More than 3,800 children are participating in the Richmond Public Library’s Children’s Summer Reading Club this year. This free program encourages children to read throughout the summer, helping to maintain or even improve their reading skills. Kids can track their reading and collect stickers. At the end of the summer, all program participants are eligible to receive a special reading medal to celebrate their efforts. Medals are now available in all four RPL slots.
As part of the Summer Reading Club each year, we encourage children to let us know what they think of the books they read by writing book reviews, and several reviews are chosen for publication in the Richmond News in July and August.
Book Title: Kneeknock Rise
Author of the book: Natalie Babbit
Reviewed By Derek
Child’s age: 12 years old
This book is about a boy named Egan, who went to visit his aunt and uncle in a town called Instep, which is known for a fair, every fall, about a supposed beast called the Megrimum that inhabited to the top of the nearby mountain, Raising the knee. This supposed beast is said to emit a loud moan on rainy autumn nights. During the fair, Egan was taunted by his cousin who was also there and challenged him to climb the climb and find the beast. Egan stubbornly accepted the challenge and began to climb the climb, with the dog that once belonged to his other uncle, who was now missing. At the top, to his surprise, he found his uncle Ott missing and had a startling revelation. The Megriumum was not real. The loud moaning heard on those rainy autumn days was just a hot spring. Egan descended from the climb and was greeted by his family and the townspeople, who were worried about him. When he came back to Instep, he told his aunt and uncle what happened, and they couldn’t believe him. After all these years, fairs and celebrations, the beast was just a hole in the ground connected to a hot spring? In the end, they decided to keep Egan’s findings a secret and simply add his journey up the climb to the mysterious lore of the Megrimum.
Book Review: Personally, I really like this book because of its interesting plot, small details and clues in the story, which end up being tied to lore, memorable and relatable characters, and well sure, to a surprising ending. I really liked this book, and I also hope that you like my reading report.
Book Title: Refugees
Author of the book: Alan Gratz
Reviewed by: Fatima
Child’s age: 11 years old
Summary of the book: This book contains the story of three different children, in different times, suffering from losses, difficulties and dangerous environments. Joseph, who lives in Germany under the reign of Adolf Hitler, must escape the Nazis to save his family. Isabel lives on the small island of Cuba, which is suffering from a lack of food due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mahmoud, who lives in Syria, watches the bombs fall and blow up buildings. The three children embark on a different but desperate journey in order to save themselves and their family.
Book Review: I like this book for the plot, the emotional parts, and it has some very touching stories. And, in my opinion, unlike other books/novels, it has more strengths than weaknesses. I actually couldn’t find any weaknesses in the story other than the deaths and loss of family, which was depressing. The first strength is detailed cultural information. The book contains a lot of information about different cultures, from which I learned a lot. The way the author presented the information was really good and made it so… informative. The second strength is the developing plot. The plot kept me hooked on the book, with plenty of suspense and cliff-hangers. It was really gripping and the author kept it very gripping. The third strength is character development. The author has explained the characters, their personality and their style in so much detail; I could picture them in my head. Even though refugees suffer death or loss, it was truly heartbreaking to read this. I mean, isn’t it really a nightmare for a mother to choose which child should go to the concentration camp and which one shouldn’t? Or having to give your baby away, in the middle of a storm while you’re drowning? The book had so many facts, and overall it was a good book to read. I would rate it 4.5/5.
Book Title: The Book of Storms (Volume 1)
Author of the book: Ruth Hatfield
Reviewed by: Hilden
Child’s age: 9 years old
Book Summary: Danny O’Neil wakes up after a storm to find his parents missing. Outside, he finds a stick that allows him to have conversations with trees, animals, and bodies of water. He soon discovers that the stick is called a “taro” and that a man called Sammael wants to kill him for the taro. Will Danny be strong enough to defeat Sammael or will Sammael kill him and get the taro?
Book Review: I like this book because it’s fantastic, fun to read, and kept me hooked until the end of the book. The author has included challenges for Danny to overcome.
Book Title: There’s a Bird on Your Head
Author of the book: Mo Williams
Reviewed by: Audrey
Child’s age: 6 years old
Book Summary: An elephant named Gerald who asked his best friend Piggie if there was anything on his head. Piggie says there’s a bird on his head. Soon she says there are 2 birds and they are lovebirds. Then Piggie says they’re making a nest on Gerald’s head. They built a nest and in the nest 3 eggs were going to hatch. Gerald doesn’t want 2 birds, a nest and 3 eggs on his head so Piggie asked Gerald to talk to the birds. He talks to the birds to put it somewhere else, the birds agree and move the bird stuff somewhere else but it landed on Piggie’s head! LOL
Book Review: I like this book because it’s very silly when the birds are on people’s heads.