Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Alive, by Piers Paul Read

Alive, by Piers Paul Read, is a true story all about an amateur rugby teams' plane crash on their way to their rugby game. They were traveling through the Andes and a little too close to the mountains. Their plane hit a mountain and the wing broke off. The plane crashed in the cold, hard snow. Some died from the impact of the crash, but 32 survived. The only shelter they have is the plane's shattered fuselage, and their only supplies are a little wine and some bits of candy. To what lengths will this rugby team go to survive, and how long until they're rescued? To find out, read this chilling survival story.

This book is a compelling story of survival. Unfortunately the author uses too many details and information where the tragic feeling of the story is lost in the average teenage reader. Overall, I enjoyed this story, but I found it difficult to read. I am hesitant to recommend this book. If you think you can get through the inordinate amount of details, you may enjoy this true story of survival. I think this story could have been better told in way less pages.

-Reviewed by Logan, grade 9.

Monday, July 25, 2011

House of Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer

In the House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer; Matteo Alacran, a boy clone, is harvested out of the stomach of a cow. His DNA came from El Patron, lord of a country called Opium. At the age of six, Matt breaks out of the house he was held in to play with some kids. He is soon lead back to the mansion in which El Patron lives. Everybody thinks he is a monster except for El Patron who loves Matt as himself. Throughout the story, Matt is trying to find out his existence. While he is trying to figure out he is threatened by El Patrons power hungry family, and is surrounded by dangerous body guards. An unexpected twist happens and now escaping the mansion is the only chance he has of surviving. Even if he does escape he is never safe because he is marked by his difference.

In my opinion, this book is up there in the best books I have ever read. It's a great science fiction book filled with adventure. This story creates perfect pictures in your mind. It really feels like you know these characters very well and get to know them. Gives a compelling picture of what the future could bring. I would recommend this book to everyone who can read 400 pages with no problem and especially to those who like science fiction. This book has wowed me and I hope it will wow you, too.

-Reviewed by Logan, grade 9.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Full Tilt, by Neal Shusterman

Full Tilt, by Neal Shusterman, is about a sixteen-year-old named Blake and his brother, Quinn, who are exact opposites. Blake is very responsible and calm; Quinn is fearless and thrill-seeking. Blake always has to keep an eye out for Quinn, but this time it went too far. Quinn decided he wanted to go into a bizarre phantom carnival that traps customers forever. The only way out is for Blake to survive seven deadly rides by dawn, each which represents a personal fear. These rides range from a merry-go-round that goes haywire when its animals turn real to a bumper car ride transforming into a demolition derby. Untimately Blake has to face up to a horrible secret in his past to save him and his brother if their soul aren't taken first.

I really enjoyed Full Tilt, by Neal Shusterman. The storyline was exciting and thrilling, it really made me feel as if I were a part of the action. This book is one of those books that you just can't put down. Perfect as a quick read that will get you to enjoy reading again. I recommend this book to mostly boys, but this book is for anyone who enjoys exciting, thrilling stories. This book put me on the edge of my seat and wanting to read more from this author. I hope it will do the same to you.

-Reviewed by Logan, grade 9.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Nory Ryan's Song, by Patricia Giff

Nory Ryan's Song, by Patricia Reilly Giff, is a historical fiction book set in the year 1845 that takes place on Maidin Bay, a land located on the west coast of Ireland. The protagonist of the book is a girl named Nory Ryan. Her family raises potatoes as their primary source of food. Her father, Da, sails away on a fishing boat to earn money for Lord Cunningham, the landlord of Maidin Bay. Lord Cunningham tries to make life as difficult as possible for the Irish people so they will immigrate to another place and he will be able to graze sheep over the lands of abandoned homes. Nory Ryan's sister, Maggie Ryan, decides to move to Brooklyn, a city in New York, which is in the United States. The Ryan family hope to move to the United States as well.

In a few weeks, almost every citizen, serf and farmer leave Maidin Bay to go to America forever to avoid bankruptcy. The Ryans start to lose money and Da does not return during the time he usually does every year. A potato blight occurs, which runs the potatoes and start a famine. Will Nory Ryan's family survive?

I highly recommend this book because it has a big appeal that makes people learn of experiencing famines and harsh times when having to work for a landlord.

-Reviewed by E.C., grade 9.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beastly, by Alex Finn

Beastly, by Alex Finn, is about Kyle Kingsbury who had it all: the girl, the looks, the money, and he was going to be prom king. And because he had everything, Kyle figured he was everything, that everyone should be crawling on their knees to talk to him, because he was so perfect. But that all changes when Kendara, a witch, decided to teach him a lesson and puts a spell on him, "as ugly on the outside as you are on the inside." Now Kyle is horridly deformed and only the kiss from the girl who can see past the face and into his heart, will save him from being "beastly" forever, and hopefully the two year time limit won't be a problem. When I first read Beastly, as soon as I opened the cover, I didn't close it until I finished. That normally doesn't happen with me and books. What was different with this book and others that I read, I honest couldn't say, but it had me hooked! I loved how Flinn took the classic Beauty and the Beast, and set it in modern day New York, and how he captured the looks plus money equals popularity. And the way Kyle reacted to everything about the change, about being brought down from an egoistical and selfish person, to a caring and humble young man, was perfect, very well thought out and planned. This book made me feel like I was part of the story. I felt like I was in the story standing right next to Kyle Kingsbury while he struggled to get a handle on what he now was and on who he was becoming. I would recommend this book to all my friends who have not already read it. It truly is a one of a kind read.

-Reviewed by Bella, grade 10.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Fire Within, by Chris D'Lacey

The Fire Within, by Chris D'Lacey, is about a boy named David who becomes a house tenant at the Pennykettle's. When he arrives, he is given a magical clay dragon with fantastic powers. When David is done using the dragon to write books, he puts the dragon away, then the dragon starts dying from the lack of love that David is supposed to supply him with. Read to find out about the dragon and David. This book was very adventurous and interesting. I really liked it because it was a very good book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fictional books, or for someone who just wants to try something different.

-Reviewed by T.N., grade 9.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rumble Fish, by S.E. Hinton

Rumble Fish, by S.E. Hinton, is about a young boy named Rusty James who wants to be just like his older brother, Motorcycle Boy. Rusty enjoys fighting and, of course, girls. Rusty fights for his reputation and expects Motorcycle Boy to always be there to assist him of course until the day where Motorcycle Boy isn't there. Read to find out what happens. I really loved this story because there are many people who rely on others for support but you have to learn that they aren't going to always be there for you. It is a very lovely and touching story. I recommend this book to everyone because the moment you pick up the book, you won't want to put it down.

-Reviewed by T.N., grade 9.

Monday, July 4, 2011

That Was Then, This Is Now, by S.E. Hinton

That Was Then, This Is Now, by S.E. Hinton, is a very sad yet interesting story. It is about two 16 year olds, Mark and Bryon who have been like brothers since childhood. They had been growing up in a rough neighborhood and had gotten into many tragic situations. Now they have grown apart and treat life differently. This story is very touching and emotional. I'll recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books based on true stories. I honestly loved this book and have read it more than once.

-Reviewed by T.N., grade 9.