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Teen Reviews

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From Nancy Steineke’s classes

Andrew High School, Tinley Park, IL

 

ADVENTURE

 

TITLE: Beyond The Reef

Author: Todd Strasser

Copyright: 1989

Rating: 8

Summary: This is about the life of a family that lives on the low income produced from treasure diving.

Reaction: I would recommend this book to anyone because it was an adventure/thriller type of book.

Reviewer: Dan S., 11/30/01

 

Title: Net Force: The Ultimate Escape

Author: Tom Clancey and Steve Pieczenik

Copyright: 2001

Rating: 10

Summary: This book was about a group of kids that help their friend escape a virtual prison.

Reaction: I would definitely recommend this book because it shows good character description and offers a high tech look at the future.

Reviewer: Brian S., 1/11/02

 

Title: The Last Mission

Author: Harry Mazer

Copyright: 1979

Rating: 8

Summary: A teen who has always dreamed about being a war hero realizes there aren’t heroes in war, just people who are lucky.

Reaction: I would recommend this book because it gives you the chance to feel like what it was like being in the army during WWII. The book starts off slow, but progresses and gets better and better as you read. Sometimes it’s hard to understand certain parts because the book will be talking about one thing and then with no warning will talk about something else.

Reviewer: Joe S., 1/11/02

 

Title: Sunwing

Author: Kenneth Oppel

Rating: 7

Summary: This book is about bats and owls trying to survive the attacks of humans and cannibal bats.

Reaction: I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in reading action. The bats are always determined to get involved in the action with the cannibal bats and owls. It really makes you want to read on and see what the outcome of each scene will be.

Reviewer: Allison M-S.

 

HORROR

 

Title: Thinner

Author: Stephen King

Copyright: 1984

Rating: 5

Summary: A fat man is cursed by a gypsy and loses way too much weight.

Reaction: This book was okay. I don’t think I would recommend it though. There was too much unnecessary language and violence. The book also got boring after awhile because it just keeps going on and on. JUST FIND THE GYPSIES ALREADY!!! No one wants to read a 318 page book that gets boring!

Reviewer: Carolynn G., 11/30/01

 

Title: The Dead Zone

Author: Stephen King

Copyright: 1979

Rating: 8

Summary: It is about a man who gets in an accident and is destined to stop a world leader who will bring chaos.

Reaction: This book was very interesting because there were little side stories that connected to each other. It was also good because it wasn’t predictable and didn’t have a fairytale ending. I gave it an 8 because some people would not like all of the murders and what not.

Reviewer: Steve M., 11/30/01

 

Title: Christine

Author: Stephen King

Copyright: 1983

Rating: 8

Summary: A boy becomes obsessed over a car and the car begins to take on life.

Reaction: This book makes you try to figure out what is going to happen next The writer brings you into the story and you find yourself hating and fearing the car as much as Dennis does.

Reviewer: Tony P., 11/30/01

 

Title: One Last Kiss

Author: R.L. Stine

Copyright: 1998

Rating: 10

Summary: A girl falls in love with one of her enemies, a vampire.

Reaction: This is full of suspense and kept me on the edge of my seat. The story touched me because she falls in love with someone who she should stay away from for her safety, but all he wants to do is protect her and love her. That’s what made me feel happy and excited for her.

Reviewer: Hibba M., 1/11/02

 

Title: Desperation

Author: Stephen King

Copyright: 1996

Rating: 10

Summary: A boy finding his true faith in God is the turning point fin this book about evil in the Nevada desert.

Reaction: This is probably the second favorite book that I have ever read (just behind It by the same author). The characterization is remarkable and the story will keep you reading long into the night.

Reviewer: Mike P., 1/11/02

 

Title: Pet Sematary

Author: Stephen King

Copyright: 1983

Rating: 8

Summary: A secret town has an eerie cemetery where the dead come back to life.

Reaction: I would recommend this book because it will test your beliefs and change your outlook on death and reincarnation. This book kept my interest high and my curiosity even higher. It will keep you guessing the truth until the end.

Reviewer: Dan H., 1/11/02

 

Title: Demon In My View

Author: Amelia Atwater Rhodes

Copyright: 2000

Rating: 10

Summary: Jessica tries to find her birth mother while accidentally writing true books.

Reaction: This book came up with great surprises and it was hard to predict what was coming next. I plan to read this book many more times, and I’m sure I will notice new things each time.

Reviewer: Bridget R., 1/11/02

 

Title: Skellig

Author: David Almond

Copyright: 1998

Rating: 7

Summary: Michael has to deal with a new home and his family problems. Plus, he’s found a weird guy in the garage.

Reaction: I would recommend this book if you like stories that are very detailed and slow moving but make you think.

Reviewer: Joey B., 1/11/02

 

Title: Second Child

Author: John Saul

Copyright: 1990

Rating: 8

Summary: A young rich girl is an outcast but her half-sister tries to steal her life anyway.

Reaction: I would recommend this book to anyone who likes twisted plots. Melissa’s half-sister, Teri, appears sweet and innocent, always trying to help Melissa out. In reality she is trying to drive Melissa insane. It was really a good suspense novel because you didn’t know what Teri would do next.

Reviewer: Nicole N., 1/11/02

 

Title: Shattered Mirror

Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Copyright: 2001

Rating: 10

Summary: A love story between a vampire and a vampire hunter.

Reaction: I would recommend this book because the words that the author wrote made vivid pictures in my mind.

Reviewer: Christina M., 1/11/02

 

Title: In the Forest of the Night

Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Copyright: 1999

Rating: 8

Summary: A girl who was transformed into a vampire deals with problems past and present.

Reaction: Atwater-Rhodes is a great writer for her age. Her detail and thought about vampires are exciting!

Reviewer: Stephanie C., 1/11/02

 

HISTORICAL FICTION

 

Title: Out of the Dust

Author: Karen Hesse

Copyright: 1997

Rating: 8

Summary: A daughter and father try to survive hard times during The Depression after the mother dies.

Reaction: It keeps your attention when they talk about the dust storms and accidents that occurred. It got boring at some parts because it repeated itself.

Reviewer: Allison M., 11/30/01

 

Title: My Brother Sam is Dead

Author: Collier, James

Copyright: 1974

Rating: 7.5

Summary: The revolutionary war is going on and a young boy steals his family’s gun to go fight in it.

Reaction: I recommend this book if you like guts and glory war stories. It’s really graphic and gives details about getting shot, killed, hanged.

Reviewer: Greg B., 11/29/01

 

 

DRAMA

 

Title: A Time To Kill

Author: John Grisham

Copyright: 1989

Rating: 10

Summary: A black man is on trial for killing the two white men who raped his daughter.

Reaction: I would recommend this book to anyone because it deals with the morals of a small southern community and the racism that is still present. I gave it a 10 because it is suspenseful and makes you think about the issues. For example, when the Ku Klux Klan and African American demonstrators are fighting outside the courtroom, you wonder if this could happen in your town.

Reviewer: Leann S., 11/30/01

 

Title: Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury

Copyright: 1953

Rating: 8

Summary: It’s about a town where books are illegal.

Reaction: I would recommend this book because it is pretty weird how the firemen burn houses down instead of putting fires out. I wanted to keep on reading every time an interesting part came up in the book.

Reviewer: Brian R., 1/11/02

 

Title: Montana 1948

Author: Larry Watson

Copyright: 1993

Rating: 9

Summary: A man finds out and then catches his brother molesting Indian girls.

Reaction: I would definitely recommend this book to others. The author couldn’t have done a better job describing how the molestation took place and what kind of feelings went through the characters heads when they found out about it.

Reviewer: Mimi N., 1/11/02

 

Title: Broken Bridge

Author: Lynne Reid Banks

Copyright: 1994

Rating: 7

Summary: This book is about the hostility between Muslim countries and Israel and how one family is affected by it.

Reaction: This book gave excellent insight into minds that are blinded by prejudice yet can be healed and “see” again.

Reviewer: Ryan D., 1/11/02

 

 

SUSPENSE

Title: The Winner

Author: David Baldacci

Copyright: 1997

Rating: 8

Summary: A financial mastermind pulls a scam on a state lottery jackpot.

Reaction: I would really recommend this book to someone who likes thrillers. This book kept me reading all night because I always wanted to find out what was going to happen next.

Reviewer: Greg B., 1/11/02

 

Title: Murder and Other Acts of Literature

Author: Michelle Slung, ed.

Copyright: 1997

Rating: 7

Summary: Stories of horror, murders, and diabolical terror.

Reaction: If you enjoy stories with cunning twists and turns, this is a good book to read. The authors have many different ways of telling stories and describing the characters’ actions.

Reviewer: Allison L., 1/11/02

 

Title: Ice

Author: Ed McBain

Copyright: 1983

Rating: 7

Summary: Detectives try to figure out who is dealing drugs.

Reaction: I recommend this book because right from the start there’s a lot of action and suspense.

Reviewer: Anthony K., 1/11/02

 

Title: The Eyes of a Stranger

Author: Sharon Heisel

Copyright: 1996

Rating: 10

Summary: A girl overcomes her fear of the outside world.

Reaction: This book was fascinating. Marissa was really courageous in risking her life in order to escape from a deranged boy named Nick.

Reviewer: Pam M., 11/30/01

 

Title: The Domino Principle

Author: Adam Kennedy

Copyright: 1995

Rating: 9

Summary: This book is about a guy who is in jail. When two men get him out, they want a favor in return.

Reaction: I thought this book was great. I was always surprised when I turned the page and something totally different than I thought would happen. This was the best suspense book I have ever read.

Reviewer: Byron G., 1/11/02

 

SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY

 

Title: The Duplicate

Author: William Sleator

Copyright: 1988

Rating: 8

Summary: A boy who duplicates himself with a machine runs into major problems when the duplicate makes his own duplicate.

Reaction: I would recommend this book to others. Not only is it easy reading, but it’s a very interesting book. It keeps you going and you constantly ask yourself, “What’s going to happen next?”

Reviewer: Joe K., 11/30/01

 

Title: The Wishsong of Shannara

Author: Terry Brooks

Copyright: 1985

Rating: 8

Summary: A lost wishsong magic spell is hidden and the race is on to see if good or evil will get a hold of it.

Reaction: If you like fantasy adventure and mystical settings, this book is for you. It takes off exciting and ends exciting. There are many plots within the book, so watch out and pay attention!

Reviewer: Joe K., 1/11/02

 

Title: Marlfox

Author: Brian Jacques

Copyright: 2000

Rating: 9

Summary: This is an action fantasy book about a band of foxes trying to take over Redwall, whose creatures are defending it in a long battle for victory.

Reaction: I recommend this book to those who like great fighting stories. I liked the story and, in my opinion, it had an excellent plot. This book is hard to put down!

Reviewer: Doug D., 1/11/02

 

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Author: J. K. Rowling

Copyright: 2000

Rating: 10

Summary: Harry Potter gets picked for the Tri-wizard Tournament. Even though he is too young, he still competes.

Reaction: I would give this book a 10 because you can relate it to yourself. Harry was picked for something everyone else wanted and everyone was jealous. His enemies stalk him and hate him. The book has great details in the three different tournament tasks.

Reviewer: Ryan E., 1/11/02

 

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Author: J. K. Rowling

Copyright: 1997

Rating: 10

Summary: Harry Potter is a new wizard and going to Hogwart’s school to learn about the craft.In time he discovers many new things.

Reaction: This book is for readers of any age. Harry shows a lot of courage and maturity.

Reviewer: Christina G., 1/10/02

 

Title: The Golden Compass

Author: Philip Pullman

Copyright: 1995

Rating: 10

Summary: A little girl Lyra goes on an adventure to the North in search of answers.

Reaction: I would definitely recommend reading this book. It a had a very good story with a lot of action. The armored bears were my favorite part of this book.

Reviewer: Nick A., 1/11/02

 

Title: Sea of Swords

Author: R. A. Salvatore

Copyright: 2001

Rating: 9

Summary: A group of mystical warriors adventure through a land filled with turmoil.

Reaction: I would recommend this book, but it is not for everyone if you don’t like keeping track of characters’ names. But if you are a fantasy lover, you will really enjoy this book.

Reviewer: Andrew M., 1/11/02

 

 

NONFICTION

 

Title: Into The Storm

Author: Tom Clancy with General Fred Franks Jr.

Copyright: 1997

Rating: 7

Summary: This book was about the command stages of the Gulf War.

Reaction: I gave it a 7 because the topic wouldn’t appeal to all readers. However, this was a very good book about the Gulf War and Gen. Franks’ role in it. If you like war stories, then I recommend this book.

Reviewer: Brian S., 11/30/01

 

Title: The Rock Says

Author: Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) and Joe Layden

Copyright: 1999

Rating: 9

Summary: The life of The Rock and how he made it to the top.

Reaction: If you are a fan of The Rock like I am, you will love this book. It talks about his life and his struggles.

Reviewer: Hibba M., 11/29/01

 

Title: A Child Called “It”

Author: David Pelzer

Copyright: 1995

Rating: 9

Summary: A young boy struggles to live when his mother beats him severely and it seems like no one cares.

Reaction: I would recommend this book because it’s very eye opening and shows strength and courage. It really made me think about how lucky I am. This book is for more mature people because it talked about how the boy was beaten and there is some bad language.

Reviewer: Jill C., 11/30/01

 

Title: Who Killed Kurt Cobain?

Author: Ian Halperin and Max Wallace

Copyright: 1999

Rating: 9

Summary: This book is about the life, death, and conspiracy surrounding Kurt Cobain.

Reaction: This book is perfect for heavy Nirvana fans and curious people alike. I was amazed by how much evidence there is promoting the murder theory versus suicide.

Reviewer: Tony P., 1/11/02

 

Title: Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana

Author: Michael Azerrod

Copyright: 1993

Rating: 10

Summary: The complete story of Nirvana, essential for any Nirvana fan.

Reaction: I would recommend this book for music fans. It tells the great story of the most influential band ever. The author really digs up all the facts about the band members, including quotes from the band members and friends of the band.

Reviewer: Dan J., 1/11/02

 

Title: Ron Santo: For The Love of Ivy

Author: Ron Santo with Randy Minkoff

Copyright: 1994

Rating: 10

Summary: Ron Santo is a major league baseball player with type 1 insulin dependent diabetes.

Reaction: This book talks about Ron’s struggles with diabetes. Anyone who is diabetic or knows someone with diabetes or just wants an interesting book would like this. By reading this you get the feeling you are Ron and you are there struggling with diabetes. For example, he talks about one time when he felt his blood sugar going low. He was in the batter’s box. He wound up going to bat and hit a grand slam, but he almost did not make it around the bases. He is truly an inspiration to all people.

Reviewer: Jennifer M., 1/11/02

 

Title: Black Hawk Down

Author: Mark Bowden

Copyright: 1999

Rating: 11

Summary: A peacekeeping plus capture mission goes bad.

Reaction: I would recommend this book to anybody because it shows different viewpoints of the story and shows real emotion. It makes you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action.

Reviewer: Michael S., 1/11/02

 

Title: Tales From the Cubs Dugout

Author: Pete Cava

Copyright: 2000

Rating: 6

Summary: It is a collection of short stories about the Chicago Cubs and their history.

Reaction: This book is not for everyone. It is real heavy on the facts and dates. It would only be good if you pay attention to baseball and are interested in its history.

Reviewer: Joe M., 1/11/02

 

HUMOR

 

Title: Burger Wuss

Author: M. T. Anderson

Copyright: 1999

Rating: 7

Summary: A kid gets revenge on the guy who stole his girlfriend.

Reaction: This book was pretty good. It started a little slow, but then got more exciting. I would recommend this book because it’s kind of funny. It portrays fast food restaurants and the character’s life in a very strange way.

Reviewer: Kelli E., 1/11/02

 

Title: Harris and Me

Author: Gary Paulsen

Copyright: 1993

Rating: 9.5

Summary: This book is about two wild kids doing stupid things for entertainment and out of curiosity.

Reaction: I would recommend this book because it is very comical. There are also some very exciting parts such as the incidents with the electric fence and the 300 pound pigs.

Reviewer: Drew M., 1/11/02

 

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