Category Archives: book reviews

Binge- Tyler Oakley

Binge, by Tyler Oakley, is a very funny and good book that I just finished. It is about Tyler Oakley who is a famous Youtuber. The book is a collection of stories about his life and how he became a famous Youtuber.

One of the main stories he talked about was how he developed an eating disorder and how he was able to overcome it. He was overweight and during gym class, he would always be the last one to finish his running mile. He started realizing that he didn’t like how he looked or how he felt so he began virtually starving himself. Later, his parents figured out what was going on and were able to get him help.

One of the major themes of the book was about how he is gay and how he has coped with this during his life. His dad did not accept him for who he was, but he later was able to look past it. His mom did accept him for being gay, so he had a good support system.

I thought this book was really funny because of this interesting perspective of the modern world, so I would give it a 4.5 out of 5. I would recommend this book to anybody in 8th grade and up because of some of the content.

Crow Boy

Crow Boy is a fantastic book for kids that are just beginning to read because of the vocabulary and the pictures. This book won the Caldecott award and is written by Taro Yashima. This book is about a neglected boy who is shy and stays to himself. He finds interest in everything in his surroundings. After five years of everyone thinking he was stupid he finally got up during the sixth grade talent show. There he showed everything he learned from being so observant over the years. This is where he proved that he wasn’t dumb. After the talent show he gained a new nickname, “Crow Boy.” After he proved himself he wasn’t mopey all the time anymore. Now he is happy.

The Snowy Day

The Snowy Day is a Caldecott award winning book geared towards younger kids. It is about how a young boy woke up one morning and saw snow. He had fun making tracks and digging in the snow to look like indentions. Then, he found a tree that had snow all over it and he decided to whack it with a stick. Little did he know this was a bad idea because the snow fell all over him. He also tried to play in a snowball fight, but that was a bad idea too. In the end, after trying many things, he had fun during his day in the snow.

Strength Through Power; The Wave

In Language Arts class, we just finished a book called The Wave by Todd Strasser. The Wave was a true story, an experiment that took place in Palo Alto, California, in 1969. This was an experiment performed by Ron Jones, whose character in the book is Ben Ross. SVG-editThis all started when a film about The Holocaust was played in Ben Ross’s history class room. Not all students seemed as into it as Ben was, so Ben put the students in place of power to answer some questions.

“Whoever is new to power is always harsh,” Aeschylus.

This quote (above) explains how the students in The Wave movement felt. They felt power and only power. Power that could not be ceased or collected unless somebody with even more power stopped it. The Wave is a tool that students used to ditch their own classes to be in Ben’s class, to beat up other kids, and to act as soldiers. The Wave was already bad enough for these students, imagine how this would follow through in the future! They can’t possible thrive being in a set group of people, nor should they leave their own friends behind as traitors. This movement was bad, almost too bad.

First, The Wave was not good for the students because there was no popularity or standing out. This sounds almost like a good thing, but G-d made us who we are so that we could be ourselves. This was getting to the point that everyone was acting the same, and was getting out of hand. The Nazis were the same. Although they were being trained Green_Power_Clipart___i2Clipart_-_Royalty_Free_Public_Domain_Clipartto act as a squadron, they did act like one, and look at what came out of that! This does sound like something a military would pursue, but it was more than that. The Nazis tortured, gassed, whipped, strangled, starved, and most commonly, killed the less superior race. Many thought that The Wave could turn into a group like this, and it was heading into that direction.

Another example of why The Wave is so horrible is because everybody was acting like a unit. This was critical because in order to be successful, you need to learn how to do things your own way and develop your mind to choose for yourself. In this scenario, I think these people should fend for themselves and stand up for what’s right. The Wave prevents students from doing this because so many people are a part of The Wave, and it is pressuring everyone to say no to what everyone else thought.

Also, being in The Wave is very much like being a soldier in an army. The point of The Wave was to show the students that the Nazis had a lot of power. By continuing this movement, many students, not only in this class, came together to act as an army. One student took it too far and beat up a Jewish boy while chanting, “Strength through discipline, strength through community, strength through action,” which is The Wave motto. After the fight, the Wave member called the Jewish boy a “dirty Jew.” This is one of the many reasons that I think this must stop!

“I don’t think I like it, Laurie. It sounds to militaristic to me,” stated Laurie’s mother. Laurie was a girl who was in the movement and was hesitant from the beginning about the wholepeople_army_soldier_jpg_554×582_pixels thing. I agree with Laurie’s mother because it is true, this act is militaristic. This is not a good kind of thing for high school students to be getting into, because they still don’t know everything there is to know about the world. Also, they didn’t use a lot of common sense!

To bring all of these variables together and come to a conclusion, The Wave was a horrible movement that should not have come to be. This led the students in Gordon High School into times that they didn’t think would ever happen. They didn’t get a chance to fend for themselves or stand up for what they believed in even if they wanted to, due to peer pressure. Everybody stayed together as a squadron or unit, and it did not seem realistic. With all of that said, The Wave was a horrible experience for Gordon High School students to go through and I believe that this should have been controlled and prevented from the start.

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Look “Elsewhere”… Nothing to See Here!

I recently read a creepy, yet interesting book, by Jacqueline West called The Books of Elsewhere, The Shadows. This book is about a girl who moves into this big, three story house (not including the attic) and is completely terrified of her future inside of it after she was confronted by a talking cat in her first week of living there. Next, she found magical somehwat spectaclesspectacles/glasses hidden and left in a desk drawer inside the house, which she later finds out can enable her to jump inside of many peculiar paintings hung up around the house. She later unlocks many secrets the house has to offer, and figures out the story behind “Elsewhere.”

This book was an assigned book report for a system called Chai reading which our school uses. For the presentation portion of the book report, we had a list of options in which we could use. Out of about ten options, I chose the cooking/baking/making option. You were able to choose anything that had to do with something the main character liked, or had an association with. Instead, I decided to create and make something interactive for everyone to partake in.

I decided to take vanilla wafer sandwicheswafer (I don’t know what they are called), imagepretzels, gram-crackers, and icing so that everyone can have a race to build their own three story building without it falling. The objective is to have everyone understand that the three story food contraption resembles the three story house that was the setting of the story.

In addition to the cooking/baking/making project, I decided to do a Venn Diagram on the similarities and differences of me and the main character of the book, Olive.


There are many similarities and many differences, but here is just a taste; Olive is fearless. If she heard a suspicious noise, instead of running away from it, she would go near it to figure out what it was. Sometimes I can be like that, but if I were in Olive’s situation, I would run away! Both of us are curious. Right when Olive heard the first cat talk, she was first scared, but then she continued to ask the cat questions. If I were in her shoes, I may have done the same thing. Also, when she could’ve gotten help from her neighbor when I would’ve been scared to death, she slammed the door on her face to run back to finish what she was doing. I would’ve ran back to my neighbor’s house!

Although this book could have given me nightmares for the rest of my life, this was a very good book. The fact that it was scary and mysterious made it more intriguing to read, which made it easier to comprehend and enjoy. I would rate it a 4 out of 5, because, like I said, it was a good book, just it was scary enough for me to refuse reading it alone, in my room (no joke). So, all in all, I would recommend this to anyone who either shares a room with someone, or someone who isn’t afraid to wet their pants.

Image Credit:  Acidburn24m, Frank C. Müller

Once Upon a Time, in a Far, Far, Far, Away Land…

I read a book call The Wizard of Oz for a reading program called, “Chai Reading.” In Chai Reading, our first assignment is to read a classic, and I chose the Wizard of Oz. This is an Unabridged book, meaning it is not the original version, but it is by the same author, L. Frank Baum.

The Wizard of Oz is a book that is very mysterious in a way that you would want to keep reading. There are so many different crazy things that would just randomly happen:

It all started in Kansas, with Aunt Em and Uncle Henrey, who Dorothy lived with in a farm house. One thing she had that would cheer her up was a small dog named Toto. Yorkshire_Terrier_2.jpg 604×453 pixelsEverything was going well, until a twister was spotted, and Dorothy was taken with the house to somewhere far away from home, with Toto by her side. She must go through a lot of trouble to get back to Kansas again. Will she make it? How will she find her way home? You just may have to find out by reading the book!

Rating this book would take a lot of work, because some parts were way different than others, like scenery for example. On their trip, they had to pass the country of China (china plates people, houses, etc.), the Wicked Witch of the West’s territory, Glinda’s territory, etc. I’m going to give the book four stars. One for the characters, one for an amazing outline, one for creativity, and one because I really like the book! I would recommend this book from ages 9-12. The reasoning for this is because 9 year old would enjoy it for the adventure, while 12 year olds would enjoy it because there is no story like this that I have ever heard before.

This is definitely one of the best books I’ve read, and I really hope you get a chance to read it. I don’t know how the original Wizard of Oz book is, but I do know the version I read is good, whether you’ve read the Original version or not!


Image Credit: KS8889

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a novel, written by John Boyne. The book was most likely written for anybody ages 10 and up. The story gets really sad during certain times, therefore a young audience probably wouldn’t be the right group of people to be reading it.
edited berlin germany2This book is about a child named Bruno, which later in the book you find out, is Hitler’s son. In the beginning of the book, Bruno is leaving his old house in Berlin, Sachsenhausen_clothesGermany, to move to someplace he didn’t know for his father’s work. Being a little boy, his parents thought it would be the wrong thing to tell him what his father does, because Bruno was only eight.
At his new house, he was upset to leave his friends, and got very lonely very quickly. He liked to look out his window, and watch the people wearing the striped pajamas, and he had wondered what they were all doing there.
Later in the book, Bruno finds a trail in his backyard, which he is forbidden to follow. He felt so lonely, and loved to explore, so he thought, why not? He followed the path, and found a barbed wire fence, and a little boy wearing striped pajamas.
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The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is a violent, sad, but happy book. Because in the book there are many mixed emotions, the detail spews out, and the book becomes more real. This novel was written by Suzanne Collins, and is a Best Seller. There is not much to explain about it, except for the fact that it is amazing! For more details about The Hunger Games without spoilers, play the book trailer below that I created.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates: The college drop out, who became the country’s youngest billionare

Have you ever read, or heard about a book, or a person called, “Bill Gates?” I have! This nonfiction novel is by Joan D. Dickinson, and is well written. I would recommend this book, because of it’s amazing facts, and way of teaching you about the 20th century of computing. I enjoy technology very much, and what I got out of reading this book, is that it all started in the 1900s. One fun fact I learned from this book, is that some of the first computers averaged, about the size of a bedroom! Then, they smushed it down to a refrigerator size, and eventually, it got smushed down to what we use now, PCs (personal computers) and laptops. I loved learning about this, because it taught me that not everything starts out perfect, but there’s always a good meaning that could change your future.