Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Top 100 Young Adult Novels
75, 200 readers voted in the Best-Ever Teen Fiction Poll by NPR.     See if your favorite made the top 100!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wake, by Lisa McMann

The book Wake by Lisa McMann is about a girl named Janie who has a special ability to visit other people's dreams. She doesn't have her own dreams, but she always gets sucked in by other people's dreams, by force. She struggles to avoid the dreams because mostly they are nightmares, but it doesn't work. However, her life changes as she meets Miss Stubin, an old, blind lady in the hospital-like organization. First, Janie didn't realize that she has the same ability as her, but just before she died, Janie found that out and was amazed. Miss Stubin taught Janie how to avoid dreams and how to help people in their nightmares, which forever changed her life. Janie also meets a guy named Caleb who came to know about her strange ability in school. They work together as a group, when police department offers Janie to catch a criminal through searching people's dreams. This is a story of a girl who has the strangest power.

I like this book, because first, I thought that the theme of this book is really creative. I've never really saw any movies or books about this strange ability of going into others' dreams. Second, I loved the writing style of this author. The author lists what Janie did at what time. For an example, the texts says, "12:30 a.m. Janie is asleep on the couch. She doesn't dream. Never dreams." (25). The author doesn't go on and on about the details, but she makes it clear what the characters are doing and what is happening in the story. The author has the most attractive writing skills and I absolutely love it. One thing I didn't like about this book is that the mood of the story is so dark. When I was reading it, it creeped me out a little. But if anyone likes dark, mysterious stories, this book will be one of the best books to read.

-Reviewed by Sunyoung, grade 9.

The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles are a compilation of multiple fantasy stories focused on the conflicts of Martians as well as new settlers from planet Earth. These stories paint a dystopian picture and depict human beings as ultimately destroyers of all that is ancient and sacred. As people move from Earth to Mars, they completely take over the planet and rewrite its history, colonizing it like an army of ants. The conflicts that occur have much to say about human nature and the way society works. One story, "The Earth Men", reveals how astronauts from Earth are depicted as psychopaths by the Martians of Mars. Another story, "The Naming of Names", goes on to discuss the dominating nature of humans. Read the book to fully experience the thrilling, thought-provoking stories of Ray Bradbury!
I absolutely loved The Martian Chronicles, especially due to the dystopian/fantasy air of most of the stories. I found these stories to be extremely thought-provoking, and they definitely do require the time and effort to fully process and analyze the meaning within the literature. Nevertheless, they are amazingly creative compilations and excitingly fun to read. Make sure to pick up this book, you will not be disappointed!

-Reviewed by P.P., grade 11.