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.

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 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.

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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.


Evan Recommends THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

August 4, 2014

FaultThe Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Recommended by Evan Perez

“I like my choices, I hope she likes hers,” and I hope you like the choice of reading The Fault In Our Stars By John Green. It follows a teenager who deals with the struggles of battling cancer, and falling in love at the same time. I was in a trance while reading this book. My eyes were glued to the pages. This novel contains themes of pain, love, loss, and has messages that anyone can relate to.

This novel starts with Hazel Grace Lancaster, who was diagnosed with cancer when she was thirteen years old. Now seventeen, her mother decides that she is depressed and asks her to go to a support group to make friends. Then one Wednesday, Hazel argues with her mother about going to support group, but she finally caves in to going. There, she meets Augustus Waters. When support group is over that night, Augustus asks Hazel to go watch a movie with him. That’s where their love story begins.

The main reason I like this book is because of the way the author writes everything so amazingly. Not necessarily because of the themes, but because John Green wrote a dark, depressed, beautiful, happy novel that’s very easy and casual to read. His word choice if fantastic and he chose such a great character to tell the story. His writing has a very quiet and calm tone. An example of Greens writing style is, “Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed. Presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a lot of my abundant free time to thinking about death.”

The fault In Our Stars is also a great choice because it keeps your attention and you will not be able to put it down. First of all, it’s a love story and you know that in a love story, the characters can’t just live happily ever after: there needs to be a large amount of pain and suffering. It also kept me locked in because it centered around three teenagers who are dealing with cancer. You know something big will happen. You learn to care about the characters and wonder about what’s going to happen to them.

In the end, The Fault In Our Stars is a very well written book with great characters and fantastic themes and messages that everyone can relate to and agree with. So right now, go to wherever you find books and get The Fault In Our Stars by John Green! Okay? Okay.

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 Several of Evan’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.


Emily Recommends WILDWOOD by Colin Meloy

August 3, 2014

WildwoodWildwood by Colin Meloy

Reviewed by Emily Planck

I’ve always been afraid to read a large book that is until I read Wildwood by Colin Meloy. When I started reading Wildwood I was afraid I would never finish it. It turns out I couldn’t put it down! This book instantly had me hooked. Just the fact that it was based in Portland had me reading it non-stop. I ended up loving this book way more than I thought I would.

Prue McKeel’s life was ordinary that is until her little brother Mac got kidnaped by a murder of crows. Prue and her friend Curtis embark on a journey into the Impassable Wilderness (or the I.W.). Together they will conquer the obstacles standing in their way, Such as an army of coyotes and an evil ex-governess. Will Prue, Curtis, and Mac survive?

One reason you should read Wildwood is because of how Meloy describes the setting. I like his descriptive word choice, It really helps you picture what is happing. A quote that shows this is when Meloy writes, “The fog continued to fall away from the bridge until it polled just beneath the surface of the span, revealing the awesome edifice in its entry.” I like this quote because of the way he describes the fog makes you feel like you are there.

There are lots of books about wizards, princesses, and other things like that, that is why I like Wildwood. I have never read a book that has had a story line like wildwood does. The story is completely original, like Portland. To me this book goes with the saying “keep Portland weird” because of how unique the story is. This is just one more reason you should read Wildwood.

In the end, this book was awesome! The ending left me wanting to read the next book in the trilogy as soon as I could. If you live in Portland that is just one more reason you should read Wildwood because chances are you have probably been to some of the places Meloy talks about in his book. I would highly recommend this book to anybody. I encourage you to go to your local book store/ library and pick up this book.

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 Several of Emily’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.


Damon Recommends FULL-BLOODED by Amanda Carlson

August 1, 2014

Full-BloodedFull-Blooded by Amanda Carlson

Reviewed by Damon Latimer-Marquez

What if you were different than everyone else? No, I don’t mean personality or the way you look, I mean being the only female in your whole pack. Well, that’s the case Jessica McCain is in. She is a female werewolf, which every other werewolf is a male. She gets mistreated by a few werewolves because of her gender too. Finding this book was a dream of mine, I love things about the supernatural but not big into fantasy. So finding something without a majestic unicorn in it or a magical land in, it was perfect.

Jessica McCain lived a normal life as Molly Hannon, but she will go through something that will change her life forever. Being the slowest and the only female in the pack is really hard on Jessica. She gets taunted by other male wolves and is underestimated for her strength. Jessica is different than everyone else, not by gender, strength, but she is a different type of werewolf, a Lycan, the last Lycan in the world.

The author, Amanda Carlson is personally one of the most descriptive authors I have ever read a book by. She writes Full Blooded, in a first person point of view. She uses Jessica McCain (the main character) to express how she feels on things that happen in the book. She changes if she is humorous to serious depending on the character. Jessica McCain being the main character of the story, she usually writes in a humorous way since Jessica is talking most of the time. For example, “I can’t believe a rogue wolf tried to attack me, what kind of wolf does he think I am,” said Jessica McCain. “The female kind,” her brother, Tyler replied.

Another reason to read Full-Blooded is because of all the characters. There are tons of characters, ranging from humans to vampires to even a were-cat. All these characters are greatly described to like you know them in real life. Amanda Carlson deeply describes them throughout the book but then there are so many of them adding onto story, no characters is minor. My personal favorite is her description of Rourke. (the were-cat) An example of how Jessica thinks of Rourke, “Everyone thinks I am weird for being a female wolf, then we have Rourke, over here, who is this mysterious were-cat, supposedly has the ability to kill 10 wolves, in wolf form , with his fists and without using a his full cat form, and I am here getting all the attention.” It did turn out Rourke was my favorite character out of Full Blooded. Rourke, has a unique personality, not being able to tell if he is a protagonist or antagonist, because of the things he does, like once he kidnapped Jessica McCain, but it was for her “safety,” so it’s more your opinion to figure out if he is the hero or villain.

My final reason is the theme of the book. The theme plays a great part on making Jessica who she is, without it, the book would be way different with, close to none action. In the book, Jessica is a daredevil, making her not really thinking about her actions before she does it, so she kind of runs out into the middle of a fight by herself when people are coming to help. So the theme is, not to always try to complete something by alone. Jessica goes through getting her hip blown off, to mental damage throughout the book just because she doesn’t have the patience to wait for others when she knows there is action. Not just hurting herself, she also gets into trouble with police, by getting into tons of fights and not waiting for her friend Marcy (a witch) to fix the crime scene and making it look like a simple accident happened or a break in. I personally find this a very good skill to have aka patience.

Full-Blooded is a great book for anyone who is interested in reading. From Amanda Carlson’s great writing abilities to having a million characters all play a huge part in the book. These are not even the best things about Full-Blooded, the best thing is there is 2 more!

Several of Damon’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.


What 8th Graders Are Reading (In 2014)

July 30, 2014

Every year we like to go to our friend,  Erin Ocon, and ask her eighth-grade students  in Hillsboro, Oregon to recommend books to us that they’re currently reading.  Here’s this year’s crop of  thoughtful essays on a recently-read book.

Check back daily for a new recommendation and insight from one of these young reader/writers.

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Rayna Recommends Midnighters:  The Secret Hour  by Scott Westerfield

Megan Recommends The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Sean Recommends The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Shaylea Recommends Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Logan Recommends Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Linda Recommends The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Laresa Recommends Twilight by Stephanie Meyers

Hannah Recommends Scorpia by Anthony Horowitz

Evan Recommends The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Emily Recommends Wildwood by Colin Meloy

Alden Kemper recommends Cages by Peg Kehret

Damon Recommends Full-Blooded by Amanda Carlson


Alden Kemper Recommends CAGES by Peg Kehret

July 30, 2014

CagesCages by Peg Kehret

Reviewed by Alden Kemper

Can you ever make up for your mistakes? This question lingers throughout the book Cages, which is about Kit, a 14 year old girl who makes a huge mistake and has to do 20 hours of volunteer work at the Humane Society. Peg Kehret, the author, writes this book in third person point of view which I think helps this book by seeing what’s happening in another person’s point of view as well as having enough detail to understand Kit’s emotions. I absolutely love this book because it is so detailed and is one of those books that you can’t put down.

Kit Hathaway is stuck. She never means to steal that golden bracelet. She’s just mad after not getting the lead in the school play and having to deal with her unbearable stepfather. Her mother is the only one who knows about Kit stealing the bracelet for a while. After being sentenced by the court for 20 hours of volunteer work at the Humane Society, Kit meets Lady, a medium-sized terrier with reddish-blonde fur. She wants to adopt Lady herself but she can’t. Join Kit as she discovers who she really is with help from her new best friend Lady.

The first reason why I like this book is because of the setting description. Peg Kehret, the author, describes the setting in Cages exactly how I would imagine it. The story mainly takes place at the Humane Society. It is described as loud and frantic. For example, Peg Kehret writes, “The noise was loud; it was frantic. The dogs sounded desperate as if they believed that if they barked loudly enough, someone would surly let them out.” Part of the story also takes place at Kit’s home, which is also loud because of Wayne, her stepfather, yelling all the time. I love the setting description because it’s very detailed and you can easily visualize it.

Another thing I like is the characters. Kit is the main character in this book. She is a 14 year old girl who is exactly 5 foot and ¾ inches tall. She has long brown hair and a thin, boyish figure. Tracy is Kit’s best friend and she turns 14 in the book. They do almost everything together. Tracy is an encouraging person who stands up for herself and Kit. There is also Dorothy, her mother and Wayne, her stepfather. Wayne is unbearable and mean. Also, another character is Lady. Lady is a terrier at the Humane Society that Kit fell in love with instantly. Peg Kehret writes, “The rest of Lady’s fur was coarse and wiry but her ears were like rust colored velvet.” I like this quote because I can easily visualize what Lady looks like. My favorite character is Kit because at first she is shy and at the end she stands up for herself and is bold. This means she is a dynamic character.

Last, there are three main themes in this book, love, hope and friendship. Kit loves Lady right from the start which is a great example of love in this story. For example, Kit says, “I wish I could adopt Lady. But my parents won’t let me have a dog.” Kit also has hope for Lady because she knows that Lady will get a home. Finally, Kit and Tracy have an amazing friendship. They makeup after fights they have in the book which shows great friendship.

I believe that you should read this book because it’s a book that I think everyone can relate to in one way or another. I think this book helps everyone can find out who the really are with this book. Kit is someone you feel like you know like a best friend and someone you want to be best friends with. So go on and meet your new best friend inside the pages of the book Cages.

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Several of Alden’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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