Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise

Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise is a multigenre book told through letters, memos, newspaper articles, and other forms of correspondence. NJ included Regarding the Fountain (Regarding the…) as a Battle Book this year, so I was already familiar with the cast of characters- Principal Walter Russ, Florence Waters, the townspeople, and the middle schoolers.

In this adventure, Principal Russ is hosting the SPA conference for principals at Geyser Creek Middle School. His problem? The bathrooms in the basement are gross! He enlists the help of the amazing Florence Waters once again, while the students are involved in various summer school initiatives. Criminal cases are solved by the students, the newspaper is being run by a student, and convicts break out of jail! Puns and potty humor abound, while Klise also includes plenty of historical information about baths and bathrooms, from Ancient Greece and Rome.

48 Hour Book Challenge

Rumors: A Luxe Novel (The Luxe) by Anna Godbersen- 419 pages
Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor- 149 pages
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita- 255 pages
Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix- 227 pages
Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School by Ruth McNally Barshaw- 190 pages
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth- 162 pages
The Trial by Jen Bryant- 168 pages
Physics: Why Matter Matters by Dan Green- 122 pages
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume- 264 pages
Regarding the Bathrooms: A Privy to the Past by Kate Klise- 144 pages


Total Pages Read- 2100
Total Time Reading- 12.5 hours
Total Books Read (so far)- 10

Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume

Lesley M.M. Blume is fast becoming one of my new favorite authors. Her books are all so different, but all amazing. I was excited to have Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters on my reading pile for the 48 Hour Book Challenge because I knew I just had to read it.  I was not disappointed and it may well be my favorite book of the challenge so far!

Cornelia is a lonely little girl, the daughter of two famous concert pianists, whose father abandoned the family when she was a baby and whose mother spends all her time traveling the world and giving concerts.  Cornelia spends all her time reading.  Her favorite books are dictionaries and words are her first line of defense against her classmates, adults who want to use her to get to her mother, and her annoying housekeeper.  However, everything changes when her elusive new neighbor moves in next door.  Cornelia sees exotic belongings being moved in, items that are rarely seen in Greenwich Village apartments. When her new neighbor’s French bulldog escapes and Cornelia is able to coral him with Magnolia cupcakes, she is invited in and meets Virginia Somerset.

Virginia is the last of the Audacious Somerset sisters, the family of four who traveled the world in search of adventure.  Cornelia quickly grows to love her and even Mr. Kinyatta, the crazy bulldog.  Virginia shares her adventures with Cornelia, all while writing a secret book.  This friendship with Virginia and her “butler”, Patel, helps Cornelia to open up and begin seeing her life in a new light.

This was a wonderful book, which I will highly recommend.  I loved all of the characters, and Blume does a wonderful job of making the setting, Greenwich Village, into a character, it seems.  I didn’t want to put this book down!  It captures the bookish 11-year old girl perfectly (I should know, I was one!), and the adventures of the Somerset sisters had me laughing out loud!  A beautiful book, and Blume is a new favorite of mine!

48 Hour Book Challenge

Rumors: A Luxe Novel (The Luxe) by Anna Godbersen- 419 pages
Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor- 149 pages
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita- 255 pages
Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix- 227 pages
Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School by Ruth McNally Barshaw- 190 pages
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth- 162 pages
The Trial by Jen Bryant- 168 pages
Physics: Why Matter Matters by Dan Green- 122 pages
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume- 264 pages


Total Pages Read- 1956
Total Time Reading- 12 hours
Total Books Read (so far)- 9

48 Hour Book Challenge

Rumors: A Luxe Novel (The Luxe) by Anna Godbersen- 419 pages
Thumbelina: Tiny Runaway Bride by Barbara Ensor- 149 pages
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita- 255 pages
Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix- 227 pages
Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School by Ruth McNally Barshaw- 190 pages
Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth- 162 pages
The Trial by Jen Bryant- 168 pages
Physics: Why Matter Matters by Dan Green- 122 pages


Total Pages Read- 1692
Total Time Reading- 9.5 hours
Total Books Read (so far)- 8

Physics: Why Matter Matters! by Dan Green

I hated physics in high school. Hated it with the fire of a thousand suns. I think there was just too much math involved, plus the concepts were always difficult to grasp. But I think if I had this book, I might have had an easier time. Physics: Why Matter Matters is a humorous but educational look at the various concepts of physics, complete with illustrations.

Definitely a great book for middle school and high school libraries. I can see students using this as a reference book, a study guide, or just a fun book to page through!

The Trial by Jen Bryant

Growing up and living in New Jersey, the Lindbergh baby kidnapping has always fascinated me. I’ve been to Flemington many times and even have friends who live there now. The as-yet-maybe-unsolved kidnapping and murder case is a huge part of the history in that area and comes up every so often in the media. The Trial, by Jen Bryant, is a verse novel that tells the story of Bruno Richard Hauptmann’s trial for the death and kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh. Katie, 12, finds herself in the courtroom day in and day out, acting as a secretary for her reporter uncle. She always thought her town was boring, but now that the trial and inevitable media circus have moved into town, she isn’t so sure if being exciting is worth it. As she watches the trial unfold, including the eventual guilty verdict, she struggles with her feelings on the American justice system and the media. Does she really want to be a reporter when she grows up? Can a man be partly responsible for the death of a child but not deserve the death penalty? Is there a such thing as a fair trial?

The novel is full of suspense, as Jen Bryant takes you into the fateful courtroom in Flemington. The Lindbergh trial was one of the most widely publicized criminal cases of the twentieth century and the birth of the American obsession with media and celebrity. The real life characters are the actual players from the trial and Bryant gives an unbiased view of the antics that took place during the case. Also included is a firsthand look at the media circus that was borne from the case- Katie sees Ginger Rogers and various other celebrities in the courtroom everyday. While one man fought for his life and family fought for justice, America watched it like it was a television drama with no real consequences. This is a fascinating book and one I would especially recommend to my NJ students who may not know a lot about the Lindbergh’s.

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