Sunday, October 9, 2016

ARC Review: The Baby

The Baby
by Lisa Drakeford

The Baby is written from the point of view of five friends and one life changing event at a birthday party. The five different perspectives are Olivia, Nicola, Alice, Jonty, and Ben. A little bit about each charter is Olivia is best friends with Nicola but is upset when her friend has a baby and finds out she cheated with her boyfriend. Nicola is Olivia's best friend and cheated on her boyfriend Jonty and had a baby Eliza. Alice is Olivia’s little sister and has a hard time making friends so she spends time with Nicola and her imaginary farm. Jonty is Olivia’s abusive boyfriend and supposedly the father of Eliza. And finally Ben is best friends with Olivia and Nicola and is the only one of Nicloa’s friends who supports through this tough time.The theme of this book is drama and realistic fiction.

The Baby is set across five months and each month being from a new perspective. This is a good way to really get the thoughts from each character in the novel. One of my favorite quotes from this novel is “Only five weeks ago she was getting ready for Oliva’s party...Now there is a stack of nappies in the corner”(Drakeford 39). This quote really spoke to me as the reader because it shows how much can change in just a few weeks or even days. My favorite character in the story is Alice because I really feel sympathy for her having a hard time making friends and always being bullied in school. Alice is a very shy girl who spends most of her time alone or reading books in the library trying to avoid, and whenever she tries to make friends she always embarrasses herself. This character was very believable and easy to relate to even if you aren’t like her almost everyone has experienced what she has.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys drama and realistic fiction books because at some points of the book it is easy to relate to one of the characters and the book itself. Overall, I give this book 5 stars it was truly a wonderful story and easy to follow along to as well as great characters.

This book is available to purchase on October 25, 2016.
Review by: Maddie H.
Publisher: Scholastic

*  Our class received an ARC of this book to read/review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

ARC Review: The Scourge

The Scourge
by Jennifer A. Nielsen

In the novel The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen, a deadly plague has broken out that hasn't been scene for 300 years. Ani Mells is tested for the Scourge and found positive meaning she will be going to the island where all the victims live out their lives. Ani starts to discover things that point towards a terrible plot happening on the island and what she finds out will shock her entire country.

In the book Ani Mells is a citizen of Keldan and lives with the river people. She is a troublemaker in every sense of the word. Not only does she wreak havoc within the river people but also in the towns. The river people are not welcomed among the townspeople and this is where Ani usually runs into problems, but that doesn't stop her from showing up anyway.

The book is filled with astonishing quotes and powerful statements. One of my favorites is “we are the Scourge, and we're going home.” I like this quote because for years Ani and her people had been oppressed by the governor and her soldiers. I think at this moment it shows that Ani isn't going to take it any more. This moment is where she takes back everything the government stole from the river people.

Nielson uses lots of descriptive language and writing strategies to fully explain the plot. The plot continuously twists and turns and moves in all sorts of directions. All this leads up to an epic ending for an amazing book. I would definitely recommend this book because it's one of the best books I've read in awhile. I would recommend it to people who enjoy adventure books and books about rebelling against the evil in your life. I would rate this book about a 4.5!

The link to her website is

Review by MollyL.
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Pages: 368

*Our class received and ARC of this book to read/review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

Another Review...

I just finished reading was The Scourge, by Jennifer A Nielsen. 15 year old Ani Mells lives in Keldan, where a disease is taking over called the Scourge. One who gets the Scourge will be taken away from their families to go to the Scourge Colony, where victims can live the rest of their days in peace. When Ani and her best friend Weevil get the disease, they find something out about the Scourge. Can they find a way to sneak past the wardens and get back to Keldan, to warn Keldan about the truth of the Scourge.

My favorite character in the novel was definitely Ani. In a way, she reminds me of Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games. Fans of that book will love the Scourge. Ani is a young girl, but she has a really snappy attitude. She fights for what she wants, and is right, and always finds herself in a big pile of trouble. Throughout the book, she's constantly getting into trouble, but hopefully it pays off in the end. The character was definitely believable because she showed traits that I love to see in characters.

In closing, many readers find this book amazing, including me. Fans of the Hunger Games, Divergent, and Under the Never Sky will be on the edge of their seats with this novel. It truly is awesome.
Review by TaraT.

ARC Review: Blood, Bullets, and Bones

Blood, Bullets, and Bones
by Bridget Heos

*Boom* A gun sounds and a man drops to the floor dead. Now its time to be detectives ourselves and find out who killed him. The book Blood, Bullets, and Bones by Bridget Heos helps readers to become a professional sleuth. It explains everything from firearm analysis to DNA testing and everything in between. Things such as poison testing of the stomach to the original blood and fingerprint testing will not be overlooked either. Readers also find out things about older literature and the beginning of detectives and forensic science as we know it today.
Let’s begin with the purpose and genre of the book. The purpose of this book was to provide information on previous cases, to provide background to the reader on all that goes into the criminal justice system and the science behind everything that we know about forensics today. This book was made to inform readers to be more knowledgeable about detectives and the origin of detectives and forensics in the police force and modern world. Something mentioned in the book for the Valentine’s Day Massacre under firearm analysis is “First, all bullets and shells came from a .45 automatic submachine gun. Because the casings had different markings, two guns must have been used. The bullets had six right-twisting grooves—the kind found in the barrel of a Thompson machine gun or ‘Tommy gun’ ” (Heos124). This was one of my favorite quotes from the book because it describes what the police managed to get off of the firearm analysis of the Valentine’s Day Massacre, one of legendary mobster, Al Capone’s most devised plans to get rid of his competition and one of my personal favorites of all the bad things Capone did in the 1920’s.
This book is definitely great for those who want to read a sort of collection of real life detective novels and learn how the police solved them in the past and even some of the mess ups they made along the way and some that are still being made, and hopefully fixed, today. Those who like detective and forensic science books, this is for you. This book deserves a good rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. The author can be found on twitter @BridgetHeos For more information on the book, look there.
Review by: AJ W.
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Pages: 272
*Our class received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book to read/review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.*

ARC Review: Marvin and the Moths

Marvin and the Moths

by Matthew Holm and Jonathan Follett

The book Marvin and the Moths is about a boy named Marvin who is having some trouble starting middle school.  Marvin is forced to move into the attic of his house in order to make room for his new baby brother in his old room.  In the attic, Marvin concocts a mixture composed of Pork Loaf Incorporated (the major corporation that keeps Marvin's town, Butcherville going) secret ingredients.  These ingredients have turned out to be much more than Marvin expected, and will change his life forever.
    My favorite character in this book was Aristotle,  the tallest and smartest moth. He is my favorite character because he is always bossing his fellow moths around in a humorous way.  Also, Aristotle often gets the characters out of trouble because of his smarts.  If Aristotle was not in this book it would just not be the same.  He is a great character.  I think that the authors Matthew Holm and Jonathan Follett wrote this book purely to entertain the reader.  I’d say they had lots of fun writing this book, and made it so that the reader has lots of fun reading it too.  The writers of this book can also can be found on Twitter @jonfollet.

Review by Riley Q.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

ARC Review: A List of Cages

A List of Cages

by: Robin Roe

Summary: Julian, a closed-off freshman with the anxiety of twenty, and Adam a popular, yet caring and warm-hearted senior, cross paths again. Despite Julian's desperate attempt the avoid the school counselor, whom Adam is temporarily job shadowing, they reunite in a rather surprisingly friendly manner. As their friendship begins to blossom, Adam realizes there may be a few things Julian isn't telling him.

(Favorite Character) Although Julian warms my heart a thousand times over, Adam blew my mind countless times and therefore, I dignify him as my absolute favorite character. In quite a few scenes, Adam has the largest opportunity to be, well basically, a senior. Many of Adam's friends are bitter and arguably irresponsible, while Adam is protective and reassuringly brotherly. Throughout the entire novel, Adam has nothing but Julian's best interest at heart, creating an adult-like quality that is portrayed constantly.

(Author's Purpose): Obviously, no one can tell you the author's purpose but none other than, the author. But we can sure try! From my point of view, the main message or moral was the trust and importance of friendship and its everlasting qualities. While that is quite a mouthful, it's a simple and extremely effective idea. As Julian's mind was molded into thinking certain things are something that they are not, his new found friends saved him from a life of danger and misconception. Sometimes the relationships that we form and create dig us out of a hole we never knew we were in, and that is what I believe the author's purpose was.

Check out Robin Roe's twitter:

Recommendation: I would absolutely recommend this book. The beginning was not painfully slow, as are others, but rather mysterious and captivating. The conclusion is by far the last thing you would expect (in a good way, I swear!), but comes to a satisfying ending that does not leave you begging for more questions that more often than not, you won't ever receive the answer to. I would mainly recommend the novel to young adults and adults who are looking for a realistic fiction novel that you don't find reluctant to pick up every day, but exciting. With every bone in my body, I rate this novel 5 stars! Wonderful book, Robin Roe!

Published By: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: January 17, 2016
Genre: Teen Fiction

Pages: 320
Age Range 12-18 years

Review by Mia O.
*Our class received an ARC of this book to read/review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

ARC Review: The Singing Bones

The Singing Bones
by Shaun Tan

 Imagine yourself in an exciting and enchanting world, filled with scary new stories on each page. The book, The Singing Bones, by Shaun Tan, is a mixture of dark and creepy fairy tales. Each page contains a new and haunting story with a dark twist to it. The genre of this book is thriller and fantasy. My personal favorite quotation from this story is, “Finally, she came to the forbidden door. She wanted to walk past, but curiosity got the better of her.” In this story, a young girl finds a door that she is not allowed to enter. After entering, she ends up dying, since her curiosity is what killed her. 

My favorite character in this book is Death. Death is creepy and chilling. His presence scares many people and makes everyone on edge. This character is believable because when someone dies, people get scared and worried. The purpose of the author writing this book was to entertain. 

I would highly recommend this book because it is a very entertaining and exciting book. Also, it is an easy read. I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. For additional information: In conclusion, The Singing Bones is an extremely enjoyable and thrilling book.

Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: October 11, 2016
Pages: 192
Age Range: 12-17 Years

Review by Adriana S.

*Our class received an ARC of this book to read/ review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

ARC Review: Forever, Again

Forever, Again
by Victoria Laurie

Would you ever involve yourself in a murder case? What about a murder and a suicide of two people you don’t even know? Despite being the new girl in school, this is what Lily Bennet and Cole Drepeau get themselves involved in. Forever Again, by Victoria Laurie, is a mysterious novel filled with romance and action around every corner. This book is published by Hyperion, and is due to be released on December 13, 2016.
Three days into the past, Amber Greeley’s boyfriend, Spencer, was found lying in a field behind their school, shot and killed. Ever since Spencer stopped breathing, Amber blocked everyone out. Three days after the death of Spencer, Amber was home alone with her dog Bailey when she, “heard Bailey bark once--a soft woof to alert me. A tear slid down my cheek for Bailey. For leaving her. For leaving them all. I’d placed a letter on the desk, trying to explain, but I couldn’t seem to get the words right, and it pained me greatly to think they’d always have to wonder why,” (Laurie 4). When Amber’s parents return home, they find her body lying on the bed, but all her soul and life gone. Although some people believed Amber killed herself, Lily Bennet knew there was more of the truth to be uncovered. 

One of my favorite characters was definitely Gina Greeley, Amber’s mother. Even though she was only mentioned in the book two or three times, she was always so kind and compassionate to everyone after Amber was killed. Gina always tried to look at the better side of things and that was portrayed very efficiently in the book. Even though Gina is a made up character in a novel, she’s definitely someone to look up to. I believe the author wrote this book for multiple reasons. I think the book was mainly written for entertainment, but when you really dig deeper into how the book is written, you can find what the author is trying to inform the reader of. I believe that the author is trying to make the reader more aware of how quickly someone can pass away. You never know when you’re going to have your last moments with someone, and that’s why it’s crucial to make cherish every moment.
I recommend the book, with a rating of 4 out of 5. I liked how there was always something going on that kept you hooked on the book. I got through it in two days, and now that it’s over, I wish the author would have expanded her writing during certain parts. You can learn more about the author and her books at .

Reviewed by Lizzie S.

Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: December 13, 2016
Hardcover Pages: 368
Age Range: 12-17

*Our class received an ARC of this book to read/review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

ARC Review: Liberty

by Kirby Larson

by Kirby Larson is a realistic fiction novel about a boy named Fish who enjoys creating his own inventions and his neighbor Olympia, who tends to mess things up a lot. But when one of his inventions leads Fish and Olympia to Liberty, a stray dog, the two work together to rescue the dog. The book takes place during World War II, and Fish’s father is out fighting in Europe. He looks up to Mr. Higgins, and creates an invention that helps Mr. Higgins’s engineers. Mr. Higgins inspires Fish to be brave, and meets many new people as he is going on to rescue Liberty the stray dog. 

This is a great novel that is recommended to grades 4-7. It is very enjoyable! I would rate this book 4 out of 5 because it is a good read and was very fun to read. I believe the author wrote this book to entertain because it is a fun book to read and is very entertaining.

Review by: George N.

Publisher: Scholastic
Grade Level: 3-7
Release Date: October 11, 2016
Pages: 240

*Our class received an ARC of this book to read/review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

ARC Review: Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella

Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella
by: Megan Morrison

The book Disenchanted : The Trials of Cinderella, by Megan Morrison is a well-written fantasy book. This novel features a poor girl named Ella whose life is suddenly turned around by the death of her mother and accepting in her new stepmother. Her new stepmother helps her father grow a business, but Ella hates being rich with all the money they now have. She continues to be angry over her mother’s death when she meets the Prince at the ball she's forced to attend. Later becoming partners in class, the two work together to turn the work conditions in the factories (like the factory Ella mom worked to death in) around. With the help of Ella’s two fairy godfathers, she turns her whole story around. 

Throughout this wonderful novel, Ella shows traits of stubbornness, kindness, and many others. When she refuses to adjust to her new life, meets the prince when told not to, and when she doesn't stop trying to convince her parents, she shows the trait of stubbornness. When she helps her friend with her burning feet, helps her other friends with providing for her family, and helps book a gig for her step-siblings, she portrays the trait of kindness. I don't know how she managed to do it all, but Ella never stopped until she got what she wanted. 

This book, being fantasy, was a twist on the classic Cinderella, and was really entertaining throughout. I would highly recommend this book to anyone from ages 10-14, boys or girls, or just anyone who wants a fairytale with a twist. The age range is based on that the reading level is for a middle schooler. I really enjoyed reading this and would give it 5 stars for sure. 

To learn more about the author and her books visit

Published by: Arthur A. Levine Books/ Scholastic
Release Date: October 11, 2016

Review by Sophia B.

*Our class received an ARC of this book to read/review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

New Release Review: The Ones

The Ones
by Daniel Sweren-Becker

Looking for an I’m-on-the-edge-of-my-seat kind of book?... well look no further. The book The Ones, by Daniel Sweren-Becker, will leave you breathless and wanting more. Join the main character Cody and her boyfriend, James, as they find out the hard way that even being “perfect” has its flaws. Cody and James thought that they were blessed when the government chose them to be “perfect”. In this generation, perfection is possible with genetic engineering. Just a few changes in the genes, can change both the personality as well as the appearance, of the Ones being engineered. Not long after genetic engineering took off, people who did not experience this phenomenon began to see what they were missing. Some were replaced in jobs by the Ones, some were put down and compared to the Ones, simply for not being in the one percent of the population that was “perfect”. That’s where society drew the line. After enough complaining the government decided to enact the Equality Act. The Equality Act’s goal was to make everyone equal, but what that meant for the Ones, was changing them for the worse. The effects of the Act were like trying to go back to the time when genetic engineering was not a thing. In their words, it was a reversal of the phenomenal effects of genetic engineering which had been making people “perfect” for about twenty years. This divided society, as well as the government, from the one percent of the population that had to fight to keep their rights.
 While reading The Ones, by Daniel Sweren-Becker, what really stood out to me was how detailed the book was. Between setting the description of the plot, to describing a character’s looks, to explaining what is going on in a character's head, the details were really vibrant. My favorite character in The Ones would probably be the main character, Cody. I think that the reader automatically falls in love with Cody, because despite not having the best past, she still pushes through that and really enjoys life. Cody is a fighter, and a tad bit sassy, which I feel is definitely a reason why I love, and can relate to Cody. Cody reminds me of some people I know, aside from the “perfect” engineered genes. I believe that the author wrote this book to entertain the reader, and to open up their imagination. We live in a world where the idea of genetic engineering doesn't sound so crazy, and is in fact possible, sometime in the near future. 

Learn more about the author, Daniel Sweren-Becker, and his new book, The Ones,  in the link .  While talking to the author over Instagram he told me, “I wrote this book to ignite a conversation about genetic engineering. It is really important that we figure out how to deal with it now, before it is too late.” Reading his response made me feel more connected with the author, as well as the book itself. I would give this book a 5/5 star rating, for anyone looking for a dystopian futuristic novel, for both girls and boys. Find him on Twitter @The_Ones_byDSB and Instagram @d_k_s_b

Review by Bella K.

Publisher: Imprint
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Hardcover Pages: 304

*Our class received an ARC of this book to read/ review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

ARC Review: Iron Man: The Gauntlet

Iron Man: The Gauntlet
by Eoin Colfer

Iron Man: The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer is an excellent novel about a famous inventor/billionaire/genius named Tony Stark. This novel opens with Stark embarking on an international eco-summit (a conference for startups, investors and corporations), which is happening in Ireland. Stark discovers that one of his old enemies has hatched an evil plan to assassinate all of the eco-ministers, as well as Iron Man. If I reveal anything more, then I will spoil it for readers! 

The writer, Eoin Colfer, manages to mix up action and excitement with comedy throughout the book. My personal favorite character in this book is the main character, Tony Stark, because he is a very intelligent inventor who creates amazing things and he is also very funny. 

Eoin Colfer has his own website where he lists other books that he has written:


“Iron Man: The Gauntlet” by Eoin Colfer is mainly meant for kids between the ages of 8 and 12. I personally enjoyed reading it and would give it a 4-5 star rating. I would give this rating because although it was very fun to read and I wish there was even more!

Publisher: Marvel Press
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Hardcover pages: 288

ARC Review: The Stranger Game

The Stranger Game
by Cylin Busby

 Nico's sister was found, but did she really return? The Stranger Game is twisted and dark, and will really get you hooked in. So many mysteries and secrets rolled up into one amazingly written book. This book focuses on 12-year-old Nico Walker. Her older sister Sarah mysteriously disappeared, and for Nico it was a huge relief due to everything Sarah put her through. Now Sarah is back, but changed. Throughout the book, it becomes more and more clear to Nico what exactly happened on the fatal night of Sarah's disappearance. One of the most relevant quotes in this book is “The longer you tell yourself a lie, the more you believe it, until finally it becomes your truth.” The author does a spectacular job of tying in well said quotes within the actual plot. Not only does Busby do that but she makes the quotes relatable to people's everyday lives which is one of my favorite things about this book. There is nothing better than book that you can relate to and apply to your own life. I would have to say the most interesting character in the book has to be Sarah. The author switches back and forth through perspectives, but when it is time to read Sarah's side of the story, readers get to listen and experience what she went through while she was missing that none of the other characters would have even known. 

All in all, I would give this book a five star rating! I recommend this book for ages 13-18 because the plot moves along very fast and is very intense. Readers who love creepy, action packed, and mysterious books would love this read, and probably will not be able to put it down! 

Learn more about the author Cylin Busby on her Instagram @Cylinbusby, her Twitter @CylinBusby and her Goodreads account with a clear description of her amazing book and more about her

Review by Nivea R.

Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Hardcover Pages: 288
Age Range: 13 Years+

*Our class received an ARC of this book to read/review from the Publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion and review*

ARC Review: Be Good Be Real Be Crazy

Be Good Be Real Be Crazy
by Chelsey Philpot

Image living in a tiny little part of your state and never knowing what was beyond your town barrier. Well in the book, Be Good Be Real Be Crazy by Chelsey Philpot, the author creates a story about three young kids that take a wild road trip across the country. One of the main characters Mia is one strange person, but also an amazing person in Homer's (another main character) eyes. Homer has a huge crush on Mia, but won't tell her. He offers to take Mia across the country so she can get out of Florida and visit her foster sister. Throughout the story these teenagers go through many different obstacles to reach their destination.

One of my favorite characters in this book would have to be Homer’s little brother, Einstein. Einstein is the joy of this book! He makes the road trip more exciting and more adventurous. Einstein loves scientific things and is a very smart individual. While they are on the road trip, Einstein gets to see one of his favorite band scientist in concert! I recommend this book to people who like adventurous books and daily teen drama. I rate this book a 4 out of 5.

Review by Kylee D.

Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 11, 2016
Hardcover Pages: 272
Age Range: 13 Years