Wednesday, October 31, 2012

teens' top ten
Celebrate Teen Read Week with the great top ten list of teen books chosen by teens

13 Treasures, by Michelle Harrison

In the book 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison, a girl named Tanya is no ordinary person. Tanya can see fairies! Now, you may be thinking, oh great, another stupid story about fairies, well, you can stop there! Tanya doesn't see what you and I think of as fairies, she sees evil fairies. Fairies that steal from her, and cast evil spells on her. When Tanya's mother gets sick of Tanya's strange behaviors (because of the evil fairies), she sends Tanya to Elvesden Manor, her grandmother's deserted country estate.

The estate is right beside woods, where fifty years ago, a girl vanished in them, and never was found again. When Tanya learns about this mystery, she is determined to investigate further, even if that means going against thousands of evil fairies. But as Tanya learns more and more about the story, she finds herself dangerously close to vanishing into the fairy realm forever!

This book is a very captivating book full of mystery and adventure. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading mystery books, as well as fairy books, because this book is not any ordinary fairy story. I enjoyed reading this book with all my heart, and find myself looking around for fairies!

-Reviewed by Nellie, grade 9.

The Scorch Trails, by Thomas Dashner

The Scorch Trails, by James Dashner, is the second book in the breath taking Maze Runner trilogy. Everything was supposed to end after The Maze Runner. They were at least going to get their lives back, whatever those were. But once again, WICKED has fooled them. This time things are different, nothing is provided, unlike the Maze. The world is now a burnt wasteland, remaining governments have united, and there is a horrible disease, called the Flare, going around that slowly turns you insane. This time, they’re in the Scorch, the most burned out part in the world. They have two weeks to make it to the safe haven and WICKED has made sure the odds are against them. Thomas wonders why he is different, why has WICKED singled him out and taken extra good care of him?

James Dashner never disappoints. I am even willing to say that this was even more thrilling than the last. I love how Dashner seems to be mocking Thomas with the simple but horrible shocks and revelations. He has come up with an amazing trilogy and I am dying to get my hands on the next one! I would recommend this to teenage girls and boys who enjoy thrilling and any who enjoyed the first one cannot pass this up!

- Reviewed by Anonymous.

The Island of Dr. Moreau, by H.G. Wells

The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells begins with Edward Prendick's ship, The Lady Vain, being wrecked at sea, leaving him stranded. He then finds a ship full of animals owned by a man named Montgomery. Seeing that Prendick has nowhere else to go, Montgomery reluctantly takes him along with him to a strange island, apparently inhabited by only Montgomery and his colleague, Dr. Moreau. However, it isn't long before Prendick finds out that Moreau is doing strange and horrific experiements on animals to give them humanoid traits... and that the experiments are about to go horribly wrong.

The Island of Dr. Moreau is an absorbing and suspenseful adventure that, like H.G. Wells' other works, still manages to interest and puzzle the reader over a hundred years after its original publication. Edward Prendick serves as a very believable main character, being equally fascinated by the wonders of the mysterious island and horrified by the abominations that Moreau had created. It is also very interesting to see how H.G. Wells displays the consequences of tampering with nature by giving the creatures conflicting primitive animal traits and human traits. While not as memorable as sont of Wells' other works, The Island of Dr. Moreau is still a great novel for classic literature readers or science fiction fans.

-Reviewed by Liam, grade 9.

Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane

Mark Mathabane's, Kaffir Boy , takes readers back to the 1940's in Alexandra, South Africa where apartheid laws took over the majority of the people's lives. Segregation and racial discrimination hang above the locals' heads. In Alexandra, guns and truncheons enforce rule and order. Mark vividly talks about his horrific childhood and some events that the human eyes are probably not suppose to witness. At a young age he has already known the full meaning of hunger, fear, violence, and hatred, especially towards the heartless whites. When he turns six years old, his mother forces him to go to school and he quickly enjoys learning how to read and write. Mark sees the beauty in learning, but isn't able to escape the face that he is still a kaffir (a derogatory word used to belittle the status of the natives in South Africa). His relationship with his father is not even close to getting better because he thinks Mark should be following tribal rules. As he gets older he realizes that not all whites are the same but forces himself not to fully trust the people that treated him and his people like property. With a hardened heart, Mark is determined to fight for a better life and future for himself and his family.

 Kaffir Boy is truly a powerful and emotional novel. Mark Mathabane did an amazing job with details and I think he did this because he wanted others to really understand what he had to go through while growing up in a society where people were not treated as people anymore. Although, he often repeated how terrible life was under apartheid throughout the novel and it would get a bit boring reading it over and over again. It is an easy read novel and I would recommend it to all high school teens, because every now and then we forget that there are other people in the world that are not as fortunate.

- Rocen S., grade 11