What kind of book Genre do you like?

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Underground to Canada

Underground to Canada
By: Barbara Smucker
Age: Grade 5-7
Rating: 6.5/10
This is a great book when introducing slavery to children. This book looks at the life of a girl who is a slave and how she attempts to escape. The story goes into the secret route that was taken from the US to Canada, and talks about how the slaves were treated while working. This is a great novel to introduce to students who are into history, but more specifically discussing how slaves were treated, creating an empathetic view for the reader. I would suggest reading this book, not only for the history, but also for the insights of a young girl who is a slave. And yes, the book ends with a happy ending! (it is a kids book after all).
If you enjoyed this post, disagree with it or have a book to suggest, feel free to write a comment!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Magician: Apprentice

Magician: Apprentice
Raymond E. Feist
Age: Grade 9+
Rating: 9/10
This is one of the first books of my favorite series. So those who are like "Who would teacher this book?" I would say, "Anyone who wants to get their students/kids entangled in one of the best fantasy series ever.". This book is a great introduction to the 20+ book series of Raymond Feist. I have enjoyed all his books and looked forward to each release. The story is about two boys who are friend in a small medieval like town. They each have different aspirations in life. All of a sudden their life is turned upside down when they are thrusted into a war without any training. All of a sudden both boys must learn the trades offered to them or die. This book is amazing and do not want to give it away. If you were a Harry Potter fan, I suggest you read this book. It is like Harry Potter for adults. Great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I hope you enjoyed this review (in this case a recommendation too). Please leave a nice comment if you have anything to say!

Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers
Robert A. Heinlein
Age: Grade 11-12
Rating 8/10
So someone suggested that I read Starship Troopers. Jokes on you sucka, I already have. Many of you have probably seen the movie. It is funny, action packed and one guy has a robot hand (WIN!). But the book is very different. The book looks more at the political and social acceptance of the military, showing a society that has the working class as a second class citizen, where the military is supreme. The movie does touch on a lot of the themes, but mostly it does a great job of using satire to copy the book. The book is a very right, pro-government, pro-military. The movie takes those ideas and makes them almost comical. This is a great book for anyone trying to brush up on their political knowledge, as it shows many examples of a mostly fascist state, but also a fun read. The movie is also awesome, making a nice reward when you finally put the book down.
Hope you enjoyed this review. If you have any questions, comments or books I should read, feel free to write them in the comment section! Thanks!


by:Jacqueline Woodson
Age: Grade 6-7
Rating 4.5/10
This book is a cheap one. One that you find in those scholastic book catalogs for 2 dollars. It is not great in any way, but does do a lot of nice things for the students. First of all, this book discusses the lives of a segregated community and how it impacts the kids when someone who is not the same racial colour enters in the society. This story touches on students in grade 6 who are being challenged with their beliefs in racial differences and religion indoctrinations.  The book follows a girl who is introduced to a new boy in the class. He is different because he is white. All the students are shocked and do not respect him as much. As the story goes on, the students find out that the boy has a black father. They are all confused and they realize that the boy is not really that different. The identity and beliefs of the characters are challenged and occasionally changed, making this book great for a class that has a lot of issues with racism, bullying and discrimination. Read it for the kids, not for enjoyment.
If you liked this review, or didnt, comment! Tell me what books I should read next!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Animal Farm
By: George Orwell
Ages: Grade 7+
Rating: 8.5/10
This is a great, short book that discusses the allegorical tale to the Russian Revolution. The story takes on the role of the major Russian leaders through different animals, specifically pigs. These pigs become to "brains" of the farm, as they take over the property and remove the human farmer. With all the animals involved in the revolution, they begin to blindly follow a certain pig. After a while, and much plotting, the pigs revolt against each other and a new leader is made. This new leader is well guarded and is dedicated to using tactics to convince the animals to do things. Over time, the farm animals become concerned and that's when this story really starts to get extra juicy. This story is great for younger kids, as they can pick it up and enjoy the story. Older kids, specifically those interested in history can read this text and see the resemblance between true history and the plot. This is an excellent book for all ages. Enjoy!
If you enjoyed this post (or didn't), have already read it or have some reading suggestions, feel free to comment! I always appreciate feedback!


Alan Moore
Age: Grade 11-12
Rating: 9/10
This is once again a graphic novel, but before I begin, I want to point out that there is mature content in it and some graphic (get it!) nudity. It is also a movie, which is great to show in a class after you are done reading it. I was lucky enough to read this for a course in University and enjoyed it more, as I got all the ins and outs of the text. This story text place during the cold war. The US was lucky enough, through an accident, to have a man named Mr. Manhattan join them. Mr. Manhattan is able to control matter and time, so he is basically invincible. While he is a "super hero", other regular people with gifts or technology become heroes as well, until they are banned. As time goes on, the heroes begin to get killed. A mystery to all and the heroes try to discover who is trying to kill them. As the story goes on, there is love, action and revenge in all senses. This is a great book with a lot of easter eggs (Rawshawk's chapter is symetrical). I highly encourage you to read it, it is a great way to talk about history and the "What if"moments.
Thanks for your time. If you have any comments, suggestions or book recommendations, write in the comments!


Persepoli: Part I & II
by: Marjane Satrapi
Age: grade 7+
Rating: 7/10
This is another graphic novel and it is a two part novel as well. The story takes place in Iran, where a girl is in the middle of the revolution in the 70s. The story is very informative for people who know nothing about Iran or the revolution, showing how the segregation of society happened and how the orthodoxy impacted the lives of everyone. Marjane, the main character and author of the text, is a young girl with rebellious parents. She tries to find her own individuality, but is constantly stopped by people who are enforcing the orthodox society. She eventually leaves Iran to study in Europe and make a life for herself. Eventually she must return home for dire circumstances. I will not ruin the ending, but it is a great book and perfect for kids/students who are in the process of learning about Iran and the Muslim world.
If you enjoyed this review (or disliked it), have a book that I should read, write a comment! I love hearing what you have to say!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Maus Part I & II

Maus: Part I & II
By: Art Spiegelman
Age: Grade 7+
Rating: 9/10
Before I begin this review, I want to make it clear that this novel is actually a graphic novel. It is one of the best forms of literature that I have ever read and I highly encourage you to read it for yourself and for your students/kids. This book takes on the story of a man's father who has survived WWII. It tells the story of a Jewish community that survives the concentration camps and all the details and things he had to do to get away from death. The Jews are viewed as mice in the book, as nazi are cats and the Americans are dogs. This story is a great way to start up a history unit, as it covers several aspects of society during WWII, along with a lot of relevant wars information and geography. This story is truly interesting and one that will keep you turning the pages. I do not want to give a lot of it away, as it is a quick read (took me about an hour) and is perfect for kids that do not enjoy picking up an intimidating book with 100 pages and small font.
If you enjoyed with review, have comments or suggestions for future books, put them in the comment section!

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
by: Ken Kesey
Age: Grade 10-12
Rating: 8.5/10
I just want to start by saying that not only is this book amazing, but the movie is wonderful as well, making it an ideal novel for a class (use those rainy Friday afternoon days to watch this movie when your done!). The book is different from the movie in many ways. The narrator in the book is actually "Chief", a silent native man who stands around observing everyone while brooming the flooring in the insane asylum. The book follows mainly  a man that is sent from court to have a psychiatric evaluation. The man appears to be sane the whole time, but also has episodes which may cause the reader to wonder if he is truly insane. With the demonized nurses and wild adventures that the character get into, this book is a sure win. The story ends on a sad point and is a great link to talk about past societies and how the world has changes and benefited everyone today (something most students dont realize).
I hope you enjoyed the review, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to put them in the comment section. I am always looking for a new great book, so feel free to add that as well!

Barcode Tattoo

The Barcode Tattoo
by: Suzanne Weyn
Age: Grade 6-8
Rated: 7/10
This book reminded me of "Feed" (see earlier post) as soon as I picked it up. It is about a girl who is living in 2025. She is interested in the arts and hopes to go to a post secondary school, but her lack of computer marks limit her. She was unaware that her amazing arts skills did not trump her poor computer skills. As the story continues, the barcode tattoo, a label that people are socially forced to get, causes her to become slightly concerned. She is not interested in receive the tattoo, especially after her father committed suicide a few months after he got his own. The main character, Kayla, joins a group of students at her school called "Decode". Their intention is to limit the use of barcode tattoos in society. With this in mind, Kayla because an active member, encouraging friends to not get the tattoo. Over time, Kayla finds out some discouraging and disturbing information about the barcode tattoo. This leads her to revolt and rebel the worlds current society and run away, along with several other problems in her life. Kayla eventually finds a refuge and lives there until the police, who are employed by the creators of the barcode, hunt her down. I will not ruin the novel, I encourage you to go pick it up.

If you enjoyed this book, have a book I should read or like (or dislike) the review, leave a comment!


By: M.T Anderson
Age: Grade 10-12
Rating: 8.5/10
Feed is an Orwellian style novel that touches on similar ideas that McLuhan brought up. The extension of "man" into a technological age. Each character of the story has a "Feed" imputed into their mind. This allows everyone to IM each other and quickly discover facts. A problem occurs when certain teens get "hacked" and their Feed begin to malfunction. The story continues when one of the character, rebellious to society, begins to take advantage of the feed and begins buying very odd items, creating the advertisements that are directed at here to be very confused. Eventually, this individual becomes sick and requires the funding to get the needed medical help. The character searches for sponsors, but all say no, as she has clearly no marketing patterns and therefore is not of interest to the companies and marketing firms. I will not ruin the ending, but this text provide teens and students an idea of how technology can impact their life.
If you enjoyed this review, want to know more, have a book to suggest, feel free to comment below.


Welcome to the new and exciting world of teen books!
I hope to put up all teen books I read with a review. This site is great for teachers, as I will be able to sort through the great (and cheap) books out there. If you have any suggestions for books I should read, feel free to message me! I am always looking for a new great read!