Friday, May 28, 2010

Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz: Reviewed by Elias C.

The Skeleton Key is a really thrilling and suspensful book. This is the third book of the Alex Rider series, which I think is amazing so far. The genre of this book I think is adventure and mystery. This story is about Alex Rider and he is a spy working for the MI6, a british military intellegance company. He becomes a ball boy at Wimbledon, and he finds out a Chinese traid gang called "Big Circle" is drugging players so that they will loose. Once he catches them drugging the players the "Big Circle" are after him and he has to hide until the MI6 can fix it. The MI6 want Alex to team up with 2 CIA agents and spy on a man named General Alexei Sarov. The island he lives on his called Skeleton Key in english. Alex figures out that General Alexei Sarov bought uranium which he made into a nucular bomb. The CIA agents go scuba diving to get into the Generals mansion and they do not return. Alex goes into the gave they went to and he encounters a shark and it dies by some booby traps left there. He returns to the surface and he is then captured by Conrad, one of General Sarov's men.

General Sarov thinks of Alex as his son because they look a lot alike and he reminds him of him. So General tells him about his plan to blow up Mosscow to try to get Russia back in power again and to make them the most powerful nation. Will Alex save the day? Read the book to find out! The two other books before this one are the first book Stormbreaker and the second book Point Blank. I would really suggest to read this if you like adventure books with a lot of suspense in it. So go to the library and get this book!

Theodosia and the Serpent of Chaos by R. L. LaFevers: Review by Hailee L.

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos

Poor Theodosia is all alone in that dusty, old Museum of Legends, until her mother comes home from Egypt with the legendary Heart of Egypt that she found in Amenemhab’s tomb. Theo has a special ability unlike any other…she can sense and see curses and black magic, good and bad. When her mother returns with the Heart of Egypt it holds a curse so vile that it threatens to German goons and someone who Theo thought was a good man, only to find out he was framing another man. Von Braggenschnott, one of the German goons, then found out who had the Heart of Egypt from a traitor and then quested to get it from their grasp.

Of course it wouldn’t work because Theo had the wits to figure it out. She had the Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers, Henry-her brother, and Sticky Will the street urchin on her side to try and find the Heart of Egypt. Only she found out that the only way to stop the curse that Thutmose had bestowed upon it would get worse until whoever took it returned it to its rightful resting place. That soon led to a race to get to Egypt so their city wouldn’t crumble into pieces. Can she save the British Empire from total destruction?! You will have to read the book if you like mystery and learning about Egypt!

The Tapestry: The Second Seige by Henry N. Neff Review by Jackson

This quarter I read The Tapestry Book Two: The Second Siege by Henery N. Neff. This is about a boy named Max McDaniels who goes to a magical like school called Rowan. After living 100's of years in peace, Rowan has to face the once imprisoned Astorath who was freed by a Rowan trader. He is a terrible demon that could destroy the world with his power. Max and his roomate David Menlo are the only ones who could save the day. The two of them, and one of the top agents in the world Cooper adventure all over Europe to find The Book of Throth. This book has all the real secrets to the world, and the power to destroy anything. Max is called "The Hound of Rowan", and is one of the best agents ever. David is one of the smartest kids and mystics ever. They encounter feirce witches, evil goblins, and many injuries along the way. Will the two 12 year olds save the day? Who will win the Book? Which group will win the war? Read The Tapestry: The Second Seige to find out.

I thought that this was a very good book. The author does s great job of describing each scene, and you feel like you are inside of it watching. The book is very action packed, and you never know what is going to come next. Make sure that you read the first and then third in this series. If you liked the Harry Potter series, or any other action packed series, you would like this book. I hope you have fun reading it.
Jackson C

This Can't Be Happening At MacDonald Hall by Gordon Korman: Review by Charlie R.

I read the book: This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall by Gordon Korman. This book is about two boys named Bruno and Boots. These two boys are best friends and roommates. Bruno and Boots are both on the school’s hockey team as well as the biggest trouble makers in the school. On the day of the biggest hockey game, Bruno and Boots steal the other team’s mascot which is a cat and hide it in their room. When Boots is putting the cat that they took on the bed it scratches him across the face, leaving him with a mark. When the other team finds out their mascot is missing, they begin to panic. Since the mascot is missing, the opposing team starts to lose. In the second period, the score is 5-3 and Boots is skating up for the face off and….the opposing player attacks him seeing the scratch on his face. A while after The (Fish) aka the dorm principal finds out that they stole the cat and that is when everything begins. After hearing about this, The Fish puts the two boys in separate rooms. After living in separate rooms, they finally decide that they have to do something to get back in the same room so they both decide to try to impress The Fish by getting their SAT grades up higher. When they achieve this goal nothing happens so one night they went outside to discuss what to do to get their grades up and all of a sudden, the boys hear a yell for help. They run to a nearby tree and find a boy stuck up the tree. This boy turns out to be Francisco Diaz, who is the Ambassador’s son. Bruno and Boots are rewarded by the police and The Fish. The Fish rewarded them by letting them become roommates again. I thought this was an excellent book if you like adventures. It really had me hooked into it.

The Zucchini Warriors by Gordon Korman: Review by Erin P.

I just read the book, Zucchini Warriors, by Gordon Korman. I absolutely loved it! This is a fiction book about Bruno and Boots. Bruno and Boots are best friends, and when they are together they get into all types of trouble. The boys made a deal with the new football coach. The deal was if they could gather a 'good' football team, that the school will make a Rec. hall. Once there were tryouts, the team started up. The coach would always give them zucchini sticks! Ewww. That’s what the whole team thought. Bruno and Boots had to think up of ways to dispose of the zucchini. They came up with loads of ideas. But, obviously- they all went wrong. Bruno and Boots themselves- the 'Zucchini Disposal Squad!'

Bruno and Boots are to exciting guys. There is also the Fish- head principal. Bruno and Boots do NOT have a good reputation with him. Not at all! There is also Elmer, the school's smartest kid in school. Do not forget about the klutz- Sidney. And, the blabbermouth and the executor too!

This book made me laugh out loud! I normally can not finish any book. I flew right through this book. I liked the length of this book- not to long and not to short. Will Bruno and Boots make a good football team? Will they get the Rec. Hall? Read the Zucchini Warriors to find out.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rick Riordan's The Red Pyramid by Eric R

Did you like the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series? Then you’ll love The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan! This is book one of the Kane Chronicles. Rick Riordan is a good author who creates good stories around gods. The Red Pyramid is a 514-page novel that highlights Egyptian gods, instead of Greek gods. In the book, the main characters, Carter and Sadie Kane, who are 14 and 12 years old, tell the story as if its been taped and typed up. This is funny because they say comments about one another.

The story begins with their father blowing up the priceless Rosetta Stone and being captured in a gold tomb and melting into the floor. He was captured by a fiery creature we later learn is the Red Lord. The Red Lord wants to take over the world and Carter and Sadie have five Demon days to stop him. Carter and Sadie have help. They have gods/goddesses sharing their bodies that give them powers. But, the gods are also trying to take control over their bodies.

One of my favorite parts of the story is how Carter and Sadie travel. For example, in one part, they travel from an Egyptian obelisk to the Parisian obelisk through a portal. Sadie does the portals, but it makes her weak afterward. Carter protects his sister and fights all the monsters.

I recommend this book because it has descriptive language that makes you feel like you’re there. I loved how the story progressed, it was fast-paced, but it was logical, not jumpy.

rough draft of Erak's Ransom

This book is the prequel of the 5 and the 6 book. this is when the main character gets his golden leaf. The golden leaf is the symbol of going from apprentice to master. This books starts out in skandia- like past Scandinavia being rough and harsh- with the oberjarl Erak(there leader). He goes on a mission to pillage a village. He gets captured because they were expecting him to come because he was tipped of by a past traitor.

When news of Erak being captured and is being held for ransom, Will's country goes into action. They send a delegate from there country to negotiate a amount. Will and his teacher along with his friend who is a warrior go with her to keep her safe.wile they negotiating a tribe who lives in the desert near the city and takes him and holds him not for ransom but to trap to kill them.

While they try to get to Erak Will's horse gets lost in the sandstorm. Because of the tight bond between Will and his horse he searches for it. During this time Will's companions get caught and are sentenced to death. So Will tries to come up with a plan to save them, He meets some nomads and they accompany him and help him rescue his companions.

Bystander by James Preller: Review by Jacob I.

I read the book Bystander by James Preller. This is a story about a thirteen year old boy named Eric, who is a new kid in school. Eric starts to fit in with the “ cool kids,” but they are all bullies. During the summer Eric is on the court playing basketball, when he sees David Hollenbeck “THE TARGET” running across the field with blood on his shirt. Eric then sees Griffin and his gang chasing David. The gang consists of four people with Mary (who isn’t a bully), Hakeem, Warrick, Cody and Griffin.

Griffin is a mean, rude bully who gets away with everything with his “Hollywood smile.” Mary is sweet and caring and starts to fall for Eric. Eric is the new kid in school, and he picks the wrong kids to hang out with. Hakeem and Warrick are like Griffin’s pets throughout the book, but then they do what they want to do. Cody is a tough kid who starts to find his way to living his own life after a huge mistake.

I loved this book and it was full of action. It’s like it sucked me into the story. This book makes you want to keep flipping pages. I think anyone one who reads this book will love as much as I did. If you want to read a book filled with action and drama, and a book that makes you think you're in their shoes. Then read this book.

Mister Monday by Garth Nix; Review by Kevin S.

Review by Kevin S.Mister Monday,and the rest of the series(The Keys to the Kingdom series), is one of my all-time favorites. It is about an asthmatic boy named Arthur Penhaligon.The trouble starts in the first chapter. Arthur was at his first day in a new school, and he had to run cross-country track with the rest of the school. He has an asthma attack, and is about to die, when a strange man comes out of nowhere and gives him a clock hand, thinking Arthur would die and and then he would be able to claim the "key" honestly, but the key saves Arthur's life. After that he is chased into a strange, invisible( except to him) house with seven realms, one for each day of the week. When he is chased, he meets a talking frog that is the first part of the Will, which hold the rules of the House, which each holder (Trustees) of the seven keys(one for each realm) don't listen to, which is why Arthur must claim. During his strange adventure, full of Nithlings of all kinds and unexpected turns, he gains a strange ally, Suzy Turquoise Blue, who is a Piper's child, one of the many children that the Piper (the Pied Piper) had brought into the House and worked throughout the House. Eventually, Arthur gets the full First Key and goes home to cure his town of a disease brought on by Nithlings visiting.Arthur is an average looking kid with brown hair. He was adopted by a member of an old-time band (Ratz) and a legendary doctor. He has five (I think) foster brothers and sisters. One is a Major in the Army, Erazmuz, and two live at home, Eric, a basketball star, and Michaeli. Strange family, right? Not to Arthur. He's been with them for most of his life. Suzy is an adventurous, risk-taking, non-syllable pronouncing girl who is always diving into the situation, good or bad, and always looking at the bright side.I really loved this book and the series, even though it was a bit confusing at times, and I recommend not only the book, but the whole series. If you want another Australian series to read, or you loved this one, you should try the Ranger's Apprentice series.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer School! What Genius Thought That Up? Review by Nick N.

Summer School! What Genius Thought That Up? by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver is one of the funniest books I've ever read. The main character in this book is Hank Zipzer. He lives in New York city. Hank has a couple of problems with school. One is Hank is consistent at getting in trouble, partially because he's a class clown. Another problem is Hank has dyslexia, so he doesn't get the greatest grades in school. In result Hank is now stuck in summer school. He hears his to best friends, Ashley Wong and Franky Townsend, are doing a magic trick at a luau party. Hank's father says he can go to the luau, but there's only one problem. He has to get a plain old A, not an A-minus on his Albert Einstein project in summer school.

In this book Hank changes completely on his current state of mind on school. He decides to take school seriously so he can go to the luau. The first problem Hank runs into is he has no idea who this "Albert Einstein dude" really is. So Hank talks to his Grandfather he calls "Papa Pete". Papa Pete takes Hank to the New York public library. The first thing they do is get Hank a library card. Then they go to get some books on Albert Einstein. Hank reads up on Albert Einstein, and he practices his magic trick with Frankie and Ashley. Soon enough the big day came that would decide if Hank would be at the luau or not. Will Hank be at the luau? Read this book to find out!

This book to me was a really funny one. This book is right for you if you enjoy laughing, and action. I think anyone who reads this book will enjoy it. Also, this book is the eighth book in the series. I hope everyone who reads this review will read this fantastic book.

The Clique by Lisi Harrison Reviewed by Simran P.

The extremely rich, high fashioned, [to others] snobby BFF's walk through the large hallways of Octavian Country Day Middle School like models walking down the runway. Lisi Harrison's The Clique is the first of her New York Times Bestseller series. With a length of 22o pages, the novel is about the seventh grade alpha (leader) Massie Block, who is living the perfect life until her father's old friend, Jay Lyons and his family move from Orlando, Florida to Westchester, New York. They're living at the Blocks' guesthouse until they can get settled on their own, and Massie is totally bummed. Instead of hitting a major Labor Day shopping spree with her three bestfriends Alicia, Dylan and Kristen, Massie is forced to be a "welcoming guest" to the new family. When Massie and Claire come face to face for the first time, Claire's jaw drops at the sight of Massie's stunning $600 wardrobe, let alone her gigantic mansion-sized house. Massie's first impression of Claire isn't so great, though. Claire's tacky oversized outfits to her are a big "Fashion No-no". Massie does not believe she is "clique" material, but Claire still attempts to be kind and generous to Massie and her diva friends. Will they accept her for the sweet, friendly girl she is, or turn on her like the other lame wannabe losers that walk the halls of OCD?

There are five main characters in this awesome book. One of them is Massie Block, the 7th grade alpha and the clique's official Queen B. Her high -priced wardrobes and inside scoops on the latest gossip aren't the only things that make the school's LBR's (Losers Beyond Repair) worship her. Then there's Alicia Rivera, the unbelievably beautiful Spanish "beta" with major status. Dylan Marvil is the cute, funny chic with an overly obsessed attitude towards her weight. Kristen Gregory is the girl with brains, beauty, athletic talent and very strict parents. Last but not least, there's Claire. She's smart and pretty in a way, but what she really wants is to be accepted. Does she realize that the only thing harder than getting "in", is staying in?

I really enjoyed this book. It does overly exaggerate the life of a typical popular seventh grade girl, but that's what makes the book so real. There is awesome style, humor, a little suspense, and great comebacks that force you to read all night long. Be sure to read it.

This novel is highly reccomended for girls, not for boys. It really deserves a 5/5 star rating. For more fun with The Clique, be sure to read Best Friends for Never, Revenge of the Wannabes, Invasion of the Boy Snatchers, The Pretty Committee Strikes Back, Dial L for Loser, It's Not Easy Being Mean, Sealed with a Diss and more. I know, there's a lot to read! Get started and you'll be glued to the series.

Waggit's Tale by Peter Howe

Reviewed by Claire W.

As the white dog bounced through the horribly familiar foliage, he thought about his choice. Should he stay, or go? Be called Waggit, or Parker? When he reached the abandoned tunnel, he stopped in his tracks. Time was in a complete standstill. All of the memories he shared with the pile of mangy dogs a few feet away came crashing down. They were sweet memories of playing, sleeping, and loving. But then, the human world he had come from, and had recently found again, was dependable and loving too. Would his friends be mad if he chose the enemy over the pack? Lowdown and Tazar, he thought, would not. Or would the woman be mad if he was gone when she came home? His experience told him yes. But his gut told him no. He just couldn't take the burning truth: This choice was not easy.

Maybe the wrong was right. No, it was wrong. Right. Wrong. With the battle inside his head raging, he pushed on through the vines and sticks; and Waggit’s tail gave a feeble wag.

“Hold up there, friend,” a voice said. “Who are you, and what do you want?”

In the book Waggit’s Tale, the author follows Waggit as he goes on the adventure of life. In the beginning, Waggit is lost in what humans would call New York’s Central Park, and then Tazar, a pack leader, introduces Waggit to his team of stray dogs living in the park. Waggit joins the group. They have many hardships, from hunger to rivalries with other teams. Believe it or not, this is a true story. You will never forget this tragic tale of the white puppy that found the best home in his worst nightmare.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Roirdan, Review by Hunter L.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
By Rick Roirdan

Percy Jackson is a 12 year old boy with ADHD. He goes to Yancy Academy for other kids with the same problem. He only has one friend named Grover, that he constantly needs to protect from bullys. While the school is on a field trip to learn about the Greek Gods, very strange things happen. Once, Ms. Dodds pulled him out of the room into an exibit. She was next to Percy, but suddenly she appeared on a 30 ft high stand. Suddenly, she swooped down and turned into something; something he knew he had seen before. Then, Mr. Brunner rolled in in his weelchair, and handed Percy a ballpoint pen.

"Take the cap off," Mr. Brunner states.

Percy takes it off, and finds out that he is no longer holding a pen, but a sword. He slashes Ms. Dodds, and she turns to dust. Later, he is outside having lunch with Grover, and Nancy starts to bully Grover, so he steps in. Suddenly, water sprays out from the water fountain, and Nancy is magically lifted by the water into the fountain. Back at shcool, everybody seems to forget who Ms. Dodds is, as if she never existed, but he knows what happened. After school, Percy starts to walk down to Mr. Brunner's office, when he hears Mr. Brunner and Grover talking.

Later on the subway home, he asks Grover about Ms. Dodds. Grover hesitates. Then, he explains about how the gods are real, and that there are mortals, gods, monsters, and half bloods. He also explains that he is a satyr (a human from half up, and a two goat legs on front, including hooves) Mr. Brunner is a centaur, Ms. Dodds is a furry (a servant of Hades), and that he thinks that Percy is a half blood. He gives Percy his card, and says if he needs any help call me. That night when Percy gets home, he sees his step father "Gabe," aka "Smelly Gabe," gambling with his friends, and then his mom comes home from work. Later, they drive to the beach and unpack their stuff in a cabin, for a camping trip. Then, Grover comes sprinting down the beach. He opens the door, and yells that they are comming, and Ms. Jackson knows what he means. They get into the car, and drive to a house in the middle of knowhere. Then a Minotaur appears, they jump out of the car and start to battle, but then the Minotaur snatches Ms. Jackson, and trys to choke her, when she turns into gold light and dissapears.

Once they kill the Minotaur, they get to the house, but it is no longer just a little house, it is four storries high, and there are ten cabins, one for each of the gods and goddesses of Olympus.

There is one for Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Apollo, Ares, Aphrodite, Athena, Demeter, Artemis, Hephaestus, Dionysus and Hermes. He walks over to Mr. Brunner and finds out that he is a centaur named Chiron. He also finds out that the man next to him is Dionysus. He is placed in the Hermes cabin not besause they believe that he is a child of Hermes, but that's where all kids go when they don't know their parrents. The counselor of the cabin is Luke, a son of Hermes. When the Ares cabin start to bully him, especially Clarisse, he runs to the bathroom, and she folluws. Suddenly, the pipes explode and gets Clarisse and her cabin mates all wet, the water is about a foot high, but he is not wet. Later, they play capture the flag, and Annabeth (a girl from the Athena cabin) Told Percy to stay by the river, and stop the Ares cabin from crossing. Then, the Ares cabbin come, led by clarisse, who is holding a spear. When they cross, they attack Percy. Then he falls into the water, and then a trident appears over his head. Annabeth appears from behind him, and stares. Once everybody comes, they gasp and stare. He is the son of Poseidon. Now he gets to live in a cabin all to himself, and he gets his own table.

After dinner he goes up the the attic of the big house to listen to the prophecy. Once he hears the riddle, he goes downstairs tho tell Chiron, Annabeth, and Grover. The next day Annabeth, Grover, and himself go out to solve the mystery of who stole Zeus' master lightning bolt. On this adventure, he meets many gods, battles many monsters, including Medusa, and uncovers many'll have to read the book to find out.

If you enjoyed the Harry Potter series, you'll love these.