Sep-27-2014

Under the Cover Review: Horde

downloadHorde
by Ann Aguirre
Reviewed by Mateo H.
Chute Middle School, 6th Grade

Horde, written by Ann Aguirre, is the third book in the Razorland series. Horde is a Science Fiction book which takes place in a Post-Apocalyptic Earth. One of the main characters is Deuce, who is caring and determined. “I said. ‘But I have to get closer. If there’s anything I can do to save my family-’ ‘There’s not’ Morgan snapped. (Pg. 28)” Deuce was caring for her family and was determined to go and save them and other survivors from the Freak attack. A conflict in the book is that not many people are volunteering to help Deuce defeat a giant group of Freaks/Muties.

One of my favorite parts at the beginning of the book is on page 13. “I swiveled beneath the slashing claws, then I pulled the knives side ways with all my strength. That was a kill shot.” The author shows that Deuce is proud of her kill, and that she is fierce and won’t hesitate to kill someone who stands in her way.

I recommend this book and series to kids or people over 4th grade. There is too much gore in this book for younger kids. I hadn’t read the first two books (I have now) before this one, but I still understood perfectly. The author makes it pretty clear what the conflict is, what is happening, and who everyone is.

Mateo

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Sep-26-2014

Under the Cover Review: Five Kingdoms, Sky Radiers

5-KingdomsFive Kingdoms: Sky Radiers
by Brandon Mull
Reviewed by Nicholas J.
Chute Middle School, 6th Grade

Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull is an excellent fantasy novel. This book takes place in a quiet town on Halloween in present time. Cole, the main character, goes to a haunted house with his friends. As he walks in the house, it does not seem to be a very scary haunted house, until the man says the real excitement is downstairs. They follow him down ready for the thrill. When they go down the stairs the door locks. They go down and get attacked by animals from a different world. The people force them down into a sewer, but Cole was hiding under a cloth. Will he follow to them to find and help his friends, Jenna and Dalton? Or will he stay and run for help? Cole is very intelligent as stated on page 23, “But he had to be smart. If he emerged now, he would get caught. Once they were gone, he could probably climb the stairs, break the door, and go to police.” This proves that Cole was smart, because he knew the right time to come out, not too soon, not too late. Also, he was thinking towards the future and trying to know what to do when he was out of hiding.

My favorite passage in the book is on page 55, “Staring down at the floorboards of the cage, Cole noticed where somebody had carved a happy face into the wood. It had been scratched into the wood. The face struck him as odd. ‘Who would draw a smiley face while riding a slave wagon?’ he muttered. ‘Somebody who wanted company,’ the happy face answered in a friendly voice.” This is a passage that I found exciting because it struck me as strange and pushed me to read more.
I would recommend this book for 5th to 6th graders, because it has action, but it is hard to comprehend if you are too young. Also, it is a longer book.

Nicholas

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Sep-25-2014

Under the Cover Review: The Falconer

The-FalconerThe Falconer
by Elizabeth May
Reviewed by Jessica R.
Chute Middle School, 6th Grade
The fantasy book, The Falconer by Elizabeth May, was one of the most exciting and fast-paced books I have read this year. The book is about eighteen year-old Aleina, who lives in Edinburgh Scotland in 1844. Aliena is a very strong and secretive girl. An underground seal threatens to break. If it breaks, deadly faeries (monsters) will enter the human world, and only a falconer can reopen the seal.  Being one of the only falconers left, Aileana has to activate the seal, but she will have to fight the deadly monsters first. Even though Aileana is an expert fighter, because she leaves almost every night to kill the faeries and train with her friend Kiaran, she knows these monsters are deadly, and she could likely die in the process.

My favorite part of the book is in the end of the book during the battle with the faeries, because it shows the way Aileana feels every time she battles somebody.

I recommend this book to anybody who liked the Hunger games or Divergent. Even though both of those books were science fiction, and this is fantasy, I found many similarities in the main characters. They are all very strong, powerful, and brave. This book was probably one of the best books I have read, and I wouldn’t change anything about it because I never wanted to put the book down once I started it.

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Jul-10-2014

Maker Master Challenge: Adam

DSC01066Congratulations to Adam, our second Maker Master! He joins Jac as the second kid to complete our Maker Master Challenge, a cool program for children in grades 4 to 8 to try new technology and share their creations.

Adam worked hard to complete challenges in seven different fields, including music, design and computer programming, and earned a badge for each step.  Becoming a Maker Master is not an easy task, and Adam stated that “creativity along with a competitive drive to create the best projects” allowed him to thrive as a Maker.

Adam’s projects exemplify what the Maker Master Challenge is all about. For his “director” badge, Adam worked with other makers to film a green screen movie of a fictional plane crash.spongeb Adam told us that his favorite project was the one he created for the photography badge, a picture he took and then edited by changing its color.

Now that Adam has finally become a Maker Master, he encourages all other kids to complete the challenge.  His tip: “Join the different digital craft time programs in the library if you need help creating.”  The Maker Master Challenge will run through the end of August and culminate in a prize raffle for all participants. Start your challenge today by signing up in the Youth Computer Lab.

Posted by Kenny | Posted under Arts & Crafts, Kids Tech, Youth, Youth Digital Media Lab
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Jun-27-2014

Under the Cover Review: Tandem

Tandem1Tandem
by Anna Jarzab
Reviewed by Jane B.
Lincoln Junior High School, 7th Grade

The book, Tandem, by Anna Jarzab is a wonderful science fiction book based on the idea of parallel universes. A parallel universe is a whole universe just like ours, except there can be no interactions between them. Just like parallel lines, none of the universes ever meet. The book is about a girl named Sasha who is forced to live in the parallel universe away from Earth, in a planet called Aurora, for a while to fill in for her analog Juliana, who has mysteriously vanished. An analog is a copy of anyone who looks exactly the same as that person, but lives in another universe. Sasha has to fool everyone that she is Princess Juliana while having to deal with an arranged marriage, or else having to never get the chance to see her friends and family again. Read the book to find out about how Sasha is going to get out of this situation. I loved this book because it realistically depicts what it would be like to visit a parallel universe, and seeing what is similar, and what is different between them. Anyone that enjoys reading action-packed books with an astonishing story-line should read this book.

The the three reasons I enjoyed reading this book was that it had an interesting plot, constant activity throughout the whole book, and anyone who reads this book wants to know what happens next. The plot was well thought out, and pulled the reader in. There was a lot of action from the beginning to the end of the book. There was always something exciting that was happening, and no one could guess what happens next. Once anyone reads this book, they wonder what Sasha is going to do next as new problems pop up for her to solve. In general, that is why I highly recommend any high-schoolers to try this book!

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Jun-26-2014

Under the Cover Review: ALL OUR YESTERDAYS

book1All Our Yesterdays
by Cristin Terrill
Reviewed by Imaan A.
Lincoln Junior High School, 7th Grade

All Our Yesterdays is about three kids Finn, Mariana, and James who hang out. James brother died because of two kids from the future, Em (which is Mariana in the present) and Finn (who is Finn in the present), and they are trying to kill James. So James and his friends go on a journey to Connecticut and back, only to find that Nate has passed away. James is building a time machine to bring back his parents and now his brother, but that machine can ruin earth. His friends go to Connecticut to hide and to find some clues.  There, they found emails that are about James and his friends meeting their future selves and trying to explain to James what can happen if he used his machine and how it will effect people around the world.  James wouldn’t listen. A man that is in security showed a picture of his brothers killer, but little did he know that the man was himself from the future trying to kill his brother over and over again because he was a problem and James brother was worried about him. But as James friend, Mariana, woke up, she was dreaming all theses things and they never happened and woke up and remembered she had to go to breakfast with James, her crush.

This book was an amazing book to read, and I recommend every one to read it. The book was a page turner, and you kind of felt like you were there seeing it happen. It was hands down one of my favorite books, and I recommend it to everyone to read onetime because i think it is one great story if you like suspense/mystery/action kinds of books and kind of a love story. This book is great. I hope you like the book if you read it as much as I liked the book!!

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Jun-24-2014

Under the Cover Review: Wyrmeweald

th1Wyrmeweald
by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Reviewed by Leland M.
Lincoln Junior High School, 7th Grade

Have you ever imagined a world with dragons? Wyrmeweald is place where dragons live on Earth, but it is a threatening place for humans. Still, humans risk their lives to get rich by getting a Wyrme egg. They call themselves Wyrmekeith, and only a few of them came back from there. This story is about a teennager named Micah who went to Wyrmeweald unprotected to get a Wyrme egg to get rich and to win a girl he loves named Seraphita. However, a black cloud came over to his head as he walked in to the Wyrmeweald, and he was in danger quickly. He needed water badly, and he was really close to death, injured, and unconscious. Suddenly, when he was almost dead, a man helped him. He woke up and saw the man. He was in shock and pushed back, but the man calmly said, “No need to be scared, I will save you.” Micah thanked him, and he got water and drank it. The man walked to him and asked his name. Micah answered and asked his name, which was Eli. Micah quickly found out he is a tracker. Suddenly, pain came on unexpectedly, and blood came out of Micah’s injury like an army. Eli told Micah that he would take him to a woman called Jura who knows how to heal injuries. They moved on and got to Jura. When she saw Eli, she welcomed him, but when she saw Micah, she kept saying Wyrmekeith with a rude tone, but she still healed him. Micah quickly discovered that Jura is a Wyrne rider assassin who hates Wyrmekeith. She had a bad experience with them, and she thinks they are bloodthirsty people. However, Eli kept protecting Micah by saying he is not a Wyrmekeith. Eli and Micah became friends, and Eli told Micah if he doesn’t go with him on his journey, he is a Wyrmekeith. Micah was forced to follow him because he saved him, and he accepted, and they started their journey the next day. They went through tons of unexpected dangers, and on the way, they found a woman who was a Wyrme rider assassin called Thrace. They found out that bandits were going to steal an extremely rare Wyrme egg. Together, Micah, Eli, and Thrace went to fight back the evil bandits and protect the rare Wyrme egg, allowing it to hatch in its home. It was a sweet victory!

I looked at the books and found this one, and then I held it and read the summary of this book. I saw the word “dragon,” and I really like dragons, and I also like that it is a fantasy. I thought the book would be phenomenal, and it was after I finished reading the whole book. The plot was terrific, and the book used good words. Also, the way that the author wrote it made it better and better. I think the best part of it are the friendships and the fighting scenes because the author describes them with lots of emotions and action which made me excited. Then I checked the book on the internet and found out it is a series book. I told myself I am going read all of them. This book, I think, is good for people who are 6 grade or up because it had hard words and complex sentences. So now go buy it or borrow it, and sit down and read! I hope you, too, will have wonderful feelings reading this book. In the end, I hope Stewart and Riddell will continue making the series and make more books like this one!

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Jun-23-2014

Under the Cover Review: The Heartbreak Messenger

indexThe Heartbreak Messenger
by Alexander Vance
Reviewed by Raemari O.
Lincoln Junior High School, 7th Grade

The Heartbreak Messenger is about a young boy, named Quentin, who finds out that his mother is having financial problems and that if they don’t pay their bills on time, they may not live in their home ever again. Quentin is around the age 14/15 years old, he’s in 7th grade and has his two best friends who he couldn’t live without, Abby and Rob. Almost everyday after school they would go to the park and sit at a picnic table and help each other with their homework; Abby good at math and science, Quentin good at language arts and history, while Rob was there for moral support. Now, to get to the part of what and who is this “heartbreak messenger”. As I told you, Quentin wanted to help out with the bills so he wouldn’t live on the street like a hobo. It all started when Rob’s older brother Marcus needed help breaking up with his now ex-girlfriend Melissa, he asked his brother and him if anyone would do it, before they said ‘no’ but, when Marcus brought up giving him money he offered because he doesn’t want to be homeless without his electronics and everything that he loves and needs. That’s how Quentin became the heartbreak messenger hence the title The Heartbreak Messenger.

When I first read this book, it was quite dull and boring in the beginning but, as I soon got to the conflict, I couldn’t stop reading, usually when I finished my assignments I would read my book and think about what may or may not happen next. As I got to the end, I was happy because of the outcome. This book is good for middle schoolers because this is a middle school kind of ‘romance’ book and teaches a great message between the seriousness of life and relationships. I suggest The Heartbreak Messenger to people who love serious, kind of romantic, emotional, but still fun books. I mostly recommend this book to middle schoolers because it mostly may relate to them or to people who have been in middle school and can maybe relate to the plot. If you do have a chance to read this book, I hope you enjoy it as I did and I also hope you can relate to this book like I kind of did. :)

hai

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Jun-22-2014

Under the Cover Review: TESLA’S ATTIC

17197651Tesla’s Attic
by Neal Shusterman, Eric Elfman
Reviewed by Parth G.
Lincoln Junior High School, 7th Grade

Tesla’s Attic is a book that has lots of excitement and a unique climax. In the book, the story starts by introducing a boy whose name is Nick. He is 14 years old, and his house is burned down. He lost his mom. His father tried to save her, but he couldn’t do it. It was too hot and the house was already half burnt. After the fire, they had to move to an old Victorian house. In the new house, Nick goes to the attic and finds out that the attic used to be Tesla’s. When Nick goes in the attic, a toaster falls on him, and Nick gets hurt. Also, he starts to have a very weird experience with the old junk in the attic. At last in the story, Nick meets Tesla. He has a device and makes a decision which changes fate and then the machine blows up. Read the book to find out what else happens! My opinion about the book Tesla’s Attic is that it is exciting and sad. It’s like comedy and myth at the same time. The characters in the story are also really exciting. These are all the reasons why I think is this book is really amazing.

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Jun-21-2014

Under the Cover Review: Who Stole New Year’s Eve?

131021_who_stole_new_years_eve_websiteWho Stole New Year’s Eve?
by Martha Freeman
Reviewed by Qizra S.
Lincoln Junior High School, 7th Grade

Books can be really exciting, if the author adds a lot of action into the scene. Many readers prefer to have a book that they can cuddle up with in their snugly bed. But, the problem is that books like these can be really hard to find. Here’s one suggestion recommended by teachers. Martha Freeman wrote a very interesting book called Who Stole New Year’s Eve? In this book, Freeman includes a suspenseful plot, accomplished characters, and an outstanding moral.

Primarily, the author of Who Stole New Year’s Eve? included a suspenseful plot. Martha Freeman keeps the reader thinking at the end of each chapter. She also includes the main point of the whole book in the beginning and summarize the entire book in a couple of sentences at the end. Therefore, Martha Freeman also encourages the reader to keep reading throughout the dialogue. Who Stole New Year’s Eve? has the same plot as many similar books such as, Who Stole Christmas Eve? and The Three Little Pigs. Freeman combined an excellent plot together to make a fantastic book.

Furthermore, the adept characters spiced up the whole book. The youngsters think themselves detectives trying to solve a mystery only the police could have done. Although the children solved other enigmas, they had no experience on theft. A new neighbor’s ice sculpture goes missing, and the police accompanying the young detectives tried to solve the complicated problem. They go around downtown trying to find clues from the fairgrounds where the carnival took place a few days before. Freeman included another obstacle to the story. Now, both groups have to find a solution to both dilemmas. The other dispute was to try and get people to attend the costume parade as a fundraiser. The skilled characters gave us a great boost to keep on reading the never stopping book.

Decisively, Who Stole New Year’s Eve? has a fantastic moral for reader to follow at the end. The details provided in the story are connected to the moral. When the characters faced the difficult problems they showed the feelings of a moral. Therefore, if you are starting to feel exhausted looking for the main point, just read. That will help. It always does. It is the way authors get readers to read the book from page one to the very end. By conjugating the righteous deed in a talking form. That way, when readers want to skip ahead and hunt down the moral they wont find it even when they look really hard. It is just that readers have to understand the writing piece in order to understand anything else that is related to the subject. Who Stole New Year’s Eve? is prominent because the author, Martha Freeman has a quoted moral inside the dialogue.

In conclusion, Martha Freeman has an excellent book combined together with an excelling plot line, prodigious characters, and a memorable moral. Freeman included the plot line because she was a thoughtful writer and wanted her readers to feel or visualize the huge twist at the end of every chapter. The characters indicated the mini game pieces in the story because any decisions can impact on them badly, or greatly. At the end, the knots were untied after everything began as a blur, and everything was back to normal. That is one of the morals she (author) wanted her readers to understand, which is that anything can be done if everyone helps. The main mystery was solved, but there is yet still another mystery to solve.

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