I am a big fan of both of the books I’ve read by Don Brown because he does an amazing job at telling truth in an interesting way but without bringing any bias into it. He includes all of the truth with illustrations that make history come to life. Drowned City transports you back to the terror that was felt after Hurricane Katrina, but also shares information that wasn’t common knowledge because the media didn’t include it. This is a must read....more
This book surprised me! I cannot tell you what surprised me because I want it to surprise you, but the book ended up being very different than what I thought it was going to be. The book introduces us to Ben who is given a computer game to solve from his Uncle Henry. Ben just wants to impress Henry, so he vows to complete the game. Along with his 3 friends and his sister, Ben immerses himself in the game only to find out it is more than he could even imagine. The book has riddles, codes, and information throughout, and I definitely could see fans of Tombquest or 39 Clues enjoying this adventure. But, once again, this book isn’t as it seems!...more
Though The Edge is the sequel to Peak, it could definitely be read as a stand-alone, though I highly recommend reading Peak as well. The Edge was one of the most intense reads I’ve read in a while. As soon as the attacks happen, I could not put the book down because I needed to know what, why, and how: what happened?!; Why did they do it?!; and How are they going to save them?! Smith’s ability to write characters the reader cares about mixed with his ability to build suspense just makes this a book that definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat!...more
What a unique book! I was intrigued with the whole concept from the very beginning, and I had to know what was going to happen to the characters. Mer-people have begun living on the beaches of Coney Island, and Americans, instead of trying to understand, have fought and banished them; however, as Undertow starts, we learn they are trying to integrate the schools. Lyric is our protagonist and has a secret that makes this integration dangerous for her. Her adventure through Undertow definitely held my attention! Although Buckley built an entire new mythology of merpeople within the book, the characters and plot are strong enough to make the mythology seem seamlessly part of the world Buckley has created. Lyric is quite an interesting character, but the more you learn about her, the more it makes sense. I also found the integration aspect of the novel a bit reminiscent of school integration in the 60’s and would love to know if that is what Buckley intended....more
I loved Williams's Now is the Time for Running, so I was so happy to see that he had written a companion and that it explained one of the in*4.5 stars
I loved Williams's Now is the Time for Running, so I was so happy to see that he had written a companion and that it explained one of the interesting secondary characters from Running.
I was blown away by the characterization within this book. Although the plot is what propelled the story, the characters in this book are what made it.
I also love the thinking that this book would cause. This book is at the same time easy to connect with, but also so completely different than anything most of the readers will have experienced. Quite unique....more
It is not fair to compare this book to The One and Only Ivan. The only similarity is that they are both beautifully written and put a very special issue in the spotlight. Like Ivan made you think about animal’s imprisonment, Crenshaw makes you think about homelessness; however, it is more than that. This book made me think about so many things. First, this book shows the speed and brutality of homelessness. It can affect anyone and can come from no where. There is an extended scene from Jackson’s past that made me want to jump into the book to give him a hug and help his family in anyway I could. Second, this book looks at how much children sometimes have to deal with because of their home situation. Jackson had such anxiety and pressure on him because he felt like he had to be a grown up (specifically for his sister). Finally, the book looks at friendship–both of the imaginary and real kind–and how important they are. And specifically how the magic of both kinds are something you need to hold onto....more
I love this entire series! Nathan Hale has taken history and made it accessible (with a dash of humor!). If you don’t the concept of the series, it revolves around Nathan Hale the Revolutionary War spy who, in the first book, was eaten by a history book so now knows all that has happened in history and is sharing it with the hangman and British officer who are guarding him before he is executed. The first book is Hale’s own story and then each of the following are his telling of different times in history.
This installment of Hale’s graphic novel series may be my favorite so far. I found it to be the most intense of his stories even though it is up against stories of wars, but Harriet Tubman’s story is one of one person’s resilience in the face of pure doom. Although it is evident through any story you hear of Harriet how truly brave she was, Nathan Hale’s story immerses you into Harriet’s life and shows you how much she truly did and faced.
An intriguing historical fiction novel which looks at World War II from a Japanese-American in the Philippines. This book taught me so much, but alsoAn intriguing historical fiction novel which looks at World War II from a Japanese-American in the Philippines. This book taught me so much, but also kept me reading because of the twists and turns. At the end, I do still have some questions I wish were answered in the book, but overall a satisfying ride....more
*Told in a very matter-of-fact tone and style, Hanna's story does not hold back from the horrors of the Holocaust and shows how one piece of good luck*Told in a very matter-of-fact tone and style, Hanna's story does not hold back from the horrors of the Holocaust and shows how one piece of good luck can change your life. (I am glad the name was changed for the US release. Much more about playing than boys.)...more
Each time I pick up a Jennifer Brown novel I know I'll not want to get to until I am done, and this book was no different--I read it in one sitting. JEach time I pick up a Jennifer Brown novel I know I'll not want to get to until I am done, and this book was no different--I read it in one sitting. Jennifer Brown sure knows how to craft a story! Torn Away is a gut-wrenching book that so perfectly portrays grief and fear and sadness....more
I loved this Allison's story. It is a superhero's version of coming-of-age filled with action, emotion, and a truly well-written story. I will definitI loved this Allison's story. It is a superhero's version of coming-of-age filled with action, emotion, and a truly well-written story. I will definitely be continuing her story by checking out the webcomic. ...more
I knew about the fighting in Beirut, but as it happened when I was very young and is not often discussed, I didn’t know much about it. This graphic novel memoir is an inside look at what it was like to live in Beirut during the fighting. The black and white illustrations are so unique and very much capture the tone of the book....more
This is a special book. First, because of the characters who tell the story. K.C. is a young girl with learning disabilities which have caused her to hate reading, writing, and school. Nawra is a refugee in Darfur who continues to have an optimistic view of the world even after she has been surrounded by horrors that I can’t even imagine. Both of these girls are not represented very often in books, and they are both so important to know. Through this book, the reader gets to see the intensity of the situation in Sudan and refugees’ power in overcoming however they can. They also get to see the brilliance of students with learning disabilities. There are so many students in our school just like K.C., and too many of their peers would judge them by their struggles instead of by their heart and soul.
Second, this book is special because of the way the author is able to intertwine these two stories in a flawless way, and a way that keeps the reader engaged in both stories simultaneously. Third, the lyrical writing of Whitman makes this story not only interesting and important, but also beautiful to read. Last, the power of this book lies in the book, and how the book will change those who read it....more
Told in fragments, Judith's story slowly comes together leaving you on the edge of your seat until the reveal. A mystery mixed with romance and findinTold in fragments, Judith's story slowly comes together leaving you on the edge of your seat until the reveal. A mystery mixed with romance and finding ones identity. A unique book....more