Title: The Classroom at the End of the Hall

by Douglas Evans, illustrated by Larry Di Fiori

Published by: Scholastic

Age appeal: Elementary School through Middle School

Appeals to both boys and girls, but especially to boys, even reluctant readers.

Synopsis: The classroom at the end of the hall is “special,” unusual, and just plain weird. Roger, who is assigned to that classroom at the  beginning of the year has no idea what is in store for him and his classmates. Some of these classmates include Emily, aka Emily the Neat whose desk becomes inhabited by the Messy Desk Pest and Kenneth, a poor reader who finds and CAN read from The Purple Reader. Teachers come and go in the Classroom at the End of the Hall because strange things befall them and stranger substitutes take their place, some for a short stay, others longer. Will Roger end up with a good permanent teacher or even a permanent teacher at all? What do he and two of his friends find LIVING in the attic above the classroom? Will the school year ever end?  Will the students in the classroom at the end of the hall even  WANT it to end?

Rating 5 out of a possible 5

Note: This is the perfect addition to a classroom library. It is humorous, imaginative, and “speaks” to kids.


Title: Punished

by David Lubar

Published by: Scholastic

Age appeal: Elementary through Middle School

Appeals especially to boys with a good sense of humor who love puns.

Synopsis: Logan is cursed, cursed with speaking in puns which make his teachers, his parents, and his best friend, Benedict, think he is being a smart aleck.  Before the old man he encounters in the library will lift the curse, Logan must accomplish several tasks involving research and clever thinking.  It reminded me of the Twelve Labors of Hercules in that the tasks are impossible for Logan to accomplish.  Will Logan succeed and lift the curse, or will he continue to live a very punny life?

Rating 4 out of 5 I would have liked the book to be longer, with more primary characters, but the “skinnines” of the book is part of its appeal.

Note: Adults may get tired of the puns and should be aware that boys, especially, who read this may speak in puns for days afterwards.



Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."


    1. Thank you for these excellent recommendations, Rae. Both of them would very much appeal to my young grandson – he has reached the age where puns and wordplay is becoming a ‘thing’…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He is definitely the “target audience” for this book. It is not a new book, but check out Amazon or the equivalent where you are and you may even find a really cheap used copy for a penny or so, then pay the postage–a bargain in the long run. Ya’ gotta think like a cheapskate. I tell my students I am NOT a cheapskate, I think frugal.

        Liked by 1 person

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