Book Review Grades Four Through Eight - and Beyond
by Eva Ibbotson. Harry N. Abrams, (9781419707896), 2013. Two children ﬁnd a secret valley where a peace loving family of abominable snowmen live. The children must save the snow people from ruthless land developers and showmen. This is classic Ibbotson with wild rides and narrow escapes and wonderful non-human creatures.
by Matt Phelan. Candlewick Press, (9780763650797), 2014. Henry spends the summer at nearby Bluffton hanging out with the circus and vaudeville folk, including a young Buster Keaton. This book illustrates what old folks mean when they talk about “The Good Old Days” and it delves into the childhood of one of early ﬁlm
s greats, Buster Keaton.
Bo at Ballard Creek
by Kirkpatrick Hill. Henry Holt and Co., (9780805093513), 2013. Bo lives in a mining village in the North with her two fathers, miners who decided to partner in raising the orphan when she was a baby. This is the story of Bo
s year, living among the Eskimos and miners and learning how to stay safe. Bo is only ﬁve when the mining camp is dismantled and she ﬂoats down the river with her dads. Ramona Quimby fans will like Bo.
The Book of Lost Things (Mister Max #1)
by Cynthia Voigt. Knopf Children
s Books, (9780307976819), 2013. Max
s parents are offered the acting job of a lifetime, traveling around the world. When Max arrives at the pier to join them, their ship has vanished. Max stays in the family home, and begins a business ﬁnding things as he investigates his parents
disappearance. This book was so much fun.
The Boy Who Swam with the Piranhas
by David Almond. Candlewick, (9780763661694), 2013. Stanley Potts leaves home when his Uncle
s obsession with canning ﬁsh threatens Stanley
s best friend. Stanley joins a traveling circus and works with a man who swims with the piranhas every night. Can Stanley swim with these teethy ﬁsh? Will Stanley ever ﬁnd a home again and who are those weird Inspector guys? Yep. this one is odd.
The Case of the Time Capsule Bandits
by Olivia Spencer. Simon & Schuster, (9781442476813), 2013. Randi Rhodes and her new friend, DC, witness the theft of their small town
s Time Capsule. Using the detective skills that she learned from her Dad
s crime novels, Randi and her friend set out to solve the theft and save the town. The author refers readers to Ninja Challenges that are listed in the back of the book, activities that include making a plaster cast and getting rid of the smell of a skunk.
The Center of Everything
by Linda Urban. HMH Books, (9780547763484), 2013. Ruby's story is framed by the events of the Bunning Day parade.
As she waits to read the Bunning Day Essay - she won the competition - the author takes us through the loss of her grandmother, Gigi, and how her grandmother's last day has affected Ruby's life and friendships.
s Literature Conference 2014 - Book reviews Grades 4 through 8 - Karen Maurer