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Flat Broke: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Greed by Gary Paulsen

May 12, 2011

As a punishment for his frequent lying, Kevin’s parents have taken away his all-important allowance. Kevin has learned his lesson and stopped lying, but he has no “walking around money.” Kevin has his eye set on a girl at school but he feels as though the only way he can get this girl, Tina Zabinski, Is to become filthy rich by any means necessary. Kevin tries his luck with friendly poker games that become a little less friendly and a baking project that turns sour. Throughout the book Kevin tries to come up with more and more ideas to make money so he can ask the beautiful Tina Zabinski to the school dance. The outcomes of Kevin’s various projects will determine whether Tina Zabinski will take his arm at the dance.

Although this book is for a younger audience, the humor and adventure of it keeps you hooked. The young go-getter named Kevin finds himself in a plethora of situations that will make or break his chances of becoming filthy rich. I really enjoyed this book because I could really connect and compare myself to Kevin because just like every young kid, I dreamt of being successful and rich when I was young. Kevin gets himself into situations that are fun and humorous. I would recommend this book but to a younger audience. Although it was a fun read I feel as though you need to be younger to truly appreciate the humor and story.

Reviewed by: Joe S.

Runner By Carl Deuker

May 12, 2011

Chance Taylor, a teen who is struggling with the times, had an offer presented to him which could change his life. Chance has the opportunity to gain money so he and his father can survive on their house boat. The task he is presented with is simple; all he needs to do is do his usual running route except check every day to see if there is a bag under a rock near the beach. If there is one, he simply needs to put the bag in his backpack then run it to his end point and place it in a crack between the rocks. There isn’t always a bag there so some days Chance just runs his normal route without having to worry about carrying anything. When Chance’s suspicions begin to arise because the packages haven’t been taken he begins to bring them to his house and collect them under his bed. Soon Chance is told that the packages need to be returned and it was his final chance. When Chance opens one of the packages he realizes he has a choice to make.

This is one of the best books I’ve ever read it truly had the perfect plot. Every part of the book is interesting and leaves the reader enthralled. The concept of action mixed with some mystery kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The author’s specific use of details to only give a brief over view ensured I would keep interest throughout the whole book. Anyone who enjoys a good story with a little suspicion and some action would surely appreciate this book. It’s a book that should be read because overall it is a nail bitter and will keep anyone entertained.

Reviewed by Dylan J.

Beserk

May 11, 2011
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Have you ever wanted to sit back and read something truly gory, and full of highly detailed real action combat? Berserk is the series for you. It starts off with the main protagonist moving through fighting demon after demon, showing his past then his current story. This series is still continuing but with well over 20o chapters to work through, there is a huge amount of content to enjoy.

But wait, what if you want a good story? Berserk’s got you covered, it’s an incredibly vast deep story. Each character deeply detailed in their motivation, and their emotions, growing as the story unfolds. Willing to go into the fears and ideas of murder, sexual scars and other fields, he doesn’t hold back. This series has a kind of Greek tragedy set up to it, and is extremely well worth the read.

Virgin Territory, James Lecesne

May 6, 2011

Dylan isn’t a very popular kid. In fact it is summer and he has no friends from his school except one who left the country and has yet to even call him. Doug, his dad, is worried about Dylan not having friends because he thinks Dylan will become a loner. Dylan would rather make friends through the internet then make actual friends. Doug took Dylan’s laptop from him forcing him to get a job down at the country club as a caddy. One day while working Dylan has noticed a crowd forming on the course. The crowd was surrounding a tree that the supposed “Blessed Virgin Mary” appeared on, which brought a lot of tourist into the small town of Jupiter, Florida. Dylan didn’t know much about the “B.V.M” but he was overly excited to have met people his age from this situation. His new friends consist of Angela, Desiree, and crispy. Who taught Dylan that faith requires wanting something badly enough to take a risk.

Recommendations:

I like the book because it jumps straight into good parts. The book isn’t just for reading, there is certain things in the book that can teach you a lot like “wanting something badly enough to take a risk”. That quote is amazing in my opinion, which is something that I would live my life by.  I also like how the speaker leaves the reader guessing throughout the whole book. I would recommend this book to anyone of this reading level.

Beyond Lucky by Sarah Aronson

April 19, 2011

Young Ari Fish loves soccer, and one day hopes to be as good as his idol Wayne Timcoe. We all have idols, but Wayne was like a hero to Ari.  Soccer season is around and Ari wants to be a starting goalie, the same position Wayne plays. The previous year Ari was a backup goalie and refuses to be that again so he believes in himself, but mostly he believes in luck. After the first day of tryouts Ari happens to find a rare Wayne Timcoe trading card. Ari was in love with it, he believed that was going to be his lucky charm for the season. What do you know? It was, now Ari is the starting goalie, playing with his friends, and nothing can get past him.  Suddenly the Wayne card gets stolen and Ari doesn’t know who it was. There was one girl in the team, and she blamed Mac, Ari’s best friend. Now Ari’s luck is gone, goals are being scored on him like no other and the team is coming apart. Ari knows his luck was because of the card so Ari steps up and decides to do something about it. Before the team felt apart he learned how to be his own idol, and or hero and make his own luck.

Everything about the book was great to me, I love soccer myself and one day want to be like my idol as well. The author explains everything so well, and uses vivid imagery of every situation that Ari faces. Ari believes in himself and knows that he can be his own idol without the luck of the card, everyone is capable of that. Yes everyone does get lucky at times but is all about what you have inside what you stand for. If you want to accomplish something, you put your mind to it and do it. That’s exactly what Ari did, and may help kids be inspired. Everything takes practice to perfect, and Ari gave a good example of it.

Daniel X: Alien Hunter: A Graphic Novel by James Patterson

April 19, 2011

Daniel, as the title suggests, is an alien hunter who, despite his occupation, is an alien himself. The first scene gives readers a glimpse of Daniel’s powers when he transforms objects around him, and even himself, to save a woman from being mugged. After this encounter, Daniel goes to the edge of town where he regularly camps when he is not hunting aliens in the city. It is here the reader learns that Daniel can “create” things out of thin air with his mind. This is also the place where Daniels past is revealed. His entire family was killed by an alien who is number one on Daniel’s list of aliens to destroy. In the city below, a movie theater explodes killing people. Daniel hears the blast and knows it is time to go to work. He tracks the explosion to an alien known only as number seven. This is because he is Number Seven on Daniel’s list. He learns that Seven has a son named Kildare, who is a kind-hearted boy who wants nothing to do with his father’s business. Daniel meets with Kildare several times and forms a relationship with him. The end of the book is a race against time for Daniel, as he tries to defeat his sworn enemy, and save his friend before it is too late.

The characters in this story while, unrealistic, were completely relatable. The way Daniel struggled with his past really spoke to me. Everybody feels alone at some point in their life and Daniel’s story is a perfect example of transforming that negative energy to help a friend in need. I would recommend this book for people interested in science fiction stories. While it was a graphic novel, the vivid line drawings and writing style made it enjoyable for me, even though I do not read many graphic novels. As far as age, I would recommend this book for young adults and children. The word choice and sentence structure make it perfect for the young adult age group, while the pictures make it fun for children. I enjoyed reading this graphic novel and I hope you will too.

Reviewed by: Tim M.

“…then i met my sister” by Christine Hurley Deriso

April 19, 2011

Summer is just beginning her Senior year of high school, and for her birthday over the summer, her Aunt gives her a journal.   It’s the journal her older, deceased sister wrote before she died.  Summer was now becoming Shannon’s age when she died, so its become a great interest to get to know who she was.  Summer always believed  that she never connected to Shannon, thinking she was the complete opposite, but she realizes how wrong she was when she finally reads the journal.  Shannon supposedly died in a car accident the first few days of the school year, but information that was revealed in the journal makes Summer wonder if it was an accident at all.  This shock becomes her new adventure, and she works on finding out who she was through her teachers, friends, boyfriend, etc.  Meanwhile, Summer finds herself in a bit of a romance, which she’s never been in before.  Her mind is filled with so many emotions.

Christine Hurley Deriso wrote a very good book, you’ll never want to put down the book. I loved the mystery and how you had to try an guess it the entire time.  The romance between the main character and her friend makes it more interesting to read because it’s like a story within a story.  I would recommend this book to girl teenagers. The book consists of romance, adventure, gossip, and the journal brings even more of a twist. Teenage girls would be able to relate to the book, and the feelings that are endured during this book.