Monday, June 29, 2015

Z.Rex, by Steve Cole

In the book, Z.Rex, by Steve Cole, is about Adam Adlar a teenage boy that had a father who created a Ultra-Reality video game. The game was pretty cool, and he loved it. Then his father disappears and was never to be found again. Adam starts to encounter weird things. CIA agents, native people, and the most terrifying thing, A T.Rex! He doesn't know which is reality or isn't and goes on a crazy hunt to find his father. The cities are empty and barely anyone is there. Adam experiences, danger,action, and survival. Will he make it and find his father, or will he lose the "game?"

I loved the book Z.Rex by Steven Cole. It was terrifying and action-packed. This story teaches you some ways to survive if an animal outbreak like that happened. This story at some moments fell like a jump scare and surprised readers like me. This book had the combination of video gaming and reality combined into one new subject which I would like reality gaming. I would recommend this book to people who have a taste of action or fighting. This book is a little bit like the Hunger Games.

Reviewed by Alexander D., Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume

In the book Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume, is about a girl named Davey and her younger brother named Jason. There father died in a shooting. There father was shot in seven eleven shop. Daley is about to start school but passes out several times because she would not eat. Daveys mother realizes how bad she's getting so they take an offer to take a break from what had happened and move to Los Alamos in New Mexico.

My opinion on this book is that we all go through the same thing once in a while. Not everyone lives forever. My mom want through a lot of depression when her dad died. She didn't eat much either. She's okay now. I think many people can relate to this book. We all loose our loved ones sadly but we have to lift ourselves back up and continue living. We've all probably felt the pain and sorrow Davey went through as well.

Reviewed by Jacqueline, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 15, 2015

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, by Matthew Quick

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, by Matthew Quick, was a very moving and unique book. It is told in the voice of Leonard Peacock who decides to kill his former best friend, and then commit suicide, on his 18th birthday. But before his day is over, he goes along giving a present to the four people that had mattered to him, his neighbor Walt, Lauren the girl he had a crush on, his classmate Baback, and his Holocaust teacher, Herr Silverman. Leonard wants to let them know that he had cared about them, and show that he was sorry for being the way that he was. All the while, narrating the reasons of why he was going to do this, and how those four people changed his life, and discussing why he was driven to the point of committing suicide.

This was a very touching book, and it shows the raw, gritty perspective of suicide, loneliness, and depression. It was sad at times but it was beautifully written and is the kind of book that will linger with you even after you have read the very last word on the last page. Leonard was a very interesting and complex character and by the end of the book you understand and feel sympathy for what he was going through. Overall this was a great book, that demonstrates that even though life isn't easy sometimes it will work itself out, and there is a light hidden somewhere inside of us that will never burn out.

Reviewed by Lusine M., Grade 8
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe

The Poem, “The Raven”, by Edgar Allen Poe, is about a wealthy man who loses his wife and becomes depressed. 
The poem starts off by the narrator is reading a book at night until he hears a tapping at his chamber door. He believes that it’s only a visitor. The reader knows that it’s not just a visitor- and Poe builds up tension here. The man opens the door and no one is outside. A tapping occurs at the man’s window and a raven flies in and sits on the Bust of Pallas. The Bust of Pallas represents wisdom and knowledge, therefore, it can be concluded that Poe is trying to convey that the bird is knowledgeable. It can also be concluded that the man is rich because no ordinary person has a bust of a god at their door.

After the bird rests on the Bust of Pallas, the man asks for its name, to which the bird replies, “Nevermore”. This repetition occurs throughout the end of every stanza and seems to illustrate the man’s insanity over the loss of his wife, Lenore. It also adds on to the “Aw” tone of the poem. The bird represents the man’s sorrow and Poe conveys that the bird, A.K.A. his sorrow, won’t go away when it refuses the man,

The man tries to figure out why the bird won’t stop saying “Nevermore” and asks why the angels in Heaven sent it to him. Bird replies “Nevermore”, which builds up curiosity. Then, he asks if there is peace and happiness in Heaven (“Is there balm in Gilead?”). Bird replies “Nevermore”. By saying this, the man is driven crazy because he’s never seen anything otherworldly and supernatural like this. The man calls it a prophet and asks if Lenore is in Heaven waiting for him (“Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if within the distant Aidenn, it shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?”) The bird replies “Nevermore” further driving the man insane because he wants to be reunited with her. 

The man orders it to go back to hell “Get thee back into the tempest…” and leave him alone because he’s sad. Bird replies “Nevermore”. By saying this, it can be concluded that the bird is the man’s everlasting sadness of his loss over Lenore that can NEVER be overcome. The bird demonstrates that his sadness can’t be overcome and it hurts the man’s feelings and breaks his heart. The Raven does not move at all in the last stanza and the narrator concludes that his sadness will be everlasting (“shall be lifted nevermore!”). 

Poe does not try to make this story scary, he tries to make it creepy and ominous to the readers. No one has read a story about a bird terrorizing a man. It’s symbolism when the bird sits on the bust of Pallas. Poe tries to express the man’s sorrow to the readers and how he’s going to be depressed for the rest of his life. Thus, making the readers feel sorrow at the end, and a little bit creeped out for such a weird story. The main theme of the poem is that when tragedy strikes you, money won’t be able to buy you back your happiness.

I will be honest, I didn't like this story much. It was quite confusing and without a reference or a teacher to guide me, I would've been completely lost. So I thought of including the symbolism and meaning in the summary, just incase people don't understand it. Before I write a review, understand that this story is almost 150 years old.

People may like it because no one has ever read a book about a Raven terrorizing a man before. It's a sophisticated poem meant for people back in the day.

I would recommend this story for more mature readers and people who actually take the time to go indepth with the story, unlike me.

The story contains a lot of symbolism and rhythmic pattern that are hard to see, which is why I didn't like the story much in the first place! If you are more of an easy and relaxed reader who likes to receive info orderly, then I wouldn't recommend this book to you.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Season for Goodbye (One Last Wish), by Lurlene McDaniel

In the book A Season for Goodbye, by Lurlene McDaniel, there are three girls named Chelsea, Katie, and Lacey who are spending a summer at Jenny house. Jenny house is a retreat for youth, in other words for young teens with life-threatening illnesses. Each of the girls had a life threatening illness. All three girls are much more healthier than before.They spend a summer at Jenny house because they know what it's like to be fighting an illness that can possibly lead to death. They go to Jenny house to help other young teens cope with cancer or any other illness. All three girls have to come face to face on making decisions that will separate them. It is up to them to keep their friendship strong.

My opinion on this book is that it is very good. It made me feel sad at the same time. It had a lot of sad parts to it. I really liked how the author put in a lot of details about the characters and how the author talked about each of the girls. I liked everything about this book. Not one part I did not like. I really enjoyed reading this book. I think that if I introduce this book to my friends, they will all enjoy it as much as I did. It made me think of many people who are going through what some of these girls went through. Overall, this was one of my favorite books.

Reviewed by Jacqueline, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library