Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book review- Third grade Mix up by Michele Jakubowski

I know it's been a really long time. Merry christmas and happy new year. Hapy Chinese new year as well! I'm finally back now. This year I have decided to review a wider variety of books across more genres. As a first, I will be reviewing a children's book, (Sidney and Sydney) Third grade mix-up by Michele Jakubowski with illustrations by Luisa Montalto . I received a review copy from the publishers but the opinions are mine and honest.

When Sidney Fletcher moves to Oak Grove, things get a little strange for Sydney Greene. Not only does Sydney share a name with a boy, but he's in her third-grade class! First-day-of-school drama has them at odds, but Sidney and Sydney soon find out that they share more than just their names. Can boys and girls actually be friends?! (goodreads)

Actually, I must admit that reading this book felt strange. I have been reading books that are much longer and this book felt like a chapter rather than a book. But I think it would be a big step for younger readers. It's just that I haven't read a children'sbook in a long time. The book has color illustrations which make it a fun read. The characters are strong and unique, which is usually not seen in many adult novels nowadays. In fact, when I compared them to the characters of most of the books I have reviewed, I felt like they had much more depth and strength to stand up for their beliefs, even though they are just in third grade. Even the supporting characters are interesting and have lovable personalities. Sydney (the girl) is a fashion conscious girl who likes playing Galaxy conquest and Sidney (the guy) has just moved to the school. They initially start out on a sour note (due to a mix-up involving their names) but come together with their similar interests.

The main event of the book if of course the halloween and how Sidney and Sydney work together to make it a great halloween for their friends and themselves.

I thought the concept of the book was quite good. The writing style was clear and easy to follow. However, the book lacked the 'wow' factor or even the 'emotional factor' that connects you to the story and characters.

The interview of Sidney and Sydney at the end of the book was something I really liked. Alternate chapters are written by the same character, so we get to know both of them through their as well as the other one's perspective.

Overall, I think it is quite a decent read and young children might enjoy it more.


Good characters
The concept is interesting
Clear and easy to understand writing style, especially for children

Lacked the 'X' factor
The halloween plot was a bit too predictable and is a commonly used plot in children's books

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