Student Summer Reading Book Reviews

During a Friday Exploration day, the library hosted a student book club, where middle schoolers discussed some of the best (unassigned) books they read over the summer break. A few students chose to write reviews about their picks, to share their book with the entire school community!

Josie Mazerski, Grade 6, read Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson.

“In fifth grade we read a book called Peter and the Starcatchers. This book was a prequel to Peter Pan. It had some new characters in it and the story line was a bit different from Peter Pan. This was a very good book with lots of intriguing characters. There were some crazy plot twists and lots of magic!
First you meet Peter, who is an orphan. He is taking a ship to Europe, and he meets a girl named Molly Aster as he walks onto the Sea Hawk {the ship}. The ship looked old and run down, with lots of holes, and they didn’t have that much food. As for getting water, they had 3 barrels of water on the ship, but sometimes they had to drink sea water. 
The room that Peter and his friends had was very cramped, and smelled bad. One night Peter got out of his room to go find food. On his way back, he saw some sort of light. He was drawn to it and walked over. He found a glowing chest. Out of curiosity, he opened it. He was hit with blinding light, and then he started floating…”

(Editor’s Note: To figure out what happens next you’ll have to read the book!)

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Caitlyn Saavedra, Grade 7, read When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

When You Reach Me is an amazing book that is mostly based off of mystery. Meranda is a sixth grade protagonist who starts getting these mysterious notes. Some of the notes say creepy things like “Where do you keep your house key,” and she is told not to tell anyone about them. Although she receives these notes on a daily basis, she is clueless who is giving them to her. Eventually Meranda finds that the person that is giving her the notes was a time traveler, trying to save someone’s life.”  

Bela Sadler, Grade 6, read Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes by Johnathon Auxier

“Peter Nimble is a boy who got his eyes pecked out by ravens when he was very little. He was found in a port town by the sea, and he had to steal to survive. One day, an evil man named Mr. Seamus found him and adopted him and trained him how to steal and pick locks for him.When Peter was out on his nightly rounds to steal food and money he came across a mysterious haberdasher who had a mysterious carriage in locks. Once the haberdasher left he picked all of the locks and found a box inside that he thought was filled with eggs but was actually filled with 3 pairs of fantastic eyes. The eyes took him and his best friend on wonderful and strange  journeys across the world and even beyond to find a vanished kingdom by following the riddle they found in a bottle in the sea. Eventually they find his sister and they work together to save the vanished kingdom. Overall it was a great book and I highly recommend reading it. I would give it 5 out of five stars because it was one of the best books that I have ever read in my life.”

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Macy Head, Grade 6, read the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott

“If you have read Harry Potter, you’ll remember an immortal alchemist named Nicholas Flamel. There is in fact an entire book series about him! The main characters are two twins fighting the forces of evil. They have to guard pages from a magical book, because if the enemy get these pages, the world will end as we know it! There is a lot of mythology in the book and has alchemy and the four elements. One of the things I liked about the series was all the sorcery. There are 5 books in the series.”

Kierra Harrison, Grade 7, read A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron.

The sequel to the hit novel A Dog’s Purpose, A Dog’s Journey is about Bailey the dog and him discovering that his first purpose was not his only.  He comforts and protects Ethan’s daughter CJ and guides her through some of the toughest times of her life.  This book made me look at dogs in a different light, even though it is fiction. It helps you understand more of your dog’s emotions and realize that they aren’t just driven by food and shelter.  I also loved the writing style, and seeing the world as a dog and how ridiculous us humans must seem to them. A Dog’s Journey is a lovely book that should be read by all.

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Chloe Lamb, Grade 6, read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.

This book is about a group of paleontologists who find dinosaur blood preserved inside a mosquito. They send it to a scientist, who take DNA from the blood that they could make into eggs. Later, the egg hatches, and the dinosaur is a triceratops. They continue making dinosaurs until they could make a park. What could go wrong? Everything! Everything goes wrong and lots of people die, and almost everyone who survives is badly injured.

I really liked this book because it had a great story idea and was interesting. A good thing about the book was that the way everything went wrong made it seem like you were there. The only thing I did not like about the book was that lots of dinosaurs were actually from the Cretaceous Period, like the T.Rex! And the book itself is called Jurassic Park, so I was only expecting dinosaurs from the Jurassic Period!

Editor’s Note: Chloe is right. Triceratops and T-Rex are both from the Cretaceous Period. If they wanted to call the book Jurassic Park, they should have made so with a ferocious Stegosaurus.