Monthly Archives: June 2013

Book Review: Captives by Jill Williamson

Synopsis (from the back cover): When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many–including his fiancee, Jem–taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.

Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Lands have protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago…and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams.

Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone inside the Safe Lands’ walls. Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ facade before it’s too late? Continue reading

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Filed under Adventure, Ages 10-12, Ages 13-15, Books I Loved, Dystopian

Book Review: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Toulane by Kate DiCamillo

Synopsis (from the last page): Once, there was a china rabbit who was loved by a little girl. The rabbit went on an ocean journey and fell overboard and was rescued by a fisherman. He was buried under garbage and unburied by a dog. He traveled for a long time with the hoboes and for a short time as a scarecrow. Once there was a rabbit who loved a little girl and watched her die. The rabbit danced the streets of Memphis. His head was broken open in a diner and was put together again by a doll mender. And the rabbit swore he would not make the mistake of loving again. Once there was a rabbit who danced in a garden in springtime with the daughter of the woman who had loved him at the beginning of his journey. The girl swung the rabbit as she danced in circles. Sometimes, they went so fast, the two of them, that is seemed as if they were flying. Sometimes, it seemed as if they both had wings. Once, oh marvelous once, there was a rabbit who found his way home. Continue reading

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Book Review: Go Teen Writers by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson

From the back cover: The question we hear most from new writers is, “How do I get published?” And the answer is: Respect your dream Every writer’s journey is different, yet as we’ve reflected on our experiences and those of the writers around us, we’ve seen time and time again that those who are successful are the ones who had the patience and endurance to stick with this writing thing. They didn’t look for shortcuts (at least, not for long), nor did they quit after five, ten, or one hundred rejections. We can’t make the process easy for you, but it’s our hope that this book will be a tool you can turn to time and time again when you’re thinking, “Okay … what’s next?” Continue reading

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Filed under Ages 10-12, Ages 13-15, Ages 15+, Ages 8-10, Nonfiction, Uncategorized

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Synopsis (from the back cover):  “Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man’s struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much. Continue reading

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Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Synopsis (from the back cover): In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. Continue reading

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Filed under Adventure, Ages 13-15, Ages 15+, Books I Loved, Dystopian

Formatting Stuff

I have decided to make my reviews a bit more organized. This will be the set-up from now on:

  • Synopsis of the book (probably from the back cover)
  • Youngest age that I think the book is appropriate for
  • A list of any inappropriate things (this will be mostly major stuff; I’m not going to nitpick through the book searching for it)
  • My thoughts on the book and my favorite characters

Alright, so that’s the set-up. I’ll be posting a review of the book Divergent in a few days. Stay tuned!

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