All posts by kids'booksrock!

Otto Undercover Series, Starring Otto and Racecar

born to drive

Born to Drive

by Rhea Perlman, HarperCollins Children’s Books (2006)

For Grades 2-5, 128 pages (paperback)

If you’re looking for a funny chapter book with lots of jokes and word puzzles, then this is the book for you. Born to Drive is the first in a series of 6 titles starring boy-inventor extraordinaire, Otto Pillip, and his race car, Racecar.

“Otto Pillip loves palindromes, which isn’t surprising, given his name. Although he’s only 11, he invents all kinds of incredible devices and drives a race car named Racecar. Having lost his parents mysteriously as a baby, he lives with his two peculiar aunts, FiFi and FooFoo. Otto enters a race with a one-million-dollar purse, but, the night before the event, Racecar is stolen by two exceptionally obtuse bad guys. They don’t realize that Otto has loaded his car with an invention to defeat every deception imaginable.” (adapted from School Library Journal by Walter Minkel, New York Public Library)

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp


The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp,

by Kathi Appelt, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (2013)

For ages 8+, 327 pages (hardback)

“Rumble-rumble-rumble-rumble…Buzzie and Clydine’s gang of feral hogs is thundering toward Bayou Tourterelle. Yellow eyes gleaming and tusks glowing, they’re delirious at the prospect of the swamp’s wild sugarcane. But raccoon Swamp Scouts Bingo and J’miah are ready. They’ll even go so far as to attempt to awaken the legendary Sugar Man and risk stirring up his wrath, if necessary. There’s a human drama unfolding, too, as twelve-year-old Chap Brayburn and his mother hope to save their beloved swamp from the clutches of Sonny Boy Beaucoup, who intends to turn it into a theme park. Appelt’s folksy tall tale … busily weaves a multitude of oddball characters — and more than a touch of magic — into the fabric of bayou life. Appelt fans will enjoy this romp in the swamp and will stay with it to see if predatory pigs and dastardly developers will prevail over the kindly swamp denizens. dean schneider” (Horn Book Starred Review, 2014)

Kathi Appelt is a prolific writer. That means she writes a lot of books! You can check this book out from The Winston School Library. You can also check out her website to see if there are other books you’re interested in reading.

Pinkbeard’s Revenge

Pinkbeard's Revenge by Greg Trine, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pinkbeard’s Revenge by Greg Trine

Pinkbeard’s Revenge by Greg Trine, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

118 pages (Hardback), audience: ages 7-12

This is book 4 in the series The Adventures of Jo Schmo. “Fourth grade superhero Jo Schmo and her doggy sidekick Raymond are having a pretty rotten day—they just don’t know it yet. Danger is lurking all over the place: Dr. Dastardly and Numb Skull are planning a jail break, and they want to get revenge on Jo Schmo. Then a group of time-traveling pirates shows up in San Francisco and winds up on the wrong end of Jo Schmo’s famous fighting move, the Tasmanian Chop. So Pinkbeard the pirate joins forces with the dastardly doctor to concoct the evilest revenge plot ever. Watch out, Jo Schmo! And your little dog, too!” (from publisher)

This book is in The Winston School Library now. If your interest is piqued, go check it out!