June 3, 2014
This book is about three peoples’ summers in Long Island. It all started with the artistic, poetic main character named Claire. She was taking care of her younger sister, Izzy, because their mother was recovering from a stroke at a hospital. At first, everything is normal, but then she meets Brent and Max. These characters have complicated lives, and the book is narrated by all three of them. Max, the senator’s son, had been using pain-killers and is being helped by Barkley. Barkley suffers with schizophrenia. Over the summer, this book shows how one small move can change everything, like a see-saw swinging on a fulcrum.
Personally, I thought this book was a little slow in the beginning until I realized the background and details of all of the characters. I thought the plot line was very interesting, as it did not follow the typical plot structure of a typical teen book such as this. I thought that as the book progressed, it was a real page turner. It kept me on the edge as I was nervous and apprehensive to find out what would happen next.
One memorable thing in this book, “Before My Eyes,” was how the Senator’s son, Max, was using pain killers. Usually, we, as a society, think that being the child (son/daughter) of a politician is fun, as you get fame. This book shines light on the fact that this is not always true. Max’s parents were too preoccupied with preparing for reelection rather than focusing on their son. This was the reason Max was taking pain killers, and if it had not been for this, the story would’ve been entirely different.
Review by Yashodhara, grade 7, Gayton Library
April 17, 2014
This book is about two best friends, Levi and Macallan. People say they can’t be friends because they are a boy and a girl. They face many different hardships through their friendship. One is when Levi has feelings for Macallan when she doesn’t feel the same. How will their friendship end, are they better off friends or more than friends? This story takes place in Wisconsin near Chicago.
I really enjoyed this book. It had many twists and turns making for a more interesting story. Also, I liked how the book changed betweenLevi’s and Macallan’s point of view, making for a more in-depth read. The book left me wanting to know more. I would easily recommend this book to boys or girls. It shows the importance of friendship.
I liked how it showed how much a person can love someone when they aren’t family. It shows just how important friendship is. Also, shows that you and your friend should always not keep secrets and tell what you think about something.
Review by Marina, grade 6, Tuckahoe Area Library
April 17, 2014
This book follows the lives of 5 different girls living in New Jersey. Each girl has their own unique taste in fashion. Justine has a hard time adjusting to her new high school in San Francisco with the fear of being laughed at by all her classmates. Becka, who spent her summer in Paris, has a distant father and a psychologist mother. Robin, who has a shopping addiction, takes on jobs to pay off her debt. While bright Ann, who wants to go into art despite her family’s wish for her to go to college, decides to make a fashion blog, the swimmer Polly, who is self conscious about her body, deals with the loss of her grandfather and the absence of her father. Each girl is different yet the same. Their love for fashion is what brings this book together as they share their stories that will make you laugh, cry and just smile.
I liked this book. It was quirky and sweet at the same time. I also liked how Moses alternated chapters so each chapter is another girl’s perspective. I don’t see this concept in a lot of books, maybe because it is sometimes difficult to connect with the audience. This can also be a difficult concept if the book as too many characters. I think Moses did a wonderful job of keeping the individual characters’ personalities straight and understandable. If you love fashion, then this book is right for you.
I got a bit upset at one of the characters in the book, but that just shows how much I enjoyed the book and got so into it. When Becka got rushed to the hospital, Justine didn’t do anything but blame her mother and sit at home. I was upset at her for not taking responsibility for what she did.
Review by Arghawan, grade 6, Dumbarton Area Library
March 7, 2014
Elizabeth Moon is enemies with Maggie. They used to be friends, but a fight got them worked up and it ended badly. Maggie doesn’t like the fact that Elizabeth acts better than everybody. Elizabeth’s mom works with dogs, so Elizabeth is always covered in dog hair and she smells like crazy. Maggie thinks that she is better than Elizabeth, and that she should get revenge.
This book was really interesting. I was surprised at how much Maggie hated Elizabeth. Maggie would go to great lengths to get what she wanted, and it sometimes would backfire. Some things happened that I didn’t expect. All the characters had different personalities, so it was intriguing to see all their opinions put together into one book.
One thing that stuck with me throughout the book was the fact that Maggie always wanted to get her way, and she would go to great lengths to do that.
Review by Mitali, grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library
April 15, 2013
The book was about a 17 year old girl named Erin. She is secretly an advice writer named Miss Fortune Cookie. Only her friend Linny knows about Miss Fortune Cookie. It is around the time for college acceptance letters to come in the mail. Erin’s friend, Mei, is super nervous because she applied for Harvard! But she wants to go to Stanford because of her boyfriend of 13 months. Mei’s mom has been planing a Harvard party for ages because she wants Mei to be accepted, since Harvard is the best college in Mrs. Liu’s eyes. Erin also applied to three colleges, Princeton, Brown, and Harvard. Next, after Erin answers multiple questions on her advice column, she notices one question similar to Mei’s problem. She replies about running away jokingly, but she also says to follow your heart. Erin gets worried when Mei doesn’t answer her calls or texts. She thinks Mei took it seriously. Instead Mei texts her and they meet in the hallway and walk and talk together. Mei gives Erin a fake ID. She tells Erin that she already gave Linny hers. Later on, Mei texts Erin to bring Linny and meet her at an address. When she gets to Linny’s, they Google search the address. They figure out that it is a club and that is why Mei gave them fake IDs. They get ready and find a ride. They are only going for Mei’s sake. Mei tells her mom about Darren (her boyfriend) and for about a week, Mei is not allowed to talk on the phone or use any electronics unless she needs it for school. In the end, Mei finds out about Miss Fortune Cookie and Mei’s mom supports Mei and Darren.
Erin’s blog is my favorite part of the book. Reading someone’s problem can be funny. The people asking what they should do have some pretty funny problems. They can also make up the funniest things. Some can be serious, but Erin always uses a quote in her answers and she always sticks with the mood that the question is. (Question=sarcastic Erin=sarcastic)
One memorable thing from the book is Erin’s history with Mei. She understands Mei. They have been best friends for such a long time, then they split up in 8th grade, but Linny made them reunite in 9th grade.
Review by Aida, Grade 6, Dumbarton Area Library
March 31, 2013
Mary May Gilhooley has suffered for all of her high school years at Oyster Point High, because of a popular jock, Jake Barbone. He has taken everything from her; the only spot at Georgetown, the thrill of high school that only few people get, and last but not least, the precious moments that she has to spend with her best friends before setting off to college. In The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life, Mary and her friends participate in the Unofficial Oyster Point High Scavenger Hunt, where they are so desperate for a chance to beat Barbone and make him feel defeat for once. The scavenger hunt includes straightforward objects like “Get a burger king crown,” or “bring us a box of tissues” and some things that keep all the teams puzzled like “Shuck a Mary on the half shell,” or “tag the town red.”
I found this book very intriguing because I kept on seeing if I could guess what they were going to have to try and find. I could not turn my head from it because of all the suspense and drama it contained. However, aside from the drama and suspense, there was many times where I found myself laughing at the subtle humor shown every so often. Throughout the book I found myself wanting Mary to win, and overall, I thought it was a very good book.
One memorable thing about the book is that it was amazing how Mary and her friends always stuck up for each other, and had a really strong bond.
Review by Raghda, Grade 6
March 26, 2013
When twelve year-old Foster McFee and her mother are chased into Culpepper, West Virginia by an Elvis Impersonator, Foster is less than optimistic. In this tiny town where nothing seems to happen, it’s hard to keep your biggest dream. And Foster has a huge dream: one day she hopes to star in her own cooking show, just like Sonny Kroll, her baking idol. Though she doesn’t know it, this town just might teach her the hardest thing she has ever learned: reading.
I loved it! This book combined a great read with food: two of my favorite things. The plot was great, however, the author should have spent more time describing Foster’s father. I thought that he was more of a fuzzy blur than a character, and had a hard time picturing him. Overall, this book was great, and I would totally recommend it to others!
I can’t help but remember all the scenes when Foster bakes! They made me hungry for brownies and cupcakes. These scenes were so descriptive, I could almost smell the chocolate and vanilla!
Review by Hannah, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library
March 25, 2013
Erin Kavanagh has her own blog page called “Miss Fortune Cookie”. People would ask questions about problems in their life and Erin would answer them, using the name Miss Fortune Cookie. No one other than her best friend, Linny, knew about her being Miss Fortune Cookie. It was her secret identity. Erin’s other best friend, Mei, had a secret boyfriend. Her mother forbid her to date anyone before she finished college, but she didn’t listen to her. Then her mother finds out and because of Miss Fortune Cookie, Mei and her boyfriend, Darren, decide to elope. Erin had to chase them to tell them that she was Miss Fortune Cookie. Can she tell them before it’s too late?
I liked the book because I could relate to two of the main characters, Linny and Mei, Erin’s best friends. They were both Chinese and I am also Chinese. In the book, there were some phrases in Chinese (with translations) and I could understand what they were saying. I disliked the book because I didn’t like the plot. The whole chase to find Mei and Darren was boring.
A memorable thing about the book is how Erin was able to establish her own blog page and have many people asking for advice on it. The people asking for advice had no clue who Miss Fortune Cookie was. Even so, Erin was constantly replying to letters.
Review by Alice, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library
March 8, 2013
This book was about Mary, a senior in high-school, who spent her life being an “Also-Ran” and a nobody. Determined to be heard, Mary signs herself and her friends up for the end of year senior scavenger hunt, which is the most notorious, dangerous, and thrilling experience for all seniors. Her team is great, but then she realizes that maybe she doesn’t know her friends all that well… A hard-to-derail Mary finds herself caught amidst wanting to win, crushing crushes, fraying friendships, and trying to figure out what exactly she wants to make of herself.
I thought this book was very well written. I appreciated its sense of humor while incorporating more serious themes. The characters were well defined and relatable, even though the situations sometimes weren’t. This book was made for the misunderstood teenager of today.
I think my favorite part of the book was (actually kind of cliché) when Mary realizes that her long time crush is a selfish, stuck-up, solve-everything-with-money rat. And then she moves on.
Review by Asha, Grade 8, Twin Hickory Area Library
March 8, 2013
Sam Lewis is factually a genius. However, Mr. Griegs and his mustache can beg to differ. But Sam has better things to worry about, like the fact that his ex-best friend Morgan and enemy since the start, Chris, are planning to kick his butt at recess in exactly thirty-three minutes. Whether or not Sam is really the smartest kid in school does not mean he has what it takes to face football star Morgan in the long-awaited fight.
I liked how the author would pause the story at times and include a picture from the view point of the main character. I also liked the characters he included in the book. Sam is quiet and keeps to himself, while on the inside he dearly misses his old best friend. Morgan, Sam’s old best friend, has tenacity and is determined to defeat Sam in the fight. Lastly, Chris will do anything it takes to make sure that Morgan cannot trust Sam.
The one memorable thing in the book was the force Chris put on Morgan and Sam’s relationship. He stole Morgan right under Sam’s nose and treated Sam so terribly. Sam missed his friend so bad, put did not feel brave enough to step up and do something about it.
Review by Ashton, Grade 6, Gayton Branch Library