"Refugee"

What a satisfying end to the year—a Book Buzz mailbox jammed full of students’ writing, kids offering their take on Newsbee’s book selections. He’s proud to share three stellar reviews with you this weekend, and hopes they will motivate other students to commit to literacy in 2018 by reading and reviewing his Book Buzz Picks.

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“A Piece of Home,” by Jeri Watts

Reviewed by Mrs. Miller’s first-grade class, Crosspoint Christian School.

“Hee Jun moved from Korea to West Virginia. He used to be ordinary but now he is different. Hee Jun and his sister have trouble getting used to their new school and speaking English.

“Our favorite part of the book is when Hee Jun gets a special ‘piece of home’ from one of his new friends. If you like reading stories about kids from other countries or stories about making friends, the this book is for you!”

Reviewed by St. Francis Borgia Preschool 3’s.

“The book made us sad that the family had to move to a new place, into a new house, away from all their friends and that no one understood what they were saying.

“Poor Se Ra was so scared that she would bite, kick and even spit on her teacher. Even if you are scared or mad it is never ok to bite, kick or spit.

“We like the end of the book when they started to make friends and the teachers could understand them. We really like when Steve gave Hee Jun a start of a plant that his grandmother grew in Korea. We hope that we never have to move away from our friends.”

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“Her Right Foot,” by Dave Eggers.

Reviewed by Augustus Farrell, Immaculate Conception School.

“This book tells you where the Statue of Liberty was designed, built, taken apart and reconstructed. The story tells of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi who helped make the Statue of Liberty in France in 1874-‘75, almost a full year.

“The builder then took it apart and shipped it to New York City, where they reconstructed it on Ellis Island. They gave the United States the statue for its 100th birthday.

“I loved the part when they told about her right foot. It explains that her right foot is moving! Yes, she is slowly walking southeast, the direction she’s facing, because her foot is raised up to take a step. Where is she going? She is moving because you are getting freedom! Freedom is exciting so she is walking to support the freedom by not standing still.

“I recommend this book to my family, friends, teacher and even possibly my dog! There is so much information they could all learn about this famous statue. This book has really good illustrations; I believe my dog would love this book!”

Reviewed by Abby Weidmayer, third grade, Immanuel Lutheran School.

“This is a factual book! Did you know the Statue of Liberty was first constructed in Paris, France? The workers had to do a lot of hard work to build it just to take it down again.

“Have you seen pictures of her right foot? It looks like she is moving, but where, hmmmmm? It looks like she is moving southeast. She is going to meet the immigrants at sea. The Statue of Liberty is an immigrant herself and is a symbol of freedom.

“I would recommend this book to fact lovers and all non-fiction readers. I learned a lot about the Statue of Liberty, and want to go to New York now. It had interesting pictures with lots of color. I give it 4 ½ stars.”

Reviewed by Deanna Delleart, third grade, Immanuel Lutheran School.

“This book is about freedom, love, and how the Statue of Liberty stands for justice. Did you know the Statue of Liberty is made out of copper? Cool. It is a very good book! You would love it if you like history, fun, and adventure. It is good book for kids to read to be inspired to learn more about our country. Hope it inspires you!”

Reviewed by Aurora Hilkerbauer, third grade, Immanuel Lutheran School.

“This was a very interesting book. It was about The Statue of Liberty and how she was built. It was mostly about the history details, which you might think is boring but it was fun and interesting. I learned a lot. Oh yes, she has a secret.”

Reviewed by Logan Floyd, third grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“This book was about 100 years of America being a country. France gave us the Statue of Liberty. Her right foot is lifting up. My favorite part was when they said she was walking away because it is interesting that she is on the move.

“I would recommend this book because you can learn what the right foot means and stands for.”

Reviewed by Ryan Garbs, third grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“This book was about the Statue of Liberty lifting her right foot. My favorite part was when they showed the picture of her foot because it was really cool.

“I would recommend this book because if you did not know what the Statue of Liberty was you wouldn’t know what the heck was going on.”

Reviewed by Mark Straatmann, third grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“This book was about the Statue of Liberty’s right foot. My favorite part was when I learned that it was made in France because I did not know that. I would recommend this book because I really like it because I did not know these really cool facts.”

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“Refugee,” by Alan Gratz.

Reviewed by Rebecca Turner, fourth grade, Clark-Vitt Elementary School.

“This book takes place in three different wars. One in 1950, another in 1994, and a third in 2015. It is a suspenseful, heartbreaking and adventurous story made to entertain with the right amount of suspense.

“The characters are Isabelle, a Cuban girl running from Fidel Castro and his rules, Josef escaping the Nazis, and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in Aleppo who runs from all kinds of threats. My favorite quote from Josef’s point of view is, ‘Hush Ruthie hush!’ Josef says this when the Nazis are invading and trashing their house and Ruthie is screaming.

“I had a vivid image of Fidel Castro after reading Isabelle’s description, ‘Fidel Castro is an old man with liver spots on his forehead, a bushy gray beard, and bags under his eyes.’ I really liked this quote from Mahmoud, ‘Whether you are visible or invisible it only matters how other people react to you.’ I like this because I am shy and try to be invisible a lot and this quote showed me the real meaning of being invisible.

“I can relate to Isabelle with her baby brother. The first time I saw my baby brother I had an immediate protective feeling for him. Anyone who has low self-esteem should read this book. I personally felt stronger after reading it.

Reviewed by Maggie Mahoney, fifth grade, Crosspoint Christian School.

“The word refugee literally means ‘one who flees to find refuge in time of war.’ These four kids, Josef, Isabel and Mahmoud and their families each live in a different time period, but they all have on goal—escape.

“Josef lived in the time of the Holocaust. He is trying to escape the Nazis. Isabel is a Cuban girl trying to get to Florida in a tiny raft. Mahmoud is trying to escape Syria by walking and smuggling himself out of the country. These three kids sacrifice so much for one thing – freedom.

“I would recommend this book to anyone who loves suspenseful and thrilling books.”