Tag Archives: Survival

Student Review: The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey (reviewed by Aaliyah J.)

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The 5th Wave written by Rick Yancey is a must read book for surviving an apocalypse.
It revolves around the life of Cassie Sullivan surviving an alien apocalypse. The aliens are known as “others” and their attacks come in waves, destroying the planet. You never know when the next one will come and you do not who you can trust. Everyone was taken to a “safe” place and the children were moved to an army base while the adults stayed, unsure of their fate. Cassie didn’t make it to the bus for the children and witnessed many deaths, including her father’s. Now, her only goal is to make it to the army base and find her brother. During that journey she almost dies herself and is saved by a stranger. When she finally reaches the army base, it is not what she expected. Overall, Cassie must deal with losing everyone she cares about and falling in love with an “Other” while looking for her brother. This book is based off of survival, trust and relationships. Cassie struggles to survive the apocalypse, only believing in herself because she is unsure of who to trust. She needs to find her brother but, has some guy troubles along the way. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is a must read book because it is interesting to see what would happen during an alien decimation. This book should attract science fiction readers such as people who read The Hunger Games. It should not attract readers who do not enjoy futuristic reading. Although, The 5th Wave was depressing, I still would give it 4/5 stars because it was extremely engaging. ~ Student: Aaliyah J.

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Student Review: The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway (reviewed by Gun S.)

The Old Man and the SeaThe Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway is a very quick and easy read for all readers that enjoy excitement and suspense. This book is about an old, poor fisherman and his struggles to catch the fish of his life. He lives in a small town and does not live in the best conditions. A small boy helps him a lot throughout this novel by being a fishing partner. This book has small glimpses of friendship, survival, and desperation. The old man is looking for a miracle in his life to make his life easier and better. He sets on a long and hard journey with many difficult obstacles in his way to catch a fish that would make him have a better life. I would highly recommend this book because it is an easy and quick read that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat with curiosity and excitement. Readers that enjoy realistic fiction novels would really like this book. This book may not be for everyone like readers that like long, and more action-packed and drama-filled books. This book does include some of these aspects but not all readers may not enjoy this book. I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 because of my personal interests and opinions that connect to this novel and because I really enjoyed reading it. ~ Student: Gun S.

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Student Review: We Should Hang Out Sometime, by Josh Sundquist (reviewed by Ada K.)

We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true storyWe Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true story by Josh Sundquist

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Are you having trouble with your love life? Well, in Josh Sundquist’s autobiography We Should Hang out Sometime, you might find out how to save your love life. We Should Hang Out Sometime is a book about the life of a cancer survivor and his experience with love. Josh Sundquist is about 10 years old when he gets cancer, and fortunately he survives. On the other hand, he has to get his leg amputated, which makes him different from every other child. Josh has always been home schooled by his parents because they were afraid that Josh’s missing leg would make kids laugh at him and think of him differently from everyone else. But when he starts public school, he begins to get interested in girls. When Josh eventually gets the chance to ask out a girl, it doesn’t turn out the way he expected it to, and he tells us that “Sarah and I “went out” for twenty-three hours” (41 Sundquist). Relationships tend to either last for a lifetime, or a couple of months, but usually not 23 hours, so Josh had a pretty bad start. This book is a great read for people who enjoy romance and cheesy love stories, but at the same time, it is heartbreakingly hilarious. ~ Student: Ada K.

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Student Review: Brian’s Winter, by Gary Paulsen (reviewed by Jordan E.)

Brian's Winter (Brian's Saga, #3)Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Have you ever wondered what it is like to survive on your own in the wild, with no experience and no way to call for help? Brian’s Winter, by Gary Paulsen, a young adult novel, takes you to the cold dead of winter alone, with the limited supplies Brian has brought with him. We first met Brian in the prequel Hatchet, where he survived for an entire summer in the Canadian wilderness after a terrible plane crash. Now he is back, and willing to push his survival skills to the limit to prove to himself that he can survive in any season. Brian’s Winter was a page turner, never slow or boring. When a bear came into Brian’s camp it “slipped forward and used both front paws to pack Brian in a kind of ball and whap him down to the edge of the water” (19). This event happens early in the book, and makes you wonder what other challenges Brian has to face. Paulsen does an excellent job of putting the reader in a real life situation without everyday resources where you must always be aware of your surroundings. Brian’s Winter also captures the feeling of being on your own and independent. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoyed Hatchet and are into survival books. After reading this you should have gained some knowledge on how to survive in the cold heart of winter, which is important in Boston at this time. ~ Student: Jordan E.

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Student Review: Assasin’s Creed: Renaissance, by Oliver Bowden (reviewed by Anddy G.)

Assassin's Creed: Renaissance (Assassin's Creed, #1)Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance by Oliver Bowden

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What would you do to take vengeance for those you have cared for? Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance by Oliver Bowden is a story that will lead you to the truth, keep you at the edge of your seat and will make you wonder how it all wraps up. The story is set in Florence, Italy during the 15th and early 16th century. A young man named Ezio Auditore, a man with a fiery charisma who was known for his noble family name, has only known the life of a banker and a delinquent. But later his family name was slandered by their closest friends the Pazzi family, and Rodrigo Borgia accuses them of being traitors and murderers. With the help of Leonardo Da Vinci, Niccolo Machiavelli and many others, Ezio seeks vengeance on those who had betrayed his family and redeem its name. The book leads to betrayal, sorrow, suspense, and an amazing secret that will make you never believe in what you hear again. This book will as well leave you astonished making it feel as if you were there.

I would recommend this book to my teacher Mr.Rinaldi a History teacher who may enjoy this book due to its historical accuracy.” The truth is written in blood.” ~ Student: Anddy G.

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Student Review: A Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah (reviewed by Ariana R.)

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy SoldierA Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ishmael’s A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier is a memoir of a boy soldier surviving the war in Sierra Leone. Ishmael describes the horrific and traumatizing experiences of his journey. From being attacked by rebels in his home village, Mogbwemo, to watching his family burn to ashes, Ishmael has been a victim of war. He left his home with his brother, Junior, and a friend to a neighboring village to perform in a talent show when the rebels attacked. Ishmael, at only twelve years old, was forced to flee and never had a stable home in Sierra Leone since. After months of running away Ishmael was brought to an army-based village and became a soldier to avenge his parents’ death. Killing and taking drugs had become his life until the organization UNICEF brought him to a rehabilitation center. Ishmael ended up with his uncle in the city of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, when the war soon followed him. Ishmael was able to escape the country to Guinea from where he was sent to New York and adopted. This book does not only explain the unthinkable into words but helps bring awareness for boy soldiers all around the world who are being stripped of their childhood.

I personally enjoyed this book for its sad but realistic truth. The beautiful language gives clear and vivid images of the war in Sierra Leone. I knew about children being forced into becoming soldiers but never realized their situations were this dire. Reading this book gave me more knowledge on this subject and moved me to do more personal research. A Long Way Gone has become a new personal favorite and I hope everyone gets a chance to read it! ~ Student: Ariana R.

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Student Review: The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls (reviewed by Kitty M.)

The Glass CastleThe Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This non-fiction story recounts Jeannette Walls’ peculiar childhood. Like nomads, her family, consisting of her unconventional parents, Rex and Rose, and her siblings, regularly moved across the country looking for adventure and money. Her parents often neglected their roles as parents: her father could not keep a job and provide a reliable source of income, while her mother solely focused on art, instead of caring for her growing children. After years of recklessness, their family moves back to her father’s poor, welfare-funded hometown, where her life becomes more chaotic. Her father fell back into alcoholism and often stole from the family’s paychecks to fund his addiction. From a young age, Jeannette and her siblings learned to care for themselves and often resorted to distasteful tactics like stealing food. Despite the struggles of her dysfunctional childhood, Walls still portrayed her parents with respect and wrote of them with high regards. She often referred back to her father’s promise of building their family a glass castle, where they would be comfortable and content. She emphasized her father’s love for her to demonstrate that, although he had his faults, he was a great, loving father. Walls used the pain from her life to her advantage, as it created pathos to engage the reader. She is brutally honest about her dire conditions like using a bucket as a restroom, which creates pity. On the contrary, her happy ending of defying the odds and escaping from this oppressive town is uplifting and gives the audience a well-deserved happy ending. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and felt her candidness and life stories embedded into the story create a compelling book that just cannot be put down. I would recommend this book to everyone. ~ Student: Kitty M.

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Student Review: Escape from Camp 14, by Blaine Harden (reviewed by Tabitha W.)

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the WestEscape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In depicting the depravity of North Korean prison camp life, Harden’s book is an important portrait of man’s inhumanity to man. It’s a remarkable and harrowing tale. Escape From camp 14 is a heart-wrenching, riveting book. It is not for the squeamish or the light-hearted! It’s a story about death, survival and the horrors behind the shadows of North Korea’s sheltered walls. It’s the account of a boy called Shin who was placed in a camp because of a crime that had been committed three generations before him. He was placed in this camp where he would be a slave to the guards and eventually rot away there, suffering simply because of a tiny crime three generations before. You are taken on a fantastically horrific tale about his drive to escape and become a normal human being. This book is an amazing read for several reasons. One being the fact that these horrific events are happening right now as you read this review. And it’s important that more people become aware of these horrors, in order to make a change and save these people from the living hell that they are barley surviving in. As well as this, this story is more than just a biography it is a story of survival. It allows us to realize what the human body can endure, and makes you realize that the human being’s drive to survive is infinite. This book is page turning and tugs at your heartstrings at every turn. It is a book that at times it is extremely hard to read because of the horrors, but it is a purely amazing novel. ~ Student: Tabitha W.

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Student Review: The Maze Runner, by James Dashner (reviewed by Tim H.)

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)The Maze Runner by James Dashner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Need a hooking book series to read? Well, if you haven’t already, take a look at The Maze Runner Trilogy, all by James Dashner. I’ve read the first two books, almost finished with the last one and I love the series. The first book is called The Maze Runner and I had heard about it before but I never got around to reading it until this year. The story begins with Thomas, a boy in his teenage years, who doesn’t remember anything except for his name. He is delivered, by a lightless mine-shaft like elevator, to a place called the Glade. Basically, the Glade is a few buildings, old and beat down, surrounded by an open field and a maze around the field. Thomas is greeted by a huge group of boys, some kind, some a lot less welcoming. Thomas learn that every month, a boy is expected to be delivered through the Box, the elevator he came from. Every night, there is a wall that they to keep out what they call “Greivers”. The system the “Gladers” have come up with keeps order and generally things are safe until… well you’ll have to read to find out! The author’s writing style is quite typical of any science fiction book, which in the beginning, may seem a bit “average” or the same as other science fiction books. However, the plot is extremely clever. The book is a little like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins as it includes themes such as survival and bravery. Also, most of the time, the character is easy to relate to, as he is a teenage boy who has the fears and priorities like a regular human, and yet, at the same time, does heroic things, too. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes “edge-of-your-seat” type of action (or sneak-a-chapter-in-during-class action) and a clever plot. ~ Student: Tim H.

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The Talk Funny Girl, by Rolund Merullo

The Talk-Funny Girl: A NovelThe Talk-Funny Girl: A Novel by Roland Merullo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Majie Richards (MAY-gee REE-shard) is being raised in a shack in the deep woods of New Hampshire by ignorant, isolationist and abusive parents. She didn’t go to school until someone reported the truancy to the authorities when she reached the age of 9. By then the back woods English dialect she spoke was so engrained that her language and learning skills appeared irredeemable, and she was shunted into low level classes despite her true intellect. At the age of 17 Majie is forced to seek work in their depressed town to supplement her father’s meager disability check. It is here where Majie gets glimpses of a different sort of existence than her own, and this simultaneously tantalizes and frightens her. Be prepared to hold your breath as Majie walks the long miles to and from town each night, knowing that a local serial killer has been abducting teenaged girls from the area. Grit your teeth as she endures the twisted “penances” her parents and their demonic minister have dreamed up for their rural congregation’s wayward children. Feel your hopes soar as Majie experiences the kindness of Sands, her new boss, and the love of her Aunt Elaine, who so desperately wants to save her. This is a thoroughly engrossing and all too believable story that will grab you up front and whisk you to the bittersweet final page in no time. ~Ms. Dimmick

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