Red Cedar Book Reviews

RED CEDAR BOOK AWARDS (official website)

Non-Fiction Reviews

Pharaohs and Foot Soldiers by Kristin Butcher

“This book is useful for its topic, because it has a great, thorough description of each of the 100 jobs. The most interesting fact to me was that the people didn’t live that long, and they would call the elderly “magical” people.” (Stephanie)

“If my friend asked me how I liked this book, I would tell her that I love it very much because it has really good illustrations and some of them are really funny in some parts of the book. The drawings are also very detailed.” Stars = ***** (Makaila)

Out of This World: The Amazing Search for An Alien Earth by Jacob Berkowitz

“I learned the most interesting thing is that the stars contain colours. The other interesting fact is that a bug called “The Water Bear” can go into space without a space helmut. I would say this book is great and I would recommend this book to anyone who is studying about planets.” (Stephanie)

“This book is about exoplanets (planets outside of our solar system) and if they have life on them. The most interesting fact I learned is that Saturn’s moon (Enceladus) might have water on it because it has blue water lines. If the icy shell breaks, water might appear. This book is good if you’re interested in aliens and space.” Stars = **** (Shalynn)

You Are Weird: Your Body’s Peculiar Parts and Funny Functions by Diane Swanson

“The most interesting fact I learned was that no European person would have wanted to be born with a tail between the years 500 and 1000 AD. Both mother and child were believed to be witches and were put to death! I liked this book because it was very interesting and there’s all sorts of facts that can be used in school.” Stars = ***** (Roni)

“This book is about humans, and how they are weird in many different ways. I learned that the third molars can sometimes grow backwards! This book would be useful for a school project because there are many different facts that I didn’t know about humans. This book was very, very good and the pictures seemed to be realistic. I learned many facts. But I wasn’t too convinced that I am weird!” Stars = ****1/2 (Mila)

Whispers From the Ghettos by Kathy Kacer & Sharon McKay

“I think this book would help for a school project about the Holocaust, to tell stories of real children and how they survived. I liked how the authors told different and multiple true stories, instead of focusing on just one detailed story.” Stars = *** (Zahra)

Fighting For Gold by Lorna Schultz Nicholson

“An interesting fact that I learned was that in sledge hockey, the periods are only 15 minutes long, instead of 20 minutes. This book made me realize that you can do things, even without a proper body; you don’t have to have a proper body to accomplish things like being a hockey player.” Stars = **** (Zahra)

Kaboom! Explosions of All Kinds by Gillian Richardson

“Sugar can explode. If one spark is there, it will explode! But only if there is a lot of sugar or powdered sugar. This book would not be good for a project, but would be good for a speech. It has lots of information but no experiments. Overall the book was pretty good because I liked how they made references. For example, popcorn and volcanoes are both explosions. It has lots of information and pictures.” Stars = **** (Megan)

It’s A Snap! George Eastman’s First Photograph by Monica Kulling

“This book was about George Eastman, who was looking for a hobby. Then he found out it was taking pictures. I found out that portable cameras with film in them was invented earlier than I thought! They were invented in 1881! How early! I loved this book because it has lots of images and even if the text is short, it is very, very detailed!” Stars = ***** (Mi Hee)

Hoaxed! Fakes & Mistakes in the World of Science by the Editors of Yes Magazine

“This book is about some unusual animals and things people did in the past. What type of animal is a platypus? This book tells all about it. Scientists have been arguing about it for years, but the answer remains that it’s an egg-laying mammal. This book is interesting, if you like fossils and birds and history all at once!” Stars = **** (Shalynn)

Animal Aha! Thrilling Discoveries in Wildlife Science by Diane Swanson

“This book explains amazing animal discoveries and how animals behave. I learned that gorillas are intelligent enough to use a stick to test what the water level is. Would this book be useful for a school project about the featured topic; no and yes, because the subject is interesting animal facts but it doesn’t give enough info beyond that. It’s a good book for random interesting animals facts.” Stars = **** (Keith)

How to Build Your Own Country by Valerie Wyatt

“This book is about the elements of making a country. From making a national anthem to keeping out enemies, this book makes your country the best! The most interesting fact I learned was, “some countries hold elections to make themselves appear democratic, even though they’re not. And then they try to look more democratic by forming councils and assemblies, but these bodies don’t have power to make decisions. Why bother? The reputation of democracy is so high that even non-democratic countries try to seem democratic.” This book is awesome. You can basically build your own country!” Stars = ****1/2 (Medha)

Learn to Speak Music by John Crossingham

“This book is about music, how to write songs, and how to form a band. It also tells you about theory, a key element in learning how to play an instrument. This book would be useful for a school project because it has a lot of info and examples. Plus, it tells you how you can make your own band. It’s a pretty good book. If you like music, read this book. I’m sure you’ll be bursting with facts after!” Stars = **** (Medha)

The Insecto-Files by Helaine Becker

“This book has many interesting facts and experiments. Did you know that chitin, the same material that gives insects exoskeletons, actually helps heal wounds quicker? Chitin is used as stitches to close wounds. The experiments in this book are fun. There is also many cool facts about insects, and you could learn so many things from just reading this book.” Stars = ***** (Ton)

100% Pure Fake by Lyn Thomas

“This book was about how to fool your family and friends with 100% pure fake (yet gross) stuff, like vomit, scrapes, poop and blood. This book would be great for a cooking project because you need to use lots and lots of cooking ingredients such as flour, cocoa, corn syrup and food colouring. I love this book because it’s funny and it makes you want to read more. The best part is there are “warnings”, so, my Mom would have to approve the activity!”     Stars = ***** (Mi Hee)


Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan

“In this book, the main character was Jameela. I think that she was horrified while working for the richer people, but then she actually started to enjoy the lifestyle at the Orphanage. This book is based on a true story and it signifies lots of hope and courage.” Stars = **** (Zahra) 

“This story is really sad but it teaches you that you should be happy that you have a family!” Stars = ***** (Anna)

“The main character, Jameela, is an “adaptable” person and she is willing to learn new things. In the story, Jameela is born with a deformed lip. People insulted Jameela about her lip. I can relate because occasionally, elderly people mistake me for being in grade 3, which sort of upsets me. The setting of the story is in Afghanistan but it changes from a small village to a city, and from house to house. This is a good book. There is suspense, mostly near the middle of the story, however the story is quick-moving and can be a bit confusing at times. If you read this story, you should make sure that you can tolerate unfairness.” Stars = ***1/2 (Eleanor)

Timothy and the Dragon’s Gate by Adrienne Kress

“The main character, Timothy, is trustworthy, intelligent and has good leadership skills. Timothy was not who I expected, because in the beginning of the book, he was kind of a bad kid. He was kicked out of a lot of schools, but he was really smart too. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy, because it is adventurous. You can visualize the story easily and it is suspenseful.” Stars = **** 1/2 (Shalynn)

“Timothy was a thoughtful character at points, but a lot of the time he didn’t really care about stuff. I was surprised about how Timothy acted in the story. Overall, I found this book quite boring and hard to follow.” Stars = ** (Ted)

The Prince of Neither Here Nor There by Sean Cullen

“This was a good story but do not read it if you get distracted easily; there are foot notes and it’s a long story that takes a while to get started.” Stars = **** (Li Jing)

“I found this book very pleasing to the mind, but the end made me feel like there should be more to the story. Overall, it was a good book.”                      Stars = **** (Alessia)

The Ship of Lost Souls by Rachelle Delaney

“The Ship of Lost Souls is a great book for anyone who loves pirates, adventure, and a world ruled by kids!” Stars = ****1/2 (Li Jing) 

Faery Rebels #1: Spell Hunter by R.J. Anderson

“I loved it! The heroine in this story is my favourite; strong and independent, but hides a more vulnerable side to her. This book was riveting and will keep you up all night just trying to finish it! This book was exceptional, with a very good plot and characters that I loved. There were a few parts in the book where I did lose some interest, but my attention was recaptured when I turned to the next page!” Stars = ****1/2 (Roanna)

After the Fire by Becky Citra

” I found the main character quite annoying; actually, she was selfish, and she would not give her mother a chance, despite her having her own imperfections. Despite her attitude, I could connect to her on some level. Mellisa wanted something different, which was why she was drawn to Alice’s world. I could understand her feeling of envy. This book caught my eye, but I got easily bored with the story. But, the ending was exciting and great.”      Stars = *** (Roanna)

Walking Backwards by Catherine Austen

“The main character was bizarre, but not in a bad way. But I guess it’s understandable that he was a bit weird, due to his circumstances. But, he was also thoughtful and intelligent. In this book, the father was absent most of the the time, leaving the main character to take care of his little brother. The story was okay. My main concerns are the characters; I would have liked to have read more of how the mom was. Also, it lacked some voice, but overall, the story was okay.” Stars = **1/2 (Roanna)

The Giant-Slayer by Iain Lawrence

“The main character was strong and outgoing, and not quiet or thoughtful. I thought that this was a good book because it was a little bit disgusting and a bit scary at times.” Stars = **** (Breanna)




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