Dec 13, 2021

Will Smith plays Chris Gardner in Gabriele Muccino’s The Pursuit of Happyness, made in 2006. In this film, Chris Gardner, accompanied by his son Christopher Gardner (Jaden Smith), struggle to get by day-to-day life. After putting all of his eggs in one basket, Chris joins a prestigious stock broking firm as an unpaid intern, only having a 0.05% chance of getting picked for the full-time career at the end of a 6 month trial period. He must navigate day-to-day life cautiously, dealing with eviction, tax seizure, and being arrested. This movie was a roller coaster of emotions. It really paints a

Dec 2, 2021

In need of a job, 14-year-old Lavaughn takes a babysitting job for Jolly, a 17-year-old with two children. Lavaughn enjoys the work, but when Jolly gets fired from her job at the factory, Lavaughn decides to work for free. What happens next? Read more to find out!

This story is written as free verse, instead of having a typical story outline. I really enjoyed this book since it provoked a lot of emotions in me. I really like the relationships between the two main characters; it seems genuine and feels like it’s happening in real life. I really liked this book, and I would recommend this

Nov 23, 2021

15-year-old Frannie is dealing with the death of her father when she discovers that he had made her a 1000-piece puzzle. Frannie is then suddenly transported back in the past to learn more about her father.

I personally did not like this book. It felt way longer than it should have been. This book did not flow very well and felt fragmented.  The plot seemed odd also, considering how she randomly traveled back to the past. I didn’t really like the characters either, they did not seem very redeeming. I would rate this book a 2/5.

Nov 17, 2021

When Fabiola and her mother are trying to move from Haiti to Detroit to go live with their family there, her mother tragically gets detained. Fabiola is presented with an opportunity to get her mother back, but it results in a messy entanglement in crime and dirty family matters.

I enjoyed this book a lot because the character development and plot kept the story surprising. The main development shown is that Fabiola learns to cope with loss and I think the overall moral is to keep good company because she gets involved in things like drug dealing and gang violence.

Nov 17, 2021

The Line Tender is a sad and heartwarming fiction novel by Kate Allen. This book is about a girl named Lucy, her best friend Fred who dies in a quarry at midnight. Ever since Fred died Lucy’s been a mess, she finishes an assignment in honor of Fred and she suddenly gets interested in her mother's work. She gets her dad, her neighbor, her family friend and her mom's former colleague to help her figure out things about her mom's beloved sharks. I love the way the author portrays the characters, and how they act and respond to everything happening around them. I recommend this book to people who

Nov 2, 2021

Meet Adam, the son of an arcade owner, and Whitney, the daughter of an e-sport café owner. Tensions rise between them as their rivalries increase, but when a snowstorm suddenly traps them in the arcade, they are forced to mend their broken relationship.

I really enjoyed this book, considering its part of the enemies-to-lovers genre. This is an original story that focuses on topics such as e-sports and arcades. One of the main themes in this book is family, which I really enjoy. Although I really enjoy this book, I wish there was more development of their relationship, it just feels to

Oct 21, 2021

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan is a coming-of-age story that follows teenager Leigh Chen Sanders as she deals with the aftermath of her mother’s suicide. Shortly after her mother’s death, Leigh believes that she has been visited by her mother- in the form of a bird. She is convinced that she will be able to see her once again if she journeys to Taiwan to meet her grandparents. The classic teen-romance combined with fantasy and the emotional depth of the novel creates an engaging story that leaves the reader on the edge of their seat.

Oct 21, 2021

It’s been a while since Lydia’s mother died, but Lydia still finds herself reeling from the impact of the life-changing event. Following the plan that she made with her mother, Lydia uproots to her Aunt Brat’s Connecticut farm, where she finds two more adults — Eileen (Aunt Brat’s good-humored wife) and Elloroy (their quirky live-in landlord) — waiting for her with open arms. Lydia struggles to become accustomed to her new family, and the big yellow dog that her aunt adopted just days after her arrival isn’t helping either. It barks too much, escapes from its leash often, and has a habit of

Oct 21, 2021

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is an exotic and lovable fantasy novel by J.K. Rowling. This book is about a prisoner named Sirius Black who escaped Azkaban (wizarding prison). Everyone believes that Sirius is after Harry because they think Sirius was under Voldemort. Harry, Ron, and Hermione find out what Sirius black was after. I love the way Sirius and Harry get along after they find out the truth after Harry’s parents’ deaths. I recommend this book to anyone who is currently reading the Harry Potter series or willing to try something new. That is why I rate Harry Potter and the

Oct 21, 2021

Finding Nemo is one of my favorite childhood movies because it tells an amazing adventure across the ocean. The movie starts with Marlin trying to protect his son Nemo, a clown fish, who has one fin of less than average size; Nemo ends up being captured and lands in a fishbowl with other apprehended and imprisoned fish accompanying him. Nemo’s dad, Marlin, travels across the immeasurable ocean along with a new friend he made named Dory who suffers from short-term memory loss. I had an amazing time watching Finding Nemo because it was entertaining and fun to watch. It is a terrific movie

Act Cool by Tobly McSmith

Act Cool

Rated by
Oct 21, 2021

August Greene is a trans teen that attends a prestigious performing arts school in New York, where he feels his true self. He made a promise to his parents that he won’t transition; if he does, he would have to attend conversion therapy. He tries to be himself with his friends, and, at the same time, satisfy his parents’ wishes.

This book struck a ton of emotions in me; it made me sad and angry. There are many situations in this book that are heavy and difficult. This book is all about self-acceptance and identity. This book is also about family, how you can also make a family with the

Oct 21, 2021

Finding Dory was amazing to watch and look at. The animation was spectacular, the storyline was tremendous, and the parts where Dory forgot what she was saying and started all over again were funny. In this new and improved version of the original Finding Nemo, Dory is searching for her parents and gets lost throughout her journey. Dory is a fish who has short-term memory loss which makes her journey even harder. She meets new friends as Marl in and Nemo try to keep up with her and make sure she is safe. I had an amazing time watching Finding Dory and I highly recommend it to everyone because

Oct 19, 2021

To Night Owl From Dogfish is a family bonding and funny fiction by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer. This book is about Avery and Bett, whose dads want them to be friends because they are dating. The dads send them both to a camp, where they become closer but the dads become more distant. Avery (one of the two girls) sees her mom for the first time in 10 years. Their dads break up, but the girls stay close and trick their dads to enroll them in the same summer camp.

I love the way the author presents the story not as a story but as a chain of emails and letters. I recommend this book

Oct 6, 2021

Two twin teenage witches, Mercy and Hunter Goode, are next in line to become protectors of the gate to the underworld. Everything seemed to be going alright, until their mother becomes the first victim of the creatures that lurk in the underworld. Now, they must set all aside and protect the world. Will they succeed in their task? Read more to find out!

Personally, I didn’t like that this book was a slow burn. I thought that there would be more to happen because this book was so long.  I like the idea of the plot, but the book was just written in a way that makes it seem boring and snail

Oct 6, 2021

When Miho’s boyfriend unexpectedly breaks up with her, she is miserable.  In order to get away from the stress of college and break-ups, she decides to participate in a triathlon. With support from her family and friends, she will undergo tough training in order to prepare herself. She gains mental and physical strength with every step she takes.

This book has strong themes of family and friendship. I like that Miho gains strength from the people around her, and she builds a reliable support system from this. The book definitely has some great lessons in it. I learned that sometimes

Cars 2 DVD

Cars 2

Rated by
Oct 6, 2021

Cars 2 is an amazing movie to watch. It is different from the first Cars movie because there is action, adventure, mystery, and detective work which is an amazing choice for a family movie night. Lightning McQueen is one of the main characters along with Mater, Lighting McQueen‘s best friend. There are two new cars introduced in this movie who are undercover spies for London’s Agency. Throughout the movie you will see amazing new race tracks and races that look spectacular and an amazing new storyline with Mater as a “spy in training.” I had an amazing time watching this beloved movie where it

Cars 1 movie


Rated by
Oct 6, 2021

Cars is my favorite Pixar movie. The movie is about a rookie race car who has a chance of winning the Piston Cup. He has two other competitors who he underestimates. Lighting McQueen is an overconfident car who does not like rusty cars. On his way to Florida, for his next race, he falls out of his truck and ends up in Radiator Springs. I liked how he meets new people and learns how he has been a jerk to almost everyone he meets. I had an amazing time watching Cars because it was entertaining and engaging to watch. I recommend this movie to many people who love to watch Disney+Pixar movies.

Sep 27, 2021

Meet Oscar, a strong-willed senior in high school. He has high hopes to take over his families’ Swedish food truck business. While at school, he meets Mary Louise, a girl who is the total opposite of Oscar. They both plan a minimal food waste project that includes his food truck.  Despite all the chaos around them, a romance blooms between the two as they face each of their own struggles.

It was refreshing to see the main characters in this book act like true teenagers. They are quick-witted, learning, and unsure about the future. This story contains themes of grief, humor, and romance

Sep 23, 2021

Real, Not Perfect is a book that will definitely stir up feelings of hope and optimism in your soul. Tessa, an only child, seems to have a perfect life. She has good grades, she is adored by her parents, and she is active in her swim team and in church group. But, it all falls apart when she finds out her parents are divorcing, her best friend moves away, and she gets stuck in an unbearable drama class. She soon makes friends in her drama class that help her see the brighter side of life.

This book really brings light to situations that often happen in real life. I like how the author makes

Smile by Raina Telgemeier


Rated by
Jun 6, 2021

In the graphic novel Smile, Raina finds out that she needs braces, and she is scared. She does not want braces, but her friend, who has braces, comforts her and tells her everything will be fine. Well, turns out everything was fine until that night at the Girls Scout meeting. Raina raced to the car, but fell and broke her two front teeth. I guess she will be needing braces after all. Raina goes through a lot in this book and it is filled with twists and turns and ups and downs. Do you think Raina will heal from this tragedy? Read Smile to find out!

I personally really enjoyed reading this

Solo by Kwame Alexander


Rated by
May 27, 2021

Blade Morrison’s life seems perfect. He’s a skilled guitarist with a famous musician for a father, and he has plenty of money and girls to choose from. But despite this, Blade feels lost. The one girl he truly cares for can’t be seen with him. His father’s face covers the tabloids. And ever since his mother passed away, he doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of his family. Solo explores Blade’s search for identity through poetry, following his quest for love and belonging.

Solo illustrates a multilayered story in an incredibly bold, creative format. The book is told through the poetic

May 22, 2021

The Henna Wars has amazing characters, POC, and LGBTQ+ representation. This is about how Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she doesn’t want to lose her family. It only gets harder when a childhood friend, Flavia, comes back into her life and Nishat falls for her. When a competition invites students to create businesses, both Nishat and Flavia choose to do Henna. As the story progresses, Nishat deals with being outed, homophobia, racism and realizes she needs to choose whether she should follow her heart to Flavia or keep her family happy.

I think the most compelling part to me was

Apr 24, 2021

Family, food, and friends are the heart of ​Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet​ by Laekan Zea Kemp. The story alternates narrators starting with Pen who struggles with telling her parents that she would rather run her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s, than live out the dreams her parents have for her future. At Nacho’s, everyone is family, including newcomer Xander who wants to discover the secret of his father’s disappearance while keeping his immigrant status under cover. These two realize their struggles are better dealt with together, and sparks fly in more places than just the kitchen.


Cover of The Cafe By the Sea: shows scene of outdoor cafe seating in European village

The Café By the Sea

By Jenny Colgan
Rated by Emily D.
Oct 13, 2020

London based paralegal, Flora, has desperately pined over her American boss for years. He doesn’t know she exists. Flora has all but resigned herself to unrequited love, until one day he calls her into his office. But the love affair of her dreams doesn’t start there, instead she is sent on assignment to the island of her origins, Mure. The Scottish island is not somewhere she planned on returning, but maybe she’ll get a love affair after all.  

Continue Flora’s story along with her brothers and friends in Colgan’s sequel: The Endless Beach. The story just gets sweeter in this follow-up to 

Dec 16, 2019

You’ve heard of Dungeons and Dragons.  Right?
It’s been around for 45 year and been in everything from Simpsons to Stranger things. 
What is it? 
It’s a pen and paper Roleplaying game.  A set of rules to tell a shared story with friends and family with a backdrop of classic sword and sorcery in the vein of The Lord of the Rings.


Pretty simple right?  Well that’s what Tales from the Loop is.  A very rules-simple pen and paper Roleplaying Game!  Only it ditches the old tropes of Dwarves, Elves, Dragons, and Goblins for a more contemporary setting.


You and your friends play


By Analicia Sotelo
Rated by Emma F.
Jul 15, 2018

"We're all performing our bruises"

It’s eighty-two degrees and I sit on sun drenched concrete, hot pink book in hand, pebble- small crimson strawberries staining my left hand and right knee. Suddenly, a fluttery brown butterfly wiggles between my thigh and the ground, crouching against my skin. I shriek- being the put together young woman i am- and then quiet, carefully shifting to stare at this beautiful thing that has chosen me to rest against. It flutters upwards too quickly, shooting straight into my neck where its wings rustle kisses much too softly against the most intimate sections

Ramona Blue

By Julie Murphy
Rated by Becky C.
Sep 5, 2017

Hurricane Harvey in the news raises the relevance of this novel to a category five. The fact that we're bringing Julie Murphy--one of the best contemporary realistic fiction authors in the country--to town for a Meet the Author visit means you must put this book on your radar. I listened to the audio version. It's fantastic. The narrator is a perfect fit for Ramona's voice. Ramona is a high school senior living with her overworked and underpaid father and her nineteen-year-old pregnant sister in a too-small trailer in Eulogy, Mississippi, right off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. When Ramona

Kubo and the Two Strings

By Laika
Rated by Rachel C.
Jun 20, 2017

"If you must blink, do it now. Pay careful attention to everything you see and hear, no matter how unusual it may seem. And please be warned, if you fidget, if you look away, if you forget any part of what I tell you, even for an instant, then our hero will surely perish."

Thus begins the saga of Kubo.

I don't want to give away plot details, so I'll talk about themes. There is exploration of family, both good and bad. Well-meaning relatives can want what they feel is best for you, but still be hurting you. But the ones who shelter you, no matter how flawed, will do their best by you

May 4, 2017

Janner, Igiby, Tank, and their disabled sister Leeli are gifted children living in a cottage above the Dark Sea of Darkness. But even with their gifts and the help of their mother and former pirate grandfather, they still struggle to survive as the evil Fangs of Dang pursue them and take over the land by killing anyone who stands in their way. For these children are not only special, but the Fangs believe they hold the secret to finding the legendary jewels of the former king.

This book drew me in with the humor and creativity of names and phrases and situations. Some of it was the silly

Apr 6, 2017

In Ponyboy’s world, there are only 2 kinds of people: greasers and socs. A soc has money, power, and privilege, and can get away with practically anything. But a greaser always lives on the outside, and needs to watch his back if he doesn’t want to get beat up by a group of socs. Ponyboy is a greaser, and has always been proud of it, and fights against gangs of socs to help his fellow greasers. But one terrible night, his friend Johnny accidentally kills a soc in self defense, and their ensuing escape causes his entire world view to change and learns that pain feels the same whether you are a