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Book: Chasing Secrets

Author: Gennifer Choldenko

Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 278

Lizzie Kennedy is the daughter of a doctor, and has been learning the trade herself. However, when rumors of the plague strike San Francisco, she doesn’t know what to believe. When their beloved cook, Jing, goes missing, she knows she has to do something, even if she doesn’t know what.

I really liked this book, mostly because of the main character Lizzie. She goes to a ladies school and absolutely hates it, as they have no sciences, math, or (in her opinion) anything interesting whatsoever. The other girls see her as an oddity and Lizzie can’t help but feel that she can’t fit in. So instead she makes company out of books because, as she says, “A book is a friend you can take wherever you go.”

Once again, I read this book for history. As opposed to the last book I read in The Gilded Age, I thought that it showed me a bit of what life could be like for the wealthier people of that time. This was a large contrast to everything else I read.

In this book many people doubt the existence of the plague, which reminds me of what is going on in our world with Covid 19. Everyone is getting fed information from a lot of different sources (some of them contradicting each other) just like in this book.

Overall, I think you should read this book, and you should definitely read it if you like historical fiction or whacky characters.

Book: Animal Farm

Author: George Orwell

Genre: Metaphorical fiction?

Page Count: 144

After the death of the oldest pig on the Manor Farm, the animals are empowered by his last speech. They decided to revolt from human rule in the hopes of ending animal slaughter. However living under animal rule isn’t as easy as they thought it would be.

I read this book for part of book club, and out of all the books that we have read in our book club so far this is the only one that I didn’t like. I really didn’t like this book because the text was so dense it almost read like a history textbook at times. I also thought that it was overflowing with metaphors. I’m honestly not sure how a book about a revolution could be boring, but it was.

There were two things I liked about this book: it was short, and it was well written. It was the fact that it was well written that stopped me from giving it the big red star, instead earning it a one star.

I would not recommend you read this book unless you like an abundance of metaphors and dense reading material.

Book: City of Orphans

Author: Avi

Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 355

Maks, a newsie, makes 8 cents a day to contribute to his family. Both his older sisters and his father work to help keep their family afloat. But when his oldest sister, Emma, got arrested for a suspected theft, their boat starts to wobble. Willa has been living on the streets for six months, and when she saves Maks from the local street gang, his family took her in, and Maks dragged her into the mystery of Emma’s supposed theft.

I read this book for The Gilded Age time period of U. S history. I thought this book showed what it was like for an immigrant family to live in New York. Many people were in the same situation as them, and not many people could hire you, since they were all lacking in money. I also learned about how unfair some working conditions were. For example, at a shoe factory, workers were paid by the number of shoes they made. Sometimes, it would close for weeks on end because the workers were making more shoes than the factory could sell.

My favorite character was Willa, because of her fierce attitude. I liked how each person seemed to have a unique dialect and accent, because most of them were from different places. I also enjoyed the element of mystery to this book.

The one thing that was a little confusing was the narrator. It was written in Maks’s dialect, but it was 3rd person so I wasn’t really sure who they were supposed to be.

If you like historical fiction or mysteries I think you should read this book.

Book: Unlocked (book 8.5 in Keeper of the Lost Cities)

Author: Shannon Messenger

Genre: Fantasy

Page Count: 640

This book was split into two sections. The first half of the book, which had things like how to pronounce characters’ names, artwork, recipes, etc. I was really excited about one recipe specifically, Lushberry Juice, a drink the characters enjoy multiple times in the books. I hope to be able to make it myself, once the weather is warmer.

The second part was a novella, taking place after Legacy. The POV in this story alternates between Sophie and Keefe. Sophie is the main character in this series, and Keefe is one of the main supporting characters. I liked the alternating point of views because I thought it was interesting to see Sophie from someone else’s perspective. I also liked that we got to see more of Glimmer, Bex, Rex, and Lex, who we had not seen much of earlier in the series. I also want to see Bex, Rex, and Lex in future books because they are very funny characters. However, they are vastly different from Keefe or other comic relief characters because of the elves’ prejudice against multiple births, and they are triplets.

I thought that this novella was better than Legacy (Book 8) on many levels, the most notable being that what happened in it was new, while in Legacy I felt a lot of it was repetitive. If you have read the first eight books, then you should definitely read this one.

Book: Dawnshard (Novella in the Stormlight Archive)

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Page Count: ???

This Novella is meant to be read in-between the 3rd and 4th Stormlight Archive books.

This book is part of Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere World. If you are going to ever read it, know that you will need to read Warbreaker, the first book of the Stormlight Archive (The Way Of Kings), the second Stormlight Archive book (Words Of Radiance), Edgedancer (another novella) and the third Stormlight Archive book (Oathbringer). You should also probably read both Mistborn Eras 1 and 2, and Elantris.

If you have not read the other Stormlight books, DO NOT READ THE NEXT PARAGRAPH!!

Rysn is heading to an island that existed only in legend. The one that sailors won’t venture near. She’s going because Chiri-Chiri, her pet Larkin, is sick, and she might heal their. But she’s also going for Alethkar, and her own country Thaylenah. And with her, they sent a Radiant. A very . . . peculiar Radiant.

This book was mostly from Rysn and Lopen’s (the peculiar Radiant) point of view. I really liked that because previously we have seen very little of there thoughts. I thought that Edgedancer was superior to this book, but this book was still amazing.

I would recommend The Stormlight Archive (And the Cosmere in general) to you if you liked the Lord of the Rings, other epic fantasy, or anything else Brandon Sanderson wrote.

Hello there! I am going to be adding a rating system to all of my book reviews on here. But before I start sticking stars onto the page, I thought I better explain it so that you all aren’t super confused.

I will be using a standard x/5 stars system, but because I like things to be hard, I made it even more complicated. Before I get into any complicated colors, I’m going to go over what the different number of stars mean.

5 stars- one of the BEST. BOOKS. EVER. I will be very hesitant giving this rating. If there is a series that probably deserves it, I would probably only give it to my personal favorite book in it, and all the others would get something like 4.5 or 4. For example. In The Stormlight Archive, I would probably give Edgedancer 5, but the others 4.5.

1 star- you should not read this book. I didn’t like it.

3 stars- this book was good. Maybe I didn’t like it too much, but it wasn’t my favorite genre or style of writing, so other people would probably like it. Or I thought it was ok, but I was a little bored reading it.

And of course there is everything in-between.

Normally the stars would be yellow. If instead of 5 yellow stars there is the red symbol to the right it means: THIS BOOK WAS HORRIBLE NEVER READ IT. If the stars are green it means: This book was (number of stars filled in) for a book written for little kids. Keep in mind that I’m 12 and little kids is a relative term.

Book: Prairie Lotus

Author: Linda Sue Park

Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 261

Hanna, A half Asian-half American girl, has been traveling across the country with her father for over two years. Now they are settling down in a newborn town, opening a shop, and starting a new life. The only problem is, Hanna is the only person there who isn’t white.

Nowadays, that wouldn’t be a big deal, but at that time, people were afraid of anything different. They wouldn’t want to buy from her, speak with her, or let their children go to school with her. As you can imagine, That would present quite an issue living in this town.

I thought this book was very well written. I really liked reading it and I wanted to just keep on reading without stopping. I especially liked the character Bess, because of her kind nature.

I read this book for history (westward expansion) and I thought that it gave me more of an idea of what homesteading was like than the other books. It also gave me an idea of the problems small towns had installing laws.

Books: Vanished (Book 2) Trapped (Book 3)

Author: James Ponti

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Page Count: Vanished: 272 Trapped: 400

These are the final two books in the Framed trilogy. I read them right away after our trip to DC. However, both the moms haven’t even started reading them, because apparently their “mom stuff” is much more important. I felt that I enjoyed these books just as much as the first one, a truly remarkable thing to find in sequels.

I think my favorite of the three was Vanished. I really liked the change of setting. My favorite thing about it though, was the addition of new characters. I also noticed that no part of the plot seemed like a repeat of the first book, which I thought would have been difficult to do with this book (and mysteries in general.)

I think that you should read this series if you like mysteries and realistic fiction, or if you don’t!