‘Operation Frog Effect’ by Sarah Scheerger: Middle grade book review by 4th grade guest reviewer

operation frog effect

“Operation Frog Effect” by Sarah Scheerger will excite its readers. In this book, students must learn to work together. That is their challenge. The book has a great lesson, and it shows what could happen when students get carried away with good intentions but disastrous results. Though the students in the classroom may have their differences, they can all agree on one thing — they want their teacher back..

The story is told from each of the perspectives of Emily, Kai, Cecilia, Henry, Sharon, Aviva, Blake and Kayley. The book starts off with the 5th grade classroom getting a new teacher. This teacher, Ms. Graham, has interesting ways of doing her job. Every day, she has the class write in their journals, and each student does this in a different manner. Some write poems, some write letters, some draw comics, and some even write to their new class pet, Kermit the frog, and these writings become the story. The student who wants to be a director writes the story like a movie script, another writes letters to her grandma telling what happens.

However, when Ms. Graham assigns a social issues project for each table group, she tells them to pick a topic and “immerse themselves” in their project. Unfortunately, one table group takes it too far, and their wonderful teacher is blamed. One student’s life is catastrophically disrupted.

Ms. Graham told the class that one small act of kindness can ripple to other, bigger acts of kindness. Also, she said that they get to choose what kind of person they want to be. But will Emily, Kai, Cecilia, Henry, Sharon, Aviva, Blake, Kayley (and Kermit, the class frog) be able to fix what they did? It is time for Operation Frog Effect to be put into action.

I think this book is great for read alouds, especially when there are a lot of people. It is mostly for 4th or 5th graders, but some younger students can enjoy this book, too. Purchasing this book is definitely not a waste of money.

Sheerger makes this book so good that people will be waiting for more. One of the best parts is that it has real-life problems included, and it shows how passionate some people are. Readers learn that even though they do not like school, some people do not even get the chance to go. (And, there’s a teacher’s guide.)

This review was written by a junior reviewer, Jamie L., who is a fourth grader who loves to read.

Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by the publisher, Random House, for review purposes. 

 

Four picture books about work vehicles, on land and on sea, that kids will love

“Little Yellow Truck” is by prolific and talented author Eve Bunting and illustrated by little yellow truckKevin Zimmer with a bright cheerful palette. It’s the story of a red dump truck, a green flatbed truck, a blue concrete mixer, and a little yellow pickup truck, all working together to build a children’s park. Little Yellow waits impatiently as the other trucks carry away trash, mix concrete, and bring in lumber. Then Big Green brings in the swings and slides, benches and tables. What will there be left for Little Yellow to do? Don’t worry, Little Yellow has an important job to make the park just perfect! Zimmer manages to create great expressions on the vehicles and kids will love the story of the little guy, worrying and impatient, who finally gets to do his job. (Sleeping Bear Press)

Continue reading

Nonfiction books that bring the beauty of Spring to readers

 

Just in time for spring, several nonfiction picture books are ready to be shared. They are about flowers and plants, about animals and their environment, about people who help the environment, and even about how our bodies are filled with energy. Some are quiet books, perfect for nighttime read-alouds; others are exciting books filled with bright colors and details kids will want to think about. They are all fabulous.

Continue reading

‘We’re Not From Here’ by Geoff Rodkey is a thrilling, action-filled, middle grade scifi novel

not from here.jpg

“We’re Not From Here” by Geoff Rodkey is a fantastic story that could be dystopian, except for the humor-filled pages that seem to be anything but dystopia-like, in spite of the novel’s destruction of Earth and the possible extermination of the human race thing going on. Lan, the narrator, and Lan’s sister and parents are living on Mars after Earth is destroyed by a nuclear apocalypse. But things are not great on Mars. Food and water are running out, clothes are turning to rags, and the air processors are failing so everyone is always tired.

Continue reading

7 picture books with quirky animal characters are a great choice for young readers

Here are seven fabulous picture books with quirky animals – have fun!

There is no such thing as too many picture books on the bookshelf. They are created to bring joy to young and old because often, adults or older readers are the ones sharing the picture books by reading them aloud. Wonderful authors and illustrators work to make books that will be enjoyed by everyone.

hoo hoo who“Hoo Hoo Who” by Mary Maier and Lauren Horton is not just an adorable picture book about an owl whose glasses are broken. He can’t see who is coming to Mouse’s birthday party, so he asks, “Hoo hoo are you?” The hints include yellow feathers, splashy feet and the phrase, “Quack quack with their smiling little beak.” This picture book has lovely illustrations and clever text that will encourage expressive language in young children. Speech pathologist and author Lauren Horton also provides materials on the publisher’s website and blog.  (Building Block Press)

Continue reading

‘Which One Doesn’t Belong? Playing with Shapes’ by Christopher Danielson is a great picture book to encourage young kids’ confidence in math

which one doens't

“Which One Doesn’t Belong? Playing with Shapes” by math teacher Christopher Danielson is an amazing picture book sure to make those who read it feel great about their math abilities. It’s a no-brainer, because in this wonderful and creative book of math problems, there are no wrong answers!

Continue reading