Friday, September 01, 2017

Review: A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the story of Conor, and the monster that has decided to come to him each night. Conor is already dealing with a terrible nightmare, which he will not even discuss, and, the fact that his mom is very sick with cancer. His dad has remarried and gone to live in America, and Conor is left to deal with some awful bullies at school. And now, his wicked grandmother is insisting that Conor should move in with her. The monster is scary, but so is Conor's life. There are some great illustrations that go along with this story, and now, there is even a movie about it.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Review: Cleopatra's Moon

Cleopatra's Moon Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A really good book for high school and very mature 8th grade students. This book was so well done, that I think it could definitely be read by adults and teens alike. This is the story of Cleopatra's daughter, Cleopatra Selene, and I must say, I didn't really know anything about her story. The book begins in the tranquil days before Rome had sacked Alexandria, and the descriptions of that city and life in the palace are well done. Cleopatra Selene is a young girl when we meet her, with a twin brother and a baby brother. She loves her mother and father, and longs to grow up to be as powerful as her beautiful mother. Of course, the Roman empire gets in the way, and as a 13 year-old, Cleopatra Selene and her siblings are brought to Rome as prisoners. Lots of great characters and adventure follow, with a love story woven in between.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: The Secret of Sarah Revere

The Secret of Sarah Revere The Secret of Sarah Revere by Ann Rinaldi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just love the way Ann Rinaldi turns a piece of history into a really good story, especially written for grades 7-10. This is the story of one of Paul Revere's daughters, Sarah, and a dark secret she harbors in her heart. The reader gets a glimpse of life in Boston at the very beginning of the Revolutionary War, with actual characters straight out of the pages of history. I love Boston, and I have visited the Revere house and Bunker Hill, and other historical places, and it made the reading of this story even more enjoyable for me. There is action, suspense and romance. what else could you ask for?

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review: Ruby on the Outside

Ruby on the Outside Ruby on the Outside by Nora Raleigh Baskin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you judge a book by its cover, you would not choose this book to read. But, when I read the inside cover, I decided to try it, and I'm glad I did. This is the story of eleven- year-old Ruby, who is starting middle school in the fall. She has no real friends, and, she lives with Matoo, which actually stands for Ma, #2. Ruby's real mother is in prison, and has been since Ruby was five-years-old. Ruby has always kept kids her own age at a distance, so that she will never have to explain that Matoo is her aunt, and her real mom is locked away. Now, at the beginning of summer, she meets Margalit. They become good friends, but Ruby is very worried. When should she tell Margalit the truth? This is a very good story, that allows the reader to discover the heartbreak and anguish that kids go through because of the mistakes of their parents. Very real.

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Friday, May 05, 2017

Review: Ender's Game

Ender's Game Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don't know where I was when this book was first published back in 1986, but I'm very glad I found it in the Maxson MS Library! This book is awesome! I could not put it down. The writing was brilliant, as the battles and training games were so well done, that I could actually picture them so vividly in my mind. This is the story of Ender, and his forced journey to become a Battle commander, even at the young age of 11. I know, it seems far-fetched, but the author, Card, makes it quite believable. Ender is special, he has been monitored from a young age by the powers that be, as someone who is destined to be great. Ender has a vicious older brother, who torments him and his beloved sister, Valentine. But at the young age of 11, Ender is taken away from his family to head to Battle School. The world is in danger from an alien attack, and Ender might be the only one that can save it. And so it begins!

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Review: The Boy Who Saved Baseball

The Boy Who Saved Baseball The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John H. Ritter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes, I really loved this book! First, you must know, I love baseball, and I love stories of teams who are not quite the best. (I am a die-hard Mets fan, and have been for a long time.) And when you have a book that has characters named Cruz de la Cruz, and Dante Del Gato, you can not go wrong. This is the story of Tom, not a great player himself, but with a lot of heart. Tom lives in a town way out in California, and his team is going to play the game of their young lives. Their town will change forever if they can not win this big game. This is a great, beautiful, baseball story.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Review: Gym Candy

Gym Candy Gym Candy by Carl Deuker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a different kind of high school football story, though there is plenty of action on the field. This is the story of Mick, who has played football all his life. His father was a star player in college, and expects Mick to follow in his footsteps. Mick loves football, but it seems as if his father is pressuring him to make first string as a freshman in high school. When his father takes him to a gym so that he can really get a good weightlifting workout, he meets his new trainer. And then, things change for Mick. He decides he needs to be bigger, stronger and faster, and his trainer knows just what to prescribe for him. A very timely story. Football plays are described in detail.

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