Stolen by Lucy Christopher

In a story of true desolation and desperation, Stolen is extremely difficult to put down. Gemma, a teenage girl, has been watched for a long time. It is finally on her family vacation that her world is swept out from under her. She is stolen, kidnapped from her family and taken far away. Gemma’s new life is sandy, hot, and completely isolated. Her delusional captor expects Gemma to love him. She must not surrender to his kindness, or to the beauty of the land around her, no matter how hopeless her situation. This book educates on stranger-danger, and captivates the reader while doing so. Stolen is a novel I will never forget.

Crystal Keepers (Five Kingdoms) by Brandon Mull

Guest Book Review

downloadCrystal Keepers is an exciting, action packed book that reels you in entirely. Cole Randolph is an 11-year-old boy, who is trapped in the outskirts; a parallel universe of sorts. He, and his companions, travel to Zeropolis, the third kingdom of the five. Here he is looking for Constance, one of the lost princesses. And his enslaved friends. He’s running as an fugitive, and goes undercover. In this technologically advanced city, he faces many challenges. It was fun and exciting, it constantly keeps you engaged. Read this book!

~ Abigail B., age 16

Diary of a Fat Girl by Moira Mugweni

Guest Book Review

25878001The perfect coming of age book, Diary of a Fat Girl by Moira Mugweni is an engaging book about a girl named Bernadette Rivers, or Bernie as she likes to be called. It’s her last summer before she heads off to her dream college, and she decides that she wants to be a new person. To Bernie, there’s no better way to do that than by changing her appearance. Bernie considers herself overweight, so she decides to work out and lose some weight before college begins. Her new trainer and former classmate, Warren Gray, attempts to help her achieve her fitness goal, but a few complications occur along her fitness journey. Will she succeed and meet her long desired goal, or will she give up and decide that none of this is worth her time? In order to figure that out, you’ll have to read the book yourself. I highly suggest you do, because once you read it, you won’t want it to end. I recommend this book for mature people who love romance and drama.

~ Talia W., age 14

 

Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs by Henry Carroll

GUEST BOOK REVIEW

41pclktt49l-_sx354_bo1204203200_So I got this book while strolling through an Urban Outfitters with my sister. I saw it and thought “It’s only 10 dollars, why not?” and decided to buy it. After reading and reading, I came to the conclusion that this book is pretty rad. The title just came to me as bait. Read This if You Want To Take Great Photographs is a book that does just that. But what separates it from the crowd is that the author, Henry Carroll, isn’t a tech nerd, and because of this, he talks to you not like a computer, but as a person. Carroll writes in an intimate tone, and covers mechanics of a camera throughly. He discusses camera functions so that anyone can understand. But if I had one complaint, it would probably be that you only hear about some things (like a function or lens) once and never again, forcing you to travel back looking for the page when you need a refresher. In the end, Read This if You Want To Take Great Photographs is an easy to understand, innovative take at a classic picture taking manual.

~ Raka W., age 14

Note: This book does contain some material that may be best for older readers.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

GUEST BOOK REVIEW

51frar1pval-_sx300_bo1204203200_The Giver by Lois Lowry is unlike any piece I’ve read before. Jonas is a boy living in a unique community. It appears to be utopia until he learns its secrets. When children in the community turn twelve, they enter adulthood. Then, they receive an assignment that they will upkeep until they enter the “House of the Old”. Jonas is given the rarest assignment of all. With this assignment, he then learns about the pain of the outside world, and some of the things that are happening in the community that no one knows about. When he discovers that Gabriel, an infant who has been living with his family, is doomed because he doesn’t fit into the utopian community, Jonas decides to leave the community and take Gabriel with him. This is a very good, classic book that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime.

~ Asha M., age 14

My Life with the Liars by Caela Carter

download (7)A book unlike any other I’ve read before, My Life with the Liars was an enthralling read focused on Zylynn, a twelve-year-old girl whose entire life consisted of “living in the light” until she is forced outside. Zylynn knows little about “the outside”, other than it’s crawling with liars and darkness. Brainwashed and homesick, Zylynn soon discovers “the outside” is nothing like she was told while she lived in her (supposedly) safe, white compound walls. Instead, it has scrumptious foods, bright colors, and a store called Target. She now must decide, to return to her home and previous beliefs, or stay outside. My Life with the Liars is incomparably unique, an absolute must-read.

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

415Wpdo3ejL._SX341_BO1,204,203,200_Twelve-year-old Mark is very ill. Miserable and angry, he runs away from home towards the greatest challenge of his life. Climbing the reputable and daunting Mount Rainier is no easy day hike, even with the “best dog in the world” by your side. Mark, despite his illness, is determined to go up against the beast of a mountain. He leaves his family distraught, and his best friend torn, as she must make an impossible decision in Mark’s best interest. This poignant story is powerful and engrossing. If you’re a softie for heartwarming adventure stories, this is a must read.

 

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

It was 18304322the quip on the front cover of this book that reeled me in while I scoured for new books at our local library. “GO BIG OR GO HOME,” it boasted. Murphy combines quick wit and a cheeky sense of humor in Dumplin’ and the result was both raw and real. Texas-girl Willowdean Dickson is a strong believer that anyone can rock a bikini, no matter her size or shape. When Willowdean falls for her coworker, and he seems to like her back, her self-esteem on her own body image starts to waver. To regain her crown of confidence, she enters the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet beauty pageant, something she swore she’d never do. In a stand for all the dumplins’ and misfits in her small Texas town, Willowdean and a team of other improbable contestants brazenly enter the pageant and march towards the highly treasured winner’s sash. Dumplin’ is not for the faint of heart, and appeals to a high school-level reader. Bold and brilliant, this book is sure to win you over.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The_Book_Thief_by_Markus_Zusak_book_coverHi there, BookBirdz readers! I’m happy to share with you a gripping book review, written by active reader Hannah C-D., age fourteen. Enjoy!

Set in the middle of the second world war in Nazi Germany, this complex and thought-provoking story is told from the view of a young girl, Liesel Meminger. She had faced many challenges and hardships in her early childhood, but upon moving in with her foster parents she begins to have a desire for knowledge that not even stealing literature from a Nazi book burning can satisfy. However, the country is at war , and when Liesel’s family decides to shelter a Jew in their basement, her life is turned upside-down. Recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction and books that really make you think.

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

81pQoNpy7JLHappy Holidays, BookBirdz readers! This captivating collaborative book, Let It Snow, captures the essence of holiday spirit and teen romance. When a snow storm on Christmas Eve smothers Gracetown, a flurry of romantic pandemonium erupts. A stranded train passenger confronts the blizzard, and ends up meeting an unexpectedly charming stranger, who offers her a warm place to brave the night. Then, a trio of troublemakers race to the Waffle House with the promise of abundant cheerleaders, only to encounter blocked roads and fierce competitors. And finally, the novel connects the snowflakes between the three stories, following the hectic Christmas of a self-absorbed Starbucks barista. Recommended for lighthearted readers in search of an easy book to digest… while devouring sugar cookies.