• SUMMER 2016

    "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." -- Frederick Douglass

    Everything, Everything

    Reviewed by Gabriela K., 8/14/2016

    Everything Everything is a great novel about a girl named Madeline with a rare disease, bubble baby disease. This book is romantic, adventurous, and amazing. I would give this book five out of five stars! It has all the pieces a good book needs: a great main character, a great ending, romance, adventure, and comedy. This book I guarantee you will finish in one day. Nicola Yoons amazing novel takes you into Madeline's world and how she feels. Everything, Everything transports you into a another world and makes you feel grateful for what you have. This book is great for people who have read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, or for people who love a great hard-to-get romance with twist and turns all the way to the end. Overall this book deserves five out of five stars.

    Stormbreaker

    Reviewed by Max L., 8/9/2016

    Despite the slow start in the beginning, the book was still action packed and full of fighting. Alex Rider had a normal

    life, then everything changed. He lived with his uncle who was secretly a spy. His uncle died trying to return valuable

    information. As Alex investigates, he stumbles into the people whom Alex's uncle worked for. It's Alex's mission to find what information his uncle was trying to give. Alex has to go under cover to figure out what the Stormbreakers, a computer dedicated to help children to learn in a fun way, were secretly hiding before it's to late.

     

    I think this book is page turning and funny because it involves action, adventure, suspense, and hilarious comments.

    I would recommend this book to people who like action, adventure, and mystery.

    Ranger's Apprentice:

    The Icebound Land

    Reviewed by Daniel P., 8/7/2016

    One amazing book that I have recently read and is worth writing about is The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Icebound Land. It is the third book in the series and is just as good as all of the rest. The book begins with the main character, Will, who is on a ship and is being taken to the villian Morgarath’s minion’s homeland to find work as a slave. The minions take refuge on a small remote island in the stormy season. During the time that they are on the island, the main character trains for a chance to escape. After the rainy season, they are taken to the minion’s remote homeland and live a horrible and harsh life there with few blankets or necessities. Will and his friend somewhat befriend the captain of the ship who took them to the remote island. Will’s friends from home make an attempt to rescue them, but to find out what happened you must read this book.

    The Leaving

    Reviewed by Ryan N., 8/3/2016

    The Leaving by Tara Altebrando is a suspense-filled mystery novel that you will never put down, because at the end of each chapter it keeps you wondering what’s going to happen next. There was never a point in the book where it got boring. There was never a good stopping point to put the book down, I always wanted to keep reading. Some of the events in the story line seemed like they could actually happen in real life. You will be asking questions until the end, who did this? What happened to the sixth victim? Will they remember what happened over the last 11 years?

    The Nest

    Reviewed by Asher K., 7/28/2016

    The Nest is a book by Kenneth Oppel. The main character is a boy named Steven who has a great fear of wasps, hornets, etc. One day when he is eating lunch with his family he gets stung by an unusual wasp. Steven had always had strange dreams, but after the sting he starts talking to the wasp queen in his dreams. He first thinks the queen is an angel. The queen says that she can fix his baby brother who has a lot of things wrong with him. At first Steven is okay with the plan, but then the queen tells Steven that fixing the baby means they are actually replacing the baby with an exact replica. Can Steven save his baby brother and himself? You have to read the book to find out. The Nest is a very good book, and I enjoyed it very much.

    The Iron Trial

    Reviewed by William H., 7/26/2016

    The Iron Trial is about following your instincts. Callum Hunt, the main character, goes through the Iron Trial which decides whether he goes to the Magisterium. The Magisterium is a school where kids learn to become mages – a magician to fight the forces of evil. Callum has to decide whether to betray his father and try to stop the growing fear about the rising power of the enemy of death or try to get himself expelled from Magisterium. During the course of the Iron Year, Callum must learn who to trust.

     

    This book has lots of action, mystery, and suspense. People who liked the Harry Potter books may also like this book. Some may think that it is too similar to Harry Potter, because there is magic involved and the main characters are 2 boys and a girl. I liked this book because everything was unpredictable and I couldn’t guess what was going to happen next. Overall I recommend this book a lot

    Everyone Brave Is Forgiven

    Reviewed by Ms. DelPo, 6/15/2016

    World War II is declared at 11:15, and Mary North signs up by lunch. She is a privileged 18-year-old Londoner with no skills or experience, but she wants to do something useful.

     

    Alistair and Tom are two friends who don't think much of the men rushing off to war. But then Alistair changes his mind and joins up.

    When the novel opens, these three friends think of the war as something light -- exciting -- mildly inconvenient.

     

    But as the novel and the war progress, they lose their innocence about the war and the world. They experience horrors and tragedies.

     

    This novel is about courage -- and friendship -- and love -- and the true nature of war. It is beautiful and haunting and powerful. I highly recommend it for older middle schoolers, teens, and adults.

     

    There is violence and death and romance, so younger readers might want to skip this one until they are older.

     

    Lily and Dunkin

    Reviewed by Ms. DelPo, 6/8/2016

    Lily has a secret, and so does Dunkin. Everyone thinks Lily is a boy named Tim, but inside she is a girl. Everyone thinks that Dunkin is a cool new kid who is good at basketball, but inside he's a mixed up kid struggling with bipolar disorder and whether to take or throw out his medication.

     

    When they meet, each thinks the other might hold the key to something special, like being able to just be oneself.

     

    I highly recommend this book. It is sad and hopeful, interesting and compassionate. Although Lily and Dunkin's secrets might not be the same as yours, anyone can identify with the pressure to hide one's true self and the fear of secrets being discovered. This is a story about bravery and friendship and family.

  • SPRING 2016

    "Books are my friends, my companions. They make me laugh and cry and find meaning in life." -- ChristopherPaolini

    HiLo

    Reviewed by Ms. DelPo, 5/17/2016

    This utterly charming graphic novel is full of heart -- just like its characters.

     

    Hi-Lo is a funny, endearing and ultimately very brave boy who falls to earth. He is found by DJ, a boy who fears that there is nothing special about himself. 

     

    Along with DJ's friend Gina, they unlock the secrets of Hi-Lo's past and ultimately save the world, finding out what is special about DJ along the way! 

     

    This novel is fast paced with lots of action. As a bonus, the characters are diverse. How often do you find an Asian-American boy and an African-American girl starring in a graphic novel space adventure? I highly recommend this book!

    One

    Reviewed by Ms. DelPo, 5/12/2016

    Just read the most amazing and unique new book: It's called "One," by Sarah Crossan.

     

    It is about two 16-year-old girls -- Tippi and Grace -- who are conjoined twins. For them, it's normal to step into the same skirt. To hook their arms around each other for balance. To fall asleep listening to the other breathing. To share. And to keep some things private.
     

    Each of the girls has her own head, heart, and two arms, but at the belly, they join. And they are happy, never wanting to risk the dangerous separation surgery. They go to school, they have friends, they even have a crush or two.

     

    But then one of their hearts begins to fail, and they must decide whether to undergo dangerous surgery to separate. 

     

    Read this book, and learn what it is like to be both two and one -- and to face losing the best part of yourself.

    The Nest

    Reviewed by

    Ms. DelPo, 5/12/2016

    This is something wrong with Steve's baby brother. One night, Steve has a dream in which an angelic wasp promises that she will help the baby and help him, too. But as the book goes on, Steve becomes afraid that the wasp is hiding something from him, and the dream becomes a nightmare.

     

    Steve begins to suspect that the wasp is real. Or is she? Nothing is as it seems in this subtly creepy and suspenseful book about love and imperfection and facing one's fears.

     

    I thought this was a great book, and I highly recommend it for people who like books in which there is something sinister beneath the surface of things that are supposed to be good -- books like The Giver. This book is interesting and totally unexpected. Check it out!

    The Firefly Code

    Reviewed by Sidra E., 5/10/2016

    The book The Firefly Code is about a dystopian community set in the future. Everything is perfectly planned out, and the children are genetically enhanced to be better, and more perfect. When a new girl named Ilana moves into the community, a girl named Mori and her friends are curious. Ilana is perfect--too perfect--and she sometimes acts a little strange. As they unravel Ilana's secret, Mori and her friends realize that their community may not be as perfect as it seems.

    Micro

    Reviewed by Lindsey W, 5/10/2016

    The book Micro by Michael Chrichton is about a team of Cambridge scientists that get sucked into a technological mystery. One of the Cambridge scientists has a brother that works for Nanigen, a company that manufactures robots and uses science to solve problems. He comes to the group for an all expenses paid trip to their research lab in Hawaii. 

     

    However, he suddenly goes missing. His boss kidnaps all of the scientists and shrinks them down to half an inch tall using their technology, and dumps them into the rain forest. What occurs afterwards is a desperate attempt for the group to escape the corrupt workers at Nanigen as well as the dangers of the rain forest itself.

     

    I would give this book a 5 out of 5, because it has everything: science, multi-dimensional characters, and villians that come in every shape and form, be it ants, humans, or parasitic wasps.

     

    I would recommend this book to people who like adventure and creativity and people who like books and movies such as Jurassic Park (which Chrichton wrote as well).

     

    The Blackthorn Key

    Reviewed by Ms. DelPo, 4/19/2016

    Christopher Rowe is an apprentice to a famous apothecary in medieval England. He knows how to make portions that will treat your fever and potions that will explode. His master is the kind and mysterious Mr. Blackthorn.

     

    When a cult starts murdering the apothecaries in London, Christopher must use his wits and cunning to solve the mystery -- before he becomes the next victim!

     

    This book is interesting and unusual -- the potion recipes in it were actually used by real apothecaries. The writing is good, and the plot is fast paced. I highly recommend it to people who like mysteries with puzzles and people who like historical fiction.

    Beetle Boy

    Reviewed by Ms. DelPo,

    4/17/2016

    When Darkus Cuttle's father goes missing, Darkus and his friends must find him -- before it is too late.

     

    But this is no ordinary missing person story. Darkus' father is a scientist at the Natural History Museum, and he was involved in cutting edge -- even dangerous -- experiments on beetles before he disappeared. Now these beetles, and their extraordinary abilities, hold the key -- if only Darkus can figure it out.

     

    I really enjoyed this book, and found the beetle aspect interesting and unusual. If you like mysteries and science, you'll like this book.

    Emmy and Oliver

    Reviewed by Ms. DelPo,

    2/1/2016

    This is a fantastic new book with an inventive setup. It's a friendship story and a love story with a major twist.

     

    Emmy and Oliver were next door neighbors, born on the same day, and best friends all through elementary school. Their lives got ripped apart when Oliver was kidnapped. He disappeared from Emmy's life, seemingly forever. Ten years later, Oliver is found, alive and well. Emmy has held him in her head and heart all this time, but Oliver barely remembers anything from his life before the kidnapping. 

     

    Oliver says that returning home is like being kidnapped all over again, because everything is unfamiliar and new. Emmy isn't sure she knows who he is anymore, but she still feels a connection to him.

     

    Can Oliver adjust to his new life and heal from the trauma? Can they restart their friendship and overcome a ten-year gap? Read the book to find out

    I Am Princess X

    Reviewed by Ms. DelPo, 1/13/2016

    This is hands down one of the most suspenseful and engaging books that I've read in a very long time. It is ingenious and unique, mysterious and intense -- I could not put it down!

     

    The book is about May and her best friend Libby, who create the Princess X comic in fifth grade. Then, Libby and her mother die in a tragic car accident, and hundreds of pages of Princess X disappear. Years pass, and now May is 16 years old. Suddenly, she starts seeing Princess X stickers and posters everywhere -- and finds the comic on the web. It contains clues only Libby could know. May is sure Libby is alive--and in danger. She thinks that the clues are actually messages to her. May must solve the clues fast -- and stay ahead of a mysterious, violent man -- to save Libby and herself.

     

    The book is really unusual, because it is both a regular novel and a graphic novel, all mashed up into one fantastic story. Every student I've handed it to has loved it.

    Upside Down In The Middle of Nowhere

    Reviewed by Mollie B, 1/13/2016

    The book, "Upside Down in the Middle if Nowhere," is about a girl who finds herself in the middle of a disaster when Hurricane Katrina hits on her birthday. She eventually has no clue where some of her family is and doubts she will ever see them again.

     

    This book is fantastic, and you will not want to stop reading it. I recommend it to all grades, although there is some touchy subjects.

    Revolution

    Reviewed by Mrs. Walker, 1/10/2016

    Revolution is a story about a painful chapter in American history, the summer of 1964, also called the Freedom Summer.

     

    Revolution is also about family and how we find support in our communities.

     

    Sunny, a white middle school student from Greenwood, Mississippi, witnesses her world turn upside down, because the black people in her town want to exercise their right to vote.

     

    What's great about this book is that the author adds real photos and flyers from that time. It's the best combination of fiction and nonfiction in one book. Read this book. You won't regret it.

     

    Friends for Life

    Reviewed by Ms. DelPo, 1/6/2016

    This is a sometimes sad, sometimes funny book about what happens when life gets very difficult.

     

    It's about Francis, a boy who doesn't fit in, and Jessica, who runs into him on the field outside school one day and connects with him instantly. Just one problem: Jessica is a ghost. She doesn't remember how she died, and she doesn't know why Francis is the only person who can see her. 

    Together, they must solve both mysteries.

     

    The book is sweet and touching without being creepy. It's about friendship, and being true to yourself, and what to do when you feel like life is so miserable that you just can't stand to live one more day.

  • FALL 2015

    "Books are a uniquely portable magic." -- Stephen King

    The Truth About Twinkie Pie

    Reviewed by Mrs. Walker 12/6/2015

    This book is a fantastic read. It's funny, sweet, and a little bit of a mystery.

     

    The main character moves to a new town and is building a new life. There's a bit of romance (not too much) and realistic problems with friends.

     

    The plot is driven by a girl who is searching for the truth about her family. You'll go on that journey with her and stop to bake along the way! There are actual recipes after each chapter (yes, Twinkie Pie is in there). It's a brand new book, and I think any middle schooler would love reading it.

    The Glass Sentence

    Reviewed by Nava K. 12/2/2015

    After the Great Disruption, different areas of the world were thrown into different time periods.

     

    This book is a story about a girl named Sophie who lives with her gifted uncle Shadrack, who is an expert in maps. When Shadrack gets kidnapped by a strange person in a white veil, Sophia, with her new friend Theo, go out to find him. This adventure leads them to meet new people, learn about new Ages, and look for an amazing and unimaginable artifact.

     

    What will happen to Sophia? Read the Glass Sentence to find out!

    We Are All Made of Molecules

    Reviewed by Isabella G.12/3/2015

    This book describes the difficulties of high school for Stewart and Ashley, step siblings. Ashley is the most popular girl in school who is clueless when it comes to academics. Stewart is gifted in academics but hopeless when it comes to social cues. So, when the Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom, it becomes extremely chaotic.

     

    The book tells the story of how the two learn the importance of family and how they learn to set aside their differences to become close. Some mature topics are discussed in the book. I would highly recommend the book!

    The Marvels

    Reviewed by Morgan W. 12/2/2015

    This is the newest book by Brian Selznick, Caldecott Medal Winner for The Invention of Hugo Cabret and best-selling author of Wonderstruck. This book stays true to the style that Selznick invented with the first 400 pages telling the one story in pictures, and the final 200 telling a story in words.

     

    This books tells the story of a family of actors in London and throughout the generations how their story gets told. This book is one of my favorites by Brian Selznick, and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys theater or any of Selznick's previous books. It may seem daunting at first but it is a manageable read. Come pick up Brian Selznick's newest book The Marvels in the library today.

    Everything, Everything

    Reviewed by Ms. DelPo 12/2/2015

    Did you love The Fault In Our Stars? Then Everything, Everything is a book for you!

     

    Maddy has allergies so extreme that she cannot leave her house because exposure to the world might literally kill her. But then Olly moves in next door, and they see each other through the window. They start texting and emailing. And they become best friends -- and then fall in love.

     

    Maddy decides to run away -- to risk her life -- just to be with Olly. Does she survive? Read the book to find out!

     

    There is a surprising mystery at the heart of this story. Funny, sad, and so true -- I highly recommend this book! Come check it out!

     

    But -- like The Fault In Our Stars -- this book is about first love. So if mature romantic themes are too much for you -- then wait on this one.

    The Game of Love and Death

    Reviewed by Anna B. 12/12/15

    This book is about Henry and Flora, an orphaned white boy and a black girl, who are chosen by Love and Death to be pawns in their game. This book follows their thoughts, actions, and feelings as they experience the hardships of life, while Love and Death try their hardest to win their game.

     

    For those of you who do not like romance, this book does follow the relationship of Henry and Flora, but I would encourage you to focus more on the other aspects of this book. I recommend this book to seventh and eighth graders and give it a 4 out of 5 stars, because there isn't much action, but it follows an interesting plot.

    Kalahari

    Reviewed by Anna B. 12/12/15

    This book is about Sara and her journey as she tries her best to protect herself and five other teens as they struggle to survive when a safari goes horribly wrong. And they must run from a white lion, a disease, discover the truth about a secret lab, and her mother's death.

     

    I would recommend this book to all grades, but there is some romance and several gory deaths. I give this book a 4 out of five stars because it follows an interestiing plot, but its ending is a bit weird.

    Like No Other

    Reviewed by Sidra E. 12/15/2015

    This is a romance novel describing the relationship between a black boy and Hasidic girl who meet on an elevator in a hospital when the power goes out. What follows is a dangerous adventure as the two risk everything to be together while finding out who they truly are.

     

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes heavy romance novels; however, there are some hot topics in this book including swearing, references to sex and one scene of violence.