Read + Review, Teen Reviews, Uncategorized

Read + Review: Into the Deep: science, technology and the quest to protect the ocean by Christy Peterson


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Into the Deep: Science, Technology, and the Quest to Protect the Ocean by Christy Peterson illustrate and discusses the various organisms and habitats of the marine environment, such as jellyfish, whose lives are not completely understood, as scientists had originally concluded that jellyfish were unable to be considered as being a source of food and prey regarding the various organisms of the ocean. Turtles and rockfish were also discovered to be one of the multiple organisms that depend on jellyfish as a source of food, based on samples of DNA originating from the bodies and systems of the organisms. Furthermore, this book also describes the connection between human society and the ocean since it states that humans from ancient civilizations and cultures, such as the Polynesian people, utilized the ocean as a method of navigation by reading and analyzing the currents of the oceans. This also indicates that humans have depended on the ocean as a method of navigation, as well as a source of food since communities and villages that were established along the coasts of the ocean utilized seaweed and salt to create tools and items, as well as to preserve food and to serve as a source of food. Additionally, this book also focuses on the experiments and research that was devoted to discovering the extent of the currents of the ocean, as this book mentions the experiment of Georg von Neumayer, an explorer, and a scientist, who placed bottles into the ocean to analyze and observe the currents of the ocean. Buoys were also created in an attempt to observe the path of the ocean currents, as they were designed to float on the surface of the ocean, similar to the bottles that were deposited previously. The currents of the ocean are also continuous, and they transport warm and cold ocean currents throughout the globe. However, climate change appears to have an adverse effect on the environment and the ocean currents, as this could cause a rise in the level of seawater at the poles, as a result of an increased rate of melting, due to the rising temperatures of climate change. Since this effect of climate change possesses the ability to alter the composition of the ocean, multiple “dead zones” could begin to form, and this negatively impacts the vast number of organisms that reside within the ocean, as it can decrease the levels of oxygen in the ocean environment, leading to a state that is referred to as “hypoxia.” Though fish are able to recover quickly from this condition, organisms such as crabs are unable to recover rapidly, due to being “slow-moving” in nature. Additionally, the scientists and researchers who participated in this experiment also analyzed samples from whales and other organisms to determine the effects of climate change concerning the ocean, such as an increase in “blooms” of algae, which possess the potential to become toxic to the marine environment, even though coral depend on algae in a symbiotic relationship. The conclusion of this book states that in order to save the ocean from the detrimental effects of climate change, the people of a society are required to convince the officials of the government to realize that the ocean is required to be protected from experiencing and enduring the effects of climate change.

I thought that this book was insightful, and it also introduced me to a new perspective regarding the effects of climate change since I was previously unaware that “hypoxia”, low levels of oxygen, could result from the impact of climate change, as I had previously thought that the primary effects of climate change concerning the ocean were rising seawater levels and an increase in the number of bleached corals. Regarding the plot and the setting, I considered the plot to be extensive and persuasive, as the book provided a vast amount of information regarding the organisms that reside in the various zones of the ocean, such as the epipelagic zone and the bathypelagic zone. This book also incorporated a large number of experiments that were conducted regarding the health and condition of the ocean, as well as various experiments that analyzed the path and extent of the currents of the ocean. This is indicated by the usage of buoys to analyze the path of the ocean currents and to prove that they are continuous. I also obtained new knowledge from this book since I previously was unaware that scientists had previously assumed that jellyfish did not possess any predators and that samples from multiple organisms had indicated that they had consumed jellyfish, such as samples from sea turtles, albatrosses, and rockfish. Therefore, this book was an eye-opening experience, and it also allowed me to experience a new perspective concerning the effects of climate change on the ocean.

One memorable thing about the book was that it had mentioned that the effects of climate change had also impacted the path and status of the ocean currents, as I did not previously consider this to be a detrimental effect of climate change, and its impact on the ocean. Furthermore, this also contributed to the idea that the composition of the ocean was being altered by climate change, which also negatively affected the organisms that depended on the ocean as a source of food and as a shelter. This indicates that they would be less likely to adapt to the changing conditions of the ocean, due to the harmful effects of climate change, which would eventually lead to their demise and their extinction. Regarding aspects of this book that I liked and disliked, the writing style and tone of this book was insightful and persuasive, and it was also effective regarding the purpose of this book, as it served as an enlightening and eye-opening experience concerning the effects of climate change on the ocean, and how scientists and researchers utilized bottles and objects that floated on the ocean to observe and analyze ocean currents, which connect all of the oceans of the world. However, an aspect of this book that I disliked was that it mainly focused on the effects of climate change on the health and condition of the organisms of the ocean, instead of focusing on other prominent factors, such as over fishing and pollution.


Reviewed by Grace, Twin Hickory Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn

Cassandra Cain is not your average teenager. Raised as a perfect and mute assassin by her father, she runs away from home when she realizes that being an assassin isn’t what she’s meant to be. After finding herself in the comforting noodle shop of Jackie, the kind owner, she discovers the legacy of Batgirl, a prominent vigilante of Gotham City who disappeared years ago. While trying to seek out Batgirl for advice, Cassandra finds herself working with a certain wheelchair-bound librarian named Barbara Gordon, who asks questions that Cassandra can’t answer. Between finding Batgirl and trying to start anew, Cassandra must also deal with the ever-present threat of her father and her old life coming back to claim her.

As one of DC Comics’ lesser-known Batman-related characters, Cassandra Cain rarely gets the spotlight, and I truly appreciate Kuhn trying to give Cassandra the attention she deserves. I will say that the book does stray from the comics canon with elements I can’t spoil, but overall, the book really tries to live up to the comics by forging its own path while still hitting the right notes. In the comics, Cassandra Cain has always been in her own internal struggle between what’s right or wrong due to her upbringing, and Kuhn translated this aspect fantastically well in this book. One of the strongest moments of this book is also the addition of Barbara Gordon, the first Batgirl. This may seem like a spoiler, but truthfully it is just background knowledge that is optional to read before this story. I believe that having Barbara in the story as one of Cassandra’s mentors truly helped Cassandra’s characterization, as that incarnation of Barbara had retired the mantle of Batgirl and had a very similar experience to help Cassandra. The only part of this book that could have been better was developing the personalities of the original characters created for this story, especially Jackie. Although I understand the focus on Cassandra and Barbara’s relationship (due to their similar backgrounds and motives), Jackie could have been more of moral support besides having a safe place for Cassandra to run to. Personally, I believe that Kuhn just didn’t explore Jackie’s character a lot, and that could have definitely made the story better. Other than that, this story was a fantastic read and I can’t wait for more YA books like this from DC Comics.

The most memorable part of this book was when Cassandra mistakenly knocked over the stacks of books that Erik, another character in the book, had set up for his book club meeting. The uniqueness of this moment was that Cassandra had thought the stacks of books were for training, while Erik had simply put them in that way for holding a discussion. The moment also started Cassandra and Erik’s relationship through Erik’s sympathy for Cassandra’s situation. The chemistry between the two made a breakthrough in this moment.

Review by Allyson, Twin Hickory Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews, Uncategorized

Read + Review: Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee

The book was about a girl in seventh grade named Mila. She lives with her single mom who is struggling to financially support her family. At school, things are tough for Mila because she was getting sexually harassed. Her friends don’t really think much of it and think the boys are just flirting but Mila knows that’s not what’s happening. She didn’t tell her mom about this because her mom was already stressed enough. Mila’s mom went to exercising class and they also had karate. So Mila joined a karate class and it taught her ways to overcome her situation.

I thought the book was interesting. All the things that happened made the book whole. I liked how everything fit together in the end. It seemed like everything was just the way it should be at the end.

The most memorable thing in the book was when Liana told her story. It made it seem like Mila wasn’t the only one in that situation.

Review by Monica, Twin Hickory Library

Read + Review, Teen Reviews, Uncategorized

The Last Olympian: the graphic novel by Robert Venditti


As Kronos stirs within his realm, Percy Jackson receives a cryptic notice that the final battle of the Titans may transpire. Attaining the knowledge of a battle, the half-bloods residing at Long Island frantically attempt to prepare for the concluding war. Percy seeks the anguished tale of Luke Castellan, a former half-blood whose mind teeters at the mercy of the Titans.  The quaint army unearths discreet indications regarding the bloodstained legend of the Titans, including Kronos. Prophecies become reality during the final establishment of Percy Jackson’s war with the formidable Titans.

Unfortunately, the graphic novel of “The Last Olympian” proved as a rather baffling tale. I believe the plot was not correctly portrayed within the graphics, which did not aid in informing the reader. Furthermore, I became unable to the grasp the progression of events, and therefore failed to comprehend the story. Characters within the graphic novel arrived unannounced, and failed to provide names or purpose of presence. In brief, I became rather dissatisfied with the narration and description of the climax, plot, and characters.

A memorable event resides near the beginning of the novel, as Percy deftly battles Luke’s demon battalion. Countless weapons, including the vast array of swords, daggers, and crossbows, remain focused upon Percy. Entrapped within the cruel clutches of a departed ship, upon the tumultuous sea, Percy hastily attempts to form a means of egress. However, Luke arrives upon the deck, casts a wry insult, and raises his sword aloft.


Reviewed by Soumya, Twin Hickory Library


Read + Review, Teen Reviews, Uncategorized

Read + Review: Stonebreaker by Peter Wartman


Within the ancient ruins of Noridun, the nefarious demons roam the razed earth. Anya continues to struggle as she pursues the focus stones to cure her amnesiac brother. Robbed of his memory during an encounter with a demon, Anya’s nameless brother fades as the days progress. Fortunately, Toris, a traitor to demons, aids Anya upon her daunting quarry. However, the human village despises her imprudent excursions and advises her to cease the futile effort to save her brother. Toris gradually unearths his past as a demon, revealing a purged secret that may transform the fates of Anya and her brother. Mysteries unravel, and the foul legends become reality as danger grips Toris and Anya.

“Stonebreaker” swarmed with action, and feats of valor. The reader may certainly become immediately riveted by the captivating climax and prologue. The novel’s plot somewhat resembled a tumultuous current, as the tale rapidly revealed numerous twists and clues. A stunning sequel to “Over the Wall”, this novel roused a sense of thrill and suspense. Lastly, I became astounded at the author’s ability to illustrate the entire graphic novel in a monochromatic scale.

A memorable moment lies within the opening scene, as Anya discovers a scroll with a daunting legend. As she carefully navigates her favored childhood tale, Anya deftly escapes a harrowed dungeon. Rain patters the razed cobblestone path, as Anya flees the realm of demons. Sprinting to her haven with Toris, Anya confronts a builder demon, who immediately attempts to slaughter the girl.


Reviewed by Soumya, Twin Hickory Library