The Matchbook Diary

Hear Bee! Hear Bee! This month, Newsbee received a hive-full of reviews on his March Middle Pick, "The Matchbook Diaries,” and a fab review on "Navigating Early," his oldest Pick. Congrats, kids — keep "Paging On!"

“The Matchbook Diary,”by Paul Fleischman.

Reviewed by Weston Keiser, second grade, St. John the Baptist School.

“One time a boy and his family went on a boat to America. When they got there someone threw a rock at the boy from Italy. The rock hit him, and his tooth fell out.

“Then the boy kept his tooth in a matchbook. He kept things like that to remember. I liked the book because it talked about someone coming to America. I’m not like anyone in this book.”

Reviewed by Alana Piontek, third grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“I like this story because it is very good to listen to. I recommend this book to my grandmas because they like to collect things too.

“It must have been very disappointing to have to work when you’re young like the people in the story. I think it must have been fun to collect all of the things the great-grandfather collected. Some of the things he collected were an olive pit and a St. Christopher medal.

“I can’t imagine having to be on a ship for three days in a hurricane. I bet it hurt to get a tooth knocked out with a rock. I got two of my teeth kicked out by my sister.”

Reviewed by Ella Horkey, fourth grade, Clark-Vitt Elementary School.

“This book is about a little girl visiting her great-grandfather. He said she could pick anything, and he would tell her about it. She picks a box that has little matchboxes inside. He said when he was little he did not know how to read or write, so when he wanted to write to his dad (who is in America to work), he could not.

“One year when the crops were not growing, his dad sent tickets for his whole family to come to America. The boy always wanted to keep a diary so he found matchboxes and every time there was something worth remembering he put something little in the box.

“My favorite part is when the boy goes to America, because it made me happy he got to see his dad. Others should read this book because all ages will enjoy it. I highly recommend this book.”

Reviewed by Katherine Bolte, Kindergarten, Beaufort Elementary School.

“I like the book because it was a diary. The man who told the story had a diary, and it had stories about the man. His diary wasn’t a book. It was matchboxes. He put stuff about himself from when he was a boy. His father went to America. The boy sailed away to meet his father.

“I think you should read this book because it is a good story. The drawings are pretty.”

Reviewed by Lucas Howland, Fourth Grade, Clark-Vitt Elementary School.

“This book is about an old man’s great granddaughter coming to visit. She finds a cigar box with matches, and she asks what it is. So the old man tells her what everything is in the matchboxes. My favorite part was when he tells a story about his tooth in one of the matchboxes. It was sort of sad.

“I would recommend this book because it might give you a good idea of what you want to collect if you want to have a collection.”

Reviewed by Evan Hall, Fourth Grade, Clark-Vitt Elementary School.

“This book is mainly about a girl’s great grandfather who tells the girl about his matchbox diary. He starts by telling her that he grew up in Italy. The great grandfather talks about his family and about moments in his life. My favorite part is when he gets to go to a baseball game because he has never been to one before.

“Others should read this book because it talks about someone’s life.”

Reviewed by Joshua Ley, Second Grade, St. John the Baptist School.

“I thought this book would be about a boy that writes a diary. It was about a boy that made a diary out of matchboxes.

“I liked this book because I like to collect things. I am like the boy because I collect things.”

Reviewed by Madison Lewis, Second Grade, St. John the Baptist School.

“This book was about a girl who went to her grandpa’s and learned about his life when he was a boy. I liked the book because it was interesting. I was like the girl because I learn so many things from my grandparents.

“I recommend this book to my grandmother because she would love it.”

Reviewed by Jack Hardin, Second Grade, St. John the Baptist School.

“The book was about a little boy that did not know how to write or read. So instead of writing he had matchboxes with items that reminded him of things that happened. I liked the story because the boy was interesting.”

Reviewed by Amelia Bogler, Third Grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“’The Matchbox Diary’ is a great story for all ages but mostly for people who are into history. I would like to have that same kind of collection because on his trip to America he put all the things that reminded great-grandfather of what happened, into a matchbox.

“My favorite part of the story is when great-grandfather sailed from Italy to America. I would like for everyone to read this book someday.”

Reviewed by Maddie Ennis, Third Grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“I like this story because my grandpa tells me about him when he was a little kid, good and bad times, just like the great-grandfather in the story.

“I would recommend this to someone who likes to collect things for their memories and also to me because [it would] tell people about my life.

“My favorite part is when some kids threw rocks at the boy, and [he] lost his tooth because I lost my tooth not too long ago. I felt bad for the boy when the kids were throwing rocks at him.

Reviewed by Danny Burton, Third Grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“It was very fun to read. I would recommend this book to my granddad and my dad. My favorite matchbox was the one that had his tooth in it, from when he got hit with the stone.

“I also liked the matchbox that had the baseball ticket from the game he went to. He found a quarter so he could go again. It was a very good, fun book. I would get his book.”

Reviewed by Annie Arand, Third Grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“When my teacher Mrs. Fox started telling us about the story, I thought it was interesting when the great-grandfather collected things that he had found.

“I thought for a while it was a little unusual when he put the stuff he collected in a matchbox. Then I started to think that was a great idea.

“My favorite part is when after he learned something then he told his sisters what he learned in school.

“I would recommend this to my Papa because he collects a lot of stuff, and I think he would like this book.”

Reviewed by Morgan Hammer, Fourth Grade.

“Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel on a ship for 19 days? Have four sisters, a mom and a grandma to live with in Italy? And a father who traveled to America to send your family money?

“I would relate this story to my grandfather, who some of you may know, Ben Hammer. I thought of him right away because he tells great stories. If you want to know more about ‘The Matchbook Diary,’ read this book.”

Reviewed by Alex Huellinghoff, Fourth Grade.

“This book does not relate to my life because I don’t have a diary, and I am not Italian. My mom will like this book because I think she had a diary when she was little. She likes to read books and she likes stories.”

Reviewed by Isabella Bolzenius, Fourth Grade.

“I like this book because it tells about what you could have used or could use as a diary. It tells what life was kind of like in the old days. It also tells how you don’t have to use a diary for memories. You could use things for memories.

“The boy was living in Italy with a mom and four sisters. The only thing they had was the warmth from the cooking pot, and not a lot of food. His dad moved to America, and they were sad about it. The boy didn’t know how to read or write and neither did his mom or sister.

“Since he didn’t know how to read or write, he found stuff from everywhere he’d been and collected an olive pit, a bottle cap, a ticket and lead type.”

Reviewed by Andrew Niehaus, Fourth Grade.

“I liked this story. I probably would recommend this book to my grandparents. I think that they would like it too. The reason I liked this story is because it’s a new book I have never read. Even though I have heard about the story, I thought I would not like it.

“To summarize the story I would say that it’s about a family who lived a long time ago who were poor and lived in Italy. They got tickets from their dad who traveled to America. It’s just like my dad’s side of the family. Even though the family I live in isn’t very poor.”

“Navigating Early,” by Clare Vanderpool.

Reviewed by Abigail D., Meramec Valley Middle School.

“When Jack’s mom suddenly dies, he is sent to a boarding school. There he meets Early. Early convince Jack to come with him on an adventure to find Pi.

“My favorite part of the book was when Early told heroic stories about Pi. However, I did not like the part when Early finds his long lost brother.

“I liked when Early sorts his candy because I also do this. Anyone who likes boos with a twist at the end will love this book.”

Put your pen to paper and send a review to the hive on Newsbee’s April Picks, “Stuck,” “House Held Up by Trees” and “Zebra Forest.” The deadline is May 20.