Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Review by Jonathan

I read Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. This book is about a boy named Marcus Yallow who was close to the Bay Bridge in San Francisco after there was a terrorist attack on it. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and three of his friends are brought to a secret prison near San Francisco by the Department of Homeland Security (the DHS). After days of being interrogated, Marcus, and two of his friends (Jolu and Vanessa) are let go. One of his friends named Darryl is not let go. Marcus is mad that they didn’t let him go, and Marcus wanted to have revenge on the DHS. After the bombing on the Bay Bridge, security in San Francisco got a lot tighter. Pretty soon, every time you went past a stop light you were being recorded by the DHS that you were on some street at some time. If your travel pattern, you would be pulled over by the police. This made Marcus and a lot of other people on the xnet (an illegal internet server for a new type of Xbox called the Xbox universal) very angry. Eventually, the people on the xnet discovered a way to “jam” the DHS tracking server, which would cause tons of people to be pulled over, even if they had a completely normal travel pattern.

Marcus is forced into a position of power in the xnet, with his screen name “M1k3y”. M1k3y soon became very famous on the xnet, but infamous everywhere else, especially the DHS. Is Darryl still alive? If so, will he ever be let out of the prison? What will happen to M1k3y and the DHS? Read this book to find out.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Everything on a Waffle, by Polly Horvath


Review by Ms. Greenberg

I just finished Everything on a Waffle, by Polly Horvath, and I loved it. I found out about the book when Ms. Connolly gave a book talk about it earlier in the year, and I've noticed a lot of you reading it.

For those of you who haven't read it, the book is about a girl named Primrose whose parents are lost at sea. Everyone thinks that they are dead, but Primrose knows they're still alive and will be home soon. While she is waiting for her parents to return, she makes friends with the owner of a restaurant called The Girl on the Red Swing, where every single item on the menu is served on a waffle. Primrose is a resilient character who seems very realistic, even though she is going through a situation to which few of us can relate.

I would recommend this book to anybody. Although the main character is a girl, I think that boys could relate to her as well.

I'd like to ask to those of you who have read the book: what do you think of the recipes between the chapters? Were they a distraction and a chore to read, or did they add to the experience of reading the book? Make comments on what you think!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief is a fantastic book to read. The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan, is a mystery where Zeus's master lightning bolt is stolen and the main character, Percy Jackson, is thought to be the person who stole the lightning bolt. Percy Jackson is a kind person and sometimes is confused about things. Percy has ADHD and is dyslexic. Percy Jackson is also determined to finish anything that he thinks is important and tries his best to do things. This book is a great fiction novel because it tells you some things about the Greek myths and is interesting because of all the descriptions of Percy Jackson and all the Greek information in the story. My opinion about The Lightning Thief is that it is a great story and is terrific for people who love fiction and Greek Mythology novels. I feel this way because it gives very long and descriptive details in the book so you can understand the book easily and there is a lot of humor in the book, with many hilarious moments and different adventures. The Lightning Thief also has some sequences of action in the most unexpected times and moments that are unbelievably exciting and shocking.

Reviewed by: Nate

Artemis Fowl the Eternity Code by Eion Colfer

The book I read was Artemis Fowl the Eternity Code by Eion Colfer. At the beginning of the book Artemis tries to make a deal with Jon Spiro who is a successful businessman and he tries to get 1 metric ton of gold to keep the C Cube (which is made of fairy technology) off the market for a year. Then Jon Spiro gets angry and leaves then all of the people in the restraunt drew a weapon and then Butler who is Artemis`s bodyguard says Richard of York gave battle in vain which triggers a grenade of compressed sound which sends the people flying and hit walls. Then Butler checks the kitchen and while he is gone Arno comes in and shoots but Butler jumps in the bullets path but Artemis gets him into a cryogenic chamber so he can get Holly (who is a fairy) to heal Butler. But Butler grew at least 10 years because of the cryogenic freezer. Another problem is that Arno Blunt got the C Cube which has information on the fairies and Artemis must get the C Cube back. If they do not get it back in time then Jon Spiro will figure out that fairies exist.

Reviewed by: Kevin

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Buck is a pampered St. Bernard living in a big house in sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley of Alaska. All of a sudden Buck gets kidnapped from his loving home and gets sold by strange men. Once sold, Buck gets beaten several times which teaches him to be loyal to the men and to follow their every command. A few other dogs and Buck get shipped deep into the north and thrown out into the cold, brutal wilderness. Buck gets put as a sled dog and learns how to defend himself against the men and the cold hearted team of dogs. He must be strong to live and attack when threatened. After many battles Buck grows stronger, gets more experience and finally becomes leader over the team of dogs. Though a leader, living in Alaska is very hard, and when living in the wild, survival is all that matters.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London gets five stars in my opinion because of all the action and many very suspenseful scenes. I also like it because it is historical fiction so it is not as hard to believe all of the pictures in your mind. What also makes it such a great book is that all of the drama makes you feel like you’re in the book. I liked the way Jack London described the setting and the dogs. The Call of the Wild is definitely one of my favorite books.

Reviewed by: Larissa

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Kidnapped is about a 11 year old girl named meg.She gets kidnapped, and her 16 year old brother,aiden is trying to rescue her.meg does a lot of this weird secret stuff so aiden can find her.in the beginning and and the end its kind of like a mystery. If you like mysterys you would like this book.meg is a very brave little girl.She attepmpts very dangerous things so she can be rescued.aiden is also brave . he is brave because he trys to follow the kidnappers and get to meg.he does all of this by himself.But at the end agent harris helps aiden try to find her in time. A blizzard starts and the dont make it. when i first started this book it was a litte creepy.But after,when i was in the middle it was so interestin that i couldnt stop!this book is a really good book thats why i picked it to put on the book review.some adjectives are ,awesome, brilliant,mysterious,bold,hectic,heroic,interesting,and clever.

Reviewed by: Angelica

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Review by Alex

The hobbit is a wonderful story written by J.R.R Tolkien. The Hobbit or There and Back Again is a book about a midget, as some would call it, or as it is called in the book, a hobbit. The main character is a hobbit named Bilbo, along with his accompanists’ 13 dwarfs Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, and Thorin. It happened one Tuesday morning when Bilbo was on his front step smoking a pipe. An unexpected guest comes and talks to Bilbo. It turns out to be an old friend Gandalf the wizard. He asked, “Won’t you come to tea tomorrow”. So when the next day comes, instead of Gandalf, 13 dwarfs come. They talk about Thorin’s grandfather’s old castle built into the Lonely Mountain. They danced, sang, and partied all night. Bilbo woke up and didn’t think he’d ever see them again. The next day, Gandalf comes saying that he needs to go to the Prancing Pony because he is going with them and he needs to be there by 10:00 and it’s already 9:50. So Bilbo goes on the adventure with Gandalf. This is the beginning of Bilbo’s adventure and The Lord of the Rings.

Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff

Review by Sara

Eleven is about an 11 year old boy named Sam Mackenzie. Sam does not read well, but does love woodshop. He's family loves him. Which includes his grandfather, Mack, a shop owner Amrita, and Onjy.One day when Mack was out doing something, Sam went upstairs to the attic. Sam found a box with a lock on it. Somehow sam managed to open it. Inside sam found an old newspaper, that said M-I-S-S-I-N-G- in big red letters. Then on the bottom it said "A boy named Sam Bell is missing." Sam just sat there. Sam couldn't read well. He couldn't make out the other words. From than on Sam is very frightened. He wants' to know about his past. So, sam want's to find someone that will read it for him. At first he thought,"should I ask mack?"Then he decided not to. So right the next day sam found the perfect person. One day a girl from another town comes to Sam's school. For the reason that sam cannot read well, sam was looking for someone to read the newspaper for him. Sam becomes friend's with the new girl. Sam grows more and more impatient. The next day sam plans to ask the new girl if she would come to his house and read the newspaper for him. So, the next day the girl comes to his house. Her and Sam go upstairs in the attic and the girl reads a lot of the newspaper for him. Sam is frightened from what he learns from the newspaper. As the story goes on, sam learns a lot of things about his past. He intends to learn more.

People who might enjoy this book are people who have already read, Harry Potter ,and Savvy. I hope whoever reads this will just want to read on, and on and on. Just likeI did. If you're one of those people who read's half of the chapter and sais" I'm bored."Well believe it or not, for this book you will not. Have a good time reading this.

Monday, November 2, 2009

King of the Lost and Found by John Lekich

Review by Sam A.

King of the Lost and Found, by John Lekich, is the story of a kid named Raymond J. Dunne. Raymond seems like a normal kid, but as normal goes he is way off. Raymond has an unrecorded disorder, he sneezes, has nose bleeds, and, weirdest of all, he faints. He's been called everything: Speed bump, Freakshow, The Human Rug, and Drop Dead Dunne. The only thing he hasn't been called is what he wants to be called the most: "cool."

Raymond reaches out to Jack Alexander, a troubled 12th grader who is the star of the basketball team, for friendship. But when all of a sudeen the portrait of Percy Hargrave is stolen, everything gets out of whack and Raymond gets closer to Jack than he ever thought he would. On the raod of being cool, raymond changes for the worst. he starts lying left and right, even to Mr. Bludhowski and his dad. Which life will he pick at the end, the popular life with jack Alexander, or the lost and found life with Mr. Bludhowski? Which life will he betray?

This is a great book filled with suspense, hilarity, and wonder. I recom end this book to any reader who loves a great tale.

Operation Red Jericho by Joshua Mowll

Operation Red Jericho by Joshua Mowll
Review by Dan

The book Operation Red Jericho is about two children named Doug and Becca. Doug and Becca are misfits and can't find a relative that can stand them. Their last relative is their Uncle Fitzroy Macenzie. Their uncle is the captian of the Expedient, a ship made fo "exploring the sea." When the Expedient get a surprise guest with an interesting story, the twins start their adventure. I liked this book, and I would give it a four out of five stars. This book is not a book that everyonek nows, but it is still a solid book. What I liked most was the story lines and the footnotes. What I did not like was that sometimes you would not understand something. This happened when they were explaining how the engine worked and how this and that works. This book is the first of a three book series, so you will want to read the rest of the series when you are done with this book. This book is a thrilling book that is a little bit intense, so if you're looking for a funny book this is not the book for you. This book is a book that will keep you on your feet.

The Golly Whopper Games by Jody Feildman

The Golly Whopper Games by Jody Feildman

Review by Jacob

The plot of this story is about a boy named Gil Goodson who wants to play in the Gollywhopper games. They are kind of like the Olympics, but it's about a toy factory.

Gil is a 12-year-old boy. He's normal sized, and he meets a friend named Bianca who is tall, arrogant, and wants to become a model.

I liked this book because Gil goes through a ton of things like running into bullies and losing his ticket to get into the stadium. But Gil gets through all of it.

The competition isn't only about physical games, though. You have to take tests and do puzzles and a whole lot more. What they do is get an envelope and read what it says. Then it will say a brainteaser like, "'My coat keeps me the warmest during this January freeze,' bragged Tracy." If the above sentence equals zebra, what does the following sentence equal? "The pain in Matthew's elbow lingered through the month of March." And it's bowling. Then if you get the question right you have to do what they call a stunt. The first stunt they did was, "You must knock down all five pins, and stand behind the red line. You can bowl asm any bowls as you want and your best bowler can do most of the bowling."

This is a great story by Jody Feildman.

The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman

The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman
Review by Naomi

This book that I took out of the libray is called The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman. This book is fiction. I know that because there is no kid that you see walking around wearing the same thing as the background; that's just impossible. The plot of this story is about a boy named "the schwa" and his clothes blend into the background, so it's hard to see him. So a boy named Ansy tries hard to figure out his life story and why no one sees him. They also try to find out why he dresses up like the background. Also something fascinating happened that has to do with the Schwa and Ansy, but of course you would have to read the book to find out what it is.

The character description of the Schwa ist hat his clothes blend into the background. Also, he is very expressive. I say that he is expressive because when Ansy once asked him what happened to his mother, the schwa started to get loud and a little mad, kind of like he didn't want to talk about it. And I think that beacuse he is expressive. My opinion of the book is that I would say that the book is all right but not so great. I say that beacuse it has some unnecessary words in it. For example, I saw a couple of swears in it. My opinion based on that is that people who are not too mature should not read this book.

In conclusion, I just told you the genre of the book which is fiction. I also told you the plot fo the story, but I did not give the surprise away. Also, I told the character description which was about the Schwa. I also told you my opinion of the book and I said that it was not so great. And that was my free reading book review.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
Review by Tommy H.

This quarter I read The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle as my FRB. This book is about a young girl named Charlotte who is on her way to America to reunite with her family. But I must warn you if you fear highly intense, heart-pounding action I highly recommend you do not read this book. But ify ou're not scared of a little action this could be a really good book for you to read.

In this story, Charlotte makes friends with Zacharia, the cook on the ship, and they spend most of the day talking to each other and telling stories. But one day when Charlotte finds a round robin, Zacharia gets killed. Charlotte feels it's her fault, so she volunteers to be a replacement on the crew. This choice sets up a lot of trouble for Charlotte.

Charlotte is aboard the Sea Hawk with the captain of the ship, Andrew Jaggery, who first seems like a gentleman but might just be evil enough to commit murder. When Charlotte makes one mistake, she is accused of murder. She is accused because the dagger that killed the man belonged to her. It was a gift from Zacharia that turned into a ticket to death. Charlotte knows the penalty for murder is to hang by your neck until dead. Will Charlotte get out of this pickle? Read to find out!

Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
Review by Chloe

Once Upon a Marigold, a fantasty story by Jean Ferris starts out as the story of a forest troll named Edrick (nicknamed Ed) who was walking in the forest when he found a young boy. The boy he found was named Christian. Christian told Ed that he ran away from his parents and didn't want to go back. After a while, Ed decided to let Christian stay with him. And 11 years later is where the story starts. Christian is now about 18 years old. He is an inventor, and he can invent strange and wacky things. One of his inventions is a telescope which he looks through. One day, when he was younger, he was looking through the telescope when he spotted the King and Queen and their four daughters. He became fascinated with them and began to watch them. One of his other inventions was P-mail. P-mail are pigeons that fly to deliver letters. Using P-mail, Christian sent a letter to the youngest daughter in the royal family, Princess Marigold. She responded back. Later on, they would be mailing letters to each other, but Christian never told Marigold his real name. One day, Christian decided to work for the royal family so he could see Marigold without her knowing who he was. He said goodbye to Ed in the forest and set out for the royal territory. He began to work there as a servant. While he was working, he overheard Queen Olympia plan to overthrow the king and Princess Marigold so she could become the ruler of the Kingdom. Will Queen Olympia's evil plan work? Will Princess Marigold ever know who Christian really is? Read Once Upon a Marigold to find out!

The River by Gary Paulsen

Can you imagine your friend being put in a coma? The main character in this book is Brian Robeson. Brian is very brave for going back up to Canada and reliving his two month long nightmare in the woods. It is Brian's responsibility to take his friend who is in a coma down the raging Canadian river to safety. Can he do it in time before his friend dies? Brian is a determined person and shows this in a couple of ways. One way he shows it is by going back into the woods and teaching others how to survive. Another way he shows determination is making sure that he gets his friend to safety.I think this is a great book because it keeps you on the edge of your seat because the action is changing every minute. You want to read this book AFTER you read Hatchet. If Hatchet excited you, then this will be a good book for you.

Reviewed by: Stephen

Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen

Brian’s Winter, a fictional story by Gary Paulsen, is a sequel to the survival story Hatchet, where Brian was rescued at the end of the story. But, what if he wasn’t able to trigger a radio signal for the pilot to locate him and what if he was never rescued? In this story, the winter Brian began to fear the most in Hatchet has come to challenge him in more ways than he could ever have imagined.

The story takes place with Brian a thirteen year old boy all alone on the island with just his hatchet and survival pack. He struggles to survive the long hard Canadian winter by learning how to kill animals to eat and to stay warm. Brian experiences many hair raising and life threatening situations. One day, Brian encounters a skunk. He and the skunk become friends and Brian names her Betty because he thinks she looks like his aunt. The skunk eventually saves Brian’s life when a very large and hungry bear comes sniffing around to eat Brian’s food and possibly him. Brian is moments away from death when Betty jumps out and sprays him with a bulls eye aim right in his eyes and the bear takes off running and screaming in severe pain.

Brian’s Winter is a suspense packed story that is being told by Brian as he is living it. He makes you feel like you are on the Island with him. The more you get into the book the harder it is to put it aside because you want to know what happens next. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy adventure and survival books. If you are wondering if Brian survives the winter, you will just have to read it to find out.

Submitted by Ryan

The Somebodies, by N.E. Bode

The Somebodies, by N.E. Bode

Review by Kevin

My book, The Somebodies, is a fiction book by N.E Bode that I find very well. It is about a curious girl named Fern that is very curious, and her best friend Howard who isn’t that curious in either way. Fern is an Anybody, a person that can shape-shift, hypnotize, and shake things out of books, and she wants to go down to the city of Anybodies for the convention of the Secret Society of Sombodies, or S.S.S. She does not know that the head of the S.S.S. is really the Blue Queen trying to take over. Will Fern be able to stop her?

Fern has puffy red hair, and big green eyes. She has tried, but never succeeded, to be normal. She is an Anybody. Howard, on the other hand, is very normal. They accidentally got switched at birth and now they’re best friends.

I think this is a good book for two main reasons. First, it was very funny. Second, it has a lot of interesting things in it like people and twists in the story. One important piece of info about this book is that the author frequently refers to his various experiences hiding from his jealous creative writing teacher that is trying to kill