Nonfiction

Book Review: AP U.S. History Prep Plus 2020 & 2021

AP U.S. History Prep Plus 2020 & 2021
Author: 
Kaplan Publishing
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

I knew that AP US history would be a difficult class with lots of information. Since the beginning of the school year, I've been trying various resources to see which will prepare me the most for the APUSH exam. From browsing YouTube channels to finding online practice tests, I haven't found a resource as valuable as this book. Another helpful piece to this resource is that, with the book, you can access the online website. On the website there are even more quizzes over the various units. I am so glad I found this resource and I am certain it will help me a lot when it comes time for the big test! I strongly recommend. Grade 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Elizabeth P.

Book Review: The Missing Kennedy: Rosemary Kennedy and the Secret Bonds of Four Women

The Missing Kennedy: Rosemary Kennedy and the Secret Bonds of Four Women
Author: 
Koehler-Pentacoff, Elizabeth
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Tragedy ran deep in the Kennedy family--so much so that some people even questioned if the family was cursed. Rosemary Kennedy was born in 1918. At the time of her birth, the hospital was overcrowded with victims of the Spanish flu. The nurse, who though perfectly capable in assisting Mrs. Kennedy to give birth, urged her to wait until the doctor could come. The baby, Rosemary Kennedy, was forced back inside her mother's birth canal for two hours by the nurse during the wait. This irregular birth led to lifetime consequences in Rosemary. She had learning disabilities. Despite this, she was pushed equally as hard by her parents. Rosemary never made it intellectually past the fifth grade level. Her condition affected the Kennedy family because at the time people with disabilities were seen as having a "bad gene" and were not even allowed to receive the sacraments or eucharist at the catholic church. As Rosemary's condition worsened, her parents were desperate to fix her before she "ruined" her brother JFK's political career. This story is unique because it sheds light on a member of the Kennedy family whose tragic story eventually brought positive change in how to deal with the disabled.

Reviewer's Name: 
Elizabeth

Book Review: Desert Solitaire

Desert Solitaire
Author: 
Abbey, Edward
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Desert Solitaire, written by Edward Abbey, is essentially a memoir of his time spent as a ranger outside of Moab, Utah, in the Arches National Park. It includes compelling commentary on the progression of industrial tourism, as well as life changing events and exciting stories. For some, the book may be a frustrating read, either because it lacks a linear plot, as a collection of journal entries and secondary memoirs, or because Abbey’s views are reminiscent of traditions from the 1930s. Abbey is aware of this, and begins the book with a series of disclaimers. For readers who enjoy beautiful writing about life in the West, Desert Solitaire should be a potential read.

Reviewer's Name: 
Malachi

Book Review: Night

Night
Author: 
Wiesel, Elie
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Night by Elie Wiesel is a powerfully graphic novel that tells the story of a Hungarian Jew's experiences in various concentration camps within Nazi Germany during World War II. I really enjoyed this book. It was very well written and hard to put down. This book not only tells of Wiesel's experiences in concentration camps, but provides insight into psychological and philosophical ideas that make it even more interesting. Wiesel was just a teen when he and his family were sent away. He and his father were separated from his mother and sister and underwent an immense amount of trauma that was life altering for both of them. I'd recommend this book to those interested in World War II. The book is a quick and easy read with deep, profound content.

Reviewer's Name: 
Elizabeth

Book Review: Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story

Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story
Author: 
Tobia, Jacob
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Sissy is complex, introspective piece about gender and sexuality and how society's view can impact self-worth. Jacob Tobia recounts experiences throughout their life that have impacted them in the manner of their gender and sexuality and their self acceptance of themself. They reveal how even as a young child they identified more with femininity than their born masculinity and how that brought out negative feelings in those around them, including their parents. Tobia expresses how the trials they have faced have made them into who they are today but they wish queer identities were more accepted. A rousing autobiography of growing up queer, Sissy inspires the reader to open their mind to what is different and look within themselves and ask the question "Is it really black or white?".

Reviewer's Name: 
Maddie

Book Review: The Tao of Pooh

The Tao of Pooh
Author: 
Hoff, Benjamin
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The How of Pooh?
5 stars: Explains Tao with little snips of Pooh.

The Tao of Pooh is a well-written book that captures the essence of Tao-ism using little snippets of the adventures of Pooh. I loved this book, because it explains the art of Tao in a simplistic way, which is very fitting, because Tao is the art of simplicity. The precepts of Tao are explained very well in this book. If you want to learn how to not overthink, and how to learn without learning, read this book. A final note, I may not agree with some of the things written in this book, but I still appreciate the Tao, and I hope you do too!

Reviewer's Name: 
Ethan

Book Review: Into the Wild

Into the Wild
Author: 
Krakauer, Jon
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, is a novel that tells the true story of Chris McCandless, a restless adventurer whose happy place was in nature. McCandless graduated college and departed shortly after on a series of adventures, his main one being Alaska. Along the way, Chris met people, many of whom were moved by his go getter free spirited personality. Into the Wild is a phenomenally written novel that I'd recommend to anyone who's trying to search for purpose in their life. It's a book that displays a young man searching for his place in the world.

Reviewer's Name: 
Elizabeth P.

Book Review: The Impossible Climb

Cover of the book The Impossible Climb
Author: 
Synnott, Mark
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The Impossible Climb is about Alex Honnold's journey from being a newbie to the professional climbing community to doing the famous free solo of El Capitan in Yosemite, CA. The author also describes his own adventures on North Face's athlete team. The author is one of Alex's mentors who was there for his famous climb up the Freerider route. I loved this book because of how descriptive Synott was of all of his trips he took to exotic places. It was also excellent because of how the author told his story and Alex Honnold's at the same time.

Reviewer's Name: 
Abby K.

Book Review: Images of America: Fountain

Images of America: Fountain
Author: 
Hahn, Angela Thaden
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Living, working or driving by a community, one can take for granted that each location has a history or story to tell. Since I've been working at Fountain Library for the past two months, I decided it was time to learn about its history. Orignially, it was home to tribes of Ute Indians that roamed and lived off the land. Around the time of the Civil War, Rhode Island native, Thomas Owen found some well water acreage in an area aptly named "Fountaine qui Bouille" which translates to "The Fountain that boils." What follows is a pictorial history of how this community developed, from farming to ranching, and train transporation of goods, to the arrival of "Camp Carson" that was built during WWII. Like every other town, Fountain has a rich history and long time residents that are proud of their community, including the author who is a native in the neighboring area. A recommended read if local history is your cup of tea.

Reviewer's Name: 
Susi W.

Book Review: The Undefeated

The Undefeated
Author: 
Sheinkin, Steve
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Undefeated is about a Native American named Jim Thorpe who is an amazing athlete and becomes an Olympic medalist. Him and his coach, Pop Warner create an unforgettable team with the legendary Carlisle Indian Football Team. Then Carlisle Indian Football Team was known for having the most wins in 1907. The team goes through an adventure of close games, injuries, and amazing plays.nI really liked this book. I couldn't put this book down for a second. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Native American history or likes sports. This book also shows some of the plays the Carlisle Team played.

Reviewer's Name: 
Mackenzie

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