Nonfiction

Book Review: Born a Crime

Born a Crime
Author: 
Noah, Trevor
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Born a Crime is an autobiography about Trevor Noah's life. I picked this book because it describes the humble beings of a
famous comedian and his extraordinary journey to the pinnacle of American comedy. It describes his life growing up in the apartheid government in South Africa. The title of this book refers to the fact that Trevor Noah's birth was actually a crime. This is because of his biracial background, which made his birth illegal under apartheid laws. Born a Crime is filled with jokes and will not fail to crack its readers up. I would highly recommend reading this book if you love humor and learning about valuable life experiences of famous celebrities.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ananth S.

Book Review: We Should All Be Feminists

Cover of the book We Should All Be Feminists
Author: 
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Chimamanda is one of my favorite Nigerian artists! In this book, she talks about her life growing up as a girl in Africa and how her friends and family knowingly or unknowingly forced gender expectations on her. I felt that because she used personal experiences, it was easier for me to connect with her. This book is a good read for everyone, whether you identify as a feminist or not; the book is for anyone who believes that women and men should be treated equally.

The book is short, sweet, but filled with thought-provoking ideas on gender dynamics in modern society. Contrary to what the title implies, Chimamanda doesn't necessarily try to sway your opinion on the topic of feminism: she lays out her experiences as a woman and leaves it to the reader's judgment to decide whether feminism is important or not. I also thought it was interesting how she mentioned that the most feminist person in her life was not a woman but in fact a man.

Reviewer's Name: 
Nneoma
Genres: 

Book Review: The Wright Brothers

The Wright Brothers
Author: 
McCullough, David
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Wilbur and Orville Wright changed history in 1903 when they successfully built the first heavier-than-air powered machine that could fly and carry a pilot. Many people are familiar with the Wright brothers, but few know the full story of their quest to build the first flying machine and prove to the world that they were not far-fetched fanatical dreamers. Writtenusing Wilbur and Orville Wright's letters, diaries, technical data books, documents, proposals, and private family papers, this book gives great insight into the curiosity, intellectual ability, diligence, and determination of the brothers. This book is well-written, readable, and exciting, yet still incredibly factual. I highly recommend this book for anyone fascinated with aviation, engineering, or the quintessential American spirit.

Reviewer's Name: 
John

Book Review: Walt Disney: An American Original

Cover of the book Walt Disney: An American Original
Author: 
Thomas, Bob
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

An American Original Walt Disney by Bob Thomas is a masterful biography which tells the story of the man who created Mickey Mouse, along with one of the largest entertainment franchises the world has ever seen. It describes how Walt started as a small-town cartoonist, went through bankruptcy, had his work stolen, and even borrowed money on his life insurance to make his ideas become reality. It was fascinating to see how things like Disneyland and Mickey Mouse originated. While some biographies are extremely dull, this one captivated me from the start. It is written in a way that makes it easy to experience what Walt and his company are going through, whether it is success or failure. Entertaining as well as factual, this book is one of my favorite biographies. I would give this book five stars and would recommend it to anyone who would like to read about one of the most interesting men in the world.

Reviewer's Name: 
Zach M.

Book Review: AP U.S. History Prep Plus 2020 & 2021

AP U.S. History Prep Plus 2020 & 2021
Author: 
Kaplan Publishing
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

I knew that AP US history would be a difficult class with lots of information. Since the beginning of the school year, I've been trying various resources to see which will prepare me the most for the APUSH exam. From browsing YouTube channels to finding online practice tests, I haven't found a resource as valuable as this book. Another helpful piece to this resource is that, with the book, you can access the online website. On the website there are even more quizzes over the various units. I am so glad I found this resource and I am certain it will help me a lot when it comes time for the big test! I strongly recommend. Grade 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Elizabeth P.

Book Review: The Missing Kennedy: Rosemary Kennedy and the Secret Bonds of Four Women

The Missing Kennedy: Rosemary Kennedy and the Secret Bonds of Four Women
Author: 
Koehler-Pentacoff, Elizabeth
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Tragedy ran deep in the Kennedy family--so much so that some people even questioned if the family was cursed. Rosemary Kennedy was born in 1918. At the time of her birth, the hospital was overcrowded with victims of the Spanish flu. The nurse, who though perfectly capable in assisting Mrs. Kennedy to give birth, urged her to wait until the doctor could come. The baby, Rosemary Kennedy, was forced back inside her mother's birth canal for two hours by the nurse during the wait. This irregular birth led to lifetime consequences in Rosemary. She had learning disabilities. Despite this, she was pushed equally as hard by her parents. Rosemary never made it intellectually past the fifth grade level. Her condition affected the Kennedy family because at the time people with disabilities were seen as having a "bad gene" and were not even allowed to receive the sacraments or eucharist at the catholic church. As Rosemary's condition worsened, her parents were desperate to fix her before she "ruined" her brother JFK's political career. This story is unique because it sheds light on a member of the Kennedy family whose tragic story eventually brought positive change in how to deal with the disabled.

Reviewer's Name: 
Elizabeth

Book Review: Desert Solitaire

Desert Solitaire
Author: 
Abbey, Edward
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Desert Solitaire, written by Edward Abbey, is essentially a memoir of his time spent as a ranger outside of Moab, Utah, in the Arches National Park. It includes compelling commentary on the progression of industrial tourism, as well as life changing events and exciting stories. For some, the book may be a frustrating read, either because it lacks a linear plot, as a collection of journal entries and secondary memoirs, or because Abbey’s views are reminiscent of traditions from the 1930s. Abbey is aware of this, and begins the book with a series of disclaimers. For readers who enjoy beautiful writing about life in the West, Desert Solitaire should be a potential read.

Reviewer's Name: 
Malachi

Book Review: Night

Night
Author: 
Wiesel, Elie
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Night by Elie Wiesel is a powerfully graphic novel that tells the story of a Hungarian Jew's experiences in various concentration camps within Nazi Germany during World War II. I really enjoyed this book. It was very well written and hard to put down. This book not only tells of Wiesel's experiences in concentration camps, but provides insight into psychological and philosophical ideas that make it even more interesting. Wiesel was just a teen when he and his family were sent away. He and his father were separated from his mother and sister and underwent an immense amount of trauma that was life altering for both of them. I'd recommend this book to those interested in World War II. The book is a quick and easy read with deep, profound content.

Reviewer's Name: 
Elizabeth

Book Review: Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story

Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story
Author: 
Tobia, Jacob
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Sissy is complex, introspective piece about gender and sexuality and how society's view can impact self-worth. Jacob Tobia recounts experiences throughout their life that have impacted them in the manner of their gender and sexuality and their self acceptance of themself. They reveal how even as a young child they identified more with femininity than their born masculinity and how that brought out negative feelings in those around them, including their parents. Tobia expresses how the trials they have faced have made them into who they are today but they wish queer identities were more accepted. A rousing autobiography of growing up queer, Sissy inspires the reader to open their mind to what is different and look within themselves and ask the question "Is it really black or white?".

Reviewer's Name: 
Maddie

Book Review: The Tao of Pooh

The Tao of Pooh
Author: 
Hoff, Benjamin
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The How of Pooh?
5 stars: Explains Tao with little snips of Pooh.

The Tao of Pooh is a well-written book that captures the essence of Tao-ism using little snippets of the adventures of Pooh. I loved this book, because it explains the art of Tao in a simplistic way, which is very fitting, because Tao is the art of simplicity. The precepts of Tao are explained very well in this book. If you want to learn how to not overthink, and how to learn without learning, read this book. A final note, I may not agree with some of the things written in this book, but I still appreciate the Tao, and I hope you do too!

Reviewer's Name: 
Ethan

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