~by Amanda Smith
To cap off our National Reading Month posts on favorite reads, we polled the ones whose opinion ultimately matters the most - the children for whom we write. These sixth graders are well read and they know what they like. Take a look -
Tell us about a book that you just finished reading that you liked. What about the book caused you to keep reading to the end?
All the old favorites, such as Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and James Patterson's books were among the student's responses. I found it interesting that some students are still drawn to the classics, and that they enjoyed books from a variety of genres.
Adeline C. - I just finished reading THE VANDERBEEKERS TO THE RESCUE by Karina Yan Glaser. I liked the book because there were parts that you just wanted to keep reading from the actions that the characters made.
Brady P. - I just finished reading RESISTANCE by Jennifer A Nielsen. What I really liked about the book was that it was full of action. I kind of like war books.
Emily B. - THE INQUISITOR’S TALE by Adam Gidwits. I really wanted to finish it because I had so many questions about it.
Emma O – HOLES by Louis Sachar, it was a very entertaining book. I kept reading to the end because of all the action. I understood every part of the book, so it wasn’t challenging. There were suspenseful parts and lots of interesting facts.
Hazel M. - I reread PRISONER OF WAR by Michael P. Spradlin and it had so much action, humor, and just enough sadness, I just had to keep reading to the end.
Kacy B. - I just finished GUTS by Raina Telgemeier. I liked it because it showed young Raina going through tough times, but she got over her anxiety. My favorite part had to be when she made friends with a girl she hated in the beginning and how it relates to real life.
Noah G. - I liked THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS by James Fenimore Cooper because it is a very descriptive read with lots of twists, new characters, and unexpected events.
Ryan M. - I just finished HATCHET by Gary Paulson. I read till the end because it was interesting and had cliffhangers.
What three things do you look for when you decide to read a book? Why do you look for those things?
Many students mentioned that the cover, length, and friends' recommendations are important in their choice of books. Here are a few unexpected answers:
Camden M. - It has a lot of action, the back of the book sucks me in, humor
Faith N. - I look for a good cover, captivating preview of the book, and good reviews.
Isaac K. - Suspense, adventure, 3rd person
Isaiah B. - I usually look for books that an author I like makes. I always read the back of the book to see what its about. I like to read comedy or video game books.
Justin S. - I look for a beginning that hooks me.
Ludmilla S. - Death makes you get even more attached to a character and makes you feel as if you were close to a character. Another thing that I look for in a book is love. When there's love it makes things so much more dramatic, especially when a character makes a move. Another thing that I look for in a book is enemies. If there are no enemies the book is a bit boring.
Tell us about a character from a book you have recently read. Why did you like the character? Would you be friends with this character? Why or why not?
Brady P. - In the book I recently read there was a girl named Chaya who was courageous and willing to stand up to a fight. I would definitely hang out with this character because this is what everyone wants to be. I know that I am not always that but this character almost always was.
Emily B. - I like characters I can relate with. One of these characters was Jeane from THE INQUISITOR’S TALE because she was brave, kind, and friendly. I would love to be friends with her because she is so nice.
Hazel M. - I have recently read STOLEN GIRL and I would like to be friends with the girl starring in the book because I think I could help her understand her past.
Jack H. - A character I liked a lot was Dee from ALLIES. I liked him because he was heroic and he would stand up for what is right. I would definitely be friends with him if he was younger.
Ludmilla S. - In the book I recently read, PAX, Peter is great character, he isn’t perfect, like all humans, but he is extremely determined, and sometimes his anxiety gets in the way.
Madison A. - A character in a book that I recently finished was Bilbo from THE HOBBIT. I like Bilbo and would be friends with him because he is kind and brave.
Noah G. - A character from a book I just read is Natty Bumppo, (ALIAS HAWKEYE, PATHFINDER, THE SCOUT, DEERSLAYER, etc.). I liked this character because he is cunning, smart, and understands the nature of beings in a way that even Deleware Elders don’t fully comprehend. I would be friends with Natty Bumppo because he is a very smart and trusting person. Also, he is a good person to be friends with is because he is also a very self-assured person.
Think of an ending of a book that you liked. Why did you like the ending? How did the ending make you feel? What kinds of endings do you not like?
The majority of students said that they do not like cliffhangers unless there is a sequel (preferably already within their reach.)
Emma O. - I don’t like endings where it leaves you with a cliffhanger. It is a little bit annoying in my opinion. I like ending when it gets to the point, when they tell you what you have been wondering the whole time while reading the book.
Faith N. - I love sad endings. I think it may be because it really triggers emotions so the ending is more memorable.
Isaiah B. - I like endings that make every part of the text come together or a twisty ending.
Jack H. - Endings I like are when the good people defeat the bad people.
Madison A. - I like the kind of endings where everything works out, but in an unexpected way.
If you could tell an author of a book you liked three things about their book, what would you say?
Dear Sharon M. Draper
Three things I like about your book BLENDED is I can relate to the book
and I know want she is feeling. Second I don’t like long chapters and how you made your
chapters makes me want to read like 5 chapters a day. I love how you said on each different
chapter, Mom’s week and Dad’s week so you know who’s week it is. I Love Your Book!
Emily B. -
to Adam Gidwitz:
1 the characters
2 the dragon (I like a little humor in the books I read)
3 the whole plot twist with Red, Fat, and Wicked
Emma O. - To Jerry Spinelli, I would tell him three things I liked about MANIAC MAGEE. Maniac was an active character with a meaningful heart. He also was really fast. It taught me more about how white people and black people were enemies a long time ago. But I liked how Maniac had no idea. I liked the ending of him finding a home, because almost the whole book was telling about how Maniac wanted to find a home, and he did.
Faith N. - I would say to JK Rowling I loved how she was persistent and didn't give up while writing her books. Also I would say I loved the way she described the place they were in at that given time. It really creates a visual in my mind. Lastly I could say I loved the character development of Draco and many other characters.
Justin S. - A TALE OF MAGIC by Chris Colfer: I would say that his characters are great, his storylines are amazing, and that his books are just overall incredible.
Kacy B. I would tell Raina Telgemeier that she starts with strong beginnings that fit with the theme, the middle of the book always has good details, and the endings are definitely my favorite.
Madison A. - If I could tell J.R.R Tolkien 3 things that I like about THE HOBBIT, it would be that I like Bilbo’s personality, that I like when Bilbo and the Wood Elves make up, and the ending was awesome!
Noah G.- I would say to Alan Gratz that his books are astounding and that every time I pick up one of his books they are so fast-paced and sad that I read them in a day and then recommend them to ALL my friends.
Thank you to these amazing sixth grade readers. I love your enthusiasm about books. Keep reading!
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