondered what would happen next camping trip... That's a mystery for them all. Some parts left you hanging, but at other parts you were so excited to see what happens next and won't want to put the book down. Age: 9 to 13 Rating: 4.5 By Ellie Cord Kidsday Reporter, Age 11, Quogue

"THE YEAR THE SWALLOWS CAME EARLY" Author: Kathryn FitzMaurice Publisher: Harper Collins Eleanor Robinson is a girl who is good at cooking. She is a very smart, good student. While Eleanor and her mother have dinner together one night her father is taken away. It is then that Eleanor's mother tells Eleanor about a box with unfinished books by her great-grandma, a science-fiction writer, Eleanor Robinson. Eleanor finds the box and looks through it with her best friend, Frankie. She and Frankie find a key inside that opens a safe-deposit box. Eleanor goes into the safe-deposit box and realizes her father took something that would build Eleanor's future. Eleanor sulks for a few days, and the day the swallows make their annual migration to her town, she is full of energy, and ready to cook all the dinners at her house! Thanks to the swallows, Eleanor found that energy. Eleanor learned that it is important to forgive a loved one, because no one is perfect. It is a heartwarming novel. I realized how hard it must have been for Eleanor to forgive her dad for possibly ruining her future. Also, when Eleanor receives a phone call from her father in jail, she needed to hold back from saying anything disrespectful to her father. Eleanor was a strong, tough girl who went through a hard time in her life. She handled it well and learned a lesson about forgiveness. Age group: 9-12 Rating: 5 By Lily Spellman Kidsday Reporter, Age 10, Quogue

"GUARDIAN" Author: Julius Lester Publisher: HarperCollins Ansel Anderson, a 14-year-old boy, is growing up in 1846 in a small town called Davis. Davis is in the south, so people who had darker skin were not treated equally. Davis got its name from Zephaniah Davis who gave his name to the town and also in the Davis' family tree there was a Cap'n Davis who owned the biggest plantation in the state and every store in central town. Now the youngest Davis in Davis is Zeph, who is 16. Zeph and Ansel fall for the same girl, Mary Susan, and Zeph decides to murder her. So, since Zeph is a Davis none of the people in the town believe that a white man killed a white girl. So, the blame an innocent black man, that Ansel and his father, Bert, know really well. The innocent black man gets hanged and killed. This book is very surprising and has you shocked. It does have some bad words and is inappropriate at some parts. Age group: 12 to 15 Rating: 2.5 By Lily Spellman Kidsday Reporter, 10, Quogue

"HEROES OF THE VALLEY" Author: Jonathan Stroud Publisher: Hyperion Books This is an upbeat Viking story that shows the true meaning of heroism and friendship. Haiti Sveinsson has heard the tales of his ancestor Svein who was stronger than any grown man in the valley, who was skilled with a sword. But that was the past and the Council had outlawed swords throughout the valley. The only ones remaining were on top of the hill in the forbidden lands where the Trows lurked at night. The swords were buried along side the 12 heroes who died fighting at the Battle of the Rock. In Svein's household, a short-legged boy who always seems to find trouble. Halli is bored with daily chores and cannot help to play pranks on his family and the servants. One prank he pulls on Ragnar Hanksson causes many unpleasant events that lead to three murders, one friendship, and a family feud. Halli goes on many adventures, ones that are for the good and ones that are for the worst. Halli may be the second son and not heir to the power of the house but shows great leadership and courage throughout the book. At times he is looked upon as a disgrace to the family and a murder. He wants to be a hero as his ancestor and do great deeds but finds that himself is already a hero. Age group: 11 and older Rating: 3.5 By Olivia Jackson Kidsday Reporter, Age 11, Quogue

"THE ADVENTURES OF TUMTUM AND NUTMEG" Author: Emily Beam Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers "The Adventures of Tumtum and Nutmeg" is about two caring and adventurous mice. Tumtum earned his name because of his huge tummy and Nutmeg got her name because of her nutmeg colored hair. The two tidy mice live in a grand mouse hole behind a heavy dresser in the Mildew cottage. The Mildew family is made up of the young boy Arthur, his older sister Lucy, and their father Mr. Mildew, an inventor with little money. When creepy Aunt Ivy, the evil aunt of the Mildew children, comes to stay because she had mice in her house, the children write to Tumtum and Nutmeg to drive her away. The mice decide to bring in a large army of mice, lead by General Marchmouse, to scare Aunt Ivy out of her wits. They succeed. There are lots of adventures, but in the final adventure of the book, General Marchmouse goes camping in Arthur's blue toy boat. When the sun rises in the morning, the mice try to get the General out of the boat but Arthur pushes the toy boat off in a pond and all three mice find themselves in an adventure at sea. When they finally arrive at an island in the pond, they are captured by pirate rats. Nutmeg sends a letter in a bottle to Lucy and Arthur about the boat and pirates. When children get the message, they send back a boat full of gold chocolate wrappers, amazing the pirates and freeing the mice.Rating: 4 By Julia Brimeyer Kidsday Reporter, Age 10, Quogue

"THE GIRL WHO COULD FLY" Author: Victoria Forester Publisher: Feiwel and Friends For longer then anyone could remember the McCloud family lived in the Lowland County. The McCloud's where always were told to be "normal." That all changed when Betty and Joe McCloud gave birth to Piper. She was not normal at all, she could fly when she was a baby.Piper was always a happy person and always seemed out of place. When Piper started floating her parents shielded her from the world because they were disgraced. Piper soon stopped floating but discovered a bigger talent ... flying! Piper loved it but when her mother saw her she banned Piper from flying. Not all like her having special powers and she is caught and put in a torture chamber which sucks all life and power out of her. She is left almost lifeless and crippled, but is healed once again. Once her health returned they almost immediately made a plan to take over. This time they had no problems and defeated Dr. Hellion. Everyone went back home but some stayed because they weren't welcome back to their families. With their special powers they could save the world .Age group: 10-15 Rating: 4 By Meera Patel Kidsday Reporter, Age 11, Quogue

"THE ROBE OF SCULLS" Author: Vivian French Publisher: Candlewick Press

Lady Lamorna is an evil sorceress that wants a scull gown with black velvet. She needs gold to buy the black dress with sculls. She looks in her treasure chest and finds no gold. That causes her to kidnap, blackmail and use a lot of magic to get her dress and the gold to buy it. Lady Lamorna sends a bat out to go get some gold. The bat finds a girl in a cellar and then the bat tells the girl named Gracie Gillypot to come with him to his home and then to Lady Lamorna so she can get the gold. Gracie gets starved by her step dad. The bat brings soup that makes mean people go to sleep and nice people strong and powerful. The bat and Gracie head out on there journey to go to Lady Lamorna but Gracie does not know. The bat and Gracie arrive. Will Lady Lamorna get what she wants? Will Gracie Gillypot, two loud mouth bats,a prince, and some ancient crones foil her plans? Rating: 4 By Valerie Iacobelli Kidsday Reporter, Age 11, Quogue

"THE SEVEN KEYS OF BALABAD" Author: Paul Haven Publisher: Random House This book is about a boy named Oliver Finch who is living in a remote place called Balabad. He does not like it there, thinking it is very boring and hot. At least, until something happens. First, the 50-foot- long Sacred Carpet of Agamon is stolen. Then, a one-legged man disappears. Lastly, Mr. Haji, a carpet salesman (and a good friend of Oliver's), disappears. Now Oliver and his rich friend Zee must go to Hamid Halabala, a one-eyed man that fought in the Balabad civil war. He tells them about the Brotherhood of Arachosia, a brotherhood where they must keep seven keys safe so nobody could open up the vault that holds the world's greatest treasures. Unfortunately, though, somebody has six of those keys. And this is where the adventures begin. Age Group: 9-12 Rating: 3.5 By Christian Lockwood Kidsday Reporter, Age 10, Quogue

"PIRATES OF UNDERWHERE" Author: Bruce Hale Illustrator: Shane Hillman Publisher: HarperCollins I reviewed "Pirates Of Underwhere." I would say the book was good but not great. I liked it because it was funny. Some of the negatives about the book are that they put some things that are for second graders. For example, they had a talking cat in the story. The author put things in the book that are not really true. For example, the author put in the book that a toilet brush was a magic electric tool. To make the book more interesting I would put things for fourth graders. For example, the author should have put things in the book that are funnier, like a world that is made out of underwear. Everything else was great! My favorite part of the book was when the cat had toilet plunger in his mouth. Age group: 7 and older Rating: 3 By Stephanie Bellone Kidsday Reporter, Age 9, Shirley

"STINK-O-PEDIA" Author: Megan McDonald Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds Publisher: Candlewick I reviewed "Stink-O-Pedia." The author is Megan McDonald. I think it's a good book. It has pictures and words for each letter of the alphabet. It has b for bellybutton, c for candy, and s for slime. I recommend that you buy it. I think it's for ages 7 up. If you are under the age of 7 have someone read it with you or to you. I think it's silly. It has stuff like February 15th is National Gumdrop Day on the page with the "C" for candy. It took me a couple of days to read the whole book but I enjoyed it and I hope you will buy it and enjoy it too! Rating: 4 By Joey Curcio Kidsday Reporter, Age 9, Corona

"ANDY SHANE IS NOT IN LOVE" Author: Jennifer Richard Jacobson Illustrator: Abby Carter Publisher: Candlewick This book is about Andy Shane and his class was going to have a new student. Then, Andy Shane and (the new girl), Lark Alice Bell's become friends together. Andy helps her around the classroom. Andy's best friend, Dolores, gets mad when he saw Andy wrote LAB in a heart on his notebook. Dolores thought LAB was the initials for Lark Alice Bell, that's why Dolores got mad. Finally, Lark gave Andy one of her Lab dogs. Dolores was with Lark and Andy. She finally saw that Andy loved his new Lab dog. My brother in third grade, reviewed the book with me. We think it would be good for 2nd graders. Rating: 4 By Jack Wang Kidsday Reporter, Age 10, Dix Hills

"I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES" Author: Barrie Summy Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers "I So Don't Do Mysteries" is about a teenage girl who's name is Sherry. Sherry has two parents and a brother named Sam. Sherry's mother died in a car accident, now her father is getting remarried to one of Sherry's school teachers named Paula. i think the author's purpose is to tell the readers you can't decide if you like something or not if you haven't tried it yet, and that you can't judge someone until you get to meet them. In conclusion, I think everyone could enjoy this book, with all it's twists and turns that keep you wanting more. Rating: 4 By Victoria Hayes Kidsday Reporter, Age 10, Deer Park

"AMELIA'S SCIENCE FAIR DISASTER!" Author: Marissa Moss Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books This is a great book! I loved it! I also loved the way it was in diary form. This book is really funny and there are great drawings. It is really fun and enjoyable to read! I flew through the book in 1 week. It was so good I couldn't put it down! I read the book whenever I had time because I was curious to read on and see what would happen! I like how it had realistic problems. It helps you deal with group projects. I think this is an amazing book! Rating: 4.5 By Nina Angello Kidsday Reporter, Age 11, Dix Hills

"THE FAIRY REALM: THE CHARM BRACELET" Author: Emily Rodda Publisher: HarperCollins Jessie visits her grandmother's house called Blue Moon. There, she discovers an amazing secret and enters the Fairy world. All of the magical creatures you could imagine live here but, the Realm is in great danger. Can Jessie save the realm before it's too late? Come along on this magical adventure with Jessie and the new friends she meets along the way. If you are interested in drama and magic this is the book for you. We would recommend this book to 2nd and 3rd graders. Emily Rodda (the author of this fun and entertaining book) is amazing at writing kids books! If you decide to read "Fairy Realm and the Charm Bracelet" and were taken in by this magical book, Emily Rodda has written a second book called "Fairy Realm and the Flower Fairies." We fell in love with this magical book and think it can happen to you! Rating: 4.5 By Kaitlyn McFadden and Kathleen Carroll Kidsday Reporters, Ages 9 and 10, Wantagh and North Massapequa

"FLAT STANLEY'S WORLDWIDE ADVENTURES" Author: Various Publisher: Harpercollins Children's Our review is on the Flat Stanley series. Our books are "Flat Stanley The Original Adventure," "The Mount Rushmore Calamity," "The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery," and "Stanley Flat Again." We rated this series a 3 out of 5. The best book we read was the "Mount Rushmore Calamity." It's about Stanley and his friends go in a gold mine and they find a gold pebble. Now the Great Egyptian Grave Robbery was about Stanley receiving a letter from an archaeologist he traveled by air mail to Egypt to help find an ancient treasure deep in the heart of a giant pyramid. Another book was "Stanley Lampchop" thought he was back to a normal round boy for good until one morning when out of nowhere he seems to have gone flat again. The next book we read was "Flat Stanley the Original." It's about a board fell on Stanley during the night, and he is now half an inch thick! Weird things were happening to Stanley. Now that's what the series is about. Rating: 4 By Frank Guidice, Jimmy Gambetta, Brendan Tominey, Matt Molé, Kyle Locastro and Ryan Kelly Kidsday Reporters, Age 10, Wantagh, Massapequa Park, North Massapequa and Bethpage

"WHY IS SNOT GREEN? AND OTHER EXTREMELY VERY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS (AND ANSWERS!)" Author: Glenn Murphy Publisher: Flash Point Books Do you like science? Well then, don't get disgusted by the title. The book, "Why is Snot Green?" is the book for you. This book is full of wacky comedy science questions and answers such as, "What do people taste like to sharks and tigers?" or "What would happen if you farted in a spacesuit?" All the answers are in this comedy-science book. In this book there is usually a kid who asks a question related to the subject in each chapter. He has a word bubble in bold letters. A scientists answers the question in un-bold letters inside his word bubble. From his intelligence, I'd say the kid is about 8-10 years old, and from both the scientist's and the kid's intelligence, I'd say the book level is for ages 7-11. So, if you like science, there's no excuse to not read this book. Rating: 5 By Giovanni Codignotto Kidsday Reporter, 10, Wantagh

"MOUSEHUNTER" Author: Alex Milway Publisher: Little, Brown The drum roll stopped. The trapdoors unlocked. The prisoners dropped." Do you want to know what happens? Then read, "The Mousehunter." This was a creative book about a Mousekeeper's adventure to capture the one and only Mousebeard. Her adventure consists of amazing mice, a giant, monsters, and Lovelock. Emiline and her friend Scratcher are part of a crew ready to take on Mousebeard. Their captain is getting paid by the richest man in Old Town and Emiline's old boss, Lovelock. Lovelock is really setting them up and they fell into the trap of money. Will they ever escape or is there no need? You can find out after reading, "The Mousehunter." I really think that if you like this kind of book than you should read it, but it was not for me. If you like pirates and mice than you would really like it. It starts out slowly but picks up at the very end. The end was the most exciting part of the book and it was really good. Rating: 4 By Hannah Connolly-Sporing Kidsday Reporter, Age 11, Southampton

"SUDDENLY SUPERNATURAL: SCAREDY KAT" Author: Elizabeth Cody Kimmel Publisher: Little, Brown and Company If the genre of books you like to read is a thrilling realistic fiction kind of mystery, then "Suddenly Supernatural: Scaredy Kat" is the book for you. The author did an excellent job of telling the life of a medium, or someone who can see and interact with sprits and ghosts of the dead world. In this story, you can find everything of your liking from adventure to barley on your seat moments when Kat, the medium in preparation, finds another thing about being what she is. The story is based on two girls Kat and Jac, who are doing a project for school on the abandoned house next to Kat's. Kat gets this idea when she is taking pictures of herself. In the background of one of her pictures, she sees a little boy sitting in the house next door playing with toys. She immediately walks over there to investigate. When she goes over there and walks up to his room, she tries talking to him. Although when Kat is talking to this little boy, who was indeed a spirit, he seems that he cannot hear her. She tries getting his attention but he just sits there talking and saying, "I am here, I am." Age group: 9 and older Rating: 5 By Emily Quatroche Kidsday Reporter, 11, Southampton

"GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2009 GAMER'S EDITION" Publisher: Time, Inc. Home Entertainment There is the Guinness Book Of World Records and then there is the Guinness Book Of World Records Gamer's Edition which focuses exclusively on electronic games and world records that have been set by using these complicated and fun to use devises and software. There are records that games broke and there are records that people broke by playing games. For example, the most addictive Internet game is Peggle. An example of a record that a person has set is the longest drum marathon on Rock Band. This record was set when someone played for 26 hours and 40 minutes! This book also contains facts that show international differences in the expectance of video games. One example of this is that Greece became the first country to ban all video games because they wanted to curtail illegal gambling by using electronic games. My personal favorite features of the book are the endless lists of ranked video games in various categories. The lists range through all categories. Age group: 8 and older Rating: 5 By Hannah Stein Kidsday Reporter, Age 11, Southampton

"HEAT" Author: Mike Lupica Publisher: Puffin The book, "Heat" is a book by my favorite author, Mike Lupica. "Heat" is about a boy named Mike Arroyo. Mike is the greatest pitcher in his baseball league. His arm is like a rocket, but he has a secret. He and his 17-year-old brother live alone in the Bronx after escaping from Cuba. If anybody figures out that they are not living with an adult, they could be separated and put in foster homes or even worse sent back to Cuba! Not only that, but a coach in his league can't believe a kid his age throws that fast. After the coach demands a birth certificate, Mike can't give him one because his dad had it, but he is gone now! Will Mike find the solution to these problems? Will he and his brother be separated? Will he never play baseball again/ This book was a New York Times best seller and if you read it, you'll see why! Age group: 10 and older Rating: 5 By Jason DiStefano Kidsday Reporter, Age 12, Commack

"HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS" Author: Alec Greven Publisher: HarperCollins Illustrator: Kei Acedera This book is great. It is very good for boys and I can give you some tips that I got from the book, even though I'm not the author. Someone like me and everytime I said something, they laugh so that's a sign that a girl likes you. I mean, is there a book of how to talk to boys or get a boy or something. There's good advice for boys that I think is helpful. For a boy, that is, if you want a girl's attention, you don't flap your hand. You do a trick that makes them enjoy the thing or soccer move or whatever you are doing. I will just call my name if you know what I mean. Don't show off too much or she will dump you and don't act goofy and silly and control your hyperness. If you don't, she will dump you. For a boy, a crush is like a love disease. A thing that makes you get a girl, is to get her flowers or sweets or give her a compliment like, I like your shoes or nice shirt or another thing is buy her a gift but a small one not a big one like a big gigantic bear that makes a sound that says I love you or that will embarrass you and the person that you gave the big gigantic bear to, but you can always get a girl like that. Remember don't ever be silly, act goofy, and all that is bad. Do the opposite of bad and I know everybody knows it's good. Good luck. Age group: 9 and older Rating: 4 By Bryan Merlos Kidsday Reporter, Age 9, Glen Cove

"RAY AND ME" Author: Dan Gutman Publisher: HarperCollins I have read several books by Dan Gutman. The most recent is "Ray and Me." It is about a 10-year-old boy, Joe Stoshack. His friends call him Stosh. Stosh is a baseball player who has a special power to travel through time. When he picks up a baseball card, he gets a tingling feeling in his fingertips and then through his whole body. He is then taken back in time to the year on the card. During a game, a baseball hits Stosh, and it changes his life. He was in a coma for two weeks with a head injury and he also dislocated his shoulder. His baseball coach came to visit him in the hospital and brought him an old Ray Chapman baseball card. He told Stosh that a pitcher, Carl Mays, killed Ray Chapman. Chapman was not wearing a batting helmet because they didn't have helmets in 1920. Stosh had a plan to go back to 1920 to try and save Ray Chapman. He wanted to give him a batting helmet so he could save his life. During his trip back to 1920, Stosh meet Harry Houdini, Babe Ruth and other famous players. It was quite an adventure... but could he change history? Age group: 10 and older Rating: 4 By Matthew Chasan Kidsday Reporter, Age 11, Plainview

"MUDVILLE" Author: Kurtis Scaletta Publisher: Knopf Books I read "Mudville." This book is about a boy, named Roy McGuire, who absolutely, loves baseball. Every summer Roy goes to a baseball camp for about half the summer. But, Roy gets a call from his Dad saying, "Roy, I have a big surprise for when you get home!" He sat thinking what it could possibly be for the whole ride home. Perhaps it was a new cat? Or maybe it's a new catcher's mitt? Then he got home... and it wasn't a cat or a new mitt, it was a boy! One bad thing about living in Moundville was that it rains, I'm not talking like a drop or two, and I'm talking like nonstop, every day, 24/7! It has been raining like this for 22 years straight. How Roy's Dad makes a living, is that he is the boss of a corporation that "rain proofs" houses. They put big sheets of plastic on the roof of the houses. But, once the rain stopped, Roy's Dad was in trouble, because without rain no body needed "rain proof' houses! One good thing that came out of no rain was that the kids could finally play out side without getting soaking wet. This meant that the kids could actually play baseball again.With finally being allowed to play baseball again, Roy went through many adventures. Such as getting a team together, finding people to play against, and finding the perfect coach. It had some comedy, romance, and also a little drama. It's three in one book! Age group: 10 and older Rating: 4 By Samantha Warner Kidsday Reporter, Age 11, Plainview

"MAX (A MAXIMUM RIDE NOVEL)" Author: James Patterson Publisher: Little, Brown and Company I think the new Maximum Ride Novel "Max," is a great book. It has suspense, action, and even a bit of romance. All in all this is a very unique book because it's for kids and adults. Basically it's about a group of kids called "the flock," they are called this because they were created in a lab, and have wings! They're trying to save the world, but some people want them ... dead. I really think people would enjoy this book. I plan to read the rest of the series soon. Age group: 10 and older Rating: 5 By Jessica Murawski Kidsday Reporter, Age 11, Centereach

"ARE YOU AFRAID YET?" Author: Stephen James O'Meara Illustrator: Jeremy Kaposy Publisher: Kids Can Press This book is very scary. My mom didn't even want me to finish it. She said it was inappropriate and would give me nightmares. I don't think so, but what she says is what she says. Her reaction was to drop it on the floor. I think older kids will like it for two reasons. One is that it has some hard vocabulary and the other is because it is scary. The book has stuff like drawings of people with their heads flying off or with their heads getting cut off. It is scary, but good. Age group: 11 and older Rating: 4 By Julia Goldsamt Kidsday Reporter, Age 10, Great Neck

"LOVE: STARGIRL" Author: Jerry Spinelli Publisher: Random House/ Knopf Books "Love Stargirl" is a heartwarming story by one of my favorite authors, Jerry Spinelli. In this book, a 14-year-old girl, Susan "Stargirl" Caraway, learns to love the simple things in life such as Winter Solstice and mockingbird songs, after she moves away from her life in Arizona. At first, Stargirl meets an ambitious 5-year-old girl, Dootsie Pringle. Dootsie's heart is always open and she looks to find ways to cheer everyone up. Stargirl then befriends an agoraphobic woman, Betty Lou. She gains knowledge from Betty Lou's helpful and caring advice. Then when tough, hardheaded, Alvina Klecko comes around, Stargirl must try to keep the peace. Now, Alvina's mother, Mrs. Klecko, wants Stargirl to help teach Alvina some new and better habits and Stargirl agrees. Will Stargirl be able to keep her promise to Mrs. Klecko? I liked this book because I think many people can relate to Stargirl's situation as she is uprooted from her life that was going pretty well at the time. Go on Stargirl's journey with her as she discovers how life's little pleasures are everywhere and all you have to do is open your heart to let them in. Rating: 5 By Alexandra Jacullo Kidsday Reporter, Age 10, Deer Park

"TIMOTHY AND THE DRAGON'S GATE" Author: Adrienne Kress Publisher: Weinstein Books This book is about a boy named Timothy Freshwater. Timothy has been expelled from every school in his town. His father has to take Timothy to work with him, and that is where Timothy's adventures begin. Timothy meets a man named Evans Bore, who gives him a key that makes him travel halfway around the world where he has a series of exciting adventures. Timothy encounters dragons, pirates, businessmen (don't ask), and even a duchess. I thought this book was interesting because it was full of adventure and mystery. It makes the reader anxious to find out what will happen next. Even though the book is a little long (362 pages), it is definitely worth it. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adventure and fantasy stories. Age group: 10 and older Rating: 4.5 By Elizabeth Fashakin Kidsday Reporter, Age 10, Old Westbury

"THE SUPER SLUGGERS SLUMPBUSTER" Author: by Kevin Markey Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books I read the book, "The Super Sluggers Slumpbuster". It is about a little league baseball player named Banjo Hit Bishbash. He loves baseball. His nickname is "Walloper" because he is known for his hitting, especially his ability to hit home runs. Everything is going great for his team, but suddenly he goes into a terrible slump. The rest of the book tells about how it affects the team, how he handles the slump and how he tries to break out of it. I recommend this book for baseball fans. For any Yankee fans out there, the author likes the Red Sox, so you might not want to read this book. Age group: 8 to 12 Rating: 4 By Michael Roberts Kidsday Reporter, Age 9, Wantagh

"SWING! A SCANIMATION PICTURE BOOK" Author: Rufus Butler Seder Publisher: Workman Publishing I reviewed the book "Swing!" This book is a scanimation picture book. The pictures move as you turn the pages. Some examples are that you can actually see a ball in the air like it was thrown and the batter is swinging at it and on another page you see a girl twirling on ice skates. I give this book the highest rating because of the great pictures and the way it looks so real. I feel this book is best for first- and second-graders because the words are pretty easy. Though I think anyone will like the action pictures, even parents. Really cool! Rating: 5 By William Brown Kidsday Reporter, Age 9, East Northport

"CANDY APPLE BOOKS" Authors: various Publisher: Scholastic Candy Apple books have a whole collection and they are written by all different authors. I read three of the books. The main characters are girls who are in middle school. These books are really interesting because there is always a story to tell. Each story is different and you never want to put the book down. I think these books are great for ages 10 to 13. A few of the titles are "Babysitting Wars," "Making Waves," "The Boy Next Door," and "Callie for President." These are some of the books I read. So far my favorite is "Making Waves." It's about three friends who meet a new girl and are thinking of making a fourth friend. The new girl keeps ditching them so they know she has a secret. She won't tell them the secret and they don't know what they should do. You will have to read the book to find out what happens. I hope you enjoy reading Candy Apple books as much as I do. Rating: 5 By Maggie Shanley Kidsday Reporter, Age 12, Massapequa Park


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