Wednesday, October 12, 2016

WONDER by R.J. Palacio

R.J. Palacio, Wonder (Random House Children’s Books, 2012). 320 pages.
Available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, Audible, and Nook. Soon to be a movie.

Reviewed by Thomas Shey, age 10

Wonder is a story about a ten-year old kid named August who was born with a facial difference that kept him from going to a real school until now. He’s now facing a whole different set of challenges, such as making friends, avoiding bullies, and dealing with work. “Wonder” is an extraordinary novel that is touching in so many ways. I recommend that anyone reading this review should definitely take a look at this amazing novel. 


NOTE: There is a trailer for this book on the author’s website at

Thursday, October 6, 2016

OUT OF MY MIND By Sharon M. Draper

Sharon M. Draper, Out of My Mind (Atheneum, 2010).

Available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle, Audible, and Nook.

Reviewed by Elaine (Lainey) Klepinger, age 10

The Denver Post said “If there’s one book teens, parents, and everyone else should read Out of My Mind should be it”. Sharon has a creative mind. She went “ out of her mind “ writing this story. Melody was a girl who had limited capabilities. I feel Melody, she is a really smart girl. But she couldn’t tell anyone, because she had Cerebral Palsy and was unable to communicate. It’s where you can’t talk, walk, or write. You’re probably wondering do I have Cerebral Palsy, no I don’t. I get her because when I read books I like go into the world. Like the characters talk to me. When she was little, she listened to her parents words and I quote “Words, I’m surrounded by thousands, maybe millions”. It was really sad to read, no one understood her when she tried to tell them she could do work too they were mean to her, they treated her like she was mental, dumb, and stupid. In her words she said they treated her like she was retarded and she didn’t like that word. When she went to the mental doctor the stuff was too easy for her so she pretended to not know. And once again, she was judged. It’s just painful, to see people treat others badly and discriminating. She listens to everyone talk and talk and talk all day, wishing she could talk too. But all of that changed when she got her very own robot to talk for her! She was so happy when she got it, she ended up on the “whiz kids” team for extra smart kids in her class and had a lot of fun, she also got an automatic wheelchair! But, when they were going to the finals as a team she got left behind. She wasn’t that happy about it. The next morning, she didn’t have a good morning either. When they got in the car her little sister snuck out and played in the driveway. Melody started kicking and wiggling and trying to warn her mom that Penny was in the driveway. Her mom got mad at her and couldn’t see Penny the little one and ran over her arm. The ambulance came the mom screamed louder than the sirens. Melody worried that her sister would die. But, Penny was okay. She went to school the next day. Her friends apologized to her for leaving her behind. So Melody got her wish to talk. Overall, this book taught me to not judge. 5 out of 5 stars I would give this book, this is truly amazing.


There is another review of this book on this blog, posted in December 2012, at

There is an interview with the author of this book and a brief video of the author discussing the book at A study guide for teachers is also available.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

DANIEL ISN’T TALKING by Marti Leimbach

DANIEL ISN’T TALKING by Marti Leimbach
Marti Leimbach, Daniel Isn’t Talking (Anchor Books, 2006).
Available in hardback, paperback, Kindle, Nook, Abridged audiobook, and in Spanish.


Recommended by Barbara Penrod Andrey

I recently reread Daniel Isn't Talking by Marti Leimbach. The book starts out with a young family with two children. The youngest, Daniel, is three years old and not talking. His mother, Melanie, has noticed a few more traits that have her concerned. Her husband, Stephen, is unconcerned saying he is just being a three year old. Melanie pushes and starts taking him to different doctors to voice her concerns. She finally gets a doctor to fully evaluate her son and receives a diagnosis. Daniel has moderate autism.
The book focuses on the struggles a mother goes through in order to properly take care of her child. The good and the bad. Melanie never gives up hope and keeps researching and seeing new doctors. She learns about play therapy and through this method is able to hear Daniel finally talk and learn to interact with others.
My son may not have autism but he did have a moderate speech delay and slight delays in other areas. I understand the struggle when your child can't say his or her own name. This book gives hope to any parent who has a child with a delay. I recommend this book to anyone whether they have a child with autism or not. This book is also great if you want some understanding of what it is like for a parent, friend, or family member who has a child with autism or developmental delay.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, No. 1; Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2007), 224 pages. 

Hardback, paperback and audio versions of this book and the set are available.

Reviewed by William Shey, age 7

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is very, very funny.  I just finished the series.  I liked it because it was funny.  I think a lot of others would like it and I liked it.  Once again, by William Shey.