Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror

From Wesley, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Boylan, Jennifer Finney
Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror
This is the first book in the Falcon Quinn series and it is amazing. Anyone who read the Percy Jackson series and loved it, will also love this book. After the death of his dad and after his mother left him, the main character Falcon Quinn was left with his grandmother in the cold town of Cold River, Maine. As he waits for the bus to take him to school, he talks with his two friends Megan and Max. They soon find out that something is wrong when the bus driver passes by bus stops and takes them to a completely different school. There at their new school, for monsters, Falcon feels the same way as he felt at his old school. He doesn’t fit in. Soon he will find out why and what really happened to his parents, and who they really are. With two hearts and a choice between two lives, one as a monster and one as a monster destroyer, which side will he pick? Read the book to find out.

Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror is a book that will force you to keep reading it to find out more. It has fighting, love, betrayal, sorrow, friendship, and some unexpected turns of events. I would highly recommend this book to any of my friends. I loved the Percy Jackson series and I loved this book too. I couldn’t put this book down and I hope you will feel the same too, drawn to find out more by turning the page.

Gangs and School Violence

From John J. O’Boyle III
author: Hernandez, Leodoro
Gangs and School Violence
The book attempts to alert society about the real presence of gangs and school violence that exists in today’s society. The book touches upon gang culture; teacher education about gangs as a preventive measure; role of the parents regarding prevention of gang affiliation; gang language/graffiti/tattoos and music used by gangs. A comparison of the differences between gangs of the past and the “new” or “modern” gangs is also discussed. The main theme throughout the book, in so many words, “if society is not part of the solution then it is definitely part of the problem!” The book was very informative, easy to understand and one that I would refer to in the future.

Clone Codes

From Monica Salo
author: McKissack, Patricia C.
Clone Codes
It is the year 2170 and Leanna is enrolled in the All-Virtual-School.  She is studying slavery by virtually being part of the escape to the north with Harriet Tubman.  Her life soon parallels the historical events that she is studying in school.  Her mother, a respected psychologist, is arrested for being part of the Liberty Bell Movement. It is a movement that is supporting the rights of clones who serve as slave labor.  Leanna, who always thought she was a “First”, an original biological being, finds out after her mother’s arrest that she is a clone. Asking for her mother’s friend for help, she soon learns of her importance to the movement that takes her on a fast paced adventure.  Its ties to civil rights and identity will be an added plus.

The Lonely Hearts Club

From Cindy, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Eulberg, Elizabeth
The Lonely Hearts Club
The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg is a very interesting book about a teenage girl who’s sick of being heart broken by the ‘jerks’ in her school, so she decides to form her own club that bans the dating of guys-at least till the members are no longer at their school. She names the club after a Beatles song called “Sgt. Pepper?s Lonely Hearts Club Band” due to the fact that her parents and herself are big Beatles fans(hence her name being Penny Lane-named after the Beatles song Penny Lane). Penny soon realizes that the club is more popular than she thought and more and more people join but with more members comes more problems?Now Penny has to deal with the club’s problems and her own(hint: It’s guy related). I definitely recommend this book to anyone, it was an enjoyable read.

Give a Boy a Gun

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.


FromTeen Book Reviewer
author: Teller, Janne
I just completed reading the book “Nothing” by Janne Teller. This novel is
originally written in Danish and has won the Best Children’s Book Prize from the Danish Cultural Ministry. The book has a foreign feel to it what with a lot of the names being kept in the English translation.

The story revolves around a group of seventh graders in a small town in Denmark. At the beginning of the new school year, one of their classmates, Pierre Anthon, decides that life has no meaning and that we are all a part of nothing. He walks out of school, climbs up a plum tree and refuses to come down. Each day as the children pass the tree on their way to the school he taunts them with his new philosophy of life and how what they are doing is utterly meaningless. When the children get frustrated, they decide to show Pierre the meaning of life. The story gets interesting as each child is forced by the others to part with their most meaningful possession as they put together a “heap of meaning” for Pierre. The ending of the story is quite interesting. As such, the book is quite a different read – nothing like what I’ve read before. I recommend this book if you are in the mood to read something unusual.

The Skin I’m In

From Rhea, Teen Book Reviewer
author:  Flake, Sharon G.
The Skin I’m In
As the title and cover suggest the book is about an African American girl struggling with her racial identity, and more. Maleeka Madison attends an inner city school and is relentlessly teased by her classmates for her homemade clothes, her very dark skin and even her good grades. She is especially bullied by a girl named Charlese who makes her do all her homework and copies from her during tests. Despite all the work Maleeka does for Charlese she is often insulted and abused by her. Although, she knows she should not put up with any of the teasing and bullying, Maleeka does not have the courage to stand up for herself.

All of this changes when a new English teacher Miss Saunders arrives at McClenton Middle School. Miss Saunders takes an interest in Maleeka realizing her talent in writing. She tries to distance Maleeka and Charlese as she is very bad company for Maleeka. It is, however, hard for Maleeka to completely break free of Charlese. In the end, Charlese forces Maleeka to vandalize school property and deserts her when Maleeka is caught in the act. Finally, Maleeka gets the courage to stand up for herself and clear her name. She acquires a feeling of self worth and understands that it is important to like yourself for who you are and not what others may tell you.

In my opinion, the novel is very realistic and describes well how life is for kids in inner city schools. In the beginning, it was weird to read the kind of language and the way the characters spoke but as you go along the story it seems real and you don’t mind. Even though, we don’t live in those circumstances, one can empathize and you do feel good that Maleeka and Ms. Saunders win in the end. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends

Nineteen Minutes

From Lisa  Kropp
author: Piccoult, Jodi
titl: Nineteen Minutes
In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can order a pizza and get it delivered. You can read a story to a child or have your oil changed.You can walk a mile. You can sew a hem. In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.

So begins this tale about a high school student who, having been bullied his entire life, makes the decision to walk into his school one day armed with four guns, changing the course of life in a small New Hampshire town forever. This being a Jodi Piccoult novel, expect lots of twists and turns, as the inevitable is never truly what it seems to be in her writing. If you like mysteries and fiction based in part on actual events from the news, then throw this book into your beach bag this summer.


from Lisa Kropp:

Centered around a private high school, Testimony relates what happens to lives, both young and old, when one horrible decision spirals out of control. The story is told through the voices of different characters, so instead of traditional chapters, the pages alternate from character to  character; each adding their own pieces to the complex puzzle that is spreading out on the pages for the reader to follow.  Fans of Anita  Shreve’s other titles, and those who like Jodi Piccoult’s works, should try this book.