Books of the Week April 17

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If there’s a movie made based on a book, I like to try to read the book first–especially kids books. It can make it so much more enjoyable to see the differences.

This week the girls read books that were on their lists that have also been made into movies because they wanted to watch them. I also finished the book I’d been working on, and Britton has been working through his book as well.

These books of the week were fun to get through, and some that I didn’t expect to like as much as I did.

Here’s the list and what we think, in no particular order:

Mr Popper’s Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins: This is a pretty short book written in 1938 about a man who loves learning about far away places, especially the Antarctic. One day Mr. Popper gets a letter from an Admiral on an expedition who tells him he was sending him something special–a penguin! It really turned the Popper family upside down. Then they end up with a whole dozen!

Kaia and Cambry say: We liked it, but because it’s a little old fashioned it wasn’t as exciting of a book as we’re used to. The movie is very, very different than the book because it’s set in modern times, and only the basic facts are kept the same.
Rating: 3.7 stars

Because of Winn-Dixie

Because of Winn-Dixie is by the beloved Kate DiCamillo, and does not disappoint. It’s the story of a little girl who moves to a new small down and has no friends and is lonely. Then she finds a stray dog and names him Winn-Dixie. During the summer all the good things that happen to her are because of her really friendly dog, Winn-Dixie. She goes on to make friends with people around town and learns some good lessons about people too.

Kaia and Cambry say: It’s a really good book. Kaia says it’s her favorite book that isn’t a graphic novel (which is saying something!) Cambry says she likes the personality of the little girl and the funny parts.

The movie is a pretty faithful representation of the book, which is nice.
Rating: 5 stars

Indian in the cupboard book
Indian in the Cupboard

This is one of the books that I read when I was younger and really liked it. Then Cambry came home from school and told me she’d read it with her class and really wanted to see the movie–and we know the rules about that ; )

Indian in the Cupboard is the story about a boy, Omri, who gets a plastic Indian brave from his friend for his birthday. He also gets an old cupboard that locks from his brother and and a key that fits from his mother. Omri put the Indian in the cupboard over night. The next day he opened the cupboard he discovered the Indian was a real man named Little Bear!

The rest of the story tells about the friendship between Omri and Little Bear and some adventures they have. It’s a really good story of friendship, learning to do what is right, and respecting other people. There some old-fashioned cultural references to be aware of though.

Kaia and Cambry Say: I like the story and the creativity and that it was really interesting. Cambry liked the movie better, Kaia liked the book better.
Rating: 3.5 stars

Ender's Game Book
Ender’s Game

This is one of my favorite Sci-Fi books/series. Ender’s Game is about a very young boy who is recruited to an elite Battle School to help defend the planet (future Earth) in an interstellar war. Ender excels there, and is made a leader of other military trained children where they participate in mock battles that will determine the fate of the world.

The movie version that came out in 2013 starring Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield is pretty different from the book, but worth a watch for sure!

Britton says: This is a really good book and I’m glad you told me to read it! It has a very interesting look about the future and shows that small kids can do incredible things.
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Rules of Magic book by Alice Hoffman
Rules of Magic

When I started Rules of Magic I didn’t know that it was a prequel to Practical Magic. I haven’t read that one, so I didn’t realize it. You definitely don’t need to have read Practical Magic for this one.

It tells the story of the Owens siblings who have grown up with with strict rules from their mother to limit their realization that they are witches. The most important rule of all is to not fall in love or there will be dire consequences. We follow the two sisters and brother throughout their lives as they embrace who they are, find and lose love and learn about life.

It’s a really interesting story and compelling to read. Hoffman really makes you care about the characters and what will happen to them.
Rating: 4 stars

These are our books of the week. Check back next week for new reads!


  1. 7 Kids books to read before watching the movie | Vibrant Mom Society | 18th May 20

    […] The movie follows the book pretty faithfully. There are a few extra characters, and the actors don’t look quite like the characters are described, but it does a good job. The girls rated this book here. […]

  2. Lisa | 18th May 20

    Great post. I would have never thought to read the books first.

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