Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Pull, by Kevin Waltman

Image result for pull by kevinThe novel Pull, by Kevin Waltman, is about a high school senior named Derrick Bowen. Derrick is a very good basketball player and he has been working very hard for the past two years to prepare for his junior basketball season. He was a starting point guard for Marion East. They were going to play in the Indiana state championship. This team has never won the Indiana state championships before, but this year they are hoping that they win. During the story, Derrick gets injured. As he is recovering, he meets a girl named Lia Stone that he later has a relationship with. Because of his injury, Derrick doesn’t know if he can still play in the championship or not. If you want to find out if he gets to play or not read the book to see.

In my opinion, this book was very interesting, and I quite enjoyed it. It was showing that you should never give up and that you should learn from your mistakes. I recommend this book to anyone who likes basketball or if you enjoy reading fiction books, you will like this one. Pull is the third book from Kevin Waltman’s books. The first two are Slump and Next. It is very interesting to see how he experiences his life and the different things that he learned. I would give this book an 8/10 and I recommend it. Overall, it was very good.

Reviewed by JB, Grade 9
Grandview Library

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Game, by Barry Lyga

After the gruesome events that took place in the last book "I Hunt Killers" Jazz is wanted by the NYPD to help them find a ruthless serial killer called The Hat-Dog Killer that haunts the streets of New York City. As Jazz tries to hunt down the sadistic Hat-Dog Killer, his own father Billy Dent who's said to be an even worst serial killer is finally free after being in jail and is now restarting his reign of terror upon anyone who is unlucky to come across him. While Jazz is working with the NYPD his girlfriend Connie is beginning to start taking matters into her own hands and investigating things that she shouldn't meddle with. As this game of cat and mouse is being played you start to wonder, Who's Hunting Who?

I have to give it to the author for having the willpower and creativity to create a book that is gruesome, goose-bumps inducing, and overall such an astounding book. The way the book Game, by Barry Lygashowed the different minds/sanity of people such as someone who is relatively normal for example Connie then give a complete 180* by showing the mind of a serial killer such as The Hat-Dog Killer. I have to say this book was incredible and definitely something you should read if you are currently interested in book that has you questioning and analyzing every moment, action, and character in the book.

Reviewed by Charly, Grade 9
Downtown Central Library

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Light Years, by Emily Ziff Griffin

The book Light Years by Emily Ziff Griffin is about a girl named Luisa who struggles with differences that other people do not deal with. She can smell colors, taste sounds, and the things she sees have a temperature or touch. She is a lot different than other people and her life is more stressful because of it. She is very tech-savvy and has extraordinary coding skills. These skills led her to the final spot for possible association with Thomas Bell. Soon enough there is a very bad virus that spreads throughout the entire world. She gets a message that there is a way to stop it. Throughout the story, she learns new things as she tries to stop the virus.

In my opinion, this book was not so much for me. I prefer more happier books rather than sad ones. For me this book was not very pleasing because it was all about stress and the bad things that happened in her life. People who enjoy mysteries would like this book. I also recommend this book to teens who might have stress, maybe this can help them a little. They can learn a few things from it and use it to help themselves. From my perspective, I would give the book a four out of ten.

Review by JB, Grade 9
Grandview Library

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas is a young adult novel following sixteen-year-old Starr Carter who lives in a poor, black-dominated neighborhood, yet attends a fancy school in an affluent neighborhood. It chronicles the events after Starr and her best friend, Khalil, drive home after a party. They get stopped by a police officer who ends up shooting Khalil, even though he was unarmed and did absolutely nothing wrong.

I really enjoyed this novel and believe that it's a strongly important book about the atrocities that black citizens face regularly due to the stereotype and their skin color. Thomas does an excellent job of engaging the reader to the story. The book is very relevant in 2018. 

This book should be read by all, especially American citizens. The fact that black citizens are incredibly oppressed by the system is a truth and should be recognized. Recognition is the first step towards change. If we recognize, we are already halfway there.

Reviewed by Melody S., Grade 10
Montrose Library

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, by Mark Twain

Joan of Arc is about a young girl named Joan from Domremy, France. She begins to receive visions from saints and angels at a young age. Finally, God tells her to go to the Dauphin and tell him to give her his army so she could fight the English and get back French independence. Little does she know that there has already been a prophecy that a young virgin from Orleans will win the crown for France. She obeys and is able to pick out the Dauphin even though she has never seen him before. She is given a trial to see if she was really sent by God and they finally declare that she was. Joan is given the army and fights the English, winning back the French crown. However, she is captured by the English and is eventually burned alive by corrupt Catholic priests and bishops who think she is a heretic. Today, Joan is a renowned saint in the Catholic Church.

I actually enjoyed Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, by Mark Twain, more than I thought I would. After reading this, I admire Joan because he is such a fearless girl: an example for all women. She bravely leads an army at 16 years old, trusting in God. I am disappointed that she was killed by Catholic priests, who are supposed to obey God’s law. They were corrupt and evil, and I think Joan was innocent. If she was working with the devil than she never would have prayed to God or received Holy Communion. It is sad that those of her own faith betrayed her.

Reviewed by SN, Grade 10
Downtown Central Library

Monday, October 1, 2018

I Hunt Killers, by Barry Lyga

Jasper Francis Dent or formally known as Jazz is a teenage boy with a tact for manipulation and mysteriousness. Jazz never had the normal upbringing like most boys. He was raised by one of the most notorious serial killers, his father. After living with one of the most dangerous and violent man you could ever come across Jazz has come to know how the mind of a serial killer works. This knowledge of his comes in handy when bodies start to appear in his hometown Lobo Nod. To prove to himself and to others that he is not his father he begins to work with the police to find this new serial killer who has made Lobo Nod his new playground. As you follow Jazz in this spine chilling book you start to wonder, like father like son?

I'm not usually the type to read mystery books, but after reading, I Hunt Killers, by Barry Lyga, I have acquired a wanting for more. This book keeps you on edge and every second of it is like going through a morbid, bone chilling, adrenaline pumping roller-coaster of words that never seem to bore you. Reading this book was like seeing the mind of the protagonist and villain all at once. But I do have to say if you are very sensitive to books that involve death and gore you probably shouldn't read this book. But if you can handle it then definitely read it because trust me it's a book worth reading.

Reviewed by Charlie S., Grade 9
Downtown Central Library

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Armada, by Ernest Cline

Armada, by  Ernest Cline, is a story about a teenager named Zack Lightman. Zack lives with his mom who is a widow, his father died when he was very young. At school Zack has his rivals and allies. His two best friends are Diehl and Cruz and they like to talk about there favorite trilogies, comics, and especially video games. Zack is a video game fanatic and even skips school to play them. His all time favorite is this game called Armada. One day Zack finds out a little about his father. He learns that his father was a gaming fanatic like him and later finds out that he was part of something bigger then he could ever imagine. It turns out that armada is actually simulator that helps this secret force pick out new space pilots to battle against aliens. Zack is recruited and a bunch of adventures await him.

The story of Armada very interesting with more strengths then flaws. I liked how the story played out and how the characters were introduced. I also liked how Zack and his friends liked to read comics and play video games because I do the same. I could almost imagine myself as Zack discovering this whole alien fighting empire. I thought that some of the characters were to typical. I felt like I've read about these characters in other of Ernest Cline's books. Other than that I enjoyed both the creativity and action token place in the book.

Reviewed by Ruben, Grade 9
Montrose Library

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Messy, by Heather Cocks

Messy, by  Heather Cocks, rewinds back to the characters Brooke Berlin and Molly Dix from the sequel "Spoiled". Few years after Brooke and Molly find out they're both sisters,Brooke gets this new intern for her magazine business. Her name is Maxine but people just call her Max for short. When Brooke hires this new intern,she doesn't easily trust this new girl. Instead,she tries to make sure if she is really some innocent girl trying to get a good paying job or that if she works for her sister Molly who she doesn't really like in which some clues would bring up this mystery.

I liked the story but I think that it was a little bit too long for a teen's novel. I think that this novel should be in the library's shelves for a young adult book. While I was reading this book,I felt like the story was a bit dragging. It kept giving so much detail rather than the main point of view of the story. I also felt that the story wouldn't have some particular ending. The only thing I liked about the book is that there was this spice of romance. It had some interesting parts to the story which makes the book a good thing to read. Maybe if the story came to life such as making a movie out of it,it would probably be more interesting to see and fun to watch. So this is my opinion of the book. I'd give it a three out of a five.

Reviewed by Hannah Rachel, Grade 9
Downtown Central Library

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Rewind, by Jan Page

Rewind, by Jan Page, is all about a rock star named Liam Murphy. He ends up dying from an accident during a performance with his friends CJ and Gemma in which a falling speaker falls on him while singing. But it doesn't end there. After his death,his soul went back in time to when his parents' are teenage rock stars because he realized that he had to know a truth leading to something very important. Then,while finding some clues,he got some help from a guy Weird Wally. What will the one and only Liam Murphy find out?

I couldn't really understand what the novel was talking about. I think maybe the author put a lot of unnecessary details in the book which would make the reader feel bored and not interested into reading the story anymore. I also didn't understand the ending either. I wasn't even sure if it's supposed to be a happy ending or a sad one. And I think that the cover of the book looks a bit boring. I mean I don't think yellow and black mix as a book cover if you want to make it more appealing to readers and other bookworms. Maybe young adults would like reading this. Especially boys since it is a rock star story. And maybe an 18 year old should read this because I think that there is some inappropriate scenes that you may visualize in your mind. I mean I wouldn't want to read this again but maybe I would in the future because I feel like I'm still too young to understand these kind of things. And I have to be honest here,if I had to rate this out of a five star rating,then I'll have to say a two out of five. So if you're a young adult rock star and you're a bookworm half of the time,then I recommend you to read this.

Reviewed by Hannah Rachel, Grade 9
Downtown Central Library

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Monster : the autobiography of an L.A. gang member, by Sanyika Shaku

The book Monster The Autobiography Of An L.A. Gang Member, by Sanyika Shakur, also known as Kody Scott or Monster follows the life of a young gang member of the Crips and his experiences in South Central Los Angeles. Kody Scott joins the Crips during sixth grade and soon acquires the nickname “Monster” due to his actions in the gang. This autobiography is also a window into what life in prison is life for a black man. Throughout the book the reader experiences parts of the author’s life as a gang member, prisoner, father and son.

In my opinion, this book is a great read for anyone looking to better understand the life of someone who grew up in a gang. It does an amazing job showing the truths of South Central Los Angeles and the crimes committed there. This book would be great for readers looking to see the perspective of other people. All 383 pages were very interesting for me to read, making this book extremely hard to put down. The style of writing is easy for any adult or young adult to understand.

Reviewed by Zadoorian, Grade 12
Downtown Central Library

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Micro, by Michael Crichton

Micro, by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston, is a science fiction novel around a micro-universe too small to be seen by the naked eye, but so deadly it can't be ignored. Three men dead in a locked Honolulu building found with fine, razor-sharp cuts covering the bodies, but they showed sign of any effort in killing one another. Seven graduate students in Cambridge, Massachusetts, are invited to Nanigen MicroTechnologies all the way in Hawaii. One of the graduates, Peter, gets a text message from his brother who is the co-leader of Nanigen asking him not to come right before his death. Once, all the graduates arrive in Hawaii they take a tour around Nanigen when things get destructive when Peter gets assaulted by Drake (Owner of Nanigen) after knowing too much about their company.

This book was very well written, and I loved to read this book for countless reasons. There was always twists in the plot which kept me thinking throughout the whole story. The characters were the bulk of why I enjoyed this novel so much, they all had different personalities, thoughts, and jokes that were hilarious and clever. I would recommend this book to readers who like nature or science fiction.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Montrose Library

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, is a young adult novel by Becky Albertalli, which centers around Simon Spier, a closed gay high school student and theater student. Unbeknownst to everyone in his school and family, Simon is emailing with someone he met on a school website named "Blue", under the moniker "Jacques". As events unfold and secrets are revealed, Simon has to do things he doesn't want to do to protect his huge secret all while trying to find out who Blue's true identity is.

I think the book is written well. It's not the best book I've read, but I think it's a very important story for the LGBT+ community. I think teenagers would really enjoy this book due to its simple language and quick, fast-paced writing style. All the characters are very accepting and lovable which completely makes the story much better in general. 
I definitely recommend this book for fans of teen mysteries, romances, and high school stories! It's a fast, easy read that you will wholeheartedly enjoy.

Reviewed by Melody, Grade 9
Montrose Library

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Smell of Other People's Houses, by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

The Smell of Other People's Houses, by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, is split into 4 perspectives of teenagers: Ruth, Dora, Alyce, and Hank. Taking place in Alaska, their lives will intertwine together as they struggle through difficulties in their lives. Ruth’s dad died in a plane crash and her mom ran away, leaving her alone with her strict Catholic grandma. After she gets pregnant, Ruth describes that it’s “ironic that the bigger [she] get[s], the more invisible [she] become[s].” (71) Dora has a brutal father and a mom who drinks away at the Sno-Go, or the local bar. After winning the lottery, Dora gets abused by her dad to give up the money with threats and profane language. Because of her uncontrolled father, she stays over at Dumpling’s house and feels like she is “part of a family.” (95) Alyce truly wants to dance but instead helps her dad fish during the summer. She saves Hank’s brother, Sam, after she sees him jumping off a boat. Hank must decide if running away is a better option than to live with his new dad. He decides to stowaway in a ship with his 2 younger brothers. With a bonding relationship, these teens must learn how to survive together as they untangle their secrets and connect.

I think that this book was great because of the abundance of plot twists and because it is told from 4 different perspectives. The characters are teens who go through domestic abuse and teen pregnancy. As I understood each character's situation, I felt sympathy and pity for them. I would always feel proud when the characters decide to move on and persevere through their lives. I would recommend this to anyone who is going through similar situations so that they can relate to the characters.

Reviewed by Daniel H., Grade 8
Downtown Central Library

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Predicteds, by Christine Seifert

The Predicteds, by Christine Seifert, follows the story of Daphne Wright, a high school student living in a society largely influenced by PROFILE, a system that predicts if you will be a criminal, that the students become divided. The story follows Daphne Wright as she falls in love with the wrong person. A lot of gossip and rumors fly around surrounding the boy she loves. These rumors, not to mention PROFILE scores are determining everyone’s opinions of each other. And when a friend gets attacked, it adds more tension between the predicteds and the normal teens. Then we get a twist at the end of the story.

To start with, I like the plot of the story. I like how the author describes a society where everyone is told whether they will be normal or turn out to be criminals. The story gets me to think about how if someone knows that some test told them that they would be a criminal, they would feel as if there is no way to change that fate. Wouldn’t this in turn lead them to become a criminal because it is who they think they should be? This is definitely a book I would recommend to my friends. It really is interesting to see how people will conform to society’s rules, and in a way, it’s not much different from society today.

Reviewed by Dusk Goth, Grade 11
Downtown Central Library

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen

The classic novel Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen follows the story of Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret Dashwood and their older, half-brother John. The three sisters moved into the home of their mother who had been widowed. After the father dies, the family begins to have money problems. They had to move form Norland Park to Barton Cottage.

Now that they're in a new location, Elinor and Marianne are navigating their own respective romantic endeavors, all while their lives are persistently changing.

The novel is a classic and is a definite must-read. However, it was quite tedious and went by extremely slow. Jane Austen is a master at character development. The book gives you an insider's view of how life must be like for the 19th century British woman.

Even though the language is somewhat complicated, the characters make up for it. It was quite funny. All the characters, both the good and the bad, are interesting and entertaining!

I recommend this book to all readers, especially women!

Reviewed by Melody S., Grade 10
Montrose Library

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury

Dandelion Wine, by RayBradbury follows Douglas Spaulding, an imaginative and thoughtful twelve-year-old boy. It is a collection of short stories, each one centering around Douglas and a different situation. It takes place in an American small-town called Green Town, Illinois. 

Douglas spends his summer and talks about the happiness and sadness of the human condition, and sometimes, even takes about topics as mature as death and the afterlife.

In the collection, Douglas' grandfather makes dandelion wine, a wine made of dandelion petals and other ingredients.

I really enjoyed this book. Even though Ray Bradbury is known for his books in the science fiction genre, it was Dandelion Wine, a simple book for an extraordinary summer, that really made me enjoy his writing. It was a deep tale, talking about life and death, sadness and happiness. It really resonated with me due to a book drowning in nostalgia. 

I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially adults. It will make you long for a childhood you once had but enough memories to make up for it.

Reviewed by Melody S., Grade 10
Montrose Library

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Miles Morales: Spider-Man, by Jason Reynolds

Miles Morales is a 16 year old teen who goes to boarding school and lives with his parents. Everything is normal about Miles except for his big secret, he is the amazing Spider-man. Miles was bit by a spider that's granted him the power to climb walls, have enhanced strength, speed, the power to turn invisible, and sense danger. Although Miles enjoy saving the day as Spider-man he has problems balancing his hero life with his life at home. Miles's powers start to malfunction and he has to make the decision whether he wants to Spider-man or not. Miles has a friend named Ganke who wants him to use his gift for good but Miles wants to focus on school. Will Miles quit being Spidey forever or will he continue to save the day.

The adventures of Miles Morales have made me laugh cry and skip a few hours of sleep. I was so engaged and addicted to this book for it's adventure and comedy. I found Miles Morales: Spider-Man, by Jason Reynolds, relatable because Miles and his friend Ganke did things I remember doing. There were several moments where I was like "hey I've done that". There was this one time where Ganke bugged Miles about his powers and that remind me of this time my friend bugged me about showing everyone my finger trick. I will recommend this book to all of my friend it is a wonderful read, that I didn't want to end.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Montrose Library

Friday, August 17, 2018

Puddin', by Julie Murphy

Millie Michalchuk is just your average plus-sized teenage girl with big dreams to become a News Anchor despite, Millie being bullied at school because of her weight or the fact that her parents sent her to fat camp every year.Millie is a fun and loving girl with a bold personally she becomes bold when she meets Callie Reyes. Your typical popular girl that everyone is jealous of. Millie and Callie have many things in common including the fact that they don't feel like they fit in.Callie always gets mistaken for the babysitter since she is tanner than the rest of her family. While Millie gets bullied because she weighs a bit more than the rest. It does not stop them from reaching their goals, Millie is going to change her story by attending Journalism camp this year instead of fat camp while, Callie is going to be more friendly and kind than before.

Puddin', by Julie Murphy, is just an average girl next door type of book. Millie is relatable towards the general audience including me, she brings a spark to this book like nothing before with real emotion and goals to achieve what she wants.She does not care what people think about her along with her new friend,Callie.Callie is as well unstoppable alongside Millie proving to everyone she has changed. I’d recommend this book to a friend since, it brings light to many girls out there that weigh more than others that have confidence to help them strive. My favorite part of the book is when Millie and Callie drive through Texas to arrive at the Journalism camp to confront the people that denied her entry.

Reviewed by P.K., Grade 9
Downtown Central Library

To All the Boys I've Loved Before, by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before, by Jenny Han, is a young-adult romance novel centering around Lara Jean Song Covey, a sixteen-year-old half-white, half-Korean girl. In the novel, Lara Jean writes lengthy letters to boys she develops crushes on. The drama first begins when her older sister, Margot, leaves for college in Scotland. In the process, she had to break up with her boyfriend, Josh, who also happens to be the Song Covey's neighbors.

Personally, book wasn't my cup of tea only because I'm not the biggest fan of romance novels. However, the book would definitely appeal to teenagers and possibly even adults who like and enjoy romance as a genre. The story was well-paced and it didn't leave you bored. Since it was filled to the brim with drama, you won't stop reading to finally see how everything hashes out. It felt like each chapter had another situation that Lara Jean had to solve.

Reviewed by Melody S., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, is a fun and interesting book. it takes place in a fictional town along the Mississippi river in the 1840's. it is about a boy named Tom sawyer who loves to play hooky and go on adventures. The book is inspired by the author’s upbringing. Twain grew up in Hannibal Missouri. This book has tons of fun adventures in it. Tom white washing, practicing superstitions, stealing from the sugar bowl and much more this book was very fun to read.

I loved this book! I love how this book is relatable even though the times are different. I think that this book would be loved my older kids in middle school and high school. It made me feel like I was actually there going through the adventures with tom. I would definitely recommend this book because it was really interesting and I would love to point out that the love kids shared then is really different from the way kids share love now. It was also really cool to see how they dressed differently and had superstitions much more different from what we have today. This book is must read!

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Montrose Library

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Stalker Chronicles, by Carley Moore

The Stalker Chronicles, by Carley Moore,  is a book following Cammie Bliss through her sophomore year of high school. She has a reputation of being a stalker that she has most definitely earned. We also learn of her past choices. While dealing with her reputation, she is also trying to leave it behind, to turn over a new leaf. She tries to do this with the new boy in school, Toby Waxman. Cammie's younger brother gets a girlfriend and Cammie's parents are going through a divorce. Through this divorce, Cammie discovers that she has something in common with her father. Her best friend Rosie helps her get through this part of her life.

I like how the story is told. The character development is fantastic. It does not happen quickly, but happens at an adequate pace. Development is seen not only in Cammie, but the supporting characters as well. I think the group of people who would like the book would be high school teens, mainly the girls. This book let me see into the eyes of teenage stalker. I enjoyed reading the parts where Cammie would do things that would probably get her in trouble if someone found out. This book was overall an adventure to read and I liked the author’s depiction of high school life.

Reviewed by Dusk R., Grade 11
Downtown Central Library

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Crucible, by Arthur Miller

The Crucible book is written by Arthur Miller. This book was about witchcraft which took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. People in that town accused each other for witchcraft. Abigail Williams was Parris’s niece. Several girls with Abigail danced in the forest where Parris’s daughter, Betty, fainted when she saw her father in the forest. They all taught that some other person cursed her. Parris did not want to believe that witchcraft happened in Salem, Massachusetts because he was the minister of that town, and it was not good for his reputation that something like that happened in that city. They said if the person that did the witchcraft confessed, they could be free, but if they do not confess, they would be hanged. Nurse Rebecca who was known to be a great and honest person in that city was arrested because someone accused her for witchcraft. She did not confess because she believed that she did not commit that crime, and she did not believe in witchcraft, so she was hanged. John Proctor was Elizabeth’s wife. Abigail wanted to kill Elizabeth, so she accused Elizabeth for doing witchcraft. The girls acted in the court, and John Proctor got arrested too because their servant, Mary Warren, accused John Proctor for witchcraft. She claimed that he forced him to confess that Elizabeth was innocent. Proctor tried to convince Mary Warren to tell the truth, but she did not tell the truth; she was scared of Abigail. Proctor wanted to confess in order to protect his life and his wife’s life. Elizabeth convinced him that he should not confess because he did not do that, and he is innocent in that case. If he wanted to confess, he should have signed a paper that he was guilty, and that paper would be shown to everyone in the town. He denied to confess, so he got hanged on the same day as Rebecca, the nurse. If someone did not like another person, and they wanted to get revenge form them, they would simply accuse them for witchcraft. It was simple for them to do it because they did not any evidence to prove whatever they said; their words were enough for the court to claim someone as guilty and hang them if they did not confess. They believed that witchcraft was a special case because they could not find any clues or evidence about the case except whatever the victim said.

The Crucible is a book written by Arthur Miller was amazing, interesting, and meaningful book to read because it was partly true story about John Proctor and the other characters described in the book. True facts and events were highlighted in the story about witchcraft which happened in real life for the people in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. I would recommend this book to people who would like to know more facts and details about people’s beliefs and events that happened in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. In every chapter of this book, someone accused another person for witchcraft and sent them to the court without any acceptable reason. It made me think and imagine the situation in Salem in 1692 where people were arrested and hanged only by someone else’s words and without any sufficient clues or evidence. Arthur Miller used great real examples in his book to show how personal conflicts resulted in severe consequences in 1692 because the court accepted whatever the victim said, and they believed that those cases did not need any lawyers because they could not find any clues or evidence about that case. It is interesting and scary that the most of the characters in the story lie, but the author wrote the book in a way that the reader understands that they do not tell the truth, and their claims are not true and reliable. Historians who studied about these events for their major would be interested to read this book because it tells the reader about the situation of that time through many perspectives which makes it easier for the reader to understand and imagine the situation. This book is more a fiction book rather than a nonfiction book, but some of the parts of the book was imagined and did not happen in real life, so it is a nonfiction book. The theme of this book, the main message, was that people in 1692 ruined and destroyed each other’s lives for getting revenge from each other without any acceptable proof or reason which caused many disasters and sadness; proof and evidence is needed before any accusation. This book written by Arthur Miller is a valuable, meaningful, and amazing book for everyone to read because it is important for the new generation to know what had happened in the past, so they won’t make the same mistakes in the future; we can always learn lessons from the past.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Grandview Library

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante are two Mexican-American boys who live in El Plano, Texas. They are quite opposite, one incredibly articulate and the other very insecure. However, the both of them find each other in times of need when Dante moves to El Plano and is in search of a new friend. Little did they know that their friendship would grow into something that would change their lives forever. From daily challenges to family life, they help each other discover who they were meant to be.

It's so difficult to write a synopsis for this book without exposing much of the story. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of theUniverse, by Benjamin Alire Saenz, is such a complex book even though it may not seem like it. The way it's written is so poetically beautiful that every chapter that I finished, I had to take a minute to relax and reflect. Saenz has done a great job in making a story that first seemed cliche into something so much more than I expected. I fell in love with the characters in this novel, because Aristotle and Dante have such amazing families. They aren't typically normal families, but they are such incredible people. Furthermore, the story takes place in 1987, and I think that adds a different "feel" than other young adult books nowadays. In conclusion, I totally fell in love with this book and it is for sure one of my favorites now. It explores themes of family, sexuality, and artistic expression, which make this book so important.

Reviewed by AH, Grade 10
Downtown Central Library

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Power of Six, by Pittacus Lore

The Power of Six, by  Pittacus Lore, is the sequel to I Am Number Four, the first book in the Lorien Legacies series. The first book was only from the perspective of John Smith a.k.a Number Four. He is one of the nine (now six, as the Mogadorians already killed numbers one, two, and three) surviving Garde from Lorien. When the planet got destroyed by the Mogadorians (evil aliens), they were sent to Earth as a last hope to one day restart Lorien. Each Garde was assigned a guardian, called a Cepan, to help them master their legacies or powers that they develop over time. This book goes back and forth from the perspectives of John and Number Seven, who lives in Spain. Number Seven's Cepan, Adelina, has neglected her and the fact that the Mogadorians are still hunting them. Number Seven, known as Marina, still believes she can and must do something to help John and Six in America. Suddenly, the Mogadorians find her. In America, Six had found John and his friend Sam at the end of I Am Number Four. The three of them are now going to West Virginia, where Six knows the Mogadorians have a secret mountain base. On the way, Six gets a telepathic signal from another Garde in Spain asking for help. She leaves for Spain, while John and Sam decide to go into the mountain base. What will happen to Six and Seven? What will John and Sam do at the secret Mogadorian mountain base in West Virginia? Read The Power of Six to find out.

I think this book is better than I Am Number Four. More characters are introduced and there is more than just one perspective. The reader learns the thoughts of Marina, or Number Seven and how she feels about her Cepan ignoring her when she asks about how to train her legacies. John, Sam, and Six work together to try to get to a Mogadorian base and see what is happening there. I think people who read and enjoyed the first book in the series will become very fond of this book. If you have not read the first book, I highly encourage that you do so before reading this one. A lot will not make sense to you if you start from this book. Like the first book, this one made me feel many different emotions. I felt a little bit sad for Seven. She was passionate about trying to help the other Garde, but her Cepan told her to forget them and pretend hat she was a normal person. I also felt excited for Six. She had finally found another Garde and I wondered what they would do together to fight off the Mogadorians. I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to any avid reader.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Montrose Library

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Long Way Down, by Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down, by Jason Reynolds, is a story about a teenager named Will and he lives in a place with ruff conditions. He lives in a town with street violence, gangs and drugs. Will lives with his mom and his older brother Sean. His father was killed due to gang violence. Will looks up to his older brother who teaches him these rules to follow when someone close to you is killed. One day Sean is shot and Will makes it his mission to avenge his brother and kill the murderer. Will takes Sean's gun and goes to the building where he thinks the murderer lives. While going up the elevator he is encountered by seven loved ones spirits who have been hurt by violence.. All of them tell Will how they died and they ask him why he is doing what he is doing.As will gets closer to his destination he starts to question his choice.

I thought that Long way down was a good poem that really made me connect to the characters. I am aware of how things are in the ruff parts of town and what happens and I think that this story did a good job spreading the word. I think that it was a good way of explaining how actions had leading consequences. Whether there with other people some things can have a chain of consequences. i found it clever that every floor in the elevator had a person that Will new personally that died. My only problem with it was that I questioned if things were real or not. Over all I enjoyed the book and recommend it to young teens.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 10
Montrose Library

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Muchacho, by Louanne Johnson

The story Muchacho, by Louanne Johnsonis about a boy named Eddie who lives in New Mexico and goes to this poor school. He describes himself and the kids at his school as the unfortunate individuals who won't get very far in life. The kids who do advance themselves do it by selling drugs and hustling. Eddie thinks that an education is a waste until one of his teachers leaves. Usually this wouldn't bother him because so many teachers at his school were either fired or quit. The only difference was this teacher showed some compassion and partly inspired Eddie to be better. Eddie likes to read but keeps it a secret because bullies beat him up people book smart. Eddie meets this girl named Lupe who appreciates him for his knowlodege and trys to persuades him to want to go to college. Eddie promises his mother that he will graduate high school which makes her proud. Eddie trys to become succesful but he is constantly making the choice whether to fit in or do good in life. Some of his choices affect his journey

I found the story Muchacho a well written story about a boy on a journey to reach his full potential in life. I liked the message which was to not let your unfortunate circumstance affect your dreams. I thought that Eddie was an hard character to like because he always made bad choices whenever he was doing so well. Eddie was starting to empress his parents with his grades but then he blew it by helping his friend sell drugs. I personally liked Eddie's uncle who he has to live with temporary. His uncle was so calm and enjoyed living a simple life. I had fun with this book and partly inspired me to become more serious about my education.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 10
Montrose Library

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulknertakes place in the 1900s. The book follows different members of the Compson family, and their downfall from rich to poor. The first section is told by Benjamin, a mentally challenged man. He is born mute, and doesn't have a sense of time. He talks about his bond between he and his sister, Caddy. She is the only one who gives him love and affection. The next section is written by Quentin, the only one who goes to Harvard. He is ashamed of his family, and most of all his sister. As Caddy grows up, she becomes promiscuous, and later becomes pregnant. Quentin is mentally affected by this, and he feels the downfall of his family the most. The last narration is told by Jason. His section tells of how he takes care of Caddy’s daughter, who is now 17. She is a rebellious teen, and he has to deal with her the same way he has to deal with Benjamin, the family’s 6 servants, and his own mother. The last part is a third person view following around the oldest servant of the family, Dilsey. 

At first, the book didn't appeal to me because it was nothing like I had read before. It was extremely complicated for me to read and I had a hard time understanding it. Benjamin triggered memories along his section, and it was like a puzzle, trying to weave through the writing. But as I read along, and read it for the second time, everything made sense. I started to appreciate Faulkner’s writing, and each detail mentioned before came later in the story. To this day, I don't know what the story's message is to the reader. It made me feel slightly bad for this declining family, and it seemed as if only trouble would occur to them.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Downtown Central Library

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Symptoms of Being Human, by Jeff Garvin

Symptoms of Being Human, by Jeff Garvin, tells the story of a gender fluid teenager named Riley Cavanaugh. He/she is like most teenagers except in the way she expresses herself. The way he/she acts and a dress doesn’t conform to everyone else's standards. This leads to many problems as people immediately question his/her gender. In addition, moving to a new school and being the only child to a politician doesn't help Riley blend in one bit. To cope with his/her social anxiety, he/she starts an anonymous blog to expose how she really feels inside. Unexpectedly, the blog blows up and only causes more trouble including the risk of being "outed" to her parents.

Wow...just wow. This book opened my eyes because I had no idea what it feels like to be in Riley's shoes. Most of us feel comfortable with our assigned gender, but there are also many who feel isolated from the idea of gender. It's hard for me to wrap my head around there being more than two genders, but at the least, I realized that it doesn't matter what you identify as. Down to the flesh and bone, we are all human beings. Furthermore, the story of Riley Cavanaugh isn't really fiction. It's sad that many transgender teenagers are being victims of assault every day. It's not fair that other ignorant people don't see the "human qualities" in them. Jeff Garvin beautifully crafted this Riley in the way that he/she is not defined by his/her gender but instead his/her lovable sense of humor, his/her way for words, and his/her selfless personality. I would recommend this book 10/10.

Reviewed by AH, Grade 10
Downtown Central Library

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Artemis, by Andy Weir

Artemis, by Andy Weiris a science fiction novel revolving around the first lunar colony, specifically the main smuggler in the colony. Jasmine Bashara (Jazz) has lived in Artemis since she was six, with her father, Ammar Bashara. Jasmine has plans to become rich one day, thus the smuggling, with the help of her pen pal from Earth, Kelvin. But as of now, she works a low paying job as a porter, trying to work her way up to an EVA master so she can give tours as another source of income. One of the richest men in town, Trond Landvik, calls upon her to act as a saboteur, she is quite skeptical. It's quite out of her skill set, but then Trond offers her 1,000,000 slugs (Artemisian currency). Quite enough to retire. Jazz accepts to help Trond, and, if she succeeds, she'll be rich, Trond will gain control of an important contract that will help him wrest control over the oxygen manufacturing industry, and everyone will be happy. But then the plan goes wrong: Jazz is on the run from the Brazilian Mafia, O Palácio, her smuggling gig falls apart, Trond and his bodyguard have been murdered, and nobody quite knows what Jin Chu, a businessman from Hong Kong is doing with a secret project labled ZAFO.

I think that this book was very well written, involving a good mix of the science fiction and criminal genres, and Weir's use of sciences (physics and chemistry) added to the authenticity. The plot takes an interesting path and the characters are very well developed. Artemis is very detailed and thought provoking, and it has a creative setting. I would highly recommend the book to anyone who enjoys books involving a criminal protagonist or science fiction. I enjoyed the cunning and intelligence found in the protagonists (and the antagonists) and the only part I even remotely disliked was the over explanation of how certain processes work.

Reviewed by Eubank C., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Monday, July 9, 2018

A Spell for Chameleon, by Piers Anthony

 A Spell for Chameleon, by Piers Anthony, follows a twisting and moving plot throughout the magical land of Xanth. It chronicles the adventures of Bink, a person of good heart, but no magic, which is grounds for banishment. He quests across Xanth, meeting a deceptive sorceress named Iris, gaining knowledge from an old magician, Humphrey, outsmarting a dragon, meeting a girl who changes appearance gradually each day, following a cycle, and eventually getting banished. He meets an old supervillain who had been exiled before Bink's time, and they (reluctantly) work together to reenter Xanth. Once there, they discover an old castle that's been masking secrets for centuries. Once there, they discover that the castle won't let them leave, and they realize that they could be trapped indefinitely.

I liked this book for a variety of reasons, including the unexpected twists in the plot, which always kept me guessing over what would happen next. The characters were also really hilarious, and evolved and changed throughout the book. The world itself was spectacularly creative, involving thoughts, concepts, and plays on words that were both clever and funny. Overall, I would say it is a pretty good book, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys jokes and fantasy books. My only complaint is that there are just a tad too many puns.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Montrose Library

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Halfling's Gem, by R.A. Salvatore

The Halfling's Gem, by R,A, Sakvatore, is a fantasy adventure story following Drizzt, a Drow (dark elf) warrior, Wulfgar, an immensely strong human barbarian, Catti-Brie, a human archer, and Bruenor, a dwarven fighter, who is also king of a magnificent realm recently freed from a dragon. They are traveling far South, to the desert kingdom of Calimshan, specifically its sprawling capital of Calimport, to save their halfling friend, Regis, from an assassin, Artemis Entreri, and the thieves' guild Regis used to be part of. On the way they fight pirates, sail with a famous sea captain, and navigate a great desert filled with rogues. Once in the city things don't get any easier, and the group has to fight Entreri, a group of wererats, the thieves' guild, and even a horde of demons.

I think this book was well written, and the expansion of the known world from earlier in the series (this is book three) was really interesting. It portrays self-struggle very well in both Entreri and Drizzt, and the detail is phenomenal. Overall I would say that I recommend the book to anyone who enjoys adventure and fantasy books, as it has an action packed plotline with an intricately designed world and characters.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Montrose Library

Monday, July 2, 2018

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

Cath and her twin sister, Wren, are both excited about heading to college together. After their mother left them at a young age, the Simon Snow series is what got them past their childhood. They are both huge fangirls of Simon Snow, though Cath is the one that writes hit fan fictions online. Before college, Wren decides she does not want to room with her twin sister. Cath and Wren were never separated. Always being close best friends, Cath is unfamiliar with the change. Now in college, she must go through new experiences without her twin.

The book Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell, was a very good novel to read. I really enjoyed reading this book because it exposed some challenges of going college. It was interesting and fun to read because I have only known college of being a fun place where you spend the best time of your life. I liked the main character Cath because she is a shy girl who loves to read and write, similar to myself. I would recommend this book to people who like a quick but fun read.

Reviewed by R.P., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Animator's Survival Guide, by Richard Williams

A guide of the art of animation. It teaches all of the basics of animation and also some tips on how to improve, or start down the road to becoming an animator. It also includes the various principles and fundamentals of animation that every animator needs to know to start making animations. Written by the famous animator, Richard Williams and describes his techniques to making characters come to life.

Animator's Survival Guide, by Richard Williams, is famous and useful.  It has a plethora of animation tips that can be useful to anyone who wishes to become an animator. I like that this book also has graphics in it, it really helps convey the idea than if he just explained with words. This might be a long read, but the amount of information in this book makes it worth it. I don’t think there’s anything I dislike about this book, it’s a genuinely great guide for any animator.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Grandview Library

Monday, June 25, 2018

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

Madeline or Maddy Whittier is 18 years old and the only people she can interact with is her mother and her nurse, Carla. She lost her father and brother and she cannot go out. All of her life, she's been home because of her SCID or severe combined immunodeficiency. The only possible way for her to go to another place is if it's been sanitized. However, her life changes when a new family moves out to her next door and when the family's son, Olly, becomes her friend. They always messaged each other, but never met in person until Maddy's nurse, Carla, sneaks Olly into Maddy's house. When Maddy's mother finds out about them, she bans her and make the restrictions harder, but Maddy kept messaging Olly secretly. As she got to know Olly more, she found out that she's not the only one with family problems. Olly's father is abusive, and his sister has smoking problem. Finally, one day Maddy finds out about a very important secret that her mother has been keeping from her for almost her entire life when she and Olly go to Hawaii secretly.

I believe Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon, has a lot to teach its audience. Sometimes we keep important things away from those people that we care and keep them as secrets because we think it'd be better for the person not to know, but we don't realize that the lie is far worse and can even destroy the person's life. This is just like what Maddy's mother did to her and I cannot tell what she's been keeping from her because it'd be spoiled. The book made me shocked, especially at the very end. I really didn't expect that ending. Also, it made me think deeply about how I care about others and how I respond to difficult situations. I think it'd be a great book for teenagers and young adults because of its important life lessons.

Reviewed by Orkideh, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sophie Someone, by Hayley Long

Sophie Something, by Hayley Long, begins off with a fourteen-year-old British-Belgian girl named Sophie Nieuwenleven. Her and her family prepare to leave the United Kingdom so they could all move to Belgium. While living in the city Brussels,she makes a new friend named Comet Kayembe and she can't figure why she left her old residence. Also,she realizes that there is something not right about her identity. So she looks back to her past such as when she was a little girl trying to pronounce her long last name or when she was an eleven-year-old attending the sixth grade.

I thought the book was pretty good. I kinda liked the part that the story would use random vocabulary to replace daily used items such as instead of the word "night",they use the word "nitrogen". I also liked where the story took place and when it had a really good climax. What I would have to say that I didn't like is the ending. Even if this book had a really good climax,I think that it should have a good ending with it too. Also,I didn't like the fact when they used French and possibly Dutch because if this were to be on a library's book shelf,the words should be in English since there are many people who don't understand on what the words would say. But overall I think that this was a good story. This would be a 4-star rating in total. Especially for the people who understand this type of language in the story.

Reviewed by Hannah Rachel, Grade 8
Downtown Central Library

Monday, June 18, 2018

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One, by  Ernest Cline,
 is a story that takes place in the year 2045 where everyone has been playing this game called the Oasis. The Oasis is this V.R system where you can go and do amazing things like fight monsters or climb Mount Everest. It was created by a man named James Halliday who was an enthusiast of video games and fictional trilogies.The people in this time is known as the lost generation because all people do is play on the oasis. The main character of this story is a guy named Wade Watts and he lives in a town full of stacked trailers. His parents died when he was young and he lives with his aunt but he spends most of his time in the Oasis like everyone else. In the Book wade is not a very experienced character but he is clever, especially when it comes to fictional fan bases. One day the creator of the Platform Halliday, dies and sets out a video to everyone on the Oasis announcing the Easter egg hunt. The person who finds the egg wins half a trillion dollars and total control of the oasis. Wade makes it his goal to find the egg and faces a number of puzzles and challenges. He makes friends on his journey that eventually help him. His main threat is This Company called the Sixers who plan on doing what it takes to find the egg.

I thought that the book was enjoyable and full of creative twists. I liked how all the challenges the characters faced were Pop culture references. There were a lot of moments in the book where I'd go ," hey I know what that is". The story had a cool concept of a future that I'd both wish for and hope doesn't happen. In the story Society grows antisocial and people had relied on technology for freedom of the worlds instead of a social life in the real world. Whenever the people in the book went on these bizarre adventures I'd think of how cool it would be to do something like that. My favorite character was Artimus who was a very hardworking character who"s main mission was to get the egg. She was very competitive even with Wade (her love interest).

Reviewed by Anonymouse, Grade 10

Montrose Library