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Taking Flight 

by Michaela DePrince
11/15/2017 Categories: inspirational non-fiction war

Everyone has heard of Misty Copeland, the black ballerina, but have they heard of another one? Well, her name is Michaela DePrince, and she has a story to tell. Despite the horror's of her past, Michaela has really taken flight and proven to people that someone who was judged as the lowest of low, can really rise to the top.

This book is yet another war memoir(I know, what is up with all these war books?), and as unique as How Dare The Sun Rise. Michaela DePrince takes you through the journey from becoming the grand ballerina she is seen as today. Fun fact: This book took place at the same destination as A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah(or, 'The Review My Sister Wrote')

I hope everyone reads inspirational bookS like these, because they will see the world at a different angle than when they first begun the book. Even though war memoirs are hard to read, it really explains the hardship that people might not even heard of. This is what people are doing today: helping kids in Africa who has gone through the same things as Michaela. Horrifying scenes from war. It also has it's fun parts!(young black kids have the weirdest images of white people, "Their hair are different colors like Teacher Sarah's crayons. I heard that you could see the sky in their eyes.")

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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How Dare The Sun Rise 

by Sandra Uwiringiyimana
11/15/2017 Categories: inspirational non-fiction older teens war

This book is a war memoir of Sandra Uwiringiyimana. It describes the vivid memories that Sandra endured in Africa. War was raging, and people died along with it. Sandra's story is sure to horrify. Horrify you in the means of presenting to you a different point of view as the victim of war, and to explain what it is like not having the rights we have in the U.S.

It was really good. Some parts were very hard to read through(well, it is a war memoir) because I am reading about someone's real life. It was definitely interesting because I learn what it is like outside of the United States. I think everyone has the potential to learn a different point of view, but only a few try.

Like I said in the earlier paragraph, I think everyone should read this book, and I hope many do. This is a story of people who are not really known, who rise up to become a national beacon of hope.

Priscilla, 12

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A Long Way Gone 

by Ishmael Beah
10/25/2017 Categories: non-fiction older teens true stories war

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier is a very stirring autobiography about Ishmael Beah and his journey to becoming a boy soldier and how he recovers from it. Beah takes the reader through his painful journey of loss and pain, but also a journey of discovery and growing up. Beah takes the reader deep into his thoughts and heart, describing the devastating disappointment and pain of his family's death, the hatred that fueled his drive in being a boy soldier in the Sierra Leone civil war, and finally how he reconciles with his past and how he finally regains his childhood and humanity. 

This novel was very good because Beah is very honest about his experiences and pain. It's interesting to read about how he learned to cope with the memories of his painful past and losses. But it's also interesting to see him grow and recover from his past.

I would recommend this book to all people. It's a good book about culture, war around the world, recovery from grief, and the loss of childhood. It also questions the role of the idea of 'Humanity' and what happens to people who have lost it.

Keila, 14

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The Poisonwood Bible 

by Barbara Kingsolver

Nathan Price, an arrogant Baptist missionary, settles his wife and four daughters in a Congolese village determined to spread the word of God. During a time of tumultuous politics, racism, and Congolese independence, Nathan forces the family to stay, despite the risk of increasing danger. The family endures life-altering hardship and battles with feelings of guilt, grief and loneliness. The events that take place during their time in the Congo will haunt them for years to come.

I loved this book. It was definitely one of the best books I've read because of its depiction of historical events, racism, and portrayal of real, raw emotion.

I would recommend this book to others because of its dynamic plot line, important message, and its awesome portrayal of life in the Congo. If you like historical fiction and stories with a powerful message, The Poisonwood Bible would be the perfect book for you.

Bethany, 15

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The Making of a Navy Seal 

by Brandon Webb
09/20/2017 Categories: non-fiction war

This book is about the amazing journey of the author, Brandon Webb, on becoming a Navy Seal(hence the title). Through the first couple chapters, you really get into Brandon's life, and you can really see the changes from when he was a vigorous sportster to one of America's Deadliest Snipers. Through the difficulty of his father, and getting a spot into the Navy Seal training, Brandon Webb's story is a truly interesting tale. A story worthy of telling your friends. 

I really like this book because you explore the HARD-core training the recruits have to go through. In order to graduate onto the next level, they have to go through a really hard training week. Guess what it's called(c'mon, it may be easy. . .). Hell Week. That's right, not nonfiction no more. Though it seems like it might be the hardest thing in life(probably is), the funny thing is, it is the most interesting thing in the book. It might not be for you. But there's one way to find out. . . 

Anyone can read this great, powerful book. Get the excitement of the capturing of al-Qaeda, and the terror of 9/11. I think this book is a great nutshell capturing all the military training, and Brandon Webb must be a great author, father, and sniper. After you read this book, I can totally assure you that it will change your mind about looking at Navy Seal's walking around. R-e-s-p-e-c-t.

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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The Apothecary 

by Maile Meloy
07/19/2017 Categories: adventure magic war

It's 1952 and Janie Scott moved to London from Los Angeles, California. At school, Jane meets Benjamin, the mysterious son of an apothecary. When the apothecary goes missing, Benjamin and Janie must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's Pharmacopoeia, all the while keeping the ancient book out of the hands of his enemies. With the help of the book, Janie and Benjamin discover new potions and spells and embark on a race against time in order to save the world from their enemies, the Russians.

The Apothecary was a good novel. I liked it because it put a magical spin on the seriousness of the Cold War. The adventurous storyline also kept me on the edge of my seat.

I would recommend this book to others because of its adventurous, yet has a serious plot. This book is perfect for those that enjoy fantasy, magic, and history.

Maile, 15

Rating: 

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Lone Survivor 

by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson
04/29/2017 Categories: non-fiction true stories war

Lone survivor is based on a true story. It is about four U.S navy seals whose mission was to capture or kill an al Qaeda leader in 2005. Unfortunately they are outnumbered and soon only one of those navy seals is alive. This book is Marcus Luttrell's survivor story, in it he describes what happens to the other Navy seals and what he had to go through in order to survive.

This book had a strong impact on me. It shows how many people risk their lives for our country. I thought the book was really emotional and it's heartbreaking because that man had to see his partners/friends killed in front him. He then had to live with knowing only he survived.

If you would like to educate yourself on how other people do heroic things for our country, check this book out. It reminds you to keep our troops in you thoughts and prayers for what they go through to keep us safe. If you like reading about survivors and true stories you should really read this book.

Sandra, 16

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How To Catch A Prince 

by Rachel Hauck

How to Catch a Prince is story about Stephen, the prince of Brighton, who doubles as a war veteran and a rugby player. As the media dubs him the most eligible bachelor in Brighton and attempts to set him up, Stephen recalls the one girl he'd like to be with, and the reasons why he cannot.

I liked How to Catch a Prince because it was not the typical romance story. With subplots about war and survivor's guilt, How to Catch a Prince kept me engaged in the story.

I would recommend this book to fans of Dee Henderson's O'Malley series. Fans of war, politics, and romance all in one would enjoy this book.

Amanda, 16

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This Shattered World 

by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

This book is about two complete opposites. She is the best soldier on the planet of Avon, and He is the leader of the opposing rebellion. When they both find that what they want really isn't that different, they must find a way to work together to stop the fight, and uncover a huge secret that could destroy their planet, all the while battling their inner demons.

This was a good book, because it provides an insight on how opposing characters can become the closest of friends, and how the right thing to do, isn't the easiest. It also introduces a great story about love in the midst of war.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy science fiction and romance stories. The perspective of the novel shifts from chapter to chapter, so it may appeal to some readers.

Natalie, 15

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All The Light We Cannot See 

by Anthony Doerr
05/20/2016 Categories: handicaps holocaust survival stories war

This book is an incredible story that follows the lives of a teen age girl and boy during WWII. All they have in common is the war, until their paths cross one day. The boy who is an orphaned is convinced to join the Nazi Party, but feels like he is not doing what's right. The girl who is blind, struggles as she is forced to leave her home in Paris, and live with her Great-Uncle.

All the Light We Cannot See is an amazing book because it shows an angle of the Holocaust not normally covered: the German's side. The characters are well developed, leaving you hopeful they'll do the right things.

If you love historical fiction, and a challenging read with incredible language, you'll love All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

Amanda, 16

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 

by Ransom Riggs
05/12/2015 Categories: horror mystery war

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenOne family tragedy results in a huge secret that may lead to a dark and dangerous turnout. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a story about a boy named Jacob who explores an abandoned orphanage and finds out that the orphans that once lived here are still alive, each with a "special" talent.

In my opinion, I did not like the book very well, but it is interesting. It is filled with mystery and suspicion. The book included pictures of each of the orphans doing their "special" talent that I thought was disturbing. I also did not like the book because of the author's way of painting the scenes. He does not describe the scenes in the book too well, and so it was very difficult to imagine what is going on in your head.

I would recommend this book to readers that are interested in a mysterious plot. I would also recommend this book to readers ages 12 and up because of its disturbing images and confusing text.

Sara, 14  

Rating: 

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The Bone Clocks 

by David Mitchell
04/06/2015 Categories: sci fi time travel war

The Bone ClocksThis book centers around the life of Holly Sykes, a seemingly normal girl from England. More importantly, it focuses on the lives that become wrapped up not only in Holly's, but the invisible struggle for power between two immortal, superhuman forces.

This carefully crafted book amalgamates the lives of mortals with those to whom immortality is simply a way of life. In doing so, Mitchell creates a book that both questions and answers how valuable our time on earth is. While some parts may prove to be a bit slow, the overall intrigue of the story is not lost.

The Bone Clocks is yet another title in David Mitchell's impressive repertoire of visionary novels. Enthralling story-telling, true to his style, pairs well with his cunning ability to leave you questioning even the simplest of motives. This newest novel of his is sure to capture those with a love of science fiction and honest realism alike.

Melina, 15

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Legend  

by Marie Lu
03/24/2015 Categories: action romance suspense war

Legend“If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system. That’s much more powerful than rebelling outside the system”(Metias, p. 245). Legend is the story of two teens living in a dystopian society who team up to stop the madness going on between the Republic and the Colonies and stop a harmful sickness known as the plague.

After reading Legend, by Marie Lu, I thought it was an amazing book. It was filled with action, suspense, drama, and more. It kept you on the edge of your seat, begging to know what happens next. Marie Lu has a way with her description, that allows you to envision the setting, characters, and plot. I admired the way Legend was written because it showed you both of the character's perspectives and how different they are.

I would strongly recommend this book to readers who love books that are filled with suspense, action, and romance. I would also recommend it to people ages 13 and up because of the violence and romantic scenes.

Sarah, 14

Rating: 

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The Things They Carried 

by Tim O'Brien
03/24/2015 Categories: military war

The Things They CarriedThe Things They Carried is a metafictional account of the lives and deaths of various men who fought in the Vietnam War. The book revolves around duty, shame, desire, "humping," memory, moral ambiguity, and the question regarding what "a true war story" consists of and the central protagonist is a fictionalized version of the author Tim O'Brien. 

Although I was required to read it for my English class, the book's unconventional plot progression kept me from getting bored. However, sometimes the author describes grotesque war happenings with such detailed language that the faint of heart may become too disgusted to continue reading - I know I did.

Those who dislike abstraction or philosophy should probably avoid this book. On the other hand, I would recommend this book to people who like to challenge their beliefs and don't mind when others wax poetic about the mundane because The Things They Carried contradicts popular conceptions of war, and because Tim O' Brien takes great liberty in analyzing certain situations from as many angles as possible and in great depth. 

Chimdi, 15

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Hollow City 

by Ransom Riggs
02/05/2015 Categories: paranormal supernatural war

The sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Hollow City is the continuance of the journey of Jacob and his newly found peculiar friends. After leaving the island of Cairnholm, Miss Peregrine's wards search for escape from the wights and hollowgasts that seem to be everywhere. They learn that their headmistress can only be helped by a fellow ymbryne, so they devote themselves to finding the one yet to be captured.

I like this book a lot, it was exciting to learn that there will be another coming afterwards. I love how Ransom Riggs uses real, vintage photographs to tie together the intricate story. I can really visualize what he writes, which is very fun. Another thing I loved was that it took place in 1940 primarily, which is an era I'm interested in.

I would recommend this book to people who like strange stories, facts, old things, or the first book in the series. Anyone who is interested in the 1940's, strange phenomena, or just an exciting, cute story will likely adore this novel.

Desiree, 14

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