The Million Dollar Shot, by Dan Gutman


The Million Dollar Shot by Dan Gutman is a great book. The main character is Eddie Ball. He is a nice kid who does nice things for people, including his best friend, Annie Oakely. He also loves basketball. Eddie lives in a trailer park in Louisiana with his mom.

Eddie’s mom works at a place called Finkles (They sell things called Finkles. They are a very unhealthy snack). Finkles is having a poetry contest.  The winner of the contest wins a trip to New York and gets to go to a Knicks game.  The winner gets a chance to sink a foul shot.  If they do, they will get a million dollars, and a lifetime supply of Finkles.  And if the person fails, all they get a life time supply of finkles. Eddie and his mom are very poor and barely get enough money to survive. Eddie wants to help his family and his friend by taking the Million Dollar shot.Unfortunately, Eddie isn’t allowed to enter the compitaion because the rules state that relatives of employees are not allowed to participate in the contest.  Eddie’s mom eventually gets fired from Finkels and Eddie can get in the poetry compitian, but can he win the compitaion!?

One important part of the book is when Eddie and Annie see their parents kissing.  This is important because Eddie gets distracted and starts missing some free throws while he’s practicing for a big day.  Eddie is upset when he sees his mom kissing another man.  Will Eddie calm down before his big moment in the spotlight?!  Find out all this in the book!


I really enjoyed the book because it’s about basketball, and it’s very realistic too. I really liked that Eddie went to a Knicks game in New York because I live in New York and I like the New York Knicks.  I also really liked when Eddie was in the locker room before the big moment all the Knicks players were saying, I hope you sink the shot and other positive comments.  I’d recommend this book to kids 8+ because if they are younger they would only understand why the title is called The Million Dollar Shot, but they wouldn’t understand what happens in the life that Eddie is living. I rate it infinity out of 5 stars.


The People of Sparks, by Jeanne DuPrau

The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau is an amazing book.




The main characters are Lina and Doon. Lina is a kind-hearted, curious, nice, surprising, and an adventurous, 12 year old girl. Lina jumped onto a truck to see if she could see a city. She thought that she would be gone for two days, but she was away for twenty-eight days, almost a month. This example is from the first book, The City of Ember. Doon is different in some ways than Lina, and he’s different. Doon is smart,  adventurous, and has a temper. He’s good at figuring things out (read the book to see what I’m saying). In Ember there was something called Assignment Day where the 12 year old kids of Ember are assigned jobs (They take a slip of paper out of a bag and it say’s a job on it, and that’s the job they have for a while.).  When Doon picked his job, he lost his temper and threw down the paper that told him his job in front of the mayor. This is one example of Doon losing his temper. The setting of this book is in the future, and at one point it’s in a city (I think the city’s San Francisco because the book says it’s                                                                                                                                             hilly.)


The people of Ember/The Emberites “leaders” are Lina and Doon. They finally find a city that will take them for 6 months, but after that they are gonna have to build something on their own. One important event was when the Emberites found Lina and Doon. Another was when they found the settlement. Another was when Ben Barlow, a town leaders arm almost fell off.


I really enjoyed the book because it kept me on my toes. I would recommend this book to people who are 8+ because they might not understand it. I would also recommend this book to people who like cliffhangers. I would rate this book infinity stars because I couldn’t put it down.

The City of Ember, by Jeanne Du Prau

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau is an amazing book. The main characters are Lina and Doon, and they’re good friends. Lina is a kind-hearted, curious, nice, surprising, and adventurous, 12 year old girl. Meanwhile, Doon is different in some ways than Lina. Doon is smart, adventurous, and has a temper. He’s good at figuring things out (read the book to see what I’m saying). When Lina and Doon were young, Lina challenged Doon and her friends to climb to the top of the lamp pole.  “Lina could do it all even when the dares got wilder.”   Lina fell and came laughing down to the ground. This shows Lina’s surprising and adventurous nature. In Ember, there was something called Assignment Day where the 12 year old kids of Ember are assigned jobs.  When Doon picked his job, he lost his temper and threw down the paper that told him his job in front of the mayor. This is one example of Doon losing his temper.


The book takes place in the underground city of Ember. It’s a dystopian book.  It is different and better than other dystopian books because this one is suspenseful, but in a good way.  Ember is running out of food, supplies, etc., but mostly light bulbs. Everybody’s afraid that the lights are just going to turn out permanently one day, because they flicker a lot.  If the lights go out, the city will be in complete darkness.  Lina and Doon have other problems. Lina was looking for something she thinks might help the city.  She finds something in a mysterious special box.  She thinks it might be what she is looking for, but it is a big mystery that needs to be solved. Lina and Doon work together to solve the mystery and save the city.  Have they figured it out yet?         I really liked this book because it is funny and weird in some moments. The people of Ember didn’t know what some things were, like ‘boats’ and ‘candles’ for example. One part I really liked was when Lina and Doon found a room full of boats, that were labeled “b”ntstill din’t know what r. I ple who are 8+ nger.I oul also recommend this book to peop le who like cliffhangers, because it ens in a cliffhanger, and the second book is the exact same , but the part 2.

Lawnboy, by Gary Paulsen

UnknownLawnboy, is a really good book by Gary Paulsen. Gary Paulsen has some other good books too. The main character is Lawner (It never says his name, I’m just going to call him Lawner because he mows lawns.) Lawner is very poor, and nice. He doesn’t have enough money for a inner tube for his bike, and can’t even buy one. That’s how poor he is. The setting of the book is Summer, and around modern time, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. It is a middle-class town.


Like I said, Lawner doesn’t have enough money for a inner tube for his bike. On his 12th birthday, he got an old riding mower (A lawn mower that you sit on, and it’s just like a tractor). Read the book to see what he gets into with the mower. On pg. 4 it says, “A mower?” Lawner seemed surprised by his present, but that’s why it made it a good part. Also, Lawners’ life is different with the mower, so if you compare that to the end of the book after you’re done reading it, it’s pretty cool.


I really enjoyed the book because it is very funny (if you look on pg 3). For example, Lawner’s Grandma is very strange. If you asked her, “You know, I think the Yankees will win the World Series again.” She might reply, “Yes, but it’s still nice to put carrots in the stew for flavor.” But, everybody knows, that the Mets are gonna win the World Series with David Wright and Matt Harvey. The book also teaches you about the stock market (which is VERY complicated), and investing. I would recommend the book to people who are 8-15 year olds because if you are under 8, you would not understand, and if you are older, you wouldn’t be interested. I would rate the book 4-out-of 5 stars.



Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere, by Julie T. Lamana

(“Advanced Readers Copy”, being published April 2014)

      Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere is a amazing book by Julie T. Lamana. The main character is Armani Curtis. Armani is looking forward to one thing: her 10th birthday. Armani and her mom, dad, grandmother Memaw, Brother Gorgeie, Sister Seally, and a brother Kheelin, and sister Khayla, who are about two years old live in New Orleans, in the Lower 9’s.

      Then, the family hears about this hurricane Katrina, and says there’s gonna be no damage. But, they are wrong. Once the storm starts, Armani knows she will have to be brave, watch loved ones die, and have to help the family survive this horrible storm.


      Armani learns while the storm is wrecking her life, that she has to help her family survive this storm, even though bad things happen, she has to fight them away and help out, then maybe come back to it. Her idea is to somehow find lost family members, and what used to be her home. “For the first time in my whole life, I felt unsafe in a place where I’d always know, no matter what, I was going to be safe.” On the blurb (back of book). Before the storm, Armani was safe in her home with her family.  Once the storm hit, she lost some family and security.  Then she didn’t feel safe in the place that always felt safe to her. The aftermath of this storm made her brave.


      I enjoyed the book, because sometimes it was pretty sad, and then, it eventually got better. Also, there was one big problem, and there was another small problem, which might have got solved, and then there was another one, and maybe the big one got solved at the end… Read it to find out! I would recommend the book for 10+ because it was sort of hard to take in sometimes, and it was pretty intense sometimes. I would rate this infinity stars because it was so good. I like the authors writing style because it gave me a better sense of what was going on in the book, and it was very clear. And, the characters are really interesting. (This storm is real, and it was pretty bad. This book might be a little different when it is published, so be aware.)


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is about a really (you’ll see how really poor they are soon) poor family. Now what family am I talking about? The Bucket’s. Charlie Bucket lives in a small cottage with his grandparents, Grandpa Joe, Grandma Josephine, Grandpa George, and Grandma Georgina. He has a mother named Mrs. Bucket, and a father named Mr. Bucket. Charlie gets 1 chocolate bar a year. One night, Grandpa Joe tells Charlie a story about Mr. Wonka and his chocolate factory. Then, a miracle happens. Read the book to find out what the miracle is! My favorite part of the book was when Grandpa Joe told Charlie the stories because it’s like he is telling you that story, which is cool.

I would recommend the book to ages 4-? I did the question mark because some people like the book until they’re 50, and some like the book until they’re 20. One reason I like the book is because it is heavily illustrated by a good illustrator, Quentin Blake.

I would rate the book 57 stars because it was real good.




The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is about a girl named Katniss Everdeen, from District 12, who volunteers for her sister’s place in the Hunger Games, because she doesn’t want her sister, Prim dieing.Katniss is brave, loyal, and protective Everyday before the Hunger Games, Katniss  goes out hunting with her best friend Gale. This is an important part of the book because this is where she learns how to hunt and survive in the wild.The Hunger games is when they take one boy and one girl from each district and have them train and then fight to death with no food and water unless they can kill, gather, and find some. It is also on live tv! The competitors have to be between the ages 12-18. The Hunger Games takes place somewhere near the capital. How the kids get picked is, there is one big bowl thing. They have all the kids names in it whose ages are between 12-18 in that district. There is one for the girls and one for  the boys. The boy from District 12, Peeta Mellark, is the bakers son. While the Hunger Games is happening, Peeta and Katniss become really good friends, and help each other live.


While they are competing in the Hunger Games  the book says what is happening all around which I find helpful because you know what’s going on. It says what the gamemakers are doing, what the mentor is doing, what all the contestants are doing, and all the stuff you would need to know.

If I were you, I would read to find who wins. I would recommend the book to kids 9 and older because of the violence. I would rate the book infinity stars, but I can’t. I guess I’ll just rate it 5 stars, which is the most I can do. I would rate it infinity stars because it was amazingly plotted, and the text was in the right order which gave you a good picture of the book. It made me want to read more and more, and when I was done, I was sad.  You should also watch the movie after you’ve read the book. If you liked the book as much as I did, you should read the second book, Catching Fire, and the third book Mockingjay.





The BFG, by Roald Dahl

      The BFG is about a giant. The 12 foot tall BFG (The Big Friendly Giant) catches Sophie (a little girl in a horrible orphanage) watching him blow dreams into childrens’s houses in England with his huge “trombone” thing. Since the BFG didn’t want his species (giants) to be killed, he takes Sophie to Giant Country, and hides her from these 9 man eating giants in his cave/house. Sophie tries to convince the BFG to help her mix-up dreams to make it so that people will help stop the 9 man eating giants stop eating humans, but also making it so The BFG doesn’t die at the same time!

      I really enjoyed The BFG. I would recommend the book to kids 8-19 years old because of the text. For example, the BFG says stuff in not the right way or order. Like instead of human beings, he says human beans, and kids younger than 8, would not understand it. I would rate the book more than 5 stars if I could, but I can’t. I’ll just rate it 5 stars.


Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo

      Because of Winn-Dixie is an amazing book by Kate DiCamillo.  Opal, a 10 year old girl is the main character and owns Winn-Dixie.  Winn-Dixie is a dog, who Opal found in a grocery store.  It takes place in a town in Florida called Naomi. One important thing is when Opal finds Winn- Dixie.  It is important because Winn-Dixie made it so that Opal got friends.  Another important thing is when Winn-Dixie runs into Gloria Dump’s yard, which lets Opal meet her first friend.

      My favorite part of the book was when Opal starts working at the Gertrude’s Pets, because it is very funny.  It is funny because Gertrude the parrot keeps on screeching,“dog!”

      I recommend the book to ages 8 and older.  I would rate it 5 stars.