Kids’ corner

April 2005


These reviews are the first installment of submissions from Mrs. Kimberly Fisher’s fifth grade class at Lester School in Downers Grove. More to come next month.

Action, suspense fuel this book Skeleton Key is the third book in a series by Anthony Horowitz. It’s about a 14-year-old boy named Alex Rider who is an agent for a secret organization called MI6.

He first has a mission at the Wimbledon tennis championship and ends up killing one of the tennis players. Later, he finds out he’s going on another mission in a distant country with CIA agents Carver and Troy to look for nuclear weapons, but he doesn’t know that. When they get there, they meet a guy named General Sarov. He wants to adopt Alex because Alex reminds the general of his son who died in a war.

To know the rest of the book, you will have to read it. I highly recommend this book for people who enjoy action and suspense. Jack Heinz, 11, Downers Grove

Moving isn’t always fun for kids With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies? by Angela Shelf Medearis is an exciting book that takes place in Texas.

Daddy, Momma, Shaire and Sandra keep moving. Shaire and Sandra go to one school after another. Shaire and Sandra don’t like moving. They want to stay in one place.

They also get new friends who they do not like at all. They don’t like it because their new friends aren’t like their old friends. Finally, Shaire finds a way to make herself at home. I think that you should read With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies? Allison Sabia, 10, Downers Grove

‘Loser’ definitely a winner Loser, by Jerry Spinelli, is a very fun book to read. It is disgusting, weird and strange, but in a cool way. The book takes place in a town and school. The main characters are Donald and Mrs. and Mr. Zinkoff.

In this story, Donald wants to fit in, but he can’t because he is too weird. In the beginning, Donald goes to his first day of school and messes around all day, laughing and joking. Donald gets surgery because he has a very bad stomach in third grade and has to stay home. While he is home he tries to grow up and face his biggest fear—the furnace monster. When he gets to school he has a field day and his team loses because of him. That is how he got the name “Loser.”

In fourth grade, he doesn’t have any friends until he meets Hector Binns. He tries to be the best friend ever, but his “friendship” doesn’t last long. Donald gets his first A, the only A in the class, and soon his name changes from Loser to “The Zink,” “Z Man,” “Genius” and “Zinkster.”

But his “fame” goes away soon.

In fifth grade, Donald gets rid of his old habits and becomes a more mature person. Donald finally moves onto middle school and is recognized in a different way. Read Loser to find out. Becca Kulik, 10, Downers Grove Don’t be embarrassed to read this book If you are looking for an extremely funny book, I would recommend A Mother to Embarrass Me by Carol Lynch Williams. This book is about a 12-year-old girl named Laura who suddenly realizes her mother is not so cool. Her mother listens to old-time music and sings really loudly with the windows open.

Then, her dad has to go and break dance at her first boy/girl party and he does something awful—he breaks his back while he is dancing and the paramedics have to carry him out on a stretcher in front of Laura’s friends. If that wasn’t bad enough, Laura’s mother does the worst thing imaginable. Read the book and find out.

I give this book a 9.9 on a scale of one to 10. It is funny and it keeps you interested all the way to the hilarious ending. My mother even enjoyed reading it. Heidi Lockett, 10, Downers Grove

Book is W.I.T.C.H.: the Power of Five, by Elizabeth Lenhard, was a very mysterious and fun book read. The main characters are Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia and Hay Lin. They’re all witches, but they don’t know that right at the beginning.

In this novel, the author explains a lot about the five girls and what their magical powers are. Most of the events are mysterious. In one, Hay Lin and Irma are captured by Lord Vateck. But you have to read this book and more books from this series to find out what happens to them.

When the girls receive their powers they realize all of their names put together spell out W.I.T.C.H.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes mysteries and novels about teenage witches. If I could rate this novel on a scale from one to 10, I’d give this novel a definite nine. Suzy Brashler, 11, Downers Grove

This story offers a thrilling look into the future The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, by Nancy Farmer, is an amazing book of the future mixed with the past’s evil. It takes place in Zimbabwe in the year 2194.

What was at first just a trip outside quickly turns into a wild goose chase. The Ear, the Eye and the Arm are detectives who have special powers, which they use to get Tendai, Rita and Kuda back.

Tendai, Rita and Kuda are the children of a very powerful, not to mention rich, general who were kidnapped. Now, they are traveling the country with a terrible gang, a cruel woman, a mhondro spirit and the detectives on their trail. Their travels take them from the busy Dead Man’s Vlei to the quiet of Resthaven, from Mrs. Horsepoll-Worthingham’s house to the Mile High Hotel.

Can the detectives find them before Tendai’s birthday? Will the children ever get to see their parents again? I would recommended this book to anyone who likes adventure stories. I’d give this great story 20 out of 10. Chloe Pooler, 11, Downers Grove


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