Line your bookshelves with some tip-top reads
Since your kids probably devoured the seventh (and final!) Harry Potter book in a matter of days this summer, you’ll need some more reading fodder to push in their direction. To help you select something great, tbjkids asked four avid young
readers to bury their heads in some of the books available around Beijing. Here are their suggestions for some excellent ways to help fill the Potter book void.
by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Reviewed by Amy Nugent, Grade 10 at the International Academy of Beijing
Millions is a charming story about two young brothers who, soon after moving to the suburbs of Manchester, find a gym bag stuffed full of money by the train tracks near their house. Anthony, the more selfish one, wants to keep the money for himself. Damien, the kinder, more religious one, wants to help the poor. He is inspired by a conversation he overheard from his neighbors about how a person’s self-worth is not based on their material wealth, but on their spirituality.
Damien, who is so obsessed with saints that he often sees hallucinations of them, begins to look around to try and find ways to give his share of the money away. At the same time, Anthony is buying things for himself, bribing kids into protecting him, and wondering if he should go into real estate. Then the boys realize that they only have a few weeks to spend the money, because the pound is going to change to the Euro, and the money will soon become worthless. Eventually, Anthony learns that the money actually came from robbers, who threw the money off the train and will be coming soon to collect it …
This book is really well written and told from Damien’s point of view, so it has a childlike innocence to it. I think that pretty much anyone will enjoy this book.
S. T. O. R. M. –
The Infinity Code
by E. L. Young and Julian Rhind-Tutt
Reviewed by Roger Wu, Grade 10 at the Australian International School of Beijing
Will Knight is an extremely gifted but unfortunate child who loves inventing gadgets. Sometime ago, his father was killed in action while fighting for his country. His mother fled to Russia.
When a girl called Gaia accidentally spots Will testing one of his newest gadgets, his life changes completely. Gaia is a member of a secret organization called S.T.O.R.M. (Science and Technology to Over-Rule Misery), which has an objective to help people in need and overcome problems in the world. Will is invited to join S.T.O.R.M.
However, when the father of a S.T.O.R.M. member is abducted and the son of the abducted person begins acting strangely, a sinister plot is unraveled, and several other S.T.O.R.M. members follow him to St. Petersburg; unsettling truths about Will’s family are revealed. Can S.T.O.R.M. stop their enemies?
This book had me engrossed all the time. I was kept on the edge of my seat and couldn’t settle until I had finished reading it. I dared not drag my eyes off the pages! It was fantastic. This book is great for children and adults. If you enjoy this book, then you should read its sequel: S.T.O.R.M. – The Ghostmaster.
Ottoline and the Yellow Cat
by Chris Riddell
Reviewed by Shiri Hayardeny, Grade 3 at Beanstalk International School
This book is about a girl named Ottoline. Ottoline’s parents travel the world and send her postcards. In the meantime, Ottoline lives with Mr. Munroe, a small and hairy creature who is her best friend. Ottoline and Mr. Munroe like to wear funny costumes. Ottoline even has a diploma from Who-R-U Academy of subterfuge. She likes solving tricky problems and working out clever plans. This hobby helps them solve a very interesting and funny detective riddle. The end of the book is also very nice when Ottoline’s parents are coming back home.
The book also has beautiful illustrations! I would recommend it to my friends because it shows that even a little girl can solve a mystery. I like the main character because she is a very smart girl. She likes solving tricky problems and working out clever plans. She is a very curious girl, like me. I found the book very interesting and I am sure my friends will enjoy it too. I’d like to read more books by this writer.
by Julia Donaldson
Reviewed by Gabriella Guermanoff-Lowe, Nursery at the Children’s House Montessori Kindergarten
Acclaimed author Julia Donaldson gives us this hilarious tale about the egg of a timid duckbilled dinosaur that lands in the nest of a scary tyrannosaurus. When he is born, the duckbilled dinosaur is so out of place that his grizzly sisters call him Tyrannosaurus Drip. To make things worse, Drip only wants to eat pondweed, and there’s nothing sillier than a vegetarian T-rex!
What did you think of the book?
I love that book. It’s my favorite.
Would you recommend it to your friends?
I think Gareth would like it.
What was your favorite part?
When the duckbill dinosaurs were singing and dancing.
What did you think of the main character?
Duckbill dinosaurs are my favorite. Those big dinosaurs are naughty.
Would you read another one of the author’s books?
I hope the Gruffalo [the monster from Julia Donaldson’s most famous book]doesn’t eat me!
How would you describe the book to your friends?
It’s funny, and a bit
Like what you see? These books are available at the following venues around town: Beijing Star Kids Children’s Bookstore, Chaterhouse Bookstore and Wangfujing Foreign Language Bookstore (see the Shopping Directory under Bookstores for store information).