Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Review by Mia Levings

Autumn_Leaves_36Mia is an unassuming, sweet, reflective young lady who I never would have guessed would be a powerhouse on the stage, but she is! In December, I went to support a friend appearing in a play, and on walked Mia playing a bratty, rude, loud character — the exact opposite the kid I’d seen in class every day for months. An entertaining surprise! You can’t judge kids based on their in-class reserve, and you can’t judge a book by its cover. Or maybe you can, because since Miss Peregrine popped up on shelves (at the exact same time as Falling for Hamlet, as I recall), it looked intriguing, mysterious, and scary. Let’s see what Mia’s got to say about it.

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. – Amazon

missperegrine_334x518Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the best book that I’ve read (so far) ever. Adventure, World War 2, monsters and very, very peculiar children – one of the best combinations ever. Set in modern times (Florida, USA), teenager Jacob Portman has always felt a little out of place. (I know that sounds like a cliche, but trust me, this is good.) With his grandfather getting older and his childhood dreams of being a world famous explorer fading from memory, Jacob is just getting settled into the normal life of anything and everything boring. But when a terrible and unbelievable “incident” happens, Jacob realizes that his grandfather’s old childhood stories might be a bit more real than he expected. This book is truly amazing, but just a warning it is a bit scary and creepy, so if that’s not your type you might want to read something else. Also it’s a series of three and there’s a movie, all great. Happy reading!

The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Review by Samar

Photo on 11-9-15 at 8.35 PMThis is Samar’s second review on the blog, and I’m thrilled to have a repeat customer. We’re a month from the end of school and I can honestly say I’ll miss having Samar in class. Sweet, funny, kind, and “wicked smaaht” as my Boston cousins might say, she’s a pleasure to see every day. And she seems to be into my Shakespeare unit, which makes me endlessly happy.


51t8MOm-ZnL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_“What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions. Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.” (goodreads.com)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here is a marvelous book about four friends experiencing their last few weeks of high school. The book is a spin on one of my personal favorite TV shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While the “Indie” kids are off fighting vampires and strange immortals with blue lights for eyes, Mikey, Jared, Henna, and Mel have their minds set on graduating high school. This book, as Patrick Ness would say, is about finding “the extraordinary in the ordinary.” What I especially love about this book is that no character is good or bad. They all have their flaws, but they also each have something unique that makes each character special and well developed. This book really makes you think and wonder about each and every sentence. Every page reveals a new surprise and something else to consider. It was impossible to put down. There is much beyond the surface of the plot. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a heart-warming story that will change your ways of thinking.


Vault of Dreamers – Reviewed by Hannah

wolfHannah, who was a sixth graders in my class this past year, is a bright, charismatic, enthusiastic reader, who was kind enough to take time from her summer vacation to write a review.

She goes by the nickname “Wolf” and draws the most incredible pictures of them. Since school’s out and my classroom packed up, the ones she drew for me are in a file ready to go back up in the fall. She asked me to find a wolf picture to represent her, so I hope she likes the one I chose!



The Vault of Dreamers, by Caragh M. O’Brien

Rosie Sinclair has been accepted into the prestigious Forge School, a place that has risen from its humble, obscure beginnings to an absolutely wonderful reality TV show! You heard me: it’s not just a school– it’s TV’s most popularattachment show! And just like every other moderately decent TV show, there’s an elimination round. It broadcasts students’ everyday lives to the general public during the day, and in the night replays the day’s footage so viewers can pick their favorites and vote for who they want to stay at the school. But what happens to the students at night? They all consume a sleep-inducing pill.

Rosie has been a good girl until her curiosity gets the better of her. One night, she decides to skip her pill to roam around and explore, but she never realizes that even during the night, the cameras — and the dean– never stop watching. As soon as she finds something… disconcerting (sorry, I can’t spoil the whole book!)… and nobody can give her any answers, she dives into the mysteries herself, not realizing that she’s only at the mercy of the school’s most powerful figure: the dean.

She’s on a chain that’s only getting tighter, while, oblivious, she delves deeper to uncover (literally, uncover) the secret that’s been alive for years while trying not to be expelled and eliminated. And (of course) there’s romance, because what teen novel these days doesn’t have romance? (Correct answer: none)

Note: If you don’t like suspense, don’t read this. I don‘t suggest this book for kids under 10, as it can give you some serious scares.