Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

mockingbird_coverTo Kill a Mockingbird is about two young siblings, Jem and Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, and their father, Atticus Finch. Jem is the older one with a kind heart, and Scout is the younger sister who favors boys’ games and entertainment.  Their neighbors are the mysterious Radleys.  Jem and Scout always wondered what was with the Radleys.  During one summer they meet Dill, a young boy who comes to their town every summer.  From that day they played with scripts from stories.  They decid to try to get one of the Radleys out, Boo Radley.  They try many ways but fail.

Few months later Atticus gets a case about a black man raping a white girl. Jem and Scout eagerly join the audience in the court room as the case was discussed.  It ended up with the black man being found guilty, and he went to jail.  The father of the victim wanted revenge on Atticus for defending a black man.  So, will the man found guilty be released or not?  And will Jem and Scout ever get Boo Radley out of his home?

This book was really enjoyable. Once you finished the first chapter you are hooked and reeled in.  It is such a page-turner!!  I suggest this for thirteen and up because of the language.  The story really fits in with the title.  I hope you enjoy this book.

-Samantha S., 8th grade

Book Review: Relax, I’m a Ninja, by Natalie Whipple

“So, what exactly do we, uh, do?”
“The usual- sabotage, espionage, smuggling, and such.”

relax_ninjaFirst of all, I want to point out this has to be one of the coolest titles ever. I think it pretty much sums up the entire book, but I’ll go on about it anyways.

As you probably already guessed, this book is about ninjas. It’s difficult to believe there could be ninja clans in San Francisco, but sixteen-year-old Tosh has been training in the secrecy of his father’s dojo for years. Why not hide in plain sight? A karate place is the last place you’d expect a real ninja. Everything changes when Tosh’s father recruits long-time-karate-student Amy, who happens to be the crush of Tosh’s best friend. Huge cover risk. Plus, completely off limits. At least that’s what Tosh tells himself, but neither he nor Amy can deny their connection.

Some ninjas are evil. There is a serial killer on the loose, nicknamed “The Ninja” by the media because of his costume, stabbing innocents with one of the most deadly ninja poisons; Dragon’s Bile. Teaming up with Amy to find this elusive killer may prove there are more secrets in San Francisco than even Tosh suspected.

What’s amazing about this story is the levels of secrecy. I should expect this from a secret ninja book, but there were twists I didn’t see coming. Sometime of the people Tosh trusts the most may have a secret he never would have expected. Or some person who should have no knowledge about ninjas, might already be one.

Plenty of action with the ninja fights, but there is a splash of romance thrown in as well. This well written novel kept is well paced and captured my attention the entire time. Definitely give this book a try as long as you don’t absolutely hate ninjas.

-Nicole G., 11th grade