Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

May 11, 2004 > Mr. Miller's Class Speaks Out for Reading

Mr. Miller's Class Speaks Out for Reading

Mr. Miller's Fifth Grade Class at Ardenwood School has been practicing their writing skills and the Tri-City Voice, always an advocate of excellence in communication, has with Mr. Miller's assistance selected several book reviews for publication. Who knows, maybe one of these students or someone else in the class will become a famous communicator in the future!

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key
Neil Sharma

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos is about a boy named Joey Pigza who always gets into trouble. The story takes place in the urban city of New York.

Readers will be swept right into this book and won't stop reading. I couldn't put the book down even while I was working. It is easy to understand, fun to read and some parts are super funny. I was able to finish the book in one day and tell my family about it with no problems.

The only negative comment about this book was that Joey always got into trouble. You will feel sympathetic every time he gets in trouble. He has many accidents and has to take medicine to help him not act so crazy. Many books are suspenseful, but this book has the most suspense. Anybody who wants to read a book that is funny and doesn't take much time to read, this is the book to pick up.

The Wanderer
Laura Zamora

The Wanderer written by Sharon Creech is about how Sophie, Cody, and part of their family go from Eastern United States to England. This story takes place in the Atlantic Ocean on Uncle Dock's, -Sophie and Cody's uncle - boat called "The Wanderer." On The Wanderer, Sophie learns more about her family and finds out about her mysterious past. Cody also learns to love and understand his family a little more.

This book had many descriptive sentences such as: "My head felt like bombarded by a whole cloud of zinging fireworks." Another thing I liked was when the author described the characters thoroughly with words like "impulsive" and "studious" which really helped me understand them. Also I loved the suspense which kept the story interesting.

The author wrote this story well but there are some parts that need to be improved. For example, the author first describes Sophie as an orphan by calling her "the orphan." Another thing I disliked was the short paragraphs. This was confusing to me.

Anyone who likes a humor, mystery and adventure should read this one awesome book!

The War with Grandpa

The War with Grandpa is written by Robert Kimmel Smith. Peter Stokes's grandma died of emphysema. Since then, Grandpa Jack felt lonely and moved into Pete's house. Pete is really upset because he has to give up his room. His parents say Grandpa Jack can't walk far so he can't stay in the upstairs guest room. Pete decides to type a note to Grandpa Jack telling him to give up his room, but nothing happens. So, the war begins!

This is the first time I have heard of anyone fighting with his or her grandpa. Now that I have read the story, I know people can go to any extent to be happy again. The author made this book interesting by adding humor and making it look as if Peter, the main character in the story, had written it.

One thing I didn't like about this story is that the author made fifth-graders look bad. Robert Smith did this by saying that the sentences we write are too long, and that we can't use punctuation correctly. Another thing I didn't like about the story was that Peter went to war with his grandpa. His leg was already hurting, so he couldn't walk that much, but Peter didn't care.

The War with Grandpa is a book I would suggest to anybody who loves reading. It's a book you can't put down. You probably want to know who wins the war, but I'm not going to tell you. You have to read the book and find out for yourself.

By The Great Horn Spoon
Kevin Shum

By The Great Horn Spoon written by Sid Fleischman is about a 12 year old boy named Jack and his butler Praiseworthy during the California Gold Rush. Jack and Praiseworthy, who are very close to each other at home in Boston, soon find themselves aboard a ship bound for San Francisco, California. When they arrive, they are instantly swept into the Gold Rush by miners.

This story is filed with adventure and nature. The story recounts Jack and Praiseworthy's journey. Jack's aunt is going bankrupt, and if she does, Praiseworthy will lose his job as a butler for Jack and his aunt. I like this book because it talks about many exciting things that happen to Praiseworthy and Jack, like when the duo become stowaways and how Praiseworthy fought a hulking man 5 times his size. The book was very good, but the part I didn't like was when the ship's cook tried to roast a pig alive. I felt sorry for the pig.

This book made me feel like I was a miner, mining for gold. If you like adventure, get this book to read.

Carlie, Harvey, and Thomas J. Survive the Foster Home
Jane Shin

The Pinballs is a story about three children named Carlie, Thomas J., and Harvey, written by Betsy Byars. This story discusses about how the children survive when they are left at a foster home. They all arrive into the foster home with disappointing stories.

For example, the girl, Carlie, goes to the foster home because once she was hit hard by her stepfather. Carlie was placed in a foster home until her mother and stepfather worked out their problems.

A problem occurs when the children feel that they have no control over their lives. They feel as if they are no use and want to run away. The author, Betsy Byars, uses many descriptive words (" ... red as it had been turned inside out," "... Carlie never said anything polite," and "...want to see me in misery.") as she guides you through the story, making it adventurous. When you read the story, you feel as if you are there! It is distressing when she uses upsetting phrases ("... ran over Harvey, and broke his legs.") It was disturbing when she wrote it in the beginning and I felt depressed.

I think that this is a descriptive book. Reading this book makes me know how it feels to be in a foster home. Anyone who likes adventure and excitement should read this book. This book is awesome and I recommend it!

About Us   Current Issues   Press Dates   Archived Issues   Ad Rates   Classifieds  
Shopping & Dining Guide   Local Events   Your Comments   Subscribe  

Tri Cities Voice What's Happening - click to return to home page

Copyright© 2005 Tri-City Voice
Advertise in What's Happening - A Guide to the Tri-City Area Return to Tri-City Voice Home Page E-mail the Tri-City Voice About the Tri-City Voice Read a current issue of the Tri-City Voice online Archived Issues of the Tri-City Voice Tri-City Voice Advertising rates Dining and Shopping in the Tri-City Area Events in the Tri-City area Tell us what you think Return to the Tri-City Voice Home Page Subscribe to the Tri-City Voice Press dates/Deadlines