News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today


Dance the funky pickle with Jerry Spinelli

Editor’s note: These book reviews were written by fifth-graders at Leon Sheffield Magnet School.

Scholastic Paperbacks, 144 pages, $4.99, paperback

By Ashli Morris
Special to The Daily

Jerry Spinelli has written many books, and I’ve read most of them. So, when I picked up “Do the Funky Pickle,” saw the author, and read the summary on the back, I knew it was going to be a great book!

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I couldn’t put this book down.

It has romance, hard schoolwork, a famous person visiting the school, a school dance and decisions, decisions, decisions.

The main characters are two girls, Salem and Sunny, and two boys, Eddie and Pickles.

Eddie likes Sunny and tries to get attention by dancing in the middle of the floor at the school dance. The dance is called the “Funky Pickle.”

The main idea of this book is just to be yourself, no matter what. You don’t have to wear certain clothes because of what other people think. Don’t change yourself for others — people should like you for who you are.

I liked this book because it’s just an example of a middle schooler’s life. Jerry Spinelli has written a great book, once again!

Take a time travel adventure with H.G. Wells

(Great Illustrated Classics)
By H.G. Wells Abdo Publishing Co., 238 pages, $21.35, hardback.

By Nathan Whitley
Special to The Daily
The book that I read is “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells. It’s a very interesting and exciting book.

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It’s about an ingenius time traveler who constructs a magnificent time machine that may explore the surprising and exquisite future of our unique planet. He faces many dangers, yet has a brilliant adventure. I read the book in two days straight.

The time traveler met a few things along the way, too. He met a different kind of human being called the Eloi. The Eloi were sweet and gentle and seemed to fear nothing at all. They feared almost nothing but the dark and a different creature, the Morlocks!

The Morlocks were horrid, nasty, beastly and mean creatures. They were white and devoured the Eloi that they killed. They hated light and lived underground. They were very, very evil.

Eventually, the time traveler found a palace of green porcelain. In there, he found some tools to help him on his journey. He found an iron bar for a weapon. He also found a box of matches (because the Morlocks hated light). He used these tools later in the story.

“The Time Machine” was a great book. I suggest it to people who like adventure books with monsters and time traveling. If you don’t like those things, you might change your mind with this book. I think H.G. Wells is a great author!

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