Friday, December 30, 2011

The Yearling

Yesterday I finished a great, very emotional book called The Yearling. The Yearling is about a young boy named Jody.  Jody lives with his family, his father Penny and his mother named Ory.  They live on a little farm in Florida that is surrounded by dense forests and marshes.  Jody and his father Penny work in the fields planting crops and hunting game for food.  One day when Penny and Jody go hunting Penny gets bitten by a rattlesnake, Penny knows he needs to get the poison out of him, but what can he do?  Penny shoots a deer and takes out it's liver and puts it on his arm to squeeze the poison out of his arm. Jody soon finds the baby deer whose mom had just been killed to heal his father and feels bad for it and begs and begs his mother and father for him to take it home.  They give in and let him take care of it.  No novel better epitomizes the love between a child and a pet than The Yearling.   This is actually the first book I cried in, this book was so sad and you could really see the relationship between Jody and his deer that he named Flag.  The author Majorie Kinnan Rawlings used such powerful words that you actually felt like you were right there with the characters in the book! This book was amazing and I would rate it 5 stars!  Definitely recommended!!

Thanks
Alyssa :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sasha Cohen Fire on Ice

Okay guys, I've been really bad I haven't posted for over a whole month! That is terrible! I will try to keep posting as often as I can! Okay, so about a week ago I finished a  great book written by the famous figure skater Sasha Cohen. In this book Sasha Cohen tells her  life story on and off the ice.  Champion figure skater captures the world's attention with her gorgeous spiral and outstanding layback spin at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.  In Torino, she reigned as the most intriguing contender in figure skating at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games and placed second with the silver medal!  For the first time Sasha tells her amazing story in her own words.  She tells about her discovery of ice at age seven, her comeback from and injury that almost ended her career, and finally her crushing lows and her charming wins.  This book is the official autobiography of one of the world's most captivating figure skaters.  This book was very good, I would rate it four stars.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone, even if your not a figure skater, you are sure to like this book!

Next Review: The Yearling (this is a long book, it might take a while!)

Thanks
Alyssa :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The House of Dark Shadows

I just finished a VERY, (emphasis on the VERY)  creepy, spine tingling book!  You know how some books just don't pull you into the story?  Well, this book got an A on that standpoint!  This book is about a family of five. A fifteen year old brother named Xander, his littler twelve year old brother named David and their little sister named Toria and of course the mom and dad.  One day the dad decides they should all move to a new place in Pinedale, California.  When the family first gets to the house they were thinking about buying, strange things start to happen, their real estate agent says that the father of the house that lived there before, murdered his wife and kids, also strange sounds come from wrong directions, prints of giant bare feet appear in the dust, and Toria screams when she says she saw a man standing right outside of her room door!  Then the really, really weird stuff starts to kick in, David and Xander find a hidden hallway with portals leading to far off places in long ago times.  Xander is starting to wonder if this kind of travel is a teen's dream come true, or his worst nightmare!!!  This book so far has six books in the series, I can't wait to read the second book!  This book is really good and I would definitely recommend it!

Next Review: Just Listen

Thanks
Alyssa :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dear Julia

Today I finished a great book called Dear Julia.  Dear Julia is about a sixteen year old girl named Elaine Hamilton.  Elaine is very quiet, shy and timid.  She really doesn't have any friends, and her family, (her five crazy brothers, her dad that is committed to doing yoga every day, and her mom who is an important congresswoman) are most the time, always busy doing their own things.  The only thing Elaine really loves to do is cook.  She loves to be in the kitchen, somewhere away from the high school drama and just be with her beloved pots and pans.  Elaine is dedicated, and wants to master the arts of French cooking.  Her idol is Julia Child, she truly adores her, she even has memorized most of the recipes in Julia's books!  All the time since Elaine was six, she has been writing letters to Julia, asking how to cook this better, or what kind of knife to use to chop a certain kind of vegetable.  The thing is Elaine never sent these letters to Julia, she just kept them safely tucked away in a wooden chest.  Elaine, one day, meets a crazy upbeat friends named Lucida Sans, yes, the computer font.  Lucida has always wanted to be famous for something, but nothing seems to suit her.  Elaine and Lucida grow a friendly bond throughout the story, enjoying joyful times and tackling difficult problems together.  In this wonderful story, Elaine finds out what she really loves and who she really is.  And she realizes you can't do great things without hard work and of course a little spice sprinkled in.

Next review: House of Dark Shadows

Thanks
Alyssa :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Weedflower

I just read a really good book called Weedflower.  Weedflower is about a twelve year old girl named Sumiko.  Sumiko's parents die when she is very young.  Sumiko lives with her aunt, uncle, her little brother named Tak-Tak, her two older cousins named Bull and Ichiro and Jiichan (her grandpa.)  This is right at the time when Japan bombed pearl harbor, which is in Hawaii.  Most Japanese were actually disturbed that their country had done such a terrible thing!  That was Sumiko's family.  But her thoughts start to change when her family, including herself are forced to go to Poston, Arizona living in an internment camp.  She and her family have to cope with their new surroundings and the uncertainty of the future.  Only her bright imagination and the friendship of a young Mohave boy carry her through tough times.  This is a great novel by Cynthia Kadohata.  I read another award winning book by her called Kira-Kira.  The only problem with this book is, I think it started off a little slow and it was kind of hard to get into.  But all in all this was a great book!  :)


Next Review: Dear Julia

Thanks,
Alyssa :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Queen of Water

I just finished an amazing book called the Queen of Water.  The Queen of Water is about a young girl named Virginia Farinango who was born in an Andean village in Ecuador.  Virginia lives with her poor family in a small mud hut.  In her village it is not uncommon to work in fields all day long, even as a child.  It is also very common to be called longa tonta (stupid Indian) by members of the ruling class of mestizos, or Spanish descendants.  When, at the time, seven-year-old Virginia is taken from her village to be a servant to a mestizo couple, she has no idea what the future holds ahead of her.  Over the years spent with the mestizo couple,Virginia quickly grows accustomed to the luxuries of the mestizo life.  Virginia even finds it hard to remember how to speak her hometown language called, Quichua, and only knows how to speak Spanish, The Mestizo language.    Virginia also finds it hard to remember the faces of her own family.  While working for the mestizo couple she is beaten many times and told that the sole purpose of an indigenous girl like her, is to serve.  But Virginia has a dream to one day be famous and not to be told what to do, how to act, how to eat, how to speak, she wants to be free.  Virginia must fight to hold on to her spirit and humor.  Virginia soon gets caught up between the decision of going back home to her parent's in a mud house and farm all day, or stay at home with the nasty couple but have a good chance to grow up and be someone successful?  This novel is based on a true story and the writing is so good it keeps you hooked throughout.



Thanks
Alyssa :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Betsy and The Emperor

Today I finished a fascinating book called Betsy and the Emperor.  This book is about a fourteen year old girl named Betsy Balcombe.  Betsy lives on remote, ugly island called St. Helena.  Napoleon Bonaparte is being transported over to St. Helena, being held prisoner by the British soldiers.  Bonaparte is in need for a place to stay and is assigned to reside in Betsy's house.  Betsy and the emperor build up a strong and caring relationship for eachother.  Both go through many hardships and obstacles.  But one day one of Betsy's friend's, Huff, is determined to free the great Napoleon Bonaparte, and get this great leader off of this island!  Betsy soon decides that she will take part in this plan too.  Will Betsy be able to free the emperor?  Or will the emperor have to live the rest of his life on the island of St. Helena?  Read this awesome historical fiction novel to find out!  This was a really good book and I would recommend it! :)



Alyssa :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beware Princess Elizabeth!


A couple of days ago I finished an awesome book called Beware Princess Elizabeth.  This great book written by Carolyn Meyer, is about Princess Elizabeth's teen years and up.  Betrayal,  lost love and murder, what more must a princess endure?  Princess Elizabeth's mother Anne Boleyn was beheaded by her father Henry VIII, her evil half sister Mary locks her in a tower and keeps her prisoner, and her young brother dies of a deadly disease.  This book is a fact filled, historical fiction novel.  I learned so many things about Princess Elizabeth I had no idea about before!  Elizabeth has to face many dangers and roadblocks in her way, especially Mary's religious views. Mary is Catholic and Elizabeth is Protestant.  Mary will kill anyone who disagrees with her or stands in her way!  This is a great book.  I would rate this four stars!  I would recommend this book to anyone interested in, well, Princess Elizabeth!




Alyssa :)

Next review:  Betsy and The Emperor. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

City of Masks

I just yesterday finished a book called the City of Masks.  This book was so good!  It started off kind of slow and all of the names were a little confusing but once you got deeper into the story it was really cool!  OK here's a little summary:  Lucien is badly ill.  He has a brain infection that is causing him a tumor.  But his life is transformed when an old Italian notebook that his father gives him allows him to stravagante (time travel to 16 century Italy.)  Whenever Lucien holds the beautiful Italian journal, his mind is swept away to an enchanting Venice-like city called Bellezza while his earthly body sleeps peacefully.  But as his body begins to follow his mind in this other world, there is always a chance that Lucien may be caught on the other side of time and not be able to return!  This book is so good.  I would rate this four stars!  I have already read Mary Hoffman's book called the Falconer's knot which was really good as well!  I will also be reading the other books in this Stravaganza series called: City of Stars, City of Flowers, City of Secrets and City of Ships!  There, that should be in order!  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in a kind of historical mostly fantasy read!

Thanks
Alyssa :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees is probably one of my favorite books that I've ever read.  Set in South Carolina, 1964,  The Secret Life of Bees tells a story about a girl named Lily Owens, whose life is shaped around the old memory of the day her mother was killed.  Lily lives with her abusive father and their maid, Rosaleen, who is always trying to take care of  Lily, and defend her from T.Ray (Lily's dad.)  One day when Rosaleen takes Lily out to town, Rosaleen insults the three most racist men in town.  Lily plans an escape to Tiburon, South Carolina.  She believes that this place holds many secrets to her mother's past.  Taken in by a warmhearted and loving trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their magical world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna.  This book is a MUST READ!  I would rate this book 5 stars!! :)  I would definitely recommend it!

Thanks
Alyssa :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bloggrls Sistric (Meg)

                 This book was really good! Two things, I know I haven't posted for a really long time, (Again!) and second this is a really weird title for a book.  But I really, really liked it no matter what the title!  This story is about a 16 year old girl named Megan.  Megan has an older sister named Cara, who she calls T2-P2, if you read it you'll know why!  Anyway, Megan has started up her own blog, and she has invited a couple of friends to read and comment on her posts.  Megan's many friends always help her through all of the hard times that she has, which is practically all the time!  For example, Megan's sister Cara has turned anorexic and is obsessed with every single carb or protein she puts in her body.  Cara eats all of the family's food and then throws it right up when she's done.  Cara also has a terrible boyfriend named Trip.  Trip always makes fun of her and even Megan!  And on top all of this Megan is having a hard time dealing  with her own problems.  She can't decide on which guy she should be more into Mark or Jeremy?  AND, she also signed up for an art class competition that she is pretty nervous about.  I would rate this book 4 stars, it's really good!  I would definitely recommend it!


Thanks
Alyssa :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Sweet Life of Stella Madison

Hi guys!  Sorry I haven't written for a while.  I have been on vacation and didn't really get a chance to use the computer!  Anyway I recently finished a book called The Sweet Life of Stella Madison.  Stella Madison's crazy food loving parents help her get a  summer job at the local newspaper since they are very famous cooks.  But there's one catch:  She's supposed to write about food.  Stella is not a foodie at all!  She knows nothing about it!  Her favorite place to eat is at Burger King!  Luckily, Stella has Jeremy, the cute new intern at her mom's restaurant who is more than happy to help her out.  But were does that leave Stella's boyfriend Max, who recently told her he loves her?  And could her separated parents be cooking up a romance of their own?  I really loved this book.  It was cute, funny and sad at parts. This book really is one of my favorites now.  I really enjoyed it mostly because I love cooking myself, so I had a great time reading it.  Now, even if you don't really enjoy cooking this is still a really, really cute teen read.  I recommend this book to anyone who likes teen novels.

Thanks
Alyssa

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

True Believer


Today I finished a book called True Believer.  Once I started reading it I found a little #2 on the side and I realized it was the second book to a series!  Oops!  But that didn't matter at all, I could totally understand the whole book.  This book is about a 15 year old girl whose name is Verna LaVaughn.  Verna's dad died when she was young and only has a mother to care for her.  Verna has two really good friends but they don't really seem  friendly  anymore, they used to be so close but now they are both into this church club always praying and keeping secrets from her.  They're always saying Jesus Loves You, and You need to be Saved from the world's Sin!!  Verna doesn't understand why her friends seem so distant and why their always going to their club.  There also is this cute guy named Jody, Verna can't believe how gorgeous he is, or how confusing.  He acts like he's in love with her or is he??  This is a four star book it was really good and I recommend this book to anyone who likes Teen Fiction.  This book also won two awards so you seriously should read it!!

Thanks
Alyssa
P.S.
Please leave comments! :D

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Book of Gods and Godesses

The Book of Gods and Goddesses is a very good book!  This book is by Eric Chaline who is a graduate of  Cambridge, and the school of African American studies.  He currently lives in London.  This is a book about Greek gods, Egyptian gods, Norse gods, Scandinavian gods, and more!  I would rate this book a three star.  It wasn't one of my favorites but it wasn't bad at all.  I thought this was a really good book.  This book has many different pictures of real people worshiping at temples or even at there home or festivals.  But most of the pictures are just detailed illustrations.  This book was a fun, quick read and great for school projects and reports.  This book also taught me a lot of stuff I didn't know, like how many people worshiped whatever religion, who were the most important gods in that religion, and did other religions other than the Aztecs have human sacrifice?  These questions kept me wondering, but finally I approached my answer.   I am very glad I got that book! So many fun awesome facts you never knew, are all in this book.


Thanks
Alyssa

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Fellowship of The Ring

I've wanted to read The Lord of The Rings my whole life.  OK, maybe not my whole life but I've wanted to read it for a while.  A couple months ago I finished reading the first book to The LOTR(Lord of the Rings) which is The Hobbit.  I was really hooked on The Hobbit I could barely put it down!  That's exactly why I decided to read The Fellowship of The Ring!!  This is a story about a young hobbit named Frodo who longs for adventure.  He has set out on a journey with three friends, Pippin, Merry and Sam.  He also is carrying around something that his uncle (Bilbo) gave him.  A magic ring that disappears when you slip it on your finger.  But their are many precautions you have to take when you wear the ring.  First if you wear the ring too much you get hooked or addicted to it like Gollum (some weird slimy creature) and YOU could turn invisible if you wear it all the time.  On Frodo's journey he has to be on alert of Trolls, wolves, and black riders.  These are dark scary hooded figures who are after the ring to get it back to their master Sauron, (The Dark Lord) who created the ring, but put horrible, frightening powers in it.  So Frodo tries to keep the ring safe so none of the black riders take it from him.  This is a great book so far, I'm not quite done with it yet but I'm pretty close.  I recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy and loves adventures.  Please comment!

Thanks you
Alyssa

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Summer of Cotton Candy

Hello!  This is my first post on the Teen Reading Room blog.  I am here to give book reviews on the latest books I have read and what books I would suggest to you.  Recently I finished a book called The Summer of Cotton Candy.  This is a series book written by Debbie ViguiĆ©.   I thought this book was fantastic!   Debbie ViguiĆ© has been writing all of her life and holds a degree in creative writing from U.C Davis.   Debbie has worked at Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland in California.  She loves going to theme parks and that explains why she wrote the series about a theme park!  Here's a little summary about the book:  Most people think The Zone is an amusement park but Candace Thompson (Candy) knows it's really a slave labor camp.   What else would you call a summer job that requires a sixteen-year-old girl to set aside her social life and for the privilege of standing out in the burning sun selling sticky cotton candy?  Still there are perks- like the mysterious dude in the Lone Ranger costume.  Behind the mask is the most wonderful eyes Candy has ever seen!  Who is this guy, she keeps wondering?  But someone else is just as interested.  And the romantic competition is not the only problem.  The Zone is eating up major time.  Like now she doesn't have time for church.  Worse yet, will she lose her best friend Tamara, who is clearly upset that they can never have fun like they used to anymore?  This is totally not the summer Candy was looking forward to.   Will Candy ever enjoy being at The Zone?  I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes teen fiction.


Thanks
Alyssa :D