Tag archives for New York
BOOK NAME: The Schwa Was Here
AUTHOR: Neal Shusterman
Calvin Schwa, also known as “the Schwa,” is not invisible. He is just easy to overlook. He is a nobody, so much so that he might as well be part of the scenery. Even his own father cannot be particularly sure of his whereabouts. Some call this “The Schwa Effect”, a condition that renders one virtually invisible to all but the extremely observant. It is said that this effect is terminal, eventually causing the person to simply fade away.
Anthony “Antsy” Bonano barely even noticed The Schwa when they first met. Calvin seemed to blend in perfectly with his surroundings, virtually unnoticeable. Moreover, the Schwa had sat next to Antsy in class for a long time without Antsy ever noticing until that fateful day. Antsy decided to befriend his “invisible-ish” classmate and assist him with his unusual predicament. After doing extensive experimentation on the effectiveness of the Schwa Effect, Antsy had the “brilliant” idea to use the Schwa’s stealth as a profit generating opportunity. The two-some completed spying tasks as well as dares for the entertainment of the other students, as well as for cash.
All is not well, however. Antsy and the Schwa may have just accepted one triple-DOG-dare too many. Furthermore, the Schwa is having trouble coming to grips with his Schwa Effect. He feels as if he is fading away, and that one day, possibly in the very near future, he will cease to exist. There will be emotional pain, there will be cold hard truth, and there will be plenty of ferocious dogs…
This book was excellent. My favorite part was the author’s style of writing. The book was full of humorous lines and phrases. Sarcasm, jokes, puns, and idioms were all present in this book. Such sayings as, “He didn’t have a cow, he had a whole herd,” and “It smelled like something had died in there because it had smelled something else that had died in there,” were commonplace. I could not stop chuckling to myself, and some were good enough to read aloud to family members for more laughs. Even the titles of the chapters were funny. Behind all of the humor, the plot was excellent as well. There were many unexpected twists and turns, as well as several shocking events. I will not spoil these, so read the book. I have also read another book in the series, called “Antsy Does Time”, which was similar to this book in many ways. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story with plenty of laughs thrown in.
Want another opinion? Read Mairen’s review!
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: The View from Saturday
AUTHOR: E.L. Konigsburg
The View from Saturday is a book that tells of four brilliant sixth graders in New York–Noah, Nadia, Ethan and Julian-who get to know each other better at weekly Saturday tea parties organized by Julian, a boy from England. While they meet, they decide to call themselves, “The Souls.” Soon after, they are all elected to represent their school at the Academic Bowl, which is like a spelling bee but they ask questions of trivia, math and about every subject you can think of.. Their team ends up beating all the other 6th grade teams and eventually all the 7th and 8th grade teams too to become state champions.
What I really liked about the book was how each of the four main characters told a different part of the story from their own perspective. It was interesting to read what each character was thinking as the story unfolded, while each one revealed more about the story. The author really made you feel you like you knew each of the main characters and after reading all four of their versions it all comes together in the end.
I would rate this book as having “the most voice” of any I’ve ever read.
BOOK NAME: The Schwa Was Here
AUTHOR: Neal Shusterman
Anthony Bonano is just a normal kid – well, look beyond his weird nickname “Antsy” and he is. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and goes to school like any other teenager his age. But one day, his life changes when he and his two best friends, Howie and Ira, meet a boy named Calvin Schwa. Calvin, or “The Schwa” as he is known to most people, isn’t a normal kid. Not a lot of people notice him–that is, he seems to fade into the background a lot, and some people can’t even tell he is there. Antsy and his friends begin to document the “Schwa Effect,” to help Calvin stay in existence (he is worried that once no one notices him, he’ll just cease to exist). On one of their missions to prove the Schwa Effect, Calvin is challenged to sneak in to the neighborhood curmudgeon’s house and steal a dog bowl. The grumpy old man, Mr. Crawley, has 14 different Afghan hounds, and while Calvin is trying to take a bowl, he is caught. Antsy and Calvin have to work for Mr. Crawley to stop him from calling the police, and they have to walk the dogs every day as their punishment.
Just in case this wasn’t too much, Mr. Crawley’s granddaughter is coming to visit, and he has offered to pay Antsy to spend time with her. Antsy figures that there must be something horribly wrong with her – but there really isn’t: she’s just blind. Her quick wit and lovable attitude bring both Antsy and the Schwa to fall in love with her, which causes tension between the two.
My favorite part of this book was the Schwa’s collection of paperclips. He has a huge collection of different paperclips from different worldwide occurrences, and at one point in the story, he shows Antsy. Some people might think that it is weird, but I think it’s quite cool. He even has one from the Titanic! Anyway, this is a heartwarming and unique story that I would recommend to all readers. Neal Shusterman really did a great job with this novel.
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.
BOOK NAME: So B. It
AUTHOR: Sarah Weeks
Heidi’s Mom is not normal. She’s been diagnosed with Down syndrome and can’t talk right. Heidi doesn’t know anything about her mother’s past. They live with a friend named Bernadette who took care of them after Heidi’s mom was caught wandering outside with a baby. Heidi has been living with Bernadette for years now. Bernadette, on the other hand, is afraid to go outside ever since her father died so both Heidi and her mom has to go get the groceries and other chores.
One day Bernadette finds an old camera in the closet with peculiar pictures in it. One of them had her mom at some Christmas event next to a sign that read: Hillside Home. Heidi decided to take a bus all the way to Liberty, New York alone to try to find out the history of her family. The trip takes her about three days to arrive in New York, when she discovers the secret about her family.
I enjoyed reading this book because l liked the story line to it. It did get a little boring at parts though. I took a long time to get started since the first six chapters were from the past rather than present. My favorite part of the book was when Heidi found out that the manager of the Hillside Home was her grandfather and one of the mentally disordered men was her dad. My least favorite part of the book was at the end. I would like to read another one of her books because I like her creativity and the way that she writes.