Categories

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 

by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter finds out on his 11th birthday, that he is a wizard and can finally escape his horrible aunt and uncle. He is now set to attend Hogwarts, a school for wizards. Harry is known all around the wizarding world as the Boy Who Lived. He has to face difficult obstacles with his two best friends, who help him along the way.

Harry Potter finds out on his 11th birthday, that he is a wizard and can finally escape his horrible aunt and uncle. He is now set to attend Hogwarts, a school for wizards. Harry is known all around the wizarding world as the Boy Who Lived. He has to face difficult obstacles with his two best friends, who help him along the way.

I liked this book because it is a thrilling story that makes you imagine a world where magic is real. The book is full of twists and turns, and it leaves you guessing until the very end.

I would recommend this book to people who are looking for a fantasy to read, people who love reading about magic, or someone looking for a suspenseful book.

Natalie, 14

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Looking for Alaska 

by John Green
03/26/2016 Categories: funny high school drama suspense

Miles Halter is a teenage boy from Florida who decides to spend his junior year of high school at Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama. He says that he is going to seek the "great perhaps," something more than himself. Everything changes for Miles when he meets Alaska Young, a girl with a troubled past. The book takes Miles and his new friends on an unforgettable journey that teaches them about the greater truths the world holds.

Looking for Alaska is one of the best books I've ever read. It makes you consider how in a flash, your entire life could change. It is extremely inspirational and well written. The characters in the book were so detailed and I almost felt like I knew them.

I would definitely recommend this book to young people, teens especially. I think that teenagers will definitely be able to relate to at least one aspect of the book. If you like stories that are emotional and about life, then Looking for Alaska is something you would enjoy.

Alex, 15

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Geek: A Fantasy Novel 

by E. Archer
03/25/2016 Categories: adventure fantasy funny

There is a world where wishes do come true. All you need is a magical fairy godmother, Meet Ralph, your average tech geek. There is nothing special about him, except for one fact: He is forbidden from making a wish. This rule becomes apparent when he meets his Great Aunt Chessie, who happens to be able to grant wishes. Soon Ralph finds himself embarking on all sorts of wish-adventures, all of them dangerous. The question asked though, is if he will survive to tell the tales.

 

This book had all the great idea in it. The only thing that was lacking was how the story was told. The narration was poor. Although this migh be intentional, it still took away from the overvall effect of the story.

 

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy fantasy (or those who enjoy exploding dust bunnies).

 

Hieu, 16

 

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Of Sound Mind 

by Jean Ferris
10/12/2015 Categories: family drama handicaps realistic fiction

Theo, who is a senior in high school, is the only hearing son of deaf parents. He meets a new girl at school, Ivy, and discovers that she is in a similar situation as him, as her dad is deaf but she is hearing. Theo's dedication to his family and Ivy is put to the test in various circumstances.

Of Sound Mind was a very intriguing book because it gave insight into Deaf Culture. I enjoy how loving and relatable the characters are in this story.

If you want to learn a little bit about Deaf Culture yet still get connected and fall in love with characters, you'd love Of Sound Mind by Jean Ferris.

Janae, 16

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The Grapes of Wrath 

by John Steinbeck
10/12/2015 Categories: adventure classic realistic fiction

The Grapes of Wrath follows the Joad family as they try to escape the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma by heading out west to California to try to make a new life. Ma, Pa, and Tom carry the rest of the family, along with Jim Casy, as they face the hardships and cruelness of migrants heading west, dealing with the law, religion, and social interactions that the define the Joad's and the rest of the migrants. The unity of love and community and the idea of a whole rather than individuality during the harsh times is seen through out Steinbeck's work.

This book is one of my favorites, as it depicts the hardships of people who are trying to make a living in a fast paced society such as America. Also, how Steinbeck was able to capture what was going on in the era the book was written about through people that were going through it. The use of multiple symbols and motifs are what really made me think and what Steinbeck intended and they way he made everything fall into place.

This novel is for those who like the seriousness side of books rather than the over zealous books. This is for those who are moved by words and what is happening in their society that is affecting them. If you want to see change in questionable parts of your society, then The Grapes of Wrath will positively motivate you in doing so.

Anthony, 16

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Tuesdays with Morrie 

by Mitch Albom
10/12/2015 Categories: inspirational true stories

Tuesdays with Morrie is a final lesson between Morrie, a college professor, and one of his students, Mitch Albom, who is the author of the memoir. All the keys to life are mentioned between this pair, topics ranging from marriage, love, death, and the various aphorisms on life are said by Morrie, as he is facing death during the enrollment of the memoir.

How life should be perceived and challenged is what truly made me really like this book. It made me rethink the way I live my life and what was happening around me in a very positive and benevolent manner. Morrie's ability to live life even when he said he was already dead made me want to advance in a life full of accomplishment and success, that is why this book is motivating.

I would recommend this to anyone who is struggling in their lives and who are searching for ways to smooth it out. If you are into the beauty of life, then this book will surely change the way in which you think and live. This book will teach you many lessons and it will help in everyday life situations. 

Anthony, 16

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Into the Wild 

by Jon Krakauer
10/12/2015 Categories: adventure identity true stories

Chris McCandless takes a one way trip into the Alaskan wilderness, in which Jon Krakauer documents the journey from when it began to when the untimely death came to be. Krakauer, restates what occurred in Chris's journey, from meeting the people he met during hitchhiking, the various jobs he acquired, and the numerous places he stopped before heading into the wilderness.

Overall, the book was impressive in various ways. The organization in which the book was written is interesting and opening as it develops into further detail. Also, how the author established his credibility by mentioning a similar trip to that of Chris's trip, and how they both had the same desire in life. But most of all, I like how Jon Krakauer defends McCandless on why he did what he did, that it was part of human nature.

If you have a desire for exploration and the wilderness, then this book will sure give you some tips on how to properly do it and what the consequences are, both good and bad. Also, if you are a young adult who has desire to do something desperately, then this book would sure change the mentality and the way of approaching the desire.

Anthony, 16

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Lord Sunday 

by Garth Nix
10/12/2015 Categories: adventure fantasy magic suspense

Image result for lord sundayLord Sunday is the conclusion to a seven-book series, where Arthur Penhaligon has to save Earth, and the new world he was thrown into. He has defeated most of the people in his way, and Lord Sunday is the last one to remain. He is also the strongest, and Arthur finds him to be the most difficult to defeat. The ending of this book is a major twist from what was expected, and leaves you wondering what happens next.

I liked this book very much, because it was exciting to read, and made you feel like you were actually there. There was also a lot of suspense and surprises throughout, which made it interesting to read.

I would recommend this to others who like to read suspenseful books, and enjoy plot twists near endings. People who like books who leave you thinking would enjoy this as well. The ending is a bit sad, so if sadder endings aren't for you, you might not like this book.

Natalie, 14

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Superior Saturday 

by Garth Nix
10/12/2015 Categories: adventure fantasy magic suspense

Image result for superior saturdaySuperior Saturday is about a boy, Arthur Penhaligon, who is trying to save the parallel universe that he was thrown into. In order to do that, he must defeat Lady Saturday and take a key from her. To find the key, he must use the previous ones he has gathered and attempt to find the "Will," an entity that will assist him. He must also come to terms with transforming away from humanity, and having to become the hero he never wanted to be.

This book was an interesting one to read, because it really goes into the magic of the other world, how things worked and how easy it was to break. The different perspectives also made it interesting, while also adding to the suspense.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy suspenseful books, and/or find it easy to follow multiple perspectives throughout the book. If the sudden changes are hard to follow for you, it might not be the right book for you.

Natalie, 14

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The Mysterious Benedict Society 

by Trenton Lee Stewart
10/12/2015 Categories: adventure mystery sci fi

This book was about a man named Leopathdra Curtain who invents a machine called the Whisperer. Mr. Benedict, his brother who invented the Reciever, puts together a team of children to go to his school, the Institute, and stop him. The kids names are Constance, Kate, Reynie, and Sticky (George).

It was good because of how it projected the future. I liked it because it was like a science fiction book and mystery in one. It had a few futuristic machines like the Whisperer which can project thoughts into people's minds and make them think certain phrases.

I would recommend this book because it has cliffhangers between chapters, it leaves off at a exciting part. People who like mysteries should enjoy this book. It has parts that science fiction lovers would like. One example is that a machine can do a brain sweep and erase all memories. That type of machine hasn't been invented yet!

Stone, 13

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Sir Thursday 

by Garth Nix
10/05/2015 Categories: fantasy magic

Image result for sir tuesday garth nixSir Thursday is about a boy, Arthur Penhaligon, who is on a quest to save the world as he knows it. He has to venture into a different dimension (known as the "House") in order to protect his family and the earth, with the help of his new found friends, and find Keys that are the "key" to saving the universe. He has since been drafted into an otherworldly army, and must learn how to survive on his own.

Sir Thurday was an interesting book to read, because it was full of suspense, and kept you guessing throughout the story. I liked how the chapters were all told in third person, but from different vantage points throughout. The main character was also easy to sympathize with, as he started out as a normal person, like ourselves, but changes as the story continues.

I would recommend this book to people who like to read stories with a bit of mystery to them, and when everything isn't revealed to you right away. The books would also be good for anyone who likes suspenseful plots, and an action filled story line. The change in perspectives could be confusing to some people, so if you don't like the shifts, it might not be a good book for you.

Natalie, 14

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The Wonder of All Things 

by Jason Mott

The people of Stone Temple, North Carolina have only a matter of seconds to cope with a tragic plane crash before they are faced with an even more earth-shattering realization; Ava, the sheriff's daughter, has healed someone with nothing more than the touch of her hands. This book centers around the life of thirteen year-old Ava and those of the people close to her in Stone Temple as they deal with not only the tragedy of the crash, but the international spotlight brought on by the girl deemed a Miracle Child. Jason Mott's The Wonder of All Things is a book that deals with more than just the miracles that surround us.

This book includes a discussion on a wide variety of topics that most books fall short on even covering. Similar to all of those dystopian YA novels publishers are intent on mass producing, this book features a young, average girl that no one seems to think much of; until of course everyone makes her out to be a miracle-maker. Mott, however, does not make out his young protagonist to be the only readable character in this tale; her friends and family face many struggles that are deeply rooted in the past and surface in light of the more recent dilemma. Through all of this, we see a picture of people who face the same trials we all do; whether it's the lack of autonomy in youth, grief, or mental illness, this novel displays them in a way that many can relate to.

The Wonder of All Things is a book that begs to be read in one sitting; the story is intriguing, the relationships are realistic (even if the characters occasionally lack depth), and the message has an impact. For those who are interested in books that subtly question that meaning of humanity, this book is for you. 

Melina, 16

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The Pluto Project 

by Melissa Glenn Haber
10/05/2015 Categories: action bullying friendship spies

As his home life spirals downward and hope for a romance sputters out, thirteen-year-old Alan Green tries to convince his friends that their spying game has uncovered a real conspiracy to assassinate the governor.

I thought this book was quite interesting. I like how the code words in the game change into very serious interpretations leading into a possible conclusion.

I would recommend this book to those who love spy type books as well as interpersonal relations. This book is simply well-written. 

Melissa, 13

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Shutout 

by Brendan Halpin
10/05/2015 Categories: friendship realistic fiction soccer

Image result for shutout by brendan halpinFourteen-year-old Amanda and her best friend Lena start high school looking forward to playing on the varsity soccer team, but when Lena makes varsity and Amanda only makes junior varsity, their long friendship rapidly changes.

I really liked this because it showed how friendships could change after decisions are made. I liked it because it was a real-life example.

I recommend this book to all because its a friendship crisis. For those interested in soccer stories this book is definitely for you 

Melissa, 13

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Pretty Crooked 

by Elisa Ludwig
10/05/2015 Categories: romance social classes suspense

Willa, a 15 year old teenager, moves to Arizona and starts going to a private school thanks to the paintings her mother has been selling. Fortunately, Willa befriends Cherise, a girl who belongs to a popular group. Willa then decides to start stealing money from rich kids and starts giving it to three other girls who are bullied based on the way they dress.

I personally liked this book because there is suspense, and a bit of action. I also liked it because there were a lot of cliff hangers and it made me want to read the next book in the series right away.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a book full of suspense, friendship, romance, and action. 

Diana, 14

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