Sunday, December 27, 2009

HARRY POTTER and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling: Reviewed by Hunter L.


I just finished Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban and it was great. I bet most of you already read the series, but to those who haven't there I encourage them to read them.

Harry Potter is now going into his third year at Hogwarts Academy for witches and wizards. He has already faced The Dark Lord and explored dangerous and unheard of places, but this year he doesn't know what trouble he'll get into. Towards the end of summer vacation his Aunt Marge comes, and Harry does not like the visit one bit! Aunt Marge always states that Harry's parents died in a car accident because Harry's father was drunk, but she didn't know the dreadful truth. He is so fed up with her he blows her up accidentally, and then runs away. He eventually ends up at the Leaky Cauldron, and meets Ron and Hermione there. At the Leaky Cauldron Harry finds out that the criminal who had escaped from Azkaban, supposedly murdered innocent people, and could have been part of Harry's parents' death is out to kill him. On the way to Hogwarts they pass a Dementor (hooded figures who suck the soul and happiness out of wizards), which makes Harry faint. At school there are all the same teachers, except three: professor Lupin, professor Trelawney, and Hagrid. At one of Hagrid's lessons they get to encounter a hippogriff. Hagrid explained that you must be careful, and gentle with them. Malfoy wasn't, and he ended up in the hospital wing pretending to be hurt. At one of his first quittich games hundreds of Dementors spread on to the field because they can't resist the thousands of fans, but Harry got all dizzy, and fell of his broom loosing it in the Womping Willow. Now Harry doesn't have a broom, and he still gets nervous around dementors. The next day he goes to professor Lupin to take anti-demantor lessons. After several lessons he is able to make a patronus to protect himself against dementors. Harry, Ron, and Hermione get a letter from Hagrid stating that Buckbeak one of the hippogriffs was going to be decapitated because of Malfoy's "injury", and there was nothing they could do. The next day they went down to Hagrid's house to comfort him before the decapitaton. As they leave they see Scabbers (Ron's rat) was scampering across the grass from Hermione's cat! Scabbers and the cat ran to the Womping Willow,and were greeted by a big black dog (the one Harry saw on his street). Ron was pulled under by the dog, and Harry and Hermione followed........

If you really want to know what happened next, you'll have to read the book to find out!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin:Reviewed by Simran P.

Where The Mountain Meets the Moon is a book I really enjoyed. This phenomenal novel is by the award-winning author and illustrator Grace Lin who lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. To briefly describe the plot, I would say that the story is about a young girl of a village in Fruitless Mountain who goes on a dramatic journey to bring fortune into her small village. Minli's Ma and Ba spend long hours in the fields, trying hard to provide for the family. Minli's Ba tells her tales about the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon, while her Ma discourages him for filling the little girl's head with foolishness. Minli though, strongly believes in the remarkable stories, and starts on her quest, leaving her parents hopeless and worried. Along the way, she meets helpful characters and a large dragon with a very big heart as well, that accompanies her on her journey.

The two main characters in this story include a hopeful, kind ,wise, courageous, and very determined young girl named Minli, and a dragon who is caring, protective, and humble. Like Minli, he too has a goal or dream. With a gigantic and powerful partner by her side, Minli is positive her journey won't be a thing her family, friends,and she herself will ever regret. The characters in this book are not only inspiring, but also very enjoyable to read and get to know.

I would give this excellent book a rating of 5/5 stars. There are many reasons why I chose to give this book such a high rating. First of all, I love the genre of this book. Fantasy is definetly one of my favorite genres, and I'm glad it's the genre of one of my top favorite books.

Also, Grace Lin is an author I'm very inspired by. All of her books are very welcoming, and likely to just reel you in by the very first chapter. Last but not least, I love how there are little stories within the story that help you understand it better. I think this is a book that both a girl and boy would enjoy. All in all, I loved this book!

This 278 paged book will in no doubt catch your interest. So, now that you have a pretty good idea of what this magical novel is like, rush to the library or local bookstore to get it. If you get there fast, you might even be lucky enough to get the hand-autographed copy of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. I hope you enjoyed my review! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton: Reviewed by Caroline S.

Have you ever wondered what the dangers are when you’re playing your favorite sports? Well Bethany Hamilton didn’t really think about it that much before her accident occurred. That's why Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton is such a shocking book. While Bethany was doing her favorite sport, surfing, she got the last thing that she wanted.

Halloween morning, she went out for her normal morning surf. While she was surfing, she got attacked, just like that. She didn’t even know that a shark was coming towards her. She just was lying on her surf board, waiting for a good wave to come with her arm dangling in the water. She thinks that because of her watch that was on her wrist, and something reflecting off of it is what attracted the shark. She only felt a pinch when the shark bit off her arm. That’s the total opposite of what I would think! I think she didn’t really think it hurt because she was in total shock. I thought that she would just pass out on her surf board. But nope, she persevered and got back to the beach. She obviously didn’t paddle back to the beach by herself because then she would just go in a circle. So it was good for her to know that whenever she needed help, she was able to get it from someone that cared about her.

Throughout this whole experience, she knew that God would help her through it all. Not physically, but mentally. If I were Bethany, the only thing that I would be thinking about would be, “Will I ever be able to do this again?” You won’t believe the fight that Bethany fought to get back out in the water. She knows that it won't be easy, but she was still up for it.

I recommend people reading this book because Bethany Hamilton really makes you feel like you’re in her feet going through this whole experience. I think that any one that likes to read about someone in a bad situation and see them triumph, then I think that you should read this book.