Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Annie's Baby, by Beatrice Sparks

Annie's Baby, by Beatrice Sparks, is about a fourteen-year-old girl that meets a guy named Danny. At first she thinks he's perfect and the best person in the world. Then her life slowly starts to change and she finds out she's pregnant by him. Annie's devastated and doesn't know what she should do. She realizes that Danny isn't really as great as he seems, and she's stressing out because she can't handle the responsibility of being a mother. Will she be able to raise a baby by herself? I really liked this book because it teaches you how dangerous unprotected sex can be. I finished this book in just a few hours because once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. It really teaches you a lot and gets you thinking. Any girl would enjoy reading this book.

- Reviewed by A., grade 9.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lord Loss, by Darren Shan

Lord Loss, by Darren Shan, is a particular book filled with action, horror, gore, and a little bit of chess. It's a story that contains demons, blood, guts, werewolves, and enjoyment with each page. Grubbs Grady is a boy that came home one day and found his family slaughtered by demons and a strange looking demon, with human-like qualities, except he has pale red skin, no nose, legs, or heart and he has blood dripping through cracks in his body, yea nothing special. Demons run after Grubbs and he escapes a very close death. But from then on, he gets sent to a mental hospital and is classified as a wreck. [Grubbs must outwit not only the mental health professionals determined to cure his delusion, but also the demonic forces only he can see.]

Honestly, when I first read this I was trembling. From both excitement of the thrill of the book and fear of all the blood and gore. I was amused at the Demonata series and went off in search for the other books. This series is fascinating with all the action and puts you right in the battles. I would recommend this to all teens who crave blood and guts. The author, Darren Shan, is a genius in breathing this series.

- Reviewed by Patrick, grade 9.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson

Have you ever wanted to say something but never had a chance to speak out? The book Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, is about a teenage girl named Melinda who is a total outcast and is about to enter high school knowing she called the police at a party during the summer. No one really knows what really happened to her that night. As the novel continues, the author gives hints to the reader to what really happened to her. She becomes very isolated with herself, family, and friends. Melinda expresses her feelings and emotions through art and as she progresses to become a better artist, will she decide to speak out about what happened the night of the party?

In my opinion, Speak is an amazing book filled with many obstacles that a typical teenager overcomes as a new high school student. It teaches a lesson to always speak out and get help whenever it is necessary. Speaking out helps one emotionally and physically through what they are going through. One doesn't want to end up being like Melinda - an outcast and isolated with everything. I think everyone should speak their heart out about anything. I recommend this book to anyone who has any problems speaking out and with self esteem. Speak might give perspective to those that relate to the same problems. Speak out!

- Reviewed by Thomas, grade 9.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lucky, by Rachel Vail

Lucky, by Rachel Vail, is a fine read for teens. This book revolves around the life of 8th grader Phoebe Avery, who with her four closest friends plans to throw a graduation party for their entire class. Phoebe's plans, however, get sidetracked when her seemingly perfect, stock market mother gets fired from her job. Phoebe ends up having to choose between her friends or her family, but at the end Phoebe learns with the help of her two older sisters and her best friend the real meaning of friendship. I enjoyed reading this book. I think many girls can relate to Phoebe because of the financial crisis of the country. However, the book did ramble on in the beginning, but it ended well. I believe this book is best geared toward middle school girls because I don't think boys would be interested in this girl's problems and it is a bit too young for high schoolers. Overall, Lucky is a fun, easy read with a good plot.

- Reviewed by Nareh, grade 9.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Child Called It, by Dave Pelzer

A Child Called It, by Dave Pelzer, is about a boy's intense courage to survive from one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. When Dave Pelzer was young, he was beaten and starved physically and mentally by his crazy mother who was alcoholic. One day, his mother "accidentally" stabbed him on his ribs for not finishing dishwashing in time. Not only that, his mother starved him for ten consecutive days and tortured him with cold water, burning stove, and more. His helpless dad and his brothers just watched him suffer alone. Despite his age, he learned to play his mother's games in order to survive because she didn't consider him a son, but a slave. Later, a school teacher and a nurse help him out and free him from his mother.

In my opinion, this book was great and it planted a different idea of serious case of child abusing. Before I read this book, I didn't even know this kind of child abuse case existed. I was inspired by Dave Pelzer because he survived and grew to be a successful man even though he was deeply hurt in his heart by his parents and brothers. Thinking about Dave Pelzer's hard times, I learned that I should be grateful for my parents for not starving and beating me. I would rate this book FIVE STARS for his inspiration for many people to fight against abuse cases. Way to go Mr. Pelzer!

- Reviewed by Joseph, grade 9.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Daemon Hall, by Andrew Nance

Daemon Hall, by Andrew Nance, is about a famous author who holds a horror writing contest for aspiring young authors. Whoever wins will have their book published. The contest is held in a supposedly "haunted" house called Daemon Hall. However, while the young authors are participating in the contest, horrible things happen in the house that don't have a logical explanation. This book is a bit on the short side, but the content is good. It usually sticks to the plot except when the kids are telling their own stories. The plus side of this book is that it is pretty scary. The minus is that at times it gets a bit boring and confusing. I would recommend it to horror fans and those who like to read about dark humor.

- Reviewed by Emma K., grade 10.

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