YALSA Award

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix book jacket
Author: 
Rowling, J.K.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix introduces Harry Potter as he progresses to his fifth year at Hogwarts. Harry has fought against a diverse group of enemies that he has founded throughout. Now, Harry Potter faces one of the greatest enemies to have roamed Hogwarts. Afraid of the upcoming attacks and horrors that would surround Hogwarts, Potter prepares a group of students to fight against and safeguard Hogwarts.

The Order of Phoenix introduces as a change of tide regarding to conflict.
This book begins to set the premise for the final books of the series to come, which makes the Order of Phoenix to be a crucial story for the series.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Nam T

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire book jacket
Author: 
Rowling, J.K.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Once Harry has reached his fourth year at Hogwarts, Harry and his collective group of friends are now starting to become more involved with events at Hogwarts. As an upcoming tournament is arriving, Harry is selected to be a part of the tournament. With insufficient skills required for success at this tournament, he must still attend and participate. The Goblet of Fire ultimately tests Harry Potter's wizardry and how much he has learned over the four years at Hogwarts.

Goblet of Fire is primarily focused upon the idea of camaraderie and ultimately, Harry. Focusing on his weaknesses and his character, this gives the incentive for those who are interested of Harry's principles. Being a great development arc for Harry Potter, the Goblet of Fire is of the few of the series that deserves to be rated 5/5.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Nam T

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban book jacket
Author: 
Rowling, J.K.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Author: J.K. Rowling
Rating: 4 stars = Really Good
Review:
The third installment of the Harry Potter series, the Prisoner of Azkaban, continues his story at Hogwarts and the expected trouble with various fantasies and legends that are brought to life. Being his third year at Hogwarts, Harry Potter experiences the mystery of a known Azkaban prison and is curious to find out more of this particular myth. As Harry dives deeper into this myth, he will ultimately find out a surprising truth.

With more character involvement for the protagonists and antagonists, the Prisoner of Azkaban truly envelopes the feeling of mystery within the fantasy world. Bringing out a deep universe and lore to the series, it encapsulates the attention of both casual and avid readers.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Nam T

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets book jacket
Author: 
Rowling, J.K.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The second book to the Harry Potter series, the Chamber of Secrets continues on with the adventures of Harry Potter at Hogwarts. Although still relatively new to Hogwarts, Potter will expect nothing more than trouble and new enemies along the way. Including spiders, lively trees, and flying cars, he will be unprepared for what is coming ahead.

The Chamber of Secrets is a successful follow up to its predecessor, Sorcerer's Stone. Bringing more character development, it introduces a variety of themes and messages found throughout that keeps the story interesting. It is highly recommended for those that have started to read to continue on to this book.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Nam T

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone book jacket
Author: 
Rowling, J.K.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone uncovers the first book of the Harry Potter series. Here, Harry learns that he is a child of two of powerful wizards. On his birthday, he is summoned to the Wizard world, to which he will begin his new life at the school Hogwarts. Harry encounters a variety of magical fights that will ultimately lead him to becoming a powerful wizard himself.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was an enjoyable book. Interfacing with an original setting and story line, the Sorcerer's Stone is highly recommended to be read by either casual or advanced readers. It brings out a new story arc that induces those who are interested in fantasy to continue on with the story.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Nam T

Book Review: Divergent

Divergent book jacket
Author: 
Roth, Veronica
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The journey of a girl who only had a mere spark, but soon let it engulf in flames.
Beatrice Prior lives in a dystopian world where people are categorized by personality and lifestyle preferences. There are five sections: Dauntless, Amity, Erudite, Abnegation, and Candor. Beatrice lives in the abnegation faction, with nothing to her name but her father's presence in the council.
That becomes an issue when Beatrice discovers that she is different from everyone else. Something inside of her has been trying to tell her that, but she left it to simmer. When she makes a life-altering decision to change her faction, she fears that she has disappointed her family. Beatrice soon learns to let go of what once held her back and fight for what she truly wants. In, "Divergent," the reader sees first-hand how grueling life can be and how becoming completely and utterly obsessed with the things you want only sets you up for success. In a dystopian world of chaos and mayhem, Beatrice not only sets out to find herself but is desperate to find the truth. Who is really behind all of this destruction? And how brave do you need to be to figure it out?
(Reviewer Grade: 9)

Reviewer's Name: 
Hanna S

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars book cover
Author: 
Green, John
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Nobody was more devastated than Hazel Grace’s mother when Hazel was diagnosed with lung cancer. Hazel was forced by her mom to attend a support group for cancer patients because her mom thought it would be beneficial for her mental health. At first Hazel was not excited to be in a support group, that is until she meets Augustus Waters. Augustus is a young man who had lost his leg to cancer, but through all of his hardships uses cancer for the basis of his sarcastic humor. Hazel and Augustus hit it off, and enjoy the bliss of a whirlwind romance. However, their happiness is cut short by a sudden tragedy that leaves one of them in total despair. And as John Green writes in this novel “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”
Reviewer Grade:12

Reviewer's Name: 
Madison S

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: Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays with Morrie book cover
Author: 
Albom, Mitch
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Tuesdays with Morrie is the most moving and sentimental novel I have ever read. The first person narrative told by the author Mitch Albom, walks through Albom’s life changing journey with his old college professor, Morrie. Albom spends a series of Tuesdays learning from Morrie, who had been diagnosed with ALS and has a very limited time to live. In this true story Morrie Schwartz speaks valuable truth and offers insight into what is important in life and why he wasn’t scared to die. My favorite quote from the novel is “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” Tuesdays with Morrie teaches all its readers how important everyday truly is, and how to not take life for granted.

Reviewer Grade:12

Reviewer's Name: 
Madison S
Awards: 

Book Review: The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees
Author: 
Kidd, Sue Monk
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Phenomenal. That is one of the best words I can use to describe this book. The secret life of bees is an amazing story about a girl who leaves her abusive home with her housekeeper (1950s-60s era) and finds herself living with three sisters who make honey. A story bursting with vivid description and creative storytelling, the secret life of bees draws you in and keeps you there until you are suddenly done with the book. Truly an amazing story that shows that the family you're born with isn't always the family you end up with.

Reviewer's Name: 
Maddie K

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