Newbery Medal/Honor

Book Review: When You Reach Me

Author
Stead, Rebecca
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

When You Reach Me is one of my favorite books of all time. It is such a compelling mystery from the perspective of a sixth-grader who is wise for her age. Miranda contemplates theories of time travel and the effect of the past on the future in a light-hearted manner that makes this story impossible to put down. I love every character and reading their dialogue always gets me to think about the importance of kindness and our relationships as humans during such a short time on Earth. If you love a philosophical mystery or are just looking to get out of a reading slump, give this book a try!

Reviewer's Name
Maggie

Book Review: The Giver

Author
Lowry, Lois
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

The Giver is an eloquent novel that contains a meaning that eludes to a greater concept. It contains several twists that are revealed at the end making the book an interesting and exciting read. At the beginning of the novel, you are shown a world of gray and conformity, yet as the story progresses, you are introduced into a world of color and prominence. The characters are what make the book the great piece it is, and the way they are written allows you to relate to each of the characters. Overall an excellent book that I would absolutely read again.

Reviewer's Name
Veronica

Book Review: Johnny Tremain

Author
Forbes, Esther
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

If you like historical fiction or love tales of friendship through rough times, Johnny Tremain is one of those books you need to add to your reading list. Johnny Tremain is set during the revolutionary war as Johnny starts work as a blacksmith until an accident where he then turns to a more political job. Johnny also works alongside his friend Rab, who wrote for the Boston Observer and through the book, the two become close friends, working alongside each other throughout the revolutionary war. It can be a slow burn at times, but once the action picks up, it picks up highly and it is a very fascinating book to read. I love the very close friendship built between both Johnny and Rab and how it adds to their characters as the book progresses as characters who build off of each other is a favorite trope of mine. I did wish the book ended a bit differently as well, but it is still an amazing read for anyone of any age, whether you love historical fiction or not.

Reviewer's Name
Alexis

Book Review: Everything on a Waffle

Author
Horvath, Polly
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

I rate this book five stars. The book tells the story of Primrose Squarp, a presumed orphan. Throughout the story she continues the search for her missing parents, despite disapproval from others. I relate to Primrose in her determination and courage. I would recommend this book to any of my friends, and it is in my top three books of all time.

Reviewer's Name
Katie

Book Review: The House of the Scorpion

Author
Farmer, Nancy
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

The House of Scorpion is a book set in the future in a place called Opium with a boy named Mateo who is a clone of a huge drug lord who goes by "El Patron". This book has always been a favorite of mine since I read in 6th grade for the first time, it stuck out to me because the creativity, plot, setting, it is such a fun book to read and the book also has a sequel, so its great that the book continues. There wasn't really a time I disliked the book, it always had my attention, and I think that truly matters when reading a book. I choose this book not only because its a childhood fave but I feel like others might love to read this book as much as I did.

Reviewer's Name
Makaia

Book Review: Echo

Author
Ryan, Pam Muñoz
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

"Echo" is a fun fantasy book that follows the journey a harmonica takes. It is about the musical people that interact with the harmonica and their journeys, showing how powerful music can be. We meet so many fun people that are going through hard times. We meet Friedrich, a young German boy living in Germany at the beginning of Hitler's career, Mike an orphan who would do anything for his brother, and Ivy, a girl confused by why social concepts are the way they are. The only thing that connects them is the harmonica. The story of the harmonica starts at the very beginning of the book and ends at the very end, making it an underlying second plot/ backstory.

"Echo" is a very fun fantasy/historical fiction book. The beginning intrigued me and was very good at capturing readers. When it gets to the middle parts when we are following different characters it does sort of feel like it is dragging on, but this is made up for with the ending. The ending was beautiful and made me so happy. Pam Muñzo Ryans writing is always so descriptive and it was great at describing music and how it feels in this book. You get to see major historical events' effects on some of the people that it would affect the most. It is a book that makes you think not only about what has happened in the past but also about the small things in life. I liked the backstory about the harmonica, it made the journey that much more special. There were some moments when we were left in the dark, aka cliffhangers and they were full of suspense. The ending as said before was beautiful, it brought everything together and resolved the suspense from the cliffhanger. Overall, this book is great. It has fantastical parts, historical parts, and musical parts, all with great writing.

Reviewer's Name
Jordan

Book Review: The Westing Game

Author
Raskin, Ellen
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

The Westing Game is a fun, murder-mystery that follows 16 unlikely people working together to solve a mystery of "who-dunnit?". To sum it all up, this book is about a deceased man named Sam Westing, who planned a gathering for all of his distant relatives at his hotel to play a game that will uncover who murdered him. Sam Westing had said in his will that the very person who murdered him is one of the 16, and whoever had figured out who did it, would win the game and be the heir to his fortune. I liked this book because it was very fun trying to solve the mystery along with our characters and to see all of the different perspectives and thought processes of each of them. I did often find some of the characters frustrating to deal with, however, because they didn't try to work together and only tried to solve it for themselves. If I were to give this book a grade out of 10, I would give it a 7.

Reviewer's Name
Lilleah

Book Review: Out of the Dust

Author
Hesse, Karen
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse is a historical fiction novel set in Oklahoma's Dust Bowl and during the Great Depression. It follows Billie Jo, a young girl as she struggles through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. During the book, Billie must endure heart-wrenching experiences that no one should have to go through. The author does a bewildering job of illustrating the struggles of the Dust Bowl and gives you a new perspective on this historical event. The Dust Bowl is no longer a page in a history textbook but a story that will break your heart. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book with 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewer's Name
Lucia

Book Review: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Author
O'Brien, Robert
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Mrs. Frisby, a mouse, and her family have lived in peace, traveling between summer and winter homes to account for the farmer's plowing and the weather.
But when Timothy, her youngest son falls very ill, and cannot be moved in time, Mrs. Frisby sets out to fix her dilemma. She soon comes across the rats of NIMH, who are very strange and very smart. They are more than willing to help her, but they already have a problem on their hands, one they aren't even aware of.

This book is amazing! It shows the thoughts and worries of Mrs. Frisby, and then her ways of dealing with them in a terrific way. I loved the characters and the suspenseful plot. It kept me up late, because the rats are just so fascinating, especially in their way of coping with their unique problems.
This is a fantastic read, and everybody who reads this book will love the sweet and charming character of Mrs. Frisby, and the spectacularly mysterious rats. Even if you usually stick to nonfiction, you will love this book, because it shows some interesting science...

Reviewer's Name
Kelsey

Book Review: Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon

Author
Sheinkin, Steve
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin is a must-read for history buffs everywhere. It features the history of nuclear science, including the first nuclear reactors and the building of the initial Manhattan Project team. It follows the progress of the Manhattan Project, while also detailing US and Soviet efforts to prevent German bomb development. It speaks of the heroism of commandos destroying enrichment facilities, and the long nights pulled by sleep-deprived scientists, as well as the fantastic power of the first Trinity tests. I enjoyed this book very much and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in nuclear or WWII history.
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name
Harrison