Escondido Public Library

 

The Outsiders

by S.E. Hilton

A 16 year old boy named Ponyboy has lived with his brothers since his parents died. He is part of a gang, and one day everything changes. His friend,Johnny, kills a member of a rival gang. The book is through Ponyboy's perspective and it details what happens after his friend kills someone.The boys have been exposed to violence their whole lives and now have to face life alone after they run away.

I really like this book, because the main character Ponyboy, has to deal with so much at such a young age. The book makes you think about how many young boys and girls are exposed to violence and have to deal with losing their parents. It was an emotional book, and has a strong message. The book teaches about the differences in society and how violence is a big problem.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has not experienced violence in their life so that they have an idea of what it's like. Honestly, I think everyone should read this book because it's emotional and makes you think about how young kids have to sometime take care of themselves while they deal with violence and pain.

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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Outliers

by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell talks about how being a genius isn't always the only way to succeed. In his book, he talks about patterns in studies about people who are successful. He mentions outliers, people who are different than most and how they are able to succeed.

I really liked this book because it made me think about how some people have more advantages and opportunities to succeed. Also, it's interesting to read about those patterns that have to do with how people are born and how that determines whether someone will be successful.

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes reading books that deal with psychology and success. I like the way the author makes the book seem personal and it can connect to many people.

Sandra, 16

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The Old Man and the Sea

by Ernest Hemingway

In this book, an old aging fisherman named Santiago, battles against a large marlin. The book takes place off the coast of Florida. Its starts with Santiago not being able to catch a fish for 84 days, when he claims his unluckiness. The story continues as he comes across the large marlin.

I really liked this book because it deals with the struggle between man and nature. Also I thought it was an interesting idea to put a man and an animal against each other.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading books that contain significant symbols in everyday things. If you haven't read anything about man vs nature, this is something to try!

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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Of Mice and Men

by John Steinbeck

Two migrant workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, move from place to place in California looking for jobs during the Great Depression. George is a smart but uneducated man while Lennie is a big man with special needs.The men eventually find a job, but soon things go bad after Lennie accidentally kills a man's wife.

I liked the book because it had a surprising ending. I never would have thought the author would have his characters have a dream that would not succeed. The dream was an important part of the book because many people's dreams are crushed because of unexpected events.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading about the Great Depression. If you like reading books with unexpected endings, you would really read this book.

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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The Lovely Bones

by Alice Sebold

A a 14 year old girl is kidnapped, raped and murdered. She goes to "heaven" and has to watch her family and friends deal with her death and find out who killed her. She also has to accept what has happened to her and move on.

I really liked this book, it was interesting how the author made the girl go to her own heaven. It was a very emotional book and it's heartbreaking how she has to watch her family but she can't talk to them ever again. It's sad but it's hard to put down.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes books about crime and murder. If you like books about how families and friends deal with the loss of someone close to them you should read this book. It really hard to put down once you start reading.

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

A group of young school boys are stranded on an island with no adults. The boys try to achieve order and govern themselves but things don't go as planned. They soon find themselves fighting for power.

I liked this book because it was an interesting concept about how children would react if they were stuck on an island with no adult supervision. It really makes you think about what will happen to anyone if they were stuck alone with no way to go home.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in how power is sometimes deadly. Also, if you are interested in how young boys deal with problems and how having power changes them but not for the better.

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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Lone Survivor

by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson

Lone survivor is based on a true story. It is about four U.S navy seals whose mission was to capture or kill an al Qaeda leader in 2005. Unfortunately they are outnumbered and soon only one of those navy seals is alive. This book is Marcus Luttrell's survivor story, in it he describes what happens to the other Navy seals and what he had to go through in order to survive.

This book had a strong impact on me. It shows how many people risk their lives for our country. I thought the book was really emotional and it's heartbreaking because that man had to see his partners/friends killed in front him. He then had to live with knowing only he survived.

If you would like to educate yourself on how other people do heroic things for our country, check this book out. It reminds you to keep our troops in you thoughts and prayers for what they go through to keep us safe. If you like reading about survivors and true stories you should really read this book.

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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The Kite Runner

by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner is about two boys, Amir and Hassan. Amir is the son of a weathly family, while Hassan is the son of a servant. For years boys were best of friends until one day, Amir wanted nothing to do with Hassan. Not long after, something terrible happens to Hassan. Amir witnessed this terrible act done to Hassan buy stays quiet.

I loved this book. it was really emotional and hard to read because of how the author described how one of the boys went through a very traumatic situation. The book was well written and probably one of the best books I've read. The author captures the innocence of the boys before everything bad happened and he clearly showed the pain each had to go through.

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes reading dramatic heartbreaking books. If you like crying when you read a book you should read this one. The author was able to write about the struggles each boys went through and how that affected their future lives.

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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It's Kind of a Funny Story

by Ned Vizzini

Craig Gilbert is a 15 year old boy who attends a prestigious high school. He soon starts feeling overwhelmed, starts using pot and becomes depressed with suicidal thoughts. He is then admitted into a hospital where he makes friends and discovers he is good at drawing. At the end, he leaves after learning to appreciate the little things that make him happy.

I really liked this book because it deals with depression and I can relate to how the main character felt overwhelmed over school. It made me think about little things that make me happy and how easy it is to fall into depression without happiness.

I think this book should be read by everyone. I think a lot of people can relate to this book, especially teens. We all need to keep in mind that everyone gets down sometimes and we have the power to help that person, even if it's just talking. 

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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The Glass Castle

by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle is a memoir, written by Jeannette Walls. In this book, Walls explains what it was like growing up in poverty. She recounts how her siblings and she had to live with parents who were not the type of parents to be raising so many kids. Her childhood included many difficult times that shaped her into the person she became.

I liked this book because the author had to see so many things in her childhood that many kids shouldn't see. She had to live with two parents who were not in any condition to raise children. It made me think about how lucky I am to have been raised by good parents and not to have grow up as the author did.

I think people of all ages should read this book. It makes you become aware of situations that happen everyday that you might not think about. You sympathize with the author and her siblings and what they went through. This was a very inspiring read!

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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The Crucible

by Arthur Miller

The Crucible is a play about the Salem witch trials. It's about a girl named Abigail Williams who claims she and other girls were possessed by the ladies in the town who are witches. Abigail does all this because he wants John Proctor's wife to be executed so she can have him to herself. Eventually many people are arrested because of Abigail's lies, some are even executed.

I liked this play because it makes you think about how fear is very powerful. People are willing to say and do many things out of fear. The author wrote the play in response to McCarthyism and I thought it really showed how people believe what they want without any proof. This play is an example of how fear can spread and cause people to overreact.

If you like reading about the Salem witch trials, I recommend you trying this book.

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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Between the World and Me

by Ta-nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me is letter that the author is writing to his 15 year old son. He writes about his life experiences growing up as a black male in America. He argues the dangers of being a young black male and the relationships between violence and race. In this book, Coates wants not just his son to take something from it but he wants society to read it and understand how life is for a black person in America.

I thought this was an amazing book! It talks about how society has viewed black people and how it continues to view them as inferior. The author writes his book to his son but it wasn't meant just for him. I learned a lot about how difficult it is to be black and to be viewed as less than human just because of the color of your skin. It's a powerful book and I really enjoyed it.

I would recommend this book to those "privileged" people who have never experienced racism. Anyone who isn't black should read this book because it really makes you aware of how society has treated people just because of how they look. The book allows people to have an idea of what it must be like to have to live in a body that one can't control. In this case, how to live as a black male in a world where everyone controls what happens to that person.

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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Better Off Friends

by Elizabeth Eulberg

Better Off Friends is a book about two teenagers who meet when they are in 7th grade.They are named Mccallan and Levi. They continue to be friends convinced that they can remain friends without having feelings for each other. Eventually they realize that maybe they won't be better off just friends.

I like this book because it's entertaining and really easy to read. It's a normal romance novel that has a good plot and interesting characters. The author doesn't try to over complicate anything, the book is just a fun easy book to read.

I would recommend this book if you are looking for an fun romance book. If you like romance novels and books that take place in high school you should try this one out!

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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Before I Fall

by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall is about a 17 year old girl named Samantha Kingston who is killed in a car accident. She if forced to relive her death every day for a week. As she figures out what is happening, she tries to change her fate. She starts doing new things each day, things she would have never done before.

I really liked the book because it's an interesting plot to have to relive the day of your death. It really teaches how we have to live every day to the fullest without taking advantage of others or being a bully.

If you like books that deal with the five stages of grief, I recommend this book . Also if you like the theme of live vs. death you should read the book. 

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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As I Lay Dying

by William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying is a story that is narrated by 15 different people through 59 chapters. The main focus of the story is the death of Addie Bundren and her families motivations to honor her wish of being buried in her hometown.

I liked the book! I loved how the author wrote 15 different perspectives, making the reader think about how different we interpret things. Also I liked how death was a big center of the story, I thought that was interesting.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading books about how people deal with death. Also if you like the theme of death and isolation between families I suggest this book.

Sandra, 16

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