Student Reviews

Latest reviews
A Game of Thrones
George Martin
Reviewed by Chloe Cichanowski, Grade 10

A Game of Thrones is about the medieval world of the Seven Kingdoms on the continent of Westeros - it is a world of lords, castles, and battles. The novel begins in the Kingdom of Winterfell when King Robert visits Winterfell to ask Lord Eddard Stark to be the new king’s Hand of the King. Reluctantly Lord Stark accepts the request and becomes the Hand of the King. The world of Westeros has seemingly endless winters and summers. There are old stories that certain evils lurk in the decade-long winters. Turmoil ensues in Westeros when it appears that the previous Hand of the King died suspiciously. Lord Stark is led on a dangerous wild goose chase as he investigates. A Game of Thrones is a challenging read, but once you start reading you won’t be able to put it down. Martin's writing makes you feel like you are in the story - you feel very intimate with the characters. The book is definitely worth a read but it takes a reader with patience to let the story build.

The Lover's Dictionary
David Levithan
Reviewed by Sam Obenauer, Grade 8

The Lover’s Dictionary is exactly that: A dictionary. Although, it is different from a normal one. This book is a selection of words whose definitions are a short event in a relationship. Readers keep getting these tastes of the relationship that leave you wanting more. When reading this book the words are meant to teach you how to describe a relationship, but at some point, I learned that a relationship is truly indescribable. At the end of the book, I found myself sitting there for a few minutes, putting the relationship together, linking events, just wishing to be able to see what happens next. Then again, sometimes the best stories are the ones that allow you to imagine what happens next, fill in the blanks. The ones that start a thought or an idea, that keeps going. This book was different from any other book I have read.

David Levithan is the author of many acclaimed young-adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn), which was adapted into a popular movie.

I'll Give You The Sun
Jandy Nelson
Reviewed by Samara Obenauer, Grade 7

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson is an amazing novel that leaves readers longing for more. This book is about a set of twins that try to navigate the disaster they both face. Each sees it differently, though, because both know completely different sides of the story. The reader sees the events leading up to the disaster, and the tragedy itself through the eyes of Noah, and they see the result through the eyes of Jude. Both desperately need each other. This story shows two types of romance: the destined to be together and the pure longing. Readers know all the same emotions as the characters. Throughout the story, readers feel like they are truly in the life of the character they follow. This story was an emotional roller coaster I could not put down. Overall, this is one of the best books I have ever read.

Stoker's Manuscript
Royce Prouty
Reviewed by Claire Paquin, Grade 10

Stoker’s Manuscript is impossible to put down. From the minute I opened this book, I knew that it would quickly become one of my all-time favourites. Prouty’s amazing adventure tells the tale of a Romanian orphan, Joseph Barkeley, who is endowed with an interesting power, which aids him in his profession. He takes on a client, who requires him to travel to his homeland to deliver a very rare book: Bram Stoker’s original draft of Dracula. While there, he discovers something that he never could have imagined would exist: Vampires. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a great read. It parallels a renowned tale,  while managing to stay true to its own plot, leaving readers in suspense. It is an interesting and timeless story, that can be enjoyed by all.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever
Jeff Kinney
Reviewed by Ariana Reynolds, Age 10

I really enjoyed reading Cabin Fever. One of the things I liked is that Greg keeps talking about his past and it's really funny. For example, when Greg said he wouldn’t pass 6th grade because he didn’t know to skip. I also like this book because Greg thinks the police are going to arrest him because he told a lie. I hope Jeff Kinney, the author, writes more books like this one.

The Seventh Most Important Thing
Shelley Pearsall
Reviewed by Maggie Emerson, Grade 7

The Seventh Most Important Thing is a realistic fiction book based on true events. The book takes the reader on one kid’s journey that begins with a crime and with only one chance to make things right. Arthur Owens's father is dead and, when Arthur sees someone else wearing his dad's hat, Arthur takes action. The result is a series of events including court, juvie, community service and lots of learning opportunities for Arthur.

I think one main lesson people can take with them from this book is that there are consequences for your actions, good or bad. Arthur obviously made some mistakes along his way, but he grew from them and became more mature and responsible. This is honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read and I highly recommend it.


The Inheritance Cycle
Christopher Paolini
Reviewed by Savannah Robson, Grade 10

Over many years of reading marvelous novels, there is one book series that I can not help but admire: The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I started this series in the third grade; this is not a simple book for a 10 year old. With its intriguing tale about dragon riders and magic I was enchanted. The tales almost felt real, like they actually happened and could be re-enacted. At that age, I didn't realize just how creative and inspiring the writing and story were. I have read this entire series three times over and I have never been let down. Paolini’s words create a written movie that can easily be projected in your mind. This novel is a fantasy and gives the reader the experience as if they were there. I would recommend this amazing book series to everyone.

Elementary School

Raina Telgemeier
Reviewed by William Bond, Grade 4

I read Sisters by Raina Telgemeier over summer vacation 2016. I think that Raina Telgemeier is a good author because she is funny and shows what it’s really like to have a younger sibling. I have a younger sister named Meredith. I would recommend Sisters to anyone who likes funny comics or anyone who has a younger sibling. I thought that it was especially funny when they were at the dinosaur park in Montana. Out of the whole book, that chapter was my favorite. I also thought that the part when they were at the zoo and Raina was telling her sister about the time when she stepped on a dead snake was really funny. I’ve read a little bit of her other book, Smile, and also some of the book Drama. Both books I thought were pretty funny, too. William Bond

Roller Girl
Victoria Jamieson
Reviewed by Tara Oakes, Grade 5

Roller Girl is an awesome book. I would recommend it to readers who like Roller Derby, or to readers who like adventure. Roller Girl is about a girl, named Astrid, who is having a pretty rough summer. Her only interest is Roller Derby, but, her friend likes other things like ballet, so Nicole and Astrid split up after being best friends since kindergarten. Astrid goes to Roller Derby Camp and Nicole goes to Ballet Camp. This isn’t just a graphic novel, it is also a story about old friendships, new friendships, and about telling the truth to your parents and not lying to them. It is a book about hard work, finding new interests and passions, and growing up. I think Roller Girl is a great book for readers of all ages. Tara Oakes

The Time Fetch
Amy Herrick
Reviewed by Deanna Oakes, Grade 5

I thought this book was amazing. It is a story about polar opposites becoming inseparable friends, and helping a young girl find her voice. This book has everything from drama, to bravery, to kindness. I would recommend "The Time Fetch" to anyone who likes to curl up with a good book. If I could describe this book in one word, I would call it "fantastical".  I give it five stars. Deanna Oakes

The Ring of Rocamadour
Michael D. Beil
Reviewed by Luisa Novelli, Grade 4

The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Beil is part of a series about four girls who go to school at Saint Veronica's in Manhattan’s upper east side. When they find a hidden staircase and meet a woman who asks them to solve a mystery no one knows what to do… but they know they have to help bring a family back together and solve a mystery to find The Ring of Rocamadour. I love this book because it’s a mystery and realistic fiction. Another reason I love The Ring of Rocamadour is because there is a lot about math and history, the stuff where you think “I’m never going to use this again” - well, you use it to figure out the solution. I think it’s really fun to be able to solve the mystery, or just think about it! Luisa  Novelli

Belly Up
Stuart Gibbs
Reviewed by Catherine Morrissey, Grade 4

Belly Up focuses on two main characters, Theodore and Summer. Theodore’s parents work at FunJungle where the main attraction is Henry the Hippo, who was just murdered. Summer’s parents own FunJungle. Theodore and Summer team up to solve the crime and try to stop more animals from being murdered. The police won’t listen to Theodore’s and Summer’s ideas. Will they be able to solve the crime? Will FunJungle be saved? I found this book exciting and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery and adventure. This book was awarded the title of DCF (Dorothy Canfield Fisher) Book in 2011. Catherine Morrissey

The Heart of a Dolphin
Catherine Hapka
Reviewed by Tara Oakes, Grade 4

I recommend The Heart of a Dolphin to readers of all ages interested in suspenseful and exciting books. It has a lot of information, and it tells about dealing with bullies and how to fix friendships, even if they take a wrong turn. The plot is about a girl who finds a dolphin that is stuck in a net, and she really wants to help. She swims over, and tries to undo the net, but it is too strong. She returns with a knife to cut the net, and sets the dolphin free. Later, she becomes good friends with the dolphin, and they play together. A bully comes into the story and makes her life difficult, and there is a lot of friend-related drama. This is one of those books I just couldn’t put down, because it was so exciting! The suspenseful chapter endings keep you turning pages, and the book ends on a real cliffhanger. Tara Oakes

Say What You Will
Cammie McGovern
Reviewed by Olivia Johnson
, Grade 6

I recently read the book
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern. I found the story to be cleverly written, moving and heartbreaking. McGovern has created a love story sweet and romance-filled yet still realistic. I think Matthew's point of view was written extremely well. His struggle with OCD was portrayed in such a way that I became very emotionally tied to his well being. I was never as invested in Amy's character, however, even though she played a crucial part of the plot. The storytelling was beautiful. The way characters, even minor ones, were developed was realistic and believable. All of Amy’s peers seemed like real people with real struggles. Nicole, Amy’s mother, was enjoyable to read about despite the fact that I could not stand her. Nicole’s struggle with her daughter growing up caused me to sympathize with her and begin to enjoy the character. Say What You Will is incredibly well written and I would recommend it to anyone. Olivia Johnson

a Telgemeier
Reviewed by Emily Harris, Grade 2

Drama, by Raina Telgemeier, is about a girl, Callie, who is on the stage crew of a school play about a boy and a girl who want to marry each other. When Callie is hanging up posters about the play, she meets two boys, Jesse and Justin. Callie is friends with them but she also has a crush on Jesse. When Callie and her other friend go to look for costumes backstage, they see some students hiding and secretly kissing. It turns out it’s the two leads in the play, and they’re not just practicing their parts. Callie’s job is to decorate the stage, and it’s very frustrating, especially when the two lead actors break up and refuse to kiss in the play. In the end, Callie does a good job, and Jesse saves the play. I recommend this book for ages 6 and up. It is my favorite book. I love Callie because she’s so funny. Emily Harris

The Secret Garden
rances Hodgson Burnett
Reviewed by Chloe Moore, Grade 2

The Secret Garden is a great book. An Indian girl that I would say is a little English named Mary Lennox loses her parents and her Ayah - an Ayah is like a Nanny. A very sour girl she is and so careless. She moves in with her uncle Mr.Craven. People say that he is a hunchback. But is he? When she meets Martha her maid, Martha tells Mary about “ a secret garden”. Somehow she gets in and meets Martha’s brother Dickon. Dickon is pretty much the most kind and gentle boy you will ever meet - with his animals and bright smile he could change anybody, including Mary Lennox herself. And then she meets Mr.Craven himself. I like The Secret Garden because it is an adventure. Chloe Moore

Lumberjanes Volume One: Beware the Kitten Holy - Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis.
Illustrated by Brooke Allen
Reviewed by Madelyn Harris, Grade 2

I read Lumberjanes Volume One: Beware the Kitten Holy written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis, illustrated by Brooke Allen. It’s a graphic novel about five girls staying at an overnight camp. Each girl has a particular interest, like one is strong, one is good at archery, and others have different specialties. The girls discover that there are weird animals in the woods, like three-eyed foxes, yetis, a bear woman, and other critters. When they go to investigate the mysterious woods, the girls meet some boy campers. The boys’ camp is very orderly, but the boy campers somehow get rabies and act all weird. The girls are brave, but their instructor is not very brave. I like the characters and that the kids save the day. My mom likes that it’s a series by women about tough smart girls. Volume 2 of the Lumberjanes series just came out too! Madelyn C. Harris

One Dead Spy - Nathan Hale
Reviewed by Lilly Harris, Grade 4

One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale is part of a series of graphic novels about American history. The series is called Hazardous Tales, and the first of the series is about the author’s namesake, Nathan Hale, the first American spy during the American Revolution. In the beginning of the book, Hale was about to be hanged, and then he got swallowed by a giant history book, and when he came out, he could see the future. He tells his hangman and the guard stories from the future. The story in the first book is about the real Nathan Hale, and how he graduated from Yale and joined the Revolutionary army. He was very unlucky because he got caught on his spy mission. I liked the hangman in this book because I thought he was funny. The whole book made learning about American history funny and fun. Lilly D. Harris

The Stonekeeper - Kazu Kibuishi
Reviewed by Maple Van Orden, Grade 4

The book series I am reading now is called Amulet. The first book in the series is The Stonekeeper. It is a graphic novel about a girl, Emily, whose father died and she goes to live in her great grandfather’s house with her brother and mother. At the house, she finds herself holding a maroon stone necklace. What she doesn’t know is that this isn’t any plain old stone. It gives her powers and talks in Emily’s [the girl’s] mind. She finds her great grandfather, who had disappeared, after she found a secret door. He tells her that she must not turn back and that she is the only hope. Emily thought strangely of this, but when the stone asked her to be the keeper of the stone, she did not refuse. She goes on an adventure, to help defeat the evil elves. I like these books because there is adventure and magic and I like mystical creatures. Maple Van Orden, March 28th, 2015.

Middle School

Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard
Reviewed by Olivia Johnson, Grade 7

I  absolutely love this book! The setting, both distopian and medieval, is intriguing and unique. Minor characters are well-developed with a fair amount of depth and detail. The plot itself is fresh and absolutely extraordinary. The major plot twist - something I don't usually enjoy -  shocked me and made me nearly cry due to my love of the character Maven. Mare, the  protagonist, is sweet, brave, and a bit indecisive. From her half-in half-out attitude, to her  confusion surrounding Cal and Maven, indecision is a common trend. I had a bit of a love hate  relationship with Cal. The powers of the different characters are all awe inspiring, but could be a bit more creative: Mind control, elemental powers, and super strength  are all a bit elementary. I think the way these powers suit their characters is what makes them so perfect. For example, Evangeline's power is like her: lethal and terrifying. I  highly recommend this book, and will be back to buy the next one soon. Olivia Johnson

Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer - John Grisham
Reviewed by Madison Hopkins, Grade 7

Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer ​by John Grisham is a great book. It is a legal thriller and is the first book in the Theodoore Boone series. It is about a kid named Theo whose parents are lawyers, so he spends a lot of time in the courthouse. He also knows a lot about the law. He lives in the small town of Strattenburg where there is normally not a lot of crime, until now. There has been a murder in the Duffy family, and Theo is the only person, besides the unknown witness, that knows the truth. Theodore now has to figure out how to bring the killer to justice. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery, or anyone who is interested in the law. Madison Hopkins

High School

ica Warman
Reviewed by Ashley Finkelstein, Grade 10

I recommend Between to anyone who likes mysteries or fiction genres.  Between is by an amazing author Jessica Warman who has also written several other great novels. Between is about a girl named Elizabeth Valchar. Elizabeth wakes up after the night of her 18th birthday party, but she realizes something extremely peculiar had happened the night before that she didn’t remember. She later realizes that she is actually dead and she is a ghost in her body.  She goes on an adventure in her ghost body to find out how she died. Throughout the story, you get to go through her journey with her as she discovers things about her friends and family that she never knew before when she was alive. I like this book because there is lots of scenery and imagery throughout the story, so you get to feel like you’re right there with Elizabeth trying to figure out what happened to her the night before she died. This book is an interesting story, and I definitely recommend it! Ashley Finkelstein    

Fly by Night
Frances Hardinge
Reviewed by Charlotte Sachs, Grade 12 

Within the bindings of her book, Fly by Night, Frances Hardinge has woven an unbelievably intricate web of a fantasy world. Her writing displays incredible attention to detail and a deep understanding of human nature, politics, religion and what really makes a society (or "Realm"), tick. After its monarchy crumbled, the Realm suffered a 10 year war on those deemed heretics by the fanatical Birdcatchers. With the help of a shady wordsmith named Eponymous, the orphan Mosca Mye and her goose, Saracen, navigate a world ravaged by various brutal political powers, each struggling to come out on top. While the monarchy tries to regain its footing, guilds have begun taking power. Individual guilds control everything from the waterways to the now corrupted press. Through Mosca's observant eyes, Hardinge gives readers a valuable and unforgettable look into what it costs the 99% when those in power ruthlessly struggle for complete control. Charlotte Sachs

The Inheritance Cycle
Christopher Paolini
Reviewed by Savannah Robson, Grade 10

Over many years of reading marvelous novels, there is one book series that I can not help but admire: The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I started this series in the third grade, and let me tell you that this is not a simple book for a 10 year old. With its intriguing tale about dragon riders and magic I was enchanted. The tales almost felt real, like they actually happened and could be re-enacted. At that age, I didn't realize just how creative and inspiring the writing and story was. I have read this entire series three times over and I have never been let down. Christopher Paolini’s writing style is easily understood. His words create a written movie that can easily be projected in your mind. This novel is a fantasy and gives the reader the experience as if they were there. I would recommend this amazing book series to everyone.

The Legend Trilogy
Marie Lu
Reviewed by Jamie Boyle, Grade 10

This is my absolute, all time favorite book series! If you are into dystopian novels, such as Divergent or The Hunger Games, this would be a great book for you! Right from the beginning, you will feel a connection with the two main characters, Day and June. Day is the Republic’s notorious rebel, and at the age of fifteen, is the most wanted criminal. June, on the other hand, is the Republic’s prodigy who is chosen to find and capture Day. Although they come from completely different worlds, they make an unbreakable connection. Aside from Day and June’s growing affection towards one another, there is tons of suspense throughout the trilogy. In their world, the United States has been split into the Republic and the Colonies. Neither one is perfect and both are continually getting angrier with one another. Will Day and June survive long enough to get their happy ending, or will their country’s secrets rip them apart? Jamie Boyle

The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins
Reviewed by Sabrina LaCross, Grade 10

I shed a few tears while reading The Hunger Games trilogy, but would recommend it to anyone. I picked this trilogy because it teaches young readers to watch or say what you do. The trilogy also shows that you can’t save everyone that you love. Katniss, the heroine, always did her best to protect the people that she loved, but she couldn’t protect them all. I think my favorite book out of the trilogy was the first book. The book I cried the most over was Mocking Jay, but I would still recommend it to anyone. I always like to read books before watching the movies. I have watched all the movies from The Hunger Games to Mocking Jay Part 1. Personally, the books are way better than the movies by a long run. People who just watch the movies are totally missing out on stuff. Sabrina LaCross

The Burning Sky - Sherry Thomas
Reviewed by Sarah Harris, Grade 11

Born into a world where the elements can be manipulated by mages, Iolanthe Seaborne is to become the greatest of them all and the saviour of the Realm. A prophecy that had been passed down from generations telling of her coming puts Iolanthe in danger and she must hide in a realm that doesn’t have mages. In this twisting tale from a world of mages to that of humans, written by Sherry Thomas, The Burning Sky is filled with excitement, terror, and a hint of hope. As the first in a trilogy, this book is burning with thrilling danger. Sarah Harris

The Nightmarys - Dan Poblocki
Reviewed by Aubreanna-Rose Petit, Grade 10

If you want to be scared senseless in your nightmares, or you want to read a book with brilliant writing and pure horror authenticity, The NightMarys by Dan Poblocki would be your best choice. This book is about two children who come together after many horrifying events and nightmares to solve a town’s ancient mystery involving a professor (a supposed cult-member to the Daughter of Chaos) who lured a young victim to be his sacrifice to the goddess. With plenty of horror, mystery, and a hint of dark comedy, Poblocki’s greatest work of horror will have you clinging for dear life to your bed sheets and stuffed animals as you go on this heart-pulsing, blood-churning horror ride. Aubreanna-Rose Petit
The Alex Rider Series - Anthony Horowitz
Reviewed by Rory Parson
s, Grade 12

The Alex Rider series brings to the 21st century the same thrills that Ian Fleming produced with the James Bond novels. Appealing to both teens and adults, the series follows the new teenage MI6 agent Alex Rider as he defends England and the world from evil organizations, terrorists, and eccentric billionaire madmen, as well as other grave threats. The author, Anthony Horowitz, does a great job keeping Rider an authentic teenager in his thoughts and actions, but shows his maturation as his job continues. Overall, the series is great for anyone looking for a great story with many twists and turns that will leave the reader right on the edge until the very end. Rory Parsons.