Marshmallow reviews George by Alex Gino

This week Marshmallow reviews a book by Alex Gino, George. about a transgender child and her struggle to be accepted as who she is. The novel has won several awards and was both highly praised and significantly criticized for various reasons.

Marshmallow reviews George by Alex Gino.
Marshmallow reviews George by Alex Gino.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about finding one’s identity, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): George is seen by everyone around her as a boy but she feels like she is a girl. She wants to be called a she and she wants to wear skirts and make-up. She keeps magazines for teenage girls hidden in her room, and imagines that she is there with other girls in the pictures. When she looks in the mirror, she calls herself Melissa.

George’s class is reading Charlotte’s Web. She cries at the end when Charlotte dies. The boys in the class laugh and say that she is not a “real” boy. But she doesn’t want to be a boy. When her class decides to put on play for Charlotte’s Web, George really, really wants to be Charlotte, the brave, kind heroine of the story. But when she auditions for the part, her teacher thinks that she is joking. George is devastated. The teacher says that she can be Wilbur or some other character because she was very good, but she couldn’t be Charlotte because there are too many girls that want to be Charlotte.

One day when George gets home, she sees that her mother has found her magazines. Her mother does not understand it when George tells her she is a girl. George feels that her mother does not see who she is.

When George’s best friend Kelly gets the Charlotte role, she tries to be supportive, but she is actually very jealous. Seeing that her friend is sad, Kelly hatches a plan. There are two showings of Charlotte’s Web. Kelly will perform in one and George will perform in the other. George knows that she can perform Charlotte’s part very well but she is worried about what her mother and other people will think of her.

(In this summary I used the name George for the main character as the author does themselves all the way until page 181, but also please remember that deadnaming is not ok.)

Marshmallow is reading George by Alex Gino.
Marshmallow is reading George by Alex Gino.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very moving book in which the main character looks like a boy but she feels like a girl. It is very sad when she is not able to be Charlotte in the play because she had her heart set on it. It is very interesting how she calls the magazines her “friends”.

George is a very good book that moves the reader and it is very sad how the main character really wants to be a girl and everyone keeps on telling her that “he” acts like a girl. It is also very sad how her mother tells her that she shouldn’t be dressing up like a girl and that “it’s not cute anymore.”

George is very well-written and it has a lot of interesting and different characters. It is really good for those who themselves don’t feel like the gender that they look like to other people. But all bunnies can appreciate the story because everyone feels different in some ways.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates George by Alex Gino 95%.
Marshmallow rates George by Alex Gino 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Lion Down by Stuart Gibbs

Marshmallow has already reviewed several books from Stuart Gibbs’ FunJungle series: you can check out her review of the first book, Belly Up, here, while her review of the second book, Poached, is here, and her review of the fourth book, Panda-monium, is available here. Today she shares with us her thoughts on the fifth book on the adventures of Teddy Fitzroy: Lion Down.

Marshmallow reviews the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow reviews the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.

Marshmallow’s overview: If you liked any of the other FunJungle books or if you like mysteries about animals, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s summary (with spoilers): Teddy Fitzroy has gotten himself involved in a mystery, yet again. This time a mountain lion named Rocket is accused of “canicide”. The victim was King, the dog of Lincoln Stone, the famous host of a talk show.

Stone hosts a TV show on which he bad-mouths the government and how everything that they say is wrong and that he is right. He starts to accuse Rocket for killing and then says that he will pay anyone that kills Rocket five hundred thousand dollars. 

Teddy Fitzroy is approached by FunJungle’s vet’s daughter, who asks him to investigate the death of King. She and many other activists in the ALF (Animal Liberation Front) believe that someone has intentionally framed Rocket. As Teddy investigates it is discovered that King was not the breed that Lincoln Stone says he was on his show. And also on the night of the “murder” Stone left King outside when he knew that there were mountain lions around. It soon comes out that he wasn’t nice to King, either. As he learns from Stone’s neighbors that Stone was having a party with guns, Teddy now has even more suspects. One of the guests at the party might have accidentally shot King and then tried to make it look like Rocket ate him. Teddy is overwhelmed with mysteries while he also struggles with a mysterious vandal poisoning the giraffes every Sunday.  

Marshmallow is pointing to the back cover of the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, where the reader can get a quick summary of the plot of the book.
Marshmallow is pointing to the back cover of the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, where the reader can get a quick summary of the plot of the book.

Marshmallow’s review: This book is very suitable for those who want to learn about animals while reading a mystery book. The mystery is hard to figure out, and like the past books in the series, Lion Down has two mysteries that Teddy has to solve. The reader is provided with many suspects for the case about King’s death.

The reader also learns about habitat loss. The author combines mystery, suspense, and humor while informing the reader about habitat loss, a very big problem that hurts many animals.

Marshmallow is reading the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.
Marshmallow is reading the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs.

This is a very funny book and it will entertain many different audiences. (Actually the whole series is like that. Caramel recently started reading Belly Up and he is enjoying it a lot!)

You could probably read this book before reading the earlier books in the series, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Reading the first books will help you understand the book better. Just reading Panda-monium could be okay though, if you don’t want to read all the books. Still I think reading all of them in the right order is probably the best idea. (If you want to read a book from a series that does not require reading the earlier books, then Ivy + Bean One Big Happy Family might be the book for you.)

Marshmallow’s rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, 100%.
Marshmallow rates the fifth book, Lion Down, in the FunJungle series by Stuart Gibbs, 100%.

Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan

Caramel’s class was reading the first of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series before schools closed down. So of course the book bunnies decided to read it themselves at home. Today Marshmallow who already finished the whole series is reviewing the first book here: The Lightning Thief.

Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like Greek mythology, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Percy Jackson has been expelled from every single school he has been in. At every school Percy has been stalked by strange people. One time, Percy could have sworn that the man following him only had one eye. Percy hopes that the new school that he is attending will be different.

In his new school, Percy’s only friend is a boy named Grover. One day, his math teacher Mrs. Dodds, who is not his favorite teacher because she hates him, tells him to come talk to her privately. He is in big trouble because she transforms into a monster. (Later he finds out that she is a Fury.) She attacks him and tries to kill him. His Latin teacher tosses him a pen that when uncapped turns into a sword named Riptide. He defeats her and she turns into dust. Afterwards, the day continues as if nothing happened and everyone seems to have forgotten about Mrs. Dodds, as if she never existed.

When Percy and Grover are boarding a bus, they see three creepy and elderly women holding a yarn. One of them takes out a pair of shears and cuts the rope. Grover seems very uneasy as he watches the women. Percy thinks that they look like the Fates, which we learn later that they are. They are cutting someone’s life thread, and that spooks Percy (like it would spook anyone else).

Later, Percy’s mom tries to get him to a mysterious camp that she calls “Camp Half-Blood”. On the way, they are attacked by a minotaur. His mother turns into golden light as she is attacked. Percy and Grover eventually make it to Camp Half-Blood without Percy’s mother.

Later, Grover reveals that he is a satyr. Percy’s whole world turns upside down. The counselors explain that every camper at Camp Half-Blood had been stalked by monsters for their whole lives because they are all demigods. He is astonished to learn that this is the only safe place for half-bloods–that’s what they are called: they are half god and half human. Percy is “undecided”, meaning that his god parent is still unknown. But eventually he is claimed by the god of oceans and seas, Poseidon. 

This is not good news because a prophecy says that a child of the Big Three (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades) will either destroy Olympus or save it. But then we learn that someone has stolen Zeus’s lightning bolt and Percy is the prime suspect. It is up to him to clear his name before he is destroyed by Zeus, god of the sky. 

Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a very good book, and a great way to learn about Greek mythology. It is funny and it is well-written. Rick Riordan has written a very interesting book that can be enjoyed by all ages. (I know for a fact that Sprinkles agrees.) It is a great initial book to begin the Percy Jackson books that will teach readers to learn about Greek mythology. 

There are some interesting characters (my favorite is Clarisse, a daughter of Ares, though she is quite mean sometimes–she does get much better in the later books), and some are really scary (the Oracle for example). The plot is interesting too and a mystery that the readers need to solve. There are hints that can help you figure things out before the end, but even if you do, you will want to finish the book.

There are movies of the first two books in the series, but apparently the author did not enjoy them.

Marshmallow’s rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 95%.
Marshmallow rates Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Book 1 of the Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series)

Marshmallow loved all ten of the Ivy + Bean books written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophia Blackhall when she first read them. She even reviewed one of her favorites for the Book Bunnies blog: you can check out her review of Book 9: Ivy and Bean Make the Rules. So when she heard last year that there would be an eleventh book, she just could not wait to get her paws on a copy. Today she reviews this eleventh book in the series: One Big Happy Family.

Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series).
Marshmallow reviews Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series).

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you enjoyed Annie Barrow and Sophia Blackhall’s Ivy and Bean series, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Ivy is worried that she is becoming spoiled. Her classmate Vanessa says that only children are usually spoiled and she implies that Ivy is spoiled. Ivy starts to believe that she is spoiled so she and her best friend, Bean, search for a way for her to become unspoiled.

Ivy first tries giving away a lot of clothes at school, but then she gets in trouble and has to take them back. Then Ivy and Bean try to find a different way to “unspoil” Ivy. They realize that if it is only children that are supposed to be spoiled, then if Ivy is no longer an only child then she won’t be spoiled. Therefore, they ask Ivy’s mom to have a child, and when she says no, they try to find a different way to get a sibling for Ivy. For example they try asking the gods for help and bringing one of Ivy’s dolls to life. None of these ways works. They even tie their hands together thinking that their skin will grow together and make them conjoined twins. But then they will have to decide whose house to stay at. Ivy wants to rotate, but Bean wants to stay at her house. After some time being “conjoined twins” they decide that it is a bad idea.

Ivy continues to look for a way to be “unspoiled”. Read the book to find out!

Marshmallow is pointing to the page in Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series) where Bean is interrupting her sister Nancy's yoga session.
Marshmallow is pointing to the page in Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series) where Bean is interrupting her sister Nancy’s yoga session.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a really funny book, a great followup to all the other Ivy + Bean books that have entertained many young readers.

These books all have many characters that are relatable and funny. Ivy and Bean are funny to read about because they always have funny ideas, like when they think that they can become conjoined twins by tying their arms together, their whole theory being that when their skin grew it would grow together and they would be joined forever. Another weird idea of theirs is that by eating “brainfood” (strange combinations of foods), they will think unusual thoughts, helping them brainstorm ideas of how to “unspoil” Ivy.

This is a very good book for children of ages 5 and up. It is funny and the problems the kids are worried about are very funny and young bunnies can even see themselves in similar situations.

This is one of the few books in a series that I have reviewed that you could read without reading the earlier books. Still I think reading all the Ivy and Bean books would be good because they are all really fun!

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Ivy and Bean: One Big Happy Family by Annie Barrows and Sophia Blackhall (Book 11 of the Ivy + Bean Series) 100%.