Archive for the Book Reviews Category

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Posted in 14 Years Old, 15 Years Old, Book Reviews, Coming of Age, Fiction, Uncategorized, Young Adult books on July 6, 2016 by Mr. Winch

spoiler alert!

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Laurie Halse Anderson´s 1999 Speak is a fiction novel set in current Syracuse, New York. Protagonist Melinda Sordino is a round and dynamic character who learns that with time she can accept what happened to her. In August, before Melinda´s first year of high school, Melinda calls the police when she is at a party. When Melinda´s friends and peers discover she broke up the party and got people arrested, she gets deserted and bullied. Over the course of the school year, Melinda´s past unfolds. When Melinda reveals her rape to her ex-best friend Rachel, her attacker comes to rape her again. Andy, the rapist, is caught by the lacrosse team and the story of Melinda´s rape is spread throughout the school. The traumatic events that Melinda experienced caused her to change dramatically. Her change and the conflicts/traumas she experiences help develop the main theme illustrated in the novel, which…

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Bone

Posted in Adventure, Book Reviews, Comics, Fantasy Novels, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Humor, Uncategorized, Young Adult books on June 9, 2016 by Mr. Winch

Review by Mason Atkins (New Urban High School)

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Bone by Jeff Smith is a funny and interesting comic book.

 

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Bone is funny because the characters have a hilarious personalities. For example, Phoney Bone has stupid ideas and most of the time is angry. That doesn’t sound funny, but it is.  He got angry in “Book 2” because Smiley Bone made the worst cow suit. Smiley is funny too.  He’s pretty stupid and ruins all the plans, for example the plans to rebuild the farm house in “Bones 2.” Although Bones is entertaining, it also is interesting.

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Bone is interesting for many reasons. They have villages that have never heard of money, and also there are dragons and also monsters called rat creatures. The dragon is the protector of the Bone cousins, and the rat creatures are ugly monsters that live in the woods and work for a king rat creature called Kingdok. The rat creatures are chasing down the Bone cousins and have not succeeded in capturing them because of the dragon. This is just one of the many reasons the plot of this book is riveting.

 

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If you like funny and interesting comic books, check out Bone by Jeff Smith.

 

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Night

Posted in 12 Years Old, 13 Years Old, 14 Years Old, 15 Years Old, 1940s, Autobiography, Book Reviews, Coming of Age, Uncategorized on February 29, 2016 by Mr. Winch

 

Book Summary by Ashlin Shaw

Night by Elie Wiesel is an autobiography first published in 1960 and set in Europe in 1941-1945. The region is revealed on page 1: “that little town in Transylvania” and is clearly from 1941 because on page 1 it reads, “toward the end of 1941.” The protagonist is narrator and author Elie Wiesel, and he’s likely ages 12-15 because on page 1 (1941) it says, “I was twelve,” and the story ends in 1945.  An example of a flat and static character is Tzipora. Tzipora is a flat and static character because we don’t know much about her. All we know is on page 2 that she was “the baby of the family.”  She doesn’t change because this is as much as we find out about her in the novel. An example of a round and static character is Elie’s father. On page 2 it reads, ‘My father was a cultured, rather unsentimental man. There was never any display of emotion, even at home.  He was more concerned with others than with his own family.” We find out that Elie’s father doesn’t show any emotion for anyone including his family. His father was more concerned with others rather than his own family. His father changes and is concerned and protective of Elie when they both get sent off to multiple concentration camps. Elie’s father didn’t want Elie to share his food with him when he was sick because he wanted his son to survive. One major conflict in his story are surviving multiple concentration camps. By looking at this conflict and the way the dynamic character changes, a theme of this book is revealed: Don’t give up hope even when things seem like they’ll never get better. There are always brighter days ahead.

 

 

The Things They Carried

Posted in 1960s, Book Reviews, Coming of Age, War on February 17, 2016 by Mr. Winch

The Things They Carried

summary by

Marcos Romero-Serrano <romeroserranom@nclack.org>

http://thecrazyplace17.wordpress.com/

“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien is a fictional book first published in 1990.  The story takes place in both Vietnam and America, after the war, during the war, before the war. “ In June of 1968, a month after graduating from Macalester College, I was drafted” (44). “Forty-three years old, and the war occurred half a lifetime ago, and yet the remembering makes it now. And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever” (40).  Tim is a 23 year old soldier who really just wants to live through the war. Everywhere the story goes, he is either telling about it or he is in it. When he is drafted and his graduate-school deferment is denied, he feels he must fight because it is expected of him.  An entire chapter “On the Rainy River” is devoted to Tim’s struggle with the decision to go to Vietnam or flee to Canada.  When some of the characters question why they were there, a theme is revealed:An opened mind is important.  This can apply to anyone who is confused by what’s wrong and right. 

The Graveyard Book (A summary by Candice S.)

Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy Novels, Neil Gaiman, Young Adult books on May 14, 2015 by Mr. Winch

 

The Graveyard Book is a young-adult fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman (some of his other well-known works include Coraline, Neverwhere, and Stardust). The book begins with the Jack murdering the protagonist’s family. The toddler, Nobody Owens, usually referred to as Bod, had successfully escaped from his crib. He slid down the stairs, out the door, and down to the graveyard, while the man Jack was “busy” with his parents.

When Bod arrives at the graveyard the local ghosts find him and decided to take him in after seeing the bewildered flickering ghosts of his parents begging for their help. Silas assigns himself as the boy’s guardian, and Mrs. and Mr. Owens become his new adoptive parents.

Jack finds many things: the reason for his parents’ death, why the order known as Jack of All Trades is after him.  He also finds himself.

Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman (Summary by Tori Loveland)

Posted in 14 Years Old, Book Reviews, Coming of Age, Disabilities, Young Adult books on May 14, 2015 by Mr. Winch

  

Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman tells about the hidden life of a fourteen-year-old boy named Shawn McDaniel. Shawn has cerebral palsy and is unable to talk–or move, for that matter–on his own accord. We are introduced to your average character in a way that we rarely see. As you read, you hear Shawn’s thoughts as if he were right next to you, whispering in your ear. His family was told by doctors that he has a mental age of three or four and many people use baby-talk with him, though he is intelligent and claims to remember everything that he has ever heard. His father, Sydney McDaniel, is a writer who won a Pulitzer Prize for a poem that he wrote about Shawn. His father thinks that Shawn is in pain, and wants to relieve it. Shawn has reason to believe that his father is going to kill him.

Eight Keys (Summary by Ja’von A. Lewis)

Posted in Book Reviews, Coming of Age, Mystery Novels, Young Adult books on May 14, 2015 by Mr. Winch

Eight Keys is a mystery novel by Suzanne LaFleur set in the countryside in modern times.  A girl named Elise finds a key with her name on it which turns out to be for the eight doors in her grandparents’ barn.  In those doors, she finds stuff her dad left for her before he died. In the middle of the story, she gets in a huge argument with her best friend, and in a journal in one of the rooms she learns that her dad and his friend got in an argument and how he regretted not apologizing.  Elise learns from her father’s regret: she learns to keep friends close.  She finds the true meaning of friendship.  When she finds friendship and discovers her past, she also finds herself.