We're Middle School Students Writing about Reading!

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Ministers Daughter: A Review By ArwenPond

Title: The Minister's Daughter
Author: Julie Hearn
Format: Hard Cover
Length: 272 pages
Price: $7.99

"Powers of the air, be here now. So mote it be." Nell is a wild child. Conceived on May Morning, she is claimed by the piskies and faeries as a merrybegot, one of their own. She is the village cunning woman's granddaughter: herb gatherer and healer, spell-weaver and midwife...and, some say, a witch. Grace is a Puritan minister's daughter: beautiful and refined, innocent and sweet-natured...to those who think they know her. But she is hiding a secret -- a secret that will bring everlasting shame to her family should it ever come to light. A merrybegot and minister's daughter -- two girls who could not have less in common. Yet their fates collide when Grace and her younger sister, Patience, are suddenly spitting pins, struck with fits, and speaking in fevered tongues. The minister is convinced his daughters are the victims of witchcraft. And all signs point to Nell as the source of the trouble....
--Summary from Google Books

The story is told in a really interesting way; every other chapter is told in third person and the others are told as a witch trial confession of Patience Madden, the younger of the two minister's daughters. You always know what's really happening with this book and you never really get confused, which is nice. If you weren't quite sure what was real and what wasn't, then the story wouldn't be as good. My favorite part was the end, not because it was the end, but because it ties it back to Salem (the story takes place somewhere in England, I think). It shows the beliefs of people back then and the traditions they carried out, which is really cool.

I give this book 5 out of 5, because it's amazing.
There's nothing inappropriate in it at all.
The cover shows Grace, the older of the Minister's daughters.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wednesday Wondering: What do you Hate Edition?

Wednesday Wondering; this is the edition of “WHAT DO YOU HATE IN A BOOK?” by: Nialllover12.

I collected some answers from my English class and here they are:

Golden marshmallow218 said …….. If you watch the movie and read the book the author is not as detailed in the movie…… 

Glossygrammergirl514 said…………. I don’t like when there are a lot of people dying and at the beginning of the book everybody is so happy.

Then Elvis Presley said…….. The book The Hunger Games made me never want to read it again! I didn’t like the part were Rue died…….

supercat123 said.......When they come out with the fist book, and they leave it open-ended before the second book comes out, and it takes a long time to come out.

poutiepidgy said........I hate when they don't make sequels, and it's a good book. I want to see how the story goes.

silverdragon said....I hate it when they do a cliffhanger at the end of a book, or when one of the really awesome characters that you've grown attached to dies.

TheMuse said........I hate it when authors give a really bad, sappy ending. Sometimes when a guy defeats the main evil guy, he has a whole other problem to deal with, but they just leave him with, "Well, he kissed a girl!" It leaves me thinking, "What the heck? There's still another bad guy out there!"

flickagirl said......I hate when authors stop and describe something during a really suspenseful part in the book.

arwenpond said......I don't like it when they tell you a fact or something and then they either don't explain it or the fact is so random and it doesn't add to the story at all.

Nialllover12 said.......when they only bring out one movie, but they have all the books out, so it kind of ruins it.

happyunicorns said......I don't like when they put random things in the middle of the book that has nothing to do with anything, and then on the next page it goes back to the regular story.

phoenix said....CLIFFHANGERS! They're evil. Especially when there isn't a sequel.

What was your thought? What makes you hate a book?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Knowing Death: original fiction by Maja

picture from http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/death-is-beautiful
 Knowing Death part one: long ride

So today is my last day here in my small-town home in North Dakota to go to an engineering college in New York City. I’m excited to go, but I’m going to miss my friends, and I don’t really want to be alone after what happened last night.

My friends and I were supposed to go stargazing at Black Lake like in the old days, but we got distracted by a meteor that crashed about a mile from the car. We went to look for it, but I guess we were imagining things, because we, at least I, saw something very different.

It was like an escape pod from one of those Science fiction shows that Mom used to watch. I saw someone running from it and we ran after him, but he/she was too fast and when we got back to the space junk it had magically turned into an abandoned rusty car. So I’m questioning my sanity, even as my Mom is crying on my shoulder. She’s always been the super emotional type and the fact that she’s hugging me so tight is also normal.

“Mom,” I said, “You’re crushing me.”

When she finally let go she started talking again, “It’s just I love you so much and I don’t want you to leave, but I’m so happy that you’re going to college!” most of it was like a sobbing gibberish but this is nothing compared to my first boyfriend.

Then I saw dad come out with my last bag, “Hey, my little sport’s going to college!” he said, Dad has called me that ever since I beat the cousins at football when I was seven. My mom wishes I’ll become an artist or a writer or something other than an engineer, all of my teachers say I’m a genius but nothing like that really interests me as much as building my own stuff does.  So that’s why I’m going, plus I want to prove all of those football jerks that say I’m too girly to do anything worthwhile. 
I met my friends at the airport where they were arguing over a bright pink sign that had glitter covering the edges and said “Goodbye Jamie!!!” in big bold letters. Jeff would not stop talking about how lucky I am to be going to the music capital and managed to make me promise to email him pictures of every stage I go to. It’s probably the single weirdest promise I have ever made, but the chances of that actually happening is zero. Then Amy shoved him aside and started her nonstop talk about how lucky I am to be going to the fashion capital of America, and now I have to go shopping. Which I’ll tolerate when I’m with Jeff or Amy because they practically pick all of the outfits, so I just have to try them on, but now I think they’re going to kill what’s left of my Christmas spirit this holiday season. I guess I’ll just buy the worst sweater I can find so I can see their faces! Anyway, we say our last in person goodbyes before the endless calls and texting that will start as soon as the plane lands. Then I go through the intense security and finally get on the plane. It already feels like a long trip, makes me wonder how I’ll feel after a few hours squished between a random snoring person and the window.            

Now that the plane has landed in New York a few hours later I don’t feel as bad, still a little dizzy but at least I don’t have air-sickness anymore. I walk around for a while looking for the exit when I look outside and see the city, the absolute, most amazing place I’ve ever seen. My train of thought came to an abrupt halt when someone tapped me on the shoulder; I turned and saw a tan girl with braided hair and a super smiley expression. “Hi, are you Jamie?” she asked in a no nonsense voice.

“Yeah?” I said to the stranger.

“I’m Becky, your roommate from the tech school.” she said.

“Oh! Nice to meet you, I didn’t know this place had dorms at least they weren’t on the brochure.” I said holding out my hand.

“They don’t but I thought you would need a place, am I right?” Becky grabbed my forearm instead and said, “It’s only temporary if you don’t want to stay, but either way you need to know that handshake for your own survival.” That was the last thing she said before we went out and got a taxi. Leaving me wondering what's in store for me...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Wondering: Book or Movie First Edition!

Wednesday Wondering: Book or Movie First? A post by Supercat123.
Hey! Supercat123 here, I asked my 6th grade language arts class, "Would you rather read the book first or see the movie first?" Here are some results from my 6th grade class.  

Zumie said, "I would want to watch Harry Potter first, it is had to understand if you have not seen the movie."

Cheese curd luver said, "Breaking Dawn I would want to see the movie first, also. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, I would read the book first. It also depends on the book or movie."

Pretty Color Girl said, "I would rather read the book first so I could see the differences in the movie!!!"

Bob Lincon said, "Watch the movie first!!!! If you watch the movie first the book will make more sense, like Harry Potter."

Directioner4life said, "I would rather see the movie first. Like when I watched the Lorax first then I read the book." 

Lollipop575 said, "I would rather read the book first, such as the Hunger Games or Harry Potter." 

So, what do you think, read the book or watch the movie first?? Personally, I think read the book first, so then when I watch the movie I can match  the characters in my head , with the ones in the movie.   

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Sister the Vampire: Lucky Break, a review by Shutterbug

Title: My Sister the Vampire: Lucky Break
Author: Sienna Mercer
Format: Softcover
Price: $4.99
In the series called My Sister the Vampire, Lucky Break is the sixth book in the collection. One of the twin sisters Olivia gets a part in a play which she auditioned for so she could get her first kiss with her boyfriend. But her boyfriend doesn't get the part and now she had to kiss a guy she definitely doesn't like. Luckily the director says that she will cut out all the kisses till the end. Also at that time of the school year, the twins get to meet their aunt, and Olivia gets to ride a horse, but Ivy, Olivia's twin sister, can't because horses don't really like her. She thinks it's because she's a vampire. Ivy feels left out but turns out to be braver than she thought, so everyone gets happy, but just wait till next year.
I enjoyed all the action and all the times they were about to get in trouble but they got out of it. There's a lot of drama in the series, and I like that the sisters always stay together. My favorite part of this book was during the play when the boyfriend went to help Olivia so she doesn't have to kiss the boy she doesn't like!
Rating: I would give this book 5 out of 5 chocolate bars.
Appropriateness: It's appropriate for almost any age. There's no bad language at all.
Cover Thoughts: It's fitting to the book.

I'd tell you I love you but then I’d have to kill you, a review by pinkunicorns

Title: I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You
Author: Ally Carter
Format: paperback
Length/number of pages: 288
Price 8.99

Short Summary: Gallagher girl Cammie Morgan can kill a man with her bare hands. She speaks seven languages. She is a spy and can't have a boy friend but has one anyway!

Strengths/Weaknesses/Favorite Parts: My favorite part of the book is the dance and where she fakes a head ache because she wants to get away from her secret boyfriend that nobody knows about.  It was funny to read! I just collapsed in heaps of laughter for no reason. Cammie's weaknesses are Josh and chocolate!      

Rating I would give this book 5 stars
Appropriateness: not for boys.
Cover Thoughts: It is cool because it looks like a newspaper.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Will Grayson, Will Grayson, a review by Jacqline

Book Title: Will Grayson Will Grayson
Format: Hardcover
Author: John Green and David Levithan
Number of pages: 310
Price: $17.99

Short Summary: Will Grayson (1) reconnects with his old friend Tiny Cooper and is fighting against his feelings towards Tiny’s friend Jane. Will Grayson (2) thinks his life is horrible except for the boy he’s instant messaging, and is in love, with. Eventually, these two Will Graysons meet and help each other out, with the help of Tiny Cooper. Tiny helps them both realize what’s great in their lives and helps mend their rocky relationships.

Strengths/Weaknesses/Favorite Part:
Weaknesses: I thought some weaknesses were that I didn’t realize that the book was from two different points of view until the Will Graysons met. It wasn’t very clear. I liked different the points of view from two very different people with the same name.

Some strengths are that it has good humor and has two very different yet really good love stories.

Chocolate Bar rating: 3
Appropriateness: There were lots of swearing and sexual references.
Cover Thoughts: The cover had nothing to do with the book except that Will Grayson is written twice so that the two Will Graysons are intersecting. This is what they do in the story.

from Jacqline

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Vamire Angel Original Fiction By: Wolf Angel

 Yuki Kuran - Vampire Knight wallpaper
 The Vampire Angel [Part 1]

Jenny, a 16 year old girl, is in bed sleeping. It's 7:30 and she needed to get up in 5 minutes to get ready to get on the bus and go to school. Five minutes passed by and her alarm went off, Jenny groaned and hit snooze, or at least she thought she hit snooze. She missed the button and it kept going off.

She got up, and turned the alarm off. She was still half asleep and grabbed some random clothes whitch were a pink tee-shirt and purple jeans. She put them on then brushed her teeth. After she brushed her teeth, she grabbed her back pack. She put her back pack on then stumbled to her bus stop. The bus had just pulled up, the doors opened and Jenny walked on.

Someone yelled out "JENNY!!!!" Jenny looked to the person and smiled.  It was her best friend (and her only friend) Tori. She walked over to Tori and sat down next to her. Tori said, "Jenny you almost missed the bus but you made it. You need to set you alarm before when it's set for."

Jenny sighed. "No, it's set for 7:25."

Tori said back, "Set it for 7:15 then, anyways, how are you?"

"Im fine, just tired" Jenny said then closed her eyes

"Ok then," Tori said back then and turned to look out the window. Fifteen minutes passed by and Tori tried to wake Jenny up and told her, "We are at school." Jenny woke up and grabbed her backpack then walked off the bus.

Ty, a 16 year old guy in homeroom, was waiting to see Jenny. He had a crush on her but thought he wouldn't have a chance. Ty saw Jenny's black hair and sat up in his seat. Jenny walked in, she saw Ty and smiled to him flashing her amazing smile. Ty smiled back, Jenny sat down in her seat and Ty walked up to her saying "Hello, you're Jenny, right?"

Jenny looked up then nodded.  "Yes, I'm Jenny, why?"

"Well umm.... I'm new and I was wondering if you could help me. By the way i'm Ty," Ty said shyly to her.

Jenny nodded again. "Of course I can."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Bar Code Tattoo Book One review by PoutyPigie

The Bar Code Tattoo Book One:
Author: Suzanne Weyn
Cover:  paper back
Length: 256 pages
first published September 1st 2004 by scholastic paperbacks
Target age: grades 6th-8th
Genre:  mystery, suspense, science fiction
Theme/ Subject: determination, perseverance, individuality, and self-esteem
Grouping: Trilogy Personal review:
17 year old Kayla Reed is living in a world controlled by the all powerful Global 1 and every one 17 and older in the U.S needs to get a barcode tattoo which secretly holds all the information about you, EVERYTHING!!! Though tattoo gen (secret operatives convincing uncertain kids to get the tattoo) and global 1 are doing their best to make the barcode tattoo look like a Great, convenient, normal thing. (You can use it as a passport, credit-card,etc)  When Kayla decides not to get a Tattoo, her live tumbles into chaos. And an epic adventure is close to follow.

I love this book 3.5-4 out of five chocolate bars, great plot twists, likeable/unlikeable characters, good story line. My complaints are that one of the major plot twists Suzanne Weyn throws in doesn’t fit, you don’t feel that bad about her parents (they aren’t likeable enough) and we don’t always know always what Kayla is feeling. (At important parts)

Overall I think this book is very worth reading, it’s a simple read, its action packed,interesting,suspenseful, and pretty much a worth reading book. Enjoy ;)

Appropriateness: It's a little violent, but not super-violent.
Cover Thoughts: I think the cover matched up with the story but the girl doesn't look like the main character does, I don't think.

Official summary from back of the book:
Individuality vs. Conformity
Identity vs. Access
Freedom vs. Control
The Bar Code Tattoo. Everybody's getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity.
But what if you say no? What if you don't want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There's no option but to run...for her life.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Saving Ceecee Honeycutt

Title: Saving Ceecee Honeycutt
Author: Beth Hoffman
Format: Hardcover
Price: $15.00
Length: 320 pages

The book Saving Ceecee Honeycutt is an amazing book with drama, comedy, action, and suspense.

A twelve year old girl named Ceecee Honeycutt first finds out her mother is suffering from a mental disorder and tries to deal with it. Her mother got so crazy she acts as if she was young at the time she won a beauty pageant. She wore many pageant gowns, tiaras, and lots of lipstick. She even started dressing Ceecee up in gowns. One day Ceecee got so sick of shopping and wasting money, and the mother drove Ceecee and her father so sick that they yelled at her and what happens next throws everyone's lives into sadness. Ceecee's father made Ceecee move with her aunt Tootie in Georgia. They helped her over that sadness and they had many happy times together in the new and improved Ceecee Honeycutt's new life which she loves very much.

The strengths of this book were that I enjoyed how much Ceecee loved spending time with her aunt and her aunt's best friend who lives with them. Everyone's lives got better ever since she came to live with them. I might change the relationship Ceecee had with her mother because they didn't really show anything that special. My favorite part was a funny part that happened near the beginning of the school year.

Rating: I give this book 4 out of 5 chocolate bars
Appropriateness: I think this book should be for ages fourteen and up because there are bad words and a few inappropriate parts.
Cover Thoughts: I think it's very sweet.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday Wondering: Genre Edition

Is Non-fiction as Popular as Fiction is? WW By: ZombifiedUnicorn (a.k.a the best student evaa)                   

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that a ton of middle schoolers were saying that they “don’t like non-fiction books” because they’re so “boring." And I was kind of appalled. I wandered if they even knew how vast and voluminous (vocab words!) the non-fiction genre is, just like fiction is. So I decided to conduct a survey and not just ask one student, but to ask 20, because 20 students would probably be more reliable than 1. And I needed to find out about a few things. At first I needed to know if each individual liked fiction or non-fiction, and why. If they knew some examples of non-fiction. And if any non-fiction interested them. I surveyed roughly the same amount of 6th, 7th and 8th graders and here were my results.  
Fiction or non-fiction?: 15 fiction, 2 non-fiction, and 3 said both.
Why do you like that genre?:
  • Don’t like the real world, like fake things. – 5
  • Boring. – 3
  • Too serious [in non-fiction] – 2
  • Everything is perfect [in fiction]. – 1
  • Lose interest [in non-fiction]. – 1
  • Truthful [in non-fiction]. – 1
  • [Non-fiction] is helpful to learn. – 2
Examples of non-fiction?:
  • Magazines. – 8
  • Newspapers. – 5
  • Science/math books. – 4
  • Biographies. – 3
  • Journals. – 2
Does any non-fiction interest you? What kind?:
  • Science books. – 1
  • Math books. – 1
  • Biology books. – 1
  • History books. -1
  • True stories. – 1
When I saw the results, I wasn’t that surprised. I kind of figured that fiction would be more popular than non-fiction because the students were almost telling me this BEFORE I did the survey… and the reasoning behind their decision was ‘normal’ in a sense. But when I saw how many examples of non-fiction people said, I was blown away (...almost). Everybody knew a lot of works of non-fiction and they still didn’t like it. I thought that if, and when they knew what was in the non-fiction genre they would like it. But evidently that wasn’t the case. So, my conclusion is that they are all aliens… (Just kidding)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Face on the Milk Carton Book Review by Phoenix

Title: The Face on the Milk Carton Book Review by Phoenix
Author: Caroline B. Cooney
Format: Ebook
Price: $7.99
Length: 210 pgs

Jane Johnson or, as she likes to be called, Jayyne Johnstone, is a normal teenager. She isn’t struggling with grades, she is well off, and, like everyone else, she pays no attention to the faces on the milk cartons. One day, she sees a face and suddenly realizes something. That missing child on the milk carton is her. She then has to figure out if it is truly her and if it is, how could her caring parents be kidnappers and how did they do it? Just one skipped school day and a drive to New Jersey and the discovery of a family that looks a lot like her reveals all.

This book’s strengths were suspense and it keeps your attention. Its weakness is that it’s way too short. It’s part of a series but it still it really short compared to other series. I give this book four out of five chocolate bars because it’s an amazing book but it’s too short. I liked this book because everyone can relate to Jane when she wonders if she doesn’t really belong to her parents. I rate this book fairy princess; anyone who can read chapter books because there is no inappropriate content. The cover is simple but interesting.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: Wolves of the Beyond book 1: Lone Wolf Reveiw by: Wolf Angel

Book Title: Lone Wolf (Wolves of the Beyond)
Format: Paperback
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Length/number of pages: 238
Price: $6.99
Short Summary: Lone Wolf was about a gnaw wolf who was taken from his mother and sent down a river, he gets caught on a grizzly bear's paw. The grizzly bear takes him in and teaches him how to eat, and act like a grizzly bear. She names the wolf pup Faolan, “fao” means river in both wolf and bear, “lan” means gift in bear. Faolan’s mom (the grizzly bear) dies and Faolan needs to find his way back to his pack.

Favorite part: my favorite part had to be when Faolan makes it back to his pack. He isn’t greeted very nicely, but he sticks to it and tries to stay in line.

Rating (out of five chocolate bars) I give this book a 5/5
Appropriateness: This book is appropriate for any ages.
Cover Thoughts: The cover for Lone Wolf (Wolf of the Beyond) is amazing it was very neat and gave the book a good impression.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Mr.Mario-small steps

Book Title: Small Steps
Format: Paperback
Author: Louis Sachar
Length/number of pages:257
Price: $9.99

This book is cool in many ways. One way is that it has drama, some good and some bad. Another reason why is because it has some weird and funny parts. But sometimes comedy is the best medicine. I’m going to tell you one more reason why this book is good. The last reason is that it has good characters. The protagonist is a guy named Theodore, A.K.A (Armpit). Another protagonist is a young girl named
Ginny. Ginny is Armpit's friend, but you don’t see her until later in the book. There really aren’t any major antagonists.

My favorite part in the book was when Armpit brought Ginny to the concert because they got to sit backstage and watch the concert and they got to meet a girl named Kaira Deleon.

Rating: I give this book 4 stars.

Appropriateness: This book is pretty appropriate. There is some minor bad language, but you won’t be too bad.

Cover Thoughts: I thought that the cover was actually kind of random. Besides the feet, I just didn’t think it fit the book.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Guitar Notes, a review by niallover12

Title: Guitar Notes
Format (Paperback, Hardcover, ebook?) hard cover
Author: Mary Amato
Length/number of pages;  273
Price $ 9.40      

Short Summary:  This book is mainly about a two teenagers tripp and layla meet at school and realize they have very similar lives. They became close friends. They both share an interest in music. They decided to make a gig. But after her dad finds out what she's doing he makes her do a music addition she doesn’t want to do, and she cant do the gig. But the two sneak to the gig, and Layla's dad finds out and drives her to to the addition. On there way the got in a horrible accident. Layla's dad is fine but is Layla?.........  Can the two kids live their dreams?  

Strengths/Weaknesses/Favorite Parts, etc 
A strength I really like is when Layla was in the hospital and tripp was playing the guitar for her. It was really touching.

Rating (out of five chocolate bars)
  Five chocolate bars!!! 
Appropriateness: Describes someone after a car accident, also in a coma.
Cover Thoughts: The cover is cool. It shows something that doesn’t really describe the book.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

If You're Reading This, It's Too Late, a review by Dripping Chocolate

Book Title: If You're Reading This, It's Too Late
Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Format: Hardcover
Length/number of pages: 373
Price: $7.99

Short Summary: This book is about four characters Cassandra (Cass),
Max-Ernest, and Yo-Yoji. They all go on an adventure to hunt down the homunculus (cabbage face), so Ms. M and Dr. L don’t get the sound prism before it’s too late.

Favorite part: I would have to say my favorite part is when Cass meets the homunculus after she calls on the sound prism hours before. I liked that they go on adventures. There isn't anything I would change.

Rating: 5 out of 5 chocolate bars
Appropriateness: very appropriate for kids ages 8 to 12 and up+
Cover Thoughts: I think the cover really described the book the way I read it. It pops out to readers and it's one of the best book covers of the whole series.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dare to Dream by: BiebersBelieber

Title: Dare To Dream
Format: Paperback
Author: One Direction
Length/number of pages: 219 pages
Price: $12.99

Short Summary: This Book is about One Direction and how they became big. It has all the boys (Harry, Liam, Niall, Zayn and Louis), each with their own section about how they all grew up and how they all met each other on the X Factor UK. This book will make you love One Direction even more than you ever did.

Strengths/Weaknesses/Favorite Parts: My favorite part is when they were telling about my favorite One Direction guy, Niall.

Rating (out of five chocolate bars): 5 out of 5 if your a directioner
Appropriateness: 100% appropiate for anybody
Cover Thoughts: I like the cover. They decided to use it because it was their first official picture together.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Mark of Athena Book Review (Phoenix)

Book: The Mark of Athena
Type: ebook
Author: Rick Riordan
Price: $10.00 (for the Kindle form)
Pages: about 608

The Mark Of Athena is one of the Heroes of Olympus series. It’s about demigods who are on a quest to free Nico, son of the god Hades, who is held captive by very dramatic giants. They also must prevent the world from being ruled by Gaea, an evil force of the earth. The demigods are Frank, Hazel, Jason, Piper, Leo, Percy, and Annabeth. Also, to make it more difficult, Annabeth has a quest of her own. She must follow the Mark of Athena and return an artifact to its rightful owner.
This book is full of suspense and keeps your interest. The only weakness is that it doesn’t have a very complicated plot.

I’d rate this book four out of five chocolate bars because it’s very funny and suspenseful, but it doesn’t have a very complicated plot. I think that this book is well worth reading.

This book is appropriate for ages ten and up.

Cover Thoughts: I think it's cool that they put an owl behind the lightning and Jason and Percy fighting. It's eye-catching and cool.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Just Getting Started, a review by BiebersBelieber

Title: Just Getting Started
by: BiebersBelieber
Format: Hardcover
Author: Justin Bieber himself
Length/number of pages: 225
Price: 21.99

Short Summary: Justin tells about how he gave up everything for his life now, and he tells stories that happen while he's on tour. In some parts of the book he tells about what pranks he has recently done. He is telling about his journey and how his world got so big so fast. He knows he's got a great career right now, but he's Just Getting Started. Also with sneak peeks of his recent album Believe.

Strengths/Weaknesses/Favorite Parts: my favorite part in this book was when he was telling about his recnt prank on his guitarist Dan Kantar.

Rating (out of five chocolate bars): I give this book a 5 out of 5 for sure!!
Appropriate for everyone.
Cover Thoughts: I love it because I think it's a good picture of him.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Seekers, a review by Silver Dragon

Book Title: Seekers
Format: Paperback
Author: Erin Hunter
Length: 293pages
Price: $12.40

Short Summary: This book is by the author of Warriors. It is about three bears that must live on their own, alone as cubs. Each struggles to survive as they face flat faces (humans), fire beasts (cars), and other bears. The three bears: black, polar, and grizzly, must follow a shape-shifting grizzly cub to their own fate.

Strengths/Weaknesses/Favorite Parts: the weakness is the bears all live in different environments so it is unlikely they will meet…

Rating (out of five chocolate bars) 4 out of 5 chocolate bars...no book is perfect, but I liked this one.
Appropriateness: appropriate,  some violence though.
Cover Thoughts :I think the cover suits this book, but I feel like it could show where the bears actually are. I  like the colors.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Sword of Darrow: A Book Review By ArwenPond

Title: The Sword of Darrow
Format: Paperback (There is a hardcover addition but it's printed in a special way so it's easier for people with learning disabilities to read it.)
Author: Hal and Alex Malchow
Length: 372 pages
Price: $12

In a magical realm filled with creatures of every possible shape and size, war is brought upon the peaceful kingdom of Sonnencrest by evil goblin King Malmut. Princess Babette, the only surviving member of the royal family, manages to escape and seeks refuge with Asterux, a powerful wizard who agrees to teach Babette magic, and who disguises her as an ugly gypsy girl to protect her from King Malmut’s thugs.

Ten years later, Babette must use the magic she has learned to help aid the kingdom’s only hope at defeating the goblins’ horrible reign: Darrow, a lame boy who can barely pick up a sword but has a great gift for inspiring others. With Babette’s unseen help, Darrow begins a journey to free his country once and for all and bring peace back to Sonnencrest.

One of my favorite parts of this book isn't actually part of the book; my favorite part is that it's written by a father-son duo and the son has a reading disability. Everything about this book is inspiring -- the authors, the characters, and especially the story. Alex has a reading disability, yet with the help of his father, he was able to write a whole book, and it's amazing. Darrow is a lame boy from a small mountain village, yet he is able to lead a whole entire army. I would recommend this book to anyone, old or young. It's such an astounding story. If you've ever heard the song "Make Them Hear You" from Ragtime, well, this story just goes along with the song perfectly.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 chocolate bars. It's one of my favorites.
There is absolutely nothing inappropriate in this book, I would read this to a 5 year old if I knew they had the attention span for it.
The cover is really cool and matches the story really well. Although it isn't a scene in the book, it shows you all three of the main characters.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Wondering: Love Interest Edition

What makes a good love interest?
I asked this question to a group of 6th 7th and 8th graders, and picked the best responses to put on the blog. Here they are:

"I think a good love interest in a book would be a dude who's totally dark and mysterious, maybe with a seceret past. He would have to be adventerous to take the girl out of her comfort zone, not a very social person either. So the fact that he even talks o her would show an amazing amount of trust."

"They have to be very persony (Camillo's words not mine). It's better and funnier to read when the two people are really good for each other. A good love interest also should be very attractive... like Channing Tatum."

"A good match to the main character, good personality, faithful, slightly inperfect, lovable, around the same age as the main character, strong, determined, charismatic, and wise."

"Somethings I like in a good love story are opposing forces. If they get along perfectly with absolutely nothing wrong, it's just unbelievable and annoying. There needs to be opposites, a not-exactly-smart guy and a super-smart girl. Another thing that should be in there are road blocks; if everything goes perfect, well, perfection is annoying."

"Love interests should be funny & argue with the main character. It is pretty amusing when the two deny their rather obvious feelings for each other and even the other characters could tell. For example, Ron and Hermione argued all the time, but when the other was hurt they were willing to do anything to help each other. If Ron and Hermione got along perfectly, you wouldn't get invested in their characters or their relationship."

So that's what we think...what are your thoughts about what makes a good love interest?  Leave us a note in the comments!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Jack Blank series: Review by The Muse

Post By The Muse  
Review of the Jack Blank series
By Matt Myklusch

Titles: The Accidental Hero, The Secret War and The End of Infinity
Author: Matt Myklusch.
Price: At Walmart I got The Accidental Hero and the End of Infinity for $7.99 & $14.44. I got The Secret War at Barnes&Nobles for $7.99
Length: 470 pages, 525 pages, and 398 pages

Summary of the series:
Starting as an orphan with his  future job as a toilet brush scrubber?  Jack is suddenly chased down by a  robot zombie, and  he barely makes it out alive by causing a generator to explode. He is about to be sent to the loony bin. He is saved by Jazen, an  android  from Imagine Nation. No, not imagination, Imagine Nation -- a place where anything is possible like aliens, superheros and androids. He doesn't even know who he is, and just as he's about to find out, an alarm goes off!  Then we meet the "loving" Mr.Smart, who tells everyone that Jack is infected and demands his execution and Jazen's dismantling. A lot of Jack's  comic  heroes like Prime the Valorian and other famous characters are voting on his fate.  These books follow his adventures as he tries to find out who he is and save the world from the Rustov -- an evil zombie race that is going to take over the world.     

Strengths/ Weaknesses or favorite parts: Well, I loved the whole series, but my favorite book is the last one because it leaves me in suspense. I want to know what happens next! Please, Matt, make a fourth book!

Rating of the series: 5 out of 5 chocolate bars.
Appropriateness: A wussy vampire  because the only bad thing in is the violence.
CoverThoughts: I think the covers are awesome!



Friday, November 9, 2012

The Cupcake Queen: A Review By ArwenPond

Title: The Cupcake Queen
Format: paperback
Length: About 250 pages
When Penny moves to Hog's Hollow from New York City, her life changes drastically. Penny's mom now runs a cupcake bakery, and Penny is stuck helping out. But that isn't the worst of it. Not only did she leave her friends back home, but her dad stayed behind too. And then there's Charity, resident mean girl who's out to get Penny. With all this, Penny still finds some things to like: Tally and Blake...and Marcus - the cute, quiet boy who runs on the beach every night. But just when Penny begins to accept her new life, she's forced to make a choice that will change everything.
I really enjoyed reading this book, in fact I've read this book several times. Even though I moved from a small town to a large town, just the opposite of Penny, the book actually helps me feel slightly better about the move. Everything about the story is intriguing and the characters are really interesting. I feel everything that the characters are experiencing. At the end of the book you feel a sense of peace, not about having finished a book, but about how everything turned out. But you also wish for more, more of those characters, the setting, everything about Hog's Hollow. The only reason I don't have a favorite part is that I liked the whole book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 chocolate bars because it's absolutely amazing.
There was nothing inappropriate about this book.
I thought that the cover was a perfect fit for this book because exactly what's happening on the cover happens at the beginning.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Peeta vs. Gale: Wednesday Wondering

I surveyed a language arts class of 30 7th graders. I asked 4 questions concerning the topic “Peeta vs. Gale”.
1: Peeta or Gale?
2: Personality wise, Peeta or Gale?
3: Based on attractiveness, Peeta or Gale?
4: Based on their actions, Peeta or Gale?
On my main question of “Peeta vs. Gale” 17 people answered Peeta and 10 answered and Gale 9.
The second, 14 answered Peeta and 13 for Gale.
On my third question of attractiveness, 13 answered Gale and 14 Peeta.
 On the final question, 9 for Gale and 18 for Peeta. On question 3 there were many ‘interesting’ responses. Things like, “Xoxoxoxoxo he is sexy!” “Peeta bread is pretty darn handsome.” And "sexy” all from anonymous.
All in all, Peeta won in every category. But Gale came in very close on most of the questions.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Bleeding Violet

Book Title: Bleeding Violet
Author: Dia Reeves
Format: paperback
Length/number of pages: 454
Price: $9.99

Short Summary:
"Crazy never looked so beautiful..."

Hanna is crazy. Not the kind of crazy where you say it jokingly, but legitimately crazy. After her father's death, Hanna is alone, an outcast, the freak. So she packs up her purple frilly dresses and all of her pills and heads to Portero,Texas, to find her mother.

But when Hanna gets there she finds Portero  is not all that it seems and might be a town crazier then her. How can Hanna fit in when all she wants is to be loved?


This book was really well-written. Hanna was the main narrator, which provided an interesting perspective. Hanna is a very interesting character; she has manic depression (she likes to call it this instead of calling it bipolar disorder), and she often gets hallucinations. Although she is suffering from a mental illness, she still cares a lot about her family and handles stressful situations well. All Hanna wants is to be loved, insanity and all. For a large portion of the book Hanna’s main motivation is to get her mother to accept her. All the other characters are well writen as well. The overall tone of the book is dark and slightly mysterious, but it still maintains a sense of humor.

I would give this book 4.8 chocolate bars out of five. I loved this book, but no book is perfect, and there were some bits that didn't quite make sense.
The maturity is probably death there where meny swear words and lots of gore.

Cover Thoughts:  It looked cool, but it didn't really have that much to do with the book. The quotes on it were nice.  It shows the main character, Hanna, but it's not that intriguing or exciting, in that it doesn't give you information about the plot of the book.

Friday, November 2, 2012

FanArt: The Space Betweeen

This is fanart inspired by The Space Between, a novel by Brenna Yovanoff. The picture shown below is inspired by the monster Dark Dreadful that appears in the book. INSANNITYFLANNY used a mix of watercolors pencils and normal colored pencils.

FanArt: The Space Between
by Brenna Yovanoff

Being the youngest daughter of the Devil has never been easy. Daphne's father has no time for her, her mother no interest, and her status in the upper echelon separates her from the working-class demons that populate Lucifer's metropolis. When her brother and only confidante goes missing, life in the restrictive city of Pandemonium becomes intolerable. Now, in an attempt to find him, Daphne sets out for Earth - and finds it larger and more chaotic than she imagined: a dazzling expanse of noise, dirt and random violence. Despite her bewilderment, she navigates the mortal world with growing fascination, gaining an ally when she saves a dying boy from her father's minions. For Truman Flynn, the last year has been one long downward spiral, but when Daphne arrives just in time to save his life, he finds himself unexpectedly glad to have another chance. Together, Daphne and Truman go in search of her brother, braving the hazards of Las Vegas and the perils of first love, even as it becomes increasingly clear that her brother might have had a secret and compelling reason for leaving. Lucifer's agents aren't the only creatures on the prowl, and Daphne soon finds herself the target of a plan to rid the world of demons for good. Now she must evade a demon-eating monster, rescue her brother from an angelic zealot, and save the boy she loves from his greatest enemy - himself.
Summary from Amazon.com
Appropiateness: for any readers that are in seventh grade and beyond
Chocolate Bars: four and a half
Cover: very eye-catching

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nearfall, by Joe Rasbeck, a review by nothingdoer

Title:  Nearfall
Author:Joe Reasbeck
Format:  paperback
This is a book that comes from two people's point of view.They are brothers named Matt and Mike. Matt is a fourth grader and Mike is a seventh grader. Mike is a brother who will pound anyone who hurts Matt. Mike is also a wrestler for his school. Matt is being bullied by a kid named TJ because Matt likes a girl named Kimberly.
Matt's story
Matt gets in trouble a lot at school but he gets out of it by flashing his "signature smile." (Ladies don't get any ideas he is fake.) At recess if there is mud he plays smear with 5th graders. Smear is a game where a fourth grader gets a football and runs across muddy concrete without getting smeared by 5th graders. He likes a girl named Kimberly. Unfortunately all 4th and 5th graders do, too. Tj thinks Matt likes her a little too much, so he beats him up.
Mike's story
Mike gets caught cheating on a nerd named Billy's test Billy doesn't tell... yet!(DRAMATIC MUSIC.)The next day Billy gets a B- Mike gets an A-. Billy almost tells, but Mike begs. Billy doesn't tell. Mike has a best friend named Dan. Dan is the best kid on the wrestling team. Sorry I can't say more, but I'll talk about it in Billy's story. He also is an over-protective older brother.
Dan's story
Dan is the best kid on the wrestling team. He used to be fat. His dad abused him. So he worked out. His dad doesn't work -- he drinks, and he smokes. Dan doesn't like him. Dan's best friend is Mike.
Billy's story
Billy talks to Mike at Pattison Park. For cheating Mike will have to teach Billy wrestling. Billy comes home and his sister Kimberly is crying. He asks her what's wrong, and she talks about how Matt got beat up. Billy makes it worse by saying Matt's brother is a jerk.
Billy ends up being a wrestler. So does Matt (long story).I won't say any more so I won't give it away.
This book has violence but is fast paced. It has drama. I'd only read this book if you are 10 or older. The cover doesn't pop out. In fact it's really boring. I would rate this book 4.5 chocolate bars, because at parts it is slow but the rest is good.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Summary: Frodo Baggins is told to take Sauron's ring to Mount Doom in Mordor. On the way he will  have many adventures involving  everything from trolls to the Nazgul. He will gather a fellowship on the way, pardon the pun. His ultimate goal is to destroy the ring in the fires of Mount Doom before Sauron can enslave all the free peeps of Middle Earth -- mwaaaahaaaahahahaha --  very happy and fluffy. It is divided into two books, part one and two.
Strengths and Weaknesses: One strength is fully developed  cultures and worlds. It's one of the most in-depth fantasy books ever. One weakness is sort of of a redundant theme like Frodo being captured a lot of times but by different people, so I guess it's not too bad. Another strength is that it doesn't seem like it drags on and on like some books.  One of my favorite parts is the Mines of Moria because there is a big fight with a Balrog.
Rating/appropriateness: I would give it 4/5 chocolate bars.  It's pretty appropriate except for violence/ orcs getting their heads cut off. Overall it was a very good book.
Cover Thoughts:  I like it since it doesn't give away too much and it's bright and colorful.