Shapeshifter by Holly Bennett

A young woman Sive cannot believe what she can do. In the woods of Ireland, Sive turns into a deer and her father turns into a bird. Although, due to a dark sorcerer, her gift of singing and shapeshifting turns into a curse. With a “Dark Man” in pursuit of her, Sive must hide and survive in the mortal lands. Even though Sive is being hunted, she finds comfort what a man named Finn who protects her…for now. This adventure took me in the forests of ancient Ireland hoping that the sorcerer stays his distance and Sive can finally be in peace. This heart-warming tale was tremendously suspenseful and I am glad to have read this book.

–A.S. (13)

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

A timeless classic, Gone with the Wind tells the story of Scarlet O’Hara, a manipulative southern belle, a girl who has life handed to her on a silver platter. However, the Civil War takes away all she holds dear: her money, status, and family. Scarlett struggles to regain her former life through whatever means necessary, and is driven to evil by her losses. Beautifully written, fantastic characters, this book definitely is worth the read.

–O.M. (age 15)

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

This book was a perfect balance. It was original, and in many cases I related to Andi, the main character. It is realistic with the exception of one part, which is suggested to be a hallucination. Overall, though, the novel managed to keep the fantastic setting of Paris in touch with realistic issues, and I found myself likening it to “The Fault in Our Stars.” A must-read.

–A.L. (age 14)

Deadly by Julie Chibbaro

I give this book five stars! Julie Chibbaro hooked me into the story immediately! Deadly is about a young girl named Prudence Galewski who desires most to be a scientist, although in New York in 1906, a woman studying in the sciences is rare and frowned upon. Prudence tries to prove to herself and everyone that she will follow her dreams and succeed in her profession. When she quits school to be an assistant for a man named Mr. Soper, she goes on an adventure to cure and find the reason why diseases start and/or spread. On the way to her future, she even finds a woman doctor that assists her at studying in order to go to medical school.

— A.S. (age 13)

Marika by Andrea Cheng

In Budapest, Hungary, a girl named Marika is just an ordinary girl. Her worries of everyday life change dramatically. Instead of boys, school, and dreams she has a new worry – Hitler in Germany in the 1930s occupying Hungary. Suddenly, her whole life changes before her eyes. I enjoyed this thrilling story very much.

— A.S. (age 13)

The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

I really liked the book and how it wasn’t completely horror, but it had romance in it which is a plus. It was interesting to read her diary as the chapters go. Also the suspense and trying to guess who was the killer with Jade was entertaining and kept me interested.

— T.M. (age 12)

Rivals for the Crown by Margret Simpson

Mary and Elizabeth are sisters who are fighting for their dad’s crown. When Mary became queen, she turns evil and dies alone. When Elizabeth finally became queen, she becomes the best queen in England and very known to all the kingdom. A story that can’t be forgotten … a novel that is so brilliant …

— D.B. (age 17)

As Ever, Gordy by Mary Downing Hahn

As Ever, Gordy by Mary Downing Hahn is about 13 year-old Gordy Smith moving back to Maryland with his sister June after his grandmother died. Gordy has to go live with his older brother Stuart along with Barbra and Brent already living there. When Gordy left Maryland, he was a bully. But when he returned, he realized that everyone treated him with disrespect because of the way he treated others before. School isn’t the only problem, Gordy has to share a cramped room with Brent because the house is too small for him to has his own room. Fights continue with Gordy at school and at home.

Gordy then shows his nicer side and starts to treat people with more respect.

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

This was a book I was required to read for summer reading, and if it hadn’t been required, I definitely would have probably put the book down. This book takes place in 1776, is about 13 year old Isabel, a slave that is sold with her 5 year old sister Ruth to a cruel couple, the Locktons, after their previous owner dies. On her first day, she meets a boy named Curzon on the way to the water pump, who encourages her to spy on her owners believing they know British plans to attack. Isabel brings what she hears to Colonel Reagan, who she believes she can trust. Her plan backfires however, when her owner Anne Lockton finds out, and Isabel is branded with a letter I on her face. A fire nearly destroys the whole city, and believing her owner sold Ruth, Isabel becomes furious and Anne makes up her mind to sell Isabel and Ruth, however before that can happen, Isabel manages to free herself as well as a very sick Curzon. This book was confusing, too detailed for me. I never really liked historical fiction, but this one was better than most.

–L.R. (age 13)

Day of Tears by Julius Lester

I thought it was really good but sad because people die and are split up from their families and it was very good but hard to imagine what they felt like and see what was going on.

—T.M. (age 12)