SR Book Reviews 2011

Healdsburg Branch:

Happy Hustle High by Rie Takada

Review by Simeon
Brief Description: It's about an all-girls school and an all -boy school that clashes together. There's one girl who's in love with one of the boys.
Why I picked it up: I got it because it's something I like and enjoy reading.
Why I finished it: So I can read the next one.
I'd recommend it to: People who like funny/love books.

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Child
Review by Bellar

Brief Description: This book is about a girl from California moving to an island in Greece that is filled with Gods.
Why I picked it up: I picked it up because I loved the description inside.
Why I finished it: I finished it because it took me to Greece.
I'd recommend it to: I would recommend it to people who like to run or visit Greece.

Killer by Sara Shepard
Review by Ana Drake-T

Brief Description: This book is the Sixth Pretty Little Liar book. Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily are being harassed by a new A and the ending is definitely worth it.
Why I picked it up: The series gets you hooked.
Why I finished it: Each book is full of suspense.
I'd recommend it to: Great for 13-14+

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Review by Sarah Beand

Brief Description: It is about a young veterinarian who falls in love with a girl from a circus and they struggle to be together because she's married.
Why I picked it up: I heard about it being a movie and I needed something to read on the plane.
Why I finished it: It was really good.
I'd recommend it to: Girls, it is a really good book.

The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy
Review by N/A

Brief Description: The book is the story of a white man(Conroy) who is given a job teaching on Yamcraw Island, an all black community off the shore of South Carolina.
Why I picked it up: I originally picked this book up because it was on a recommended summer reading list for school.
Why I finished it: At first this book was a little slow, but fifty pages in it gets to be an exciting book that you can't put down.
I'd recommend it to: I would recommenced this book to most adults (or teens) who are interested in how racism shaped America.

Emma by Jane Austan
Review by N/A

Brief Description: It's about Emma, a wealthy girl who matches people together, and the story is about her unfortunate journey of miscommunications and accidents.
Why I picked it up: It's a classic.
Why I finished it: Because it was just of those “must reads”.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone who likes romance.

Alice, I Think by Susan Juby
Review by N/A

Brief Description: A funny novel about an awkward girl growing up in a little no-where town. Relatable and fun.
Why I picked it up: It's one of my favorite books.
Why I finished it: Hilarious, you don't want to stop reading it.
I'd recommend it to: EVERYONE.

 

Omnious by Kate Brian
Review by Katie Retting

Brief Description: In this novel, Reed Brennan is a seventeen year old girl attending boarding school when she discovers she is a witch.
Why I picked it up: I picked this book up because it was the newest addition to the 'Private' series.
Why I finished it: This was an easy read while still being captivating and enthralling.
I'd recommend it to: I would recommend this book to all high school aged girls.

Flag of our Fathers by Michael French
Review by N/A

Brief Description: A story of a boy that retells the life of his dead father. He also wants to live his life of raising the Ameircan flag from a war that changed America.
Why I picked it up: I wanted to know a portion of the raising of the American flag.
Why I finished it: It helped me learn about the American flag a lot.
I'd recommend it to: People who like history and want to know about the American flag.

Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
Review by Andrea

Brief Description: Set in South Africa shortly after the end of World War II, the book follows the story of a black preacher and his son through racial injustice.
Why I picked it up: It was part of an English assignment, but the title and summary caught my eye.
Why I finished it: There was a test, but also because it was thought provoking and me think about sensitive issues.
I'd recommend it to: People fourteen and up, or who want to take their time reading it, it is not an easy pleasure read.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Review by Abigail

Brief Description: It takes place during 1895 in England. The story is about a sixteen year old girl named Gemma who find out she is a member of “The Order” a group of people who have powers and can see visions.
Why I picked it up: I was on the library site looking for books and I decided to read it because I haven't read it before and it sounded good.
Why I finished it: It was too good to put down.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone who enjoys creepy things. It's also a girl book so I'd recommend it for girls.

Beyond Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury
Review by Tara Tsarnas

Brief Description: Jame is dealing with the loss of her husband who was in the twin towers on 9/11. She meets a new guy named Clay.
Why I picked it up: I liked learning about 9/11 because I went to the Pentagon in D/C.
Why I finished it: It had suspense and you never knew what was going to happen.
I'd recommend it to: People who enjoy romance/true stories.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
Review by Jillian Tsarnas

Brief Description: A story about a boy who learns he is a wizard! It includes adventure, magic and friends!
Why I picked it up: Many friends told me it was a great book.
Why I finished it: Once I started there was no stopping. I finished it in a week and a half.
I'd recommend it to: My brother, he is always looking for a good read. Also to anyone who likes adventure.

Rincon Valley Branch:

Captain America. The Man with no face by Ed Brubaker
Review by Christopher
Brief Description: It about the captain who lives in present and past
Why I picked it up: I read this and I really liked the Captain and comic in this book.
Why finished it: It was full of action also I could not stop reading
I'd recommend it to: Any one who likes comics and Captain America

Bitter Melon by Cara Chow
Review by Alison
Brief description: Frances suffer under the ever present and never satisfied expectations of her mother, until she finds her voice in speech and learns her own truth of life. A Chinese-American story of Self-Discovery.
Why I picked it up: The book cover and synopsis seemed interesting
Why I finished it: I honestly wondered what the main character would ultimately choose: family or independence, as I would not imagine making the same decision.
I'd recommend it to: my fellow Asian-Americans as a good reflection on their lives, and anyone who has felt pressure or weighed down by expectations.

Plain Kate by Erin Bow
Review by Alison
Brief Description: Plan Kate is a poor gifted wood carver caught in a frenzy of witch hunts, diseases and deadly magic as she tries to overcome her loneliness and survive.
Why I picked it up: The cover art to this book absolutely captivated me though I would never truly judge a book by its cover.
Why I finished it up: Plain Kate's hardships pulled me into the story and made me ache with other losses.
I'd recommend it to: those that enjoy cats and magic, can handle rather dreary plot progressions and would appreciate a book a shadow of The Crucible.

Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
Review by Claire
Brief Description: Rusty, a house cat, must decide if he wants to lead the life of a kitty pet or become a warrior.
Why I picked it up: My friend suggested this book to read
Why I finished it: It kept me into the story
I'd recommend it to: 4th-8th graders also all the animal lovers.

The Garden of Eve by K.L. Going
Review by Mia
Brief Description: Book about a ghost and an apple orchard tree
Why I picked it up: My teacher recommended me to read
Why I finished it: It was a very good book
I'd recommend this to: people who like mysteries.

Masterpiece by Elise Broach
Review by Jamie
Brief Description: Marvin is an artistic beetle pf great talent. James is a boy whose parents are divorced. His mother is a selfish and only cares for money. His father is an artist, who has a passion for drawings. For his birthday, James recieves a pen-ink set. Marvin, the beetle, surprises James by creating a miniature replica of the view out of James's window. His mother discovers the drawing and gives James full credit for it. As with all things, after one comes another. James's and Marvin's fates intertwine to create a myster7 filled with page-turning suspense.
Why I picked it up: because a friend recommended it to me.
Why I finished it: because suspense kept me hooked
I'd recommend it to: All those who enjoy good stories with supernatural relationships.

Little Sister by Kara Dalkey
Review by Mackenzie
Brief Description: A girl who helps her sister.
Why I picked it up: Book Report|
Why I finished it: It was a good a book and had cool characters
I'd recommend it to: 6-6 graders

The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
Review by Sydney
Brief Description: A girl and a boy search for a family hunt. If they don't end up winning they will dies
Why I picked it up: My friend recommended that book
Why I finished it: It was too good and intersting story
I'd recommend it to: people who like mysteries

The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
Review by Chole
Brief Description: The frog princess is about a young clamsy princess whoes aunt is a good witch. One day she goes for a swim and meets a frog who claimes to be a prince who wants a kiss from a princess to change back to human form.
Why I picked it up: It looked inviting and nteresting
WHy I finished it up: It was written in a way that you couldn't stop reading
I'd recommend it to: fiction readers.

The Story of Baseball by Laurence Ritter
Review by Sasha
Brief Description: A book about history of baseball
Why I picked it up: I like Baseball
Why I finished it: I wanted to learn about the history of Baseball
I'd recommend it to: People who like baseball

Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors
Review by Taya
Brief Description:  Saving Juliet is about a girl who works in the theater but does not want to be there she is playing the role of Juliet in Romeo & Juliet.  She gets transported into the 1500s and must find a way to get back home.
Why I picked it up:  I picked it up because I wanted to learn more about Juliet.
Why I finished it:  Because you wanted to know if she got back home.
I'd recommend it to:  Romance lovers and adenture lovers.

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Review by Mia
Brief Description:  The book is about a girl and she is going on a road trip with her grandparents.
Why I picked it up:  I read the back of the book and thought it was interesting.
Why I finished it:  Every chapter got even more interesting.
I'd recommend it to:  People who like books that are interesting.

Dragon Ball: The Adventure Begins! by Akira Toriyama
Review by Frankie
Brief Description: It's about a boy named Goku who got abandoned by his parents. His grandfather starts training him, and then he passes away. His grandfather gave him a shiny ball with four stars on it. He meets a girl named Bulma. They go on an adventure to find the dragon balls. Then he meets a man named Master Roshi. He gets a magic cloud named Kinto'un. Then Bulma got a dragon ball from Master Roshi. Now they have four dragon balls. They need three more to be able to make their wish.
Why I picked it up: Because it looked interesting, plus, I watch the show.
Why I finished it: Because I got really interested and was anxious to finish it.
I'd recommend it to: People who are looking for an interesting, exciting book that they can't put down!

Dragon Ball: Dragon Balls in Danger! by Akira Toriyama
Review by Frankie
Brief Description: Goku and Bulma think there's something fishy or piggy, perhaps about the deserted town Bulma and Goku are at. But this is the home of the dragon balls, so Goku and Bulma track down the dragon ball but they run into lord Yamcha and Pu'ar and Goku and Yamcha have a battle then Goku beat Yamcha then they all go on a quest together.
Why I picked it up: Because it looked interesting, plus I watch the show all the time.
Why I finished it: Because I got really interested and was anxious to finish it.
I'd recommend it to: People who are looking for an interesting, exciting book that you can't put down.

Blood on My Hands by Tod Strasser
Anonymous Reviewer
Brief Description: Callie is at a party when she discovers Katherine's dead body. Soon she is blamed for the crime and is on the run to prove her innocence.
Why I picked it up: It was new so I wanted to try it.
Why I finished it: I haven't yet - almost though.
I'd recommend it to: Teens 12-18

Dragon's Breath by E.D. Baker
Review by Marina
Brief Description: Princess Emeralda's aunt Grassina finds her husband who was her mother turned into an otter. The neighboring kingdoms are invading and Emeralda becomes the Green Witch.
Why I picked it up: I wanted to continue the series.
Why I finished it: I wanted to know if Haywood gets turned into a human.
I'd recommend it to: People who like fantasy or fiction.

The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
Review by Marina
Brief Description: This book is about Princess Emeralda who kisses a prince who got turned into a frog. When she did she turned into a frog.
Why I picked it up: It looked funny.
Why I finished it: I wanted to find out if she turns back to a human.
I'd recommend it to: People who like fantasy and fiction.

Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements
Review by Shaelin Green

Brief Description: Bobby Phillips wakes up, finding himself invisible. He could not believe it nor could his parents. They knew they must keep it a secret. But then the next day, Bobby runs into a pretty girl named Alicia. Even though Alicia is blind, she believes Bobby is invisible.
Why I picked it up: I was curious to see how Andrew could pull of a book about the life of an invisible boy. He sure did!
Why I finished it: I was so caught into the book and all of the risky events and the love parts really topped it off.
I'd recommend it to: Kids from 10 to 13 years old.

Flight of the Fisherbird by Nora Martin
Review by Shaelin Green

Brief Description: 13 year old, Clementine Nesbitt is the only witness to a mysterious boat incident at sea. She wasn't sure if one of the boats was her Uncle Doran's because of the think fog. After sudden shouts and splashes she sees a brown shape in the water. Thinking it was her Uncle, Clem pulled it out. Instead it was a Chinese man. No one in the San Juan Islands liked Chinese people, so she must keep him a secret and sail him safely away.
Why I picked it up: I was curious about Clem finding one live man in the sea.
Why I finished it: Even though it didn't start out well, I knew it would be an exciting book, and it was.
I'd recommend it to: 10-13 year olds.

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Review by Alison Harsch

Brief Description: Clary travels to the Shadowhunter capital in order to save her mom and ends up in the middle of a deadly clash between demons and the shadowhunters.
Why I picked it up: I wanted to reread the series now that the fourth and final book are out.
Why I finished it: To confirm my suspicions that the book ended like a series final and not one with a sequel.
I'd recommend it to: Lovers of Cassandia Clare, true fantasy, comedy and a dash of romance.

Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson
Review by Alison Harsch

Brief Description: Calle has lived her whole life clutching her song journal, a packed suitcase, and fleeting memories of her mystery Tambourine man. Now she may have a chance at finally finding her home.
Why I picked it up: A friend recommended it, and I love books with music/playlist themes.
Why I finished it: The book has a real life-like quality that made it easy to identify with the characters.
I'd recommend it to: Lovers of music, bored summer readers, and those that are searching for a place to belong.

Zen and the Art of Faking It by Gary Sonnenblick
Review by Mariah Thompson

Brief Description: A new kid at school decides that the only way to fit is to stand out. So to stand out and get the girl, he turns into a mini Buddha.
Why I picked it up:The author wrote another book that I love.
Why I finished it: This book was really funny, especially when...you'll have to read it.
I'd recommend it to: People who like a good, funny, yet sometimes weird book.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Review by Angie Howard

Brief Description:  This book is about a girl named Valerie's life changing experiences after a school shooting.
Why I picked it up: Traumatizing experiences are always a fascinating read.
Why I finished it: I wanted to know if Valerie would succeed in life.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone wanting to really dive into a character study.

The Boy Book by E. Lockhart
Review by Angie Howard

Brief Description: A teenage girl's boy troubles as well as best friend issues and Ruby working to get past them.
Why I picked it up: It appeared to be an easy humorous read.
Why I finished it: Ruby gets into all sorts of comic mischief and I wanted to see it resolved.
I'd recommend it to: Teenage girls, especially those who are ready to escape their own drama and dive into someone else's.

Masterpiece by Elise Broach Marvin
Review by Jamie Park

Brief Description: James is a boy whose parents are divorced. His mother is selfish, and only cares for money. His father is an artist who has a passion for drawings. For his birthday, James receives a pen-and-ink set. Marvin, the beetle, surprises James by creating a miniature replica of the view out of Jame's window. His mother discovers the drawing and gives James full credit for it. As with all things after one comes another. James' and Marvin's fates intertwine to create a mystery filled with page-turning suspense.
Why I picked it up: I picked it up because a friend recommended it.
Why I finished it: I finished it because the suspense kept me hooked.
I'd recommend it to: All those who enjoy good stories with supernatural relationships.

Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
Review by Claire

Brief Description: Rusty, a house cat, must decide if he wants to lead the life of a kittypet or become a warrior.
Why I picked it up: My friend suggested it to me.
Why I finished it: It kept me on my toes.
I'd recommend it to: 4th - 8th graders (animal lovers too).

Plain Kate by Erin Bow
Review by Alison Harsch

Brief Description: Plain Kate is a poor gifted wood carver caught in a frenzy of witch hunts, diseases and deadly magic as she tries to overcome her loneliness and survive.
Why I picked it up: The cover art to this book absolutely captivated me, though I would never truly judge a book by its cover.
Why I finished it: Plain Kate's hardships pulled me into the story and made me ache with each of her losses.
I'd recommend it to: Those that enjoy cats and magic, can handle rather dreary plot progressions, and would appreciate a book that contains a shadow of The Crucible.

Bitter Melon by Cara Chow
Review by Alison Harsch

Brief Description: Frances suffers under the ever present and never satisfied expectations of her mother, until she finds her voice in speech and learns her own truths of life. A Chinese-American story of self-discovery.
Why I picked it up: The book cover and synopsis seemed interesting.
Why I finished it: I honestly worried and wondered what the main character would ultimately choose: family or independence, as I could not imagine making the same decision.
I'd recommend it to: My fellow Asian-Americans as a good book of reflection on their own lives, and anyone who has felt pressured or weighed down by expectations.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Review by Chloe

Brief Description: This book is about a mentally retarded man named Charlie and all Charlie wants is to be smart. Then Charlie is told by the professors at the University that they have an experiment to make his IQ go up.
Why I picked it up: It was said to be a great book.
Why I finished it: I always wanted to know what would happen next.
I'd recommend it to: People who like fiction and science.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Review by Tiffany

Brief Description: It is a nonfiction novel that revolved around psychology, politics, and economics. Malcolm Gladwell uses his experiences and interviews people in different fields such as psychology to understand their ideas and the things they do.
Why I picked it up: My 7th grade teacher recommended it then my 10th grade teacher said he loved it too!
Why I finished it: Once you start you want to understand more.
I'd recommend it to: Some advanced vocabulary. Recommended for high schoolers and those who are interested in a nonfiction book.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Review by Tiffany

Brief Description: This is the fourth book in the series. It is a fantasy novel that talks about a girl who realizes she was born to be a shadowhunter who's trained to protect the other world. She meets different beings along with her half brother whom she happens to fall in love with. The fourth book is the end of the villain and the rise of a new villain. Her best friends fights with her. The book is a journey filled with action and romance.
Why I picked it up: I already read the three novels before it. Very intriguing plot line.
Why I finished it: I finished it in two days and loved it because of the writing and plot.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone above the age of 9 who loves fantasy novels. Some violence may not be fitting for some.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Review by Emily

Brief Description: When Tomas arrives in the middle of a gigantic maze along with about fifty other teenage boys, he has no idea what he is in for (All of their memories have been wiped). Little does he know that is part of an organization that relies on Thomas and the others to save the quickly dying world.
Why I picked it up: I heard it was a great book at school, teachers and friends recommended it.
Why I finished it: Every chapter ended with a cliff hanger, I COULDN'T STOP READING IT!!!
I'd recommend it to: All teenagers.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Review by Emily

Brief Description: Thomas and his other friends are part of an experiment that can save the world from diseases and natural disasters. How? He has no idea.
Why I picked it up: It is the sequel to The Maze Runner.
Why I finished it: There was plenty of action and suspense through the entire book.
I'd recommend it to: Teenagers who love action, drama, suspense, romance and betrayal all packed into the same book.

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
Review by Varien

Brief Description: Stormbreaker is about fourteen yer old Alex Rider, who is sent by a secret service to investigate the death of his uncle and the Stormbreaker mastermind, Herod Sayle.
Why I picked it up: I had picked it up because I had read other great Anthony Horowitz books.
Why I finished it: I finished it because there was always a new surprise in every chapter.
I'd recommend it to: People who have a thirst for adventure and action in a book.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Review by Serena

Brief Description: Two kids from twelves districts get picked up to participate in the yearly games called The Hunger Games. They risk their lives in it and murder others.
Why I picked it up: It looked interesting and several of my friends have read it.
Why I finished it: It sucked me in. It kept me on my toes the whole time.
I'd recommend it to: Everyone who loves adventure.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Review by Catherine Diab

Brief Description: It's the last book in the series, Hunger Games and it's about two teenagers who have been put into games that can lead to death. But these two people, Katniss and Peeta have found a way to trick the capitol to live free.
Why I picked it up: My teacher had recommended this series to me.
Why I finished it: I finished it because I needed to know what Katniss did and if she picked Peeta.
I'd recommend it to: Junior high kids who likes adventure and a little bit of love in their books.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Review by Aiden Siegle

Brief Description: In Pressington, everyone can hear each others thoughts. When Todd discovers a silence, he must run for his life.
Why I picked it up: A librarian recommended it to me.
Why I finished it: I liked it a lot, and I was always learning new things.
I'd recommend it to: Teens and young adults.

Good Enough by Paula Yoo
Review by Marila Franceschi

Brief Description: This book is about Patty, whose Korean perfectionist parents want her to ace the SATs, go to Harvard, Yale, Princeton and be part of the 2300 club. Patty must decide if this is what she wants.
Why I picked it up: It looked interesting and funny.
Why I finished it: I wanted to know if she got into Julliard.
I'd recommend it to: People who like realistic fiction.

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Review by Alison
Brief Description: Dashti keeps track of the thousand long days she spends at her lady's side as a humble maid, keeping her alive through years locked in a tower, and the evil that waits for her outside.
Why I picked it up: I enjoyed some of Hale's other books and love tweaked fairytales.
Why I finished it: Dashti is a striking character that was fun to follow, especially once they are out of the tower and out in adventure.
I'd recommend it to: Those interested in forgotten fairytales and unlikely romance.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Review by Alison
Brief Description: This is the beginning of the epic tale of Kvothe, the man whose accomplishments and fantastical deeds number so greatly he has become more legend and myth than man.
Why I picked it up: A friend with the same book tastes as my own highly recommended it.
Why I finished it: I loved hte writing style and reading about all the fantastical mischief.
I'd recommend it to: Lovers of fantasy, especially those that have gotten sick of the preppy wanna-be-fantasy trend that has recently been littering the genre.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Review by Joey
Brief Description: This tragedy is about two people on opposite sides of feuding families. The two fall in love, but can't see each other because of their families. The book was good.
Why I picked it up: I read it with the rest of my English class.
Why I finished it: I had to.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone interested in this type of book.

 

Miles to Go by Miley Cyrus
Review by Victoria

Brief Description: This book is about Miley Cyrus' life growing up in Tennessee and her acting career now.
Why I picked it up: I chose this book because I wanted to learn more about her.
Why I finished it: Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down it was so good.
I'd recommend it to: I'd recommend this book to someone who wants to know more about Miley Cyrus.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Review by Angie
Brief Description: This is a classic romance novel featuring Allie and Noah, two people who were meant to be together.
Why I picked it up: Several of Nicholas Sparks' novels have been made into movies.
Why I finished it: I wanted to see if the movie stayed true to the novel.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone looking for a heart-warming tale to pass the time.

Unwind by Neil Shusterman
Review by N/A
Brief Description: A world where teens(13-18) are used for spare parts in operations to save others who are worth more. Unwinding is living forever in other people.
Why I picked it up: I had a friend recommend it.
Why I finished it: I couldn't stop reading, I had to find out what happened.
I'd recommend it to: Fans of Hunger Games and Uglies.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Review by Alison
Brief Description: Shy Ginny finds herself on an international escapade as she follows the wishes of her crazy aunt left to her in 13 little blue envelopes, each holding the potential to change her life and outlook forever.
Why I picked it up: A friends suggested it as a good summer read. She was right.
Why I finished it: Each journey with Ginny took me to places I had never dreamed of visiting. Also, of course, I was pretty curious about what the final letter could hold.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone interested in traveling or just wants a good summer read.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Review by Alison
Brief Description: A group of boys struggle to escape from a mysterious maze. They remember nothing of their past and their only hope for escape is to solve the maze before they are killed by the nightmarish creatures that inhabit it.
Why I picked it up: I have been waiting for a chance to read this since it first came out; the plot concept is just awesome.
Why I finished it: The story kept me hooked until the very end, it had a great balance of action and discussion.
I'd recommend it to: Fans of books like Incarceron, and anyone who loves getting lost in intriguing plot scenarios.

Extra Credit by Andrew Clements
Review by Shaelin
Brief Description: Abby Carson, an Illinois sixth grader, might not pass sixth grade. But she can pass by doing extra credit. All she has to do is make a penpal in Afghanistan. Over there, Sadeed Bayat is the best English student. His teacher thinks that Sadeed should write the letters to Abby so their village would be represented as a wise place. But according to the council, it would be more proper for a girl to reply to Abby, not a boy. So, Sadeed's teacher told him to help his little sister, Amira, write the letters so their village would still be represented well. But as this is going on, a problem is forming between the two communities and everything isn't so easy anymore.
Why I picked it up: I was curious to find out why Abby had to do it, what the process was like, and how it would end.
Why I finished it: I finished it because it was the kind of book you can't let go until you are done. Day and night I read lots of pages.
I'd recommend it to: I recommended this book to anyone form eight to twelve years old.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Review by Ann
Brief Description: This book is about a miner's daughter who is being trained to be a princess. She doesn't want to marry the prince. The question is will she have a choice?
Why I picked it up: I picked it up because I have heard a lot of good things about the author.
Why I finished it: I thought the plot well thought out and it was an amazing read.
I'd recommend it to: People who love a good princess story, as well as adventure books.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Review by Sonja
Brief Description: Vampires, wolves, this girl named Bella falls in love with a vampire but she doesn't know it...yet!
Why I picked it up: Because I love excitement(and vampires) and I had heard good reviews!
Why I finished it: Because I really wanted to get to the next book!
I'd recommend it to: People who love cliff hanging stories, like me!

Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
Review by Amanda
Brief Description: It's about two boys who create comic books about a super hero named Captain Underpants. They get a hypno ring and make their mean principal Captain Underpants.
Why I picked it up: Well one of my best friend's recommended it to me, because I like funny books.
Why I finished it: It made me laugh many times so I finished it.
I'd recommend it to: One of my friend's because she loves comedy.

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
Review by Chloe

Brief Description: This book is about a dragon named Firedrake who's home is going to be flooded by humans, so he goes on a wild journey around the world to find the rim of heaven where it is safe.
Why I picked it up: It looked interesting and exciting.
Why I finished it: Dragon Rider is an exciting book that is hard to put down.
I'd recommend it to: People who like fantasy or mythical creatures.

Waiting for Odysseus by Clemence McLauren
Review by Mariah Thompson

Brief Description: This book is basically a youth version of The Oddysey that focuses on what the women in the story feel: Penelope, Circe, Athena and Eurycleia.
Why I picked it up: The book looked different and interesting.
Why I finished it: It was strangely captivating.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone who's interested in Greek mythology.

Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom by Susan Nielsen
Review by Mariah Thompson

Brief Description: This book is about a girl who tries to set her single mom up with George Clooney but then realizes her mom can find happiness with an orange-haired dweeb.
Why I picked it up: he title implied that the book was funny.
Why I finished it: The book was hilarious!
I'd recommend it to: Laughter-Lovers! And people who want to find out what happens when you drive a golf cart into George Clooney's car...

Phineas Gage by John Fleischman
Review by Grace Christie

Brief Description: This book tells the story of the unlucky/lucky man who was short through the head with a tamping iron.
Why I picked it up: I am fascinated with the human body. (How it functions, anatomy, etc.)
Why I finished it: It was a great book with oodles of details.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone with a strong stomach.

Fire and Ice by Erin Hunter
Review by Claire Pavelka

Brief Description: Fireheart, now a warrior, tries to fit into the clan, but can he do that when Ravenpaw's secret is burdening him so much?
Why I picked it up: Sequel to Into the Wild.
Why I finished it: I couldn't put it down, very entertaining.
I'd recommend it to: Ages nine to fourteen.

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Review by Cecilia

Brief Description: Fallen angel, Patch, is on Nora's mind and she can't decide if it's good or bad. She doesn't know if he is the one protecting her or hurting her.
Why I picked it up: A friend of mine was reading it.
Why I finished it: I wanted to see if it was Elliot who was trying to get her.
I'd recommend it to: People who like suspense, surprise, and romance.

Heist Society by Ally Carter
Review by Cecilia Avelar

Brief Description: A girl who lives the life of a con has to save her dad from a guy who thinks he stole his paintings. Kat rounds up a group of her con friends to help.
Why I picked it up: I liked Ally Carter's other books.
Why I finished it: I wanted to see if Kat got with Hale or Nick.
I'd recommend it to: Anybody who likes romance and girl action.

Storyteller by Patricia Reilly Giff
Review by Jamie Park

Brief Description: Elizabeth lives with her father who is an artist who makes carvings. When her dad has to go to far-way Australia, she is left to live with her aunt, Libby. At first, both Libby and Elizabeth are distant and awkward to each other, but when Elizabeth discovers a drawing of her ancestor, Zee, she and Libby form a long lasting friendship while telling stories of Zee's life back in the Revolutionary War-times. Zee tells her stories too, in her perspective. The past becomes reality in this wonderful jam-packed book.
Why I picked it up: I picked it up because it looked interesting. I always read the back cover for a brief summary.
Why I finished it: I finished it because it made me want to finish it.
I'd recommend it to: I'd recommend it to people interested in historical fiction mixed in with realistic fiction.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Review by James Pierpoint

Brief Description: A dystopian novel in which the US is split into twelve districts and a capitol. Each district must nominate two people for a survival battle called the Hunger Games.
Why I picked it up: It was recommended to me by a friend of mine.
Why I finished it: It is well written, gripping story and I found it hard to put down.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone interested in action and suspense filled with a twist of modern satire.

Airhead by Meg Cabot
Review by Whitney

Brief Description: Teen Em Watts switches bodies with a super model!
Why I picked it up: I love everything from Meg Cabot.
Why I finished it: It had a great plot and a lot of mystery.
I'd recommend it to: Teen girls

Being Nikki by Meg Cabot
Review by Whitney
Brief Description: Em Watts, now Nikki Howard, finds out her life has dark, sinister secrets.
Why I picked it up: I read the prequel, Airhead.
Why I finished it: It has a genius plotline. Kudos to Meg Cabot.
I'd recommend it to:  Everyone

Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Review by Joey
Brief Description: This book is about four kids who find the magical land of Narnia. They go on a journey to defeat the evil black witch.
Why I picked it up: I read the other Narnia books.
Why I finished it: I wanted to finish the series.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone interested in adventure/fantasy.

Narnia: The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
Review by Joey
Brief Description: This book is about Shasta, a boy in search of his father. He travels through Narnia with his horse who he befriends.
Why I picked it up: I read the other Narnia books.
Why I finished it: I wanted to finish the series.
I'd recommend it to: anyone interested in adventure/fantasy.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Review by Abby
Brief Description: Tally is about to turn 16 and get the operation that will amke her "pretty" and live in a teen paradise when her new friend Shay runs away.
Why I picked it up: My friend recommended it to me.
Why I finished it: I was so engrossed in the book.
I'd recommend it to: Anybody who loves science fiction and deep topics.

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Review by Abby
Brief Description:  Tally has finally become pretty. She is having fun and has her own clique, but when she finds something from her past everything changes.
Why I picked it up: My friend recommended it to me.
Why I finished it: I was so engrossed in the book.
I'd recommend it to: Anybody who loves science fiction and deep topics.

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
Review by Jamie
Brief Description: Bella must choose between her friendship with Jacob and her relationship with Edward, but when Seattle is ravaged by a mysterious string ofk illings, the 3 of them need to decide whether their personal lives are more important than the well-being of an entire city.
Why I picked it up: A friend recommended it, and I like this author.
Why I finished it: I want to finish the series.
I'd recommend it to: People who like vampires, romance, and action.

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Review by Jamie
Brief Description: Bella gets engaged to her vampire boyfriend Edward. Her close friend, werewolf Jacob Black, is engulfed in a sea of his own grief because not only did Bella choose Edward instead of him, she decided to throw away her human life and join them. Jacob runs away, only to come back for Bella and Edward's wedding and find that he lost his control. If not for Seth and all the rest of the pack, Bella would've been scarred and mauled just like Emily. After the wedding, Bella and Edward went on their honeymoon. During the honeymoon, they discover that a tiny but quickly growing creature has taken up residence inside Bella. They quickly return from their honeymon to consult Carlisle. Bella gets sickly, and it could take miracles to save her now.
Why I picked it up: I love the Twilight series and the author, Stephenie Meyer.
Why I finished it: It kept me hooked.
I'd recommend it to: Everyone who likes vampires, romance, and action.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Review by Emily
Brief Description: Jenna Fox isn't legal. Actually, she isn't human - anymore. Ever since Jenna was involved in a car accident when she was 16, most of the world thought she was dead. She would have died if her parents hadn't replaced all of her organs and most of her brain with an illegal amount of a substance that allowed her to live. Slowly Jenna regained her memory and began to remember things that she couldn't before. Even though Jenna's lifespan was increased by 200 years, and her body would always stay the same, Jenna knew that she would never be the same ever again.
Why I picked it up: Saw that it was recommended on the website, sounded interesting.
Why I finished it: Interesting plot, scientific.
I'd recommend it to: Tennage girls who like and understand scientific plots.

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
Review by Emily
Brief Description: There is a parasite loose in the world which turns its hosts into ravaging cannibals. Cal, the protagonist, is a carrier who must figure out the parasite.
Why I picked it up: I'd read various books by the same author, and it looked interesting.
Why I finished it: I loved the writing style and plot.
I'd recommend it to: Anybody into science fiction, mystery, or legends.

Cross Country Running by Jeff Galloway 
Review by Jessica
Brief Description: Interesting tips on running and the mental aspect behind it.
Why I picked it up: Requested
Why I finished it: It was good.
I'd recommend it to: Endurance runners.

Sebastopol Branch:

The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski
Review by Emily
Brief Description: June Parker is guilt ridden when her passenger, Marrissa, dies in a car accident. She finds a list of Marrissa's hopes to do before her 25th birthday and she resolves to finish them before the deadline.
Why I picked it up: It has a bright, happy cover.
Why I finished it: It had a sweet goal interlaced with romance that became fun to read.
I'd recommend it to: People looking for fun romance novels to read.

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Review by Celia
Brief Description: Jonas lives in a world with not love, emotions, or color, but he doesn't even realize it. Once he gets his assignment as a Receiver he has to learn and take all the secret memories of his town.
Why I picked it up: I read the back and it felt like an interesting book.
Why I finished it: It was a fast going book!
I'd recommend it to: Anybody who likes mystery and wonder!

Zenith by Julie Bertagna
Review by Sophia
Brief Description: A powerful sequel to Exodus. This series has important warnings about what might happen in the future because of global warming. In Zenith Mara continues her search for a new land and life for her refugees. This book also has a strong theme of love.
Why I picked it up: It's the sequel to Exodus, which I enjoyed.
Why I finished it: Although it was slow at the beginning, it became more interesting. I wanted to know the end.
I'd recommend it to: Historical fiction readers except it's in the future. Maybe science fiction readers too.

Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz
Review by Sam
Brief Description: Alex Rider is after a madman with a nuclear bomb that could destroy the world.
Why I picked it up: I picked up this book because I really liked the first two books.
Why I finished it: I finished it because there was an adventure on every page.
I'd recommend it to: I'd recommend it to anyone who likes fast action books.

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan
Review by Sam
Sadie and Carter Kane must awaken the sun God Ra before Apophis, the god of chaos swallows the world.
Why I picked it up:  I picked it up because I have read the Percy Jackson books and enjoyed them.
Why I finished it:  In the book it doesn't really giveaway what will happen until the end.
I'd recommend it to:  I'd recommend it to anyone who has read the Percy Jackson series.

The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares
Review by Sophia
The Second Summer of the Sisterhood is a great sequel to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  It contains the same feelings and themes and continues the stories of the girls of the sisterhood. 
Why I picked it up:  Because I enjoyed the first book in the series.
Why I finished it:  The story is hard to put down because it is told in segments about each girl.
I'd recommend it to:  People who liked the first book.

Rock Star Superstar by Blake Nelson
Review by Pauline
Pete a bass player gets his first girlfriend and joins his second band.  The band members have plans to become famous.
Why I picked it up:  No particular reason.
Why I finished it:  I don't like to leave books unfinished.
I'd recommend it to:  Perhaps someone who wants to join a band.

Deception by Lee Nichols
Emma's parents and older brother disappear.  She finds herself moving suddenly across the country with her new guardian; whom she has a crush on.  Emma realizes that she can see ghosts.
Why I picked it up:  My friend had it and it looked good.
Why I finished it:  It was a really good book.
I'd recommend it to:  Someone who wants to read a good book.

Nightmare Academy: Monster Hunters by Dean Lorey
Review by Gregor Gonzales

Brief Description: This book is about a boy who has a special gift to summon monsters from a different world.
Why I picked it up: I picked it because I liked the cover and the title.
Why I finished it: I finished it because the story was intense and interesting to read.
I'd recommend it to: I'd recommend it to people who like action, fighting and monsters.

The Offseason by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Review by Sami Gonzales

Brief Description: This is about a girl preparing to start the football season, and running a farm at the same time.
Why I picked it up: I read Dairy Queen and wanted to read more!
Why I finished it: Like Dairy Queen. It was a fantastic book.
I'd recommend it to: Anybody in search of a great love story!

Fade by Lissa McMann
Review by Ginger Nelson

Brief Description: A girl is cursed with being sucked into other people's dreams but things are about to get worse.
Why I picked it up: I read the first book and I really liked it so I continued with the second.
Why I finished it: The characters were really realistic.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone with a pulse.

Gone by Lissa McMann
Review by Ginger Nelson

Brief Description: Janie a girl who gets sucked into people's dreams has found out something horrific and she doesn't know what to do when an unexpected person shows up in her life.
Why I picked it up: It was the third book in a series.
Why I finished it:The characters were very realistic. And a good plot.
I'd recommend it to: Readers and non-readers alike!

Nightmare Academy: Monster War by Dean Lorey
Review by Gregor Gonzales

Brief Description: This book is book number two in the Nightmare Academy series. All four named have escaped the Neather(the monster world) and summon the Fifth.
Why I picked it up: I picked it up because I wanted to see what happened after the first book.
Why I finished it: I finished it because it had a little twist at the end.
I'd recommend it to: People who like monsters, diction, fights, and magic.

Daytripper by Fabio Moone Gabriel Ba
Review by Jessie Brand

Brief Description: This book is the story of a man finding all the questions, told in a beautiful and quirky graphic novel.
Why I picked it up: I thought it would be a light read, but I actually found it to be very deep.
Why I finished it: I have to be honest, I had trouble understanding the story, but I really enjoyed it.
I'd recommend it to: People who like art and drama, and are up for a very interesting book.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Review by Jessie Brandt

Brief Description: This book is an intense, deep and beautiful novel. It's a story set in the South, early 1960's, about the terrible realities of segregation. Focusing on the life of two African American men and the racist community around them, and the story of one young woman who risked and lost everything for what she believed.
Why I picked it up: I was looking for, and found, a book that was honest and and blunt, a break from light reading.
Why I finished it: Because I was horrified and transfixed by this book. I'm not kidding, it has changed me.
I'd recommend it to: Anyone who is ready for a honest, amazing book. READ IT.

Pretties by Scott Westerfield
Review by Kira Findling

Brief Description: This wonderful science fiction book series examines the horrors of conformity in a society where everyone gets an operation to make them pretty.
Why I picked it up: The series was recommended to me by many close friends.
Why I finished it: Westerfield's writing is engaging and fascinating: I did not want to put it down!
I'd recommend it to: Anyone who is interested in fantasy or science fiction would love this book.

Exodus by Julia Bertagna
Review by Sophia Conti

Brief Description: Exodus is about the future of Earth. The main character is a girl named Mara who ends up saving many people. The story is about humans seeking refuge and a future. This book is more profound than it may seem at first glance.
Why I picked it up: I saw it on the shelf at the library and the plot sounded interesting.
Why I finished it: I almost always finish books. This book was slow at first, but it became very exciting.
I'd recommend it to: People who want an easier read, but not silly. This book has everything: Science Fiction, Romance, etc.

Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auch
Review by Sophia Conti

Brief Description: This book is a historical fiction novel about a girl who was an Irish immigrant and worked in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory during the fire in 1911. It tells of the hardships of immigration, and the devastation of the fire.
Why I picked it up: It was recommended in the back of another book I read which mentioned the Factory tragedy. I was curious to find out more about it.
Why I finished it: I never considered not finishing it, the story built up to the end climax and I needed to know what happened.
I'd recommend it to: People who like historical fiction, and people who like sad and realistic stories. This was a very tragic and unimaginable plot.

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