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Page Four of Reviews


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)

J.K. Rowling


Genre: Novel/Science Fiction

Format: Hardcover

Age Range: 9 to 13 years

ISBN: 439064864

Pages: 341

Pub. Date: June 1, 1999

Illustrator: Mary GrandPré

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.


Harry, Ron, and Hermione are back in the second installment of the Harry Potter series.  An excellent sophomore effort and as good as the Sorcerer's Stone. Rowling uses her vivid writing to illustrate characters as though you were attending classes at Hogwarts. Once you begin reading, you cannot put the book down. The Garamond Type adds a medieval effect.


The Chamber of Secrets is a great read-aloud for the classroom, or at home.


Ladder 35, Engine 40

Juliana Lee Hatkoff and Craig M Hatkoff


Genre: Non-Fiction

Format: Adobe Acrobat eBook

Age Range: 6 to 9 years

ISBN: 5551048837

Pages: 31

Pub. Date: January 2002

Illustrator: Joshua Scott

Publisher: Turtle Pond Publications


Ladder 35, Engine 40 was written by Juliana Lee Hatkoff and Craig Hatkoff and illustrated by Joshua Scott in January 2002; and published by Turtle Pond Publications in Adobe Acrobat eBook format.


A true story about six-year-old Juliana Hatkoff's feelings after 9/11, and how she handled them. The book is dedicated to the lost firefighters from Ladder 35, Engine 40. Appropriate for ages 6 to 9 years.


In the Doctors Foreword, Harold S. Koplewicz, M. D. of the New York University School of Medicine Child Study Center gives advice. If you are a parent and need more information, the NYU Child Study Center web site ( provides scientifically sound and parent friendly advice. Governor Pataki and retired Lieutenant Victor Navarro, of Ladder Company 35 are also in the Foreword.



Louis Sachar


Genre: Novel

Format: Hardcover

Age Range: 9 to 12 years

ISBN: 374332657

Pages: 233

Pub. Date: September 1, 1998

Illustrator: N/A

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux


The story about Stanley Yelnats several months at a camp for troubled teenagers.  Discover why the holes are being dug in the first place. 


The book includes a three-page interview with Sachar after the ending. You can also read it here. 



The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963

Christopher Paul Curtis


Genre: Novel/Historical Fiction

Format: Hardcover

Age Range: 12 and Up

ISBN: 0385321759

Pages: 224

Pub. Date: September 1995

Illustrator: N/A

Publisher: Random House Children's Books


The Watson's (Daniel and Wilona) and their children Byron, Kenny, and Joetta live in Flint, Michigan. Most of the book focuses on their life in Flint and the adventures of the Watson brothers and their friends.  Parts of the book coincide with the civil rights movement and tragic events.  It is a great book for classroom, and reading circle, discussion.



A Series of Unfortunate Events Book the First – The Bad Beginning

Lemony Snicket


Genre: Novel

Format: Hardcover

Age Range: 9 to 12 years

ISBN: 0064407667

Pages: 176

Pub. Date: July 1999

Illustrator: Brett Helquist

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers


The Baudelaire children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, begin the Series of Unfortunate Events with the loss of their loving parents.  Mr. Poe becomes executor of their parents’ estate until Violet is of age.   The horrible Count Olaf, a distant relative, becomes the inept guardian of the unfortunate, orphaned trio.  Violet is an inventor, Klaus is an avid reader, and Sunny is the toddler who bites and speaks in gibberish.


The book is written in a somber tone that is almost comedic.  Things always work themselves out although they lead to other precarious situations.  Any new words a younger reader may be unfamiliar with are explained by the narrator.













  1999-2005 Doug's Reading Corner, All Rights Reserved

1999-2005 Doug's Reading Corner, All Rights Reserved