Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell

The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell, is an historically accurate story about the Puritan settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It describes their lives and the problems they encountered. It focuses on the governor, Winthrop, and other historically important characters. This book covers everything from the founding of Rhode Island, to the beginnings of Massachusetts Bay Colony, to the wars with the Indians. In addition, it analyzed and comments on the history as well.
This non-fiction story is not only interesting, but also fun to read. It is page turning. It is also valuable as a source to learn early US history. I recommend it to everyone looking for something interesting to read.
-Reviewed by Manuk, grade 9.

Feathered Dinosaurs of China, by Gregory Wenzel

The book Feathered Dinosaurs of China, by Gregory Wenzel, is about dinosaurs in China. It explains that in China, there were only flying dinosaurs. There were no T-Rex, no grass-eating creatures, and no hunting other land creatures. The flying ones attacked little and small animals. All the information about China's dinosaurs in this non-fiction book.

I really liked this book because it is informative about prehistoric times and especially because it talked about my favorite animals, dinosaurs. I felt good for having information about them from this book and I therefore recommend this book to my father because he likes dinosaurs more than I do so I think he will enjoy this book and I was also fascinated by the fact that there are only flying dinosaurs in China.

-Reviewed by Norvik, grade 9.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

Normally not interested much in biographies myself, the poetic I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou, is a coming-of -age autobiography every girl should read, regardless of her age. Angelou explores topics such as identity, rape, racism, education, motherhood, and more. Beginning with the prologue, the reader is sucked into the mindset of a young girl in a time race, color, and religion mean everything in someones life. A young Maya is unsure of her life, guided mostly by her brother and her grandmother's rules. As she breaks out of her own insecurity, the reader grows as well. Parenthood becomes a matter of circumstance. Each character Maya highlights in her life has a different dimension, notable among them being her grandmother who is a very powerful woman in their community, the only black woman to be acknowledged respectfully by a judge, her mother who is a notable actress renowned for her beauty and many affairs, her father a thorough businessman and an incredibly charming man, and her brother who is loved by all for his looks. While reading the novel, it often becomes difficult to distinguish between Maya the character, and Ms. Angelou the author. By reading this novel, you will be sure to experience real literature, but also enjoy the story, and learn more about what it meant to be a black girl in America.

-Reviewed by S.M., grade 12.