Sunday, March 01, 2015

A new student review of History in the Faking by Andreas Oertel

nictaf posted a new student review of History in the Faking by Andreas Oertel. See the full review.

Andreas Oertel made a very funny, believable, and exciting book!  I can’t wait for book two!  It caught me from page one and wouldn't let go until I finished the book.  The hoax in the book was extremely clever.  The characters were very believable and humorous. I could tell that Erick and Cody were best friends.  One part I really liked was when Rachel says, “The carvings probably said, Goo, goo, goo, Bla, bla, bla.”  I would recommend this book for ages 7 and up.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A new student review of Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper Raul The Third

O.B. WAN posted a new student review of Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper Raul The Third. See the full review.

Lowriders in Space was a good book for people who like cars. I liked that it was kind of unpredictable what would happen next or what they would say next. My favorite part was when something unexpected customized their car. It looked cool before, but after, oh man, it was pretty awesome! The book was written in Spanish and English, but there was a glossary and little bubbles on the bottom of the page telling the reader what the Spanish translated to in English. I would recommend this book to people who like cars and want to learn some Spanish.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A new student review of The Option by Herman Brown

Turbo21 posted a new student review of The Option by Herman Brown. See the full review.

It is a good book.  I like how it explains the consequences of drunk driving.

A new student review of Nameless (The Anonymous Chronicles) by Angela Welch Prusia

masha posted a new student review of Nameless (The Anonymous Chronicles) by Angela Welch Prusia. See the full review.

I think Nameless was a very good book. It was well written and illustrated social problems (hunger, violence etc.) very accurately. The plot and characters were very real and also relevant. Every person had their own personality and problems and each person illustrated a different way to deal with things. Throughout the novel the characters grow and expand, learning to accept each other and expand their horizons. It is a book that has depth and humor as well as problems that need to be solved. 

A new student review of The Kingdom Lights by Steven VS

hopeeilo11225 posted a new student review of The Kingdom Lights by Steven VS. See the full review.

This book was a good read with some great plot twists. One thing I didn't like about it was that the setting was hard to visualize. I also didn't like that the characters had basic personalities and nothing was really special about them. Also, the writing was a little dull sometimes. However, I thought it was great that there weren't any scenes that dragged out, but instead got to the point. There was a surprising twist at the end and I loved it. Overall, the book was interesting and I enjoyed reading it. I will most likely suggest it to a friend.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A new student review of A Rat and A Ransom by Yvonne I Lee

bookgirl1289 posted a new student review of A Rat and A Ransom by Yvonne I Lee. See the full review.

Being a rodent-lover, I was immediately caught by the title of this story. I found it to be a delightful, adventurous tale. Though intended for younger readers, it is a very cute, quick read for older audiences, too.The language and descriptions were quite good and the characters were very likable and realistic, especially Mask. The only thing that I did not like was the ending. I don’t want to give anything away, but it felt as if the author got tired of writing the story and wrapped it up as quickly as possible. The ending was terribly unfulfilling; I felt the author could have added a short epilogue tying everything up in a more satisfying way. However, A Rat and a Ransom was an engaging, fast read that I enjoyed.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A new student review of Firstborn

spickle posted a new student review of Firstborn . See the full review.

What’s not to like? Well-written, developed characters, a great plot in general.  I hadn’t expected the story to be from the point of view of a magpie, since it is about wolves, after all.  But that plot twist made the book even more special and unique.  There were some graphic parts, with no restraint in mentioning blood and describing kills, but if anything, that added to the book, giving the feeling that the world they now live in - Yellowstone park - is a hard, tough place to be.  This is a book that I’m definitely keeping to read for years to come.  

A new student review of NEBADOR Book One: The Test by J.Z. Colby

Sweetfable posted a new student review of NEBADOR Book One: The Test by J.Z. Colby. See the full review.

There was so much I really enjoyed about this book; it was truly a blast to read. I found many of the characters to be very likable, especially Ilika, Sata, Mati, and Kibi. Some of the slaves that he did not choose were quite rude, but thankfully they were only present for a short period of time. The villain, who was a priest that wanted to arrest Ilika, did not appear as much as villains usually do in stories, but I liked that it was not overwhelming when he did appear.

It takes a good portion of the book for Ilika to determine where he can find the companions he is seeking. Once he does, the preparations to test them require even more time. Thankfully the author always kept things interesting so I was never bored. The reader is kept in the dark for a long time about what the young man’s true intentions with the slaves are, and the exact details of their journey. Even by the end, there are still many unanswered questions.

There was a test that Ilika gave to the slaves to see who would be the best fit for his crew. The cool part about this is that the reader is able to join in and do the test as well by looking at the diagrams shown on the page. The test was very fun, but I will admit that at even some points I was unsure of what the correct answer was.

It was so great to see these slaves become free. I saw them as individuals, with their own unique personalities, who could be extremely smart and talented. I liked that there was not always a surprise around every corner, much like how things are in normal life. Also, things stayed at a good pace, and thankfully never became too predictable.

It was fun to review the topics Illika discussed when teaching his students. For younger readers, they may learn a lot, just as the ex-slaves did. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series, and look forward to more by this author.

A new student review of Adventures with Waffles

Etar posted a new student review of Adventures with Waffles . See the full review.

I really liked the humor and jokes and there were good ideas throughout the book. It was a pretty quick read for me though so I would recommend it for people younger than 13 or 14. But overall it's a good, funny book.

A new student review of The Originals: The Rise by Julie Plec

pavannah posted a new student review of The Originals: The Rise by Julie Plec. See the full review.

This book was a page turner because it was driven by action, as opposed to actual thought.  It is a plot driven book that is an easy read that can be completed in one night due to its reading style; which can seem lacking for an avid reader.  However, this book would be enjoyable to fans of the television show because of the usage of the same characters and the same problems that the characters face in the shows.  Which, to be frank, was obnoxious.  Television show writers should not transition into books if they utilize the same characters because it only creates a lack in development and hinders the books possibility, if only because it seems as though the author is writing the book as if it was to appear on tv, rather than a thought-provoking book that was meant to be a book.  

As a fan of the show I was excited to read this book because i was hoping it would give me a deeper insight into how the characters developed into how they are in today's show, but was disappointed by its lack of character development and its utter reliance on the already determined characters, attitudes, and consistent problems that the characters always seem to be facing. Yes this book could keep me reading, but it was only due to the numerous events that made the reader need and want to know if the problem was resolved. It was a one time read and should not be a series due to its total lack of character development, due to the author's attempt to hook fans of the show in. The characters have the same personalities as in the show, which not only limited the books possibilities but hindered it as well.  I would recommend this book for fans of the show for a quick one night read, but other than that I would avoid it due to the disappointment in the lack of a stronger plot and characters.

A new student review of Adam Undercover, The Presidium Files by Aaron Foster

Ayden.i posted a new student review of Adam Undercover, The Presidium Files by Aaron Foster. See the full review.

This book was very well written and interesting in the way it showed you the thoughts of Adam and his experiences.  I could hardly put it down.  This was such a great book because the main character was so relatable to teens while also showing how extraordinary kids can be.  I would recommend this book to fourth graders and above.  The descriptions used in the book were so vivid that it made you laugh if it was funny and wince with pain if anyone was injured.  The only thing I would have liked to see that I didn't was more information about machines.  I gave this 4/5 stars because it kept me on the edge of my metaphorical seat and had plenty of funny moments.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A new student review of Changing Michael by Jeff Schilling

emmadedr22247 posted a new student review of Changing Michael by Jeff Schilling. See the full review.

Changing Michael is a well-written novel with many interesting characters and plot twists. There are, however, a few critiscisms I would have to give it. Firstly, the main character doesn't seem to feel any form of guilt. Matthew was causing problems for people throughout the entire novel, but never seemed to feel any remorse. While this would have been alright in some cases, Matthew didn't paint himself as an unfeeling person. The way he explained himself made it seem like he had a conscious, and that he would feel bad at least occasionally. Him not feeling guilt took away a little bit of his relatableness. The next thing that I didn't like was nothing to do with the plot, but that there were a few spelling and grammar errors. While these are just minor mistakes, and everybody slips up once and a while, these mistakes make the book a bit harder to read. It wasn't a huge problem, but should probably be fixed. My last critiscism about Changing Michael was about the character Wanda's personality. It might not have necessarily been a problem with Wanda herself, but that her personality was a bit hard to understand. The way Matthew talked about her, it seemed like Wanda was a girl who was almost like Matthew, not wanting too much social interaction with anyone at school. However, when she spoke to Michael, it almost seemed like she was changing personalities. She talked to him a good deal, and even showed interest in some of the things he talked about. Matthew didn't want to associate with Michael too much due to his interests, so him hanging out with Wanda despite her similar interests confused me a bit. I only got more confused when Michael told Matthew that he and Wanda had talked together for about an hour. I was just as confused as Matthew, who said it couldn't be true, because Wanda never talked to anybody for an hour. 

Despite those critiscisms, Changing Micheal was still a very good novel. One thing I did like about the book was it's realisticness. It felt like this could be a real situation with real teens, and felt relatable enough that I kept feeling throughout the novel that it actually happened. I also liked how it showed a very wide range of characters. Some books tend to make all of their characters too similar, to the point which ends up making the book a bit boring. This novel, however, had a lot of characters with diverse personalities, which helped make it more interesting. Another thing I liked was that the characters seem to have growth in maturity and their personalities change a little. In the beginning of the novel, Matthew is a self-centered and entitled. Towards the end of the novel, he slowly seems to start caring about the people around him, even seeming to want to be a part of their lives, even if only a little bit. We can see this especially with Chrissy. I also liked that Matthew had a very brutally honest side to him. It added in some comedy, especially when you didn't expect it. Lastly, I liked that the characters in the novel weren't perfect, and had enough character flaws. Not too many, which would have made them seem too much like drama queens/kings, but enough that they didn't seem perfect (which no human is).

Changing Michael is a novel that I would recommend to many of my friends. It gave some laughs, while doing a good job telling an interesting story. I would give it 4/5 stars, and it would be a good book for teens ages 12-14.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A new student review of Daisy to the Rescue: True Stories of Daring Dogs, Paramedic Parrots, and Other Animal Heroes by Jeff Campbell

sisto8 posted a new student review of Daisy to the Rescue: True Stories of Daring Dogs, Paramedic Parrots, and Other Animal Heroes by Jeff Campbell. See the full review.

I really enjoyed this book!  The stories were so full of details that I never finished reading a story with unanswered questions.  The illustrations fit very well with the book.  The explanations about the psychology behind why the animals did what they did were easily understood.  The set up made it easy to find each of the stories and look up the references.  All in all, the author did a terrific job!  I recommend this book for all animal lovers and non-animal lovers 12 and up!

A new student review of The Tale of the Wulks by V. K. Green

jotaf posted a new student review of The Tale of the Wulks by V. K. Green. See the full review.

V. K. Green wrote a great book full of adventure, mystery, and magic. The Tale of the Wulks was filled with epic, well-described battles as the characters undertook their journey to prevent Lord Vanko from taking over the world. I really liked that the author, who has autism, related autistic traits to the readers as assets rather than deficiencies. The descriptions were really great. Something else I liked about the book was that the author brought together old mythical creatures and new ones to form a book that turned out magnificently. A part in the book that I liked was when Jack tricked a troll into thinking he was another one of Lord Vanko's servants, too, in the hopes of saving one of his friends. However, something I did not like was that at the beginning of the book the characters were not fully defined; I got them mixed up a bit during the first 70 pages. Luckily, they were described more completely as I read further into the book, which made it easier to recognize each of the characters. I can't believe this book was written by a high schooler, especially since it was over 600 pages long! V. K. Green's debut novel is very insightful. I think this book would be most enjoyed by ages twelve through seventeen.