Monday, January 28, 2008

July 5

Jerome Banneker lives in the projects, but doesn't see the
reason for the "commmunity pride" of its other black
members. Josh Stanton has always been told that his life is
great, but doesn't understand the "morality" that everyone
tells him he lacks. And Rob Flaherty lives in an
impoverished town full of racist Irishmen, but thinks of
himself as a rebel. The boys' three communities are in a
heated debate over the fate of a nearby shoe factory, and
according to the adults around them, the three should avoid
each other at all costs. But a mysterious businesswoman
brings them together, and the boys can't help but see each
other, not as rivals, but as friends.

This book is the worst I've read in a long time. The
author took a mediocre plot line, added three almost
identical characters, and called his book finished. Perhaps
if it had been written well, it would have still been an
enjoyable book, but Mr.McHugh's novel is littered with comma
errors and awful dialect. All of the characters are one
dimensional-- the children overly perfect clones of one
another who enjoy breaking into monologues and the adults
irrational bigots. Only one character has any intrigue at
all, and McHugh seems to expect her interactions to make up
for the blandness of her companions by including her
everywhere. The three protagonists cause the book to be
redundant, as McHugh's attempts to make them similar to each
other only mean that whenever something happens to one, a
similar thing must happen to the rest, and instead of using
foreshadowing, he simply includes random unrelated events to
explain others. The book's condescending tone makes it a
truly unpleasant read, and unless you suffer from insomnia,
you should certainly look elsewhere for a way to spend your

The book has anti-racism themes throughout, causing it to
create cruel stereotypes about races, and all characters
curse. A teen also uses drugs and is offered alcohol and
drugs by an adult, and the book contains violence, attempted
murder, and attempted suicide.
Rating: 2

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: , Maryland United States

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Sweet Far Thing

The Sweet Far Thing is an enchanting adventure novel that
concludes the tales of Gemma Doyle. Felicity, Ann, and Gemma
are finishing up their last year at Spence Academy. Ann will
go to her cousin's house to be a governess, while Felicity
and Gemma will be presented to society and begin their
seasons. However, matters in real life seem petty to the
problems in the realms. The woodland creatures are fighting
with the Hajin and Circe might still be around. Pippa and
her friends are growing stronger with hate and magic of the
Borderlands while an army appears to be festering in the
Winterlands. Kartik has been avoiding her lately and Gemma
wants to know why. The end to the Great and Terrible Beauty
series is unimaginable and different, completely unexpected.

Libba Bray amazes with her entire series. The Sweet Far
Thing is a beautiful conclusion to a wonderful tale. Readers
who enjoyed Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter will love this
tale of heroism and magic. Gemma is a bright light in such
dark times and being privy to her thoughts is a magical
experience. The Sweet Far Thing brings back characters
beloved in the previous novels, Ann, Felicity, Kartik, and
even those who are not, Miss McCleethy, Mr. Fowlson, and
Cecily. The only bad thing about this novel is that it comes
to an end. The Gemma Doyle trilogy is a series everyone
should read and one that everyone will cherish.

This novel is borderline 3. It has frightening images and
it is also a tale of love.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 10

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Concord , Massachusetts
United States

Edward's Eyes

Jake knew, from the very day that his mother, Maeve, brought
Edward home and sat his baby brother on his lap, that he and
Edward would be a team. It was from that very first look
into Edward's eyes. As Edward grew, Jake was always at his
side. Whether it was potty training or learning to read,
Jake helped him. Edward was the best friend and brother that
Jake ever had, until the accident.

This book is very short, most definitely designed for a
younger audience, mostly in grades four through six.
Although the book was short, it made up for lack of pages
with tons of emotion. This was just as good as any
tear-jerking adult novel on the shelves. The character of
Edward is the one we all know and hold close, the child
prodigy that we love and call a sibling. The bond between
Jake and Edward is on a whole new plane. I have never met a
pair of brothers this loving and helpful. The plot was a tad
weak in some areas. At one point the author drops a
metaphorical bomb on the plot, but then doesn't fully
resolve it. She puts off this bomb until the end of the
novel and has no way to tie up the loose ends. It is like an
abrupt stop in the plot. One good characteristic of the book
is how engaging it is. I was into the book from the very
first sentence and read it straight through in one sitting.
I expect to see other great works of fiction coming from
Patricia MacLachlan soon!
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 6

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Shippensburg, USA


_Choices_ is a book that deals with one of the hardest
decisions a girl might have to make in her life. When
Rachael meets Gary, she is forced to decide whether to take
a chance and date him or break her school's tradition of
dating outside their own walls. Pushing her fears aside, she
lets herself fall for his athletic body and talents. Soon
they share a deep and dark secret that will change their
lives forever as Rachael and Gary are forced to make
decisions they are not ready to make. When Gary leaves for
college and stops responding to her emails and texts,
Rachael hops into a taxi with a driver who takes her away
from her problems and offers her the most valuable advice
she has ever had in her life. Read the book to find out what
happens to Rachael and how this amazing, summer of romance
story ends.

This book allows you to realistically live through an
experience and hope that you (and anyone else) will never
really have to face such an ordeal. This journey creates a
page turning book with a meaningful message. The author's
purpose shows how teenage girls should not give up on their
babies. Everyone enters this world with a purpose and could
make a difference in the world. I think this book is really
good and it will help young teenage girls realize what they
are giving up and make them think twice about some of their
choices. The book weaves together Rachael's reality and
dreams which creates suspense for the ending.

This book would be successful if a teen read it and
discussed it with an adult.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 6

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Cumming, Georgia United

Rich Girl

Okay, raise your hand if you have ever dreamed of living
alone. You can have parties, eat unlimited junk food, not
clean your room... the things are endless. But imagine
living alone in a huge house, your parents halfway across
the world, and you are in a country you've never been in
before. Oh ya, did I mention that you are going to one of
the richest schools in the bay area, and to the oh so bratty
kings and queens of the school, you are nobody but a nerdy,
foreign exchange student. That's Victoria Lee for you, and
since her parents are halfway around the world (in China )
they wouldn't know if she decided to throw a party to get
her dream crush Scott's attention... now would they. But as
the clock strikes midnight, who will be Victoria's prince
charming? Scott, or... someone else!

While Rich Girl is a very good book, I couldn't help but
feel nothing as I continued reading. Total blah. The story line was good but as soon as I started reading, every twist and turn was predictable. No surprises! I knew as soon as Gabe showed up that Victoria would fall for him. I couldn't help it, it was just obvious to me. The odd thing was that even though I knew what would happen, I still enjoyed reading the book. And maybe, to other people who read this book, what happens won't be obvious to them. It will just be a great book.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Casa Grande, AZ United
States of America

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Sacred Sin

Jude Foster is a homicide detective in Los Angeles who is
about to have a mental breakdown. About one year ago, Jude
was left to die by his once close friend and partner,
Morgan Cross. Cross had betrayed him, and now Jude is one
the verge of a mental crash. He is seeing a psychiatrist
whom he strongly dislikes so that he can be reinstated into
the department and all the while, everything around him is
moving just too quickly. His brother, the only family he
has left, is in need of help but does not want it, and Jude
tries his best to give it to him.
A body is found in West Hollywood, and Jude realizes that
this is just the first of many bad things to come. There
are markings on the body which are actually a trail all
leading to a new evil. Jude has to uncover the sacred sin
of a killer who murders his victims without even touching
them, only by stealing their souls. And time goes by all
the while, given Jude only a week to find "the darkness
that lies within all men."

This was a very good book.
The way it was written, I just couldn't put it down.This
book has so many different emotions in it that you can't
see what the author, Estevan Vega, will make you feel
next. Overall, it was a really great book and a definite
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

This book may be scary for younger children because it
deals with a murderer and his victims.


Reviewer City, State and Country: East Islip, New
York United States

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Prometheus Project: Trapped by Douglas E. Richards

Ryan and Regan Resnick's parents have just been relocated for their job to rural Pennsylvania. One day, they overhear their parents talking about a secret project called Prometheus. They decide to stake out their parents' workplace and end up breaking and entering. This leads them to solve puzzles of every shape and size. They soon discover that puzzles aren't the only thing they have to solve. When they get into Prometheus, they discover an unknown alien environment. Inside a dwelling are their parents, who are now top-secret scientists. Everything is being explained to them when a huge diamond drill falls and hits their mother on the head. Their father sends them to get help, and fast!! They realize they can't get out of the alien environment. So they go back. Everyone has disappeared! The children are now thrown into a race against time to save their mother!

This is definitely not a book for those in the higher reading levels. This book is meant for a fourth through sixth grade reading class. The problems seemed unchallenging; the way Richards went about solving the problems was a little lame. The children didn't really do a lot. Also, Richards was trying to be witty, but came off all wrong; the wit sounded like a bunch of bad jokes strung together. Then again, the ideas behind the novel are very fascinating. I have honestly never read a book like this ever before in my life. Truly, a unique work of children's literature when you look at the plot line. The idea of an alien race populating our planet is a fascinating one. There wasn't very much change in the characters. Ryan and Regan didn't develop much at all; good dynamic characters change dramatically from the beginning of a book to the end. This book was definitely designed for classroom use.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Shippensburg, USA

What the Cat Dragged In

Jacques the Ripper and Cleopatra have to move with their
humans to White Sands, Alabama, when they inherit a
beach front home. Cleo is a female cat that loves to be
noticed, while the male, Jacques, is a rough, tough monster
of a feline. Their owners, Kate and Jeremy, take them to
the new house on the beach, which they will have to share
with another relative, Jake Novak, who inherited a half
interest in the house. They move in downstairs while he
moves in upstairs. The catch to inheriting everything is
that together they must care for the menagerie of animals
that the old lady owned before she died, but things quickly
get interesting when they learn Jake despises animals. Then
a murder occurs, and Jeremy is the main suspect! Will Cleo
and Jacques help solve this weird mystery and prove Jeremy
isn't the killer?

book in the Jacques & Cleo, Cat Detectives series by Gilbert
Morris. It centers on Jacques and Cleo, two cats who like to
solve mysteries, and the lady who owns them. Since I enjoy
suspense novels and I love cats, I thought this book was
pretty good, even though it is really written more for
adults than teens since it is about two adults falling in
love. The book does include a couple teenage characters to
provide interest for us teens. There wasn't very much
action and the mystery was kind of boring even though I
didn't solve it ahead of time. A few references to drugs,
cheating, and sexual things make this book a more
appropriate choice for adults rather than teens, however.
There are two other books in this series, THE CAT'S PAJAMAS
and WHEN THE CAT"S AWAY, which I will also be

references to drug use, cheating on tests,
sexual references such as porn magazines in teen's
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country:
Upper Strasburg, PA USA

Not Anything

Susie Shannon seems to be a very depressed girl. She is in
high school and is super intelligent though. Her mother had
died years ago, and Susie never got over that tragedy. Her
father seems to feel the same way, although Susie wouldn't
know that as they barely talk to each other,and when they do
it is very concise. Mr. Murphy is Susie's favorite teacher
and he asked her to tutor one of the hottest guys in school;
Danny Diaz. At first, the tutoring does not work out, but
after a while they start to warm up to each other. However,
problems occur with everyone....Susie's best friend Marisal,
her neighbor Marc, classmates, and even Danny as it gets
closer to Homecoming. This certainly doesn't help Susie at
home either. It is the time of the year when her mother died
and her father might be seeing someone else; Marisal's
mother. How does Susie deal with all of her problems and
does she like Danny more than a friend? Or does he like
someone else?

Before I started reading Not Anything I expected it to be
an 'okay' book. However, once I started to read it, I could
not stop. The plot picks you up right from the beginning and
keeps building up the entire way to the end. The vocabulary
is very modern and appropriate for young adults. It is an
easy read because a lot of the issues in the story are ones
that actually happen in real life so you can relate to them.
I liked the character Danny because he was interesting to
get to know, and was similar to people I know. I wish the
ending was different because I think Susie should have made
different choices, but the ending was still very strong. I
definitely recommend Not Anything to any female wishing to
read about a high school girl.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
United States of America

The Sacred Sin by Estevan Vega

Jude Foster is a homicide detective in Los Angeles who is about to have a mental breakdown. About one year ago, Jude was left to die by his once close friend and partner, Morgan Cross. Cross had betrayed him, and now Jude is one the verge of a menta crash. He is seeing a pshychiatrist whom he strongly dislikes so that he can be reinstated into the department and all the while, everything around him is moving just too quickly. His brother, the only family he has left, is in need of help but does not want it, and Jude tries his best to give it to him.

A body is found in West Hollywood, and Jude realizes that this is just the first of many bad things to come. There are markings on the body which are actually a trail all leading to a new evil. Jude has to uncover the sacred sin of a killer who murders his victims without even touching them, only by stealing their souls. And time goes by all the while, given Jude only a week to find "the darkness that lies within all men."

This was a very good book. The way it was written, I just couldn't put it down.This book has so many different emotions in it that you can't see what the author, Estevan Vega, will make you feel next. Overall, it was a really great book and a definite page-turner.

This book may be scary for younger children because it deals with a murderer and his victims.

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: East Islip, New York United States

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hell Girl

Hell Girl is a collection of stories told in a manga.
Mangas are Japanese graphic novels that are read from left
to right. Hell Girl contains five chapters that only have
one consistent character, the Hell Girl. Each story's main
character has been wronged by someone. When their life
becomes miserable, they hear about a website that people can
only access at midnight. At the website, the characters
type in the name of the person that they want to send to
hell. The Hell Girl soon appears. She tells them that she
can send their wrongdoer to hell, but they also must come to hell once they die. All of the characters agree and the Hell Girl gets revenge.

This manga was very different than the other mangas that
I have read in the past. The stories were only connected by
the Hell Girl, who does similar things and says similar
lines in each story. Despite this, I still enjoyed the
book. Each story was interesting, and the drawings were
very good. This manga was only the first in the Hell Girl
series. I may continue reading the series to see if the character, Hell Girl, develops or if we learn more about her grandmother, who was mentioned once. All in all, the book was interesting and unique. Manga readers will probably
enjoy it, as well as anyone who enjoys stories of betrayal
and revenge.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

This book is graphic because it is drawn as well as
written. It has some violence, suffering, and sexual content.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Royersford, PA USA

Finding Stinko

From the time Newboy was one week old, he had
been living in the state child care system. He had lived in
11 houses in 12 years, and, to make matters worse, when he
was nine years old he stopped talking. It wasn't his fault,
he just opened his mouth one day and nothing came out. The
school he went to labeled him difficult and stubborn, so no
one wanted to adopt him, or even keep him in their house,
which is how he came to live with the Knoxes. They were the
worst foster parents he'd ever had, so Newboy dedided to
listen to his instincts. One morning, he got out of bed
early and ran away. He had no where in particular to go ,and
with only a few possessions, Newboy was on the run. On his
first day away from the Knoxes, Newboy finds an unexpected
friend. It was an old, beat-up ventriloquist dummy with half
of his face missing that he names Stinko. To his surprise,
when Newboy pulls the string to open Stinko's mouth, his own
voice speaks for the first time in years. Throughout the
book, he uses his newfound voice to deal with life on the

To be honest, I didn't like this book. It was
a little boring and the plot was very predictable. The
ending leaves you wanting a sequel because it doesn't really
tell you what happens to Newboy. On the other hand, it was
very easy to relate to Newboy. Micheal de Guzman did a good
job making Newboy seem real, so I felt whatever he felt. I
would recommend this book to people who like bitter-sweet
endings and don't mind large sections of reading without
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 5

Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Phoenixville,
Pennsylvania United States


Tom Schwoerin is annoyed. He is a historian with a problem.
According to a certain pattern, old cities form a ring
around the cities of today. Following this pattern, he
discovers something wrong: a little town called Eifelheim.
Eifelheim was inhabited, records show, but something
happened around the fourteenth century so that Eifelheim was
never inhabited again. Tom wants to find out what happened,
so he goes on a search.
The book switches to the year 1348; the main character is
named Father Dietrich. He wakes up in his bed and knows that
something bad is going to happen, but he doesn't know what
will take place. Throughout the day, mysterious things occur
in the town. A part of the town catches on fire, and
Dietrich, and some friends find a hurt race of alien beings.
What happens to Eifelheim?

Though the book is very interesting towards the end, it
was not one of my favorites. In the beginning of the book
and towards the middle, the author had the aliens explain
their language. Unfortunately, the aliens use numbers to
talk, so it took a little while for the aliens to explain it
to Dietrich. Furthermore, some of the book was written in
German, especially the conversations between Tom and Sharon,
so I could not understand what they were saying. I did like
how the author explained the setting, but overall, I did not
like the book.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 2

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country:
Pottstown, PA United States

Monday, January 21, 2008

Better Off Famous?

Annie Hoffman is an average, smalltown, teenage girl. After
receiving a letter from her aunt, Annie travels to New York
City for a visit. Annie, who plays the violin, knows of a
well known music school,and goes to an audition with hopes
of getting in. After being rejected, Annie finds something
that may change her life forever. This small town girl just
might turn into a huge star.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very easy to
read and everything made sense in it. Better Off Famous is a
great story that teenage girls will love. There wasn't any
bad language, or bad content in this book. I enjoyed it even
more for that reason.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Newville, Pennsylvania USA

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Seer of Shadows

When Horace Carpetine, a photographer's apprentice, is
outside sweeping, he meets an eerie black girl named Pegg,
who needs a photograph for her mistress. She schedules an
appointment and disappears into the damp, thick mist. When
they arrive at the mistress's house, Mrs.Von Macht opens the
door and strictly informs them that she needs a picture of
herself in her house to put on her dead daughter's grave.
The photographer and Horace accept and then once outside,
Mr. Middleditch the photographer, has a fantastic idea.
Mrs. Von Macht's daughter died of yellow fever, and Mrs.Von
Macht wants the picture on her grave. Mr. Middleditch
decides to put a hoax on Mrs. Von Macht, by secretly taking
pictures of Eleanora, the dead daughter, and making her look
like a ghost in the finished picture. Horace is finally
allowed to take pictures, and when he is taking secret
pictures of Eleanora, strange sights are happening in the
Von Macht house, and the more pictures he takes, the more he
sees Eleanora. Pegg has become friends with Horace and
together they battle the demonic spirit of Eleanora before
it's too late.

The Seer of the Shadows, by Avi, is a gripping fictional
story of spirits and photography. I was amazed by how well
the book was written, with deep descriptions of not just
Eleanora, but everyone. I could picture all the characters
through their vivid descriptions, and could hear their pleas
when they were affected by Eleanora's wrath . The Seer of
the Shadows is horrific and heart wrenching. The details of
1800s photography, just after it had become popularized,
provide a perfect plot line for the story. This is an
amazing book!
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 10

Various situations that some parents may approve

Reviewer Age:11

Reviewer City, State and Country: Osseo, Wisconsin United

Friday, January 18, 2008

Why Can't My Turtle Be A Ninja?

If you want to laugh, you can read poems such as "The Wreck
of the Ski Bum", "The Family Vacation", "Profit Motive",
"Girl Troubles", or "A Forest of Fungus". If you want to
bone-up on some of life's lessons, you can read poems such
as "Simon Says", "Reginald Dixon Farnsworth, III",
"Darwinian Theory", "The Wright Brothers", "Polly and Kevin"
or "People Are Like Tea Bags". And yet, there are some of
Keith's favorites, such as "Changing Lines", "Keegil's Law
of Laughter", "Why Can't My Turtle Be a Ninja?", "Poker with
Sasquatch", "Electric Eel", "Jersey Traffic", and "Life is
One Big Experiment". Life truly is one big experiment. We
need to laugh, think and live. These are poems that most
people can relate to, identify with, and enjoy.

Why Can't My Turtle Be A Ninja? was a fantastic, funny,
and fast read. Webster's poetry was extremely delightful
and witty. Reading this eBook was quite enjoyable because
it was such a page-scroller. I thought Webster's writing
was very effective because it appealed to all ages and
genders. Some of his poetry often reminded me of Shel
Silverstein, another great poet. I thought this eBook was
very interesting, but a few poems were a bit bland. All in
all, Why Can't My Turtle Be A Ninja? was a really great book
that I would recommend to people of all ages.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Leopold, MO USA

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Chicken Dance

Don Schmidt lives on a chicken farm in Horse Island,
Louisiana. He is unpopular at school as well as at home. He
has absolutely no friends and everyone refers to him as "new
kid," even though he has lived on Horse Island since
kindergarten. At home his mother constantly refers to his
dead sister Dawn, and thinks the world revolves around
herself. Out of loneliness he befriends the chickens living
in his backyard and they become his best friends. Don's luck
soon changes when he becomes the youngest person ever to win
the chicken-judging contest at the local dairy fair.
Everyone wants to be his friend and his mother seems to
care about him a little more, but not enough to stop
ordering him around. Don is content with his life until he
finds a metal box with a birth certificate in it. The birth
certificate belongs to a boy named Stanley. Don wonders who
Stanley could be and decides to ask his father. His father
simply tells Stanley that it is his birth certificate and
they changed his name to Don, because the uncle whom he was
named after was a bad man. Don doesn't believe his father
and begins to believe that Stanley is actually his twin that
got kidnapped when they were younger. Stanley isn't real,
but Don believes he is and talks to him like he was a normal
person. Don soon learns that the hidden birth certificate
isn't the only secret his parents have been keeping from
him. Once he learns one secret he is hungry for more, and
then they all unravel into a shocking, unforeseeable truth.

For the most part I enjoyed the book. It was full of
unexpected twists and turns and made me laugh. There were
parts of the book though that made me very mad. Especially
when Don's mother forgot his birthday - twice, and when she
wouldn't even congratulate him on his winning the
chicken-judging contest. I would get very frustrated with
the book and put it down and walk away at these points,
because I feel that no mother should ever forget a child's
birthday and should never treat their child the way his
mother treated him. Besides this, the book was suspenseful
and ends with a bang you would never see coming. Jacques
Couvillon created a good first novel that I would recommend
to other teen readers and I look forward to reading what he
has coming next!

The book has some mature content that I would not
recommend for readers aged 9-12. For example, Don's mother
has an affair which I don't think is very appropriate for
younger children, but some parents may be fine with these
types of topics. Also, there is reference to drinking and
sex, which again may not be appropriate for younger readers.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: Cur

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Carl Melcher Goes To Vietnam

Carl Melcher, an eighteen-year-old boy from Philadelphia, is
drafted into the Vietnam War. His first six months are spent
fighting, running, advancing, and touring through different
stations. As he meets and fights alongside people, he
acquires several friends. However, as the battle continues,
they begin to fall. One by one, and sometimes two at a time,
his friends fail in battle, and soon it is Carl and three of
his friends that are left of their previous group.

The author, Paul Clayton, shows a clear understanding and
knowledge of several war slang words. This knowledge was
easily shared with me, and I learned a good number. The
actual plot of the story was captivating, and balanced the
genres of adventure, suspense, comedy, and even romance very
well. There would be a time of absolute peril, and all of a
sudden a few sentences that equaled the adventure in comedy.
Carl's romance with the Vietnamese girl was interesting, and
although it was short was satisfying, in the sense of
balancing genres. The wide array of characters kept my
memory moving, and in doing so I easily not only learned,
but memorized the new phrases mentioned earlier. The
stereotypes of soldiers, lieutenants, and captains were
present, but were a minority. The majority of the
characters' personalities were colorful, and I enjoyed the
introduction to each new one every time.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Eagle Creek, OR USA

The Thief Queen's Daughter

This book describes the journeys of the explorer Ven. Set in a parallel world this book includes many different creatures including Ven, who is a Nain. Ven is entrusted with a mission by the king, who wants to discover the origins of a box given to his father. Inside the box is a stone which appears to be made of light. Engraved upon the stone is the seal of The Gated City where the descendants of ancient thieves are forced to live. Ven and his friends have many adventures in the Gated City, including a run in with a weapons dealer, a search missing companion, and a gift from a fortune teller. Eventually, however, their journey takes a turn for the worse when they encounter the queen of thieves and realize that one member of their party has a dark past.

Perhaps most importantly, I would like to say that I would have enjoyed this book much more had I been three years younger. I would not recommend this to older readers because the plot can be predictable at times and the language is not challenging. Another problem I had was that at times it seemed as if the author was attempting to fit a longer story into a certain number of pages. This novel had a lot of potential and an original plot, but the length didn't do it justice. I feel that it would have been more enjoyable had the author put more detail into the adventures. My biggest complaint was that is was simply okay. It didn't excite me or seem to be special in any way. These points aside, I think preteen readers will enjoy it for its creativity.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 5

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Chambersburg, PA United States

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan

Gemma Stone’s existence is far from boring. In the beginning, Debbie, Gemma’s sister, is planning to wed her newest boyfriend, Brian. After a plethora of uncanny characters that had held the position of “Debbie’s Boyfriend,” Brian certainly seemed normal…until the Stones meet his war-fanatic family. To add to this, Debbie has gone completely over the edge with her preparation, insisting that the day be planned to absolute perfection. Matters are only complicated when Gemma auditions for the school play. Her initial motive is to gain the attentions of heart throb Nick Lloyd, but her plan splatters as bad-boy Raven DeHead begins creeping into her life, instead. Unwittingly, a unique bond forms between the two, and things begin to get complicated. This sweetly comical narrative, laced with romance and action, is an enjoyable read.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I was hooked throughout a majority of my reading, and captivated by Gemma’s very real feelings. It caught me by surprise that the story takes place in Australia, and I’ll admit that the “lingo” took some getting used to. The author created believable characters, if somewhat unbelievable circumstances. The tone throughout the book was humorous, and at times gentle. I liked that the author seemed to sympathize with Raven, and that even though Gemma tells her story through first person, we can still see her critically. The book might have been more satisfying had the ending been more thorough. I felt as if the conclusion was rushed, and didn’t have quite as much detail or action as I expected. Overall, though, The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It was a delightful read that I would recommend to any teenage girl who’s looking for a lighthearted, quality read.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8
Reviewer Age: 14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Tipp City, Ohio USA

Haunted Heritage

Haunted Heritage by Michael Norman and Beth Scott is a
compilation of ghost stories and unusual events that have
occurred throughout North America. Divided into chapters by
region, (the Northeast, the Midwest, the South, the West,
and Canada) each section contains stories devoted to the
history and culture of a particular area. There are twelve
stories about ghost sightings on college campuses and
sixteen stories of appearing lights; no one knows where they
came from or their significance. Haunted Heritage is almost
like a textbook of scary, gory, or just plain weird events
that have supposedly occurred in the United States and
Canada. The stories are well researched and provide
insightful views of the supernatural.

Haunted Heritage contains too many ghost stories. The
majority of them are fascinating and intriguing, and some I
even wished I was there. After awhile, however, the
similarities and length of the accounts become barriers to
potentially great stories. The book becomes tedious to read
and some of the stories are boring as they are too factual
and the information takes away from the general theme of the
story. One story I particularly liked was a great tale of
the strange events that occurred on Larabee Street. The
story was frightening and had me turning pages, however,
towards the end, it was devoted to what happened to the
family of the story,including information about the sale of
their house and how much the family lost in value. Haunted
Heritage has such fantastic potential to be a book on every
child and adult nightstand. It contains stories teenagers
will read to friends at sleepovers, trying to scare each
other into nightmares. However, it lost its appeal with too
detailed and informative accounts. Haunted Heritage is worth
the effort, if only it was not deluded with unrelated
information, it would be perfect.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 6

Many of the stories are frightening and there are some
accounts of gore and killings that may be too disturbing to
young readers.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country:
Concord, Massachusetts Unit

Something To Blog About

Sometimes chances come along that you just can't pass up.
That's what happens to Libby Fawcett when she is asked to
tutor Seth Jacobs, a boy who she has liked for nearly two
years. She accepts the offer mostly because of her crush,
but also because she knows that her rival, Angel Rivera,
likes Seth, too. But Libby gets sidetracked from trying to
figure out if Seth likes her or not when she discovers that
her mother is dating Angel's father. In this whirlwind of
events, Libby becomes hopelessly confused about her
feelings toward everyone in her life, namely her mother,
Seth, and Angel. She tries desperately to uncover her own
feelings in the myriad of events that follow, the most
important of which would be her fight with Seth, dinner at
the Rivera's house, and finally, Angel's art show. The
novel culminates as the entire cast of characters decides
things once and for all.

The idea behind this book is sound and the plot provides
plenty of interesting situations, but I thought that it was
not executed as well as it could have been. The character of
Libby Fawcett is believable as a teenage girl, as is the
character of Angel Rivera, but many of the others felt less
real. For instance, Roger Fawcett and Keisha Jones were fairly realistic, but I found myself getting aggravated by them rather than endeared towards them. The subplot of Roger and Keisha's romance seemed to intrude on the main plot of the book and, other than this subplot, they served no real
purpose. The storyline moved along quickly and didn't drag,
but none of the events satisfied themselves until the very
end. As the book ended, the various conflicts resolved in
one of three ways: they ended in a believable, though
clich, resolution, they didn't end at all, or they ended in
a completely arbitrary conclusion. I would recommend this
book for its plot and quick pace, but not for the style in
which it was executed.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 6

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Melrose, MA United States

Monday, January 14, 2008

Two-Minute Drill: Mike Lupica's Comeback Kids by Mike Lupica

Scott Parry has just moved to a new town with new kids, new school, new opportunities. Of course he is the biggest know-it-all in the whole sixth grade. His dream though is to become just like Doug Flutie, former player of the New England Patriots. The rest of Scott's skills are very poor and he is not confident that he will make a football team. His "new friend" Chris Conlan is possibly the best football player in the league but his school skills arn't to great. Together will Scott and Chris find a way out of both their delemas?

This book was great for the school "smarty" or for the school's best sports star. The way Mike Lupica set up his story was that he did not want to give the reader too big of a hint. The reader would have to solve it themselves. The characters from this book are from the school nerd to the school bully. In the end it always works out good for the innocent one. I would recommend it because there is suspense along with minor tragedies that keep the book interesting.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Forestdale, Massachusetts United States

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ready or Not : An All-American Girl Novel

Sam returns in this sequel to All American Girl busy as
ever. She now has to contend with juggling school, art
lessons, her duties as teen ambassador, and dating her
boyfriend, David (the President's son). Sam is as hilarious
as ever as she fumbles from one incident to another. How was
she to know that taking a life drawing class meant drawing
naked people? Or that despite dying her hair black she would
still be recognizable as the girl who saved the President.
On top of all her worries, Sam's parents insist she get a
job, which creates some more interesting situations. But her
main worry is whether or not to spend Thanksgiving weekend
with David. So once again, we laugh and commiserate with Sam
as this time she tries to dodge her boyfriend while trying
to figure everything out.

Although, I don't think Ready or Not was as good as the
prequel, Sam is still the same amusing teen. Her personality
is what really makes the book come together in the end. In
this saga of the installation, Meg Cabot tries to make Sam
deal with more serious issues. But, in the end, this goal
does not work out as Sam's mirthful personality just makes
them laughable issues and thus undermines the true
seriousness of the topic. But it is still a great, funny
novel that is a great read for relaxing. The writing is
once again fantastic, and Cabot puts in just the right
amount of sincerity to make Sam into a believable character.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Reviewer Age:18

Reviewer City, State and Country: Kansas City, Missouri U.S.A

The Faceless Friend

Emmaline Cayley... Aviation extraodinaire... Robert Burns...
Errand Boy... Princess Purnah... Porok! Glekk!. Three young
children, one evil kidnapper, and a suspenseful adventure in
London- all woven together into one insane story called The
Faceless Fiend. It starts off in a pretty conspicuous
setting, in mad Mrs. Butterworth's cottage, with the three
children attempting a flight experiment shortly followed by
their teacher, Bellbuckle's lecture on why humans can't fly
like birds and the first impressions of the three children's
personalities. Emmaline; calm and scientific, is a careful
and calculating character. Purnah, shown as a bit of a
nutcase to the people of England (although she's mild
compared to the people of her Chiligriti homeland), and
Robert; enthusiastic, and not easily hurt, one of the only
two fans of Mrs. Butterworth's slug cake. (Stanley, the
little brown dog, was the other fan.) And all seems well.
However, when a series of mysterious events regarding
Princess Purnah and Chiligrit arise, everyone's suspicious-
and for good reason. Robert, dressed as Purnah, is kidnapped
by the henchmen of the infamous Faceless Fiend. Purnah,
trying to escape, finds herself lost in a forest, only to be
found by Emmaline, off a newly twisted ankle and bearing
chocolate, to Purnah's salivation... and salivation.
Although riding on separate carriages, all three find
themselves in London, and after Robert's half-baked escape,
he runs into a boy of the London streets, Peachey, who
inadvertently leads him to Banjo, a dog nearing senility,
the newest main character. But in attempting to save Purnah
and her country, and Robert from the Fiend's irritation with
him, can they possibly defeat a criminal mastermind?

I adored The Faceless Fiend. It's charming, funny, and
the characters were the most amusing people in the world.
Even serious Emmaline had her moments. I hadn't read any
other books in the series, but this one stands alone
wonderfully, with all the little details of previous books
inserted into the text, so the reader wasn't confused.
Although I was an avid Purnah fan throughout the book,
Robert was a close second- both of them, especially in the
same place at the same time, created a hilarious duo.
Emmaline, though, had a surprisingly small part in the book,
considering the series name (The Mad Misadventures of
Emmaline and Rubberbone), and I do think she could have been
a bit more prominent. Faceless Fiend is, just a little,
childish in writing style- something I would have
appreciated several worlds more when I was seven or eight,
but for those older adolescents, even adults who are still
fans of Dr. Seuss, I'd definitely recommend this.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Mahomet, Illinois
United States of America

Unholy Grail

This book is definitely a thriller. The pace of the book
travels so fast that the reader is breathless throughout the
reading. However, the fast pace does not cover the bad
writing, and Unholy Grail reads a little like the Da Vinci
Code without Da Vinci. To start the book, two people are
separately lured into Grand Central Station and one is shot
while the other is framed for it. Meanwhile a renegade
priest is killing other priests and marking them with
stigmata. There's also a mysterious Circle of Five, involved
with maintaining the bloodline of Jesus Christ and Mary
Magdalene. But this is all side story, because the two from
Grand Central Station decide to travel together, arguing
about Jesus and going through the story just because, not
even trying to unravel the conspiracies mixed in.

This book is like any of Dan Brown's books, and just as
poorly written. While the plot is interesting, there is so
much clunky dialogue and it seems that every other sentence
is cliche. The actions seem scripted and despite the intense
pacing, no suspense is truly built up. The characters were
all two-dimensional and seemed able to convey emotion only
through their eyes. Their eyes would flash with anger. Their
eyes bug out. Also, the descriptions were drawn-out and
ineffective. Overall, I would not recommend this book.
Rating (0 - 10 scale):

Reviewer Age:17

Reviewer City, State and Country: Overland Park, Kansas
United States

The Heights, The Depths,and Everything in Between

This book is about a girl named Lucy struggling to defy the
stereotypes of life being thrown at her. Her best friend
Jake is a midget with a mom that's in love with a man who's
not his dad. She and Jake start hanging out more and more
with the resident bad kid, Gary. Her dad is currently on the
road, and he doesn't seem like he wants to come back. Oh,
and Lucy's super tall, but she's got the last name of Small.
Watch Lucy come to terms with herself and her friends
lives...whenever that happens.

This book is very well constructed. Sally Nemeth, the
writer, creates a story of dilemma after dilemma, but in a
way that's not overwhelming. Towards the end, you can't peel
your eyes away from the book. But I don't know how well
written it is. I would say that Nemeth could've made her
audience feel more connected to the book. When you read it,
you'll like it, but you don't feel much emotion for the
characters. Maybe you'll sense a little triumph for Lucy at
parts, but that's it.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Reviewer Age:11

Reviewer City, State and Country: San Francisco,
California United States of America

Major Crush

Tired of the beauty-pageant circuit, Virginia Sauter tosses
her tiara, pierces her nose, and auditions for the most
unlikely of roles--drum major of the high school marching

Virginia wins, but is forced to share the title with
Drew, whose family has held the position for generations.
Sure, Drew is hot, but because of his superior attitude, he
and Virginia are constantly arguing. That is, until they
share more than just their half-time salute...

But as the drum majors' heated competition turns to
sizzling romance, explosive rumors threaten everything--
including the band's success. Love seemed to be a sure
hit, but Virginia and Drew may be marching straight into

I loved reading Major Crush. It was pretty realistic
and had many laugh-out-loud moments. The plot was great,
but sometimes it seemed kind of predictable. I also
thought the characters were great, because they were
original and fun to read about. I really liked the
author's style of writing. She included just the right
amount of detail, drama, humor, and romance to make this
book the page turner it was. I really couldn't put this
book down. Major Crush is a must-read for all teenage
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9

There were mentions of sex in this book, which
may be inappropriate for young readers.


Reviewer City, State and Country: Leopold,
Missouri USA

Saturday, January 12, 2008

How They Met, and Other Stories

"How They Met and Other Stories" is a collection of short
stories. All the stories are related to love and all
different kinds of love. Some are sad, but some are also
very happy. Each story in the book is different, and the
variety ranges throughout the entire book. The age of all
the characters differ throughout the story, as well as the
orientation of the couple involved. They all explain a
situation of love and show the history of the love or how
the love played out. The style of each story is as
different as the plot. Some are written as poems. Others
are written as a story passed on down the generations. And
others are written with dialogue in the present time. The
diversity and range of David Leviathan is obvious through
his writing.

"How They Met and Other Stories" by David Levithan is an
interesting book. Throughout the novel, the reader must
keep an open mind and invite all different thoughts and
opinions inside. David Levithan achieved his purpose of
sharing these love stories with others. The reading was
easy to understand and was not meant to be tripped though
and stumbled over. The different stories make you see all
the different kinds of love in the world. Not every love
will be picture perfect like in movies or in many other
books. These stories are not Disney romances that always
play out perfectly in the end. The novel makes you see
that love is all around us and comes in so many different
flavors and varieties. Not every love will be picture
perfect like in movies or in many other books. By the end of
the eighteenth short story, you will be able to look at love
from all angles and appreciate it so much more. This book is
definitely out of the ordinary and I would recommend it to
others that enjoy romance and have an open mind.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

"How They Met and Other Stories" does have sexual
content for mature readers.

Reviewer Age:18

Reviewer City, State and Country: Phoenixville,
Pennsylvania U.S.A.

The Highest Tide: A Novel

Jim Lynch's The Highest Tide is the story of Miles O'Malley
growing up over a summer. An only child, he is fascinated by
and spends his time at the beach collecting all sorts of
marine creatures. He likes Angie, his cool neighbor who is a
couple of years older than he is and used to baby-sit him,
but she does not notice him until he makes a life-changing
discovery and becomes famous overnight. At a time when he is
facing his parents possible divorce and is struggling to fit
in with kids his age, he finds a rare squid from the
opposite side of the world. His friend, Professor Kramer,
who was one of the only supportive people in his life, is
astounded. Florence, an elderly neighbor who Miles considers
as a grandma, worries Miles as she declines steadily with
Parkinson's. The Highest Tide presents the dilemmas of a boy
who has to grow up quickly, especially during this summer,
with everything he faces, yet manages to survive.

The Highest Tide is a well-researched book about a boy
with unique hobbies. The author presents a lot of
information about marine creatures and life without
overdoing it. I also enjoyed the multi-layering of the book,
especially with the dilemma that Miles faces regarding his
feelings for Angie, his concern for Florence, and his
future. However, the book takes a while to get into in the
beginning. Otherwise, I liked how The Highest Tide is
similar to many books about the child growing up over a
summer, but has a different setting (in the Pacific
Northwest) and many developed characters.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 6

Reviewer Age:19

Reviewer City, State and Country: Kansas City, MO USA

Thank You, Lucky Stars

Over the summer Ally's best friend, Betsy, meets Mona and
together they practically ignore Ally. Betsy and Mona do
everything together as they even started a band with some of
Mona's friends. Ally is being bullied constantly and this
weirdo, Tina, is trying to be her friend. A big fifth grade
talent show is announced and Tina is thinking of all of the
things she and Ally could do in the show. Ally is slowly
warming up to Tina and suggests they disco dance together.
Ally knows Betsy's band is playing and she really wants to
go-go dance for them, but Betsy was too cool for her now. At
a rehearsal, Tina and Ally's dance performance bombs
resulting in a fight between Tina and Ally. Since they're
not talking Betsy asks Ally to dance for them, and she
agrees. They all start to hang out, but Ally still doesn't
seem to fit in, although she is now a part of the coolest
kids in the school. Ally thinks she is happy until she
realizes she misses Tina.

I enjoyed the book; it was a fast easy one to read. The
book inspired me to draw a picture of what I thought the
band would look like. Sometimes bad things happen before you
realize the good that was there, and that the things you
think you want most, are really not what you want after all.
Ally's predicament quickly changes. Your emotions change
with hers, sometimes agreeing with her choices, sometimes
wanting to strangle her for them. The character's actions,
at times, are a bit exaggerated. Keep an open mind about
your friends, don't leave anyone out and always try to be
friendly. I think that most pre-teens would enjoy reading
this book.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Baldwin, Maryland USA


Young vampyre Zoey's life seemed to be getting back to
normal. She finally feels at home in the House of Night's
finishing school where she has made new friends, and even
has a boyfriend. Zoey thought everything would stay normal this way, but soon after she is chosen as the Leader of the Dark Daughters, a series of horrible things begin to happen. The House of Night is suspected of murder when two teens go
missing. Zoey, with personal struggles from her human life,
fears for someone she loves. When they, too, go missing,
it's Zoey's turn to do something about it. Can she put
peace to the war that's raging inside of her?

Fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series will fall in
love with these books. Betrayed is a rich and sexy story,
all rolled up into one. All of the scenes seem very real;
P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast are very descriptive writers. I
was nervous reading the cliched of one of those vampire
stories, but the authors pulled it off very well. This
book was very, oddly enough, true to real life, while still
being fiction. I enjoyed it a lot, and recommend it to
anyone who loves a good vampire story.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

This book is for older teens only. There were a few
scary sequences, and adult-themes.

Reviewer Age:15

Reviewer City, State and Country: Boothwyn, PA US

The Kayla Chronicles

Kayla has spent her whole life feeling secure and strong.
She and her best friend are strong feminists following in
her grandmother's footsteps. Just when things are beginning
to really get rolling and she and her friends are planning
big things for their used-to-be small club, Kayla finds
herself questioning the meaning of being a feminist. With
her newfound interest in boys and love of shoes and dancing,
Kayla wonders why she has been letting her friend boss her
around all the time telling her what to do and how to act.
She feels she must find her voice and stand up for herself
before she explodes.

The Kayla chronicles is a wonderful book for any girl,
though I found it wasn't anything extremely special and
sometimes came off as a bit odd and awkward. However, the
book is very well thought out, and overall extremely fun.
You can picture the well thought out characters and
understand how they're feeling. There were also multiple
situations throughout the book where I could fully relate to
the characters. Although it is a fairly quick read, the
author keeps you entertained with quotes, headlines, and
bulletins, and, of course, Kayla's crazy personality.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Marblehead ,
Massachusetts USA

Teens and The Job Game

Are you a teen looking for a job? Then this book is right
for you. Inside this book, you will learn the skills
necessary to find a successful job. There are five chapters
in the book: Developing your whole self, Education and
Workspace Relations, Choosing a Career, Searching for a Job,
and Behaviors in the Workplace. For example, it explains how
to develop as a whole person by looking from all
perspectives, and encourages readers to set realistic goals.
Scattered in each chapter are quotes from high school
students just like you. Furthermore, there are reflective
questions at the end of each chapter designated to help the
reader focus on their goals, and earn their way towards
those goals. It is essential to have good study skills, and
this book teaches you just that. After learning about how to
become an excellent applicant, the reader will learn about
how to create an excellent resume and cover letter. Most
importantly, it will teach how to contact the employer and
ace the interview. After reading the book, you will be ready
to find your dream job!

I believe this book is very inspiring, and really does
try to motivate the reader to get out there and find a job.
Not only does it motivate the reader, it also teaches the
reader how this is accomplished. There are reflective
questions at the end of each chapter that helps the reader
reflect and plan their future goals. Also, there are tons of
quotes from actually high school students and teachers,
which is very inspirational for me. I pretty much agree with
every sentence in the book, and believe that this is a very
helpful book for people who are looking for a job, but don't
know how to get one. After finishing the book, I feel very
optimistic about the future. Who won't?
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Urbana, IL USA

30 Days to Getting Over the Dork You Used To Call

Love. Heartbreak. We all go through it. And next time (if
there is a next time) a guy doesn't realize the special
person that he has in front of him, reach for 30 Days to
Getting Over the Dork You Used To Call Your boyfriend. It
helps you get over your ex bit by bit, while providing fun
activities for you to do with your friends. And, also, it
proves that you don't need a man to be happy. You just need

The Dork You Used to Call Your Boyfriend? While I have
without a reasonable doubt that this book will help you get
over your ex asap, there are some parts of the book that
example. The only time we use dork now, is when we are
affectionately speaking about our friends. We don't use it
when we are talking about our ex-boyfriends! Another part
of the book suggests before going to bed to dream of Jake
Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger fighting over you. Um. Ew. To
us, those guys are OLD. We don't want them fighting over us.
But if the story said Chris Brown and Chace Crawford.....
But besides those few parts 30 Days to Getting Over The Dork
You Used to Call Your Boyfriend is a pretty handy breakup
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Casa Grande, Arizona
United States30 Days to Getting Over the Dork You Used To Call

Friday, January 11, 2008

Girl Overboard

Everybody thinks Syrah is the golden girl. After all, her
father is Ethan Cheng, billionaire, and she has everything
any kid could possibly desire: a waterfront mansion, jet
plane, and custom designed snowboards. But most of what
glitters in her life is fool's gold. Her half-siblings hate
her, her best friend's girlfriend is ruining their
friendship, and her own so-called boyfriend is only after
her for her father's name. When her broken heart results in
a snowboarding accident that exiles her from the
mountains--the one place where she feels free and accepted
for who she is, not what she has--can Syrah rehab both her
busted-up knee and her bruised heart?

Girl Overboard was a very inspirational book about
following your dreams and making a difference. I was easily
drawn into the plot, feeling a deep connection with the main
character, Syrah. I thought it was very well-written and
enjoyable to read. Justina Chen Headley's writing was witty
and charming, but at the same time it was moving and
powerful. This amusing page-turner is definitely a must-read.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Leopold, MO USA

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Choices by Katrina L. Burchett is a story that deals with matters of the heart, different facts of life and the hard things to discuss. This book, of realistic fiction, follows the paths of five different girls throughout their latter teenage years. Shauntice, Angel, LaKeeta, Bridgett and Hope all wish that at least one thing in their life was different. In the course of a few weeks, all of these girls grow and change to become more responsible and aware. Some of the hardest choices that they will have to deal with occur during these weeks and the girls are presented with decisions that will affect their lives forever.

This book started out a bit slow but as I read on, I got more intrigued by this way of living. It deals with how Christianity can affect your life for the better. I learned how to respect the life that I live more because of reading this book and seeing different realities of diverse people. This book is an emotional read and draws the reader into the story more than the other realistic fiction books that I have read. I would definitely suggest this book but some topics discussed in it are a bit mature.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

There is a vivid rape scene and numerous sex scenes.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Richmond, Virginia United States of America

Wildcats in the House

Wild Cats in the House is a book based on a Disney movie
called High School Musical. Kids, teens, and adults view
High School Musical as a regular Disney movie, but the book
shows the relationship the movie has with God.
This book explains what the songs mean in High School
Musical and the resemblance they have with the Bible.
Everyone in High School Musical teaches valuable lessons
dealing with God. This book is filled with laughter and life
lessons. If you loved High School Musical you will love the
book Wild Cats in the House!

Wild Cats in the house, by Steve and Gabi Russo, is an
amazing book. The authors had three different main
characters you, God, and the cast of High School Musical!
There are funny parts where author Steve Russo talks about
when he was in High School and embarrassing things he had done.
I believe they achieved many goals, which was to show how
God and Jesus are a part of everything we do.
The writing was powerful and appropriate; I found that the
wording was the strongest part about the book because of how
easily it flowed. The weakest part was when the author wrote
about parts of his life. I felt that the book had too much
detail in those areas and needed to have more information
about High school Musical and the relationship the movie had
with God.
Wild Cats in the House is interesting and wonderful,
everything about it is great. The ending left you without
any questions and many answers. I learned different things
while reading this book, especially about myself. I
recommend this to anyone who believes in God or is
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, Oregon United States

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Thrilling Life of Pauline de Lammermoor

The Thrilling Life of Pauline de Lammermoor, by Edeet Ravel

This book is the first in the series, Pauline, btw. It is
written in a new format, as Pauline is recording her story
as a novel, which she may want to try to publish. As school
lets out for the summer after 6th grade, Pauline decides to
devote her summer to writing her novel. She has lots to say,
about her friends, family, and a certain boy named Yoshi.
Her parents had divorced, and her mother has started dating
again, while her father is busy painting pictures of old
shoes. As her life becomes more and more complicated, she
realizes that writing your life story, however hard it might
be, is actually easier than living your own life.

I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would.
It did not have a very filling story line, and felt like
just a chapter in a bigger novel. I was pleased to see that
her problems greatly resembled the problems of the pre-teens
and teens of today. It was an interesting book, but it was
written as a first-time novelist might write, with many
notations such as, Zane says I need to unveil hidden truths,
so I shall in the next chapter. Rather than a novel, it was
written more in Diary format, with chapter headings instead
of dates. I wouldn't recommend this as a first-choice book,
but rather as a book to read in-between trips to the library.
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 6

Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Boothwyn, PA USA

Monday, January 07, 2008


Donavah, a young teen girl, sets out on a hunting adventure
with her two friends, Grey, and Traz in the novel
SpringFire. Xyla, a red dragon and one of Donavah's allies,
is flying the crew to a forest, where they can hunt. While
they are flying, DragonMasters attack them and they are
plunged into another world; the Stychs. When Donavah, Traz,
and Grey regain consciousness, they are in a mysterious
cave. A few days later, a woman named Shandry appears to try
and help them. Traz, Donavah, and Shandry have to venture
out to the closest village in order to save Xyla, who is
very sick. Donavah faces several challenges and must battle
many people in order to stay alive.

Springfire is amazing! I was glued to the book and my
heart was racing as I flew through each page. It's a very
easy read, but there were many details (some grotesque), but
I think they were necessary for the genre. When you read
SpingFire, you feel you're right there in all the action as
Donavah uses her maejic. The reader feels the pain of her
battles. Terie Garrison made SpringFire a heart wrenching
adventure. If you are looking for a magnificent dragon
fantasy adventure, this is the one!
Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9

Reviewer Age:11

Reviewer City, State and Country: Osseo, Wisconsin United

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Soldier of Sidon by Gene Wolfe

Soldier of Sidon is a novel whose purpose is to entertain. It is the third book in a series about a soldier. The story is set in ancient Egypt and the surrounding lands, all of which are filled with divinities. One soldier, called Latro, can see these gods and goddesses. He cannot, however, remember what happened to him even the previous day. In an attempt to preserve his past, he writes down important events on a scroll. The novel is in the form of his entries on the scroll. Throughout the story, there are battles and romantic scenes, but the main conflict in the story is Latro trying to regain his memory.

This novel was a very interesting and entertaining read. Though it was the third in a series, the narrator's poor memory caused many key events in the previous books to be explained. Latro's short memory also makes for an entertaining story. The downside to this is that there are gaps in the story where the narrator did not write down what happened and then forgot and the narrator will repeat or relearn information in several entries. These minor problems actually add to the story overall rather than detract from it, but it can occasionally be frustrating. The ancient deities are an added bonus to the story. All in all, I recommend this book especially to anyone interested in ancient history, mythology, or stories with unreliable narrators, but anyone would enjoy it.

Content: There are some sexual scenes, as well as limited violence. None of this is too explicit or offensive.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9
Reviewer Age: 14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Royersford, Pennsylvania United States

Trigger by Susan Vaught

A young boy makes a sorry attempt at suicide only waking up to find that he survived. Confusion, Hurt, Loss, and Dissability are a vast part of his life now. The bullet's placing has now left him almost motionless on one side of his body and long as well as short term memory are almost useless at this point. Everything before the suicide is blurry. He's left with questions like; Why did i do it? Why does everyone hate me? Is the House Okay? How long has it been? He is stuck piecing his life together bit by bit with an old friend, who herself will never cease to amaze him.

I think this book is VERY well written. It depicts the struggles of disabled people greatly and it shows the change in mental health perfectly. The young boy's mentality goes from 15 years old straight down to 7 years old and he struggles to understand his life as it had been. There's absolutely nothing better I have ever read that could relate to such true accounts in our daily lives. THIS IS A FANTASTIC BOOK!

Content: There is some brief swearing and some of the topics such as suicidal motives, abuse, and violence may not be suitable for some readers.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 10
Reviewer Age: 15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Carlisle, PA USA

Runemarks by Joanne Harris

It is pretty much the end of the world. All chaos, magic, glamours, old gods, and Faeries were supposedly gotten rid of a long time ago. Maddy Smith knows that magic is still around because she was born with a 'ruinmark'. The other townspeople fear her because she is a witch. Then a traveler comes along, named One-Eye, and he sees Maddy's mark. He tells her she has a destiny. Maddy starts learning about runes, cantrips, and glamours so she can follow that destiny. All of this is mixed into old Norse tales and ancient powers that must be released to make the world again.

Runemarks was a very long book. However, it was extremely unique. This is because of all the Norse tales and the interesting characters. Maddy Smith is an interesting character because she is very different than the rest of them. She is stuck in her world of magic when everyone else fears that. Words that were made up were very amusing because it was something creative. The rest of the vocabulary was easily understandable, yet not too easy that I fell asleep. This was a very great book and I'll probably read it several times.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 6
Reviewer Age: 14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Carlisle, Pennsylvania United States of America

Springfire by Terie Garrison

Donavah, a young teen girl, sets out on a hunting adventure with her two friends, Grey, and Traz in the novel SpringFire. Xyla, a red dragon and one of Donavah’s allies, is flying the crew to a forest, where they can hunt. While they are flying, DragonMasters attack them and they are plunged into another world; the Stychs. When Donavah, Traz, and Grey regain consciousness, they are in a mysterious cave. A few days later, a woman named Shandry appears to try to help them. Traz, Donavah, and Shandry have to venture out to the closest village in order to save Xyla, who is very sick. Donavah faces several challenges and must battle many people in order to stay alive.

Springfire is amazing! I was glued to the book and my heart was racing as I flew through each page. It’s a very easy read, but there were many details (some grotesque), but I think they were necessary for the genre. When you read SpingFire, you feel you’re right there in all the action as Donavah uses her maejic. The reader feels the pain of her battles. Terie Garrison made SpringFire a heart wrenching adventure. If you are looking for a magnificent dragon fantasy adventure, this is the one!

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 9
Reviewer Age: 11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Osseo, Wisconsin United States

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hear Us Out by Nancy Garden

In this collection of reviews and short stories are the struggle, progress, and hope of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals, and people who are questioning whether or not they are (GLBT). In each section, 1950- the present, two different stories are told by the people struggling. At the beginning of the section, a summary of the decades progress in acceptance and civil rights and how they effected the lives of GLBTQ emotionally and physically. The stories begin with the lives of Angie and Elizabeth, two best friends who fell in love. Elizabeth's mother finds out about the bond between the girls, and forbids them to see each other. However, both the girls keep writing to each other. Will their relationship succeed, or will Elizabeth's mother win? The stories end in this decade with Lisanne, thrown out by her parents for being a lesbian. Will she be taken in by friends, or will she be forever homeless?

Hear Us Out answers most questions about GLBTQ kids, and lets you inside their thoughts and emotions. Each story has a small plot line that leaves you hoping for the best for each character, and every essay tells of a history full of prejudice, loss, happiness, and hope. Nancy Garden wrote a wonderful book that opens the eyes of its readers to a few new causes to fight for, including the AIDS foundation. I found this book very moving and interesting, because it gives insights to the lives of GLBTQ kids. I would recommend this book to others because it shows what becomes of people's prejudice against GLBT people.

Sexual Content, Language

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Colleyville , Texas United States