Reviews of Teen Books by Genre: Historical

Book Review: Les Miserables
Hugo, Victor
1 star = Yuck!
Review:

Les Miserables was one of the most boring books I've read. I chose this book because my mom told me that there was a movie about it and the new musical. Well I bought it and I almost fell asleep. I mean if you like the classics then go for it but if you're more of an action or adventure person then this could easily put you to bed. the historical facts we're seen clearly in this book but if you a lot about French history then this book is easily predictable.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Isabella Z.
Awards:
Book Review: Between Shades of Gray
Sepetys, Ruta
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book really made me want to cry. I loved how this entire story revolves around a 12 year old girl who is forced to move from place to place. I could relate to the protagonist because she has to make tough choices and she had to make sacrifices for the greater good. This story will cause sadness and also create a spark of hope. This is a beautifully written story and is perfect for any age.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Isabella Z.
Genres:
The Book Thief
Zusak, Markus
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Book Thief is about a girl living in the times of the holocaust. After the Nazi book burning she seals a book and hopes to learn to read it. Then her family takes in a Jewish prisoner who escaped the concentration camps. This will leave you on the edge of your seat. I chose this book based on the movie and I loved it. This is a wonderful story told from Death's P.O.V. I can't say anything bad about this book. This book is full of twist and turns. Reviewer Grade:7

Reviewer's Name: Isabella Z.
Genres:
Little House on the Prairie
Wilder, Laura Ingalls
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Little House on the Prairie is a mediocre novel about a little girl named Laura, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and her Ma and Pa traveling across a prairie then settling down and building a house. Almost the entirety of the first 18 chapters are mind-numbingly boring (the most exciting thing that happens in the first 240 pages is Ma dropping a log on her foot). The last few chapters were pretty good, but it didn't outweigh the annoyingly long descriptions of prairie grass and dull accounts of cooking supper that dominated most of the story. I do not recommend it to people who like action or adventure stories, however, I would recommend it to anyone who read and enjoyed Little Britches by Ralph Moody or anyone who is a fan of the late 1800's settlement genre.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jacob U.
Great Expectations
Dickens, Charles
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Although it was first published in 1861, this classic novel is still fresh and relevant in the 21st century. It is the story of a poor, rural, uneducated boy named Pip who meets and falls in love with a rich, beautiful, and cruel girl named Estella. Through the generosities of a mysterious benefactor, Pip is able to move to London and become a wealthy, eligible, gentleman. It seems that he may at last be worthy of Estella's love.
If only it were so simple.

Filled some of the most famous characters in English literature, including several murderous convicts, a bizarre and sadistic woman who dresses only in a moldy wedding gown, a law clerk with a double life, and an exceptionally loyal best friend, this book is unforgettable. A commentary on the nature of social mobility as well as a coming-of-age novel, this story is equal parts mystery, romance, and legal drama, with enough plot twists to keep any reader turning pages (trust me -- I read it during finals week).

Most importantly, this book is a good choice for teenagers because it is relatable. It deals with finding yourself, searching for meaning in a seemingly meaningless world, coping with unrequited love, being financially responsible, finding good friends, spending your time and money on the right things, being appreciative and kind towards people who you may believe to be below your station, giving second chances, and the importance of staying close to your family even if you think that they are embarrassing, ignorant, or are not good enough for you.

This is one of the best books I have ever read. Even if you think that classics are boring or that historical fiction just isn't your thing, try Great Expectations. You won't regret it.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Caroline K.
Book Review: The Notorious Pagan Jones
Berry, Nina
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Pagan Jones was a 1960s teen movie superstar until a terrible accident happened landing her in juvenile detention. A mysterious stranger
arranges her release, only if she will star in a movie being shot in Berlin.
This story is a fascinating race through the city at a time when the Berlin Wall is just being built. While the story has very fun moments (you get a great taste of 60s culture and clothing), there are also real characters and events sprinkled throughout that make it very interesting!

Reviewer's Name: Krista
Genres:
Thérèse Raquin
Zola, Émile
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Actual Rating: 4.5

“Therese Raquin” by Emile Zola is a book that defied the literature of its time and had the people of the late 19th century in an uproar over its shocking content. Content that involved murder, wrongly placed passion, adultery, and a voice that refused to glorify the ever flawed human race. Meet Therese: a quiet woman who is niece to elderly shopkeeper Madame Raquin and wife to the Madame’s son Camille. She finds that sin somehow manages to bring her back to life, but with chilling consequences. Will deceit finally bring her the joy she has so longed for, or result in her doom? Defy the time with this twisted, blood-chilling read.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Summer W.
The Great Gatsby
Fitzgerald, F. Scott
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A man who had been in love for years, who had accumulated wealth and power by numerous, secretive ways, Jay Gatsby. A woman who had married another out of need and stayed out of being accustomed to that lifestyle, Daisy Buchanan. And a man who became stuck in the middle, Nick Carraway. The scene is set in the roaring '20's where everyone is wild, young, and free. All except Gatsby as he was stuck in the wild embrace of Daisy's love. This beautifully written book of love, loss, revenge, and dark honesty comes to life as the desperate Gatsby tries to win Daisy back from her oppressive husband. A book with so many twists and turns that its impossible to put it down, The Great Gatsby is an underrated novel that will be read for years to come.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Alyxandra S.
Book Review: The Hired Girl
Schlitz, Laura Amy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Newbery winning author Laura Amy Schlitz has written a wonderful story set in 1911 about 14-year-old Joan Skraggs who runs away from a dismal home life on a farm to Baltimore where she finds employment as a hired girl in a Jewish household. The book is written as Joan's diary so it reveals her innermost thoughts and feelings which made me really want her to succeed. Her deep love of literature really hit a nerve for me too! Highly recommended.

Reviewer's Name: Lisa
Genres:
Book Review: Fever, 1793
Anderson, Laurie Halse
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This started off as a typical teen novel, adult writer trying too hard to relate to young people. But as the book went on, either I got used to it, or the narrative improved. I positively enjoyed about the halfway point onward. Good historical fiction. Educational and compelling.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Genres:
Book Review: Hood
Lawhead, Stephen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I mostly read this book for the enjoyment of finding a new take on Robin Hood. It's an excellent story with developed characters and rich plot. A must read for Robin Hood fans, historical fiction readers, and anyone who is just looking for a unique story.

Reviewer's Name: Caitlyn
Book Review: Hood
Lawhead, Stephen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I mostly read this book for the enjoyment of finding a new take on Robin Hood. It's an excellent story with developed characters and rich plot. A must read for Robin Hood fans, historical fiction readers, and anyone who is just looking for a unique story.

Reviewer's Name: Caitlyn
Genres:
Zusak, Markus
2 stars = Meh
Review:

This book was too long and the author tried too hard to make it deep and poetic. But I read the whole thing, so it wasn't bad. I liked hearing about Hitler's reign from a German non-Jew perspective. Death as a narrator was okay, I guess. I don't know, it just didn't really work for me. Also, although it's technically a teen book, I think it's more suited for adults.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Genres:
Zusak, Markus
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is AMAZING. On my first read-through, I'll admit I did not have high expectations for it, and it started off a bit slow and confusing. The story quickly picks up though, and it's even more impressive (and makes more
sense) on rereads. It's about a girl growing up in Germany during World War II, and the story is brilliantly told. It's narrated by Death; a completely original idea. If you enjoy reading and writing, you should read this book: It describes the power of words and shows how a book can save your life - literally.

Reviewer's Name: Annie
Genres:
Larson, Kirby
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Historic books are so tough to get right. The history might be accurate but the prose downright boring, or the prose might be fantastic, but the facts totally off-base. For "Hattie Big Sky" the author took bits of her grandmother's past, combined it with several trips to Montana, and countless hours of research, to create a fantatic heroine with the flavor of the Old West who lives in that remarkable era of the 1918-1920 where there was still the possibility of obtaining manifest destiny. Hattie's a plucky little 16-year-old whose uncle left her a claim in Montana, all 300+ acres of claim, that she has to 'prove up' by a certain date if she wants to keep the land. She heads out, on her own, for Montana to make good on her uncle's claim. This is literally one of THE BEST historic novels I have read in I don't know how long. It's what you would call 'clean' teen historic lit. It's even got a spiritual angle since Hattie does an awful lot of praying, but you never feel preached at, which is refreshing. Teens and adults alike will enjoy this book, not only because of its heroine, but because it feels fresh and original, and it's always fun knowing a story is inspired by real-life events.

Reviewer's Name: Carissa
Genres:
Zusak, Markus
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Great book! I wasn't interested in the subject matter at first, but had to read for a book club. After I started it, I was hooked! I love that the book is written from the perspective of death. Zusak has a magical way with words.
Highly recommend!

Reviewer's Name: Sandy
Genres:

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