Middle School book reviews

Looking for a good Middle School read?  Take a look at these reviews to help you make your choice!

Books reviewed:

The Amber Spyglass
Ark Angel
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2 reviews)
Ender’s Game
Extreme! The Ultimate Guide to Action Sports
The Fighting Ground
The Hunger Games
King of the Mild Frontier
The Lightning Thief
The Lost Hero (4 reviews)
My Side of the Mountain
The Neddiad
The River
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
The Tale of Despereaux
To Kill a Mockingbird
Warriors : Into the Wild
Whale Talk


Diary of a Wimpy Kid

1. The book I read was The Diary of a Wimpy Kid #1. I like this book because to me it’s like from a kid’s point of view. It really is, but an adult named Jeff Kinney wrote it.

A kid named Greg is in his sixth grade school year, and his mom told him to write in a dairy. So, he started writing a diary, but he says it’s a journal, and not a diary. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us he wrote one in his own way. He tells us about his life and what he goes through on a daily basis with his friend, Rowley. On the way he encounters bullies and friend problems. This book is just like a metaphor for the author, Jeff’s, growing pains of school life. I think it’s funny and weird at the same time. One thing I think is funny is that he and Rowley tired out for the wrestling team. They try to be in this one weight class, but they had to gain weight. So, they ate and ate till they were full but they never gained a pound without losing it the next day. But, that didn’t stop them, they made a plan. Rowley has these five pound weight things that go around your ankles, so they hid them under their socks and made to the next class.

I don’t know why but Greg doesn’t seem normal; I also don’t know what normal is, but he doesn’t seem right. Yes, I did just call Jeff not normal but it’s good not to be.

Greg has one main friend named Rowley. They seem really close, but I say Greg is sometimes a jerk to Rowley. For example there a “game” they play where one person is riding a small scooter down a hill and the other person is throwing a football at the wheels of the scooter, I think to knock them off or something. It’s always Rowley’s turn and Greg says, “You do it next time,” but he never does.

At the end this book is o.k. because at times, it gets weird but there’s times where I never want to stop reading it. I do have to say I’ve run into some walls reading this book. But then there are the other times when I want to stop but it’s a book you can’t just stop after you liked it so much and hit some walls for it. Over all I like the book.

I encourage people to read the whole series; I have yet to finish.

by Amber T.

2. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a book about a kid named Greg. His mom made him write in a diary to express his feelings and everything. Greg is in middle school and it’s very hard for him, but he has his best friend Rowley with him the whole time. Throughout the book, Greg and Rowley get in some trouble and do some pretty crazy things. Greg is always pulling some scheme and always drags Rowley into it, and he gets caught a lot of the time.

This book made me laugh out loud literally. Once I laughed so hard at the book. I cried and I always cry at that one part because it’s so funny. So if you like books that will make you laugh so hard you will cry then this is the book for you! If you read it and don’t end up liking it then blame me because I am the one who suggested it. Well, I hope you enjoy it!

by Madison M.


Ark Angel

Ark Angel is action packed, awesome and really interesting. In this sixth book in the Alex Rider series, Alex is in the hospital after being sniped by some random guy when coming out of the MI6 building. While he’s in the hospital four men, only known as “Steel Watch, Spectacles, Combat Jacket and Silver Tooth,” come into the hospital to kidnap a rich man’s son and by accident kidnap Alex. At this point, the action really gets going, and Alex puts up a fight (a good one too). Alex knocked all four of them out, but there was a driver when he went outside, who surprised him, and knocked him out. The men then brought him to a building, and were about to cut his pinkie off when he told them they kidnapped the wrong kid. So they locked him in a room with just a chair and then they set the building on fire… Not telling the rest ok?!? Awesome, right?

On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being really good 1 being horrible):

Action would get a 4.5, because there’s lots of fighting, but sometimes the action just stops, and even in the beginning it’s a bit slow.

Detail gets a 5 of course, because if you read one page of somewhere Alex just got to he tells sooooo much detail that I sometimes feel like I’m there.

Interesting: 5, I guess you could say this is action and detailed put together.

Awesome (epic) ness: 200 it’s just flat-out epic!!!

by Brennan D.


The Lost Hero

1. Imagine losing your memory, not knowing who you are, and finding out you’re a half human and half god in a very dangerous situation. This is what has happened to Jason in Rick Riordan’s new book, The Lost Hero. In the newest installment in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Percy is missing and three new demigods might be the key to not only finding Percy but to the new big prophecy as well. Can Camp Half Blood survive a war between the gods and the earth itself? 

I do believe that this is probably Rick Riordan’s best book so far. Throughout the book, Rick Riordan kept true to the idea of the Greek gods and worked that idea in this book so well you it seemed natural and almost like you should know that Greek gods control our world. I enjoyed the book and the fact that the author added and kept most of the old characters, but what really kept me reading were the new main characters in the book; Jason, Leo, and Piper. Their relationship is twisted and completely false but the way they act you would guess they knew each other very well. Piper is the daughter of a great actor, and has been getting weird dreams saying that if she didn’t betray her friends, her dad would be eaten. Not only that but she’s in love with someone she doesn’t even know. What to do, what to do. I enjoyed this character because I felt that she had great potential and just needed a little guidance.

Leo is a kid who has ADHD and dyslexia. When he was young his mom died in a fire at her job. He has never kept a home since he was always running away from his new foster homes. This character is well written, but I feel he could have had more emotion. I also liked this character because of his powers and how his past ties in so well with the rest of the story. 

Jason is definitely my favorite character. His was well written character, and with his memory loss, he kept a lot of suspense. The painful tidbit that he does remember makes you really curious about what his past holds. But I do believe that by the end of the book more of Jason’s memory should have come back. I also think that the Roman gods should have been explained better (I didn’t quite get it until the end).

This book over all was and will be for any new readers, a magnificent book. I am impressed how the book is read. The switching of the point of views was great, but it was also annoying in a good way. Sometimes you want to experience a part of the book through a different person’s point of view. I would suggest this book to anyone who liked the Percy Jackson series or anyone who really enjoys fantasy and adventure books.

by Ben J.

2. The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan is about Jason, who is a natural leader; Leo, who is always tinkering with little gadgets, and Piper, the daughter of a rich actor. They are all half god, and half human. They meet when Jason wakes up on a bus without much memory of his past. They travel to Camp Half-blood, the home for demigods. People there are sad, because their fearless leader, Percy Jackson, goes missing, and they are sad because of the Curse of Cabin Nine. They travel through the United States on a quest to save the goddess, Hera, from the clutches of a giant and to get Jason’s memory back. On their way to save Hera, Jason, Piper, and Leo meet friends, face giants, gods and all assortments of monster, but worst of all a dangerous traitor.

This is probably my favorite book so far by Rick Riordan. I liked this book because after I read the Last Olympian, I wanted to know more about the Greek gods. This book was full of action. Riordan wrote the book so realistic, I could see the whole book more clear than a movie. This book is for kids who like myths, and fantasy, also anyone who liked the Percy Jackson books, and the Red Pyramid. This book left me wanting more of the Lost Hero series.

by Matt K.

3. Imagine a story of 15-year-olds (one has amnesia) going on a quest to save someone’s dad and a goddess. To do it, they battle a person who can turn anything to gold, three Cyclops, and fall out of the sky about 600 feet in the air. All this, and you have The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan.

This book is about mythology which is heroes like Hercules and gods like Zeus. It is about three teenage kids, Jason, Piper, and Leo, who go on a quest to save the world with a 95% chance of dying. Who else would have the guts to do that? So they take that 5% chance of living and make it about a 50% chance of living. What would you do if you could have the choice to save the world with a more likely chance of dying?

I would recommend this book to anybody that likes mythology, 40-foot giants, and falling off giant metallic dragons 600-feet in the air, twice. This book is fiction. This book was so good; I didn’t want to put it down. Mr. Riordan would probably recommend this book to anybody who likes mythology. This book urges people to read more of it until they’re done. At least that is how I feel about the book. On a scale of one to ten this book is a 10 and a half.

So basically, this book is about people who go on a metallic dragon (named Festus) and battle a person who can turn anything to gold, three Cyclops who are immune to fire and really strong, 40-foot tall giants, and a goddess who can turn anything to snow.

P.S. The dragon’s name Festus means ‘happy’ in ancient Greek.

by Connor E.

4. Do you need a good book? A book you just can’t put down? Well here’s a book that you just can’t put down. A book with suspense, action and a bit of romance. In this book there are three kids, Jason, Piper and Leo, who must save a goddess in three days or the world might end. Travel around the U.S and part of Canada with Jason, Piper and Leo where they fight monsters, try to save a dad and find lost family in The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan.

Jason is a brave leader, confident but a bit scared to lead his two friends into the world of monsters, gods and people who all want to kill him. He might feel better about it but he has no memory. He can’t remember Piper or Leo or any of his past; he doesn’t even know his last name. He must get his memory back without dying, but can he?

Leo is a special guy who is a great builder and has a good sense of humor. He has a type of power that not many people get but he doesn’t like to use it because it has something to do with his mom’s death.

Piper has a secret because something has happened to her dad. She has to choose between saving her dad and going to the bad side, or saving her friends and letting her dad die. It’s a hard choice, who will she choose?

The way Rick Riordan writes makes you feel like you’re someone in the book. He likes to make his books quick and fast going. He also likes to leave you hanging when you’re at a good part in the book. I recommend this book to people who like action and fiction. I would even recommend this book to grown-ups because it is a really good book that will make you laugh, but also has sad and scary parts in it, too. Enjoy this fun-loving, fast paced book, The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan.

by Rita H.


Warriors: Into the Wild

Firepaw never knew that strong warrior cats lived behind his house for many years. He would eventually become a warrior like these other cats. In the book, Warriors: Into the Wild, by Erin Hunter, a cat named Firepaw prepares for the fight of his life and becomes a warrior.

At the beginning, Firepaw is in his owner’s house. He runs away from home because he is afraid that he will be killed at the vet. The rest of the story takes place in a forest that surrounds a lake. The forest is dived into four clan territories. They are called Thunder clan, Wind clan, River clan, and Shadow clan. After Firepaw left his house, he was stranded in the woods for two days. He then came across a cat named Graypaw who almost attacks him, but Graypaw saw that he came from outside the clans and instead of attacking him he takes him back to Thunder clan. There Firepaw is trained by a warrior who will help him become a warrior himself.

You sometimes wonder what is going to happen next. The pace of the book is fast. I recommend this book to people who like Sci Fi books, adventure books, and animal books.

by Brendan M.



“The house looked strange. It was completely empty now, and the door was flung wide open, like something wild had just escaped from it. Like it was the empty, two-story tomb of some runaway zombie.”

Paul Fisher came to a home with his family. He came to a new county, Tangerine County, Florida. This county is unusual, like no other. There’s been a fire burning underground for years, and a lightning strike every day, and a sinkhole devours the school. Can Paul Fisher survive? Have you ever felt out of place, not fitting into the crowd? That’s exactly how Paul feels in this book, Tangerine, by Edward Bloor.

Paul is a little bit of a dork, but when he gets on the soccer field, he’s a star! His brother, he’s crazy and harasses him. School life isn’t so much better. He and his brother go to the same school so more harassing there, and Paul’s brother is the football star and steals Paul’s spotlight.

Tangerine has danger, suspense, lies. Find out the truth when you read one of my favorite books, Tangerine. It keeps you wondering.

by Cameron G.


The River

The book The River, by Gary Paulsen, is one of many books relating to Brian, the kid who survived the Canadian wilderness with only himself and his hatchet. In the original book, Hatchet, Brian survived a crashed plane and survived the elements, learning all there is to know about staying alive.

Now they want him to go out there again, to survive again, and to teach the world how he did it. Derek, the instructor/psychologist is from a survival agency and is required to go with Brian and take notes on the trip. After being dropped off by the plane somewhere in woods they start to search for a suitable area to stay. They eventually come across a lake and settle down. After being there for a couple of hours, a storm starts to break out. In the havoc of the storm, Derek is hit by lightning and falls into a deep coma, leaving Brian with nothing.

Now the race isn’t only to survive but is also to get Derek to medical help before lack of food and water kills him. At first it seems impossible, but after some serious thinking, Brian realizes the only choice: to go down the river. Brian would have to figure out how to take comma-induced man over 100 miles in a makeshift raft to make it to civilization. And that’s only if the trading post still existed.

This book was a very good sequel to Hatchet because it not only used attributes of the last book but it also had a completely new adventure. I was surprised to find myself reading totally new but equally interesting adventures. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I had to endure the hardships of Brian, but if I did, I would want him by my side. I would recommend this book to anyone who has read Hatchet and wants to continue the story of the kid who conquered the wilderness.

by Cam M.


The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

In The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, the main character is named Tommy, and he is in sixth grade. He also has no brothers or sisters, he’s not popular, and has two friends named Harvey and Kellen.

There’s another kid named Dwight who’s really weird. He sometimes sits in a hole.

Dwight has an origami Yoda hand puppet that gives you really good advice. Tommy is trying to figure out how it’s possible that it gives such good advice when he’s so dumb.

I would recommend this book for people who like Star Wars and mystery books. I like how it tells you how to make an origami Yoda. I also like the fact that it`s only partly about Star Wars, so it gives you something new to read about.

This book inspired me to make an origami Yoda.

by Collin V.


The Hunger Games

Imagine a world where you are forced to work all day, and you can’t even leave your town without fear of being electrocuted by the electric fence surrounding your town or being shot by an authority. That is what The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is about. The Hunger Games is about a girl named Katniss who lives in district twelve out of twelve districts, (there used to be thirteen, but the thirteenth was bombed because they rebelled against the ruling city, the Capitol) and the problems she faced living in a futuristic North America. One such struggle is having to worry about being picked by the Capitol to be put in The Hunger Games. Each year the Capitol picks a boy and a girl from each district to have to kill each other for the Capitol’s entertainment and as a reminder that the districts are in the power of the Capitol. Another problem Katniss faced daily was that she would have to get enough food for her family.

Suzanne Collins does an absolutely amazing job of making all of the characters from the Hunger Games seem real, by giving all the characters very human personalities. The world in The Hunger Games also seems very believable, especially with its believable characters, and it being set in a corrupted North America. The way Suzanne Collins tells the story of Katniss really makes you care for the characters and what happens to them. This book really keeps readers on the edge of their seat, and I would recommend it to all readers, because it has a little bit of everything: action, romance, thrill, mystery, and drama. Overall I think this is a great book and a must read.

by Caleb W.


Extreme! The Ultimate Guide to Action Sports

The book that I read is Extreme! The Ultimate Guide to Action Sports by Keith Carlsen, Chris Dixon, Jeff Erdmann, Aaron George, Gabe Sullivan, and Lynda Twardowski. This book is mostly a biography of a couple of skateboarders, bicycle motor crossers, snowboarders, motor crossers, skiers, inline skaters, and a couple of other action sport athletes.

Tony Hawk became a pro skater at the age of 16. Dave Mirra was only four years old when he learned how to ride a bike. Like I said, it is a biography. The awesome thing about the authors that wrote this is that they knew a lot about these famous athletes and what happened in their lives. I also like how the authors described every single athlete with lots of detail.

This book describes a bunch of problems that a bunch of athletes faced to get where they are now, such as getting bad grades. A quote Tony Hawk says is “I was skinny; I was small, and not very strong. But if I wanted to learn something, I would never give up; I would just keep trying until I got it”. This quote tells a lot about how he can do all the tricks. It’s called PRACTICING and you can do anything you want……..except math. This told me that that have to just keep on practicing those heel flips and I can do it.

by Darius E.


The Neddiad

The Neddiad, by Daniel Pinkwater, is about “Neddie, three good friends, a ghost, a shaman, and a little maneuver known as the French substitution, [who] determine the fate of the world” (Back of the book). Neddie comes from a rich family. His dad got rich because he bought a train car full of shoelaces for cheap at an auction and sold the shoelaces and made a business out of it.

Neddie went on a train to L.A. with his family. After getting a sacred turtle from the Shaman Melvin, he got stuck at the station and missed the train- stuck alone in a city on the Route 55. He met Aaron and Seamus Finn, and they took him to the Grand Canyon and finally to L.A.

This story takes place in L.A. during the 1940’s. It would have been quite different if it took place in the 2000’s. First off, the money value was a little hard to understand, but that didn’t make much of a difference. Mostly, it was the fact that rich people don’t take trains from Chicago to L.A, and that now we would fly in an airplane. This would have changed things because if he hadn’t taken the train, he wouldn’t meet Melvin, Seamus, Billy the Phantom Bellboy, and especially get the turtle. In this way, the story is perfectly set in time because if it were earlier, there wouldn’t be cars to take Neddie to L.A, and if it were later, airplanes would be invented.

I really enjoyed this book. As random as it got, it was still easy to follow and not very hard to understand. Sometimes, there would be a part that might leave you thinking but most of the time, it was an easy book to read. The author was also very careful to make it follow a story line, but still humorous. If it got any more off-topic, then the actual point of the book would be drowned out and the book would be messed up.

by Dario P.


Ender’s Game

“With Ender, we have to strike a delicate balance. Isolate him enough that he remains creative–otherwise he’ll adopt the system here and we’ll lose him. At the same time, we need to make sure he keeps a strong ability to lead.”

“If he earns rank, he’ll lead.”

Ender’s Game, written by Orson Scott Card, starts off with a six year old boy named Andrew Wiggin, mentally calling himself Ender. Ender lives in his own world (our world in the far future) with his own rules and principles. Geniuses are singled out and “thirds” are treated as scum would be on the bottom of a shoe, forgotten and poked at. But when Ender finds himself at battle school he has to learn new rules; breaking bones are an option, all in the name of humanity. At battle school, the game is designed to test the abilities of the students in command and those following orders.

Ender Wiggin is a brilliant mind pulled out of another’s: author Orson Scott Card. Card writes with a sense of already knowing, of being the one standing next to Ender. For me it’s not just a good read, it’s also a warning. For Ender the game isn’t play anymore, it’s a way of proving himself and showing that the obstacles placed in his way can be dodged and broken, destroyed and flat out beaten. Ender’s Game is a futuristic book placed for young adults. I would recommend this to anybody who likes a good twist at the end of books.

by Ella K.


Hatchet; and, My Side of the Mountain

Two books that I found I liked and that had a lot in common were Hatchet by Gary Paulsen and My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. Some of the differences were that Brian didn’t have the choice to be out in the wilderness but Sam did. Another difference was that Brian hated being out there and wanted to get back but Sam didn’t want to go home. The need to survive was much lower on Sam’s side because he was closer to civilization yet Brian was miles away from safety. Some of the things that were similar were the setting, which was in a forest and their struggles since they both needed to survive.

Brian from Hatchet didn’t really have a choice because he was stuck out in the wilderness. The pilot that was flying his plane died of a heart attack. Yet, Sam Gribley from My Side of the Mountain did have a choice and loved being out in the wild. These choices affect how they work and function because you’d be much more desperate to get back which means you might not pay as much attention to what you’re doing or what you’re eating. Sam made less spontaneous choices and was a less stressed and settled in more easily than Brian. Brian was fast to settle in at all and, for the first few days, slept on the beach where he landed. Making the right choice is everything when it comes to a dire situation like this.

The setting for both books took place in a forest but they were different parts of the country. Brian was in Canada where the climate is much colder and the mosquitoes are a lot thicker. This made it harder to survive because it requires good clothing and good shelter. Brian had to build shelters, build weapons and kill animals for their hides and food. Sam was placed somewhere in lower New York, where the climate is a little bit warmer which means he didn’t have to work as hard to keep himself safe.

As expected, both characters had a need to survive. They will go as far as they have to take it to keep themselves alive or at least make it through the day. One of the differences between the two is that Brian is more desperate to survive because he’s stuck out there. Unlike Brian, Sam does not have as great a need because he was close enough that he could easily go home. Sam’s mood was a bit better than Brian’s because he was more hopeful. Brian was not as happy because he thought he was going to make it. Both characters had their parents show up and both were happy but Sam wasn’t as thrilled since he was happy to live on his own. His parents would not let him remain living out there because his mother claimed she needed to take care of him until he was 18 years old.

Both of the characters in the books struggled to keep themselves alive and safe. They both especially struggled finding food because food is necessity to stay alive. Sam doesn’t need food as badly because he’s closer to civilization though he never goes in to town for food. Brian couldn’t go into town to buy food. They also struggled with shelter. Being out in the forest, both need shelter from the elements. Sam hollowed out a tree and Brian built a teepee.

Being close to the same age as both characters, I can easily relate to their feelings and thoughts. Sometimes I feel like running away, going to the forest and living alone. I also get scared sometimes when I’m alone and in a situation that I can’t handle. I can relate to that fear of being in a bad spot. I also have felt the same kind of pride when I achieve something that’s going to help me a lot.

In the end, both books had a lot of similarities and a lot of differences, both being good in their own ways. They were similar in the story line and the way the characters acted. They were different in the urgency of the situation. I think that these were both great books. Both were books of survival, thrills and excitement. In the end, the book I liked best was My Side of the Mountain because I could relate to that book more.

by Griffin G.



Maus, by Art Spiegelman, is a biography based on the Holocaust. The book starts with the writer and his friends racing to school when he was young. His skate broke and his friends left him. He went home sobbing and his father was outside working. His father was asking him what’s wrong. He tells his dad what happened.

I find it neat how the characters in the he story are animals. Jewish people are mice and others are pigs, and the Nazi troops are cats. The book is mainly interesting from the characters being animals. I think the author was thinking of how cats and mice don’t get along. The pigs are neutral or to say Christian or Protestant people. To find out more read the book. I would even read the book again.

by Jake B.


Whale Talk

I’m a very reluctant reader. I only like to read books with male protagonists that are physically involved in sports. After a year of being prodded by my language arts teacher I finally asked my mom to get me a Chris Crutcher book. On a drive up to Traverse City we listened to Whale Talk, a story of a bi-racial boy screwing the system to help the underdogs of his Washington state High School achieve the athletic dreams and social expectance they’ve longed for. We pulled up to our cottage and sat in the car for another 20-30 minutes so we could finish the story. Crutcher writes with the rawness of a teenager while including the thought of a man wise beyond even his own years.

I believe you can’t just read one of Chris Crutcher’s books, because as a teenager if you don’t have a rebellious side there’s something seriously wrong with you. Crutcher says all of his books have been banned or at least challenged. If a man can set such fear into the eyes of Christian mommies and daddies, there’s got to be a polished diamond in between each cover.

Crutcher has the expertise of drawing boys to his book. He hooks you with the front of sports, and by the time you can realize you’re no longer reading the details of a football practice, you’re chin deep in the hardcore issues that Crutcher takes on with brutal honesty. I have learned more about racism, child abuse and the need to stand up for what’s right in his books then in my nine years of schooling. He’s taught me that being a tough macho man in modern day America doesn’t mean being a bully or taking advantage of women, it’s about finding self-confidence and testing the limits till they break because if you’re not fighting for what’s right who is?

I encourage anyone older then twelve to read any and all of Chris’s books. Your reactions might be different and your emotions may be different too, but all of his books have a relatable character you will love and grow attached too.

With every death there is a triumph. With every drunk father who beats his children there is a heroic coach and inside every book is a kind hearted boy with so much rage you’ll never know what’s coming next. I feel very privileged to have experienced such literature and I hope you’ll take my advice and crack open one of Crutcher’s books and experience all that is the works of Stotan717.

by Jesse R.


To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is about a young girl whose father, Atticus Finch, is an attorney for a black man named Tom Robinson, who was accused of rape. Although I think that the main point of this book is the trial, I also noticed that it is about how Scout’s growing and realizing that the world isn’t filled with good people and how life isn’t fair. This novel takes place in the Deep South in Maycomb County. In the trial everyone in the courtroom was white.

Although this is a fictional story, I believe that it is written about Harper Lee’s childhood and the Scottsboro trials. First, Harper Lee was living in Alabama during the Scottsboro trials, which also happened in Alabama, and her father was an attorney.

In the book the attorney, Atticus, was standing up for Tom Robinson. For example Tom was being harassed and Atticus defended him. After Atticus stopped the people from harassing Tom he said, “Get some sleep, Tom. They won’t bother you anymore.” This is evidence that Atticus was actually trying to defend Tom and his thoughts.

This book is for people who like historical events, racial and social equity, or law.

by Michael C.


A Swiftly Tilting Planet

The book A Swiftly Tilting Planet by, Madeline L’Engle, is quite good and in this book the plot, summary and entire book are quite different from A Wrinkle in Time. It talks about new kind of science fiction idea of going “within” another person. Riding on the back of a unicorn and kything through a dog makes this book one of a kind. Kything, which has happened in the other books, makes it so Meg and Charles Wallace can telepathically connect and makes each of them see what the other is seeing. This book is part of the popular series of A Wrinkle in Time, producing a new science fiction novel for the teenage reader.

Charles Wallace has finally found his own hero in himself, and after waiting three books, he can now fly on a unicorn all by himself. In this book Meg’s new mother-in-law has warned them of a nuclear war and has said only Charles Wallace will be able to stop it. While I personally thought that the plot was a little cheesy, making it all up to him, in the end he was helped by Meg and the twins, and that made it more enjoyable. I still think it proved its point in the end showing that Charles Wallace is now a grown up (sort of). It shows that Charles Wallace can live and survive without a lot of help.

Even though I did enjoy the book and thought it was a good book, I was also bored a bit during the part where Charles Wallace was “within” one of the many ancestors. It’s exciting at first to get to know new characters, but then the story just continues on and on for a long time. This book is still an enjoyable read and will hopefully open your vocabulary, reading skill and imagination.

by Maya G.


The Tale of Despereaux

I really enjoyed The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. It’s a story of a little mouse, who acts nothing like a “normal” mouse, and a story of his love for a princess. It also tells the story of a rat, who wanted to see the light, and who caused soup to be banned. Lastly, it tells of Miggery Sow, who is sold into service by her father for some cigarettes,  a red tablecloth, and a hen. It tells the story of all of them, and what happens to all of them. Everything started when Despereuax saw the princess and he let her touch him, and because he violated mouse law by not just letting her touch him, but also by talking to her, he was banished to the dungeon, where the rats live.

Despereaux is a mouse that was born with his eyes open, and they all thought that he wouldn’t live. He’s small, with very big ears, and doesn’t act like any other mice. He’s not interested in nibbling the pages of a book, he wants to read the story. He has an amazing adventure throughout a castle, involving a rat, a princess, a worker, red string, and a pin. He fights to get out of the dungeon alive, to be reunited with the Princess Pea.

Throughout the book, Despereaux faces many problems. The first one that comes up is his love for the princess, which results in him getting sent to the dungeon, where no mouse has come back out of. Then, he faces the problem of the devious rat, Chiaroscuro, and his plot to rid the world of princess Pea.

I really liked how Kate DiCamillo asked the reader questions. It made me wonder about what would happen later in the book, and it just kept me thinking, which most books don’t do. I also liked how she changed which character she followed, in other words, whose story she told. I also liked how after you read the entire book, everything that has happened makes perfect sense. The end of the book wraps everything up very nicely, and lets you figure everything out yourself; it doesn’t just say something outright. I also like how she gave the animals voices, literally. With all the animals being able to talk, it lets each characters personality be portrayed very easily.

by Marco N.


The Lightning Thief

Have you recently read a book that makes you laugh out loud, plus an amazing action tale of three young heroes, and my favorite part the part where you cannot put the book down without picking it back up within the next ten seconds? Well get ready for the great and wonderful Percy Jackson collection!

In The Lightning Thief, I think the author was trying to make it funny yet still have a very racing and exciting battle tale at the same time. It had many different expressions and feelings to it.

Let me introduce the main character of are story. Yeah you guessed it. Probably from the title though huh? Well you’re right Percy Jackson. He is a half blood, also known as a demigod. His brain was not born to read English; it was born to read ancient Greek. He is also son of Poseidon, the god of the underwater world.

Next there is Annabeth Chase. She is a teen, like Percy, who she becomes great friends with later in this story. She has been at camp half-blood since she was 9! Her mom is Athena goddess of wisdom and battle strategy, which means that she always wins in battles because she can tell what move is coming from the enemy next. And last but not least hero who goes on this heroic tale with Percy and Annabeth, Grover the satyr. He is Percy’s junior protector. Yes, only a junior protector, because he has not yet grown his horns.

By now you must be pretty confused about what a demigod/ half-blood is. Well they are ½ human ½ gods. You are also probably wondering what camp ½ blood is as well. Well before you read on take a moment about what I just told you about ½ bloods and see if you can figure out who the camp is for. If you have not guessed by now then I will tell you, it is a camp for demigods & half- bloods.

Zeus has accused Percy of stealing his lightning bolt because it has gone missing. But if Percy does not return the bolt by the summer solstice then there will be a war. But when Percy finds out that Hades has kidnapped his mother because he thinks Percy has the bolt, he has to go on a quest to save his mother and stop the war. But who stole Zeus’s bolt if it was not Percy? Will they save his mother? Or will she be stuck with Hates forever? Well go pick up this thrilling and exciting tale of heroes and mythology.

by Niki G.


The Amber Spyglass

How many times in your life have you read a book that you cannot put down? When was the last time a book opened your eyes to believe the impossible? There is a book that can be the answer to both those questions. It is called The Amber Spyglass. This book is the last of the series, His Dark Materials, a series written by Philip Pullman. The story kicks off, continuing Lyra and Will’s adventures, two kids each holding an extraordinary object in their possession; one of the objects can even open doors to other worlds!

Both these objects are only able to work because of a special particle called Dust (not the kind you sweep). Dust has been a discovery made in multiple worlds, and the people yearn to know more about this particular subject. In one specific world, the discovery of Dust has created a lot of tension within it, equaling an outbreak of war. With the smells of war carried in the wind, old relationships suffer and new ones form.

Philip uses his “Pullman” powers to pull his readers into the world he has created. Pullman is able to do this because he continuously uses a suspense pattern throughout the book. First, he will tell little events, one event at a time, like walking up a staircase. At the very top stair, the big event happens. After that, things descend down and then the pattern starts over again.

The most important lesson of The Amber Spyglass is “don’t always believe what you are told.” From the very beginning of the series, you are forced to contradict what you believe in. This book will make you ponder aspects like, “When people die, do they actually go to heaven or the underworld?” If you like mystery, adventure, or scientific fiction books, The Amber Spyglass is the book for you! Just remember next time, someone tells you a solution to an aspect of a life, don’t be afraid to question him or to research the topic a little bit more, to see if there is a different solution.

by Nayan K.



Recently I read the book, Eggs, by Jerry Spinelli. The book is about a nine-year-old boy named David, who is going through more than any nine-year-old should, like the fact that his mother died in a horrible accident. She fell down a flight of stairs head first, was knocked out, but never woke up, and he never got to watch that wonderful sunset with her. After that he swore he would never again watch that beautiful sun leave the sky, forcing him to think of his dear mother, but I won’t tell anymore.

I think I would rate this book around three and a half stars out of five for the creativity put into this writing. When I first started reading this book, I wasn’t sure if I was going like it because it just felt like a book just about a boy living with his grandma. After I read the first three chapters, I started to become more interested in the story. When I realized what this kid is going through, after a while, I would get more interested by the page.

I would recommend this book to most readers. If you are the kind of person that likes emotional/realistic fiction books, then you should try giving Eggs a chance, and that this book can really make you realize how much you have.

by Sara C.


The Fighting Ground

Are you looking for an action packed, historical fiction book? Well, here it is. I am writing a review of the book, The Fighting Ground, a historical fiction book, by Avi. The story this book tells takes place during the Revolutionary War, and is about a 13 year old boy named Jonathan. He wants to fight in the Revolutionary War, but his dad didn’t want him to, because he had fought in war once, and he got shot in the leg. But Jonathan went to war anyway. Some of the main struggles Jonathan faced in the war included the following: Jonathan was quite scared of the war, once it started, because he was only thirteen. He was also an inexperienced soldier, so the war was hard. Additionally, he got kidnapped by Hessians, who took him prisoner. In the end, he learns that war is more harsh than it seems.

The author of this book did many things well. The book was historically accurate, yet very gripping, as the war scenes always kept me on my toes. It also told a very powerful story, where a boy learns a very valuable lesson, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I would recommend this book to pretty much anybody.

by Will B.


King of the Mild Frontier

I read Chris Crutcher’s autobiography, King of the Mild Frontier, and I am going to be reviewing it.  He writes about his childhood as a buck-toothed, crybaby who never gets anything to go his way.  His brother John sees to that.  Mr. Crutcher describes many of his boyhood adventures and beyond in a funny, cynical kind of way.  Mr. Crutcher writes in a style that pulls you in, wanting more of the story.

In one of his high school stories,  Mr. Crutcher describes himself as a track star who can’t run.  In another story, he offers to run for a girl who is batting in a soft ball game and discovers that the soft ball bat is not that soft.  He gets almost all of his teeth knocked out  and has to get dentures.

This book is profoundly funny, but seriously serious, a mix that readers will love.  I would recommend it to anyone over the age of thirteen only because some of the language he uses to describe his life.  Anyone who loves comedic stories will love this book.

All-in-all, this book is a comedic masterpiece that deserves a ton of credit.  I would give it a 4.5 out of 5 it’s so good.

by Zach S.

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