Book Reviews

By: Keeley, Annie, Jessica, and Amanda

Review of “The Voice on the Radio” By Caroline B Cooney

The voice on the radio is a sequel to Caroline B Cooney’s The Face on the Milk Carton. Overall, I liked the book, but the first book was better written in comparison to the third one.

When Reeve goes away to college, he leaves Janie and her history of being kidnapped behind him. But when his is put in the spotlight on a radio talk show, somehow the memory comes back to him, and he reveals Janie’s story to all of Boston. It was meant as a onetime event, to tell just one fragment of the story, but as weeks pass, he tells more and more of her past, in return for fame, until one day Janie hears it. She is broken, because her families were just getting over rough times they had, and now the history was sneaking back into their lives. Janie and her siblings are devastated, but also filled with anger at what Reeve had done just for popularity. Although this event tears Janie apart, it brings her family together more, and she finally accepts them.

I really enjoyed this book, although I would recommend the first in the series more than the second two. This book would be best for those who like realistic fiction, with a little bit of suspense. Something I liked about the book is that it keeps you reading the series, because of the suspense that builds up. It is a fast read, and a good book.

Review of Divergent by Veronica Roth

Grade 7 and up. In the dystopian beginning to the Divergent trilogy, sixteen year old Beatrice “Tris” Prior lives in the future Chicago. Here, the population is split up by five ways of thought on improving the world and avoiding war: Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, Amity, and Candor. Tris has been raised in Abnegation, the faction that values selflessness. When she is sixteen she must place herself in one of these factions and takes the aptitude test that should show her where she belongs. Her testing simulation shows that she could fit in with multiple factions, she is “Divergent”, but she must choose one. Tris leaves everything she knows to join the Dauntless who believe in courage and bravery, but getting in is harder than she expected. She must beat other transfers and Dauntless born competitors for a spot in the faction. Tris trains for battle with her director, “Four,” and fight the other transfers.. Tris befriends a Candor transfer, Christina, and together they brave the Dauntless world. When another faction craves power, Tris must use what she has learned from Dauntless to save the faction she believes in and the people she left behind . Veronica Roth is descriptive and explains the world of Divergent to readers to create a conflict and trilogy similar to the Hunger Games. Both are full of training, combat, and hope.

Review of The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

The Eleventh Plague follows a young boy, Stephen, on a journey that will change his life. Stephen and his father are some of the few survivors of The Collapse, which turned America to rubble. These two fighters are trying to collect items and scraps to trade for food and medicine. After his father hits his head, and falls into a coma, Stephen has to learn to survive on his own. Or does he? Stephen discovers a community that is trying to bring back hope and normal life to survivors. Stephen meets many friends there, but the peace doesn’t last for long. Jenny, a Chinese fighter, befriends Stephen, and together, they accidentally turn a small prank into trouble. The people of Settler’s Landing have turned against each other, and now, Stephen and Jenny have to try to restore harmony to the people before things get too out of control.

I enjoyed how this story caught my attention, and kept me hooked. This story was very action packed, and kept me wanting to read more. But I disliked how The Eleventh Plague came to a close, and how the conflict was solved. I think readers will want more about what happens to young Stephen after the story is over. For me, this ending was not satisfying. I recommend this book to readers who love futuristic books about disasters, and survival. I give this book a four point five out of five stars rating for creative writing style, and for the element of surprise. I think readers who enjoyed The Hunger Games will find this book exciting.

“Rifle,” he commanded. “Now!”

I snatched the rifle off the wagon. Dad raised the scope to his eye and tracked it north across the horizon until he found what he was looking for.

“People coming this way. With a vehicle.”

He was trying to be calm, but I knew the hitch he got in his voice when he was scared. No announcement could possibly have been worse. One of Grandpa’s absolute, unbreakable rules was that if we saw other people, people we didn’t know, we were to avoid them at all costs. Other people meant trouble. Other people with a working vehicle meant even more trouble.

Review of I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four was such an amazing book! It kept me interested, and I brought it home every day from school, which is something that I don’t usually do. The concept of the story, like the planets Lorien and Mogador is very different, and unique. I’ve never read a book like it before! It’s about nine escapees from a foreign planet that come to Earth to seek refuge from the Mogadorians. Sadly, the Mogs locate them and try to hunt them down. Three are dead by the time the story starts. John is number four. Therefore, the story is mainly about him escaping the Mogadorians, while trying to find the other five “Loriens”. What I liked about this book is the fact that it’s full of action, but that it’s not just kill, kill, and kill the whole time. It also has elements like revenge, super-powers, and friendship involved. And quite a bit of spy gear! I also liked how John tried to hide his powers, rather than using them against humans. The nine Loriens could have taken over the Earth if they wanted to, but they didn’t, out of kindness. I liked that part a lot! But I didn’t like how the author rarely used adjectives, and that he didn’t describe how Paradise Ohio looked, and how the people that lived there were like. Overall, he didn’t describe things very well in the book. If I had to rate I Am Number Four, I would give it a nine point five. If you like a good book that keeps you reading, I Am Number Four is the book for you!