Don’t Check Out This Book – Book Review

By: Kate Klise
Illustrated By: M. Sarah Klise
Published On: March 10, 2020

To say the town of Appleton, Illinois is a bit unique would be an understatement. It’s not because their elementary school has no librarian, although that is a bit different. Instead, it’s that their school has no books. They used to have books, but they were all thrown out due to mold. Now, the “When All Else Fails Grant” has given them the money to hire a new librarian and luckily for them she brings her own books. However, she puts a green dot on some of the books, which causes quite a stir in the town.

Like the town of Appleton, Don’t Check Out This Book is also unique. Told in the form of memos, texts, emails, local newspaper articles, and letters we read the story of the new world Ms. Danjerous, the librarian, brings to the town contrasted against the old-fashioned ideas of the School Board President – Ivana Beprawpa. The story is also full of fun word-plays, such as the character’s names, which correlates to who they are in the story. One example, Cy Durr, is the owner of the apple orchard.

Young readers will probably be very intrigued by the format and layout of the story. I know I would have at that age. Overall, the story a very quick read and I suspect young readers will really feel a sense of accomplishment as they read through each email and letter quickly. The green dot book collection was also an interesting idea – books that are too scary or weird that kids can read without having to check it out of the library.

Thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.

Description:

From the creators of the award-winning Three-Ring Rascals and 43 Old Cemetery Road series!

Is the sweet town of Appleton ripe for scandal?

Consider the facts:

  • Appleton Elementary School has a new librarian named Rita B. Danjerous. (Say it fast.)
  • Principal Noah Memree barely remembers hiring her.
  • Ten-year-old Reid Durr is staying up way too late reading a book from Ms. Danjerous’s controversial “green dot” collection.
  • The new school board president has mandated a student dress code that includes white gloves and bow ties available only at her shop.

Sound strange? Fret not. Appleton’s fifth-grade sleuths are following the money, embracing the punny, and determined to the get to the funniest, most rotten core of their town’s juiciest scandal. Don’t miss this seedy saga!

8 thoughts on “Don’t Check Out This Book – Book Review

  1. Thanks for your review. This one sounds like a book I would have loved as a middle-grader, except that was back in the olden days and we didn’t have texts and emails back then. We did have newspapers, letters, and memoes, though. Thanks for sharing this one for MMGM. :0}

    Like

  2. Completely Full Bookshelf

    The format of this book and the idea of the “green-dot” books both sound totally neat! Also, I love the book’s cover-within-a-cover format—there’s even a spine! Thanks for the great review!

    Like

  3. What an odd town, cast of characters and plot with a juicy scandal. Readers will grab the book because of the title and love the storytelling. This sounds like a great book for reluctant readers. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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