Marshmallow reviews The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Marshmallow has recently finished reading The Confidence Code for Girls, by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. Soon after, Sprinkles read The Confidence Code by the same authors. Below Marshmallow shares her thoughts on the former, while Sprinkles asks questions, takes notes, and occasionally adds some thoughts inspired by her reading of the latter.

This is our last review for 2019 and for a few weeks after. The book bunnies wish everyone a happy new year. We will be back with more reviews in February 2020.

Marshmallow reviews The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.
Marshmallow reviews The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.

Sprinkles: So, Marshmallow, what do you want to tell us about this book?

Marshmallow: This is a good book that inspires girls to be confident about themselves. 

S: How does it do that?

M: It inspires girls to be confident by making an easy “Confidence Code”, a three-step code that is the key to believing in yourself. 

S: So, what are the three steps? 

M: You need to read the book!

S: Well, I read the adult version. As far as I recall, the three main recommendations are: Think less, act more, and make mistakes. 

M: You can’t give away everything!

S: I’m not really giving everything away though. Everyone says you need to make mistakes. Everyone says you should not worry too much about what others think. But I thought this book explained really clearly why these are all very good advice. But also, the book doesn’t really feel like an advice book, right? 

M: No, it doesn’t. It has quizzes and stories and comic strips.

S: That is the one for girls. The grownup one doesn’t have the quizzes and the comics, but actually it too has a lot of stories. Some of them are about the two authors themselves as they try to figure out the confidence code.

Marshmallow is reading The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.
Marshmallow is reading The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.

S: Oh wait, I think I actually misspoke. In the notes for the grownup book, there are a few quizzes for readers if they want to figure out where they rank in terms of a few characteristics. Did you do any of the quizzes?

M: Yes, I did some of them. One of them was about how addicted you are to your phone if you have one. And when you took the test, it said you were addicted. 

S: Yes, but not extremely. Still it is true that I do check my phone a bit too obsessively. Ok, tell us about the stories. 

M: Some of the stories are true stories about girls who see a problem in the world and work to fix it. Others are fictional. Some are scenarios that ask the reader to make decisions in difficult situations. For example, say your friend is bragging that they won a competition in technology and it is getting on your nerves. They start to hang out with other kids who are into tech, and they ignore you. What do you do?

S: So, what would you do?

M: There were multiple choices. Like confront your friend, or act like nothing has changed. 

S: So, what would you do?

M: Out of the given options, I’d choose to confront my friend. 

Both Marshmallow and Sprinkles enjoyed reading their respective books on the Confidence Code, written by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, and learned a lot.
Both Marshmallow and Sprinkles enjoyed reading their respective books on the Confidence Code, written by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, and learned a lot.

S: So how is this related to confidence? 

M: The right answer is almost always to be comfortable with who you are and do something about a problem, rather than ignore it or keep worrying about it without doing anything. 

S: Yes, I remember the “no ruminating” rule from the adult book! I even have adopted “noru” as a codeword to remind myself to stop ruminating. So, would you recommend this book to your friends? And other young bunnies like yourself?

M: Yes, especially for girl bunnies ten years and older. This is not really a book for boys. 

S: Well, the adult book is also directed toward women. This makes sense. Ok, let us wrap this review up with your rating. 

M: I rate this book 100%.

Marshmallow rates The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Confidence Code for Girls by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald

After Caramel reviewed Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald, Marshmallow decided it was time for her to review a book about the one and only Judy Moody, the big sister of Stink. Below she shares her thoughts on one of her favorite Judy Moody books: Judy Moody Goes to College.

Marshmallow reviews Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.
Marshmallow reviews Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.

Marshmallow’s Overview: If you like books that are about kids in elementary school, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Judy Moody’s substitute teacher sends her home with a note that saying that she needs help with her math. Judy’s parents decide that this means that she needs a tutor. Her annoying brother, Stink Moody, teases her about how the tutor is going to have her count jelly beans and play baby games. Little does she know that her tutor, Chloe, is in a college. When Judy finds out, her mood about tutoring is changed. She eventually enjoys tutoring and she learns a lot about math.

Judy brags about how she goes to college and so her friends, Rocky, Frank, and Jessica (a frenemy) start to stay away from her because they think that she is acting like she thinks that she is better than they are. Her tutor helps her in her school life and Judy and her tutor eventually become fast friends and towards the end Stink starts to ask if he can “go to college” like Judy. 

Marshmallow is reading Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.
Marshmallow is reading Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a good book because it is very lifelike. Judy, her tutor (Chloe), Stink, Rocky, Frank, Jessica, and other characters are all so realistic. Judy is like a real 3rd grader.

This a great example of a book where the character(s) have an opinion but eventually their opinion changes as the book continues. Judy does not want to be tutored first but Chloe eventually becomes her role model.

This is a really good read for those who enjoyed some of the other books that Megan McDonald wrote. Judy Moody Goes to College is part of a series that many have enjoyed reading. If you have read one of the books then I encourage you to read more since they are such realistic books that show how kids in elementary act in situations.

I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it for anyone but it might be the best for 1rd up until 3rd grade. It is not very hard to read and it is not very long. The author does a very good job of explaining to the reader what type of personality Judy has. The author also does an excellent job of making Stink annoying in the Judy Moody books. If you read Caramel’s review of one of the Stink Moody books you know that in those books, Judy is very mean to her brother and often very sly. She tricks Stink to dye his hair orange for example. But in the Judy Moody books, he does annoying actions too, like taking her mood ring.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rated Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald 95%.
Marshmallow rated Judy Moody Goes to College by Megan McDonald 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Holes by Louis Sachar

This week Marshmallow wanted to write about a book she has borrowed from her school library. Below she shares her thoughts about this book: Holes, by Louis Sachar.

Marshmallow reviews Holes, by Louis Sachar.
Marshmallow reviews Holes, by Louis Sachar.

Marshmallow’s Overview: If you like books about treasure and family curses and children, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers):  Stanley Yelnats (his last name spelled backwards is Stanley) gets arrested for stealing the shoes of Clyde Livingston, a famous baseball player who is usually called “Sweet Feet”. The shoes were going to be donated to the shelter in which he was raised. Stanley is actually innocent but his explanation is not very believable: the shoes fell from the sky and he tried to run home to give them to his father who was trying to invent a way to recycle shoes. Stanley “had thought that they were God’s blessing” and that God had given them to Stanley to deliver to his father.

So Stanley is accused and he has two options: going to prison or going to Camp Green Lake to dig holes to improve character. Stanley and his parents choose him to go to Camp Green Lake to dig holes.

After an eight-hour ride to the camp, he is introduced to other kids who have been at the camp for a long time and have experience in digging holes. The Camp has no lakes, and is not green.

Every day the kids at the camp have to march out on the nonexistent lake and dig a hole that has to be 5ft deep and 5ft wide. They measure the holes with their shovels that are 5ft long. They are supposed to do this everyday including Saturday and Sunday.

At the Camp, Stanley meets Zero, a strange kid who apparently likes to dig holes and does not know how to read. Zero is the fastest digger and makes a deal with Stanley to dig his hole for him if he teaches him how to read. Stanley and Zero becomes good friends.

Camp Green Lake is run by the Warden. She has poisonous nail polish made with rattlesnake venom. Everyone at the camp thinks that she can see everything. Eventually Zero and Stanley find out that the Warden is after something. They realize that all kids digging are working to help the Warden find the loot of Kissing Kate Barlow. And Zero and Stanley figure out that if the Warden finds the treasure, she will probably not use it for good.

Who will find the treasure first?

Marshmallow is reading Holes, by Louis Sachar.
Marshmallow is reading Holes, by Louis Sachar.

Marshmallow’s Review: I loved this book. It is very well written and the plot is fantastic. I had heard that this was a fantastic book and it really is. Kids under 5 might get scared at some points, but overall it is not too scary.

This is a great read for anyone to read alone or to read aloud. I expect I will read it again.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Holes, by Louis Sachar, 100%.
Marshmallow rates Holes, by Louis Sachar, 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

This week Marshmallow reviews a recent book by Yoon Ha Lee: Dragon Pearl.

Marshmallow reviews Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.
Marshmallow reviews Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.

Marshmallow’s Overview: If you like books about mythology and space, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): 13-year-old Min learns that her brother, Jun, is accused of deserting the Space Force in search of the Dragon Pearl. Min knows that her brother would never leave the Space Force, the organization that he always wanted to be a part of ever since he was a little boy. Even if he knew where the Dragon Pearl was. (The Dragon Pearl is a legendary object that can transform a whole planet in a day. In this story world, dragons exist and they have “Terraforming powers”, but they take year to terraform a planet.) So Min decides that something must have gone wrong. To prove that her brother did not desert the Space Force she leaves her home planet, Jinju, and goes in search of her brother.

Min is eventually able to find the ship that her brother was on when he “deserted”. She also finds her brother, but it is not how she wanted or expected to find him.

Marshmallow is reading Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.
Marshmallow is reading Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a good book that is a mix of Korean mythology, science fiction, and fantasy. There are fox spirits, dragons, and interesting theories about how machines run in the story universe. (Apparently, they run on an energy that is called “gi” that is like the blood of their machines and ships.) 

In the first page, we learn that Min is a “fox spirit”. In Korean mythology, a fox spirit is a magical being that has the ability to transform into anything they want to transform into. They are also able to “Charm” others which is to make others trust them or feel angry, sad, or happy and other feelings. So, basically they can “Charm” others to feel certain feelings. 

The School Library Journal praised the book with the following words, which summarize the book well:

Lee skillfully weaves Korean folklore into this space opera narrative, creating dynamics and relatable characters. VERDICT: With ghosts, pirates, and a rollicking space adventure, there’s a little something for everyone here.

The School Library Journal, https://www.slj.com/?reviewDetail=dragon-pearl

Reading Dragon Pearl may encourage you to learn more about Korean Mythology because we read about many interesting creatures. Min’s friends who are helping her find the Dragon Pearl so it does not fall into the wrong hands are, like her, magical creatures. (Hanuel is a dragon who can transform into a human but she is in human form most of the time. Sujin is a goblin.)

This book might be better for readers that are 10 and older because there are gamblers and guns. There are also ghosts in the story, which might scare some readers, too. It also might be a little confusing for younger readers but overall this is a very interesting and entertaining book.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 90%.

Marshmallow rates Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee 90%.
Marshmallow rates Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee 90%.