Skip to main content

Eerie Elementary Book 1: The School is Alive! by Jack Chabert, illustrations by Sam RIcks, 90 pp, RL: 2




Eerie Elementary by Jack Chabert is yet another fantastic series that's part of Scholastic's much needed Branches line. These books are "specifically designed for newly independent readers who are ready to make the exciting leap from leveled readers, but not quite prepared for a traditional chapter book." In the school where I am a librarian and the majority of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are reading at a 2nd grade level (or, in some cases, they can read at their grade level but do not have the stamina to finish a book at their grade level) these books are the lifeblood of the collection and constantly checked out. You can find more books at this level, which generally employs a larger font and are heavily illustrated, under the label Bridge Chapter Books.

In Book 1: The School is Alive, we meet Sam Graves, the newly appointed hall monitor at Eerie Elementary. Sam is less than thrilled with this job, especially since there has never even been a hall monitor at Eerie before. To make matters worse, Sam finds himself spied on by crows and trapped in quicksand his first day on the job, and this is just minutes after the start of school bell has rung! Despite the fact that Sam is rescued by Mr. Nekobi, the withered old janitor, things seem to go from bad to worse.

After a few more adventures, including a writhing, deadly fire hose and school wide auditions for Peter Pan, Sam follows Mr. Nekobi through a hidden door where he learns the secret of Eerie Elementary - the school is alive! It's a "living, breathing thing. It is a beast. A monster. And there is only one person who can keep its students safe." Mr. Nekobi tells Sam that he was the original hall monitor and, now that he is old and tired, the school senses he is growing weak and is planning something big - something that Mr. Nekobi needs Sam's help to stop. Fortunately for Sam, his best friend Antonio suspects something strange is going on and he follows Sam into the secret room where he gets the chance to help him train for his new(er) job as hall monitor of a living, breathing, evil school. The climactic scene of  Book 1: The School is Alive comes in the middle of the performance of Peter Pan and involves a trapdoor, a giant drum of peanut butter, lots of action and the help of Antonio and Lucy, Sam's friends who are in on the secret.




Source: Review Copy

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…