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, 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