Palouse Prairie Student Book Reviews
Reviewed by Mikey S:
The One and Only Ivan by K.A Applegate is the heartbreaking, yet hilarious, story that touches an entire generation's hearts, and it all starts with a baby gorilla, and his sister. It was a peaceful day for Ivan and his sister, playing tag, swinging from vine to vine, when the zoo team showed up, killing Ivan's mother and father. Tag was fortunate enough to escape, while Ivan was captured. Ivan is now living in a mall with his friends Bob, a stray dog that crawled into Ivan's cage, and Stella, a loving and old elephant. When a nervous and naive baby elephant is taken out of her home and introduced into the new environment, it's up to Ivan to make things right.
I enjoy this book because of its strong message of fighting the odds put against you, and friendship. The animals stick together throughout the whole book, even though everything is put against them. They have an unbreakable bond, and even though they are separated, they will always remember and care about each other. The book really shows how an animal would see the world through the glass and bars of their zoo cage, and what an animal experiences when in captivity. They are not being loved, but exploited due to their cool and exotic nature, being taken out of their home, and forced to listen to “ooh, aah” all of their life. It is the perfect combination of comedy, and heartbreak. I would recommend this book to all animal lovers in the world. It will really warm your heart.
Reviewed by Kieran L:11 year old Jonas’s world is perfect. There is no war or fear or decisions. Everything is under control. But for Jonas everything will change. At age 12 Jonas is selected to be The Receiver of Memories. Under the instructions of the giver, Jonas learns memories of the past such as snow, hills, and color, and war. Lois Lowry crafts a satisfying novel that will please readers of all ages. Although The Giver is a rather short read, the utopian concepts make it a real page turner. The Giver’s cliffhanger ending will have everyone running to the library for the sequel. This book teaches us to be ourselves and the freedom of being yourself. Fans of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series will especially love this book.Reviewed by Mia H:Jonas lives in the Community, a perfect, orderly world with no pain, fear or violence. But everything changes at his ceremony of twelve, where they get their job they do for the rest of their lives. Jonas gets assigned The Receiver of Memories, a job only assigned about every 50 years to a person most capable of enduring pain and getting the true memories of the world. He learns the true wonder and pains of life as the new Receiver.The Giver is a book is a book for all ages, as the writing in The Giver is a fairly simple read, but still has a deep plot and plants a vivid picture in your head. Lois Lowry also subtly adds in her writing You learn more about Jonas’s world as Jonas discovers more about the outside world. The characters are believable because everybody has been singled out sometime in their life. There are important themes of making the right choices and learning the true wonder and horrors of life. More themes are learning to truly love somebody and discovering who you are as a person. This satisfying dystopian novel is a book that readers of all ages can get lost in and should not miss.
Reviewed by Indigo W:
Sarah has lived on the Kalahari almost all of her life. She is a teenage animal lover and she is very loving to her family . Her dad hears note of poachers and leaves saying he is going to be back by night fall. When her dad doesn't come back, Sarah is put to the test of guiding five rowdy teenagers through the Kalahari to find her dad. They are challenged with no water, no food, and a mysterious silver lion, who has a deadly virus that drives you insane.This virus is spread by touch.
Kalahari is a good book for teenagers and young adult, and if you like the genre dystopian and sci-fi, or animals. If you have experienced loss in your life, then you will really connect with Sarah. You can imagine what it is like in the Kalahari and the other settings.You can also feel how Sarah is feeling. One of the themes is keeping your head when everything is chaos. It is a very exciting book. It is full of action and keeps you anxious and at the edge of your seat about what is going to happen next.
Reviewed by Leyna V:
Terra and Tulik are best friends whose parents are both marine biologists working at ExplOrca, a company studying a pod of wild orcas in Orcas islands, they have named the J - Pod. A whale is born in J - Pod on the same day as Tulik\Shantu, a whale who live in OceanLand, a marine amusement park, kills his trainer. Tiluk/Shantu is a whale that was captured from J - Pod many years ago. Across the country in Florida, Miles, a boy in need of a friend after his parents divorce, contacts ExplOrca after seeing Tulik/Shantu kill his trainer. Miles and Terra start communicating back and forth until they hatch a plan to help the orcas. They then work together to free Shamu/Tulik and all other captured whales.
Rachel Clark creates a satisfying, sad, and hopeful tale and I’m sure this book will join the fight against climate change and animal extinction. It also incorporates the many wrongs with keeping marine mammals in captivity. This book beautifully creates an equal mix between science, hope, and spirituality. Rachel Clark also tells this story wonderfully in the view of a teenager so that kids, teenagers and adults who are interested in wildlife and orcas can enjoy and dive deep into this book.
Reviewed by Ella S:
August Pullman is a boy who was born with a disease that makes him look different than other kids. What Auggie says about himself is: “I’m not going to explain to you what I look like, but whatever you're thinking, it’s probably worse”. At the beginning of the year Auggie’s parents decide that he should go to a normal school, instead of being home schooled, for fifth grade. The book Wonder is about the effect Auggie has on the other students and how other kids treat Auggie, like teasing him for how he looks.
One of the messages the book is trying to teach is that it doesn't matter what you look like. One other thing that the book is trying to teach is that you shouldn’t care about what other people think about you. Those themes make the book relatable because Auggie faces real world problems, like bullying, that many kids and adults have faced or are facing. R.J Palacio writes the plot in different perspectives so that the reader can understand all the characters thoughts and their own challenges the face in their day, to day life. That way the reader thoroughly understands actions and decisions. I think that both children and adults would enjoy and connect with Auggie and Wonder.
Reviewed by Avi G:
The Mysterious Benedict Society is about a boy named Reynie and his three friends who pass three mysterious tests in order to meet a man named Mr. Benedict. Mr. Benedict says that there is a man named Mr. Curtain who has a school and is training the students to think certain thoughts so he can put the thoughts into people's minds without them realizing it. It is about the four children, Reynie Muldoon, Kate Wetherall, Constance Contraire, and George ( Sticky ) Washington, and how they have to find a way to disable the “Whisperer”, as Mr. Curtain calls his brain sweeper machine. You may find that many of the troubles The Mysterious Benedict Society faces are also problems you face.
Trenton Lee Stuart did an amazing job creating a mystery novel for all ages. It may be a little long for younger readers, but everyone will enjoy it. As I said before, it is a mystery novel, so fans of mystery and realistic fiction will like this book, especially if they like longer reads. There are a variety of themes, from never giving up to always believing in yourself. You might find that you could connect with one of the character’s personality or strengths. No matter your age, how fast or slow you read, I believe you should experience the riddles and mysteries of The Mysterious Benedict Society.
Reviewed by Antonia P-W:
A gate is the only thing that stands in between the colorless, dreary land of Quill where creativity is banned, and the colorful land of Artim/e where creativity is a magic art. Alexander Stowe is an Unwanted, cast out when found drawing in the dirt with a stick. He is cast out and believed dead when he finds Artim/e. He meets a colorful paradise and finds new friends, talking statues, and a friendly new mage. There he tries to find his destiny while his brother is chosen for college in Quill and stays hungry for power.
I liked this book because I could really connect with the main character, Alex, because sometimes you feel as if you have not discovered yourself yet. Other people could also connect with Alex if they feel like they have not discovered their strengths yet. Lisa McMann creates realistic characters, such as fiery Meghan with a brave spirit, Samheed who is quick to anger but a good friend, and Lani who is small and young but creative and a quick thinker. It is a book that really makes people think of magic, and wonder if they have a secret gift hidden away inside of them waiting to be discovered. People will wonder what will happen next and what will happen to Alex and his new friends, which makes The Unwanteds a page turner. Readers will also be able to connect to Alex if they have ever faced trouble with their siblings. The Unwanteds is a book that is compelling and beckons to each reader. I would recommend this book to kids ten and up. People will love this magical masterpiece that Lisa Mcmann has created.
Reviewed by Raven D:
In the land of Quill everyone is sorted into three categories when they’re thirteen - wanteds, necessaries, and unwanteds. The wanteds go to Wanted Univesity, the necessaries work in Quill, and the unwanteds are supposed to be killed for being creative. The main characters are unwanteds. They are Alex who loves to do art, Lani who loves to write, Samheed who likes to act, and Meghan who likes to play musical instruments. The executioner, Mr. Today, shows them the hidden land of Artim/e where creativity is a good thing and where you will not get killed.
The book is good for people that like adventure and fantasy. The age recommendation is about tweens and up, or if you are read to by someone. The theme is it's okay to be creative. Some connections I made with the book are: I don't have to be the same and that I have control over my own life and to be different is a good thing. Lisa McMann really brings the book to life in this wonderful book series. The Unwanteds launches a whole seven book series that helps you understand the characters and their challenges even more.
Reviewed by Addie B:
Theodore Boone is a thirteen-year-old boy who loves anything that has to do with the law. Both of his parents are lawyers and he strives to become one. When Theo is woken at 4:00 A.M. he knows that can’t be a good sign. When he arrives at his friend’s house he finds out that his best friend April has been kidnapped. Theo will stop at nothing to find her.
Theodore Boone keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, while still managing to make the events realistic. The characters are very believable, especially their reaction to April being kidnapped. Even though Theo can be a little sarcastic at times he still acts like a kid his age. One of the main themes is how important friendship is to kids, and when that is taken away from them they can feel like they are missing a part of themselves. If you are someone who loves a believable mystery, this is the book for you.
Reviewed by Ben S:
The Maze Runner is about a teenage boy named Thomas who wakes up in a lift. When the doors open he is pulled out. Thomas does not remember any specific things. In the glade there is a little ecosystem. The glade is surrounded by a maze. In order to get out they have to go through the maze. But in the maze there are grievers. Grievers are half animal half machine and can sting you. The day after Thomas arrives, a girl arrives, the first girl ever. She had a message, a horrific message. When she arrives she in in a coma. When she comes out of the coma, she triggers the ending. The ending is the end for the gladers.
I like this novel because it is a mystery-dystopian. I personally think that 10-15 year olds will like it. James Dashner did a wonderful job on explaining the maze and how horrifying it is to be there. If you have read and enjoyed the Hunger Games, you will like it. The blend between genres is amazing because it makes it so you have to read to find out the whole truth about why they're in the glade. There are four other books in the Maze Runner Series. James Dashner also wrote The Eye Of Minds.
Reviewed by Morgan D:
The Ranger's Apprentice: Ruins of Gorlan is about a boy named Will who is growing up at a children’s ward. He is turning thirteen so it is time for him to be chosen for a role that was important in medieval times like stable master, battle school, or cook. Will is chosen to be a ranger, one of the mysterious guards and enforcers of the kingdom. During the book he and his master, Halt, go on a mission to stop an evil exiled lord from bringing his army through the mountains and using mysterious creatures to kill people of high value in the kingdom.
Throughout the book Will changes from a lonely orphan to a respected member of the rangers corps. Will develops as a character by gaining a sense of duty. Author John Flanagan wrote the book in a way that you can easily picture and it is very smooth but with quick plot twists. Also, the characters can easily be connected to and you can get lost in the book. I would recommend this book and its thirteen sequels and prequels to anyone under thirteen. Its genre is fantasy and it is placed in medieval times.
Reviewed by Juan M:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is about a 12 year old named Harry Potter and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The three friends are trying to find out who is paralyzing all their fellow students and why. There is a kid named Draco Malfoy who has been enemies with Harry ever since they started at Hogwarts together. Harry thinks that Malfoy is the one who opened the Chamber of Secrets because he is in Slytherin, which is one of the four houses at Hogwarts. There is Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Slytherin is known for being evil because Lord Voldemort, the worst wizard ever, was in Slytherin . Dumbledore is the headmaster at Hogwarts. Dumbledore is one of Harry’s good friends and mentor. Hogwarts is a school for witches and wizards where you learn different kinds of magic.
People that like magic, adventure, and mystery would really like Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Also if you like getting lost in your book then this would be a great book. The themes are friendship, evil and good, and magic. The reason one of the themes is friendship is because Harry, Ron and Hermione alway look out for each other. I like the Harry Potter series because you can imagine everything that happens in them, from the way Harry feels to what the Hogwart‘s castle looks like.
Reviewed by Halie B:
Hugo Cabret is a young, scrawny boy. He lives in the train station walls all by himself. The book takes place in Paris in the 1930s, so a pretty old place. His dad died in a fire and Hugo didn’t really know his mom. His uncle was supposed to take care of him, but he is always busy. His uncle is an unforgiving man. Hugo’s uncle, who takes care of the clocks, is reckless, and is supposed to take care of Hugo, but often leaves him for hours at a time. One day Hugo's uncle doesn’t come back and now it’s Hugo who has to take care of the clocks. Meanwhile, Hugo is gathering mechanical parts for his secret invention. Right acrost the main clock is a toy booth with an old man working there. This old man dislikes Hugo very much for good reason. Hugo steals old toy parts. But Hugo also has a good reason to do so since he has an important job to do and no money. In the end, Hugo learns to trust others and that he’s a great inventor.
My favorite thing about this book is how Hugo and the other characters grow and respond to each other. Hugo is a very creative, shy boy. He does not depend on a lot of things. For example, he lives all by himself and does not need someone to tell him everything is fine. He is very independent. But everyone needs a shoulder to lean on once in a while. When Hugo meets Isabel, a young kind soul, his life changes. As soon as Isabel was introduced I knew she would be important in this story. However, in the beginning, Isabel saw Hugo as just a thief. This book has some sad parts, but most of all, it has adventure and discovery and thievery. The pictures in this book are absolutely beautiful, all made by hand and pencil. The pictures are Very realistic. I would recommend this book to age groups from tweens to young adults.
Reviewed by Aliyah M:
Rules is about a 12 year old girl named Catherine and how she wants a normal life. But that is kind of impossible because her brother David has autism that makes him feel the need to follow or obey everything that someone tells him to or every rule they make up. Catherine makes up some rules for him to follow like “no toys in the fish tank”. The challenge she is facing is that it is up to her to make up rules for him to follow because her mom does not have time to.
I love Rules because the genre is realistic fiction so if you like to read realistic fiction then you will love Rules. This book is full of friendship and trying to do your best. Rules is a sad and happy book at the same time. The author Cynthia Lord did an amazing job explaining how Catherine feels in the position she is in. I feel that ages 9 and up will like this book.
Reviewed by Amelia L:
Sage and 3 other orphans are taken to a place called Farthenwood. They are taken to Farthenwood to compete for the spot of a prince named Jaron. Prince Jaron was thought to be killed, but might have escaped. All of them are around the age of 14, the age that prince Jaron would be if he were to be alive. If Sage doesn’t get chosen he’ll die. If he does get chosen then he’ll have to lie about his true identity for the rest of his life.
Every part of the book keeps you on the edge of your seat. The characters are constantly surprising. There is always something new to learn about them. The characters are not always who you think they are. Sage is easy to relate to with his courageous and competitive attitude. Sage always comes up with great comebacks and is very stubborn. Sage will not surrender even if it means that he gets killed. The False Prince is by Jennifer A. Nielsen, and is fantasy, but feels like realistic fiction. People who like books with war, like the battles in Percy Jackson will probably like The False Prince series. You would also like this book series if you like fantasy.
Reviewed by Asa K:
Junior is a boy who lives on the Spokane Indian Tribe Reservation with his best friend Rowdy. When Junior turns 14 he decides to move to a new school in a very racist town. His new school is called Reardon. At Reardon he meets a girl named Penelope and two boys named Gordon and Roger. Roger is a tall and strong boy, who at first does not like Junior. Roger starts to make fun of indians and for Junior that means he has to start a fight with him. “1. If somebody insults you, you have to fight them”. Juniors grandmother told him that next time someone insults him to just walk away Rowdy his old friend starts ignoring him and also being very rude to him just because he left. When he gets to school the next day Roger is really nice to him. Junior thinks to himself that the king has accepted me but not yet the queen (Penelope and Roger).
After a while Junior decides to join the basketball team. He thinks he will maybe get on the junior varsity team, but instead gets on the varsity team. After a while Penelope accepts him and even becomes his half girlfriend. But Penelope’s dad does not like that idea. At the end Rowdy becomes his friend again and is nice to him.
This book has some mature content. Sherman Alexie did a good job writing a book with a lot of learnable points and a very interesting plot. The writing is very smooth and easy to keep up with. One of the many themes that shows up a lot in the book is friendship. I think this because him having to leave Rowdy and losing so many relatives and friends is a big part in the book. I would also say acceptance is a theme because Junior has to be accepted into the school and into other’s lives. I think that someone who is having a hard time or feels left out could relate easily to this book. Sherman Alexie has very detailed settings so they are easy to imagine. People who enjoy learning about how some people live and how American Indians live in modern time.
Reviewed by Isabel T:
Twelve year old Sugar Mae Cole and her mother Reba Cole are the perfect family with their welcoming home in Missouri. But when they are forced to move to Chicago due to the bank, it feels to Sugar as if her whole world is falling apart. Reba has a humongous break-down and is put into the asylum and Sugar is sent into foster care with a dog named Shush. And Sugar is left with a humongous gap in her life, and her only way to fill it is to help others.
I think that Joan Bauer is a very interesting writer, because she makes you feel as you are actually in Sugar’s world, seeing every movement and smell, taste, sound. Also, you will connect with Sugar if you have been through tough times like these. All readers will be on the lookout for a helpful and cute dog like Shush. Joan Bauer is a Newberry award winning author and Almost Home is the best book that I have ever read because it has a great plot and storyline. Its genre is realistic fiction and I would recommend it to people in the tween area or teen area.
Reviewed by Kieran H-V:
Day and June are the main characters of Legend. Day is a street criminal, and June is a rich kid. There is a test that everyone takes when there 10 called the Trials. A perfect score is 1500. A special thing about June is that no one for a long time has gotten a 1500 on the Trials except for June. June’s brother gets murdered, and June joins the military. There are a lot of plagues going around too. Military soldiers check the sectors for plagues each week. If a person has the plague, the soldiers spray paint a big red “X” on the door of the house that the person who has the plague lives in. One day, June gets sent on a mission to track down Day, and Day finds June in a mob.
Legend is about how Day and June team up and try to save Day’s family and find out what the government is doing, because the government is evil. I like Legend because it has a lot of action, and it’s really interesting. I think that other people should read it because it has good characters to connect with, and it has really good themes, such as Evil versus Good, and Try Your Hardest. Legend is also cool because it shows 2 different character's perspectives: Day and June. That’s cool because if it’s hard to connect with one character, you can connect with the other character. People who are 10 or 11 would like this book, but it’s good for a lot of ages.
Reviewed by Triphena D:
Ever After High Evil Queen’s Diary is mostly about the letters the Evil Queen writes to her daughter Raven. It also has little activities in this book for you (the reader) to do. For example, if you were in Ever After High you would get to choose which kind of dragon you would like. Some themes of this amazing book are never give up, success and failure, family, and love. In this book Raven’s mom (the Evil Queen) is trying to convince her to be evil, but Raven never wants to be evil, so she chooses to not follow her destiny and try to be good.
What I love about this book is that Raven’s mom, the Evil Queen, is trying to convince Raven to be evil, but she’s making the right choice. Why I like that Raven doesn’t want to be evil is because she is empathetic and kind to others. But the most wonderful thing about this book is I could not put it down because I could connect with Raven and the activities were entertaining. If I could rate this book 1-10, I would choose 11 . The genre of this book is fantasy so fans of fairy tales and fantasy would love Ever After High Evil Queen’s Diary.
Reviewed by Rhett J:
Swiss Family Robinson is a story about a family of six who take a boat to Switzerland. On the way they run into a violent storm. The ship ran into a rock and they must swim to safety. They swim to an island filled with animals and trees with amazing height. Now they must find ways to survive on this island.
The way this book is written is a way that makes it easy to picture what is happening. Not only is this book easy to get lost in, but it’s a good book to get lost in because the entire book is filled with amazing events. One of the amazing events that happens in this book is when the boat crashes, they put the mules, goats, and cows in the water to swim to shore, when a shark comes and they have to kill it. The genre for Swiss Family Robinson is realistic fiction, and action and adventure. The themes of this book is survival and teamwork. I would recommend this book to people who like the genre action and adventure.
Reviewed by Izzy P:
Sixteen year old Mila was “ rescued “ from an island in Florida .She was raised by dolphins after a boat crash at age four . The scientists have good intentions for her .They teach Mila music and human language . Mila likes the human world but, she also misses the ocean world. Mila wishes to go back to the ocean world.
I liked the book because personally, I love dolphins. If you like dolphins or animals in general, then you will probably like this book. I would rate this book a ten out of ten. I think kids, teens, and adults would like this book. The author made the words start big, but as Mila learns more, the words get smaller. This is a very happy book overall. I think that I can relate to Mila because when I was seven, I moved all the way across the country and I didn't have a lot of friends, but then I met a girl and now we're best friends. It took a while to get to know her and that's how I relate with Mila because it took her a while to understand the human world.
Reviewed by Frankie D:
Warriors into the Wild, the first book in the Warriors series, The Prophecies Begin, is about a cat named Rusty who is a “twoleg pet,” a human pet. At the beginning of the book, Rusty meets a clan of feral cats called Thunderclan and has to make a big decision to join or not to join. He decides to join and is renamed by the Thunderclan leader. His new name is Firepaw, which is his apprentice name. Near the middle of the book, he meets two friends and goes on a couple of adventures. One warrior in the clan has a big secret that Firepaw’s friend, Ravenpaw, finds out about. Firepaw figures out that he has to help Ravenpaw in a big way.
If you like the Warriors series there are four other series of books that are all about the warrior’s clans. The series are called: The New Prophecy, Power of Three, Omen Stars, and Dawn of the Clans. I enjoyed how the author would write “he purred” or “he meowed” instead of saying “he said” because the book is about cats, not people. The book’s genre is fantasy and adventure. Lots of emotions run through the book from happiness and excitement to sadness. Warriors is by Erin Hunter and I would recommend this book and the series to people who like cats or other animals, or adventure, or all three of them.