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Sofia is an 8-year-old brilliant reader who aspires to be a book reviewer. On select Saturdays, Sofia will share her favorite books with kids! She is one of the most well-read elementary schoolers that we know, so she is highly qualified for this role!

 

Dear readers,

It’s time for another recommendation from me, Sofia Martinez! Today I’ve decided to change things up a bit. Instead of just writing about one book, I’m going to write about my four favorite books in a series called Classic Starts.

First let me tell you a bit about the series. There are about 55 books in the Classic Starts series. I own about thirty of them and have borrowed some from the library. So I know a lot about the series. Classic Starts is a series that abridges classics and puts them in a language that the kids of today understand. If you do not know what classics are they are very well known books. They also have to be old. This book collection is recommended for ages 7-9. The Classic Starts books also have pictures.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

This book is about the world famous detective Sherlock Holmes. The book contains six shortened mysteries. My favorite one is called The Adventure of the Speckled Band. I don’t want to spoil the story so I’ll leave it at that. After reading the abridged version I moved on and started reading the original with my dad. The abridged version is easier to read and they took the real important parts into the story.

The Secret Garden

Mary is a rich girl but then everybody in her house dies of a sickness except for her. So she moves to Mr. Craven’s house. When Mary discovers there is a secret garden she sets out to find it. She meets two boys that help her take care of the garden. One of them is Mr. Craven’s son.

Pollyanna

My third favorite book in the series is Pollyanna. When Pollyanna’s father dies she goes to live with her Aunt Polly. Aunt Polly is harsh to Pollyanna. Pollyanna keeps herself happy by playing a game that her father taught her, the just be glad game.

Little Women

I love this one so much I even watched the play and the movie (before the pandemic). Little Women is about the four March sisters. They are poor but have a kind heart. For example, one Christmas they give their breakfast to a family who couldn’t afford it. They face many challenges.

I love this series because it lets you experience classics that you would usually have to be older to read. It also gives you a good idea of what the original is about. You can also try out many without having to read a million pages to find out if you want to read the original version when you are older.

I have made a chart including most of the books that I’ve read under a few categories. I want to make it easier for you to find which books you might like. Don’t forget there are plenty more in the series.

Adventure
Anne of Green Gables
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Little Women
Pollyanna
The Secret Garden
The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Three Musketeers
Robinson Crusoe
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Treasure Island
Moby-Dick
The Swiss Family Robinson
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Gulliver’s Travels
The Call of the Wild
White Fang
The Last of the Mohicans
20,000 Leagues under the Sea
Scary
Dracula
Frankenstein
Kindness
Little Women
Heidi
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Pollyanna
Survival
The Swiss Family Robinson
Robinson Crusoe
Around the World in 80 Days
Magic
Alice in Wonderland & Through the 
Looking-Glass
Peter Pan
Pinocchio
Animal
Black Beauty
Anne of Green Gables
Heidi
White Fang
The Call of the Wild

**Thank you, Sofia, for your continued brilliance. You inspire us!**

 

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Sofia is an 8-year-old brilliant reader who aspires to be a book reviewer. On select Saturdays, Sofia will share her favorite books with kids! She is one of the most well-read elementary schoolers that we know, so she is highly qualified for this role!

Ban This Book
Author: Alan Gratz
Published: August 29th 2017 by Starscape Books

Hi!

It’s Sofia Martinez again and I just finished reading this amazing book: Ban This Book by Alan Gratz. You definitely would not want to ban Ban This Book. It is for ages 8-12. Ban This Book won a 2020 Nutmeg Book Award in Connecticut. It is a chapter book.

Amy Ann’s favorite book is banned from the library along with others. She decides to make a locker library of all the banned books: the B.B.L.L, the banned books locker library, but when the principal finds out things start to get ugly. For example her favorite librarian gets fired trying to speak up for her. More things happen but I don’t want to be a spoiler.

I really like Ban This Book because it teaches courage. The girl in the book speaks up for her favorite book, something that I would have never done before I read this book. Another reason why I like Ban This Book is because it gives you ideas on what to read next. For example, From the mixed up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg and Matilda by Roald Dahl. The last reason why I like it is because it is very entertaining. I like how it seems real. For example, there are typical arguments with sisters and a bit of sadness and lots of happiness. 

A few months ago I was walking in the library and saw Ban This Book on the Nutmeg Book Award shelf and thought it looked nice so I checked it out. Once I got home I changed my mind about it and didn’t want to read it anymore. I put it back in the library bag and started reading some other books, but now I really regret that.

Here are some discussion questions I came up with.

  • Would you have spoken up for your favorite book?
  • Would you run away if you had annoying brothers or sisters? 
  • Did you like Ban This Book? Why or why not?
  • How much do you think Amy Anne likes books?

If you want a book that teaches you something even if you’re a grown up, Ban This Book is perfect. I hope you have tons of fun reading this book!

**Thank you, Sofia, for your continued brilliance. You inspire us!**

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