Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman

In the book The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman, the third in His Dark Materials series continues where the second book left off. Lyra and Will, who were once ordinary children, are now again in terrible danger. With the help of the armored bear Iorek Byrnison and two tiny Gallivespian spies, they must travel to a grey-lit world where no living soul has entered. Meanwhile, Dr. Mary Malone built an amber spyglass and an assassin is hunting her down. Lord Asriel with groups of angels arm for a rebellion against a mighty and old foe. With strange allegiances and shocking sacrifices, the war rages and the Dust drains from the sky. And the fate of the living and the dead lies in the hands of two children and the simple truth. I greatly enjoyed this book when I got it, and I was really surprised by the end. I would recommend it to all fans of fantasy of all ages.

- Reviewed by Victor, grade 8.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Forever, by Judy Blume

Forever, by Judy Blume, is a book about young love and sexual encounters of a high school girl. Katherine, the protagonist, wants to make her first experience special and actually mean something. Katherine does not want to lose her virginity simply because of curiosity or temptation. Although Katherine and her boyfriend Michael have not been together for long, both know what they have is serious. Katherine knows that she loves her boyfriend Michael and he feels the same towards her. As the book progresses, their love for eachother deepens and gets stronger, to the point where they can't live without each other. But will their young love last? In my opinion, Forever is a great book. This book is not ONLY about having a sexual relationship. It's about what it means to have such a relationship with another. It's about growing up and doing what is right, doing what you desire with precaution. It teaches its readers the difference between "forever" and "everlasting" and this is the reason why I recommend this book to teenage girls who are mature and know they can handle this book. This book is extremely detailed so if one thinks they will get squeamish reading this book I recommend you not to read it. This book does not hide the truth. It's real life.

- Reviewed by Ashley, grade 10.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Exit Here, by Jason Myers

Exit here, by Jason Myers, is another teen novel addressing the topic of drug use. However, the approach that the author uses makes the book stand out. Myers does not attempt to blatantly preach the evils of drug abuse, but rather writes it from the main character's perspective, and allows the readers to draw their own conclusions. When Travis Wayne randomly returns home from a trip to Hawaii, his friends and family are left guessing why he is back. This soon falls to the wayside, however, as Travis and his friends soon fall back into their routine of doing mountains of drugs, going to music shows, getting into fights, and hooking up with random girls. After the third tragedy in one year strikes Travis, all three of which drugs were responsible for, he realizes that maybe he needs to change his life and make things right. As I said previously, the manner in which the book conveys its message is wonderful. It is subtle, yet powerful, and sad, yet hopeful. I would recommend it to all young readers.

- Reviewed by MarinaDW, grade 10.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pure, by Rebbecca Ray

Pure is about a fourteen-year-old, unnamed narrator who is known as the dangerous, provocative girl at school. After begging her dad to buy her a stereo, they visit the electronics store where she meets Oliver, a twenty-seven-year-old salesman who is going nowhere in life. They soon start having an unconventional affair, where the narrator claims she is growing into her own skin and becoming the woman she always wanted to be. I don't recommend this book because I think the narrator doesn't explain her actions well, and her morals are not fully intact. This story has no moral or lesson, and is overall a disappointment. The plot and characters aren't fully developed. It is a sloppy book that is hard to follow and understand.

- Reviewed by Ina, grade 9.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Golden Compass - movie review

In The Golden Compass, based on the book by Philip Pullman, a young girl named Lyra Belacqua goes on an adventure with clans, gypsies, and an armored bear to uncover the truth regarding the microscopic particle, dust, that could untie different worlds. Another purpose for her adventure was to find several missing children, including her friend. To accomplish this task, she uses a device called the golden compass to find the truth behind their questions and problems. Only one who is skilled enough can interpret the messages that the compass gives. This was an interesting movie to watch. It is very exciting and it is also filled with suspense and action that will keep you glued to your seat. I recommend this movie to everyone.

- Reviewed by C., grade 9.