A House with a Clock in its Walls: Reviewed by J.B.


“Lewis threw the clock down. There was a springing of uncoiled springs and a clatter of clogs and a sprinkling of glass.” The House with a Clock in its Walls is a great novel if you crave suspense.  It contains cliffhangers; it’s suspenseful.  It also lets you be a detective in the book. First of all, it has a great amount of cliffhangers.  Cliffhangers are a great thing to have in a suspense book because they make you want to read on to the next chapter. Also, the cliffhanger is usually at the end of a chapter. For example, one of the characters says, “Let’s go find that clock!” at the end of one chapter. This quote was a cliffhanger because you or the reader wants to read on to the next chapter to see if they find the clock.  Another great quality of a suspense book is that it obviously needs to be suspenseful!  This quality makes you want to read all night if the author uses this quality correctly.  In this novel, there is a lot of suspense towards the middle and the end of the book.  For example, around the middle of the book, Lewis and his uncle, along with their neighbor, are being chased by a mysterious black car, but they manage to escape.  This example created suspense because you might found out what would happen to Lewis and his companions.  For our third and final quality, The House with a Clock in its Walls lets you be a good detective. It lets you make predictions about characters to see if they are good or bad.  John Bellairs lets you predict how the story could end.  For example, on page 123, when “Hammerhandle” grabs Lewis by the collar, you can probably tell that he isn’t a good guy.  To sum up my review, The House with a Clock in its Walls is a great book. If you want a great mystery, pick up this book at your local bookstore.

And Then There Were None: Reviewed by A.B.


“Ladies and Gentlemen! Silence, please!” I am here to tell you of the wonderful mystery and suspense novel, And Then There Were None.  This book was written by Agatha Christie, who certainly knows her mysteries.  First, she has put forth an action-packed story in which each chapter is opened by an eye-grabbing opening. Also, it has chapter endings that have you hanging on a cliff. Not to mention crime, which is one of the main components you do not want to miss.

As each chapter opens, so does your reading because all you want to do is read on.  For example, Chapter Ten opens with, “’Do you believe it?’ Vera asked.” This instantly grabs your attention because you are wondering, who is she talking to? Is she talking about (blank)? Also, this engages you to read on because you are on the edge of your seat in excitement.  Which, as proven, is a great mystery component.

Quality two: suspenseful cliff hangers.  Christie ends each chapter with a unique cliffhanger to keep you reading. For example, Chapter Ten ends in a great cliff hanger, that you really want to jump off of. It is, “No more Indian tricks tonight. I’ve seen to that…” This is a cliff hanger because you are asking yourself, who is going to take a figurine? Is a figurine going to be taken? Or is another trick going to be played? Now I hope I have you on my own cliff hanger.

“Nevertheless, on evidence, he was certainly guilty.” Of having too much crime! Christie has packed each chapter with more crimes than you thought possible. For instance, on page 125 Mr. Rogers was given a deep wound (with an ax) on the back of his head.  Clearly this is a crime because he could have not chopped himself, on his own head.  As a result, this is a crime, making And Then There Were None a suspenseful mystery.

Overall, And Then There Were None  is a fabulous mystery / suspense book. Indeed it is because it has the great mystery components: openers, cliff hangers, and (maybe ten times too much) crime. For now, And Then There Were None is still here.

The Westing Game: Reviewed by J.D.


Wow! The Westing Game was a great mystery book. Three things that really stood out to me were the great clues, cliff hangers, and the colorful, different personalities. One clue I noticed was that they made the end of the story so unpredictable by a great clue which was Sam Westing’s words, “One of you took my life away,” which makes you think he was murdered. But was he? Another good clue was that the will read, “I died from natural causes.” So that means that he couldn’t have been murdered. An outstanding cliff hanger was at the end of Chapter 1, page 6. It says, “And oh, yes, one was a bookie, one was a burglar, one was a bomber, and one was a mistake. Barney had rented one of the apartments to the wrong person.” That made me want to keep reading because I wanted to figure out who was what. The last thing was their personalities. They were extremely different. For example, one pair was a wedding dressmaker and her partner was a shin-kicking, vicious, 13-year-old girl. Another example is one pair is a bird-watching crippled boy paired with a plastic surgery intern. Overall, I think you should read this spectacular book

Creature Project by Jack M.


The test subject is rotting all over, his arms, legs, hands, and feet are the moldiest looking that anyone has ever seen.  His teeth are bronze and chipped. He lost two fingers on his right hand. Part of his leg is completely gone. His eyes are as wide as the moon.  His clothes are dirtier than a muddy pig. He is hungrier that anyone can ever be. He is shriveled like a three-month old tomato. He is as weak as a worm, and as dumb as a rock. He smells like a compost bin.

He will eat his best friend. He has eaten entire people. He has no memory of the past. He will attract any meat nearby, within smelling distance. He will ether sit down for day’s even months until he is provoked to move, or he will wander endlessly. He can hardly run.

Bob: A Creature Project by Sarah


He is a clown. But he’s not just a clown he’s THE CLOWN. He is the clown that everybody fears. He is the clown that brings night mares to the world. He isBOB! Some people say he lives under your beds. Some people say he has twelve eyes, but he is there. I have seen him with my own two eyes and oh yes, he’s there. You never know when you might come across Bob. I was washing my dishes one night and he just appeared on my sink. I ran outside screaming before he could do anything. But anyway, that whole story is for another time.

                Bob had very orange, fluffy messy hair, as well as his eye brows. His entire body is covered with powdery white make-up. Bob’s lips are obscured by mountain loads of red make-up. Bob’s eyes are very bright blue like a lagoon. His hands are concealed behind snowy white gloves. This eerie, blood curling creature is also not the skinniest clown I have ever seen. Like a clown would, he wears very funny looking clothing. He wears this outfit where the pants and the shirt are all connected as one big outfit. It is all poufy and colorful with a frill around the neck. He smells like dead fish too and his skin is as hard as a rock. You know for a little fellow he definitely knows how to scare.

                To this day no one has heard creepy little Bob’s voice but one can only imagine. Bob never moves while anything is watching, not even an inch worm but others say he just moves so fast it can’t been seen with the naked eye. If you were ever to see Bob (which lets prey never happens) you would never think he wasn’t just a doll. The power that mighty Bob has is that when he focuses really hard on something and taps his knee three times, that thing will turn into asparagus. That is why he is so feared. So if maybe Bob doesn’t take a liking to you or if it is just for fun because he hasn’t had the joy of taking someone’s life that day, then bye bye. What is even worse is that the asparagus doesn’t smell like asparagus, it smells like dead fish. So no one will go anywhere near the rotten smelling asparagus though everyone knows why there is just a big pile of asparagus just lying in the middle of a room. There is sadly no known cure for this horrible disaster so let’s hope it just never happens. His friends are the evil Joker (from Batman) and absolutely horrendous Lotso (from Toy Story Three). Now where he lives, as I may have mentioned before, no one know but there are many theories going around. So now for all those people who don’t believe me, just be careful and don’t say you weren’t warned. (Dun Dun Da  Hahaha)  

Creature Projects


Right around Halloween, the sixth graders conceived, described, and created visual representations of fictional creatures.  Some exemplary writing samples are below.

First: Snuffy, by Josh L.

          Snuffy, my creature, has many unique things about him. Snuffy has a shiny head as bald as an egg and a dark, chestnut colored, forehead. He has two eyebrows arched like rainbows. Snuffy also has two eyes wide enough to stare down an owl! He sports gargantuan ears with ear hair that goes up when he’s happy. Snuffy smells like a burnt pop tart. Snuffy has a small lavender nose, and when Snuffy pushes his nose it lets out a “WAAP! WAAP!”  Snuffy also has a humongous round mouth with teeth so sharp they can cut through a piece of cheese in a single chomp! Snuffy has lengthy twisted arms like a rubber band wound up too many times. He has two elongated legs as long as trains with feet too oversized for his body.

            Snuffy also has a very intriguing personality. Snuffy always nose dives into the ground because his feet are incredibly out of proportion with his body. Snuffy speaks like he has bubbles in his mouth. Snuffy saying hello would sound like “Hwwrble. Hwwrble.” Snuffy has the power to charm people into watching his lean body fall face first into the ground repeatedly. A power that doesn’t get Snuffy very far in life. He also has the power to vacuum up people into his open top like sucking water down a drain. Snuffy has other friends who are like him named Larry, Mary, and Harry, but his friends don’t fall down as much as Snuffy does. Snuffy resides in a world called Tiny World located on the inside of the moon. Despite its name, it’s a very large place. Tiny World is stuffed with other monsters that have outlandish habits like having an obsession with grapes, dancing as a mode of transportation, and pouring tea out of the ears. Snuffy transports to Earth by slipping on a custom built spacesuit. Then, he jumps on a super trampoline sending his towering body careening towards Earth like a meteor.