Read + Review, Uncategorized

Read + Review: Fake by Donna Cooner

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Fake is a captivating yet down-to-earth book about 16-year-old Maisie Fernandez, who is the target of most of the school’s notorious pranks. Maisie and her best friend Owen have had to experience endless torment for the past four years, and Maisie decides she has had enough. In order to get revenge on her former bully, Jesse Santos, she creates an online profile named Sienna. Sienna is Maisie’s confident alter ego, and within minutes, Sienna is already chatting daily with Jesse on ChitChat. Things escalate between the two, and Maisie starts to question whether or not Jesse deserves what she is planning. To make matters worse, the girl whose pictures Maisie was using to create the fake profile decides to come into the picture, making Maisie have to choose whether or not she should come clean or keep her a secret from Jesse and the others.

The book defines true reality, and it shows that you truly can be anyone on the internet. To watch Maisie’s character develop as the story progressed was entrancing. Because Maisie was embodying Sienna, she went from someone who didn’t want nor know how to stick up for herself to a courageous and self-advocating girl who wasn’t afraid to stare someone down. She learned, the hard way, to be herself and to not care about what others think about her. Fake is definitely an excellent book on real-life situations and how they can affect somebody’s life.

The most memorable thing about this book was watching Maisie and Jesse slowly connect although being complete opposites. As the story progressed, they met up in different locations and bonded during those small amounts of time studying. It was very amusing to watch Maisie realize that Jesse might not be so bad after all.

5-stars-3

Reviewed by Jennifer, Glen Allen Library

Read + Review, Uncategorized

Read + Review: Free Lunch by Rex Ogle

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This book is about a boy named Rex whose family is poor. He lives in an apartment with his family in a wealthy district. He has a hard time at school, especially at lunch, because he is part of the free meal program. He spends his lunch sitting by himself. His teachers think he is trouble all because he is wearing old clothes and hand-me-downs. Rex doesn’t want anybody to know that his family is poor, and he feels embarrassed. Life at home is hard for Rex too, living with his angry mother and her boyfriend. Being poor has made Rex’s mom mad and violent, and she takes it out on her boyfriend and kids. Shopping at the grocery store is the worst for Rex, because his family can’t afford much food. Rex tries to help his family to the best he can, but people won’t give him a chance.

think the book was great! Even though this book was a little violent at times, I still liked this book because of how funny and inspiring it was. The characters each had a different personality, and they all taught a different lesson. I liked how Rex didn’t try to be like everybody else, even if they had more money than his family. This book taught me how to be myself and always try to help even in the worst of times.

One memorable thing in the book was when two kids invited Rex to sit with them because they saw him sitting alone. I thought that was very kind of the kids, and I would have sat with them if I was in Rex’s shoes.

5-stars-3

Reviewed by Lily, Libbie Mill Library

Read + Review, Teen Reviews, Uncategorized

Read + Review: Strike Zone by Mike Lupica

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It’s summertime, and Nick García is just trying to have fun playing baseball with his friends, but that’s hard when his dad is trying to avoid ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Then, the stakes are raised when Nick learns that the MVP of the summer tournament will throw the first pitch at the Yankee Stadium. Nick’s team not only has to win the tournament, but Nick has pitch the best he’s ever pitched, but after a while, his pitching has caught the attention of some people that Nick doesn’t want to see. On top of this all, Nick is trying to get Marisol, the first girl he’s liked, to come see his games.

Personally, I thought the prequel, Heat, was much better and the characters were more defined. In Strike Zone, one of Nick’s friends, Diego, was supposed to be really funny, but none of his jokes were actually funny and made me laugh. Strike Zone was still a good book, but it felt more of a copy instead of an original. The plot with Nick’s father and ICE was pretty good, with all of the characters getting involved and Nick reflecting on his family as immigrants.

One thing that really stuck with me about this book was how dedicated Nick was to his team and baseball. He is going through so much with his family, but still manages to practice with his friends and team. I find it inspiring, because even through tough times he still did what he loved.

3stars

Reviewed by Collin, Libbie Mill Library

Read + Review, Uncategorized

Read + Review: The Midwife’s Apprentice

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The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman is about a girl named Alyse. Alyse is a homeless girl. She doesn’t have any food or shelter. One day she smells the delicious smell of warm, fresh bread. The smell leads her to a house where the midwife lives. The midwife hires her to work in exchange for food and shelter. Between physical violence and struggles read about how Alyse overcomes multiple challenges to become a well respected midwife.

I didn’t really like the book because I was confused about what was going on. The writer gave details that didn’t explain everything perfectly. You had to use context clues to figure out what was happening. Although I usually can figure out what is going on I didn’t feel like I was given enough clues.

One memorable thing from the book is how courageous Alyse was. She was homeless and had nothing. I would have been very nervous to walk up to someone’s door and ask to work for food and shelter. She also had the courage to deliver babies. Imagine being in the same room as someone about to have a baby while they are screaming and going crazy. She did all of this as a child.

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Reviewed by Elise, Libbie Mill Library

Read + Review, Uncategorized

Read + Review: Black Panther: long live the king by Nnedir Okorafor

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This book has a total of three stories in it that are all set in the Black Panther universe. The first story is about a mysterious creature that causes havoc and destruction in the kingdom by disabling Vibranium, the substance the whole kingdom runs on. The king, T’Challa, must figure out how to stop the creature and where it came from. The second story is about the White Gorilla Cult, which threatens the crown and T’Challa’s position as king. T’Challa and his friends must stop the cult. The third story is about a wedding in Nigeria that is disrupted. This angers the new Black Panther. Her anger causes her powers to go out of control and she must figure out how to them.

The first two stories in the book take place in Wakanda, a fictional kingdom. The last story takes place in Nigeria. The main characters of the first story include T’challa, Chief Ikoko, the creature, Bukola, and Jidenu. For the second story, the main characters include T’Challa, Kantu, Shuri, M’Baku, and Baron Macabre. In the third story, the main characters are Ngozi aka Uzaru, Olu aka Nepa, and Ngozi’s big brother. I really liked the ways the characters were developed in the story. Despite each story not being very long, I left each one understanding the characters. This is a very difficult task to do and I feel that it was executed well in this book.

I enjoyed this book and thought that the short stories were well-written and unique. One critique I do have, however, is the length of the stories. While I do understand that this is a graphic novel, I feel that each story was a bit too short. One of the most memorable things about this book is the way you feel when you read it. While reading each story, I truly felt that I was there with the characters. Their pain was my pain and their joy was mine as well. This created a unique experience for me and I greatly enjoyed it.

4-stars

Reviewed by Anika K., Twin Hickory library