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Pages and Files
York students recommend
...a set of
student book reviews.
In the Spring of 2009 students were given this
summer reading assignment
. This page holds the results.
by Paulo Coelho
A shepherd boy journeys from Spain to Egypt to pursue dreams of treasure and distant lands. Along the way, he learns lessons of self-fulfillment, wisdom and following his heart through encounters with mystical characters.
The Book I read over the summer was
By Paulo Cohelho.
It’s about a shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from Spain to Egypt in search to find treasure. Along the way he meets interesting people who help him follow his dreams and help him achieve his goals. I would recommend this book to people because it’s a quick and easy read, it’s a fun book to read and it’s an interesting book. -
Black No More
by George Schuyler
This satirical novel was inspired by popular products for skin-lightening during the Harlem Renaissance when a Doctor discovers a formula that can turn blacks into whites. The formula, however, causes mass hysteria rather than the expected glory-filled adventure. This novel is for those who enjoy hilarious satire filled with sarcasm, irony, serious criticism and a hint of absurdity.
The Body of Christopher Creed
by Carol Plum-Ucci
The often-tortured and bullied class weirdo has disappeared and leaves a mysterious note behind on the school computer. Torey Adams, one of Creed’s former bullies, and his friends take it upon themselves to get to the bottom of the rumors and find out what really happened to Chris Creed in this hard-to-put-down mystery novel.
by Mark Zusak
Another Holocaust book, but with a twist—it’s narrated by
Amidst all the horror and the grim reality of the time period, our capacity to find love and kindness is profound.
by Dan Brown
The DaVinci Code
Angels and Demons
) When NASA announces its discovery of a meteor buried in the Arctic, a federal investigator and an oceanographer arrive to verify it and instead find themselves in a web of science, danger, politics, and murder. Immensely different from the books that inspired the blockbuster films, and a great introduction to one of the most popular authors of thriller fiction.
The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
Fantasy writer and graphic novelist, Gaiman does it again! The orphan Bod, short for
, taken in as a baby by the inhabitants of a graveyard, is raised lovingly and carefully by the community of ghosts and otherworldly creatures.
by Octavia Butler
Butler’s novel explores the unimaginable question that has tainted our nation’s past: How could anyone own a slave? Through the formation of unlikely friendships, and the muddled mixture of both modern and past inter-racial conflicts, Butler exposes a pervasive truth about the human condition. This novel is for the reader who has the courage to explore the innermost depths of a confused identity and has at least a slight fancy towards science fiction.
Maximum Ride: the Angel Experiment
by James Patterson
The "birdkids," a result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose.
is the best book ever! It has so much action, when I first read it I picked it up at 8:00 pm then I read all through the night and morning. I finally finished at 10:00 am because it was so thrilling and suspenseful I couldn’t put it down. It was as if I was in the book with them that is how life like this book really is. I never liked reading but James Patterson a (teen author) changed my mind. His books are great if u like action, drama, suspense, and so much more. There is a little for everyone in his books. If you don’t like reading I highly recommend his books especially maximum ride one, two, three, and four. After you read one you just can’t stop. Hope you decide to read this and more of his books. -Matt C.
Maximum Ride The Angel Experiment
is a book that I read over the summer. It was a very interesting book. It was about this group of kids who were genetically enhanced by a group of scientists. Max is the oldest and is 14, Fang is 13, Iggy is 13, Nudge is 11, Gazzy is 8, and Angel is 6. They all had escaped from the “school” which is a place where the scientists used them like lab rats and performed experiments on them to give them certain abilities. They have wings, and can fly. Angel was kidnapped by the “Erasers” who are part human, part wolves who were sent to retrieve her and take her back to the school to run more tests on her. The Erasers successfully bring Angel back to the school. The book is about how the rest of the “family” tries to rescue Angel from the school so that she will not be used as a lab rat again. A critic stated that the book was interesting and a good read, but that the characters talked past their age level, which I agree with.
is a Very good book. This book is about 6 kids that have been genetically mutated by scientists at "the school" which is a place that they are more afraid of than anything else. This book is good for those of you that like suspense and a lot of action. The kids are all eachother have and this book shows how much you can love a family until its breaking point. This book is great and you should decide to read it also. -Josh S.
Maximum Ride The Angel experiment was a great thriller! it has evrything, from action to drama. 6 kids in this book are all mutated by scientist, the kids are all under 14. i wont give away the ending but they get "fed" up with the scientist. oh did i mention that they have powers like flying! one of the members get cought and the other try to rescue her. this book is for people who like action. just a great book!
by Bernard Malamud
Just as a nineteen-year-old baseball player’s career is about to start, he is shot by an obsessed fan. Fifteen years later, a struggling professional baseball team, the New York Knights, finds itself with a thirty-four year old "rookie" as Hobbs makes a comeback. Roy encounters love, corruption, highs, and lows as he struggles to find his way as a professional ballplayer.
In the book,
the main character is a nineteen-year-old baseball player names Roy Hobbs who is shot by a crazy fan. When he is thirty-four he decides to makes a comeback with a team and runs into some trouble. Will Roy Hobbs be able to make this comeback as a thirty four year old rookie for the New York Knights? I would recommend this book to people because it has a great sports storyline, it is very easy to read, and the author does a great job describing thongs in the book. –Connorko
by Jodi Picoult
My Sister’s Keeper)
The people of Sterling, New Hampshire, are forever changed after a shooting at the high school leaves ten people dead—questions and answers leave everyone wondering.
The Book I read was
I would recommend this book because it talks about problems that adolescence face. This book talks about peer pressure, barriers between parents and it gives lots of details about the accident in the school. This book is about a boy name Peter who is always being picked on. One day he brings a gun a bombs to school. He killed nine students and one teacher. Peters mother blames herself for what happened. She blames herself because she feels that she does not really pay attention to him. Peter probably did what he did because nobody pays attention to him. After this shooting happened it changed the people forever. This book Affected me because anybody that feels that people are not paying attention can do things that can hurt others.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
A post-apocalyptic novel in which bands of cannibals roam the environment with pieces of human flesh stuck between their teeth… the definitive vision of the world after nuclear war…Stealing across this horrific (and that's the only word for it) landscape are an unnamed man and his emaciated son. This dark read is not a book for the squeamish.
After reading this book I was bitterly disappointed. My English 9 teacher recommended this book to me last year and after reading I was left confused and empty. The Road by Cormac McCarthy was a very gloomy boring book taking place on earth after a nuclear war. This post apocalyptic setting matches the story well; with the boy and his father wandering around this gloomy nearly extinct earth on one lonely road. I disliked this book because it was very boring, lacks a quality storyline, and has no point or meaning. JLind555 from amazon.com disagrees with me however; he believes "The Road is a work of stunning, savage, heartbreaking beauty”. I would obviously disagree because there is one action scene consisting of a maximum of 10 pages within 287 pages, BORING. The beginning of the book keeps you excited to discover what is happening or what happened, but by the end of the book you are left very disappointed with many of your questions not answered. I would not recommend this to any high schoolers looking for an action book or a fun read. -
Tell No One
by Harlan Coben
) Pediatrician David Beck begins receiving cryptic messages, via email, that his wife (who has been missing for nearly 8 years) might still be alive. Accompanying a video message was the demand, “Tell No One”. A mystery begins to unravel as questions resurface in Beck’s life about his wife’s disappearance and even the possibility that she is still alive. This book will keep you guessing until the very last page.
A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner
) An illegitimate daughter has no choice but an arranged marriage to an older man with hateful views on women. When he takes a beautiful second wife, a surprising sisterhood between the two suffering women develops that not even war-torn Afghanistan can destroy.
Magic Time by W.P.kinsella
(author of Shoeless Joe) Mike Houle is a baseball player who unaccountably choked. in his senior year at LSU. And is left undrafted by the major league. when his agent calls with a chance to play in semi pro ball in IOWA,mikes agrees altought he's never heard of the team.I think the people interested in baseball will likes this book. Because it talks a bout the history of the game. And the mystery begins when Mike suspects that when the good citizens of Grand Mound lure young men into their small town, it's not just baseball on their minds.....
The Burn Journals
by Brent Runyon
Brent lost his way and his coping skills—so lost that he sets himself on fire. This is the memoir of a young man who faces the demons of depression and sadness -- a story that tells of his recovery back to wellness.
Suicide is a serious issue, especially among adolescents.
The Burn Journals
tells the story of a teenage boy named Brent who tries to commit suicide. His attempt at suicide fails. The book explains the pre meditation of the suicide attempt as well as why he did it, how he was feeling, etc. The book is a true story, an autobiography. Very gripping and emotional story that I highly recommend.~WHITE MARCO®
by Ellen Hopkins
Winner of the 2008 Abraham Lincoln Award, the drug-addicted protagonist, Kristina Snow, is led down a desperate path that threatens her mind, soul, and her life.
by Ellen Hopkins is great book to read over the summer. The book is about a teenage girl named Kristina. When Kristina visits her father after many years, she takes drugs and immediately gets addicted.
tells many stories about Kristina’s journey through life. Whether it’s drugs, boys or her family, Kristina always has tons of drama. I do recommend this book to high school students because some kids may relate to it or if they don’t, it is pure entertainment. -Frannie S.
is a book about a girl named Bree that changes her identity; she faces problems with drugs and boys. She is finding herself more and more through the book. I think you should read this book because it shows the problems people face in real life. Bree met a boy at her dad’s house and started to try new things. He introduced her to drugs a Bree became a new person because of the new people she met and her new experiences. Crank showed me a whole new side of people. People struggle to get through life and Bree’s life had been going downhill. A critic from Amazon says the book does not clearly deal with life, and the obstacles Bree faces are not real. I disagree this book is about a life of a teenage girl struggling to make it through; she is facing problems girls our age shouldn’t. -
by Steven T. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
To high school students, the realities of the world are rarely shown. Teens are sheltered from the daunting truths of the nation’s economy and society, leaving them susceptible to the underhandedness of multi-billion dollar companies. Through the application of economic principles into unheard of issues, the authors give terrific insight into the realities and importance of decision-making.
Leader for a Day
by Sudhir Venkatesh
The author’s fascinating experience of a strange friendship with a Chicago gang leader. For a college class, he decided to research life in a dangerous Chicago housing project, where he got an inside look at urban poverty and the highly organized system of drug-dealing and crime.
Gang Leader for a Day
Ever wonder what life is like living poor and in the projects? Pick up,
Gang Leader for a Day
by Sudhir Venkatesh and you will be transported into the hardships of the Robert Taylor Homes. As a sociology graduate student he wants to learn what life is like growing up black and poor, only his traditional research will not work here. Sudhir paints an exciting picture of day to day life in a poor community dictated by drugs and violence. His courage to enter the projects and befriend gang members of the Black Kings was truly amazing. Knowing that the events are real indeed builds more suspense and provides a first hand account of what its like to live in a war zone. -Brewer C
by Lynne Cox
During a routine practice swim in the chilly waters of the Pacific, the author meets a wayward baby gray whale—lost and missing its mommy. What an interesting afternoon!
Love in the Driest Season
by Neely Tucker
A newborn baby being attacked by fire ants in the fields of Zimbabwe and the struggle for an international adoption provide the reader with insights on just how the struggles of AIDS and isolation are affecting the African continent. Love prevails.
Me Talk Pretty One Day
by David Sedaris
This hilarious compilation of creative non-fiction provides a humorous—and sometimes scathing—insight into Sedaris’ life which includes a peculiar childhood, a bizarre career path and a witty take on humans’ inability to communicate.
Me talk pretty one day
was an interesting read this summer I rate it at a 3.5 star book. This book was unusual because it had no structure and ventured all over. This book takes place in New York, New York, as the book goes on the author falls in love with this town in Europe. The main character says that he as a child was not accepted by his father for not taking up the arts. David Sedaris faces challenges in this book like learning a different language, moving out of the states and the rough life New York holds. David learns a different language because his boyfriend lives in Europe and is a wealthy man so he goes out there to visit him and falls in love with the town and never wants to leave. This book was good because it was at parts funny and made you want to tune in instead leave and finish it another day. I didn’t enjoy this book to its full potential because it was so jumpy but it was a good read still. I wouldn’t recommend this book to someone who wants a quick read but rather to someone who wants a long read because you will have to keep on going back to see what they were trying to get out of that message.
by Robert Kurson
The U-boat was a global force during World War II – that is, until SONAR. Learn more about deep sea diving at its most dangerous and an unidentified German U-boat found just 60 miles off the coast of New Jersey. Full of mystery and suspense on the high seas.
Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood
Underage drinking is intoxicating for some teens. The author describes her descent deep into its abuses in this compelling memoir exposing her despair and later redemption.
Two Badges: The Lives of Mona Ruiz
by Mona Ruiz
Mona turns from crime and gang membership when two detectives in the Santa Ana Police Department help her find a new direction for her life.
Sports fan? Try
Looking for a laugh? Try
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Black No More.
Looking for something Inspirational? Try
Love in the Driest Season.
If you enjoyed
The Kite Runner
, you’ll enjoy
A Thousand Splendid Suns.
If you liked reading/watching
The DaVinci Code,
If you’re in the mood for a mystery, try
The Body of Christopher Creed
Can’t get enough of thrillers or scary movies? Check out
Tell No One
World War II and Holocaust enthusiasts will enjoy
Intrigued by other people’s problems with drugs and/or gangs? Try
Gang Leader for a Day, Two Badges, Crank
Into anime or graphic novels? Check out
The Graveyard Book
Like thinking about the human spirit and what forms our identities? Consider
Feeling down about life and need a new perspective? Check out
The Burn Journals.
Like hearing about the darker side of reality? Try
Looking for something New? Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
Last Of The Really Great Whangdoodles
by Julie Andrews.
“No one ever looks up. Their eyes are always on the ground, as if your feet will tell you where you are going; but why look down at the dirty ground when you may look up and see all the wonderful colors of the leaves. And see where you are going? Why go where you’re going not knowing, not looking, not using your gifts from god called eyes? Why go somewhere not living?” (LRGW) Look up, that is the best piece of advice I have ever gotten and from a woman as amazing as Julie Andrews, no wonder this quote has stayed with me all my life. Andrews’ ideas on paper are just as good as her ideas on screen. Julie Andrews is most known for her roles on screen in “Marry Poppins,” As the nanny herself, and also as the Nun from, “Sound of Music.” In this funny, creative and captivating adventure, you learn not only how to look at things differently, but something that most believe is something your born with, not something that can be acquired; How to use your imagination, the best gift you could ever give or receive. Julie Andrews’ book can teach you fine tune your imagination and learn to use it to your advantage in everyday life. From playing games of imagination with your children or to write a book or essay for English class.
There are some amusing concepts, but very few are well-executed, and there's a great deal of forced whimsy. The author consistently avoids conflict or any hint of tension:”
Argues one person, but who always needs a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat, when you can be kept on the edge of your seat because it’s just a good book? This book is one of its own because it does not need to run you around in circles worried for the characters in this book; It keeps you captivated because it keeps your mind thinking, and keeps it going rather than melting in on itself wail you watch TV. Then this is the book for you. This book was not meant to have you laughing so hard you fall on the floor, but meant to amuse you intellectually. This book is for someone with a witty sense of humor, but it is still just as fun for those who do not have the same humor.
I adored this book as a child and I still do. It touches your heart and teaches you much more than I can express. It may take a few pages to get into it, but it is far worth it.
Over the summer I read the book sandwiched, a book about life’s hardships, family and struggle. A lot of people can relate to this book, because It mainly focuses on problems within the family. It also shows you how hard life can be and how many families deal with it. This book also experiences love, lust and loss something everyone goes threw at one point in life. Relating to a book is the biggest hook to a good read, so I feel that since everyone has some type of family everyone can relate to the difficulties this book experiences. Sandwiched can help families know that even in the worst of times things can and will most likely get better.- Brittany P
MY BLOODY LIFE
This book is about a kids life from when he was born in the back seat of a car in Puerto Rico to 21 years later, since from his mother would beat him brutally to the matter that he got logically hanging out with gang members. He would feel loved and welcomed with his rival members and also from his peers that his mother never gave him affection to for some mother son bonding, he liked to hang out with his rivals also because they afford the girls that said no in the fact about sexual matters. He was didn’t care much about anyone or anything but himself, ever since his whole life he lived in a violent home he learned how to be violent himself. -Roxy M.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
was an excellent book series to read over the summer. I definitely rate these 5 out of 5. This series is about a teenage boy, Percy Jackson, who figures out that his life is so weird because he’s a son of the Greek god, Poseidon. So he and his friends Grover, who’s a satyr and Annabeth who’s a daughter of the Goddess Athena go on adventures to save the world from bad mythical creatures, such as the Minotaur. So in each book they go on an adventure to save the world from the evil Titan Kronos who wants to destroy Olympia and all the demi-gods. In the series Percy finds out about Greek history and himself. I loved this series because I am into the Greek Mythology and that stuff. The series had great flow and I could relate to some of the situations because they had ADHD and some do I. I recommend this series to anyone who like Mythology and is looking for a good adventure book to read. -Tommy M.
The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch
The last apprentice: revenge of the witch is real interesting it is descriptive at parts where it seems right to be descriptive. When this book starts describing parts of the story if makes you feel like you are doing what the character is doing. The book has a lot of action but it also has drama which makes the book more deductive and hooks the reader in. If you look for suspense in a book this book is perfect it has more suspense then all other books I have read from this series. Even though this book is short it is still the best one of them all. The only problem with this book is that it is short, it would have been better if it was longer. This book is the best book I have read. By: nickcl
And Then They Were None
During the summer I read
And Then There Were None.
This book was a very intense dramatic mystery novel. This book tells of 9 complete strangers who all get invited to a mysterious island for an all expense paid trip to visit an old friend. As so they think. Then one by one they all end up found dead and no one knows who did it. They all blame each other but who really did it? This book will have you at the edge of your seat. It’s a fantastic thriller mystery book. –Christina S :]
Perks of Being a Wallflower
Having trouble finding a good book to read over the summer? I have one for you! I read “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky. One critic even rated it five stars. They said, “I enjoyed the book immensely. It was unlike any book I have ever read, not only by his use of diction, but by the format is which Chbosky used.” I would recommend this book because it tells a great story and it has a great story behind it. It is also a very short read, for those of you who don’t like extremely long books. -Tabitha S.
Want to find someone who is always going to be there for you even when you cannot find another person to hold tight to?
is the place to find all of these things. When a baby whale gets separated with his mother a girl stayed with the baby until the whale was hoped to get reunited with his mother.-Katie30503
gang life Is a hard one. Especially for 16 year old Luis in the book “Always Running: la Vida loca by Luis J. Rodriguez. This book shows how difficult the gang life and the life for Mexican immigrants really is. This book shows how Luis tries to survive the rough life. He has to doge obstacles like getting shot as, Friends dying, going to jail and many other things. I would recommend this book
to people who have had life pretty easy so they could see how the rough life really is. It’s not all
about getting everything handed to you. This is one of the best book I have
The Island Of Dr. Mureau
I recently read “The Island Of Dr. Mureau”, by H.G. Wells. It’s about a man who gets stranded on an island, with a bunch of creatures, who are restricted from acting like animals, by their ruler Dr. Mureau. I liked the book, because it really gets you thinking about science ethics, and makes you really wonder what the book is trying to say. Plus it’s suspenseful.-R.S.
Need a new good summer reading book? I recommend the book
, by Stephanie Meyer
This book was not on the 2009 summer reading list, but I think it should be on the 2010 summer reading list for York students to read. This book was really enjoyable. It has excitement, romance, and thrill! The story revolves around Bella and Edward. Bella has interest in Edward and vice versa, but Edward has a big secret, he is a vampire. Once Bella finds out all his family secrets, life style, etc, It’s hard for her to deal with it. This leads to major conflict. This book is a page turner. This book is more recommended to girls. It’s more of a romance story. You never can get bored since this book is in a series and the
series movies are coming out. A lot of girls in teen years disagree, like LJB from amazon.com she said. “I seem to be the only teen/preteen girl who isn't obsessed with Twilight. Unlike the doting fan girls who seem to make up about 80% of the reviewers, I found it to be a bit like pudding~ simple and easy to swallow, but with absolutely no nutritional value”. I think this is just one opinion. She probably doesn’t like romance and thrill mixed. -BrianaR
I have to admit I wasn’t really interested in vampires and love stories before the summer started but after reading Twilight, im hooked! Twilight was the best book I’ve yet read. It was a clear and descriptive book on a vampire falling in love with a human. As I read I felt like I knew the characters personally and was there at the scene; there was so much emotion the book kept me on the edge and wanting more. Edward is the perfect example of what ever guy should be. I advise every teen girl that attends YCHS to read this book, you wont be disappointed!
Looking for a new book for the summer reading program?
is the perfect book for teens looking for a summer read. Although Twilight was not on the prior summer reading lists I believe it should be on the future lists because it is an easy read and it can be enjoyed by almost everyone. Twilight is an easy read because it has a very simple setting. Bella Swan moves from sunny Arizona to a small town named Forks to live with her father. Bella instantly falls in love with Edward Cullen who seems like he tries to ignore her. After becoming friends, Bella is told that Edward is an immortal vampire. The story makes the reader fall in love with the Cullen family and describes them as the perfect family. The twilight cast is likeable to anyone, which is why it is an enjoyable read. [[#AHTA2OPQYRA8N|Mky|0]]
Lindsay Beth Maruska
from amazon.com says that the characters in the story are too unrealistic and too perfect. Lindsay says that Bella has no problems and you should “just call her Pretty McPerfect”. This is only one opinion, it doesn’t mean it’s not a great book for you. -Christine W
Do you enjoy reading books that you can’t put down? Try reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyer; you won’t be able to take your eyes off it. The twists, surprises and mystery in the book bring your attention. Twilight is very suspenseful and I recommend it to everyone, boy or girl, adult or child. “Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful,
captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite” says an amazon.com review. I agree with that quote because this story was definitely suspenseful, and it does defy our instincts and satisfies our desires. I would recommend this book for summer reading because many people don’t like reading, but I can honestly say, everyone will love this book. – Natalie B
THE FIRST PART LAST
An excellent example of contemporary realistic fiction, THE FIRST PART LAST tells the story of a sixteen-year-old single boy struggling to raise his infant daughter on his own. Johnson creates believable characters that the reader will come to know as the story unfolds. The novel begins with Bobby’s girlfriend telling him, on his sixteenth birthday, that she is pregnant. The chapters are alternately titled “then” and “now.” The division between the two is the birth of Bobby’s baby, Feather
-Loretta L. :))
The Outsiders is a very interesting book that I recommend. It centers on the narrator, a kid by the name of “Ponyboy” Curtis. It also focuses on his brothers Sodapop, and Darry. These kids belong to a gang called the greasers. These kids often get into fights with other gang members known as Socs. The family that belongs to the greasers often get into fights with each other due to worrying over Ponyboys future. I recommend this book to anyone
who has not read it, it would be great for a summer reading book.
Be sure to only put first name, and last initial, students!
Drawing On The Right Side Of the Brain
Your artistic side is on the Right portion of your brain. Many great artist have depended on the Right brain to think of ideas to draw and to accomplish the task of putting exactly what they come up with in their head on to paper. “Drawing On the Right Side of The Brain” is good book that helps any artist at any skill level understand how the Right side is useful to drawing and how you can develop it or in other words deactivate the left side for task it can’t accomplish like drawing and let the right side take over. Many people believe the book works and one and L. Power “nlp trainer”, a user of the book and an artist, says “If you are not as artistic as you would like to be, and were to follow the exercises in this book there is no reason your skill level should not improve dramatically”. This is a great book for beginners and I think it would be a fun and interesting book for art students to study. If we want to get good at something we have to see how we do it better mentally.-Austin Van J
The book I am going to review is the Orphanage. I believe that many students will enjoy orphanage because, it is a action oriented war book based in the future with a good plot and better characters. In 40 years into the future earth is attacked by aliens known as “slugs” and it is up to Jason Wander to save earth; the war changed him and humanity. -Will K.
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