Category archives for Previous Bloggers
BOOK NAME: All Shook Up
AUTHOR: Shelley Pearsall
After his grandmother is in the hospital and is in need of the care of Josh’s mother, he finds he has to stay with his father for a few months. When he meets his father at the airport, he is surprised to see the sudden change in his father’s appearance and attitude. Elvis Presley. Elvis hair, Elvis clothes, Elvis voice. Not only does his dad LOOK like Elvis Presley, but his job is to impersonate Elvis! Dreading the stay with his father, Josh gets mad and it shows in his every move.
When Josh goes to a new school and becomes popular, he decides it’s not too bad living there. Until his father plans to be impersonating Elvis at his school concert. Josh makes up a plan. A plan to save him the embarrassment and get him back to being the popular guy he originally was.
All Shook Up was an okay book. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have with the other books I’ve reviewed, but it wasn’t a bad book in general. I have always loved Elvis Presley so the fact that Josh’s dad was an Elvis Presley impersonator thrilled me. I laughed at the quotes the author put in between the chapters. The quotes tickled my funny-bone and sent me into a fit of overwhelming giggles.
I’d suggest this to anyone of any age, but I must say this book revolves around the divorced issue of the family and although the problem isn’t resolved–it contains a lot on how Josh feels. Overall, it’s a great book for anyone who is interested!
BOOK NAME: A Crack in the Sky
AUTHOR: Mark Peter Hughes
Eli Papadopoulos is a teenager who lives in a futuristic America. Global warming has gone extreme, and most of the human race lives in enclosed domes. The insides of the domes are screens that simulate the sky or run ads, and everyone lives fairly happily. Eli’s grandfather was the one who ‘saved humanity’ by thinking of the domes and having his company, InfiniCorp, build it all and take care of everyone. Eli has many relatives, and they are all expected to get a job within InfiniCorp’s ranks. Eli has a pet mongoose, Marilyn, who was given to him by his grandfather. She has been genetically engineered, and can communicate telepathically with Eli. One day, Eli notices a spark on the inside of the dome, and runs to investigate. He doesn’t see anything suspicious, but he begins to be worried and tries to find out more about what is happening. Soon, he discovers a conspiracy plot to escape from the domes because everyone is going to die already. The conspiracy theorists, or foggers, believe that El Guia, a man of the desert, will guide them to safety. Eli begins to doubt his own family, and eventually embarks on an adventure involving a fogger named Tabitha, Marilyn, and his entire family to discover the truth.
As many of you know already, I love science fiction, especially futuristic stuff. I’ll read virtually anything, but this book was really a gem. I’ve recommended it to most of my friends already, and you guys should read it, too! One of the things I liked most about this book was that it gave all perspectives. You got Eli, Tabitha, and Marilyn as well as some people who lived outside the domes. It was good to figure out what the different people were thinking as well as what they knew and didn’t know. It was also cool to see all of the different paths converge at the end of the novel. If you like global warming, this is a great book for you. It’s fairly realistic, and kind of scared me when I thought of how close we are to this coming true. My favorite character would definitely have to be Eli, because he is dedicated to his friends and to finding the truth.
BOOK NAME: Num8ers
After her mother’s death, Jem started to notice numbers in the eyes of
people surrounding her daily. As an infant she vocalized every number
she saw until it bothered those around her. Later on in life Jem
figured out the numbers were the dates of when people were going to die.
A long-term curse in her life, the numbers haunt Jem’s every
move–making her avoid any kind of relationship with people in her life.
When she meets Spider, another outsider, she takes a chance, dreaming
of a happy ending with this boy. Very little time passes before the
date in his eyes shows itself to Jem. Witnessing Spider’s death
herself, Jem is broken and her hopes of a new beginning fade away with
the beats of his heart.
I absolutely loved this book and there was only one downside; the book
had a tremendous amount of content that would be inappropriate for
younger readers. Although some concepts in this book were hard to
understand, it had an amazing plot and was unlike any other book I’ve
read. As disturbing as it seems, I truly enjoyed when the author
unfolded the deaths of those around Jem. Her following the characters
around her, only to find that the numbers in their eyes are correct and
death waits for them around the next corner.
Rachel Ward wrote this book with lovely detail and the plot unfolded
perfectly –introducing new characters and obstacles smoothly. I plan
to read more of her books and I suggest you read this book if you are of
the appropriate age.
BOOK NAME: Mockingjay
AUTHOR: Suzanne Collins
A mockingjay is a mix of a mockingbird and a bird from the fictional future called a jabberjay. A jabberjay was a bird that could bring messages because it could talk by memorizing the words people said. The Capitol created the jabberjay to use it as a spy against the Districts because they were afraid the Districts would start an uprising and attack the Capitol. In the Hunger Games world, these mixed animals are called “mutations.”
Katniss Everdeen won the 74th Hunger Games and became a national hero. She wore a pin of a mockingjay throughout her the Games. The mockingjay became the symbol of a new rebellion against the Capitol.
In “Mockingjay” which is the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy, Katniss Everdeen is living in the underground city of District 13. At the end of book two, Catching Fire, nobody won the 75th Hunger Games because the rebels in District 13 saved Katniss and some of her allies by helping them escape from the games. But they did not save Peeta, her fiancé. She is very sad and upset that the Capitol has captured him and they’re using him against her.
There’s another Hunger Games in this book, but it’s doesn’t take place in the arena. The book is really about how Katniss fights against the Capitol and tries rescue and fix Peeta. Most of the characters from the previous books are back, like Katniss’ allies Finnick, Johanna, and Beetee (who’s my favorite character), her sister Prim and her ugly cat Buttercup, her friend Gale, and of course Haymitch and Effie, her prep team, but sadly not Cinna.
I can’t tell you anymore because I don’t want to give it away. Sorry, folks!
This book is probably the best of the series. You have to read the other two in order to understand this one. This is a book for anyone above 10 years old. My Dad’s even reading the series, and that’s a good sign.
Until next time…seeya!
MOVIE NAME: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
BASED ON: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
I went and saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the day it came out, and since then (it’s been about a week and a half), I’ve seen it twice more. Needless to say, I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, and this epic culmination of the series I’ve been following for 11 years was extremely exciting for me.
One thing that I liked about Deathly Hallows Part 1 was the extent to which it quoted the book. It was a call back to the first two movies, which were heavy with lines from the original books. I felt that this alone was a nice tie-back to the beginning of the series, since it is now coming to a very exciting end.
There is a lot of depth to themes that underlie the great battle between Voldemort and Harry: the battle of good versus evil and love versus hate barely scratches the surface. I think that the first part of the movie did a great job tying in these loose ends and the morality of the struggle between Voldemort and Harry.
Having said that, there were a few scenes in the movie with which I became disillusioned after seeing the movie again. For one, the scene where Harry and Hagrid are escaping from the Dursleys’ house to the Burrow struck a particular chord within me: in the book, the Death Eaters know that Harry is the real one because he sees Stan Shunpike, an old acquaintance of his, being manipulated by the Death Eaters, and he decides only to disarm him instead of stunning him and sending him to his death. Harry had used the same spell, Expelliarmus, against Voldemort when they had met three years previously. In the same scene, Hedwig was killed. I think that Hedwig could have been killed while still showing Harry’s true morality in the movie, and it would have reinforced Harry’s inherent goodness and mercy that is such an obvious theme within the whole series.
Another point that I didn’t like as much was the scene at Malfoy Manor with Peter Pettigrew. In the book, Pettigrew strangled himself with his ultra-powerful hand to let Harry and Ron go save Hermione. This tied up yet another loose end because Harry had stopped Sirius and Lupin from killing Pettigrew four years previously, and the magical debt that Pettigrew had to Harry was symbolic of the goodness of Harry’s actions. However in the movie, Dobby stunned Pettigrew and that was the end of his appearance in the movie.
Overall, though, the movie bore great resemblance to the book and I liked it the best out of all of the previous movies except for the first one. As an avid Harry Potter fan, I give the movie a B+, and strongly urge everyone to read the Harry Potter books as well as seeing the movie.
BOOK NAME: The Everafter
AUTHOR: Amy Huntley
Life ended for Maddy–she’s dead and left with nothing except a few objects, representing specific times in her life; times that made her laugh and times that made her cry. Maddy calls her new surrounding “Is” and spends part of her eternity trying to understand death. Not only does she try to understand death, but life too.
Maddy is able to go back and re-experience some snippets of her life. She sees her mistakes and her flaws–she realizes what person she could have been if she made the right choices.
I liked how the book wove back and forth between the “Is”, where Maddy is dead, and the time when she was alive. Obviously too late to fix anything in her life–Maddy still learns about right choices and living.
The Everafter was written for grades 8 and up. Personally, I think it is age appropriate because of one scene when Maddy goes back to a point in her life where she spends time alone with her boyfriend Gabe.
I actually enjoyed this book and thought the author wrote it well. Amy Huntley described the character’s feelings thoroughly and didn’t leave any confusing gaps in the story.
BOOK NAME: Catching Fire
AUTHOR: Suzanne Collins
Have you read The Hunger Games? If you haven’t, read the review before reading this one, because this is the sequel.
Okay… now that you’re caught up, let me remind of what happened in the first book. Katniss and Peeta won the Hunger Games and went back to District 12. Now they live in Victors Village next to Haymitch who was their mentor during the Games. Because they won the Hunger Games, they’re going to be mentors for the next tributes from District 12.
The Quarter Quell is coming up. Every 25 years, they do something special to the games. The last Quarter Quell they doubled the amount of tributes from each district. And that was the year that District 12′s very own Haymitch won the games.
Katniss and her family sit down in front of their TV to see President Snow announce the Quarter Quell and he says that one male and one female of all of the surviving tributes from each district will go back into the games. Katniss is shocked because she’s the only female winner from her district and she’s going to have to go back to the games.
“Anger.” That’s what all the districts are feeling right now. They’re very angry at the Capital. The Capital isn’t treating them fairly. The Hunger Games are getting out of control, and there are too many deaths. The first uprising – a group of people going against the Capital-happens in District 8.
Katniss doesn’t know what’s going to happen at the end of these hunger games, and she also knows that things are growing out of control in the Districts.
Be sure and read the third book in the series, Mockingjay. It’s even more shocking than the first two! Thanks for reading the review. Until next time-which will probably be for Mockingjay. Bye!
BOOK NAME: National Geographic Kids Almanac 2011
AUTHOR: National Geographic
Hey guys! Nice to see you again. I hope you enjoy my review on the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2011. This book has some of the most amazing pictures ever, and great details.
You can read about all sorts of different animals…from polar bears to green sea turtles and everything in between. There’s information about endangered species and some of the most awkward animals I’ve ever seen. For example, the horse-zebra named Eclyse. It’s solid white in the middle and on the legs. But on the head and near the butt it’s brown with black stripes. You can find a section about albino animals…which are white animals with red eyes-there’s a picture of an albino alligator, and a wallaby.
They have a section on Going Green-by helping the environment. For example, the book has information on conserving electricity and planting trees which gives us more oxygen.
At the end, you can read about future possibilities like a 3D magazine, a hotel in space, and robots.
The other chapters include Your World 2011, Super Science, Geography Rocks, History Happens, Culture Connection, Awesome Adventure, and Wonders of Nature.
There’s no sports section, which disappoints me a little bit. I liked the animal pictures the most, and I would definitely recommend this book.
BOOK NAME: The Reinvention of Edison Thomas
AUTHOR: Jacqueline Houtman
The Reinvention of Edison Thomas, by Jacqueline Houtman, is the story of a very smart boy named Edison Thomas. Edison, also known as Eddy, hates the name his parents gave him–it makes him sound too much like Thomas Edison. Eddy loves to invent things, and he is confident that he will win the science fair he is competing in. But when he gets 3rd place, he is devastated. Back at school, he suspects that his (former) best friend Mitch is bullying him, and confirms it after a few incidents. You see, Eddy has Asperger’s syndrome, making him very smart but somewhat inept at social interactions. His lack of skill in the social department is what makes him have trouble detecting simple emotions and feelings of others, as well as explaining his lack of friends. Sure, Eddy has a couple of friends, but he has nowhere near as many friends as an average middle-schooler would. One of his friends was the crossing guard at the street leading to the school. After budget cuts, the crossing guard got laid off, and Eddy was concerned about the children crossing the street. Because of his concern and his love for inventing things, Eddy created a machine that would help keep the children safe. Most of the story revolves around this invention and its importance to the storyline.
My favorite part of this novel was Eddy’s personality. People with Asperger’s syndrome have always interested me because of their mental ability, but the way the story was told really let you get inside his head. Eddy doesn’t like loud noises or change. Whenever he gets angry, he says the periodic table of the elements in his head to calm him down, and he refers to all living things by their scientific names in Latin. Sprinkled throughout the book are random facts from Eddy’s brain that give interesting tidbits of information to think about while reading the captivating story. All in all, I recommend this book to kids of all ages, especially those who enjoy math and science.
BOOK NAME: The Maze Runner
AUTHOR: James Dashner
Every 30 days a new boy arrives at The Glade with no memory at all. The new arrival, confused and frightened, join the other boys, known as “Gladers”. The boys learn to survive, but mainly want to escape from The Glade. There is no way in and no way out – or so they think.
Each night the stone doors to The Glade close and the next morning they open back up. Beyond the doors is a maze; nobody goes into the maze except for the maze runners. The Gladers live in fear of what lays beyond The Glade; even the maze runners. As soon as the doors to the maze opens, the maze runners run out, trying to find a way of escape within the maze.
This is one of my favorite books ever. It’s also one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written. James Dashner built so much of a storyline within this book’s plot it was so hard to digest all of it. Even when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it constantly. My whole family loved this author and we already back-ordered the next book in this trilogy, The Scorch Trials.
I recommend this to anyone I can, but it is suggested for readers in grade 6-10. I read this aloud with my whole family and we all enjoyed it–even my parents. Definitely a favorite and I’m hoping you like it as much as we did.
BOOK NAME: The Summer I Turned Pretty
AUTHOR: Jenny Han
Every year since Belly could remember she has always gone down to Cousins Beach each summer with her mother, her brother, her mother’s best friend and her two sons, Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly has always had a crush on Conrad, the older of the two brothers, but this summer is having second thoughts on Jeremiah. Unlike the rest of the summers this summer is different, everyone’s older and has changed. Belly got rid of her glasses and has matured a great amount since the last visit. Conrad, on the other hand, has made some mistakes that may cost him a lot. Jeremiah is still the same fun self he always was but acts different when he is around Belly. Belly has no clue what the end of this summer may bring but in the end it’s a summer she will never forget.
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! I am in to chick flicks and chick lit lately and this one is at the top of my list! It is very girly and every time I read it, it reminds me of summer and I love that feeling. In about every other chapter there is a flashback to summers before that and it shows the whole story. Every time I opened it I could never put it down! I hope you get a chance to read this book because you will enjoy it very much. This series is going to become a trilogy.
BOOK NAME: Ender’s Shadow
AUTHOR: Orson Scott Card
Hi, it’s Mairen again. I don’t know if you remember or not, but when I entered the contest to become a blogger for NG Kids, I reviewed a book called Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It is honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read, but then I heard about a parallel novel that was written 33 years later: Ender’s Shadow. The novel tells approximately the same story as Ender’s Game, but from a different character’s point of view. After reading Ender’s Shadow, I will not hesitate to say that it is definitely my favorite book of all time, trumping Ender’s Game and The Giver.
The story is told from the point of view of Bean, a diminutive child who is admitted into Battle School off of the streets of a Dutch town when he is just 6 – two years younger than the normal age. He is small for his age, and is therefore conspicuous among his fellow Launchies. While living on the streets of Rotterdam, he civilizes the children who live there, and is noticed by the manager of a popular soup kitchen. From there, he is passed on to Sister Carlotta, a devout Christian who works for the IF and sees something special in Bean. Throughout Bean’s career at Battle School, much more is learned about his past and his true identity.
One of the things that I really liked about this book was that it makes you think. While reading it, the reader has to figure out what significance the events have towards the events in Ender’s Game as well as figure out what they mean to Bean. I could literally read this book over and over again-in fact, I have! I read it once and liked it so much that I immediately flipped to the front and started over. I’ve read it 5 times now, and I caught something new each time,be it a sly bit of humor or an ulterior motive to a character’s seemingly meaningless actions. Overall, this is a must-read book that I strongly recommend to middle and high school-level readers.
BOOK NAME: Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
AUTHOR: John Grisham
I had a summer book review due for school. I liked Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer so much I picked this one for the book review. And you know how much I read!
This book is about a 13-year-old kid who wants to be a lawyer and he’s already almost as smart as a one. He’s always in the courtroom in his hometown because his parents are lawyers and that’s where he wants to be. Also, he sometimes handles small cases for the kids in his class, and even argues for them in court (things like problems with their pets).
There’s about to be a huge case about a murder. The judge case let’s Theo’s Government class sit in the bleachers for the first session. The case is about a man who murdered his wife. His lawyer is the best defense lawyer in the town and it looks like the suspect is about to get away.
It turns out that one of the kids that Theo tutors at the homeless shelter has a cousin who was an eyewitness to the murder. BUT, the eyewitness is an illegal immigrant so he doesn’t want to tell anyone because he’s afraid he’ll be arrested and sent back to his home country.
Theo has to find a way to help the cousin step forward without getting arrested. The rest of the story is about how Theo has to solve the case before the suspect is set free.
This is a great book for 3rd grade and above. It’s not that long and I loved it.
BOOK NAME: Rocky Road
AUTHOR: Rose Kent
Life choices have always been a struggle for Delilah, bad choices leaving her small family to suffer all the consequences. Later deciding she’d make a good choice for her family, she takes her daughter, Tess, and deaf son, Jordan, to live in New York.
Delilah suffers from a medical illness, making some of her days productive and successful while other days go downhill. After deciding to open an ice cream shop, Tess starts to worry about income and things seem to get worse from there. Soon she feels pressured to be the one that needs to take care of herself and Jordan.
When their life has their ups and downs, Tess tries her best to stay strong. Suddenly, she gets fed up with this sudden heap of responsibility thrown on her and takes a stand. Her opinions rise and she lets Delilah know how things need to be; specifically, how she and Jordan need Delilah to just be a mother to them.
Rocky Road is a book filled with life decisions. I liked how the author included Jordan, a deaf young boy. It added more drama to the book and made this li’l character stand out from the rest; although he obviously didn’t have much to say, he played a big role in the book.
I’d suggest this book to just about any age, everything being easy to understand. The book was overall appropriate with interesting characters. I must say it isn’t a favorite because it lacked one thing–an interesting story line.
BOOK NAME: Tortilla Sun
AUTHOR: Jennifer Cervantes
Tortured by the mystery of her father’s death, Izzy struggles to live without understanding how her father died. When looking through some boxes she found a baseball with the words, “because…magic” written on it. Determined to find out what the missing words are, she asks her mother who offers no information. All her thoughts simmer in her head until she goes to spend the summer with her grandmother. Slowly, her grandmother opens up, sharing information about her father Izzy never knew. After a few days, she feels she is getting to know her father better than she might have if he was still alive. Izzy continues to look for answers and slowly unravels the mysteries.
Almost all the characters in the book had Spanish names so it took a while to catch on to who was who in the storyline. The characters were fairly predictable–each one had a different background story, but the author wove all the stories together so they all related somehow throughout the book.
Honestly, even though the author obviously put time into sharing details of how each of the characters felt, the overall story line was somewhat dull for me. I didn’t really enjoy this book at all, but I think it may have been written for a younger crowd.
BOOK NAME: Middleworld (Jaguar Stones Trilogy Book One)
AUTHOR: Jon and Pamela Voelkel
Hi guys, it’s me again. This time I got an action packed adventure book that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s called Middleworld. It’s about a boy named Max (which is short for Massimo) whose parents are archeologists and go to San Xavier because of a very important dig. They wouldn’t let Max come, but the housekeeper was told to buy Max a ticket to San Xavier. That’s when the adventure kicks in.
Max flew in to stay with his Mom and Dad but they couldn’t come to pick him up so they sent one of their workers, Oscar. Oscar brought Max to a bus that took him to the place where his Uncle Ted would pick him up. His Uncle works in the banana business. This is the start of Max’s adventure of a lifetime.
On his adventure to find his parents he meets a few friends, including Lola, who is Mayan and lives in the jungle. Lola’s eccentric friend was working with Max’s parents when they disappeared. Lola’s friend said that his parents got transported to the Mayan Underworld.
You may be wondering about the Jaguar Stones mentioned in the title. Well, there are five of them and they all have powers that are very strong. They can even heal themselves if they get chipped or broken. There are five pyramids that the stones belong in. Each stone has a matching pyramid. A long time ago there were five kings and each one had a stone. The stones were lost and some people have them and are trying to keep it a secret.
Max is trying to find the stone that will help him get to the Underworld and find his parents.
This book has action, adventure and a little bit of mystery. This is one of the best books I’ve ever done a review on. I recommend this book for everyone.
Bye ’til next time!
BOOK NAME: Scarlett
AUTHOR: Cathy Cassidy
Trying to figure out who she was suppose to be wasn’t Scarlett’s strength. She struggled with life and her parent’s separation didn’t give her much encouragement. In response, Scarlett became rather rebellious. She was suspended from several schools until her mother could not take it anymore. Scarlett’s mother sent her away to stay with her father–a man hated by both Scarlett and her mother.
When Scarlett returned to her father’s presence, he was already remarried and had another child. Scarlett’s anger burned towards the young girl while she did everything in her power to get back at her father. The family started opening up to Scarlett and she slowly gave into their loving kindness.
Meeting new people and learning a new way of life started to have positive effects on Scarlett, as she turned into someone everyone respected.
This author wrote my all-time favorite book so I tend to view her books in a positive light from the start. It is impressive how Cathy Cassidy take a common story line and “refurnishes” it–making it new all over again.
I would suggest this book for ages 10 and up. The characters are so real, and although it’s somewhat predictable, the book keeps you reading for more. After reading Dizzy by Cathy Cassidy I didn’t think it could get any better, but then I read Scarlett.
BOOK NAME: Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Capture
AUTHOR: Kathryn Lasky
Soren is a young barn owl who lives with his family in the kingdom of Tyto. His little sister has just hatched, and his older brother is arrogant and defiant of their parents. For the whole 3 weeks of his life, Soren’s parents have recounted to him the Legends of Ga’Hoole, or tales of a noble group of their ancestors who did good deeds. Soren’s life is going just as planned–that is, until he topples out of the family nest and ends up on the ground 30 feet below with no way to get back up. His older brother refuses to help him, and Soren worries that something has happened to the Mrs. P, the blind snake who serves as their nest maid. Before Mrs. P can go for help, Soren is abducted by a group of strange owls and finds himself in a foreign place that he learns is called the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls.
Soren meets another abducted owl, Gylfie, and they both know that there is something very strange going on at St. Aggie’s. Questions are not allowed, and there are very strict rules. All new owls are given numbers and are ‘moon-blinked,’ which essentially brainwashes them. Soren and Gylfie know that they have to escape, and the story follows the formulation and execution of their plan to get away from St. Aggie’s.
After reading this book, I found out two things: that there are a total of 15 books in the series, and that a movie is being made out of the first 3 books. The movie is set to release on September 24, 2010. Overall, the book was very good. It was well-balanced as far as dialogue and narration go, and the storyline was engaging. My favorite character was Gylfie, the minute elf owl, who was always using big words. The author, Katherine Lasky, did a great job bringing the characters to life. My only concern is that I’ll have to read the next two books before the movie comes out! I would recommend this book to kids who are 9 years old or older because there are some mild fight scenes.
BOOK NAME: Sports Camp
How was your summer? I know mine was great…especially with all of my books. This book is a great to read during the summer, especially if you’re at camp, because it’s about a summer camp.
If you like sports, then this is the perfect book for you. The kids Camp Olympia split into six cabins and those are the teams for the tournaments during the camp. The main events are Basketball, Softball and Water Polo. Riley’s an underdog and definitely not a star. But in one of the sports he comes up big.
The swimming and water polo events take place at Lake Surprise. It’s called Lake Surprise because Big Joe the snapping turtle lives there. There are rumors that Big Joe, has attacked and even killed people at the lake.
At the end of every chapter there’s a bulletin page for the camp, which is the daily news for the camp. It shows the results for the sports and the scores and a list of upcoming events and sometimes new rules.
I really hope you get this book and enjoy it. It took me less than two days to read, so it’s a good book if you’re looking for a quick read.
BOOK NAME: I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President
AUTHOR: Josh Lieb
Hi, it’s Mairen again and yes, that is a very long title. However, don’t let it deter you from picking up this book. I started to read it a little skeptically, but was drawn in from the first page. The story is about a young boy, Oliver Watson, who has two identities: a less-than-smart overweight boy who loves his parents and an international business magnate who has absolute control over thousands of people. The book follows his double-life as he tries to integrate his evil genius personality and his normal kid personality to try to win a school election. Because he has so much control, he bribes, threatens, and steals his way to be a contender in the competition without anyone knowing what is going on.
The plotline is intriguing and the dialogue and narrative are absolutely hilarious, so much so that I was laughing out loud while reading on a few occasions! That garnered me a couple of weird looks from the bystanders (I was reading in my local library), but I just couldn’t stop laughing! Anyway, this book is amazing. It’s charming yet nerve-racking. We can all relate to Oliver’s yearning for his father’s pride, and these kinds of books are the kinds that will always stick in the reader’s mind, no matter how many other books they read. I would recommend this book to all readers, no matter how young or old.
BOOK NAME: Noonie’s Masterpiece
Noonie Norton always had an odd view of art; she went through phases. Blue phases, purple phases, even polka dot phases! Unlike others, she painted everything as she saw it. Noonie painted for only two reasons: first, Noonie wanted to be like her artistic mother; second, she desperately wanted her father to come back for her from his travels. Noonie believed that if her father was impressed by her art, he’d come back to her! When Noonie’s school had an art contest, she saw it as an opportunity to make her father come for her. Would she win?
At age 10, Noonie is younger than me, but a lot like me. She is different from the other people in her school and doesn’t really care what they think of her. She’s artistic, but nobody seems to care. Her best friend, Reno is a math and science geek who assists her with her art; she bosses him and he willingly obeys her. Even though her family really loves her, they don’t always respect her artistic ways.
This book is one I’d pick up for a quick read, but it wouldn’t make it into my list of favorites. The characters are interesting and each has a weird personality. Every page of this book is illustrated with drawings, by the main character, Noonie Norton. The illustrations are just as amusing as the book itself. It’s great if you are interested in a quick and easy read. Being the author’s first book, I think it was impressive.
BOOK NAME: The Red Pyramid
AUTHOR: Rick Riordan
Hi, it’s Mairen again. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick Riordan, has been the focus of a lot of controversy among fans. When the movie came out, there was outrage within the most avid followers, while the people who hadn’t read the books loved it.
But Riordan has burst out with a new book: The Red Pyramid. While this new novel does focus on myths and gods, the gods are not Greek or Roman, they’re Egyptian. We follow Carter and Sadie Kane as they quest to figure out what exactly is going on and what they need to do to stop the evil god Set. Set was released when their father worked magic with the Rosetta Stone, releasing the 5 major gods. Carter and Sadie grew up apart after their mother died: Carter traveled with their Egyptologist father around the world, and Sadie stayed with their mother’s parents in London. They are very different – Sadie has almost Caucasian skin, and Carter’s skin is much darker; Sadie has a British accent; and Carter is an expert on Egyptology.
As much as I loved the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, this book didn’t really do the trick for me. Sure, it was good–it just didn’t pack the punch that his first series did: it wasn’t as funny, and the characters didn’t come to life as much. It was confusing at times, and I couldn’t really get into it. While I was reading, I kept telling myself that it would get better, but it really didn’t. All I can hope for is that the next two books will be better. One of the big turn-downs for me was that the story was apparently told while Sadie and Carter were recording themselves retelling the story. This didn’t really work for me. It confused me, and while I could tell it was meant to be funny, it only served as an interruption to the actual plotline of the story.
The Red Pyramid was an okay book overall. If you’re a Rick Riordan fan, you should definitely read it. Please comment and tell me your thoughts!
Want another opinion? Read Reed’s review of The Red Pyramid.
BOOK NAME: Nature Girl
AUTHOR: Jane Kelley
Being stuck in Vermont with no internet, cell phones, best friends, or TV was NOT on Megan’s summer to-do list, but it was on her parents’. Megan leaves home with her family to go to Vermont, only to find that her days will revolve around hiking, watching her sister and her boyfriend flirt, and drawing for hours upon end.
Megan isn’t so sure she will survive this vacation, especially when she gets lost on the Appalachian Trail. Once lost, she has a choice; she can wait for help or hike the whole trail to prove to everyone she can survive.
I think the author created a typical family in this book and the characters were so predictable. Although I did like the book, it wasn’t good enough to read again. In the book, Jane Kelley kind of re-created and modernized My Side of the Mountain, using a girl instead of a young boy.
In this book, Megan learned a lesson about not giving up and being brave. When she got lost in the woods, I thought that maybe she’d come to love nature and the woods. It seems like Megan just learned her lesson and the Appalachian Trail was used to make her lesson more interesting. Megan DID learn and understand her wrong doings in the end, but it was rough getting there.
This book is recommended for girls ages 9 to 12. It didn’t have any crude language or anything frightening in it. Nature Girl is a calm, humorous book with a few illustrations drawn by the character, Megan, on her journey through the Appalachian Trail.
BOOK NAME: Gregor the Overlander: Book One in the Underland Chronicles
AUTHOR: Suzanne Collins
Hey guys, it’s me again! I’m going to tell you about one of the coolest books ever–Gregor the Overlander.
Gregor’s father had disappeared a few years ago and he never showed up again. Gregor lives with his Mom, his grandma who calls him “Simon” (she’s nuts!), and his two sisters, Boots and Lizzy.
The story started when Gregor had to babysit is baby sister, Boots. He went to go do the laundry like his Mom told him. But all of a sudden, he couldn’t find Boots. He looked through a pile of laundry and he found this hole. He fell into it and found Boots at the bottom.
They found themselves stuck under the city of New York. Giant cockroaches found them and took them to main city of the Underland. One of the city’s rulers named Vikus tells Gregor that his father once fell down into Underland. So Gregor now has to find his father and convince the Underlanders to help him find a way out.
The journey that has so many twists and turns that you just can’t put the book down. There are 311 pages and I read the whole book in less than a week.