Sunday, May 30, 2010

Storm: The Infinity Code by E.L. Young

Storm the Infinity Code follows the adventure of three new friends; Will, Gia and Andrew. Together they make up STORM, Science and Technology to over-rule misery. Andrew is the visionary and investor. Gia is the language and explosives expert. Will is the inventor. Andrew has grand ideas for STORM whereas Will thinks they are being overly optimistic. But after a small success they decide that they can make a difference. They soon discover that Andrew’s friend Caspian is up to mischief. Caspian’s father was abducted and Caspian is trying to save him by creating a deadly weapon. And the members of STORM are the only ones who can stop him.

Storm the Infinity Code starts off slowly. It takes a while for STORM to form and Will to commit to the group. But once STORM is all set the plot started to move along. And the chase and adventure never stopped. But STORM is always up for the challenge. Although the adventures are ridiculous, the characters are real. Throughout the story the characters are well developed. Storm the Infinity Code is full of surprises. One frustrating thing is that its a little hard to follow all of the names. Storm the Infinity Code was a great book and it was interesting that the science in it was based upon real experiments. Overall Storm the Infinity Code became a good page turner.

Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: Amherst, MA USA

Friday, May 28, 2010

Party by Tom Leveen

Party by Tom Leveen

"Party" follows the night of eleven different teenagers at one different party. Little do they know that they all will be connected. What starts out to be a small crowd turns into a mob and trashes the guys house. Soon afterward smoking and drugs get mixed in with the beer. Not long after everything is getting heated up with fights, kissing, and shouting the police arrive. Not only do they show up with ambulances the party breaks up, and teenagers are scrambling to get out of there without being caught.

"Party" seems to be full of drugs, addiction and racism at the first glance. After you get in for a while the plot unfolds. Every one of these characters seems to be caught up in their own drama mashing it together into a big mess. The book seemed to have some realism and some fantasy in it.I believe that "Party" is a good book but could use a little more of real life situations mixed with the fantasies in it.

This book contains swearing, drugs, and alcohol for minors. It might give some bad ideas to immature readers.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Hopkins, Michigan U.S.A

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony

Molly McClure is only 16 years old when her parents send her to America to find her grandma that may or may not be alive. This is a big adventure for Molly especially since she lives such a simple life in Canada. In the year of 2041 destruction and poverty is everywhere in the U.S. She has to brave getting to her grandparents alone, and surrounded by people who are hungry and chaotic. Along the way she learns that everyone is not as they seem and you have to learn to trust the right people to survive. Luckily, she meets someone special to help her along the way.

I absolutely loved this book. I thought the setting was brilliant. Joelle Anthony gives you a picture of the future that I have never read or even thought about before. The characters were set up perfectly. Especially Molly, she is the best kind of heroine. I think her small, quiet relationship with Spill makes the story perfect.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Springfield, OH US

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sweet 15 by, Emily Adler

In three months, Destiny Lozado will turn fifteen. In a Latino household, this means the countdown begins for a Quincenara, or big fifteenth birthday celebration. However, Destiny is not sure this is how she wants to celebrate. Her mother wants her to have a girly Quincenara complete with a fancy dress and caballero (male escort). Destiny's sister, America, is fighting tooth and nail against her mother to prevent Destiny's Quincenara. America argues for a Quincenara without the fancy clothes and definitely without the caballero. And stuck in the middle of this is Destiny, swooning over a possible crush and worrying about the toll the Quince￱ara is taking on her family's financial situation. Can Destiny put up with her mother's and sister's arguments about what's best for her, or will Destiny take things into her own hands?

I like the storyline because I enjoy hearing about other cultures' birthday celebrations. However, this book was hard to get through because, for most of the book, Destiny let herself be swayed back and forth by her mother and sister and never took control of her life till the end. This book presents an interesting view of the modern day feminist (America, Destiny's sister) and the strain of being caught between two cultures. I liked how in the end, Destiny managed to make her Quincenara her own with a mix of fancy and grungy aspects. Over all, this book has a sweet and inspiring story that female tweens will surely enjoy.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mineola, TX U.S.A.

Nature Girl by Jane Kelley

Eleven year old Meagan didn’t want to be stuck in Vermont for the whole summer without her best friend, Lucy. The summer looks like it’s going to be horrible. It gets worse when Meagan gets lost on the Appalachian Trail with only her loyal dog, Arp. Instead of going back, she decides to prove herself and walk, oops, hike to Massachusetts, where Lucy is staying. Along the way she begins to discover herself more. After all, she has a long time to think and think and think.

I liked this book because I love how Meagan perseveres; hiking from Vermont to Massachusetts. She thinks about the times when she and Lucy were together and how she acted. I found this book very moving. I would definitely recommend this book to others. Why? This is a very touching book.

Reviewer Age: 10

Reviewer Cities, State and Country: Katy, Texas USA

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Conspiracy 365: May by Gabrielle Lord

Cal has been locked in a mental institution, and given the fake identity of Ben Galloway. The only problem with this is, he doesn't know who put him there or how he got there. Vulkan Sligo has stolen important documents pertaining to his father's murder case. Cal is informed from his shrink that he will be released when he gives the the papers to Vulkan. Cal tries to persuade his shrink that Mr.Sligo is lying and that "Ben" is really Cal Ordman. After his chat with his shrink, Cal tries to run away from the asylum, but his plans are foiled by a guard! Then, one day Cal was watching television and saw his mother had been assaulted. Finally, Cal is able to contact Boges secretly over an email. Boges is allowed to visit Cal at the asylum, and Cal finds out that Boges has the documents. Then Boges dresses up Cal like a woman, and sneaks him out of the institution! Cal leaves town to get away from the police. The rest, you need to read and find out!

I wasn't a fan of this story. It was book 5 in the series and I didn't understand the plot. The setting wasn't very appealing, or interesting. The author didn't make the mental institution as exciting as it could have been. The main character is Cal, he wasn't a very interesting character. He was locked in a mental institution, yet didn't share his strong feelings for this situation. The author of this book made Cal feel boring, and i didn't connect with him at all. The author's voice just had a humdrum tone about it. The writing was difficult to follow and at times just didn't make sense. I found this book dull and at times it felt like the author was trying to push the situation too hard! I didn't learn anything from this book. I wouldn't recommend this book to readers, it was humdrum and the plot didn't make sense.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Enon, Ohio United States

Monday, May 24, 2010

Change of Heart by Shari Maurer

Emmi Miller is an average teenager; her life consists of
soccer, friends, and parental problems. However, her life
is radically changed in a short few days when she
contracts a virus that led to congestive heart failure.
Now, her life is in a form of a beeper, and she's waiting
day in and day out for it to tell her a new heart has come
so she can go one with her life. Soon, Emmi realizes how,
maybe, her life will never go back to normal, and through
it all, she learns how great her family and friends

I felt like I've encountered this storyline so many
different times, and this book doesn't write it in a very
refreshing way. The plotline is predictable and cliche.
The characters and situations are underdeveloped. One
dramatic event happens after the next making them seem
unrealistic and jammed together to make the book more
exciting. Also, the characters relationships are
established, but the reader doesn't feel the full
connection between the characters. Moreover, the narrator,
Emmi, is extremely whiny and immature. The author's
writing is choppy and unsophisticated. Although she
captures the teenage voice pretty well, at times it seems
as if she's trying too hard. All in all, it was a decent
book if you're looking for a light read full of cheesy,
predictable drama.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City,
State and Country: Hinsdale, IL USA

Keeper by Kathi Appelt

Poor, poor Keeper! It's supposed to be a wonderful day: the blue moon will come out tonight, Dogie is going to ask Signe to marry him, Signe will make her blue moon gumbo, and Mr. Beauchamp's magic flowers are going to bloom! But when ten crabs spoke to Keeper, the whole day just went disastrously wrong. Going off the stories Signe told Keeper about her mother, Keeper ventures off with her dog named B.D. (Best Dog) and her seagull friend, Captain, to go find her mermaid mother at the sandbar. What will happen to Keeper, Captain, and B.D. on this crazy trip? Will Keeper ever find her mother and fix everything that went wrong, or will she find out everything is not what it seems?

Keeper, by Kathi Appelt, was a truly enchanting story. This book reminds me of me, of something I might do if told certain things. A strength of Keeper is always keeping the reader puzzled. It had me guessing what would happen next, and then amazed me by doing something totally different. One weakness it had was the skipping between characters. Most of the time I'm pretty good about realizing who is talking in the story or whose point of view the story is coming from, but in this book's case I was constantly confused about what was going on in the different story settings. I would recommend this book to kids who love mermaids and to kids between the ages of eight and twelve.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Fresno, California USA

The Squad: Perfect Cover by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

This book is about Toby Kline. Who is that you might ask? She is a girl who does what she wants; from hacking computers to being a black belt karate student..she is the very last person you would ever expect to find on the cheerleading squad. Not only would they not want her in the squad, but she would not want to be close to them either. That is until she is invited to join the cheerleading squad for her high school. This is when Toby finds out that the cheerleaders of her school double as secret agents. Is Toby willing to become something she always hated in order to become an agent?

I do not think that the book was all that great. I was expecting the author to be more descriptive. Though the author was not descriptive, she was very good at talking as if she was a teen. This book is more of a leisurely read. The words the book used were very easy to read and understand. I would not recommend this book for others because it does not do a very good job in drawing a person's attention. If I had to recommend this book to anyone, I would for middle school cheerleaders because I think they would be able to relate well with the characters.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Newville, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey is a novel about love, chemistry, and what lies in within a person. Of course no one can overlook the combination of Jekel and Hyde. But when good girl Jill and loner fighter Tristen join forces to uncover secrets in both of their lives, unexpected things start to occur. Jill's father is murdered right before the start of the book, and the secrets of his life, and death, force Jill to dig into his final months, and her family's past. Tristen, on the other hand, has dark secrets of his own that he is trying to hide, and an evil side he is trying to defeat. When Jekel and Hyde come together to win a chemistry competition, and base their project on the work of Dr. Jekyll, you know the results will be explosive. But through their project they discover things they never expected, and both of their lives are changed forever.

Going into this book, I expected a lot. Something based off of Jekyll and Hyde had to be amazing, which is partly why I chose the book. Unfortunately, I was let down. The book started off being amazing, and I could not put it down. But the more I read, the less fascinating it became. A minor issue I had was the awkward formalness of every conversation the high school students had. It was also really jumpy at some points. It alternated chapters between Jill and Tristen, but I was often left confused and wondering, usually for so long that at one point I could barely keep track of all that was happening. The author seemed to stuff five or six different plots into this one book, leaving it confusing, with twists and turns, some stories starting while others come to abrupt halts. It was just far too much, and I felt a little overwhelmed. It was a good idea for a story, but I was ultimately let down by it.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Minnetonka, Minnesota United States

Kiss in the Dark by Lauren Hendersen

Scarlett Wakefield thinks she will finally be able to put
Dan McAndrew's murder behind her and start fresh at
Wakefield Hall Collegiate that her grandmother runs and
will soon be hers. Everything is going her way with a new
boyfriend, new best friend, and nobody who knows about
what happened with McAndrew. But that is all ruined when
Plum Saybourne is transferred to Wakefield from Scarlett's
old school, and establishes her reign in no time.
Scarlett can handle Plum just fine until she targets
Taylor, her best friend, and Jase, her boyfriend. And
things can only get worse when Jase's dad is found dead on
campus. Could Jase be involved with the murder? Or is
Scarlett just bad luck like everybody says?

This book is incredible! It's kind of a cliff hanger ending, but not
the kind that stops in the middle of an exiting part, and
it's not the first book in this series, but everything is
really well explained. You could easily read just this
book and be satisfied, but yet there is a bit of mystery
that intrigues me to read the others in this series. You
can really get into the characters, and unless you are a
Nancy Drew prodigy, the ending isn't what you would
expect. Scarlett goes through a lot of different suspects
and with each one you thing Oh yea, they definitely did
it! but they didn't. So it was really interesting in
that way. I would say this book is like a Sarah Dessen
mystery book.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Gearhart, Oregon United States

Split by Swati Avasthi

In Split by Swati Avasthi, a sixteen year old boy named Jace is kicked out of his home by his abusive father leaving his mother alone with his father. He is forced to move in with his estranged brother Christian whom he hasn't seen or talked to in years. After moving in with Christian, Jace starts with a clean slate where no one knows his past. He comes to realize its not as easy as it looks and his past starts to haunt him. Jace has to come to terms with his father's faults so he can see it was never his own fault.

Split is one of those books with characters that you feel sorry for in the beginning but eventually fall in love with by the end. This book should be read by as many people as possible. It is an open window to domestic violence in the homes of those we are told to trust. While some of the passages were graphic, this was one of the better books that I have read in a long time. I was glad to see that after everything Christian and Jace were able to stay together and finally have a happy ending. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good read with a little angst mixed in. Great Story!

Reviewer Age:18
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mantua, NJ USA

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fire Will Fall by Carol Plum-Ucci

Scott, Cora, Rain, and Owen are typical teenagers, at least they were until two months ago when a terrorist group, called ShadowStrike, poisoned the water of their town. They now have a level four disease and are living in the kellerton mansion, trying to deal with their scary symptoms and haunting personal lives. They all hope for a cure, but even more they hope they can trust the people in care for their life.

Tyler Ping and Shahzad Hamdani are internet spies, they've taken on the illegal job of tracking members of ShadowStrike online. Only problem is no one will listen to them when they find out that ShadowStrike might not be as far away as everyone seem to believes. And their coming back.
Fire Will Fall by Carol Plum-Ucci was a great sequel to Streams of Babel. I had not read the first one before this, but I still understood. Each page was filled with thought-provoking words, weaved in with suspense. Each chapter was terrifyingly realistic, every page raised goosebumps on my arms. It was entertaining yet filled with horror. I would think I had everything figured out, and then Plum-Ucci would throw in a horrifying twist. There was action, mystery, and even romance. I was engrossed with the book the whole time I was reading it. I would extremely recommend this book to a mature reader. A lot of the language, and sexual content was mature. I didn't approve of it, even though it did make the situation more believable.
Violence, sexual content, and mature language.
Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Springtown, Texas United States

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Phliberty-Jibbits by William Moore

This story, Phliberty-Jibbits, by William Moore is about a young girl named Ima Jean Snodgrass, who finds a little shop called Phliberty-Jibbits . Ima Jean makes new friends and learns anything is possible. Phliberty, who is the owner of the shop, goes on a daring rescue to find Jibbits. Ima Jean goes with him and tries to survive a lot of obstacles, and will Ima Jean rescue Jibbits and save Phliberty from losing the shop?

William Moore writes an adventure story filled with different feelings, like sad, excited, surprised and disappointed. This story was definitely a page turner and I could picture the setting when I close my eyes. Moore taught me a lesson that anything was possible. The author gave a lot of details and did a pretty good job wrapping up subplots. I would recommend this book to anyone who believes anything is possible and likes adventure.

Reviewer Age:9
Reviewer City, State and Country: Elkton, Maryland United States of America

Arson by Estevan Vega

    Have you ever dreamed of spontaneously combusting? If you have, Arson, by Estevan Vegas, is the book for you. Arson is a boy in his late teens who hides the terrible power of creating fire with his mind. His gift, or curse, killed his mother, and his grandmother, whom Arson is living with, hates him for it. The story begins when Emery, a girl that will not appear in public without her mask, moves in next door, and changes Arson's view of life.

    I would recommend this book to readers that like to go against the grain, as the book is not written in a straightforward manner, nor is it written with the same style as most other authors. Almost everything that happened was a surprise, and while some events were more logical than others, this helped keep the book interesting. Without the shockers every few pages, however, this book would have been quite boring. By not telling the story in its entirety, and leaving ends not tied up, I felt like a heavy fog had been placed in my head,rendering me unable to fully comprehend the plot and make connections to the text. The information Vegas gave was often not complete and out of order- which is an interesting style, but one that prevented my total enjoyment of the book.

    Having said my piece on Vegas' style, I want to congratulate him on excellent character development. Arson's grandmother was especially real to me, as was Emery, because they had such real feelings of loss and shame.

    Another admirable part of "Arson" was the setting development. By the time the book ended, I felt like I had lived in Arson's town my whole life. Arson and Emery, along with the other characters, visit so many important parts of the town and these places are described with a poetic detail that makes visualizing the scenes incredibly easy.
    I gave Arson a content rating of 2 because there was some inappropriate "stuff" that should be looked at by an adult before allowing young children/ teens to read the book.
Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Lederach, PA USA

The Letter Writer

The Letter Writer by Ann Rinaldi is a historical fiction novel. It takes place pre-Civil War, in 1831. The main character, eleven-year-old Harriet, writes letters for her blind stepmother. She feels left out with her strict stepbrother in charge and knowing she will never meet her real parents. This story takes you through the events and Harriet's decisions leading to and after the Nat Turner Slave Rebellion.

The Letter Writer is as good as the rest of Ann Rinaldi's books. It may start slow, but it is necessary to describe Harriet's life and "set the stage". The climax, although a bit gory, is as exciting as any novel. It was educational and taught me about the Nat Turner Slave Rebellion, while I had fun reading it. I could imagine the setting and relationship between Harriet and her "girl", Violet. The plot was believable. Overall, the book was educational, well-written, and interesting, but lost my attention at points.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

It starts out with the main character, Tommy, talking. He's explaining about how this freaky kid named Dwight, who goes to his school, can do origami. So one day Dwight makes an Origami Yoda. Not with directions off the internet, no he made up the pattern. Also when something exciting is happening Origami Yoda gives advise through Dwight. The thing is, it's really good advise. But Dwight is too stupid to have such good ideas. Isn't he? So Tommy sets out to find out; is Dwight actually smart or if the force is with us?

I thought that this book was a serious yet humorous story about a boy and his "quest" for the truth. If you read quickly it's a short read but something to occupy your time. If you are a slower reader then this will be a good book for you too. It's short as well as easy. It's got fun little doodles on some of the pages which just adds to the humor.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sandy, Oregon USA

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Double Life by Janette Rallison

The story Maestoso Petra is about a young colt that has a very exciting life. He goes to the Spanish riding school to learn how to get off his feet and to fly, he thinks of her mother because she taught him how to move and to speak to others. I like this book it has a lot of great details to it. Plus it would be great for kids under my age as well. One thing I dislike is that it could be a little longer.

The story Maestoso Petra is about a young colt that has a very exciting life. He goes to the Spanish riding school to learn how to get off his feet and to fly, he thinks of her mother because she taught him how to move and to speak to others. I like this book it has a lot of great details to it. Plus it would be great for kids under my age as well. One thing I dislike is that it could be a little longer.

2 because it has good details in it.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: hopkins, michigan allegan

Chaosbound by David Farland

When Fallion binds two worlds together, everything messes up. Borensen and Myrrima are called into battle again to save their once beautiful land. In the process, Borensen becomes merged with Aaath Ulber, a monstrous berserker warrior, and he gains strength and speed. The rulers of the new world begin to play an evil game. Unfortunately, Aaath Ulber/Borensen gets pulled into the spotlight to be a part of it.

Chaosbound is an exciting book that keeps you on your toes; one moment everything is going great,
then in the next, the world is falling apart. This is the eighth book in the Runelords series, and it's confusing in
the beginning if you haven't read the other books; there isn't enough information for new readers. I loved how
Farland described the family, it really painted a picture in my head. The book is action-packed, but I think it was a little rushed and short. I would also recommend this book for older readers, because there is some mature content. Overall, it was a good book, but not necessarily the best I've ever read.

Sexual content.
Rating:  6

Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Panama City, FL USA

Orange Planet by Haruka Fukushima

My mommy and Daddy are dead. And today is my birthday. Says Scared little Rui. I'll give you something if you stop crying, I'll give you the brightest star up there. Weather its spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter& That star will always shine bright in the Northern sky, Says a mysterious kid to Little Rui. Now she's in junior high school and no matter how many days go by she'll never forget her mom and dad. Now that she's in junior high school, It's raining boys. She has a major boy problem, she is in love with a boy, but two others are in love with her! The boys names are: Taro Amanatsu who is her neighbor, Eisuke Tachibana whose apartment room caught fire and is now living with her, and we can't forget the one she loves Kaoru Nakamura. She is writing to a guy named Haru-san, who she met at the funeral of her mother and father, because he sent her a letter saying, If you get sad write a letter to Haru-san which was taped to a teddy bear. So since the day of her mother and fathers death she has been writing to Haru-san about her day and about the guys in her life.

In this book you will feel you are apart of the story, because her life is probably as crazy as a normal junior high school students', or maybe even crazier. But then in some parts you will be - wow is that really happening? I would really recommend this book to anyone who likes a good romance Manga every once in a while. There is also humor, and just plain out embarrassing things on every page. I really think the main purpose of this author writing this book is that what goes on in Rui's life can really be happening to junior high schoolers today. So anywhere in the world there is someone who has lived in the footsteps of Rui.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Casa, Arizona United States

Goose Chase by Patricia Kindl

Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl is an original fairy tale. It shares some elements with the stories The Wild Swans, by Hans Christian Anderson and perhaps also The Goose Girl by the Grimm Brothers, but on the whole is a new story. Alexandria Aurora Fortunato is an orphaned goose girl, whose only true companions are her twelve geese. She has been taken from her cottage and locked in a tower until she chooses to wed either King Claudio the Cruel or Prince Edmund of Dorloo. She faces this dilemma because she had been kind to an old lady, who gave her three gifts: that she would be as lovely as the dawn, that when she brushed her hair, gold dust would fall out of it, and that when she cried her tears would be diamonds. She does not wish to marry either of the men, King Claudio because he's cruel or the Prince because she believes him to be rather unintelligent, and because she suspects that King Claudio will kill the Prince if she chooses Edmund. Her geese help her escape the tower, and take her to a cottage inhabited by three ogresses. The prince comes after her and when they escape they take the ruby necklace promised by the ogresses for her services to them. Later they obtain a ruby ring, which along with the necklace, matches the crown which the old woman had created from the circle of roses she had been wearing when her gifts were bestowed. These jewels eventually allow her to reveal the true identity of her geese, and reclaim her own destiny.

I chose this book to review because I really like reading fairy tales and fairy tale remakes, and this one turned out to be really good. The author does a good job of putting together typical fairy tale elements such as romance, magic and concealed identities, and sends her heroine and hero on a quest that is only revealed after it s well under way. Many of the characters in this book were quite funny, such as the three ogresses, Lucinda, Nellie, and two-headed Tessa. Alexandria sometimes finds her gifts to be an annoyance, because they make it harder for her to go unnoticed, and when she wakes up, she has twenty-four carat dandruff. Alexandria's hair is fun to imagine, because not only does it give off gold dust, it has other magical powers that Alexandria can use as long as she speaks to it very nicely. I would recommend this book to fairy tale readers and fans of writers such as Gail Carson Levine and Shannon Hale.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Lake City, IA USA

Virginia by Susan Hughes

Ivy Morell is a typical teenager with a dysfunctional life. Her mother is an alcoholic, her father pretends not to notice, and the only friend she had who actually knew anything about her stopped talking to her years ago. However, when this friend, Virginia, starts calling Ivy once again, Ivy is thrown into a world of mystery and intrigue. Her friend thinks she has been chosen. She believes that the angel Gabriel has come for her and she is carrying a child of God. Ivy must look past Virginia, Virginia's strange family, and the herself to find out what is really going on.

This book was rather interesting because it was the exact opposite of what I expected. I wasn't expecting the mystery of the novel to be about a modern day Virgin Mary. The plot was very well lined up and I was intrigued the entire way through. However, there were parts where the book switched back and forth between different points of view and it took me a while to figure out who those points of view were. Overall, a well-written book full of mystery and an interesting plot from cover to cover.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Shippensburg, PA USA

Hot Issues: Cool Choices by Sandra McLeod Humphrey

Hot Issues Cool Choices is twenty-six stories designed to help children with problems of "facing bullies, peer pressure, popularity, and put-downs." It is set up that there is a story from a real child talking about a specific subject. The last line of the story is always "What do you think I should do," emphasizing the individual reader's opinion and choice. Immediately following the story are some questions asking children about things they would do in the situation. Then it flips the scenario around and asks what they would do if they were the other person. This book has won several awards and is very highly praised.

The very first thing written in this book hit me and made me think of this book in such a serious light. It said, "In memory of Tommy who took his own life at the age of twelve years, two months, and ten days." This shocked me that someone so young had taken their own life. As I read through this book, I found myself putting myself into all of the situations and assessing what I would have done; sometimes I liked the outcome, and sometimes I didn't. It changed the way I view a lot of things, especially bullying. This is a must-read for children of all ages and would be especially helpful if it was then discussed with a parent or a teacher. I loved the layout, I loved the illustrations included, I loved that there were statistics and references included, and I loved the message this book sent.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Shippensburg, PA USA

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One In A Hundred Million by, Marion Urichich

Like all little boys, Marion Urichich got scrapes, bruises, and cuts all throughout his childhood. However, Marion's story differs from other little boys in extraordinary ways. "This guy has more lives than a cat!" the cover of "One in a Hundred Million" boasts, and it is not kidding! In speaking of just his childhood, Marion has part of his ear ripped off, a knot on the front of his head from a pool ball, and firecrackers in his ears. But Marion's almost unbelievable stories don't end there. For those who love true tales, taking a peek at Marion's autobiography would make your day.

I'm sure others might find this book very intriguing, I, however, had a hard time reading it. I didn't particularly enjoy the first chapter because it seemed like Marion spent the whole chapter telling readers that he wrote this book to share his stories and let others know how generous and big-hearted he was. However, if you look past the first chapter, the stories are interesting. It surprised me to find that Marion suffered awful injuries and hardly ever received medical care. Anyone who enjoys reading the unbelievable will probably enjoy this book as well.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mineola, Texas U.S.A.

Swim the fly by Don Calame

What do you get when you put together three typical teenage boys, a naughty summer goal, and the 100-yard butterfly? Definitely NOT what Matt Gratton expected. Then again, anything is possible during summer. Which Matt discovers only after too many embarrassing mishaps to count: the befriending of Kelly's close friend, Ulf's crazy, torturous swim training, and of course the loyal help of Matt's best friends.

This book was a peek into the male mind. Reading Matt's thoughts and feelings was refreshingly funny and sweet. This book drags you in, to do crazy dares and goof off with Matt and his friends. The author's writing style made for a relatable and hilarious read. Be prepared to laugh-out-loud 'till your stomach hurts. Each chapter in this book plays out like a scene in a comedy movie. This book is perfect for more mature readers who enjoy quick, entertaining reads. 

This book contained a lot of raunchy, sometimes crude humor.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Wailuku, HI United States

Monday, May 10, 2010

Powerless by Matthew Cody

Daniel Corrigan just moved to Nodle's Green, Pennsylvania and notices something strange. Soon, he figures out that his new friends have superpowers. One can fly, one is super strong, and another can turn invisible. These kids watch over the town and keep everyone safe. The only problem is that the superheroes are disappearing one by one because when they turn thirteen, their powers and any memories of them disappear. To find the villan that is stealing the powers of the kids of Noble's Green, everyone will have to work together and stop him once and for all.

This book is now one of my favorites! The author made me feel like I was actually there. I felt like I could relate to all of the characters in some way. I also liked how the author described eveything in great detail so you knew exactly what was going on. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good adventure or mystery.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Enon, OH USA

Invisible Girl by Mary Hanlon Stone

A poor Bostonian girl (Stephanie) is abused by her mother and then abandoned. Her father tries his best to care for her but it is too painful because she reminds him of her mother. He thinks it's best for her to send her to California. But when Stephanie gets caught up in the lies she made to impress her new friends, everything goes wrong. She learns it's best to tell the truth if you want to know who your true friends are.

I think this book is well written from the view of a teenage girl. You can feel the pain of the character Stephanie when she is abused by her mother or when someone makes fun of her. The writing is heartfelt. When she felt something, I could feel it. The description of the feelings make you feel as though you are the girl who is being abused.

Content Rating: 1

Rating: 9

Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Braintree, MA USA

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Resurrection Fields by Brian Keaney

Someone's building a bridge. This bridge could ruin the lives of people everywhere: a bridge to the Resurrection Fields. When young Damien is possessed by a dark and evil magic, he manages to escape by possessing a bird and learning all the secrets of the power Orabas. Orabas is building the bridge to the Resurrection Fields, which is the only sacred place for the dead to be reborn. Meanwhile, Damien's friend Bea has been attacked and is now one of the only people who can save the villages. Damien must befriend the birds and figure out how to save Bea and the world before time runs out. Can he do it?

I liked the book The Resurrection Fields by Brian Keaney, however I did find it very confusing and dull, because I hadn't read the first two books. Everyone who reads this book MUST read the first two; otherwise the whole point of this story is a blur. However, the plot had an interesting storyline. Many parts were violent or frightening that would scare many children, but the literature was an extremely short and easy read. I recommend this series to anyone over 12 who needs an easy read on a rainy day.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Osseo, Wisconsin United States

A Stone In My Hand by Cathryn Clinton

After her father's disappearance, young Malaak is perched on the roof of her dingy home in Gaza, waiting for him to come home. Little does she know, however, that has been the target of terrorist bombings, and will never return again. As the days go by, her beloved brother Hamid is getting involved in a very violent terrorist Palestinian group that is threatening Israeli soldiers and threatening his life. More and more casualties are suffered, and all that Malaak seems to be able to hold on to is her pigeon, Abdo, and Hamid's poems. Can she save her brother and all of Palestine? Will the work of one girl be able to help and revive a whole nation?

A Stone in My Hand by Cathryn Clinton is very interesting and deep. I was thoroughly haunted by the story of young Malaak and all of the troubles she has faced as a girl living in Gaza with deep restrictions forced unto the Palestinian people. The characters came to life, and I could really sense all of the emotion that sweeps through Malaak's heart as she struggles to keep her family together and to keep her sanity. I recommend this to everyone who feels they can truly understand Malaak's struggle and faith as she goes through this terrible time. A Stone in my Hand is very moving and thoughtful - I will never be able to think of Gaza or Palestine again without thinking of Malaak; the world is not at peace.

Some very frightening, graphic, and disturbing scenes that younger readers may not understand. Mainly age 12 and up.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Osseo, Wisconsin United States

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary by Jeff Kinney

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary was an interesting book to read because it gave facts about the making of the movie. The Wimpy kid books are a series of events that take place with the character Greg Heffley. Greg gets in trouble all the time for messing with his younger brother. Other adventures include his older brother Rodrick. The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary gave me insight to behind the scenes of the making of the movie and how the original series was used.
The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary was a nonfiction book that showed how scenes from the author's original series was used to create a movie. I thought it was a very good book but I didn't enjoy it as much as the actual series. The books in the series are funnier. I recommend this book to young readers.

Reviewer Age:9
Reviewer City, State and Country: Glenwood, Arkansas US

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Book of the Maidservant by Rebecca Barnhouse

The Book of the Maidservant is about a young lady who is a
servant. She is sent to another country, but she can't
speak the native language, while her master can. When her
master leaves her behind, she has to find some way to
communicate with the people around her. Readers follow
her on her journey to figure out the language of the

This was a great book, it was interesting and
kept me reading to the end. You learn about friendship
and loyalty, and also about medieval life. This book is
wise and funny, and filled with excitement to the very
end. I would recommend this book for everyone. If you
don't read it, you are missing out.


Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Panama City, Florida USA

30 Days to Finding and Keeping Sassy Sidekicks and BFFs by Clea Hantman

Life without friends would be boring, right? Right. That's where this book comes into play. "30 Days to Finding and Keeping Sassy Sidekicks and BFFs" will help make new friends and keep your old ones. Friendships don't happen instantly; they all take time. This book will help you to recognize good friends and bad friends, as well as help you through rough spots in your friendships. It also has fun crafts and activities to do with your current or future friends to help make your relationships stronger and get to know each other better.

This book was an interesting read. I found the activities and information within the book helpful and it helped me to reevaluate the people that I am currently hanging out with. The book also gave me ideas to do with my friends. I would recommend this book to any girl, even if they already have friends. It never hurts to try something new!

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Brownsburg, Indiana United States of America


In this Indian fairytale like novel, a young newlywed,
Raka, waits in fear of being killed by her husband. To
pass the time, she spends time with her sole friend Lalit
by telling him a story.

Thief and all-around bad guy Farhad Kamal has been
targeted by the Hindu God Krishna to rescue his daughter
who was kidnapped by a demon. Farhad has been given the
cycle of one moon to find the princess. Only given a few
riddles, Farhad enlists the help from the white tiger
Nitish and decides to go ahead with the dangerous task.
He knows that there are dangers everywhere he goes, but
Nitish and Farhad rely on each other to get through them
and an unlikely friendship begins to grow between the two.

As a lover of fairy tales, this novel caught my
attention immediately. I've never read a tale centered in
India, so I loved that aspect of it. Everything about
this story was amazing, from the characters to the plot
and the writing style. The themes in the novel also left
an impression, such as the importance of friendship. The
historical aspects were interesting as well. Once I
started this, I couldn't put it down. I would recommend
this novel to readers of young adult fiction, and
especially all lovers of fairy tales.


Reviewer City, State and Country: Philadelphia,

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A Cousin's Challenge by Wanda E. Brunstetter

A van accident two years prior to the beginning of the story leaves Jolene Yolder without her hearing. She is living with her aunt and uncle to learn total communication when she gets a call from the Amish community that she grew up in and where her family and friends live. Two deaf children have moved into the community, and the community wants Jolene to come and teach them total communication since she was a teacher before the accident. When she moves back, she tries to teach the whole community the art of signing, so that it is easier for her to communicate with everyone. Within a few weeks, Lonnie Hershberger also gets into a serious accident and loses his hearing. Jolene tries to reach out to him and help him through his grief and pain. With the new addition of signing, love starts to blossom in the Amish communities as friends come together to support each other.

Do read this book. The setting is in an Amish community and while that is not the usual setting for most books, Wanda E. Brunstetter makes it work well. She uses phrases that the people in the community say that are not familiar to us but they help to immerse us in the reading. The characters were interesting and complex, and they were the reason that made me keep turning the page to find out what was going to happen next. The characters stories were intertwined in some way that made them interesting. The writing was effective and it was not too dull. The ending was good, it was not too abrupt and it told me what i wanted to know about the characters. I would recommend this book. It was interesting and a fun read.

Reviewer Age:16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Pittsburgh , PA United States

Noodle Pie

I just read the book Noodle Pie by Ruth Starke. This book is about a 12 year old boy named Andrew Nguyen, Andy for short, going to Vietnam for the first time with his father, who hasn’t seen Vietnam since he escaped as a refugee from a back then communist Vietnam to Australia. Now his father is going back, and is taking Andy with him. Right from the start, Andy realizes this is going to be no ordinary trip where the only thing to look forward to is jetlag and visiting relatives. What happens in this piece of realistic fiction, you might ask? Read Noodle Pie to find out.

Noodle Pie was a very interesting book. I found the description of the setting to be very vivid and descriptive, and I felt as if I were really in Vietnam with reckless drivers and polluted air. The book contains a humorous and yet serious tone. The book is funny because it is from an 11 year old boy’s point of view. However, the author also pinpoints the fact that there are thousands of street kids in Vietnam today. This brings a touch of seriousness to the book, but does not kill the humor in this book. I believe that the characters could be real because they act like any other kids would if they were in that situation. I think the way I felt about the characters really affected how much I liked the book. The author has a humorous yet serious tone. In this book, lack of detail was non-existent. The author left me hanging at the end, and I was left wondering about the main character’s adventures that started at the very end of the book. In conclusion, this is what I thought about the book Noodle Pie.

Content: 1
Rating: 6
Reviewer Age: 12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Braintree, Massachusetts United States of America

My Double Life by Janette Rallison

Ever since she could remember, Alexia has been compared to Kari Kingsley, the pop star sensation. Their appearances are uncannily similar. And Kari begins to take notice. Alexia gets a picture of herself posted on the internet, which comes to the attention of the pop star, who asks Alexia to become her double. As a double, she'd pose for pictures at events, sign autographs, and lip synch at some small concerts, all so Kari could focus on her newest album. In a sudden rebellious decision, Alexia leaves the comfort of her small, West Virginia town to become a body double for one of the most famous singers in the world. However, once she gets there, she realizes that her fame isn't all it's cracked up to be. What does she do when faced with not one, not two, but three shocking realizations?

This book was simply amazing. I have read several of Janette Rallison's books before and this was definitely the best one. Her portrayal of Alexia had so much depth to it, as did her portrayal of Kari, a seemingly one-dimensional, shallow pop star. The twists keep you occupied because they just keep on coming and you never know what to expect. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, as it was just extremely enjoyable to read and had me sucked in from the very first page.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Westerville, OH United States

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Secret Satrudays by Elizabeth Hurchalla

The Secret Saturdays The Kur Stone Volume 1 Part 1 is a mildly funny action graphic novel. The story is about part 1 of the search for Kur, the most powerful criptid on earth. Criptids are all the strange, exotic creatures that regular science doesn't believe in. The Kur Stone is needed to find Kur. To prevent the villian V. V. Argost from having all 3 pieces of the Kur Stone, the Saturdays need to retrieve the piece of the Kur Stone they had previously hidden. One of the reasons that the book is so short is that 6 out of 100 pages are just introduction to the characters.

I thought the book was way, way too short. If you aren't going to read the whole series, don't read this book because it ends in a cliffhanger and the entire book is mostly just an introduction. The introduction takes up too much of the book and the action is crammed into the end. I think it should have had more of a plot. Overall, I enjoyed the book, but it was unsatisfying.

Unsatisfying because too little action and too much introduction.

Reviewer Age:10
Reviewer City, State and Country: Sammamish, WA USA

Vibes by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Kristi Carmichael is a sophomore in high school, just trying to get by each day. Her best friend has abandoned her for the popular crowd, her mother is a work-a-holic, her father disappeared two years ago, and then there's the new guy... Mallory seems nice enough, but Kristi's feelings for Gusty Peterson, her ex-BFFs older brother, are getting stronger. On top of all this Kristi can read minds. When Kristi gets assigned to work with Gusty on a school project, everything about Kristi's life changes. She realizes her "powers" may not be what she suspected and she's faced with a lot of tough decisions.

Vibes was definitely not what I was expecting. Kristi was a great main character that kept me glued to the pages. Her witty, but deep, narration made her one of the most unique characters I've ever read about in a YA novel. She was someone I would have loved to know in real life. Not only was Kristi a fantastic character, but I enjoyed many of the minor characters as well. Gusty, Mallory, Jacob, her mother, Aunt Ann... they all had a great place in this heartwarming debut. The plot was original and realistic even though I couldn't connect with a lot of the things Kristi was going through. Readers will feel for Kristi and go on the wild ride of her life all the way until the end. Kristi matures a lot by the end of Vibes and really discovers who she is. The writing style was fantastic, and the descriptions sucked me right into the novel. I can't wait to read Ryan's next book!

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Hightstown, New Jersey USA

Bakugan: Battle Brawlers by, Elizabeth Hurchalla

In this book Dan, one of the Bakugan Battle Brawlers, battles a kid named Shuji. After he beats Shuji he goes home and talks to his friends over the internet. The next morning he wakes up and goes to the park, but Shuji shows up again and challenges Dan to a rematch. In the middle of the battle Dan has a vision of two Bakugan he has never seen before battling. Then he uses an ability card to bring them to the battle. Afterwards he goes home and tells his friends how he thought he heard his Bakugan talk and how there might be more to the Bakugan game than they think.

My opinion of the book was that the author did a very good job of keeping to the episode it was based on. However there were a few mistakes. One of those mistakes was switching the names of some of the Bakugan. Besides a few mistakes the book was very good. I hope you all get a chance to read this wonderful book.

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mineola, Texas The United States of America

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Debs by Susan McBride

This book is about these girls who work hard to get
what they want. Their names are Laura Bell, Mac Mackenzie,
and Ginger Fore, who have dreamed of becoming a debutante
(deb) ever since they were little girls. Laura is a little
overweight, but that doesn't stop her from attracting a
hot jock named Avery, making her rivals fiery with
jealously. Ginger falls in love with this older, college
guy named Javier, which almost lands her in jail. Mac on
the other hand, is the calmest out of the three. She
doesn't really want to be a deb, but will do whatever it
takes to make her friends happy. But the three girls have
some competition on their hands, Jo-Lynn Bidwell and her
posse, Camie and Trisha, who will do anything- I mean
anything- to keep Laura and her friends out of the Class
Slipper Club. Scandal, Lies, Secrets and much more lies

The book was very interesting and made me want
to know what happened next. It gave great detail about
the characters and made me feel as if I knew them in
person. One thing I had to get used to at first was that
each chapter was about a different character and their
actions, but it all blended well together. I would
recommend this book to any girl in high school because
this book contains what most girls go through in high
school, such as making the wrong friends, dealing with boys,
backstabbing, and heartache. I would definitely like to see
a Part 2 of this book, and see what else Jo-Lynn has in
store for the girls.

Reviewer Age:16

City, State and Country: Cumming, Georgia United States

Noonie's Masterpiece

"Noonie's Masterpiece " by Lisa Railsback is about a ten year old artist who is under-appreciated. She is confident that she is talented, but not everyone seems to agree with her. Her mother is dead, and her father is constantly away on archaeological trips; so, she lives with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, all of whom are facetiously eclectic. She enters an art contest, talks about school, and comes to realize what is really important to her in the end.

The book’s illustrations by Sarajo Frieden are of high quality. The pages themselves have decorations and color; even the text has color. The plot itself isn't too intense, but this book is meant for the grammar school age, anyway. While it is great that a girl pursues her art dreams, it is a bit disappointing that she is noted as disliking math. Overall, this book is a nice bridge for young ones, and one that will prepare them for chapter books.

Reviewer Age:18
Reviewer City, State and Country: Troy, NY 12180

Revenge Fires Back by JR Thompson

I think this book is a mystery and adventure. This is a book about a family and the things most families go through. This family has been through a lot of hard times. This book, Revenge Fires Back, will remind a lot of people about the old days and how it was when they were kids. It gets you back to that happy time in life. You find yourself caught in the book, and soon its all you can think about. I really fell for this book, and I think whoever reads this is in for a good read. You're not going to want to take your eyes off of this good read!

I think this is a really good author. When I got my book, it was personally signed by him! It was amazing to see, which made the book even better to me to read. Once you read this, you can really tell that this author puts a lot of thought into his work. What he wrote about was truly delightful, but it's also sad because it talks about things that some people don't think about, but they're things that are really happening out in the world. This book will rip at your heart and make you ache to read more. I think JR Thompson really did achieve his purpose and that he worked really hard on this book. It was all worth it. I found it very moving and interesting. I wanted to read more to see what was going to happen next and see what else he wrote about in the book to make it connect with the rest of the story. I recommend this to anyone who gets that feeling in their hearts when they read a heart ripping story and a beautiful tale.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mineola, Texas USA

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Flight of the Renshai by Mickey Zucker Reichert

The Flight of the Renshai is a story of three brothers on a journey to find their place. Their tribe,the Renshai, are a tribe dedicated to the sword. Long ago they were exiled from the Northlands; the tribe had settled in Bearn working for the King as apart of his army. Now spies from the North have succeeded in the banishment of the Renshai yet again. And all the while a fleet of pirates are on the verge of destroying all of Bearn.

In the middle of all this is three brothers: Calistan, Saviar, and Subikahn. One is a brillantswordsman who is traveling to the North to kill the man who murdered his mother. One is struggling with who he is and his parents seperate heritages. One is struggling with his sexuality and who his father wants him to be.

And the pirates are drawning nearer; an epic battle awaits the people of Bearn,who will need the Renshai to survive. In the end it takes the Renshai and the Northmen coming together along with the Bearn to defeat the marauders. Calistan discovers that vengence is not the answer. Saviar learns that a man can live happily honoring both of his heritages. And Subikahn finally accepts who he truly is and also gains his father's acceptance.

My opinion of this book is that it is very complicated. I had a hard time getting into the story itself. It has several plots that are happening at the same time and it was difficult for me to follow. I did enjoy reading about the struggles that each brother went through on there own journies, but it wasn't enough to hold my attention. I feel that maybe this book was meant for someone older then my twelve.

This book deals with homosexuality

Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Mineola, Texas USA