Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review: Going Solo

Going Solo
Roald Dahl
Narrative Nonfiction, Adventure, Autobiography

Book Review by: James Lawrence

Going Solo by Roald Dahl is more than just another boring autobiography. For one, Roald Dahl is an author, not a movie star or sports player who knows nothing about writing. But that is far from all that is good about this book. Going Solo is about Dahl’s adventures working for Shell Oil in the African Savanna and flying fighter planes in World War II.

Dahl embarks on many exciting adventures, fights for his country, and sends readers on an adventurous thrill ride. Another great thing about this book is the writing style. It is a non-fiction book, but it is narrative non-fiction, which means it feels like you are reading a fiction novel. Many people find non-fiction books boring and this is a great book for people like that. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, adventurous read.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Review: Seraphina

Rachel Hartman
Fantasy, Mystery, Romance

Book Review by: Joanna Zhang

In the book Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (where the main character is Seraphina Dombegh) there are humans. Some live in the kingdom of Goredd and are part of the royal family, some are “common folk”, and others, like Seraphina, serve in the palace. Then there are dragons, which are reptiles and silver-blooded and coldly logical. But bear in mind: these are not the silly or cute little dragons you find in fairy tales. These dragons are very erudite; they have sharp teeth; they can spit fireballs; they can eat humans. They can change into a human form – although, since emotional behavior is suppressed and tightly guarded against by dragons, you might see one of these saarantrai behaving weirdly. Some dragons-changed-into-humans even teach complicated physics and mathematics to young humans – not that the humans would admit it, of course.
The 40th anniversary of the treaty between humankind and dragon kind is coming to Goredd, and so is Comonot, the Ardmagar of the dragons. Both humans and dragons have big plans for the leader of all dragons. The book is from the point of view of Seraphina, who is neither human, dragon, nor saarantrai. Her father is a human, but her mother was a saar who rebelled against the idea that love is a disease. And Seraphina is about to step into a mystery that brings the people around her ever closer to her secret.
This book has dragons and fantastical creatures in its pages, but Seraphina is a more realistic character to me than any other character I’ve met so far (even in realistic fiction books). I especially liked the character development in Seraphina and the way she is portrayed.
One last note: Do not start this (or even re-read it) on a school night. You will forget about your homework. You will get lost in the world of Seraphina and stay there until you finish the book.
With that in mind, if you love fantasy, mystery, romance, or if you want to see in action how books can help you learn vocabulary, read Seraphina!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Book Review: HALO: Contact Harvest

HALO: Contact Harvest
Greg Bear and Joseph Staten

Book Review By: Jack Benjamin, 8th Grade Student

It is the 26th Century. The United Nations Space Command colonized a habitable planet named Harvest. Harvest, a peaceful, prosperous farming colony, is on the very edge of human-controlled space. All seemed well, until the Covenant came…
The Covenant is a Empire made of several Alien races, led by a race known as the San' Shyuum, a group of deceitful, biased, and religious leaders. Humanity is now about to go into a war; not against each other, but a common enemy: the Covenant.

This Novel follows Staff Sergeant Avery J. Johnson, a UNSC Marine. He and his fellow soldier, Petty Officer 1st Class Healy, UNSC Navy, are about to become the first UNSC Soldiers to come face to face with the Covenant.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book- not because I play the game and not because it is just about war. Not only was it was well written and well thought out, I loved it because it put me in a universe where humanity’s existence is at stake and where surrender is not an option. I have always been wondering about what type of organisms or creatures are in space; this book gave me possibilities on what could be out there.

I sometimes wonder what could be out there, deep in space… Maybe a Covenant… Maybe other habitable planets… We will know sooner than you think...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Personal Book Recommendations

Here's an opportunity for you to help others make good choices in the library! Print out one of these to make recommendations to your peers here at Smith.

Use the big block to either put a picture of yourself or draw a picture of a pivotal or memorable scene from the book. If you'd like to submit a full review here, just email it to me and then use a QR code generator to link people directly to your review! This way, you can become part of the Smith Middle School Library Media Center legacy!

The picture to the right is a good example. You can download the template below or create your own. Make sure you show it to me or Mr. Bullock before you place it on the shelf!

If you know of a good one for Android or any other OS, please send me the link so I can post it.