Newbery Medal/Honor

Holes

Image
Holes
Author
Sachar, Louis
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Stanley Yelnats was walking home from his last day of school, on an ordinary evening when out of the blue, a pair of baseball shoes fell from what seemed like the sky. Once recovered from the sudden shock, Stanley began to recognize this pair of shoes as the famous baseball player Clyde Livingston’s famous cleats. He was in such revelation at that moment that he hardly heard the police car pull up behind him. The officer stepped out, grasped the shoes from Stanley, and in return, placed handcuffs on his wrongly accused wrists. Stanley then travels to Camp Green Lake where he and many others are forced to dig holes exactly five feet deep, and five feet wide by the dreaded warden, the repulsive Mr. Sir, and finally the kind but still quite annoying Mr. Pendanski. It had only been a few days ago when he was unjustly convicted of a crime and sent to supposedly build character in what looked and felt like the most hottest and driest place on the planet. He and the others were forced to live in devastating conditions which included the worst of the worst living conditions. Days and days pass as Stanley meets new friends and foes but also as a newly found mysteries arise. Is the warden actually having the campers dig for character or perhaps something else? Is Stanley here because of the supposed curse on his family? And what other treasures could lie in this vast desert.

This book was an overall spectacular read. I had chosen to read this Louis Sachar novel because many of my friends had requested it to me along with many of my past and present teachers. I thought it would be a fun read and a possible new experience. Some of the many things that I really liked in this book was the exciting and suspenseful story along with the explicit details listed throughout the story. This book was amazing and barely had any flaws but if I had to think of one, I could have liked the organization and structure of the novel to have been a little better. Each chapter was very short and I would have liked them to be at least a little longer, but as mentioned before, there were close to none, if not any, very big dislikes in this wonderfully written novel. Readers who love a little mystery, some suspense, and a great story line would love this book.

Reviewer's Name
Ethan

Book Review: Charlotte's Web

Author
White, E. B.
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

This book was good, but kind of old. It is a book about a girl named fern and she saved a pig from being killed. She named him Wilbur and he became kind of like her pet. Wilbur became bff's with a spider named Charlotte. I did like how the author described everything. It was very sweet how she made you feel like Wilbur and Charlotte were real and they were really friends. I did get nervous before the ending of the story for how it would end up.
-an almost 9th grader

Reviewer's Name
Sophia
Genres

Book Review: The Giver

Author
Lowry, Lois
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

I picked The Giver by Lois Lowry because it is on the Skyview Middle School Battle of the Books list. All books from this list have been amazing, and this particular one has a main character with the same name as my brother: Jonas. I enjoyed hearing about their way of life, the simplicity yet complexity of it. I also liked how everyone knew when to apologize, and everything about their life and job. Each job in the Community is given to a person who seems they would enjoy it. However, as the book goes on, you see the compassion of the community, or lack thereof. This book was very surprising to me at first. But it was easy to guess what was going to happen in Chapter 20 after the events of Chapter 19. I do find it a not very relatable book, but it does remind me of history. Seemingly perfect, wealthy, kind countries with dark, gaping holes underneath the pretty exterior. The ending of this book, I feel, is incomplete. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.

(Grade: 7)

Reviewer's Name
Ruby

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