Book Reviews by Genre: Historical

To Kill a Mockingbird
Lee, Harper
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is in the top 10 definitely! To Kill A Mockingbird is a story of prejudice Jim Crowe South and the constant fight for justice. Jem is the older brother of 'Scout', a tomboy constantly trying to fit in with the big kids. In the story, they attempt to fight for a black mans rights in attempt to prove his innocence in a rape trial. I would highly recommend this book to middle and high schoolers. This book has a deep meaning of the powerful message that kids can have and their outlook in bad situations.

Reviewer's Name: Luke
Wait For Me
Leech, Caroline
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Beautifully written by Caroline Leech, Wait For Me embodies the importance of love and learning other peoples' stories before passing judgement. Lorna, a teenage Scottish girl growing up during World War II is quick to pass judgement for a German POW (prisoner of war) who has been assigned to her father's farm to work. Paul, a scarred German teenage soldier is quiet and hard-working, helping wherever he is needed. As Lorna begins to warm up to Paul and Paul to her, they begin to build a friendship, and Lorna's original view alters as their relationship builds even though the views of her schoolmates, church friends, and fellow townspeople remain the same: judgmental and unkind. When Lorna receives news of her brother's disappearance, she reacts unkindly toward Paul, but their love for one another mends their broken bond over time. A sweet, romantic historical fiction that is sure to have you feeling for the characters and thinking of how your reaction may be similar or different from that of Lorna's.

Reviewer's Name: Sophi
The Nightingale
Hannah, Kristin
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Nightingale is a priceless work of historical fiction literature written by Kristin Hannah that highlights the journeys of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, throughout World War II in France. Vianne, the eldest and quieter of the two is determined to keep her head down and follow the rules the Nazis put in place; however, when her outspoken younger sister is found on her doorstep, she has no choice but to bring her in. Rebellious Isabelle is frustrated with Nazi rule and is determined to make an impact in the war to turn the tides in France and drive the Nazi invaders out. Throughout the novel, Vianne and Isabelle live their separate lives at odds with one another and as they see best for themselves. But, as the war continues, the sisters must find a common center in love, forgiveness, and respect for one another.
This book was very thought-provoking and intriguing to read, and I learned lessons that I can apply to my own personal life.

Reviewer's Name: Sophi
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas book jacket
Boyne, John
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is about a boy living in a rich home near a concentration camp. He find another boy living in the concentration camp and wants to save him. They end up becoming friends. It's a great story. I chose to read this book because I enjoy reading books about the Holocaust. I liked the story line of the book. I do wish it was a longer story though. I think anyone who enjoys books about the Holocaust will enjoy this book.

Reviewer's Name: Brynne
To Kill a Mockingbird
Lee, Harper
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a novel about Jean Louise Finch (Scout), living through her father Atticus' controversial decision to defend a black man in court. Along with experiencing the tribulations of racism in her home town of Maycomb County, Scout, her brother Jem, and her friend Dill explore the curiosities of the town and investigate the mysterious Boo Radley. The plot gave me excitement to continuing reading, and the joining of the two plots at the end created a perfect ending to the story. I thought that the book was really good due to the knowledge that was gained about the history during the Great Depression and the progression throughout the book that helped develop the main character. This was a school required book, but I would definitely recommend it to readers in high school and above.
Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Nicola
The Great Gatsby
Fitzgerald, F. Scott
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" begins with a straightforward introduction to its main character and narrator, Nick Carraway. Nick fancies himself a man of high morals and while he does not always succeed, he tries his best to adhere to his principles at all times. Nick comes from a prominent family in a middle western city; however, after fighting in the Third Infantry Division during World War I, Nick tires of the monotony of the Midwest and goes east — to New York — in order to learn the bond business and in pursuit of more adventure. Nick settles in West Egg, a village that is described best as housing those who are "new money," and is a direct counterpart to East Egg, home to New York's most elite. It is in New York that the we are introduced to Daisy Buchanan, Nick's cousin; Tom Buchanan, Daisy's husband and Nick's former schoolmate; Jordan Baker, the Buchanans' close friend and renowned golfer; and finally, to Jay Gatsby, Nick's neighbor and the titular character of the novel. Nick becomes entangles within the affairs (both literal and figurative) of these characters, as both his fascination and friendship with Gatsby grow.

At face value, "The Great Gatsby" may appear almost to be a soap-opera, but in truth, it is the very opposite. Much like its characters, beneath its shimmering facade, "The Great Gatsby" houses profound and poignant messages and themes — about societal roles, the ever-elusive American dream, and human nature.

Reviewer's Name: Elaine
Things Fall Apart book jacket
Achebe, Chinua
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

In things fall apart we met the main character, Okonkwo, who once gained fame and respect by his village of Umuofia. Okonkwo is an ambitious man within the Umuofia clan of the Igbo tribe. By the time the British colonial administrator arrives everything that Okonkwo holds dear becomes threatened after an accidental shooting. Okonkwo must flee with his family from his beloved village for seven years, losing the life that he worked so hard to gain. He gets through his seven years of exile only to go back home and discover that everything has changed. White missionaries have come to convert Africa to their ways. we liked Things fall apart because it had this idea that capture African culture, specially Nigerian culture. Okonkwo is an interesting character because his unwillingness to adapt to the new change represents an internal struggle many pre-colonized Africans faced in the wake of colonization. The ending is symbolic because it represents the ultimate death of culture as a result of European exploration. Overall, the writer tried to make us see how Africans struggle to keep their culture and identity from colonization.

Reviewer's Name: Arsema
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Schwab, V.E.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Addie LaRue, a girl who lived in Paris, made a deal. She gets to live as long as she wants, however, nobody has the ability to remember her. Until 300 years later, when a boy remembers her name.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a book that will leave you in tears!! I really liked reading this book, all though it was not my all time favorite. The book had incredible character development (which is really important to me) and increasing plot to keep readers engaged. The only reason why I didn't give this book five stars is because about 8 of the chapters felt like they just repeating itself. Overall, it was a great book and I would read it again.

Reviewer's Name: Hayden
Out of the Dust book jacket
Hesse, Karen
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
Curtsies and Conspiracies
Carringer, Gail
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Curtsies and Conspiracies follows Sophronia Temminnick, a girl who just finished her first semester at deadly finishing school. The new semester brings fresh battles, hardships, and fun! When there's a fancy ball in London that all the girls want to go to, Sophronia is skeptical. What could be there that's worth it? The plot of this book is filled with twists and turns, and you should definitely check it out!

Reviewer's Name: Gemma
Etiquette and Espionage
Carriger, Gail
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The book, Etiquette and Espionage, follows the teenage, mischievous, unladylike Sophronia. Her mother deems her manners unfit, and sends her off to finishing school. As she quickly learns, this "finishing school" isn't what it seems. The school is an academy for spying and deadly maneuvers. Throughout her first few weeks and months, Sophronia makes friends with some colorful characters, and learns that life might not be all manners and fun. This book is packed with adventure and will make you hang on to the edge of your seat! Try it out, there'll be some plot twists and laughs all along the way.

Reviewer's Name: Gemma
11/22/63
King Stephen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

22/11/63 by Stephen King is about the Kennedy Assassination, and time travel. I really like stuff about time travel and alternate universes, so this book sounded pretty interesting. Basically, an English teacher named Jake gets to go back in time, and ends up changing history. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Stephen King, time travel, or finds the JFK assassination interesting. I will say though, that while I really enjoyed this book, and think it’s good, it’s definitely not Stephen Kings best work.

Reviewer's Name: Emani
Under the Lilacs
May Alcott, Louisa
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book, Under the Lilacs, is a heartwarming story that everyone of all ages would enjoy. It follows Bab and Betty, two young girls living with their mother. While out on a picnic with their dolls, the girls find that someone has stolen their cake. They find that the culprit is a dog-and the dog belongs to a boy named Ben. After learning that Ben is alone without a guardian, Bab, Betty, and their mother take him in. Ben is mischievous, but well mannered and fun. Throughout the rest of the novel, Ben finds a place inhis new home, and though there are struggles along the way, it's ultimately a happily ever after. Under the Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott is an amazing book that you should definitely try!

Reviewer's Name: Gemma
Where the Crawdads Sing
Owens, Delia
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

This book takes place in North Carolina and follows the life of a girl named Kya. Kya has lived alone in the marsh since a young age and has always loved the life within. The book follows her as she grows up and the challenges she faces. Then her life takes a drastic turn when she is accused of the murder of Chase Andrews. The book deals with themes of love, loneliness, and more.

This book was pretty good, but outside of what I normally read. That said it was a very interesting book to read. It reminded me of To Kill a Mockingbird because of the trial and theme of prejudice. Kya was such a unique character to follow with her lifestyle and how she acted. It was easy to cheer her on during the trial or feel her pain. It was fun to follow along with the trial and see the evidence. That said, I didn't rate this higher because of the twist at the end. The twist caught me off guard and it wasn't one I liked. I felt it went against some of the points made in the book. Although I know some people really loved this book. So this is one of those books you should read for yourself and see what you think. You might really like it or you might not. Either way, I think this book did a good job of showing Kya's world and life.

Reviewer's Name: Alyson
I Survived The California Wildfires, 2018
Tarshis, Lauren
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Josh and his mother travel to California to see Josh's cousins, Nicole and her daughter, Holly, who run a reptile shelter. At first, he doesn't think he'll like Holly, because she's so different from him. And while Josh loves basketball, she doesn't even know any famous players! But when disaster strikes, and he and Holly are trapped in a wildfire, he learns that maybe she isn't so different after all.

Even though I put four stars, I think that this book deserves 4.5 out of 5. This is quite possibly my favorite book in the I Survived series, that I have read so far. The only thing I didn't really like is that it was too short. This book is a great read for long road trips, because it is very entertaining, and it is also rather quick, so you won't have time to get bored of it.

Reviewer's Name: Kelsey
I Survived The Destruction of Pompeii, 79 A.D.
Tarshis, Lauren
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Marcus is a slave in ancient Pompeii, working for the despicable Festus Julius, who is having a party to see the upcoming gladiator match. Marcus thought he would never see Tata, his father, again after he was sold to someone else. But when he sees the people that the champion gladiator would fight, he also sees Tata. Can Marcus save his father from the arena and still survive?

This book had a pretty good story, although it could have been more enjoyable if it were longer. I enjoyed Marcus' quick thinking, the descriptions of Greece, and what it would be like to live there. However, I did notice that Mercury, the Roman version of Hermes was mentioned, even though the book is set in Greece. I would read this when you are bored, because it does get to the action pretty quickly, and you can read it in less than a day.

Reviewer's Name: Kelsey
I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
Tarshis, Lauren
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

George has always been on the lookout for adventure. And so when he and his sister Phoebe start to travel home on the Titanic, he goes to explore every inch of the massive ship. But when the Titanic unbelievably starts to sink, and Phoebe is nowhere to be found, George must save her. George knows he won't give up, but will he be able to help his sister without ending up dead himself?

This book is a short read, but it is very interesting to see George's thoughts and feelings as the ship sinks. I like the way he doesn't panic, at least not a lot. I would recommend reading it when you are waiting for something, because it keeps you interested throughout the entire book, and it is only about 100 pages.

Reviewer's Name: Kelsey
Achebe, Chinua
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Introduction , imprint, synopsis, genre, central theme and evaluation

Reviewer's Name: Ruth
Treasure Island
Stevenson, Robert Louis
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is an amazing book filled with suspense and action to no end. It follows the story of a boy named Jim Hawkins, whose life takes a turn after buccaneers turn his quiet inn life upside down. He is whisked on a voyage after learning of a "treasure island". After overhearing a conversation between some of his most trusted friends, Hawkins has to find a way to fix the voyage-and stay safe! Treasure Island is filled with twists and turns that will certainly keep you on edge for the whole book! Check it out, you'll definitely enjoy it.

Reviewer's Name: Gemma
Pride and Prejudice
Austen, Jane
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Really Good.

Reviewer's Name: Leeann