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!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nor Crystal Tears, a review by bookgirl12

I am bookgirl12.
I am doing the book NOR CRYSTAL TEARS in paperback.
By Alan Dean Foster.
It has 231 pages, and I borrowed it.

From the back of the book.
Before Man and the insectlike Thranx had become allies when the reptilian AAnn were just occasional raiders of Thranx colony worlds, one young thranx agricultural expert lived a life of quiet desperation.

Its strengths are its exciting parts. It happens when Ryo, the main character, meets monsters, AKA humans.  It was awesome, and I couldn't get my face out of the book.  Its weaknesses are the boring parts, like where it told about Ryo's background and what he does before he meets them.  I love the whole book anyway.  My favorite part is the action.  The most interesting thing about Ryo's character was the way he was always urging himself to learn more.  I know I couldn't have done it myself, no matter how much I urged myself to do it.  I recommend this book to anyone who loves adventure.

I think it rates 5 out of 5 chocolate bars.

Appropriateness Rating:  this is one I came up with myself the werewolf because it’s in the middle of a fairy princess and the vampire ratings.

I love the cover its awesome trust me again.

Trust me I NOT crazy I am the same person just with a different name.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A review on the secret series by SpicyChocolate

Title: The Secret Series
Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Format: Hardcover
Length/Number of pages: 400
Price: $16.99


This crazy, suspenseful series is about two kids named Cass, and Max-Ernest. Written by Pseudonymous Bosch, it is very funny and exciting. The names of the book in the series are: The Name of This Book is Secret, If You're Reading This It's Too Late, This Book Is Not Good for You, This Isn't What It Looks Like, and the newest book, You Have to Stop This. They are very good, and I would recommend the series to everyone who likes to read a fun book.

Strengths: My favorite book was probably the first one, (The Name of This Book Is Secret), because it is a great introduction to the series. It has a lot of plot twists, and it is really funny and good.  My favorite scene is probably when Cass and Max Earnest find the Symphony of Smells.  It was really weird because there were vials of smells in a big case.

Rating: 5 out of 5 chocolate bars
Appropriateness: Fairy- Princess
Cover thoughts: I like all of the covers to the books because they all show some part of the book, but in a secretive way.The illustrations are also really good, and they are by Gilbert Ford.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Gateway, a book review by anonymous

The Gateway by Obert Skye
Review by: Anonymous
Free (Christmas present)
400 pages

The Gateway is the only way to and from the magical world of Foo. But if the wrong people find the gateway, all dreams and hopes created by Foo would be lost. So an orphan named Leven Thumps must go and destroy the gateway that his grandfather created. But Leven doesn’t know this… yet. It all started with a sycophant called Clover, who reveals himself to Leven and explains the world of Foo. Slowly Leven understands his journey and with the help of his new friend Clover who is Leven’s sycophant, Geth a toothpick and the rightful ruler of Foo, and Winter, who has a special power of her own.

I couldn’t put down this book when I was reading it and fell in love with the whole book. One of my favorite characters was Clover because he is cute with hilarious remarks and silly nick-names that he comes up with for Leven. The book has a comedy to it with a lot of adventure added to it. They travel half way around the world with many crazy moments while escaping evil and racing time so they aren’t too late. I would read it again, but first I am going to let my brother read it. I would suggest the book for many people who like an action packed, interesting read. So pretty much everyone.

5 out of 5 chocolate bars
It is appropriate for anyone that can read thinker chapter books
The cover gave the book a lot of suspense

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Series of Unfortunate Events, a review by dirigibleplum7


 Title:  A Series of Unfortunate Events
Author: Lemony Snickett
* * * * * SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT * * * * *
This 14-book series is about three orphans with extrememly unlucky lives. The youngest of the Baudelaire orphans, Sunny, loves to bite things. Which turns out to be a good thing... Her chomping helps when the going gets tough. The middle child, Klaus Baudelaire, reads nonstop! His special knack for books is a big help when problems arise. He always knows the right spur-of-the-moment information to solve their problems. The oldest of the three, Violet Baudelaire, is an inventor. Her siblings can always tell when she has an idea, simply by looking at the back of her head. When she has an idea, her hair is tied up in a simple purple ribbon.
You're probably wondering why their life is so miserable. Well, to sum it all up, when they were a tad younger, Their rich parents perished in a mysterious house (actually at the time, they lived in a mansion) fire. Since their parents were rich, they left behind an enormous fortune that is always being chased after by one of their extremely vast relatives, Count Olaf.  They first met him after their parents passed away, and were found a new home in a masion covered in moss and vines, alongside a murderous actor, Count Olaf. He sent them to the attic , where there was nothing but boxes of old junk, a musty bed, and cobwebs.........MANY, MANY COBWEBS...... Later, Count Olaf plans a feast with his acting group (which includes a wide variety of creepy men and women involved in Count Olaf's plays). The Baudelaires are not allowed out of their room while Count Olaf's acting group is still there. Soon, Count Olaf plans a horrific scheme to steal the enormous fortune that the Baudelaire parents left behind for them, by attempting to marry Violet (by reenacting a marriage in his play), which would then give him an all access pass to the Baudelaire fortune. Happily, he fails..... To read about his other failed attempts to steal the fortune, check out the other 12 books by Lemony Snickett!
These books are rated Vampire ---- due to slight violence and notions of toddlers dangling in a cage from an extremely tall building...and some other stuff that's not too pleasant. Anywho, in case you're more of a movie person, there is a movie that combines all of the books into one film. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stev17's Review of Numbers by Rachel Ward

Hi! I'm back! I'm sure you all missed me terribly.

I recently read the book Numbers by Rachel Ward, and it's really spectaculous. I loved it.

Here's the little introductory thingy on the inside flap of the book:

"Since the day her mother died, Jem has known about the numbers. Numbers that pop into her head when she looks into someone's eyes. They're dates, the numbers. Dates predicting with brute accuracy each person's death. Burdened by such grim knowledge, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. Maybe they can find happiness together, if only in the brief time that remains before his expiration date. But on a trip to London, Jem foresees a chilling chain of events: The city's a target. The clock's running out. The countdown is on to a blowup!"

Honestly, I don't think that's a very good description. The whole London-Eye-being-blown-up thing isn't really the main story... It just starts everything. Jem forsees the deaths of a bunch of tourists while at the London Eye with Spider and runs for her life, dragging Spider along. Minutes later, they watch the London Eye explode. As it's a bit suspicious that Jem and Spider were seen running away just before the explosion, the police try and take Jem and Spider in for 'questioning.' Spider has been selling drugs illegally, so he can't be nabbed by the police either. He does have some money though. So, with Spider's grandmother's help, Jem and Spider steal their teacher's car and take off. During the beginning of their escape, Jem ends up shaving her head. Jem and Spider spend a few days on the run, and get help from a few unexpected friends. They're aiming for a beach in the south. Eventually, the police nab Spider while he is trying to steal another car. Jem doesn't get caught, and spends the night at the home of the daughter of a policeman. The policeman's daughter gives Jem some food and lets her stay the night and take a shower. The next day, Jem is walking through a town when she sees a police officer. Unfortunately, the officer sees her too, and recognizes her. Jem runs for safety and sanctuary at an Abbey... And you'll have to read the book to find out the rest. I know that my amazing little summary thing totally hooked you.

I LOVED Numbers. It's now one of my favoritest books in the history of the world. Es lo mas increible. The only bad thing was the end. I'm not going to tell you what happens, of course, but I will tell you that I cried. A lot. I'm talking buckets of tears, here. Waterworks. It was devastating.

But I'm not telling you what happens.

So, in conclusion, you should rreeeeaaaalllllly read Numbers. Really.

I rate it 7 out of 5 chocoltae bars.

It's around "death" level for appropriateness.

I thought that the cover was kind of amazing. It was cool, creepy, and fitting.

Later! ~Stev17

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley, a review by musicalgirl198

Lipstick Apology
321 pages

When fifteen-year-old Emily’s parents die in a plane crash, she is sent off to live with her makeup artist aunt, Jolie, in New York. Haunted by a cryptic message her mother scrawled on an airplane tray table, Emily has an …interesting time adapting to her new environment. Comedy, emotion and just a little bit of romance collide in this book you will love every second of.

The only downside to this book, in my opinion, is that it doesn’t go on forever. Well, I guess there might be one downside… If you’re a person who reads a lot of a lot of Y.A. realistic fiction books, this one could blend in with the others. I’ve talked to some other people who have read this book, and they said that it wasn’t very memorable.

Rating (out chocolate bars): 4.999999 out of 5
Appropriateness: An itty-bitty bit of language
Cover thoughts: I like it. J

Friday, January 13, 2012

Carly's Angels: Swamp Sting! a review by:little miss pony

This book is about three girls who report about the shacks & the mystery of who put the dirt in the shacks? & the leader is Carly of Carly's Angels.

I like about the story where that kid gets stung & what I don't like about the story is where there's dirt in the shacks.

My favorite is when the 2 boys get in trouble.

I think of the book that it's a great story for the kids & that the kids can actually read.

ratings: 5 out of 5 chocolat bars
appropriateness: it's a fairy princess like.
cover thoughts... the cover is so awesome.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson

A book review by littleangel

: ) The sky is everywhere by Jandy Nelson.
Format: Hard cover
Price: $8.99
Length: 304 pages

Lennie Walker is a girl who just lost her sister and is  trying to move on, more or less. Lennie is your normal band/book geek, with no love life to speak of. She tries to grow with her sister's boyfriend Toby, but then you throw in the schools newest heartthrob, Joe, who just moved to town from Paris. To her, one of them  comforts her in the sorrow she’s fallen into, and another takes her out.  Which will she choose?

I really liked this book. I’m normally not one for sad books, but this was my exception. Even though it was sad, it had this humor in the background to keep you reading with a smile. Even though it was sad, and I will admit I did cry, it was amazingly written. I felt all the pain, why she did what she did, and in a way I got to know the character very well. I recommend reading this book for people who are looking for a good laugh or a book that makes them cry.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book was the fact that I cried. I hate crying for books, and that’s bad because I get into the mind of the character very easily. Although I only cried in one of the chapters, and I still loved the book! So I challenge you to read this book and not cry--good luck.

I really like the cover; it was colorful and matched the title very well. I know if I saw it I would read it immediately, it was very eye-catching. I like the colors and just really the look all in all.

5 out of 5 chocolate bars : )
Appropriateness: about 8th grade and up, for suggestive parts and moderate language.
-Little Angel 7698

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Harry Potter Fan-fiction by GoatBoy

(Harrypotter7has entered the chat.)
Harrypotter7: wuuzzuuppppppJ
(voldy14 has entered the chat.)
Voldy14: beware mortals my online gaming skills will dominate you!!! Literally!!!!
Harrypotter7: hiya voldy.
Voldy14: give me the sorcerer’s stone!
Harypotter7: dude, we destroyed the stone a loooong time ago!
Voldy14: then I will get that ginger girl to be enslaved by my diary and resurrect the basilisk!
Harrypotter7: tried. failed!
Voldy14: then I will take over the dementors and frame your godfather!
Harrypotter7: um… dude….. r u just like..looking at memoirs or…what???
Voldy14: fine! I will trick u into the triwizard tournament and turn the cup into a portkey!!
Harrypotter7: omg dude!!!!!!!! U have already done this u r ded!!!!
Voldy14: ok… then I will attack the ministry of magic and kill ur godfather!
Harrypotter7: wow….. way ta open old wounds voldy….
Voldy14: then I will attack Hogwarts by tricking the malfoy child while u r gone with Dumbledore.
Harrypotter7: ok I know u don’t remember doing these things but even so….y r u telling me???????
Voldy14: bcuz….uuuh….
(SHnuffles has entered the chat)
SHnuffles: hello harry.
Harrypotter7: um… u guys r both ded!!
(fredweasley34 has entered the chat)
Fredweasly34: hiyaz
(dumbelldoorknob has entered the chat)
dumbelldoorknob: Blast! I wish I hadn’t let peeves set up my chat account!
Harrypotter7: alrite…… this is just weird…. I'm in a chat….. with a bunch of dead guys…..
SHnuffles: yarpindiddlydoodaday.
Fredweasly34: yarpindiddlydoodaday.
Dumbelldoorknob: yarpindiddlydoodaday.
Voldy14: yarpindiddlydoodaday.
Harrypotter7: what does that even mean???
Voldy14: it means yes…duh….XD
Harrypotter7: wowzz…..i am out of here!
(harrypotter7 has left the chat.)
SHnuffles: well……
Fredweasley34: that was……
Dumbelldoorknob: odd……
Voldy14: I will rule the world!!!
SHnuffles: oh wow… laterz
(SHnuffles has left the chat.)
Fredweasly34: um..yea.. im with Sirius…
(fredweasly34 has left the chat.)
Dumbelldoorknob: byz..
(dumbelldoorkob has left the chat)
(voldy14 has left the chat.)

Friday, January 6, 2012

HOLES, a book review by thierryhenry14

This review contains spoilers!
Title: Holes
Author: Louis Sachar
Format: Hardcover
Length: 233 pages
Price: unknown

This story is about a young boy named Stanley Yelnats who was accused of stealing a famous baseball player's shoes. Stanley was offered a choice; he could go to Camp Green Lake or juvy. Stanley had never been to camp before so he thought it would be fun. He was badly mistaken. Camp Green Lake wasn’t even a lake. It was a dry bed of what used to be a lake. But someone decided it would be a good place to make teenage male convicts dig for gold but tell them that they are just “digging to build character.”

Camp Green Lake wasn’t always a camp for bad boys, you see. In fact, it used to be the very same town that Stanley’s no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealin’-great-great-grandfather lived in, loved in, and died in. While Sachar spins Stanley’s story, he also delicately weaves the story of Stanley's great- great grandfather. Stanley makes a deal with a tent-mate who can’t read. He promises his soon to be friend, Zero, that he could teach him to read and write, and in turn Zero dug half of Stanley’s hole for him. A couple weeks later Zero gets tired of everyone teasing him all of the time, so he decides to run away which, in the middle of a desert that has no water in it, is a really bad idea. But Stanley quickly follows suit and runs away from Camp Green Lake to look for Zero. Stanley succeeds at that task but is faced with another, how to survive. Stanley and Zero walk and walk until Stanley finds what he is looking for; the same exact mountain that his great great grandfather found refuge on. With some difficulty they make it to the top of the mountain that kind of looks like a thumb and they find exactly what they were looking for--Water!!!!!!!!!!

Not only did they find water but they also found onions. So for the next couple of days they live off of onions and water until Stanley decides to go back to camp to find his great great grandfather's treasure that the warden was looking for.

My favorite part was when Stanley steals Mr. Sir's truck and then buries it in a hole.

I give this book four out of five chocolate bars because I feel that there were some parts that the author could have written it better but otherwise it was an outstanding book.
I also give this book the fairy princess rating. It is totally appropriate for all ages.

Cover Thoughts:  I didn't like the cover very much.  When I was little, it scared me, which is why I didn't read this book earlier.  Just the guy's head poking out of the hole creeped me out.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

THE OUTCASTS, A review by thierryhenry14

Title: The Outcasts
Format: Hardcover
Length: 434 pages
Price: unknown
Hal never knew his father, a respected Skandian warrior, because he died when Hal was only four years old. When Hal's dad died on a raid in a far off coast his shipmate and loyal friend, Thorn, promised to look after his son and wife. But on their way back home to the city of Hallasholm their ship, wolfwind, was struck by a terrible storm and Thorn was forced to cut off his right hand. No longer able to work as a mighty warrior, Thorn takes up the art of drinking and for six whole years he continues to get drunk night after night until his late friend's, Mikkel, gives him a stern talking to after he fell unconscious in front of her eating house and had to be awoken by her son throwing a cold bucket water on him. Hal's mam makes thorn promise not to drink one more drink for the rest of his life and she also forces him to live in a lean to behind her eating house. Fast forward six more year and Hal is a bit of an outcast among his piers. At the age of sixteen Hal is a an absolute genius and an inventor. When Hal got a job at a local boat yard he helps design a new boat for an old retired sea raider much like Thorn but when that man unexpectedly dies Hal's boss lets him build it and keep it for himself. And does exactly that. Of course he can't do all of the work so he asks a couple of local boys to help him. He asks his only friend Stig who has a bad temper but is strong and huge, twins Ulf and Wulf who are always bickering, Ingvar who is huge and strong just like Stig except Ingvar can't see more than a yard in front of himself and in quite clumsy, so with all of his crew he takes heron for a test drive to test out his new sail rig that he designed himself. It works just as well as thought it would and everyone either saw or heard about his grand entrance into the harbor for he almost crashed into the Oberjarl's ship but he pulled it off skillfully. Two days later he starts BROTHERBAND training, a training program that gets 16 year olds prepared for the hard life of being a skandian sea warrior. Right away Hal finds that his fear is confirmed; he was not chosen to be in one of the brotherbands but then a surprise comes his way and the Oberjarl demands that Hal and the other seven outcasts, which include his whole crew and a few others, become a brotherband. Hal was elected to be his teams skirl and they name their team the herons after Hal's boat. At the end of brotherband training Hal receives another surprise, his brotherband of outcasts actually wins the brotherband competition even though they were two men short. Yet the night of their victory tragedy strikes when the Herons were gaurding the andomal, Skandia's most precious possession, as all winning brotherbands have in the past, it got stolen. Hal could only see one way that his life could return to normal, he only saw one way that he wouldn't have to live the rest of his life in shame so he and his brotherband and Thorn went after the pirate that stole the andomal.

This book is really well-written, and it has lots of adventure.  The characters are adventurous and fun.  My favorite part is the ending because it was kind of a twist, and when I closed the book, I couldn't wait for the second book!

I give this book five chocolatebars out of five chocolatebars. I seriously think that this is my new favorite series.
I also give this book the rating of vampire there is practically no violence, but there are some weapons and there is one scene of nothing but fist fighting.
Cover Thoughts: I really like this cover because I got it for Christmas, and immediately I thought it looked like a super good book.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon

A book review by Little Angel

Title: Fury of the Phoenix
Author: Cindy Pon
Format: Hardback
Price: $17.99
Length: 359 pages

:) This book is the sequel to Sliver Phoenix by Cindy Pon, which I reviewed earlier on the blog.

This book starts with Ai Ling chasing Chen Young to help find his father. Their adventure takes them on a journey through the sea. They deal with anger, embarrassment, and (because the story's not complete without it) monsters. They do meet his father, but will everything go smoothly? Knowing Ai Ling, of course not!

The same with the last book--it was great! I just loved reading it. Adventure, mythology, and romance--in my opinion, that is a great mix. I love all the food she describes, the area it's based off, and the way she describes everything. Again I couldn't put it down; this one I felt was more romantic filled then the last one.

This one explained a lot more than the last one on the relationship between Sliver Phoenix and Zhong Ye. I loved the way the author went back and forth between their story and Ai Ling's story.

The thing I didn't really like was how long the ship ride lasted. Now this may be because she flipped back and forth, which could have made it seem longer. Another thing is that this sequel didn't have as much mythology as it did last time. I was really sad about that, but I still love it as much as I did the last one, if not more.

Rating: 5 out of 5 chocolate bars because I liked the way it was written and the ending was amazing.
Appropriateness: well this one is fine for young adults or middle schoolers
Cover Thoughts: I didn't really like this cover, it looked like the knife was photo shopped in. there isn't very much color. I found it really dull and if I didn't know it was the sequel I never would have picked it up.