Posted in Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

In this book we meet Gerta, an 8 year old girl in East Berlin. A couple of days before, her father and younger brother left to explore opportunities in West Berlin. Unfortunately, while they are gone the Berlin Wall goes up, separating them. She, along with her mother and older brother are on the side that is controlled by the Soviets while her father and younger brother are on the side that is free. A couple of months later the existing guarded fence becomes a 7 foot high concrete wall with watchtowers and guards with vicious dogs.  There is no way for Gerta and her remaining family to escape to West Berlin. Four years later, she still feels hopeless, until she sees her father pantomiming a dance on a platform on the other side. With that dance in mind, she forms a plan to escape with her remaining family. Will she succeed?

I liked this book because of the well thought out storyline and the suspenseful chapters. I enjoyed how the author described Gerta’s feelings. I felt that I was her in some parts of the book and gained insight into a horrifying time in history.

 

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Posted in Realistic Fiction

The Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase by Wendy Mass

In this book we meet friends Logan, Philip, Miles, and Daisy. After winning the nationwide New Candy Contest, they watch as their Harmonicandy rolls down the production belt at the Life is Sweet factory. Everything seems fine until Logan and the others taste the first batch and, to their surprise, it tastes different than the original. With the new candy at stake, the quartet sets out on a publicity tour. While on the road, they research all about chocolate and consider the possibility that the original cacao beans came from outer space. The friends eventually track down a certain group of people that had a hand in the discovery of these special cacao beans, what will they uncover?

I enjoyed this book because of the candy factory setting and the suspenseful plot. I could relate to the characters and their adventures, which allowed me to place myself in the story. I loved the author’s technique of writing from each of the four friends’ perspectives. This is the 2nd book in a 2 book series. I recommend reading the series in order.

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Posted in Fantasy, Realistic Fiction

The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

In this book we meet Daphne and Sabrina Grimm, 7 and 11 years old. They have been bounced from horrible foster home to horrible foster home, but each time they escape. When the sisters are sent to their “Granny Relda”, whom they believed to be dead, Sabrina is determined to hate her and escape once again. Granny Relda tells them that fairytale characters are real and that they live in their town, Ferryport Landing. Sabrina thinks she is crazy until a giant carries her Granny off. Now it is up to the sisters Grimm to save her, what will they do? This is the 1st book in a 9 book series. I liked this book because in the beginning it seems normal, but then magic gets weaved in.

 

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Posted in Realistic Fiction

Holes by Louis Sachar

In this book, we meet Stanley Yelnats. He has been unfairly sent to a boys’ detention center, called Camp Green Lake. When he arrives he is told that everyday, he must dig one hole, five feet wide and five feet deep. Stanley soon realizes that Camp Green Lake isn’t what it appears to be, and Stanley is determined to dig out the secret. I liked this book because it was very descriptive, but in the middle I feel like it repeats a little.

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Posted in Realistic Fiction

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

This book was amazing. It is technically 2 stories that intertwine at the end. One is Ben’s story which is told in text, the other is Rose’s story, told in drawings. Ben is an orphan, and he is living with his Aunt and Uncle, but when he sees his former house lit up he goes to investigate, what will he find? We see Rose, who doesn’t like her father, but we don’t see her mother, until she goes to New York to find her. I liked this story because it kept me hanging, and both the pictures and the text were very descriptive.

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Posted in Realistic Fiction, Series

Malory Towers by Enid Blyton

The Malory Towers is a series about a girl named Darrell, she goes to boarding school at Malory Towers and is very proud of it. Each book is about her as she moves up in her forms, (there is the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th form). Along with her, there are many other girls with her who go up with her in the forms The most important ones are Sally, Gwendoline, Alicia, Bill (, and many more. Sally is Darrell’s best friend, they become friends in the 2nd book. Gwendoline is very feather-headed, she doesn’t care about anything except herself and she is very spoiled, Darrell always tries to put a little sense in her head but it doesn’t always work. Alicia is very smart and clever, she plays tricks on the teachers all the time and can still work hard. Darrell sometimes admires her but other times she doesn’t because Alicia also had a hard, jealous streak. Bill is a girl who grew up with her 7 brothers, as a result, she loves horses and is very boyish. Once, when Bill’s horse was in trouble Darrell helped Bill find help and she stayed with the horse until help came. I like this series because you see the character growing up through the books, and it is a very fun story.

 

 

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Posted in Fiction, Realistic Fiction

The Mysterious Benedict Society: The Prisoner’s Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart

In this book, Reynie, Constance, Kate, and Sticky are doing an exercise called The prisoner’s Dilemma. Constance begged Mr. Benedict to use the Whisperer to find out her past, and  he did. Constance then runs away to the library where Reynie, Kate, and Sticky find her. They then figure out Mr. Curtain’s codes and clues to a spot where they are captured and taken to a prison. Mr. Benedict attempts a rescue…will he succeed? This book is the 3rd book in the 5 book Mysterious Benedict Society series.

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