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Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carleson

The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carleson.

The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carleson

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 2014
List Price: $17.99
ISBN-13: 9780449809976

Review: Are you interested the Middle East and conflict? Then The TyrantÕs Daughter by J.C. Carleson is the book for you. The main character in the book is Laila.

Laila lives like royalty until the day her father dies when sheÊmoves to America and everything changes. In her home country, her father had run the country, but when she, her mother and her little brother Batsien moved to America she hasnothing. Laila eventually meets friends and her life gets better. These men visit her house and then her mother starts getting gifts and money. Then she hears about these poor people who are supplying money for them. She knows she has to stop this plot before it is to late. She also meets a guy and wonders if he is right for her. Will Laila stops her mothers plan in time? Will she get the guy that she likes?

The TyrantÕs Daughter is a book that boys and girls ages 10-12 will enjoy. The book has some high level words. Boys may not be as interested in all the romance, however a girl might enjoy this element. The plot has elements of war, action, mystery, and romance. The storyline is good because you can see how the main character is feeling throughout the story. Some parts of the story are a little hard to understand. The TyrantÕs Daughter has a complex plot, and sometimes the events arenÕt always clear. The characters however are easy to understand, and their motives are clear. The TyrantÕs Daughter also gives insight into a world that is foreign to so many Americans. It is a good choice for a thought provoking novel.

Review written by Elizabeth (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of The Tyrant's Daughter for this review.

Have you read The Tyrant's Daughter? How would you rate it?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: Tree Girl by T. A. Barron

Tree Girl by T. A. Barron.

Tree Girl by T. A. Barron

Puffin Books
Publication Date: October 2001
List Price: $7.99
ISBN-13: 9780142427088

Review: Where did you find me? Rowanna asks her guardian, Mellwyn. Although at one time he was a stranger, Rowanna gets to know him. Were her parents tree ghosts? Where were they? Those three questions Rowanna is dying for him to answer. Tree Girl is a riveting story about how a girl struggles with trying to understand her life with the forest. She has always told never to go into the willow. She has been told to never speak of it. She has also been told never to ask about herself and the willow. So, what is in the willow?

Rowanna was found as a baby in the high willow down inside the great forest that stretches in front of her house. Her house is small, very small. It has one room, a kitchen, and one bed that fits into it. She is pretty much alone on this island, except for her guardian, a fisherman with a ruffed up beard. He is the man that found Rowanna and took her in. With a giant forest to one side and a giant ocean to the other, not many people would want to live there. But, Rowanna does, she is crafty and smart and knows how to make things out of twigs. She also knows how to plant and make her plants thrive. She is motherly and brings in a sick, wounded bird nursing it to health. But Rowanna is also very curious, especially about herself and her family É her real family. She wants to know where she came from, were her parents there, did the man see her parents, did her parents love her, who were they, and who see was. Rowanna has asked where what the willow was like several times, but the man won't tell. She doesn't know why. Why is so bad to say? She doesn't know if there are tree ghosts there or not because she has never been there. Rowanna needs answers and she isn't getting them.

Tree Girl is a suspenseful, interesting, and compelling book. Many people can to relate to Rowanna's problem and life. The book has a great setting putting the story in the perfect location to imagine Rowanna's life and problems. The story has a great exposition that really setts the story up for the dangers and journeys Rowanna will have in the future. I love the characters and their characteristics; it gives the story a feel and interest; like Mellwyn is a rough sailorman, and Rowanna is a likeable well-behaved girl. The jargon in the story also gives interest like, "Claw ye to bleddin' shreds, they will. Or crush ye, bones and all, with their graspin' feet." I recommend Tree Girl to people who love fantasy and adventure. This book will appeal to readers in middle and high school. Even though the jargon is a little hard to understand sometimes if read over a few times the younger ages will understand. I hope other young readers will come to know this book and get a sense of how lucky kids are to have a family that loves them. You will only find out what happens to Rowanna in the High Willow if you sit down and enjoy this phenomenal book. You won't be able to put it down until you finish it!

Review written by Jamie (6th grade student).

We would like to thank T. A. Barron for providing a copy of Tree Girl for this review.

Have you read Tree Girl? How would you rate it?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: On the Scene by Robin Caroll

On the Scene by Robin Caroll. A Samantha Sanderson Book.

On the Scene by Robin Caroll

Publication Date: May 2014
List Price: $8.99
ISBN-13: 9780310742470

Review: Have you ever experienced bullying or seen one of your friends be bullied? Well in Samantha Sanderson: On The Scene by Robin Caroll one girl Samantha or Sam knows becomes a victim of string attacks, and Sam wants to find out who is doing it. This is the second book in the Samantha Sanderson series.

In Samantha Sanderson: On The Scene, Sam and her best friend Makalya do cheer at their school. Sam's mom is a journalist who travels around the world, and when Sam gets older, she wants to be just like her mom. Sam is in the newspaper at her school. So is the girl Nikki, who is getting bullied by someone at the school. To make matters worse, Nikki's parents might be getting a divorce soon. Nikki and Sam have never been the best of friends; in fact they were almost enemies until the bulling started. Nikki's best friend is Aubrey who is mean to almost everyone. When Nikki first starts getting bullied, she doesn't want anyone to know about it mostly because it may have a chance to harm her chance of becoming homecoming queen. On top of all of this, there is a break in at the school; someone steals computers out of the lab. Sam and Makalya might have been responsible for part of it. If you would like to find who did it and more, read the book.

I liked Samantha Sanderson: On the Scene a lot. It was very interesting and left me anxious to come back and read more. I liked they way the book was formatted so that the chapters ended in just the right spots, to make readers want to read more. Overall, the book was great overall and a good story that you would want to read again and again. This is a good story also because anyone may be able to relate to the main character, Sam. This is a great realistic fiction book and very informal. It handles serious situation in bullying and teaches a lesson in a great story. You can learn a lot from the fictional character Sam Sanderson.

Review written by Sydney (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Zonderkidz for providing a copy of On the Scene for this review.

Have you read On the Scene? How would you rate it?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: Remnants Season of Wonder by Lisa T. Bergren

Remnants Season of Wonder by Lisa T. Bergren. A Remnant Book.

Remnants Season of Wonder by Lisa T. Bergren

Publication Date: April 2014
List Price: $15.99
ISBN-13: 9780310735649

Review: What is it like to have the world's fate on your shoulders? Lisa T. Bergren hands us a promising new book, Remnants; Season of Wonder, where the wasteland of Earth's ghost, teetering on the edge of darkness, is painted through Andriana's eyes. A promising start of a new series, this book will surely attract attention from across the nation.

Andriana is special. Not just any sort of special, but truly special. She was born on the 7th day of the 7th month on the 77th Harvest, and since birth, has been destined to defend the human race from the abominations that infest their lives. Andriana, her knight protector, Ronan, and only a few other remnants, must travel far and wide to help all sympathetic to their cause, while fighting the evil that has caused so much wrong. Danger and the Sons of Sheol close in on the Remnants and Knights, endangering all of humanity. Even as the peril inflames, Andriana finds that her feelings for Ronan soars. She must control her feelings in order to avoid jeopardizing the mission, lest she doom the entire human race.

Remnants; Season of Wonder is generally, a good book. The action, the adventure, and the intrigue within the cover will capture the attention of all readers. However, there are some cons that several readers may have concern of. The romance associated with the story will dull the experience for several boys. Inferred from the romance, the book will be generally more suited for the girls, ages 13 to 18. Despite this, there are several other things that must be accounted as good in Remnants. The storyline is well thought-out, has many rather interesting events within the plot, and interesting characters with distinct personalities. The storyline, (much of which I will not reveal) had well-positioned events that add excitement and shock to the reader, along with several moments of combat and romance, both positioned in several fine places along the plot as a good attempt to provide the same amazing experience for both genders. There were many plot twists and story game-changers that occurred within the storyline, along with several discoveries made by the Remnants that will remind us of our everyday life, and how much has changed. Many of the characters were not forgotten, but instead were given distinct personalities that will give each a discrete feel. A list of an example would be Niero, Vidar, Bellona, and Killian. (Sorry, not revealing the personalities, you have to find out yourself!) Overall, Remnants; Season of Wonder, is a great start for any series, splendidly showing lots of promise and potential. Even though I've never quite read a ÒromanceÓ book, it certainly shows lots of promise with the unique blend of combat and romance. As you dig deeper into the story, you will understand that it is worth the time and money to get the full series. (Or wait.) Lisa T. Bergren has certainly started a new series proudly displaying lots of promise and much of that feeling that we would call excitement.

Review written by Vincent (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Blink for providing a copy of Remnants Season of Wonder for this review.

Have you read Remnants Season of Wonder? How would you rate it?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: Lord and Lady Bunny Almost Royalty by Polly Horvath

Lord and Lady Bunny Almost Royalty by Polly Horvath. The Sequel to Mr. and Mrs. Bunny Detectives Extraordinaire!.

Lord and Lady Bunny Almost Royalty by Polly Horvath

Schwartz & Wade Books
Publication Date: February 2014
List Price: $16.99
ISBN-13: 9780307980656

Review: Have you ever dreamed about becoming royalty? If you want to be a prince or princess, a duke or duchess, the king or the queen, Mrs. Bunny, from Lord and Lady Bunny Almost Royalty written by Polly Horvath, knows how you feel. Lord and Lady Bunny Almost Royalty is the second book in the series; the first book is Mr. and Mrs. Bunny Detectives Extraordinaire.

Mrs. Bunny wants to be the queen, Madeline wants to go to an expensive school, Flo wants to sell candy, and Mildred wants to sell veggies. How can everyone get what they want? By going to England! There Mrs. Bunny can be crowned, and Flo can earn money by selling candy at the candy shop his relatives left for him. With the money Flo makes, Mildred can buy land to grow and sell veggies, and with the money Mildred makes, Madeline can go to college! But everyone will need a lot of help; luckily they have Catherine, Madeline's best friend, Mr. Bunny, Mrs. Bunny's husband, and Mrs. Treaclebunny, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny's annoying neighbor. So will Mrs. Bunny be queen? Will Flo's candy shop be successful enough so Mildred can buy the land? Will Mildred's veggies earn enough money so Madeline can go to college? The only way you will ever find out is by reading Lord and Lady Bunny Almost Royalty.

Lord and Lady Bunny Almost Royalty, as I mentioned earlier, is the second book in the series, the first book is called is Mr. and Mrs. Bunny Detectives Extraordinaire. You will miss a lot of the character development by skipping the first book, so you might want to start there. This book is recommended for ages 8 to 12 but some of the 8 and 9 year olds might have trouble understanding some of the more advanced vocabulary Mr. Bunny uses, but the older kids should be able to read and understand the whole story. Also, younger kids may not understand the monarchy roles or the people that are references such as Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth. This could cause a little confusion because in several of the 18 charters, they play an important role. So if they don't know the people, they won't understand they story. All together Lord and Lady Bunny Almost Royalty is a great book for a range of people, boys, girls, 8 year-olds to 12 year-olds, but is definitely more suited to advanced readers who have an interest in English royalty. Certainly the plot is one that any reader would love, so I recommend Lord and Lady Bunny Almost Royalty.

Review written by Ashley (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Lord and Lady Bunny Almost Royalty for this review.

Have you read Lord and Lady Bunny Almost Royalty? How would you rate it?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: The Art of Secrets by James Klise

The Art of Secrets by James Klise.

The Art of Secrets by James Klise

Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: April 2014
List Price: $17.95
ISBN-13: 9781616201951

Review: Smell the smoke? A fire has started, and it's burning down Saba Khan's apartment in Chicago. The Art of Secrets by James Klise tells the story about a fire that burns down an apartment and a community that comes in and helps them get back on their feet.

The story begins when Saba's apartment burns down. She and her family lose everything accept their rusty old Ford. Saba's friends from school, Kendra, and her brother Kevin Spoon want to arrange a fundraiser at the school to raise money for the Khans. In a trash can, they find a piece of Henry Darger's artwork that is worth $100,000 dollars in a trash can and give it to the Khans for the auction. But good intentions turn bad when the painting is stolen! Teachers and students start to point fingers, as the auction gets closer and Saba's already complicated life gets even more confusing. What happens next? Will the artwork be found in time? There truly becomes an art to secrets!

I really liked The Art of Secrets. It has mystery, romance, drama, and reality all combined into one engaging story. I think that some of the language is not necessary for a young adult book. In addition, the story contains some adult concepts that may not be appropriate for younger children. That being said, both boys and girls would like this book, although certainly the romance is geared more to girls. But anyone who enjoys a good mystery would enjoy The Art of Secrets. All in all, I think that this book is good for middle school and young adult readers. I really liked this book and I'm sure you will too!

Review written by Katlyn (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Algonquin Young Readers for providing a copy of The Art of Secrets for this review.

Have you read The Art of Secrets? How would you rate it?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Review: The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen by Nnicholas Christopher

The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen by Nnicholas Christopher.

The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen by Nnicholas Christopher

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2014
List Price: $17.99
ISBN-13: 9780375867385

Review: Recently orphaned Nicol˜ Zen plays the clarinet beautifully,and he lives in an orphanageÉfor girls. Adriana is a girl with whom Nicol˜ falls in love with. She might be the long lost heir of the duke. Nicholas Christopher tells their story in The True Adventures of Nicol˜ Zen.

In The True Adventures of Nicol˜ Zen, Nicol˜ is just a regular boy until a disease wipes out his mother, father, and two sisters. He gets into a music-based orphanage for girls and soon falls in love with a girl named Adriana who may just be the heir of a famous duke. He also befriends a girl named Julietta who goes missing, and Nicol˜ gets worried. He uncovers a dark secret about the people in charge of the orphanage. Will he ever find Julietta? Can he keep Adriana safe? Will Adriana ever find out about her true past?

Nicholas Christopher has used his choice of characters hold the story together. I enjoyed the way he created each character to relate to each other. He makes people feel sorry for Nicol˜ and the other main characters just by using their back-stories and what happens to them in the story. But although it is well written, Nicholas Christopher fails to use sophisticated vocabulary for the advanced level of readers. He improves this with chemistry between Nicol˜ and Adriana. This book is recommended for middle school readers

Review written by Jarred (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen for this review.

Have you read The True Adventures of Nicolo Zen? How would you rate it?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Review: Middle-School Cool by Maiya Williams

Middle-School Cool by Maiya Williams.

Middle-School Cool by Maiya Williams

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 2014
List Price: $12.99
ISBN-13: 9780385743495

Review: A principal that is always missing, balls that can bounce on their own, foods that contains the spices of lifeÉ who has ever heard of that? Well the kids at Kaboom Academy certainly have. And that's not all; it's just the beginning! The middle school students find oddities everywhere in this adventure. If you want to find out more, of these cool but odd contraptions read the book Middle-School Cool written by author Maiya Williams.

When their parents enroll hundreds of misfit students in this new private school in Horsemouth, they can find the oddest of things. For example the principal is always using bad grammar and has the bizarre of diplomas in learnomology, thinkonomics and even edumechanics! When the first day of school arrives for these students everything changes! They have giant gongs and a bursting cannon as their bell; they even have teachers with weird names like Mr. Mister! But, along with the strangeness at school, they let the students learn in a whole new way! At the beginning of the school year, these 8 students get to write their own newspaper. This is when they learn a little too much information about the school and it's principal. When they decide to interview the principal, it just so happens they find all of the school's secrets. Will all this information be too much for a school newspaper to handle? Will it ruin this school and expose all of its secrets? Find out in the smash hitting book Middle-School Cool written by Maiya Williams.

Middle-School Cool is very unique. This is a fascinating and wonderful book, I recommend it for children in 3rd grade or above. It is relatively easy but it also has high interest for middle school kids. This is perfect actually for anyone; it combines some creativity, a little mystery, fantasy and some clever explanations to some of the problems in the book. The theme in Middle-School Cool seems very powerful and appropriately unique. It shows that every kid is unique in one-way or another and that all deserve to be accepted. This is very powerful to me, because all of these misfit kids get into this exclusive and incredibly unique private school that not everyone is able to get into. This teaches readers that all kids are unique for who they are and they shouldn't be bullied for who they are, but instead be proud of who they are. Overall this was a very memorable book for me, because of that strong message I got from this book. I'm also fascinated by how well I can relate to the characters. Starting with the characteristics all they way to how they act it's just amazing. You should try it out for yourself; you just might find yourself very surprised at the end.

Review written by Ian (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Middle-School Cool for this review.

Have you read Middle-School Cool? How would you rate it?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: Seven Stories Up by Laurel Snyder

Seven Stories Up by Laurel Snyder.

Seven Stories Up by Laurel Snyder

Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 2014
List Price: $16.99
ISBN-13: 9780375869174

Review: What if 50 years just melted away? Well, Annie Jaffin experiences her grandmother's lonely childhood right along with her as if 50 years had just melted away. In Seven Stories Up, it shows compassion and love like you have never known before.

Annie Jaffin visits her dying grandmother for the first time and finds out that her grandmother is someone she would never love. But when Annie wakes up, a strange girl is in her room. The girl introduces herself as Molly Moran, Annie's grandmother. Annie is shocked to see her grandmother at such a young age. But over time, they get to know one another and they start sneaking out. But when Molly starts getting in more and more trouble, the duo start to suffer the consequences. Find out the rest by reading Seven Stories Up.

My favorite character is Molly because she starts out by obeying the rules set by her father, but then she goes outside and starts getting sneakier. Annie is also one of my favorite characters because she encourages Molly to be sneaky and keeps her company in the Lonely Room. The plot is great because it is so unique being able to you're your dying grandmother as a little girl. The mood of Seven Stories Up also changes from good to sneaky and even scared. I recommend this book to children and preteens because the plot is

Review written by Christian (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Seven Stories Up for this review.

Have you read Seven Stories Up? How would you rate it?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: A Wizard's Wings by T. A. Barron

A Wizard's Wings by T. A. Barron. A Merlin Book.

A Wizard's Wings by T. A. Barron

Puffin Books
Publication Date: May 2011
List Price: $6.99
ISBN-13: 9780142419236

Review: It was said that the magical island of Fincayra's darkest day would, and now that it has, the haunting of the island and inhabitants including Dagada begins. Merlin and his friends are the only ones who can stop the end of the world by Rhita Gawr's hand. Will they succeed on their journey to save their world in the fifth book of the Merlin Series: A Wizard's Wings by T.A. Barron?

Merlin, having attained wizardly powers and public acclaim, has once again brought peace to the island, but one stormy night Dagda himself warns Merlin of what is to come in one week on the Winter Solstice. Many problems arise including the escape of Stagmar and a rampaging murder is on the loose with swords for arms killing children demanding Merlin to come in combat. While Merlin is overwhelmed with problems, more come his way, one of which is the most difficult, and that is uniting the whole island's people. Will he succeed in these tasks or not? Will the world end?

Merlin will fill the dreams of elementary and middle school students with courage, bravery, and happiness. This book has the aptitude to create suspense in a reader. Many parts include nail-biting marathons. Also included is the great fantasy, RE descriptions that takes you out of this world into the pages of this book's world. This book not only brings your imagination out, but it also brings out an understanding of real-life problems and their solutions. Recommended by The New York Times Book Review, School Library Journal, and others. A Wizard's Wings is an outstanding book. Inundated with many plot twists, this book can never be predicated making reading it an amazing adventure. Want more to read? Well no problem because A Wizard's Wings is in a series titled Merlin. Just get this book to fly into the pages of the saga.

Review written by Tej (6th grade student).

We would like to thank T. A. Barron for providing a copy of A Wizard's Wings for this review.

Have you read A Wizard's Wings? How would you rate it?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein

Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein.

Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 2013
List Price: $17.99
ISBN-13: 9780385743297

Review: Dinah's life seems to fall apart when her cousin, Claire is driven to slitting her wrists leaving her in a coma fighting for her life. In Premeditated by Josin L. McQueen shows readers just how far someone is willing to go because of love.

Dinah is a high school student with one goal in mind. She wants to take down the boy who drove Claire to attempt suicide changing everything about herself, Dinah sheds the piercings, dark hair, and clothes in exchange for a private school girl, uniform, and blonde hair. Dinah's determined to infiltrate Claire's school, which is made possible because Dinah is staying with her aunt and uncle as she awaits Claire's recovery. As Dinah becomes one of "them", she finds everything is not always as it seems.

Premeditated is a clever book incorporating unique well-developed characters. Dinah's friends from the past, as well as her new private school friends, come together to create a dynamic blending of personalities. Dinah's character in particular is witty, wise, and at the same time very self-conscious and sensitive. She refers to one girl as "Abigail-Not Abby" throughout the book as one example of her wry humor. The plot development is also strong, leading readers in unpredictable directions. Aside from a slow, unclear beginning, Premonition is a book that will ring home for many adolescent readers. However, without reading the book jacket, readers will spend the first portion of the book confused. As one who does not read the inside flap, it took quite a while to understand Dinah's motivation. The inside flap should really be the first page of the book. Other than that, the endearing characters and plot development will keep readers enticed to the very end.

Review written by Margo Nauert.

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

Have you read Premeditated? How would you rate it?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review: Conspiracy 365: Malice by Gabrielle Lord

Conspiracy 365: Malice by Gabrielle Lord. A Conspiracy 365 Novel.

Conspiracy 365: Malice by Gabrielle Lord

Kane Miller
Publication Date: June 2013
List Price: $5.99
ISBN-13: 9781610672191

Review: Cal, Winter, Ryan, and Boges have faced one daring adventure after another in the Conspiracy 365 series by Gabrielle Lord. In Malice, Winter has been given a threat in a note that merely says, "The Drowner . . . 30 days." She and her friends have thirty days to decipher the note and save themselves from the threats that continue to haunt the.

Malice takes readers to Perdita, a fascinating remote location where nothing is as it seems. She encounters mysterious people who her warn her every step of the way. Perdita, overgrown from years of abandonment, holds secrets Winter must uncover in order to save herself and her estate from the mysterious people who sent the note. She only has 30 days. Is it possible to put all the pieces together in that amount of time, or might Winter's time be up?

The Conspiracy 365 series is exceptionally well done. Every book in the twelve-month series has an independently engaging plot that all comes together in the 12th book. However, the supplemental books are not as strong. To fully appreciate the characters, it is important to read the original twelve books. If those books are skipped, the characters seem flat. Winter is one of the more unique characters from the series, so her character holds together the story quite nicely. The mystery of "The Drowner" is overall clever and gripping. That being said, Gabrielle Lord has an excellent series on her hands, and it's time to move on to a new series. There's only so many life-threatening situations these characters can withstand. A new Black Ops trilogy by Lord wil be an exciting new start!

Review written by Margo Nauert.

We would like to thank Kane Miller for providing a copy of Conspiracy 365: Malice for this review.

Have you read Conspiracy 365: Malice? How would you rate it?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau.

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Publication Date: June 2013
List Price: $17.99
ISBN-13: 9780547959108

Review: Trust no one. In Joelle Charbonneau's gripping novel, The Testing, readers are taken on an adventure that will capture the attention of Hunger Games followers as well as readers who have embraced The Giver. Set in a future America, The Testing exposes a dystopian society in which the planet has been resorted to a barren land with crumbling buildings and minimal resources for survival.

Graduation day, a day when Cia no longer has to wear pink, a day when Cia will join the ranks of adults, a day which will change her life forever. It's been years since a graduate from Five Lakes Colony has been chosen for The Testing, but Cia hopes that this year she will be chosen to follow in her father's footsteps and have her chance to attend The Testing and be admitted into University. Cia however doesn't realize that her dream comes at a great cost. In fact, her dream can become a nightmare. The Testing is not like any other test - it's a test that can literally determine life or death. But once you're chosen, there is no turning back!

At first the similarities to The Hunger Games are concerning. It's easy to wonder if The Testing will be able to stand on its own. But although the premise is similar, The Testing is different enough to thoroughly entice readers. Although the character dynamics are well written, it's the plot twists and clever "tests" that will keep readers enthralled all the way to the end. Surprises are found at every corner and when it seems everything is figured out, another plot twist takes readers in a different direction. The dystopian society with references to the infrastructure of today's world also brings enough familiarity to the setting to further draw readers into a world that has been created after the Seven Stages of War. Overall, The Testing is an amazing book that brings trust and loyalty into question making the reader constantly wonder if anyone in The Testing can really be trusted. The Testing is the first book in a series and readers will want to jump right into the second book, The Testing: Independent Study.

Review written by Margo Nauert.

We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin for providing a copy of The Testing for this review.

Have you read The Testing? How would you rate it?