We're Middle School Students Writing about Reading!

Welcome to our blog--we're always in the middle of a good book here!

Our posts may include book reviews, original fiction, interviews with authors and bloggers, fan-fiction, fan art, and more, so join us in our journey to explore great books and learn about book blogging!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Out of My Mind, by Sharon M. Draper

A couple of weeks ago, I read the book Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper. It's an amazing book. It's about a girl named Melody who has a mind like a computer. When someone tells her something, it's saved in her head forever. She is a genius. Except that no one knows. Because Melody can't speak. Or walk. Or move at all. And life is tough for a girl like her.

Melody is an amazing character. She's got a big heart and yearns for a good friend, and a chance. That's it. But sadly, her life reflects modern society perfectly. No one likes a disabled girl.

Rose is Melody's friend, sort of. She sits with Melody at lunch, sometimes. She is everything you could want in a friend, almost. She is nicer then other people, but the fact of the matter is, Melody isn't cool. I mean, her mom has to feed her! If Rose hangs out with her, it'll take a lot out of her social status.

Clare is Melody's personal tormenter. She hates Mel, and Mel has no clue why. Clare is at the top of the social ladder. But the only reason she's there is because she put everyone that chalanged her miserable. So much so, that some people left the school. But even with her position in the school, for some reason she still feels threatned by Melody.

This book was one of the best that I've ever read. It's extremely well written, and it's thrilling in a subtle way. One of the things that I really liked about it were the sub-plots. Whenever the main plot gets a little slow, Draper recreates the excitment by adding little twists. I can't tell you enough how I loved this book. It is the only book that has ever made me cry. I would definitely give this book 5 of 5 chocolate bars.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Twisted Alice--Fan Art by YamiHeart

Hi, YamiHeart here again with more fan art.  This time I did the classic story Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol with my own personal twist.

I know there's a lot going on, so here's a quick overview:  the Mad Hatter is pouring mercury into the tea (he thinks it's creamer), the Tweedle brothers are in straight jackets, the Red Queen has gone psycho killer, the White Queen has lost her head, the Caterpillar is smoking (as usual), the March Hare has rabies, The White Rabbit's tied up in chains, the Cheshire Cat is...being the Cheshire Cat, and Alice WAS supposed to be annoyed, but now I think she's dead.  Hope you enjoyed. ^^

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor

A review by Hidden shadow

I just finished reading The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. This is an awesome new trilogy with exciting adventure and very interesting characters. One of the most important characters is Alyss, or the Alice you know from Alice in Wonderland. In this version though, Alyss is the heir to the the Kingdom of Hearts. But then Alyss's evil aunt Redd kills Alyss's parents and takes over the kingdom. Luckly for Alyss, her bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, grabs her and jumps through the pool of tears and comes... to our world!!!

Here are some important characters in The Looking Glass Wars!!!

Alyss: she is a very imaginative girl, who loves and cares deeply for others. The details on her emotions remind me of the Alice we all know, and she shows a very royal attitude for a princess!!! She will always be the most creative person ever!

Hatter Madigan: he is a very tough bodyguard for Alyss and the Queen (Alyss's mom). After Alyss's mom dies, Hatter protects Alyss until they get separated in the pool of tears.

What I liked about this book was the part where Alyss was separated and lived in our world.  I liked that part because it had a sense of adventure, and it really showed how much Alyss changed.  I also liked  the part where she went back to her world because she met her friends again.  The pacing lagged a little during the scenes when she was in our world, but I still liked it because I liked the fact that she was going to get married to a prince.

Overall, this book was really interesting and had a lot of adventure.  I would rate it 4 out of 5 chocolate bars.  For appropriateness, I would rate it a vampire for the violence.  It's not too disturbing, but it does have death in it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Post by Up North Girl

I know, I know. Long title. The point is, I was watching a movie, and the thought struck me; Hey, this would have made a really good book. I don’t mean the novelizations that are written after the movie is out; those never do it justice. I mean, the real thing. Good books that were written before the movie was a movie. So here is a list of the movies I think would have made good books. Each one will contain a short synopsis of the plot from netflix.com, and why I thought it would make a good movie.

5. Wicked Little Things

When a grieving widow moves her two daughters to a rustic house in the Pennsylvania mountains, she hopes the solitude will help them work through feelings of abandonment. But they hardly have time to reflect, as they discover unexpected neighbors. As it turns out, the ghosts of children who were killed in a tragic accident more than 90 years before are still "playing" in the mine shaft nearby, and would love to have the neighborhood kids join them.

This movie was, well, just plain creepy. But I like those kinds of movies. I prefer them as books, though, because then there aren’t things jumping out and scaring the crap out of you. I made the unfortunate mistake of watching this at midnight… yeah. I think it would have been a very good book. If you like scary movies, definitely check this one out.

4. Despicable Me
Villainous Gru (Steve Carell) lives up to his reputation as a despicable, deplorable and downright unlikable guy when he hatches a plan to steal the moon from the sky. But he has a tough time staying on task after three orphans land in his care.
OK, this one is just for funzies. I loved this movie. Yes, I am in eighth grade, and yes, I did love this little kid movie. I am not ashamed to say it. I think it would have made a pretty amazing book, too. Since most of the movies on this list are horrors, I decided to lighten it up by throwing this one in.

3. Sherlock Holmes (2010)

London sleuth Sherlock Holmes, joined by Dr. Watson, face off against the villainous Blackwood.
Yeah, I know what you’re going to say. “But Sherlock Holmes is already a book!” I know. I’ve read them. But this movie was a really phenomenal story line, and I think it would have been a really great book. I always loved when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle threw possible paranormal phenomena into his Sherlock Holmes stories, and this one was especially good.

2. Frozen

Three friends hit the slopes for a weekend of skiing and snowboarding. But when they convince the chairlift operator to let them take one last run before closing, Parker, Joe, and Dan find themselves stranded in midair, alone and freezing. It'll be days before anyone returns to the slopes, and their chances of survival are looking slimmer by the minute.

Wow. That is really all I have to say about this movie. It gave me shivers (No pun intended) and I was on the edge of my seat for the whole movie. I won’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of it; it’s an Indie film. I love books that keep you biting your nails throughout the whole thing, and I think this movie would do just that, had it been a book. Out of all the movies on this list, this is one of the ones I would most want to see as a book.

1. Season of the Witch

In 14th-century Europe, a courageous knight leads a group of weary warriors across impossibly treacherous terrain in order to transport a suspected witch believed to be responsible for spreading the devastating Black Plague.
This. Movie. Was. Amazing. I loved this movie! Can I say anymore? The whole movie I was thinking THIS NEEDS TO BE A BOOK! It was so suspenseful and perfectly balanced action with plot. Some movies have too much action and no plot, but that is not the case with this. It had an amazing plot, and amazing action. It’s definitely not for the squeamish, though.

So there you have it. My top five movies that should have been books first. I recommend you check out these movies if you haven’t, especially Frozen. But Frozen, Wicked Little Things, and Season of the Witch are definitely not for the faint of heart. Until next time, happy reading!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Silver Phoenix, by Cindy Pon

I read the book Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon.  I really liked reading this book, and I liked it every step of the way!  With its thrilling fights and powers from the beyond, this book is great to read any time. 

It's about a girl, Ai Ling, who goes on a life-threatening journey to find her father.  On the way, she meets Chen Yong and his brother Li Rong.  They help Ai Ling with her journey, meeting many obstacles along the way.

These are a few things I liked and disliked about Silver Phoenix.  One thing I liked was the descriptions.  The descriptions in the book are great.  When Cindy Pon's explaining a dish of food, for example, you can actually smell and taste the food!  And when she describes a fight scene, it gets really intense.  The things I disliked are...nothing!  I can't really think of anything I didn't like.

And now, an argument that can change everything...the cover!  Dun Dun DUN.  Yes, the cover.  Some people didn't like the original cover because they were concerned it wouldn't attract the target audience because it has an Asian girl on it.  I know, that's really weird.  So they changed it, so there's still the same basic idea of the original, but it doesn't show as much of the person on it.  My opinion is...why?  I liked the cover the way it was.  Thank you for reading this review.  I will be interviewing Cindy Pon in the near future, so check back to see what she has to say, and check out the new paperback version of Silver Phoenix, which just released last Tuesday! 

The sequel, Fury of the Phoenix, is coming out March 29, so you'll have to wait a little while...UNLESS!  You could go enter this awesome contest for a chance to win an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Fury, a paperback of Silver Phoenix, or gift certificates of up to $50 for Barnes and Noble or Amazon!  All you have to do to enter is write a haiku that has the word fury or phoenix in it!

Review by LocoCoco

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

If You Could Meet an Author...

If I could meet any one author, I would be torn between meeting Brandon Sanderson and Scott Westerfeld.

This is what some of my friends and teachers said:

Ms. Nordskog, our crazed, chocolate-loving science teacher, said that she would like to meet Isaac Newton (despite the fact that he's dead) because he wrote one of the most important scientific papers of all time.

Ms. Filippini, our awesome, crazy band teacher said she would like to meet either Dean Koontz or Stephen King, the latter because she thinks he would be an interesting guy to meet.

My good, crazy, weird buddy Flann thought meeting Jay Asher, the author if Th1rteen R3asons Why, would be cool for reasons unknown to the rest of us.

A pair of 8th graders (also known as Sara and Skylar) would like to meet Kazuki Takahashi, their favorite manga author.

My dog-loving, awesome, crazy friend Abby would like to meet Pseudonymous Bosch, the author of The Name of this Book is Secret.

The eighth-grade Kaila would like to meet Anne Rice, who is the author of the books The Vampire Chronicles.

The cello-playing, awesome Kyra would like to meet Kathy Reichs, the author of many books, one of which is is 206 Bones.

Lachelle, another of my peers in this blogging elective, would also like to meet Jay Asher because he wrote her favorite book.

If you could meet any one author, who would it be? Why? What if you have two authors you couldn't decide between? Reply in the comments, please!  :)