Friday, January 29, 2010

Bone by Bone by Bone by Tony Johnston

It's 1950's in the Deep South and David's best friend is black. The boys are not allowed to play together and Malcolm is never to set foot in the Church's house. David suspects that his father is in the Klu Klux Klan and lives in constant fear for Malcolm.

Bone by Bone by Bone is both disturbing and intriguing historical fiction. I wanted to continue reading to find out if David's worst fear was realized- that his dad and his friends kill Malcolm. The book uses harsh language to paint a gruesome realistic picture of life in Tennessee in the 1950's.

Try it for your next historical fiction book.

Mrs. Gallagher

Thursday, January 28, 2010

There's A Fungus Among Us by John DiConsilgio

Do you know what’s growing in the ceiling of the room you sleep in?
Or maybe what little cells could possibly take your life? It’s a little thing called
Fungus. There’s A Fungus Among Us is about the horrid stories of life taking situations where fungus has taken over and won. One situation where many people were struck by this nasty fungus was in 2005. Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans flooding many homes. These nasty molds grew in most houses where the damage occurred. But don’t think all fungus is bad. This book elaborates how one of the greatest medicines of all time comes from fungus. Find all the gross nasty things this fungus has done in history and how many lives were saved from it also from reading this book.

Sara J
8th grade science student

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You Have Mail: The True Stories Of Cyber Crime by Matthew Newman

You Have Mail: The True Stories Of Cyber Crime by Matthew Newman is a very informational book that everyone who uses computers should read. This book informs you on how to stay away from contracting viruses on your computer. This book also tells you about who these cyber criminals are and the tricks they use to infect computers with viruses.

I recommend this book to any person of any age who has vital information on their computer. I chose to share this book because I use computers and have gotten viruses that have destroyed important data of mine.. This book showed me steps to take to decrease the risk of virus infection.

Michael R-
8th grade science student

White Fang by Jack London

Have you ever read any book that viewed the story from an animal's perspective? Well, this book is told from a dog's point of view. Now, it's not the average fantasy/sci-fi book. No, the animals do not talk, they are not capable of any magic. No. This book is about the life of a dog, and how it is treat throughout its life. It experiences and the way its treated shapes and molds his character and makes what he is. Starting out as a cub, White Fang learns the way of the wild. He figures everything out for himself.

This book not also teaches you about the behavior and thoughts of dogs, but it also shows you how animal cruelty is shown by many different ways. It is an inspiring book, but a challenging one. This is not quick read. I would recommend this book for those who like classics, and are up for a challenge. Overall, I guess I didn't like the book, but it doesn't mean it was bad. Rating: 2.5 stars.
David K. - 7th grade

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It is an exciting story of a crisis affecting the whole world. When the news of a meteor hitting the moon spreads, everyone is excited, especially astronomers. Their excitement transforms into horror as the meteor smacks the moon, turns it sideways, and brings it closer to Earth. Electricity is lost, disaster hits in every corner, and supplies run dangerously low. Told through the diary of sixteen-year-old Miranda, you witness a family's struggle to survive.

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone because it has adventure, science, and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Jessica M.

8th grade science student

Wing Nut by M.J. Auch

This book is about a 12-year-old boy, Grady, and his mother, Lila, finally finding the perfect job after searching for work since Grady was younger. Or so they thought. Charlie, the crazy old man they helped cook and clean for, hadn’t been too much trouble and had bonded easily with Grady. They both helped a group of Purple Martin birds nest. However some things happen that might make them leave Charlie’s for good.

I liked this book mainly because it was informational as well as entertaining. It was fictional; however learning about Purple Martins was interesting.

Christina K.
8th Grade Science Student

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum

Jason Bourne has established his identity, David Webb aka the assasin Jason Bourne. But now, someone else has taken the Bourne identity, a killer who poses a threat to Webb who must be stopped. Now the original Jason Bourne must establish his surpremacy.

Matt C.
8th grade

Friday, January 22, 2010

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

This book is about a boy named Cole Matthews. Who has been stealing and beating up kids for years. A boy by the name of Peter Driscall had his face smashed into the ground  by cole. So cole has to choose the punishment of Circle Justice or Jail. What circle justice is, is when a kid gets shipped off to a place for a whole year solated by his/herself. When cole gets to an Alaskan island he is mauled by a mysterious white Spirit Bear. After this bear attacked cole he realized what it feels like and how Peter must feel now since thats what cole did to him! After a while cole figures out what he did was really wrong and so he invites Peter and his parents to come onto this island and show them that he really changed. When Peter gets there he hates cole and doesn't talk to anyone but after Cole shows Peter is totem sculpting Peter takes an interest in it to, and now Peter knows that Cole has really changed and so they become friends.

Alex S.
7th grade

The Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming by Laurie David

This is a detailed non-fiction book that presents its facts in a ways we can all enjoy. The authors used detailed descriptions and figurative language, to hold your attention. Global warming has become a huge issue in America. This book gives you information on what could happen if global warming continues, as well as how you can help the environment.

Although I read this book as part of a science project, I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in reading about global warming, or looking to make a difference. This book will capture your attention with its fun graphics, and educate you as well.

~Lauren B.
(Ms. Barrett’s science project blog)

Hidden Evidence by David Owen

Do you love watching crime shows?  If you’ve ever wondered how scientists are able to solve a mystery without almost any leads,  this book will answer all of your questions.  Hidden Evidence by David Owen is a non-fiction book that explains how forensic science is used today. It is here you will learn all of forensic scientists' secrets.You will read about several true real-life cases where forensic science has identified and caught the criminal. This is a MUST read for anybody who has ever wondered how CSI figures out the complex mysteries on television.

 I recommend this book to anyone who likes to watch crime shows, or loves reading crime-solving books. Even If you just need to read a non-fiction book for language arts, you will really enjoy this book.
Erika R
8th grade science student

THE COLD WAR PIGEON PATROLS And Other Animal Spies by Danielle Denega

I really enjoyed reading this book. I learned a lot about animals that help protect people all around the world. I did not really dislike anything about this book. Anyone who has a love for animals would enjoy this book.

Kyler F
8th grade science student

Life on Other Worlds by Ray Spangenburg and Kit Moser

This book answers questions that humans have been asking for a very long time, one that is notable is "Are we alone?" IT starts out by giving teh best possible definition of what life is. The philosophy is that if we don't know what life is here, then how will we be able to identify it or even find it on other planets. Moreover, The scientists mentioned in the book have beliefs and opinions that stunned me.

My opinion of the book is all positive except for one flaw that constantly bohtered me as I read. Life on Other Worlds was written such a long time ago that it is a noticably outdated. Future expeditions to space that are mentioned in the text have occurred a few years ago. Also, I felt that I could learn much more about the topic today because of how much science has progressed.

Evan A
8th grade science student

Shark Life by Peter Benchley

The novel Shark Life is a non-fiction book written by Peter Benchley who wrote the best selling book and movie Jaws. This novel is about true stories of shark encounters and how the people involved escaped almost certain death. In addition, there is also information on other mysterious sea creatures and fun facts about the movie Jaws. If you do read this book, you will also find helpful survival techniques that can be used in several different scenarios that any one of us may encounter.

This is a book that is unique, in the fact that it switches subjects from time to time. I myself found that this change of pace kept things interesting and fresh. Just when the reader is growing weary of a shark story the author will change to facts about another sea creature. This feature, in my opinion, makes this book enjoyable to all types of readers, as it has something for all of us.

John S.
8th grade Oasis House

What a Great Idea! Inventions That Changed the World by Stephen M. Tomecek

This nonfiction book is quick and easy read, but also a good one. Starting in prehistoric times, you can learn about some of the most influential inventions all the way up o the present day. The language is simple and easy to understand, but still teaches you interesting facts. There's not too much detail, but just enough to give you the background of a mechanism. The book also tells you where the idea came from, and every person who had a hand in the construction of the invention. If you want to learn but not be incredibly challenged, then this is a great book for you.

Annie L.
8th grade science student

The Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming by Laurie David

I read The Down to Earth Guide to Global Warming and it was a really good book. It is about how Global warming works and what you can do to fix it. It leads into many different areas such as weather, animals, and ever the future. It is filled with cold hard facts on the effects from this global disaster. I liked it because of how well thought out it was. I never thought that there would be that much information on global warming before. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in this topic but if you want to know to truth this is the book for you!!

Riccardo M
8th grade science student

You Have Mail by Matthew Newman

Do you use the Internet? Well if you do, then you have been in a war zone. This never-ending war is between the U.S. government, special security teams, and cyber terrorists. Did you know that if terrorists hacked into the government’s network, they could shut down all public utilities in the entire country? Well, they can.
This book talks about different dangers of the Internet, such as viruses, scams, phishing, and cyberterrorism. It also tells you about specific cases of these dangers. Such as, the Sasser Worm, a computer virus created by a teenager that infected millions of computers around the world.
If you are interested in learning more about the dangers of the Internet, then you should read this book. You will learn about these dangers, and how to avoid them.

Jack C.
8th grade science assignment

Eyes in the Sky By Lisa Jo Rudy

This book is an extremely interesting story about satellites and how they changed the world.
It talks about how satellites forecast the weather and monitor the atmosphere and oceans. This book
even talks about how photos from a satellite started a major war. It takes you from 1957 when the first
satellite was invented to present modern day satellites and how far they can see to the ground.

I really liked that this book included the history of satellites and didn't just talk about modern day technology.
I think a reader that is interested in electronics would enjoy this book. Or if you want to learn about how satellites
changed the world forever.

Ryan H
8th grade science student

UFO's! What Scientists Say May Shock You by N.B Grace

This book is about true- life experiences with aliens and UFOs. This book has 3 cases with different experiences people had with aliens and UFOs. The first case was the Roswell UFO Mystery. On June 13, 1947, a thunderstorm had hit in Roswell, New Mexico. Mac Brazel found a field of strange wreckage. People think it was from a flying saucer. Major Jesse Marcel, before dyeing said that the debris they found wasn’t anything you could find on earth. The air force claimed the debris was from a top-secret spy balloon. Was it really from the balloon?
                        The second case was about Betty and Barney Hill. This couple lived in New Hampshire. On September 19, 1961, the Hills were driving home from there vacation in Canada. At 10:15, they saw a bright light in the sky It was headed for there car. They got out and noticed it was a giant disc hovering above the car. Barney looked through binoculars and saw several figures (human- like) staring at him. Did that really happen or was it just there imagination?
The last case was the “Wow!” Signal.  The “Big Ear” is a giant radio telescope. It’s located in the Ohio State University Radio Observatory. They collect radio waves. On August 15, 1977, Big Ear picked up a sudden burst. The signal lasted for 72 seconds. Scientist Jerry Ehman had never seen anything like it. Was that signal from aliens or something else? Too bad the Big Ear was demolished in 1998 for a golf course. What do you think? Are aliens real?

Roshni C.
8th grade science student

Bioterror by Lisa Jo Rudy

This book is a great introduction for those who want to learn more about a terrorist threat to our country. This book explains what bioterror is and has three chapters dedicated to real life bioterror acts. It also has a timeline of key bioterror events, starting all the way back in 1347! In addition to all of this, the book includes an interview with a bioterror expert, the tools a bioterrorism investigator uses, and a quiz to find out if being a bioterrorism expert is a good job for you!

Review by Jared E
8th grade science student

Is it Hot Enough for You? No specific author.

The earth is getting warmer because the atmosphere is being polluted with gases such as carbon dioxide. This “global warming” has resulted in the Earth’s average temperature rising over the last 150 years. While Earth has naturally gone through cycles of hotter and colder temperatures historically, Earth is currently heating up at a much faster rate.

Do you think that global warming is really happening? Is it Hot Enough for You? explains the many reasons why scientists believe that Earth is really getting warmer. Some things that are contributing to the problem are unbelievable and you would not even think that they are bad for the planet.

Luke W.
8th grade science student

You Have Mail By Matthew Newman

This book is about cyber hackers and people who are trying to ruin the internet experience for others. Hackers are sending around worms and viruses that slow down and can even shut down your computer. Learn about the high school student who started a world wide crisis. Find out how you can protect your computer from these worms and viruses.

I really enjoyed this book because it's topic is about something that interest me. I think computers are great tools. This book also kept me interested by including pictures, graphs, and cool facts. This book is great for all readers. I highly recommend this book to others, because computers are very important in our lives and we need to know how to protect them. This author has also written documentaries on Larry Bird, Dwight Gooden, Patrick Ewing, Lynette Woodard, Brandy, and Rickey Martin.

Daniel Z
8th grade science student

The Manhattan Project by Cynthia C. Kelly

Born out of a small research program in 1939, The Manhattan Project recruited thousands of scientists to create the world’s first atomic bomb. Under the threat that the Nazis would build a bomb, the Allies began building the atomic bomb with sites across the United States with secrecy as the main motto.

This the best book about the atomic bomb and the final years of World War 2.

Matthew C
8th grade science student

Raptor Red by Robert T Bakker

Robert T. Bakker is a celebrated paleontologist. Raptor Red is his only fictional work, but he wrote another, controversial book called The Dinosaur Heresies. He is best known for his theories about warm-blooded dinosaurs.

Raptor Red takes place in the Cretaceous Period. Raptor Red, the main character, is a young adult female Utahraptor. She and her mate have not yet produced chicks, but they will this mating season. But a tragic accident gets in the way of their plans, leaving Raptor Red heartbroken and widowed, wandering prehistoric Utah's floodplains. This book is by far one of my all-time favorites. It is very advanced in its vocabulary and requires a fair background knowledge of dinosaurs and paleontology in general to be able to fully appreciate the magic it depicts. Opening your mind's eye to sync with Raptor Red's, you will know what it was like as a red-snouted raptor millions of years ago, in a world so unlike our own it is impossible to imagine walking over the spots where acrocanthosaurs tread and gazing into the skies that dactyls soared through.

Madison G. 8th grade science student

You Have Mail by Matthew Newman

You Have Mail is a book about the history of cyber crimes and how the internet can be helpful and hurtful.  It tells about harmful emails and even attempted terrorist attacks.  It was very informing and it even tells you how not to get scammed!  This book really lays out all the information and makes it very easy to understand even if you don’t know much about computers.

What I really liked about this book is that it tells you not just about the bad guys, but also the good guys fighting cyber crime.  People who are into computers would definitely like this book.  Also, you should check out Matthew Newman’s biography of Larry Byrd if you like sports.
Ryan F.
8th Grade Science Assignment

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day of Tears by Julius Lester

Day of Tears is a historical fiction novel based on one of the largest slave auctions that was held in the South. The master, Pierce Butler, has to sell his 400 slaves to pay his gambling debts. Mothers and fathers are separated from each other and their children. The novel shows how everyone who was involved had their lives turned upside down.

Day of Tears is a unique look at one aspect of slavery- the fact that slaves were property and treated no better than animals. The owners didn't care that they were taking a baby from its mother. This novel is told in different perspectives and gives you a disturbing look at what life was like for slaves.

Review by Mrs. Gallagher

The Smile by Donna Jo Napoli

If you are looking for a different kind of historical fiction novel, you should try The Smile. This novel is a fictional biography of the woman who is thought to be Mona Lisa in Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting. The novel is set in Italy in the 1500's and follows Elisabetta's life as she matures, meets da Vinci, and falls in love.

This novel is about Mona Lisa but also what life was like for girls living in Europe in the 1400's and 1500's. It was interested to see how different things were for them and how much freedom we really have. I would recommend this book to girls who like historical fiction.

Review by Mrs. Gallagher

All of the Above by Shelley Pearsall

All of the Above is set in a poor urban school in Cincinatti, Ohio. The novel is told from the perspective of 5 students, their math teacher and community members who were all involved in a project to build the world's largest tetrahedron. Each student and adult has a reason for becoming involved in the project and the outcome surprises them all.

I really enjoyed the multiple points of view in this novel. I also thought the author did a great job of showing what each kid was really like, not who people thought they were. If you like the Bluford books or Kimani Tru, you would love this!!

Review by Mrs. Gallagher

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

This year's NEWBERY AWARD WINNER!! " When You Reach Me" was lauded as a winner almost from the moment that it appeared last summer. Reviewers have said that you " won’t want to miss Rebecca Stead’s completely original, fascinating, and well-crafted novel."

This mystery novel has a complex, twisty story that neatly ties together plots and subplots involving a 12-year-old named Miranda, her single mom, and their life in a Manhattan apartment building in 1979. Clues to help unravel the mystery lie in the novel that Miranda carries everywhere with her – children's lit classic and 1963 Newbery Medal winner "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle. You will get to the end and want to read it again!!

I thought this book was very unique. It definitely makes you think about time travel! Give it a chance, but be prepared- it's an easy book to read but you will probably be confused until the end. Stick with it!

Review by Mrs. Gallagher

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Decision Time by Earl Sewell

This book is about Keysha, the protagonist, whose life went from craziness to happiness. Well, it started that way. Keysha got the leading role in the school play but a jealous person is trying to take her spot. Wesley (Keysha’s boyfriend) has moved back home from staying with his grandmother. Since Keysha is in the play, she and Wesley don’t have much time together. Lori (a girl that Wesley took a bullet for while he was staying with his grandmother) is trying to get with Wesley. Junior prom is coming up and Keysha is starting to have feelings for the other leading male in the play; the male has feelings for Keysha also.

Will Keysha and Wesley’s relationship survive this storm?

This is part of the Kimani Tru series.

Alexis G.-7th grade

Pretty Tough by Liz Tigelaar

Sisters Charlie and Krista used to be best friends. But ever since Krista turned her back on Charlie in a crisis moment every thing changed. Now Krista is the pretty, popular, smart one and Charlie is more of a loner who would rather go surfing than hang out at the mall. They both pretty much ignore each other until Charlie try's out for Krista's soccer team. I liked Charlie's part of it because the book is really more about her because she wasn't afraid to go her own way. But in the end, they teach each other about being friends and team-players.

I loved this book a lot because i love soccer and all in all this was a great book!

Review by Millie B- 7th grader

Physics: From Newton To The Big Bang by Albert and Eve Stwertka

Have you ever wondered about our world? Have you ever wanted to understand why stuff happens? Learning about the universe has always been a challenge for us but we all have to start somewhere. To understand the universe, one must start with gravity and before you can get to gravity you have to understand motion. Physics brings all that together and explains the world as it is! It will answer all your questions about our universe. Is there a 4th dimension? What and how are rainbows made? How was the universe made?

This book is made for seekers of truth. It’s a book that will leave you thinking, even weeks after you’ve read it. It’s a real page-turner and with every word you read the world will become a bit less complicated. I thought this book was an eye-opener. Even thought it was a bit challenging, it was a book worth reading. So, I recommend this book to those who aren’t afraid of a challenge.

Review by:Chang Lu
8th grade Science Student

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kissing Coffins by Ellen Schreiber

Kissing Coffins is about a girl named Raven who is on the move looking for her boyfriend, Alexander. While on her search, she meets a guy named Jagger at the Coffin Club. He seems nice at first, but things get a little intense after she gets to know him. He flashes his fangs at her, using them as a weapon against her. But everyone at the Coffin Club had fangs. But were were they all fake...?

Germaine G.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

What's white and round and floats in the the sky? The moon! But imagine it being drastically closer to the Earth, causing numerous natural disasters around the world.  Through her diary entries, Miranda Evans, a sixteen year old girl, narrates the events of how she and her family persevere through what may be the end of the world.

This is definitely a book for all readers, but beware to those faint of heart! Filled with adventure, your eyes will be fixed on the pages til the very end. If you like the book, there is a sequel called The Dead and the Gone.

Tiffany Z.
8th grade science assignment

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline takes places basically in two worlds very similar to one another.
One is created by Coraline's ''other mother'' and the other world is reality. The main characters are Coraline , Coraline's mom, Coraline's dad,her other mother, her other dad, and a black cat that plays a big part in the book. Coraline's real mother noticed this door in coraline's room and when she opened it there was a brick wall behind it. One day when Coraline's parents had strangely disappeared. Coraline opened that door and the brick wall was gone and it was pitch dark. Coraline began to walk into the darkness until she came to a room that looked exactly like her room. Coraline thought that she went around in a circle and was actually back in her own room, but she wasn't. She was in another world. She went into the kitchen and there sat two wooden people with black buttons for eyes who looked like they had waiting for Coraline. They said to Coraline, ''We have been waiting for you!'' Coraline was confused, but they began to explain to her what was going on and she then began to understand.

When you read the book you are going to want to find out what had happened to Coraline's parents and why had those other people been looking for Coraline?! I recommend this book to mystery lovers and any one who likes creepy books. This is the only Neil Gaiman book that I've read. I hope you don't miss out this fabulous opportunity.

Shanique R- 7th grader