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


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!

Sixth-Grade Glommers, Norks, and Me by Lisa Papademetrion

download (1)It’s the last day of summer before sixth grade starts, that monumental transition from elementary school to middle school. Allie Kimball and Tamara Thompson, her best friend, have only one more day before becoming (dramatic music) sixth graders. Evidently, rumors haven’t prepared Allie enough, because sixth grade seems to keep chucking surprises at her from the first day. As a stereotypical middle school novel, Allie and Tamara don’t have any classes together, and Allie starts to crush again on an elementary school cutie. Where does she fit in? With the glommers, “girls who never go anywhere alone” or with the norks, an awkward mixture of “nerd and dork”. I am a bit ambivalent as to whether I actually enjoyed the book or not, but read as Allie Kimball struggles her way through sixth grade, and despite the odds, discovers who she really is. Predictable, I know, but a fun read before entering middle school and facing all sorts of “strange new beasts” as Allie puts it.

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy

imageJanie Scott loved her life in California, smelling orange blossoms, eating salted avocado slices, and the sunshine that nearly always spilled down upon the streets. That life suddenly changed, and Janie found herself in bitter, gray London, where the streets were scarred from the war and the beds icy at night. Despite her parent’s obvious efforts to “make the best it”, Janie felt out of place and lonely, until she met Benjamin Burrows. Benjamin and Janie became fast friends, though little did they know, that the next turn of events would result in a wild adventure, including transformative elixirs, atomic bombs, and Russian spies in disguise. The Apothecary is a thrilling book, each page haunting you to keep reading. It’s definitely one of my favorites.

*Because this book contains a wee bit of romance, I recommend it for ages twelve and up.