Review Crew Book Reviews by Genre: Nonfiction

Born a Crime
Noah, Trevor
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.
Awards:
Cover of the book We Should All Be Feminists
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
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
Awards:
Genres:
The Wright Brothers
McCullough, David
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
Cover of the book Walt Disney: An American Original
Thomas, Bob
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.
AP U.S. History Prep Plus 2020 & 2021
Kaplan Publishing
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.
Genres:
The Missing Kennedy: Rosemary Kennedy and the Secret Bonds of Four Women
Koehler-Pentacoff, Elizabeth
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
Awards:
Desert Solitaire
Abbey, Edward
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
Night
Wiesel, Elie
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
Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story
Tobia, Jacob
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
The Tao of Pooh
Hoff, Benjamin
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
Awards:
Into the Wild
Krakauer, Jon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, is a novel that tells the true story of Chris McCandless, a restless adventurer whose happy place was in nature. McCandless graduated college and departed shortly after on a series of adventures, his main one being Alaska. Along the way, Chris met people, many of whom were moved by his go getter free spirited personality. Into the Wild is a phenomenally written novel that I'd recommend to anyone who's trying to search for purpose in their life. It's a book that displays a young man searching for his place in the world.

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth P.
Cover of the book The Impossible Climb
Synnott, Mark
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Impossible Climb is about Alex Honnold's journey from being a newbie to the professional climbing community to doing the famous free solo of El Capitan in Yosemite, CA. The author also describes his own adventures on North Face's athlete team. The author is one of Alex's mentors who was there for his famous climb up the Freerider route. I loved this book because of how descriptive Synott was of all of his trips he took to exotic places. It was also excellent because of how the author told his story and Alex Honnold's at the same time.

Reviewer's Name: Abby K.
The Undefeated
Sheinkin, Steve
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Undefeated is about a Native American named Jim Thorpe who is an amazing athlete and becomes an Olympic medalist. Him and his coach, Pop Warner create an unforgettable team with the legendary Carlisle Indian Football Team. Then Carlisle Indian Football Team was known for having the most wins in 1907. The team goes through an adventure of close games, injuries, and amazing plays.nI really liked this book. I couldn't put this book down for a second. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Native American history or likes sports. This book also shows some of the plays the Carlisle Team played.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Awards:
American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
Kyle, Chris
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is phenomenal! American Sniper is the autobiography of Chris Kyle, a U.S. Navy SEAL and the most effective sniper in United States military history. Chris Kyle writes honestly about the brutality and pain of war and the toll it took on him and his family. This book is absolutely captivating and unforgettable. Everyone who reads this book will become appreciative of the United States Armed Forces and will gain a glimpse of their courage on and off the battlefield. I highly recommend this book for everyone.

Reviewer's Name: John
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
Covey, Sean
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Seven Habits remade!

6 stars. (This helped me a LOT with my state of mind ☺)

I loved seven habits because it helped me see that a lot of the stuff that we blame on others is actually the fault of ourselves, and it taught me to be kind to both myself and others. I highly recommend Seven Habits for Teens to anyone who is having a tough time. It taught me to have a clearer mind, a better outlook, and to trust myself. Although it is very hard to implement these changes in yourself, it helps you be so much better. Anyone can read this book and feel better about themselves if they follow the book's
instructions. If you don’t read this book, then it’s your loss.

Reviewer's Name: Ethan
Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio
Kehret, Peg
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio is about a girl named Peg who is diagnosed with polio. Polio (poliomyelitis) is a disease that causes paralysis. You can get it by consuming contaminated water and food or by contacting an infected person. Peg gets dragged away to the hospital without even getting to say goodbye to her family. For the next couple weeks Peg must take on not moving, feeding tubes, and physical therapy to get her muscles moving again. I really loved this book. It messed with my emotions the whole time. I was either balling my eyes out or smiling ear to ear. This was one of the best books I have ever read. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a nonfiction, emotion pulling, great book.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Awards:
Lone Survivor
Luttrell, Marcus
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is incredible! Lone Survivor is the firsthand account of Marcus Luttrell, a Navy SEAL, who served in the Middle East. In an attempt to kill a notorious al Qaeda leader, Luttrell and his team are ambushed leaving him as the only survivor. Lone Survivor shows the courage, bravery, strength, and valor of Marcus Luttrell and every other Navy SEAL. This book is truly inspiring and will make you grateful for all of the US Armed Forces. I highly recommend this book for everyone.

Reviewer's Name: John
Awards:
Genres:
Educated
Westover, Tara
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Growing up on the prairie in the past meant you were mostly isolated from the rest of society for better or worse. In the 1990s growing up in isolation in the U.S was very rare. Most people lived in cities, or suburbs, or small farming communities. Tara Westover was part of this abnormality. She grew up in rural Idaho and was homeschooled and rarely spent much time without her family. Which causes her to believe almost everything her parents and,siblings believed but when she began college she learned a lot more about the world than what she ever knew before.

I don’t typically pick up a memoir but this one was very highly recommended so I decided to give it a read. I thought the beginning was a bit slow but once you get through some of the background it becomes important in later portions of the book. I thought the book had a really good message and very unique perspective. It made me think a lot about how the school system could be improved and how outdated some of the typical school experiences are. I would recommend this book to teachers, school administrators, parents and students since they are so involved in education. I think it would be a good book to read at school and discuss as well.

Reviewer's Name: McKenzie
Book Cover
Strauss, Ethan Sherwood
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

If you are even mildly interested in sports then The Victory Machine is a must read for you. The Victory Machine is a humorous, firsthand account about the cut throat and ruthless business of professional basketball. This book in particular covers the rise and fall of the Golden State Warriors dynasty. It features some unforgettable and colorful conversations between management and the players. The Victory Machine covers the ins and outs of the complexity of running and managing a pro basketball team.

This book makes the readers feel as if they were also present when big decisions were being made in the war room. I disliked that the author focused too much on Kevin Durant and not as much on the overall team. Overall The Victory Machine is an easy and straightforward read and I highly recommend it.

Reviewer's Name: Ananth S.
Genres:
African American Firsts: Famous Little-Known and Unsung Triumphs of Blacks in America
Potter, Joan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is a reference book. In this book of American history you will learn a lot of history that you will not learn in primary, secondary school or even higher education unless you have some kind of major or minor in African American studies. This is a book about the first African American who has done a certain thing. Maybe the most notable is the first African American president is Barrack Obama. Or perhaps you didn’t know the first African American lawyer was Macon Bolling Allen. This book spans across a wide range of career fields and subjects. For Instance the first African American West Point grad was Henry Ossian Flipper. Or the first person to reach the north pole was a black man named Matthew Henson. This should be one of many required reference books.

Reviewer's Name: Rayn
Genres:

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