Book Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

boy_striped_pajamasFor this month’s post, I decided to write about one of the most shushed topics of history: WW2.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is about Bruno and his “explorations” during WW2. In the beginning, he and his family have to move since Hitler, or the Fury as it says in the book, gives a commandment job to Bruno’s dad. In the book it does not say that the Fury is Hitler but the reader can figure that out since the people on the other side of their house, the new house, are wearing striped pajamas and are being killed systematically.

For this book, instead of a summary, I wanted to give my opinion on how this book is.  I thought overall this story was very good. But, honestly, I thought the ending was way too harsh. SPOILER ALERT! When Bruno and Shmuel are gassed, it leaves the reader with nothing. As the reader, we have been on a long journey with both of them and in the end they suddenly die by being gassed. So, overall I would say this book was a 4/5, I just can’t bear the ending.

Let me know what you think about the ending– was it too harsh or was it perfect?

-Satej B., 8th grade

Book Review: Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors

smells_like_dogIn the world of literature, there are so many authors out there. But, there are a few dozen authors who will blow your mind, and one of them is Suzanne Selfors. The way Suzanne writes is simply amazing. First, her books are a fusion between comedy and seriousness. Especially in Smells Like Dog.

This is definitely my favorite book written by her. In Smells Like Dog, Homer, who is a farm boy, gets a gift from Uncle Drake– a dog! Except, the dog doesn’t do anything. Really he does nothing. But, Uncle Dranke, before he died, left a dog to Homer, which he called his most treasured possession. So what should he do with it? The dog just doesn’t want to do anything at all.

Until… you’ll have to read the book to know.

Out of 5 I would rate this story a definite 5. Also, out of 5, I would rate the author a 6, because it is very hard to find a great author. Thanks for reading, and please give comments below!

-Satej B., 8th grade

Book Review: No More Dead Dogs, by Gordon Korman

no_more_dead_dogsLet me start off by saying: best book ever!

Wallace Wallace, (not a typo- that’s his name!) the most popular kid in school who is the football star, doesn’t tell lies… He has learned that lying is horrible; from his dad who lied on everything possible to Wallace, one of the big lies was that he was in the army. LIE! So that’s where Wallace learns not to lie from, so when Mr. Fogelman gives Wallace an assignment to read and give a book review about “Old Shep, My Pal” he writes this:

“Old Shep, My Pal by Zack Paris is the most boring book I’ve read in my entire life. I did not have a favorite character. I hated everyone equally. The most interesting part came on the last page where it said “The End”; this book couldn’t be any lousier if it came with a letter bomb. I would not recommend it to my worst enemy.”

Mr. Fogelman was enraged! How dare Wallace say that?! So after confronting Wallace, which ended in an argument, Mr. Fogelman gave a detention to Wallace where he would write a “proper’’ review, which meant he couldn’t play football until he was done with detention! And as everyone knows Wallace can’t say a lie! So how will Wallace be able to join football again…..?

And with that, something horrible keeps on happening to the school play… which Mr. Fogelman is the director; all eyes are on Wallace as the prime suspect. Nothing could be worse; the Giants are on a losing streak without Wallace! The team hates him, the drama club thinks he is the person who destroys the set of the play, and most of all how can he lie in his report!? You’ll have to read the book to find out what Wallace does…..

I would recommend this book to boy or girl ages 8-14. It’s an amazing read. Enjoy!

-Satej B., 8th grade

Analysis: Book Characters & Their Movie Counterparts

For this post, I decided to something special, something different. I have decided to do a character analysis on some of the most popular books of all time. I have made a short description for each of these great characters.

lightning_thiefPercy Jackson
From one of Rick Riordan’s most popular series, Percy is the main character. Percy never gives up in any mission that comes upon him; he finishes the mission and ends up doing more. He is a model character for all.
Overall, I would rate him a 9/10 for his great personality.


stormbreakerAlex Rider
Another character from a great series, starting with Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz, Alex is brilliant, he thinks of things in a quick flash, whereas others would take much, much longer. He was picked for MI6 not only because of his family ties but also for his cleverness. I would rate him an 8/10 for his smartness.


harry_potter_coverHarry Potter
Created by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter is the most “magical of all characters.” But don’t only think of Harry Potter as a magician, he works hard and always does what has asked to do, although he might not be as popular as other characters he is a very popular character. I would rate him an 8/10.

Now, for the next part, I’m going to tie the character to the movie.

The Lightning Thief movie
I think the first movie based on the Percy Jackson series was okay. Although it was very popular I thought that some main parts it skipped and if you hadn’t read the book you could have been thoroughly confused about what and why the characters do what they do. Overall I rate the movie a 6/10.

Stormbreaker movie
Honestly, this might be the worst movie based on a book; they skipped so many parts, even though I read the story I was still confused why some characters did what they did in the movie, no wonder they didn’t make a second installment of the series. Overall, I rate the movie a 4/10.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone movie
I personally thinks that the first movie of the Harry Potter series was amazing. All scenes were captivating, I didn’t move during the whole movie, and it was honestly awesome. Overall I would rate it an 8/10.

Now, after tying these characters to the movies, overall I would think that Harry Potter is the best character out of these. Please comment below about your thoughts on these characters and the movies.

-Satej B., 7th grade

Book Review: Beowulf

beowulf_coverGrendel, the beast, feared by any and all living creatures, only one challenges to fight him, his name is Beowulf. Beowulf, known for his “strong wrists” and his generosity to others.

In Beowulf, Grendel is thought to be the cruelest beast of all to everyone. But, as the story proceeds further, they see that his mother is worst. Grendel’s mother is outraged when Beowulf murders Grendel and she decides to make him pay for it. So, Beowulf and Grendel’s mother fight, Beowulf realizes that Grendel’s mother is much more tough then Grendel himself. But, he does prevail and kill her.

Further in the story, Beowulf is much older, but he is called to fight against the Firedrake, the most feared monster of its time. Beowulf, even though he is old, manages to kill Firedrake and save his home land from the danger… but does he live…? Killing the Firedrake wasn’t easy for an old man like him, but even though he did kill him, will he stay alive, after all the energy he put into murdering the Firedrake?

You’ll have to read this story if you want to see if Beowulf lives in the end…

Overall I give this book a 9/10, it kept me captivated the whole time and made me nonstop read it. I definitely recommend this to any age of audience, but preferably 7 and older because of the violence. Generally, it’s a must-read!

-Satej B., 7th grade

Book Review: Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer, by John Grisham

theodore_booneLawyers, lawyers, lawyers… paper, work, suits. Seems boring, right? Well, try reading Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer and your prospective of being a boring lawyer will change.

The story starts of as Theo is in school. He gets a grant from the judge to bring his class to the court to see a live session. Except… something is wrong. The side against Pete Duffy, the accused, has a very, very weak argument… Is there anything that anyone can do to help them?

First, let me tell you the story of Pete Duffy. Pete has an $1,000,000 price on his wife so that if she “accidentally” dies, he will get all the money. And then coincidentally, she is found strangled to death in their own house, the prime subject is Pete. But why would he kill his own wife… possibly for the money?

Now you know the story, but during the course of the book a twist occurs. A man saw something… this would change the whole game, the whole story. It will affect everyone, including Theo……It will be big.

I won’t spoil it for you guys but this is a great book to read, hopefully you can read it. They are also more stories, because this is a series.

-Satej B., 7th grade

A Look at A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

christmas_carol_coverThe following essay was originally written for a 7th grade English class.

Can one person hate so many things? Well, if know a man named Ebenezer Scrooge, you would have found out that he is that kind of person. In Charles Dickens’s play, “A Christmas Carol,” Ebenezer Scrooge finds a chance to change. During the play you are taken to the past, present, and future Scrooge. Also, Marley gives some key advice to Scrooge that helps him to turn into a genuine man. Slowly, through the conflicts of the play Scrooge realizes the error of his ways on Christmas Day. Dickens points out to the audience that the message is, be happy no matter what, because goods shouldn’t bring you happiness, love should.

“‘But nonetheless they do sing….. Fifteen shillings a week and they do sing.’” (p.635)
This quote represents the message of the whole play, be happy with what you have and don’t be greedy. Money shouldn’t bring you happiness, love should. When this quote occurs in the play, Present is telling Scrooge how thankful the Cratchits are for what they have, which isn’t much. This next quotes represents how ungrateful Scrooge is, of course before he transforms. “‘You will be wanting the whole day tomorrow?……. It’s not convenient, and it’s not fair.’” (p. 607) In this quote Scrooge is talking to Cratchit, he is giving his opinion on how much he wants Cratchit to come the next day and how much he opposes him not choosing to doing that. This last quote represents the change of Scrooge’s personality by the end of the play. “‘I’ll raise your salary…. to assist your struggling family’”(p.653) This quote represents the change of Scrooge’s personality. The message is clearly evident by these quotes.

Dickens’s play “A Christmas Carol” is about how Scrooge massively changes by the end of the play. He turns into a genuine man from a man who couldn’t care less. The message is very clear from this play. It is to be thankful for what you have and not always be wanting more. Dickens’s play send the message that being bad is never good, which should affect the whole world. Because it’s true.

-Satej B., 7th grade