Life’s a bit topsy-turvy at the hive, as in the world, but books are a constant, a joy providing an escape from what ails. Newsbee is thrilled to present a trio of happy reviews this month—congrats to the winners, who will each receive a prize book from the Washington Optimists to keep the kids “Paging On!”

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“Odd Dog Out,” written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph.

Reviewed by Lauren Grote, second grade, Clearview Elementary School.

“This book is about a dog who doesn’t fit in. But he finds out (a place) where he belongs. My favorite part of the book is that all of the dogs have different outfits.

“I think you will love this book because it’s all about dogs and ‘odd dog out.’”

Reviewed by Bristol, second grade, Clearview Elementary School.

“I think ‘Odd Dog Out’ is a happy book! This book is about a dog that is different in life, and he tries to fit in and moves away.

“My favorite part is the different outfits the dogs have. I recommend this book to anyone who likes wiener dogs. This is my new favorite book!”

Reviewed by Zac, second grade, Clearview Elementary School.

“In ‘Odd Dog Out’ a dog is different and he decides to move to a different place. I like when the dog went to Doggywood, instead of Hollywood.

“I recommend this book to any age.”

Reviewed by Chloe Berry, second grade, Clearview Elementary School.

“Do you want to read a book that is out of this world? Then read this one. It’s all about a dog that does not fit in.

“I love how when the dog learns that being an odd dog is okay. I recommend this book. You will love it.”

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“The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read,” by Rita Lorraine. Illustrated by Oge Mora.

Reviewed by Mrs. Phelps second grade class, Clearview Elementary School.

“This amazing story is about a previous slave who never learned to read or write, but never gave up. Mary Walker was born into slavery and spent her first years working on cotton farms picking cotton, wishing she could read.

“When she was 15, slaves were freed and her and her family moved away. Mary and her family had to work hard for only a quarter. She still had no time to read. Then she got married and had three sons. She worked long hours to support her family and still had no time to read. Mary grew old looking at her Bible wishing she could read.

“This book is inspiring because as Mary’s life went on there were many obstacles, but she never gave up, no matter how old she was. If you want a book with a happy ending, we recommend this one.”

Reviewed by Mrs. Straatmann’s second grade class, Clearview Elementary School.

“Our class read this book. Mary grew up a slave. She never learned to read or write. Mary worked hard all her life. Mary finally learned to read at 118. Mary was called the oldest student.

“We thought this book was sad because Mary outlived her husbands and children. It also was inspiring because it taught us you are never too old to learn. We really enjoyed this story and think you will to!”

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“Shine,” by J.J. and Chris Grabenstein.

Reviewed by Alaina Owens, sixth grade, Clark-Vitt Elementary School.

“This book is very interesting. It is about a girl named Piper whose dad gets offered a job at Chumley Prep School as a choir teacher. Once he takes the job, Piper gets a free scholarship to the school.

“Piper is really scared because she fears she won’t fit in. Throughout the book the students are given chances to try to win an award called the Excelsior Award. At the end, someone kindhearted wins the award.

“I give this book 5 out of 5 beehives. I would recommend it to ages 11-14. This was a really great book to read.”