May-10-2015

Under the Cover Review: Nest

nestNest
by Esther Ehrlich
Reviewed by Mahnoor H.
Lincoln Junior High School, 8th Grade

Home. By definition, it means “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” But what does home mean to you? For 11-year-old Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein, home is like a cozy nest where she can do whatever she pleases, along with her older sister Rachel, her psychiatrist father, and her dancer mother. Chirp loves watching birds along with her friend Joey, the mysterious boy who lives just down the road in the beautiful town of Cape Cod. Together, they want to make a whole new world just for them, so they come up with a flawless plan: to escape, explore, and discover. However, in an imperfect world, there can be no such thing.

When Chirp’s mother develops symptoms for what could potentially be a deadly and serious disease, Chirp and her family struggle with drastic changes. Chirp no longer feels what she used to before, and she wishes to be like the wild birds who can simply fly away from their fears, their problems, and their struggles. Nest is a beautifully written novel with every element a story could possibly contain, from suspense to drama to romance. Follow Chirp as she experiences life-changing events and how she overcomes them with the power of friendship and love.

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May-9-2015

Under the Cover Review: Uncaged

uncagedUncaged
by John Sandford & Michele Cook
Reviewed by Mahnoor H.
Lincoln Junior High School, 8th Grade

What would you do if you were stuck in Hollywood with only $58 and a handmade knife and with only one mission in mind…to find your brother before he does? Odin Remby, a brilliant hacker but a bit of a psycho, hit a research lab named Singular Corporations, which is in Eugene, Oregon. Unaware of what might lay in the mysterious lab, he brought along a group of radical animal rights activists to be his backup. They tried to free the mutilated animals that Singular would use for sick experiments, but they failed and only came out with a few highly encrypted flash drives and an ill dog. When Shay, Odin’s sister, gets a frantic call from her brother at 3 AM about a ruthless corporation and evidence from the unspeakable experiments that he must hide, she becomes extremely worried. Even worse, when Shay is visited by Singular’s menacing security team, she knows that her brother is a goner. Little does Singular know, 16-year-old Shay is every bit as merciless as Odin and will do everything in her power to save her brother– even if it means she has to destroy everything in her path.

Uncaged is a thrilling novel filled with excitement with every flip of a page. So join John Stanford and Michele Cook as they guide you through a novel that will surely be remembered.

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May-8-2015

Under the Cover Review: In Real life

irlIn Real life
by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang
Reviewed by Mahnoor H.
Lincoln Junior High School, 8th Grade

Anda is like any other teenager and has a knack for gaming. The online world, after all, is a vast and endless void filled with opportunities and new experiences. When Anda finds out about a game called Coarsegold, a multiplayer game, she decides to spend all of her free time building up her character and exploring new features. It’s a place where she can meet brand new people from all over the world and interact with others with similar interests as well. But when Anda meets a gold farmer whose avatar in the game illegally collects gold and other valuables, Anda struggles with moral perspectives, and her views of right or wrong. Should she report a person whose actual livelihood depends on a game, just for her to morally feel “right”?

In Real Life is a beautifully written graphic novel that truly reveals the limitless expanse of games and memories that can be created online. It shows the potential struggles that gamers face since behind every screen is a different personality, a wide range of people from young to old. It is almost impossible to tell from the game what a person could be going through. This is shown in the book when Anda finds out that gold farmer is a poor kid from China who works for money by playing games. In Real Life’s drawings are well drawn, and portray the book in a whole new way, since pictures are worth a thousand words. Although many say the book is a bit fast paced, in the long run, In Real Life is a must read. From how the authors build up the characters’ personalities to how the plotline is set up in an easy to read way, Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang have truly accomplished a masterpiece!

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May-7-2015

Under the Cover Review: Alstair Grim’s Odditorium

alistair-grims-odditoriumAlstair Grim’s Odditorium
by Gregory Funaro
Reviewed by Mansi P.
Lincoln Junior High School, 7th Grade

Alistair Grim’s Odditorium starts out as a flashback. The main character, Grubb, is a baby at this time and is at the doorstep of a nice house. The people took the child in and named him Grubb. Their names were Mr. and Mrs. Smears. Mrs. Smears used to tell stories to Grubb when he was little and was very nice to him. Mr. Grubb was also nice to him, but something tragic happened when Grubb was six or thereabouts. Mrs. Smears got very sick and soon died.

After that day, Mr. Smears started to act very cruel to Grubb. He began treating Grubb like his own servant. Grubb would have to climb the chimneys in his father’s friend’s bar. Usually, even if Grubb did a good job with his work, it was still not good enough for his father. If Grubb didn’t clean the chimneys correctly, Mr. Smears would put Grubb in the warehouse without any food.

Then, one moment changed Grubb’s whole life. Grubb was around 12 years old now. One day, Grubb was over at the bar and almost finished cleaning a chimney, when the bar owner’s twin sons entered the room. He fell out of the chimney and saw them there. They started to tease him. Since Grubb had amazing running and dodging skills, Grubb had thought out a way to escape these twins. He sprinted into the forest, saw a wagon, and went inside and fell fast asleep.

When he woke up, he was still in the trunk. He heard voices. Then, an old lady came over with a broomstick and thought that he was a spider. The lady’s name was Mrs. Pinch. She swatted Grubb with her broomstick. Later on, she found her glasses and was surprised that it was a boy. Grubb gave an overview of himself, and Mrs. Pinch gave an overview of Mr. Grim. He learned that the building was called the Odditorium. Mr. Grim was the head of the Odditorium. He also met a talking watch that is powered by blue light. His life continues on from there. Grubb faces many obstacles and hardships along the way and had many surprises that were unthinkable.

This book is very magical. There are many terms that are in this book that are not used in the real world today. The book also incorporates dialect. It is very easy to understand and has very powerful emotions. The past has been organized into this book wonderfully. I do not want to ruin the ending so you have to read this book to find out the powerful secrets that help Grubb carry on with his life. All in all, I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 and would definitely recommend this book!

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Apr-18-2015

Under the Cover Review: Kinda like Brothers

home-11Kinda like Brothers
by Coe Booth
Reviewed by Aisha A.
Lincoln Junior High School, 7th Grade

Kinda Like Brothers is an book about a boy named Jarrett and a foster kid named Kevin. Jarrett’s mom is a foster mother, and she take cares of different kids. One day she brings in Kevin and his little sister to take care of. Jarrett doesn’t like Kevin, and they have some problems living together. After living together for a while, do you think that they can be friends or will they still be enemies?

I would recommend this book to ages 13 and up because there are some inappropriate words in this book. Overall, this book is really good and interesting it makes you want to keep reading. People who like exciting and engaging books should read this book.

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Apr-17-2015

Under the Cover Review: Rooftoppers

homeRooftoppers
by Katherin Rundel
Reviewed by Aisha Ali
Lincoln Junior High School, 7th Grade

Rooftoppers is a adventurous book about a girl named Sophie and her guardian, Charles. Charles rescues Sophie from a shipwreck and takes her home. Sophie grows up living with Charles. People think that she is an orphan,but she believes that her mother did not die in the shipwreck, because she thinks that she saw her mother’s hand waving for help. A child services organization threatens to take Sophie to an orphanage. Then Charles and Sophie set of an adventure to Paris to find her mother to prove that she is not an orphan.

I recommend this book to all ages, because this is an interesting book. If you are a person who loves adventures, then this is the book for you. Characters travel to many different cities around the world, and they have fun doing it. They find new challenges through their journeys. Fantasy fans would also enjoy this book.

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Apr-16-2015

Under the Cover Review: The Vault Of Dreamers

9781596439382_p0_v1_s260x420The Vault Of Dreamers
by Caragh M. O’Brien
Reviewed by Leland M.
Lincoln Junior High School, 8th Grade

How would you like to go to a drama school that films everything you do with your classmates and get posted on a famous, popular television show? If this sounds exciting to you, then attending The Forge School is the choice to make! A teenage girl named Rosie Sinclair, who has a dream to become a filmmaker, studies at The Forge School. Everyday she has to face drama that will be shown on a popular show called The Forge Show. At this school, every night, students must take a sleeping pill in order to go to bed, and students must sign a contract saying they agree to always follow these orders.

However, one night, Rosie skips her sleeping pill and finds out the principal, Dean Burg, is up to no good! She overhears the school’s staff and the principal saying something about mining dreams and she even sees them doing surgery on a boy’s head! This makes her very scared, but she does manage to film it, but somehow her film was erased next morning. The rest of the book is filled with nonstop surprises and lots of plot twists and turns. It ends in a very exciting point, and the story will be continued in book two of the series.

I’m really eager to read the next book and disappointed that it’s not yet out. This is a terrific book that made me think about my dreams. It combines fiction and romance while making the reader want to read more; at least, that’s what happened to me. I think this book would be awesome for teens ages 12 to 18. All in all, it’s an awesome book definitely worth reading it!

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Apr-4-2015

Under the Cover Review: Saving Kabul Corner

saving-kabul-cornerSaving Kabul Corner
by N. H. Senzai
Reviewed by Gabriela A.
Lincoln Junior High School, 6th Grade

In the beginning of the story, Ariana– a 12 year old girl– just moved from Afghanistan to California. Her cousin Laila also just came, but she knows how to cook sew and sing. Ariana is jealous of her, and things get even worse when her cousin has to move into her cramped bedroom. And even worse, she is stealing Ariana’s best friend Mariam. Things get stressful when another afghan grocery store opens near her family’s store. All of a sudden, a rumor goes around saying that Ariana’s family store sells horse meat.  You will have to read the book to find out who did it.

In my opinion, I would give it an eight out of ten, but anybody could have a different opinion about the book.

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Apr-3-2015

Under the Cover Review: Fault Line

fault line coverFault Line
by C.Desir
Reviewed by Raemari O.
Lincoln Junior High School, 8th Grade
Fault Line starts out as an average love story, the boy and girl meet, hang out, get to know each other, and all that stuff. Ben and Ani’s relationship ignites fast; each chapter leaves off like a cliffhanger, that you just want to know more and more.

Ben and Ani may seem to be like any average 2 people you may meet, but it’s much more. The book Fault Line is much more. It seems to be about the boy who could date anyone but only has eyes for the new girl ( cliche right? ). Then, it even gets more cliche; Ani likes him back ( shocker ). Ani’s the new girl, and all the guys want her, but she chooses Ben. Ben is everything that Ani could ever imagine in a boyfriend just as Ani is everything that Ben wants and could ever imagine in a girlfriend.

Then, everything changes, and I mean EVERYTHING. This all happens after just one party, the one Ben misses, and Ani goes to alone. Now, Ani goes through life as a completely different girl. She went in the same and came out a total stranger. Ben’s confused, angry, and fragile. He can’t sort out the truth from the lies. What really happened at that party? Who’s fault is it? Who’s to blame? Ben just wants to help, but Ani isolates herself and pushes everyone away. Ben would do anything to be her superhero, but is it worth the risk?

If you like realistic fiction, you will definitely want to read this. If this book was a movie, I would say it may be rated either PG-13 or R due to some of the subject matter. I hope you enjoy, the book if you decide to read it. I guarantee you, it’s worth reading it! : )

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Apr-2-2015

Under the Cover Review: Brother, Brother

brother-brotherBrother, Brother
by Clay Carmichael
Reviewed by Anna A.
Lincoln Junior High School, 7th Grade

Brother Grace is a seventeen year old orphan who is on a search to find out who he really is. He gets the chance to do this when his charming and enthusiastic grandmother, Mem, dies. He discovers he has a twin brother, who is the son of a powerful and controlling senator named Gideon Grayson, also called “God” by his children. Brother also finds out that his friend Cole disappeared, leaving him with the responsibility of Cole’s younger brother, Jack. Determined to find out the truth, he embarks on a journey with Jack, his dog Trooper, and the ashes of his grandfather and grandmother. On his way, he meets a girl named Kit. She helps him throughout this intriguing and shocking journey. Does Brother find all the answers to his questions? Will he ever find the reason for his separation from his twin? To find out, read Brother, Brother.

In my opinion, Brother, Brother was a very interesting and thought-provoking book. I could not stop reading it! I wanted to find the answers to Brother’s questions and help him throughout this tragic and shocking time. It made me realize how evil and corrupt people can become just to get what they want. Overall, I believe that Clay Carmichael did an amazing job writing this book. The heartbreaking tale of a boy who knows nothing of his past or his family immediately pulls you in. You can step into Brother’s shoes and witness this whole new life style. This book is for anyone who loves realistic fiction.  People in seventh grade and up should definitely read this great book.

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