May 23, 2013
This book describes the adventures of a boy named Paolo Crivelli and his family in Florence, Italy during World War II. Due to the Allied advance, the city has been put mostly on lock-down by the Germans. Paolo is fed up of being cooped up in his house, and he decides to go out for bike rides in the middle of the night. This causes adventures that not even Paolo will be able to survive.
This book was very well-written, and the situations that were cooked up were very enthralling. Due to the relatively small number of characters, they were very well developed. One character that was under-developed was Il Volpe. There was a paucity of information about him in the story. This was not a very humorous story, and the harsh truths of life showed through. This is definitely not a story for children. However, while not a thriller, it still was a very exciting book.
The memorable thing about the book for me was the sudden death of one of the characters. It was completely unnecessary in the context of the book, and it caught me off guard
Review by Aditya, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library
May 23, 2013
Annie is an 18 year old who is more than ready to escape her mother, stepfather, and hometown. Ever since Annie’s little sister passed, Annie’s mother has been “out of it”. Annie is invited to nanny for a seemingly perfect family in Belvedere Island, California. Due to her new job, she is able to handle costs at an arts university in California. Not long after Annie arrives, the family’s perfect image starts to rip apart and Annie has no idea what she has gotten herself into.
Annie’s situation was very understandable – with her wanting to move out of her mother’s house and find a better life. For Annie to find out she didn’t know what she was in for was very surprising and exciting. I felt like the storyline was a bit predictable, in the suspense category at least. I liked how the small details added up in order to make a bigger picture. It was sort of difficult to identify which character would be the bad guy, the author did a great job of covering that up. Annie’s ability to remain loyal to the family was very profound.
Review by Malika, Grade 11, Sandston Library
May 13, 2013
The book follows the hectic life of Marcus Yallow, a teen who was detained by the federal government and tortured in the events of the prequel, Little Brother. Now, Marcus is living in San Francisco with his parents, who are working twice as hard as they used to just to find jobs. Marcus attends the Burning Man Festival in Nevada with his girlfriend, Ange, and when he is there, an old acquaintance shows up with a flash drive which changes Marcus’s life… again. Add in the appearance of a psychotic soldier who is trying to take revenge on Marcus, and you have a thriller.
Every single one of the characters in this book were well-developed, and the only ones that didn’t seem like it were in the first book. Since it is a sequel to Little Brother, it would help to read that first to really understand all the mindsets of the characters. The book was very intense all the way through, but every good action novel needs some humor to pull it through, and this one had that. The writing style is more suited to late middle schoolers or early high-schoolers.
The one memorable thing about the book is the resolve of Marcus to power through anything that might come his way. Any other person would be completely broken by what he had to endure, but he keeps plowing on.
Review by Aditya, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library
May 9, 2013
It’s the beginning of a new school year in Hills Village. A time for new reputations, happy students, and good behavior, and every student strives to do their best work. Except for Rafe Katchedorian. On Rafe’s first day of middle school during an assembly where every rule in the Conduct book is read, Rafe decides to break every rule in the book. However, at every turn looms the threat of suspension and being expelled. With the help of Leo the Silent, will Rafe break every rule, or will he get booted out of Hills Village Middle school before every rule is broken?
I really liked this book! I kept going back to read more and more, and I thought James Patterson did an excellent job of showing the life of a sixth-grade boy through art and words. The plot was excellent, flowed smoothly, and I could see the story through my mind. One part I didn’t like was that Rafe, when his three strikes were up, still drew his grand finale on the wall. I thought Rafe cared more about what he did to his mother emotionally, and when I read that part of the book, I was shaking my head.
One part of this book that I won’t forget is when I found out who Leo really was. I definitely did not see that part coming.
Review by Hannah, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library
May 9, 2013
This book was about Dicey and her siblings who have just traveled from home to meet a grandmother they have never known. Their mother has been traced to an asylum over the summer when they made their journey. In this book they start to get to know their grandmother. As well as getting to know more about each other, all the family members get a chance to learn more about themselves.
I really liked this book a lot. It was a classic. The way the author told this story through Dicey’s (the oldest child) eyes and mind was intriguing. I also liked how Dicey seemed so determined to make sure her siblings had a good life. I disliked how people would rumor the children’s grandmother was supposedly crazy.
One memorable thing about the book was the strong and deep connection between Dicey, Gram, and Dicey’s mother Liza when they met for the last time. Liza was at the asylum and Dicey and Gram visited and Gram talked about
Review by Rawan, Grade 6, Tuckahoe Area Library
May 8, 2013
Watch this great video by Lauren Oliver, author of Delirium, Pandemonium, Requiem and Before I Fall. She explains how her books were created.
See the whole journey from idea to the book in your hand.
April 22, 2013
Fat Angie is a touching, heartfelt story about a high school girl named Angie who sees herself, as all her abusive, scurrilous peers call her, Fat Angie. After a video of Angie’s veteran sister was publicly released displaying her being held as hostage and repeatedly beaten, Angie attempts to commit suicide by cutting deep gashes into her arms. Angie then goes into a deeper state of depression when her sister’s body goes missing; but what she doesn’t know is that the new girl at her school, KC Romance, will turn her life upside down. KC is the only one who sees her as just Angie, not Fat Angie.
This book may seem depressing, however I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was kept intrigued page after page. I think that Fat Angie shows that we should all be excepting of others because we never know what they are going through. When I was reading the book I was feeling sympathy for Angie and I felt like I was witnessing what was happening to her because the author, E.E. Charlton-Trujillo, was so descriptive with her words. I think while being an amazing read, it still teaches a crucial lesson of not judging a book by its cover.
The most memorable thing about this book to me was that KC stuck by Angie and supported her in everything she did.
Review by Raghda, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library
April 22, 2013
In Brooklyn, New York, Alex Shrader, an average schoolboy falls in love with the new girl, Bijou. He is determined with the help of his friends to get closer to her. Bijou just recently moved from Haiti after the earthquake ruined her life. She does not want a boyfriend. She’s still adjusting to the weird, new world around her. A new home, a new country, now even friends there’s no place at all for a boyfriend.
This book stays true to cultures and customs. The author doesn’t try to work around that main topic which makes it such an interesting book to read. The story is written in two different points of view. Both main characters gets to tell their story and I connected well with the characters.
Life is full of obstacles just don’t let them ruin your fun.
Review by Light, Grade 11, Tuckahoe Area Library
April 16, 2013
Hazel Grace, the main character, is a sixteen year old girl living in Indianapolis who has been diagnosed with lung cancer. After going to Support Group, she meets Augustus Waters, a self aggrandizing teen who is in remission with osteosarcoma. They are both intelligent and humorous, and their paths forever intertwine as they fall in love. This book tells about love, loss, and ultimately, our marks on the world.
The Fault in Our Stars is poised to be a classic. This book is so beautiful and touching, it is “an achingly beautiful story.” I honestly lack words strong enough to describe my passion for this book. It shows love, life, loss, and intelligence in ways people can not imagine. As he says in the book, “Sometimes you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” This quote describes the book perfectly.
One memorable things about the book is Hazel expresses herself in a series of emotions and words. She does not want to be a “bomb” because she knows she will die soon and does not want to injure others in her struggle, yet she still falls in love with Augustus Water, a charming and intelligent young man who seems to draw everyone in with his attitude. The most memorable thing to me was a statement in the last part of the book, “You have given me a forever within numbered days, and I am grateful.”
Review by Marina, Grade 6, Tuckahoe Area Library
April 16, 2013
Rafe had a really tough time in Hills Village Middle School, and his sister Georgia doesn’t believe him. When she starts middle school, she realizes that the path that Rafe set for her wasn’t fair at all. She becomes enemies with the popular girls at school, but still makes a few odd friends along the way. Georgia used to be a straight A student, but that was before a twisted and wacky middle school year.
As all of the James Patterson books, this story was no less than perfect. The story was filled with humor and amazing detail that will keep someone hooked on till the very end. When a main character goes through emotions, you can feel them because of the amount of detail and precision in every sentence. Even though in some parts of the book there was an interesting twist, Patterson really made the book worth reading.
One memorable thing about the book that is really significant throughout the story is that wherever you go, there will always be situations and problems that you will have to face even if some are smaller than others. Georgia starts off her year trying to be perfect, but through the rest of the book she learns that no one can do everything right. Another great thing to look for are how detailed the drawings are. Even though they aren’t in color, the way they are drawn really makes it pop and stand out.
Review by Prachi, Grade 6, Glen Allen Library