Friday, April 26, 2013

The Running Dream Book Review

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

The story is about a girl named Jessica Carlisle. She is in the hospital because when she was on a bus ride coming home from an away track meet she lost her leg. A guy driving a pickup truck smashed into the bus and Jessica’s leg was crushed. She had to go to the hospital to have her leg amputated from below her knee down. She thought that it was the end of her ever being able to run again. Everyone felt extremely bad for Jessica because she was a great runner. Every time she saw someone running she felt upset because she thought that her dreams of running were over.
            After a week and a half of being in the hospital recovering, Jessica finally returned to school. Her best friend Fiona pushed her in her wheelchair. When they arrived at school, there was a huge banner that said welcome back Jessica in bold letters. This made her feel a lot better that everyone cared about her. When she want to her classes, her teachers went a bit easier on her since it was her first day back since the accident. At lunch she went to visit her coach in his room and when she got there everyone from the track team jumped up and yelled, “SURPRISE!” She was so excited to see everyone again and ate lunch in the room with them.
            Jessica went to the doctor’s office to see when she would get her fake leg. The doctor told her everything that she needed to know and how to also take care of her leg, and also that she would get her fake one in a few months. When she went to lunch the next day, she visited her track coach again. He showed her an amazing video of Oscar Pistorios and his running leg, and told her that the track team was going to raise 20,000 dollars to get her one. They were going to raise the money by having bake sales and car washes. Jessica was filled with joy when she heard the news and she for once told herself that she would be able to run again. When she visited the doctor’s office again, she got a training leg to prepare her for the real one and also to teach her how to walk again. A week later, Jessica helped her teammates with the bake sale and the car washes and held up a sign that said help me run again.
            Jessica went to one of the toughest track meets to support her teammates. She cheered everyone on and was the loudest person in the audience. A news reporter showed up and interviewed Jessica about her remarkable story. Jessica watched herself on TV when she got home and was really excited. Jessica was also so proud of her teammates when they won the track meet overall. When she went to the doctor’s again, she found out that she was getting her new leg soon. She was so excited and couldn’t wait. When she visited her coach at lunch again, she saw a shiny new running leg on the table. She could not believe that they actually raised enough money to get one for her. She thanked all of her teammates for all that they did for her and the biggest thanks went to her coach. Jessica is going to be able to run again thanks to her teammates and her coach and she couldn’t be any happier.
            When Jessica got her new leg she started to walk on it and also used her running leg to take jogs every morning. One day when she was jogging, Gavin a cute boy that she had a crush on asked her out and she said yes! She was so excited to finally go out with him. Later on Jessica asked her friend Rosa if she would do a ten-mile race with her. Since Rosa is in a wheelchair, Jessica would have to push her all the way through. When it was the day of the race, everyone cheered on Jessica and Rosa. When they finished, Jessica’s legs felt like jelly. She was so tired but happy to finally finish the race. She never gave up hope and for Jessica; this was her new starting line.
The authors writing style was pretty much easy to read and understand. I understood all of the book and the point the author was trying to get across. Teens need to know that the author, Wendelin Van Draanen has many hobbies including the three R’s, reading, running and rock ‘n’ roll. She also used to be a classroom teacher. I would recommend this book to people who like emotional stories and also to people who like books about hope. You really have to get the moral of the story to understand what the book is really about. You also have to understand what the people in the book like Jessica are going through.  Marina D., Teen Reviewer

Friday, April 19, 2013

Welcome Caller, This is Chloe Book Review

Welcome Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

Imagine losing all your friends and being thrust into a community service project, right in the middle of your junior year.  That’s what Chloe Camden had to go through coming back from winter break.  While she was once a queen, now she is only a peasant in the grand kingdom of high school.  Forced to work with a group of misfits on the school’s struggling radio show, can Chloe achieve her status of royalty once again, or will she forever remain in the lower class?

                Overall, I thought this was a pretty good book.  The author’s writing style was fantastic, and perfectly represented that of a teenaged girl’s point of view.  I felt that this book had a unique topic, and I have not read anything like this before.  Readers in middle or high school could genuinely relate to Chloe along with her struggles and her bright times.  This title is definitely worthy of being a selection in this library.  Abigail S., Teen Reviewer

Keeping Corner Book Review

Keeping Corner Review by Kashmira Sheth
            In 1918, a twelve year old girl named Leela, lives in a rural village India.  At age nine, she is married and ready to move into her husband’s house.  Unfortunately he is killed by a rattlesnake. Since she has been widowed, she is not allowed to marry ever again according to the Indian caste system. Widowed, Leela is forced to live alone for a full year also known as ‘living dead”.  Forced to have here head shaved and wear ragged clothing, Leela is left with nothing. Fortunately, her brother Kanubhai convinces their family to have a tutor come to Leela while she is living all alone. Saviben, Leela’s tutor, goes to the house every few days. She helps Leela’a progress academically. She also encourages her to read the newspaper and observe the things around her and write all about them. With the help and support of her brother and tutor, Leela, she makes good out of her ’living dead”, and becomes a great student when she fulfills her year in “living dead”.  Leela has now been able to reason with her father to take exams that can provide her with the opportunity to advance her education to farther places.  If she passes these exams she will be able to escape the mandates of India’s centuries-old caste system and pursue an actual and real career for herself.
            It was an alright book to me. I did have a hard time understanding the Indian terms that the author used. It’s a difficult read. I re-read the first couple of chapters at least 3 times to fully understand it. It should be read slowly so you can actually understand it. I recommend this book to teens who like historical novels and/or inspirational books. John K., Teen Reviewer

Mockingjay Book Review

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay is book three of the Hunger Games series. It is about a war for freedom from the Capitol. The main character of the book is Katniss Everdeen.  She already survived two Hunger Games, a game when all twelve districts send in one boy and girl from ages twelve to eighteen to fight for survival until there is one player left. There have been 75 games so far. Katniss’s goal in this book is to kill the president of the Capitol, President Snow. She’s seeking revenge for what he’s done to the twelve districts and her family. Katniss finds out that the thirteenth district still exists and joins them to challenge the Capitol. Peeta is recovered from the Capitol, but he is brainwashed to do the capitols bidding. After seeing what the Capitol did to Peeta, she agrees to become a symbol of hope for the rebels, the mockingjay.

            In my opinion, it was a good book. The author used very descriptive words and I was sort of able to understand it. I think the book speeds too fast in time at the end of the story. In some parts of the book, some her descriptions were hard to understand. This book wasn’t my favorite book of the series, but it was still good to read. I felt that she could have had a better ending. I recommend this for teens and adults, they might also want a different ending as well to the series. Matthew P., Teen Reviewer

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Book Review

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince By: J.K. Rowling

            This book is about a 16 year old boy named Harry Potter and his friends Hermione Granger, Ronald Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, and Neville Longbottom going into their 6th year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Lord Voldemort has risen, and is at war with the Ministry of Magic. In this book, Albus Dumbledore and Harry try to collect the remaining pieces of Voldemort’s soul.  Dumbledore is also trying to prepare Harry for the greatest battle in all of Wizard history, overcoming Voldemort.   Harry is also keeping a close eye on Draco Malfoy, who has been acting odd lately.  Harry got a potions book which had notes by “The Half Blood Prince.”   Hermione wants to find out, who is this half-blood prince?

            This book has lots of words, I found it a little hard and boring to understand the beginning, but it got easier to understand as I read on.  The author used mystery to keep you in suspense and to keep you amazed about all the magic in the book.  I found the end of the book to be the most exciting.  It has an exciting twist!  This book would be good for ages 10 and up because it involves lots of magic, adventure, and mystery.  I would recommend this book to my friends. Michael P. Teen Reviewer

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tenth Grade Bleeds Book Review

 Tenth Grade Bleeds by Heather Brewer
The supernatural novel, Tenth Grade Bleeds, by Heather Brewer is a “fang”-tastic story full of gore and thrills. Sixteen year old vampire, Vladimir Tod, along with girlfriend, Meredith, and best friend, Henry, attend Bathory High School. Further into the year Vladimir has a hard time resisting feeding on the ones he loves and cares about. Henry and Vladimir also get into a fight and about girls and Henry tells Vladimir that he doesn’t want to be his drudge anymore. A drudge is the first human that a vampire bites and that person becomes their slave. Vladimir also has haunting nightmares almost every night, showing his mortal vampire enemy, D’Ablo torturing his vampire uncle, Otis and D’Ablo is also after Vladimir to get Vladimir’s, father’s book and perform a ritual that could potentially steal Vladimir’s powers as a vampire forever. Vladimir goes to a gothic club and meets a girl named Snow; later on when they were outside, he bit her and didn’t tell anyone, not even his uncle. Vladimir and Henry go after D’Ablo to save Vladimir’s uncle, Otis, and a bloody battle occurs. Vladimir, Henry, Otis, and D’Ablo all get badly injured but they all end up surviving in the end. Days later, Vladimir meets with his girlfriend, Meredith, at a carnival and he lies to her by telling her that he never loved her and pushes her to the ground. He knew that he would be keeping her safe if he stayed away from her for a while. He goes and apologizes to Snow for when he drank her blood and she forgave him. She told him that he can drink her blood whenever he wants to, and Vladimir couldn’t resist biting her.
 In my opinion the author writing style was fairly easy to understand. It was definitely on the easier side of books I read but it was definitely interesting to read and I thouroughly enjoyed it. I would recommend this book to people who have interests in fantasy and supernatural books. Hey would really enjoy this book more than people who aren’t interested in supernatural books. Teens should know that The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod is a five book series and that Heather Brewer, the author of the book believes that it is quite possible that vampires are running our government. She also doesn’t believe in happy endings… unless they involve blood. Marina D., Teen Reviewer

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Daughters Book Review

The Daughters by Joanna Philbin 
       Fourteen year old Lizzie Summers is the only daughter of the famous, gorgeous supermodel Katia Summers.  Lizzie has always felt in the shadow of her mother. For one thing, she looks nothing like her. Her hair is red and frizzy, she has thick eyebrows, very large eyes, and a long, meandering nose. Having a supermodel for a mother doesn’t help either. The paparazzi are always trying to take pictures of Katia. When this happens, Lizzie would stay in the background and try to go unnoticed through the crowds, which was very easy for her. Lizzie always considered herself weird-looking, however, when a fashion photographer believes that Lizzie is the “new face of beauty” and offers to take photos of her, things change significantly. Lizzie has never dreamed that she would model like her mother, or be any good at it either, but after trying it a few times with the fashion photographer, she feels exhilarated and different at the same time. Having her best friends, Hudson and Carina, supporting her, they add to the exhilaration. She learns that it doesn’t matter what people think about her, not even her mother, but what she thinks of herself. Although she faces other obstacles throughout the novel, the main message is that Lizzie finally starts to accept who she is and gains self-esteem that she never had.
       Joanna Philbin’s style of writing is easy to understand and very modern. She includes some common problems that everyone undergoes at some point or another in the novel. This book is great for teens in middle school and in high school. I believe that many girls can relate to what the main character, Lizzie, is going through. You will understand how important friendship is and learn an important life lesson. You should be proud of who you are, no matter what you look like.  Priscilla D. Teen Reviewer

Monday, April 15, 2013

I Am Number Four Book Review

  I AM NUMBER FOUR by Pittacus Lore

 I AM NUMBER FOUR is the kind of book that an avid reader would pick up and not put down until the very moment they were done, from start to end. John Smith is evidently Number Four. (Though it's only one of many identities he has had, the name stuck.)  And he is in trouble. John is one of nine aliens that come from the planet Lorien. After the other aliens from a panicked, crumbling, planet Mogadore invade and destroy John's home planet, the Elders of Lorien transfer their powers to the last nine Garde. The Garde and their Cêpans all spread out to different locations on Earth to start training for the future. The Mogadorians are the enemy, and they seek to finally get rid of and destroy the last of the Lore's race, then, they wish to invade Earth. The members of the Garde are protected by a charm placed on them, that as long as they stay apart, they have to be killed in order. Numbers One, Two, and Three are dead. And a problem of his? He is Number Four. He is next. In this first installment of the I AM NUMBER FOUR series, John has found an unlikely home in Paradise, Ohio. Johns' Cêpan Henri and himself's strategy of staying in the shadows, not being noticed, and blending in, is what they live by. Johns' Legacies (gifts/ powers) have started to arrive.  By then end of the book John Smith is dating a popular girl, is best friends with an alien-conspiracy maniac, has found a new companion in a dog, and has also found a member of his brethren. After encounters with a football jock/ bully, close-calls with Mogadorians and also the police, the explosion of his current high school, and the death of Henri.....well, let's just say that he's fed up. And he wants revenge. John is ready to start the end of this battle with the enemy.

 Pittacus Lore's writing style is fluent, easy to understand, and fast paced. The details are plentiful, the descriptions exact, and the plot is very impressive. In this book, you'll never find a dull chapter and you'll be engrossed with it the moment you open it. I think it's important that future readers know that this book contains a sweet romance (that many people will probably enjoy), lots of action, and strong friendships. I recommend I AM NUMBER FOUR to teenagers ages 13 and up, girls and boys. And I guarantee that this book will even appeal to people who are very choosy about books.  Cristina I. Teen Reviewer