Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Elon Musk: A Mission to Save the World by Anna Crowley Redding

Elon Musk: A Mission to Save the World

This book is a biography of Elon Musk, how he became who he is and what he’s done. I would split this book into three big sections. (Note that this book is about 200 pages long, so you will get a good read out of it.) The first section describes Elon’s childhood in South Africa, where he was born. Elon liked to read, and he was different from other kids. The second section explains how Elon got to America and went to college. Then, it explains how Elon dove into the Internet (which was just starting out at the time) and made websites, like present-day PayPal, and one of the first online navigational systems: Zip2. The third and final section explains Elon’s journeys with SpaceX and Tesla up to the present.

This was an amazing book, and I think it explains what Elon has done, what he is doing, and what he will do. This is a book for nonfiction readers, but for a variety of people, too. The characters in this book are people in real life, so I think that helps if you want to look up more about them, or if you are interested in them. I like how this book portrays Elon as a role-model, not someone you shouldn’t be. It does a good job persuading that, also.

The memorable thing, for me, was that I got to learn about someone I had heard about, but didn’t really know. It made me satisfied that I finally knew who Elon Musk was and what he had done. I also love learning new things, and more about different people and who they are and/or were.

Reviewed by JT, Gayton Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Seeing Gender, An Illustrated Guide to Identity and Expression by Iris Gottlieb

Seeing Gender: An Illustrated Guide to Identity and Expression

This book is a detailed guide about understanding gender identity and expression, as these concepts are often looked over and forgotten about. It provides information about each of these concepts, as well as touching on other ideas like sexual orientation, race, and feminism. It also includes many drawn images that correlate with and further explain the concepts introduced in the book. The author does a good job representing everyone on the gender identity spectrum and speaks about the ideas introduced in the book very well. It is a very good way to educate yourself about these ideas and how to respect everyone who struggles with it.

In this book I really enjoyed how inclusive it was, it had representation for almost every gender identity/ sexual orientation I could think of. It taught me a lot about the world around me and showed how much I still have to learn. I also enjoyed all of the pictures included in the writing, it helped tell the story better and they were drawn very well. I liked how it also included the author’s journey and her experiences with gender and gender identity, as she shared her experiences it helped me understand how to think about gender.

The main idea I will take away from reading this book is that I still have much to learn. I went into this book thinking I knew everything, but I was surprised of how much I learned. Hopefully, I will continue to learn and grow to understand my own identity and those of others.

Reviewed by Owen, Libbie Mill Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Slay by Brittney Morris


This book revolves around the life of a girl named Kiera Johnson. At school, everyone knows Kiera as the only African-American honors student at Jefferson Academy. When she gets home, Kiera gets to be a part of a whole new gaming world, that she and her friend Cicada created. As Kieras’ life moves on, as usual, she finds out that a regular student was murdered. Kiera soon found out that Jamal Rice’s death was because of the game that she had created. This event creates a rift in the two worlds that Kiera lives in. She faces many challenges, difficult situations, and times when she needs to be strong to escape the legal and personal mess that she is in. However, Kiera is able to face everything along with her sister, Steph.

This book helped me see from a different view. Normally, I only see the public view of things, because I am a part of the public. However, this book showed me what it was like to feel under pressure, with everyone questioning who you are. Also, in her writing, the author truly emphasized on Kiera’s feelings by showing her thought process as well. As the book progressed, the author hid more and more twists and turns, to enhance the story. The deep emotions in this novel helped me truly connect to the story, along with understanding it in a better way.

One thing that I found memorable about this book is how much Kiera kept her emotions bottled up inside of her. She felt that she had nobody else to talk to. This feeling really connected me to the story and I felt that she shouldn’t have felt like that. This part of the novel taught me that there is almost always gonna be someone looking out for you, even if you don’t know it.

Reviewed by Shraddha, Twin Hickory Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy


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Rahul is about to start a new school year at Greenville Junior High. It’s the last day of summer, and Rahul is not prepared to go back to school. He is now a seventh grader, and things do not seem to be looking his way. At the end of the first week of school, he is already being bullied by his greatest enemy, Frank. However, he stays strong with the help of his best friend, Chelsea. He also has his most favorite person in the world to help him along the way, his grandfather, Bhai. Together, they help Rahul overcome the challenges that are thrown at them throughout the new school year.


I enjoyed this book because the author made me feel a connection to this book and to its main character. I understood what Rahul was going through, and it connected me more to the book because he was a middle schooler just like me. I also liked how Bhai knows Rahul like the back of his hand. He knows exactly what to do to cheer Rahul up whenever he is sad or lonely. However, I disliked how Rahul cared a lot about how people thought he looked and what he liked. I wish he would have more confidence in himself. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book.


One memorable thing about this book is how strong Rahul and Chelsea’s friendship is. They both support each other no matter what and share an everlasting friendship. Even though Rahul feels insecure about himself, Chelsea reassures him that he is a great person. I admire Chelsea for being a great friend and helping Rahul through the school year.

Reviewed by Faribah, Twin Hickory Area Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: The Truths We Hold: An American Journey (Young Readers Edition) by Kamala Harris


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This story follows the early life and political career of current California senator Kamala Harris. Growing up in California as the oldest daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, Kamala learned the importance of equality and justice from a very young age. Throughout the rest of her life, her goal has been to implement these two important virtues in communities across the country that greatly lack them. This motivation to make her community a better place has driven her farther up the political ladder, putting her into a position to assist even more citizens with every promotion. Throughout this entire process, she has also emphasized inspiring the next generation of empowered leaders in this country, with the possibility of spreading her influence if she is elected as the 46th U.S. President.

I really liked the way that this book was structured. Each chapter began with a short anecdote, usually describing an event that Kamala Harris encountered during her life. As the chapter progressed towards its end, she was very reflective about the event and connected it to her core beliefs about equality and justice. She also gave a lot of context about every situation so that those who are very unfamiliar with law would be able to understand what was going on. My favorite aspect of this novel, however, is likely the inspirational message that she aspires for every reader to understand.

I learned a lot of valuable lessons while reading this book that make me think about life in this country in a completely different way than I did previously. It made me a lot more aware of issues that significantly affect members of my community on a daily basis and how to go about solving these problems. Ultimately, this book taught me how to be a good citizen, and even more importantly, a better person.


Reviewed by Griffin, Gayton Branch Library