From Alicja Feitzinger
author: Taylor, Frederick
The Berlin Wall : a world divided, 1961-1989
This story of a wall which divided Berlin between East and West for 28 years is fascinating and deeply affecting. Frederick Taylor gives a thorough historical background not only of Berlin, but Germany and the Eastern Block. He also uses personal narratives to illustrate how politics disturbed, devastated and in many cases destroyed lives of millions of people locked behind the Iron Curtain. Especially touching are stories of people who swam, jumped, and dug for freedom.
The book is well written and it’s easy to read despite the wealth of information it contains.
From Catherine Given
author: Fuller, Alexandra
Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
Fuller weaves a colorful, disturbing, and finally inspiring story of her
childhood in Africa. This story makes Isak Dinesen’s “Out of Africa” (“which I also loved”) “seem like Pollyanna.” Gritty, suspenseful and at times gory, this story is like a defibrillator for the cushy, suburban heart. In true and perceptive detail, “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight” depicts Fuller’s early life as a bright and gutsy white girl growing up at the mercy of her idiosyncratic homesteader parents in mid-19th-Century southern and central Africa. I marveled at her ability to recall with meaningful understanding events that she had experienced as a pre-teen. We see the family’s life in an Africa resplendent with natural beauty yet raw in its relentless intensity amid political unrest. Not only are members of the family devoured by insects, and subject to bouts of malaria –they face overwhelming challenges, including for one period, mistreatment due to extreme racial prejudice as the only whites in the region. Their lifestyle is also deeply affected by the mother’s alcoholism, which worsens as tragedy repeatedly strikes. I couldn’t put it down.
From Dominic, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Strasser, Todd
Give a Boy a Gun
The book “Give a Boy a Gun” by Todd Strasser was an excellent book. Although it contained graphic ideas, it discussed school shootings, an important issue faced by our society. This book puts you in the mind of a school shooter and it revealed what the two boys, Brendan and Gary had gone through and why they chose to try to take the lives of their fellow classmates. I liked this book mainly because it deals with bullying a problem many kids face in school that can have serious negative effects on their behavior. I would recommend this book to pre-teens and teenagers. I would recommend it to those types of people because the theme of the book would be easily understood by this age group.