Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What World is Left, by Monique Polak

What World is Left, by Monique Polak is a historical fiction novel that tells the story of a young girl named Anneke in Theresienstadt, a model concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Herded into Theresienstadt like sheep, Anneke and her family were exiled from Holland during the Holocaust in 1942. Starvation and dehydration plague the inhabitants of the camp, while disease pervades rapidly. Cremations occur daily to remove the dead bodies that fill the streets. Determined not to let the horrible conditions get her down, Anneke makes the most out of every moment. She learns the true meaning of friendship the hard way and that the strong bonds of love can never be broken.

Overall, What World is Left was a pretty good read. I would rate it a 7/10. The beginning of the book was a bit slow and started to feel tedious and strained. Thankfully, the book became more interesting the more I read on. The characters were very relatable, especially Anneke, the main character. She has the same interests as me, and her feelings were genuine, so readers are truly able to feel with her. I would recommend this book to kids and teens prepared for shocking and graphic themes looking for a Holocaust story in which they can laugh and cry with the characters.

Rebecca, grade 8
Glendale Central Library

Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen

Auden is an average girl who is having some family trouble. Her parents got divorced and her father left to live with another woman who had a baby from him. Auden stayed to live with her mother that always expected Auden to be perfect at everything that she did. Auden developed a habit of staying up at nights, which is called insomnia. This happened because she would stay at a café and do her homework just so she would not hear her parents fighting. Auden gets a chance to go live with her father and his new family, and she is more than happy to go. She makes some new friends there and meets a boy that has his own troubles. Will they understand each other and will their relationship accelerate?

Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen is about a girl with a real life problem. Many teenage girls and guys can relate to this story. They all have different ways of expressing themselves. Some do not even know how to express themselves and it is just too much pressure for them. This book may help those teens learn a way to deal with their struggles and how to keep up with both parents. Along For The Ride is filled with many different emotions, for example: love, confusion, hurt, pain, attraction, etc. Read this book and see how Auden got herself on the right track again after a big change in her family.  

Yuliya, grade 12 Glendale Central Library

Candy, by Kevin Brooks

Candy by Kevin Brooks is about an average guy that meets a beautiful and charming girl that claims her name is Candy. It all starts when she gives him directions to go somewhere. They end up going to a donut shop together where they get to know each other. Candy seems like a very nice, beautiful, and intelligent girl, but little does he know that she is actually a prostitute that has a crazy pimp and she is hooked on drugs. Eventually he figures it out and she opens up and talks to him about it. He realizes that he is in love with her and that he wants to help her and get her out of that life style. Will he succeed?

I personally loved this book and I think that it would be very appealing to any teenager. It is filled with drama and pain. Unlike most books that make drugs look "cool", this book actually makes you understand the danger of drugs and what kind of a lifestyle they lead to. It also describes how painful it can be when going through withdrawals. I highly recommend this book, because it can be very inspiring. Notice how i did not write what happens in the book, it is because I would really want you to read this book and find out what happens yourself.  

Reviewed by Yuliya, grade 12
Central Library