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

school

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Author: C.C. Payne

This book, about fifth grader Lulu Bell Bonner, is a great book. Lulu Bell wants to fit in with the mean popular girls and keeps ignoring her real friend, Alan. She tries hiding her brains and musical talent. When her Grandma Bernice dies, Lulu Bell realizes something important about friendship and "letting your light shine". This book would get four out of five stars.

Make Your Own Music

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Author: Eric Gansworth

Love this cover! .... school, bullying, family, friendship, dating, and one of the best parts..... links to classic rock music from the late 1970s!  Queen, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and Wings....  Smart 7th grader, Lewis Blake, is a Native American attending a public school that is filled with unrest.  HIs friend, George, has a mutual interest in music and the forge through middle school with all its bumps and growing pains.  This book kept me riveted through to the dramatic end.

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Author: Holly Sloan

This book reminded me of Out of My Mind and Wonder (both books I loved by the way) being that it is about a 12-year old girl who is a genius, but feels detached from her peers.  Suffering the loss of her parents in a tragic accident sets this story on a hopeful mission to find Willow Chance a new family.  But what does it take to be a family?  Readers will have a lot to talk about after reading this book.  What is strange?  Are we all strange or at varying levels of strangeness?  Is it fair to group like strangers?  Hmmm.

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Author: J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter just finds out he is a wizard! He then goes to a school called Hogwarts. On the train there he meets his 2 best friends, Ron and Hermione. They get put in groups and Harry and friends get put in Gryffindor. Then flying lessons start and Harry becomes a Quidditch player like his dad. (Did I mention that Harry Potter's parents are dead?) At the end of the book, Harry finds the sorcerer's stone and defeats Voldemort (his enemy). To be continued...

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Author: Audrey Shafer

Vernon Culligan had been dead to the town of Draydon, Virginia, so long that when the crusty Vietnam vet finally died, only one person noticed. Twelve-year-old Gabe grew up in the foster care system until a social worker located his Uncle Vernon two years before. When he comes home to discover that his uncle has died of a heart attack, he's terrified of going back into the system--so he tells no one. The next day, he discovers a strange note in his mailbox: I HAVE A SECRET. DO NOT BE AFRAID. And his uncle's body is gone. At first I thought this book was going to be preternatural, but it's not. It's pretty amazing though. It's not really long, it's mysterious, sometimes sad, but you can always tell that this boy really loved his uncle. I give this book 5/5 stars because overall it's such a nice story.

no Library name

Trapped

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Title: Trapped
Author: Micael Northrop

Ever wonder what it would be like to spend the night at school? What would you do? Who would you want to be there with you? This book starts out as an exciting adventure for the teens trapped at school during a snow storm. However, it doesn't take long for them to realize their situation is more serious than they thought.

Fallen

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Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate

Fallen is about a girl named Luce, a guy named Daniel that she’s inexplicably drawn to, and another guy named Cam who wants Luce, thus forming the formulaic love triangle. Luce is new to a reform school for, allegedly, setting her previous boyfriend on fire. She also sees shadows and hears voices. Sword & Cross, the school, is pretty drab really. There are androgynous teachers, boring classes, and rowdy students. Readers will figure out that Daniel is an angel long before Luce does, even though she provides the reader with all the clues. I was a bit disappointed with the climax of the story. Luce runs off while Daniel and his good fallen angels fight Cam and his bad fallen angel army. She’s stuck in a basement while explosions happen elsewhere. I think staying with Daniel and Cam would have been much more interesting. I thought this book was good, not great. It is appropriate for young adults and up.

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Author: Henry H. Neff

On a trip to the art museum with his dad, Max McDaniels discovers a magical Celtic tapestry showing the mythic Cattle Raid of Cooley, in a secret room at the museum. His discovery doesn’t go unnoticed, as he is soon after contacted by the Rowan Academy, a secret school for Potentials. A Potential is a student who displays special aptitude or skills in aspects of magic. After being invited to attend Rowan and surviving the perilous journey there, Max discovers that there’s more to being a Potential than just learning some fancy tricks. He soon learns that Rowan Academy trains the Potentials to become Agents who work against the Enemy. Finding himself firmly embroiled in a centuries old battle between good and evil, Max must learn to use his skills much sooner than a Potential normally would. His life depends on it. I felt this book was a combination of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, and the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. There’s Celtic mythology, a boy with special magical powers, only one parent is present, there are magical creatures, and a magical school building.

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Author: Sallie Lowenstein

Sara Goldman is a 12-year-old, seventh grade student, whose artistic talent has earned her the opportunity to study art in New York. Her father is an architect that has always encouraged her imagination and he shares with her and her neighborhood friends and schoolmate stories about his past and the war. Many of her drawings come from the characters her father describes in the stories and she wants to listen to them even though there is a black side to his memories. Her father becomes more and more sad and withdrawn as he shares them with her. Her mother forbids her to listen to his tales, as she is afraid that he will withdraw from reality forever. Sara begins to sort through his childhood and discover the truth of his past. I really liked this book because it shows how much Sara loves her family, some of her struggles at school, how much she loves to express herself in her art and how they encourage her in her choice to be an artist.

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Author: Jennifer L. Holm

This book was a quick and easy read, but very enjoyable. The pictures were very fun to look at, and the book was nicely put together.