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Horsefeathers: & Other Curious Words 

by Charles E. Funk
09/23/2017 Categories: non-fiction

This book isn't just a story, it's better! It's a bunch of little ones combined into one book! It is filled with different sayings throughout history. To list a few(If you don't know, Google it.): Joe-Pye Weed Butterscotch Belladonna Nuthatch and Earwig.

I think that the words are very interesting, and I am very fond of my class--English, and I think it is a great way of expanding your vocab, and blowing people's mind when you do.

I believe that everyone should read this book, like I said earlier, it is a great book for more understanding of uncommon words most people don't even use.

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 

by Ransom Riggs
09/23/2017 Categories: horror mystery

This book is about a troubled sixteen year old boy named Jacob who goes to an island because he is drawn to the land of Wales. There, is where he finds out the crumbling abandoned mansion that was once a place of peace for peculiar children. Miss Peregrine sends a couple of kids to get Jacob, and help him explore the odd past of the mansion, and the story of Miss Peregrine's home(mansion) for peculiar children will unwind. . .

I think this book was a great coming-to-age story like Harry Potter. This book is frighteningly good. With pictures throughout, and each have a unique story behind it. The author did a really good job of explaining Jacob's story. The only thing that bothers me is that there is excessive cursing in it. Or in other words, 'This world isn't perfect. Nor are the books.'

I recommend this book to those who enjoy looking at pictures, and reading text that makes you think about what you think the word 'peculiar' means. Unique children with different abilities. 

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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Divergent 

by Veronica Roth
09/23/2017 Categories: dystopia romance sci fi

Beatrice Prior is a unique character. She grew up in one of many factions. Abnegation is a value found in her parents and brother, but not her. To be Abnegation is to be selfless. Beatrice finds it difficult to fit into her own family. After taking an an aptitude test, and discovering that she is in fact, different, Beatrice is faced with a new problem: Who is she? What faction will she pick at the Choosing Ceremony?'

I enjoyed this book because it really expresses the beauty of being different, and maybe even helping you find yourself. Imagine yourself as one of the teens at the Choosing Ceremony. What virtues do you most relate to? 

Everyone should read this. Despite some romantic text, this is a truly great story. 

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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The Dream Giver 

by Bruce H. Wilkinson

Meet Ordinary, he lives in a place where everyone lives in the Comfort Zone, and everyone is the same. Until one day, Ordinary decides to leave the Land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream, no matter the Border Bullies that block his true potential.

I think this book is a great reminder that anyone could achieve their dreams. Even though there will be some roadblocks, we can always think our way through the problem, not around. It is a fantastic book that will question your way of thinking, and it will help you explore yourself and your values.

Everyone should seriously read this great book. Anyone who wants to expand their horizons, and create a different way of thinking. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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Nancy Drew: The Secret Of The Old Clock 

by Carolyn Keene
09/20/2017 Categories: mystery

I have to be honest to you, I have lots of these stacked in my room. All of them have a unique case that is different from the last one. Old books are my fave, and for Nancy Drew, it just kind of stuck. I would say you'd start with the very first book which is The Secret of the Old Clock!

I really, really like this series. It is the most fantastic series which goes on for forever, and Nancy Drew herself is an interesting character. She has a different way of thinking, and she is the daughter of the police sheriff, so don't mess with her. . .

Everyone is able to read the book, and those who are willing to try new things and be an exotic reader, I recommend Nancy Drew. I would be awesome if you guys tried this book!


Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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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 Overachievers: The Secret Life of Driven Kids 

by Alexandra Robbins

Image result for The Overachievers: The Secret Life of Driven KidsThis book is a thrilling non-fictional piece that highlights the lives of nine upperclassmen at Walt Whitman High School. We journey with these students through the stress of their hectic academic schedules, their equally ambitious parents, and their internal struggles. The college admissions process is always present, and it makes you feel just as trapped as the students that go through it. See what it is like to be the Superstar, the Perfectionist, the Workhorse, the Teacher's Pet, the Slacker, the Meathead, the Flirt, the Popular Girl, and the Stealth Overachiever as they give us a glimpse of their overachieving lives.

This book is very interesting because it gives the reader a behind-the-scenes perspective on the overachieving culture that many high school students across America are a part of today. I like the fact that instead of seeing this world from one perspective, you get perspective from nine different people that are well-trained in the field.

Every high school student should pick up this book at some point, as well as parents, counselors, high schools, and colleges. If you are involved in any educational environment at all, or even if you just like to read for pleasure, this book is for you.

Anna, 14

Rating: 

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Sense and Sensibility 

by Jane Austen
09/07/2017 Categories: classic dating drama romance siblings

This book details the trials and tribulations in the love lives of the Dashwood sisters. The eldest sister, Eleanor, is logical, reasonable and levelheaded, while Marianne, the younger sister, is emotional, passionate, and romantic. Eleanor finds herself in love with an engaged man, while Marianne is pining after a local rascal.

I liked this story a lot because it kept me on the edge of my seat. Jane Austen novels are wildy unpredictable, but always possess a happy ending.

I definitely recommend this book to others because of its dynamic plot. If you like classic love stories or other Jane Austen books, Sense and Sensibility is perfect for you.

Bethany, 15

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The Sun Also Rises 

by Ernest Hemingway
09/06/2017 Categories: classic france romance

The Sun Also Rises chronicles the disillusionment of American expatriates in post-World War I Europe. Jake Barnes, Lady Brett Ashley, and their friends travel to Pamplona, Spain to observe the bull-fighting. Hapless Jake continuously pines after the beautiful, charming Brett, though she hops from one man to another.

I liked this book. Hemingway's style of writing is very different from what I have read before, with his short, declarative sentences. His point comes across very promptly, yet poignantly. The story itself is very short, yet full of meaning, which I really enjoyed.

I would recommend this book to others due to its exciting, ever-changing storyline. This novel is a good read for those that like the classics.

Bethany, 15

Rating: 

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This Side of Paradise 

by F. Scott Fitzgerald
09/06/2017 Categories: classic world war I

Image result for this side of paradiseThis novel describes life during the Jazz Age through the eyes of the egotistical Amory Blaine. The story follows the course of his life through his adolescent years, through Princeton University, and ends at a crossroads in Amory's career. Along this journey, Amory falls in love with many mysterious, charming "flappers" who leave him heartbroken, yet thrilled.

I enjoyed this book, however the plot progression was slightly slowed by Fitzgerald's vivid descriptions. I really liked the illustrative writing because I could clearly picture the plot events, as if I were Amory himself.

I would definitely recommend this book to others due to its rich and descriptive plot. If you like other classic novels, then you should read this book.

Bethany, 15

Rating: 

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InkHeart 

by Cornelia Funke
08/24/2017 Categories: magic

This fantastic book is about two people, Meggie and Mortimer. If you think books are cool, just wait till you read this book, and you'll think the thought of reading aloud differently from now on. Mortimer is called a Silver Tongue. One who has super-cool powers to read stuff out from books. Hold on, bare with me, this evil man, Capricorn wants to destroy the book Inkheart(that was the book he was from) so no one could read him back to his past. One man though, Dustfinger, wants to go back into the book to his family, but soon finds out that if one person goes in, another comes out. That is what happened to Mo's wife. He was reading a book to Meggie when she was younger(Inkheart), and he read out these thugs and Capricorn. Soon to realize, his wife was gone.

It was amazing! I could so write more on what happens, but for now, please read this. You'll love it. Anyone could read it. The author also wrote many other good books, and this one is the start of a three-book series. The first is always my favorite. Pretty please read this book and write a review!

EVERYONE should DEFINITELY read this awesome tale!

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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Ten 

by Gretchen McNeil
08/24/2017 Categories: horror murder mystery

This book is about ten teens are invited to Henry Island vacation home for a three-day party. The popular girl in school invites a mix of teenagers to her little party. Little did they know, of the consequences of their past. Meg and her friend Minnie are the main highlights of the story. The very night they are at the house, one of the boys, Ben, almost dies of allergies. Someone sprinkled nuts on his salad, and he was soon suffocating. Meg helps him get back to normal, but little do they know, what comes next. Confusion with a CD, red paint smeared on the wall, one by one, the teens begin to die in a specific, and orderly(With the help of a creepy diary from a dead girl.). . .

Gretchen McNeil's Ten is a gripping tale that is somewhat related to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, except teen version. Despite the lack of proper language, this story is sure to keep you at the edge of your seat from chapter one, to the end. Once you find out who the killer is, and his/her purpose, you are sure to unconsciously look at your 6 and 12, after anticipating this terrifying tale.

I would personally recommend this book to those who yearn for a great thriller, and those who understand the troubled teenager's problems: boy confusion, who-dates-who, the terrible I-Think-Your-My-Boyfriend-Even-Though-In-Reality-Your-Not, and the typical triangle of love. This book has some bad words just to let you know. Read this if you have a chance, and tell me what you think!
 

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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The Darkness of Dragons 

by Tui T. Sutherland
08/24/2017 Categories: adventure fantasy magic

In the next book of the series, Wings of Fire, a two-thousand year old NightWing named Darkstalker has risen from his prison, where he had been buried by his best friend and forever sweetheart. Now he is out and free, rampaging all around Pyrrhia for revenge and world-conquering time. Only six dragonets stand in his way: Kinkajou, Moon, Anemone, Winter, Turtle, and Qibli. This story stars Qibli, a SandWing, while he battles Darkstalker in ways he would never have guessed, face his darkest fears, and battle himself from within.

I was really impressed with this book because the plot is so well thought-out and the characters really well developed. It's also really fascinating to be inside Qibli's brain--he is always thinking at high speeds--because he can read dragons like a scroll and it's interesting to know what he reads off them. Also the book puts fundamental morals into play, and questions the gray areas. Its really cool to read about how Qibli and his friends battle and defeat Darkstalker, because it's a way you would never expect, nor see coming.

I would absolutely recommend this book, The Darkness of Dragons, to anyone who likes a character that's can be related to, has secrets to his past that still need to be found out, and is incredibly, incredibly smart and kind. It's also a good book for people who want to see the bad guy be defeated after several books of him running around unchecked, and who like to think deeply about moral questions such as 'Is it right to take a dark path or murder and oppress when at the end of the road, the world will be a much better, brighter place?'

Keila, 14

Rating: 

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens 

by Sean Covey
08/23/2017 Categories: non-fiction self-help

In this book, Sean Covey lists the seven good habits that teenagers should adopt for an improved life. He includes most of the typical troubles that people face during their teenage years. 

I liked that Covey wrote this book to help troubled teens make positive changes in their lives. He covered self-image, peer pressure, family and friend relationships, and life goals. Despite his good intentions as a writer, I felt that Covey missed some important aspects of a "troubling" life that some teenagers might face. Most of the tips he gave only applied to teens with an ideal life: financially stable home with caring but strict parents. I felt like he didn't include any problems that teens in more severe situations were going through. While reading this book, I felt like he oversimplified the issues that some teens face and gave vague or counterproductive solutions to his readers. 

This book claims to be the "ultimate teenage success guide," but it only covers a limited number of problems that may only apply to teens in an ideal home. Another issue with this book is that a teenager fighting with his parents over going to a party versus a teenager fighting with his parents over making more money to support the family are two very different things. Covey offers one solution for both of these problems even though his tips may only help the first teenager. Because his solutions are too broad and simple, I wouldn't recommend this to friends who are going through serious problems such as poverty, depression, or bullying. 

Heejeong, 18

Rating: 

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 

by Mark Haddon
08/23/2017 Categories: mystery older teens

In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the narrator is a young boy named Christopher Boone who has an unspecified mental condition where he lacks social skills. When Christopher discovers his neighbor's dog murdered with a pitchfork, he tries to find the person responsible.

In the book, there were parts that made me feel frustrated because he didn't understand the gravity of the situations that he was placed in. His character was very hard to sympathize with because of his inability to understand human emotions. That's why in many cases throughout the book, Christopher was rather hurtful to the people around him, and maybe even selfish. Despite Christopher's disability, he was really passionate about mathematics. I really liked that he had a dream of being an astronaut, and how in the end, he realized his potential to become anything he wanted.

This is a mystery novel that I would recommend to middle school students and up. Haddon wrote with very simple language but because he wrote it in the style of the book's protagonist, Christopher, the sentences seem detached and almost monotone, which makes it harder to read. I think the content about Christopher's disorder and the secrets that his father kept from him may be difficult for younger readers to understand as well.

Heejeong, 18

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