YALSA Award

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Book Cover
Author: 
Riggs, Ransom
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Jacob's grandfather has always told crazy stories. Stories about faceless monsters and kids with mysterious abilities. When he was younger Jacob believed these stories because his grandpa had scary pictures of these strange kids, but as he got older Jacob thought these were just little kid stories until a family tragedy brings one of those monsters from his childhood to life. This tragedy gets him to travel to a small island off the coast of Whales, where he begins to discover more about his grandpa the peculiar children from his stories.

The atmosphere that the author created for this book was amazing. You can feel eeriness of the things that Jacob sees through the pages. It is only enhanced by the pictures of strange things scattered throughout the story. The unique characters and idea held my attention completely and the fast-paced plot made me think it was over to soon. This book is part of a long series that I can't wait to continue!

Reviewer's Name: 
Savannah H.

Book Review: All Rights Reserved

Book Cover
Author: 
Katsoulis, Gregory Scott
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Imagine never being able to tell someone how much you love them, or knowing the government is aware of everything you say. Every sentence is monitored. Words are no longer free to use. Companies copyright words and gestures, they fine anyone who uses them. Saying "Sorry" is ten dollars and every nod or scream is .99 cents ( per second). No word is free, people are imprisoned by debt and fear. Restlessness stirs and violence is everywhere. People sue left and right for small accidents. Upon turning 15 everything changes for an individual. Cuffs are placed, listening to every word that comes out of your mouth. Retaliating can lead to extreme and inhumane punishments. Speth Jime is a fourteen-year-old who is almost fifteen when she witnesses the suicide of her friend. She decides in honor of her friend to be silent, making the world stand still. "All Rights Reserved" is a very captivating and incredible novel. Every page is filled with various twists and turns. The book represents the importance of words and the power they possess. It also shows the influence we have on others, for better or for worst.

Reviewer's Name: 
Isabella J.
Awards: 

Book Review: Al Capone Does My Shirts

Book Cover
Author: 
Cholodenko, Gennifer
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Al Capone Does My Shirts was a required summer reading book for me this year. The plot of the story was how an eleven-year old boy named Moose left his San Francisco home to live on the prison island Alcatraz because his father had to relocate there for work. Moose’s sister Natalie, who sadly suffered from autism, was trying to get into a special school, but the principal would not let her join. Moose tries to get her into the school, while trying to still play baseball and do other things on his own.
On a scale of five stars, I would give it a four for the following reasons:
1. The plot was easy to follow, but at the same time you never knew what was going to happen next.
2. The character development was excellent, because you could easily relate and understand the characters' predicaments.
3. I thought the book was clever, funny, and meaningful.

For all of these reasons, I would give Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko four stars.

Reviewer's Name: 
Zach M.

Book Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
Author: 
Dashner, James
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The Maze Runner is the first book in James Dashner's dystopian trilogy. It follows Thomas, a teenager who finds himself trapped in a maze with a group of boys and no memory of his past. This book kept me on my toes, and I couldn't put it down. It was intense and mysterious with a gripping plot and a diverse group of characters. I would definitely recommend this book to teens who love action packed adventure and the ideas presented through futuristic worlds!

Reviewer's Name: 
Emma

Book Review: The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief
Author: 
Riordan, Rick
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is an amazing book about Greek Mythology. Percy Jackson, the main character, learns who he is and sets off on a crazy journey to return something very valuable. He has to fight dangerous monsters along side his two friends and save his mom. Percy learns that there are actually Greek gods and that they probably want to kill him. This book is a great book for all ages and I would definitely recommend it.

Reviewer's Name: 
Lily K.

Book Review: Into the Wild

Into the Wild
Author: 
Krakauer, Jon
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, is a novel that tells the true story of Chris McCandless, a restless adventurer whose happy place was in nature. McCandless graduated college and departed shortly after on a series of adventures, his main one being Alaska. Along the way, Chris met people, many of whom were moved by his go getter free spirited personality. Into the Wild is a phenomenally written novel that I'd recommend to anyone who's trying to search for purpose in their life. It's a book that displays a young man searching for his place in the world.

Reviewer's Name: 
Elizabeth P.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Author: 
Rowling, J. K.
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

In this book, Harry Potter learns a lot about Lord Voldemort's past, and Harry Potter prepares for the final battle against his nemesis with the help of Headmaster Dumbledore. But in that time, Voldemort returns to power, and makes a plan to destroy Harry. So, Harry Potter tries to destroy Voldemort first, but for that, Harry must collect all parts of his soul. Voldemort had split his soul into pieces, so that he would never be totally destroyed, and now Harry has to destroy all the pieces, so Harry sets out with Dumbledore to find the Horcruxes.

At a memorable moment, near the beginning, Hermione gets very angry at Harry because he starts doing very good in the potions class. Harry starts doing so well after he finds the “Advanced Potion-Making” book that was filled with quicker ways to make potions. It was personally improved by Professor Snape, and then nicknamed the “Half Blood Prince”.

This novel can definitely petrify you as well, like in one part, Harry and Dumbledore go out to find the 1st Horcrux, where Dumbledore is forced to drink the Drink of Despair, which is a mysterious potion that makes a wizard very vulnerable and weak. So, this potion is meant for protecting something very important.

With Harry constantly chasing after Horcruxes, this book keeps a good pace, so I'm going to go with 3/5 stars for Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince.

Reviewer's Name: 
Gurman

Book Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire
Author: 
Collins, Suzanne
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Catching Fire is about a girl named Katniss who gets put into the battle royale of the seventy-fifth Hunger Games. This is the second time she has been put in the arena. This time, the tributes are victors. Katniss competes against different and better tributes, in a different arena, with a different motive. She must think quick on her feet and use new skills if she wants to keep herself and the person she loves alive.

I loved this book. It is the second book of the Hunger Games series so make sure you read the first book, The Hunger Games. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes books with suspense and adventure. This book had many plot twists and always left me in suspense. It exceeded my expectations one hundred percent.

Reviewer's Name: 
Mackenzie H.

Book Review: American Street

Cover of the book American Street
Author: 
Zoboi, Ibi
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

American Street is about a girl named Fabiola who moves from Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, to Detroit to see her aunt and cousins. When Fabiola and her mom get to New York to go on there connecting flight to Detroit her mom got held back
in New York while Fabiola goes on to Detroit. Once she gets to Detroit and gets to her cousins house she finds out that her mom wasn't coming to Detroit because of immigration laws. So she stays with her cousins Chantal, Donna, and Pri and her aunt Jo till she can figure out how to get her mother to come to Detroit. Fabiola enrolls in school and struggles to adjust to America. She grows close to her cousins who were known as the "Three Bees," Pri is the brawn of the group, Chantal is the brains, and Donna is the beauty and together they made a good team. Fabiola becomes friends with a classmate to get help with homework and stuff. They slowly become fast friends. Slowly she falls in love with a boy named Kasim who was best friends with Donna's drug dealer boyfriend, Dray. Finally, she figures out that Kasim went to a party to sell drugs for Dray and something bad happened that left Fabiola and her cousins heartbroken. In the end Fabiola, Pri, Donna, Chantal, and Aunt Jo moved away from Detroit for good and left for New Jersey.

Something that I liked about this book is that it was moving and heartbreaking but still a beautiful piece of literature. Something that I didn't like about the book was that Dray and Kasim were friends because they were so different and Dray wasn't a good guy but Kasim was a good guy. I usually don't like books like this but this one was so passionate and moving that I had trouble putting the book down. Another good thing about this book was that the plot didn't take awhile to develop and Fabiola changed a lot with her visit to America.

Reviewer's Name: 
Kaitlyn B.

Book Review: Code Talker

Code Talker
Author: 
Bruchac, Joseph
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Code Talker is about a Navajo (Native American) who uses his language to help win the war. It is World War Two and the United States of America is fighting against Japan. Every code the Americans have used to send secret information has been cracked by the Japanese. The Navajo language is one of the hardest languages to learn. The Americans, knowing that, chose Navajos to make a secret code to use at war. Ned Begay (the Navajo) and his friends risk their lives, going into war, making their own secret code, and saving millions of American lives.

I really liked this book. There were some slow parts of the book where I got a bit bored. There were other parts where I couldn't put the book down. I would recommend this book to people who like war books. This book has juicy details and is based off of a true story.

Reviewer's Name: 
Mackenzie H.

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