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  • Elementary Book Reviews

    Elvis and the Underdogs

    by Jenny Lee
    316 pages
    Reviewed by The Junior Book Dealer (Elena Elizabeth Hynes)

    “I keep thinking of what would make the coolest opening to my note. Dear Taisy? Nah, too boring. Dearest Taisy. No way, too girly, and it sounded like those black and white movies my mom sometimes watches. Yo, Taisy? That sounded cooler, but it didn’t sound like me at all. Yo, Yo, Taisy? No, that sounded like I was calling her a Yo-yo and what if she asked if I could Yo-yo and then I had to admit that I was not a good Yo-yoer at all.” (p. 161).
    Elvis and The Underdogs is a book that would be enjoyed by kids who like humor. Like the books by Lisa Graff, this book has very “real” characters even though it is fiction. Benji, the main character, is a ten year old that was born sickly to make him faint a lot.…

    Jake and Lily

    by Jerry Spinelli
    352 pages
    Reviewed by The Junior Book Dealer (Elena Elizabeth Hynes)

    “I kept looking at Ernie with his Daffy Duck T-shirt and his white smear of sunblock on his sunburned nose and his clumsiness and his never-ending cheeriness, and I realized he was the same as always. He fit the definition of a goober as perfectly as ever. He hadn’t changed at all. I had. Forget what I said a couple of pages ago: goobers do exist. They are what they are, which is pretty much what I thought they were. What Bump thinks they are. But Bump is missing the point: it is okay to be a goober. Beneath every goober is a kid. A person. Maybe he’s not what you would call a ‘regular.’ But so what? Is that a bad thing?” (Spinelli, p. 322)

    Jake and Lily is one of the best books I have read so far.…

    Million-Dollar Throw

    by Mike Lupica
    244 pages
    Reviewed by Tommy Jennings
    Grade 4

    “And the deal, as I recall, went something like this: This isn’t a job for you. It’s an adventure,” she said.

    “I am almost sure you stole that from somebody.”


    Nate Brodie and Abby McCall have been life-long best friends. Nate, a kid with a golden arm, is a great quarterback and the biggest Tom Brady fan you’ll ever meet. Abby is just good at everything.

    Shortly after his 13th birthday, Nate, his mom, and his best friend Abby McCall make a trip to SportStuff, where Nate is finally able to buy the limited edition autographed Brady football for which he’s been saving $500.00 Abby looks at a poster and finds there is a contest to throw a ball into a twenty-inch target from the 30 yard line.
    It’s a one-in-a-million chance, but Nate wins the contest and a shot at the big money.…


    by Patrick Carman
    261 pages
    Reviewed by McKayla G.

    “This is the weirdest hotel ever,” said Remi.
    “That’s what you said about the last one.”
    “Yeah, but this time I really mean it.”
    They arrived at the opening of a narrow tunnel, which would require getting down on their knees. A creepy, slurping sound came from inside.
    “No way,” said Remi. Not gonna happen. Whatever’s in there is going to eat my face off.”
    “For crying out loud, Remi,” said Leo, sitting down in front of the opening and patting the ground. “Come on, sit down. Let’s just take a break and get back in the game.”
    Remi sat on the far side of Leo, away from the opening, and a spider the size of a tennis ball drifted down in front of his face. Remi was having some trouble breathing until Leo batted it away with his hand, and it went scurrying into the dark.…

    Double Dog Dare

    by Lisa Graff
    290 pages
    Reviewed by The Junior Book Dealer: Elena Elizabeth Hynes
    “Nice tutu,” she said to him with a smile.
    “Nice hair,” he replied. Her smirk quickly faded into a frown. Kansas almost didn’t believe she had really done. It. But she had. Francine’s new green hair hung down in front of her face like vines in a jungle.
    “I can’t believe you made me do this,” she said, jabbing a finger toward her head. “You’re so mean. I would never do anything so mean to you.”
    “I’m so mean? “ Kansas replied.
    The door whipped open.
    “Why hello there, you two!” It was their teacher, Miss Sparks, white teeth flashing. “I thought I heard some students out here. Come inside, won’t you. You both look incredible for spirit day, by the way.
    Incredible? Kansas was pretty sire that what they looked like was two circus freaks! (p.…

    Rapunzel: Twice Upon a Time

    by Wendy Mass
    288 pages
    Reviewed by The Junior Book Dealer: Elena Elizabeth Hynes

    You have heard the tale of Rapunzel, but Wendy Mass’s Rapunzel is very different because the two main characters are more interesting in this story. Rapunzel is trapped in a castle because her parents traded her for an herb that would make them rich. Benjamin, the prince, is not your normal prince charming. He is a bit clumsy at the normal prince games, and he wishes he could be a knight instead of a prince.

    Also in the story there are a few twists. Both characters are a bit awkward. There is a green troll named Stephen that helps save their lives, and the witch has even more attitude than the one in the original story.

    The ending is filled with action and, of course, is not like the original version. Read Rapunzel if you like humor mixed with fairy tales.…

    Mercy Watson Fights Crime

    by Kate DiCamillo
    71 pages
    Reviewed by The Junior Book Dealer: Elena Elizabeth Hynes

    Mr. and Mrs. Watson have a pig named Mercy. Mercy LOVES buttered toast. One night, Mercy heard a noise in the kitchen. She thought Mrs. Watson was making toast. When she arrives in the kitchen, Mercy is surprised by Leroy Ninker, a man who always wanted to be a cowboy. Since it was impossible for him to be a cowboy, Leroy decided to be a robber, and that is when Mercy meets comes face-to-face with Leroy.


    This book is full of action as Mercy and Leroy go out into the neighborhood. What will happen next? You will have to read this story to find out if Mercy saves the day.


    Notes to Teachers: This is a great first chapter book for beginning readers. This is the 3rd book out of a 6 book series.