Teen Reviews -- Summer 2012

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Article in Young Adult Fiction category.

Book, movie, and CD reviews that have been written by teens participating in the 2012 Teen Summer Reading Program, "Own The Night." Posted with permission of the reviewers.

Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Newest reviews appear at the top of the list for each star rating.

Book Reviews

Five Stars

Wildwood is about a girl named Prue who has to go into the deep dark woods to rescue her baby brother. My favorite character is the Owl Rex who aids Prue in getting her brother back. My least favorite character was the SWORD. The SWORD tried to arrest Prue. People who like thick novels, odd characters, weird ideas, and other things like that should read this book ; however, it is not a light read. It has a few scary moments as well as some weird and scary characters. This book is for ages nine and up.

Review by Stella Russell, Grade 6

I’ve read Frindle twice. I like it because it’s fun to see how a couple of kids use the word frindle in place of pen. First a few kids use it, then the school and eventually it spreads around the world. I like it a lot

Review by Caleb Catlett, Grade 6

The book starts off by instructing one in a process which is a step by step way of eliminating clutter. Then as you progress thru the book you are given 101 different techniques to try for destroying the processes that lead to clutter. All in all it was well written and got straight to the point immediately.

Review by Sheena, Grade 12

This book is exciting, interesting, weird, and just plain funny! SO, if you like all those things, then I would definitely recommend this book. Oh, and I have read it about 100 times and it is still fantabulous. It never gets old!

Reviewed by Lilian, Grade 6

Matched is about a society where the government decides where you work, who you love, and when you die. I loved the book because Cassia (a main character) never gives up on any of her problems. She sort of rebels against the government officials inside her head. She doesn't let the government control her. A character I don't like is Cassia's official. She lied to Cassia and doesn't care how Cassia feels. This book appeals to all ages and anyone who likes The Hunger Games.

Reviewed by Emily, Grade 10

Only the Good Spy Young is the fourth book in the Gallagher girls series and it is one of my favorite books. It is about Cameron Morgan, a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. Little does the outside world know this is no ordinary school, this is a school for spies. when Cammie's winter break goes completely insane she finds out that there are people who even when trusted by the CIA carry bigger secrets than she could possibly imagine. Back at school there is a new covert operations professor with anything except teaching on his mind.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in spying or mystery.

Review by Isobel

A Wrinkle in Time is a story about a girl named Meg and her father has gone missing. With her friend Clvin and her brother Charles Wallace she is swept into an adventure to save her father from IT, a giant brain that has brainwashed an entire planet of people.

This is a wonderful book that I recommend for everyone.

Review by Isobel

I loved it! It's the first book in a 10 book series called The Ranger's Apprentice. I have the next book (The Burning Bridge) checked out of the library. I can't wait to read it!

Review by Jude, Grade 7

I loved My Unfairy Tale Life because of all the adventures Jenny went on or had. My favorite character was Prince Lamb and least favorite was or course Klarr, a creepy mouthless clown. I think this book is for ages 10-11, people who like adventures, fairy tales and of course mouthless people. I think it is cute, funny and thrilling. It was an easy book to read and I could follow along with it. I loved it.

Review by Victoria, Grade 7

Ghostopolis. The name sends a chill down your spine. Ghostopolis is a book that you would enjoy very much and so will your friends and I recommend it. Ghostopolis is a story of a boy being sucked into an afterlife and he has to get out because he is not dead yet for he has an uncurable disease that can kill him.

Review by Morganna, Grade 6

Partials is the best book ever! It has just the right amount of suspense and romance in it to get you excited. My favorite character is Kira the main character of the book. Kira is a very determined girl that wants to help the human race live on and cure the RM virus before it kills us completely! But! Before she does she must do more research and when she did she discovered something. RM is in everyone's blood stream! How strange!

Review by Morganna, Grade 6

This fast paced action story is thrilling and impossible to put down as the greatest battle known to the clans draws near. Four great warriors with the power of the stars in their paws will rise to fulfill the prophecy Starclan has laid before them. Only Jayfeather, Lionblaze, Dovewing, and a mysterious fourth cat can save the clans from a terrifying battle between the evil cats of the Dark Forest. Will the clans of the lake survive? This book from Erin Hunter is the newest in a series of many warrior books. It\'s recommended that you read all the books to catch up on the story. This book is not recommended for small children and should be read by those who can deal with semi-gory description.

Very exciting, thrilling book that will make you explode with excitement and suspense!

Review by Sophie, Grade 6

This is the first book in the Time Quintet series and I like it a lot. All of the books in this series feature the Murry family. The books are A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, Many Waters, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and An Acceptable Time.

Review by Jade, Grade 7

It was one of my favorite books ever!

Review by Wren, Grade 6

Terry Pratchett's books are a great read for both younger and older readers, combing serious themes with a good sense of humor and great characters.

Review by Sharon

The book was really exiting. There was always something going on. My favorite character was Sadie because she is smart, funny, and a little bit sassy. The book is also good because there's the big fight against Apophis, and the big conclusion. Any book by Rick Riordan is good for anyone who likes mythology and funny books.

Review by Alejandra, Grade 6

I like it because it's well written and Collins wasn't afraid to include detail. My favorite character is Gregor. This book/series would probably be liked by Hunger Games fans.

Review by Colson, Grade 6

Mike tries so hard to please his father, but the only language his dad seems to speak is calculus. And for a boy with a math learning disability, nothing could be more difficult. When his dad sends him to live with distant relatives in rural Pennsylvania for the summer to work on an engineering project, Mike figures this is his big chance to buckle down and prove himself. But when he gets there, nothing is what he thought it would be. The project has nothing at all to do with engineering, and he finds himself working alongside his wacky eighty-something- year-old aunt, a homeless man, and a punk rock girl as part of a town-wide project to adopt a boy from Romania. Mike may not learn anything about engineering, but what he does learn is far more valuable. The Absolute Value of Mike is a great book! I enjoyed reading it a lot! My favorite character is Past because he's so complex but yet so simple! I think anyone could read this book and enjoy it! There's something everyone can relate to in this book!

Review by Nell

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is a great book. In this book the author takes you back and forth between Jacob, who joined a circus around the 1930s after his parents died and he was unable to finish Veternairian school, and an elderly man who is living in present day in a nursing home. My favorite character was Jacob who is outgoing and is not afraid to stand up to people, even if they are the head of the circus. My least favorite character is August, who is the head trainer in the circus and abuses his wife Marlena and the elephant, Rosie. Overall I would recomend this book to anyone who likes romance and a good ending to a great book.

Review by Caroline

I loved this book because of the amazing characters and the concept of lifting the corners of the universe. My favorite character was Adam who jumps up and down yelling happiness when he is happy. I think people from ages 11-14 would like this book.

Review by Callan, Grade 6

I loved this book for its amazing storyline and courageous characters. I liked the character Jaynell for her love of cars. I think people from ages 8-12 would like this book.

Review by Callan, Grade 6

I think this is a great book: Jack Higgins is a great author. I recommend it to any action and adventure reader. I love it. Even in the little action parts it is intense from all the other action. I highly recommend it.

Review by Mason, Grade 7

I like Katniss because she is string against the Capitol. I like Primrose, Katniss’s younger sister, because she stays strong while her older sister is in horrible danger. I also liked Ceasar Flickerman and Rue for their spirit. I think that people from ages 11-20 who like an action packed and inspiring story would like this. I loved this book because of amazing characters and storyline.

Review by Callan, Grade 6

I had read The Hunger Games 100 times before I saw the movie. Both the film and the book were amazing. The movie gave enough information so that you didn't have to read the book. Because of the situation Katniss was in, there was a lot of silent scenes (no talking). But the way the director dilmed it and made it exciting even though nothing was said, it was incredably captivating and unique. I would suggest this to boys and girls over 12 or 13, any younger people might not be able to handle the intensity of the storyline. My favorite character was Clove, she was the district 2 tribute girl. She was 15 (my age) and threw knives. She was hard and tough.

Review by Jennie, Grade 10

I really liked this book because of it's crazy and mysterious storyline. I liked Sal's character because he seemed really mysterious at times. I also liked Miranda for her helpful attitude and for being different. I think if you like a good, different, and mysterious story, you should read this. I also think ages 10-20 would like this.

Review by Callan, Grade 6

I loved this book because it inspired me to help people in need. I did not like the stepmother because she is mean to people who can’t help their problems. I also loved this book because I learned things including language about Afghanistan. I think people from ages 11-14 would like this.

Review by Callan, Grade 6

I don't know how to describe this book. I've loved the whole series and discovered that as you see all the characters grow up, you also see J.K. Rowling grow as a writer. This book is full of risk-taking adventures that will make you both laugh and cry! After you read this book, I would also suggest The Tales of Beedle the Bard(You will understand the book after reading the last installment of Harry Potter.)

Review by Frances, Grade 6

This book was great! I love Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, so this book really piqued my interest. If you like fiction and action you should read this.

Review by Abby, Grade 7

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls is a great book that shows you that no matter the background you come from, you can be successful. I loved this book because you can't put it down. The Walls family is constantly moving from city to town to city. You get to see their adventure and find out how hard life is. My least favorite character is Jeannette's father, he is an achoulic and is the reason the Walls family is so poor. Overall, you won't be able to put this book down. I would recomend this to anyone who likes a good book.

Review by Caroline, Grade 8

Wow! The book Girl in the Arena is AMAZING! I saw is and it sort of reminded me of the Hunger Games books. SO glad I read it! It is about a girl named Lyn, daughter of Glads- present day gladiators. Her 7th stepdad, Tommy, is the best in the league until he is killed by Uber, a young glad. When Uber picks up a silver bracelet for a sort of token, the paparazzi realizes it's Lyns, which means...Lyn must marry her father's murderer. Lyn is willingto do anything to prevent this...including taking to the arena herself. Teen who liked Hunger Games will love this futuristic novel about a girl who defies the state and changes the rules.

Review by Caroline, Grade 9

Daddy-Long legs is about a girl from an asylum. Her name is Jerusha Hobitt. She writes so well, that someone pays for her to go to college! The story is her letters to Daddy-Long Legs. Once she goes to college, she is happy to be a normal girl, but in the end there is a gigantic plot twist! You will just have to read it to find out!

Review by Frances, Grade 6

Harry Potter books are like, the best! Though my favorite is the third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I really loved the whole plot of the story. It's like after I finish one chapter, I have to read the chapter next!

Review by Annesha, Grade 7

Four Stars

The Key to Rondo is about a music box Leo's aunt had, but when she died Leo got it. Then his cousin Mimi came. She knew the rules about the music box, only wind it three times. She wind it 6 times and her dog got sucked in. So she goes in after him. She ends up in a "magical" world.

Review by Faith, Grade 7

The Big Cats book is pretty good. Tigers are my favorite big cat, but out of all the ones they mentioned I like or love all of them. The book had tigers, lions, leopards, jaguars, mountain lions, cheetahs, and snow-clouded leopards. I think that you should read Lions and Tigers and Leopards: The Big Cats. Maybe you will claw your way to liking this book.

Review by Tapanga, Grade 7

I like how the kids are trying to help find the monsters. They are destroying the secret zoo! However, the book could use more adventure. My favorite character is Megon. She is calm. I kind of don't like Noah because the author talks about him the most. I think a zookeeper would like this book.

Review by Sofia

I loved When You Reach Me because it was set in the real world, but it told you what crazy things could happen out there. My favorite character was the laughing man and my least favorite was Jimmy. When You Reach Me is for everyone. It has sadness, romance, time travel, happiness, and humor. There are some confusing parts to it so I'll recommend it for ages 9 and older. When You Reach Me is probably one of the most amazing books I've ever read.

Review by Stella, Grade 6

Dear Julia by Amy Bronwen Zemser seems like another predictable teen book at first, however the not so classic plot develops some interesting turns. The main characters are all very different from each other, ensuring that you relate to at least one of them. The author takes you on an interesting journey, as Elaine Hamilton deals with a crazy family, gaining and losing friends, and coming out of her shell all the while becoming a master chef.

Review by Madeline, Grade 10

I loved The Hobbit! I love the way Mr. Tolkien uses description and the adventure of it all.

Reviewed by Emily, Grade 10

I love the quest that Cecilia and Harper go on and the exciting finale. Haddix writes great fantasy.

Reviewed by Emily, Grade 10

Tangerine is one of the best books I've read. This book is about a kid named Paul Fisher. He has just moved from Texas to a town called Tangerine in Florida. Paul has very thick glasses because he looked at the sun during a solar eclipse...or did he? In the book you follow Paul as he makes new friends, enemies, and discover some secrets he never knew. I would recommend this book to all 4th graders and above. I would also recommend it to people who like mystery.

Review by Alex

A very good book with a very unsatisfying ending. 4 1/2 stars

Review by Jude, Grade 7

Al Capone Shines My Shoes is about "Moose" Flanagan growing up on Alcatraz Island. After asking Al Capone for a favor, he gets a note asking for him to do a favor for Al Capone. Dealing with a big time gang-boss is dangerous. When some convicts try to capture him and his friends, even his own wits won't save him. With a new born babies life on the line, things only get worse. When you live on Alcatraz you know to be careful. But nothing could have prepared them for this.

Review by Anonymous

Al Capone Does My Shirts is about a boy named "Moose" (Matthew) Flanagan and his autistic sister Natalie, who live on Alcatraz Island. Their dad is a guard and an electrician on Alcatraz. They have to adjust to life there and get used to their new schools. But when Natalie gets kicked out of her school, things go off track. Moose gets to the point where he asks a convict for help. That convict is Al Capone. Getting a gang-boss to help use is very serious stuff. You could only do that if you lived on Alcatraz.

Review by Anonymous

Taking a trip to Colorado soon? Fordor's travel guide is a great book to read if you want to know about hiking, driving, and eating in Colorado! It also includes different sports and where you can play them. A lot of National Parks are included as well.

Review by Nell

  • Free Willy by Jennie Lew Tugend and Lauren Schuler-Donner

Free Willy is an inspiring tale about a relationship between a boy and a whale. It has great suspenses and a thrilling ending! Will Willy make it? What will they do??? You'll have to watch and find out!

Review by Anna, Grade 6

Very well written! Though it started a little slow and had some bad language, it was intriguing, suspenseful, and educational. I also liked the character Tim for his patience and kindness towards his rather annoying little sister, Alexis. Definitely four stars!

Review by Kate, Grade 8

This book was a clever variation on the play, Hamlet, from Ophelia's point of view. It developed her character and well remaining true to the original play; it had many astonishing twists. It provided a behind-the-scenes view at many additional characters and speculations on the play's implications. Ophelia was made a much more independent character by the author since she manages to fool everyone except one trusted friend while keeping in touch with the boundaries set by Shakespeare's play. It was a very good idea and weel carried out by the author but was a touch too boring in somes places.

Review by Sophie, Grade 9

This swashbuckling adventure is a good read for teens looking for something adventurous that they haven't read before. It's a good book for older readers as well.

Review by Sharon

Tunnels is about a boy named will and his friend who discover a sub-terranian colony of people after Will's father goes missing. I enjoyed the book's story as well as how the authors made all 400 pages go so fast. The underground civilization is both chilling and thrilling as the two friends discover the mysteries and dangers in the earthen underworld.

Review by Kyle, Grade 8

Journey Under the Sea, a choose your own adventure book, is great because you can really get involved with it. You feel like it is a real life situation and there is the suspense of wanting to choose the right choice. I highly recommend the choose your own adventure series and hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.

Review by Anna, Grade 6

Just the Way You Are is about marriage troubles, sister troubles, and learning how to keep the past in the past. Journey along as Alli comes to terms with her husband just as her sister rips it apart. It's moving, and I love the ending.

Review by Rachael, Grade 9

This book of magical fairy tales is not your usual Cinderella. These stories are morally passed down in the wizarding world, but Hermione Granger translated the book for us Muggles. With stories like "The Worlock's Hairy Heart" and "Babbity Rabbity and her Cackling Stump," and you can't forget "The Tale of the Three Brothers" all with notes by J.K. Rowling and Albus Dumbledore. You will never be bored again!

Three Stars

If you like drama, exitment, and mystery then you'd enjoy this book. It's about a girl who has to switch schools because her dad lost his job. The reasults of this are upsetting. Sonia has trouble in her new school, meanwhile her dad becomes depressed and dissapears. In the end they find there father and Sonia's life goes back to normal or as normal as it gets.

Review by Katharine, Grade 7

I had to read this book for summer reading for school and it was better than I thought. The suspense increases and there are plenty of great allusions and detail.

Review by Emily, Grade 10

I thought it was a good book but there were some parts of the book that were unrealistic but overall it was exciting and fun to read. My favorite character was Joe Hardy and my least favorite character was Rex Mar.

Review by Trent, Grade 9

Catching Fire was a good book that kept me hooked to the end bu it didn't seem as exciting as the Hunger Games. Because it started off really slow. The reason I gave it three stars because, it was good but not really good.

Review by Annesha, Grade 7

Two Stars

Page by Paige is very boring and is advised by me for you not to waste your time by reading it.

Review by Morganna, grade 6

I gave it a 2 because the first 20 chapters were boring and because the end didn't really satisfy me at all.

Review by Wren, Grade 6

One Star

Movie, Music and Audiobook Reviews

Marmaduke Marmaduke, the dog, was my favorite character. Anyone older than five will probably enjoy this hilarious comedy about a dog moving to California. I loved it because it is super funny, and the dogs talk, but the owners can't understand them. This is a great movie!!!!

3 stars

Review by Matthew, grade 6

I loved the movie because it was funny, action packed and amazing. My favorite character is Soren because he belived in the guardians and he was brave and strong. My least favorite character was Kludd because he turned his back on Soren his brother and he became a Pure One, the Guardians enemies. The whole story is about two young owls who fall out a tree and get captured by the Pure Ones and Soren escapes without his brother and travels with three other owls to the Guardians tree house to stop the Pure Ones once and for all and find his true self.

5 stars

Review by Jamesha, Grade 8 Review by Frances, Grade 6

The Hunger Games is a fast paced action book that I loved. The movie almost the same. I game the movie 4 stars because they had the main details in it but some of the minor details were left out (like Madge giving Katniss the pin) Which, those details made it the 5 star experience, but was not in the movie. but I would still recommend it as the best movie I've seen.

Review by Annesha, Grade 7