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Friday, October 31, 2014

Annika Riz, Math Whiz by Claudia Mills

Annika Riz, Math Whiz is a story of true friendship.  Annika is a 3rd grade student who loves math.  She gets told that there is a sudoku contest at a local library.  There is also a school fair coming up soon.  She and her friends are looking forward to it.  Her friends help her study for the sudoku content after school every day.  Will she win?  What will happen at the school fair?  Find out in the book Annika Riz, Math Whiz.

I liked the book because it was a story of friendship.  I recommend this book to all 3rd and 4th graders.  There were really good pictures too.

Reviewed by Abby.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Confessions of a Hater by Caprice Crane

Hailey Harper considers herself to be invisible.  She's always been in the shadow of her perfect older sister, and at school she and her friends... "were invisible enough not to matter... but not enough to escape the ridicule of the cool kids when they did happen upon us" (Hailey 4).  She is less than thrilled when her dad gets a new job across the country, and her family moves to Hollywood.  Then, Hailey finds her older sister Noel's journal called "How to be a Hater" with tips on how to be popular, strong, and self-assured.  It turns her life around.  Hailey uses it to reinvent herself, gets the guy, and becomes friends with other Invisibles to try to dethrone the popular and mean girls.  She ends up taking it too far and massively screws up.  Hailey has to regain her friends and the trust of the boy she likes, all the while her family seems to be falling apart.

This book is good, but not great.  What drew me to it was the cover and artwork and the description of the story makes it seem extremely interesting.  I did enjoy reading it but unpredictable endings are what make stories awesome.  When the author leaves you guessing as to how the conflict will be resolved you're never bored while reading it.  This was a predictable story and a message that's been conveyed many, many times.  I'll be honest, there were certain sections in the book that would just drag on and make you question why the author included them.  Even though I thought the idea and message - a very important one, albeit - has been told many different times, Hailey is a heroine you'll want to root for and has funny friends and enemies you'll love to hate.  This book is hilarious too and a little snarky.  Hailey is a very opinionated narrator who's very fun to read about as she finds herself in the mess of high school.  Reading this book is like reading a diary, or having someone tell you a story.  It's clearly written in the voice of the main character, who you get to know very well as the book progresses.

I would recommend this book to any teenage girls in middle school, but mainly high school, as a high school reader will be able to directly relate to this book and Hailey's experiences.  If you like realistic fiction and coming of age stories, this is for you too.  If you want to read something new and innovative and so gripping you will have trouble putting it down, Confessions of a Hater is not the book you should be grabbing.  This story was cute and I did enjoy reading it, but I feel like the message has been worn out and the plot was predictable.

Reviewed by Christine.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rotten Ralph's Rotten Family by Jack Gantos and Nicole Rubel

Rotten Ralph is a rotten cat.  But he doesn't know why he's so rotten.  So Ralph goes to his family and asks each family member why he is so rotten.  find out the answer in Rotten Ralph's Rotten Family.

I think this book was okay.  I think it is a book for younger readers.  I think younger readers would enjoy this book because it is about a cute and mischievous cat.

Reviewed by Kate.

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish: The Seaquel by Mo O'Hara

This book has two different stories in it.  The first one is about Tom, his brother, his best friend and his best friend's sister.  They go on vacation to a lighthouse and Tom's brother catches an evil eel.  The second story is about a school play, Robin Hood, and Frankie (the goldfish) causes trouble during the play.

It was a good book.  It had a lot of action in it.  I think a lot of people will like it.

Reviewed by Kate.

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O'Hara

Tom's older brother, Mark, gets a goldfish and he puts it in toxic green water.  Tom tries to save the goldfish, but makes it a zombie goldfish instead.

I thought this book was good.  I liked it because it has a lot of action in it.  My favorite thing about the book was that the goldfish didn't die.  I think other people will like this book.

Reviewed by Kate.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Magician's Apprentice by Kate Banks

The Magician's Apprentice is a not very action filled book.  With little description, Baz is rescued from a cruel owner to be traded to a magician.  The writer gives little description about the magician's tricks and Baz is puzzled by the man, like I was with the book.  Baz's teacher talks in riddles and this will confuse the reader.

I didn't like the book because the characters literally speak in riddles and the story is all over the place without much description.  This is also a relatively boring book.  I don't think that many other teens would like this book.

Reviewed by Dominic

Spiral by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

The Styx are an underground race of human-like beings who carry a dangerous virus that could kill all of the humans.  It's up to Will burrows and his friends, Chester Rawls and Elliott to keep the pandemic from spreading.

The whole "Tunnels" series is great and this is my favorite book out of all of them.  It was exciting and full of action , which was why I loved it.  Any teen that likes action, science fiction, or mystery will enjoy reading this book.  Luckily for me, I enjoy all three genres.

Reviewed by Adrian.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Grandmaster by David Klass

Grandmaster is a book about Daniel Pratzer, who is on his school chess club and is one of the worst, most inexperienced players.  So when they have a father-son chess tournament, Daniel is confused on why he and and his father were chosen.  Daniel's father turned out to be a grandmaster, or highest ranking player, when he was younger.  He quit the game for his sanity.  Will he be able to face the demons and the old enemy?  Find out in this exciting book about chess.

Grandmaster is suspenseful in how the game will end and has many plot twists that could surprise you.  I found that you might need to like or understand chess to fully get the concept of the book.  It was very well written and descriptive without boring the reader.  I would recommend this to friends if they were a fan of chess.

Reviewed by Dominic.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Summer Vacation by Tommy Greenwald

After Charlie Joe Jackson almost fails 6th grade, he has to do something during summer vacation to get his grade up.  Charlie Joe is given two options:  summer school or an academic camp called "Camp Ritahbukkee" (pronounced Read-a-bookie, get it?).  Even though he hates reading, Charlie Joe just might enjoy it after all.

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Summer Vacation is written from a first person view, and therefore includes words that are not difficult to comprehend.  Anyone who dislikes or isn't the best reader can understand how the main character feels.  This book wasn't for me because I can't relate to Charlie Joe's feelings on his dislike of reading.

Reviewed by Adrian.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Blood Guard by Carter Roy

This book is about a boy, Ronan, who finds out that his mother is part of a secret organization called the Blood Guard who protect the "pure" souls on the planet.  But there is a group, the Bend sinister, who wants to get rid of the "pure" souls on the planet.  Who is the leader of the Bend Sinister?  You'll have to read the book to find out 'cause I'm not gonna tell you!

I liked this book because it's a mix of reality, science-fiction, action and suspense all in one story.  It think most teens would find this story interesting for the same reasons I found it interesting.

Reviewed by Nicole.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Other Felix by Keir Graff

The Other Felix is a wonderful book with an unusual plot.  Felix falls asleep every night to a forest filled with monsters.  He is afraid until he meets another Felix who helps him.  This is full of action and will envelop you and fill you with surprise and suspense.  You will grow to love the characters.

I would recommend this book, but it is unusual so I think only some kids would like it.

Reviewed by Dominic.

Kelsey Green, Reading Queen by Claudia Mills

Kelsey Green, Reading Queen is about a girl who loves to read.  The school is having a reading competition and Kelsey is afraid Simon is cheating.  Is he?

If you like reading, this is the book for you.  I would recommend this book for pre-teens.  It was a very good book.

Reviewed by Kate.

Fire Storm by Andrew Lane

Andrew Lane tells a suspenseful story about young Sherlock Holmes, in which Sherlock embarks on a journey to find his friends.  He believes that they are running from something or someone.  Will Sherlock find his friends in time, before it is too late?  Read the book to find out.

This book has a lot of action and suspense and a little bit of romance.  It's hard to imagine a better book.  There is never a moment without suspense.  I would highly recommend this book.

Reviewed by Nicole.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

This book is about two boys, Andy and Terry, who live in a 13-story tree house. They write books Andy writes and Terry Draws.  Will they be able to write a book?  (They have a deadline.)  But, many things are in their way: sea monsters, flying cats, sea monkeys, and TV.

This book has great drawings.  What I loved was that the main characters write the book that you are reading.  I would highly recommend this book to my friends.

Reviewed by Kate.