Rascal, a Memoir of a Better Era, by Sterling North (an essay)

Rascal, A Memoir of a Better Era is a memoir written by Sterling North. It’s about Sterling and a raccoon that he raises when he is 11 years old. He spends one whole year with Rascal, the raccoon, but in the spring he lets Rascal go. The memoir is about Sterling growing up and realizing that changes occur and he can’t stop them.

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. FrankWeiler

In this adventurous and daring book, two children, named Claudia and Jamie, run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Once there, they get mixed-up in doing research on a statue called Angel. They want to find out if Angel had been done by Michelangelo, a great Renaissance sculptor. They go see Mrs. Basil E. FrankWeiler, the person who sold Angel to the museum. The children tell Basil their story and she gives them permission to find the file about Angel. Claudia and Jamie find out about Angel, and Basil drives them home. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially young readers.

Calvin Ophoff

The One and only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate

Ivan, a gorilla, works in a circus at a mall with his friends Bob, a dog, and Stella, an elephant. He lives in a cage, watching TV and listening to humans. As we soon learn, he has a very curious and hilarious past, and soon becomes an artist. However, when a baby elephant named Ruby comes to the mall, everything changes for Ivan. Now he makes one last masterpiece to save Ruby. Despite a sad part, animal-lovers will enjoy this book.

 Calvin Ophoff

Owls in the Family, by Farley Mowat

In this cute and hilarious book, we read about the life and times of two owls, called Wol and Weeps, begin raised by Farley and Bruce, two schoolboy friends. Readers will enjoy each chapter, where something goes wrong every time. At first we start with Wol, an elderly owl. Then, three chapters in, we find Weeps, a lovable but not very courageous owl. Readers will love each and every page from when Wol disturbs French class until Weeps huddles under Farley’s legs for protection from a flock of crows. This book will be especially enjoyable for animal-lovers.

Calvin Ophoff

My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George (an essay)

My Side of the Mountain is an adventure story by Jean Craighead George. It is the story of Sam Gribley, a boy who runs away from home and spends a year living alone in the forest. He learns to live off the land and meets several friends while he is away.

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Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty Macdonald

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is a nice woman whose friends are children. She teaches children to not misbehave using what she calls cures. Her cures are not magic, but they are inventive. Some of my favorite cures are are the “Won’t-Pick-Up-Toys Cure”, the Selfishness Cure, and the Quarrelers Cure. This  book resembles a short story book. In each chapter it adds another person that has a misbehavior to be cured. In the end, everybody has fun. I liked this book. Readers who like “Mary Poppins” will also like “Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle”.

– Calvin Ophoff