Monday, July 5, 2010

Guest Reviewer: Jack

There is a significant element of mystery that I tend to neglect here at the blog, and that's mystery books aimed at younger folks. Since it's summer, I thought I might ask some specialists in this realm of mystery books to come in and lend a hand. And boy oh boy did I get some great guest reviewers to step up.

My first reviewer is Jack. Jack is 8 years old and he enjoys soccer, basketball, ripsticking, skateboarding, baseball, art and reading - sometimes. Jack hasn't always been a real avid reader, so I'm very honored that he was willing to review a book for me. AND, not just any book. Jack choose to read THE BOXCAR CHILDREN. I don't know if any of you have read this series, yet, but when I was first learning to read on my own, this was one of the very first series I read. And I loved it! So, I'm doubly excited to have Jack here to talk about it. Let me quit yammering away and turn this post over to Jack!

Author: Gertrude Chandler Warner
Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company

1. Give a short summary of your book, but remember not to give away the ending.

Four kids have lost their parents and now they are on their own. They are also running away from their grandpa because they think he is mean. They are named Henry, Benny, Violet and Jessie. They find a boxcar and find a way to live in it. It’s not easy for them but they seem to like it. Every day seems like hard work for them.

2. Who is the main character in your story? Tell us about this character – does he/she talk in a special way? What does this person look like? How do they treat other characters? Do they have friends? Would you want to be friends with this character?

The main character is Henry, the oldest brother. He helps his brother and sisters survive while they live in the boxcar. He cares about his brother and sisters in a special way. He acts older than his age. I guess he is about 14 years old. He doesn’t have any friends because he has to work to take care of the other kids. They have no parents. I would want to be friends with Henry but I think I would like his little brother, Benny, better. Benny is closer to my age.

3. Who was your favorite character in the story? Why was this character your favorite?

Benny is my favorite because he is younger and gets to play more. His brother and sisters have to work a lot. It seems like it would be too hard.

4. Tell us a little about the setting of your book. How is it important in the story? (Think about how the story would be different if it took place somewhere else.)

It would be hard to have this story without the boxcar. Each day they make the boxcar more like a real house. They have to use their imaginations and work hard to make it nice and fun. It is fun to see what they do. It made me want to live in the boxcar or try it out for a while.

5. What did you like best about your book?

It’s just a really good book and it’s hard to choose what I like best. It did make me wonder what would happen to Benny and the other kids because I didn’t want anything bad to happen to them. There were some happy times in the book but I wondered how the story was going to end. I didn’t think they could live like that and hide forever.

6. Was there anything you didn’t like about your book?

Sometimes, they say their words too specifically.(Note from Jack's mom, who typed for him: I think he means that the language spoken was “more formal” or old fashioned to him.)

7. Who do you think would like to read this book? (Example: middle school readers, boys, girls, readers who like sports, etc.)

Anyone that really enjoys reading, even those who hate reading, would like this book. This was a good book.

That was wonderful, Jack! Thank you for sharing with us about THE BOXCAR
. I have a nephew who is a little bit younger than you are, but
now I'll remember that when he's able to read on his own, he will
probably like THE BOXCAR CHILDREN, too!

And readers, Jack is going to stop by and see if you have any questions
or comments for him, so feel free to leave him any messages in the
comments section today. What I'm most excited about is the fact that
Jack may be back to review another book this summer! I'm definitely
looking forward to Jack's next book.

Friday, I'll have another special guest reviewer so make sure you check
back! Happy Reading!

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Anonymous July 5, 2010 at 7:53 AM  

Jack - good job, Jack. You let the story and the characters talk to you. Keep reading because reading will open doors to your imagination and then you can share your ideas with your friends. I like the name Jack. I have a son named Jack.

Steve Weddle July 5, 2010 at 8:37 AM  

Very cool. Nicely done.

Lesa July 5, 2010 at 8:51 AM  

Nice job, Jack! I hope you had fun doing your first book review on Jen's blog. Sounds as if you enjoyed The Boxcar Children.

I hope you do another book review for her before the summer is up. I'd like to read it.

Anonymous July 5, 2010 at 9:07 AM  

I read these books a LONG, long time ago, Jack. So happy to see they are still being read and enjoyed! You should look for some Zilpha Keatley Snyder books. I think you would like The Egypt Game and The Gypsy Game!

bermudaonion July 5, 2010 at 9:29 AM  

I hope Jack is back with more reviews because this one was excellent. I know what you mean about the language in the book, Jack - I think it's a little formal because of when the book was written. I hope you'll read more of the books in this fun series.

Tom July 5, 2010 at 9:31 AM  

Nice job Jack.

I have a question.

I think it is really cool that you read books. How come other kids your age don't read that much?


Alafair Burke July 5, 2010 at 10:41 AM  

Good job, Jack. How'd you get so smart?

Jenn's Bookshelves July 5, 2010 at 10:44 AM  

Great job, Jack! I think my son, John, would really enjoy this books! You did a great job with the review! I hope to see more from you soon!

Kaye Barley July 5, 2010 at 10:49 AM  

Jack - this is terrific! Thanks for the review, and I hope we see lots more.

Naomi Johnson July 5, 2010 at 11:12 AM  

Excellent review, Jack. I haven't read this book but you've made me think I should. Thank you!

Jen - Devourer of Books July 5, 2010 at 11:57 AM  

I loved these books when I was younger, thanks for reminding me about them, Jack!

le0pard13 July 5, 2010 at 12:28 PM  

Great review, Jack. I hope to see more reviews from you, my friend. Thanks for posting this Jack (and Jen).

Kelli Stanley July 5, 2010 at 1:06 PM  

Great review job, Jack!! What you wrote made me want to read the book! :)

Thanks for reviewing it for Jen and all of her readers!

trish July 5, 2010 at 2:05 PM  

Jack, you did a great job!

I do have two questions: what is ripsticking? Will you read more Boxcar Children books?

darbyscloset July 5, 2010 at 2:07 PM  

As a child I loved the story of the boxcar children and use to play as thou I too lived in a boxcar....your review brought back many happy memories!!!! Thank You!
Another series I enjoyed was "The Littles"; it was about a little tiny family that used creative ways to live in the big people world.
I hope you continue to read and share your joy of books with others through your reviews!
Thanks Again!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

AliRussellSmith July 5, 2010 at 2:25 PM  

Hi Jack...Great review. I haven't read those books, but now I want to read them! And I'm an adult! I wish more kids would read. Reading is such an adventure!

kathy d. July 5, 2010 at 3:06 PM  

Excellent job, Jack!

Hope to see more book reviews from you right here.

And enjoy reading this summer, a very good time to read.

And even though I did not read this book, this review makes me want to read it.

lil Gluckstern July 5, 2010 at 8:34 PM  

Thank you so much for your review, Jack. My children read these books when they were young. I wish I had. I think it's great that you are reading, and I hope you come back here with more reviews.

jwajw July 5, 2010 at 10:58 PM  

Thank you for all the great comments. I really enjoyed reading them. To answer your question about ripsticking: ripsticking is kind of like skateboarding, but only has two wheels and you move your hips to make the board move. It has separate sections for your feet with a bar in the middle. It's hard to balance but only takes a few days to get the hang of it. It's very smooth. Thanks again for the comments!!! I will read some more.

Meredith Cole July 6, 2010 at 7:00 AM  

Great review, Jack! I loved that book when I was a kid, and recently read it to my six-year-old. I hope when he's your age he can re-read it on his own (and give such a great report)!

novelwhore July 12, 2010 at 5:16 PM  

Thanks for the wonderful review, Jack! I read the Boxcar Children books when I was younger too and you brought back many happy memories. I hope you read more of the series and share more reviews on Jen's great blog!


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