Archive for the Young Adult books 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!


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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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)



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



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.



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.


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



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.  

The Catcher in the Rye (a review by Tori Loveland)

Posted in 1950s, Book Reviews, Coming of Age, Young Adult books on May 14, 2015 by Mr. Winch

     The Catcher in the Rye is a great book that everyone can learn from. It contains  situations that many people can relate to, and people that everyone is able to compare to their own friends. Holden Caulfield – the protagonist –  is experiencing a rough time in his life. He leaves school and goes on an adventure in New York, calling up old friends, getting drunk and taking a walk on memory lane. Cigarette in hand, he walks the streets moving from hotel to bar, wooing the ladies and picking fights with pimps. He has an overwhelming view of the world and a head full of opinions. He has a lot to say, but many people don’t appreciate his words. He often feels lonely and ends up calling old friends and significant others. He thinks mainly of his younger sister, Phoebe, his older brother, D.B. – who is a writer – and his deceased younger brother, Allie. What you’re left with is expected, but what you expect reveals itself in a very unexpected way.

Lois Lowry’s The Giver (A book review by Jack D.)

Posted in Book Reviews, dystopia, Newberry Winners, Sci-fi, Young Adult books with tags , , on June 10, 2014 by Mr. Winch

The setting of this masterpiece is a futuristic dystopian society.  The main character is Jonas, who is handpicked by the elders to be the new receiver, one of the highest ranking jobs. But what does the receiver do, exactly? He or she receives memories from the previous receiver, or the current giver. The process is repeated several times throughout history, giving the receiver knowledge none of the others possess. The receiver uses these memories to lend advice and aid the leaders of the society when the leaders are confronted with an unknown threat. As Jonas receives these memories, he sees more and more holes in the perfect society. He also begins to gains something that very few people have, the ability to see color.  Read the book to learn how Jonas copes with this new way of life.