Historical

Book Review: Treasure Island

Author
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Rating
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

Book Review: The Song of Achilles

Author
Miller, Madeline
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

This book is the story of Patroclus and Achilles and what their lives were like. They meet each other at a young age and soon become fast friends. They go to train with the Centaur Chiron in the mountains, but soon the call of war comes knocking. Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, has been kidnapped and taken to Troy. This causes the heroes of Greece to rally together to fight, including Achilles. Achilles desires the promise of glory, so he joins, and Patroclus, who can't bear to leave him, follows. This war will challenge of how far some will go for the promise of glory even at the cost of love. This book is told through Patroclus' perspective and gives a unique inside into what the Trojan War was like.

I've heard amazing things about this book, and I was not disappointed when I sat down to read it. Both of these characters were so lovable, I soon became invested in the story. I didn't know a lot about the Trojan War other than the wooden horse. I loved learning more about the history while following the boys' lives. This story was an emotional roller coaster for me. Be prepared to shed some tears and yell if you hop onto this wild ride. I loved this book so much and would recommend it to many. Every character had depth and played an impacting role in some way. It was beautiful. Here is one of my favorite quotes: "He is half of my soul, as the poet say." Song of Achilles.

-10th

Reviewer's Name
Alyson

Book Review: I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011

Author
Tarshis, Lauren
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

Dexter has always wanted to go storm chasing. So when Dr. Gage, a meteorologist comes to Joplin, Dex has a chance to do just that. The storm seems harmless enough, at first. But when they realize the clouds are hiding a tornado, the storm chases them instead. Dex is trapped in the car. Can he survive, just like his brother Jeremy, a Navy SEAL?

This book is ok. It had lots of detail, and I especially liked the tour of the meteorology van, because I enjoy science. I also liked the way Mrs. Tarshis described all of Dex's feelings about his brother and the tornado. It seemed like Dexter was real, at some points in the book. It also got to the action pretty quick, and it is interesting the whole way through. I would read this book if you are bored, like most of the books in the I Survived series. It could have been longer, though.

Reviewer's Name
Kelsey

Book Review: Lucky Broken Girl

Author
Behar, Ruth
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Lucky Broken Girl is about a Girl named Ruthie and her family, who moved to America from Cuba. Ruthie's English is starting to improve and she is making friends at her new school. But that all changes when she gets into a car accident, and breaks both of her legs. She has to spend a year in a cast and she has to relearn how to walk once it is off. I really liked this book because it was emotional. I laughed and cried while reading this book. I liked how the characters were written, I thought they had a lot of personality. I also really liked the plot. Overall I thought this book was very enjoyable to read.

Reviewer's Name
Lotus

Book Review: The Henna Artist

Author
Joshi, Alka
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Escaping from an abusive marriage, 17-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s city of Jaipur. There she becomes a highly requested henna artist and confidante of the wealthy women of the upper class, all while keeping her own secrets buried. This eloquent story of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society transitioning from the traditional to the modern provides a window into a lush society marked by stark class divides. Those divides make her vulnerable to gossips and threaten to upend lower-caste Lakshmi’s hopes of a comfortable future. Years of work could be ruined after her husband tracks her down and puts her in charge of a younger sister Lakshmi never knew she had. It is then that Lakshmi, flaws and all, rises to the challenge. She scrambles to lift up those she loves and cares for in this moving story of self-discovery and familial love.

Reviewer's Name
Joe P.

Book Review: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Author
Morris, Heather
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

Lale Sokolov is a well-educated charmer whose proficiency in languages lands him a privileged, albeit odious job as The Tatowierer – the tattooist – whose way to survive means marking his fellow prisoners forever as they enter Auschwitz-Birkenau. One of them is a terrified young woman, Gita, whose gaze grips his heart immediately. Discovering love at first sight gives the Slovakian Jew the reason he needs to survive against near-impossible odds.This work of historical fiction does not flinch away from the horrors of The Holocaust, but manages to balance the inhuman horror with a story of love, hope and survival shared decades later by an aging Lale. Sokolov’s deteriorating memory in his final years and Morris’ admitted dramatic embellishments prompted deserved criticism concerning historical accuracy. But those moments do not detract from the novel’s central messages of survival as resistance, faith, and the power of love and compassion.

Reviewer's Name
Joe P.

Book Review: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Author
Twain, Mark
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an exceptional novel filled with mischief, fun, and excitement. Huckleberry Finn is a young teenage boy who just ran away from his civilized, structured life in search of something adventurous and new. After leaving on a raft, he meets a slave, Jim, who slipped away from his home. Huck and Jim set out on a rafting journey down the river to make a new life and find Jim’s family. Along the way, Huck is conflicted between turning Jim, the runaway slave, in, or letting him reach freedom. As they go along, he discovers his true self and makes his decision about Jim. Filled with fun stunts, mishaps, and laughter, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an amazing classic you’re sure to love.

Reviewer's Name
Gemma

Book Review: Circe

Author
Miller, Madeline
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

This is a book everyone should read once in their life no matter their age. It is about an immortal witch named Circe banished to an island to be forever alone. This is because the greek gods fear her powers. The book follows her life as she grows as a woman and learns what it means to live. It was very empowering to see her grow so much in the span of 300 pages. At first, I was not excited to read this book, but it very quickly surprised me. Quickly I was led into Circe's world and couldn't pull away. It has everything I love growth, love, loss, change, and a well-written story. I was angry when Circe was suffering and happy when she found joy. One should read this book especially if into greek mythology, but never fear for those who know nothing about it can follow along. It was amazing to see Circe meet characters from her point of view including the well-known Odysseus and her time spent with him. It was well written and showed what it truly means to live.
- 10th grade

Reviewer's Name
Alyson

Book Review: Rose in Bloom

Author
Alcott, Louisa May
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Louisa Alcott’s book, Rose in Bloom, is a highly engaging and unique story for all readers. It follows Rose, a young woman who has returned from Europe and finds her cousins and friends all grown up. Throughout the course of the novel, Rose struggles between self-discovery and societal pressures towards marriage. As she learns more about herself and life, Rose finds that she can take control of her future and be her own person. Rose is a very philanthropic and independent character and the plot will pull you in; it’s a must read for everyone! You should totally give it a shot-I’m sure you’ll love it!

Reviewer's Name
Gemma