TIME for children | Summer Book Reviews: Part 4
Do you like reading? TFK Kid Reporters too! David Murtagh and Via Ryerson have shared their reviews of two of the most interesting books of the summer. This is the fourth in a five-part series. Check back soon for more from TFK’s summer book review roundup.
STEPHEN BLUE FOR KIDS TIME
Title: brand new boy
Author: David Almond
Review by: TFK Kid Reporter David Murtagh
Gender: science fiction
Number of pages: 320
What’s the plot? Daniel and his friends meet a strange boy at their middle school in their middle town. The new boy, George, is incredibly smart, but in a weird, almost robotic way. What’s even weirder is that George is being followed by even weirder people who are very secretive about why they’re watching him, what they’re doing, and who they are. Soon though, the kids discover that their feelings about George being robotic aren’t that far off. And they begin to piece together who, or rather, what George is. More importantly, they find out who’s behind him so they can finally uncover the truth.
Are the characters related? Outside of George, the book’s main character, Daniel, and his friends seem relatable. They have common interests and are good friends. They are also related because the book is set in the 21st century and the children use iPhones and other modern technologies. And although this book is science fiction, it takes place in a real place – somewhere in the north of the UK – and not in a galaxy far, far away.
Who would like this book? Personally, I loved this book because of the characters. Kids who love mystery tales should definitely give it a try brand new boy. They will be hooked as soon as they pick it up. And for any reader who enjoys books with large amounts of emotion and difficulty that must be overcome, this would be an exciting choice.
How do you rate this book? Why? I would give the book an 11. But since I can’t, a 10 will work. Not only is the book realistic, but it compels the reader to keep reading. While there aren’t any huge twists, the author has written the book in such a way that it keeps you glued to your seat.
STEPHEN BLUE FOR KIDS TIME
Author: Maurice Broaddus
Review by: TFK Kid Reporter Via Ryerson
Gender: realistic fiction
Number of pages: 288
What’s the plot? Bella is a 12-year-old orphan who loves doing graffiti in her Indianapolis neighborhood, The Land. She lives alone, so she tries to keep a low profile. That is, until she finds out that the head of the Land Neighborhood Association, Mattea, is trying to defund the Land. Mattea plans to use all the money the Land has to build new things, rather than helping the community and funding dilapidated parks. She even wants to hide the murals and public art that make Earth special. Bella trusts her neighbors. She teams up with one of them to stop Mattea. Bella makes videos of the parts of her community that need the most help, and she speaks forcefully about what her neighborhood needs. In the end, Bella learns to live up to her nickname, Unfadeable, and stand up for what she believes in.
Are the characters related? Bella is very close as a bold and creative girl who loves art. She has many ideas that help her community. The neighbor Bella teams up with is older. He is wise and interesting, like a grandfather. Even Mattea is relatable because she’s a community leader who wants to do new things for her neighbors.
Who would like this book? All children between the ages of 8 and 13 will love this book. It’s about kids supporting their communities, saving art and parks, and coming up with new ideas on how to improve neighborhoods. Children will be inspired by how Bella speaks to powerful people and stands up for herself.
How do you rate this book? Why? I would give this book a 9 out of 10. The main character, Bella, is unique and powerful. The book teaches children about urban planning and how they can speak for their neighborhood. It goes a bit too fast at times, and some events require more explanation. But overall, it’s a great read.