Untrustworthy Doofus’s mind is blown by the crazy ride of “Full Tilt.”

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Title: Full Tilt

Author: Neal Shusterman

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5 Stars

Neal Shusterman’s Full Tilt will stretch your mind with its psychedelic imagery. It’s a fantasy in an amusement park that turns out to be full of danger. Blake, a sixteen-year-old, visits his town’s regular amusement park, where he receives a strange invitation from a mysterious yet beautiful girl to go to a different, unknown amusement park. With two friends, he follows his younger brother to the new park: an unreal carnival. Once they enter, they learn that they have to complete seven impossible rides before dawn if they want to get out alive. One ride, for instance, features bumper cars that turn into real cars trying to ram each other in the dangerous alleyways of a city. Will they survive and make it out of the park?

I loved this book because it’s chock full of very immersive imagery. It has a completely unique plot that intensifies with each page. It pulled me in, and once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop.

Reviewer: Untrustworthy Doofus

Age: 14

mihaaadabmaster5000000000’s heart is touched by “Petey.”

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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.”

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

Isabella406 finds thrill, mystery and heartbreak in “Twilight!”

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Title: Twilight

Author: Stephanie Meyer

Genre: Suspense, Romance, Horror

Rating: 5 Stars

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, is thrilling, mysterious, and heartbreaking all at once. Bella, a girl from Phoenix, Arizona moves to tiny, freezing Forks, Washington (the rainiest part of the USA) to live with her dad. On the first day at her new school, she meets a boy named Edward, who seems to despise her from their first interaction.  

As the two grow closer, Bella begins to see Edward as the supernatural creature he is. Mysterious things begin to happen to them and they learn that love for your family can get you in and out of the most dangerous situations… I loved how Bella transitions from an innocent high school kid to a girl whose life will never be the same for all eternity. Twilight is a great series for anyone who wants a fantasy, adventure, and an amazing love story rolled up into one series.

Reviewer: Isabella406

Age: 12

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

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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

Nightowl’s breath is taken away by “The Hunger Games!”

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Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

The Hunger Games is an adventurous fiction book about a girl named Katniss who has to survive a life or death game. It is so breathtaking and wonderful that you don’t want to put the book down until you are done with it. It is about Katniss, a 16-year-old girl who is very responsible and takes care of her mom, sister, and friends, and her friend Peeta, a 16-year-old boy, as they try to survive.

The “hunger games“ is a once-a-year gathering. Two tributes are picked: one girl and one boy between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district. It is televised the whole time. They are put into a futuristic forest arena to compete against each other to the death. In a game for their lives, they will face challenges such as murder, sickness, natural disasters, and homesickness. Will they survive? Will they win?

What I liked about the book was that Katniss and Peeta are around my age (a little older), and I could relate to them. Katniss is a girl so that made a difference for me, because not many books have main female characters. I would recommend this book to anyone who has read The Maze Runner by James Dashner or Divergent by Victoria Ross. You would also enjoy this book if you like fast-paced adventure books with cliffhangers. Read The Hunger Games!!!

Reviewer: nightowl

Age: 12

jay Z finds his oasis in “Ready Player One!”

Ready Player OneTitle: Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline

Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, is a dystopian science fiction novel, set in the year 2044 and chalk full of 80’s video games, adventure, and mystery.

Protagonist Wade Watts is a teen who has found the first clue in the puzzle to a $200 billion fortune left behind by James Halliday.  Halliday is the recently deceased, 80’s-obsessed creator of the virtual reality video game called The Oasis.  

This fortune is hidden deep inside the game as an Easter egg. The catch: the competition is open to the billions of people who own Oasis consoles and haptic equipment. Furthermore, Wade has to contend with IOI, a giant corporation bent on taking control of the Oasis and cheating their way to the egg.

This book is a fantastic, compelling read.  By the second chapter in, I vowed to add this to my permanent library. The characters Cline brings to life are so crystal clear and lifelike, I wished it would never stop. This story was my oasis from the dull reality of life; for this, I am forever indebted to Cline for his enchanting wizardry with words.

Reviewer: jay Z

Age: 13

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

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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!”

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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

HockeyGirlMT finds a stunning message in “The War that Saved My Life!”

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Title: The War that Saved my Life

Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

The War that Saved my Life is a stunning book that takes the reader through a girl’s daring escape not only to get free from her fears, but to find her strengths. Ada has never left her one-room apartment because her horrible mother is too ashamed about Ada’s twisted up foot. When World War II hits London and kids evacuate to the country, Ada escapes with them. But will she be free or will the grip of her abusive mother pull her back? The War that Saved my Life is an extraordinary book with beautiful detail. You will love this book if you are interested in life around World War II or if you just want to read a tremendous and moving book. This book is very well written: I can imagine each scene because author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley writes with beautiful description. The War that Saved my Life is one of my favorite books and I can’t wait to read it again.

Reviewer: HockeyGirlMT

Age: 12

Yeetgawd is riveted by “Red Rising!”

Red_Rising_(2014)

Title: Red Rising

Author: Pierce Brown

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

Rating: 5 Stars

Red Rising is a riveting and page-turning sci-fi that takes place in a dystopian society on Mars. The society is stratified into a caste system, with the Golds at the top and the Reds at the bottom. Darrow is a Red, the lowest class in society. His whole life Darrow has believed that he has been colonizing Mars for a better future for his people, but this is all a lie. When his wife is killed, he decides to go through a risky process called the carving to become a Gold, the highest class in society. Darrow enters the institute — a vile place where the Golds are tested in a battle of will. Will Darrow survive?

This book is like Hunger Games mixed with Ender’s Game. Pierce Brown’s writing style is fast-paced, engaging, and delicately woven to create a book that you won’t be able to put down. This was one of my favorite series I’ve ever read. This is the first installment in a series of three.

Reviewer: yeetgawd

Age: 14

That One Rainbow Sprinkles is Intrigued by “Illuminae!”

Illuminae

Title: Illuminae

Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

Illuminae, written by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, is a vibrant book that will inspire you to read it to the end. Kady Grant lives in the year 2575 on a planet with an illegal mining colony. One day when Kady goes to school, her planet gets invaded by the rival corporation to the company that oversees the mining corporation on her planet. Everyone has to evacuate on their three spaceships: the Alexander, the Hypatia, and the Copernicus. They are chased by the spaceship that attacked their planet, and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) unit that helps run their ships gets a virus and starts malfunctioning and killing the people that it’s supposed to be protecting. Then Kady decides to bring to light what really happened.

Illuminae  is a great book with an interesting format style that might confuse you at first, but it is definitely worth sticking with it. Each page is different from comics to texts to emails to surveillance footage. I really liked Illuminae because it’s an incredibly intriguing book that will make you not want to stop reading it. And it broadened my knowledge about different styles of writing. Illuminae is a science fiction novel with creative art and pictures made out of words. I definitely recommend you read Illuminae. It is one of my favorite books.

Reviewer: That One Rainbow Sprinkles

Age: 14

Why stop with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone?” Mirilli urges readers to take on the series!

Harry Potter Book 1

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Author: J. K. Rowling

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5 Stars

Personally, I think that Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone is a great start to an even better series. The characters have spunk and courage, and they are very diverse. For example, there are several strong female role models such as Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley, who are as different as can be but equally magnificent. The main character, Harry Potter, has an interesting backstory that’s not cliché .

The plot is full of action and adventure. A boy named Harry discovers that he’s a wizard and gets to leave his abusive aunt and uncle to go to the magical shcool of Hogwarts. The background world that the author created is wonderful, filled with whimsy and wonder. I would recommend this story to everyone, but in particular fans of Percy Jackson and Land of Stories. If you haven’t read this series already, you need to.

Reviewer: Mirilli

Age: 13

Hfkiely writes a stunning review of “Red Rising.”

Red_Rising_(2014)

Title: Red Rising

Author: Pierce Brown

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

In a word, Red Rising is stunning. The story revolves around our futuristic solar system and the evolution of man. In four thousand years from now, man has been genetically engineered to divide into different races of humans, each used for a specific purpose. For simplicity, each job is represented by a color. However, some of the colors are engineered with higher physical superiority than the others. The Golds are the rulers of mankind. Their sole purpose is domination and order. The book follows a young man by the name of Darrow, who was born into the lowest color of all: the Reds, meant only for the mining of mars. Since a young age, all Reds are told that humans are just now trying to colonize mars, and that the Helium-3 they are mining is helping them to make the planet liveable. But this is a lie. The whole system has been colonized for centuries. After his family is killed, Darrow stumbles upon the lies the Golds have been keeping for years, and will do anything in his power to make it right. Even if it means becoming one of them.

Pierce Brown writes with descriptive vigor to create fantastically vivid images of the world and people in the universe, to the point where it almost puts you in the world itself. The bonds and emotional attachments to characters and places he creates have you flipping through the pages as he puts you through the unimaginable. This incredible writing style is what makes the book mind-blowing throughout. The twists are on every page, the excitement is book wide. Red Rising is a must read for anyone who cares about what it’s like to be a human.

Reviewer: hfkiely

Age: 15

Mastermind1999 finds “Phoenix” to be an extraordinary book!

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Title: Phoenix

Author: S F Said

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

The book “Phoenix,” written by S F Said and illustrated by Dave McKean, is amazing. It is about a kid named Lucky who awakes one day with his bed sheets smoldering and a giant hole in them. Lucky and his mom have to join forces with aliens that the human race is fighting. Lucky then has to find the truth about his powers by finding his dad in the war zone. “Phoenix” is a great book with extraordinary illustrations. You will like this book if you are interested in books about the future and if you like the “Guardians of the Galaxy” (the movie) or fast-paced adventure books. This book is very well written: I could imagine each scene like a movie because everything was described so well.  “Phoenix” is one of my favorite books. I read it in three days!!!

Reviewer: Mastermind1999

Age: 12