Reviews by Category: Fiction

Staff Review

The Storyteller

By Aaron Starmer
5
Rated by Chris K.
Oct 10, 2016

Now, as I read it all over again, I wonder . . .

They call that literary analysis, Stella, and I'm not particularly good at it. My job is to write. Your job is to figure out the deep stuff.

And there is deep stuff going on here, isn't there? For the love of Luna, I hope so.

Staff Review

Burning Nation

By Trent Reedy
4
Rated by Chris K.
Aug 23, 2016

Don't be fooled by the opening battle scene and continuous conflict that drives the story into thinking this is a simple action book. It's tense and fast-paced, yes, but it is also full of moral, psychological, interpersonal, and political conflict. It is a book whose external action deeply considers complicated internal issues.

Staff Review

Orbiting Jupiter

By Gary Schmidt
5
Rated by Peggy H.
Aug 18, 2016

Jack Hurd lives with his parents on a small farm in Maine. One day in the winter of his 6th grade year, Joseph Brooks comes to live with them as a foster child. Joseph has been in trouble and spent time in a boy's group home, a juvenile detention center, and most recently a high security juvenile prison after allegedly trying to kill a teacher. He is only 14, but is the father of a newborn baby girl. He has never seen his daughter, but loves her and her mother dearly.

Staff Review

Calvin

By Martine Leavitt
5
Rated by Chris K.
Jun 6, 2016

It's been a long time since a book has transported me so completely. Has taken me so deeply into myself that I become oblivious to the world around me and my head spins with disconnection when I try to regain awareness. Just me and the book, and nothing else. I started reading and was supposed to stop because life was still going on around me, but I didn't. I couldn't find my way back. So life moved on without me until I finished the book. Now I must figure out how to catch up, but that's okay. It was worth stopping at a special place for a while.

Teen Review

Wonder

By R. J. Palacio
4
Rated by Dawna O.
May 24, 2016

Auggy was born with a facial deformity that has always prevented him from attending public school. But now, after many surgeries, he is able to be in the 5th grade. He is just an ordinary kid with an extraordinary face. How can he convince his classmates that he is just like them despite what he looks like?

I'd recommend it without hesitation to most middle grade readers, girls or boys, even those who may not normally pick up realistic fiction.

Staff Review

The Truth About Alice

By Jennifer Mathieu
4
Rated by Chris K.
Apr 29, 2016

Everyone (literally) in the small town (pop. 3,000) of Healey, Texas, knows the truth about Alice Franklin. Well, they know what's been determined by the collective consciousness of the town's population as the truth, which is virtually the same thing. Everyone believes it, so it must be so. Everyone treats Alice as if it's true, so the end result is the same.

Staff Review

Calvin

By Martine Leavitt
5
Rated by Becky C.
Apr 21, 2016

Calvin was born on the day the final Calvin and Hobbes comic strip was published. His parents claim that they didn’t name him after it, that’s it’s just a fluke. They don’t understand what’s the big deal about his grandfather putting a stuffed tiger named Hobbes into baby Calvin’s crib, either. Calvin understands the significance. He is special: eternally bound to Bill Watterson, the creator of the beloved comic strip.

Then his mom accidentally washes Hobbes to death and everything changes.

Teen Review

Great Expectations

By Charles Dickens
5
Rated by Dawna O.
Apr 1, 2016

A boy named Pip lives on the English marshes as an apprentice for a Blacksmith named Joe (his sister's husband). Pip is supposed to be a common boy just like his family, but he gets the opportunity to meet a family of higher class. Pip's ideology of being common changes into shame for his social class, and he is stuck between family and image. He soon has the opportunity to embark on his Great Expectations without knowing who his benefactor is, and is struck by the harsh society of London.