Thursday, November 29, 2012

Where the Red Fern Grows, by William Rawls

Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls is a tale of both friendship, love and tragedy. In the beginning of the novel, protagonist Billy Coleman is leaving work in the late afternoon when he comes across a Redbone Coonhound in a fight with some other dogs. Saving the dog from the fray, he nurses it back to health, realizing that he must set it free once it is healthy enough to go. However, his time with the dog allows him to revisit his past, back to when he was just a 10 year old boy who wanted nothing more than to raise a pair of Redbone coonhound pups. The young boy is so determined to fulfill his dream that he raises the money himself to buy the puppies, whom he names Old Dan and Little Ann after a tree he saw with the names carved in it. The story is about this boys unbreakable bond with his dogs and the trials they go through, as well as the triumphs.

This story is packed with emotion that will have you reaching for the tissue box, filled with plot development that will have you on the edge of your seat and comprised of those moments in life that we can all relate to. I very much enjoyed reading this work of realistic fiction and I read it from cover to cover many times. I also like how the story starts off with the same boy, who is now a man, and then has him flashback to his childhood. The novel is very enjoyable and is suitable for anyone who loves tales of unbreakable friendship and trust. I loved it and I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by C.W, grade 12.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Look Again, by Lisa Scottoline

In Look Again by Lisa Scottoline, reporter Ellen Gleeson is shocked when she sees a photo of a child in a missing child flyer identical to her adopted son. She adopted her son when he was a sick one-year-old two years ago. The adoption seemed completely legal and lawful, but Ellen now feels as though something must be wrong and suspicious about it. To make matters worse, after investigating and looking further into the adoption papers, she finds that some details do not fit or make sense. Ellen wants to come to some sort of conclusion, but is afraid of what future events it may lead to.

This story is beyond thrilling and mysterious. It will keep readers wanting to know more and more about what is to come until they reach the end. The situation of Ellen and her son is found to be quite emotional and touching as well. Overall, the story moves very quickly while still being able to keep readers engaged. I give this book a 10/10 rating and recommend it to readers who would enjoy an entertaining and fast-paced mystery about a mother's search and journey for answers regarding her son's questionable adoption.

-Reviewed by Emily K., grade 12.

Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks, by Lauren Myracle

In Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle, fifteen-year-old Carly returns home to Georgia from a summer camp in Tennessee and finds that she is sick and tired of her family's usual wealthy and overprivileged life. She wishes for a more common and real lifestyle where everything is not just handed to her. In addition to this, her younger sister Anna is starting high school and has gone from being a cute, little girl to a curvy, more beautiful young lady over the course of the summer. Things turn strange and awkward for Carly because of her sister, especially at school. Because of all this, Carly feels alone and as though she is unable to be as comfortable with her sister as she was before.

Sisterly love is the main theme of this book. Carly and Anna's relationship is put to the test upon Anna's "transformation" over the summer. I thought that the book was well put together and that it came to be very deep and touching while reading it. I give this book a 10/10 rating and would recommend it to all who would like to relate to a struggle and adventure of sisters.

-Reviewed by Emily K., Grade 12

Keeping the Moon, by Sarah Dessen

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen is about fifteen-year-old Nicole "Colie" Sparks' experiences throughout the summer spent at eccentric, unique Aunt Mira's house when Colie's mother, a popular fitness instructor, is on her fitness tour in Europe. Colie is a girl who has never quite fit in. First, the reason was being overweight. Even after losing weight, though, people talked about her being promiscuous and wanting attention. By spending the summer with Aunt Mira in Colby, North Carolina, Colie wishes for a fresh, new start with brand new people around her.

I feel that this story is very strong and compelling, and teenagers can truly relate to it. Negative and hard times with people around you and having difficulty fitting in are things in life that many people have had to deal with growing up. For this reason, I would recommend this wonderful book to all, but especially to teenagers, who can deeply connect to Colie's experiences in the book.

Reviewed by Emily K., Grade 12