mihaaadabmaster5000000000’s heart is touched by “Petey.”


Title: Petey

Author: Ben Mikaelsen

Genre: Non-fiction, Biography

Rating: 5 Stars

Petey, written by Ben Mikaelsen, is a heartwarming story about a man named Petey who is misdiagnosed as a “retard” and an “idiot” and grows up in an insane asylum.  He lives there until he is in his sixties, when suddenly he moves to a group home. One day while Petey is outside his group home, some boys start to throw snowballs at him.  Another boy named Trevor stops their bullying.  Petey and Trevor instantly become best friends.  Together they go fishing, to a mall, and on very long walks. Petey and Trevor have to overcome many obstacles, like weird looks, name calling, and getting Petey a new wheelchair so he can go on longer walks without the wheelchair falling apart or the wheels breaking.  But overall, the friendship helps them both tremendously.

You should read Petey because it is so satisfying, it will touch your heart. The author puts you in Petey’s perspective and uses descriptive words to detail the way two very different lives can affect each other.  You should read this book because it is wonderful.

 Reviewer: mihaaadabmaster5000000000

Age: 13

Scooby Doo 89’s perspective on life is changed by “Unbroken.”


Title: Unbroken

Author: Laura Hillenbrand

Genre: Non-fiction, Biography

Rating: 5 Stars

 Unbroken is captivating and keeps you hooked on the story at the turn of each page.  It has changed my perspective on life and is by far my favorite book.  This story is based on Louie Zamperini: the man that went from Olympian to airman to captive.  Louie starts out as a troublemaker in his little town in California.  That changes when Louie’s brother Pete coaches him in running.  He goes on to break records while getting ready for the 1940 London Olympics.  Then World War Two breaks out, the Olympics are cancelled.  and Louie applies to be a U.S. airman.  After years in his new job, his crew is shot down in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  Louie and a few of the other men on the plane are stuck on a life raft for 43 days, until they wash ashore on Japanese territory, where they find themselves in even worse danger.  This amazing story is perfect for young adult readers who love adventurous biographies.

Reviewer: Scooby Doo 89

Age: 12

Duckface is changed after reading “A Young People’s History of the United States.”

Youn People's History of U.S.jpg

Title: A Young People’s History of the United States

Author: Howard Zinn

Genre: Non-Fiction, History

Rating: 5 Stars

Howard Zinn has written a historical non-fiction book that is thrilling, stunning, and educational. A Young People’s History of the United States is about early American history. It talks about every social class in U.S. history and is not biased for or against one side at all. All the details of the Revolutionary War, The French and Indian War, and more, are explained. How the wars were caused and started is all told and recognized. One interesting fact is that the Natives didn’t even want to fight in the French and Indian War but they got paid a lot, so they fought anyway.

I would recommend this book to historians and kids who want to know more about the history of how America started and about the thirteen colonies. This book has changed the way I see things in my everyday life, because I now wonder how homeless people end up on the street and what their lives must have been like when they were young. They could have been born into poverty like slaves were born into slavery. Or, maybe, their parents had a successful life but they got fired from their jobs and ended up on the streets. All in all, this book has changed my life and how I see the real world.

Reviewer: Duckface

Age: 12

Hellemhockey pushes through with this powerful review of “Unbroken.”


Title: Unbroken

Author: Laura Hillenbrand

Genre: Non-fiction, Biography

Rating: 5 Stars

Unbroken is an adventurous thriller about never giving up and always pushing through. This book is a true story about a man named Louis Zamperini who was an Olympic runner, and was at the peak of his career when he was drafted into World War 2. His plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. He endured a forty-day raft trip with the danger of starvation, dehydration, and death from sharks. When his raft washed up in Japan, he was captured by the Japanese and put into POW (prisoner of war) camps. Here he used his perseverance to make it through the war.

I really like how Louie is a fighter and never gives up. One example is when he was in the POW camp and held a twenty-foot-long 2 x 4 over his head for twenty minutes because he didn’t want to give the captain the satisfaction of seeing him fail. This captain, named “The Bird,” was one of the terrible leaders of the POW camps.  Louis was beaten, humiliated, and degraded.

In my opinion, this book keeps you turning the pages. I can’t wait to read it again.

Reviewer: hellemhockey

Age: 13

Naomi reveals her affection for the priceless and amazing “El Deafo!”

El Deafo.jpg

Title: El Deafo

Author: Cece Bell

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir

Rating: 5 Stars

El Deafo is the funniest and yet most poignant graphic novel I have ever read. It is a memoir of author Cece Bell’s struggles after she becomes sick and loses her hearing at the age of four.  Until she reaches second grade, Bell lives in her own bubble with few friends because she is shy. All through the book, she thinks of herself as a superhero, known as El Deafo. By the time she reaches second grade, her social life is really only her brother and sister and one mean friend. When a new boy moves into town, she falls in love. The way the author explains how they interact is beyond hilarious.

 El Deafo is so touching and never gets old. I think I’ve read it 10 times and every time I read it, I deeply enjoy it. The cartooning is one of the best parts. The drawings are detailed but not overwhelming, and some of the best cartoons in this book are El Deafo superhero dreams, which are priceless. This is a must-read book full of humor, joy, and friendship between amazing characters.

Reviewer: Naomi

Age: 14

_quantum_03 celebrates the perseverance in “Black Holes and Baby Universes!”


Title: Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays

Author: Stephen Hawking

Genre: Non-fiction

Rating: 4.5stars

Written by one of the most admirable theoretical physicists, Stephen Hawking, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays is a compilation of personal and scientific essays. Taken together, these essays showcase his great achievements, but also his battle with ALS. Unlike Hawking’s earlier bestseller, A Brief History in Time, which is primarily focused on current theories in science, Black Holes and baby Universes and other Essays is a mix of speeches, essays and paradoxes.

 At the age of twenty-one during his first year of graduate school at Cambridge, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease (or ALS). This led him to experience a rapid deterioration of function until the point where he could no longer walk. While dealing with his permanent illness, Hawking finished school, married, and began to develop innovative theories of his own, such as black hole emission (otherwise known as Hawking Radiation). Though these essays vary in substance, a prominent theme of perseverance unites the book. It is incredible that a man who is faced with such life threatening difficulties can persevere and be smarter than all of us. Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays isn’t the most science loaded of Hawking’s books, but it is very inspiring.

Reviewer: _quantum_03

Age: 14

Lucii is engrossed by “Warriors Don’t Cry.”

Warriors Don't Cry

Title: Warriors Don’t Cry

Author: Melba Pattillo Beals

Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir

Rating: 4.5stars

Warriors Don’t Cry, by Melba Pattillo Beals, is a heartbreaking, non-fiction book that gave me a deeper understanding of the struggles of African Americans. Warriors Don’t Cry is a memoir about Beals’ experience integrating into Little Rock’s Central High, Little Rock Arkansas, 1957. This book makes me feel as if I am walking the halls of the high school alongside the nine students (known as The Little Rock Nine ). Melba endured situations such as having a stick of dynamite flung at her, being burned in the girl’s restroom, and having acid sprayed into her eyes. She describes all these situations so well that it feels like you are right with her. The book engages your mind by putting you in someone else’s shoes.

The story has many distressing, but real scenes for which you have to be prepared for. There are some slower parts where Melba takes you through all her experiences of integrating Central, so I would not recommend it to anyone who needs a fast-paced story. I would also not recommend this book to anyone who can’t handle the agonizingly real violence portrayed in this book.  If you are looking for an engrossing, non-fiction book about the journeys, struggles, and sacrifices black people faced in our history, this is the book for you.

Reviewer: Lucii

Age: 14