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Their Eyes Were Watching God 

by Zora Neale Hurston

It takes Janie a while to discover her own voice in a society that has ignored her as both a woman and an African American. This novel follows her through various relationships and stages of her life that allow her to realize what she values in companionship and what she values in herself. 

I enjoyed this book because it is not like every other coming of age novel. It focuses on Janie's hopefulness and courage and how this leads her to find a solid understanding of herself while overcoming tragedy. It deals with themes such as fear, love, ambition, and femininity.

I would absolutely recommend this book. Though set in the early 1900's, the themes are still completely relevant to today. For this reason, I believe that most people will enjoy reading this novel. 

Juila, 18

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David Copperfield 

by Charles Dickens
12/13/2017 Categories: classic historical movie realistic fiction

Image result for david copperfield book coverThe orphaned David Copperfield grows up amongst a variety of both comical and frightening characters. He faces trial after trial, but eventually grows up. This is a classic coming of age novel that demonstrates how David learns to deal with loss, responsibility, and love. 

This book is a nice, cheerful story. It is not dramatized or very mysterious, and yet the simplicity of the story allows for many serious themes to be addressed. It is a refreshing reminder of what is most important in life (friendships, love, and courage). 

While I absolutely love this book, I do admit that some people might find it boring. If you like Charles Dickens, then this is a must read since this is considered his most autobiographical work. 

Juila, 18

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The Poisonwood Bible 

by Barbara Kingsolver

A father, mother, and four daughters venture off to Africa on a mission to bring God to the people there. This story is based in the 50's and is narrated by all four daughters and the mother.

This was a truly captivating book and I couldn't put it down. But it is made for a more mature audience due to its religious views, death, and poor family unit.

I would recommend this book to an older audience. This is manly for those who enjoy historical fictions and dramas. 

Emly, 16

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Wintergirls 

by Laurie Halse Anderson
09/28/2017 Categories: death older teens realistic fiction

Lia's friend died of anorexia and she had a difficult time with accepting her life without her best friend. Lia later on, try's to move on with her life, but she feels like the more days past, the more she feels like life woun't be the same without her.

This book was a good book because this it is similar to other teenagers in life. A lot of people suffer from anorexia and very little survive.

I would recommend this book for teenagers ages 14 and up. It’s a really good book to learn life lessons from. 

Yessica, 15

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Island of the Blue Dolphins 

by Scott O'Dell

Karana lives on the island with a tribe of Native Americans. However, one day, Karana and her brother were left behind. She has to figure out how to survive on a island where no one else lives. Karana has no food or weapons. 

I really liked this book, it was the best book ever. I love how she figures out how to survive on an island where she has no help from no one.

I would recommend this book to everyone who likes reading survival stories. Even if you don’t like reading books, I really recommend this book to you it’s a really good book, trust me! 

Yessica, 15

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The Sky is Everywhere 

by Jandy Nelson
07/20/2017 Categories: death love triangles realistic fiction

The Sky is Everywhere describes how Lennie deals with the aftermath of her sister's death through the company of two boys-Toby, her sister's boyfriend, and Joe, the new kid in town. Toby shares Lennie's grief for her sister and offers her a shoulder to cry on. Joe, however, is bursting with life and gives Lennie the happiness she craves after such a dark time in her life. Both boys offer Lennie something that she seriously needs, but she knows that if the two of them knew about the other, everything would be in ruins. Lennie must navigate through this situation, while also coping with the loss of her beloved sister.

I loved this book. It is a great story, filled with constant twists and turns. Lennie made many mistakes that kept me on the edge of my seat, but these mistakes worked themselves out in the end in order to reach an amazing conclusion. I also really appreciated the raw, real emotion that the novel possesses.

I definitely recommend this book to others because of its fantastic storyline. If you like realistic fiction, you would enjoy The Sky is Everywhere.

Bethany, 15

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Mosquitoland 

07/19/2017 Categories: adventure cancer realistic fiction

Mim's parents divorced, her dad remarried, and then she found out that her mom is terminally ill in Cleveland. Upon hearing this news, Mim packs her belongings and takes a Greyhound bus to Cleveland to see her mom. Along the way, Mim encounters some unexpected turns and meets two hilarious travel companions. Ultimately, this road trip teaches Mim exactly what she needs to confront her fears at home with her dad and step-mom.

This novel was relatively good. It's not my favorite book, but it was enjoyable to read. The plot kept me on my feet, but it was all over the place. I could barely keep up with the rapid movement and constant changes of the storyline.

I would recommend this book to others because of its entertaining plot. If you like action and adventure, you would enjoy Mosquitoland.

Bethany, 15

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas  

by John Boyne
06/21/2017 Categories: friendship realistic fiction wwII

During World War ll, 8-year-old Bruno (Asa Brunofield) and his family leave Berlin to take up residence near the concentration camp where his father (David Thewlis), has just become commandant. He finds a Jewish boy of his age, though the barbed-wire fence of the camp that separates them.

This is a lovely book that made me feel so many emotions at once. I loved this book because it explained everything exactly how a 8 year old would see it.

This book was amazing! I would recommend this book to a person who likes to hear people's survival stories. I would say you want to be a little older 13 to understand this book.

Yessica, 15

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Seven Daughters and Seven Sons 

by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy
06/21/2017 Categories: friendship realistic fiction romance

Image result for seven daughters and seven sons

This incredible book takes place in an ancient Arab nation. The main character, Buran, longs to leave the house, and not wait for her father to chose a husband for her. Buran then decides to try for something she has always wanted.

I completely adored this book. This covers the femininity of a woman, the author really dives deep into being a woman and what that means. The story itself is a mix between romance and friendship.

Anyone who likes the Disney movie, Mulan, would love this book. Think of an Arab version of Mulan. Except the character herself wants a full life. And so she disguises as a boy, and travels to a city far away from her house where she meets the dishy Mahmud. She tries to keep their friendship from going too far. Because if she reveals to the prince, Mahmud that she is a woman, then she will lose everything she has worked for.

Priscilla, 12

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Kristy's Great Idea: The Baby-Sitters Club 

by Raina Telgemeier based on the novel by Ann M. Martin
06/10/2017 Categories: comics friendship manga realistic fiction

This book is about five girls: Claudia, Stacey, Marry Anne, Kristy, and Dawn. In the first book, Kristy decides to create a club in which they all could babysit. She invites Claudia, and Marry Anne to join. Claudia eventually invites Stacey into the club. This wonderful book reflects the ups-and-downs in relationships with friends and family.

I think this book is a very great book. It is great because there is no bad language, the pictures(this book series I'm talking about is a comic) are appropriate, and the characters are interesting.

I would hands-down recommend this series to others! The books tell the basics of friendships, morals, and this book series may give you a smile every so often. Anyone of any gender can read this magnificent book, but I think the story will most likely appeal to girls. Have fun reading it!

Priscilla, 12

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Everything, Everything 

by Nicola Yoon
06/10/2017 Categories: friendship realistic fiction romance

A girl named Maddy suffers from combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID). New neighbors move in next door, and she locks eyes with a boy named Olly. Later on they become friends and eventually fall in love. Maddy is becoming more and more frustrated with not being able to go outside and see the world. She tests the limits with Olly and learns about something shocking that changes her life.

I enjoyed this book very much, because it shows a person's perspective on SCID. Also, it was a lovely teen romance story.

It's an innocent love story between two teens and it shows the psychological impact SCID has on someone. If you like a cute love story, but also dealing with a serious disease, then this is for you.

Johanna, 16

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Underwater 

by Marisa Reichardt

Underwater is about a teenage girl who goes through a traumatic experience. On October fifteenth, at a school in California, everything changed. That day was the day that Morgan tried to help somebody and do something nice but that small act of kindness plays a role in a deadly tragedy. Before that day, Morgan loved the beach, the smell of the ocean breeze, and hanging out with her friends and talking about the latest gossip. After that day, Morgan can’t move on. The idea of leaving her house has her sobbing at her door step. She can't even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface, drowning. The only person she interacts with besides her family is Brenda, her psychologist. But before Morgan can step outside, she must find the courage to forgive, first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and herself.

I really liked this book because the main character, Morgan, and I almost share some things like not having an amazing father and having to go to therapy but then there are things like a school shooting that I cannot relate to like completely isolating myself from the outside world. This book had been pretty emotional and the message was really interesting. The way that Morgan describes how she used to view the outside world is something that I've never thought much about and made me realize never to take certain things for granted.

I think that if anybody were dealing with some similar experiences as Morgan, then I would suggest that you read this book. This book has not only changed the way I feel about a certain place and person but made me feel like this character understood what I went through a little bit in the past and the saying "You're not the only one" is something that I constantly tell myself when I'm going through a hard time.

Isabella, 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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The Probability of Miracles 

by Wendy Wunder

The Probability of Miracles is about Campbell, a girl who's days are numbered. Her mom, refusing to accept this inevitability, moves Campbell and her sister to a town in Maine where miracles have been known to happen. As Campell resigns herself to a quiet life and quieter death, her sister and mom encourage her to live her life to the fullest.

I loved The Probability of Miracles. It was hilarious and devastating at the same time. Probably one of the most honest portrayals of the human experience I've read.

I would recommend this book to older teens who love film references and sarcastic characters who are brutally honest. Fans of John Green's The Fault In Our Stars and Looking for Alaska would enjoy this book.

Amanda, 16

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Me Before You 

by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You is about two people who are nothing alike but fall in love anyway. He is a disabled man who misses his fast-paced life and she is a quirky girl stuck in a boring town. She teaches him that life does not have to be perfect to be good and he teaches her that life is an adventure.

I loved this book, it was thought-provoking and funny at the same time. I laughed and I cried. Any book that can make you feel emotions like that must have been written in such a way as to make you feel like you are part of the story.

If you like tear jerkers and stories about life's imperfections, you would love Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I highly recommend this book to fans of Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl and The Fault in Our Stars.

Amanda, 16

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