How to Be Cool in the Third Grade: By BETSY DUFFEY

Book Review

Amazon link: How to Be Cool in the Third Grade – By BETSY DUFFEY

“Babies can’t talk like you and me,” she continued. “They can’t say ‘I’m hungry,’ or ‘I’m wet’, or ‘I’m tired.’ But they sure can let you know when they want something.”

How simple it seemed, Robbie thought, looking down at Tobey:

Waaa! And you got whatever you want. He wished it was that simple when you grew up.

Waaa! New jeans would appear.

Waaa! People would stop calling you names.

Waaa! Your mother would stop kissing you at the bus stop. (p. 47)

 — An excerpt from the book, ‘How to Be Cool in the Third Grade’- By BETSY DUFFEY

 

How to Be Cool in the Third Grade: Published in 1993

A story about a timid boy named ‘Robert Hayes York’; who dislikes his baby name Robbie, hates his school clothes which his parents chooses for him to wear—tan and stiff shorts, white socks and shirt with collars, despises his mom’s kisses at the bus stop—to cause a spot of the bright red lipstick on his cheek —  at the start of the academic year into the third grade Robbie writes down  a set of necessary rules which, according to him, will help him become cool—and how a bully boy ‘Bo’ at school changes Robbie’s attitude for better, as well as Robbie’s niceness changes Bo’s rudeness towards him …

The title of the book admiringly suggest that this book is specifically meant for third graders i.e. children of 7 to 8 years; however this nice, humorous, short, fiction story is a suitable read for children between the age-group of 8 to 10 years too; at a leisurely pace a child may take a week’s time to finish reading this book.

Author: Betsy Duffey is the author of numerous books for young readers; her books have been Junior Library Guild selections, Crown Award nominees, and have been Parent’s Choice and Children’s Choice selections. Her books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Dutch and Danish, and included in numerous book clubs.

Illustrated by Janet Wilson


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The Girl in the Mirror – By Cecelia Ahern

Book Review

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The Girl in the Mirror

Author: Cecelia Ahern

This short novel of less than 100 pages comprises two short stories with bizarre concept perfected by perfect human emotions.

The title of the novel is the title of the first story i.e. Girl in the Mirror, narrated with smidgen of fairy tale charm mixed with fair amount of quirkiness.

Lila’s grandmother – Ellie, whom Lila fondly calls as Grellie, happens to drape all the mirrors in her spacious, hoary house completely in black sheeting. This little girl  has no anxiety of her grandmother’s odd behaviour — however, twenty-eight years old Lila disobeys  her grandmother’s rule to  unwrap a free-standing, full-length mirror, located in a spare room which she is strictly warned not to enter; on her wedding day to  see herself  in her wedding dress—and a peculiar incident happens ….

 

The second story, The Memory Maker, is a highly intellectual piece which takes about 2 to 3 times of reading to appreciate the inimitable concept of the story.

Tucked away in the basement of a Georgian house is a futuristic devise, the memory-maker, a machine which helps people in creating new memories, the creator of the machine is neither a doctor nor a scientist; and a great sadness is the reality behind the invention of this machine …

It takes a maximum of 2 days to finish reading this novel, more so because of the thrilling story telling ability of the writer which keeps you hooked on till you finish reading the entire story. This novel is a suitable read for teenagers as well as adults.

 

Amazon link: The Girl in the Mirror