Thursday, September 26, 2019

Level 13 by Gordon Korman

Cameron Boxer, the ultimate slacker, has finally found something worth his attention. Playing a special version of an old video game that has a secret level is attracting millions of people to watch his streaming channel. Along with Elvis the beaver, he will try to make something of himself online and keep the originally fake club, the PAG, going strong. While everyone looks at him to be a leader, all he really wants to do is slack off.

This is the sequel to the book, Slacker, another book I really enjoyed (review here).  I love how the author made Cameron interact with Elvis the beaver and how the streaming channel is starting to get bigger because of him. The story is very good and the ending has such a big surprise you wouldn't believe.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Illegal by Eoin Colfer & Andrew Donkin

My favorite book of last year was not a typical choice for me. Rather than a novel, my favorite book this year was both historical fiction and a graphic novel--Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin.

Illegal is about a boy named Ebo, who journeys across the land of Ghana and through the sea. His goal is to reach the Europe to escape the war in his home country. His parents are dead, so he and his brother travel the entire way together, hoping to meet with their sister who escaped years before. Their journey takes them through Africa and to the Mediterranean, all in the hopes of finding their sister.

When most people think about graphic novels, they think about an adventure that is often fun or exciting. This book was different. Illegal still is an adventure, but it explains what is happening in Africa and the struggle people have to go through to even have a chance of escaping. Even though so many attempted the journey to Europe, only a few actually survived.

This book helps you gain insight about the migrant issues around the world. Even though this book is a fictional account of the migrant journey to Europe, stories like Ebo’s are still happening today.

This book connected with me. It showed me what happened to people and the struggle they endured. Historical fiction is usually not my favorite genre, but this book was definitely an exception.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs

Teddy Fitzroy is not a normal kid. Unless you think normal is living in a tent in Congo for the first decade of your life. When wars in Congo force his family to leave, both of his parents are hired by a billionaire to work at his animal theme park, where Teddy becomes an unlikely friend to the billionaire's daughter, Summer.

When trouble breaks out with a murdered hippo, Teddy's keen senses from growing up in the wild may be to his advantage.  Thrown into a mystery, Teddy will face dangers and challenges as he tries to turn in the murderer before he gets taken out.

This is the first book in the growing Fun Jungle series, currently at five titles. I enjoy how even though it is a mystery, there is nothing gory or disturbing.  I also enjoy how Teddy never has anything to do with the crimes in the series, but always ends up in the middle of things. I love the friendship that blossoms between Teddy and Summer through this book and the rest of the series.

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.