Pike 9s - 2017 discussion

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Summer Reading 2017

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Pike School Library | 1 comments Mod
Tell us what you're reading. Do you like it? Why? Would you recommend it to others?


message 2: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (devrieshistory) | 4 comments Just read The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne (Boy in the Striped Pajamas). Story was about a seven year old boy whose aunt (she is head of the house staff) brings him to live at Berchtesgaden, Hitler's mountain retreat. I am not sure if this works for 9th graders. In places, it seems too young and then there is a gut wrenching scene that made me shudder.


message 3: by Betsy (last edited Jun 05, 2017 09:13AM) (new)

Betsy (devrieshistory) | 4 comments Your required summer reading is I am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak.
Expectations for this book. Read it. Mark it up. Come to class ready to discuss.

Other expectations for summer reading are to read two books (or more) and post here your thoughts about the books.


message 4: by Amy (new)

Amy Salvatore | 2 comments I just read The Long Walk to Water and really enjoyed it. The story is done in two voices and two different time frames. It is a very easy and straightforward read, but the story tells us about the Lost Boys of the Sudan and how one makes it to America and goes on to make a difference. Took me about 2 hours to read. Moving but not upsetting. I liked it and would recommend it.


message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy Salvatore | 2 comments With regards to I am the Messenger, we'd like you to think about how the author captures voice and the characterization of the characters. Also, think about the messages. Who is the originator of the messages?


message 6: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (devrieshistory) | 4 comments City of Thieves Gripping, historical fiction. Graphic in places but there is no such thing as a watered down story about the German invasion of the USSR in World War II. Funny in places but loads of historical depth.


message 7: by Betsy (last edited Aug 27, 2017 08:13AM) (new)

Betsy (devrieshistory) | 4 comments WWII trilogy.
I read the Once series. Once, Then, Now by Morris Gleitzman. At first, I thought it was a bit "come on, this could not have happened" but then as I got deeper into the first book, I really liked it. I would not "teach" this book BUT the story (two young children, in rural Poland dealing with Nazi occupation while trying to find their parents) is developed and the history well researched. The characters really warmed up. I am never good at assigning grade levels to books but this would be a quick read for 9s and a very good baseline series for 6s.
Just found my free read book since I just saw on amazon there is a slew of books by this author. All can be read as stand alone books, so you don't have to read the full series in order.


message 8: by Francesca (new)

Francesca Mellin | 1 comments Just finished Scythe by Neal Shusterman, which is an award-winning book from last year. It's a hefty dystopian YA novel with an interesting premise: in the future, the world's governments have given authority for running the world to a massive artificial intelligence called the Thunderhead (basically, today's computer cloud on steroids!) Disease has been cured and there is no terrorism or random violence. The only thing that is not the purview of the Thunderhead is human death...so, specially selected "scythes" dispense death according to statistical models, in order to regulate the population.

Two apprentices, Citra and Rowan, are chosen to train for this dubious honor. They learn about the gifts of life and methods of killing from an enigmatic but fair scythe who has touched their lives, but threats come from other scythes who are brutal and power hungry. The conclusion is definitely a cliff-hanger and points to more violence in the sequel. Definitely for Maze Runner, Divergent, and Hunger Games fans!


message 9: by Emily (last edited Aug 31, 2017 07:56AM) (new)

Emily Huang | 2 comments I recently finished reading Maybe I Will by Laurie Gray. While the wording and sentence structures are generally quite ordinary and easy to understand, the story itself is definitely a more mature read.

This realistic-fiction book is centered around the life of an aspiring actor/actress named Sandy. Sandy's dreams are big and Sandy's heart is open, and there are a million things that are looking bright for Sandy in the future. However, after being sexually assaulted, it all starts to go downhill - and fast. In the book, we ride on a twisting roller coaster of emotions with Sandy, who initially doesn't know how to cope and what to do, but when Sandy meets a friend who understands, life slowly begins to change for the better again.

Interestingly, Sandy's gender is kept a secret throughout the entire book, which I think is one of the things that makes this book so unique. Laurie Gray herself stated that her intent was to keep the focus on Sandy's story, rather than having readers start jumping to conclusions about certain things because of Sandy's gender. The supporting characters in the story are also carefully built so that Sandy's gender is even more ambiguous and hard to ascertain. This is the first time I've seen a book do this, and I thought it was quite the creative and original take on a story like this!

I recommend this book to 8th and 9th graders, both rising and current (but I think even 10th graders may benefit from reading this), as the plot is quite heavy but not so much that it's unbearable. Sandy is a freshman in high school (fifteen years old), so young high schoolers would be able to really relate and connect to Sandy as well. Although the story may be uncomfortable or very different from what students our age are used to reading, I think it's important to read about these things once in a while, as they are very real events that happen in life and can happen to anyone.


message 10: by Emily (last edited Sep 03, 2017 11:15AM) (new)

Emily Huang | 2 comments I finally read I Am Number Four - a bit belated in followup to the popular novel. Many people enjoyed I Am Number Four so I decided to read it after all this time, and the book did not disappoint.

The book is so well-known that I am sure most people already know what it's about! I'll provide a plot summary anyway. In another galaxy, life-sustaining planet Lorien has been stripped of life by these evil beings called Mogadorians. In order to save their species, the Loric send nine of their young children to planet Earth, where they are the last hope for Lorien. A charm is cast on these children to keep them safe - the charm being that, with the numbers assigned to them, they can only be killed in order of their numbers. However, the Mogadorians are tracking the children, and quickly, so all of them are constantly on the run. The first three are dead, and the story is written from the perspective of the fourth child, who is next. Throughout the book, Number Four faces fear, uncertainty, sadness, and life-threatening danger. He must make many wrenching decisions between life and love, but he listens to his heart and trust to do what is right for everyone, even if the decision greatly pains him. Being the first book in an established series, the story spirals into a somewhat unpredictable ending and stops at a cliffhanger.

The book is a nice blend between action, some horror, and young love, and I think it will definitely appeal to fans of the Young Elites and Divergent. If anyone still has not read I Am Number Four and feels hesitant, I highly recommend it! It is an incredibly captivating story.


message 11: by Demetra (new)

Demetra Danas | 1 comments I just finished reading The Cellar by Natasha Preston. I was a little hesitant to start reading because I thought this would be a little too much mystery. I was definitely wrong, this book is chilling yet one of the best reads I've ever had.

Summer, a 16 year old girl, was walking through the streets along when she got kidnapped by a man, Clover, who forever thinks her name is "Lilly." Summer gets thrown into his basement where her and three other girls have to display a perfect family for Clover. Over the course of the book, progression is shown with Lilly, how she deals with her captivity, and how psychotic Clover actually is.


This book is twisted and dark but I found it so captivating to not only read from the victim's point of view but also her boyfriend's and the kidnapper's. That was able to bring a whole new light to the book and really be able to see the story from every angle. I would highly recommend!


message 12: by Max (last edited Sep 04, 2017 01:28PM) (new)

Max | 2 comments I just figured out that I had to post reviews here and not just give a review on Goodreads.

Edit (I forgot to put the title of the book):
The Battle of Hackham Heath (Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years #2)

After reading 19 of John Flanagan's books about the world of Araluen and its surrounding countries, most people would think that this newest book would be repetitive and dull. But no! This book is better than all that came before it. Finally, we get to see some of the Ranger Corps early history, and Araluen's triumph over Morgarath. From the action-packed battle scenes to the warm and friendly scenes, this book nicely fills in some badly needed details from other books in the series.


message 13: by Max (last edited Sep 04, 2017 01:33PM) (new)

Max | 2 comments Billy the Kid and the Vampyres of Vegas (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #5.5)

Finally got around to reading this short book (60 pages) that was hidden between books 5 and 6. I didn't even know it existed until last month. Billy the Kid and the Vampyres of Vegas explores Billy the Kid and The Shadow's path with an exciting story about betrayal and emotional loss. Although it is really short, it is exciting and has a nice plot.

This series is quite nice to read and is very action-packed (if that's your thing). It isn't necessary to read this book in the order of the series, although it would be helpful to do so.


message 14: by Lizzy (new)

Lizzy C | 1 comments Freakonomics (nonfiction)
Finished Freakonomics earlier in the summer, it’s definitely more than you would expect from a book who is at its core, about economics. It goes over a wide variety of topics, from parents picking their children up at the daycare to the inner workings of the Chicago gang, the Black Disciples. The authors make the reader realize that incentives, however small, can make a great difference.
The authors are Stephen Dubner, a journalist and an author of several books, and Steven Levitt, an American economist most known for his work in the field of crime. Although economics might not sound like the most entertaining topic for a book, I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting read.

S-Town (nonfiction)
Re-listened to S-Town this summer and it did not let me down. S-town follows a man named John B. McLemore, who lives in Woodstock, Alabama. John proves to be an extremely complicated character, hard to describe through text. John cares in an environment that doesn’t seem to care much or want to care much in the first place. It’s gotten to the point where John, correctly, calls himself the local humane society. Brian Reed, originally goes to Woodstock to report on a supposed murder and ends up trying to find out who John really is.
S-town is technically a podcast, lasting a total of 7 one-hour chapters. It’s the biography/autobiography of John B. McLemore told in audio. It’s extremely well made and has a definitive “plot” that unfolds in an amazing, unexpected way. This series put into text would easily be a best seller.
I think that this would appeal to most people that listen to it, with not many exceptions. I have to warn that this series can get into very serious topics and is not of un-bleeped expletives. You should definitely pass on this one if you’re squeamish around taboo topics.


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