Newbery Medal/Honor

Book Review: Walk Two Moons

Walk Two Moons
Author: 
Creech, Sharon
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

On her way to Ohio to find her mother Salamanca, and her grandparents journey across the country to get there. On the way Sal tells the story of Phoebe Winterbottom a peculiar girl she met. I rate this a 5/5. The hidden messages really gives this book depth. Such as the irrationality of Phoebe, but also how Sal can understand her friend. They don't have a perfect relationship, which makes it very realistic. I recommend you read this, it's filled with suspense, action, and drama you won't be able to put it down.
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: 
Emily T.

Book Review: The Giver

The Giver
Author: 
Lowry, Lois
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Jonas lives in a perfect world, but when he becomes the Receiver and is transferred memories from the past, he soon realizes that there are some serious issues with the way his "perfect world" is being run.
It was cool to see Jonas, the main character, grow and develop as a person.
In the beginning, he was as ignorant and naive as the rest of his peers, but he eventually matures and becomes aware of the problems around him.
The way Lois Lowry described surroundings were very clever. For example, (this is a bit of a spoiler) Jonas's world was in only black and white and I didn't realize it for a very long time because the author didn't outright say it; that made me feel Jonas's confusion when he first sees color.
It was really interesting reading about how Jonas's city functioned and what its rules were- it was very different from ours.
The novel gave me a lot to think about; it made me wonder how much bad things we can eradicate until the eradication itself becomes a bad thing. The line between good and evil becomes more and more blurry the closer you get.
The Giver is a nice book to read and I recommend it!
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Miriam X

Book Review: When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me
Author: 
Stead, Rebecca
Rating: 
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

Book Review: Jacob Have I Loved

Book Review: Jacob Have I Loved
Author: 
Paterson, Katherine
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

You know, I love Katherine Patterson. Bridge to Terabithia is my all-time favorite children's book. This book just didn't affect me the same way. Maybe it was the subject matter, I don't know. It was well written, just was missing the magic. But it's still worth a read.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Justin Morgan Had a Horse

Book Review: Justin Morgan Had a Horse
Author: 
Henry, Marguerite
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I liked this book because it was very catchy. For instance, at the end of a chapter, it left you at a cliffhanger. For example, Little Bub, later called Justin Morgan, was about to run in the biggest race in his life, and then the chapter ended. Also, it was a great book for kids because it didn’t have too much detail about the Morgan breed, but it still gave you the feel of the great horse.

My favorite character is either Little Bub or Joel, the main character. I liked Little Bub because he was such a good runner and puller and because of his funny little neigh. Joel and Little Bub became fast friends partly because of that neigh, and as the author describes it, “like the sound of a bugle.” His ability to run so fast helped the schoolmaster (Justin Morgan) to pay off his debts. I liked Joel because of his determination, like when he served for his state in the militia, to help care for the horses. He worked odd jobs in peoples houses to get much-needed supplies, such as water
pails and blankets. Also, I admire Joel in his hopefulness and patience.
For example, he had expected a letter from the schoolmaster and he waited for months. He stayed hopeful, and finally the letter came! Another example was that when the stranger bought little Bub, he didn’t give up looking for him, and he finally found him!

Right now, if I was the author, I would change three things. One, I would change the schoolmaster dying. Two, I would change the author not revealing who the anonymous buyer was for Little Bub. Three, I would change the scene where the small puppy ran out onto the racetrack. I thought Joel shouldn’t of interfered with the schoolmaster’s life.

Reviewer's Name: 
Kyle

Book Review: Justin Morgan Had a Horse

Book Review: Justin Morgan had a Horse
Author: 
Tytle, Harry
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

My favorite character in the book was Little Bub because of his personality.
He was a very hard worker and he was brave. He stepped into a boat without hesitation. He worked all day pulling down trees. He was in pulling matches at night.

I liked this book because it had really good descriptions. The author wrote great descriptions like “You are as skinny as a fiddle string!” I also
liked the suspense. When we read about the races we didn’t want to stop.
My least favorite part was that the schoolmaster died. It made me sad because he was really nice. He was like a grandpa to Joel. He was loving because he took Joel on a trip.

Reviewer's Name: 
Seth

Book Review: The Great Gilly Hopkins

Book Review: The Great Gilly Hopkins
Author: 
Paterson, Katherine
Rating: 
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

Book Review: Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt
Author: 
Gantos, Jack
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Dead End in Norvelt is a very good story about a boy named Jack Gantos (the author gave the character his own name as it is a somewhat true story) who lives in the 1960s in a little town called Norvelt, founded by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. When Jack is grounded for the summer for using his dad’s WWII binoculars to watch a war movie at the drive in that he couldn’t go see, and then proceeding to accidentally shoot a WWII Japanese rifle at the screen, he receives an unusual chore as a punishment: typing obituaries for old Miss Volker across the street. Jack is told that it was Miss Volker’s duty to Mrs. Roosevelt to type the obituaries of all of Norvelt’s original citizens before she moves away or passes away. While busying himself typing the obituaries and having to spend the rest of his time in his room, he still manages to go on strange misadventures with his friends, family, and neighbors involving a two seater airplane, a plastic skeleton, cornstalks, dead rodents, poisonous mushrooms, Hells Angels, a Halloween costume, Girl Scout cookies… and murder? This is a one of a kind book, so I can’t really recommend it to people who like a certain genre, however, if you are looking for an unusual, funny, interesting, and sometimes creepy murder mystery book disguised as a realistic fiction novel, Dead End in Norvelt is a great book for you.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: 
Jacob U.

Book Review: Brown Girl Dreaming

Book Review: Brown Girl Dreaming
Author: 
Woodson, Jacqueline
Rating: 
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

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