Escondido Public Library

 

The Alchemist

by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is about a young shepherd who has a dream of finding treasure in Egypt. After he keeps having the same dream he decides to go to Egypt. This book is about his journey there.

I liked this book because I have never read a book like it, it was really interesting to read it. Also, I liked how the main theme of the book is finding your own destiny. Many people have to decide what they're gonna do in their lives.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading books about deciding what we want to do with our lives. If you likes books about adventure and fantasy, I suggest you read this book!

Sandra, 16

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Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is about a future in America where books are burned by firemen along with the houses that are hiding books. Montag, the main character, has been a firefighter for 10 years. He has never questioned why they burn the books until he meets a 17 year old girl who tells him about the past and how no one was afraid of thinking.

I liked the book because I enjoy reading books about the future. It makes you think about how the future can be if people were to stop thinking. I like how the book had a young girl who was questioning why the future was so different from the past. It makes you think about how our present is different and sometimes worse than the past of many.

I would recommend this book to people who has ever questioned why we do things the way we do them today. Anyone who thinks about how different the future will be should read this book. Also the book is a great example of how there will always be people who will not settle for what everyone is doing and will always try to change things for the better.

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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Freakonomics

by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

This book explores unusual topics in a way that is unexpectedly revealing about the nature of society and economics. By analyzing statistics on topics such as schoolteachers cheating on standardized tests and relating that to something completely different, such as sumo wrestlers intentionally throwing matches, the reader learns not only how interesting economics can be, but how oftentimes the world is not as it seems.

I would describe this book as eye-opening. To many people, the word "economics" connotes boredom, but this book may just change your opinion. This unconventional take on economics demonstrates key principles of analysis while tackling serious themes such as human honesty and the effects of poverty.

Even if you are not typically partial to nonfiction, I would recommend this book. It is always good to expose yourself to a variety of genres. Oftentimes, we fall into the pattern of trusting our assumptions and the assumptions of others. This book is an impressive reminder that even when what is typically accepted seems reasonable, it is important that you analyze the facts for yourself. What you find may be surprising.

Julia, 17

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Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury

Established in a dystopian society, books are outlawed and "firemen" are used to burn and eliminate these books in fear of knowledge and power among people. However, one fireman named Guy Montag uncovers the secrets of society's past and the origin of these book burnings which causes him to go deeper into the history of his society. As Montag discovers more and more secrets, he finds himself more in danger of losing his family, friendship, and his identity.

Fahrenheit 451 is a classic book that I believe everyone should read, because it signifies why reading is so important and it gives us this vision of what the future may be like if technology takes over our society and our world.

I would totally recommend this book to middle school and high school students, along with young adults. This book is more geared towards teens and young adults. I feel like they would enjoy it due to the interesting plot. 

Kirsten, 15

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Eleanor and Park

by Rainbow Rowell

The novel, Eleanor and Park, tells the love story of two outsiders during the 1980's who find solace and comfort in each other's differences. Eleanor and Park is a story of family, emotional turmoil and first loves and how fleeting they truly are.

The novel, as a whole, was exceptional. The writing style is beautiful yet witty; there are no boring scenes within this book. The characters are well-developed and for the most part, quite realistic. The ending leaves a bit to be desired, but the journey easily makes up for it.

Yes, I would highly recommend this book! It was a fun and easy read. If you like coming of age stories with a slight 80's twist, you will definitely enjoy this novel! 

Hannah, 16

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Catcher in the Rye

by JD Salinger

The novel, Catcher in the Rye, tells the story of a wandering boy and his many encounters after being expelled from a prestigious private school. Set in 1950's New York, this story follows the cynical protagonist, Holden Caulfield, as he attempts to make sense of the many values of life.

The book, to sum it up in one word, was quite pretentious. Not to say that it was bad because it most certainly was not. The writing itself was masterful in its complex symbolism and metaphors. The main character, however, could be infuriating at times with most of his decisions being unrealistic at best and idiotic at worst.

The book is definitely an acquired taste. Some people may absolutely love it and some absolutely despise it. To each their own. Personally, I would recommend this book to others just so they could formulate their own opinions on it. To anyone who likes coming of age and self-discovery stories, you might want to try this one.

Hannah, 16

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Uglies

by Scott Westerfeld

Image result for uglies

Tally is a girl who can't wait to be 16, because when she does, she will be turned "pretty". Where Tally lives, everybody over the age of 16 looks the same; perfect skin, bones remade to the exact length, perfect everything. But Tally's wish is slowly crushed and turned into something else when she meets Shay, who wants Tally and her to run away to a mysterious boy in the wilderness, and never turn pretty.

I thought this book was very good and thrilling. The author seemed to have the setting in the future; where North America is long history, and the 10 billion people who lived there, 300 years before this new government and society, were called "rusties".

I would recommend this book to people if you like future-settings with some rebellion and excitement.

Cailin, 11

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I am Number Four

by Pittacus Lore

He has no name, really, or a permanent home; just Number 4, and his home was a planet in a different galaxy, that got taken over by another alien race. One month he's Broden living in Kansas, the next he's Zak in Montana. 4 has to move yet again, to stay as far away from the other alien race searching to kill him. John (which is his new name) settles in a new town in Ohio and when he finally feels at home, they come to kill him, but he and his friends fight back and stop them.

I thought it was a pretty good book. It was especially interesting with all the different alien people on Earth, with each race trying to kill each other.

If you like characters that are far different from everyone else and action, you would really like this book. This book made me want to never put it down, it was so good!

Cailin, 11

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The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen is a 16-year old girl who's job is to keep her mother, and her little sister Prim, and herself, alive. Then her whole life is changed when she volunteers to be tribute in the Hunger Games. She must fight to stay alive and play along with her fellow tribute to keep themselves alive, and be crowned victors of the games.

I thought this was a very amazing book. It shows you just how unfair things can be in life, and how diverse every person, culture, and country is different. You can also relate this book to the world, and how different and diverse everything and one is different. 

I would recommend this book to people who like action, romance, and surprises.

Cailin, 11

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Heartless

by Marissa Meyer

Catherine is a talented baker who wants to share that with all of her kingdom, Hearts. But her parents would rather her marry the king, which has been their perfect dream. But when the king's new joker, Jest, comes along, everything changes. Catherine must decide to run away with Jest, or stay and fulfill her parent's dreams.

I really enjoyed Heartless, I thought it was awesome! There was just so much action and romance and mystery, it was all so very exciting!!

Yes, I would recommend this book to, mainly girls, because it is full of action and romance and secrets.

Cailin, 11

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Cinder

by Marissa Meyer

Cinder is a cyborg who lives with her stepmother and stepsisters. One day, Cinder's stepsister Peony gets a deadly virus, and Adri (Cinder's stepmother) gets extremely upset at Cinder and signs her up for testing cures on people who are willing to volunteer. There, Cinder learns a lot about who she really is, and how she has to save the world from the Lunar people from the moon.

I really enjoyed Cinder! It was a great book, with lots of action and romance and cliff-hangers.

I would recommend this book to other girls who like romance and action with a touch of mystery.

Cailin, 11

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Catching Fire

by Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are victors of the Hunger Games, and are going on their victory tour of the 11 districts. Things don't go very well, and a few districts rebel against the Capitol. Then, for the Quarter Quell Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta (along with one male and female victor from the other 11 districts) go back into the Hunger Games. Katniss is then part of a bigger rebellion than she thought she was in and had already made.

Catching Fire was an excellent book that made the movie in my head really interesting. I like how it is told from Katniss's point of view, so you know what she is thinking and feeling about the things that are going on.

I would recommend this book to people who like action, suspense, and war. But I recommend that you read the first book, The Hunger Games, or else most parts in the book will not make sense.

Cailin, 11

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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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Dealing with Dragons

by Patricia C. Wrede

Cimorene should be happy she's a princess of a prosperous kingdom set to marry a handsome prince. There's just one little problem; it's all incredibly boring. Cimorene is not interested in what is proper behavior for a princess. She wants to have adventure and excitement so on the advice of a unlikely adviser she sets off to get one.

Dealing with Dragons is an amazing book with interesting characters who defy the stereotypes and challenge the normal fairy tale in almost every way. The book is eloquently written full of magic fantasy and adventure.

I read this book a long time ago and just decided to reread it and was surprised by how much I still love it. Dealing with dragons has interesting characters and plot and is probably one of my top 15 favorite book series. I recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy and adventure.

Isabella, 14

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