Reviews of Teen Books by Genre: Biography/Memoir

Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story
Tobia, Jacob
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Sissy is complex, introspective piece about gender and sexuality and how society's view can impact self-worth. Jacob Tobia recounts experiences throughout their life that have impacted them in the manner of their gender and sexuality and their self acceptance of themself. They reveal how even as a young child they identified more with femininity than their born masculinity and how that brought out negative feelings in those around them, including their parents. Tobia expresses how the trials they have faced have made them into who they are today but they wish queer identities were more accepted. A rousing autobiography of growing up queer, Sissy inspires the reader to open their mind to what is different and look within themselves and ask the question "Is it really black or white?".

Reviewer's Name: Maddie
Into the Wild
Krakauer, Jon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, is a novel that tells the true story of Chris McCandless, a restless adventurer whose happy place was in nature. McCandless graduated college and departed shortly after on a series of adventures, his main one being Alaska. Along the way, Chris met people, many of whom were moved by his go getter free spirited personality. Into the Wild is a phenomenally written novel that I'd recommend to anyone who's trying to search for purpose in their life. It's a book that displays a young man searching for his place in the world.

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth P.
Cover of the book The Impossible Climb
Synnott, Mark
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Impossible Climb is about Alex Honnold's journey from being a newbie to the professional climbing community to doing the famous free solo of El Capitan in Yosemite, CA. The author also describes his own adventures on North Face's athlete team. The author is one of Alex's mentors who was there for his famous climb up the Freerider route. I loved this book because of how descriptive Synott was of all of his trips he took to exotic places. It was also excellent because of how the author told his story and Alex Honnold's at the same time.

Reviewer's Name: Abby K.
The Undefeated
Sheinkin, Steve
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Undefeated is about a Native American named Jim Thorpe who is an amazing athlete and becomes an Olympic medalist. Him and his coach, Pop Warner create an unforgettable team with the legendary Carlisle Indian Football Team. Then Carlisle Indian Football Team was known for having the most wins in 1907. The team goes through an adventure of close games, injuries, and amazing plays.nI really liked this book. I couldn't put this book down for a second. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Native American history or likes sports. This book also shows some of the plays the Carlisle Team played.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Awards:
American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
Kyle, Chris
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is phenomenal! American Sniper is the autobiography of Chris Kyle, a U.S. Navy SEAL and the most effective sniper in United States military history. Chris Kyle writes honestly about the brutality and pain of war and the toll it took on him and his family. This book is absolutely captivating and unforgettable. Everyone who reads this book will become appreciative of the United States Armed Forces and will gain a glimpse of their courage on and off the battlefield. I highly recommend this book for everyone.

Reviewer's Name: John
Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio
Kehret, Peg
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio is about a girl named Peg who is diagnosed with polio. Polio (poliomyelitis) is a disease that causes paralysis. You can get it by consuming contaminated water and food or by contacting an infected person. Peg gets dragged away to the hospital without even getting to say goodbye to her family. For the next couple weeks Peg must take on not moving, feeding tubes, and physical therapy to get her muscles moving again. I really loved this book. It messed with my emotions the whole time. I was either balling my eyes out or smiling ear to ear. This was one of the best books I have ever read. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a nonfiction, emotion pulling, great book.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Awards:
Educated
Westover, Tara
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Growing up on the prairie in the past meant you were mostly isolated from the rest of society for better or worse. In the 1990s growing up in isolation in the U.S was very rare. Most people lived in cities, or suburbs, or small farming communities. Tara Westover was part of this abnormality. She grew up in rural Idaho and was homeschooled and rarely spent much time without her family. Which causes her to believe almost everything her parents and,siblings believed but when she began college she learned a lot more about the world than what she ever knew before.

I don’t typically pick up a memoir but this one was very highly recommended so I decided to give it a read. I thought the beginning was a bit slow but once you get through some of the background it becomes important in later portions of the book. I thought the book had a really good message and very unique perspective. It made me think a lot about how the school system could be improved and how outdated some of the typical school experiences are. I would recommend this book to teachers, school administrators, parents and students since they are so involved in education. I think it would be a good book to read at school and discuss as well.

Reviewer's Name: McKenzie
Rocket Boys
Hickam, Homer
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

(Very immersive story) Rocket Boys is a book that shows the struggles of boys trying to break the tradition of a stereotypical miner town, dubbed Coalwood. I love how the descriptions bring light to the conditions of mining, and the towns surrounding the mine. It also brings light to the uproar that the Space Race caused, especially Sputnik. As the boys slowly figured out the basics of rocketry, it got more and more into the detail on how hard it was to create rockets when you live in a small town like that. As a footer, I just want to say that the boy’s determination to create those rockets was well shown.

Reviewer's Name: Ethan
Book Cover
Krakauer, Jon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I read ‘Into the Wild’ by Jon Krakauer in my sophomore year for extra credit in my English class. The book is about a young man that did live a privileged life but saw the world as that you don’t need money or materialistic things to live. I believed that his view on the world was ignorant and innocent because how he was brought up in life with money and never having to worry about anything, there was no struggle. For me what he ended up doing just seem very disrespectful to his parents, up and leaving them without saying anything. Into the Wild is just an amazing book with a very sad and devastating ending. Although it most of it did make me a little upset, I would read it again.

Reviewer's Name: Miguel
I Am Malala
Yousafzai, Malala
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I am Malala is an autobiography that a young girl wrote about her life after she was shot in the head by the Taliban and survived. She is a woman’s activist who was standing up for the right for young girls to even go to school, when the Taliban tried to silence her. The story is truly inspiring, and shows just how much of an impact someone can make. I would highly recommend this book for everyone because it really is able to explain what is happening in other parts of the world in an interesting and dramatic way. Although it is at times hard to keep up with all the names and what is happening, it is still a great read.

Reviewer's Name: Jana M.
Book Cover
Ignotofsky, Rachel & Mollo-Christensen, Sarah
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Women In Science, by Rachel Ignotofsky and Sarah Mollo-Christensen, provides
an overview of the lives of fifty women who contributed greatly and, in the
authors’ words, “fearlessly”, to the scientific field. In the book,
these fifty women’s contributions to science are highlighted and described.
Well and engagingly written, this book is an important read for any young
woman interested in the scientific field. By teaching us about the lives of
these women, the authors encourage young women to pursue their passions in
the sciences by showing previous women who have paved the way. I would
recommend this book to readers ages 12 and up. The book is appropriate for
anyone interested in the STEM field and women’s contributions to it.

Reviewer's Name: Rebecca D.
Book Cover
Green, Jen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Women In Science is a book which covers the lives of outstanding
women in science. Written for readers from 7-9, this book inspires young
readers with the incredible wonders of science. Too, it highlights these
contributions to the field which have been made by women. A simple and
digestible read, this book would be ideal for any young girl interested in
the scientific field. I would recommend this book.

Reviewer's Name: Rebecca D.
Book Review: Guts
Telgemeier, Raina
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Another great graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier. As Raina deals with friends, food, and changes in school she begins to find herself. This is a great book that many teens would find relatable and fun to read. The art in these books is so detailed and colorful. I have read all of Raina Telgemeier's books and I love her stories of finding your way.

Reviewer's Name: McKenna B
Book Review: Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World
Kidder, Tracy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Mountains Beyond Mountains is a phenomenal biography detailing the work of Dr. Paul Farmer in Haiti and Boston. Kidder follows Farmer's story between his life in Boston, Haiti, and France, the constant travelling to see his patients in the former and his family in France. The story of Dr.Farmer is incredibly inspiring and eye-opening as it discusses the lack of health care in many places and the need for conscious implementation of medical programs in underdeveloped countries. Not only does Kidder follow Farmer to his hospitals, home visits, etc. but he follows him as Farmer changes medical institutions across the world. This is an amazing read and I highly suggest it to anybody interested in the medical field, the developing versus the developed world, or somebody just wanting an interesting story.

Reviewer's Name: Maddie K.
Tuesdays with Morrie book cover
Albom, Mitch
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Tuesdays with Morrie is the most moving and sentimental novel I have ever read. The first person narrative told by the author Mitch Albom, walks through Albom’s life changing journey with his old college professor, Morrie. Albom spends a series of Tuesdays learning from Morrie, who had been diagnosed with ALS and has a very limited time to live. In this true story Morrie Schwartz speaks valuable truth and offers insight into what is important in life and why he wasn’t scared to die. My favorite quote from the novel is “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” Tuesdays with Morrie teaches all its readers how important everyday truly is, and how to not take life for granted.

Reviewer Grade:12

Reviewer's Name: Madison S
Awards:
Ten Women who changed Science and the World
Whitlock, Catherine Evans, Rhodri
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

In her book, "10 Women Who Changed Science and the World", Catherine Whitlock authors the biography of ten women who were deeply influential in science. For each woman, she writes a biography of their life and what significant contribution they made to their field. This book is well-written and informative, and neither too long nor too short for each woman's biography. I would recommend this book for readers of ages 13 and up. This book should interest those interested in women's contributions to science.

Reviewer's Name: Rebecca D
Into Thin Air
Krakauer, Jon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Into Thin Air is a narrative story of the author and climber, Jon Krakauer.
He establishes that ever since he was a kid, climbing Mt. Everest was his dream. He later accomplishes his ambition down the line, but with more consequences than anything rewarding.

Into Thin Air uses a consistent tone of language to identify whether the situation represents relief or tension. This gathers more intensity for those who are interested in thrillers and adventurous stories. The narrative offers a variety of twists and turns throughout the plot in order to continue the use of curiosity and unpredictability of the end. The story is very interesting, and builds upon every single detail, from the start until the end of the book.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Nam T
Maus II: A Survivor's Tale
Spiegelman, Art
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Maus II, the sequel/continuation to Maus, continues the story of Vladek Spiegelman told by his son in the form of a comic book. This book is amazing because, just like the first, it uses an animal metaphor to easily show the reader who is who in the story. Maus II takes a darker turn because Vladek is now in the depths of Aushwitz. I love these books and their creative outlook on the War and the Holocaust. No other historical book has made me this intrigued and want to continue reading.

Reviewer's Name: Maddie K.
Maus
Spiegelman, Art
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Maus 1 is a fascinating graphic history of the Holocaust and what Jewish people went through. Artist Art Spiegelman uses a variety of metaphors to depict his fathers experience as a Polish Jew during the Holocaust. I found this book incredible because it uses an animal metaphor like Animal Farm to give a deeper insight into the story. This graphic history, much like a graphic novel, uses lights and darks, white and black, and special images to draw the reader in and help them understand the hardships Vladek Spiegelman faced. I loved this book and think it is a must read book for everyone.

Reviewer's Name: Maddie K.
Night
Wiesel, Elie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Night, by Elie Wiesel, tells of the story of the main protagonist Eliezer and the many tragedies he faced in German concentration camps during World War II. The protagonist narrates the entire book in a first-person and unbiased manner, which exposes the emotional truth of the Holocaust and provides an autobiography of the real author’s experience during the war. Eliezer, the main protagonist and counter part to the real Elie Wiesel, is forced to approach his ever-changing relationship with friends and family, many conflicts and struggles, and a plethora of situations that threaten his existence throughout the book. His reactions to these various obstacles exhibit the Holocaust survivor’s unique traits that set him apart from other Protagonists. Like Eliezer, every character in the book is developed fully with vivid traits that the real Elie remembers about them. The autobiography is fascinating and tells a compelling story while informing the reader about what really happened during the Holocaust, and I would reccomend it to anyone.

Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Steven L
Awards:

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