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!
Book: Framed! (1st Book in Framed! Trilogy)
Author: James Ponti
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Page Count: 320
Florian Bates puts together puzzles with his mind. Not the type of puzzle you get from the dollar store and spend forever trying to piece together, but puzzles made by clues other people leave all around. Of course, the hardest part is finding the pieces. In short, Florian is a 12 year old, amateur detective. And when the museum where his parents work is the victim of an art theft, well, Florian can’t help but to try to solve it himself.
I read this book as part of a book club I’m in. Although “book club” is a stretch. In reality we are two nerdy seventh graders who read and discuss books with our nerdy moms. Anyways this book was the last book we read, and I loved it. I really enjoyed reading about the characters, especially Margaret, because she is funny, smart, and other reasons. I also especially liked the plot twist at the end.
The main setting of this book was the National Gallery Of Art, in DC. Because of that, we (meaning the moms) decided that we would take a field trip there to see the paintings that were stolen in the book. Only two of them were on display currently, but we saw those two and took pictures with them.
In addition to the art, we went there to have lunch at Ben’s Chili Bowl, since that too was in the book. The day that we went it was raining. A lot. There were like, literally rivers in the streets. And since were in the middle of a global pandemic (such an inconvenience, right?) they only had outside seating so you know, that was fun!
Anyways this book was great and you should defiantly read it.
Book: Here In The Real World
Author: Sara Pennypacker
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Page Count: 320
Ware was going to be spending the summer with his Grandmother. He was supposed to be free of the day care that wasted the past summers of his life. But when his grandmother fell and hurt herself, he found himself going back to the place he dreaded. Dreading what was to come, he started skipping day care, and helping a girl with a project in an abandoned lot across the street. However, he had no Idea what he was getting himself into.
I really liked this book. I loved some of the ideas in it. I felt they were very inspirational. I also enjoyed the characters, especially Jolene because of her determination. I felt like each of them were unique and none of them were like any characters I have seen in the past. This book didn’t have much humor, but the book was wonderful none the less. If you like Realistic Fiction, friendship-y books, books in general, or none of the above, you should read this book.
Book: The Great Railroad Race: Diary of Libby West (One of the “Dear America” books)
Author: Kristiana Gregory
Genre: Historical Fiction/journal
Page Count: 204
Libby’s father is a reporter for a local newspaper. But not for long! He plans to make his own newspaper following the Union Pacific Railroad in the great railroad race, a race between the two railroad company’s starting from opposite sides of the continent, trying to cover more land, and therefor make more money. And Libby, her mother, and her brother, are going with him.
Before this book I had only ever read one book in a diary format. I think it really gave me more of an insight of what the character was thinking and less about what things happening actually looked like. It was also interesting because the character decided when they wanted to write, so there were tiny time jumps where you knew almost nothing about what happened in-between.
I thought this book did a good job showing what it was like for a family to travel alongside the railroads. I also thought it did a good job showing how big it was that these railroads were crossing the continent, especially compared to now where you can just hop on a plane and be there in a few hours. Anyways, If you like historical fiction and the diary format, or want to learn more about the great railroad race, you should read this book.
Book: A Game Of Fox & Squirrels
Author: Jenn Reese
Genre: Magical Realism
Page Count: 160
Sam wished things could go back to the way they were before. Before her sister’s arm was in a cast, before people started asking questions, and before she had to move, with her sister, to her aunt’s house. But then, somehow through the game her aunt gave her, a fox in the woods near her aunt’s house offers a way she can go back to how it was before. And Sam plans to take it. But, first she has to complete the challenges the Fox sets her.
My mom got this book from the library because it was on a list of books that were predicted to be a Newberry winner this year. This book is a little strange especially the end, because all the magic, is really a metaphor, but it’s real in the book, but still also a metaphor in the book. But it’s really good, I promise!
Even though it is Fantasy it is more of a feely-feely book than a fighty-action book. My favorite character was Sam’s older sister. I thought this book was very good, and definitely worth reading. YOU should read it. Now. I’m serious go read it.
Book: Walk on Earth a Stranger (1st book in the Gold Seer trilogy)
Author: Rae Carson
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Page Count: 198
Leah Westfall has a secret. She lives with her parents in Georgia, a result of her fathers long ago gold fever. And despite all the gold in Georgia having run out, her father, “Lucky” Westfall keeps finding more, enough that they have a secret stash of gold dust worth more than 1,000 (1849 time) dollars. All thanks to Leah. You see, Leah can sense gold. From nuggets, veins, dust in a river bank, and tiny specks beneath someone’s fingernail. Despite this Leah is able to lead a normal-ish life in her little town. Until her uncle murdered her parents, took their land, and claimed ownership of Leah, planning to use her powers for himself. Leah decides that she must run away to join the gold rush to California, and escape her uncle.
I read this book for history, despite its fantasy elements. My mom chose this book, not knowing that I had already read it. She decided we would read it anyways, and there were many things that I had forgotten from my previous read. You might think that because it is a fantasy book you wouldn’t really learn anything about what it was actually like in 1849, but I think it really showed what it was like to travel across the country as a part of a group of wagons. It also helped me understand the situation the Native Americans were in, with all of these 49’ers tromping across their land.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was all the vastly different characters in their wagon group and how they interacted. It was not a big bundle of smiles and glitter, as people tend to be a bit complicated. I also enjoyed watching how the children in their group acted about moving across the country. Surprisingly, many of the younger ones were completely chill with it. The older ones had a bit more mixed feelings. Overall I enjoyed reading this book, and I think that if you read it, you will too.