- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (July 21 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0544392671
- ISBN-13: 978-0544392670
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.7 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 717 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #819,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Malcolm Under the Stars Hardcover – Jul 21 2015
|New from||Used from|
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Malcolm's ponderings on the nature of revenge, compassion, loss, and friendship are seamlessly woven into the plot. Lies' gray-toned, textured pencil-and-graphite illustrations add dimension and personality to the creatures. Welcome back, Malcolm."
"Twists and turns abound, including a forgotten time capsule, buried treasure, secret codes, and hidden identities For middle grade readers who enjoy animal adventure tales."
- School Library Journal
"Lies' naturalistic illustrations enhance the general air of realism in a tale featuring unusually rich thematic underpinnings and a small protagonist with both 'hero brain' and 'hero heart.'"
About the Author
W.H. BECK is both an author of children's books and a librarian. She grew up in Wisconsin, the oldest of four. As a kid, her dad always teased that she would be a librarian someday. She read all the time-walking home from school, while brushing her teeth, under the table at dinnertime, and under the covers at night. And, sure enough, after earning an elementary teaching degree from the University of Wisconsin, she went on to get a master's degree in information studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She still lives and reads in Wisconsin and shares a home and books with her husband, two sons, and a big black dog. Visit her website at www.whbeck.com.
Brian Lies is the award-winning author-illustrator of the New York Times bestsellers Bats at the Beach, Bats at the Library, Bats at the Ballgame, and Bats in the Band . He has written and illustrated more than twenty books for children. Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Brian lives on the South Shore of Massachusetts with his family. Visit BrianLies.com to learn more about the author and his books.
|5 star (0%)|
|4 star (0%)|
|3 star (0%)|
|2 star (0%)|
|1 star (0%)|
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
She also uses homonyms (bored vs board), the importance of commas and how they use or non-use changes the meaning, along with the wonderful footnotes to help with vocabulary.
Brian Lies does an excellent job illustrating the book. As I was reading the book, it felt like the author and illustrator worked closely together to make the story come to life!
Narrated by an anonymous being having an omniscient point-of-view and told to Mr. Mark Binney, the fifth-grade teacher, “Malcolm Under the Stars” begins with letters from the book’s human characters – Mr. Binney and the Fifth Grade All-Stars. Malcolm, a small rat and fifth-grade classroom pet, learned that the school board was considering closing McKenna Elementary School. A meeting of the Midnight Academy – an organization consisting of the classroom pets at McKenna – made a decision that they needed to discover the location of a time capsule containing a hidden “stash”. Malcolm meets with the Striped Shadow, an “Outside” – an animal living free - in an attempt to learn information that may help the “Insides” – the classroom pets - locate the time capsule. Given only cursory information, Malcolm reports his findings to the Academy and to Amelia, the human with whom he communicates by pointing out, with his tail, letters forming the words he wishes to convey. The Academy and the Fifth Grade All-Stars work together to solve the mystery of Ernie Bowman and the McKenna bequest, and to save their school. As the children, the "Insides", and the "Outsides" work to solve the mystery, they learn that sometimes a small gesture or kind word can have more impact on an individual than a grand one.
The animal characters of “Malcolm Under the Stars” are charming and well developed. Each has a distinct personality and each one provides value to the story. The human characters are necessary to the story, but are not as interesting or engaging as the “Insides” and the “Outsides”. W. H. Beck’s writing is clear and flows smoothly. Footnotes were used to define words that might be unfamiliar to the target audience, but were incorporated into the story through identifying the word as part of a past vocabulary test. Since young readers tend to skip footnotes, it might have been more effective to include this information as a parenthetical, following the specific word.
There were times the story seemed repetitious and in need of tighter editing. However, this redundancy may have been intentional since some in the target age group might not remember details from previous chapters. Without becoming didactic, W. H. Beck conveyed valuable lessons through the story and its characters.
Brian Lies’ drawings – they appear to be pencil or charcoal – are exquisite. Each one has depth and dimension created through the use of both skillful shading and white space. Children – and adults – will delight in the artwork and may wish there had been more of it.
“Malcolm Under the Stars” is a worthwhile read and one to enjoy from the perspectives of both children’s literature and artwork.