June 17, 2016

Fiction Friday: Chapter 2

Hello book lovers. Happy Fiction Friday!

Last week I blogged about three incredible books: Circus Mirandus, Crenshaw, and Raymie Nightengale.  All of which I believe should be added to every upper elementary classroom.  If you missed the post, click here.


This week I wanted to tell you about two more books I recently discovered that are a bit less serious and a lot more silly. As readers, it is important that we have balance in our reading diet, right?


by Josh Lieb


First of all, the cover absolutely cracks me up. I mean. there is a rat holding a spoon in the air like a sword.  Awesome. I mean who wouldn't love a King Arthur spoof? Including characters like Sir Parsifur, King Uther, and Gondorff this timeless tale comes to life under the city lights with fighting mice, squirrel magicians, and a true tale of friendship, heroism, and adventure.

It all starts when Joey is bit by a dying magical rat and is instantly turned into a rat.  Using his nose to find his way, Joey discovers an entire kingdom that is under attack by the BlackCrows and the dangerous magician who controls them. When Joey unwittingly pulls Ratscalibur from a scone, he becomes part of the prophecy to defend the kingdom. 

Filled with word play and fantastic illustrations, Ratscalibur stole my heart. Josh Lieb, the author,  is the producer and show runner of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, so you know this children's novel is bursting with creativity and fun! It's no wonder the book is getting rave reviews from Judd Apatow, Jon Stewart, and Jimmy Fallon. 

You can't help but fall in love with these characters and get lost in the world Lieb has created. I loved it and I know my 4th graders will too. I am definitely considering it for a read aloud next year. It is fast paced, filled with great vocabulary, and has short chapters that make it perfect for the classroom.

Book Information:
  • Fantasy
  • Grades 3-6
  • 192 pages 
  • Lexile Measure 700L

Harriet the Invincible

by Ursula Vernon

 In another great spoof of a classic tale, Harriet the Invincible is the story of Sleeping Beauty.  Sort of.


Harriet does get cursed by an angry fairy upon her birth.  The sleeping curse does involve a spinning wheel.  There are three good fairies that try to help. But, Harriet and her parents handle the curse a bit different ly than Aurora's parents. 

Realizing the curse cannot be outsmarted, Harriet concludes that she is invincible! If she must touch the spindle to activate the curse, then there is absolutely no way she can die before then. Harriet sees this as a HUGE OPPORTUNITY! So, having never been a typical princess, she leaves the kingdom to fight monsters and go on grand adventures. Upon returning to the kingdom to accept her fate, the curse takes an unusual turn and suddenly it is up to Harriet to save her parents and her kingdom for the sleeping curse that was original meant for her.

Harriet the Invisible is told through a mixture of illustrations, comics, and words. Kids will devour this book. The characters are snarky and lovable at the same time. The parents alone cracked me up. Harriet is her own form of bad-ass princess!

Check out all the Hamster Princess Books: Of Mice and Magic, Ratpunzel, and Harriet the Invincible

Book Information:
  • Fantasy
  • Grades 3-5
  • 256 pages
  • Lexile Measure 810L
  • Series Book

Have you read either of these books? Do you think your students and/or children might enjoy them?

Truthfully, I am thankful Harriet the Invincible is in hardback. It is going to need to withstand a lot of hands next year.  :)

Now, it is your turn.  Link up to share a few books you have enjoyed or have been a huge hit in your classroom or home. My Amazon wishlist is on stand by.

When linking up, please remember to grab the Fiction Friday button and link back to my blog. Also, please choose an image of a book you blogged about for the link.

Thank you and happy reading!


  1. I have never heard of these books - thanks for adding them to my radar! I'm reading so many "serious" things right now they may be just what I need this summer.

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  2. This guy is very thorough in how boy/rat works in his own world. The language captures junior high school kid-speak in a poetic way. And he's consistent in the various species as they are represented. Thank you, late night host who recommended this new book by his writer, but he shall be unnamed because this review is of Josh Loeb.

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Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts!