Thursday, September 5, 2019

Restart by Gordon Korman

Chase Ambrose wasn't an everyday kid, even before his accident.

He was the football captain, winning championships, and the ring leader of a group of bullies. One day, for some unknown reason, he was on the roof and fell off. He ends up with a concussion and some scrapes, but the worst part is he has amnesia and can't remember any of his life before the accident.

Now that he has a fresh start, his new friends are trying to turn him into a better person before he regains the memories of his past life and turns back into the old Chase.

I really enjoyed this book. It's empowering to see how Chase finds his true self when he no longer can remember who he was.  I feel like this is a powerful book for kids to read, to understand why it is important to be true to yourself.  Restart is a book that shows who you were in the past doesn't reflect who you are today.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Unwanteds By Lisa McMann

In the town of Quil, there is an unusual tradition where, on kids' thirteenth birthdays, they participate in the "Purge". The leaders judge the kids and separate them into three groups. The Wanted remain in Quil to train to be warriors. The Necessaries also stay, but only to do farm work and manual labor. The last group is the Unwanted--the group of kids who have shown too much creativity. They are sentenced to death.

When Alex Stowe's thirteenth birthday arrives, he isn't excited. He already knows that he will be an Unwanted because of all his infractions. When the Purge comes and he is sentenced to death, he assumes it is his death date. When he gets to the Lake of Boiling Oil, the place where the Unwanteds are sent to be killed, a strange man arrives and offers them a second chance.

Instead of punishing the Unwanteds, he wants to bring them into Artime, harness their creativity, and use it to give them magic. But being discovered by Quil and its inhabitants might ruin Artime forever.

I got this book as a prize after finishing the Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Challenge. I don't usually enjoy fantasy books, but I loved this one and am glad I ended up choosing it! I really enjoyed the concept of the story and loved all of the creative characters. This is the first book in a series of seven and I am really looking forward to reading the rest of them.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Dog Man Series by Dav Pilkey

Dog Man, a new series by Dav Pilkey of Captain Underpants fame, begins with a brief introduction about how Dog Man was created, when a dog's head was sewn onto a policeman's body to keep them both from dying.  It then jumps into the story. The most frequently occurring villain that Dog Man has to fight is Petey the Cat. Petey's constant schemes are what causes most of the other problems and villains to appear.

In the first book, Dog Man stops the evil plot of Petey the Cat. He also discovers an evil fish named Flippy. One day, someone accidentally knocks smart pellets into Flippy's bowl. Flippy grows so smart he gets psychic powers and is out to destroy everyone.

In the second book, Flippy is back and stronger than ever. His dead body was pieced back together with some robot parts. And now he wants revenge on Dog Man for killing him. If that's not enough, Petey is here again too and he wants to end Dog Man once and for all.

I really like this series. I decided to read them because they were by one of my favorite childhood authors.  Even though they are very easy reads, they are very humorous. It was really funny how the concept worked. I loved the fact that, even though main character had a humans body, he still had lots of dog qualities.

I can't wait to continue writing about the rest of the series.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Master Minds by Gordon Korman

13 year old Eli Frieden lives in Serenity, a perfect town that seems to have been crafted just that way. When his best friend gets sent away after an accident just outside of town, he is disappointed to lose him. Eli finds a note from his friend telling him that his parents lied to Eli about where he is going. Something mysterious is going on, so Eli leads a team of friends on a mission to find out who they really are. They are starting to figure out Serenity isn't all it's cracked up to be.

I loved the mystery in this book and how it unfolded by giving you clues to what would happen. I liked how some of the kids who joined the mission were wary at the start but some didn't give it a second thought. I really all of the different characters and the rolls they played throughout the story. I can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy. Gordon Korman's books never disappoint.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Jedi Academy: A New Class by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

This is a continuation of the original Jedi Academy series from a different author. Victor Starspeeder is a kid who has been dreaming of going to Jedi academy for all his life. He is very excited when he finds out he has been accepted to it. His sister Christina on the other hand is the exact opposite. She is worried that her little brother might embarrass her in front of her friends.

Meanwhile Victor isn't fitting in to well and is letting loose his anger causing him to get detention. In detention he talks with master Yoda who tells him to join drama club so he can learn to channel his emotions. Also the teachers and some of the kids are sensing a dark force amongst them. Will Christina get embarrassed. Will Victor survive drama club. And will the dark force be caught.

I really liked this book. It took one of my favorite series and incorporated some new characters and some old characters all in the same setting as before. The best part is that even the story line is different. I am so happy that Jarrett J. Krosoczka continued a series that I thought I was over.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Max Einstein The Genius Experiment By James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein

12 year old Maxine Einstein isn't a normal kid. She is a child genius who is also an orphan. Instead of being in a foster home or orphanage, she is squatting over horse stables with other homeless people. She has tons of great ideas but can never put them to work due to lack of resources. One day, she gets the opportunity of a life time. Max has been invited by the Change Makers Institute to compete with other kid geniuses to be their next member and help change the world.

The story takes the from Max's original home to all the places around the globe she travels to while competing. Will she win the competition or will the trouble that follows her everywhere ruin her chances?

I really enjoyed this book it took a science-y story and made it a fun adventure. Max Einstein's mysterious past made this book not only an adventure but also a mystery.  This is the first book in a new series with the next one coming out soon.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Code Talkers by Jospeh Bruchac

Code Talkers by Jospeh Bruchac was the final book I read for school this past year.  After reading the book, I researched the real Navajo Code Talkers for a project and learned more about their role in World War 2.

Code Talkers begins with a grandfather talking to his grandchildren about how his medal had a whole story to tell. Kii Yâzhí, or Ned Begay by his American name, was a Navajo Indian. He entered the Marine Corps expecting to just fight for his native land but ended up being one of the biggest parts of the war as a code talker.  The Navajo code talkers were a regular group of Marines, secretly trained to use a nearly impossible to break code based on their language.

The story follows Ned on his journey through battle, loss, and friendship. After boot camp and code school, Ned is ready to go into battle around the world to transmit life saving messages. Everywhere he fought, he was constantly making new friends and meeting up with old ones. Though he is proud of fighting for his country, Ned is still scared from the war and devastation and missing home.

Code Talkers is a good historical fiction novel. The author described a lot of events and other things that happened very close to how they really were, just from the perspective of the fictional Ned Begay. The author did skip a few things that happened with the real Code Talkers, but I believe that the things that were skipped just made the story flow better for a novel. Overall, I think the author did a very thorough job of describing the lives of the Code Talkers.