Other Award(s)

Book Review: Wonder

Wonder
Author: 
Palacio, R. J.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

In the beginning of the book August has a facial
deformity called Treacher Collins syndrome where his ear is lower than the
ears are supposed to be. He has not gone to a regular school ever so in fifth
grade his mom has decided that she does not want to

Reviewer's Name: 
Mia G.

Book Review: Carve the Mark

Carve the Mark
Author: 
Roth, Veronica
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Carve the Mark, by Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series, is told in a fantasy/sci-fi world, where the nations of Shotet and Thuvhe co-inhabit one planet, but not without a whole lot of conflict. One of our two main protaganists, Akos Kereseth, is the son of of Thuvhe's oracles, and he has a dark fate: "The third child of the family Kereseth will die in service to the family Noavek." Our other protaganist, Cyra Noavek, is the little sister of Ryzek Noavek, the cruel and sadistic ruler of the Shotet nation, and her currentgift (a kind of superpower) is to cause instant pain to anyone who touches her and be in constant pain due to this currentgift. When the Assembly (the equivalent of an intergalactic government) reveals the fates of all fated Thuvhesit citizens, Akos' family is attacked and his father is killed, and Akos and his brother Eijeh, fated to become the next Thuvhesit oracle after his mother, are kidnapped by Shotet soldiers and transported across the Divide (a field that seperates Thuvhe and Shotet). Ryzek Noavek, using his current gift, tries to obtain Eijeh's gift of prophecy by destroying Eijeh's mind, and Akos is hopelessly unable to rescue him. Meanwhile, Akos is put into the service of Cyra Noavek after Ryzek discovers that his current gift can help relieve Cyra's constant agony. In this complicated situation, Akos begins to fall in love with Cyra, although it is difficult to get past his resentment towards her and her people, and when they are both put in danger of Ryzek's crazy schemes, their relationship is truly put to
the test.

I really, really, really enjoyed this book. The characters are compelling as well as the story, which was a plot unlike anything I had ever read or seen before. The writing was good, although some humor was definitely lacking. The author did a good job of introducing many characters without taking the focus away from the main characters or making the story too confusing. The world-building was thorough, although at some points, it became a bit tangled, causing me to have to go back and reread some previously mentioned details. If I could, I would rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Here's the official summary (I think it's better than what I wrote): "In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift. "Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra's currentgift gives her pain and power--something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother's hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows. "Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual current-gift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive--no matter what the cost. "Then Akos is thrust into Cyra's world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy each other?

"Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth's stunning portrayal of the power of friendship--and love--in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts."

Reviewer's Name: 
Martha

Book Review: Fire

Fire
Author: 
Cashore, Kristin
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

In the novel "Fire" by Kristin Cashore we are given the tragic back story of the human-monster Fire. With the history of her cruel dead father Cansrel, Fire is determined to help the royal family restore the Dells to the glory it once was. After a three week journey to the royal palace Fire agrees to stay there to help interrogate transgressors, enemy spies, and any accused of treason. By using her breath taking beautie and control of the mind Fire helps prince Brigan discover very valid secrets and save the Dells.

Reviewer's Name: 
Aida

Book Review: The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös
Author: 
Heiligman, Deborah
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Once there was a boy who loved math. He loved math so much that he spent all of his time thinking about numbers. He spent so much time with math that he couldn’t do many things that ordinary people do. The biography tells the story of Paul Erdos, one of the greatest mathematicians, and how he found his way in the world sharing his ideas and love of math.

Reviewer's Name: 
Carol

Book Review: Lumberjanes

Lumberjanes
Author: 
Stevenson, Noelle
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Do you like magical creatures? Do you like actually well-executed pop-culture references? Do you like respectfully handled minority representation? Then the Lumberjanes series is definitely for you! It follows the adventures of five girls at a very unusual summer camp - Ripley, Jo, Mal, Molly, and April. Together, they encounter all manner of magical beasts, artifacts and locations, all while bonding with each other & following their motto of 'Friendship to the MAX!'

The series also has representation to offer, as I previously mentioned. With not only a main-cast lesbian couple, but a trans character,a nonbinary character, and several characters of color, it does well showing the diversity that exists in our world. "But, the art! What do you have to say about the art?" I hear you ask. Well, being a comic, it does have to convey much of its story through images. Through volumes, the art style does shift as different artists draw for Lumberjanes, but it consistently holds in a quality range of 'good' to 'great'. The main artist's style is a little unusual & a bit difficult to get used to, but it'll quickly grow on most readers. Overall, the Lumberjanes series is worth a read, even if it doesn't quite sound like your thing. It's charming and sure to delight pre-teen and teen readers.

Reviewer's Name: 
Olivia F.

Book Review: The City of Ember

The City of Ember
Author: 
DuPrau, Jeanne
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The City of Ember is a fictional book in which the author explains a dystopian society. In this society young people are given their jobs that they must do for the rest of their lives. The city is also falling apart because they are running out of supplies like food and are running out of an energy source. Their "government" system is corrupt making it impossible for change to easily happen. The main characters, Lina and Doon, are determined to find life outside of their enclosed city so they embark on a journey. On this journey they face many struggles but eventually make it out with hopes of a better life.

I would recommend this book. "The City of Ember" is a fun, easy book to read. I read it the first time because I was in battle of the books. I couldn't relate to the characters. It wasn't predictable and it was a good book.

Reviewer's Name: 
Oriana O

Book Review: Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray
Author: 
Sepetys, Ruta
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Taking place during WWII... Lina, a fifteen-year-old girl, lives a peaceful and normal life drawing and going to school but when the NKVD, better known as Soviet officers, force them to leave, adventure and chaos abduct Lina's normal lifestyle. Lina, her brother Jonas, and her mom Elena have to travel by train living with the bare minimum to survive off of. From Soviet officers forcing them to work to stealing food to survive, Lina has to find a way to outlast WWII and the capture of her family. Her main goal through all this; to find her dad. This dramatic adventure written by Ruta Sepetys will pull you off your seat.
Reviewer's Age: 15

Reviewer's Name: 
Aiden F

Book Review: The Marvels

The Marvels
Author: 
Selznick, Brian
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book begins on a ship at sea with a boy named Billy Marvel. He survives a terrible shipwreck and later finds work in a London theatre. There his family lives for generations as brilliant actors--some who are the best kind of people, some who are awful people. All of the family are actors and love the stage and spotlight until young Leontes Marvel. He hates acting, misses his cues, and can’t remember his lines. His parents are ashamed and banish him from the stage. He decides that his destiny lies somewhere else so he runs away.

A century later, Joseph Jervis, another runaway, finds a place to stay with an uncle in London. Grumpy Uncle Albert and his strange but beautiful house lure Joseph on a search for clues. He begins to think that he might be related to the Marvels and begins an incredible adventure to find out who he truly is.

I really enjoyed this book. During the mystery, I felt like I was right alongside Joseph as he found clues to his mysterious past. I am happy that I figured out the mystery before Joseph did. The story had a very sad ending, but overall stayed pretty bright. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Brian Selznik’s other books, mysteries, or heartfelt books.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ben C

Book Review: Scarlet

Scarlet
Author: 
Meyer, Marissa
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

"Scarlet" is the second book of Marissa Meyer's series, "The Lunar Chronicles". We left off with new information on Cinder's true identity and her trapped in jail. With gifts from Dr. Erland Cinder must pull a daring escape from prison, using her wits and new allies to push her towards her next goal.
Meanwhile, Scarlet has been waiting weeks for information on her grandmother's disappearance. When nothing turns up, she is forced to turn to more sketchy sources.
Marissa Meyer expertly weaves the two view points to keep the series moving in the dashing book known as "Scarlet".
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Adia R

Book Review: The Wishing Spell

The Wishing Spell
Author: 
Colfer, Chris
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Twins, Alex and Connor Bailey, are two average middle school kids. Alex is a bookworm and is very lonely, while Connor is the class clown and has a lot of friends. Their dad died a year before, and their mother is still struggling to pay off bills. Both of the twins have grown up loving all the classic fairy tales. On their twelfth birthday, their grandmother comes into town to celebrate with them. Alex and Conner are given the old family storybook, filled with all those classic stories they grew up with. Late that night, while Alex is reading, the storybook begins to glow and hum. Alex is shocked, and throughout the week, she realizes its a portal to the land of stories, where fairytales come to life. I chose to read this book because I was told it was about a spin on classic tales. I think that people that like the show once upon a time would like this. I love how Chris Colfer made a connection and a community of the stories like Cinderella, Thumbelina, Sleeping Beauty, and much more. The only part I don't like is that there is sometimes profanity and foul language. Otherwise, this is an AMAZING book and I highly recommend it.

Reviewer's Name: 
Abby P.

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