Category Archives: Classics

A Child’s Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas

This book is a boy (really the author) telling a story of Christmas within a story of Christmas. He tells his friends all about Christmases in Wales. He talks about his uncles, who sit around and talk, and about his silly aunts who sing outside and always say the right things. He also talks about all the presents that they get, their traditions, and so on. I liked this book. I think that everybody will, too, but especially readers who like history and Christmas.

Time Cat By Lloyd Alexander

This is a fun, exciting, and adventurous book. Jason, a boy, and Gareth, a cat, go on nine fun adventures. They teach people how to treat cats, and, in return, those people teach them something about themselves. My favorite adventure is in Germany, in 1600.Everybody in the town they visit is superstitious about witches & demons. Jason and Gareth get arrested, but escape with the help of an old miller. Some of the adventures are hilarious, others are suspenseful or mysterious, and all of them are educational. Jason and Gareth are brave and daring. I love this book. I would recommend it to anybody, but young readers will especially like this book.

Calvin Ophoff

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

This book is a novel written in letters. A boy named Leigh Botts is writing to an author named Mr. Henshaw. Leigh’s parents are divorced*, and Leigh misses his father, but in the end, Leigh meets his father again. In the letters Mr. Henshaw writes back to Leigh, Mr. Henshaw suggests that Leigh get a diary. Leigh follows his advice and gets a diary. After that, the book is told through Leigh’s diary. Fun for young readers, especially children with divorced* parents or children who want to be authors.

* divorced means unmarried

Calvin Ophoff

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.

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

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

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

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

This book is the cute sequel to A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh.” It includes 10 more  stories, more rhymes, and more songs. The stories are again recognizable, like when Piglet gives his house to Owl, and when Eeyore is bounced into the river! My favorite, the one where Tigger has breakfast, is very, very, funny. Like “Winnie the Pooh,” this is for all ages, but especially for young readers.

– Calvin Ophoff