ALA Notable Children's Book Award

Book Review: Inside Out & Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again
Author: 
Lai, Thanhha
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Inside Out and Back Again is a historical drama all told in poems. A Vietnamese family is forced to flee their home in Saigon, Vietnam due to the outbreak of the Vietnam war. Luckily, they escape and flee to Alabama, however, Ha, the daughter in the family has trouble adjusting to the different lifestyle in the U.S. In, this book, you get a view into the life of Vietnamese refugees and their struggle to adjust to a new life, all in the form of poems. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a great story filled to the brim with poems.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Kyle Y

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author: 
Rowling, J.K.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book was a really good start to the Harry Potter series. I had been recommended to it a few times before reading it, and it was totally worth it. This book starts the series comprising of Harry Potter's adventures at Hogwarts, a school for witches and wizards. I liked how this book never really let me down with many exciting elements and details leading up to a huge climax. Although, it did seem to drag at the beginning. I didn't really like that, but once you get past Harry's life with his aunt and uncle, you will not be disappointed. This is a book to read if you are into fantasy, and action.

Reviewer's Name: 
Katie

Book Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
Author: 
Collins, Suzanne
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

16 year old Katniss Everdeen has had to fend for her mom and sister, Primrose Everdeen ever since her father died in a mining accident when she was 12. She has had to learn to hunt to keep her family alive with the bow and arrows that her father made before he died. It is the Reaping, and Katniss knows she is in danger of being reaped because of her extra names in the Reaping. After her father died she was forced to sign up for more food so that she and her family could live and she will pay the price now. It is Primrose's first reaping now that she is 12, and against all odds she is reaped. But Katniss volunteers so she won't have to go the the Hunger Games were a male and female tribute for each of the 12 districts are forced into an arena to kill each other in tell one lone victor remains. But when it is time for a boy to be reaped, he has a connection to Katniss' life. His name is Peeta Mellark a boy who worked in the bakery in District 12. As they get to know each other and prepare for the games they start working together so maybe one of them can survive the games.

Reviewer's Name: 
Natalie M.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: 
Rowling, J.K.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a fun and entertaining book to read. Harry is at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry with a new defense against the arts teacher, Alastor Moody. Finding out that Hogwarts is hosting the triwizard tournament everyone is excited. Having to be a certain age to compete in the tournament Harry is not aloud to participate.Two other schools come to compete in the games. One person from each school will contend in the games. When the night when students names get chosen out of the goblet of fire it spits out three different names and then Harry Potter. Harry is shocked. After Dumbledore agreed that Harry could play, they begin the triwizard tournament. the first challenge is for each person to take a golden egg from a dragon. the second task was to figure out a way to breathe under water and save someone. The third and most difficult task was to go through a maze and reach the triwizard cup first. Harry and Cedric the other Gryffindor contestant decide to touch the triwizard cup at the same time. The cup was bewitched and brought Harry and Cedric to a graveyard. And Voldemort comes back.

Reviewer's Name: 
Grace B.

Book Review: Wonder

Wonder
Author: 
Palacio, R. J.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Have you ever felt out of place? Like all you want is to fit in with the crowd, but it seems impossible? If so, you'd get along well with August Pullman. Ten-year-old August (Auggie) Pulllman is about to go into fifth grade at Beecher Prep, ready to face the world with his Padawan braid and astronaut helmet. But there are two things that get in the way: 1. He's been home-schooled all his life. 2. Auggie has Treacher Collins Syndrome, (TCS) a rare condition that occurs in one in fifty-thousand births. Because of his TCS, Auggie has downward-slanting eyes, a small jaw and chin, and the development of his facial bones and tissues are altered, causing him to have had twenty-seven surgeries -- and also causing some kids in his school to be scarred with night terrors. Everyday, Auggie is constantly challenged with overcoming whispers, side-glances, and even public humiliation from his peers that could get him killed one day. Auggie's world isn't all that bad though: he has two loving parents, a dog named Daisy, his older sister Olivia (Via), Via's friends Miranda and Justin, and his two new best friends, Summer and Jack, all of which are willing to do anything for Auggie, embarking on every incredible adventure he has so he doesn't have to face life alone.
Wonder is a magnificent book, filled with the challenges that every child and adult alike have to go through, whether or not they have a facial deformity. It is incredibly touching, and finds ways to connect with the reader and captivate its audience so much so that you won't be able to put the book down once you pick it up! Although many people would be disturbed by the imagery used to describe characters like Auggie Pullman, R.J. Palacio is able to create such a lovable and relate-able character that you just can't help but throw appearances aside and route for Auggie throughout the novel. You'll really wish that you could give him a hug the more you read the book, especially with the multiple POVs R.J. Palacio writes with, allowing you to observe Auggie's wonder of a story from every possible angle.

Reviewer's Name: 
Aimee W.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: 
Rowling, J. K.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

It is the second book in J.K Rowling's fantastic book series Harry Potter. 12 year old Harry has just come back from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to spend a dreadful summer at Number 4 Privit Drive. Little does he know his summer is about to get worse. Uncle Vernon is expecting to get one of the best deals of his life during a visit from the Masons. Unfortunately it doesn't go as planned when a house elf shows up in Harrys bedroom with an ominous message. The elf proceeds to try to get Harry expelled from Hogwarts by dropping a pudding on Mrs. Masons head. Uncle Vernon puts bars on Harrys window to stop him form getting out. Harry is in despair when the Ron (his best friend), Fred, and George(Ron's twin brothers) Weasley save him from the clutches of his aunt an uncle and he spend the restof the summer with them.

Harry is back at Hogwarts after an eventful journey. He's ready to start a new peaceful year at Hogwarts. That doesn't go to plan when he starts hearing a mysterious voice in the school corridors. Harry, Ron, and Hermione partake on a amazing and thrilling journey to uncover who is petrifying the students.
This book is absolutely amazing and is worth reading. It has magic, mystery, and loads of adventure.

Reviewer's Name: 
Katie

Book Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
Author: 
Collins, Suzanne
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Katniss, a teen girl who's dad died in a mining accident, left her to fend or her mother and little sister Primrose. She hunts and trades for her family with her friend Gale she met soon after the mining accident happened. The annual "Reaping" was a turn of events in the story and essentially what it is, is a night once a year where one girl and one boy aging from 12-18 from every 12 districts are chosen by chance to participate in "The Hunger Games." The Hunger Games is where all 24 children are forced to fight to the death in an arena and there is only one winner.

Reviewer's Name: 
Kaylee W.

Book Review: Kensuke's Kingdom

Kensuke's Kingdom
Author: 
Morpurgo, Michael
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

In the book Kensuke’s Kingdom which was written by Michael Morpurgo,a family of 3 and a dog named Stella Artois decided to go on an 18 month journey around the world after Michael's parents lost their jobs. As they take a vast journey across England to Africa and then from South America to South Africa in a yacht named Peggy Sue. Everything was going great for everyone, they traveled to so many countries around the world, until one night when Stella Artois and Michael went off board the Peggy Sue one night. What happened to them is what you’ll have to find out. This book has many cliffhangers after every chapter, for me I just couldn't put the book down. Plus the book does a great job of describing the setting and giving you a great description of what's happening. If you are into animals and geography then this is the perfect book for you. This in my opinion is a great book and everyone should read it.

Reviewer's Name: 
Shireen D.

Book Review: The Thing About Jellyfish

The Thing About Jellyfish
Author: 
Benjamin, Ali
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The Thing About Jellyfish is a mysterious book that you will never want to put down. It starts out with a twelve year old girl named Suzy watching jellyfish at a aquarium. A few days ago her best friend had died swimming in the ocean while on a vacation. When Suzy is told this she realizes it can not be true, her best friend had been a great swimmer, so she sets out to find what happened to her best friend. She believes it could have only been one thing, a jellyfish. She does as much as she can to prove what happened to her best friend, but no one believes her. If you love mysteries and like not knowing what is going to happen, this book is for you. It is a great read for teens and children and I totally recommend reading it.

Reviewer's Name: 
Aspen

Book Review: Chains

Chains
Author: 
Anderson, Laurie Halse
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Isabel Finch is a slave girl and belongs to Miss Mary Finch. When Miss Mary Finch dies, she and her younger sister Ruth must travel away from Rhode Island and to New York where they are bought and serve a new master. This master is a strong loyalist and Isabel finds herself trading information about battles and invasions to the local patriot camp in New York. I loved this book because it showed bravery and the injustice of slavery for young girls. I would fully recommend this book to anyone who has a heart for historical fiction.

Reviewer's Name: 
Nina F.

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