Megan Recommends THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein

August 18, 2014

The-ArtThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Recommended by Megan Nall-Cook

“I’ve always felt almost human. I’ve always known that there’s something about me that’s different from other dogs. Sure. I’m stuffed into a dog’s body but that’s just the shell. It’s what’s inside that’s important. The soul. And my soul is very human.” Enzo has always felt like a human and is irritated that he doesn’t have thumbs. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein goes through a dog’s life but starts at the end then goes to his childhood. This book was humorous and hard to put down.

Enzo tells the story of his life and uses a lot of racing references. Denny is his owner, he is a racecar driver, is married to Eve and has a daughter named Zoé. Enzo is a terrier-poodle mix and is very old. Denny and Enzo live in an apartment. Denny is tall with long lean muscles and a scruffy wiry beard. Garth Stein wrote this book from Enzo’s point of view which made it more likeable than if it had been written from a different point of view. This book is very funny and is deep as well. Three reasons to read this book are it refers to racing, has lots of humor, and shows the love between dog and owner.

Both Denny and Enzo often refer to racing, they both refer to terms like overcorrecting, freezing, and driving like there are eggshells on your pedals. When Enzo got left alone in the house for about three days he said, “When I was locked in the house suddenly and firmly, I did not overcorrect or freeze.” In the chapter before it was all racing references or terms to describe what to do and how he felt. Racing references are often used in this book; they also make the book what it is.

Humor is common as well. Enzo is jealous of monkeys because they have thumbs, he gives two reasons why he thinks humans are descended from dogs not monkeys. Evidence he uses is the dew claw and werewolf. He also talks about crows eating bags of his poop while he watched and laughed. The humor is subtle or outright in this book, it is laced with it.

Enzo is an old dog who has seen every aspect of life. In the beginning he peed on the floor, is trying to get up and tell Denny to let go, but Denny just picks him up and bathes him instead, throughout the book he tries to warn them or tell them something but he gets frustrated by his tongue that is keeping him from speaking. Overall, this book is love between dog and owner.

“The old soul of a dog has much to teach us about being human. I loved this book,” says Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants. I agree, between humor, racing references, and the love between dog and owner I think you should go right now and find this book so you can read it.


 Several of Megan’s classmates have also allowed us to publish reviews of what they’re currently reading.  And for recommendations from kids of all ages, check out our Kids Recommend section.

Sean Recommends THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

August 16, 2014

Hunger-GamesThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Reviewed by Sean Jacobson

Has your name ever been drawn from a bowl? Usually that’s a good thing right? Well you’re wrong! In the book, The Hunger Games, Collins writes a thriller about a girl named Katniss. She has to compete in a survival challenge vs 22 other killers. The goal is to kill out all your opponents and be the last person standing. Katniss’s little sister Primm got called to compete in this brutal challenge. But Katniss being her protective big sister and all, she volunteered to take Primm’s place. I love this book because it’s filled with mystery, action, and suspense. Will Katniss survive? Or will her very daring swap end up stabbing her in the back?

After Katniss volunteers to participate in The Hunger Games, she is taken by guards to a monorail where she meets her other district partner Peeta, and her adviser Haymitch. Haymitch was a past winner in The Hunger Games. Haymitch was drunk and he didn’t provide much help to Katniss and Peeta. When they get to the Hunger Games stadium she is forced through intensive training that includes agility tests, bow and arrow shooting, and stabbing things. Katniss excels at bow and arrow because she was raised in a place called District 12 where she did lots of hunting. There are 12 districts and 2 people from each district have to compete in the Hunger Games if called. Soon Katniss is called in a room where she will be given a score from the judges. During her evaluation the judges ignored Katniss because they were tired of seeing 23 other people perform for them. Since the judges were ignoring Katniss, she decided to do something drastic. It was so drastic that I can’t tell you, you need to find out when you read. Later Katniss gets put in a glass tube and gets lifted up in the Hunger Games arena. The Hunger Games have officially begun.

A reason to read this book is because of the great setting. This book takes place inside a chamber simulation made into a jungle. But what really makes this setting pop is the special effects. Have you ever had a fire ball thrown at your face? Have you ever been shot at by other people in the jungle? Well I don’t think so.

Another reason to read this book is because there is an emotional backstory behind this theme. Katniss fights for love, she fights to live. Her family is at home watching her on T.V, fearing for Katniss’s safety. The odds of Katniss winning are 24 to 1. Would you be worried if your loved one was in there? Her family deeply worries for her return home.

The Hunger Games is a book I recommend to all action lovers. If you get sad easily, this book might not suit you. I do have some advice that came from the book. First, never take food for granted, second, watch your back, and third, watch what you do. Why do I say that? Because first, the book is so addicting when I read it I didn’t eat anything and second a cat scratched my back when I wasn’t paying attention while reading the book. I hope you visit your local library and, read this book!!!


 Several of Sean’s classmates have also allowed us to publish reviews of what they’re currently reading.  And for recommendations from kids of all ages, check out our Kids Recommend section.


Shaylea Recommends ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell

August 14, 2014

Eleanor-and-ParkEleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Recommended by Shaylea Kristich

“Only for tonight, not forever”. Those words are from Eleanor and Park The title of this book is Eleanor and Park and the author is Rainbow Rowell. My opinion on Eleanor and Park is I really like it. It’s a cute love story between two teenagers who fall in love and I recommend it for you.

Eleanor and Park is about this boy and girl who meet on the bus on the first day of school and at first they both didn’t like each other, but after getting to know each other for a while they became boyfriend and girlfriend. Later on, Eleanor starts sneaking out with Park, then her stepdad Richie finds out.

I liked Eleanor and Park because of the romance. The romance between Eleanor and Park is really cute: they hold hands and hangout a lot ;they hug and kiss they sneak out together. They think about each other all the time. They love each other! For example, they hold hands and hug at school, they kiss in the alley between Parks house and his grandma’s house, they hang out at Parks house they sneak around with each other. One example of this is, “Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete and completely alive.”

In conclusion, one reason you should read the book is the romance and the thrill in it. My opinion on the book Eleanor and Park is that I love it. It’s amazing and I love the romance in it between Eleanor and Park. I fell in love with the book and after a few chapters I knew it was going to be good. I encourage you to read Eleanor and Park if you like love stories and thrillers. If you want to read it you can find it at Barnes and Nobles. It is a really good book.


Several of Sahlea’s classmates have also allowed us to publish reviews of what they’re currently reading.  And for recommendations from kids of all ages, check out our Kids Recommend section.

Logan Recommends MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins

August 12, 2014

MockingjayMockingjay  by Suzanne Collins

Recommended by Logan Olafson

Imagine a girl with brown braided hair, has pro-survival skills, and fatal archery ability. If you know who I’m talking about you will know my book is by Suzanne Collins. The book I am talking about is Mockingjay. This is the third book of the Hunger Games series. It’s about a girl named Katniss who is trying to end a war. This book will make your emotions flow.

Katniss Everdeen has to become the Mockingjay and save Panem. She doesn’t want to without Peeta. When Peeta gets back he is brainwashed. Katniss goes to the Capitol to save Panem. If you want to find out if Katniss saves Panem or not read Mockingjay.

One thing I liked about this book is how deeply the author goes into the characters. Like with Katniss, she’s 17 and she is a tomboy. It doesn’t just straight out say that but you figure it out. She is tough and she shows that in all three books. Another thing is that Katniss can be very serious. The first sentence of the book has great character description, “I stare down at my shoes, watching as a fine layer of ash settles on the worn leather.” The author was so descriptive just about her shoes. That is one reason I love this book.

Another feature I like about this book is that it has a great theme. I believe the theme is violence is not the answer. I believe this because the whole book they are trying to stop the hunger games so that the violence would stop and the Capitols tyranny would be over.

In conclusion, what are you waiting– for go and buy this book. On second thought, read the first 2 books before you read this one.


 Several of Logan’s classmates have also allowed us to publish reviews of what they’re currently reading.  And for recommendations from kids of all ages, check out our Kids Recommend section.

Linda Recommends THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

August 10, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

FaultRecommended by Linda Monterroso

“Okay? Okay.” Do these words sound familiar? These words come from the tragic love story, The Fault In Our Stars. Hazel is a 16 year-old young lady that was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer. When a very handsome man named Augustus Waters suddenly joins her cancer support group, Hazel feels her life completely coming together again. This bold and heart-warming book by John Green will take you through the struggles and worries of being a cancer patient.

Hazel Grace Lancaster was first diagnosed with cancer when she was just 12 years old. In order to make sure she’s doing okay, she has to visit the hospital frequently. She then attends a cancer support group, where she meets a young man named Augustus Waters. Augustus Waters is 17 years old and had osteosarcoma a year and a half ago from the books setting. Being with Augustus helps Hazel reexamine how sickness and health, life and death will define her. Although, Augustus is not diagnosed with osteosarcoma anymore he still isn’t living life the best he could. He says, “I’m a rollercoaster that only goes up, my friend.” Hazel, herself also shows many signs of depression, anxiety, and stubbornness. She says, “If you want me to be a teenager, don’t send me to a support group. Buy me a fake ID so I can go to clubs, drink vodka, and take pot.” To sum it all up, Hazel and Augustus being together makes them forget about all their pains and worries.

John Green uses a very unique style in writing this book. He writes in first person from Hazel Grace’s point of view. This book was written in a manner that the readers can get inside Hazel’s thoughts and inside of the story. John Green writes, “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world… but you do have a say in who hurts you, I like my choices.” In my opinion, a lot of the quotes in this book are so good and so thought out that it just seems like the book was meant for you. In conclusion, everything the author writes out seems to have a story behind it, which only you know the background to.

This book’s theme to the world can make anyone go deeper into their thoughts. Hazel and Augustus don’t let cancer stop them from living their life. They go out and make the best of their situation. Hazel says, “You gave me a forever within the numbered days.” They are by each other’s side every step of the way which made their numbered days endless. I learned that out of every situation we face, we should always see the bright side in it. Because as John Green says, “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”

I would recommend The Fault In Our Stars to anyone, but mostly people that are attracted to love stories. This story shows you the advantages and disadvantages of being a cancer patient. This is a story you’ll never forget.


 Several of Linda’s classmates have also allowed us to publish reviews of what they’re currently reading.  And for recommendations from kids of all ages, check out our Kids Recommend section.

Laresa Recommends TWILIGHT by Stephanie Meyer

August 8, 2014

TwilightTwilight  by Stephanie Meyer

Recommended by Laresa Myshchuk

In Stephenie Meyer’s world romances and adventures fly through her pages. As you read Twilight, dazzling questions will pop into your mind. The way she writes her books is just amazing. As you read the very first page, there’s this quote that will drag you into the book, “Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone I loved, noble even. That ought to count for something.’’ This book will never be put down because of the romances and adventures.

Bella, who is courageous, mysterious, and beautiful, finds her other half in the town where she was born. She is the only child in the Swan family. Her parents are separated so she is coming to visit her dad. Charlie, Bella’s dad who is a police officer lives in Forks. In the town where she was born, Bella’s adventures are waiting. Where she finds and learns about vampires and werewolves. So join her adventure in the Twilight series.

Through the pages of Twilight action, romances, adventure and drama are waiting to be read. In the beginning of the book, the way Bella falls in love with Edward is so romantic. Also, the drama that happens between the characters can be unexpected, sad, and funny. The adventures are very exciting to read about because they are always interesting.

Another reason why this book is good to read is because of how the book is written. Stephenie Meyer is a very good author. She writes every page with imagination, feelings, love and emotion. Also, she writes her books with tone that changes during important events, characters talking, fights or just the characters feeling change. Meyer’s books have a lot of events that drag people into the books.

In every book there is a theme or themes. Twilight has a lot of message to the people who read Twilight. One message is find out who are the people who you like to be friends with or more than friends.

I recommend this book to people who love fantasy, action, adventure, and romantic books. I recommend Twilight.


 Several of Laresa’s classmates have also allowed us to publish reviews of what they’re currently reading.  And for recommendations from kids of all ages, check out our Kids Recommend section.

Hannah Recommends SCORPIA by Anthony Horowitz

August 6, 2014

ScorpiaScorpia by Anthony Horowitz

Reviewed by Hannah Robinson

Imagine that you are going to walk out of school and drop dead. There is nothing you can do about it. On top of that, you don’t even know it’s going to happen! The only person who can save you is a fourteen year old boy. That fourteen year old boy is Alex Rider from Scorpia, written by the brilliant Anthony Horowitz.

Alex is a fourteen year old spy who has lost his parents. In this book, Alex goes to Venice to find a lady named Ms. Rothman. He is doing so because he was told Ms. Rothman would have the answers to his parents, death. Ms. Rothman is actually one of the leaders of a terrorist group called Scorpia. When Alex finds Ms. Rothman, she said she did know the answers to his parents’ death. Ms. Rothman also has a question for Alex. She wants Alex to join Scorpia.

One reason why you should read this book is because of how fantastic the author’s writing style is. Anthony Horowitz wrote the book in a third person point of view. This writing style was a good choice because there is a lot of fighting scenes in the book, and it would be hard for Alex to describe them. Also, the tone of the book is funny, yet serious. An example of this is when Ms. Rothman says, “But first you have to say you’ve forgiven me. What happened to you at the Ca’Vedova was monstrous. I feel utterly embarrassed.” Alex replies with “You mean trying to kill me.” Getting nearly killed is a serious thing, but Alex says it in a sarcastic tone, making it funny.

Another reason why you should read this book is because of its ground breaking theme. I think the theme of the story is, just because someone tells you something, doesn’t make it true. I believe Horowitz did this because in life, people are going to tell you one thing, but you have to stick with your gut feeling. The author states, “At the very last second, almost unconsciously, he changed his aim.” You see, Alex’s mission was to shoot and kill a woman, but he changed his aim because he knew that shooting her would be wrong.

Over all, Scorpia is an extremely exceptional book. The author’s style in writing is fantastic, and the theme is inspirational. Always be friendly to your table partner in school. Who knows, they might end up being the only person who can save you.


Several of Hannah’s classmates have also allowed us to publish reviews of what they’re currently reading.  And for recommendations from kids of all ages, check out our Kids Recommend section.


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