The Giver by Lois Lowry


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.


From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

511Y1shNp+L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Claudia Kincaid craved adventure, something out-of-the-blue to dishevel her normalcy. Of course, she wanted a comfortable adventure, with class and preferably money. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City was perfect. Thus, it was only right to carefully handpick Jamie, the second youngest of her three younger brothers, the rich sibling, to accompany her. Running away wealthy was the best idea to Claudia, or so she thought. When she and her brother sneak away to the museum, they have no idea what awaits them… an intriguing mystery that is hundreds of years old. This book is one of my ultimate favorites. It is a whimsical, thoughtfully written novel for all ages and genders. Who wouldn’t want to read about what it’s like to temporarily live in a large and famous museum?

A Dog’s Life by Ann M. Martin

A-Dogs-Life-Ann-M-MartinSquirrel was born into a world where she was taught to fear humans, embrace smelly, mouthwatering garbage, and essentially, to survive. Over the years, each of these initial beliefs morphed, as she lived the experiences of the many types of dogs. The abused dog. The lonely dog. The loved dog. Follow Squirrel’s journey as she sniffs her way along the path of survival. This book is a true keeper for all ages and all dog lovers, who yearn a book simply about a dog’s life. Enjoy!

Moon Over Manifest by Claire Vanderpool

200px-Moon_Over_Manifest_book_coverHer father and herself have never known a permanent home. No, Abilene Tucker is only familiar with dust, hungriness, and the thud of her heart before she leaps off trains from town to town. But when Abilene’s health takes a scarring turn towards death, her father, without so much as a short explanation, sends her off to the town he lived in for a while when he was young. That summer, she discovers her father’s past in the town, Manifest, that apparently didn’t used to be so dusty and shriveled. Through the stories of a wise old diviner (a fortune-teller), hidden trinkets, and a mission to find the supposed haunting spirit that roams the woods, the mystery she calls her father, is slowly solved.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

fangirlCather’s twin has been her lifelong best friend. Her supposedly permanent roommate. Her fanfiction editorial team. Fanfiction is Cather’s passion. It is where she and thousands of others share their guesses on what their favorite characters will do in the next book of their favorite series. When Cather and Wren go to college, Cather assumes her life is not going to flip upside down and tumble down hills and nearly crash, but it does. Wren doesn’t want to be roommates anymore. She wants to be an individual, not a twin. When Cather’s safety bubble disappears, it’s up to her to find her spot in the college world, without her beloved sister.

*I recommend this book for ages 12 & up. It’s a fantastic novel, but contains some older content. Have a great day, BookBirdz readers! If you have any other book suggestions, I am happy to hear them! Email me at

The Vacation by Polly Horvath 

Henry’s parents are embarking on a pretend “missionary” trip to Africa, leaving him hopeless with his two vicious aunts. Aunt Pigg and Aunt Magnolia are women blessed with highly unfortunate names, but that doesn’t stop them from completely changing Henry’s life. Aunt Magnolia becomes deathly ill, and her sudden illness causes her to think about herself, as she lays on the couch nearly dying. She turns forty and starts to crave a life-changing experience. Struck by a rather early mid-life crisis, she decides that Henry, Pigg, and herself will leave, effective immediately, on a spur of the moment road trip without any particular agenda or mapping. This unexpected three-month excursion brings a hilarious amount of grumpy travel bickering, missed turns, and Henry even floats misguidedly down a Florida swamp, lurking with alligators and crocodiles! The author does an excellent job of capturing the beauty (and the inevitable pains) of road travel, while giving you a heart-warming giggle.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woypl_woodson_Brown_Girl_Dreamingodson grew up in a world where the color of your skin mattered more than anything else. She watched as her country divided themselves, and prejudice roamed the dangerous streets. She listened as Martin Luther King Jr. spoke, pleading for freedom, and as Malcolm X thundered for civil justice. This poetic novel is raw, and will deeply move you as Jacqueline reminiscences her childhood. It is one of the rare books I have read that tells the past the way it is. Growing up as an African-American girl in the 1960’s was undoubtedly onerous, and Brown Girl Dreaming tells that truth.

*This was BookBirdz’s 50th post. It has been an amazing, sharing my love of reading with the world. Thank you to all who have provided unwavering support, as I learned how to fly around the world of book review blogging.

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

51wtw+mW0gL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Feisty, spunky Turtle is sent off to live with her Aunt Minnie, in the Key West of Florida. It’s steamy, sticky, and scorpions love to lurk in dark places, especially shoes. Turtle struggles with three rowdy cousins, all boys, and all trouble. It is with them that she ventures, on a stolen boat, to a nearby island in search of a famous pirate’s treasure. Turtle and the boys soon find themselves hopelessly stranded, hungry, and viciously being attacked by famished mosquitoes. Even Turtle’s quick wit and confidence can’t help them, but nearby sponging boats might be able to. This book is an excellent portrayal of the old Key West. The Great Depression, heat, and pirate loot, make one engrossing novel for all ages. That Turtle is one tough cookie, and her smart comebacks will surely give you a laugh!