Book Review #30 (The Wednesday Wars)

Book: The Wednesday Wars

Author: Gary D. Schmidt

Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 276

Holling Hoodhood is the only kid in his class who doesn’t go to religious school on Wednesday afternoons. As a result, he is the only kid left in the classroom with his teacher, Ms. Baker, who Hates. His. Guts. On these Wednesday afternoons she makes him read Shakespeare.

This book was very good. I thought that it was very funny, though that was not the main point of the book. I also thought it did a good job of describing the relationships between classmates.

One thing I didn’t like abut this book was that at a few points in the story it felt like it was a little slow, and not much was happening.

This book takes place during the Cold War. We got to see what it was like during that time. An example of this is how stupid the “Atomic Bomb Drills” were. I mean, there’s not much you can do if an atomic bomb drops.

If you like books about strange middle schoolers, you should read this book.

Book Review #29 (Ground Zero)

Book: Ground Zero

Author: Alan Gratz

Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 241

September 11, 2001: Brandon is heading to the World Trade center with his dad. September 11, 2019: Reshmina’s village is caught in the middle of a war. They have no idea that their lives are about to be turned upside down.

This book did not earn the highest of praise. I felt like the timing was off and there were many coincidences and events that were not believable.

I also thought that some of the writing seemed like it was written for younger kids, but the content was for older audiences. It was a strange, uneven balance.

I really enjoyed all of Alan Gratz’s other books (or at least the ones I’ve read) but, I felt that this one just didn’t live up to standards. I’m not sure I would recommend it to anyone, but if you like this type of book, you should read it!!

Book Review #28 (Bud, Not Buddy)

Book: Bud, Not Buddy

Author:  Christopher Paul Curtis

Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 245

Bud has lived in an orphanage for four years, ever since his mother died. However, when he decides to try and find his father, using fliers his mother left behind, he starts his own adventure.

I really liked this book. I thought that it gave an interesting perspective of the depression, the main character being a ten year old. I also really liked how many characters there were. A lot of them were only in it a little bit, but you got to see a lot of different people.

This book was also really funny. The way Bud thinks is really amusing, and the book had an overall humorous tone.

If you like historical fiction books about slightly ignorant ten year-olds, you should read this book.

Book Review #28 (Moon Over Manifest)

Book: Moon Over Manifest

Author: Clare Vanderpool

Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 370

Abilene Tucker has lived with her daddy her entire life, going wherever the trains may take them. But, when he takes a railroad job and sends her to his old hometown, Manifest, she wonders why he doesn’t want her with him. She soon finds new worries about other things, uncovering a spy hunt and a story about two boys who used to live there: Ned and Jinx.

I read this for The Great Depression, and it was really interesting because only about half the book was about The Great Depression, the other half being about World War I. It was also cool seeing how things that happened in WW I directly affected what people did during the depression.

I really liked the two storylines, and the manner in which the WW I story was told. It didn’t really make sense at first, but then it all came together in the end. I’m not sure I can honestly say there was anything I didn’t like about this book.

My favorite character was Jinx, and it almost felt like it was more his book than Abilene’s.

You should read this book!!!!

Book Review #27 (When You Trap A Tiger)

Book: When You Trap A Tiger

Author: Tae Keller

Genre: Magical Realism

Page Count: 306

Lily’s Mom is moving her and her sister Sam to live with their Halmoni, for no apparent reason. But when a magical tiger shows up and offers Lily a deal, she begins to realize all is not how it seems.

I really liked this book. I read it for book club and at first I was a little skeptical because it sounded kind of weird, but then I started reading it and was like “whoa, this is cool!”. I’ve only read one other book in it’s genre (that I can think of) so it was interesting to read another.

My favorite character was probably Sam. I liked how different she was from Lily, and her growth throughout the book. I also liked that the cast of the book was relatively small, a huge contrast to most of the books I’ve been reading for fun lately.

If you like slightly strange fantasy books, you should read this book!!!

Book Review #26 (Stella by Starlight)

Book: Stella by Starlight

Author: Sharon M. Draper

Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 352

Stella lives in Bumblebee, North Carolina. Life’s okay. I mean, some stores she can’t go into, and the white school is much better than her own, but she still has her family and her community, right? Not for long. After many years the Klan has arisen in Bumblebee once again. And Stella knows who one of them is.

I really liked this book. I thought that most of the supporting characters were very loveable. There were a few times in the second half of the book where some scenes seemed very random and unfinished. It also seemed to end at a place where everything seemed happy, but I think if the story continued, terrible things would happen.

I thought this book gave a different view on the depression era than a lot of other books. The main difference is that the perspective was from a that of a very small town, as opposed to a city.

If you like historical fiction books that are slightly depressing, you should read this book.