Monday, November 30, 2015

City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare, is the exciting fifth installment in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. In this edition, Jace goes missing after Clary leaves him alone on the rooftop with Sebastian, who was thought to be dead. Everyone is extremely anxious about Jace's disappearance, but it is only until Clary sees Jace walking around with Sebastian that she begins to get suspicious. Soon she learns that her Jace has been taken over, controlled by Sebastian, and they try to convince her to join them in their plan to bring demons into the world. Clary devises a plan with her best friend Simon and agrees

I really enjoyed City of Lost Souls! I'm usually not into these fantasy books with demons and faeries, but The Mortal Instruments is definitely an exception. Every book leaves me on the edge of my seat, including this one. I enjoyed the plot, as usual, and the characters were just as lovable and hilarious as always. I would recommend this book to fans of The Mortal Instruments series and teens who enjoy romance and adventure.

Reviewed by Rebecca S., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Time Keeper, by Mitch Albom

The Time Keeper, by Mitch Albom, is a novel about Father Time, whose real name is Dor, and his mission to be freed from the pain and anguish of his new and unwanted job. After centuries of being lonely and trapped in a cave with nothing but his memories and voices of strangers asking for more time, he is given the opportunity to free himself of his job by helping a teenage girl named Sarah Lemon and a wealthy business man named Victor Delamonte learn to appreciate the time that they are given.

The Time Keeper was a book that I had been interested in reading and one day I decided to finally start it. Although it didn't meet my expectations and high hopes, it was a good book and I liked the message that it sent about appreciating the time and moments that you have. It teaches you that you should live in the moment instead of wasting your current time wishing for the future. Although the book did get kind of boring at times, my interest in finishing the book never faded.

Reviewed by Nayri T., Grade 12
Casa Verdugo Library

Monday, November 16, 2015

Love Lucy, by April Linder

On a backpacking trip through Europe, on the summer before Lucy Sommersworth will attend a private college, she is struck by the beauty of many things in Florence, Italy. To name a few, Lucy adores the culture of the city, the architecture of the buildings, and her new favorite type of food; Italian. Then the handsome street guitarist that works at the place she's staying at catches her eye. By the name of Jesse Paladino, a tourist himself from New Jersey, he has been staying in Italy for way longer than he planned. What will happen when Lucy's traveling buddy is starting to cause confrontations and Jesse starts sweeping Lucy off her feet? 

In part two of the book, Lucy's back in her home town already settled into the college which she can't seem to get used to. Convinced that Jesse was just a summer fling, she can't come to the realization that some relationships are meant to last longer.

The greatest summer novel any teenage girl with dreams of love and travel can read is right at your fingertips! Bound to sweep you off your feet, the tale of just another teenage girl with high hopes and overbearing parents is highly relatable. I recommend Love Lucy, by April Linder, to anybody in their teens that wants a tour of Europe and a whimsical romance right in their hands. This story is meant to inspire people to follow their heart and guides teens through making those very tough decisions in life.

Reviewed by Alexis K., Grade 10
Montrose Library

Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee, by Stan Lee and George Mair

Varieties of comic books can become a destination for fantasy, action or just a relaxing moment for nearly any age. Who among all the comic writers out there is the king of the comic book world? Why the great Stan Lee of course! Excelsior! : The Amazing Life of Stan Lee is an intriguing book written by George Mair about the biography of Stan Lee. This book balances telling the story of Stan’s early life in a good pace without leaving major gaps. Also, it addresses the rollercoaster ride the comic industries go through during that time and how comics became popular around the globe.

Mair’s thorough writing didn’t miss a moment of Stan Lee’s life which in some way may have affected his future or was simply interesting. One of the reasons why Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee, by Stan Lee and George Mair, is a little more special than any other biography books is because how Mair doesn’t only focus on the dramatic or tragic parts. He goes a little more beyond and tells the humorous parts of the comic genius’s life. Altogether Mair told the story of Stan Lee’s harsh and humorous life, and how he rose high up later just like the comic book heroes.

Reviewed by A.M., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Monday, November 9, 2015

The False Prince, by Jennifer A. Nielsen

A poor orphan boy was running for his life. He stole a roast from an angry butcher who was chasing him with a cleaver. A wealthy man stopped the butcher from killing off the boy when he was sure to die. The wealthy man, Sir Conner, payed the butcher for the roast and turned to the orphan. The orphan introduced himself as Sage. Sir Conner took Sage and two other orphan boys. He planned to train all three of them to impersonate Prince Jaron, prince of Carthya. Prince Jaron was rumored to have died in a shipwreck, and his parents and brother were all poisoned so searching for the lost prince was the last hope Carthya had. Conner gave the three orphan boys two weeks to educate themselves, learn manners, and ride a horse. He would choose one of the three and pass him off as Prince Jaron, while the other two boys would be killed for security reasons. There was Tobias, the smart and polite orphan who had no skill in battle. The second orphan was named Roden. He was strong and was an excellent listener. Sage was not smart or polite. He was strong and knew how to be a rebel, just like what Prince Jaron was famous for. The three boys competed hard to keep their lives.

The False Prince, by Jennifer A. Nielsenis one of my personal favorites. It has suspense, drama, action, a bit of romance, etc. I love all of the characters' personalities and their motives. Conner's wicked schemes, Tobias's inner strength, Mott's kindness, Sage's cunning personality and Imogen's story all are examples of things in the story that I enjoyed and what I thought was inspiring. The story plot is incredible and only a creative genius would be able to create such story. I recommend this story highly to young and old teens and adults. I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series and I hope you read this and maybe consider reading the book. :)

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

I,Q, by Roland Smith

I,Q, by Roland Smith, is a story about a thirteen year old boy named Quest ( ‘Q’ for short). His life turns upside-down when his mom, Blaze, marries a man named Roger and starts a band with him. When they book their first tour, Blaze and Roger decide to bring along Q and Angela (Q’s new step-sister), hoping to spend some quality time together as one family. During the tour, Q and Angela notice some strange people who happen to appear at all their pit-stops. They discover strange clues that lead them to believe they may have terrorist relations in their families. Can this really be true? The new siblings go on a mission to find out the truth about their relatives.

In my opinion, I,Q is quite a mediocre book. To be honest, the character development was terrible and the outcomes of the mysteries were quite predictable. The plot could have been thought out better by the author. There was not a lot of depth, breadth, or even significance. The book did not make me feel any emotions (fear, awe, anger, joy, etc.), which, for me, defeats the purpose of reading a book outside of school. I would not recommend this book to anyone who is looking for good read. Needless to say, I will definitely not continue to read this series. 

Reviewed by R.O., Grade 10
Casa Verdugo Library

Monday, November 2, 2015

Better Off Friends, by Elizabeth Eulberg

Macallan and Levi's friendship could be considered as a lot of things, but not smooth. A little hesitant to befriend the long, blonde haired new kid from California, Levi proves to be a very caring companion for Macallan. Hanging out after school on Wednesdays becomes their tradition, they both share a peculiar interest in a British comedy, and their families even become close. Contrary to popular belief, however, they're platonic. Their best-friendship is constantly under scrutiny as they can't seem to successfully have dates of their own and spend more time with each other than anybody else. This makes the pair question: are they more than just friends?

Better Off Friends, by Elizabeth Eulberg, is a fresh story of a classical tale in which best friends become more than that. Great for any teen, this story brings to the table view points from both the boy and the girl. This book, spanning from seventh grade to senior year in high school, is realtable to all of those ages. Although, it might be odd to read for people who may have friends from the opposite gender themselves. Sports teams also play a substantial role in this story which may be interesting to readers.

Reviewed by Alexis K.. Grade 10
Montrose Library

Selp Helf, by Miranda Sings

Selp Helf is written by a well know youtuber Miranda Sings, she makes videos on YouTube on a daily basis. Miranda Sings is a very funny person so in her book she writes very funny things and she makes really obvious spelling mistakes. For example the title (selp= self, helf=help) Her book talks about… EVERYTHING, like Career, Fatchen (fashion), Love, Self esteem, Dealing with Haters, Money as well as Magic. There are a lot of activities in the book like how to be a unicorn and how to know what to wear or get a boyfriend/girlfriend. Most activities include a lot of cutting and gluing things together. She talks a lot about herself and her many… many talents. In the intro of the book she implies you to thank her for all the help she is going to provide you with. She is also claims that she going to teach you how to be a better person in general.

This is a comedy book, so please don’t think your life is like how she describes it. In this book there are pictures of Miranda Sings, that she took and drew herself. Everything you see and read is humorous in this book. I would suggest to keep an open mind and good laugh while reading this book but don't rely on her to tell you what to wear on a date, hahaha!

I think the book is really funny and I would really recommend it to anybody who has a good sense of humor to get it and read it. It made me crack up and smile all the way through. Enjoy it! Bye

Reviewed by Aria, Grade 7
Pacific Park Library

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Work In Progress, by Connor Franta

A Work in Progress, by Connor Franta, is a memoir based on a Youtuber's life, Connor Franta. Connor Franta is this big youtuber who has reached out to many people in society. He has done inspirational, comedy, vlogs and lifestyle videos. He is just a Minesota boy from a small town who is living in such a big world. Connor's book talks about many fascinating and inspirational aspect in his life. In the book we will follow his journey and adventures he goes through. He begins his journey from the beginning, the moments as a child. He begins talking about the life his parents had and how his life as a child was. In the book we slowly see how he came to love filming and the word creativity. Only some of us know the fact that Connor is gay and this fact is a big moment he goes through. He ends up explaining his journey of growing up and discovery. He discovers he is playing a phony life because he is not being his true self. He is going through confusion and through out the way he comforts us with words of wisdom and inspiration. The book is full awe because it has his personal interests and it is full of photography. Photography is one of his biggest hobbies so he demonstrates that my presenting that in his photos and book format.

I absolutely loved this book. This is my number one favorite book and nothing can change that. Connor Franta is the most inspirational person I've ever met. His book talks about personal aspects in his life, all his ups and downs. He gives us words of wisdom that he has observed and analyzed through out his 22 years of life. As I read I was discovering those aspects of life as well but I still learned new things about life. I personally love memoirs because it gives us the advantage of seeing what life is really like for them. They are not showing us an act or their mask. We are reading their experiences and thoughts, which is really personal. I personally believe we should all write our story. I am actually writing my own story for a special project of mine for school and I hope my book can inspire others some day. I recommend this book to young adults and adults. I believe they are truly going to enjoy it like I did. The book is beautiful full of colors and photos of his life. By the way is creativity is amazing so You should really check is book out, no regrets

Reviewed by Andrea V., Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Oedipus, by Sophocles

Oedipus The King, is a play by Sophocles about King Oedipus and is gradual demise. After a plague has sweeped Thebes, King Oedipus vows to find the cause. After consulting the gods and prophets, he learns that the sickness will not leave the city until the murderer of former King Laius is caught. When Oedipus launches the investigation, little does he know that he is searching for himself.

Oedipus is such a good play and I’m so glad I read it. The constant irony is overwhelming and as the reader you can’t help but feel yourself bursting with anticipation because you feel like everything is obvious but the characters are just too dumb to realize it. The word play is also very creative. I would recommend this to anyone who loves Greek tragedies or enjoyed the play Antigone.

Reviewed by Nayri T., Grade 12
Casa Verdugo Library

Monday, October 19, 2015

Bloodlines, by Richelle Mead

Bloodlines, By Richelle Mead, is about a girl named Sydney Sage is in a world of Humans, Moroi, And Alchemists. Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, which is a race that protects the Moroi secret from the human world. When the Moroi's have an vampire attack against the new queens, Vasilla Dragomir, long lost sister, Jill Dragomir. The Moroi decide to send the princess away during the revolution so the princess what get in any more danger. Sydney is asked to go to a new school in Palm Springs and protect the princess from all the people against her with the help of the warriors of the Moroi world, Dhamphirs, and the Moroi to make sure she doesn't get discovered. Sydney now has to be around this race she has already gotten in trouble with while trying to impress the alchemists. Sydney is going to have to protect Jill at all costs but will it be that easy?

I feel this book is worth the read. The story is very captivating and you feel like you are getting used to this new world with Sydney and not dealing with it on your own. The characters are very likable and made me laugh from time to time. Sydney may have her annoying moments throughout the book but it isn't too much that would make me hate the book it just made me root for her. If you are into funny fantasy novels with some danger i would recommend you read this book. Finishing this book just makes you want to be there for her experiences with this world.

Reviewed by Mia J., Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Shakespeare:The Biography, by Peter Ackroyd

Shakespeare:The Biography, by Peter Ackroyd, is the ultimate biographical book about the brilliant Shakespeare written by Peter Ackroyd. Because of the significant information provided this book is one among many to actually have a well committed author exploring Shakespeare’s life like an arcane garden. Also, Ackroyd walks us along the streets of London and the nature that shaped the master mind of Shakespeare.

Aside from family background and works of Shakespeare, we learn more about the atmosphere he lived and breathed in. This isn’t just your typical biography highlighting only the hero. Ackroyd takes a step beyond and pinpoints the Elizabethan setting. The things we smell, see and touch throughout is what the phenomenal writing provides and makes us believe even for the slightest bit that we are roaming down the streets of London. The personal comments shared by Ackroyd as well creates an impact on the audience. As a result, the readers end the book with a better understanding of Shakespeare and his era.

Reviewed by A.M., Grade10
Glendale Central Library

Monday, October 12, 2015

Black Dog of Fate, by Peter Balakian

The memoir Black Dog of Fate, by Peter Balakian, recounts his life growing up as an Armenian-American. It combines perfectly what it means to be an Armenian-American, perfectly describing the assimilation of Armenians but also the preservation of Armenian culture, not only with language, but with food and traditions. While growing up, Peter never knew or heard about the Armenian Genocide and cannot understand why nobody in his family will talk about it with him. In the memoir, Peter struggles to learn exactly what the 1915 genocide was and how it effects his family so much that they fear to speak of it.

I have never been able to connect to a book as much as this. Coming from an Armenian family who was effected deeply by the genocide, I felt like I was Peter. I grew up never understanding the full concept of what the genocide was because it was essentially a family taboo. Peter’s writing really resonated and connected with me personally and I recommend this book to people who are interested in learning about the genocide and the true consequences of such a disastrous event and how it lead to a huge migration of Armenians.

Reviewed by Nayri T., Grade 12
Casa Verdugo Library

Nana Volume 5, by Ai Yazawa

In the manga Nana Volume 5, by Ai Yazawa, a chance to visit home knocks on Nana Komatsu’s door as she receives a pair of free tickets to watch Trapnest live in VIP seats! But clever Hachi (Nana Komatsu) plans to hit two birds with one stone. Not only will her wish to see her favorite band member Takumi Ichinose will be granted but she also plans to drag Nana (Nana Osaki) with her to see the hot new bassist of Trapnest who happens to be her Ren. Merely that is a plan Hachi creates not a solid decision. That part remains on Nana’s wish which doesn’t seem to be in favor of taking a turn back to her ex lover.

As things seem to have calmed down in room 707, we take an insight onto the other half of the story to Nana’s life. This series can either show the two parts one’s life or the difference between the people we are. Nana’s heartbreak and relationship issues seems a whole lot more critical and really makes you think and connect. Whereas Hachi’s problems are like the times we eat chocolate and go on a shopping spree to ease the depression of the childish troubles we face at times. Therefore, both cases are very magnificently written to connect the readers to their deepest emotions and actions.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nana Volume 4, by Ai Yazawa

In the manga Nana Volume 4, by Ai YazawaNana Komatsu is tangled with all sorts of boyfriend mischief. On top of that, her sweet dreams of a blissful Tokyo life is crumbling as her job slips away. Confused with it all, Nana finds herself spending more and more quality time with her best friend forever Nana Osaki. As Nana spends more time getting to know the people of the band “Blackstone” she finds out about former the bassist Ren (currently the bassist of Trapnest) who also happens to be the lover of Nana Osaki’s life. This gives the perfect opportunity to distract Nana Komatsu’s worries and be the ultimate cupid to glue together Nana Osaki back to her other half Ren.

Nana Komatsu faces a significant turning point, among the many more to come, as ties breaks with Shoji. During this part many of us can see ourselves and the emotions that we encounter when we face a hurtful break in some sort of relationship. The reader becomes more engaging with the character of Nana Komatsu as they see a part of themselves in her and especially when she tries to have new adventures to erase away the pain of Shoji. I myself felt very emotionally connected to cupid Nana Komatsu who humorously takes on a new challenge to reunite Nana Osaki to Ren Honjo as a way to refresh her thoughts and push Nana Osaki to a happy ending.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Necessary Lies, by Diane Chamberlain

Ivy Hart is born into a poor family that lives on a small farm. Her parents die when she is young and she is forced to take care of her old grandmother, mentally-ill sister and her baby, William. Her grandmother, Nonnie , has a grudge against the older sister, Mary Ella. She had her own baby to take care of even though she was only a teen and the family was struggling already financially. Ivy falls in love with Henry Allen, the sort- of rich kid who loved her back. They kept their relationship a secret from their parents in horror that they will punish them. Jane Forrester, a woman who had a good education and lives in the uptown area, decides to work helping poor and ill people improve their lives. She goes to Ivy's house and does great things such as give the family a fan to help endure the harsh summers and took them to the beach for the first time. Jane starts a campaign to stop Ivy from being sterilized. She realizes that the path she had chosen is not the easiest.

I like the way that Necessary Lies, by Diane Chamberlain, has captured the reality world and all the conflicts in the story can be real life situations. Diane Chamberlain really shows us a world where not everything is a happily ever after. I love how this story teaches us about the consequences we may receive if not working hard. I disliked how depressing the tone of the book can be at times though.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, September 28, 2015

Nana Volume 3, by Ai Yazawa

The wacky adventures of the two Nanas finally starts as they settle in their cheap little place and tighten up any way they can to save a few bucks here and there. Considering their personalities from two different worlds, their unlikely friendship becomes more funny and bonding. Both Nanas peek a little more deeper onto the other one’s lives and discover more about each other. While doing so, they try to give a helping hand in any way possible. Nana Osaki is finally in contact with her former band Blast while Nana Komatsu begins to fall in boyfriend trouble.

Finally things are heating up in room 707 with Demon Lords of the bad luck. It is much better to see some action going on after the lackluster volume two. Both Nanas arrange a decision which can either elevate themselves to a better position or knock them down because of their stubborn pride. I think the best part of the manga series Nana Volume 3, by Ai Yazawa,  was seeing these two energetic and hopeful young ladies deal with a realistic struggle and how they manage to cope with it all the way with each other and with their friends.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Monday, September 21, 2015

Nana Volume 2, by Ai Yazawa

Relived by being able to finally get to Tokyo, after all the long waiting days, the two Nana packed up their bags and left their homes in a jiffy. Surprisingly they happen to be in the same train headed to the same destination and fate makes them bump into each other during their ride. Things aren’t so warm and welcoming when both Nanas struggle to find a real home for themselves to stay in. At least on the plus side of all the troubles the two girls faces, their responsible friends are willing to help them settle their lives in Tokyo.

I was waiting very eagerly to reach a point where the two Nanas finally step into the city of their dreams. This second volume of the series was fine as we watched the two young girls try their best to settle in. But I did feel that there were a lot of extra scenes which were too detailed and took up too much of the readers time. This could’ve been all avoided by cutting many of the unnecessary parts but still balancing the comedy and interesting occurrences. Also, Nana Volume 2, by Ai Yazawa, did not have a climactic moment and was rather a same straight line all the way.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Monday, September 14, 2015

Great Teacher Onizuka, by Tohru Fujisawa

Surely Onizuka has stumbled through his teaching training but that all means nothing if he doesn’t actually become successful at landing a teaching degree. In the book Great Teacher Onizuka, by Tohru Fujisawa,  things get even more messy and sloppy and just all over the place as Onizuka merely begins his journey on this noble goal of his. But along the way his foolishness doesn’t skip a beat and his brazen lust towards girls never seems to improve either. But under the influence of all the pressure Onizuka is tested from all sorts of direction to test this goal of his.

Things couldn’t be any more hilarious until volume two rolled in. The pile of amusing entertaining is overflowed as Onizuka does all sorts of hilarious acts to run towards his dream. But I was glad by seeing the microscopic speck of respect in Oniuka’s act after he gets to know Ms. Fuyutsuki who might just be his colleague in the future. I enjoyed the angle Onizuka was drawn from because in this volume his facial features really reveal how slick and cool of a guy he is. Once again, I am looking forward to the next volume which will tell us if Onizuka succeeds as a teacher or if it all goes down the drain.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Monday, September 7, 2015

Vampire Knight Volume 1, by Matsuri Hiro

Yuki Cross is the adopted daughter of the headmaster of the Cross Academy where both vampires and humans attend on a different schedule. Along with the studies, Yuki’s duty is to make sure that all humans stay at their department of dorms and the vampires remain in their own. However, Yuki believes that both humans and vampires can coexist and yet remain living their lives peacefully. What she doesn’t know is that the world is a whole lot different and cruel than what her innocent expectations and hopes are.

The summary of Vampire Knight Volume 1, by Matsuri Hirowas the only counterargument I had to read this book since I do not enjoy the fantasy of vampires. But so far in this volume my of affection toward this series remained in a mediocrity level with nothing extraordinary nor blunt to present. The art however was not something that I found normal but rather bizarre. The deeply thick lines around the characters' eyes, especially the vampire, are rather a strange essence. But I am looking forward to reading the next volume in hopes of finding something more intriguing.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Monday, August 10, 2015

Gorgeous, by Rachel Vail

Gorgeous, by Rachel Vailwas about a girl named Allison Avery. She has a bit of an interesting side to her because she recently sold her cell phone to the devil in exchange for 7 people to think she was beautiful. Then, the deal became true the next day because this girl named Roxanne (Roxie) Green told Allison that they should ditch 2nd period to go into the city. When they arrived, Roxie told Allison that they should go to get Roxie her photo taken for Zip Magazine. But then Allison ended up going into the building and getting her picture taking too. Will she be the beat that she can be with the devil, Roxie, her friend Jade and Serena, her mom, and her dad on her side with everything that blocks her way?  

I personally really enjoyed this book. My favorite part was at the end. But I don't want to be a spoiler. I really think that when you finish reading the book, you might/will get the moral which is, '' You don't have to show people that you are pretty and special, be YOURSELF!!!" So if I were you, I would really read this book. I hope that my tips on this book really made you want to read it.

By the way, you will see something interesting about Tyler Moss in the story....

Reviewed by Nicole G., Grade 6
Montrose Library

Monday, August 3, 2015

Next, by Michael Crichton

Henry Kendall and his tam of scientists need to stop agencies in destroying their creation. A one of a kind talking monkey. Biotechnology seems to advance the unpaved future for the world. However, there were great consequences following later. With amazing action, jaw dropping secrets, and unforgettable suspense, Next is a book that you can't wait to be reading.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Next, by Michael Crichton,  because it involves the particular fields that I am genuinely interested in. I felt that Michael Crichton did an amazing job with it and I believe that many young adult readers should take interest in it.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Monday, July 27, 2015

Milkweed, by Jerry Spinelli

Milkweed, by Jerry Spinelli, is about a boy, Misha Pilsudski, with many nicknames such as Gypsy,Jew,and Stop thief. A boy out of many trying to survive the destructive life as a Jew in the Holocaust, a time when the Jews were treated very poorly. He goes through the decision if he wants to be a Nazi when he grows up. He becomes friends with Janina Milgrom as he tries to steal bread and joins her family who are brought to live in the Warsaw ghetto, where it is very dangerous. Misha meets and make relationships with different people as he lives in the Warsaw ghetto. In this world where Misha has to choose between life and death, many adventures come his way.

I thought that Milkweed,by Jerry Spinelli, was very touching because you got to know what the life of a Jewish boy living in the Holocaust was actually like. You got to know how hard to was to live and survive in such a place. There were some parts I did not quite enjoy such as the parts where the Jews in the ghetto were being treated so bad,it was heartbreaking. What I did love was how the book was based on how it actually was back then and how Jerry Spinelli did not change the fact that the Jews were treated poorly. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a book based on the history of our world.

Reviewed by Tina, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library 

Monday, July 20, 2015

All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch (A.K.A Theodore Freak,) has always been considered the "Weird Kid" at Barlett High. On the other hand, Violet Markey is a shy, delicate girl after a tragic accident in which her sister passed away. Such a strange pair, but one that fits...
Embark on a thrilling adventure as these two souls venture into the world, on a roller coaster of exciting journeys. “Sorry wastes time. You have to live your life like you'll never be sorry. It's easier just to do the right thing from the start so there's nothing to apologize for.”
― Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven, is one of my absolute favorite stories of all time, with thrillers that make you not want to stop reading. There are many life lessons to learn from this book, and can apply to anyone. I especially enjoy the characters and how they change throughout the story. This is just a spectacular read through and through. I would definitely recommend this to teen readers of all ages, and wouldn't mind reading it again.

Reviewed by Grace B., Grade 6
Montrose Library 

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, by Ann Brashares

Starring the four girls who were in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants; Tibby, Bee, Lena, and Carmen, "The Second Summer of the Sisterhood" begins with the foursome tied up in another summer full of awaiting surprises. Shortly after Bee discovers five years' worth of letters from her grandmother of which have been kept a secret, she flees to Alabama on a quest to piece together her past. On the other hand, Tibby takes up a filmmaking workshop in Virginia, while Carmen is at home making her mom's dating life very difficult. Meanwhile, Lena is busy getting over her ex-boyfriend Kostos, right as he shows up for an unannounced visit. Aside from whatever happens to this group of friends, the pants end up in the hands of each of them just in time.

I have to admit, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, by Ann Brashares,  wasn't nearly as exciting as the first one, mainly because in the first one the concept of the pants was just being introduced. Its always more exciting the first time you are reading about such a situation.  Despite that, this book has a really good plot and the adventures these girls face are ones we dream on facing. I really felt in tune with this book because I think the stage I am at as far as my mindset and actions go, I was able to really understand what was going on with the characters. Between love, lust, and sisterhood, I love that they share the pants because they get to bring a little bit of each others vacations with them to their own.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, July 6, 2015

Girl In Pants, by Ann Brashares

This addition to the series  "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" begins with an eventful summer before they head off to college. After unfolding the pants for a new summer, you learn about the complicated lives each of the girls are living. Carmen is now taking care of Lena's grandmother and also dealing with her own issues at home. Lena's plans for her college might not go as planned as a result of her father. Bridget comes across a big surprise while at soccer camp, and Tibby discovering more and more about her inner strength as the aspects of her life unravel.

Girl In Pants, by Ann Brashares, is an heartfelt story of friendship and adventures get me every time! I love Ann's writing; the way she can make you both laugh and cry all in one chapter is remarkable! This book was very inspiring. Being able to go through the adventures and emotions with the characters really allowed me to feel closer the the characters in the book. I I truthfully live my life vicariously through the adventures of these four girls and I recommend everyone to give this series a good read. I don't recommend these books to anyone below teenage level. But I can conclude that this series is an adequate read for young adults as well as teens.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 29, 2015

Z.Rex, by Steve Cole

In the book, Z.Rex, by Steve Cole, is about Adam Adlar a teenage boy that had a father who created a Ultra-Reality video game. The game was pretty cool, and he loved it. Then his father disappears and was never to be found again. Adam starts to encounter weird things. CIA agents, native people, and the most terrifying thing, A T.Rex! He doesn't know which is reality or isn't and goes on a crazy hunt to find his father. The cities are empty and barely anyone is there. Adam experiences, danger,action, and survival. Will he make it and find his father, or will he lose the "game?"

I loved the book Z.Rex by Steven Cole. It was terrifying and action-packed. This story teaches you some ways to survive if an animal outbreak like that happened. This story at some moments fell like a jump scare and surprised readers like me. This book had the combination of video gaming and reality combined into one new subject which I would like reality gaming. I would recommend this book to people who have a taste of action or fighting. This book is a little bit like the Hunger Games.

Reviewed by Alexander D., Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume

In the book Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume, is about a girl named Davey and her younger brother named Jason. There father died in a shooting. There father was shot in seven eleven shop. Daley is about to start school but passes out several times because she would not eat. Daveys mother realizes how bad she's getting so they take an offer to take a break from what had happened and move to Los Alamos in New Mexico.

My opinion on this book is that we all go through the same thing once in a while. Not everyone lives forever. My mom want through a lot of depression when her dad died. She didn't eat much either. She's okay now. I think many people can relate to this book. We all loose our loved ones sadly but we have to lift ourselves back up and continue living. We've all probably felt the pain and sorrow Davey went through as well.

Reviewed by Jacqueline, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 15, 2015

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, by Matthew Quick

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, by Matthew Quick, was a very moving and unique book. It is told in the voice of Leonard Peacock who decides to kill his former best friend, and then commit suicide, on his 18th birthday. But before his day is over, he goes along giving a present to the four people that had mattered to him, his neighbor Walt, Lauren the girl he had a crush on, his classmate Baback, and his Holocaust teacher, Herr Silverman. Leonard wants to let them know that he had cared about them, and show that he was sorry for being the way that he was. All the while, narrating the reasons of why he was going to do this, and how those four people changed his life, and discussing why he was driven to the point of committing suicide.

This was a very touching book, and it shows the raw, gritty perspective of suicide, loneliness, and depression. It was sad at times but it was beautifully written and is the kind of book that will linger with you even after you have read the very last word on the last page. Leonard was a very interesting and complex character and by the end of the book you understand and feel sympathy for what he was going through. Overall this was a great book, that demonstrates that even though life isn't easy sometimes it will work itself out, and there is a light hidden somewhere inside of us that will never burn out.

Reviewed by Lusine M., Grade 8
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe

The Poem, “The Raven”, by Edgar Allen Poe, is about a wealthy man who loses his wife and becomes depressed. 
The poem starts off by the narrator is reading a book at night until he hears a tapping at his chamber door. He believes that it’s only a visitor. The reader knows that it’s not just a visitor- and Poe builds up tension here. The man opens the door and no one is outside. A tapping occurs at the man’s window and a raven flies in and sits on the Bust of Pallas. The Bust of Pallas represents wisdom and knowledge, therefore, it can be concluded that Poe is trying to convey that the bird is knowledgeable. It can also be concluded that the man is rich because no ordinary person has a bust of a god at their door.

After the bird rests on the Bust of Pallas, the man asks for its name, to which the bird replies, “Nevermore”. This repetition occurs throughout the end of every stanza and seems to illustrate the man’s insanity over the loss of his wife, Lenore. It also adds on to the “Aw” tone of the poem. The bird represents the man’s sorrow and Poe conveys that the bird, A.K.A. his sorrow, won’t go away when it refuses the man,

The man tries to figure out why the bird won’t stop saying “Nevermore” and asks why the angels in Heaven sent it to him. Bird replies “Nevermore”, which builds up curiosity. Then, he asks if there is peace and happiness in Heaven (“Is there balm in Gilead?”). Bird replies “Nevermore”. By saying this, the man is driven crazy because he’s never seen anything otherworldly and supernatural like this. The man calls it a prophet and asks if Lenore is in Heaven waiting for him (“Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if within the distant Aidenn, it shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?”) The bird replies “Nevermore” further driving the man insane because he wants to be reunited with her. 

The man orders it to go back to hell “Get thee back into the tempest…” and leave him alone because he’s sad. Bird replies “Nevermore”. By saying this, it can be concluded that the bird is the man’s everlasting sadness of his loss over Lenore that can NEVER be overcome. The bird demonstrates that his sadness can’t be overcome and it hurts the man’s feelings and breaks his heart. The Raven does not move at all in the last stanza and the narrator concludes that his sadness will be everlasting (“shall be lifted nevermore!”). 

Poe does not try to make this story scary, he tries to make it creepy and ominous to the readers. No one has read a story about a bird terrorizing a man. It’s symbolism when the bird sits on the bust of Pallas. Poe tries to express the man’s sorrow to the readers and how he’s going to be depressed for the rest of his life. Thus, making the readers feel sorrow at the end, and a little bit creeped out for such a weird story. The main theme of the poem is that when tragedy strikes you, money won’t be able to buy you back your happiness.

I will be honest, I didn't like this story much. It was quite confusing and without a reference or a teacher to guide me, I would've been completely lost. So I thought of including the symbolism and meaning in the summary, just incase people don't understand it. Before I write a review, understand that this story is almost 150 years old.

People may like it because no one has ever read a book about a Raven terrorizing a man before. It's a sophisticated poem meant for people back in the day.

I would recommend this story for more mature readers and people who actually take the time to go indepth with the story, unlike me.

The story contains a lot of symbolism and rhythmic pattern that are hard to see, which is why I didn't like the story much in the first place! If you are more of an easy and relaxed reader who likes to receive info orderly, then I wouldn't recommend this book to you.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Season for Goodbye (One Last Wish), by Lurlene McDaniel

In the book A Season for Goodbye, by Lurlene McDaniel, there are three girls named Chelsea, Katie, and Lacey who are spending a summer at Jenny house. Jenny house is a retreat for youth, in other words for young teens with life-threatening illnesses. Each of the girls had a life threatening illness. All three girls are much more healthier than before.They spend a summer at Jenny house because they know what it's like to be fighting an illness that can possibly lead to death. They go to Jenny house to help other young teens cope with cancer or any other illness. All three girls have to come face to face on making decisions that will separate them. It is up to them to keep their friendship strong.

My opinion on this book is that it is very good. It made me feel sad at the same time. It had a lot of sad parts to it. I really liked how the author put in a lot of details about the characters and how the author talked about each of the girls. I liked everything about this book. Not one part I did not like. I really enjoyed reading this book. I think that if I introduce this book to my friends, they will all enjoy it as much as I did. It made me think of many people who are going through what some of these girls went through. Overall, this was one of my favorite books.

Reviewed by Jacqueline, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, May 25, 2015

Search for Safety, by Paul Langan

Search for Safety, by Paul Langan, is a sad story about a teenage boy named Ben. Ben’s life was going well until he gets the bad news that his mom is going to marry a man named Larry, that she has been going out with for only a couple of months. Ben ends up moving to a new house, and also a different high school. One day when Ben gets on Larry’s nerves, Larry begins violently attacking Ben, punching and kicking him. Ben’s abuse goes on for a while until people at school start noticing his bruises, until eventually the principal finds out and gets Ben help.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot because of the story line, which sometimes made me feel sad for the character. Because of the way the character acted and how he was treated. I liked it also because this is another book that you feel what the character is feeling. I recommenced this book to other people because i like this book and it is a very good book. it is also part of the blue ford series.

Reviewed by RB, Grade 8
Library Connection @ Adams Square 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Blood is Thicker, by Paul Langan

Blood is Thicker, by Paul Langan, is about a boy named Hakeem who has to move to a different house with his family because his dad has cancer therefor he isn't working and cant pay the bills. Hakeem gets pulled away from his girlfriend when he moves away to Detroit. When Hakeem arrives in his new house he meets his cousin who he used to have a connection with. His cousin used to be chubby and a nice person until he started going to the gym. In his new house Hakeem thinks his cousin is doing bad things because Hakeem sees hims sneaking out at night. Hakeem finds out his cousin is only going out to rap. Hakeem's cousin's dad finds out and Hakeem's cousin gets threatened to stop or get kicked out.

In my opinion I think this is a very good book because the ending is great. I also like how Hakeem's character acted in the story. I also liked that closed to the end Hakeem's cousin becomes friend's with Hakeem close to the end and Hakeem sticks up for his cousin that is in trouble. This book is part of the blue ford series that I like. I recommend this book to a lot of people you should read it.

Reviewed by RB, Grade 8
Library Connection @ Adam's Square 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Separate Peace, by John Knowles

Gene and Finny are two great friends who went to the same school around the time of World War 2. Gene is quiet and smart while Finny is outgoing and athletic. During a period of time, Gene suspects Finny of trying to outdo him in academics and starts a private rivalry with him which ends when they are on a tree and Gene shakes the branch causing him to fall off and breaking their leg. Gene then starts the process of apology and mending their relationship.

Separate Peace, by John Knowles, was a very interesting book. The characters were both opposites in personality but the book found a way to show that they can still be together. The plot itself follows an interesting story which kept me occupied from the beginning to the end. The ending was great, and it really finished off the novel in a nice way. This book slowly but steadily became my favorite book, and I would recommend it for anyone. It was a great read.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Grandview Library