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BOOK NAME: Wild Things
AUTHOR: Clay Carmichael
Sometimes you feel like you can trust no one. 11 year old Zoe doesn’t feel like that just sometimes, but all the time! Her Dad left her at an early age and her irresponsible mother died. With both parents gone, Zoe is left to go to different relatives, staying for short amounts of time until they discard of her like a used tissue. Usually they will pretend to care about her until they ship her off to the next relative. So naturally Zoe thinks it will be the same routine when she is placed with a little known relative named Uncle Henry. However, she is surprised to find that Uncle Henry won’t give up on her and that they share many things in common. Both stubborn and hotheaded, they can sometimes clash but they also share broken hearts. Unknowingly, they start to pick up each other’s pieces and start to create a loving home.
Along the way, Zoe meets many other interesting characters including a wild cat, a white deer, and a mysterious boy. Zoe’s curiosity and wild spirit lead her to finding the identity of the boy, and she uncovers the truth about a local lie. This book had a spirit of its own and I loved reading each wondrous page. I was amazed at the depth of the characters and how I was able to connect with each of them. I also thought it was interesting how the author added narration from the cat’s perspective. If you like adventure and humor books, I highly recommend this. It’s a great book for all ages. I look forward to reading this author’s future works.
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Illustration by Chris Rooney
BOOK NAME: Saga
AUTHOR: Connor Kostick
After the downfall of the world of Epic, a space probe of Saga has arrived at New Earth. It has deleted all the data of Epic and sent a virus into New Earth’s systems, causing anyone who connects to Saga to be infected with the virus and is forced to continue playing without dying. This probe has also invited the inhabitants of New Earth to enter into Saga thinking it’s a game just like Epic. There’s one problem though: Cindella Dragonslayer is immune and willing to fight.
In Saga, Ghost and her gang of Anarcho punks are running around vandalizing malls. But when they get caught and sent to jail, who do they find but Cindella Dragonslayer. Things get ugly when Cindella actually kills an innocent security guard, and talk about the Dark queen of Saga is becoming more frequent. The gang is quickly put up to the top of the most wanted list and must lie low, but not without formulating a plan. Ghost may not know who she is, but she sure can do some crazy things.
Can the people of New Earth join with Ghost and her gang to overthrow the Dark Queen, therefore demolishing the implanted virus? Will Ghost finally figure out her past? Find out this and more in Saga by Connor Kostick.
I thought that this book was marginal, and failed in comparison with the first book in the series, Epic. I found it really weird when the book took the story from the Queen’s point of view because of the way she talks. She keeps saying “we” instead of “I” as if there were more than one person in her. Also, I feel like the book strayed from its roots. I barely got to see it from Erik’s (or Cindella’s) point of view, which was upsetting to me. So much seemed to have happened between the demolition of Epic and when the story takes place and to just get snippets of it was really frustrating. Not only that, but I kept getting really tired of Ghost’s reappearing questions. Almost every chapter, she would wonder who she was. It felt really repetitive to me. It also started to get a lot darker than Epic. It’s no longer a game, and there is evil world domination going around. Usually, that makes for a great story, but it’s just how the Queen plans to wipe out world after world with Nuclear Bombs. I would definitely recommend that anyone thinking of reading this book consider stopping at the first one.
When you stay home sick, you think you are in the worst situation possible. But after you read this book, you will be thankful it is just a cold! This story is all about the slow process of the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia and how our entire country was affected. It was 1793, and Philadelphia was the largest city in America at that time. it was also the seat of our nation’s government. The political leaders were so spooked by the fever that they fled the town, leaving their positions unoccupied. Even our president, George Washington, left Philadelphia. At that time, Congress was housed in Philadelphia and because of the epidemic, they could not meet. This incident led to the creation of the rule that the president can convene Congress outside of the capital if the situation threatens the country’s well-being. It was amazing at how this fever made the whole country come to a standstill.
The argument between well-known doctors on treatment and causes were almost as persistent as the illness itself. The cause of the illness wasn’t found until later studies, but at the time many people thought it was because of the filth around the city of Philadelphia. There were no sewers or running water, but instead there were open ditches and wells. As the city was struck by the epidemic, they decided to do a city-wide cleanup so the disease would not continue to spread. Many of our modern city regulations on public health were a result of the changes made in Philadelphia due to yellow fever.
I recommend this book for kids in middle school who are interested in non-fiction or are looking for something new to try. I enjoyed this book because we hear about many illnesses that existed in other countries like the infamous black plague, but we normally don’t study the epidemics of our own country.
BOOK NAME: Rucker Park Setup
AUTHOR: Paul Volponi
This book isn’t anything like a fairy tale. It isn’t a thing like any of the other basketball books and movies I’ve seen before. Through a murder mystery, it teaches a lesson through the harsh experience of a teenage boy named Mackey.
Mackey was a boy who never got to meet his father; he died before he was born. His mother didn’t have many words of advice to give Mackey about anything, and his step-dad wasn’t much help either. His only friend was J.R., and the only person who helped guide him through life was J.R.’s dad, Stove.
Mackey and J.R. were offered a chance to play on the Greenbacks basketball team. This was not only Mackey’s dream, but J.R.’s especially. They played extremely well throughout the season, and right before they play Fat Anthony’s team in the tournament, J.R is killed. The book then focuses on who did it, how and why.
The entire book is based on foreshadowing, and some of the best I’ve ever seen too. You know that J.R. is going to be killed when reading the prologue, and that it is somehow Mackey’s fault. Once you figure out who did it and how, you will have an “Ohh… That makes sense!” moment.
All of the parts fit together really well. My favorites are when you here from the view of a different character of the book for about a page at a time, and then it goes back to Mackey’s view. It can really reveal a lot of the hidden parts of the book. I highly suggest that you read this. It teaches a great lesson, and you’ll want to read it again to look at all of the hints that it gave you about who did it.
BOOK NAME: The Secret School
Ida Bidson is devastated when she hears that her teacher, Miss Fletcher, must travel to take care of her sick mother, and therefore her one-room school is closing. Since it is almost the end of the school year, Mr. Jordan, the mean head of the school board, decides to save money and refuses to hire another teacher to substitute. This ends all of Ida’s dreams of taking her exit exams, and maybe going to high school! But wait… could there be a solution?
Tom Kohl, Ida’s best friend who is in eighth grade with her, tells her that he thinks she should be the teacher. At first, Ida is quick to decline the idea. But as she thinks more about it, she starts to convince herself that maybe, just maybe, she could be the teacher! After all, that is what she wants to do in life! So after voting with the class, Ida Bidson, who is only 14 years old, becomes the teacher. Yet the kids know that if they tell the school board, Ida will not be allowed to be the teacher, so they make it a secret school. At first, Ida has some troubles. It’s not easy to teach seven children in one room, especially if the kids are from first to eighth grade! Yet soon enough, Ida begins to get
used to playing the role of “Miss Bidson”, and is a great teacher.
One day, the school board finds out about the secret school. Will they close the school down? Or will Ida speak up and find a way to allow the school to continue?
I really enjoyed this book. Although it is an easy reader, I would recommend it to anyone. The book is great for ages eight and up. The characters are well developed, and sometimes the suspense of the story is unbearable!
BOOK NAME: Project Jackalope
AUTHOR: Emily Ecton
One of the most famous mythical animals is the jackalope. According to legend, jackalopes are rabbits
that sprout massive antlers. They are known to like whiskey, sing campfire songs, and wreak havoc with
their deadly deer-like appendages.
Jeremy doesn’t think anything of jackalopes, mostly just trying to earn a C- on his 8 th grade science
fair project. That’s when a live jackalope turns up in his room, courtesy of his crazy scientist neighbor,
Professor Twitchett. Not only is a make-believe creature chewing on his dirty laundry, it seems that a
bunch of shady men in suits are after Twitchett and his experiment, the experiment that Jeremy now
has. Jeremy doesn’t want the jackalope, and would gladly get rid of it, but there is something about
these men that is just too sinister.
Jeremy needs help, so he asks his know-it-all classmate Agatha for assistance. Now Jeremy, his partner
in crime, and their fuzzy little killer, are on the run. They need to find Twitchett, rid themselves of the
jackalope, and get out of this mess.
This book was pretty good. It was very funny. Jeremy incorporated his sarcastic personality into the
storyline with humorous comments and side notes. It really added to the reading experience. I found
it unique that this story made the concept of creating a jackalope somewhat believable. Through some
DNA transplants, Twitchett created an animal hybrid with the body of a rabbit and the antlers of a deer.
It was quite an interesting experiment, and was written about in such a way that it sounded nearly
doable. I enjoyed the surprising way the story concluded, although I won’t spoil any of it. This book is
short and is not overly difficult to read, so it would be good for anyone in elementary or middle school.
Want another opinion? Read Parker’s review!
BOOK NAME: Moon Over Manifest
AUTHOR: Clare Vanderpool
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool is one girl’s journey to learn more about her father’s
In the summer of 1936, twelve year old Abilene is sent by Gideon, her father, to Manifest,
Kansas, his hometown. Here, in a room, Abilene discovers a cigar box filled with letters, a fishing lure,
doll, cork, and skeleton key. Her mind is stuck as to whether these mementos belong to her father.
While on her quest to learn more about her father’s childhood days, she enters Miss Sadie’s divining
parlor, the Path to Perdition. Miss Sadie tells her the adventurous, yet tragic story of two boys, Ned and
Jinx, from 1918 Manifest. Still, there is no mention of Gideon. Abilene tries to make connections
between the stories and the mementos. Where is Gideon’s place in this story? Read the book to find out.
This 2011 Newbery Medal Winner is an all-star read for middle school kids. Readers will get
involved with Abilene’s adventure, and they, too, will wonder who Gideon was when he was a boy. Also,
at the end so many mysteries come together that the reader will be amazed with the contemplative
mind of the author. The author sets up the plot wonderfully by incorporating newspaper articles and
written letters. Page after page, stories, connections, and wonders build on, making the reader want to
keep reading this book.
BOOK NAME: Weird But True! Stupid Criminals
AUTHOR: National Geographic
Stupid Criminals was one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. I couldn’t
stop laughing out loud as I read, and my family and friends kept asking me what
was so funny. In fact, I don’t even have the book right now because one of my
friends has it. After he’s done with it, another friend wants to read it too!
Stupid Criminals is about people trying to commit crimes but making dumb
mistakes at the same time–stupid criminals, get it? Just like it’s hard to do the
right thing sometimes, I guess it’s hard to do the wrong thing correctly! My
favorite story was probably about a bank robber who called the bank and
said, “Hello, we are robbing your bank at 1pm, bye!” Another favorite of mine
was about a robber who was burglarizing a house. He got hungry and had a
snack. He was caught because he left greasy fingerprints on the refrigerator door!
Well, you get the idea. It is hilarious! I guarantee that if you have a sense of
humor, you will love this book. I hope you read and enjoy it!
BOOK NAME: Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate
AUTHOR: Lesley M. M. Blume
ILLUSTRATOR: David Foote
You may have heard about magical creatures in far, exotic and distant lands. Or maybe you believe they live even closer to home, scattered throughout the countryside. But did you know that magical creatures are even closer than that? According to Miss Edythe McFate, they don’t just live in nature but in our homes, businesses, and cities. Miss McFate has followed mythical creatures for almost all her life and has extensive knowledge of these ancient beings. She was kind enough to write a guide for us with her new perspective.
This book provides an account of eight children and their completely true and terrifying encounters with fairies. Miss Edythe explains how to avoid these problems and how to recognize a fairy and whether they are good or bad. Miss Edythe has her reason for writing this guide in the first place. You see, she was one of the eight stories she tells in the book and since no one believed her, she had a need to show the rest of the world that fairies do exist. And she provides plenty of evidence to support it.
This is a really wonderful book filled with imagination. The reason I loved it so much is that it shows modern fairies in everyday life. The Spiderwick Chronicles were also about modern fairies, but they were located in the countryside far away from urban life. This book changes all that by documenting truly urban living fairies. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys fantasy books and stories about fairies. It will provide you with a fresh perspective on fairies and everyday life. Perhaps you have one living near you!
BOOK NAME: Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures That May or May Not Exist
AUTHORS: Kelly Milner Halls, Rick Spears, and Roxyanne Young
A cryptid is a creature that can’t be proven to be 100 percent real. The most famous
cryptids are perhaps bigfoot and aliens, but there are many more out there. Are you familiar
with the Kraken from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series? It turns out that it is a real
creature, except not the way you think it is. It is actually a giant squid that sailors would call
the Kraken. It wasn’t proven to exist until 2004.
Reading this book, I learned that things really can be misinterpreted. One of the cryptids
that has been spotted near Loveland, Colorado, is the Loveland Frog, which is apparently
a giant walking frog that carries a wand that sparkles. This may sound stupid at first, but
most of the sightings occurred at night, so the witnesses may have seen silhouettes from
two different figures overlapping each other. The sparkles that people say they saw from the
wand may come from the stars in the background. Because of the many possibilities that
the witness could have seen, that makes it hard to prove whether a cryptid is real or not.
There was cryptid called the Dover Demon, which looks like a classic alien from the movies
with large eyes and an oversized head. The thing is, it has only been spotted twice, both
on the same weekend. One of the witnesses took a brilliant photo of it. But if that only
happened one night, there are two ways to interpret it. First, an alien might have visited but
only for that weekend. Second, someone went a little bit crazy that weekend.
Overall, my favorite cryptid described in the book is the giant squid because they
eventually determined it was real and it’s large enough to kill a whale. I found this entire
book very interesting and highly recommend that you read it.
BOOK NAME: Calli Be Gold
AUTHOR: Michele Weber Hurwitz
Calli Gold is the youngest in a family of overachievers. Her sister is an ice skater and her brother
is a basketball champion. The family calendar has different colored Post-it notes on it; one color
for every member of the family. The one who has the least Post-it notes is Calli. She doesn’t
have ice skating practices or basketball games. As a matter of fact, she doesn’t have a specific
talent. Calli’s parents keep tossing her into different activities, hoping that one day she will
find her life’s dream. But Calli thinks she’s fine just the way she is! Yet that’s not enough in her
family. “Be Gold” is the family motto, and if you’re not an expert at something, it’s almost like
you’re not part of the family.
When Calli’s teacher informs the class that they will begin a “Peer Helper Program” with the
second grade, Calli is paired with a boy named Noah Zullo. At first, Noah seems impossible to
be with. But something about him makes Calli not give up, and try her best to be patient with
him. Sure, he may be strange, but that doesn’t stop Calli from working with him.
Can Calli work with Noah, and find her talent at the same time?
I really enjoyed this book. Although many books have the same basic story line, the author uses
many details that make it different and exciting. I definitely recommend this book to anyone
ages 8 and up.
BOOK NAME: Arch Enemy
AUTHOR: Frank Beddor
We have probably all heard of the story Alice in Wonderland. Wonderland is not the fairy tale land the
book describes, but a nation gripped in the turmoil of a terrible war. Alyss herself is the warrior queen
of Wonderland. Her imagination, like the imaginations of many citizens of Wonderland, is not merely
thoughts and dreams, but a carefully honed superpower.
For years, Queen Alyss has held her enemies, especially her evil aunt Redd, at bay by virtue of her
mighty imagination; but now, it has been taken from her. Many others in Wonderland have also found
themselves stripped of their powers. In her weakened state, she cannot defend her queendom. The
ruthless, tyrannical monarch of a neighboring nation, King Arch, quickly takes Wonderland for himself.
Alyss’ last hope for her conquered homeland lies within a prophecy, a prophecy issued by the Caterpillar
Oracles of Wonderland. The all-knowing larvae say that imagination shall not be lost forever, and shall
be protected for Everqueen. Who is Everqueen? How can imagination be protected when King Arch is
already on the verge of destroying it? How will Alyss retake her queendom? Will old enemies, like Redd,
This book is the third in the Looking Glass Wars Trilogy. I have read all three books, and they were all
excellent. However, anyone interested should probably read the first book, The Looking Glass Wars, and
the second book, Seeing Redd, before reading Arch Enemy. This book will be hard to understand without
reading its predecessors. That aside, this book was very well written, and there were many shocking
twists to the story. My favorite character is King Arch. He is smart, crafty, powerful, and unspeakably
evil. I like how this book and the others before it take a very well known story, Alice in Wonderland, and
bend it into a sci-fi war. I highly recommend reading this book, and this series.
BOOK NAME: Where the Red Fern Grows
AUTHOR: Wilson Rawls
Where the Red Fern Grows is a book that shows hard work, adventure, victory, and grief. It is a
fictional book written by Wilson Rawls.
Billy is a young adventurous boy living in Ozark country. Hunting has been his sport and he has
always longed for two hunting hounds. Billy finally gathers enough money through his hard work and
gets his two hounds. He names the smaller female dog, Little Ann, and the tougher male dog, Old Dan.
They make the best loving team of three; the dogs are a pair who will never leave each other’s side. Old
Dan has the courage to fight, Little Ann is the planner and has the common sense, and encouraging Billy
leads them into the hunt atmosphere. Soon, they participate in a big hunt competition which is having
some of the most talented coon hunters and hounds in the nation. Danger awaits them in this unfamiliar
land, but what about victory? Read the book to uncover the answer.
This book is a perfect classic read for any middle school child. It has all the ingredients to a
delightful soup. A tasty plot that has you continuously reading, conflicts that arouse, a catchy
introduction, and personal in-depth characters all add to the wonders of the meal. However, the author
overdoes the heartbreaking ending, so be ready for some tearful tragedy. There are detailed
descriptions like “It screamed its way into the cave and rang like a blacksmith’s anvil against the rock
walls” (47), painting vivid pictures in the readers’ mind. So head out to the library and enjoy a fabulous
To get you in the mood for Halloween, we’re giving away 15 copies of
Tales From Lovecraft Middle School #1: Professor Gargoyleon the National Geographic Kids website!
Strange things are happening at Lovecraft Middle School. Rats are leaping from lockers, students are disappearing, and the science teacher is acting very peculiar. Arthur knew that seventh grade was going to be weird, but this is ridiculous!
BOOK NAME: Chomp
AUTHOR: Carl Hiaasen
On the day I received Chomp in the mail, I stayed up until after 11pm
reading it. It wasn’t Carl Hiaasen’s best book but it was definitely a good book,
The book is set in a Florida swamp with Wahoo and his dad, an animal
wrangler, as the main characters. They are working for a television show much
like Man vs. Wild. The show’s star goes missing and Wahoo, his dad and the
camera crew need to find him. I liked the plot, even though it’s a little confusing
in some places, and the characters in this book, especially Wahoo. He has a lot of
guts. When he was little his thumb was bitten off by an alligator and yet he still
plays with and feeds alligators and other swamp animals. Wahoo’s backyard is a
zoo of the most dangerous animals in Florida, and Carl Hiaasen gives great
descriptions of them. I’m a big animal lover so this was a big plus for me.
Like I said earlier, Chomp is not a GREAT book, but a good one. If you like
reading about animals and adventures in general, I would recommend this book.
I’d probably get it from the library though instead of buying it.
BOOK NAME: Esperanza Rising
AUTHOR: Pam Munoz Ryan
I was a little skeptical about this book when they gave it to me to read in school, but once I opened it, I couldn’t put it down. This is a very inspiring and unique book set in the 1930s about a girl named Esperanza. She initially lives in Mexico and through a series of tragic events, goes from riches to rags. This includes her beloved father being killed by bandits hired by Esperanza’s evil uncle, and a terrifying house fire that she almost takes her life. The family is left with a terrible decision to either give into the uncle’s wretched demands or to leave the land they know and love.
Esperanza goes on the road with her mother to America to escape her uncle. Though devastating, this experience helps her appreciate what she still has–family and love. This appreciation is strengthened when she finds herself actually having to work not only for herself, but also for her now ill mother. She settles into a work camp located miles away from the land she knew all her life as home, and soon learns all too well what hard work is really like.
This is a wonderful book that I recommend for kids in middle school. Spanish words, Mexican culture, and traditions are woven in throughout the story, making it even more fun to root for Esperanza. Esperanza means “hope” in Spanish, so the title literally means Hope Rising. The author actually modeled this story around her grandmother’s life, and I enjoyed being able to share in her adventure.
BOOK NAME: Stuck on Earth
AUTHOR: David Klass
Stuck on Earth is about an alien that gets the mission of coming to Earth to study human
beings and and decide whether or not they should be exterminated. To do this, the alien
takes over the body of a 14-year-old boy named Tom, who is such a misfit at this school
that he already has the nickname “Alien.”
The alien becomes confused by the random acts of hatred that humans constantly do
to each other like bullying at school, teasing of siblings, and warfare. However, the alien
becomes intrigued by the humans’ strange talents, like the ability to make money.
The alien believes Earth is a beautiful planet compared to the others, but is upset that
humans aren’t treating it right. He finds out that a company is dumping waste into a river
where an endangered species of fish lives, and he is determined to put an end to the
What makes this book hilarious is the little things that we take for granted that the alien is
confused by, like reality TV shows and junk food. It was also funny how he describes those
things and the way he speaks to others. For example, when he takes over Tom’s body, he
starts talking with an advanced vocabulary that most people wouldn’t use, like referring to
everyone else as a “homosapien” all the time.
I highly recommend that you read this book because not only is it funny, it will help you see
and think about the world in a new way.
BOOK NAME: Joshua Dread
AUTHOR: Lee Bacon
For Joshua Dread, middle school is proving to be, well, awkward. Not only do bullies pick on him, but do you see those supervillains over there trying to flood the world? The ones that everyone, including his best friend Milton, are rooting for Captain Justice to take down? They’re the Dread Duo, and they just happen to be his parents. As if trying to hide his identity wasn’t hard enough, Joshua has started leaving a trail of exploding pencils and scorched handprints in his wake, and only Sophie, the new girl in town with a mysterious past, seems unsurprised. When a violent attack at the Vile Fair makes it clear someone is abducting supervillains, and that his parents may very well be next, Joshua must enlist both Sophie and Milton’s help to save them.
Here’s your chance to be part of a new National Geographic Kids book! Visit the Are You “Normal”? page on National Geographic Kids to answer polls about your family, friends, likes, dislikes, and more! Your answers will appear in the next Are You “Normal”? book, which will be published in 2013.
BOOK NAME: Secrets from the Sleeping Bag: A Blogtastic! Novel
AUTHOR: Rose Cooper
I am so excited to review Secrets from the Sleeping Bag. After reviewing Gossip from the Girls’ Room and Rumors from the Boys’ Room, I am proud to say that this book is just as awesome, just as juicy, and just as hilarious as the other two!
Sofia Becker, a.k.a. Blogtastic Blogger, is back, and she’s going to spend the summer with herbest friend Nona at Camp Krakatow (which mysteriously sounds a lot like Crack-a-toe)! There’s just one problem: How can she write on her Blogtastic Blog if she’s at camp? Sofia decides to bring her notebook, and she’ll post everything she writes when she gets back.
Sofia is bummed when she finds out that she and Nona have been put in different bunks. The girls’ bunks are named after butterflies, and Sofia’s bunk is called the Gray Hairstreaks! Yuck! In addition to that, some girls in Sofia’s bunk are… interesting. There’s Gabby, who can’t stop talking, there’s Olivia, who yells at everyone and never likes what anyone says, and Sofia’s counselor is the meanest one in all of camp! At first Sofia hates Camp Krakatow, but then things start getting better! Sofia likes the activities, and the Gray Hairstreaks and Monarchs bunks even have a prank war with each other! Sure, maybe Sofia had a few mishaps, like accidentally attaching tissue paper to her hands with super-glue, or falling out of her canoe, but overall,
things work out great! With every day at Camp Krakatow comes another adventure!
I loved this book! Sofia is hilarious! I love what she writes in her notebook! I would recommend this book to anyone ages 10 and up. It will definitely have you rolling on the floor!
BOOK NAME: So B. It
AUTHOR: Sarah Weeks
So B. It, by Sarah Weeks, is a touching, humorous, rather sad but all around great story that
would be a great summer reading choice. I first read this book a couple of years ago as an assignment
for English class, but it’s so good I’ve read it numerous times over the past few years for fun as well.
This novel is told from the perspective of 12 year old Heidi It, a good natured girl who lives with
her mentally disabled mother in Reno, Nevada. Bernadette, their caring but rather vertically challenged
neighbor who’s agoraphobic (basically, she’s afraid to go outside the house) looks after Heidi and is like
a second mother to her; even so Heidi has to take on many responsibilities to provide for the household
and take care of her mom.
However, when a strange word,”Soof”, a word that has often appeared in her mother’s limited
vocabulary begins to make her wonder about her mother’s history, Heidi sets out on a journey to
discover her mother’s unknown past and hopefully her mom’s parents. Along the way, Heidi runs into
many different people and gets caught in a variety of memorable situations, each one teaching her
lessons about life and bringing her closer to finding out who her mother is and where she came from.
Near the end of the book, something tragic occurs, and Heidi realizes that not only has she learned a lot
about her mom, but she has learned a lot about herself too.
This novel is very well written and a really sweet story. Although it is a little sad, it’s definitely
not a depressing or gloomy book and has many funny and lighthearted moments. I would recommend
this book to both guys and girls and though I think older tweens would enjoy it most, this novel has a
broad age range and I know young tweens and teenagers will like it as well. So, if you’re looking for a
really good book that is humorous and colorful but also touching and mysterious, then So B. It is the
book for you!
Want another opinion? Read Jordan’s review!
BOOK NAME: Atherton: House of Power
AUTHOR: Patrick Carman
Atherton: House of Power is the first book in a trilogy by Patrick Carmen and takes place in the mysterious three tiered world of Atherton. There is the top layer, or the Highlands, where the water for the whole world originates and the high society and leaders of the world reside. Directly below that, there is Tabletop, where eleven year old Edgar lives with the rest of the working class. This is also where the groves are, which is where Edgar works under the evil Mr. Ratikan. If he puts one toe out of line, Mr. Ratikan will end up taking away meals and increasing work as punishment. At the bottom of the world is the Flatlands, where all the horrors of the entire world reside, waiting to eat any leftovers that fall from Tabletop. While tending to the fig trees in the Groves, Edgar daydreams about what could possibly be in the Highlands. He finally decides to climb there during the night, even though it is completely forbidden. While climbing up, he discovers a mysterious book that he believes contains secrets to his past and might contain information on the origin of his world. There’s only one problem though; he can’t read. So when he finally climbs up and manages to locate somebody who can read, he has to repeat his forbidden climbing night after night. In doing this, he discovers that certain handholds are lower than the previous night; meaning that the Highlands are sinking into Tabletop. And in all this chaos, he has to worry about Mr. Ratikan’s punishments. He must travel all over this world to find a way to save all three layers, including the dreaded Flatlands.
This book is an amazing introduction to the trilogy and will keep you reading to find out how this world was created and for what purpose. It is full of action and shows how each of the inhabitants of the layers must work together to save their world. I absolutely loved the character of Edgar because he could climb like a maniac. I like climbing, am not very good at it, and definitely envy his superior skills. I would like to commend the author on creating an intriguing, complex world. Overall, I recommend this book to anyone interested in a good series who likes science fiction and fantasy.