Thursday, December 18, 2014

A new student review of The Beast of Seabourne by Rhys A. Jones

nictaf posted a new student review of The Beast of Seabourne by Rhys A. Jones. See the full review.

The Beast of Seabourne was an amazing read, just as exciting as the first book.  One of the reasons this was such an amazing read was because the author’s descriptions were so clear.  For example, the author, Rhys A. Jones, wrote “Oz felt his scalp contract at remembering when he’d last been in this room...”  The characters felt both well written and believable, and the characters were realistic.  I would recommend reading book one first, but unlike some stories, if you haven’t read book one, you would have a smaller chance of being lost.  This book is for all ages, so enjoy the story.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A new student review of The Obsidian Pebble by Rhys A. Jones

nictaf posted a new student review of The Obsidian Pebble by Rhys A. Jones. See the full review.

Rhys A. Jones did a wonderful job on The Obsidian Pebble.  The book was well written and very believable.  The characters were realistic.  For example, Oz hates math, but would rather do double math for a year than move from his house. The author is British, so a small word list was included for translations, for words like 'hoovering', and 'chemist shop'.  This story uses an 11 year old perspective, which made me feel like I was a part of the story.   This book was so good that I am highly anticipating book two.  It was an unforgettable experience.  I would recommend this book for kids who love mysteries and humor.  
 

Monday, December 15, 2014

A new student review of Life, Love, and Surviving High School by Ann Herrick

Alyssakb99 posted a new student review of Life, Love, and Surviving High School by Ann Herrick. See the full review.

I think this book is good. It has grammatical errors, and I was confused on some parts through the story. I feel that the author needed to plan it out a little better so the reader is not so confused. But overall, it's a good book that can be relatable to high school girls.

A new student review of Cheesie Mack Is Sort Of Freaked Out by Steve Cotler

LegoLover posted a new student review of Cheesie Mack Is Sort Of Freaked Out by Steve Cotler. See the full review.

In Cheesie Mack is Sort of Freaked Out, Cheesie is getting ready for Halloween, and a massive Halloween prank called Plan It, you can find out what it’s going to be about.  With a friend of Cheesie’s brags about the candy he thinks he’ll collect.  His bragging soon leads to an all-out Candy Collecting Contest, with several tricks and tons of treats.  One of them is that a giant reptile, possibly the missing Galapagos Turtle of the science teacher, is roaming the streets.  This book is easily one of Cheesie’s best and is filled with his silly twists on reality!

A new student review of Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind Environmental Headlines

VBat posted a new student review of Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind Environmental Headlines . See the full review.

I wanted to like this book— environmental problems are relevant to many modern social discussions, and I think Fleischman’s insights into our social systems are spot on. Unfortunately, the good information and ideas provided by Eyes Wide Open are hard to follow and understand, due to the unconventional organization of the book. Rather than grouping the information into the type of environmental problem, say, “fracking” and “GMO’s,” Fleischman addresses multiple issues in each chapter, some in three sentence paragraphs. These blurbs do not provide enough explanation of the topic or statistical evidence to be valuable to the reader. He does not elaborate on each topic enough to connect the situation to his main point, which leaves the reader to either figure out the connection themselves, or simply give up reading. 
 
If you can get through the confusing organization, the book does make some good points. The most helpful section of the book is tucked away in the back, almost in the glossary— a section on “How to Weigh Information.” This chapter looks at different sources of information, like documentaries and newspapers, and gives pointers on how to find quality information amongst all of the bad information. This section is more detailed than the rest of the book, and is very applicable to real-world situations.
 
Overall, Eyes Wide Open made for a very unsatisfying reading experience. There are limited facts and explanations for any of the problems or solutions that Fleischman covers in his book, and he fails to present the information in a clear, motivating way. There are a lot of great environmental examples that are briefly brought up within the text, but, without context and a clear direction, it is difficult for the reader to see the overall message of Eyes Wide Open.
 
I would not recommend this book to most readers. Instead, I would suggest reading something like the Sustainable World Sourcebook, compiled by Sustainable World Coalition. Like Eyes Wide Open, this text urges readers to “examine unquestioned assumptions,” but also provides context, statistics, and specific calls to action for the reader. Written with a similar reader-focused style and including fascinating color photographs, the sourcebook is a great alternative to Eyes Wide Open.

A new student review of The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell

joythean posted a new student review of The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell. See the full review.

I really liked how the romance was subtle but at the same time, an important deciding factor in the story. The relationship that Damien and his ex-girlfriend Kat has is awkward in the beginning but the smooth writing develops it into something really sweet. The characters' personalities are interesting and funny to read, especially Damien's. I love him because he is sarcastic, a smooth talker, and full of humor. All of these qualities are expertly described in Chelsea M. Campbell's writing, which really adds to the reading experience. It's also really amazing how unpredictable the characters and plot line are; I wasn't bored a single time throughout the novel. My only complaint would be that it was a little too cheesy in some areas the story.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A new student review of The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett Jory John

sisto8 posted a new student review of The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett Jory John. See the full review.

I think that this book was pretty good.  I liked the characters and the setting because they were realistic as well as an important part of the book.  Some books I’ve read seemed to me that the authors randomly chose where the story takes place.  The illustrations went well with the parts of the story being told.   The book was funny because it had lots of unexpected twists and turns.  I recommend this book for kids who are 8-13.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A new student review of The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts

thudson36 posted a new student review of The Bodies We Wear by Jeyn Roberts. See the full review.

I thought The Bodies We Wear was an overall great book. The plot was well thought out and executed.  The world Faye lives in was explained in a way that was easy to understand, and you can’t help but be pulled in to it. Faye’s character greatly developed throughout the story and as you read, you see the way she learns and matures. I loved the relationship between Faye and Christian and didn’t think it was unrealistic, like some couples in novels. I also felt this novel nicely touched on subjects in today’s society, like drugs and substance abuse. I would not recommend this novel to anyone who dislikes dystopian or action novels. Overall, I thought this was a excellent novel and would recommend it to others.

A new student review of The Goddess Inheritance by Aimée Carter

pavannah posted a new student review of The Goddess Inheritance by Aimée Carter. See the full review.

When I first picked up this book I was afraid it was going to be another Percy Jackson series, but I was gladly mistaken, because this was an entirely new and refreshing take on mythology and the Gods and Goddesses that ring throughout Greek mythology.  Although it needed more character development, and the story dragged a bit, it was still a page turner that kept me up all night!  I would recommend this book for anyone looking for an easy and quick read to fill some time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A new student review of Reborn by C. C. Hunter

Soul2580 posted a new student review of Reborn by C. C. Hunter. See the full review.

It's a good book if you like the types of paranormal characters like vampires, shapeshifters, mediums, and other things. It has a bit of mystery in it, and some suspense and a little romance. I liked reading the book because it had the different types of the paranormal species, and I could learn more about them and the abilities they had.

Monday, December 08, 2014

A new student review of The Terminals

jotaf posted a new student review of The Terminals . See the full review.

In his young adult thriller, The Terminals, Royce Buckingham has written an exciting smash hit. This is the first book in his new series.  I really thought that The Terminals was an amazingly written book.  It included a whole bunch of the things I enjoy in a book, like action and mystery, but in a more appealing way.  One of the unique parts that I really liked was when Cam’s friend, Mason, left Cam a secret message using the game Stratego.  The one thing I didn’t like about the book was that the ending was a little confusing. It was hard to know exactly who, if any, of his friends died at the end.  I would recommend this book to anyone over age 13 who likes books with action, mystery, and suspense.