Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 Caudill Nominee - All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg (Student Review)

Ann E. Burg

This story is about a boy named Matt Pin that has been air lifted out of Vietnam.  He is now haunted by bombs, by the family, and the terrible secret he left behind. Matt’s dad loves baseball and Matt has a wicked arm and tries out for the baseball team and becomes the pitcher. Matt eventually goes and meets veteran soldiers and one of them even becomes his baseball coach.
Overall the book was good. I thought she added a nice ending and it was my favorite part of the book. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes books in verse and even if you haven’t read one before.  I would recommend trying it out.

- Chelsey (8th Grade)

2012 Caudill Award Nominee - Peak by Roland Smith (Student Review)

Main characters:
          Peak- a 15 year-old boy who gets in trouble and is made to move to Thailand with his absent father.
          Joshua Wood- Peaks famous father who is a very selfish person.
          Peak’s Mom- Also a mountain climber until she had Peak, and fell off of a wall and broke her hip.
          Peak’s twin sisters- they share an important part as much as Peak and also send him letter while he is at camp.
          Thaddeus- Josh’s business partner/lawyer
          Holly- A New York reporter who films Peak and interviews him while on the mountain.
          Zopa- A Nepalenese monk that Josh owes a favor to.         
          Sanjo- Zopa’s grand son who comes along for the journey.

          Peak is an action/adventure/drama story. It is about a boy named Peak, who gets in trouble in his hometown of New York for tagging skyscrapers. When he goes to court, he is made to go live with his dad, who happens to be a famous mountain climber. He sees his son for the first time in 13 years when he comes to live with him. They have to live together in Chang Mai in northern Thailand. Peak later discovers that Josh’s (his father) real plan was not to spend time together but, to get Peak to the top of Mount Everest before his sixteenth birthday. If he makes it, Peak will then be the youngest person in the world to climb Mount Everest.
          All of the characters were credible and you believed you were there, with them.  You can actually feel like your on the mountain with Peak and his Father.

- Alexis (8th Grade)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Watersmeet (Student Review)

Main characters: Abisina, Haret
        Most outcasts were set outside the village as an infant to be eaten by centaurs. Fourteen-year-old Abisina is an outcast. Growing up without a father has aroused some curiosity in Abisina about who the mystical man is. Abisina was born with her beautiful green eyes, dark skin, and dark colored hair, and thats just something shell have to live with.  The reason she is still alive is her mothers status, the village healer. As the Day of Penance would be taking place in only one day, Abisinas stomach started churning. She had a bad feeling that she would not live to tell the story of Charach. Abisina is used to be being spit on and called dirty dwarf and unclean, but now the whole village wants to make the village a cleaner place.
Fleeing from the violence, judge mental, and cruel village isnt as easy said as done. Once awakened, Abisina finds herself in a small underground cave with two people. The first person she sees turns out to be Harets grandmother. The second she wakes up to find is Haret. These two people, or should I say dwarfs, will help Abisina to stricken her path to destiny and try to find her father along the way.
 My favorite part of the story happens to be just when Abisina wakes up. Abisina is confused and just as judgmental as her village. She wakes up and wants to do two things; ask questions, Wheres my mother?, Where am I?, Who are you?, and she tries to escape. This doesnt work because of her lack of strength.
When I think of the book theres nothing that I would change; I would give it a five out of five! Its truly an amazing book with a sad but embracing ending!!

- Hannah (8th Grade)

Coffehouse Angel (Student Review)

Coffehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

Katrina, a young, 16 year old, is your average girl. She’s not popular, she’s not a genius, she’s no a star athlete,. She’s not good at anything. She has two best friends, Elizabeth and Vincent. Katrina’s parents died in a mysterious and horrible car wreck when she was just three years old. She was then left into the care of her grandmother, Anne, and her grandfather, who is now dead. Katrina and her grandmother own and run a coffee house, with another friend named Irmgaard, called Anne’s Old World Coffee. The Business is failing and bills are going unpaid thanks to the coffee house right next door, The Java Heaven, owned by the heartless Mr. Darling and his perfect all too perky daughter, Heidi..

        When Katrina steps out to take the garbage one morning, she sees something that will unexpectedly change her life forever. A seemingly homeless boy is sleeping in the alley. Though told by her friend, Vincent, to stay inside till he got there, she quickly stepped out and gave the boy some coffee and a bag of chocolate covered coffee beans. Just for that “selfless act”, her whole life gets turned in side out and upside down, because the boy she helped just so happened to be an angel, named Malcolm. He refuses to leave until he rewards her good deed, and maybe That’s not so bad considering he’s pretty good looking!

        This book is a truly amazing and sweet love story about a girl who’s life is in ruins and a good deed that changes it all. Friendships are questioned, honesty forgotten, and love found. This book has some minor swearing and is a great read for anyone over 12. I give this book a rating of 10/10! I’m really glad I read this book!  It was funny and interesting, and sweet. The characters were very well thought out and definitely a good time! I believe this book is mostly for girls, and I would recommend this to everyone who loves a good, funny love story!

  - Kenzie (8th Grade)