Carnegie Medal

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Book Cover
Author: 
Rowling, J. K.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

For people who want to enjoy an intriguing, fast paced novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the perfect book to read. It keeps you involved throughout the book as most chapters have cliffhangers at the end. This novel is the first of the seven famous Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.

The book is about 11 year old Harry Potter, who receives a letter saying that he is invited to attend Hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry. He then learns that a powerful wizard and his minions are after the sorcerer’s stone that will make this evil wizard immortal and undefeatable. Harry decides to go after the sorcerer’s stone before the wizard reaches it, but his loyal friends, Hermione and Ron don’t let Harry face this danger alone.

This book is full of fantasies and imagination like at one point, Harry Potter is asked to catch a flying golden ball while flying on his broomstick. Eventually Harry Potter stands on his broomstick and tries to reach for the ball, but he falls off the broomstick in a very tense moment. He unexpectedly throws up the golden ball winning the game for his team.

Harry Potter and a sorcerer stone is a good book to spark joy and imagination for anyone, regardless of age. But I would say it is most enjoyable for elementary school students, who can very well relate to the fantasy world. So I would say that it is a must read for younger audiences, but it’s a good read in general.

Reviewer's Name: 
Gurman G.

Book Review: Homegoing

Homegoing
Author: 
Gyasi, Yaa
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi follows two bloodlines, from half sisters in Ghana. Each chapter is about one descendant, switching between families somthat two chapters in a row are one generation. The book is well written and includes details that tie well into real life history or beliefs, and each chapter is in fact written in correlation with a major historical event. Through these tie-ins, the book is able to remain exciting, and each chapter could be read as a standalone short story. Each character has an important story, and is revisited in following chapters from their bloodline, either from memory or real life interactions between their children or grandchildren. In addition to the basic storytelling and history included in the book, there is also an aspect of mysticism, and values/traditions that are native to African culture, making it a solid read for increasing knowledge or understanding of Ghanan culture. For me, there are moments in the book that seem unnecessary to the general plot and sometimes vulgar, but they end up being essential in the consistency of the way the story is told. Readers are able to attach themselves to each character, story arc, anddetail, then follow them throughout the series of stories.

Reviewer's Name: 
Malachi

Book Review: Wonder

Wonder Book Cover
Author: 
Palacio, R. J.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Wonder is a book that I would 100% recommend. The story is based off of a boy who struggles with a disease, altering his appearance. This book contains the point of view of his peers, as well as his struggles, friendships, pain, and
overcoming of Auggie. The book also tells the story of his family going through their own struggles or going through Auggie’s struggles with him. Out of the many books that I have read, this has to be one of the best and most emotional books that I have read, and would definitely be on my list of books I recommend.

Reviewer's Name: 
Shieana H.

Book Review: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Author: 
Thomas, Angie
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The Hate U Give is about a 16 year old black girl raised in a fictional poor community of garden height who goes to a private school on the other side of town. The main problem in this book is when Starr the main character’s best friend Khalid, who gets pulled over from leaving a party and sadly gets shot by a white police officer. The book contains some sensitive topic about black oppression and police brutality. Although it does talk about cop brutality it isn’t a police- bashing book. The book's intention is to spread awareness on the deep conflict with in poor black communities in our nation. I highly recommend this book 10 out of 10.

Reviewer's Name: 
Miguel

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the last book of the series that follows the adventures of Harry Potter. As Harry and his crew have evidently aged to a more mature level of both wisdom and wizardry, they have no choice but to face Voldemort. Harry, alongside his two best friends, Ron and Hermione begin to destroy Voldemort's army piece by piece. As Voldemort takes control of the Wizardry world, Harry prepares for the ultimate showdown.

The Deathly Hallows is an extremely enticing story that brings an end to the Harry Potter series. Renowned for its fantasy and lore, the Deathly Hallows collectively groups it all into one story for an action-pact and romantic story.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Nam T

Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking book jacket
Author: 
Cain, Susan
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

While it’s taken me a long time to finally get around to reading this book, most of what Quiet presented was what I had already known by living my life as an introvert. I will applaud this book’s ability to help society realize how ubiquitous the introverts that comprise the population are. Quiet also helps show what our needs are in this world that prizes the traits of extroversion over anything else. Even if there are many times where I have to put on my “extrovert suit,” it helps to know that there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert.

Perhaps my only qualm with this book is how anecdotal the evidence is. Whether it’s stories about famous introverts (which can be inspiring) or younger introverts who are being brought up by parents who don’t quite understand the strengths of the introvert type, Quiet uses a lot of case studies to show how out of place introverts are, especially in the United States. I understand it can be challenging to study a personality type that’s so broad, but a few more references to scientific studies would have been helpful.

What struck me in Quiet was the background it provided on why society evolved to value the extroverts and deem the introverts as “problems.” I still see the effects of this emphasis today. Sure, I put up with being an introvert in an extrovert’s world, and I have made adaptations in my life to survive and thrive in it. I can empathize with the introverts who cannot cope, though, and hopefully, this book can continue to help introverts claim this personality type and own it as I have over the years. Even if we’re different from the perceived norm, we still provide value to a world that insists that louder is better.

A great anthem for those introverts who feel out of place in a gregarious society, I give Quiet 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.
Genres: 

Book Reviews: If I Stay

If I Stay book cover
Author: 
Forman, Gayle
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

A tragic story, reflecting the struggle of a girl who clings to life. This novel brought many tears to my eyes as I read it. The main character Mia and her family had just been in life threatening car crash; when in the hospital Mia wakes up but outside of her body. She is faced with a heartbreaking
decision: to stay and live, or to die and leave. Mia while in this conscious drift apart from her physical body re-lives all the life changing moments of her past and witnesses all of her relatives and friends as they come to the hospital to potentially say goodbye. Mia is then faced with the decision of whether she should stay. Sadness, memories, romance, heartbreak, the novel If I Stay has it all.
Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Madison S

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: Matched

Matched
Author: 
Condie, Allyson
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book is truly amazing! It leaves you wondering what will happen next, to where you cannot put the book down! This is the first book of a trilogy by Ally Condie, all of which are fantastic. I usually don't like reading but I checked this out, and could not put it down! I read it in a week or so because it was so enthralling. I would recommend this book to anyone! It's futuristic, comical, dramatic, and romantic all at the same time.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ashlynn B.

Book Review: Wonder

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

In the beginning of the book August has a facial deformity called Treacher Collins syndrome where his ear is lower than the ears are supposed to be. He has not gone to a regular school ever so in fifth grade his mom has decided that she does not want to

Reviewer's Name: 
Hannah

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Carnegie Medal