Realistic

Book Review: Saving Red

Saving Red
Author: 
Sones, Sonya
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Saving Red is about a girl named Molly who is trying to finish her community service hours for school and to do that, she is helping do the homeless count for her city. Here is where she gets her first glimpse of Red, a girl who cannot be much older that Molly herself, on a sleeping bag and twitching and screaming throughout a bad dream. Molly gets a sudden feeling that she needs to help this girl. A friendship soon develops between the two girls because Molly wants to help Red get back to her family. That is until Molly discovers that Red may need more help than Molly originally thought. Molly is motivated to help Red because of past guilt. Molly soon learns that Red is not the only one who needed saving.

This book is one of my personal favorites because it is so interesting, and it keeps me wanting to read it. The book is written in verse so it is really easy to read and it was quick to finish. Saving Red is a very heavy book so I would suggest this book to high school students and mature middle school students.. Whats cool about this book is that every poem could be read on its own and still make sense. This book was really good, super quick, makes you think and leaves you wanting more.

Reviewer's Name: 
Emma M.

Book Review: The Prodigy

The Prodigy
Author: 
Feinstein, John
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The Prodigy is a fantastic and well crafted sports fiction novel about a promising young golf athlete. Frank Baker is a 16 year old golf superstar who is getting nationwide attention from the professional golfing world. Frank is eager and desires to play college golf at a college of his choice but his pushy father pressures him to go directly to the pros. His father aspires to gain a fortune from his son playing in the big leagues and wants it as soon as possible. This book beautifully blends Frank's life on and off the greens and makes the readers feel as if they are experiencing Frank's dilemma. I chose this book as I enjoy reading sports fiction. The Prodigy captures parental pressure on young athletes exceptionally well and the shocking decision Frank makes at the end of the book.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ananth

Book Review: A Separate Peace

Book Cover
Author: 
Knowles, John
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

In his award-winning book, A Separate Peace, John Knowles writes a compelling story about a friendship at a New Hampshire boarding school. Revolving around the time of World War 2, two sixteen-year-old boys find themselves stuck between the brightness of youth and the solemn disparity of adulthood brought on by war. Gene is a studious serious loner who is the opposite of Phineas, the handsome and popular athlete. Although their personalities may be fundamentally different, they are best friends and roommates who do everything together. The book is narrated by Gene, the protagonist, who slowly begins to resent Phineas for his athletic talent and widespread popularity. In his mind, the once-trusted bond grows into a rivalry, and a rift begins to develop and separate them. Knowles writes the book in rich tones, laced with symbolism and meaning. As it dives deep into themes, this book is often required to be read in high school English class. It is admittedly slow moving, but still filled with marvelous lessons and morals. While I would definitely recommend reading this book at least once and praise it for its depth, personally, it was not incredibly engaging or life-changing for me. While A Separate Peace is an American classic, it lacks the emotional sentimentality that really makes a book stand out.

Reviewer's Name: 
Hope M.

Book Review: The Unteachables

The Unteachables
Author: 
Korman, Gordon
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The Unteachables is about seven students who instead of going to regular eighth grade classes, stay in one classroom and learn all the subjects from one teacher. This is called SCS-8 (Self-Contained Special Eighth grade Class) also known as the Unteachables. Kiana is a new girl from California who isn't supposed to be in the SCS-8 class, but due to a crazy first day, she is never properly registered in the school. Mr. Kermit is a fifty-five year old teacher who just needs to teach for one more year to qualify for early retirement. The Superintendent of the school does not like Mr. Kermit because of an incident that happened in the nineties. He is trying to fire Mr. Kermit before he can qualify for early retirement, so he gives him the SCS-8 class thinking that Mr. Kermit will give up and just quit during the year. The book follows the SCS-8 students, Mr. Kermit, and newfound allies as they try to keep Mr. Kermit's job and his chance for early retirement. What drew me to the book was the author because I love Gordon Korman's books. This book was really funny and it kept me wanting to read more. Korman puts a lot of thought into his characters and he fills them with fun twists and surprises that get discovered the farther you go into the book. At some points I was surprised at what happened in the book because it was something that I least expected. This book reminded me of the Gordon Korman's other book Ungifted. This is a great read for a funny, lighthearted book.
Reviewer grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: 
Emma

Book Review: The Mother-Daughter Book Club

The Mother-Daughter Book Club
Author: 
Frederick, Heather Vogel
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The Mother-Daughter Book Club is about four girls, whose mothers start a book club with their daughters in the hopes to try and get the girls to become friends. Emma and Jess are already friends, but Cassidy has just moved from California, and Megan is friends with the fab four, the fashionable girls who rule the school and are snarky to their peers. I've read this book and the others in this series many times and I can read them over and over because the series starts when the girls are in sixth grade and they continue all throughout their middle school and high school years, so I feel as if they are the same age as me depending on the book. A fun twist is how the author takes the story-line from the book and uses those events in her book, especially if you have read the book the girls are reading for book club before. This book is good for someone who likes realistic fiction.

Reviewer's Name: 
Emma

Book Review: Juan Pablo and the Butterflies

Juan Pablo and the Butterflies
Author: 
Flowers, J.J.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The premise of “Juan Pablo and the Butterflies” is somewhat similar to “Bless me Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya. Both books focus on boys faced with the challenges of two different cultures and have the wisdom of a grandmother figure’s spiritism to guide them. I enjoyed this book better because while the theme of “Bless Me Ultima” holds true today this book is much more modern and relatable. Juan Pablo faces the modern issue of drug cartels in Mexico when a cartel takes over the small village he lives in. Those who can flee the village leave immediately but Juan Pablo remain with his grandmother and best friend, Rocio. As his grandmother is dying Juan poisons some of the cartel members with one his grandmother’s potions and attempts to flee to the United States with Rocio. I really enjoyed the perspective this book provided, I could understand how Mexico is developed in some aspects, like that Juan was smart from Khan Academy videos, but still has many challenges, such as drug cartels, and violence. The book helped remind me why people would want better and come to the U.S. The book was about resilience, the Sky people, and hope. When seemed like things couldn’t worse and did things got worse Juan Pablo kept going because he knew the Sky People, his ancestors, his grandmother spoke of would, guide him. I would recommend this book to anybody who has never read a book with magical realism, or to a person who enjoys magical realism because the magical realism in this book is a bit more modern than other literature. I would also recommend this book just to people who want a good book and a broader perspective, it is an amazing and relatively short read.

Reviewer's Name: 
McKenzie

Book Review: Criss Cross

Criss Cross
Author: 
Patterson, James
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Alex Cross used to be a police detective but for the last few years he's been a psychologist who still does consultant work with police. In his career, he has crossed paths with a numerous amount of serial killers and other highly intelligent murderers and psychopaths. Needless to say, he's made a few enemies along the way. In this latest novel (he appears in a total of 28 at this writing), Alex must reflect on past cases and enemies as the mysterious "M" plays cat and mouse while copycatting previous cases he's worked on. It even leaves Alex wondering if a prior nemesis whose death he witnessed is still alive when he sees his carbon copy in the flesh. But things escalate when "M" manages to kidnap his 10 year old son Ali. Not the best book I've ever read, but I enjoy the incredible family dynamics Alex has with his 90 something grandmother, his wife and his three kids which have been developed over the past 30 years, and ties me into reading each new novel written with this character in it. Patterson writes very short chapters, so the novel provides a quick read.

Reviewer's Name: 
Susi W.

Book Review: The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
Author: 
Connor, Leslie
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This story is about a big, sweet boy named Mason Buttle. He struggles with
reading and writing, and accepting the fact that his best friend, Benny
Kilmartin, is dead. I heard about this book through my school and I'm so glad
I decided to read it. I really enjoyed the engaging, mysterious plot line,
and how you could see through Mason's perspective clearly. I was never bored
reading this book. All of the characters had distinct and lively
personalities. The storyline was unpredictable and original for the most
part. Overall, I recommend this book to not only teenagers, but to people of
all ages as well. The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle is one of the best books
I've ever read, and I hope to see more work by Leslie Connor. Thank you for
reading! (: Reviewer grade 7-8

Reviewer's Name: 
Aztin

Book Review: Wonder

Wonder Book Cover
Author: 
Palacio, R. J.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Wonder is a book that I would 100% recommend. The story is based off of a boy who struggles with a disease, altering his appearance. This book contains the point of view of his peers, as well as his struggles, friendships, pain, and
overcoming of Auggie. The book also tells the story of his family going through their own struggles or going through Auggie’s struggles with him. Out of the many books that I have read, this has to be one of the best and most emotional books that I have read, and would definitely be on my list of books I recommend.

Reviewer's Name: 
Shieana H.

Book Review: The Upside of Unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited
Author: 
Albertalli, Becky
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book 'The Upside of Unrequited' is by the popular author Becky Albertalli, who also wrote 'Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. This book follows Molly, a hopeless romantic who has never even had a boyfriend. When Molly introduces her twin sister, Cassie, to a new girl who Cassie may be developing a crush on, Molly realizes that she and her sister may be growing apart. This book goes through the journey where Molly struggles between her two new crushes, Will and Reid. The boys are very different... who will she end up with?
This book was absolutely amazing! A must-read for fans of 'Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda'. This book easily earns five stars.

Reviewer's Name: 
Lillian L.

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