Young Student Reviews

Applegate, Katherine. 2012. The one and only Ivan. HarperCollins Publishers (Harper). [email protected], (212-207-7000). 305pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-199225-4.

The one and only Ivan is a great book written by Katherine Applegate. It’s about a gorilla named Ivan who lives in a mall and how he becomes friends with a baby elephant. It’s a good book for 4th to 6th graders. (IB)

Aronson, Sarah. 2011. Beyond lucky. Penguin Group (USA), Inc. (Dial). [email protected], (212-366-2000). 256pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3520-0.

Ari Fish has always been overshadowed by his soccer superstar best friend, Mac. His older brother, Sam, was also a local soccer legend and left big shoes to fill. He is off fighting fires in California, and Ari and his parents worry about Sam’s safety. Ari finds a very rare soccer card of his favorite player, and he is suddenly successful at everything he tries – he even makes starting goalie. Just as everything is going his way, someone steals the card. He aims accusations at Mac and the team’s only girl player, Parker. Ari’s luck starts to turn as tensions rise among the teammates and Sam battles some very dangerous fires. Will Ari find the card before it’s too late? Beyond lucky would be great for sports fans or those who enjoy a mystery. Students can relate to the themes of friendship, family, and superstition. Ari is a good example of a leading character because he goes through changes during the story and can show kids how to cope with common issues in a mature way. This book is recommended for upper elementary or middle school readers. (KAT, AM) 

Coleman, Evelyn. 2012. Freedom Train. Simon and Schuster (Margaret K. McElderry). [email protected], (800-223-2336). 140 pp. $6.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-3652-7.

I liked this book’s use of descriptive language and explanation of why, many years ago, whites did not believe that black people were just as human as white people were. It also provided a great deal of interesting information about the Freedom Train. Nine-year-olds will definitely enjoy reading this book. (MEP) 

Urban, Linda. 2011. Hound dog true. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Harcourt Children’s Books). [email protected], (800-597-6127).152pp. $15.99 ISBN 978-0-547-55869-1.

In this book Mattie Breen moves again. She keeps a notebook, Custodial Wisdom, in hopes to become her uncle’s custodial apprentice at school. Then at the end of the year she gets a friend, Quincy Sweet, a best friend who is hound dog true. Fourth grade girls would be a great audience for this book. (SB)