About these Book Reviews:

These book reviews are written by NC students in 4th or 5th Grade who are interested in the NC Battle of the Books.  By writing these reviews, students are learning critical writing skills and learning to describe a book without including “spoilers”.

Most the initial reviews were written by Sadie Dibb, but hoping other students send their own reviews to be included on this site and the Android App

Jake by Audrey Couloumbis

Life is normal for Jake. Suddenly, Jake’s mom falls! Life suddenly changes for Jake. Jake’s mom broke her leg and is being hospitalized. His grandad comes to take care of Jake, and trust me, they barely know each other. He also brings  his “nightmare dog”. Lucky for Jake, Jake has a awesome neighbor named Mrs.Buttermark.  Together they ; learn how to do a “cannon ball”,  Jake and the “nightmare dog” surprisingly  become closer, and Mrs.Buttermark and Jake talk “sweater”.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Tale of Despereaux is about a mouse. His mother and father named him Despereaux because he was a great disappointment. He was born with his eyes open, and he had very large ears. He loved to read books, not to eat books. He got banished to the dungeon for sitting at the foot of the king and letting the princess touch him. Then a serving girl named Miggery Sow, and a rat named Roscuro come and take a princess named Pea to the dungeon so that Miggery Sow can become princess(not). What is really happening is the Rat is getting revenge.You see, down in the dungeon, you can get lost very easily and only the rats can find their way out. So when they go down to the dungeon they are trapped and have to follow the rats orders.They finally soften the heart of the rat and they get out.

The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin

A dog named J.J. Tully and a couple of chickens have some unexpected adventures. The chicken mom, after realizing two of her baby chicks are missing, seeks help from an unlikely friend.  So now it’s JJ to the rescue, but another “inside dog” named Vince, isn’t making things so easy.  Will Vince get his way, or will the baby chicks make it out alive?

Savvy by Ingrid Law

Mig is part of a special family, a very special family.  When they turn thirteen, they get their “savvy”.  Mig isn’t quite sure what her savvy will be, but it’s not what she expects.  Sometimes life happens funny like that.  Will Mig be able to save a loved one?  Will her siblings have all the fun?  Savvy is a beautiful story about a young girl figuring out what she’s supposed to do in life.

Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs

When tragedy strikes a large zoo, the zoo keepers decide to make the best of a bad situation.  The young protagonist and a friend seeks to solve the mystery of who or what caused the damage!  With their special access, they are able to gather some clues, with some bumps along the way, they are able to wrap up the mystery.

The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman

Brenton is starting out the school year with his new teacher just right.  His friends have discovered an invention he created that gets out of hand!  Although they decide to destroy the evidence, the police are able to figure out what has really happened after a lot of long interviews almost ruining what should have been a fun summer.

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

When a local troublemaker causes a stir at school, their is a major mix up for the future of this schoolboy.  He finds a few creative ways to get by, has an unexpected visit to the hospital, and tries to keep a low profile.  Along the way he makes a few interesting genius friends and does his best to make his life the best it can be.

The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin

During the Chinese “Year of the Dog”, Pacy is in an American school and makes several friends, including one also from China.   This is a funny story of how she learns of her mother and grandmother’s childhood, and how it can effect who she is herself.  She has a lot of fun learning some life lessons.