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Reviews by Category: Fiction

Teen Review
R. J. Palacio
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Tuesday, 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.

Teen Review
Tricia Stirling
Reviewer's Rating: 
3
Friday, May 20, 2016

Lacy believes that magic and science can work side by side. She is a skilled botanist that can harness the power of plants. When her father dies, she tries to stay with her step-mother that believes in good and healing magic. But she always feel the pull of her persuasive and powerful mother who brings out the darkness in her, stripping everything light and kind. Her mother forces Lacy to accompany her to Sacramento, and it is not long before the old darkness resurfaces.

This book is definitely not for everyone. I was very confused and a little disgusted by the plot overall. It didn...

Staff Review
Book cover
Jennifer Mathieu
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Friday, 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
Martine Leavitt
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Thursday, 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
Charles Dickens
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Friday, 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.

This book starts out very slow and boring, but soon confronts you with many connections that...

Staff Review
The Impossible Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher
Brian Katcher
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Monday, Mar 21, 2016

Ana is the perfect daughter, student and big sister. Over the course of her high school career she has built the perfect resume through test scores, an exemplary GPA and a host of extracurricular activities and volunteer opportunities including being the captain of her school’s quiz bowl team.

Staff Review
Wednesday, Mar 9, 2016

Good, but not great. Published thirteen years ago, it doesn't quite hold up today. Ginny is unbelievably pathetic throughout most of the story, and only toward the Hollywood-like ending does she-surprise-develop some confidence. Normally I love pathetic people because I can relate to their insecurity, but Ginny's character is a tad too two-dimensional, not a fully fleshed out character worthy of my concern.

Staff Review
Meredith Russo
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Friday, Feb 19, 2016

This is the story of Amanda and how she overcomes her past and embraces her new life, learning to live with her father, and making new friends. Amanda has a complicated past that she struggles with and does not want people to know about. There are flashbacks, sprinkled throughout the book, which feature Andrew and his battle with everyday life. Andrew and Amanda are connected in ways that most would not understand, as they are the same person only in different versions.

Staff Review
This is Where it Ends book cover
Marieke Nijkamp
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Thursday, Feb 11, 2016

Four different people, four separate stories, and four unique perspectives are all tied together by fear. As the school-wide assembly ends, the entire school discovers that all the doors are locked as a student starts shooting.  In this fast paced read, which only spans the course of fifty minutes, the reader gets the perspective of four students, who all have reasons to fear the boy holding the gun. Each character reflects on how they are tied to the shooter, decisions they have made, and how they got to this point all while testing their strength in this nerve-wracking, suspenseful book.

Staff Review
Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Monday, Feb 1, 2016

All American Boys is a big-issue book that also makes an excellent character study. Rashad, a sixteen-year-old African-American boy, is the victim of police brutality. Quinn, a sixteen-year-old white boy, is a witness to Rashad's beating. These two guys live in the same city and go to the same school. Quinn plays on the same basketball team as some of Rashad's friends. And yet they barely know each other.

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