Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

abundance_of_katherinesAn Abundance of Katherines by John Green is phenomenal book that is about a boy who has only dated girls named Katherine. The book starts with a boy named Colin who is introduced to be a child prodigy. He has just had is heart broken by his nineteenth girlfriend named Katherine. Colin is extremely upset, so his friend Hassan convinces him to go on a road trip.

After convincing both of their parents, they go on the road trip. They stop in a town called Gutshot where they are offered summer jobs and a room to live in. The women who offers them these jobs has a daughter named Lindsey. Meanwhile, Colin is set on the fact of finding an equation that will predict the future of any relationship.

Eventually, Colin finds that he is attracted to Lindsey. However, Lindsey already has a boyfriend. Anyone who has read any John Green books in the past would certainly be interested in this book and it is a wonderful book that I would recommend to everyone.

-Melika R., 9th grade


Book Review: Looking for Alaska, by John Green

looking_for_alaskaIn the novel Looking For Alaska by John Green, you learn the true lesson of always looking out for your friends.

A boy named Miles leaves his boring life in Florida to seek his Great Perhaps. He decides that to do so he must go to boarding school. When he gets there, he meets his roommate the Colonel. The Colonel introduces Miles- who is now nicknamed Pudge- to a girl named Alaska. Pudge describes Alaska as the most beautiful girl he had ever seen in his life.

Pudge and Alaska spend a lot of time together and go through great adventures. Alaska has a lot going on in her life and one night she storms off and gets in a car accident. After the accident, Pudge and the Colonel go through great efforts to try and figure out what happened to her that night.

By the end of the book, Pudge believes that he has found his Great Perhaps. In this book, you capture the message to hang on to every moment and to always make every moment count. Pudge and the Colonel embrace that message after the accident. I would recommend this book to anyone above the age of 13. In the end, this was a great book and it was heart-warming.

-Melika R., 8th grade

Book Review: Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay

sarahs_keyIn this book, Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana De Rosnay, you learn a valuable lesson about being grateful for what you have.

This book is about a girl named Sarah and she gets taken away with her mother and father off to a bike stadium. They had to go because they were Jewish. Before they leave, Sarah locks her little brother in a secret cupboard and promises to come back. The French Police take them away so she feels as if she is safe because it was not the Germans.

Then on the other side of the story, you learn about a women named Julia. She works for a magazine and is assigned to write an article about the roundup of Jewish people. She is married to a man whose family lived in the apartment Sarah lived in after she was taken away. She learns about Sarah and their stories connect, and Sarah sticks with her forever.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested about France’s involvement in World War II. Also, I would recommend it to  someone who is interested in the Holocaust. In the end, it is a delightful book to read and it was thought out very well.

-Melika R., 8th grade

Book Review: My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier

Z917SchBroSam2upMy Brother Sam is Dead is a fascinating historical fiction by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier, and is a story about a family torn apart over the American Revolution.

The story all starts when the oldest brother, Sam Meeker, comes home unexpectedly from college- Yale to be exact. He gives the family news that the patriots have defeated the “lobster backs” or the British. The Meeker family is loyal to the king and do not think that the war would do any good. However, Sam has a different perspective on this.

Tim, Sam’s younger brother, admires Sam greatly. When the brothers are outside together doing chores around their family’s tavern, Sam tells Tim his plan to steal their father’s gun in order to fight. Tim protests, but he can do nothing to stop Sam. That night, Mr. Meeker and Sam have an argument about the war and Sam runs away from home. One day, near winter, Tim’s father says that this year Tim will be going with him to Verplanck’s Point with him to trade the cattle. On the way there cowboys almost rob them, but a rescue team comes just in time. On the way back however, Tim’s father gets kidnapped and Tim almost does too, but he luckily outsmarts the cowboys. When Tim gets home he immediately becomes more responsible and takes charge of the tavern the family owns. When Sam comes home to visit them a couple months later, he advises Tim to butcher the cattle’s meat and hide it before the patriots steal them. One night when Sam is visiting the tavern again, two patriots try to steal the cattle. Sam chases after them, but gets framed for stealing them.

The question everyone is asking is, what will happen to Sam? I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the American Revolution. It is an interesting read and it gives you a new perspective on the revolution. It will be one of the best historical fictions you have ever read!

-Melika R., 8th grade

Book Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain

tom_sawyer_coverIn the classic novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, you learn a valuable lesson about always valuing the people you love.

Tom Sawyer has many adventures along the Mississippi River! In this book, you see the life of a school boy he lives with his aunt. Tom is always getting beaten both in school and out of school so he decides to run away. He runs away with his friends Huck Finn and Joe Harper and they arrive back home just in time for their own funeral! In addition to that, they witness a murder and discover treasure that nobody could even imagine at that time! Tom also falls in love with a girl named Becky Thatcher. Although she plays a minority in the story compared to Tom, she takes up a very big part in Tom’s heart.

I would personally recommend this book to advanced readers or people that are the age fourteen and up, and students that are in eighth grade or ninth grade. There are some parts they may be a bit confusing because of the slang they used back in that time period. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a classic and it has to be on your must read list!

-Melika R., 8th grade

Book Review: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

hunger_games_coverIn The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, you learn about friendship, courage, and much more.

This whole book is about a young girl named Katniss. Her country is divided into 12 districts, and then the capital. Each year, one girl and one boy are sent to the annual Hunger Games from each district. She has to go to her country’s annual Hunger Games. The Gunger Games is an event where 24 kids are put into an arena and are forced to fight to the death.

She makes many new friends along the way, but she also makes many new enemies. She has many tragedies along the way. For example, one of her closest friends in the games gets killed. Katniss helps unite the districts slowly throughout the story.

Her story consists of betrayal, love, hate, and friendship. Her journey has many ups and downs and it ends with an unforgettable event. I would recommend this book to anyone from the ages 12 and up. I believe that even adults will enjoy this book. Although you may not like the science fiction genre, I’m sure you will enjoy this book. This book will just make you want to pick up the next one!

-Melika R., 8th grade

Book Review: Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe

robinson_crusoeRobinson Crusoe is an interesting book written by Daniel Defoe. This book is about a man that was stranded on a tropical island alone and desperate for help. He goes to great lengths to try and survive. He does incredible work trying to survive. However, there are some setbacks such as an earthquake. He describes it as “would have overturned the strongest building that could be supposed to have stood on the Earth.”

Crusoe begins to get used to all of these misfortunes. Many new events start to happen at the same time as well. One of these events include meeting Friday. Crusoe teaches Friday many new things. Friday and Crusoe also become very good friends.

The story goes on and you must read to find out what happens next! I would recommend this book to an older crowd such as ages 13 – 16. This of course depends on what version you read.

In the end, this book is very good and I recommend you to read it. This is a classic that you will love. This book is one of the few books that you will ever forget about!

-Melika R., 8th grade

Book Review: Divergent, by Veronica Roth

divergent_coverDivergent by Veronica Roth is a great dystopian novel where a girl is a brave enough to go against her family and choose her own way. She portrays bravery, independence, and confidence.

This story is about a society with five factions: the Dauntless, daredevils and rebels; the Erudite, the knowledgeable group; the Amity, the peaceful people; the Candor, the honest people; and the Abnegation, the people who are selfless. The main character of the story is a girl named Beatrice. She starts off in the Abnegation with her brother but when she turns sixteen she must choose a certain faction. As she takes the test that would determine what faction she will go into, she fits into three of the factions– which is almost impossible so she is determined what is called Divergent.

In the ceremony to choose her faction, she chooses Dauntless and her brother chooses Erudite. She goes off to Dauntless and passes their very hard initiation. Through the initiation she experiences things she had never experienced in her life before. This would consist of death, betrayal, and danger.

This is a very good, interesting book and I encourage you to read it. I say this book would fit the age group of people from 13 and up. It is a great book and once you finish this first one, you won’t be able to keep yourself from picking up the next. If you’re looking for a good read, then this is your book.

-Melika R., 8th grade

Book Review: The Devil’s Arithmetic, by Jane Yolen

devils_arithmetic_coverThe Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen is a wonderful historical fiction novel that takes the reader back in time to the Holocaust. In this story, we follow a modern Jewish girl that goes back in time.

She goes into a concentration camp and you will see all the hardships endured there. You will see betrayal, love, and some misfortunate events throughout the story. You will also learn the true meaning of life: always do what you believe in. It doesn’t matter what other people think or say. It’s what you think is best for you that you should do. Jane Yolen teaches us this helpful message through everything that these Jewish people had to go through.

I would recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 11 to 14. It is truly a very touching book and it will help a lot in understanding their lives. This book was the winner of the National Jewish Book Award in 1989. I highly recommend that you read this book. I know that you won’t regret it. This book will teach you many life lessons. One of these life lessons will teach you how fortunate you really are.

Like Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” The Jewish people did win.

-Melika R., 7th grade