Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ender's Shadow, by Orson Scott Card

"Ender's Shadow," by Orson Scott Card, is one of my all time favorite books. As a war is about to break out in outer space against an alien race a child living on the mean streets of Rotterdam with fights his own war with ruthless gangs of starving kids that wouldn't hesitate to kill. Bean, the main character, has learned to survive not with his fists, but with his brains. Bean, only a year old when put on the streets and still only four years old, is close to deaths door and much too small for his age to everpower anyone for food. He persuades Poke, a crew leader, to give him food and let him join by giving her a strategy that will get them all more food. The plan was that they'll all work together to overpower a slightly older bully and force him to become their muscleman. It all goes terribly wrong when Poke, thinking he would be an easier target because of his gimp leg,, pick Achilles, to beat down. He later kills Poke, which devastates Bean, thinking he could have stopped it. He'll do anything to get away from Achilles, so when Sister Carlotta, a nun working for the I.F., comes looking for a new student to send to battle school, Bean takes his chance. Bean is the smartest person to ever enter battle school, and also the youngest. Throughout the story, Bean continues to prove himself, and is always a few steps ahead of everyone else. As the battle against the Buggers gets closer, only the best would be taken to fight. What will Bean's roll be in this historic event? This story is Bean's perspective of "Ender's Game," and is wonderfully written.

-Reviewed by M.P., grade 9.

In Silence, by Erica Spindler

"In Silence," by Erica Spindler, is a scary, suspenseful book that I love very much. Its about a young journalist named Avery Chauvin, who returns to her home in Cypress Springs, Louisiana, after twelve long years away. Despite the large amount of time shes been away, nothing has changed. Except for her. Her mother died a year ago, and now her father has commit suicide. Or did he? She believes that her father, a physician who dedicated himself to preserving life, would never commit suicide. As Avery cleans out her Cypress Springs is a post card perfect town, where everyone thinks they's safe. Why would her father keep these clippings? As Avery continues to search for clues on what might have really happened to her father, a woman is found brutally murdered. People go missing,, and it becomes harder for Avery to trust even her closest of friends. What's happening in Cypress Springs? Is anyone safe anymore? I really enjoyed reading this book, and anyone that loves mystery, suspense, or horror will love it also.

-Reviewed by M.P., Grade 9.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Monster, by Walter Dean Myers

Monster, by Walter Dean Myers, gives deep insight into a sixteen year old boy, Steve, convicted of murder. The victim was Mr. Nesbitt, who was the owner of the store that had been robbed. Steve is now on trial and writes his experiences into a movie and as a journal.

I have never wondered what happened in jail. All I really knew was the bad guy would get caught and spend his life in a cell room. Reading this book opened my eyes to what really happens behind the bars and how it can affect someone. It was crueler than I had ever thought it to be and at some points I had wanted to stop reading because the concepts of sexual abuse and violence were too abnormal for me to comprehend. Having Steve, the main character, write it in movie format made it for me even more enjoyable to read. At first it was complicated, having new terms to memorize and the format completely different. However, once it became familiar, the story actually turned into a movie in my mind. The characters were real, and the dialogue was just as it was written. Steve also caught my attention. I pitied him; he sounded as if he was only five years old, especially in the flashbacks. In the whole book, I believe the real question was: Who am I? Monster gave me a whole new outlook on the ordeal of prison life and trial. It kept me in suspense until the very end, right until his verdict which was...

I recommend this book to almost all teens, except for those extremely sensitive. I really makes a person rethink about themselves and may change for the better. I had grown up, a bit spiritually, when I read this book and I know that I will remember it for years to come.

-Reviewed by Sophia, grade 9.

Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card

"Ender's Game," by Orson Scott Card, is about a boy named Ender Wiggin, a Third, that's sent to battle school in space, to prepare for a war in space against a race of aliens trying to destroy Earth. In battle school, Ender is put under an immense amount of pressure, since everyone expects him to defeat the Buggers. As time goes on and enemies are made, Ender snaps at one point and actually kills one of his bullies, the leader of Salamander Army, Bonzo Mardrid. As the battle with the Buggers gets even closer, Ender goes into a depression. When the time comes, will Ender be able to pull himself together to lead everyone to victory? I really enjoyed this book, and recommend it to everyone, especially to those who like science fiction.

-Reviewed by M.P., grade 9.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fallen, by Lauren Kate

Hauntingly fascinating, Fallen written by Lauren Kate not only gives me the chills, but is full of mystery, hearthbreaking love, a war between those its best not to get between, and not knowing who you can or can't trust. Those who loved Hush, Hush, will thirst for this book just how a man who's had nothing but salt thirst for water. Luce Price is sent to Sword & Cross boarding school for those who are a danger to themselves and others. Being watched by cameras 24/7, never allowed to move beyond their classrooms and their bedrooms, and teachers teaching subjects that Luce finds is too strange to be a coincidence, Sword & Cross has more to it than it seems. Luce befriends one of the outcasts who knows the layout of the school inside and out and the two find the rest of the students' files because Luce is bewildered by them. She finds she is drawn to Daniel Grigori, but unlike other teen novels, he has no interest in her whatsoever. Nevertheless, she can't fight the feeling that they have a connection, but so does she and Cam, the one other boy who seems to be a little less than insane. Luce can't decide is she's going crzy or if the shadows she's seeing and dreams she's experiencing are real. Lost and trying to find help, Luce battles her demons...both figuratively and literally. Her questions: what if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours, and what exactly are all the kids at Swork & Cross hiding from her? I thought the Lauren Kate did an amazing job with this book. The book was fast paced and extremely easy to connect to on a personal level. I felt the author really mixed real life thoughts and feelings into a world of fantasy. Overall, the book was so out of the blue and different from all the other teen novels that it made me love it instantly. And perhaps, you will too!

-Reviewed by Nikki, grade 8.

Hush Hush, by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick is just one of those teenager novels that make you want to absorb all the pages as fast as you can, stay up way past your bedtime, sigh over the romance that all girls out there with they could one day have, and going to school the next day with baggy eyes but gushing to your friends what an amazing book it was! Starting from the very first page, the mystery begins making you think, "What's going on!!??!!" Becca Fitzpatrick used an extremely luring topic - fallen angels along with many different conflicts, strange characters, and events that will make you squeal with anticipation. In this novel, the lead character is Nora Grey who has a best friend named Vee, is paranoid because of her father's murder, and is partnered with the new boy in class, Patch, who seems to know her better than her best friend. Though she can tell he's definitely dangerous, she still feels drawn to his despite having strong suspicions that he's the one who's been following her, attacked her in her car, and has been watching her house. But there's more that she can't understand. The strange visions that she's getting and the new counselor who asks way too many question about her and Patch. Nora and Vee meet two new boys who come from school surrounding an unsolved murder of a girl. After Vee's attack from Nora's stalker, Nora confronts Patch. When she does, she accidentally brushes against his scars and enters into one of his memories to find that he is a fallen angel, his counselor was Patch's ex-girlfriend who was trying to get him back to Heaven, and Patch's job was to get rid of Nora. Nora doesn't know who to trust when Vee gets kidnapped by the new kids and her counselor wants to kill her. Not to mention, she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those who have fallen and Nora's choice on shoosing sides may cost her her life. I thought the book was full of action and humor mixed with so much mystery. I could not believe how the book ended, but you'll have to find out for yourself! I'd recommend this book to all those who love mystery, romance, and teenager books.

-Reviewed by Nikki, grade 8.

The Devlin Diary, by Christi Phillips

The Devlin Diary, by Christi Phillips is a book where Dr. Claire Donavon is just getting used to her PhD. Her new job at one of the world's most renowned collages is a gift from her colleague, Andrew Kent. From becoming a fellow to writing her paper on 16th century codes, Claire seems to have her plate full. In 1667, Hannah Devlin is practicing her love of medicine when she is mysteriously taken to the court of Charles the second. Hannah is used to being lookend down on for being a girl practicing Physics without a license. But at court things are much more ambitious. Men see her as an easy prize to win. Back in England Claire's colleague is murdered. Claire must search up and down for the murderer. All evidence points to a diary kept by Hannah Devlin. Written in code, the code seems to be the perfect key. Hannah is determined to ffind her father's killer. With the help of a newly made doctor she will find the clues needed for solving the mystery.

This is the second story by Renowned author Christi Phillips. The Devlin Diary is a story that can be read over and over. Its plot is the same but it still has a certain gem to it you can't resist. It is one of my favorite books by far and it only makes me want to share it with everyone who loves to read. Read this book and enjoy it. This book should be savored like fine wine.

-Reviewed by T.A., grade 10.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is about, Jem and Scout, two children growing up in the South during the 1930's. They are scared from a local crazy, called Boo Rudley. Also their father protects and an African American in court. Even through the real rapist of the case is another person, the African American is accused from the crime. Chosen guilty, the guilty man is free from persecution. After the case, Jem and Scout are attacked and Boo Radley protects and saves them from harm.

The classic story, To Kill a Mockingbird teaches you many morales and is a great story. It teaches the way racism is terrible and how it was part of the Southern Economy. I deeply recommend that you read this book.

-Reviewd by Nate, grade 9.