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Archive for the ‘Realistic Fiction’ Category

Today I am reviewing Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It is a comic strip about a group of kids in a neighborhood, particularly one unfortunate kid named Charlie Brown.

On the cover we see, from bottom left to right: Franklin, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, and Sally. On top: Woodstock, Snoopy and Charlie Brown.

On the cover we see, from bottom left to right: Franklin, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, and Sally. On top: Woodstock, Snoopy and Charlie Brown.

Peanuts has lasted so long, until Charles M. Schulz was taken away from us, that it is impossible to list all plot lines, threads, running jokes, and personalties of all the characters like I try to do with other books. The Wikipedia page on Snoopy, just 1 character, is longer than the whole Calvin and Hobbes page, and about the same size as the Watchmen page, one of the most complex comics ever made. A way to think of it is a comic of your childhood. You can’t tell someone all of it by once, but you can tell it a little. Day, by day, by day. Ironically, that is exactly what it is about. Childhood. My favorite character, like many, is Snoopy, the beagle. I enjoy how he pretends to be the Red Baron, his simple views on the way of life, the way he sets out to do things.

Even though this is definitely not the best comic of all time, it has a quality to it. It reminds everyone of their childhood. I dare you do read through a collection, and not stop once and say, “That happened to me when I was a little kid.” It gives off a nostalgic quality, is very funny, simple, elegant, and many other qualities not found in many comics today. Sometimes the punch lines of the strips are cheesy, which is the only knock against it, and other times make you roll on the floor laughing. This comic is wonderful. That is really all I can say about it.

This comic gets a 9 out of 10

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Today I am reviewing Maniac Magee, a story about a boy who ran away from home and changed the lives of several people in the town of Two Mills. This story, written by Jerry Spinnelli, won the Newbery Award in 1991.

 

On the cover is Jeffery Lionel "Maniac" Magee

On the cover is Jeffery Lionel "Maniac" Magee

Maniac Magee’s parents died when he was only 3 years old, and he was put in the foster care of a husband and wife who hate each other. When Maniac was 11 years old, he got sick of it and ran away. A year later, he arrives in the town of Two Mills. At Two Mills, he affects some lives forever, such as a smart girl named Amanda, an out of his luck minor league pitcher named Grayson, and a tough kid named Mars Bar.

 

This book is great. Nice plot, great setting. The strength is the characters. You can feel the emotions of everyone. The only weakness is descriptions. They are, sometimes, not the best. However this a great book for anyone, anytime. I like to read it on a rainy day.

 

I rate this book a 9 out of 10

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Today I am reviewing The Bad Beginning, written by Lemony Snicket. I used to love this book when I was in elementary school, however right now, in middle school, I am not a huge fan of it anymore. Still, is a great book for 4th and 3rd graders.

 

On the cover are the three Baudelaire orphans and their evil guardian, Count Olaf

On the cover are the three Baudelaire orphans and their evil guardian, Count Olaf

The Bad Beginning is the first book of the Series of Unfortunate Events. This book is about three children who had a perfectly wonderful life, until their rich parents were killed in a huge fire. They are now heirs to a magnificent fortune. However, they can not get it until they turn eighteen. In the meantime, they are adopted to a relative called Count Olaf. Their life quickly horrible and they soon discover that Count Olaf has a sinister plan to get their fortune.

 

This is an okay book. It does not have much setting, and the plot is slow. However, it has good characters and great descriptions. This book would be good for 3rd, 4th, and some 5th graders. But there are much better books out there.

 

I rate this book a 6 out of 10.

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 Today I am reading The Giver. It is the story of a perfect world which isn’t quite as it appears. This book was written by Lois Lowry.

 

 

On the cover is The Giver

On the cover is The Giver

In The Giver, Jonas is an 11 year old boy living in the Community, a place where everything is organized and perfect. There is no famine, poverty, or war. In the Community, jobs are assigned at age 12. On Jonas’ 12th birthday, he assigned to receive some memories from The Giver. He is only one in this world who remembers pain, suffering, and joy. Soon Jonas knows the painful truth about his community. What will Jonas do?

 

This book is fantastic. Incredible imagination, wonderful plot, great descriptions. I can not find anything wrong with this book. It also has a companion, Gathering Blue. This book would be wonderful for people who like 1984 or The City of Ember.

 

I rate this book 10 out of 10

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Stanley quickly figures this out in Holes, a Newbery Award winner by Louis Sachar.

 

On the cover is Stanley Yelnats. On the back, we see the holes he and other campers have dug

On the cover is Stanley Yelnats. On the back, we see the holes he and other campers have dug

 Holes is the story of a boy named Stanley Yelnats who was framed for a big crime and has to go to Camp Green Lake. He quickly comes to hate it. Everyday, he and the other juvenile criminals have to dig a hole 3 feet down and 3 feet in diameter in the desert. However, when the Warden commands everyone to dig a hole where someone claimed to have found a lipstick container from Kate Barlow, the famous outlaw, Stanley begins to suspect that this is not any regular detention center.

 

This book was fantastic. The descriptions were realistic, the setting was wonderful, and it was a nice page-turner. The characters could have used a little more development, but otherwise it was a good book.

 

I rate this book a 9 out of 10

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