Kids Book Reviews by Genre: Science Fiction

Bloom
Oppel, Kenneth
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is kind of like an apocalypse story, but instead of zombies, it's plants. Now, I know that sounds boring, but these plants, they are carnivorous, they kill people, and they are scary. They come unexpectedly, and soon, they are all over the world. People are dropping like flies, and nobody knows how to stop it. But three kids on Salt Spring Island may have the answers people need. For some reason, they are not affected by the sleepy gas the plants let off, or the acid they use to digest their prey. How can these three teenagers save the world? And how are they connected?

I really enjoyed this book, even though, to be truthful, it scared me a little bit at times. It was an interesting take on the apocalypse, and I loved seeing it play out. This book is part of a series, one that I am still reading, and I am already looking forward to the next one! This book has hardly any swearing in it, and plenty of action. I shouldn't give too much away, but I'll tell you this: I never though plants could be so scary! I hope you enjoy this book

Reviewer's Name: Marian
Waste of Space
Gibbs, Stuart
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This is a fantasy book. Dash again has to solve another crimal mystery. Someone has posion Lar but who? At the end he finds an space scerte. Can he put all the pieces together.

Reviewer's Name: Ayden
A Wrinkle in Time
L'Engle, Madeleine
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Meg Murry is an outcast. She feels that she doesn't belong anywhere -- not at school, and especially not among her family of accomplished scientists and visionaries. But, when three strange women appear and offer to help her find her missing father, she is whisked away to another world. With the help of her brother Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin, she works to find her father and save Earth from impeding evil. I originally read "A Wrinkle in Time" back in middle school, but decided to reread it before seeing the film, and found that I loved the book just as much as I did the first time around. The writing is charming and clever. The worlds are vast and imaginative. Meg and her brother Charles Wallace undergo compelling character arcs and discover their true purpose along the journey. I have nothing negative to say about this amazing story. To anyone who loves fantasy, sci-fi, adventure, rich characters, and interesting plots, go read this book!

Reviewer's Name: Gillian P.
The Mark of the Dragonfly
Johnson, Jaleigh
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Piper lives in a dystopian planet far away. Almost every night, meteors shower down in her hometown, sometimes destroying homes and lives. The selfish King Aron turns a blind eye to their suffering. But when Piper finds a lost girl who can’t remember a thing about her past life, the adventure begins. The lost girl, Anna, has the mark of the dragonfly on her; an elite tattoo, only given to the most high class and honor worthy citizens, granting them the King’s protection. Piper and Anna embark on a quest to find out who Anna is, and return her to her home and family… if she has one. I gave the book 3 out of 5 stars, because I thought the plot was great, but it was just poorly written. Also, some of the ‘twists’ were predictable, the main character (Piper) made some really stupid decisions, and the romance between Piper and another character was sappy and cliche. Overall, it was a pretty good book, and I don’t regret reading it.
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jordan T
Awards:
One Trick Pony
Hale, Nathan
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In this creative, futuristic graphic novel all technology has been stolen by a species known as the Pipers. When a young girl and two of her friends stumble into a hidden cache of robots, they become the targets of a wild chase. This book is exciting, unique, and includes a battle in outerspace! Recommended for grades 3-6.

Reviewer's Name: Jenny G.
A Boy and His Bot
Wilson, Daniel H.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Daniel H. Wilson knows how to write about robots. From How to Survive a Robot Uprising to Robopocalypse, he has taken the same material and re-packaged it in different forms. The tongue-in-cheek “guide” of How to Survive a Robot Uprising was more entertaining than the journal-entry styled Robopocalypse, but mostly because of its humor. In A Boy and His Bot, Wilson takes his knowledge of robots and wraps it in a children’s fantasy book. Somehow, this method worked better than the two books I’ve already mentioned, leaving me entertained and educated, but with a sincerity of story that was heartwarming.

Taking cues from works like The Wizard of Oz, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Alice in Wonderland, A Boy and His Bot immerses the reader in a world entirely comprised of robots. Via the stranger-in-a-strange-land approach, this book explores the many characteristics and traits that make robots different from humans. Often, these quirky characters have a lesson about robotics embedded within them. For example, through the “atomic slaughterbot,” we learn a bit about 3-D printing. There are also lessons about “linked” robots, biomechanical augmentation, and programming, even if they might not be apparent to the target audience.

While the fantasy aspect of this book was well done, I had to roll my eyes at the naming conventions of many of the characters and settings. I honestly don’t know any parents, no matter how nerdy they are, who would name their boy “Code.” Similarly, Mekhos (pronounced “Mech-ohs”) is an apt description of the world, but locations like the “Beam Stalk” are obviously pulling from more medieval fantasy tales. Despite all this, A Boy and His Bot is a fun story that will leave you entertained and could spark the interest of a young child to pursue robotics as a career choice.

A surreptitiously educational fantasy set in a world of robots, I give A Boy and His Bot 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin M. Weilert
The Wrath of Darth Maul
Windham, Ryder
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Going back to Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars The Wrath of Darth Maul follows the life of Darth Maul, one of the main antagonists of the movie, and gives insight of the character’s childhood, opportunities, and future. We all know that Obi-Wan had “killed” Maul on Coruscant, but Maul continued to live within the deep dark hole, though inhumanly. The novel starts out by giving insight about how Maul came to affiliate with the Sith and some information about his home planet, Dathomir, and explains all the way up to when he fights Qui-Gon and his bisected by Obi-Wan. We get to feel the emotions of Maul, as the book is in 3rd person limited, and the book gives some invaluable information that could clarify some misconceptions within the movie. Ryder Windham did an amazing job on giving essentially a biography about Maul and his life. I recommend this book exclusively to Star Wars fans, especially those who are interested in little screen-time, overlooked characters, such as Darth Maul.

Reviewer's Name: Joe T.
A Wrinkle in Time
L'Engle, Madeleine
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A Wrinkle in Time is an interesting story about three children, Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin, who go on a perilous journey to rescue Meg's father. He had been missing for a very long time, and Meg was just starting to lose hope. However, in the middle of a dark, stormy night, an old tramp invites herself in and tells the children the truth about his disappearance and the shocking truth about where he had gone. Now Meg and her friends must travel across universes, planets, and even time to rescue her father before it is too late. Will they succeed in saving her father or will they suffer a terrible fate instead? Find out by reading A Wrinkle In Time. It is a very good book.
Review Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Nicole B.
The Battle for Wondla
DiTerlizzi, Tony
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is the third and last book of the Wondla series. I like this book because it is set in another time in Orbona a planet that was once known as Earth. It tells the story of a young girl named Eva Nine, and how she grew up in an HRP Sanctuary where she is learns how to survive in a long forgotten word. When she finally goes out into the world she learns that all she though about the planet she was on is wrong. The whole series is about this one girl and how she grows and learns on a long trip of self discovery.
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Paige C.
The City of Ember
DuPrau, Jeanne
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In Ember, the only sources of light are lampposts. The whole city depends heavily on electricity, and it just so happens to be running out of it. The city is dying, and everyone knows it. When Linda finds a letter, she's sure it's the secret to saving Ember. Unfortunately, it had been chewed up by her baby sister before she saw it. Linda and her friend, Doon, are determined to find out what the letter means.
In the beginning, the novel doesn't say what, exactly, Ember is, except that it's a city, artificial light is the only light there is, and the only food to eat is canned. Because of that, the readers don't really know what the setting is, and that really makes the book mysterious as well as interesting.
There wasn't really anything special about the characters, but finding out what was really going on was fun. It really felt like I was there with the characters, trying to solve the mystery together; Something about the novel made me very emotionally invested in it.
Reading about the environment so familiar to the characters but so foreign to me was fascinating and enjoyable.
The City of Ember, to me, was one of a kind. The sense of adventure I felt when reading it, even though most of the story was in the same setting, was enchanting. I hope this review compels you to read it because it really is a great book.
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Miriam X
When You Reach Me
Stead, Rebecca
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Sixth grader Miranda Sinclair started receiving strange letters that somehow predict the future. After she got more and more letters, Miranda was determined to solve the mystery behind them.
The novel really conveys the feeling of normalcy; it seems like the every-day life of an ordinary middle schooler, but when the future-predictions letters are added into the mix, it feels surreal- almost dream-like.
It got a little confusing in the middle for me because I couldn't understand why the characters were doing what they were doing, but it all gets brilliantly explained at the end. The way it all tied up was wonderful and worth all of the confusion; the ending really was the best part.
The characters were all like ordinary people I'd see everyday, which gave me the feeling that I was reading realistic fiction rather than science-fiction.
Their personalities weren't typical and they weren't just generic personalities (e.g., a a mean popular girl or a nerdy unpopular kid).
Reading When You Reach Me was a roller-coaster (especially the last part!) and I really recommend it to everyone.
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Miriam X
Inkheart
Funke, Cornelia
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke is a fantasy book about twelve-year-old Meggie and her bookbinder father Mo who can read things out of books with his beautiful voice. Unfortunately, one of the people that Mo has accidentally read out is the evil character Capricorn from the fictional book Inkheart. Though it has been ten years since this happened, Capricorn is still hunting for Mo so that he can read a horrible monster out of Inkheart to do his evil work. The ending to this book is very satisfying, though it still leaves some questions unanswered which the author comes back to in her sequel Inkspell.
The best part of this book is its believable and completely unique characters, from the sad fire tamer Dustfinger to the cruel, superstitious Basta to Meggie’s stubborn, book-loving great-aunt Elinor. The plot is predictable at some times but at others is very surprising. There are plenty of twists since this book is over 700 pages, which makes it a good book for lazy summer reading.
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Grace O.
The Search for Wondla
DiTerlizzi, Tony
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This novel is about Eva Nine, a girl who had lived underground her whole life, training to be able to survive on the Earth's surface. Everything changes when a beast destroys her underground home; she was forced to run to the surface, but everything she learned about the earth from her training underground doesn't seem to apply to what she actually experienced.
I really enjoyed reading this book because Tony DiTerlizzi (the author) put a lot of effort into making The Search for Wondla's universe; he described everything very thoroughly and even had pictures in the novel as a visual aid to help the readers imagine what he was trying to convey. The made-up contraptions, plants, and animals in the story were all very unique and I was impressed by the creativity and the thought put into them.
Because of all of the detailed descriptions, it can be a bit overwhelming for some readers. I don't recommend this book to those who tend to skim, because if you do, you will end up confused and unsatisfied with the story.
The illustrations were absolutely fantastic and really tied the book together. The art made me feel like I was actually there with the main character and seeing what she was seeing.
This book is a very good example of adventure and fantasy, but I feel that The Search for Wondla had a little bit of everything mixed into it to make something amazing.
The writing was a bit awkward and not as fluid as it could have been on some parts, which can be noticed by more experienced readers, but it was fairly easy to get past.
The Search for Wondla is a great book and I could not stop after I started reading it.
Reviewer's Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Miriam X
The Journal of Curious Letters
Dashner, James
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 3.5

This book by James Dashner was a extremely good book. In the beginning this book was about a man named M.G, Also known as master George, delivering a series of curious riddling letters, to people across the globe, one of these people, Artticus “Tick” Higginbotom was one of the recipients. He faced all kinds of perils and met more people who would pursue the letters. In the end he- Nope! Can’t tell you anymore! Sorry! I chose this book because the name and the authors opening was just fantastic. And so was the book! It left me wanting more, even if I was beyond my point of exhaustion. The book is in the third person, normally I hate third person, but this book was so involved that I didn’t even notice until about halfway through. There was a lot of character development in this book Artticus went from a person who just went along with things, to a person who solved problems and stood up for himself. Sure, he nearly got killed a couple times, but he lived. This book is for ages 12-18 mainly, and for anyone who likes riddles and action. That is why this book just appealed to me it just fascinated me to solve these riddles by myself. It took a long time for me to put the book down, I was always “One more chapter one more chapter!” I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Lucas L.
Cosmic
Cottrell Boyce, Frank
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is about a teenage boy who abnormally the size of an adult. Many mistake him as an adult when truly he is not. I liked this book because it connected my love of astronomy with my love of action in books. I picked this book because it is full of action and comedy. I enjoyed that so much action and comedy could be compacted into a truly meaningful book. I cannot find anything that I did not enjoy!! This book was both surprising and predictable at times. This is the best book I have read all year!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.