If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Friday, January 11, 2013

Work Sample - Book Reports

We had our first experience this week with book reports. A local bookstore is highlighting book reviews written by homeschoolers, so of course we had to give it a go! I had them narrate the reviews to me while I typed, and then we went over them a couple of times before either child was quite satisfied.

So, without further ado, here is their work....

A Review of
Ballet Shoes

by The Girl .......

          Recently I read “Ballet Shoes” by Noel Streatfield. It is the story of three girls whose names are Pauline, Petrova, and Posy Fossil. They live in England, during the early 1900's. They are all adopted by Great Uncle Matthew, but he gets shipwrecked and goes missing for a long, long time. So the babies are left with Sylvia, who is their guardian, and their Nana. They become very poor, even though they sell their Great Uncle's fossils to museums and collectors. So they take in boarders, and even with the boarders, they still didn't have enough money. During all of that, the girls have to go off to school, but they can't afford it either. Sylvia tries to teach them at home, but she's not good at arithmetic. Two of the boarders are doctors of education, and they offer to teach the girls for free. Another boarder is a dance instructor, and she decides to train the girls in dancing so they can make money.

          Pauline is the oldest out of the three girls, and she's really talented at acting. Petrova is the middle girl, and she is not happy about being in ballet or acting, because she is not good at it. Instead she loves working on cars and flying airplanes. Posy is the youngest out of the three girls, and she loves ballet, because she is wonderful at it. The story follows their adventures in dancing and acting.

          I like the book a lot. Posy is my favorite character, but I like the other girls too. I think it is an exciting book because they get to be on the stage. I think that you should read this book so you can find out the ending!

 A Review of
 The Mark of Athena

by The Boy .......

          The “Mark of Athena” was written by Rick Riordan. It is the third book in the Heroes of Olympus series, which follows the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It is told from the viewpoints of four different characters: Annabeth, Percy, Leo, and Piper. Annabeth is on a quest from her mother, Athena, to find a statue, which no other daughter of Athena has ever succeeded in finding. Locating the statue may help end an ongoing feud between the Greek and Roman training camps. Annabeth has to brave Arachna's underground lair to look for the statue.

          The others—Percy, Leo, Piper, and their friends Frank, Hazel, and Jason—are trying meanwhile to rescue a demigod who is trapped in a bronze jar after trying to close the doors of death. First however, they must defeat two giants who are trying to destroy Rome and reawaken Gaea to reclaim the world for herself, which will destroy the world as we know it. Spirits, called eidolons, take over machinery and people, trying to capture both a boy and a girl demigod to help Gaea awaken fully, which creates danger for the kids on the quest, who need to maintain a magical number of participants to complete their quest.

          I enjoyed this book because it is both humorous and extremely exciting. I had a hard time putting it down—every chapter ends in suspense since the viewpoints change frequently, and there is a lot of action all going on at once. I recommend this book to anyone who has read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

Not bad for their first book review attempt! Well, at least I think they're pretty good!


  1. Anonymous2:54 AM

    Excellent book reports! I like that they both shared something about the story and the characters, and talked about why they liked the books they chose.

    I think my son may enjoy the Percy Jackson books, though it make take some hardcore coaxing on my part. He's not as interested in chapter books lately. *grumble*

  2. Very well written, both of them.

    And on a side note, I think Cyrus must be coming up on a big growth spurt - look at the size of those hands!


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