Spoiler Alert! Stepping on the Cracks by Mary Downing Hahn is about sixth-grader Margaret and her best friend Elizabeth. Stepping on the Cracks takes place in the 1940s, which means it’s only been ten years since the great depression and World War 2 is at War. Margaret’s brother Jimmy is in the war with Elizabeth’s brother Joe. Margaret has Ms. Wagner as her sixth-grade teacher which makes the sixth grade hard. Not only is Ms. Wagner a problem, but so is Gordy, the sixth grade bully, always picking on “Baby Mag Pie” and “Lizard.” Which is what Gordy calls Elizabeth and Margaret. Gordy has two older brothers, three younger brothers, and a little sister June. Donald is at war, and Stuart is supposed to be at war but is hiding in the woods. Hiding from the war is against the law, so Gordy makes sure no one else knows. Eventually, Elizabeth and Margaret find out when they follow Gordy to the woods. They find out Stuart lives in the hut. Margaret and Elizabeth tell Barbra, who also helps take care of Stuart. Barbra’s husband was killed in the war sadly. After Stuart recovers, he goes back home to his family. But, Stuart’s father beats him up from hiding from the war. Stuart has to recover again from being beaten up by his abusive father. Since that happened, Gordy’s family moves. After that, Elizabeth and Maragret relaize that Gordy isn’t that much of a bully anymore.
–L (age 11)
While the book was well written, it had far too little exposition, left many questions unanswered, and ended with a deux ex machina. The book had an interesting concept–it is unfortunate that it was not expanded on to be more complete for the reader.
–N.P. (age 16)
This book was the 7th and final book of the Harry Potter series. This book told of the final adventures of Harry Potter and his quest to defeat the famous dark wizard, Lord Voldemort. He goes through many different hardships and exciting adventures including breaking into the wizarding world bank, transforming himself into different people, and in the end, defeating the dark lord that had killed many.
Clover is a ten-year-old girl living in the 1980′s, in a place where racial prejudice still exists. Her widowed father remarries, only to be killed in a terrible accident hours later. Clover is left with her new stepmother, a white woman she barely knows. “Clover” is the story of how they get to know each other, and how Sarah Kate (the stepmother) struggles to be accepted by the predominately black community.
It is a very nice story, and Dori Sanders does a really good job of telling it from Clover’s point of view. I had a bit of trouble following the confusion in Clover’s thoughts, as she described a current event and then suddenly had a flashback, without changing tense. But overall, I really enjoyed this book.
This book was about Bilbo Boggins and Thorin and co. on their quest to vanquish the dragon living in the lonely mountain. Tolkien pints extraordinary pictures in this wonderful book.
—M.M. (age 11)
Heat by Mike Lupica, was a very emotional story. The main character, Michael, is faced with a lot of pressure between his baseball and family life. But, of course, everything turned out in a heartwarming good ending.
In this book, an 11 year old girl is a senior in high school. She is an absolute genius. Her mother has signed her up for willy ball, and she met a new friend. She tries to keep her identity a secret, but does it last long?
—A. C. (age 12)
As all the other Chicken Soup books, this book is filled with stories that make you feel good, like chicken soup when you have a cold. I recommend this book to anybody, even though it says it is for preteens. This book would make anybody feel a warmth that you couldn’t feel if you were spending summer in a stuffy building with no air-conditioning. I loved it.
Massie Block decides her clique needs an upgrade. She tries to find them all ninth grade crushes, except for Claire, who assures Massie she’s okay with Cam. When Massie sees Landon, her ninth grade crush, with another girl, one with a tattoo of a bird on her ankle, Massie stalks them to learn who mystery girl really is. I liked this book a lot, but felt bad for Bark Obama when massie stepped on his paw and Bark needed surgery.
Terra Cooper has a verbally abusive father, a boyfriend she can’t talk to, and an envious body. Each one of these lead back to what she believes is terrible, a port wine stain. Until she meets Jacob, a boy who changes the way she sees herself. North of beautiful started off kind of slow, boring. it picked up pretty quickly though and I soon found it hard to put the book down.
—submitted by Angelique L. (age 16, grade 11)