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Shelfie Autumn – 8th Grade

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  Over break, I read a total of three books. Overall, I liked all of the books, but I only really loved two of the books that I read.

        The first book that I finished was, To Kill A Mockingbird. I love that book. I had read it before, but only half of it. I guess I just got bored with it, but this time I finished it. It was a great book. I would’ve never guessed the truth about Boo Radley. I love classics and this is one of my all time favorites.

        The second book that I read over break was, Bud not Buddy. This book is one of, if not, my favorite book of all time. I couldn’t find a book that was sparking my interest, so I decided to re-read this book. I have probably re-read this book about six times, and each time is as great as the first time I read it.

        The last book I read over break was, The Communist Manifesto. Yes, I know, I sound like a crazy communist, because I read that, but I read it because I was interested in it. I didn’t fully understand what communism was and what the basic ideas were, all I knew what was human nature has turned it into. So, I decided to read it. It was a good book, I wouldn’t say that I loved it, but I enjoyed it and its basic ideas. Am I a communist? No, not at all. But did I enjoy the book? Yes, yes I did.

        I find that I like to read in quiet, secluded places. One of the most frequent places that I found myself reading was in the sauna that my family has, but we don’t use. I like to read in there because it’s quiet and nobody ever goes in there.



Faith B., 8th Grade
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I finished two books overbreak, I loved one of them and was sad to finish the series but the other I didn’t really care for. United We Spy was definitely my favorite book I read over break. Its the last book in a series of six. I really enjoyed them and plowed through the series in the course of a week. The books are about a girl named Cammie who goes to an all girls school for spies. She finds herself on more missions than the average spy gets to go on in their life, and she hasn’t even finished high school yet! I know it probably sounds lame but they were actually very interesting and once I picked one up I could not stop!

The second book I read was called Invisible. This book was hard to follow at times because it switches to different main characters without telling the reader. The other confusing part was the plot itself. The book is about an invisible boy who was cursed when he was born and no one can see him… or so he thinks. He ends up meeting a girl who can see him and they go on a quest to try and reverse the curse but some speed bumps come up along the way. I honestly didn’t really care for this book because it was weird trying to wrap my mind around this invisible person who was just invisible from the start and to try to think of him as normal in our world when some of the characters just shrug it off as being normal.

This might sound weird but in the winter my favorite place to read is my parents bedroom. It is literally the only quiet place in the house. There are a lot of windows in their room and when I read I love to stop for a moment and watch the snowfall. It makes me feel cozier when I know its cold outside and the room I’m in is so warm. During the summer I like to read in a lawn chair outside in the sun. I guess I just overall like to be warm when I read.

Brotherhood by A.B. Westrick


Book Review by Boatemaa, Grade 7

It’s 1867 and the Civil War has just ended.  Segregation is still at its prime, and in Richmond, Virginia, things aren’t as they once were.  Fourteen year old Shadrach Weaver, and his older brother Jerimiah have lost their father in the Civil War.  They lead poor lives, and Shad, his mother and his grandfather work as tailors.  One night, Shad follows Jerimiah as he sneaks out of their bedroom window.  He follows him down to Cold Harbor, and finds himself surrounded by boys and men in white sheets and masks.  Soon he is initiated into The Brotherhood.  The next day, Shad meets Rachel, a colored woman about his age who can read very well.  He begins taking reading lessons from her in a shack with other Negro children in exchange for tailoring lessons.  When The Brotherhood commits an unspeakable act, Shad finds out what The Brotherhood is really about.

Read this book about life in the south following the Civil War.

Blue Birds

Blue Birds

Book Review by Lauren K., 7th Grade

Two different girls, but only one single bird.  Alis comes from England, wanting to settle in the New World, but ends up being the only girl.  Her uncle had promised to be there, but disappeared making her go to the only thing she has left of him — a little wooden bird.  The wooden bird reminds her of hope and comforts her.  Then there is Kimi, a native American who had lost her father and sister to the English before Alis arrived.  One day Alis goes into the woods and sees Kimi, she immediately runs away, but drops her hope — the little wooden bird. Kimi takes the bird, but it constantly draws her to Alis.  So every few days these girls meet and it becomes more dangerous because their families are enemies.

Will these girls put themselves at risk for each other’s safety?  Will their families allow friends between enemies?  Will this friendship make them hard to save each other when their families go to war?  Find out in Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose.

This book was reviewed thanks to an advanced reader’s copy, provided by The Red Balloon Bookshop.  Blue Birds is scheduled to be published March 10, 2015.

Among the Hidden

by:Margaret Peterson

book review by: Emilee H., 6th grade

Among the hidden is about a boy named Luke, who is a third child which apparently are illegal. So all of Luke’s life he has been hiding from the population police.When Luke’s mother leaves the house she has to make sure all of the windows and doors are locked and shut,and that all of the lights are off. Luke always wondered what more there was in the world other than in his house.When Luke figures out that everyone in the neighborhood is gone…he notices a shadowy figure in the window, of the across the street neighbor.

I really LOVED this book, WHY I LOVED THIS BOOK..? because it has a Lot of mystery,action, and suspense!!!

I recommend this book to people who like suspension, and characters that you can really visualize, coming to life!!!


Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin

Book review by Bassaa T., 6th Grade

Elsewhere is about fifteen year old Liz who was hit  by a cab and ended up in in a ship waking up and not realizing she is dead. The ship is called the S.S Nile and it takes you to a place called Elsewhere. Elsewhere is when you die you stay there and you age backward until you’re a baby and you get sent back to Earth. Liz meets new friends and met her grandmother who died before she was born. In Elsewhere you can also see your family through some binoculars costing only one enterium for five minutes. But some people get way too addicted and sometimes want to contact their families. Liz is in that situation she heard of a place called the well. The well is a mile deep in the ocean and you contact anyone you want but you need to try not to get caught or you will get in serious trouble. After Liz succeeds but gets caught she  meets a new friend. Elsewhere looks like earth but is totally different Liz learns that she must accept that she can longer go back to earth as Liz Hall but is it really that different living in Elsewhere as it living on Earth?

I recommend this book to anyone who likes any life after death stories and books.  I also recommend this book to anyone who likes a little romance, humor and sad books.

I liked this book because it wasn’t a spooky book about death and I liked that it was different than any other books I have read when the characters are still alive.

Graphic Novel Reviews

The eighth graders recently finished reading graphic novels.  Each student read at least two of them and as we wrapped up the unit I wanted a way for them to tell each other about the books they had read.  I found the graphic book review structure in Fun-Size Academic Writing for Serious Learning (LINK) and then had the students use that format to write book reviews.  They were asked to write about the best graphic novel they read.  The results were fantastic!  I wish I could scan them in better than these photos!

El Deafo reivew by Faith B.


Gaijin review by Nathaniel H.


Smile review by Elise B.


El Deafo review by Grace S.