Archive for category Book Reviews

Book Review – Flora and Ulysses By Kate DiCamillo

Book Review Wednesday!! Unknown

Let me start off by saying, a HUGE pet peeve of mine is when authors write a popular children’s book and next thing you know, there are TWENTY books with the same theme or characters.  Nothing against Mary Pope Osbourne, but I think you’ve made enough money off Jack and Annie! Ok, rant over!  Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo is NOTHING like her other books but is just fantastic in it’s own way. It begins with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him.  What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry — and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart. My students LOVED this book. Everyday for two weeks they spent 20 minutes right after lunch mesmerized.  At one point the teacher next door came in to see what they were laughing at! I will give this book 8 out of 10 stars!


We liked this book so much I created a novel unit guide to follow along with the book. It is set up so it can be used as a unit plan for the teacher, or used by students in literature circles. It is broken up into a 14 day plan, and includes chapter questions, projects, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. This would also be a great resource for a homeschooler to follow along with the book. You can go to my store and check it out.

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Book Review – The Contract By Derek Jeter

Book Review Wednesday!!

New Derek Jeter Book

New Derek Jeter Book

This is a BRAND NEW feature for PowerPoint Maniac’s blog – Book Review Wednesday. I’m going to try to put out some book reviews occasionally on Wednesday’s for your viewing pleasure! Sometimes it will be new books and other times will be some of my old favorites. Since I teach 5th grade the focus of most of the reviews will be from that age group, but since I am also a father – you never know!!

The first book in this series is the brand new Derek Jeter kids book called, “The Contract”.  As a young boy, Derek Jeter dreams of being the shortstop for the New York Yankees. He even imagines himself in the World Series. So when Derek is chosen for the Little League Tigers, he hopes to play shortstop. But on the day of the assignments, Derek Starts at second base. Still, he tries his best while he wishes and dreams of that shortstop spot. And to help him stay focused on school, his parents make him a contract: keep up the grades or no baseball. Derek makes sure he always plays his best game—on and off the baseball field!

Derek Jeter has played Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees for twenty seasons and is a five-time World Series Champion. He is a true legend in professional sports and a role model for young people both on the field and through his Turn 2 Foundation.

If you have boys at home or in your class, this is the book for them!  My son is currently 8 and he received this book for Christmas. It’s now the end of January and he has read this book SIX TIMES ALREADY!!! My son says it gets FIVE STARS!




I don’t currently have a novel guide for “The Contract” but I DO have over 25 novel group guides in my TPT store!!

Check them out here.

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