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I Am Number Four 

by Pittacus Lore
12/06/2012 Categories: action romance sci fi survival stories

I Am Number Four coverThis book is about a young man, known as Number Four, or John Smith. He is one of the special aliens that came down from his former planet, Lorien. When the Mogadorians destroyed their planet, few were forced to leave the planet and come to earth. Only 11 of them made it to earth. They come to Earth to hide from the many Mogadorians that are hunting them and wait to go back to Lorien hoping to restore the planet.

I loved this book because it was full of action. I related to a girl named Sarah in the book because she was really into photography and so am I.

I would recommend this to both teenage girls and boys who likes books filled with sci-fi, action, and a little bit of romance.

Alissa, 14

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Max 

by James Patterson

Max ocverMaximum Ride and her flock is in danger yet again. With the Coalition To Stop the Madness (CSM) supporting them, they have three decent meals and a bed to sleep in. But a Chinese guy named Mr. Chu wants CSM to stop its protesting so he can go on to dump radioactive materials into the ocean. Max protests so Mr. Chu kidnaps her mom. Will Max and the flock defeat Mr. Chu and save her mom?

It was very good because it had the style of writing I liked and was full of action and suspense!

I would recommend this book to teens who've read the other Maximum Ride books and anyone who loves action and suspense. It is a must-read!!

Hieu, 13

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A Child Called It 

by Dave Pelzer

Child coverThis is a very sad book about the abuse that a kid suffers at the hands of his mom.

It was a very hard book to read but makes you become aware of people's lives behind closed doors.

I would recommend it because you will get the actual meaning of someone who is being treated very badly by his own mother.

Rebecka, 14

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Bunker 10 

by J.A. Henderson

Bunker 10 coverIn Bunker 10, several children living in a military outpost are left alone with nothing but their wits to figure out what happened. When a team of heavily armed killers arrives at the base things go from bad to all out warfare.

I liked this book because it is exciting and suspenseful. People who would like this book would be people who enjoy sci fi novels or video games.

Liam, 15

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A Crack in the Sky 

by Mark Peter Hughes

Crack in the Sky coverA Crack In the Sky is a dystopian novel about Eli, the youngest member of the Papadopolous family that runs Infiniticorp. After a global disease wipes out much of humanity, Infinticorp builds domed cities for the survivors. Eli notices flaws in the holographic sky over Atlanta. He is determined to find out the truth even when nobody else will believe him. His quest leads him to question all he has ever known and what secrets the domes hide.

I like this book because it keeps you guessing until the end and shows a glimpse of a future that may not be too far away.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes post apocalyptic novels and science fiction.

Liam, 15

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The Diary of a Young Girl 

by Anne Frank
06/18/2012 Categories: holocaust survival stories true stories

Anne Frank is a 13-year-old Jewish girl, who spends two years of her short life hiding in a cramped attic, located in Amsterdam, along with several other families. This real-life story takes place in 1942. Anne and her family are in the "Secret Annexe," because at the time, the Nazis were occupying Holland. Anne keeps a diary, in which she writes all about her life.

The story of Anne Frank is very touching and powerful. It is a remarkable book that is perfect for any advanced reader. I liked it because of the plot line and vivid details. It is interesting to read about a girl your age, and to compare your life to her's.

If you are interested about learning more about Europe's history, and discovering how life was back then, you should consider reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. You won't be disappointed!

Milla, 12

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Catching Fire 

by Suzanne Collins
06/18/2012 Categories: action dystopia romance survival stories

Catching Fire coverCatching Fire is about a violent game called, The Hunger Games, where children fight to the death -- until one person remains standing. It contains romance, action, and drama.

Catching Fire is a brilliantly plotted book, and you won't be able to put it down until you are done. I like how it uses so much detail, and how the story is told from the perspective of Katniss, the main character. If you are a fan of science fiction books with romance mixed in, then you would love to read Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

I recommend reading the first book of this series, The Hunger Games, before reading Catching Fire.

Milla, 12

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Desert Flower 

by Waris Dirie

Desert Flower coverDesert Flower was written by a well-known model Waris Dirie. The most amazing factor of this book is that this is a true story and is still as or more interesting than fiction. The reader explores the life of a circumcised woman in Somalia and all of her obstacles.

I love this book based on the fact that Waris Dirie's life as a child must have been difficult, and you explore a different country with different cultures. The type of society we pretend doesn't exist is still alive and well in other countries. This book is an eye- opener to our lack of knowledge beyond our country.

I would certainly recommend this book to older teens due to the inappropriate and intense scenes. This book truly captivates the reader and reinforces the lesson that not all of our lives will be easy and there will be challenges we must overcome. The title is a symbol, because a beautiful flower or woman like Waris can grow from anywhere, even in the desert, and still prosper.

Lauren, 16

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Night 

by Elie Wiesel
04/26/2012 Categories: holocaust survival stories

Night coverFollow Eliezer as he takes you on his frighteningly vivid journey as a victim of the Holocaust, through the thick and thin of one of the most notorious concentration camps, Auschwitz.

As it documents Elie's story (though some parts are inaccurate to his personal experience for several reasons), Night is obviously a sad book with a bittersweet ending. However, the story itself was portrayed so vividly and wonderfully that I can't help but give it full marks.

Anyone who has a taste for history and doesn't mind a sorrowful book will enjoy this, though high schoolers will get the most out of this text. Be warned that some of the horrible things that happened during the Holocaust will be described to a degree.

Erica, 16

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Lord of the Flies 

by William Golding

A band of boys get stranded on an island, away from society and everything they've ever believed in. As they stray further and further away from humanity's notion of "justice" and "law", what will save the boys in the end? If they ever get rescued, that is.

Lord of the Flies is a classic book that's pretty unconventional. It is chock-full of meaning and depth and because of that, I give it four stars. It lacks one star because I was pretty upset with the ending, but I believe that the ending makes the book THE BOOK.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who would like to challenge themselves. Most kids read this as a required book in high school, which is where I suggest you start, but if you're younger and like to really read in between the lines, go for it! Be careful though, some aspects of the book are gory and the entire story is dark as a whole.

Erica, 16

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Beauty Queens 

by Libba Bray
02/18/2012 Categories: materialism spoof survival stories

Beauty Queens coverThe contestants for Miss Teen Dream, from Miss California to Miss Maine, are on a plane, heading to their destination when something unthinkable happens: their plane crash-lands on an unidentified island, out in the middle of nowhere. With the airplane crew, camera crew, and many of the pageant queens dead, the remaining must figure out a way to get rescued, and most importantly, survive.

This book touched on a lot of controversial aspects that I didn't support, but it did really make me realize how superficial and materialistic our society is. The way the characters reacted to things was also quite unrealistic, but there were some good aspects of the book as well. (I felt like it was an interesting portrayal of a modern "Lord of the Flies".) 

Only high schoolers should read this, definitely no one younger than 15. There are some topics discussed in this book that a lot of teenagers face that are more appropriate for older teens' eyes.

Erica, 16

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Lord of the Flies 

by William Golding

Lord of the Flies coverLord of the Flies is about a plane of boys that crash onto an island and try to survive. They first start out by having a leader, but slowly they start to go insane.

I liked the book, but it was a little hard to read because of the advanced vocabulary. It was definitely psychological and dealt with a lot of hidden meanings in sentences that made you have to go back and read it again. 

I would recommend this book if you like adventurous settings. Also keep in mind this book is a challenge, and I would say that children twelve and older could read this.

Audrey, 14

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Mockingjay 

by Suzanne Collins
02/06/2012 Categories: battles dystopia romance survival stories

Mockingjay coverMockingjay is the last book in the Hunger Games series and picked up right where it left off in Catching FireMockingjay was all about the rebels and how they are trying to take over Panem and rule the country. Katniss has many decisions to make, including whether she wants Gale or Peeta. She is as determined as ever in this book to kill President Snow, but must decide if she likes President Coin!

Overall, Katniss is amazing and so is this book!! Itwas amazing and overall perfect. It was very interesting because it makes you think how nice our civilization really is. It made me think about my little sister and how much I really care about her, just like Katniss does to Prim. The book had the perfect ending!

Yes, I would recommend this series to everyone, whether you are a boy or girl! Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins, has the perfect combination of romance and fighting and is perfect for anyone!!

Chanel, 13

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Sarah's Key 

by Tatiana de Rosnay

The Jewish Starzynski family had their lives turned upside down when they were taken away by French police in the long forgotten Vel d'Hiv' roundup that took place in Paris, France during WWII. Their daughter, Sarah, hides her 4-year old brother Michel in a secret cabinet, believing that she'll be able to return and find him. Sarah's hopes are in vain when she is torn away from her parents and sent to a concentration camp. A journalist by the name of Julia Jarmond works to uncover Sarah's story and remind others of the lives lost in the Vel d'Hiv'.

Sarah's Key was one of those books that I couldn't put down. It goes back and forth between Sarah's and Julia's points of view, slowly bringing their fates together.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who are interested WWII stories and enjoyed The Diary of Anne Frank and David Faber's Because of Romek

Gillyn, 15

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The Road 

by Cormac McCarthy
12/10/2011 Categories: dystopia survival stories

The Road coverBoth a father and a son head south through desolate America after an apocalypse occurs. The father and son, both nameless throughout the story, create a false sense of hope that down south the weather will be warmer and other people will be there. Whether either truly believed it is up to the reader. The father's sole reason for remaining alive is to help show his son how to survive in a world that, for the most part, is dead.

I did enjoy reading this book because it was an amazing story that demonstrates parental love. The only thing that I did not like from this book was the mother's lack of courage to keep on living right from the start. A good example to never give up would be this father and his young son.

I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone who is mature enough to withstand some gruesome scenes that although not vividly described, are shocking. This is an easy, fast read so it would not consume much of the reader's time. I would recommend you try reading it in one sitting because it is very fast paced.

Maribel, 16

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