ALA Notable Children's Book Award

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: 
Rowling, J. K.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

It is the second book in J.K Rowling's fantastic book series Harry Potter. 12 year old Harry has just come back from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to spend a dreadful summer at Number 4 Privit Drive. Little does he know his summer is about to get worse. Uncle Vernon is expecting to get one of the best deals of his life during a visit from the Masons. Unfortunately it doesn't go as planned when a house elf shows up in Harrys bedroom with an ominous message. The elf proceeds to try to get Harry expelled from Hogwarts by dropping a pudding on Mrs. Masons head. Uncle Vernon puts bars on Harrys window to stop him form getting out. Harry is in despair when the Ron (his best friend), Fred, and George(Ron's twin brothers) Weasley save him from the clutches of his aunt an uncle and he spend the restof the summer with them.

Harry is back at Hogwarts after an eventful journey. He's ready to start a new peaceful year at Hogwarts. That doesn't go to plan when he starts hearing a mysterious voice in the school corridors. Harry, Ron, and Hermione partake on a amazing and thrilling journey to uncover who is petrifying the students.
This book is absolutely amazing and is worth reading. It has magic, mystery, and loads of adventure.

Reviewer's Name: 
Katie

Book Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
Author: 
Collins, Suzanne
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Katniss, a teen girl who's dad died in a mining accident, left her to fend or her mother and little sister Primrose. She hunts and trades for her family with her friend Gale she met soon after the mining accident happened. The annual "Reaping" was a turn of events in the story and essentially what it is, is a night once a year where one girl and one boy aging from 12-18 from every 12 districts are chosen by chance to participate in "The Hunger Games." The Hunger Games is where all 24 children are forced to fight to the death in an arena and there is only one winner.

Reviewer's Name: 
Kaylee W.

Book Review: Kensuke's Kingdom

Kensuke's Kingdom
Author: 
Morpurgo, Michael
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

In the book Kensuke’s Kingdom which was written by Michael Morpurgo,a family of 3 and a dog named Stella Artois decided to go on an 18 month journey around the world after Michael's parents lost their jobs. As they take a vast journey across England to Africa and then from South America to South Africa in a yacht named Peggy Sue. Everything was going great for everyone, they traveled to so many countries around the world, until one night when Stella Artois and Michael went off board the Peggy Sue one night. What happened to them is what you’ll have to find out. This book has many cliffhangers after every chapter, for me I just couldn't put the book down. Plus the book does a great job of describing the setting and giving you a great description of what's happening. If you are into animals and geography then this is the perfect book for you. This in my opinion is a great book and everyone should read it.

Reviewer's Name: 
Shireen D.

Book Review: The Thing About Jellyfish

The Thing About Jellyfish
Author: 
Benjamin, Ali
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The Thing About Jellyfish is a mysterious book that you will never want to put down. It starts out with a twelve year old girl named Suzy watching jellyfish at a aquarium. A few days ago her best friend had died swimming in the ocean while on a vacation. When Suzy is told this she realizes it can not be true, her best friend had been a great swimmer, so she sets out to find what happened to her best friend. She believes it could have only been one thing, a jellyfish. She does as much as she can to prove what happened to her best friend, but no one believes her. If you love mysteries and like not knowing what is going to happen, this book is for you. It is a great read for teens and children and I totally recommend reading it.

Reviewer's Name: 
Aspen

Book Review: Chains

Chains
Author: 
Anderson, Laurie Halse
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Isabel Finch is a slave girl and belongs to Miss Mary Finch. When Miss Mary Finch dies, she and her younger sister Ruth must travel away from Rhode Island and to New York where they are bought and serve a new master. This master is a strong loyalist and Isabel finds herself trading information about battles and invasions to the local patriot camp in New York. I loved this book because it showed bravery and the injustice of slavery for young girls. I would fully recommend this book to anyone who has a heart for historical fiction.

Reviewer's Name: 
Nina F.

Book Review: Wonder

Wonder
Author: 
Palacio, R. J.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

In the beginning of the book August has a facial deformity called Treacher Collins syndrome where his ear is lower than the ears are supposed to be. He has not gone to a regular school ever so in fifth grade his mom has decided that she does not want to

Reviewer's Name: 
Hannah

Book Review: The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdös
Author: 
Heiligman, Deborah
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Once there was a boy who loved math. He loved math so much that he spent all of his time thinking about numbers. He spent so much time with math that he couldn’t do many things that ordinary people do. The biography tells the story of Paul Erdos, one of the greatest mathematicians, and how he found his way in the world sharing his ideas and love of math.

Reviewer's Name: 
Carol

Book Review: The City of Ember

The City of Ember
Author: 
DuPrau, Jeanne
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The City of Ember is a fictional book in which the author explains a dystopian society. In this society young people are given their jobs that they must do for the rest of their lives. The city is also falling apart because they are running out of supplies like food and are running out of an energy source. Their "government" system is corrupt making it impossible for change to easily happen. The main characters, Lina and Doon, are determined to find life outside of their enclosed city so they embark on a journey. On this journey they face many struggles but eventually make it out with hopes of a better life.

I would recommend this book. "The City of Ember" is a fun, easy book to read. I read it the first time because I was in battle of the books. I couldn't relate to the characters. It wasn't predictable and it was a good book.

Reviewer's Name: 
Oriana O

Book Review: Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray
Author: 
Sepetys, Ruta
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Taking place during WWII... Lina, a fifteen-year-old girl, lives a peaceful and normal life drawing and going to school but when the NKVD, better known as Soviet officers, force them to leave, adventure and chaos abduct Lina's normal lifestyle. Lina, her brother Jonas, and her mom Elena have to travel by train living with the bare minimum to survive off of. From Soviet officers forcing them to work to stealing food to survive, Lina has to find a way to outlast WWII and the capture of her family. Her main goal through all this; to find her dad. This dramatic adventure written by Ruta Sepetys will pull you off your seat.
Reviewer's Age: 15

Reviewer's Name: 
Aiden F

Book Review: The Marvels

The Marvels
Author: 
Selznick, Brian
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book begins on a ship at sea with a boy named Billy Marvel. He survives a terrible shipwreck and later finds work in a London theatre. There his family lives for generations as brilliant actors--some who are the best kind of people, some who are awful people. All of the family are actors and love the stage and spotlight until young Leontes Marvel. He hates acting, misses his cues, and can’t remember his lines. His parents are ashamed and banish him from the stage. He decides that his destiny lies somewhere else so he runs away.

A century later, Joseph Jervis, another runaway, finds a place to stay with an uncle in London. Grumpy Uncle Albert and his strange but beautiful house lure Joseph on a search for clues. He begins to think that he might be related to the Marvels and begins an incredible adventure to find out who he truly is.

I really enjoyed this book. During the mystery, I felt like I was right alongside Joseph as he found clues to his mysterious past. I am happy that I figured out the mystery before Joseph did. The story had a very sad ending, but overall stayed pretty bright. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Brian Selznik’s other books, mysteries, or heartfelt books.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ben C

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