Norwalk Teen Book Reviews

Recent Reviews


Thanks to the students at Nathan Hale Middle School for the following reviews.
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Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony, by Eoin Colfer, is about a twelve-year-old genius who was trying to exterminate the Eighth Family—the demons. His friend Butler was his partner. As the story unfolds, we meet the Eighth Family and the imp, No1, who is dreaming that he could be a demon. Artemis, Holly Short, and No1 try to defeat demon king Abbot before he destroys the world and Billy Kong, who is trying to avenge No1 who he believes is his brother’s killer. Does No1 survive? Will Artemis save the world?

-By Alex G., Green Team
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The Girls, by Amy Goldman Koss, is about a group of girls that has a “leader” named Candace who runs the group and decides who belongs in the group. There were a lot of feelings hurt by Candace not letting certain people be in the group! The leader doesn’t want one girl named Maya in the group, and Maya doesn’t know what she did wrong. Then a girl who likes Maya feels bad for her, so she decides to leave the club. Plus to be in Candace’s group you have to be friends with her friends only. In the end of the story there are only two girls in the group, and all of the other girls learned that they can be friends with who ever they want.

-By Christine B., Blue Team
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Crispin: At the Edge of the World, by Avi, is a sequel to Crispin: the Cross of Lead. Crispin just finds that his true name is Crispin and not “Asta’s Son.” He and his partner Bear are sailing off to their “happy place,” because every other place they went was a troubled place. Along the way, the British Navy try to kill Crispin and Bear because they were WANTED for trespassing in their homeland. The British start using crossbows and they hit Bear in the shoulder. Then, Crispin and Bear stop at an uncharted island and meet an “old hag,” named Aude, and a deformed girl named Troth. Aude heals Bear’s wound, but eventually she meets her fate at the hands of the British. Crispin and Bear leave with Troth and they help her overcome her handicap. All three do not complete the journey—who is left behind and who continues the journey to the “happy place?”

-By Alex G., Green Team
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Loser, by Jerry Spinelli, is about a boy named Donald Zinkoff who is a very special boy. He laughs easily, likes people, and absolutely loves school. There is only one problem. He is a “loser.” Kids at his school think he is weird. He has no friends except for a boy who collects earwax and makes candles out of it! People usually don’t notice Donald’s weird ways, until the fourth grade, when he ruined a race for his track team, which made his “loserness” complete. But, one snowy blizzard night, his neighbor, a little girl, gets lost in the blizzard, and her family is scared to death! So, Donald goes out into the blizzard to search for his friend. Will he succeed? Or, will he get lost in the blizzard too? Read this great book and find out if Donald is still a “loser”!

-By Erin K., Blue Team
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Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt, is about a girl name Winnie Foster. All her life her parents were telling her what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. She was home-schooled. She always wanted to be with friends and have adventures, but her parents would not let her outside to play because she’d get dirty. She went on an adventure one day without permission, and she came to a cottage where she could see inside—there were two boys, a little girl, and two parents. When she looked inside she wanted to be invited in, so she could meet all the people. She knocked on the door, and the mom invited her in. Winnie came inside and ate dinner with the family. When she was done, she met a boy named Tuck, and they became good friends. Winnie snuck out of her house a lot so she could meet up with Tuck. One day Tuck decided to tell the family secret. What is the secret, and will it lead to trouble? Read this book to find out what happened to the Tucks and Winnie.

-By Maeva M., Red Team
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Hostage, by Willo Davis Roberts, is about a girl named Kaci who lives with her family in a bad neighborhood, so they decide to move to Lofty Cedars. Their neighbors went on vacation. Kaci and her family must watch the house while they are gone. One, night, the house was robbed, and the robbers stole some valuable items. One day, at Kaci’s new home, while Kaci was at her school, she went to the nurse for an allergy attack. She was sent home, and her neighbor was outside and started to talk to her. Kaci went inside her house and looked around her room. Her lamp was missing. She heard voices downstairs. She knew it was robbers! She went in her mom’s room and hid in there. When the robbers came into the room, they discovered her hiding in the closet, and captured her and her neighbor! What will happen to Kaci? Read this great book and find out!

-By Marla J., Red Team
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Trudy, by Jessica Lee Anderson. Right before middle school started, Trudy and her best friend Ashley made a pact that their friendship would last forever. All that changed when school started. Middle school was a big jump from elementary school. From school work to homework – and if that’s not hard enough, Ashley ditched Trudy for a new group of friends. Trudy misses the way that life used to be. As the year goes on, Trudy finds a new friend, Roshanda. Just when Middle school was getting better, Trudy and her mom find out there’s something wrong with her dad, and it’s their job to find out what’s wrong.

-By Meghan B., Red Team
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The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo. Desperaux is a small mouse that has big ears and a tiny body. It is weird because unlike other mice Desperaux is in love with the Princess Pea. The mouse council says if you talk to a human you will be sent to the dreaded dungeon where the rats live. So as you may think Desperaux gets sent down to the dungeon. Down in the dungeon, Desperaux meets a prisoner Gregory and a rat Roscuro. When you read this story you will learn the life stories of the prisoner’s daughter and the life of the rat Roscuro. Luckily, Desperaux returns from the dungeon and then he returns to save the princess. Roscuro and the daughter of the prisoner have led her down to the dungeon. Will Desperaux save the princess and will the princess love him? Read this fantasy to find out.

-By Rachelle H., Blue Team
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The Bully , by Paul Langan, is about a kid named Darell. His parents said he had to move to California because his Mother did not have a job, but his uncle had a job for her. In California, Darell went to a school named Bluford High. At his new school, there was a kid named Tyray who was strong and he kept bullying Darell for his lunch money. When Darell gave him the lunch money, Tyray started being nicer to him. Finally, when Tyray threw Darell’s food on the floor, Darell got mad and stood up to the bully. He did get in trouble for fighting, but a teacher who knew he was being bullied by Tyray told the Principal that Darell should not get the same punishment as the bully. So, Darell accepted the consequence, and the bully did not bother him again.

-By Joel H., Green Team
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Tears of a Tiger, by Sharon Draper, is about a boy named Andy, who was coming back from a basketball game with his friend Rob and two other friends, and they decided to go to a bar to get drunk. When they left, they bought more alcohol and got on the highway to drive home. They crashed their car into a wall, and the gas tank blew up. Rob’s feet got caught in the windshield, and he burned to death. Now, Andy is trying to forget the past and the death of his best friend. He’s also trying to do all the right things, so he does not hurt himself. His friends are supporting him, but he can’t forget about what happened to Rob. He’s beginning to think of killing himself. Read this wonderful book to see how Andy handles his feelings. Does he live or die?

-By Amoni M., Blue Team
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Green Angel , by Alice Hoffman. This book is about a girl whose parents died in the 9/11 tragedy. She is forced to live her life alone at age 15. All her life, she has been a shy person. Always alone! But, when her 16th birthday comes, she has nothing to be happy about. She encounters some strange things like ravens that comes to visit, a
weird ghost-like dog, and a very strange boy. She totally does a makeover. She used to have long black hair and wear girly clothes, but that all changes. She cuts her hair in a boyish style; tattoos herself with bats, ravens, and black roses; and starts wearing boy's clothes. Toward the end of the story, she falls in love with someone whose life is just like hers. His family died in the 9/11 tragedy too. But, unlike her, he never shows his face. They even share a tattoo of a heart. Read this book and find out why they call her the green angel and why he never shows his face.

-By J.Colon, Orange Team
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Holes , by Louis Sachar, is about a young teenager named Stanley, who has been having bad luck in his family for a long time. Years ago, his "no good, pig-stealing great-great grandfather" wanted to marry a certain pretty lady, but to win her heart, he had to have the biggest pig in the county. So, he went to a gypsy fortuneteller who said she would help him if he followed her instructions precisely. Another man wanted to marry the same woman, and he had a pig just as big as the great-great grandfather did. She couldn’t choose which man had grown the biggest pig. Since the great-great grandfather did not follow all the gypsy's instructions, it was believed that a curse would run down through his generations. Read Holes to see what happens to Stanley and whether there really is a curse.

-By R. Maurice, Orange Team
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The Wide Window , by Lemony Snicket is about the orphans Baudelaire. They went with their Aunt Josephine, but they become nervous when they see her house. They think she lives in a strange house, because it is only standing up with large tubes. When they enter the house, they see their Aunt Josephine. She serves them cold food, and when they ask her why she serves cold food she says she is scared to use the stove, because there might be an explosion. The Baudelaire orphans think about it, and they see that she has many things she is afraid of, like the doorknob on the door and the window. They are scared a lot, but “Why?” Read the book and discover why!

-By Irvin S., Red Team
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The Reptile Room, by Lemony Snicket is about the orphans Baudelaire. When they go to their Uncle Monty’s house, they see a lot of strange snakes painted on the garden door*some with three heads and some with three eyes. They are nervous, but they know that their Uncle Monty is a very good person. The orphans see a very big snake, and they are very scared, but the big snake turns out to be very cute, similar to a dog, and he becomes their friend. When Stephano comes into the house to help Uncle Monty, bad things begin to happen to Uncle Monty, the reptiles, and the Baudelaire orphans. Read The Reptile Room to see who survives!

-By Irvin S., Red Team
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Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, by Jack Gantos, is also about Joey Pigza except this time Joey gets in even more trouble. Joey goes with a couple of his friends to Joeys house. Joey had just gotten a key for his house because he has become more mature since the first book, Joey Pigza Loses Control. So when he is over their house his friends decide to play a trick on him for all the times he played tricks on them so…Read this book to find out what happens next!

-By Danielle V.
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Joey Pigza Loses Control, by Jack Gantos, is about a boy who goes to his dad’s house for the summer because his behavior in school was very bad. So his mom thought that if he went to his dad’s house that his behavior would get better, because his dad is very strict. The boy’s name was Joey Pigza. Joey was a real trouble-maker and no matter what his mom said he would not listen. The only problem with Joey going to his dad’s house was that his dad was on drugs. But Joey went anyway. Read this book to find out what happens with Joey Pigza’s dad’s drug problem!

-By Danielle V.
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Babe and Me, by Dan Gutman, is a great book for anyone who knows a baseball glove from a bat. It is a great story about a boy who has the power in time through baseball cards! So on this adventure he travels to 1932, game 3 of the World Series to see Babe call his shot and see the Yankees beat the ‘cubbies’ as Babe calls them. To find out more just simply... READ THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!

-By Amanda W.
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Don’t Step on the Foul Line, by George Sullivan, is a great book if you like sports--any sport--baseball, basketball, football, etc…This book is not only about sports but about the superstitions in sports too! I like this book,and I think you will too. So hurry to the library and get your copy.

-By Amanda W.
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The book, The Bellmaker, by Brian Jacques is an excellent story of the bravery of the creatures living in Redwall Abbey and in Southward. Joseph the Bellmaker of Redwall Abbey and some of his comrades set off to Southward to find his daughter Mariel. However, the quest to find his daughter turns into a major battle for the freedom of Southward. The battle is won, and they save the prisoners of the dreaded Foxwolf, Urgan, Nagru. The story is a beautiful collection of magnificent creatures that help out in a time of need.

-By Claire L.
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The book, Switching Well, by Peni Griffin has an excellent plot. The story is amazingly well written and characters are personable. It’s about two girls living 100 years apart from each other – each wishing to live in a different time. One wished to live 100 years in the future, the other 100 years in the past—they made their wishes into the same well. It turns out that their wishes both come true, and they ‘switch places.’ However, they find out that the place they have come to is not as good as they believed it would be. The story is an epic tale of two girls who are desperately trying to return home.

-By Claire L.
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Are you a boy or girl who has loved football since you can remember? Well, if you like football, Crash, by Jerry Spinelli, is a book for you. Crash Coogan is a boy who is not sure about who his friends are. Later in the book as Crash gets older, he finds himself in a problem with his family. After this problem, Crash finds out who his friends really are. This book is for any middle school kid today who goes through problems with his friends. How can a kid who is a football star have so many problems? If you don’t know the answer, read this book and you will find out.

-By Joseph J.
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Martin the Warrior, by Brian Jacques is a thrilling tale of adventurous creatures seeking freedom and revenge. The creatures of Redwall learn about the founder of their beloved Abbey, Martin, when two strange creatures come wandering down the road. Then the story becomes interwoven with tales of strange and wondrous creatures who work so hard for good and bad. I give this book a double thumbs-up, because I love reading about the silly characters.

-By Claire L.
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I just finished reading Taggerung, by Brian Jacques. This is a very interesting book about the lives of creatures living inside Redwall Abbey. One of their newborns was stolen by vermin and trained as a leader. Meanwhile, his mother and sister were sad about his disappearance. Many years later, they were united under harsh conditions and most things were well. However, some things were not going well for the Redwallers, and they had to endure much pain before they could have happiness. I give it a 2-Thumbs-Up: it is amazing to me how one man could create so many dialects for his creatures to speak. Also, the web of stories he weaves is so intricate that I didn’t know where one began and the other ended. Therefore, I recommend this book to those who enjoy fantasy stories.

-By Claire L.
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Samantha for President, by Janette Rallison, is about a girl named Samantha who is very popular in school and is running for student body President. She is one of those girls who likes to insult people. Through the election, she learned how to be less insulting to people. She made a bet with a friend to be less insulting for 2 weeks. It was very hard for her. Now she knows the truth about herself--she was insulting people, and she never noticed it before. She had always said, “all’s fair in love, war, and high school.”

-By Samantha B.
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In the book The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood, a boy named Creighton starts to waste his life away on booze and card playing. One night, he is kidnapped and brought to the Colonies (America), where he meets his uncle. After awhile, they are captured by Patriots and are brought to the mosquito-infested New Orleans. When Creighton is taken away from his uncle, he is told to get information on the Patriots. As he discovers the unjust ways of the British, he becomes a Patriot himself. While on a patriotic mission, he discovers someone who he held close to his heart, but had died two years before. It’s his…………Read the book to find out.

-By Sophia I.
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True Fright: Trapped Beneath the Ice..., by Ted Pedersen, is about a girl who was on vacation in a cold climate. One day, she was ice skating with family and friends, but she left the group to go see the cabin where they were staying. What happened next was “True Fright!”

-By Tiffany M.
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Ultimate Spy, by H. Keith Melton, is about American heroes who fought and died in wars. It is a good book to learn about weapons that police use today and weapons that spies use. I liked this book because it talks about spying, and I have always thought of becoming of spy. I really like the gadgets that spies use.

-By Quanntrel D.
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The Giver, by Lois Lowry, is a great book. It is about a boy named Jonas. He and all the rest of the community where he lives can’t see color. They only see shadows. In the community, no one has fear, there’s no fighting, and no one feels pain. Every person in the community is the same, and they can’t make their own decisions. Jonas is going to get special training from The Giver so he will experience what it is like to see color, feel pain, fear, and hunger. We read this book in 8th grade, but I recommend it for all students.

-By Dominique R.