"Pandora"

Though we’re in the homestretch of summer, Newsbee urges Buzzers and Buzzettes to continue to swing the bat for literacy. There’s ample time left to check out books at Washington Public and Scenic Regional Library. And to write reviews on my August Picks, “The Darkest Dark,” “Armstrong,” and “Superstar,” reviews due August 15th. Page On!

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“Pandora,” by Victoria Turnbull.

Reviewed by Andrew Rodrigues, age 3.

“This story starts with Pandora living where people threw their trash. The book shows us to use old things and make them into new things.

“Pandora lived by herself in trash. She made new things out of the trash. One day she saw a bird fall down. She helped it.

“I didn't like when the bird fell down hurt. I liked it when she put the bird in the box. I am like Pandora because I reuse things in art class. I haven't heard a book like this before.

“I think everyone would like this book. I give this book 5 out of 5 beehives.”

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“Hattie and Hudson,” by Chris Van Dusen.

Reviewed by Newsbee.

Hattie McFadden gets much more than she bargained for when she vacations in a cabin by a lake with her parents. Always on the search for adventure, she dons her life jacket and launches her canoe. She paddles as she sings, happy as a lake loon, never imagining her song will attract an immense creature stirring in his lair under the water.

When the “monster” she names Hudson reveals himself, the townspeople are shocked and fear-filled, but Hattie sees beyond his size, focusing instead on his kind eyes. Together they devise a plan to keep Hudson safe from the do-gooders determined to protect the village.

Friendship and acceptance surface in this charmer, Van Dusen’s retro illustrations awakening memories of summer lake days with family and friends.

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“Beyond the Bright Sea,” by Lauren Wolk.

Reviewed by Izzy Zagarri, age 12, St. Gertrude’s School.

“Crow is a 12-year-old girl who has lived on a tiny piece of the Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts her whole life. When she was just hours old, she was abandoned and set adrift on a small boat.

“The man who rescued and raised her, Osh, and their neighbor across the sandbar, Miss Maggie, are Crow’s only companions. Curious about the world around her, she sees a mysterious fire appear on the nearby island of Pekinese. Then, an unspoken question about her own history forms in her heart, so her, Osh and Miss Maggie set out on their way to Pekinese Island. But it leads them down a path of danger and discovery, and along the way, they find out what the true meaning of family is.

“I would recommend this book for 9-12 year-olds, or those looking for a book with excitement, adventure, and friendship.”

Reviewed by Emma Thomas, seventh grade, Union Middle School.

“Journey with Crow as she learns about her past…her family, her real name, and if she was born on Penikese, an island where lepers once lived.

On Cuttyhunk Island, Crow lives with a man named Osh and their friend Miss Maggie. One night while Crow is looking out at the sea, she notices a man sitting by a fire on the nearby island of Penikese. Wondering who it is, Crow rides on a skiff with Osh and Miss Maggie to Penikese to investigate.

“There they meet the man, “the birdkeeper,” and her quest to find the answers to her questions about her past begins. To follow Crow on her adventure and discover what she uncovers about herself, read ‘Beyond the Bright Sea.’

“I give this book 5 out of 5 beehives; I recommend it for anyone who enjoys adventures and likes to be intrigued.