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.

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Happy Holidays, BookBirdz followers! This next book review was written by Malia A., age 14. She is an active reader who shares her thoughts on the literary classic, Little Women. 

The book Little Women is really good. Four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, struggle to support themselves and keep their household running because the family recently lost its fortune. Their father is fighting in the Civil War. As the girls get older, they each face personal moral challenges. The girls have their own characteristics that make them unique. Meg, the oldest, is polite and proper. Jo is can’t bear to be left on the sidelines, but must learn to be more ladylike. Beth is sweet, and very shy. And Amy is the baby of the family, and is confused by their new money situation. This book is definitely worth reading, I highly recommend it if you’re into classic novels with love and drama (and ages twelve and up). 

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Hi there! Raffy P., age 14, has read a classic, heart-wrenching novel he’d like to share with you. I’ve read it too, and his review is wonderfully spot-on!

download (6)Hatchet is a 1987 Newbery Honor-winning young-adult wilderness survival novel written by Gary Paulsen.  This story is about a young teen that is 13-years-old with divorced parents, named Brian. During the summer, he was going to visit his father in the oil fields in northern Canada. On the way to visit his father, the pilot suffered a heart attack, and died with just Brian in the plane. Brian attempted to land the plane by himself, but ended up crashing the plane onto a lake in the forest. He must try and survive on his own, with nothing but a hatchet that his mother gave him before he went to visit his father. The question is, will he make it? I would recommend this book for ages 12-15.