Review Crew Book Reviews by Genre: Adventure

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict
Stewart, Trenton
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

When Nicholas Benedict, a prodigal nine-year-old orphan suffering from Narcolepsy (a condition that causes sudden bouts of sleep), hears a rumor that there are millions of dollars hidden in the orphanage he just got transferred to, he is determined to find out where it is.
One great aspect of the novel is the main character. In the beginning of the book, Nicholas Benedict was very cynical and only saw the bad in people due to his past experiences, but as the story continued, he started to learn that good people did actually exist, and began to aspire to be like those people as well; reading this development of the main character was a very nice experience. I liked the fact that Nicholas wasn't perfect and despite the fact that he was a genius, there were times when he acted like a child; because of this, he seemed more like an actual person. Nicholas's intelligence continually surprised me, and I couldn't predict anything he would do, which made me want to find out what happened next. Most of the other characters had a lot of personality as well, and I found myself relating to some of them; they had vices and they had virtues, just like any other person.
There are many uncommon words in this book, so it is very likely that you will coming across a word you don't know.
I chose to read this because I first read The Mysterious Benedict Society series, and this book is the prequel.
I usually stay away from mystery novels, but The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict is an exception. Whether you like mystery novels or not is irrelevant when it comes to this; I think everyone should read this.I honestly couldn't put this book down; I read it all in one go. I consider this my most favorite book!
Reviewer's Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Miriam X.
Awards:
The Search for Wondla
DiTerlizzi, Tony
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This novel is about Eva Nine, a girl who had lived underground her whole life, training to be able to survive on the Earth's surface. Everything changes when a beast destroys her underground home; she was forced to run to the surface, but everything she learned about the earth from her training underground doesn't seem to apply to what she actually experienced.
I really enjoyed reading this book because Tony DiTerlizzi (the author) put a lot of effort into making The Search for Wondla's universe; he described everything very thoroughly and even had pictures in the novel as a visual aid to help the readers imagine what he was trying to convey. The made-up contraptions, plants, and animals in the story were all very unique and I was impressed by the creativity and the thought put into them.
Because of all of the detailed descriptions, it can be a bit overwhelming for some readers. I don't recommend this book to those who tend to skim, because if you do, you will end up confused and unsatisfied with the story.
The illustrations were absolutely fantastic and really tied the book together. The art made me feel like I was actually there with the main character and seeing what she was seeing.
This book is a very good example of adventure and fantasy, but I feel that The Search for Wondla had a little bit of everything mixed into it to make something amazing.
The writing was a bit awkward and not as fluid as it could have been on some parts, which can be noticed by more experienced readers, but it was fairly easy to get past.
The Search for Wondla is a great book and I could not stop after I started reading it.
Reviewer's Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Miriam X
Small Steps
Sachar, Louis
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Small Steps by Louis Sachar was an outstanding book. The author of the book demonstrates a young person’s struggle fitting in. Armpit, the main protagonist is ready to change his image after being known as a thug/ruffian. He’s just about ready when an old friend from correction camp comes and makes a deal with him. I give this book a 4/5. The book gave a strong and positive message, however there were a few very boring parts.
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Emily T.
Awards:
Eragon
Paolini, Christopher
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

When you first pull Eragon off the shelf, you expect to be pulled into a world of fantasy, magic, heroic deeds, and a dark brooding evil. And from page one, Paolini does not disappoint. His masterful usage of language and tone go beyond the realm of mastery and into the realm of artistic genius. From the moment you read the short synopsis of the book to the moment you flip that last page, you are spellbound; subject to Paolini's expert manipulation of emotions. There is only one downfall, and even that ends up being a strength. That unfortunately is that Paolini follows the basic formula of how to write a cliche fantasy novel. He turns this weakness in his novel into his strength, however, by creating a book so masterful, he redefined the formula. Paolini's Eragon, while somewhat predictable (but then almost every book has some level of predictability), keeps the reader involved and sitting at the edge of their seat until the very end. Paolini has more than earned his place among the great fantasy writers of all time. He may not yet be a J. R. R. Tolkien or George R. R. Martin, but he has proved his worth and earned a place in the memories and hearts of millions.
Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Andrew T.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Twain, Mark
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Mark Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has caused controversy over the years about whether it should be taught in schools. I personally, feel this book is one of the single most powerful novels written concerning prejudice, racism and the American Dream. It tells the story of a boy Huck Finn who escapes his abusive father and begins a journey down the Mississippi River where he soon joins with Jim, a runaway slave. Huck repeatedly faces the decision between turning Jim in as society has taught him or continuing to help him escape and lie as his conscious urges him to. Ultimately, Twain uses satire and Huck’s adventures to reveal the truth about the remaining prejudices in society and the idea that people need to think independently from society in order to preserve morals.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Tessa B.
Double Vision
Bradley, F. T.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The story; Double Vision is a great book that I recommend to readers who like suspense. Double Vision starts out in the main character; Lincoln’s school. He and his classmates are to go on a trip to a chicken farm not far from the school. After getting to the chicken farm, the farmer was very strict, and didn’t let anybody near his chickens. Instead, he just talked about them, and told everyone all about chicken farming, chicken housing, chicken food, etc. Soon, Lincoln got bored and decided to go see the chickens for himself. After sneaking away from the group, Lincoln opened the door to the chicken coop and was flustered by chickens in front of all of the other kids. After Lincoln went home, he found out that he was expelled from his school, and the farmer is suing them for a great amount of money. Because they knew he was in lots of trouble, two agents came to knock on their door. After, they told them that they would take Lincoln and straighten him up. At first, his mother refused, but decided to give in. After Lincoln got in their car, they said they weren’t taking him to a boot camp… but a spy camp! The part I enjoyed in this book was when Lincoln got attacked by chickens! I recommend this book to any age that loves suspense and action!

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Logan L.
Sidekicks
Ferraiolo, Jack D.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book Sidekicks is an amazing book! It starts off with a boy named Scott, and he is a Sidekick to Phantom Menace, a hero that fights crime. In the beginning, Scott has an archenemy named Monkeywrench, and he later discovers that Monkeywrench is someone he knows. They get to like and get to each other. Also their Mentors are archenemies, but they don’t care. They just want to be together. But something puts a wrench in their plan! (No pun intended). Sorry, I don’t want to give away the ending! In my opinion, this was a great book, and probably the best book in 2016 that I have read. I chose this book because the cover and name just appealed to me, and later on the story did. This was a basic superhero Romeo and Juliet. The story made me sit on edge when I was reading it. It was an amazing thriller, with lots of twists. This story was very entertaining. The story had lots of jokes, lot of character development, and a lot of happy things in it. This is why the book was appealing. Also it had no things that diverted you from the topic; it was straightforward and very precise. If you want a book that is an easy read for 12+ this is one of the best ones, there is no need to reread. But this book does have some mature humor, so not a very good bedtime story for little kids.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Lucas L.
Awards:
Genres:
The Warhorse
Bolognese, Don
1 star = Yuck!
Review:

In my opinion, Warhorse wasn’t a very good or enjoyable book. The only reason I chose this book is because we were learning about the renaissance era, and I thought, “Maybe this will give me an edge on it.” I was very, very, VERY wrong. This book is about a boy named Lorenzo in the Renaissance era who is an amazing crafter and designs armor protection for a Duke. One day there is a war about to take place so Lorenzo decides to fight the war with the Duke. But, his mentor, Massimo, forbids Lorenzo to because of his father’s wishes. The young armor-smith obeys his master, but to help the army, he lends his horse, Scoppio, to the Duke. Then Lorenzo later goes and joins the Duke, and gets his horse captured! Sorry, can’t tell you anymore. In my opinion, this book was very confusing. To start off, at chapter about 15 it started to get really funky. So up until then you can read it strait-through, but then you need to start to re-read. Also this book was a very uplifting book about hope, but to me it was all about obstacles of war and perseverance. This book was very odd, I mean, how many books can you find about historical fiction on Renaissance war? That is one of the reasons I chose to read some of the odder books, to give you an inside look on the weirdest things. This is the worst book out of 14 that I have read, but a close second would have to be Wh3n. Sure it was action packed, but it was also very depressing. So don’t read that one either. But in all, the character is very un-relatable, that is why I found this book so bad, sure he had a lot of character development, but how many kids do you know that are armor smith designers? So on that note I’ll leave you off, Maybe you’ll like a hidden element I didn’t catch! So with that in mind, go read this book to find out for yourself!

Reviewer Grade:7

Reviewer's Name: Lucas L.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Twain, Mark
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating 4.5

This book leads right in connecting to The Adventure of Tom Sawyer. Huck was one of Tom's friends and the story is now based around him. He soon was adopted with many things coming along after with a man named Jim. There is a lot of action and things that can really trigger the emotions. Symbolism is a really good thing to look out for in this novel.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Dominique R.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Twain, Mark
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating 4.5

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, is a pretty good novel. The main character of course being Tom goes through a series of interesting things. He witnesses things he probably shouldn't have and spends a lot of time with his small group of friends. He faces a lot of adventures and risky things throughout. This book is good especially if you read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn after.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Dominique R.
Heart of Darkness
Conrad, Joseph
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Actual Rating: 2.5
Heart of Darkness is a classic book by Joseph Conrad that is deep, heavy, and somewhat disturbing. I probably would have given this book more stars if it were not for the immense amounts of dialogue and a maddeningly complex storyline. I did find what the book was actually about interesting, however, trying to follow along with what was happening with all the detailing and talking practically made my brain come out my ears. So, in spite of the complexity, I will sum it up as best as I can. Here’s basically what happens: The book begins with the narrator (presumably an unnamed sailor), along with several others, listening to a man named Marlow tell a story on board the Nellie, a sailing vessel. Marlow tells them a story about when he was a young man working a job as an ivory transporter on the Congo. Through an ivory trading expedition, he develops an interest in a man named Kurtz, who seems to have a godlike power over the natives. Through talking to several others, he discovers three main things about the mysterious Kurtz: that he is in poor health, that he has tons of ivory, and, according to one source, that he may be trying to steal the manager’s job. Marlow and some of Kurtz’s acquaintances then take a boat to bring relief to the man, but are attacked by the natives. They later learn that the natives attacked them because they were worried that Kurtz would be taken away from them. I will not give away any more as it may ruin the story, but it is a somewhat tragic one. I would recommend this book to people who like books that are deep and thought provoking, and can comprehend complex plots and conversations.
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jacob U.
The New Recruit
Williamson, Jill
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book caught my eye because of the title. Just the sound of "The New Recruit" makes the book sound like it is full of adventure...and it is!
The story opens with the introduction of the main character, a prospective freshman varsity basketball player named Spencer Garmond. He is living with his grandmother in Pilot Point, California, and has been living with her ever since his dad left the family and his mother died. Spencer's grandmother threatens to pull him out of his Christian school and put him in military school. Fortunately for Spencer, a mysterious man named Mr. Stopplecamp wishes to recruit Spencer for a Bible club called Mission League. Forced to chose between military school and the league, Spencer signs up with the Mission League, but soon realizes the true purpose of the league (which is not to be Bible geeks). This book is filled with adventure, action, spying on Russia, and other "fun stuff." A must read for anyone who is looking for a James Bond type story with lots of humor and, maybe, a bit of romance.
Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Alex N.
Peak
Smith, Roland
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 3.5

This book is about a teenage boy who tries to become the youngest person to climb Mt. Everest, while doing so he finds his true self. I liked this book because it demonstrates the problem teenagers have growing up. I picked this book because it was recommended by a friend with similar literature interests. I enjoyed that this book shows that even the worst people of this world still do the right thing. I did not enjoy that the book could be very repetitive. This book was sometimes predictable, which made it less interesting. I cannot relate to these characters because they were too complex. This is not one of the best books I have read this year.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Genres:
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Avi
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I honestly was not expecting this to be as good of a book as it was. I guess I was thinking it would be more like Treasure Island (which I didn’t like too much). It actually turned out to be a really good story about a twelve year old girl named Charlotte Doyle who has booked a voyage with two other families on the Seahawk ship to return home from her school in England to see her family. Charlotte then discovers that the two other families have mysteriously cancelled their trip, making her the only girl on the ship. She then has many adventures on the Seahawk with the shipmates and the cruel Captain Jaggery involving a silver dirk, storms at sea, muskets, round robins, watery coffee… and possibly murder. I highly recommend this book to anybody who likes historical fiction, books told in diary form, books about seafaring, or is just looking for a good book to read.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jacob U.
The Mysterious Benedict Society
Stewart, Trenton Lee
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Oddball children with specific circumstances. A strange series of tests only some can pass. When these children see an advert in the newspaper asking for children with smarts, these parentless kids meet by chance. Soon after, they get thrown into a world of futuristic danger and must solve one problem after another the only way children can-creativity.

I very much enjoyed this book because while reading, you are just as much lost in the confusion as the characters are! You go through the tests and the challenges with the mains, and the twists never stop coming, yet somehow intricately connect in the end. This book makes you look at the world with more imaginative eyes, and you see the more creative solutions to problems as you take inspiration from the characters. Upon seeing the cover, I was already intrigued, and reading the synopsis only further increased my curiosity. Not at all predictable, yet still an easily-followable plot line, this book was a fantastic read from start to finish.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Molly Q.
Genres:
Mutant Message Down Under
Morgan, Marlo
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This is a fascinating and controversial tale of one woman’s experience in Australia traveling with an Aboriginal tribe. She leaves the hotel one morning to attend a meeting with the tribe and ends up on a three-month trek through the outback. Whether the account is 100% true or not, the message can be relevant and provocative: that our society is pulling us away from our true nature and our innate connection with the environment. I really enjoyed the different lessons from the Aboriginal tribe and how perceiving our society in a totally different light can be very beneficial. This is one of the books I have read that stays with me long after I have read it and that I continually ponder, so I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a thought-provoking read.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Selena Z.
Genres:

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