Nonfiction

Book Review: The Survival Guide for Making and Being Friends

The Survival Guide for Making and Being Friends
Author: 
Crist, James
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

This a a short book, but you get a whole package when buying it! I think this book was a bit young for me. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone ages 7-10. However, this book gave me a little reminder on the effects kindness has on others. This book gives many dialogue suggestions for on-the-spot situations. The author gives information about friendships that 100% of people with experience involving peers would agree with. This text gives tips on what friends really are, how to make friends, how to hold onto friends, how to avoid arguments, how to talk through arguments, and the most important of all, how to kindly and properly end a friendship. The author emphasized that everyone has the potential of being a good friend and I think that that is extremely important. This was a good refresher on important social skills.
Reviewer: Grade 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Samantha

Book Review: Women Who Run With the Wolves

Women Who Run With the Wolves
Author: 
Estés, Clarissa Pinkola
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Centered around the "Wild Woman Archetype," Dr. Estes examines what it means to be a "Wild Woman," the expectations placed upon women in society and the consequences of ignoring the wild feminine nature within. The book certainly has a different approach to imparting knowledge and experience, but her tales of ancient myths and stories will make you feel as if you are sitting around a cozy campfire with an old friend. If you want to better understand the Wild Woman Archetype, an empowered and liberated side of women, I would recommend giving this classic New York Times bestseller a read.

Reviewer's Name: 
Alyssa

Book Review: How to Travel the World on $50 a Day

 How to Travel the World on $50 a Day
Author: 
Kepnes, Matt
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book is jam-packed with helpful tips and tricks for making travel affordable and more accessible to individuals living on a budget. Whether you travel seldom or regularly, this book will get you excited about the various ways to save big money on trips that may have previously seemed financially out of reach. Want to plan a trip to India? Skip to the chapter specific to the country or region where you want to go for highly specified money-saving advice. I found myself jotting down a long list of notes to refer back to when planning for my next trip. Give it a read if you enjoy traveling and saving money while you do it!

Reviewer's Name: 
Alyssa

Book Review: Rocket Boys

Rocket Boys
Author: 
Hickam, Homer
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

(Very immersive story) Rocket Boys is a book that shows the struggles of boys trying to break the tradition of a stereotypical miner town, dubbed Coalwood. I love how the descriptions bring light to the conditions of mining, and the towns surrounding the mine. It also brings light to the uproar that the Space Race caused, especially Sputnik. As the boys slowly figured out the basics of rocketry, it got more and more into the detail on how hard it was to create rockets when you live in a small town like that. As a footer, I just want to say that the boy’s determination to create those rockets was well shown.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ethan

Book Review: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
Author: 
Covey, Sean
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens is a must-read for every teenager. Sean Covey's 7 habits touch on a variety of subjects and will help you in every aspect of your life. This book has something in it for everyone and really shows how you can live up to your potential. Sean Covey gives small, simple steps that will make a big difference so that you can become a balanced, well-rounded individual. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens is full of humor, relatable stories, and great advice. I highly recommend this book for every teenager.

Reviewer's Name: 
John

Book Review: Into the Wild

Book Cover
Author: 
Krakauer, Jon
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I read ‘Into the Wild’ by Jon Krakauer in my sophomore year for extra credit in my English class. The book is about a young man that did live a privileged life but saw the world as that you don’t need money or materialistic things to live. I believed that his view on the world was ignorant and innocent because how he was brought up in life with money and never having to worry about anything, there was no struggle. For me what he ended up doing just seem very disrespectful to his parents, up and leaving them without saying anything. Into the Wild is just an amazing book with a very sad and devastating ending. Although it most of it did make me a little upset, I would read it again.

Reviewer's Name: 
Miguel

Book Review: The Power of Habit

Book Cover
Author: 
Duhigg, Charles
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

"The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg is a great read if you are interested in changing your habits or changing your company's habits for the better. Duhigg guides the reader through how habits work in life and in business. What makes "The Power of Habit" a good read, though, is Duhigg's remarkable talent for storytelling. The narratives Duhigg presents are both informative and heartfelt. The stories are what make this book a real page turner, but when coupled with Duhigg's insights about habits, the book is both enlightening and informative.

Reviewer's Name: 
Melina D.

Book Review: Level Up Your Life

Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story
Author: 
Kamb, Steve
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Steve Kamb’s book Level up Your Life is one of those rare self-help books that manages to be a page-turner. As an avid gamer, Kamb’s approach to gamifying goal-setting really resonated with me, and his journey from “shy, risk-averse nerd” to diving with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef inspired me to start my own bucket list.

One thing to keep in mind before picking up this book is that a substantial portion focuses on achieving fitness-related goals. Kamb is, after all, the founder of a Nerd Fitness, a website geared towards helping gamers and comic book fans have fun getting fit. Although my own reasons for reading Level up your Life weren’t related to fitness, I enjoyed this section all the same. Still, I felt it was worth noting since this book isn’t specifically marketed as a fitness resource.

With that said, the principles Kamb discusses can be applied towards accomplishing any goal, whether it’s learning a language or writing a book. And indeed, Kamb includes stories from members of his own community (the Rebellion) which show them using gamification to do everything from designing apps to traveling around the world.

While Kamb’s primary audience is undoubtedly gamers and comic book fans, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in self-improvement.

Reviewer's Name: 
Lisa

Book Review: Dinosaurs The Grand Tour: Everything Worth Knowing About Dinosaurs from Aardonyx to Zuniceratops

Dinosaurs The Grand Tour: Everything Worth Knowing About Dinosaurs from Aardonyx to Zuniceratops
Author: 
Pim, Keiron
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Dinosaurs: The Grand Tour is a remarkably well-encompassing resource, covering everything from polar dinosaurs (yes, you read that right) to a dinosaur three times taller than a giraffe. The information is presented in such a way that a layperson can follow along without feeling overwhelmed by scientific jargon. The author even included a pronunciation guide for the dinosaurs’ tongue-twisting names.

One of the main selling points of this book is the fact that it’s currently one of the most up-to-date resources on dinosaurs, with a publication date of 2019. Considering how quickly the field of paleontology continues to evolve, resources that were up-to-date ten years ago soon become... well… prehistoric. Notably, it’s also the second edition and has been expanded and updated since the original was published in 2016. Since I didn’t read the first edition, I can’t comment on how the two editions compare, but from what I can tell, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more cutting-edge resource on dinosaurs.

The illustrations are also nicely done, especially the color pieces that encompass two pages. It should be noted that most of the illustrations are not in color, so if you’re looking for a coffee table book, you might be disappointed. Still, the illustrations are beautiful as a whole and complement the text nicely.

Speaking of color, Pim explains how scientists have used fossilized pigment cells to determine both the colors of certain dinosaurs and the physical advantages these colors might have conferred. Considering this topic has been a source of mystery for many years, this section was particularly illuminating.

Finally, the quizzes peppered throughout the book are engaging and help you retain what you’ve learned. The author also includes an answer key at the back of the book, so if you don’t feel like hunting for the answer, you can always cheat.

Overall, I would recommend this resource to anyone interested in dinosaurs and paleontology in general.

Reviewer's Name: 
Lisa

Book Review: His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina

His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina
Author: 
Steel, Danielle
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

It was a tear jerker. Danielle Steele poured her heart into that book. It was about her son. She always has a way with her words with how she writes, that it just draws you in. It doesn't matter if she is writing a true story or not.

Reviewer's Name: 
Laura

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