Books, Family, Reviews

Book Review: The Landry News by Andrew Clements, Brian Selznick

A post each day, I committed to it earlier and at the midway mark, I have missed 3 days of posting 🙂 But I am hoping to catch up.  For Day 13 of the challenge, here is a look into another book following up on my last post (Nancy Clancy: Late-Breaking News) – The Landry News by Andrew Clements and illustrated by Brian Selznick.

The Landry News by Andrew Clements

Title: The Landry NewsTHE LANDRY NEWS andrew clements and brian selznick
Author: Andrew Clements
Illustrator: Brian Selznick
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 1, 2000)
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Genre: Childrens fiction, realistic fiction, middle-grade fiction
Source: Library

Book Description:

The bad news is that Cara Landry is the new kid at Denton Elementary School. The worse news is that her teacher, Mr. Larson, would rather read the paper and drink coffee than teach his students anything. So Cara decides to give Mr. Larson something else to read — her own newspaper, The Landry News.
Before she knows it, the whole fifth-grade class is in on the project. But then the principal finds a copy of The Landry News, with unexpected results. Tomorrow’s headline: Will Cara’s newspaper cost Mr. Larson his job?

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My Thoughts:

While my kids have read many books by Andrew Clements and loved them as well, I somehow had not myself. If you have read my blog for a while now, you will know that I read many books my kids are reading. So I wondered how I had missed this author.

But I am glad I finally did read a book by Andrew Clements. While other books by him are more popular (and I am yet to read them), I did enjoy this book. And also loved that Brian Selznick illustrated the book.

This book made me want to relive the dream of being a journalist all over again. Actually, it made me want to be an editor-in-chief of my very own newspaper! It made me smile, it made me shed a few tears as well, and it riled me up at the sad state of free journalism today. This is a must-read in today’s world where leaders consider the free press “fake news”. It is one of those timeless books – while it was published almost two decades ago, the issues it talks about are still relevant today.

Cara Landry is not happy being the new student in the school, and when she learns Mr.Larson would rather read the newspaper than teach, she decides to write about that in her very own newspaper. With that begins the dawn of a renewed Mr.Larson, and the start of a newspaper that is not just Cara’s, but a team effort of many students in her class. One of the articles published sets off events that could cause issues for Mr.Larson. What happens next is for you to find out! So go ahead and read it 🙂

I loved how the relationships between teacher and students, between family members, between friends and classmates are portrayed. The book tackles the many messy issues of family life, and of free press with charm. Cara (and the readers) learn that reporting wisely, and with mercy makes all the difference. The First Amendment is discussed as well and this might be a good book to use for related discussions in class.

The book contains many quotable quotes but here is one for you:

“When The Landry News chose the motto ‘Truth and Mercy’,  we did it to remind ourselves that a good newspaper must have both. A newspaper that is only filled with cold, hard facts is like an iceberg… A newspaper that only looks on the soft  and gentle side of things is like a jellyfish, floppy and spineless. From the start, The Landry News has tried to be a balanced, good-hearted newspaper.”

You can check out a list of suggested activities (by yours truly) here.

Rating: A
Reading Level: 8 – 12 years
Reread Level: B+

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Question to you, dear readers: Have you read the book? Or other books by Andrew Clements or Brian Selznick? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear..

Writing this post as a series for the Ultimate Blog Challenge and Write 31 Days.  31 Days, 31 Books! This is for Day Thirteen (and I need to catch up on the 10th day, as well as days 14 and 15, which would have been today’s post – those will be up over the next couple of days)

Day 0 Day 1  Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5  Day 6  Day 7 Day 8 Day 9  Day 10 Day 11  Day 12



17 thoughts on “Book Review: The Landry News by Andrew Clements, Brian Selznick

    1. Clements is an author I discovered because my kids were reading him (initially for school required reading, and then on their own) and while this is the first book I read, I did enjoy it but not enough to put him on my list of favorite authors 🙂

  1. I actually haven’t heard of this series! But it sounds adorable, and I’m a kid at heart so I’m definitely checking this out 🙂

  2. I have two middle graders and am always on the lookout for new reads for them! They are both avid readers but haven’t read anything by this author. Thanks so much for posting about this. I will be sure to take a look.

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