The Secret Language of Sisters – Review by Mia Brown

0Mia is kind and funny and perceptive. She’s in my one of my biggest class of the day and still finds positive ways to stand out, making insightful comments and adding to the learning. Great to have her her to share her thoughts on a book she loves!

 

The Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne Rice51GoUvG1CeL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

Teenage Roo (Ruth) McCabe has everything; a great boyfriend, a loyal sister, and a great photography skills, but when Roo answers a text from her sister Tilly while she is driving, her whole world turns upside down as she hits a dog which sends her car flying into a marsh. She wakes up in a hospital bed not able to move or talk, but she can see and hear everything and everyone around her.  Only Tilly, Roo’s best friend and sister, and Newton, Roo’s boyfriend can solve the mystery of what is happening to her.

The Secret Language of Sisters is a beautiful novel with awesome characters that you just have to love. The book sucks you into the story and you won’t want to put it down. Not only is it a great book, but it teaches you the importance of not texting and driving. I recommend this book for people ages 11 and up. Thank you for reading my review and I hope you enjoy the book!

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East – Review by Colette

Rose has always felt out of place in her family. So when an enormous white bear mysteriously shows up and asks her to come away with him, she readily agrees. The bear takes Rose to a distant castle, where each night she is confronted with a mystery. In solving that mystery, she finds love, discovers her purpose, and realizes her travels have only just begun. – Amazon

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East is an amazing, wonderful, gripping, just-can’t-put-it-down book! Told through multiple perspectives, this story is about a girl named Rose. Rose is creative and inquisitive girl who loves to explore and wander off, much to her mother’s dismay. Her mother Eugenia, is incredibly superstitious with birth directions (which direction you are facing when you are born), up to the point where she tempts fate. Eugenia decided that she would have 7 children. One for each point on the compass except north. When her east born child Elise dies, she has a final child – Rose. Rose develops a love of weaving and sewing. When Rose is born, the shadowy circumstances around her birth lead to her whole life and even her name being a lie.

Alright, enough intro. Let’s get to the good parts (of which there are many). When Rose is around 12, things go from bad to worse. Her family is about to be evicted from their home, and her older sister Sara is close to death. Okay, maybe not such a good part, but still a good read. A week before they are evicted, a talking white bear comes to their home and says that if he is allowed to take their youngest daughter “The one who lies near death will be made well again. And you will be no longer poor but wealthy” Rose decides to go with the white bear and is taken to a palace in a mountain. Yes, the palace is literally in a mountain. There she witnesses all sorts of magic from impenetrable darkness to secret visitors. When her curiosity becomes her undoing, she must go on a great journey to right the wrongs she caused.

As you travel with Rose on her journey, it is impossible not to root for her every step of the way! 10 out of 10, and a wonderful book for anyone who likes adventure, mystery, suspense, and fantasy!

Turn Left at the Cow – Review by Savannah Jarrett

df4fdecbbdf732946fe4acd0ffcb5604--school-uniforms-school-uniform-skirtsSavannah is adorable, fashionable, and bright. She rushes through the halls with great purpose, but offers a smile as she passes. At times, her face lights up with realization when she hits on a great idea, while at other times her features curl with thought as she puzzles over new information about history or a challenging passage of a book. She shares her ideas with enthusiasm, demonstrated by going above and beyond by writing a review for this blog!

 

Thirteen-year-old Trav has always wondered about his dead-before-he-was-born dad. But when he heads from California to his grandmother’s house in rural Minnesota, hoping to learn about his past, he gets more than he bargained for.  It turns out his dad was involved in a bank robbery right before he mysteriously disappeared, and the loot from the take is 17165955still missing. Along with Kenny and Iz, the kids next door, Trav embarks on a search for the cash. But the trio’s adventure quickly turns dangerous when it becomes clear that someone else is looking for the money—someone who won’t give up without a fight! – Amazon

 

Review — Turn Left at the Cow is a hilarious and exciting book with excellent characters. Although the non-white/female representation could use some work (most/all characters being white, doesn’t pass the Bechdel test, blue eyes romanticized), you should definitely read it! Trav and his friends are funny and honest, and even though Gram’s small Minnesota town takes some getting used to for Trav, his awesome adventures there are very exciting! Recommend for ages 8 and up.

 

 

“Family secrets, an unsolved bank robbery, summer on a lake, a treasure island and a first romance are the ingredients for this inviting middle-grade mystery. . . . A promising fiction debut.” Kirkus
“Bullard has a good sense of family and community dynamic and articulates complex conflict and resolution with honesty and humor. . . . With a warm narrative, careful plotting, actual danger, and the beginnings of romance, this adventure has something for everyone.”
Booklist
“Through strong character development, Bullard is able to explore family dynamics in a way that is both relatable and informative. Fans of books like Sheila Turnage’s Three Times Lucky are sure to enjoy this suspenseful and heartwarming novel.”
School Library Journal

Keeper of the Lost Cities – Review by Lily Scheckner

pasted image 0Lily is the first reviewer from my new crew of 6th graders. She is sharp, funny, and seems fascinated by everything, which makes introducing new ideas and topics to her extra fun. Her enthusiasm is abundant, as you might be able to tell from her review. Thanks for taking the time to write this, Lily!

 

Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family, either. The reason? Sophie’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. No one knows her secret—at least, that’s what she thinks… But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns she’s not alone. He’s a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well…she isn’t. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth, and she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known. The truth could mean life or death—and time is running out.     http://simonandschusterpublishing.com/keeper-of-the-lost-cities

 

WARNING: This book series is severely addictive!91feMZ4LegL

This series is not only a beautiful blend of fantasy, magic, and mystery, it includes funny little bits of regular teenage life: crushes, awkwardness, school and even overprotective parents. This makes the characters all the more relatable, and really helps bring the books to life.

Sophie Foster, the amazing protagonist, is the only elf (and no, they don’t work for Santa) with brown eyes and incredible powers. She is ripped away from the world as she knows it and must live in society where everything is perfect… At least that’s how it seems. Even as she begins to settle into life as an elf, making friends and even getting some adoptive parents, a nefarious plot stirs under the surface. Glittering jewels and dazzling riches conceal a secret, so deep and horrible that the elves have kept it hidden for generations. And when Sophie discovers it, her enemies are not happy.

Not only is Sophie an intricate and beautiful character, so are her friends and family. One of the things that makes this story so amazing is the complexity of every single character. All of them have their own unique quirks and their own unique faults, and that’s what makes them perfect.

I strongly recommend this series to people of every age. I have introduced it to 4 or so people, and now they are all diehard fans! However, I think it would be best for kids ages 9 – 14, because there is some violence in the later books. It is still, however, very sweet series that would be good for anyone! Thank you for reading this review and I hope you enjoy Keeper of the Lost Cities!

Steelheart – Review by Keuyrbel Zewedu

IMG_20180705_134619_2Keuyrbel can’t get extra credit for doing another review or writing during the summer, so it’s extra awesome that he emailed me. He might be done with my class, but I’m hoping we’ll keep working together in the school’s drama department. He’s as adorable on stage as in his picture. Don’t let the smile fool you. His book taste can run darker, as his review shows. Enjoy!
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Shots. Cries. Screams. Blood. Death. At the First Union Bank, Deathpoint arrives unnamedand starts skeletonizing people in the bank, then Steelheart arrives. Steelheart stops Deathpoint and forces him to surrender his loyalty to him. Steelheart continues Deathpoint’s task: killing innocents. As Steelheart gets to the last 10, a man stands up, grabs a gun, and fires. Deathpoint is down, shot after trying to kill Steelheart. But Steelheart is bleeding on his cheek. Steelheart turns and, with anger, kills him with his own gun. A boy hides in a vault. Steelheart finishes killing the people and flies, commanding one of his servants, Faultline, to bury the vault. Faultine finds the boy in the vault and lets him go. Later, Steelheart turns most of Chicago into steel and calls it Newcago. That boy is 8-year-old boy David Charleson and that dead man was his father. Deathpoint, Steelheart, and Faultline were all Epics, humans granted superhuman powers by Calamity, a star. And Steelheart is invincible. Ten years later, at 18, David joins a group named the Reckoners committed to killing all Epics in the United States. Meeting them in Newcago, he gives them his research and convinces them to try to kill Steelheart. Because David knows Steelheart’s secret. David has seen him bleed. And he intends to see him bleeding again.
 
After reading Steelheart, you will feel amazed and still have that feeling for months. This book is truly a must-read, 10-out-of-10, amazing, suspenseful, and interesting book. I learned the importance of trust, safety, teamwork, security, and rebellion from incorrect methods. What I really like about this book is how David and the Reckoners are able to work as a team to help the United States. This series will be amazing once you read it. After this are books Firefight and Calamity. There is also a short story called Mitosis. I recommend for readers 10 and up. What are you waiting for? Stop reading my review and go read the books. There are 3 books in the Reckoner stories, plus a short story.

 

Leah on the Off Beat – Review by Lillian Dow Paterson

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School’s out, but we’ve got another review by Lillian.

 

Leah on the Off Beat is the amazing sequel to the book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens 0062804197Agenda by Becky Albertalli, and it follows Leah, on of Simon’s three BFFs. It showcases the senior year (of high school) in Simon, Bram, Nick, Abby, and Leah. Although this book is from Leah’s perspective, it does show how different relationships from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda turn out and progress. This book is amazing, and it also helps you learn about more of the background characters from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda a definite must read. Embarrassing, Laugh out loud funny, beautifully written, this book shows a message similar to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and it is that everyone deserves a love story, and that’s why Becky Albertalli books are so moving and inspirational.

Eastern’s Production of Macbeth – Review by Maggie Megosh

img_0848.jpgEastern Middle School put on the production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth is a gruesome tale with a large amount of blood, death, and scandal. Written in 1606, the story, which is meant to be constructed in play form, is about a man named Macbeth who is told that he is to be king.  After hearing this prophecy from three weird sisters, Macbeth, as many people would, sets off to kill the current king. This, however, didn’t make Macbeth feel powerful; it made him feel weak and powerless.

Eastern Middle School’s production of this show was a wonderful portrayal of this play IMG_0829fit with music, melancholy, and of course, murder. The actors and designers in this show have worked extremely hard and they delivered an amazing show. Someone important to highlight is Mr. Matthew Bowerman, the director of this incredible show. He is an actor himself and has brought so much to the production. His adaptation of IMG_0830William Shakespeare’s original work is amazing – the play has been brought to a whole new level. Many people’s favorite parts were the creativity and the music incorporated into the story. Macbeth has quickly become my most favorite Shakespeare play which is why I think you should take a look into this play as well. IMG_0831

 

Note from Mrs. Ray: Can’t get to a live production of Macbeth? I recommend Patrick Stewart’s film version. Want a modern adaptation? Read my novel MAC/BETH!