Johnny's in the Basement

Written by Louis Sachar

Reviewed by DA (age 9)

Johnny is 11 years old and has a huge bottle cap collection that he keeps in the middle of his basement and sits on them. For his 11th birthday, his parents give him dance shoes and a bike that was passed down from his grandpa to his father and now him. Johnny doesn't like the dance shoes and doesn't want to take dance classes and the bike's brakes don't work. He has to slow down with his feet and then jump off. Johnny takes dance lessons and mets a girl named Valerie. Johnny's parents insist that he sell his bottle cap collection because it takes up too much room. After selling the collection, Valerie and Johnny's friend Donald all try to think of something to buy with the money.

I thought that Johnny was just like me because I like to collect things. I collect cards. I just never thought of collecting bottle caps. I felt sorry for Johnny when he gets dance shoes for his birthday because boys don't usually like to dance. I think Johnny is lucky to have his friends live close by.

I would recommend this book because it was good with funny parts, especially the dance shoes that he was given. The idea about a bottle cap collection sounds neat. This is a good book to read because it made me tingle inside. I couldn't wait to read what happened next.

DA is a student in Mrs. Merski's 4th Grade Class
2003-2004