Winter Book Review: Kids review some of this season’s new books

Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2012, 9:25 am
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Warm up this holiday break with some of the hottest new reads of the season. It's the perfect time to curl up by the fire with a good book.
If you are looking for a page-turner you can't put down, Time For Kid's Kid Reporters are here to help. They read and reviewed some of the latest kids' books to hit stores. Whether you're a history buff or a fantasy fan, you're sure to find a title that's right up your alley.
Check out these good reads:
"Better Nate than Ever"
By Tim Federle
Genre: Fiction
Number of pages: 288
What's the basic story line? Middle school student Nate Foster is an outcast in his town, living in the shadow of his track-star older brother. Nate is bullied every day. But he has a special talent: singing. Nate travels to New York City by himself to audition for "E.T.: The Broadway Musical." "Better Nate than Ever" is the story of his great adventure.
Are the characters believable? Yes. The characters in the story are relatable and reasonably depicted. Nate's life at home is believable, and many of the things that happen to him could happen to lots of people.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this book? I would rate this book an 8. The book has a good mix of excitement, calm parts and emotional parts while still being relatable.
— Reviewed by TFK Kid Reporter Zachary Lewis

"Destiny, Rewritten"
By Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Genre: Fiction
Number of pages: 352
What's the basic story line? "Destiny, Rewritten" is about a girl named Emily Davis, whose destiny is written in a book of Emily Dickinson's poems. Inside the book, Emily's mother wrote Emily would become a poet. However, Emily doesn't even like writing poetry. After finding out the book holds other important information — the name of the father Emily has never known — she loses the book. "Destiny, Rewritten" is the story, with many twists and turns, of Emily and her best friend's mission to get Emily's book back.
Are the characters believable? The characters are believable. Emily is just a regular middle-school girl whose mother decided to write her destiny in a book of poems. The author does a really good job of explaining Emily's fear, confusion, humor and happiness.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best), how would you rate this book? On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate this book an 8. I really liked how the author took such a minor problem — losing a book — and made it a major problem. It really makes you imagine what it would be like if the plan of your life was written in a book and you lost it!
— Reviewed by TFK Kid Reporter Alice Gottesman

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel"
By Jeff Kinney
Genre: Fiction
Number of pages: 224
What's the basic story line? "The Third Wheel" introduces us to the romantic side of sixth grader Greg Heffley. A Valentine's Day dance is planned, and he is desperate to find someone to accompany him. As in most "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books, things do not go according to plan. While Greg is successful at finding a girl from his class to go with him, he realizes he doesn't have anyone to drive him there. His only option is to go with his best friend, Rowley, too. That is when "The Third Wheel" adventures begin.
Are the characters believable? The characters are believable. Greg and Rowley are the main characters. They consistently are faced with complicated issues as they navigate their way through middle school life. Many kids can relate to the experiences and interactions that Greg and Rowley run into, even though the stories may seem exaggerated at times.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best), how would you rate this book? I would rate "The Third Wheel" an 8 out of 10. The pages are chock-full of jokes and humorous drawings. There is a wide variety of characters to entertain every reader. I definitely would recommend this book to kids and adults.
—Reviewed by TFK Kid Reporter Yusuf Halabi

By Patricia Reilly Giff
Genre: Historical Fiction
Number of pages: 160
What's the basic story line? After their parents are killed in a car accident, Jayna and her older brother Rob are each other's only family. When Rob goes off to serve in the Navy (the story is set during World War II), Jayna stays behind with their landlady in upstate New York. But when Rob is reported missing in action, Jayna decides to go to Brooklyn to look for her long-lost grandmother. Will Jayna's search lead her to the family she is seeking?
Are the characters believable? I would say they are pretty realistic. Jayna is a young teen who has the courage to travel by herself to find her grandmother. I would probably just stay home and think about doing something like that rather than actually doing it, so I did question how believable that is. However, my great-great-grandmother traveled from Poland to America by herself at age 16.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best), how would you rate this book? I would give this book a 9 since the characters are really relatable and seem like people you would want to meet. I have a major interest in fictional books, but not so much in historical fiction. "Gingersnap" really changed my opinion when it comes to this genre! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to get pulled into a story full of suspense, laughter and tears.
—Reviewed by TFK Kid Reporter Faye Collins


Local events heading

  Today is Thursday, Oct. 2, the 275th day of 2014. There are 90 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The ladies have adopted the fashion of wearing representations of insects in the flowers on their bonnets. Some look very natural.
1889 -- 125 years ago: T.F. Cary, former Rock Island alderman, has accepted a position as salesman for a Chicago wallpaper house and plans to move to that city.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Work on the new telephone building on 18th Street between 6th and 7th avenues is progressing rapidly.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater at 3rd Avenue and 19th Street will have a name significant of its location. The "Rocket" is scheduled to open Thanksgiving Day.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Two of Rock Island's newest water towers were vandalized last night, including the one at 38th Street and 31st Avenue, where police took five Moline boys into custody about 9 p.m..
1989 -- 25 years ago: Some of us who live in the Quad-Cities take the Mississippi River for granted, or at least we used to. But the river is not taken for granted by our visitors. And most Quad-Citians are realizing the importance of the river to this area as increased emphasis is placed on tourism.

(More History)