Newsbee was knee-deep in stellar reviews this month—they came from all four corners of Buzzville. Whew! Your literary bee buddy was hard-pressed to select only three because your writing was detailed, clear and interesting.
If your review appears here, you’ll receive a prize Book Buzz Pick, compliments of the Washington Optimist Club. They rock!
“Unspoken,” by Henry Cole.
Reviewed by Richelle Krimmel, Third Grade, Immaculate Conception School.
“I loved this story because I love art and this book has beautiful art.
“When the girl in the book was going out to collect chicken eggs, she heard something in the cornstalks. She didn’t know it was a slave who was hiding from the soldiers.
“One night the girl brought food for the slave. When she came back in the morning, there was a doll sitting there. I think the slave made it for her for helping him and giving him food.
“I recommend this book to Mr. Fox because he likes the Civil War.”
“Belle, the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend,” by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud.
Reviewed by Rachel Bolte, Third Grade, Beaufort Elementary School.
“This book was wonderful! It shows how Martin Luther King Jr. changed black people’s lives.
“There was a boy named Alex. There was a lady called Miz Pettway. Miz Pettway’s mule’s name was Belle. Belle and another mule named Ada pulled Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s coffin. People that lived in Gee’s Bend were called ‘Benders.’
“My favorite part was when Alex asked Miz Pettway why she lets Belle eat her collards. This story shows what love the people of Gee’s Bend had for Dr. King.
“Others should read this book because it is a very good story and it has good illustrations.”
“Glory Be,” by Augusta Scattergood.
Reviewed by Alyssa Crum, Sixth Grade, Meramec Valley Middle School.
“’Glory Be” is a great book about all the strength it takes to stand up for the right thing, the love between siblings and the struggle of racial discrimination. I really like how Glory, the main character, stands up for what she believes is right. She is not afraid to tell everyone her opinion. I don’t really think there was anything I didn’t like about the book. It was a great read.”
“My favorite characters is probably Glory. She relates to me because whenever I feel strongly about something, I make sure to voice my opinions. I would recommend this book to kids of all ages.
“Kids of this era don’t know what it was like during the time of color discrimination. This book shows how whites and colored people had different rights. If I lived during this time, I hope I would stand up for what was right like Glory.”
Here are other noteworthy January reviews:
“Unspoken,” by Henry Cole.
Reviewed by Andrew Haberberger, Third Grade, Immaculate Conception School.
“I like the story because you have to figure out the words. And I’d recommend Mr. Fox to this book because he likes the Civil War.
“If I were a soldier, I’d be silent too, and I like the Civil War just like Mr. Fox.”
Reviewed by Amelia Bogler, Third Grade, Immaculate Conception School.
“I think ‘Unspoken’ is a great title for this story because it is unspoken because it is a picture book.
“It is a great book because the pictures are very amazing and the story is a great story. It is about the Civil War and a slave hiding in the cornstalks. So I would recommend this book to our school’s middle school history teacher Mr. Fox.
“If I were helping a slave like the little girl in the story I would be scared just like her. I would also help him, or her, out like giving him, or her, food, just like the little girl in the story.
“I can tell I am like the girl in the story. I am scared a lot, helpful and sometimes secretive.
Reviewed by Mrs. Burke’s Second Grade Class, St. John the Baptist School.
“We enjoyed this book. When we read the title we thought it would be about a girl who can’t talk, a girl who runs away, or a girl who no one talks about. It was about a girl who lived on a farm and helps slaves who were trying to escape slavery.
“We are like the little girl because we try to help others who are in need. We are also like the slave because we are good at hiding.
“If we could change anything in the book, we would show the slave in more detail or actually have the girl talk to the slave. We really liked how unexpected the book was. There were no words so you could make up your own story. We would recommend this book to anyone who is a good storyteller.”
Reviewed by Kendall N., First Grade, Clearview Elementary School.
“I liked the book ‘Unspoken.’ It was the best book. It looks like a book from the old days. I just love the illustrations. I love that they put a lot of details into the pictures. The girl was beautiful. I love that she had lots of animals.
“I will recommend this book to my classmates because it is about the Underground Railroad and that was important.
Reviewed by Kelsie H., First Grade, Clearview Elementary School.
“This story is about the Underground Railroad. I loved the illustrations because they were beautiful. My favorite part was the pictures of the animals. The girl looks scared in some pictures. I would recommend this book to my classmates and friends because of the beautiful illustrations.”
Reviewed by Loren W., First Grade, Clearview Elementary School.
“I thought the illustrations were pretty. My favorite part was when the girl was with her cat. The book tells about the Underground Railroad and people helping slaves escape.
“It is important to learn about this. I would recommend this book to my classmates because ‘Unspoken’ tells about important things that happened long ago and the illustrations are pretty.”
Reviewed by Amy Crow’s First Grade Class, Clearview Elementary School.
“We thought ‘Unspoken’ was interesting. The book is about a little girl and her family who are part of the Underground Railroad. There are no works in this book. We had to use our imagination and the illustrations to make our own words. We would recommend this book to our friends because the pictures are beautiful and the little girl is very brave.”
“Belle, the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend” by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud.
Reviewed by Sophie Fletcher.
“I thought it would be about a boy who gets a mule and takes it home. What the story is about is a mule who carried Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s casket. I liked it because Martin Luther King Jr. was in it.
“I am like Belle because I am strong. The story was about a mule who was very special. There was a boy sitting on a bench and a woman came by and told him a story. It was about black people that wanted to vote and have equal rights in 1960. They went to take a ferryboat and a man would not let them go any further. They still went one night the long way around on their mules.
“The man who came to Gee’s Bend was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He helped the people in the town. Then when Dr. King died the mules carried his casket. That was why the lady let the mule eat her garden. The mules’ names were Belle and Ada.
“I would recommend this story to my little brother because he could learn about history.”
Reviewed by Alex Craig, Third Grade, Central Elementary School.
“This book is about a mule named Belle. This story took place in the 1960’s. My favorite part is when Belle pulled Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s coffin because he is a very brace and famous man.
“Other people should read this book because it is a very fun and educational story.”
Reviewed by Alexis Guerra, Third Grade, Central Elementary School.
“This book is about a mule who is a hero in Gee’s Bend because she is brave and she pulled Martin Luther King Jr.’s coffin.
“My favorite part is when they were going to vote and they let nothing stop them. That part is my favorite part because they were brave and the white people shut down the ferry so they couldn’t get across the river. The mules pulled a lot of people just to get to their destination.
“I recommend this book because it teaches people about Civil Rights and it teaches people not to let anything stand in your way and keep going until you get to your destination.”
Reviewed by Blake Babbs, Central Elementary School.
“This book was about a mule named Belle. She and another mule named Ada pulled Martin Luther King’s casket. My favorite part is when the mules pulled his casket because it looks so cool because everyone was putting their hands on it. Also because there are so many flowers on his casket.
“I think others should read this book because it’s very interesting and it teaches you about Black History Month.”
Reviewed by Alana Piontek, Third Grade, Immaculate Conception School.
“I liked this book because it told me a lot about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It made me sad that white people used to make black people leave and they couldn’t use the same places [to vote]. In the story they made a quilt. At school we made a quilt. The page when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died was sad. But I really like the book.”
Reviewed by Annie Arand, Third Grade, Immaculate Conception School.
“When my teacher started saying that this was about blacks I started to imagine what it would be like back then when black people couldn’t do things white people could.
“I would recommend this to my grandparents because they love history and freedom.
“I think if I were Belle the mule then I wouldn’t stop for anything if I had to carry Martin Luther King Jr.’s tomb.”
Reviewed by Jack Hardin, Second Grade, St. John the Baptist.
“In this story an old lady told a kid a story. She said that Belle pulled Martin Luther King Jr.’s casket. They pulled his casket and showed their strength, and that is why Belle is a hero.
“I liked this story because the mule Belle was really cool.”
“Glory Be,” by Augusta Scattergood.
Reviewed by Sebbie S., Fifth Grade, Cambellton Elementary School.
“This book is about a girl who lives in Hanging Moss, Mississippi during segregated times. Her birthday is July 4th, and the community pool is closing. Glory wants her pool back really bad, but she begins to worry about her sister’s boyfriend and his secret.
“Glory must fight to keep the pool open, not to close because of the segregation and to keep her sister’s boyfriend’s secret.”
Reviewed by Eli, Fifth Grade, Cambellton Elementary School.
“I think ‘Glory Be’ was a great book. At first I was like ‘Yah! Wahoo!’ with sarcasm. But it turns out it wasn’t just another history lesson. It was the best prejudice book ever!
“If I could make one change I wouldn’t know what it would be.”
Reviewed by Audrey Bush.
“Dear Newsbee—get ready. This one’s good. It sucks you in like a black hole and never lets you go, even when you’re done reading it. But trust me, ‘Glory Be’ is a book you’ll never forget!
“It’s about an 11-year-old girl, named Glory. She is preparing for her 12th birthday part on the Fourth of July. It seems like a perfect event, until everything goes wrong.
“Glory’s best friend Frankie is acting strange, the pool closes, and a new girl come to town and drinks out of the Negro fountain. Glory’s sister’s boyfriend has a secret that Glory tells to Frankie, an accident. Then Frankie tells it to his big brother bully, who practically messes up everything.
“Can Glory fix it all, or is she doomed to have the worst birthday ever? I would totally recommend this book to everyone. You haven’t lived until you’re read it! Don’t miss it. ‘Glory Be’ is an amazing book.
Reviewed by Jennifer Bossert, Eighth Grade, St. Ignatius of Loyola.
“’Glory Be’ is a heartwarming novel based on the historical era of segregation. The story takes place in Hanging Moss, Mississippi during the summer of 1964. A young girl named Gloriana June Hemphill has lived in the small town of Hanging Moss her whole life, and each year on her birthday, which happens to be on July 4th, she has her birthday party at the public pool.
“Glory has had her birthday party there since she first learned how to swim, but this summer that was destined to change. The town council made a decision to close the pool for the remainder of the summer due to supposed cracks in the pool. But Glory Hemphill has swum in that pool almost every year of her life, and she knew it like the back of her hand. There were no cracks in her pool.
“The closing of the pool slowly drive the small town apart, argument by argument, and it’s up to Glory to bring them back together.
“’Glory Be’ is a book I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys family love, tests of friendships and memorable events that are hard to forget.”