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.

21 Proms by various authors

23013665This YA book is not your typical, dramatic book about a girl’s sparkly and full-of-fluff prom story. No, there are 21 unique and short tales of guys and ladies proms alike, written by 21 talented authors, including John Green, E. Lockhart, and Melissa de la Cruz. It’s a 289-paged read with hilarity, sincerity, and the occasional love spiel. Although it seems to aim for female readers, it’s still a staggeringly wonderful novel. I recommend it for mature readers only.

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!

Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles

51utslL8ZCL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Comfort Snowberger writes obituaries for fun. This is not a weird hobby for her- she grew up in a funeral home. Death is a common character in Comfort’s life. When her Great-great-aunt Florentine keels over one day in the garden bed, Comfort’s family comes together to honor their beloved relative. This includes cousin Peach, who is Comfort’s idea of a funeral-wrecker. To add more stress, Comfort’s best friend, Declaration, has started acting as cold as a dead body. The only one who brings Comfort any happiness is her dog, ironically named Dismay. Then the day of Great-great-aunt Florentine’s funeral service arrives, and tragedy comes in a surging flood. Comfort’s ease around death is suddenly deeply shaken, and she learns the awakening truth… that it hurts to lose someone you love. Despite the lingering sadness that this book carries, Comfort’s entourage of comical relief illuminates the beauty in this story.

Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond

51P4SHEUfdL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Julieta (Jules) has been wire walking for a very long time. She inherited the talent for the difficult act from her father, and has grown to love it. After her and her family are invited to join the elite “Cirque America”, the tension is tighter than the wire Jules walks upon. An old family feud has arisen again. Julieta’s grandmother, long ago, was accused of hexing the show, causing deaths and great fear amongst her fellow performers. Jules refuses to believe magic is truly real, but when tragedy strikes, and she loses a loved one, she has no choice but to accept the truth. She unwillingly falls in love with a trapeze artist of the opposing family, and suddenly everyone has a secret. Together, Jules and the boy are determined to figure out who is trying to hurt the circus… all while hiding their forbidden love.

*I recommend this book for ages 12 & up, because it does contain some romantic content that may not be considered appropriate for younger birdies.

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

writteninthestarspicWhen I was drooling over the galore of books in Barnes & Noble recently, Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed stood out. I snatched it hungrily off the shelf (What? It’s a book store, my natural habitat) and was immediately impressed by its description… and reviews. Therefore, after reading it, I thought it was only appropriate to share my opinion with you book-lovin’ fans. Enjoy!

Naila is a young, Pakistani girl, whose beloved home rests in America. She is free teenager… for the most part. She can choose her image, her beliefs, etc., but not her husband. Such a minor topic it appeared to be, until she fell in love with Saif, her first true boyfriend. When the truth is revealed, Naila’s secret is torn mercilessly in half. Her parents, in a panic, suggest a short “vacation” to Pakistan, to refresh and replenish their minds. Suspicious, but agreeable, Naila and her family fly away on a two-week trip to their home country. But no! It’s a trick. Two-weeks grows into months, and months grow into years. Naila, devastated, was forced into marriage, unable to attend her first year of college, and taken away from the boy she loved most. Deeply saddened, Naila’s life had grown everything she feared it would be… until Saif arrives. Her incredible, realistic-fiction story will squeeze your heart and cost you tissues. I applaud you, Aisha Saeed!

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern

Maggie Mayfield’s only purpose in life is to become President of the United States. That means no law breaking (liking watching R-rated movies), no crushes on boys, and only a perfect 4.0 GPA in school. On her 11th birthday, she asked for a stock in Coca-Cola. Her plea was accepted, and she proudly claimed herself, “Maggie Mayfield, member of a carbonated dynasty!” Impressive, huh? But suddenly, birthday’s are thrown pitilessly to the back of Maggie’s information-stuffed brain, for her dad’s medical condition is growing worse. He quit his job, and his legs are falling asleep. Permanently. Maggie’s long-standing belief that all of her answers are in books is impossibly twisted, because she now realizes there may be more to life than school and laws and being President. There is no known cure for her dad’s illness. Her mom has overworked herself into a “puddle of clothes on the floor,” and Maggie herself gets a B on her science project. Life is a disaster! Her “metaphorical bravery tank” is running dangerously low. But as she watches her family struggle with the “new chapter” in their lives, Maggie finally understands that there is nothing else more important than her family, because they are a team. An argumentative, occasionally dishonest, Neil Young loving team.