Newbery Medal/Honor

Book Review: Shiloh

Author
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

The book Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is about Marty Preston and his willingness to, in a sense, serve an abused dog. The dog is named Shiloh after he runs away to young Marty, after being abused by Judd Travers. He keeps the dog in secret for fear of being caught by his family or Judd.
Unlike other typical dog books or even movies, the book shows a very deep bond between Shiloh and Marty, in which Marty has to earn Shiloh by working for Judd. Every single character put into the book is well developed and plays some sort of part in the story. Several other conflicts, such as Marty's mother not wanting to keep secrets from her husband, arise, and they are all well though-out. Overall, the book is a very emotional book, and should be deeply felt by the reader. I would recommend the book to any sort of animal lover or people who like realistic fiction.

Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name
Steven L.

Book Review: Number the Stars

Author
Lowry, Lois
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

This book is a fascinating tale of a girl named Annemarie who goes through a dangerous trip to save her friend Ellen. I loved this book because it was really hard to put down I just wanted too know what happened next! This is one of those books you can't read just once. I have read this book three times and it is just as interesting every time. It has an aspect of friendship and safety, but at the same time it has danger too. As Ellen try's to save Ellen who is Jewish from the nazis she overcomes many obstacles.
Annmarie is a TrueType brave ten year old and is very mature for her age.
Reviewer grade 7

Reviewer's Name
Khylin V.

Book Review: The Giver

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

The Giver, written by Lois Lowry, was about a boy named Jonas who is about to turn twelve. Jonas lives in a community where everything is the same and fair, because with any differences it can cause arguments. Because everything is the same, everyone gets bicycles at the same age, gets their job at the Ceremony of Twelve, and is only allowed to have one boy and one girl child in their "family unit". When the Ceremony of Twelve arrives, Jonas has no idea what job he is going to get, but lots of kids his age do. When the day finally comes, he gets told that he has the rarest and highest of honor job there is- he gets to see memories from a long time ago in history. The person training him, or as Jonas calls him, the Giver, gives him memories of a long long time ago when things were way more strange. Everything in his community is the same- that means no colors, animals, and everyone is treated the same.
The Giver shows him some very important memories, and Jonas sets out on a quest to show everyone these memories that he has. I really enjoyed this book, and it was not predictable. A thing that I enjoyed about the book is that it shows how Jonas started to change and act different, for the better, when the Giver gave him more memories.
Reviewer grade: 8

Reviewer's Name
Riley C.

Book Review: Princess Academy

Author
Hale, Shannon
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

In Princess Academy, Miri, a girl from Mount Eskel, competes in a mandatory royal preparation academy. Her life completely changes when she starts to smell danger. Indeed, her once-small town is now the target of disaster. She must team up with her fierce competitors from the academy to save their own lives, the academy, and the lives of everyone on Mount Eskel.

This book is nothing if not charming. I loved the characters, and the plot was well-developed. The setting was perfect for the events that transpire, and I would strongly recommend this book, as it is a great light read.
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name
Sabrina J.
Genres

Book Review: Island of the Blue Dolphins

Author
O'Dell, Scott
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

This book is about a girl who lives by herself on an island. It's a story of empowerment, as the main character learns to live and thrive alone. She doesn't seem to let her circumstances get the best of her. I'd recommend this novel to young girls in particular as the narrator is a strong and capable girl.

Reviewer's Name
vfranklyn

Book Review: Number the Stars

Author
Lowry, Lois
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

This is a powerful quick read with an engaging story line. Yes, Holocaust books are a dime a dozen, but this one is on top of the heap. The location of the book in Denmark also separates it from the rest. I was struck by the idea that it's easier to be brave when you don't know more than you need to to complete a task. Well done.

Reviewer's Name
vfranklyn

Book Review: Holes

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

The book Holes by Louis Sachar is an astonishing book that braids together three different stories that eventually will come together because of the main character known as Stanley Yelnats. Stanley Yelnats, a boy who has bad luck because of a curse put on his "no good dirty rotten pig stealin' great-great-grandfather", is sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention camp, for a crime he did not commit. Stanley and the other boys at the camp are forced to dig large holes in the dirt every day that are 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep in the blistering heat, but they aren't digging holes to build character like Mr. Sir says.

Louis Sachar was born in East Meadow on March 20th 1954 and lived there until 4th grade and it wasn't until high school that he really started to love reading. Louis Sachar is an award-winning author of twenty-five books for children and young adults. The book Holes has won around 16 awards and recognitions. He didn’t really just sit down and start writing the story, he built the story around the setting at camp green lake. In a Q&A he said that he "started writing about Camp Greenlake and it developed from there. I suppose the initial inspiration for writing about the camp came from the heat of summers in Texas." And "Anybody who has ever tried to do yard work in Texas in July can easily imagine Hell to be a place where you are required to dig a hole five feet deep and five feet across day after day under the brutal Texas sun." That was where he started the book and his inspiration. Louis basically just started with writing about camp green lake and the fact that its just a desert instead of basing the book on any characters, which I found was interesting.

I think that Holes is an amazing book that it all ties together in the end. I just love this book because of how complex it is with putting three stories together to create one detailed and vivid story that you will want to read more than once.

Reviewer's Name
Sydney P.

Book Review: The Tale of Despereaux

Author
DiCamillo, Kate
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

I started off in love with this book. However, as it progressed I lost a little bit of interest in it. I guess Miggory Sow and Roscuru didn't appeal to me as much. But it finished strong. Great narrative voice and well paced. Well done overall.

Reviewer's Name
vfranklyn

Book Review: Brown Girl Dreaming

Author
Woodson, Jacqueline
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

This poem book is really well written. It has a unique poem style with just as a unique narrator. This book is about a girl named Jackie growing up in the 1960's-1970's. She has to deal with the hardships of not being treated well because of her skin color along with other things going on in her personal life. The author of this book did a really good job at putting these dilemmas that Jackie faces in the mind of a little girl. I would have rated this book 5 stars if it wasn't so dry in the middle. You get sucked in right from the start but then in the middle of the book, it gets a little boring. But don't give up on it, it picks up later on and has a fantastic ending.
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name
Mikayla B.