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.