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Summer Book Reviews: Part 1


Do you love to read? TFK Kid Reporters do too! Ethan Zhang and Tabitha Kho shared their reviews of two of the summer’s most interesting books. This is the first in a five-part series. Check back soon for more from TFK’s Summer Book Review roundup.


Title: Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion

Author: Shannon Stocker

Illustrator: Devon Holzwarth

Reviewed by: TFK Kid Reporter Ethan Zhang

What is the book about? Evelyn Glennie played piano and clarinet as a child. At 10, she began to lose her hearing. So she learned to listen to music in a new way. She did so by feeling it vibrate through her body. Because she was deaf, Glennie was denied many opportunities in music. But she overcame these challenges. She grew up to become a world-famous percussionist.

How do the pictures add to the story? They show the movement of sounds from musical instruments and everyday things, like car horns. And they use patterns to illustrate the musical sounds that young Evelyn makes.

Who would like this book? If you’ve ever faced a challenge in music, sports, or any part of your life, this inspiring book is a perfect fit. Kids who like illustrated biographies would also enjoy it.

How would you rate this book? Why? I would rate Listen a 9. Stocker writes very movingly about Glennie’s life. The illustrations allow readers to picture music in their mind. The book is uplifting. It inspires courage. I strongly recommend it.


Title: Celia Planted a Garden: The Story of Celia Thaxter and Her Island Garden

Author: Phyllis Root and Gary D. Schmidt

Illustrator: Melissa Sweet

Reviewed by: TFK Kid Reporter Tabitha Kho

What is the book about? This is a true story about a girl named Celia. She grew up on a tiny island. It’s full of rocks and surrounded by crashing waves. She plants a garden and transforms the island with flowers. Later, when she moves away, she misses her dear friends, the flowers. So she plants another garden to bring them close.

How do the pictures add to the story? The pictures are magnificent. They are filled to the brim with color and emotion. On every page there is a huge illustration and a tiny paragraph of text. The text is like a caption. The pictures do most of the storytelling. These images represent the story beautifully.

Who would like this book? Young readers would enjoy this book. Some may not understand the complicated words. But the beautiful images fill in the blanks. They are bursting with color. The sentences are short and simple. The story is enjoyable, and it moves quickly.

How would you rate this book? Why? If I were younger, I would rate this book a 7. The pictures are beautiful and the story is simple. It has a nice flow, so kids who are newer to reading might find it easy to get into.