Kids Book Reviews

The Key to Rondo
Rodda, Emily
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is an absolute surprise. I was skeptical about this book at first, and thought it wouldn’t be that good, but it sure proved me wrong! This is a fantasy adventure that both boys and girls can enjoy. The completely unpredictable plot,characters, and resolution will keep readers up all night long. I enjoyed all the intricate details of the hidden world in this story, and all the unique characters. This is a truly unforgettable book, and needs more recognition for its brilliance!

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
Genres:
School of Fear
Daneshvari, Gitty
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I read this book a few years ago, but it has remained one of my favorites for a long time. This is a more challenging children's book, but it is full of humor for all ages. It is very fascinating to learn about all the different phobias that exist, and interesting to watch the characters conquer their worst fear. All the quirky characters and twisted plot will keep readers flipping pages all night long!

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
Genres:
Book Review: The Great Gilly Hopkins
Paterson, Katherine
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Very good, as all Katherine Paterson novels are. A quick read, and like her other novels, it shows rather than tells. My only problem with the book was the ending was too abrupt for my taste. I would have liked for it to be longer and show her life with her grandmother and the effects of Courtney's visit.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Fablehaven
Mull, Brandon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about two siblings who are sent to live with their grandpa over the summer. When in his house they find a new land full of mysterious creatures. I liked this book because it had a lot of action and was adventurous. I picked this book because it was recommended by one of my teachers. I enjoyed the mystical creatures found around every corner of this book. I did not enjoy that the creatures were sometimes not described. This book was suspenseful and surprising. I can relate to the two main characters because I have been sent to live with my grandparents over break, and I had a great time. This is one of the best books I have read all year!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Genres:
The Candymakers
Mass, Wendy
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about a group of children who specialize in candy making. After all, it is expected, since they are the legacies of famous candy inventors. I picked this book because very many people in my grade have read it and liked it. I enjoyed the imagery in this book. I did not enjoy that the suspense was not very exciting. This book both surprised me and was predictable. I can relate to some of the characters because I like other people. This is one of the best books I have read all year!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Genres:
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.
Millions
Cottrell Boyce, Frank
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about a very Christian boy who stumbles upon a gift from God. But was this gift truly a from God? Soon everyone wants a piece of it and chaos breaks out. I liked that a boy and his brother want to live their lives to the fullest, as many people wish to achieve. I picked this book because Frank Cottrell-Boyce has very many great books for teens around my age. I enjoyed that the main characters had true human qualities that not many people possess. I did not enjoy that the characters were rarely serious. This book surprised me around every corner, I could not predict what would happen next. I can relate to some of the characters because they love God. This is by far one of the best books I have read all year!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
The Sword of Summer
Riordan, Rick
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This novel is the first book of a prospective trilogy by Rick Riordan. In my opinion this novel surpassed Percy Jackson in the Lightning Thief as an origin story. I found the Norse Mythology the most interesting mythology ever presented by Uncle Rick. It is unique and of course humorous. The plot was both daring and nostalgic as it put characters into familiar roles, but also had twists that I was not expecting. I enjoyed each of the four main characters—particularly Magnus’s cool friend Sam, who defies what people expect of her in order to make the world a better place. What I remember best about the book is how funny it was. I liked the book overall and look forward reading the rest of the series.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Caroline J.
Wonder
Palacio, R. J.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Wonder revolves around a kid who is starting middle school and the people around him. This kid, Auggie, has facial deformities and they cause others to treat him differently. The book follows eight different perspectives. Each character has their own distinct voice. This is probably the novel's greatest strength, as it makes each character much more realistic. It has many touching moments and carries a great message. It is one of the best books published in recent years.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Caroline J.
Rules
Lord, Cynthia
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This great Newberry Honor and Schneider Award winning book was recommended to me because I really enjoyed the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and I definitely will say that if you are a fan of that book, you will love Rules. Rules is a story about a twelve year old girl named Catherine who has a younger brother named David with serious autism and has to cope with his actions such as opening all the doors in other people’s houses to shouting out the film ratings in the video store. These experiences had her take to teaching him little “rules” like “Keep your pants on in public” and “No toys in the fish tank” to try to get him away from his embarrassing behavior. Catherine is exited but also worried because a girl her age will be moving into the neighborhood, but she is afraid that David might mess up her chance at a friendship if he acts the way he sometimes does. One day she is waiting with her mom for David to finish with his OT exercises at the clinic when she makes a new “almost friend” named Jason who is in a wheelchair and can’t speak by getting caught sketching him in the waiting room and then going. She eventually begins to make new word cards for the communication book he uses. The book goes on to describe all the experiences that she has with her brother, her family, and her new found friends in life. This book is very, very good and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who liked Wonder.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jacob U.
The Mysterious Benedict Society
Stewart, Trenton Lee
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Oddball children with specific circumstances. A strange series of tests only some can pass. When these children see an advert in the newspaper asking for children with smarts, these parentless kids meet by chance. Soon after, they get thrown into a world of futuristic danger and must solve one problem after another the only way children can-creativity.

I very much enjoyed this book because while reading, you are just as much lost in the confusion as the characters are! You go through the tests and the challenges with the mains, and the twists never stop coming, yet somehow intricately connect in the end. This book makes you look at the world with more imaginative eyes, and you see the more creative solutions to problems as you take inspiration from the characters. Upon seeing the cover, I was already intrigued, and reading the synopsis only further increased my curiosity. Not at all predictable, yet still an easily-followable plot line, this book was a fantastic read from start to finish.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Molly Q.
Book Review: Kira-Kira
Kadohata, Cynthia
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book was so beautifully written. It was sparse and clean, but so powerful. It made me cry. I highly recommend this quick read.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
The Green Glass Sea
Klages, Ellen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This novel tells the story of two girls, Dewey and Suze, who grow up during World War II. Dewey is good at math, just like her dad, but Suze's talent for art sometimes puts her at odds with her scientist parents. Both girls' parents are working on something secret for the government called "the gadget," but that's about all they think they have in common. This novel is one of the best I've ever read. It takes turns following each girl and her life in Los Alamos. Occasionally I found myself not caring for and even disliking Suze, but eventually she makes a decision that makes her character much more likable. This is a classic coming of age story, but by taking unexpected turns it makes its message much more meaningful and heart wrenching.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Caroline J.
Book Review: Brown Girl Dreaming
Woodson, Jacqueline
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This autobiography written in free verse by Jacqueline Woodson is an excellent insight into growing up as an African American girl in the 1960's.
It is a very moving portrayal of the role of family (grandparents, parents, uncles & aunts and siblings) in a life of a child. The author also gives the reader a definite sense of place, whether it is Ohio, South Carolina or Brooklyn, NY. Highly recommended.

Reviewer's Name: Lisa
The Sword of Summer
Riordan, Rick
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Magnus Chase was an ordinary teenager—if you can consider normal as being a homeless orphan whose mother was murdered by supernatural wolves. Then, of course, things got worse. And weirder. Because Magnus Chase died.
The end? Not so much.
After he dies, Magnus is taken to Valhalla, the afterlife for Norse warriors. There he learns that he is the demigod son of Frey, a Norse god, and that his two best friends Blitzen and Hearthstone are a dwarf and an elf. Oh, and the world is about to end because a wolf is going to bring on Ragnarok. Now Magnus has to face some of his deepest fears, travel across realms, and somehow befriend a talking sword named Jack in order to prevent Armageddon and save the world from Fenris wolf’s wrath.
Written in irreverent first person with equal doses of humor and drama, The Sword of Summer is captivating from the first chapter and holds interest and emotion to the very last word.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Tessa L.
Little House on the Prairie
Wilder, Laura Ingalls
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Little House on the Prairie is a mediocre novel about a little girl named Laura, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and her Ma and Pa traveling across a prairie then settling down and building a house. Almost the entirety of the first 18 chapters are mind-numbingly boring (the most exciting thing that happens in the first 240 pages is Ma dropping a log on her foot). The last few chapters were pretty good, but it didn't outweigh the annoyingly long descriptions of prairie grass and dull accounts of cooking supper that dominated most of the story. I do not recommend it to people who like action or adventure stories, however, I would recommend it to anyone who read and enjoyed Little Britches by Ralph Moody or anyone who is a fan of the late 1800's settlement genre.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jacob U.
Book Review: George
Gino, Alex
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book made me cry. I read it in one sitting. It took me about 3 hours. I just kept turning the pages as fast as possible. It was beautifully written. I just felt for George and wanted to protect her from all her pain. I'm not transgendered and I don't know how it feels to be so, but I imagine that this is exactly right. Wonderful.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Book Review: George
Gino, Alex
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

George is a well-written book about the confusion of a boy who knows that deep down that she is really a girl. Writing from George's point of view, the author expresses George's frustration as a transgender child who unfortunately experiences bullying from the other kids. Luckily, George does have a best friend who understands and supports her. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

Reviewer's Name: Lisa
Planet Tad
Carvell, Tim
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is an absolutely hilarious book told in the form of an online blog based on the MAD magazine feature of the same name. If you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the Origami Yoda books, or like MAD, you will love this book. It tells a story in journal/ blog form about a 13 year old boy named Tad who is trying to survive middle school along with doing other things such as growing a mustache, doing a kickflip on his skateboard, and finally getting girls to notice him (which all end up in disasters.). He also makes funny observations on just about everything, from Hansel and Gretel to Peeps. It is laughing-so-hard-you-can't breathe type funny and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the books above.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jacob U.
“Who Could That be at This Hour?”
Snicket, Lemony
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A mysterious town no longer by the sea. People far more mysterious, with secrets and secret motives. A stolen statue of a mythological creature that was not really stolen. A clueless chaperone with a truly astounding amount of hair. This is the life that almost-thirteen-year-old Lemony Snicket is dropped into during his apprenticeship in the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea.

The first book in the fictional autobiographic series “All the Wrong Questions” by Lemony Snicket, and prequel to his books, “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, Who Could That be at This Hour? chronicles the first of four wrong questions asked about a perplexing mystery and the perplexing people involved. The fast paced plot, complete with the humorous yet thought-provoking narration fans of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” will expect, will have you itching to read more. The characters are surprisingly sincere considering some of their over-the-top quirks, but the seeds of suspicion that are sown will make you wonder—along with the protagonist—who exactly can be trusted. One of the best books I have ever read, any mystery fans will find themselves unable to put it down.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Tessa L.