Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

In the poor town of La Paz, a young man named Kino lived with his wife and his infant son Coyotito.  One day, while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, he found the pearl of the world.  Assuming that the pearl would bring great joy to the town, Kimo showed everyone the beauty and largeness of the pearl.  News spread like wildfire.  But, one thing Kino did not notice were the secret enemies waiting to attack and steal the pearl.  Kino's vicious greed for money leads him astray from his bright future.
Jean L., grade 8

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel is a Tamil boy from Pondicherry and son of a zoo keeper.  At the age of 16, Pi, his family, and their animals to North America on a Japanese cargo ship.  Their ship sink and Pi is stranded on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra, and a 450-pound Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker.  Not being prepared for the shipwreck, Pi and his animals have no food but the salty Pacific Ocean water surrounding them on all sides.  Will Pi survive with the wild animals?
Jean L., grade 8

The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

Narrated from the second son's point of view, Kenny Watson and his family lived in Flint, Michigan.  Due to his older brother Bryon's constant horrible behavior, the family decided to visit Grandma Sands in Birmingham, Alabama, who is notoriously strict.  To everyone's surprise, Byron started behaving the minute they entered her house.  Everything wend well until their youngest daughter Joetta went to church that was soon to be bombed due to the intense prejudice in the south.
Jean L., grade 8

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

16-year-old Steve Harmon is on trial for participation in a drugstore robbery as "lookout" on the 22nd of December, just before Christmas.  In the robbery, the innocent drugstore owner was shot and killed by James King, the other man on trial with Steve.  Steve and his defense attorney are doubtful that they will win.  For Steve  it is a matter of life behind bars or freedom with his family.  Who will win this case.  This book is strongly recommended for ages 12 and older.
Jean L., grade 8

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In our society, firemen put out fires and we are encouraged to read books.  However, in the book's society, firemen start fires, burning the forbidden books.  One fireman named Montag gets his mind turned around by a teenage girl explaining how little he knew of the world and how the illegal books he burned could help everyone, even him.  His curiosity grows far too strong to control and steal the books one by one.  This is recommended for ages 10 and older.
by Jean L., grade 8

The Boy in the Striped Pajama by John Boyne

9-year-old Bruno came back home to find out that his father got a promotion to move far away to a boring house in a boring place with nothing to do.  He finds no friends but simply a large fence running across the side of his house.  Bruno is strictly ordered not to go exploring there since he liked exploring.  Unable to resist another day of boredom, Bruno decided to secretly go exploring to find a boy his age, in striped pajamas, living in a whole different world.
Jean L., grade 8

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Jungle of Bones by Ben Mikaelsen

The main idea of this book is about a boy named Dylan Barston who spends his summer in Papua New Guinea with his Uncle Todd to shape himself up after all his bad habits. I liked the book because there was much action and adventure. if you like historical fiction or a small read about WWII. This would be a good book for you. For ages 8-13.
Ian W., grade 7

A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole

The theme of this book is about the meaning of home. Celeste is a mouse that is really creative. Celeste lost her home, including her homemade basket, when the cat blocked the home. Celeste found a boot to sleep in that night but she still has to find a home. The positive part of this book is that even though she lost her home, she made a lot of friends like a boy named Joseph, a wood thrush named Cornelius, and a bird named Lafayette. I think everybody should read this book because if you imagine losing your home you will know how Celeste felt.
Kevin E., grade 6

The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie

This book is about an American millionaire who boards the Blue Train and gets murdered. The best aspect of the book is that the unsuspected are the actual killers. Anyone interested in the mystery genre should read this novel.
Miranda C., grade 8

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

A 14-year-old girl Billie Jo and her family faced the hard life on the farm of Oklahoma in 1934-1935 during the Dust Bowl.  Severe dust storm buried all the farm, family and their hope.  One day, Ma got a terrible accident from the stove by kerosene that Dad placed next to it.  It took Ma and Baby's lives.  Also, Joe burnt her arm.  How would Jo overcome the tragedy and find hope again?  I recommend this historic fiction to anyone who wants to find hope in the despair like the Dust Bowl.
Jung J.L., grade 6

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

There was a boy, named Milo who always got bored of everything.  One day he received a package at his house to him. It contained a miniature tollbooth and a map with a note, "For Milo who have plenty of time."  When he assembled the tollbooth he magically was in a new world. He rode his toy car and began his journey in the strange world.  This genius fantasy novel filled with humor and good lessons! I recommend this book to age 11 and older.
Jung J.L., grade 6

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

Young Creel is the daughter of a horrible farmer / poor farmer.  And when she befriends a giant dragon, she ends up working for her enemy!  In the midst of that, she has a war to stop.  When she meets the prince and there are sparks between them, she knows everything will be all right, right?
Amber G.-P., grade 7

Warp Speed by Lisa Yee

This incoming 7th grader is ready to take on an average Marley Sandelski year.  You know, the geeky 2 friends kind.  Well, with a new student, new frenemies, and his first award ever, can he really expect what he had planned?  I recommend this for 7th graders.
Amber G-P., grade 7

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

A couple of the themes in Fablehaven are courage and responsibility.  The two main characters, Kendra and Seth, meet greedy trolls, mischievious satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies.  When some evil creatures enter Kendra and Seth's house, their family gets captured. Kendra and Seth must face the greatest challenge to save their family and perhaps even the world. One of the positive elements of the book was that it was suspenseful throughout the whole book.  I would recommend this book to ages 8- to 10.
Audrey L., grade 6

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Maximum Ride: the Angel Experiment by James Patterson

The theme of this book is courage.  Max had a lot of courage when she fought the Erasers.  Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge and the Gasman saved Angel from the School, which is a dangerous science lab.  Even though they saved Angel from the School, the Erasers are still after them.  One of their parents are in Washington D.C., so they are going for help.  Will they be safe?  I recommend teenagers should read this book because it is so interesting.  There are many more series!
Kevin E., grade 6

Midnight by Erin Hunter

Midnight is the first book of the second series of Warriors.  I recommend you read the first series before this but you don't have to because this is a different story.  In this book Brambleclaw gets a message from Star Clan that he has to defeat the evil with three of the cats.  He has to find his way to meet these cats and try to work together.
Pieter W., grade 6

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Everybody knows the story of Cinderella, right? Well, this book is exactly the same ... with a twist.  Cinder is a cyborg made to look human.  She is owned by a human, of whom she despises.  When the plague strikes her sister, Cinder is blamed.  She is sent to a lab to get tested, when something is found.  To me, this book has no faults.  I recommend this book to ages 10 - to 13.
Olivia Y., grade 6

Steve Jobs: the Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal

Steve Jobs is a great man with lots of ideas and never stopped until they were at perfection.  I liked this book when Steve was fired and still didn't let go of his ideas.  This book sets a good example for teens who follow their dreams and go on like Steve Jobs did.  I recommend that 6th - 8th graders read this book.  It would appeal to people who like biographies and tech.
Michael J., grade 7

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Beatrice Prior goes to Erudite's headquarters, even though it is dangerous.  This shows that even though Erudite's headquarters are dangerous, Beatrice still does what needs to be done.  This book is very creative with all these different groups of people who have different personalities.  I recommend this book to 6th grade and up, because it's too romantic for elementary kids.  It would appeal to readers who like adventures.
Michael J., grade 7

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

One of the themes for this book is power.  Many of the evil things these villains are doing is because of power and greed.  I really liked this book because of the awesome story plot!  The characters are super interesting to read about.  The relationships between the characters are rich and complex, and it's a really great adventure read! I would recommend this book to 5th graders and up.
Aanji S., grade 7

Safekeeping by Karen Hesse

This is an extraordinary book about a young girl named Ridley, who returns home from volunteering in Haiti, only to find that the entire government has changed.  She has no money, no food, a dead phone, and absolutely no means of transportation.  Ridley only has her perseverance and Route 9 to lead her home.  But she finds there may not be what she had hoped.  A positive theme is the idea that someone with so little can have so much hope.  A negative theme is some adult themes.  Recommended for fans of adventure books and appeals to ages 12 and up.
Juliana A., grade 8

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Breathe is an action-packed novel about the idea that our world will run out of oxygen and the only way to survive this apocalypse is to live under the Dome, a place where oxygen is available.  Three teens venture outside the Dome and the entire book is based on their experiences with limited oxygen.  A positive element is that these teens use teamwork and perseverance in order to survive.  A negative element is the mature content.  I recommend fans of dystopic novels like The Giver to read this.  This appeals to ages 11 and up.
Juliana A., grade 8

The Land of Stories: the Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer

After sinking their grandmother's house, Alex and Conner Bailey find themselves in the Land of Stories.  Alex and Conner team up with Froggy, Red, Jack, Goldi, and Claudius to find their mom and defeat the Enchantress.  I recommend this book to ages 10 and up.
Katherine A., grade 6

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

During the last games, Katniss and Peeta used their love for each other as a television stunt.  In an attempt to save her beloved, she gives him poison berries to share with her, but the Capitol doesn't approve and will kill everyone Katniss loves.  What will happen next! This was my favorite book in the series.  If you like Divergent, you'll like Catching Fire.
Erin Rose A., grade 6

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Matt Alacran is a clone living in Opium, which used to be known as Mexico.  He is the clone of El Patron, the leader of Opium, which thrives of drugs.  Matt is treated lower than a beast, because he is a clone, except for the few that actually love him.  Soon, Matt discovers the secrets that can bring down the Opium empire.  This is a great book that received several awards and I would recommend this to sci-fi lovers.
Haelee K., grade 6

The Candy Makers by Wendy Mass

The theme of this book is to stay true to yourself and your friends.  This is showed when Logan helps his fellow contestants.  The story line is phenomenal and it is hard to put down.  This would be good for grades 4 and up.
Stella A., grade 6

The Billionaire's Curse by Richard Newsome

Geraldine sends Gerald a mysterious letter.  The mysterious part:  Geraldine is Gerald's dead great-aunt.  And she gave him almost all her fortune.  With the help from Sam and Ruby Valentine, he finds the secret of his family crest, learns about a casket, and -- did I mention a rose growing out of a man's buttocks?  Recommend this book to ages 10 and up.
Katherine A., grade 6

Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger

Tommy and the gang make a new case-file.  This time to stop the school board from sending Dwight to CREF.  Harvey makes and origami Darth Vader and together they try to bring them to the Dark Side.  More like tries to get the truth our of Dwight, but whatever.  Recommend this book to ages 8 and up.
Katherine A., grade 6

A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

Mia Winchell is far from normal.  She has a case called Synesthia, where sounds, letters, and numbers have color for her.  She has been keeping this secret for a long time.  It finally slips out and the whole school knows.  Mia goes to groups of people with the same case.  I would recommend A Mango-Shaped Space to third-graders and up.
Talullah C., grade 6

Joyful Noise by Paul Fleischman

This book is filled with fascinating poems to be read aloud by two voices.  It is about the interesting world of insects like grasshoppers, water striders, mayflies, and more.  There are a lot of wits and fun facts of insects' lives.  Each poem of this book is resonating with fun rhythm, alliteration, and repetition of words.  Also, it mimics the sounds of insects and creates a real joyful noise.  I recommend this book to age 8 and older.
Jung Joy L., grade 6

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

It is a very well-written book that has big waves of excitement and sorrow.  This book is about Percy Jackson trying to save humanity and Earth from being destroyed by the goddess Gaea.  This novel is recommended for kids 10+ because of some complicated vocabulary.  If you like Greek mythology and action, this book is for you.
Uday S., grade 8

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hickory Dickory Death by Agatha Christie

At a student's residence, Celia Austin is murdered, soon followed by Mrs. Hubbard and Patricia Lane.  This book shows the murderer/murderess qualities everyone possesses.  This is a MUST READ!!!!!!  Anyone will be immediately sucked into the story line until the end of the book.

Miranda C., 8th grade

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The theme in this book is to never give up.  This is showed by Ivan always trying to make the animals in the mall life better.  The writing is superb with an excellent plot.  This book would be good for grades 3 - 7, a large reading range, and a spectacular read.

Stella A., grade 6

Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is on a mission to find Daedalious, the creator of the labyrinth.  But first they have to go in the labyrinth to find him.  They are trying to convince him to take their side in a war against the Titan lord and a group of betrayed half bloods.

Suraj, grade 6

Orleans by Sherri L. Smith

After raging storms and the deadly Delta Fever sweep over Orleans, the government decides to quarantine Orleans from the Outer States!  Fen de la Guerre is an O-positive blood type in an O-positive tribe, despite the quarantine.  In fact, many people are living in Orleans in blood type tribes.  After a mass attack on her tribe, Fen is left with her tribe leader's baby and decides the safest place for the baby is the Outer States.  Will they escape from the dangerous Orleans?  This book is very intriguing.  Teenagers would like it.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

Tommy and his classmates make a case file with adventures all about Origami Yoda and his creator Dwight. Yoda gives amazing advice to most of the sixth grade.  This book is an exciting, funny, and amazing book. One of my favorite parts of this book / case file is there are little comments by Harvey and Tommy.  I recommend this book to ages eight and up.

Katherine A., 6th grade

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller

This book is one of my favorites.  One of the themes is friendship and bands.  The six Irregulars: Kiki, Ananka, Oona, Betty, Luz, and Deedee, share a bond as friends that is not easily broken.  The girls are all incredibly different, but they form an indestructible team when joined.  I really liked this book because of the clever uses of humor and the amazing storyline.  I would recommend this book to kids 4th grade and up, preferably girls, but also boys.

Aanji S., 7th grade

Monday, October 22, 2012

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This book is sort of a mystery theme, as well as sci-fi. The main characters are in constant danger, making this action-packed story a very interesting read. There are currently four books in the Missing series. I recommend this book and its series of books to anyone who loves mystery and time travel and who is from 10 to 15 years old.

Kendrick, grade 8

Extra Credit by Andrew Clements

A girl named Abby, who loves the outdoors and rock climbing, writes to a boy named Sadeed in Afghanistan for extra credit because she is falling very behind in school.

Lauren S., grade 7

The Lost Stories by John Flanagan

The ten-book series "Ranger's Apprentice" is about the adventures of Ranger Will and his mentor Halt. However, the lost stories explains what happened to those who traveled alongside Will and Halt. For curious readers that want to go more deep into the series.

Daniel C., grade 7

I Am the Great Horse by Katherine Roberts

This book talks about Alexander the Great's horse Bucephalas and their journey to conquer the world. But trouble comes and Bucephalas's groom, Chamides or Charm is kidnapped  Read this to solve this adventure. This book is better when you know who Alexander the Great is!

Subashni R., grade 7

The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

This book is about an adventure between two kids, Max (Ernest) and Cassandra (Cass). They investigate the scene of the Death of Pietro Bergamo and the Midnight Sun Spa. This is a great book and its fun to read. I can't wait to finish the series containing five books.

Kate R., grade 6

Snail Tale by Avi

In this comedy genre book, Avon a snail, and Edward an ant like no other, have set out on an adventure of a lifetime. When it comes to adventure, Avon doesn't know much, but his friend Edward is sure to guide him through battles, castles, caterpillars and more. I recommend this light-hearted book to readers of all ages.

Simon S., grade 7

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chew on This by Eric Schlosser

This book is all about food and the companies behind them. It is filled with facts that will have you thinking before you buy another big mac. I strongly recommend this book for ages 12 and up!!

Simon S., grade 7

The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John

In the White Giraffe journey to South Africa with Martine, where her tale begins. There is a legend about a white giraffe, but nobody has really seen the animal. Martine's grandmother denies its existence, but one rainy night, Martine sees it! Why is everybody keeping the white giraffe a secret? Will Martine be able to find out and keep it from harms way?

Valeriya S., grade 7

Among the Free by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This book is a slow-paced story of a child in a country with a "population law", a law that limits the amount of children per family. There is a little action and lots of deceit and cruelty, making this book very interesting. I recommend this book to readers who like a dysfunctional government and cruelty. The age range is from 8 to 12 years old.

Kendrick, grade 8

Swear to Howdy by Wendelin Van Draanen

Rusty meets his new friend Joey and has lots of fun but when they're up to pranks, the story takes a twist.

Scott, grade 6

The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

A boy named Evan is people smarts and his little sister Jessie is math smart. She gets moved up into Evan's grade. Evan and Jessie fight a lot and Evan and Jessie both make their own lemonade stand with a friend. They fight to see who could get the most money.

Lauren S., grade 7