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review 2017-06-20 22:52
Serafina and the Black Cloak - Robert Beatty


Robert Beatty

Format: paperback

ISBN: 9780545948890
Publish date: 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Inc
Pages no: 304
A short little review, but a good one-4 stars. Definitely an enjoyable read! Serafina is a great character with a lot of personality. This is set at Biltmore Estate, and the plot shows Serafina discovering not only the Estate but the grounds as well. Beatty brings his characters to life while they deal with some adventure, some friendship, and a little bit of spookiness. I am looking forward to the next in the series. 
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review 2017-05-12 04:11
Two kids must save the world...
The Doom Machine - Mark Teague,Scholastic Inc.


Skreeps - 9 ft. tall alien spiders from the planet Skreepia. They land on Earth to obtain a "special item" from the ooman bings. They capture Jack, his Uncle Bud, Isadora, her mother (a scientist), and the town cop and his son. Uncle Bud has created a device that looks like a refrigerator but has the ability to create holes in space & time. The Skreeps want it so they can take over more planets, including Earth.


This story is aimed at kids ages 9-12. It is a bit scary because the Skreeps are huge spiders (and well...yuck). The Skreeps fight each other constantly and threaten the kids and their families. Isadora is a great character, smart, logical, and willing to do whatever it takes to test a theory. Jack is a juvenile delinquent who can fix any car, and it turns out spaceships too. I liked the way the two of them worked together and/or fought throughout the story. Isadora is always smarter and braver, but Jack is clever in his own ways.


There is a lot of talk about time and moving outside time and always being somewhere. It gets a little confusing, but I don't think the author expected his audience to understand it, just accept it. Some kids are good at that.


The Skreeps are constantly trying to prove themselves better than each other, and the constant bickering leads to some funny scenes. The story includes an evil queen, rebels, heroes, pirates, prophets and prophecies, surprising monsters, and enough twists and turns to delight any sci-fi fan.


Teague is very creative and has written a wonderfully entertaining story. The giant spiders (Skreeps) are seriously creepy at times and may be too much for sensitive readers.

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text 2017-04-04 09:16
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
Serafina and the Black Cloak - Robert Beatty

Ok, this book, Serafina and the Black Cloak, has been on my TBR list for a while now.

I have a niece and nephew who love to read so I tend to read a lot middle grade and YA books to see what they are interested in or maybe to help them find something new. And now that I belong to the local YMCA which has a before and after school program as well as a preschool, I seem to run into their Scholastic book fairs. I find it very difficult to not buy something. How can I resist? A good book and helping a school type program....And I am finding that there are many really good middle grade and YA Authors who I definitely enjoy reading.

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review 2016-12-08 23:38
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed (Scholastic) - Mo Willems

Genre:  Animals / Humor / Self Esteem / Peer Pressure

Year Published: 2009

Year Read:  2016

Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children



Mole Rat

You know, the moment that I saw Mo Willems’ name on this book, I just knew that I had to pick this book up since I have been loving everything that Mo Willems had thrown at me! This particular book that I had just recently picked up is called “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed” and I was quite surprised by the title of this book and I wanted to see how Mo Willems would make this book just as interesting as his other works!

There are three things you should know about naked mole rats:

1. They are a little bit rat.
2. They are a little bit mole.
3. They are all naked.

Well, except for one naked mole rat…WILBUR!

Wilbur was the only naked mole rat who was not…well…naked, as he constantly wears clothes to every occasion he goes to. The other naked mole rats were not pleased by Wilbur’s strange notions about wearing clothes and they tried to persuade Wilbur to not wear clothes. But Wilbur refuses to take off his clothes and the other naked mole rats ended up telling the Grand-pah, the oldest, greatest and most naked mole rat, about Wilbur constantly wearing clothing.

What will the Grand-pah say about Wilbur’s strange notions in wearing clothing?

Read this book to find out!

Well, what did I tell you? Mo Willems has never failed to amaze me with his creative and hilarious writing and this book is no different! I loved the way that Mo Willems addressed the issue of peer-pressure to the readers by having Wilbur dealing with peer-pressure as the other naked mole rats keep on telling him that it is appalling wearing clothes and that he should be like everyone else and remain naked. I also loved the way that Wilbur is portrayed as being strong willed and wanting to keep wearing his clothes, despite what the other naked mole rats say about him as it shows the readers that you should be yourself no matter what other people say about your hobbies or appearance. I thought it was creative and interesting that Mo Willems used naked mole rats as characters and used their titles to describe about the pressure of not wearing clothes since naked mole rats are supposed to be “naked” and it sends an interesting message about being yourself despite how different your notions may be compared to everyone else’s. Mo Willems’ artwork is as usual creative and fun to look at as the naked mole rats are shown as pink creatures with whale shaped heads and chubby little stomachs that make them look extremely cute! I also loved seeing the images of Wilbur putting on clothes as it makes him stand out from the other naked mole rats and I also loved the styles that he has chosen for himself!

Mole Rat

Overall, “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed” is a truly inspiring and cute book about not giving in to peer-pressure and being yourself no matter what anyone else thinks about you! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2016-11-11 18:39
Helen Keller biography
A Girl Named Helen Keller (Scholastic Reader Level 3) - Margo Lundell,Irene Trivas

This is a neat little biography about a person I strongly admire- that is Helen Keller.  I am actually from the town she was born in, and her story means so much to me.  I definitely want to have a biography unit in my class where the students can select one of these nifty little biographies and do some kind of poster project on their person they choose to read about. I will definitely have this book in the mix for them to read about! It is a 2.8 reading level.

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