Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Puppy Love, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Baby Mouse Puppy Love is a comic book. It is about a mouse named Baby Mouse. She is a funny and a irresponsible mouse because she can not care for her pets. Baby Mouse is looking for the perfect pet, but her mom does not see her care for each pet she gets. Each day she gets a pet and she loses them in a way that is not possible. One day, while walking home she finds a lost dog. Her mom lets her keep the dog, but she knows Baby Mouse will lose the dog eventually. During the time she struggles taking care of the dog and handling all the responsibility. She finally finds the perfect dog and names him Buddy, but something goes wrong.

Baby Mouse Puppy Love, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, is one of my favorite comics. I like how its funny and all her crazy adventures.Who doesn't like comics, at some point everyone reads them. Baby Mouse is wild and outrageous character and it is all about her. During the story the narrator interacts with the mouse. I recommend it to children, teens, and adults. I thought the books were funny and adorable. I love them and I read their other books to today and as I was younger. Read them!

Monday, December 29, 2014

100% Official Justin Bieber : First Step 2 Forever, My Story, by Justin Bieber

There is a 15 year old boy who is very talented named Justin Bieber. His dream is for everyone to see his true talent. He sings and plays instruments;like guitar,piano and drums. He is a Canadian boy who lives a some what normal life. He is just very poor and is living a hard life, only being raised by a single mother. He lives with his grandparents,who he truly admires and loves. To accomplish his dream he would sing everywhere, like at church, special events, home or even in streets hustling (making money). He also worked hard making YouTube videos, he wanted the world to see him and one day his dream came true. The artist became big ,all thanks to YouTube. He posted a video of him and people saw how wonderful he is,so some people wanted to work with him and manage him.he became a YouTube; internet sensation,at a very young age (age 12). Everything he ever wanted came true and his life started becoming better all thanks to his fans and his manager Scooter. Hopefully Justin continues with what he has and doesn't become something bad.

100% Official Justin Bieber : First Step 2 Forever, My Story, by Justin Bieber,
was a really great book. Personally, I was not such a big fan of him.Yes, I did like his music and I thought he was a big deal ,but I was not a fan girl. I just did not really like him and I did not know where he came from and how he used live. So if you do not know anything about Justin Bieber I recommend you read it and get to know him and you can see how you may relate to him. I recommend it to all his fan's and to people who like to read biographies of others. I like how he talked about his personal like and how he shared his strength and weaknesses to us. It made feel a little shock and surprised because I did not know some things about him and I got to see his past.

Reviewed by Andy, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Stunning, by Sara Shepard

As the girls secrets get bigger and better, so does the knew A's. It knows what happened during summer in Jamaica and it knows a little bit of dirt from each of the four girls lives. Hanna also goes through some tough situations trying to get back an old boyfriend of hers, while helping out with her dads campaigning. Emily has a huge secret she has kept from everyone except her four friends, and possibly A? Spencer is having some trouble fitting in to the knew Princeton life, and Aria is having an internal conflict about if whether or not she should spill a secret about the family of her boyfriend. But as the girls think they are outsmarting A, A is actually outsmarting them.

I honestly think that Stunning, by Sara Shepard, was the best book she has written in the Pretty Little Liars series. It is very addicting and it doesn't allow you to put the book down. You do not know what will happen next and you can never figure out who is A. The most outrageous problems occur in these four girls' lives that you never even see it coming.But I love yet hate the fact that the girls manage to get through all their hard situations until A manages to get them back because it was part of his/her plan all along. Even though it seems like the girls outsmart A, its just a part of A's plan. Nothing that the girls do, is something that A doesn't see coming, he/she plans every possible movement the girls can take, and is able to cause he/she thinks outside the box throughout every circumstance.

Reviewed by Mary A., Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Emma, by Jane Austen

Emma, a novel by Jane Austen, is the story of Emma Woodhouse and her meddlesome matchmaking habits. Emma believes she is an amazing matchmaker, and takes credit for the marriage of her governess. Her mother had died at an early age, therefore her governess Miss Taylor was her replacement and much like a sister also. Her marriage meant her moving away and leaving Emma on her own. That is when Emma, desperate for a friend or something to do, takes on the "task" of Harriet Smith. Harriet is of the lower class, yet she is beautiful which appeals to Emma. She makes it her duty to teach Harriet her ways and find her a husband. Love triangles emerge, feelings are wrongly interpreted, and hearts are crushed. We follow Emma through the trials she presents for herself, and eventually discover Emma loves someone who we, or just me personally, were quite fond of from the beginning.

In all honesty, Emma sounds like an interesting and gossip filled romance novel, which it is, except for the interesting part. It is rather boring, I found myself wanting to read the newspaper instead of the this terribly uninteresting novel. There are some interesting aspects but not enough to make you want to constantly read it. It is slightly difficult to understand, simply because it has an older style of writing and talking. I was also a bit confused with several of the words Austen used because they were words we do not use today. I give this book a five out of ten and do not recommend it as an interesting read.
Reviewed by Kristine K., Grade 11
Casa Verdugo Library

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pandora Hearts, by Jun Mochizuki

Pandora Hearts, by  Jun Mochizuki, is a Japanese manga about a young heir to a rich nobles family who gets sent to an alternate dimension known as the Abyss over which monsters called chains rule over. There, the heir, named Oz meets a chain named Alice in the form of a girl. She had lost her memories of her before life and wishes to get them back, so to escape the Abyss the two form a contract to escape to help Alice return her memories and help Oz return to his original world, while authorities and underground associations chase after them to hide a secret conspiracy that happened 100 years ago.

The overall part of Pandora Hearts is just a very twisted story with new plot changes and surprises every volume that comes out. Also the author with his fascinating imagination of his drawings would pull the reader in due to its scary yet cute illustrations designed to make the chains resemble old toys of a young child. Those who like action, mystery, and twists would very much like Pandora Hearts for its deep plot line that makes the reader fall deeper and deeper into its fantasy. Although Pandora Hearts is an underground manga, is well written/drawn and is a good choice for first time readers of manga.

Reviewed by Teagan H., grade 9
Montrose Crescenta Branch

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Evil Star, by Anthony Horowitz

Evil Star is the sequel to the book called Raven's Gate. This story is about the same teen Matt who needs to solve another problem of another gate that's about to open. He knows that he has to go to Peru because that's where it is, but other than that they don't know where else to go. He then finds a boy named Pedro who helps him solve this mystery.

Evil Star by, Anthony Horowitz, was even better than the first one! I like how in this book compared to the first one, Matt isn't always alone and he has friends who help. Its still an amazing thriller though. I would recommend this book to all teens.

Reviewed by Brendan A., grade 9
Montrose Crescenta Branch

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Raven's Gate, by Anthony Horowitz

The book, Raven's Gate, by Anthony Horowitz, is about a teenager named Matt who gets arrested for braking into a warehouse. He then gets sent to a foster home which turns out to be a witches house. He tries to find out what's going on that the witch is doing, and he finds out that she's trying to open a gate which would let these evil creatures out. He then has to try to stop them.

This was a great story. I love the mystery that Matt has to solve to figure out what's going on. I would recommend this to anyone who likes thrillers and partly horror stories.

Reviewed by Brendan A., grade 9
Montrose Crescenta Branch

Monday, December 15, 2014

Breathe, by Sarah Crossan

The world has no air. If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can't? And what if you think everything could be different? Three teens will leave everything they know behind in Sarah Crossan's gripping and original teen novel of danger, longing, and glimmering hope. Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity died, the survivors have been protected in glass domes full of manufactured air. Protected . . . or trapped? Or controlled? Alina's a revolutionary who believes we can save the environment. Quinn's a Premium who's never had to worry about having enough air. His best friend, Bea, is an Auxiliary who's never worried about anything but having enough air. When the three cross paths, they will change everything. Sarah Crossan's thrilling and provocative novel is about passion, about yearning for something better, and about breaking free for the very first time.

I liked Breathe, by Sarah Crossan, because it's not only entertaining in several ways, but because this is a teenager book, most teens can also enjoy it and get what the characters in the story think about most of the time. The people who would like this book would most likely be interested teenagers, just in general. This dystopian novel gives readers a sense of how it would be to live in a dome with manufactured oxygen. Readers understand being in the lives of three amazing teens with outrageous adventures along with their journey. Bea, Quinn, and Alina all have to face it. My opinion of this book overall, was that it's one of the novels where a reader has to continue it, even just from reading the first page for the first time. I, myself, couldn't put the novel down. When you really get into the context of the story, it keeps nudging you to read, read, read. This book has action, adventure, and even a bit of romance, if you ask me. I recommend any teenager who doesn't have much to read at their age (you're not alone if you do) can at least try out Breathe by Sarah Crossan. This is a great book, so remember to keep reading!
Reviewed by Connor, Grade 9
Montrose Library

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Death Cure, by James Dashner

The Death Cure, by James Dashner, takes place right after the events of "The Scorch Trials", where Thomas is locked in solitary confinement for three weeks. After Thomas is released, Assistant Director Janson of WICKED, an organization dedicated to curing the Flare, admits to the Gladers that there is no cure for the Flare. However, some people are naturally immune to it. He then offers the Gladers to restore their memories. Everyone but Thomas, Minho, and Newt agree. However, they are forced into being restored also. Luckily, Brenda helps them escape in a Berg, a massive airship, before this can be done. They then fly to Denver to try to find the others and remove the implants in their brains. During this process, they meet with the Right Arm, an organization dedicated to destroying WICKED, and agree to help them.

While "The Death Cure" was very similar to the other two books, it was a disappointing finale. This book still had an interesting plot with lackluster characters like the previous books. However, the lack of answers makes this installment worse in comparison. The final book of a series should always try to explain the mysteries that are brought up as the story progresses. After reading "The Death Cure", the final book of "The Maze Runner" series, I was left more confused than before. Many questions that should have been answered in this book were still left unresolved. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the "The Maze Runner" franchise as a whole and I would recommend "The Death Cure" to those that are curious to what will happen to Thomas and Teresa in the end. However, do not expect to understand the back-story after reading this book.
Reviewed by William J., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

House of Hades, by Rick Riordan

Percy and Annabeth falls into tartarus and the other demigods are trying their best to reach the other side of the door so they can rescue Percy and Annabeth. Percy and Annabeth faces a lot of challenges, but they work it out together, no matter how much pain they are having. They even made friends in tartarus and have supporters. They struggle and try their best to reach their destination in time to save all the people and they get help from Reyna, the roman leader.

I liked House of Hades, by Rick Riordan, but honestly, it was below my expectations. Because I was so fascinated about the other series of the books, I was overly excited and I was disappointed that the novel ended so quickly, but I enjoyed the book through out. I will recommend this to my friends because this is really fun and includes a lot of actions. Also, they learn how friendships matter to each other. Most importantly, the book is enjoyable for most of the people. I'm looking forward to read the next sequel of this book.
Reviewed by Eura, Grade 9
Montrose Library

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

In The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater the main character, Blue, comes from a large family of clairvoyant women. She's been told since she was a child that she would kill her true love by kissing him. Blue doesn't want to believe this, but she knows that what the women see is real. On St. Mark's Eve Blue and her aunt Neeve go to the cemetery to get the name of all the people who will die in the next 12 months, whose spirits will pass through there that night, although Blue won't be able see them because she isn't clairvoyant. But then she does see one. The only reason a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve, either you're their true love or you killed them. His name is Gansey.

Maggie Stiefvater is amazing and one of my favorite authors. I definitely have to say that the Raven Boys is my favorite book by her. I really enjoyed the unique perspectives given to the story by all of her wonderful but very different characters. Blue is so amazing and strong and eccentric, I think that she's an great character. I also loved Adam, who is so honest and works so hard at everything. My favorite character, by far, is Gansey. Gansey is in a way the perfect, cliche rich boy, but when you really understand him and his heart you realize that he's also the opposite. Gansey is an absolutely extraordinary character, as are all the other characters. I really loved The Raven Boy by Maggie Stiefvater.

Reviewed by Lucy H., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The One, by Kiera Cass

The third and final book in the Selection series, The One, is just the perfect ending to the slightly suspenseful journey of waiting to know who Prince Maxon will pick. America has finally made her decision to be not only a One by caste but Maxon's "one." However, will her actions change the mind of the Prince who is now having to make the serious decision not based on his feelings but the betterment of his country? Also, will the other girl Kriss get into the mind of Maxon as a better choice as America can't make up her mind between him and Aspen?

Following a not-so-great second book of the series, The One, by  Kiera Cass, is an amazing ending to the much anticipated finale of a wonderful fairytale/dystopian novel. I love how we can experience the ups and downs of the relationship between America and Prince Maxon as they stray to other people, actually understanding how much they continue to love each other when times are toughest. Finally, we come to the conclusion with satisfaction and gratitude to the author for fulfilling our needs of a happy ending.

Reviewed by Alexis K., Grade9
Montrose Library

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Selection, by Kiera Cass

In the case of The Selection, the saying "don't judge a book by its cover" is false. This series is about a girl, 300 years later, living in a society with castes determining everything. When America Singer is entered by her mother to a completion called the selection, she is dismayed for a few reasons. The competition is a once in a lifetime opportunity when the prince of Ilia becomes of age and is seeking a bride. It is thrilling for all 35 teenage girls chosen to let themselves be sought after by the kind and charming Prince Maxon. But for America, a royal life as a One is unattainable with her personality of a Five. Her sentiments are also confirmed with her feelings for a Six named Aspen, with whom she carries out a very secretive relationship.

Immediately captivated by the blue dress and redheaded princess, I knew I was going to love The Selection, by Kiera Cass. The first in its series, Kiera Cass does a superb job for setting the stage to a completion filled with feisty girls, a handsome prince, and a particular rebel that stands out to him above all. As I truly like books that take place in royal settings, this specific one with a hint of the futuristic genre and rebellion in the midst of the society really pleased me. I think any teen girl audience would find this story very exciting and interesting as they witness the ups and downs of feeling between two very unlike people.

Reviewed by Alexis K., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Monday, December 1, 2014

Legend, by Marie Lu

A criminal named Day is the inspiration and an enemy to the republic. His main objective is to hide, protect his family, and to run. He is the master at disguise and dead to his family. June, a girl from and bred in the republic, an excellent student and a military person trying to avenge her dead family member. Given a goal to specifically stop Day. Unknowingly join together, adventures with sadness, depression, disease, and a spark of romance. They go through countless challenges provided by the republic. first, it starts off with misinterpretation of identities, next, betrayal, then fighting side by side. All this to protect and to keep alive the people that are close to them.

In my own opinion, I thought Legend, by Marie Lu, was an amazing thriller of a book. what I really liked about this book was the suspense and a new type of society, a different government, different cultures, and the inspiration that the main characters give off. I believe the people that enjoy adventure, romance, thrillers, and action novels would love to read these types of books. This book really made me think what would happen to me and my family if we were growing up in such unhealthy and depressing conditions. This book made me feel that I should help those that can't help themselves and to take care of our decent community. Also, that one should be thankful of the things that he already has.

Reviewed by Matthew L., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas

In The Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas, Celaena Sardothien is the kingdom of Adarlan's most notorious assassin. She's been a slave in the cruel salt mines of Endovier for over a year, where the average life expectancy is one month. She's been sentenced to die in there and knows escape is impossible, even for her. Then one day The Crown Prince of Adarlan, Dorian Havilliard, makes her an offer for her freedom which she knows she can't refuse. If Celaena will be Dorian's Champion in his fathers competition to find a champion of his own, and she wins, she will be granted her freedom after four years of service to the king. Along the way Celaena experiences everything from romance to genuinely fearing for her own life.

I absolutely adored The Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. My absolute favorite part of the entire book was that the entire story is center around a strong, deadly, and beautiful female character. This book is definitely different from anything else out there right now and I really loved it. Celaena Sardothien probably one of my favorite characters of all time. She's so strong and unique. Even though women have come a long way in past few years in terms of equality, there is still a long way to go. I think society as a whole really needs this book. Anyone who believes in equality and loves a good action novel will absolutely love this book.

Reviewed by Lucy H., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Monday, November 24, 2014

Son, by Lois Lowry

Claire is a 14 year old girl living in a utopian society. Everyone is given a job at the age of 12, based on their interests, and Claire was given the job of a birthmother. Now she is having her first child known as a product but something goes wrong during the procedure. Claire knows nothing other then the fact that unlike the other birthmothers, her product was carved from her stomach. She is moved to the fish hatchery because she is told that her body did not function properly for a birthmother. Over the months,Claire secretly visits her son at the Birthing Center, and soon finds out that he is not ready to be put in a family and might even be released. After hearing this tragic news, her son is kidnapped and taken over the riverbank. Now Claire sets out on a mission to lands beyond her community in order to find her missing son. She is willing to do anything it takes to find him.

I believe Son, by Lois Lowry, was a great ending to the book The Giver.Both the Giver and Son, take place in the same community but are written in different peoples point of view. I found it very interesting how characters from the first book appeared in the last book. I mostly love the main character, Claire because unlike everyone else in the community, she is different because she cares about the son she bore. For years, she struggles and works hard just to see her son again. I believe people who like science fiction and adventure will love this book. It was a great finale to the series.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The List, by Siobhan Vivian!1191958~!3100001~!3100002&aspect=browse_search_page&menu=search&ri=1&source=~!horizon&term=The+list+%2F&index=PALLTI#focusThe List, by Siobhan Vivian, follows the eight girls on the list, the four prettiest and the four ugliest girls at Mount Washington High School. The list is posted every year on the last Monday of September and although no one knows who makes the list, its authenticity is certified by a stolen embossing stamp of Mount Washington. The story follows all eight girls as they experience the consequences of being on the list. The ugliest girls face humiliation, cruelty, and pity but what the prettiest face is almost worse. This is because although it’s horrible to be declared ugly, when you’re declared prettier than everyone else, everyone else tends to become jealous and angry. All the girls experience a rollercoaster ride after the list is posted and learn a lesson or two along the way.

In my opinion, this was a pretty good book. I enjoyed how it experimented with the idea of being “pretty” and how society treats people based on appearance. I also liked that the author showed the effects of the list from all eight sides. I think it gave the story a much for interesting take because of all of the conflicting opinions on the list and being “pretty”. However I did think that the plot was a bit lacking because it took place over only one week, the book could’ve been much better if the author expanded the plot more and made it a little more complex and interesting. I think this book would be enjoyed by anyone looking for a new, interesting take on society and how people are often judged based on appearance.
Reviewed by Lucy H., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Monday, November 17, 2014

Little Woman, by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, is about four sisters, Meg, Beth, Jo, and Amy who are all dealing with the hardships of love, sickness, and growing up in New England during the Civil War. The girls have various hopes and dreams, marriage, and finding their own path in life.

This is a true American classic for all readers to enjoy. The novel makes you realize that no matter which century you live in, we all have hopes and dreams just like everybody else. We all have goals that we want to accomplish and that's okay. And even though life can have hardships and battles to go through, you always have to have hope and never give up.
Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelini

In this book, Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelini, tells the story about a girl named Helen Hamilton who one day finds out that she is not a normal sixteen year old at all. She has strange powers that makes her question everything she has ever known. Out of nowhere, she discovers that she is very powerful and can also fly. She meets a family that helps her and she soon makes a lot of new friends that also have powers like her.

I thought that this was a really good read because it was filled with magic and adventure. It was really hard putting down this book. The author really described the setting really well and it felt like you were actually there along with the main characters. Anyone who likes greek mythology might also enjoy this book because it talks a lot about the greek gods and their powers.
Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Infinite Moment of Us, by Lauren Myracle

The Infinite Moment of Us, by Lauren Myracle,  is about Wren and Charlie's first love during the summer after they graduated high school. Charlie has always found Wren beautiful and admired her from a distance, and soon Wren begins to reciprocate his feelings. Wren learns to stand up for herself from Charlie and gains the courage to tell her parents that she does not want to attend Emory, a prestigious university in Atlanta. Charlie learns what true love is all about.

Overall, this book was very cute. The characters were lovable and their feelings for each other seemed real. The writing was fluid and easygoing, and there was a lot of humor. At times, however, the book became tedious and I just wanted to finish it. I would give this book a 7 out of 10 and would recommend it to teenage girls who enjoy cute, romantic novels.
Reviewed by Rebecca S., Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Need So Beautiful, by Suzanne Young

In the book, A Need So Beautiful, by Suzanne Young, tells a story about a girl who has a really special power. She can help several people feel better. She is like a seer and she makes a lot of people feel happy and good about themselves.She enjoys helping them because it's a really nice feeling for her, but this power comes with a price. Those who she helps soon forget about her because she is not meant to be remembered. Her only purpose in life is to help those in need.

I thought this was a good read because it had a good message in it. It talked about appreciating the life you live and how it's really important to help people that need it. Because that is one of the most important things in the world. It doesn't matter if you're famous or not, because as long as your family loves you, that is all that matters.
Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, November 3, 2014

Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

This is a classic tale about Jim Hawkins and his search for treasure after finding a pirate treasure map. Mutiny, pirates, and deception are all that Jim finds on the island, and a stranded crazed man named Ben Gunn who has found the treasure and hidden it in a cave.

I thought Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, was filled with a lot of adventure. I like that it was about someone that wants to hunt but learns that after murder, and death, that wealth and adventure is not always worth the risks. He is happy to get back to the life he had before that was plain and simple. It's good to go on some adventures, but it's also good to just relax and lead a simple life.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith!544237~!3100001~!3100002&aspect=browse_search_page&menu=search&ri=1&source=~!horizon&term=I+capture+the+castle+%2F&index=PALLTI#focusI Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith, takes place in a worn down English castle, occupied by the Mortmains. The main character, Cassandra Mortmain, has a diary, and she chronicles her experiences there. Her father is a known writer, but their family is poor and has to sell the furniture to stay well. Later on, though, a wealthier family, the Cottons, becomes the landlord to the castle, and the daughters of the Mortmains and the sons of the Cottons fall in love with each other. from there, we hear the story of how Cassandra manages all of the relationships.

This book was ok. I did not find anything special about it, but it was a good read. There were humorous moments, and I smiled there. The most interesting part of the book was seeing how Cassandra matured. Earlier in the story, she acted like a teenager, but towards the end of the story, she was more mature and behaved more carefully. The relationship network between the sons and daughters was amusing to observe as well.
Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 8
Grandview Library

The Diviners, by Libba Bray

Evie, the main character of the novel, has a secret power. Unlike most secret powers, this one brings her into a lot of trouble, and she has had to leave her Ohio town to go to New York City and live with her uncle because of a scandal. Her uncle might discover her powers. A girl is found murdered however, and a symbol is found on the corpse. Evie must use her powers to solve the murder and finally do something good.

The plot in The Diviners, by Libba Bray, was fairly unoriginal, but the storytelling was superb. I felt suspense whenever I needed to feel suspense, horror when I needed to feel horror, and excitement when I needed to feel excitement. The setting was boring as well, but there were elements to it that made the setting feel interesting and unique. Overall, the book was ok. The plot and base setting were unoriginal, but the storytelling made up for it pretty well.
Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 8
Grandview Library

Monday, October 27, 2014

Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman

Dragons and humans dominate the world. For many years, they have been at war. A peace treaty was eventually signed, though, and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the treaty is approaching. Just when it is coming, one of the royal family is murdered. The humans immediately suspect the dragons, who can change into human form. The main character, Seraphina, who is a gifted musician, is caught up in the investigation of the murder. The mystery must be solved, or else there will be war again.

Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman, was a pleasant surprise. The author managed to build up a lot of background around the story and built a really nice world. This really works to draw you into the book, and the characters are interesting as well. They were not super good, but I liked them. The dragons in the book are unlike the dragons you usually read about. These ones are emotionless and rational. They can transform into human form. This separates them from other regular dragons. I would recommend this book to friend definitely.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 8

Grandview Library

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Steve Jobs - The Man Who Thought Different, by Karen Blumenthal!1188904~!3100001~!3100002&aspect=browse_search_page&menu=search&ri=1&source=~!horizon&term=Steve+Jobs+%3A+the+man+who+thought+different+%3A+a+biography+%2F&index=PALLTI#focusSteve Jobs - The Man Who Thought Different, by Karen Blumenthal, is a biography of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Inc., one of the largest companies in existence today. This biography explains the course of Steve Jobs, his colleagues, and Apple as a whole, from when Jobs was running his company out of his garage to when Apple became what it is today. It is truly an extraordinary story, and Blumenthal explains every aspect of it perfectly.

I personally loved reading this book. I liked it because it was so inspiring to read about a man who started from such humble beginnings and went on to create one of the largest companies around. I think anybody who wants to begin a company in the future will definitely like to read this book. This book made me think about the fact that anybody can become successful if they truly put their time and effort to it.
Reviewed by Alec S., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Monday, October 20, 2014

An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green

Colin Singleton, a brilliant prodigy, just graduated high school, and instead of being happy and carefree, feels depressed. This is because his girlfriend, Katherine, or K-19, dumps him. Colin has dated 19 girls named Katherine and believes every single one dumped him. His best friend Hassan takes him on a road trip to get his mind off things, and they end up in the town of Gutshot, where Colin meets Lindsey. Will Colin's tradition of dating Katherines end?

I really loved An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green! John Green is an amazing writer, so the writing was flawless and filled with beautiful, deep quotes. It was funny and never boring, the characters were so lovable, and it was just overall really cute. I would recommend this book to fans of John Green and teenagers in general. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

Reviewed by Rebecca S., Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

I Am The Messanger, by Markus Zusak

A young taxi driver, Ed Kennedy, accidentally stops a bank robbery, and he is considered to be a hero by many. Right after the incident, he receives a note in the mail telling him to go to three addresses. He goes there, and does good deeds there. He keeps on receiving addresses, and performing tasks. until the last note's address in his own house. Shortly after, he realizes that he is not a loser, because he has done things that he could not have done a while ago.

I liked I Am The Messanger, by Markus Zusak, but it does not rank among my top books. I found the idea interesting, but there were some problems with the book. For example, besides Ed, the characters are not really developed very well. The people he helped only appeared once in the book, basically. I would have liked to know how life worked out for them after Ed changed their lives. The ending was also disappointing and left me wanting more details. It did not feel complete.
Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 8

Grandview Library

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Proxy, by Alex London

People in the future are operating under a social system where everyone is divided into 2 categories: rich and poor. The rich people, obviously, are rich, and so they have numerous advantages, such as living in a better part of the city. The poor live in the really bad part of the city, and they are kept poor by ever-increasing debt. There is also a strange system, where the rich are not punished for their crimes. Instead, they have a special person, called a proxy, that takes the punishment for them. The rich have to watch the proxy get beaten and punished. It's a psychological kind of punishment. The book starts off with 2 characters: Knox and Syd. Knox, the rich person, accidentally kills someone, and Syd is sentenced to death. Since Syd does not want to die, and Knox does not want to watch him die, the two boys escape, and go on a long adventure.

Proxy, by Alex London, is a very well written book. The two main characters in the book, Syd and Knox, are very realistic and believable, unlike some books, where the characters are perfect humans who never make mistakes. Knox and Syd all of flaws, and they each have their own personality. They have a lot more depth than other characters, and this shows Mr.London's skills at character building. It was also interesting to see the world from both points of view, and this helped me understand both sides of the story. The growing relationship between Syd and Knox was also an interesting thing to observe.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 8
Grandview Library

Monday, October 13, 2014

War of Worlds, by Herbert George "H. G." Wells

Aliens from Mars have come to invade Earth, and they are succeeding. the humans have tried to fight, but they are being killed off quickly, and there is very little hope for survival. Eventually, all attempts to fight back by the humans have stopped, and the narrator as well as other people are scavenging for food and fighting for survival. Martian plants are growing all over the Earth, and multiple war machines have landed. Is there any hope left for Earth?

War of Worlds, by Herbert George "H. G." Wells, is very, very good. When I first read it, I thought that it just had to be one of the classics, and sure enough, it is a major book in the science fiction community. This is a must read for anyone who considers themselves to be a fan of science fiction. This book was very thought provoking and the ending was unexpected and obvious at the same time. I would recommend this book to my friends for sure.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 8
Grandview Library

Dune, by Frank Herbert

The world is governed by various houses, that are in a struggle amongst themselves. One of these houses, House Atreides, is given control of the planet Arrakis,which contains a spice that is a very powerful substance. The emperor fears that House Atreides will be too powerful, and he pits the rivals of House Atreides, House Harkonnen, in a war with them. Soon, only Paul, the heir of House Atreides and his mother are left. They join the Fremens, a civilization, and Paul finds out that he is a prophet. It is now up to him to make things right again.

Dune, by Frank Herbert, was very enjoyable, and I can see why it is one of the best selling science fiction books ever. The political and social situation was complex and it served as a really good setting. There were many moments in the book that were full of suspense, making me wait to see what would happen in the end. The mixed ending was very nice, and it was the perfect finish for this book. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.
Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 8
Grandview Library

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare

Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare, tells the funny and romantic story of both royalty and the common people as they pursue their individual desires. A noblewoman, Lady Olivia, falls hopelessly in love with another woman dressed as a member of the opposite gender, who is in turn mistaken for her brother. A strict prude named Malvolio falls victim to a ridiculous trick. Even the fool in this story is not what he acts to be. Read this story to become entangled in one of the classic works of William Shakespeare.

I truly liked this story a great deal. I enjoyed the sudden and constant plot twists, which baffled the characters and led to numerous hilarious situations. I think anybody who enjoys Elizabethan comedy, or comedic works in general, should definitely read this story. In particular, this story made me think about life at Shakespeare's time, and how it was so vastly different in several aspects from modern life.

Reviewed by Alec S., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Monday, October 6, 2014

Rodrick Rules, by Jeff Kinney

 Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney is the sequel in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. This story begins with Greg talking about his summer experiences. One day, Greg's mom and dad told him and Rodrick that they were going to leave for the night. Rodrick pretended to have a flu and invited all his friends over for a party. The next day, Greg helps Rodrick clean up the house before their parents come home. However, their parents find about the party and punishes both of them. During the talent show, Rodrick lost his opportunity to sign a record label when his mom talked over the taping over the band's performance. Greg makes it up to him by helping Rodrick with his science project.

In my opinion, I was very surprised by the story's plot. I didn't expect to see Rodrick and Greg work together. Based on the first book, I thought they would always argue or fight about something. Once again, I was humored by the book. I recommend this book to everyone. I think that the first book of this series had a better story than this one. It was sad to see that Rodrick's band didn't get to sign with any record label companies. Overall, this is a good story to read in your free time.

Reviewed by Bernard M., grade 9
Pacific Park Library

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier

The main character, Jerry, goes to Catholic school where there is a secret body of students who perform mean pranks. When the headmaster of the school is ill, the vice principal is called up, and he forms an alliance with the secret group. Jerry is told to sell chocolates, but he refuses. Initially, others join him, but then he is beaten up and made an outcast by the entire school. Everyone has turned against him.

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, is definitely going to be one of my favorite books. The plot was very well done and I wanted to follow Jerry for the whole story, and see what becomes of him. The ending was very satisfying, although sad. The high school is very bleak and ruled by a corrupt body of students, which is a very interesting setting. The progression of the story was great, as at first, Jerry was made a hero and followed by the whole school, but then towards the end, he is now a villain, who is violently beaten and bullied for his actions.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 8
Grandview Library

Monday, September 22, 2014

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

Life of Pi, written by Yann Martel, details the fascinating journey of zoologist Piscine Patel as he becomes lost at sea on a life-raft. His only company is a group of threatening animals, including a massive bengal tiger named Richard Parker, whose very presence adds yet another element of danger to his already perilous adventure. Journey with Pi as you experience his most suspenseful and dramatic encounters.

I personally found this book to be very captivating. I thoroughly appreciated Martel's writing style, which fluidly described each event and made me feel as though I was experiencing Pi's voyage myself. Furthermore, the unique storytelling point of view that Martel employs adds another dimension to the reader's experience. I believe anybody who enjoys thrilling adventure novels should definitely invest their time in this book.

Reviewed by Alec S., Grade 9
Glendale Central Library