Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson has switched from many schools. Teachers think he is a troublemaker. Things happen to him as if it were all an ancient Greek myth. While he is on a field trip, he met one of the Kindly Ones, or so he would come to call them by. The gods then find out that Zeus’s lightning bolt is missing. Zeus thinks that Percy has taken it. However, someone else has. Percy has been told that he is on a quest to seek this lightning bolt and return it back to Zeus before the Summer Solstice. Percy runs into so many traps that the Kindly Ones have set up for them to miss the Summer Solstice. Percy uses his sea power he inherited from his father to help him and his friends along the way.

I would recommend this book to someone that enjoys fantasy and in ancient Greek history. I hope that whoever reads it will find it as interesting as I have.

Kevin C. - 7th grader

Friday, December 12, 2008

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

If you like suspense, UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld, is for you. It is
about this girl named Tally. In the beginning Tally is visiting an old
friend named, Peris, who lives in Prettytown. On Tally’s way back to
Uglyville she runs into this girl named Shay. Shay and Tally become
friends. Shay teaches Tally how to hoverboard. Tally and Shay sneak out
to the Rusty Ruins. Shay tells Tally about this mysterious guy named
David who brings city kids to this place called the smoke. The day of
Tally’s birthday when she is about to get her operation (to make Tally
pretty) she finds out she can’t have it because Shay ran away. Tally is
sent to find the smoke and betray her best friend.

I think UGLIES is a really great book. I recommend his book to girls who
need a good book to read. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

Jada M. -- 7th grader

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hidden Talents by David Lubar

Hidden Talents is a book filled with jubilation and delirium. Although it's science fiction, it makes you feel like you're actually there. It hooks you from the beginning and holds your attention all the way through to the last page. Martin, a child that was kicked out of basically every school, now ends up in Edgeview Alternative School, a school for juvenile delinquents and trouble makers. There, he has to overcome his ability to see inside other's minds and make anger overcome them. He and his friends all have different special talents. Besides them, nobody else knows. To find out if Martin and the others survive Edgeview you must read the book!

I would definetly recommend this book! It can be enjoyed by any gender. It's also a Battle of the Books book. This book is for anyone who enjoys getting in trouble, action, or a mystery. It kept us on the edge of our seats the entire time and we laughed out loud. A great book for partner reading.

Bella and Lauren- 7th graders

Hidden Talents by David Lubar

Hidden Talents was one of the most entertaining book I have ever read. This book was about thirteen-year-old Martin Anderson, who gets kicked out of every school he has tried to go to because of his trash-talking. He is transfered to Edgeview Alternative School for delinquents and misfits. He meets a group of weird friends and discovers something very interesting about each one of them.

I loved this book from the very start because it is comical and mysterious at the same time. In order to understand each part, you have to read on. I loved it, and maybe you will too!

Tatyana M.
Grade 7

Stones in Water By Donna Jo Napoli

How would you react if you snuck off to see a movie one afternoon and never went home? Instead you are taken to a forced labor camp and made to build runways and holding pens for the Nazis. In Stones and Water, this happens to Roberto, his brother, and his two friends, Samuel and Memo. The boys have to eat raw eggs and sleep outside in harsh winter weather. When they are caught, they are sent to northern Ukraine in the middle of the winter. It is there that they escape but not before one of them DIES. Then he has to attempt to get home to Italy and narrowly avoid dangers along the way home.

This is a fine Holocaust book.I would recommend this book to anyone who loves war novels. This is a Battle of the Books book. In my opinion, this is a book for boys.

Sean M. -8th grader

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

How would you like to be the son of a god and a mortal? Well, Percy Jackson is a normal kid living a normal life in New York, until the field trip. He is a 12 year old boy expelled from so many schools he can't even keep track. He lives with his mother and his stepfather, Gabe, and they hate each other. Percy can't even understand why his mother even married him. Anyways, while he is at the museum he is attacked by one of the Kindly Ones, Hade's henchmen. From then on , some lightning fast events turn Percy's life upside-down. Now, he will have to embark on a daring quest with two friends to bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus, and if he fails, and he will unleash the fury of the Gods on the world.

I loved this book because it is part fiction, part science fiction. This book has so many unpredictable twists and turns, you'll never know where this book is headed. Also, this book has so much tension, you'll be unable to put this book down until you learn what has become of the trio, and by then, a new twist would have occurred! Also, this is a Battle of the Books book.

8th grade

Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements

Things Not Seen is a book about fifteen-year-old Bobby Phillips waking up one morning and not being able to see himself in the mirror. He’s not blind like you would normally expect, he is just plain invisible. Follow Bobby on a strange adventure as he and his family try to restore him to his original being before time runs out when you read Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements.

We loved this book and it made you think about if his problem could happen. Andrew Clements made his characters and plot seem very realistic and fascinating. It made you feel like you were actually in Bobby's shoes. If you want a book that is full of surprises and adventure, then pick up Things Not Seen. A lot of people have read it because it is a Battle of the Books book this year.

By Rachel and Kaitelyn- 8th grade

Esperanza Rising- Pam Muñoz Ryan

Imagine being the daughter of a wealthy man. Suddenly one devastating loss destroys your future life as a rich person. Esperanza Rising is about a wealthy girl who lives on a ranch in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Her father owns acres and acres of farm land and many servants. But on the day before Esperanza's thirteenth birthday, her father was murdered by bandits. The father's greedy stepbrothers proposed a marriage to Esperanza's mother so that he could get her influence. Esperanza's mother and herself run away to a Mexican Immigrant camp to live. Now Esperanza has to get use to a life without servants as one by one, events start to unravel and things might become worse.

This book has suspense in the most unusual places as emotions pour out of you. This book is historical fiction and is for everyone.

Joyce, Olivia 7 grade
Battle of the Books

Magyk by Angie Sage

One night the seventh son of the seventh son is born. Being a wizard himself, Silas know that his son is prophesied to be the greatest wizard of all time. After his son is born Silas goes out and happens to find a baby girl with violet eyes. When Marcia, the extraordinary wizard, tells him to tell no one that he has found her he agrees to keep it a secret. When he comes home he is shocked to find his son has died. Thinking carefully he decides to tell everyone, but his wife, that the baby girl is his child and no one else suspects a thing. 10 years pass and the girl, Jenna has been told that she is really the princess of the kingdom by Marcia. Scared for her life Silas sends Jenna to a secret place with a few relatives and she is able to escape from the Custodians who are trying to take her life, as they took her mothers. along the way they find a boy who was named in the army he was in, Boy 412 with a mysterious past. Together they face the custodians learning some secrets on the way about life and Maygk.

I enjoyed this book a lot. The plot is original and keeps you on your toes. The character are so so real and have a way of connecting with you. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes anything magic related and/or something that is witty and adventurous. Being neither a boy or girl book this is for the reader who loves to read.

The City of Ember By Jeanne DuPrau

An underground city? You say, impossible. Tell that to Dean, Poppy, and Lina, three adventurous children who are unhappy with their the City of Ember. There, they pick jobs to tell them what to do for the rest of their life. Dean is a messenger, his best friend, Lina's, dream job. Lina on the other hand has Dean's dream job, a underground mechanic. They think they are doomed to a miserable life, not knowing that a single piece of paper can lead them to a whole new world for a whole new beginning.

On a scale of 1-10, I rate this book a 15. It has everything an amazing book needs, an abundance of detail, adventure, suspense, and excitement. For anyone who loves science fiction or fiction in general, this is a great book. And even if you don't prefer any certain genre, no need to search any further, this is the book!

Joanna- 8th grade

Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements

On Tuesday in February in Chicago Illinois, what if you disappeared? What if your parents couldn't help you? And what if you couldn't become normal anymore? Well, Bobby Phillips experienced all of that. His best friend is a blind girl and her family try to help him. Bobby acts likes like a spy to steal something. One day, the State Department of Children and Family Services searches his house and can't find Bobby. Is the end for Bobby's chances of being normal?

This is one of the best science fiction books that's required for Battle of the Books. Everyone should read this book including all boys and girls. This book includes everything you would want to read. This book is for all readers.

So B. It by Sarah Weeks

In So B. It, all 11 year old Heidi knew nothing about her past, except she had a mother and possibly a grandmother. Her mother was mentally disabled and was unable to care for Heidi as an infant. So they found themselves on Bernadette's doorstep when Heidi was a week old. They started off as neighbors, then a door found in Bernadette's house combined the two apartments. Heidi had too many questions and too few answers. Finding an old roll of film, developed into pictures added a few more answers yet many more questions. The questions and one of her mother's unknown words, soof, send her to Hilltop Home in New York. At different times Heidi's mother would say "Soof,".Some questions become unexpected answers to Heidi, who only knew her last name as It.

I loved So B. It. Any realistic fiction person would love it. I loved how Heidi had questions and searched for answers, yet her answers were and weren't what she expected. I really liked how it ended. I liked how Heidi got her answers yet I didn't like how she had to deal with other truths.

Christina K. Grade 7

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass

Four keys? In one month? No way! That is what Jeremy Fink thinks when he receives a package with his mother's name on it. He is thirteen in one month and is enjoying the thrills and chills of summer. His friend Lizzie, being the way she is, opens the package to find newspapers from five years ago,a letter, and more importantly a box. The box is from his father who has been dead for five years. He made it for him knowing he would be dead and wanted to give it to him on his thirteenth birthday. Engraved on the box is, "the meaning of life". There are four keyholes, but no keys to open it. The letter explains that the friend who kept the box has misplaced them. Now, Jeremy and Lizzie are on a mission to find the keys before his birthday.
This Battle of the Books book has kept me on the edge of my seat. Events pop up that you would least expect and there is non-stop action. This book is for people who love an adventure in a book and who like to think outside of the box. The book is a mystery, however, there are other genres mixed in. The vivid description is amazing and the way she writes if fantastic.

Madi- 7th grader

Jack's Run by Roland Smith

12 year old Jack has gotten used to running from his father's former employer, a powerful drug lord, Alonzo Aznar, who has eyes and ears everywhere. Previously, in Elko, Colorado, Jack's family was blown and Aznar attacked, forcing Jack's Family to flee.
Afterwards, while living in California, Jack's sister blows their cover and they are kidnapped. Secretly flown to a plantation somewhere in South America. Jack and his sister must flee from the drug lord while trying to shut down his operation for good.

This battle of book was amazing!!! It was very fast paced and full of action. The characters are all fleshed out despite the fact that the book is the sequel to Zach's Lie. Although, if you don't read many fast paced books this one may be hard to follow, some plot points happen very fast. Also, it is a sequel so there are still some important points that can only be gleamed from reading the previous books. All and all, it was a very good book for anyone who reads fast paced action stories.

Mike S- 8th grader

Fever, 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Matilda Cook is not like other girls of her time in the year of 1793. She works hard in her family's coffeehouse with her widowed mother and instead of doing her chores, she often daydreams about turning her family's business into the best Philadelphia has ever seen. But then, the fever broke out. The disease is spreading quickly, and everyday the corpses are piling up. Soon her mother catches the fever, and she has to find a way to survive the most horrifying epidemic in her life.

In my opinion, this book would be great for any avid reader. If you think that you hate anything related to history, then this is the book for you. It incorporates the genre of adventurous fiction smoothly into accurate historical facts. Never again will you be bored from a history related book. And to Battle of the Book members, this is a great novel for questions.

Tiffany, a 7th grader

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

The living are afraid to die. How would you like to be one of the dead, afraid to be alive? Welcome to the world of Tommy Williams, and all the other living dead. Teens all over the USA are rising out of their graves, coming into the world as zombies. Life for them couldn’t get any worse. That is, until one living girl, Pheobe Kendall, tries to make a difference. Oakvale High School takes these living dead teens as students, and the all living teens just want them gone. Well, not all of them. Pheobe Kendall shows compassion for Tommy Williams, leader of the living dead, and when the school creates a program for the living dead she must choose: the living, or the living dead?

I love this book. The detail is amazing, showing everything quite vividly. You can tell he really got into the subject of the living dead. Even though the subject is completely out of this world, you’d think they teach the subject in school! I believe that any science fiction fan should read this book. In fact, any type of book reader would enjoy this book. He really tries to connect, and give this book a bit of every genre.

Kayleigh B- 8th grader

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Angels in Pink by Lurlene McDaniel

Three best friends, Kathleen, Raina, and Holly are in high school. Over the summer they all enroll at the local hospital as pink angels. Pink angels is a volunteer organization where kids in highschool spend their summer cheering up sick or hurt kids, taking care of patients, or working in the different facilities. While working at the hospitals the girls have their hands full with Kathleen's mom's MS, Holly's brother dating Raina, and taking care of one another in the toughest times.

I loved this book because it was suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat. I think any girl (especially girls who like drama) would enjoy this book because the author talks about stuff girl go through only at a much more extreme level.

Madi- 7th grader

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Unforgettable by Cecily Von Ziegesar

This book is the part of the “It Girl” series. It starts out with Jenny Humphrey going out with this guy named Easy Walsh, who just broke up with his ex girlfriend, Callie Vernon, who is Jenny’s room mate. Throughout the book Easy goes back and forth between girls, and finally chooses Callie. Callie, Jenny, and Tinsley’s best friend, Brett Messerschmidt is still upset about her breakup with Jeremiah, so she swears off boys. Tinsley is the leader of this clique. She starts liking a freshman guy named Julian, who has feelings for Jenny, and in return Jenny starts having feelings for him too. The breakups become complicated and lead to the climax of the book.
To find out more you can read the fifth book, “Lucky” which just came out. (Also this series branches off from the New York Times Bestseller “Gossip Girls.”)

by Christine 7th grader

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Everworld by K.A. Applegate

David, Jalil, April and Christopher get pulled into a fantasy world called Everworld where the Aztecs and Vikings still exist and other ancient cultures too. David, Jalil, April and Christopher are stuck in an Aztec city ruled by Huitzilopoctli, a heart-eating god. As they are waiting to be sacrificed, they try to find an escape route out of the city. Will they be able to escape the clutches of a heart-eating god?
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes action books. But be warned, this book can get graphic.

Peter C. - 7th grader

Friday, June 6, 2008

Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman

Blake is the responsible member in the family with some sense,while his brother Quinn takes many
risks and goes overboard. Quinn goes into a bizarre phantom carnival where if you
don't survive 7 rides you don't leave.
If they want to escape the carnival, the boys must find the secret way out of each ride. To make it
worse, the rides are designed from your worst nightmares and fears.

Kyle C. 7th grader

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Big Field by Mike Lupica

In this book we follow Keith “Hutch” Hutchinson and his baseball team as they compete in an American Legion summer tournament, where they have to win just to keep playing. But through it all Hutch has to try and keep relations between him and Darryl Williams, the team’s star player, from ruining their chances of winning. Hutch is normally a shortstop, but on this team he has to play second base, because Darryl’s their shortstop. And he doesn’t mind, except the whole time Darryl is constantly baiting him about being team captain. Plus, his dad, who almost made it to the majors, has seemed to shun baseball from his life, which upset Hutch, but not as much as seeing him practicing with Darryl at practice one night. Will Hutch be able to work all these issues out and still manage to focus on playing and winning games?
For anyone who likes a good sports book, especially baseball, I would highly recommend this book. I don’t know if you read Mike Lupica’s other baseball book, Heat, but I did, and I didn’t really like the ending that much. This book is different, though. It’s much better than the other, a great choice for anyone looking for a sports book.

Eric- 7th grader

Friday, May 16, 2008

Candy and Me: A Love Story by Hilary Liftin

If you never read Candy and Me: A Love Story here is a brief synopsis on this astounding book. Candy and Me is a book full of different candy stories with each chapter named after a different candy. The main character Hilary, who is also the author of this non-fiction book, has a story behind each candy. When she was a little girl she ate candy everyday and it got her through a lot of highs and lows.

I highly recommended this book; it is both true and a story that will make you go hungry, but it is also extremely hard to put down.

by Sabrina M. - 7th grader

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Book of Time by Guillaume Prevost

Sam Faulkner’s dad has been missing for ten days. In search of his father, Sam explores the bookstore owned by his family. In the basement, he discovers a mysterious stone statue with a sun carved on the front. Next to the statue, Sam finds a small, dirty coin with a hole in the middle. He places the coin in the center of the sun. Suddenly, Sam is transported back in time to the land of the Vikings! Sam notices the statue is still with him, but the coin is missing. In order to travel through time and continue looking for his father, he must find the appropriate coin to reactivate the statue. In his quest through time, Sam is transported to the times of World War I, ancient Egypt, and Cortez. Sam eventually lands outside Dracula’s Castle where he believes his father is held prisoner. Can Sam rescue his father and make it home?
I would recommend this book to anyone who is eleven to thirteen years old. This book is fast-paced and a great page-turner. This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys adventures that involve time travel. It is also a wonderful book for learning a bit of history!

Ian P. – 7th grade

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Building Blocks by Cynthia Voigt

This book begins with a boy named Brann. Brann right now is suffering from his parents constantly fighting. He is so tired of his parents fighting with his father is always backing down and being the loser. So he decides to go to inside a huge toy block fortress that his father made. Tired, he falls asleep in the fortress and wakes up in a different time and place. There Brann meets a boy named Kevin who will teach him a very important lesson in friendship.

This book is very well written but can be a little slow in parts. I don't recommened this book to people who procrastinate in finishing a book. To the rest of you, happy reading.

Devin R. 7th grader

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves

Joey Harker is taking one of the craziest tests in his life. Mr. Dimas, his social studies teacher, uses very unconventional methods of teaching and testing. Joey is dropped off with two partners somewhere in town, and has to find his way to a designated checkpoint. While venturing ahead, he passes through a strange mist, and finds himself in from o a McDonald’s with an M that’s colored like a Scottish kilt. Strange. Then upon returning to his group, he finds that suddenly one of his partner’s hair has become a lot shorter. Stranger. Before he knows it, the entire world has changed, and just as suddenly, he leaves that world to find himself at a place with hundreds, maybe thousands of alternate versions of himself. Now he’s fighting against two evil organizations using his special power of Walking to prevent them from taking over the Altiverse.

This is honestly one of the very best books I’ve ever read, with an extremely unique and exciting plot; in fact I wish it had sequels. But even still, it is an amazing book for anyone who likes fantasy at all. To tell the truth, this book was so good I was tempted to go to the library and pay them so I could keep it. Please, if you don’t read this book, you’re missing out on a great piece of literature. I beg you to read it.

Eric F. - 7th grader

The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh

One day, Jack Perdu was walking home from school, translating a Latin book he was reading, when suddenly he was hit by a car. Very luckily for him, he lived, and was able to go home two days later. That was when things got weird. One night, he heard a door slamming, and assuming it was his father, went to go look. However, he found a complete stranger, just sitting with his feet up on his father’s chair. The man at first seemed to know Jack was there, but acted as if he wasn’t, talking to himself as if he was alone. When Jack asked him who he was, he fled out the window. Jack thought he was going crazy, and his father sent him to a doctor in New York City, where his mother had died eight years ago. While there he met a girl named Euri, who took him nine floors below New York’s Grand Central Station. Jack has now entered the New York Underworld. Suddenly he is on a desperate hunt to find his mother, who may not even be there any more, while avoiding Cerberus and the Underworld guards trying to find him.

I hate to repeat myself, but this book was just as good as the last one I reviewed, Interworld, to the point where I wanted to buy it from the library. A fantastic tale, combining imagination with some Ancient Greek mythology and putting it in NYC, and Katherine Marsh has a brilliant story that will be hard to forget. Anyone who likes anything fantastical will love this novel about life after death in New York City.

Eric F. - 7th grader

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A Great and Terrible Beauty is beautifully written. All teenage girls will fall in love with some of the characters and be attached to the book.
It is about a girl named Gemma Doyle set in the 1800's. She deeply wants to leave India and attend school in England, but her mother disagrees. After running away from home, Gemma's mother dies and Gemma thinks it is partially her fault. Later she encounters many adventures as she goes to a religious girls boarding school in England. Gemma has strange visions and mean while begins to fit in at her new school with the most popular girls. From there, they start a tribe called The Order and go into the realms.
I recommend this book to anybody who likes suspense, thrills, literature, and fantasy.

By Dana H. -7th grader

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Deep inside Venice lives a mysterious boy known as the Thief Lord who houses runaway children. When Prosper and Bo meet him after running away from their aunt, their world flips upside down. The boys encounter a cheating merchant, a strange inspector, and a mystery beyond their wildest dreams. What will happen?
I highly recommend this book to any one searching an adventure book with a healthy dose of suspense.

By Allex B.- 7th grader

Monday, April 7, 2008

Heat by Mike Lupica

Heat is a very well written book. It is about a boy name Victor Arroyo and his love for the great game of baseball. Supposedly, Victor can throw a fastball up to 80 mph. Victor lives in the Bronx with his older brother Carlos. He is on a little league baseball team called the Clippers with his best friend Manny. Problems arise when Victor is challenged by other teams in the Bronx to get his birth certificate that can not be reached because it is in Cuba. Also, if anyone should find out about his secret, Victor will be split up from his brother forever.
I do recommend that you read this book for yourself about a boy and his love for baseball in this heart stopping thriller, Heat, by Mike Lupica.

Daniel D. -7th Grader

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Wish List by Eoin Colfer

This book is about a girl named Meg Finn. She dies while trying to rob a house owned by a man named Lowrie McCall. She was too bad of a person to go to Heaven, but too good of a person to to to Hell. In order to get into Heaven, she must help Lowrie McCall complete a wish list of things he had wanted to do. While she is trying to help complete the wish list, a friend of hers who had also died while robbing Lowrie's and went to Hell is sent by demons to get her.

This book is very suspenseful and well written. I suggest this fantasy book to everyone.

Justin M.- 7th grader

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Am The Ice Worm by MaryAnn Easley

This book is really cachy. This book is about a girl named Allison Artwood who lives with her dad in California. Her parents are divorced and they live miles apart from each other. Her mom lives in Alaska where she teaches in a school. So Allison's dad hires a pilot to tke Allison to Alaska to visit her mom. Remember, Allison is a California girl and is not used to the cold. On top of that she is very rich and perky. So she flies in a unstable weather condition with Jhonny Sky...the plane crashes and Allison is left all alone in the wilderness until an Inupiat leader finds her. To find out more about this book, you'll have to read it.

Luis C. - 7th grader

Monday, March 10, 2008

Totally Joe by James Howe

The book Totally Joe is written as an alpha-biography from the point of view of a 12 year old boy named Joe, who is doing an assignment for his Language Arts Class. As you go through the lettersof the alphabet, you learn so much about this funny, interesting and surprisingly fun character. In each different letter you learn some new exciting things that Joe does or did in the past, present or even future. You will never know what he could be doing next. To hear more about the most fabulous person I have ever read about go and check out Totally Joe.

This is the sequel to The Misfits.

Sarina M.- 7th grader

The Watcher by James Howe

The Watcher is about a girl who suffers abuse from her father and decides to remove herself from reality by watching others one summer on the beach. She makes up in her mind about how perfect these people’s lives are, although one boy, Evan is dealing with his parents’ divorce and the other boy, Chris has a beer addicted father. The boys being watched notice her on the beach with her notebook and decide to find who she is and why she is just sitting there. One boy goes to her house to investigate her home life and he witnesses the abuse. When the authorities are called, the father denies what is happening but eventually the watcher opens up and tells about what is happening.
I would recommend this book for people who enjoy intricate stories with several points of view.  The themes were emotional revolving around divorce, alcohol addiction and abuse.

Zach L.- 7th grader

Friday, February 29, 2008

Ophelia Speaks by Sara Shandler

If you’ve never read Ophelia Speaks, here is a brief synopsis on this wonderful book. Ophelia Speaks is a book chock full of stories of teenage girls going through their years of adolescence. Each chapter is titled as a problem that all young women face. Each chapter shares stories that teenage girls submitted in response to a letter sent out from the author, Sara Shandler,requesting stories in return that have to do with the given list of topics.

I highly recommend this book, it’s both educational and interesting; it was extremley hard to put the book down.
Sydney E.- 7th grader

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Last Dance by Lurlene McDaniel

Rachel Deering loves dance and lives it. She even gets the roll of Swan Lake, every ballerina’s dream. But things always don’t turn out the way they should when Rachel has been feeling really weird and realizes that she has diabetes.

She is now ready to give up on all of her dreams when she meets Shawn… Shawn was asked by Rachel’s Dr. to help Rachel get used her diabetes and to let her know what might happen to her. Turns out he has it too and is the same age. Even though Shawn has diabetes he is still does want he wants to do he plays soccer. Can Shawn help her to get back on track and make her change her mind about following her dream to become a ballerina and go to the New York City Ballet Company?

Gina G. 7th grade

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No One Has To Know by Ingrid Tomey

Life is great for fifteen-year-old Webber when a new year of school begins and he is the star of his track team with a new pool of friends and a crush that he hopes is a potential girlfrien.

But when he wakes up in the hospital after going for a drive with his grandpa, his once great life is put on hold. Trying to recuperate is harder than Webb thinks; he not only has to rebuild physically but mentally and emotionally too, since his memory of that day is lost.

Eventually the truth from the car accident day seeps out and Webb is left with a huge dilemma. His future is now in is own hands as he tries to determine what to do.

-Kathleen O. 8th grade

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon, a 16 year-old farm boy from Carvahall, is about to go on the ride of his life. In the Spine, a nearby mountain range, he finds a blue stone. Later he finds out that it is actually a Dragon egg which eventually leads him on a magical journey of unusual creatures, evil adversaries, and a self-exploration.

As you read this book, you will be taken on various mystical tales and adventures as Eragon learns about his true powers.

This is a deeply intense book for people who like dragons, magic, and/or The Lord of the Rings.
-Justin M. 8th grade

Perfect by Natasha Friend

Isabelle Lee has problems…

She, like many other teen girls, is bulimic. Her mom sends her to group therapy where the girls confront and deal with their issues because that's "the deal". Isabelle is surprised when the most popular girl in school, Ashley Barum, walks in as a patient. But wait…Ashley is supposed to be perfect.

Oh, and did I mention that Isabelle lost the only person she could trust, her dad?

-Shannon G. 8th grade

Million Dollar Strike by Dan Gutman

Ouchie and Squishy just can't get enough of bowling. See how they react when the town votes to condemn the Bowl-a-Rama, the only bowling alley in town. But wait, that’s not all…there is a mysterious clown running around town who is trying to blow up the bowling alley as well.

Read The Million Dollar Strike to find out what Ouchie and Squishy do to prevent their dreams from going down the gutter.

-Brandon T. 8th grade

What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones

What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know is about a freshman, named Robin who is made fun of by everyone. When he starts going out with the most popular girl in school, Sophie, the whole school begins to hate her, too. Will they be able to overcome their peers’ harsh criticism or will they give in to the pressure?

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes drama-filled realistic fiction books.

-Nicole W. 8th grade

Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl is trying to be liked but she is different. She is trying to find love, but it isn’t working out too well. She’s just trying to be herself!

When she’s forced to move to Pennsylvania due to her father’s occupation, Stargirl eventually meets new friends and new people, but she is mainly looking for love.

This dramatic book is formatted as one big letter. The letter is written to Stargirl’s ex-boyfriend, Leo. She can’t decide if she still loves him or if she really is in love with Perry, her new troublesome crush. Will she choose her new crush in Pennsylvania or her past boyfriend in Arizona?

Well, you need to find out for yourself.

Love, Stargirl is the sequel to the book Stargirl; if you haven’t read the first book, I suggest you do. Both books will definitely put you on the edge of your seat. They both involve surreal humor and are extremely exhilarating. Pick up the book, and get ready to read it because you are in for one big romantic ride!

-Mary Kate B. 8th grade

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Anna Fitzgerald was made in a petri dish.  Her older sister, Kate, was diagnosed with leukemia when she was two.  When no one in her family could donate blood or bone marrow to her, her parents went to a genetic counselor to make sure that their next child, Anna, would be a match.  Anna spent her whole life in and out of the hospital, because whenever Kate got sick she needed Anna.  When Kate needs her biggest donation yet, a new kidney, Anna rebels, and sues her parents so she can make her own medical decisions.  With lots of bumps and uncertainties along the way and her sister's life in the balance, she gets them to court, where her motives are revealed and everyone has to question their understanding of what is right and wrong.

With present tense and changing perspectives, this book is very unique.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever questioned authority (come on, who hasn't?) or felt that they needed to do something for the sake of their family.  Once you pick it up, it is impossible to put it down.
Katie B- 8th grade

Monday, February 4, 2008

Cirque Du Freak: The Trials of Death by Darren Shan

It has been almost five years since Mr. Crepsly has blooded young Darren Shan into a Half Vampire…

The Vampaneze, the enemy of the Vampires, run free and are rampaging the cities. The world is in chaos, and it's time for Darren to prove that he is worthy to join the ranks of the Vampires. To do so, he will have to face three challenging trials. For Darren, these trials are no joke.

Celebrate if you succeed… Die if you fail…

Scott S. 8th grade

For One More Day by Mitch Albom

Charley Bento, or Chick as some call him, grew up with a supportive mother and a very strict and overbearing father. The effects of his father’s controlling nature were detrimental, and when he grew up, things progressively got worse. His mother and father both died before he was 30, and his wife and daughter eventually left him due to his alcoholism. Things just didn’t seem to be going right for him and he felt that the only way to end the pain was to kill himself. Charley attempts to commit suicide but he lives. After this life changing moment, the unspeakable happens….

This book, For One More Day, is a great book if you like realistic stories with life lessons. There are a couple of sad parts, but they only make the book better. I recommend this book to everyone.

Jimmy G. 8th grade

The Haunted Fort by Franklin W. Dixon

Something creepy is going on at Millwood Art School…paintings are mysteriously disappearing. Chet Morton’s uncle, who works at the school as a chief painting instructor, informs Chet about this mystery. Chet asks two young detectives, his best friends the Hardy Boys, to solve the case. Will the Hardy Boys crack the case or die trying?

This book is a roller coaster ride and an amazing mystery. I recommend this book to anyone who likes catching the bad guys.

Chris S. 8th grade

Notorious by Cecily von Ziegesar

Tinsley Charmichael, a "notorious" high school student at the boarding school, Waverly Academy, has finally returned after a year of expulsion. The reunion with her two best friends is a dream come true until she comes to realize a new girl has moved into her spot.

Will Tinsley be replaced or will she continue to be the "it-girl?” This realistic fiction novel is full of drama, romance, and unexpected twists. It'll keep you on your toes and I highly recommend it to fans of the Gossip Girl and the Clique series.

Samantha K. 8th grade

Wrecked by E.R. Frank

Have you ever felt the guilt of a mistake, a mistake that forever scarred the lives of others?
The main subject of this book is about a horrifying car crash that wrecks the lives of innocent families.

Two girls, Anna and Ellen, were driving home from a party one night where they had been drinking heavily.
Another girl, Cameron, happened to be on the road at the same time.
And the two cars collided.

I think the title Wrecked reflects the consequences of bad choices: lives, relationships, dreams all wrecked…. literally.

Frank S. 8th grade

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

The angel watching over the cemetery gives the Jewish people a dull light in a time that is consumed by darkness.

During the Holocaust, where over 400,000 Jewish people were confined in a disease filled ghetto, a young boy struggles to beat the odds and get out alive.

Misha the protagonist feels love and gets strength from his surrogate family, who help him find himself during this demoralizing and heartbreaking time in history.

Will Misha have the will, determination and bravery to survive? His life rests in his tiny hands.

Brett G. 8th grade

The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren by Wendy Toliver

Roxy Zimmerman just turned sixteen. When most teens get a car or a party, she gets something much sweeter. She becomes a Siren.

Sirens are magical women known for either their flute, lyre, or singing skills. Once their music starts, any man is vulnerable to their hypnotic music and charms.

The busy life and charming boys is not as glamorous as it seems. Due to Roxy’s secret, she fights with friends and her family.

Can Roxy do it? Read this book and you won’t be able to put it down!

Lindsay C. 8th grade

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

High School student Hannah Baker is dead.

Clay Jensen, who was a classmate of Hannah’s, hears the whispers in the hallways, and he catches wind of her death… that is, of her suicide. Two weeks after the suicide on his way home from school, Clay stumbles upon an ominous-looking shoebox laying on his front stoop. He brings it inside, sets it down, and takes off the lid to reveal thirteen cassette tapes. On these tapes are Hannah’s reasons why…and Clay is one of them.

This book helps you realize how obscenely cruel and disrespectful young adults can be to one another.

Megan K. 8th grade