Sunday, July 26, 2020

#BookReview: This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by @nancyjcavanaugh @SourcebooksKids

Synopsis: Move over Diary of a Wimpy Kid--there's a new journal in town and it belongs to Ratchet.

"A book that is full of surprises...Triumphant enough to make readers cheer; touching enough to make them cry." --Kirkus, STARRED Review

If only getting a new life were as easy as getting a new notebook.
But it's not.

It's the first day of school for all the kids in the neighborhood. But not for me. I'm homeschooled. That means nothing new. No new book bag, no new clothes, and no new friends.

The best I've got is this notebook. I'm supposed to use it for my writing assignments, but my dad never checks. Here's what I'm really going to use it for:

Ratchet's Top Secret Plan
Turn my old, recycled, freakish, friendless life into something shiny and new.

This Florida State Book Award gold medal winner is a heartfelt story about an unconventional girl's quest to make a friend, save a park, and find her own definition of normal.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
My Review: This book was kind of close to my life.  Because, my dad works on tires and cars.  It was also set in Florida which you thought was kind of cool since I live in Florida to!! Ratchet doesn't really have any friends because she is home schooled.  That is kind of like my life right now because of having to stay home.  

I liked that they had to save the park so it wouldn't be shut down.  I love climbing trees so it was kind of sad that they had to block those off.  I wished that they could have done something else so the kids could still have climbed the trees.  

I loved Ratchet as a nickname.  Mine is just Annie or Annie Bugger and its so not as cool as Ratchet.  I really enjoyed Ratchet as a character, because I just loved her personality.  I also loved that she liked to write. Because so do I!! 

I really liked this book and the way it was written. I enjoyed that there was some danger in this story about Ratchet's dad.  So it wasn't all happy rainbows.  

I would recommend this story to kids 9 and under.  I didn't have any issues with any of the words.  I think kids that are good readers would be able to read this one without to many issues.  


"Bottom line: I cannot imagine a middle grade classroom or library where this book wouldn't be popular. " - Colby Sharp, sharpread

"One of the freshest new voices I've heard in a while, 11-year-old Rachel (AKA Ratchet) is handy with tools, homeschooled, and the kind of vulnerable kid you'd love know. A book for young readers to enjoy, discuss, then read all over again, this debut novel is a winner. " - Augusta Scattergood, Author of GLORY BE, an Amazon Best Middle Grade Novel of 2012

"The book's journal format, which shows Ratchet writing in various styles as she completes her language arts assignments, allows debut author Cavanaugh to cover a lot of ground thematically. Ratchet is a thoroughly relatable character whose wish for normalcy will strike a chord with readers." - Booklist

"This heartfelt story of an 11-year-old girl being raised by a very different single dad . . . Ratchet is a memorable heroine; the vivid portrayal of what it's like to have no money for nice clothes and other things Americans take for granted will give readers something to think about." - The Buffalo News

"A book that is full of surprises . . . Triumphant enough to make readers cheer; touching enough to make them cry." - Kirkus

"Cavanaugh uses bold, often humorous first-person narration to capture the essence of an unconventional heroine struggling to figure out who she is supposed to be. Ratchet's journal-written on lined paper and filled with a medley of lists, poems, stories, essays, and doodles-offers an enticing blend of strong social views, family secrets, and deeply felt emotions." - Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Nancy J. Cavanaugh has a BS in education and an MA in curriculum and instruction with multiple published works. She was a teacher for more than fifteen years and currently works as a Library Media Specialist at an elementary school. Nancy lives in Tarpon Springs, FL with her husband and daughter. Visit

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FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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