Tag Archives: 5 stars

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book covers a lot of ground and it does it very well. Starr is a 16-year old African American girl living in a poor inner-city neighborhood while attending a private school for mostly white students about 45 minutes from her home. That alone could be a book as Starr describes the balancing act of straddling all her worlds — home, with her close-knit family (dad owns a grocery in the hood and mom is a RN, uncle is a cop); school, with her mostly white friends (who are sometimes inadvertently racist and often clueless), and in the neighborhood, where she tries to maintain relationships with her two oldest friends, Khalil and Kenya. Starr’s parents had enrolled her in private school after her best friend was gunned down in a drive-by shooting when they were ten. But that won’t be Starr’s only brush with violence. The bulk of the novel covers the aftermath of Khalil’s death, which Starr also witnesses. Angie Thomas has written a very balanced and well crafted story that should move to the top of your “To Read” pile. – Ms. Steiger

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The Sun Is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a StarThe Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. Natasha and Daniel meet in New York City on what might just be the most important day of each of their lives. Natasha, an undocumented immigrant from Jamaica, is on her way to a meeting that might just be able to avert the deportation of her family that night. Daniel, the son of Korean immigrants, is on the way to his interview for Yale, what his parent’s call the second best university (Daniel’s older brother goes to #1 university – Harvard). The book chronicles the day they spend together as Daniel tries to use a scientific method published in The New York Times to get Natasha to fall in love with him. Since I listened to this in audio via the Axis 360 app, it almost felt like Natasha and Daniel’s twelve hours together were unfurling in real time. ~ Ms. Steiger

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Student Review: Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal, by G. Willow Wilson (reviewed by Tajea B)

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No NormalMs. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first female Muslim superhero is finally here, and she’s not afraid to kick some butt. G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel successfully caught my eyes with its amazing illustrations and storyline. Reading Ms. Marvel is almost like going on an adventure through your imagination. The plot in this adventure breaks a new ground. When we meet Kamala in her non-super state she’s a 16 year-old geek, who’s loyal to her close friend and disinclined to rebel against her observant family. Don’t get me started on her “sad nerd obsession with the Avengers” (3). She writes elaborate fanfictions about them and tries to get her parents to understand, but of course they don’t. Kamala seems out of place, even in her diverse high school. She can’t seem to “fit in” with the other teens. Throughout the comic we see how it is a struggle to not only learn new superpowers, but also live a double life. I will say this book is a big deal to American Muslims, and the children of Muslim immigrants, to see themselves represented in an amazing book like this. It also shows how wonderful teenage Muslim minds think and how they cherish their faith. If I could, I would give every single student in high schools everywhere a copy of this comic. I recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about Muslim culture or who loves a good laugh and superheros. ~ Student: Tajea B

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Student Review: The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan (reviewed by Brandon L.)

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The thriller of Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief exhibits the adventures of Percy Jackson. Zeus’ lightning bolt is stolen and Poseidon, his brother, is blamed for the theft. Zeus demands his weapon is to be returned by the summer solstice. As Percy and his mother leave for vacation, an unlikely event occurs and the two are separated; Percy enters Camp Half-Blood and Sally, his mother, is held captive. In Camp Half-Blood, a very important topic is covered. Percy learns more about who he actually is; he learns about his identity. When the demigods discover that he is the son of Poseidon, they set him, along with his friends Grover and Annabeth, out on a quest to retrieve Zeus’ lightning bolt. If they don’t before the summer solstice, a war will break out between the gods. Out in the real world, all of the monsters are set out wanting to kill Percy. But during these adventures of fighting these creatures and reaching places of dismay, Grover, Percy’s protector, and Annabeth, daughter of Athena, ultimately help Percy get to the Underworld, where they believe the bolt is, and bring it back to Olympus. Though this is his main goal to others, the topic of love overthrows this goal. Percy’s love for his mom makes the retrieval of Zeus’ lightning bolt seem small. Percy’s ultimate goal is to be with his mother again. Whether he chooses to risk his life to stay with his mom, or to stay safe and live with his kind in Camp Half-Blood, it ultimately shapes who he is meant to be.

Readers of all different kinds of genres will enjoy Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief. Whether comedy, or mythololgy is interesting to the reader, it has a little bit of both. The personality of Percy and his friends will make a reader laugh out loud. At the same time, the adventures they take down relate directly to ancient Greek stories. It also exhibits the love between friends as well as love between family members. A reader that is into the explicit fight scenes that are present in violent books, this one might disappoint as the fight scenes do not go deep into the blood and gore. But whether the reader believes it will definitely not be interesting, or it will be the greatest ever, everyone should read this book. ~ Student: Brandon L.

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Student Review: Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins (reviewed by Brett G.)

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, romance, drama and gore are displayed. This book is about two people from a poor, poor town in a mystical country of Panem. Each year, two people from their “district” are picked from a bowl to fight in what’s called the “Hunger Games,” which is where 24 kids under the age of 18 fight to the death in an arena. In the prequel to Catching Fire, Katniss and Peeta win the Hunger Games, together. Which is forbidden. Only one victor may be crowned, so this is seen as ludicrous. Throughout Catching Fire, Katniss and Peeta fight to prove that what they did is alright.

I recommend this book to any teenager or young adult who is looking for a good read. To understand fully, I would recommend reading the first book, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, then finally Mockingjay, in that order. If you enjoy a book with a lot of action, this is just right for you. If you like a calm, soothing book, then this is not for you. This book is filled with tons of action, as well as drama and love. If you like those 3, then this series is for you. If not, I advise you stay away from Catching Fire.~ Student: Brett G.

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Student Review: Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand (reviewed by Tianchen H.)

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and RedemptionUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, is a story about the adventurous life of Louis Zamperini. As a young child, Zamperini was naughty. One day, as Zamperini was bored, he decided to follow his brother and join track. With hard work and practice, Zamperini blossomed into one of the elite runners in the county. However, when World War II starts, Louie decides to protect his country and abandon his athletic career. Fortunes are not going well for Louie, as he is captured by the opposition. After the capture, Zamperini spends years in exile at prison camps, and has to deal with cruel leaders. When Zamperini is released, he realizes the undeniable consequences of war. This book/biography deals with decision-making and growth from being a kid to an adult.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is remotely interested in picking up a book. Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, is a breathtaking story of how one man changed his life. Any reader would almost personally experience all that Louis Zamperini had to go through, and feel sympathy for the main character. This memoir would be enjoyed by those who like adventure, sports, and excitement. However, if the reader is one who gets teared up easily, this is not a book to touch. There are many sections of the book where violence and brutality is being displayed, so this amazing book is not for the faint of heart.~Student: Tianchen H.

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Student Review: Paper Towns, by John Green (reviewed by Carmen B.)

Paper TownsPaper Towns by John Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the book, Paper Towns, by John Green, the author creates tension that keeps you turning the pages. After an adventurous night of just the two of them, driving around getting revenge on the people that hurt her, Margo goes missing the next day. Quentin, her friend who is a teenage boy must put together the clues she left behind in order to find her. He has loved her from afar for 10 years, but they just recently became friends. It is up to Quentin to find Margo, he is the only one that can. Even in the very short time in which they connected, he is the only person that really sees Margo for who she is and not for what people want her to be. He is the only one who truly understands her. So therefore it is up to him to find Margo, and he barely knows where to start. Time is running out to find and bring Margo home alive. Who knows if she even wants to come back? This book touches the topics of loyalty and trust. Margo puts her trust in Quentin when she leaves the clues behind that only he would understand. I highly recommend this book to any teenager who is looking for a adventure-filled book and one that forces you to keep turning the pages. Although, if you are not a teenager you may not find this book entertaining and you won’t get anything out of it. Overall, I highly recommend it. ~Student: Carmen B.

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Student Review: Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin (reviewed by Joshua L.)

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For term 2 (and more), I have started reading George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones. It is about various characters in the fictional fantasy world of Westeros and their families’ power struggle for the Iron Throne. Whoever holds the Iron Throne controls all of Westeros. At first, the characters are separated doing their own thing. However, a series of events and dilemmas unite them. I find this interesting when it happens because many of them have different cultures which sometimes causes conflicts to arise because of the different interpretations/opinions of one another’s ways. There is no main character in Game of Thrones as Martin focuses on numerous characters. If there was a character that the book focuses on the most, I would say that this character is Daenerys Targaryen. She is involved in many of the conflicts between the various characters and holds a considerable amount of sway as she is the only remaining child of the predecessor of the Iron Throne. This book covers the topic of power and deceit which play an important role in many of the events that occur. Others should read this book because it compares itself to our world and helps the reader understand what conflict is and how it affects us. It is well-written and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is into the fantasy genre. A reader that dislikes a book that has an abundance of lengthy and/or sexual content should avoid this book.
~ Student: Joshua L.

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Student Review: Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card (reviewed by Jayesh R.)

Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1)Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, is an excellent novel, full of suspense, conflict, and surprise. It takes place far in the future, after Earth has been attacked numerous times by intelligent and strange beings from a distant solar system. After years of defending their planet, the humans are preparing for a final attack against the aliens to end the war forever. Ender, a compassionate yet vicious child, is chosen out of millions, on account of his brilliance, and put through a series of vigorous tests to prepare him to be the commander of the fleet, nearing the aliens’ home planet with each passing year. He must prevail against malicious challenges, put before him to prove that he will be the most intelligent and resourceful commander that ever lived. Ender’s Game expresses the value of relationships of those you love, the importance of perseverance, and the fact that the world is not fair, and you have to the best you can with what you have.

This book is one of the best science fiction books I have ever read because of its unforgettable plot, which contains many mysteries and adventures, unlike most other books I have read. I recommend it to those interested in a fantastic book full of action and a deep meaning. Readers who dislike futuristic novels and science fiction would not enjoy the book as much as others. Overall, Ender’s Game is a magnificent novel, and everybody should bring its story into their lives. ~ Student: Jayesh R.

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Student Review: The Fate of Ten, by Pittacus Lore (reviewed by Albert M.)

The Fate of Ten (Lorien Legacies, #6)The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read The Fate of Ten by James Frey and Jobie Hughes, under the name Pittacus Lore.
The book is about aliens from a planet called Lorien, trying to stop evil aliens called the Mogadorians from conquering and destroying more planets, like they did to Lorien. During this book the main characters are separated, fighting against Setrakus Ra and his minions. John is the leader of the Garde, those sent from Lorien. Sam is John’s best friend and is a human Garde, given powers by the Entity of the Sanctuary in Mexico. Daniela is another human Grade, Six, Marina, Nine, and Ella are the other original Garde. This book covers the topics of betrayal, going against all odds, and mistrust. Five’s betrayal didn’t really help the Garde, so resolving it was always necessary. They are dealing with the strongest fighting force in the galaxy, almost their whole planet, and the Garde have only themselves and a few friends. Nobody wants to trust Adam, the Mogadorian with a Legacy, one of the Gardes’ many powers, and that affects the course of their actions. He is part of their team, like a body. But by distrust they are losing a hand or foot, theoretically speaking. I would definitely recommend this book, due to its fast-paced scenes and excellent use of suspense. Anyone who likes science fiction, action, and aliens would enjoy this book. If you do not like any of the things said above, or mild language, you shouldn’t read this book.~ Student: Albert M.

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