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Welcome to the book blog, featuring reviews for teens from InfoSoup librarians and users!

Fiction

Another great series

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Author: Anthony Horowitz

This book was about a boy named Alex Rider. He lived with his uncle, Ian. The book starts with Alex finding out that his uncle has been killed. He was told he was killed in a car accident and that he wasn't wearing his seat belt. Alex didn't believe it because his uncle always wore his seat belt. He did a little investigating and found the car. It had bullet holes all over it. Alex knew that his uncle was murdered.

He was taken away by the people that his uncle worked with. Alex thought his uncle worked at a bank. It turns out Ian was actually a spy. Those people wanted Alex to try to finish the job that his uncle started. He was trained already in martial arts, but they trained him in other areas, too. They modified a gameboy into an x-ray machine, some zit cream that dissolved metal, and a special cell phone that scanned photos. All these gadgets were supposed to help Alex find out what this computer guy, Mr. Sayle was up to. He was going to give a computer to each kid in school. They were all going to go "live" at the exact same time.

After some more investigating, Alex found out that the computers were set up to release the small pox virus. Will Alex be able to stop this in time? The story continues in the next book. I thought this book was very good. It kept moving quickly and there was a lot of suspense. I would recommend the book to anyone who likes mystery and action.

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Title: Found
Author: Harlan Coben

This is the third book of this series which started with “Shelter”. The second book was “Seconds Away”. The main character of this series is Mickey Bolitar. He is a high school sophomore dealing with regular teenage problems at school and in sports. Ema and Spoon help him with solving mysteries. At the end of “Seconds Away” we are still left with questions about Mickey’s father. Is he dead or alive?

Besides this mystery, Ema asks Mickey for help finding her online boyfriend after he disappears. Mickey didn’t even know she had a boyfriend. Spoon is still in the hospital. He was shot saving all of their lives in “Seconds Away”. Mickey felt a lot of guilt for Spoon being in the hospital. They don’t know if Spoon will ever walk again. While all of this is going on, there is a drug scandal at school when the school’s basketball star, Troy, tests positive for steroids. He asks Mickey for his help to prove he is innocent. As that story unfolds, we find out that Troy actually did use steroids, but he tried to frame Mickey to make him look guilty. Luckily, it didn’t work.

The “Bat Lady” makes a reappearance in this book. She was the first one to tell Mickey that his father was still alive. He thought she was just a crazy, old lady. But, it turns out she knew what she was saying. In fact, Mickey and his uncle go to her house. She is not there, but after a search they find a sealed, secret room. After a lot of effort, Mickey was able to get the door open with an axe. He found his father inside this room. Brad Bolitar was locked in the room for eight months since his accident. Mickey’s mother was in rehab. She fell apart after she lost Mickey’s dad. The very last part of the book brings the family all back together. There are still questions to answer, such as who put Brad in that sealed room and why? It was pretty obvious it couldn’t have been the “Bat Lady”. Hopefully there will be a fourth book to reveal more of the story.

This was a great book. I think the mystery about Mickey's father is very interesting and kept me reading.  I really liked this whole series.

It is another one I ready with my son, Eric. 

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Author: Jake Maddox

This is an awesome book about a girl named Gina. She moved to a new school and is super excited about joining the soccer  team. The other girls on her team can't wait to win a game together, but Gina wants to impress the coach. When the game comes around, Gina is all set to win. So she does all she can; by herself!!! The girls are very disappointed in her, and her team loses the game. She doesn't know what happened! She did everything right! But she didn't. She forgot the key ingredient to winning a soccer game. When Gina realizes what went wrong, she is worried that her friends won't forgive her. She is determined to set things right. What was it that Gina forgot? Will her team forgive her? There's only one way to find out. Read this awesome and exciting book!!!

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Author: Jake Maddox

This is a wonderful book about a high-spirited girl named Jo. She loves softball and would love to make it on a winning team this year, a team like the Red Angels. When Jo finds out that she is on a different team, she is very disappointed. However, over the weeks of practice, she grows to love her team. So when she gets a surprising invitation, she has a hard decision to make. Later on, Jo finds out an interesting secret about the Red Angels and gets a shock! Will Jo choose a winning team with a secret, or a team that she's grown to love? Read this exciting and encouraging book to find out!!!

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Author: Jerry Spinelli

I listened to this book on Playaway, fun, fun.

The title comes from a change to the Robert Frost line "Miles to go before I sleep", being "Smiles to go before I weep".

Jerry Spinelli never fails to tell a good story. Will Tuppence is the protagonist in this book. He has two close friends, Mi-Su and B.T. but things get awkward when both B.T. and Will are interested in having Mi-Su as a girlfriend. The other tension in the book is Will's little sister Tabby who is so darn annoying to him. Will is interested in the cosmos and atoms and science. He also likes chess. Ultimately,he is a typical teenager trying to figure it all out. This is a good "slice of life" book.

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Author: Andreas Portes

Anika is a young girl trying to make sense of the world. Her father lives in Romania and she lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her mother, stepdad and assorted siblings. Anika is the youngest.

Anika is trying to figure out the interrelationships at work and when to be courageous. She is trying to figure out interrelationships at school and when to be courageous. She is trying to figure out interrelationships at home and when to be courageous.

Two boys are vying for Anika's attention. One is named Logan who is a deeply poetic and artistic person. Unfortunately, his home life is violent. Logan is not considered a "cool" kid so Anika is very secretive about her relationship with him. Jared is a very cool kid and when he singles Anika out, it is astonishing to everyone. He respects Anika's independence but what is his real motive with her? Anika is trying to choose but her choice is made for her in an unexpected and sad way. The book is great in the way the plot takes off.

Becky is everyone's cruel nemesis and a strong bully at school. She is also deemed one of the "cool kids" so everyone feels uncomfortable crossing her. In the fabulous climax of the book, Anika finally tells Becky what everyone has been thinking. Much like when the witch in The Wizard of Oz has cold water thrown on her, Becky finally fades to nothing when the truth is told.

Written in first person, you see all through Anika's eyes. I really liked her relationship with her mom. She also has a lovely scene toward the end of the book with her stepdad.

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Author: Aline Sax

This is a sobering story of WWII Warsaw. Misha’s family has been relocated to the ghetto where Jews die daily from starvation and disease. He goes to extreme lengths to help provide for his family, even resorting to crawling through the sewers to get to the outside world to retrieve food. Eventually, the ghetto is emptied out as many Jews are relocated to concentration camps. Fear and anger are prominent emotions for Misha—and despite struggling to survive--he takes a stand in the Warsaw Uprising. Told through text and blue-and-white illustrations, this hybrid novel is a gut-wrenching, poignant tale of survival amidst oppression.

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Author: Laura Schaefer

  This book was wonderful. I mean if you like tea and friendship, because that's pretty much what this book is all about. You have Annie, who's only thirteen, but has decided to finally ask for a job at her grandmother's teashop, The Steeping Leaf, a place that she has always loved. The only thing is that The Steeping Leaf has a steeping pile of bills to pay and no money in which to pay them with. Annie takes it upon herself to keep The Steeping Leaf open along with her two friends, Genna and Zoe, they come up with some great plans, but in the end can the Teashop Girls keep the shop from closing? Read the book to find out. 

  One of my most favorite things about this book is that it has history and facts mixed into it, as well as beauty tips and yummy sounding recipes, almost all of which are relating to tea. I also love that the book focuses not only on tea, but also on how important friendship can be. Annie and her two bestfriends really make you want to just drop what you're doing at 4'o'clock in the afternoon and have teatime with a couple of cucumber sandwiches and some tasty tea. Another thing that really made me happy is that Laura Schaefer is a Wisconsin author, which I didn't even know when I picked up the book at the library. She lives right in Madison and loves English Breakfast tea just like her character Annie.. All in all, I gave this book 5/5 stars, because, in my opinion, it was perfectly balanced; just the right amount of fun and seriousness.

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Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell

This is a heart waming comming of age story.

The main charecter, Cath, is a fanfiction loving introvert. Cath and her twin sister Wren are starting freshmen year of collage and cath is a wreck. Wren already told Cath that she dosent want to be her room mate, so Cath is left to fend for herself. Cath sepnds every night in her room wrighting Simon Snow fanfictions. That is untill she befriends her room mates boyfriend Levi.

This is a fantastic read! Sweet and hilarious, Fangirl is an allround great story.

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Author: Kate Hattemer

Selwyn Academy is a school for the arts; for the prima ballerinas, the future stars of Broadway, the artists who's work is identical to real life. However, the elite school is being destroyed by a reality TV show, For Art's Sake, a sleazy production that manipulates the students and teachers at Selwyn. Or at least, that's what Luke, Ethan's best friend says. Ethan doesn't mind the show that much; it allows him to gawk at Mia, a contestant on the show, whom he has a huge crush on, without being a stalker. But Luke is determined to bring down For Art's Sake and restore Selwyn's honor. Following in the steps of Ezra Pound, Luke, Ethan, and two of their others friends, write a long poem, capturing the attention of their fellow students. However, the people who are behind For Art's Sake are craftier than they realized, and soon the four are surrounded by a web of lies and betrayal that runs deeper than they could have ever imagined. Hattemer's quirky novel, filled with humor, wit, and interesting characters, and a deeper lesson that will resonate will everyone who picks up this marvelous book.