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All Book Reviews

Book Review: Life of Pi
Martel, Yann
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Life Of Pi is one of the most amazing books I've ever read!

A book full of mysteries, magic, faith, love and adventures. It is a book about the survival of Pi Patel, the protagonist with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. My favorite part of the book was to understand the love-hate relationship between Pi and the tiger. There are many learning outcomes from this book which include faith, love, hope, optimism and many more!

Reviewer's Name: Shivani
Genres:
Elsie Dinsmore
Finley, Martha
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Elsie Dinsmore Series was published between 1868 and 1904. In the first book of 28 novels, we find Elsie, a half orphaned, love-starved child, struggling to obey her Heavenly Father, while missing her own dad terribly. Elsie’s mother died when she was only a few weeks old, and, since her father was traveling, she lived with a guardian until he also passed away. Elsie was only two. She was then taken under the wings of her grandparents (her father’s parents) who don’t seem to care a smidgen for their granddaughter. At the start of the book, we find Elsie, now eight, living in the cold shadow of her grandparents. For some reason, her young aunts and uncles also despise her. One of her only comforts is when her nurse “Aunt Chloe” teaches Elsie to love even when others do not love in return. But the most important thing Aunt Chloe has taught her is that God loves her. Elsie’s other comfort is her well-loved Bible. When Elsie’s earthly father returns from his long travels, his cruel treatment of his daughter leaves Elsie feeling more sorrow and need for God’s everlasting love than ever before. Read this adventure to find out the rest of the touching story. I think this book has a good Christian message as the reader follows Elsie through a number of faith-building trials in a desperate attempt to gain her heartless father’s longed for love. This is a book I recommend for those searching for a strong spiritual message and a faith-based challenge to love even the unlovable.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Cosette P.
Genres:
How To Read Literature Like A Professor
Foster, Thomas C.
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The book is a very practical book and an amusing guide to literature. It is about a chatty Professor from University of Michigan who talks about different elements of literature such as mythology, geography, faith, Bible, seasons, Shakespeare, etc... There are ample of examples and the language is friendly. The author is quite controversial about some topics but overall, the book is entertaining and fun to read!

Reviewer's Name: Shivani
Genres:
Book Review: Unbroken
Hillenbrand, Laura
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I found this book extremely depressing for the most part. Not because it was a bad book, but because it was so sad. I was surprised and stunned at the intensity of the book. Normally I don't care for fictional books. This was a true story about a man who went through hard times.
Louis Zamperini was a mischievous kid, an Olympian, a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator and a World War II prisoner of War (POW). As a POW Louis was treated as trash. The Japanese forced them work for them. Turning the POW's into slaves. Many of the POW's died of sicknesses or to much work. Louis was beaten and tormented. They tried to take everything from the POW's. They took those men and stripped them of their dignity, leaving them feeling worthless.

Everyday Louis watches as men unable to hold on anymore give up and die. To keep himself going he thinks about home. As the war gets closer to ending his hopes fly up higher.When the war was finally over Louis comes home. He is not the strong Olympian he was. He is a frail man of 29. He can't leave the horrors of the camp behind. His dreams are tormented by thoughts of the prison. His life might have taken a turn for the bad had he not met Jesus.I highly recommend this book to most teens. This is a heart worming and heart breaking story. I loved it!!!

Reviewer's Name: Rachel
Book Review: The Animals
Kiefer, Christian
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

There are parts of this book so heartbreaking that I almost hesitate to recommend it, especially to anyone who loves animals. However the writing is so wonderful that it transcends that negative aspect. This is the gritty story of a man attempting to overcome a past filled with addiction, petty crime, and character flaws by running an animal rescue operation in rural Idaho. It's not long, of course, before that past returns to haunt him and threaten his new life. The characters, both animal and human, are brilliantly portrayed and a chapter written from the perspective of Majer the bear is a highlight of the book. A great exploration of the possibility of redemption and the inevitability of heartache when one cares for animals!

Reviewer's Name: Alan
Book Review: Go Set a Watchman
Lee, Harper
2 stars = Meh
Review:

The latest Harper Lee book has had so much publicity and hype and I'm sorry to say that it is not warranted. I was really hoping that I would like it because I enjoyed her earlier book and the movie of To Kill a Mockingbird.
I don't want to give too much away in this review, but this book was missing the magic of the first book. The character of Atticus seemed completely different and not in a good way. Jean Louise (Scout) is now twenty-six and unfortunately was not someone that I could care deeply about. Very disappointing.

Reviewer's Name: Lisa
Genres:
Book Review: The Demon in the Freezer: A True Story
Preston, Richard
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

I have really enjoyed reading this book!

Reviewer's Name: Ashley
Genres:
Book Review: Taliesin
Lawhead, Steve
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Though skeptical at first, I pushed on through the first few chapters hoping for a convincing Arthurian novel but doubting it would be unlike any others. In the end, I absolutely loved this take on Taliesin and the world that was created before Arthur or Merlin were even born. If you are a huge fan of Arthur, Merlin, a different type of magic, interesting characters, and daring action, then check out this book. The book itself seemed like a whole series combined into one, but without any boring sections. The end astonished me and the beginning intrigued me; the middle kept me going and interested. Definitely give this one a try.

NOTE: This title is only available as eMaterial or CD Book.

Reviewer's Name: Cailtlyn
Book Review: American Born Chinese
Yang, Gene Luen
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Not bad. I enjoyed every part of this book except for the monkey god sections. I don't know, those parts just didn't appeal to me. I rarely read graphic novels so maybe certain things were lost on me because of the format. Overall I was somewhat underwhelmed

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Book Review: Peace In The Storm: Meditations On Chronic Pain And Illness
Pratt, Maureen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Millions of Americans experience pain every day of their lives. Maureen Pratt, who has lupus, is intimately aware of the toll chronic pain takes on people and their families. In this practical and spiritual guide, she shares how she navigates through the frustrations, fears, and complexities of living with chronic pain and illness. Pratt provides help on such issues as finding meaning in suffering, feeling guilty for being a burden to others, and resolving unmet expectations. The chapters are short and concise, written with honesty and humor. The book can be read from cover-to-cover or just choosing individual topics.

Reviewer's Name: George H.
Book Review: The Darwin Elevator
Hough, Jason M.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Any fan of adventure, aliens, sci-fi, Australia, daring innovations, zombie-like creatures, characters some could easily relate to, flying ships, and an interesting plot is sure to love this book. I randomly checked out this book for the summer and was surprised to enjoy it; unlike other books where it takes a few chapters to get to the point and books with boring dialogue, this book can take any reader to another world which, in a couple of decades and some imagination, a reader can understand happening for real.

Reviewer's Name: Caitlyn
Book Review: Hood
Lawhead, Stephen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I mostly read this book for the enjoyment of finding a new take on Robin Hood. It's an excellent story with developed characters and rich plot. A must read for Robin Hood fans, historical fiction readers, and anyone who is just looking for a unique story.

Reviewer's Name: Caitlyn
Book Review: Hood
Lawhead, Stephen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I mostly read this book for the enjoyment of finding a new take on Robin Hood. It's an excellent story with developed characters and rich plot. A must read for Robin Hood fans, historical fiction readers, and anyone who is just looking for a unique story.

Reviewer's Name: Caitlyn
Genres:
Book Review: At the Water's Edge
Gruen, Sara
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This was my first Sara Gruen book and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I have not read many books from this time period set in Scotland, so it was interesting to see how they were living their lives. I liked the characters (well, except for Ellis, but I loved that I disliked him so much). A slight mystical element rounded out a truly good story.

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Genres:
Book Review: As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust
Bradley, Alan
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Not my favorite of the series. SO many characters, I had a hard time remembering them all! I understand it must have been nice to have Flavia visiting his home country (the author is Canadian), but I preferred the books set in Bishop's Lacey, England.

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Genres:
Book Review: Show Dog
Dean, Josh
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Very interesting inside look at the world of show dogs. You follow the progress of Jack, the Australian Shepherd, but the author also gives you a brief history of dog shows in general, different breeds, and even the evolution of the dog from wild animal to domesticated pet. Well written and fun to read (I finished it in just a couple of days), this is a great book!

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Genres:
Book Review: Shadows Over Paradise
Wolff, Isabel
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I love dual timeline novels, as long as they are well done. This one alternate betweens Jenni, who is a ghostwriter who prefers to dig into other people's lives rather than deal with her own past, and Klara, a Dutch woman who was interned in a camp on Java during WWII. Jenni is an interesting character, but I felt like she was more of a foil for Klara's amazing story of survival. Very powerful book, one that will linger in my mind for quite a while, I'm sure.

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Genres:
Book Review: The Sock Thief
Crespo, Ana
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

My daughter and I really enjoyed this book, which was written by a local author. We learned about Brazilian culture and the role football (soccer) plays in various world cultures. Well written and illustrated, we definitely recommend this book!

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Book Review: Circus Mirandus
Beasley, Cassie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is a heartwarming story of the relationship of Micah with his grandpa plus the magical aspect of the mysterious Circus Mirandus. Micah is a wonderful well-rounded character and you really feel his deep desire to help his grandpa at all costs. I loved this book and the writing style of its author, Cassie Beasley.

Reviewer's Name: Lisa
Book Review: Natchez Burning
Iles, Greg
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book was outstanding and I could not put it down. I have never read Greg Iles' work before and his book is a very suspenseful and interesting historical fiction involving past civil rights atrocities and current day efforts to uncover those crimes. A very believable account and page-turner to boot!

Reviewer's Name: Mary Kay

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