Newbery Medal/Honor

Book Review: Hoot

Hoot
Author: 
Hiaasen, Carl
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Mother Paula's, a beloved international pancake franchise, is looking to build its 469th restaurant in Coconut Cove, Florida. However, the site on which this restaurant is to be built is home to several families of burrowing owls, an endangered species. However, the owls are hardly ever visible so no one knows about them. That is except for Roy Eberhart and a mysterious boy known only as Mullet Fingers. It's up to these two middle schoolers to save the owls. However, they struggle with school bullies, fences, guard dogs, cops, and Mullet Fingers' parents who think that he is in military school in Alabama. This book really is a hoot and I recommend it for all middle school and early high school readers.

Reviewer's Name: 
John B.

'Book Review: Hello, Universe'

Hello, Universe
Author: 
Kelly, Erin Entrada
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Virgil is very shy but his family is incredibly loud. His mom calls
him Turtle and he really hates that. His fortune teller, 12 year old Kaori,
tells him to watch out for the color red and that starts a disastrous day of
being bullied and getting stuck in a deep well. Will his life end with his
disappearance? Every chapter of Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly will
delight readers 9-12 as they uncover a story with many pieces that fit
together beautifully at the end.

Reviewer's Name: 
Anonymous

Book Review: A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time
Author: 
L'Engle, Madeleine
Rating: 
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.

Book Review: Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web
Author: 
White, E.B.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

While it may be considered a children's book, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White lives up to its name as a classic. The simple story provides for a light and easy read, while still providing an elegantly woven story. The characters, while not super developed, are jocular and entertaining, and still preserve the sort-of dramatic side of the book. The friendly relationship between Charlotte the spider and Wilbur the pig soon turns into a matter of life and death, allowing for many twists and turns throughout the book. Though simple, the book also has several deeper meanings (I won’t spoil them), allowing for speculation among its audience. The fun in discovering what E.B. White could have meant in just one of the book's lines may very well be the entire hook of the story. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone, no matter what their age is. There’s always fun to be had in a book, whether it be hidden or minuscule.

Reviewer Grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name: 
Steven L.

Book Review: The Higher Power of Lucky

Book Review: The Higher Power of Lucky
Author: 
Patron, Susan
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This was a very good book. I listened to it on audio and the narrator was fantastic. The climax of the book takes place during a dust storm, which is a classic case of the natural elements reflecting the story line. A bit contrived, yes, but good for young readers. The conclusion was textbook, but also okay for younger readers. If you'd like to read a good story with no surprises, this book is for you.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Walk Two Moons

Walk Two Moons
Author: 
Creech, Sharon
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Walk two moons is a great way to express the life of a teenager. I really liked the book because I can relate to some of the circumstances. When Sal is trying to solve mysteries about her life, and how her mom went missing, she also learns many things about herself. Sharon Creech did a very good job with portraying emotion throughout the whole book. The reader is able to feel empathy for all the character because of the detail in the book. Overall, I would very much recommend this book to over readers.

Reviewer's Name: 
Kate B.

Book Review: Sounder

Book Review: Sounder
Author: 
Armstrong, William H.
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

I've been on a children's book about dogs kick lately. I started with Shiloh, went to Where the Red Fern Grows, and ended with Sounder (I may read Old Yeller too). Sounder is the winner of the Newbery Medal, but it was the least powerful book out of the three. I almost feel like I may have read an abridged version of the book. The characters weren't well developed and there wasn't really a sense of desperation and overt class stratification that the book's summary promised. Overall, it was underwhelming. I'm being nice and giving it 3 stars instead of 2.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Author: 
O'Brien, Robert C.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book is a great big adventure as we go to a small brick in the ground, to a secret campus hidden in a rosebush, to a laboratory called Nimh, to Thorn Valley. This book is great for children and is one of my favorite books!

Reviewer's Name: 
Aubrey S.

Book Review: Shiloh

Shiloh
Author: 
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The book Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is about Marty Preston and his willingness to, in a sense, serve an abused dog. The dog is named Shiloh after he runs away to young Marty, after being abused by Judd Travers. He keeps the dog in secret for fear of being caught by his family or Judd.
Unlike other typical dog books or even movies, the book shows a very deep bond between Shiloh and Marty, in which Marty has to earn Shiloh by working for Judd. Every single character put into the book is well developed and plays some sort of part in the story. Several other conflicts, such as Marty's mother not wanting to keep secrets from her husband, arise, and they are all well though-out. Overall, the book is a very emotional book, and should be deeply felt by the reader. I would recommend the book to any sort of animal lover or people who like realistic fiction.

Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Steven L.

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