Escondido Public Library - Teen Book Reviews

Posts in Category: biography

The Glass Castle

by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle is a memoir, written by Jeannette Walls. In this book, Walls explains what it was like growing up in poverty. She recounts how her siblings and she had to live with parents who were not the type of parents to be raising so many kids. Her childhood included many difficult times that shaped her into the person she became.

I liked this book because the author had to see so many things in her childhood that many kids shouldn't see. She had to live with two parents who were not in any condition to raise children. It made me think about how lucky I am to have been raised by good parents and not to have grow up as the author did.

I think people of all ages should read this book. It makes you become aware of situations that happen everyday that you might not think about. You sympathize with the author and her siblings and what they went through. This was a very inspiring read!

Sandra, 16


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The Private Lives of the Impressionists

by Sue Roe

Late 19th century France sometimes was not a friendly place for the then-considered-radical impressionists. This book analyzes how the friendships and family lives of the impressionists (such as Monet, Manet, Bazille, and Renoir) were influenced by societal expectations and political events. Their art was unprecedented, and while society may have been slow to accept it, they continued with their work, and today it is revered.

This book, beyond being a biography, is a commentary on friendship and rebellion. For this reason, I found it very enjoyable. Sue Roe provides ample descriptive details while also explaining interesting historical facts. By learning about their political, economic, and social tendencies, and by analyzing written records of the painters themselves, the reader is provided with a detailed characterization of each individual artist.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in art or history. The writing is somewhat slow, since it is essentially a history book, however the content is extremely captivating and worth the read.

Julia, 17


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by Elie Wiesel

Night tells the story of Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel and what it was like for him and his family to live being isolated from the rest of the world with the Jewish community. Wiesel remembers when he lost his family to the immoral act of genocide and the fears that he had while losing the will to live.

Night is an interesting book because it's one of those books that can shake you emotionally by presenting the life of a Jewish person in the face of intolerance. This story is told all from Wiesel's perspective which shows us what it was like growing up with loved ones being killed and discriminated against during this time of genocide.

Yes, I would recommend this book to others because this story has a theme of how it is important to stand up to injustices even in the face of danger. Informing more people about making a change in the world is needed to create a civilized society. Young and old people should read this book so history can be remembered by all.

Kirsten, 15


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Breakaway: beyond the goal

by Alex Morgan

The Olympic gold medal-winning soccer player details her path to success, from her childhood in California to her time on the United States' National team.

This book kept me up all day and night. Alex Morgan's story made me believe that I could accomplish anything. Anyone reading this book would feel as if their dreams could come true.

This book is perfect for soccer fans and people who love stories about overcoming obstacles put in your path in order to reach your goal. 

Melissa, 13


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Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France

by Leonie Frieda

This biography captures Catherine de Medici's lifetime from a unique and well-researched perspective. This queen is often remembered for the murder of thousands in the massacre of many on St. Bartholomew's Day, however she made many positive contributions to France and the surrounding countries. The book gives a positive perspective of her during her reign and the reigns of her children.

The biography was interesting because it did not display prejudice against her even though she is primarily known today as a murderer. I enjoyed this because history classes do not have the time to go in depth the way this biography does, so it offers a new point of view.

I would recommend this book to someone who finds history a fascinating subject and to someone who enjoys reading biographies. This book tells a woman's entire life story and gives an elegant window into her time period.

Tabitha, 16


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Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl is set in the 1940's during the Holocaust. The story is a translated version of the real-life diary of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who hid with her family from Nazis occupation.

This book gives a real life look into the lives and minds of Anne Frank and her family, who had all been living in hiding for two long years. This book was simply mind-blowing; it's nearly impossible to believe that Anne, a normal teenager who struggled with little problems like the rest of us, was able to stay so strong till the very end. It is an inspirational book because it shows Anne's constant perky spirit, but it is also a very serious memoir of one of the millions of victims of concentration camps during the Holocaust. 

I would recommend this book to people ages 13 and up because it is a deeper read touching on the delicate topic of the persecution of the Jewish people during WWII. If you enjoy real stories about the persistence of the human spirit, you will love this book.

Gillyn, 15


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