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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: Gil Marsh by A. C. E. Bauer

Gil Marsh by A. C. E. Bauer.

Gil Marsh by A. C. E. Bauer

Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 2012
List Price: $15.99
ISBN-13: 9780375869334

Review: Imagine having everything you ever wanted in high school, popularity, money, athletic and mental skills, and suddenly your best friend is taken away from you when you just have become close friends. In the book, Gil Marsh by A.C.E Bauer, Gil Marsh has to live with the death of his new Canadian friend, Enko Lebette.

Gil Marsh has everything, girls, friends, top grades and he is the best runner in school. Then, a new student from Montreal in school is slowly taking this all away; Enko has become Gil's next target. Gil tries everything to make Enko look appalling, giving him terrible nicknames, turning everyone against him, but Enko still stays popular. Gil becomes furious when he finds Enko running on the rocks that he has always ran on every day. Gil and Enko start having a full out fight but just then, a police officer separates them; this is where their friendship begins. Gil and Enko become inseparable. They do everything together and never leave each other behind. One night after the homecoming dance, Gil decides to go to an apple orchard he always wanted to go to as a child. Enko goes only to support his friend, but a police officer finds them again and brings the two teenagers home. Not soon after, Enko becomes sick, but in the hospital, Gil never misses a visit. Every day, Gil sits with Enko. One day, Gil's mother gets a call, Enko is dead. Gil is furious, but he remembers the ring Enko had given him. It was a family heirloom that had a legend of two youngsters madly in love and how the young boy bought a ring for the girl, but she soon dies, and the boy kills himself, much like Romeo and Juliet. Gil is devastated. He won't eat or sleep. Gil's parents have no time to take Gil to Enko's grave in Quebec, so Gil runs away to Canada. There, he meets Adele. Adele is a beautiful young girl who lets Gil stay in her apartment until he finds Enko's grave. But looks may deceive you. Gil then remembers of the legend of the ring and how an immortal man created the ring and can bring the dead back to life. Gil begins searching for the immortal man. Will Gil find him? Or will he be caught by the police and sent back home before reaching Enko or the immortal man?

Overall, I felt this book was quite enjoyable. Although some elements of the book are fictional, I believe this is a loving book of a boy coping with the death of a loved one. I loved the metaphors and similes the author included in the book, they made the vivid images in my head come to life. Her descriptive words explaining every detail also made the pages come to life. I also love how she made Gil such a relatable main character. He is a teenager with a best friend he feels he can't live without. I also felt the idea of the book was a very important issue. It discusses the importance of a friend and how hard it is to cope with the death of someone close through the eyes of a teen. One thing I feel that this book lacked was an ending that meant something. It left me wanting more because it was so abrupt. Besides this minor issue I thought this was a realistic and relatable that all young adults handling with the death of an adored person should read. Gil Marsh is a story of a young teen trying to find answers for death. I feel I would give this book deserves four stars. Everyone who has ever lost a close friend should read Gil Marsh by A.C.E Bauer.

Review written by Kyle (7th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Gil Marsh for this review.

Have you read Gil Marsh? How would you rate it?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Ice Island by Sherry Shahan

Ice Island by Sherry Shahan.

Ice Island by Sherry Shahan

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2012
List Price: $15.99
ISBN-13: 9780385741545

Review: Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you were on a frozen island, and you only had some dogs, a few supplies, and your brain to stay alive? Now, imagine doing this at the age of 13! This exhilarating experience is exactly what the main character does in the book Ice Island . Sherry Shahan has written a thrilling novel that will definitely keep you on your toes the entire time. This book is not part of a series. The main character in the novel is 13 year old Tatum.

Here we have Tatum, an Alaskan teenager that is visiting an island called "Santa Ysabel". This remote, frozen island is completely covered in solid ice-hence the title Ice Island . Here on this island she meets a Siberian Yupik boy named Cole. They both share the dream of racing in the Iditarod, an intense competition in which the participants race across the majority of Alaska on dog sleds. One morning Tatum and Cole head out on a run just for some fun with two dog teams. Then disaster begins to strike. A crazy blizzard hits and the two find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere. Now they must rely on their training to get them through this. The Alaskan wilderness is not the ideal place to be trapped! With no roads, houses, or people for several miles, they must use their quick thinking to find help while dealing with unhealthy huskies, subzero temperatures, crazy exhaustion, and a very low food supply. Help is a long distance away; will Tatum and Cole make it?

Overall, this was an impressively written novel. There were many positive things about the book. A good thing is how incredibly vivid the imagery is. The author makes everything that happens immediately appear in your head as if you were there. I think one reason for this great detail on the character's thoughts and feelings are the author's personal experiences. Sherry Shahan has actually been to Alaska several times, and has even participated in the Iditarod. She knows how the characters might feel and what they would do because of personal experiences. It takes a lot of creativity to write a book like this. Any story that is about the Alaskan wilderness has to be very creative, because few people are experts on this. The one thing that some people might feel challenging is some of the terminology used. The two dog mushers infrequently use terms to trigger the dogs' actions. Also, one of the characters is a Yupik, so there are some Yupik terms like "quyana" (the Yupik word for 'thank you') used. There is a glossary in the back of the book which explains what these words mean, so this was not a problem for me. This may concern some people since you have to flip back and forth to get the definition. I would recommend this book to middle school and high school students because they would relate to this book the most. This book would still be a great read for anybody that is interested. All in all, this book is an amazing read. I enjoyed it tremendously. I have never rated a book a 10 before, but this book is one of the best books I have ever read. I rate it a perfect 10 out of 10!

Review written by Sahil (7th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Ice Island for this review.

Have you read Ice Island? How would you rate it?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky.

Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Publication Date: April 2012
List Price: $8.99
ISBN-13: 9780547721989

Review: Imagine living in 2060 with fake trees in your front yard and having a DS or digital school education. Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky is a phenomenal read for young adults that predicts the future development of technology and its ups and downs. 18 year old Maddie lives in a world where your work, school, and social life is controlled on the computer. She plays soccer and is initially okay with her solitary digital life until she finds someone she truly loves. Madeline embarks on a journey to figure out if DS and her digital life really more important than having a social life that humans were designed to have.

Maddie thinks she is only leaving her house for a short tutor session, but there she meets Justin, the start of a life changing journey. Justin is against DS and has parents were sentenced to death for coming very close to shutting it down. They become good friends and from now on the only thing Maddie can think about is Justin. Justin shows her a side of the world that she never knew existed. There are thousands of anti-DS people, cities, and organizations. Maddie is shown the coffee shops where people talk and drink coffee with others, the clubs where people dance in front of people listening to live music, and the lifestyle where you go to the store instead of shopping online. Places like these are all kept secret because if you are caught acting against DS, no matter what age, you will be taken to a detention center. Most importantly, Justin takes Maddie on one of his interception where they help people being taken to detention centers escape. This is when Maddie realizes that Justin is the leader of the largest force against DS. This is a huge problem for Maddie because her father is the inventor of DS! Is Justin using Maddie to get to information he desperately needs? Or does he really have feelings for her?

Katie Kacvinsky sticks a fantastic fiction for young adults or teenagers that shows how technology is taking over routine life. She takes a certainly disturbing concern and creates it into the understandable context of middle or high school readers. She even manages to make every page full of detail while continuously showing the issue. The details form a movie in your head. You can feel the tension in the air and sense a person's happiness. Katie Kacvinsky makes you feel like you are in the action and the emotion. It's like a rollercoaster that changes speed and height. The characters development throughout the story is very interesting because the point of view between Justin and Maddie flip. The thing I love the most about Awaken is the setting. 2060 is definitely a long time from now and Katie Kacvinsky does a fantastic and creative job of predicting society, technology, and the government. That is another factor that makes you want to keep on exploring the creative book. It's interesting from the first page to the last because it contains short journal entries by the characters that really allow the reader to be in their shoes. It's always interesting to get a taste of the future because no one really knows which direction it's going to go in.

Review written by Ravi (7th grade student).

We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of Awaken for this review.

Have you read Awaken? How would you rate it?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Round and Round Together by Amy Nathan

Round and Round Together by Amy Nathan.

Round and Round Together by Amy Nathan

Paul Dry Books
Publication Date: February 2011
List Price: $12.95
ISBN-13: 9781589880719

Review: Intriguing, historical, and well written are all words that describe Round and Round Together by Amy Nathan. This is a nonfiction book devoted to helping people understand what really went on during the years of the civil rights movement. The story talks about one particular amusement park called Gwynn Oak. This was a park that people tried to integrate for many years. There are also notes of many famous people such as Dr. Martin Luther King and many others. Along with many other names that continue to pop up throughout the book. This is a story of how people came together and this story should be read by all people, black, white, Hispanic, or Asian.

This story starts in Baltimore, Maryland in 1884. This is when Gwynn Oak amusement park opened its doors. But the doors were not fully opened. Only some citizens were allowed to enter the park and enjoy the rides that the park offered. Only white citizens were allowed in. This story shows the long and difficult path that led to this park and many other businesses to being open to all. The protests, sit-ins, and rallies start in the 1940's. People of all races and all religions started to get together on the fact that what was happening in America was unjust. Groups such as the NAACP, CORE, CIG, and churches of all religions started to come together in Baltimore and around the country. Anything from the Freedom Rides through the south, to rallies in Washington D.C., to sit-ins at lunch counters in Baltimore, people were trying to change the way that these people lived. But these were not the only people who were trying to be heard. There were people who supported segregation and they were loud and violent. The tactics used varied from mass arrests, to mass publicity, to Jail-No-Bail, to sit-ins. People were intent to make sure that everyone was and will be forever equal. People tried and it took decades but they managed to get it right.

Round and Round Together is an amazing story of what people were forced to go through I love this book because it puts real names and real faces to a story that I have heard so many times. But Round and Round Together is different. You can see on a small scale what went on and on a large scale. It shows one place Gwynn Oak compared to a city, Baltimore compared to a state, Maryland and then compared nationally. Round and Round Together also takes you behind the scenes. You are able to see what people had to do to establish the civil rights we often take for granted. Amy Nathan sheds light on the civil rights movement unlike any other author ever has. She outlines the people who really tried to make a difference and not just nationally but business by business. I never realized how long this fight was really going on. That people tried for thirty years to integrate the nation. I never fully comprehended how many people, how much time, and how much effort went into changing the nation. This should be read by everyone and this tale be told forever more. With Round and Round Together you have the chance to see and understand more than you ever have about history. It shows that it only takes a few people to get the ball rolling and then you can accomplish so much. Establishing civil rights was like walking on a new frontier. The nation came together and knocked down a new barrier. We can all learn from Amy Nathan and her story about people who are devoted and their ability to change the Earth as we know it.

Review written by Kathryn (7th grade student).

We would like to thank Raab Associates for providing a copy of Round and Round Together for this review.

Have you read Round and Round Together? How would you rate it?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan by Maxwell Eaton III

The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan by Maxwell Eaton III. A Flying Beaver Brothers Book.

The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan by Maxwell Eaton III

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2012
List Price: $6.99
ISBN-13: 9780375864476

Review: Beavers that surf, evil penguins and more! The Flying Beaver Brothers and The Evil Penguin Plan (a Flying Beaver Brothers book by Maxwell Eaton III) is a hilarious book that will hook you to the last page.

In the beginning of the story, the main characters Ace and Bub are surfing when evil penguins suddenly destroy Ace's surfboard. This result in the beavers following them in a high speed chase. Their rival, Bruce, then tries to stop them from attacking the penguins. Soon Bub finds the penguin's evil lair. Will Bub escape, will they stop the penguins and Bruce, will Ace get his surfboard back? Find out by reading the Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan.

The Flying Beaver Brothers is a hilarious book. I rate it 9 out of 10 surfboards. The book is a comic book setup with slides and voice bubbles. Ace and Bub are like superheroes trying to thwart an evil plan. The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan is both funny and happy, but nothing tops the funny parts in the book. This is great for readers in 6th or 7th grade and for people who love comic books or are looking for a new type of book. Everyone should read The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan. The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan is great for car trips, lazy days, going to the beach or even for writing a book review. Also, its great for just reading for fun.

Review written by Max (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan for this review.

Have you read The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan? How would you rate it?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: Radiate by Marley Gibson

Radiate by Marley Gibson.

Radiate by Marley Gibson

Publication Date: April 2012
List Price: $8.99
ISBN-13: 9780547617282

Review: Marley Gibson puts Radiate, an inspiring story on the table when she brings the main character Hayley Matthews to life. Her first three years of high school, she's a 'nobody.' And now that Hayley's a senior she seeks out to get the most out of high school. How does she decide to do this? Try out for the PHS Varsity Cheerleading squad! And she makes it! Now over-night it seems as if the popularity fairy has doused her with instant popularity, everyone knows her name! But soon, Hayley finds out she has malignant tumor in her leg. She spends the rest of her summer and senior year dealing with the side effects, like losing her hair, losing her friends, and all her insecurities.

It all starts off the summer going into senior year in high school. Hayley tries out for varsity cheerleading, and she's one out of twelve girls to make it, against the odds. All summer its practice by day, and crazy parties by night. She becomes best friends with her stunt partner Lora, and falls for the cutest guy at PHS Daniel, while regaining her friendship with her old childhood friend, Gabriel. Then, Hayley finds a lump in her leg. When she gets to the doctor's office, it's a malignant tumor, causing cancer. The rest of her summer she's in the hospital. Getting poked at, cut open, tested and studied. After a few surgeries, the tumor is removed, and must undergo radiation, which leads to some side effects that she's embarrassed about. And when Hayley returned back to school everything seemed to change. People stare at her like she's an alien, or treat her like a baby, but she doesn't want any of that, she just wants the senior year she's always dreamed of.

I thought this book was very good, even though sometimes the character Hayley annoyed me. Throughout the book, she was in danger of losing her life, and all she would care about is cheerleading. Another thing I didn't like too much were some over-used, out of the ordinary phrases the characters used (example: super-juiced.) Other than that I thought it was well written, easy to follow, and the characters were likeable. The story was very inspiriting and could probably help teenage girls (and maybe even boys) get over the struggle of cancer, and just fitting in. Over all I'd give Marley Gibson's Radiate 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Review written by Samantha (7th grade student).

We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of Radiate for this review.

Have you read Radiate? How would you rate it?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. A Looking Glass Library Book.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2012
List Price: $10.99
ISBN-13: 9780375869617

Review: Imagine living in the jungle, where the thick trees tower above your head and the green undergrowth stretches forever across the forest floor. Imagine growing up with wolves, and despite their rough play and superior attitudes, you love them as your family. Despite how many friends you have, danger is lurking behind every corner and some will not rest until they find you. This is the life of young Mowgli in Ruyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. When you read this book you will join the many jungle adventures of Mowgli and his many friends.

An important thing to know is that The Jungle Book is a combination of the original The Jungle Book, The Second Jungle Book and the short story "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi". The first stories are about young Mowgli, who is a boy who is abandoned by his parents as they fled from the fierce tiger, Shere Khan. A kind wolf family from the Seeonee wolf pack, Baloo (a bear who teaches the law to the cubs of the pack) and Bagheera (a black panther) decide to take him in. By doing so, they take Mowgli out of the way of Shere Khan, who is set out to kill Mowgli. The next few stories are about his time with men when he was cast out of the pack. Later, he returns to the jungle and is eventually faced with the decision of staying in the jungle or joining men. Throughout his life, he faces many adversities and his arch nemesis, Shere Khan. With the help of the pack, Baloo, Bagheera, and an old snake named Kaa, he learns the ways of the jungle and where he truly belongs.

After reading this collection of stories, I believe that the new edition of The Jungle Book is a good read. Mowgli is an interesting character to follow at first because of his curiosity and love of adventure. Once Mowgli grows up and gains power, he becomes more dislikable because of his arrogant manner and his belief that he is superior to all in the jungle. As for the dialogue, it is a little choppy, especially being part old English and part not. It also may be because most of the characters refer to themselves in third person and that Mowgli and the animals do not have good grammar. The plot of most of Mowgli's stories is interesting and takes you on exciting adventures. Most of them start slow, but then grow increasingly exciting as they go on. Because of this, the story goes at a medium pace. Despite this, the plots are well described and so are the different characters that are involved in them. Being that the plot changes every chapter, I was never truly hooked into the book. I rate this book a 7 out of 10 because parts of it were interesting, but I never was drawn into it. To conclude, The Jungle Book is a good novel to read for all middle school students.

Review written by Shannon (7th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of The Jungle Book for this review.

Have you read The Jungle Book? How would you rate it?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Review: Croak by Gina Damico

Croak by Gina Damico.

Croak by Gina Damico

Publication Date: March 2012
List Price: $8.99
ISBN-13: 9780547608327

Review: When you walk into Croak, what is the first thing you notice? Do you notice the strange, peculiar, and dazed look on the blank faces of tourists? How about the population number changing automatically whenever someone passes the sign into the small town? Or maybe you first notice the unexpected truth that every one of the citizens in Croak carries a scythe in their identical black hoodies? Gina Domico presents to the public a story (appropriately titled Croak) that is sure to make you stay on the edge of your seat the entire time. Guaranteed.

As quoted by Adam Rex, the author of Fat Vampire, "Go ahead and die laughing, knowing that the safe transport of your mortal soul will be the summer job of a sweetheart teen with godlike power and discipline problems. A lot of books make me wish I could live within their pages, but I wouldn't mind dying in this one," Croak is amazing. Lex is a regular, common, self-respecting teen who is unfortunately at the end of her line. Her parents are completely fed up with her. She "stole things, she swore like a drunken pirate, and she punched people. A lot of people." Therefore, when her uncle offers Lex to come over to his "farm" for the summer, her parents agreed almost instantly. Meanwhile, Lex discovers more about Croak than she would prefer. Her uncle is not only the Grim Reaper, he also expects her to manage to live on only breakfast and occasionally, dinner. Horrible parenting skills! Oh, and that job of hers? Her job isn't to milk cows or collect eggs, her job is to KILL.

Gina Domico is an absolute GENIUS! Many (including me) have attempted to create another world within the one we currently live in, though not all of them have succeeded (again, me). The word "Croak" is really powerful and entrancing. It hits you like BAM "I want to read this." And then when you do, you're glad you did. Justice is a dear thing isn't it? Lex seems to think so too, especially when some pretty… murderous deaths begin occur. Lex may seem like another reckless teenager but really, she's just acting belligerent because she's a natural grim. NO OFFENCE. Oh, and by the way, Croak has a lot of bad words in it, however, I'm sure you'll be able to handle it. But Croak isn't just about the mysterious "white-eyed deaths" but also of Lex learning even more about herself, just as anyone else should. That would probably take a life-time, but a life-time of learning is something to value, something Lex later learns to value as well.

Review written by Tam (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of Croak for this review.

Have you read Croak? How would you rate it?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Review: The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis.

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

Wendy Lamb Books
Publication Date: January 2012
List Price: $15.99
ISBN-13: 9780385734912

Review: The Malones are "a family on a journey to a place called Wonderful!" And author Christopher Paul Curtis shows us that journey in that book, The Mighty Miss Malone. This story of love and adventure takes you through the life of twelve year old, Deza Malone. As the plot thickens, we learn more and more about what it was like to live during the Great Depression.

Deza Malone is your average African American lower class child living during the Great Depression. Deza lives in Michigan with her older brother Jimmie, her mother, and father. Jimmie sings with the voice of an angel, but often gets in trouble because of his insecurities. Deza's parents are some of the nicest people in the town. Deza loves her family dearly. Her life seemed perfect, at first. But soon, her father left on a fishing trip and didn't come back for several days. The family searched for days on end and after a few weeks, they found him! He brought with him stories of terror about what had happened to him. Now, things were back to normal; or so they seemed. Suddenly, Deza experienced another surprise. Her father left in the middle of the night to go find work in the city. They never heard back from him. As time passed, the Malones just hoped and "went through the motions" of life as they waited for something to happen. At last something did happen, but it wasn't good. Deza, her mother, and Jimmie were kicked out of their home by their landlord. Now they were on the road in a small camp for homeless people on the move. Soon they get accustomed to living there. But, another unfortunate turn of events occurs! Jimmie leaves Deza and her mother on a nearby train, to see if he can find work as a singer in the city. Will they ever see Deza's father or brother Jimmie again? Or, will Deza ever find a real home? You'll have to read it to find out!

The Mighty Miss Malone was fantastic! Deza's inspiring story makes you wonder what you would do in her position. Curtis' amazing writing draws you into the story until you don't even realize that you're reading a book! I could not put this book down. And, I'm sure you won't be able to either. The Mighty Miss Malone helps you to realize the very strong and real racism that occurred during this time. I find it awful how terrible African Americans were treated by others. Also, the heart wrenching story of Deza Malone and her family really makes you feel for her. Very few authors can make you feel this way. But, Christopher Paul Curtis is a true professional. The Mighty Miss Malone is factual in terms of US history, and at the same time expresses true love within a family. The Mighty Miss Malone is the perfect book to read if you enjoy stories about how love perseveres during times of crisis.

Review written by Savannah (7th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of The Mighty Miss Malone for this review.

Have you read The Mighty Miss Malone? How would you rate it?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review: Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis.

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Harcourt Childrens Books
Publication Date: May 2012
List Price: $16.99
ISBN-13: 9780547645704

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day,
Is blithe and bonny and good and gay."

Review: Enchanted by Althea Kontis is the perfect mix of all the fairytales that you are familiar with. Enchanted explores different personalities within a family. Seven and Jack Woodcutter are parents of ten children, and Sunday is the seventh. One day in the woods while writing in her journal, she meets a frog who calls himself Grumble. When Sunday introduces Grumble to her brother, Trix, she feels that he won't doubt her friendship towards a frog. But when Grumble asks her to kiss him, she starts thinking that maybe does she loves Grumble . . .

Sunday doesn't think that anybody in her family is normal. And she is right. Whatever Sunday seems to write, it comes true. For example, Sunday wrote that she didn't have to go to the market with her family. Then she became ill with the flu and had to stay in bed for a week! Ever since then, Sunday sticks to writing about her family. But when she meets Grumble, she thinks of the possibility of writing about how Grumble turns back to the man he was. But anything could go terribly wrong.

I really love Enchanted because I feel like I know some kind of back story. This is mainly because of the liberal use of fairytales like The Princess and the Frog. We know what happens in the story, but the twist in Enchanted makes you want to just tell someone that 'I was right! This DID happen!' I admire how Althea Kontis weaves stories together and how they somehow all fit together. The plot is told with so much detail, it's like you are inside Sunday's head. I rate Enchanted 4 out of 5 stars because it sometimes lost my concentration when I felt there were too many details. But, I recommend this book if you are a fantasy lover, realistic fiction lover, or a lover of both. Enjoy reading Enchanted!

Review written by Sahaj (7th grade student).

We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of Enchanted for this review.

Have you read Enchanted? How would you rate it?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Review: Those That Wake by Jesse Karp

Those That Wake by Jesse Karp.

Those That Wake by Jesse Karp

Publication Date: March 2012
List Price: $8.99
ISBN-13: 9780547722009

Review: Imagine your family forgetting you ever existed. Those That Wake by Jesse Karp is a good book about a drab future where Mal's, Mike's, Laura's and Remark's relationships are severed. Karp's book details these difficulties in the drab setting of an electrically powerless New York City.

To weaken the main characters' future, a man in a suit, who currently dominates New York City, has erased the memories from Mal's, Mike's, Laura's and Remark's families. Therefore, they are left confused and alone. At the beginning of the book we meet Mal. He discovers his brother has been kidnapped. Laura, another main character, learns her parents no longer remember her. The final main characters, Mike and Remark, meet each other for the first time in a school. However, once inside the school, they are engulfed by shadows. But there aren't any people or objects to create the mysterious shadows. The characters spend the rest of their time trying to solve these mysteries.

Overall, Those That Wake is a good book. Although the book drifts off in some places, for the most part, it will keep readers hooked, making it difficult to put down. Therefore, this is one of the best science fiction books I have read. Unlike other sci-fi books, the story is unique because it doesn't focus on robots or aliens. It encompasses a future without electricity, detailing our reliance on technology. Furthermore, it focuses on relationships and the importance of staying connected with others. This book is a story with a lesson for all times; by working with others, anything is possible. Those That Wake by Jesse Karp is great for days at home, on the road or at the beach because it keeps you entertained for hours without boredom. Those That Wake by Jesse Karp is a must read for science fiction fans. I give it four out of five stars.

Review written by Max (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of Those That Wake for this review.

Have you read Those That Wake? How would you rate it?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Review: Scored by Lauren McLaughlin

Scored by Lauren McLaughlin.

Scored by Lauren McLaughlin

Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 2011
List Price: $17.99
ISBN-13: 9780375868207

Review: When a book is set in the future, it can make the book interesting which is why Scored by Lauren McLaughlin is an outstanding book with some "abrasive" language and some odd twists and turns along the characters' paths. Imani, her friend Cady, their friends, and Imani's brother must do whatever it takes to raise their scores.

In Scored , the main idea is based on the Score; a software program with "eyeballs" or cameras everywhere watching students' every move. The point of the program is to challenge students academically and give everyone a chance to go to college for free. Imani and her friend Cady were both 90's at one point (someone scoring a ninety or above means they'd receive a full scholarship and gifts from Score Corp., but someone dropping below 90 means their life would be absolutely hopeless), but Cady falls to a 70 jeopardizing her future. Before long, Cady lowers her score to a 27 and Imani's score dropped to a 64, with Cady jeopardizing both their futures for a drop-out, or as they'd say, "an unscored." They both seem to be in a doomed spiral. Will there be any way they can salvage their scores as well as their futures.

There were many actions to lower a score such as doing badly in class, dating an unscored , or breaking Score Corp's rules. What made this book very intriguing was the way Lauren had put together the language (such as swearing and other coarse language) and made interesting characters (the characters seemed to have interesting personalities all different from another's) seem so realistic to anyone who reads this book. I give Scored a 5 out of 5 for its magnificent work, great situations, and voice.

Review written by Sam P. (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Scored for this review.

Have you read Scored? How would you rate it?