One for the Murphy’s by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

This book talks about a girl named Carley who, after she is abused by her mother and stepfather, gets put in foster care. At first she hates the foster family because they’re giving her what her mother never gave her. She gets to know and love the family after a few months but then her mother comes back and wants to take her back.

–S.B. (age 14)

The Power of Half by Kevin & Hannah Salwen

Though this book had great tone, and I loved the humor and the familial details, I couldn’t ignore the simple facts. The family was not sacrificing a lot and was just moving around the corner. Though they talk about how much they want to give up, they wrangle down the price of their new home instead of buying a cheaper one. Finally they do a TV feature and write a book even though they “don’t want publicity.” Overall this book just annoyed me.

–A.L. (age 14)

Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

This third novel in the series was much like the first and second books in the series. A new character was introduced. Another teenage vampire has moved into town with her sister set on turning Raven’s childhood nemesis into a vampire like herself.

–N.D. (age 14)

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

I really wanted to like this book. I really did. However, it just fell back into its own patterns. The main character is forever getting herself into dangerous situations and the love interest is forever rescuing her. The love interest is besotted with the main character but there isn’t any reason why. Finally, the main character can’t take things seriously. Amnesia? Kidnapping? Mere annoyances with no major repercussions. Sudden immortality? Bo-ring. I think this is the last book of this series that I will ever read.

–A.L. (age 14)

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I enjoyed this book immensely and cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel. It was the perfect mix of romance, action, and a forbidden love.

–N.D. (age 14)

Hold Fast by Blue Balliet

Hold Fast is a wonderful, hopeful book, that everyone should read. It tells the tale of how a girl named Early saves her father and uncovers more than anyone could of ever imagined an eleven-year old to figure out. With the help of friends and people in the shelter Early stay at, Early and her family go on a huge adventure.

–A.S. (age 13)

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)

Son of the 613 by Michael Rubins

A thirteen year old Jewish boy whose bar mitzvah was to be held in a few weeks was desperately in trouble. He didn’t know a thing about being a Jew. His older brother, who has been in more fights than he can count and has never lost, is dead set on making him a man.

–N.D. (age 14)

Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

When Greg finds himself stuck home, there is nothing to do when the power goes out. Rowley, Greg’s best friend, brings cookies and they wonder why there is no power for them. Come to find out, his little brother Manny had shut all the power off except for his room!

–S.F. (age 11)

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Volume 2 by Heather Brewer

This book scores a 10/10. Vlad makes a new friend, Henry’s cousin. What he realizes later in the book is that Joss is part of a secret society that slays vampires. It is Joss’s mission to exterminate Vlad and any other vampires in that town. What he doesn’t know is that Vlad’s powers are evolving beyond his wildest dreams.

— N.D. (age 14)