Reviews of Teen Books by Genre: Chapter Books

Varjak Paw book cover
Said, S. F.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

4 stars (little young for me).

Varjak Paw is a fantasy written from the point of view of a cat. This book caught my attention because it was about a cat descended from a family of ‘special’ cats, who has passed down mysterious knowledge, dubbed ‘The Way’. It starts off in a household full of cats with an absent owner, possibly sick, possibly dead. Varjak Paw is the runt of the family, a cat who itches to discover what's on the other side of the wall. I enjoy rereading this book because of how well written the storyline is. The different pieces fit together perfectly in a puzzle.

Reviewer's Name: Ethan W.
Book Cover
Colfer, Eoin
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Artemis Fowl is back!

Well, not really. But his little brothers are a more than sufficient replacement. Twins Myles and Beckett have lived a life of education and luxury (with some mild kidnapping thrown in). But everything changes drastically when a small troll appears on their island. Before they know it, they find themselves kidnapped by ACRONYM (a government organization that deals with magic) and working with a fairy to escape from not one, but two baddies - an evil, mustache twirling duke and a deranged nun that are themselves at odds. Will the Fowl Twins escape in time to save their lives and, perhaps more importantly, human-fairy relations for the rest of time?

This was very cute. Colfer was in top form here, and this held all of the characteristics of a middle grade book that I find to be readable (they aren't always my favorite). Myles is snarky. Beckett is a loose cannon (who can talk to animals!!!). The duke has access to insanely quirky gadgets and wouldn't be out of place as a Despicable Me super-villain. The evil nun is an evil nun. The pace moves quickly, but we still get to know our characters. Aside from its general predictability (adults will see all the twists coming before they happen), it's a fantastic middle grade read. If the narrator is any good, I'll add this series to my list of books that I listen to while running.

TLDR: If you loved the Artemis Fowl series, you'll love this one too! It has all of the best elements of the original series with some fun new quirks and characters. 4 stars - I really liked it.

Thanks to Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley for the eARC, which I received in exchange for an unbiased review. The Fowl Twins is available for purchase on 05 Nov, but you can put your copy on hold today!

Reviewer's Name: Britt
Bob
Mass, Wendy, Stead, Rebecca
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about a girl who goes to her grandma's house after not being there for five years. She finds a small goblin named Bob awaiting her arrival. The two set off on an adventure to find Bob's family before they forget each other forever. This is a great story about the power of friendship. Rebecca Stead writes many amazing books and this is one of the best. This is a book that will leave you wanting more unable to put it down.

Reviewer's Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: McKenna B
The Wishing Spell
Colfer, Chris
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Two twins Alex and Conner were at their school in their Language Arts class.
Today's lesson was on fairy tales. Alex was more kind of that girl who was a total geek and paid attention to everything in class, while Conner was more of the guy who sat in the back and snoozed off. That day after school they went to their grandmother’s house where their grandmother read them a book.
And it was not any book its was a book called the Land of Stories. One day Alex takes the book because she wanted to read it and then gets accidently sucked in! Alex and Conner have to make a Wishing spell to get out of the book. The rest of the book is the amazing adventure that awaits! People who like the show Once Upon a Time or people who just like fairy tales and have great knowledge in them will like this book and the series. This book is very unpredictable and will have you wanting to read more. This is one of the best books I have read this year!

Reviewer Grade: Grade 8

Reviewer's Name: Pranav M
Everblaze
Messenger, Shannon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Everblaze, is awesome! This is one of my favorite books in the series, with all the action.
If you like Fitzphie, this will be one of your favorite books too! Through this book, we have to make BIG decisions, escape danger, help the city, and have tons of action packed moments! No inappropriate language or content.

Reviewer's Name: Aubrey S
Exile
Messenger, Shannon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Exile, is hands down AMAZING! This is probably my favorite book in the series, starring my top 2 favorite characters, Sophie and Keefe. Even if you don't like Team Foster-Keefe, this book is still awesome! We get to see new places, take a look into the past, find new creatures, discover new abilities, and have lots of action and humor! No inappropriate language or content.

Reviewer's Name: Aubrey S
Keeper of the Lost Cities
Messenger, Shannon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Starting off another series by Shannon Messenger called Keeper of the Lost Cities, the first book, Keeper of the Lost Cities, was amazing! It is adventurous, cliff-hanging, action-packed, and great for ages 8-teens! While reading this book, I can guarantee you will meet some of your favorite, funny, awesome fictional characters! This book series has a VERY good chance of becoming your favorite. No inappropriate content or language.

Reviewer's Name: Aubrey S
The Thing About Jellyfish
Benjamin, Ali
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Thing About Jellyfish is a mysterious book that you will never want to put down. It starts out with a twelve year old girl named Suzy watching jellyfish at a aquarium. A few days ago her best friend had died swimming in the ocean while on a vacation. When Suzy is told this she realizes it can not be true, her best friend had been a great swimmer, so she sets out to find what happened to her best friend. She believes it could have only been one thing, a jellyfish. She does as much as she can to prove what happened to her best friend, but no one believes her. If you love mysteries and like not knowing what is going to happen, this book is for you. It is a great read for teens and children and I totally recommend reading it.

Reviewer's Name: Aspen
The BFG
Dahl, Roald
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is so awesome it's probably my favorite book. It has so much detail that you can imagine exactly what this BFG is going through. Over all i love this book.

Reviewer's Name: Delaney
Stuart Little
White, E.B.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Stuart Little, by E. B. White, is quite the fascinating tale of an adventurous mouse on a quest to find his beloved, lost friend. The book is endlessly entertaining, and Stuart the mouse hooks the reader with his various shenanigans. Rather than developing the side characters, E. B. White strives and succeeds at focusing on peculiar Stuart and amusing the reader. The side plots also fit very nicely into the main story. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone, as it is a quick, easy, and wondrous read.

Reviewer's Name: Steven L.
Three Pennies
Crowder, Melanie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Marin was abandoned at 4 years of age by her mother. On her journey through the foster care system she keeps her ambition to find her biological mother alive as she encounters disappointment, loneliness, turmoil about her abandonment, and finally the perplexing new feelings of real family love. Three Pennies, by Melanie Crowder, is a lovingly written and thoughtful book for ages 9 - 14.

Reviewer's Name: Barbara
The Song From Somewhere Else
Harrold, A.F.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

He was bigger than anyone else in Francesca's class. He was funny looking and he smelled weird. Why, oh why did he have to be nice to her and get her bag for her that the bullies had thrown into the stinging nettles? When the bullies chased them both to Nick's house, why hadn't she run somewhere else? Ugh, she would never live this down at school. A.F. Harrold's novel, The Song From Somewhere Else, will enchant readers age 9 - 12 with a story of another world, just waiting to be discovered.

Reviewer's Name: Barbara
Keeper of the Lost Cities
Messenger, Shannon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Great if you are the type that likes Fantasy. It is an easy book to get wrapped into and hard to pull away from. I highly recommend this book. It has an interesting plot that keeps you hanging and want to keep reading. Get the next books in the series too because this book makes you want to read more.

Reviewer's Name: Emi
Book Review: Island of the Blue Dolphins
O'Dell, Scott
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about a girl who lives by herself on an island. It's a story of empowerment, as the main character learns to live and thrive alone. She doesn't seem to let her circumstances get the best of her. I'd recommend this novel to young girls in particular as the narrator is a strong and capable girl.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Book Review: My Brother Sam is Dead
Collier, James Lincoln
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

When I started this book I could not understand why it had been banned. It seemed so innocuous. I only read it because it was in the free pile where I work. I looked it up and it was for violence, language, and an unpatriotic view of the Revolutionary War. Fair enough. It is violent and unpatriotic for sure, which is why I liked it. It's also a very good story and is about as accurate an account of the Revolutionary War era as can be reasonably expected from a work of fiction for young people.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
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.
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.