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Reviews

See what we are reading and find a recommendation, or check out our featured lists.
Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1505181036_fish_girl
Donna Jo Napoli
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Thursday, Mar 29, 2018

She is a mermaid. She has lived her entire life in an aquarium located on the boardwalk. She is the main attraction, but visitors can never catch more than a glimpse of her. She can’t walk or speak, but she can make friends with Livia, an ordinary girl, and yearn for life outside the water. She can grow stronger and braver, and with the help of her determination, a touch of magic and the help of a loyal octopus, she can do anything.

Fantasy and reality intersect in this mermaid tale. It was beautifully drawn, with a good story too.

A fun, middle grade novel, this did not take...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/165789036_maus_i
Art Spiegelman
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Tuesday, Mar 27, 2018

This book tells the story of a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist trying to come to terms with his father’s story and the death of his mother. This book follows the story of his father’s experiences in Poland and Auschwitz, as well as that of his entire family. It tells of the romance between his father and mother during this time and their struggles to stay together despite the circumstances. This book shows the relationship between the author and his father throughout. This graphic novel portrays the Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats during the Holocaust....

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1538959036
Antonio Iturbe
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Friday, Mar 23, 2018

This book is based on the incredible true story of the Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus. She was taken from the Terrezin ghetto in Prague, and she is adjusting to life in the Nazi camp with her mother and father. And when the Jewish leader Fredy Hirsch asks her to protect the 8 precious books prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. This is the story of how she became the librarian of Auschwitz. This girl risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust despite constant danger every day.

This book is at times horrifying and joyful. It contains...

Staff Review
Book cover
Melissa Albert
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Wednesday, Mar 21, 2018

I'm not a fan of gruesome, graphic, gory horror; however, I'm a big fan of stories that are dark. Atmospheric. Disquieting. Plumbing the depths of the human psyche. Some of those stories are creepy dark. Some of them are deliciously dark. The Hazel Wood is gritty dark.

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1431775036_riders
Veronica Rossi
Reviewer's Rating: 
3
Monday, Mar 19, 2018

After recovering from an accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself  with strange new powers and a strange cuff he can’t take off. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse. Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen are brought together by an annoyingly secretive girl. Their goal: to help save humanity from an ancient evil that has just awoken.

I got off to a rocky start with this one, and so I didn't think I was going to like this one. But once I got over the hurdle of the first 30 or 40...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1313285036_dorothy_must_die
Danielle Paige
Reviewer's Rating: 
3
Thursday, Mar 15, 2018

Amy Gumm is just a normal girl living in trailer park in Kansas. She never expected anything interesting to happen in her life, until she is swept up in a tornado and lands in Oz. But this is not the same Oz from the movies. Dorothy found a way back and became queen. And that power went to her head. Now she is a ruthless dictator and no one is safe. In this new Oz, good witches can’t be trusted, wicked witches might even be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. Dorothy is the reason the once beautiful Oz has fallen. And when Amy is recruited by the...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/975978036_wish_you_were_dead
Todd Strasser
Reviewer's Rating: 
5
Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018

The day after an anonymous blogger wishes the popular girl would die, Lucy vanishes. Everyone at Soundview High School is scared and worried, but not as much as Madison, the last person to see Lucy before she disappeared. When two more students disappear after their names are mentioned on the blog, the residents of Soundview become panicked. Madison also begins to receive notes warning she is next. Madison is desperate to stop anyone else from vanishing, so she turns to a mysterious new student at her school, but can she trust him when it becomes clear he isn’t sharing everything he knows...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1470751036_tales_of_the_peculiar
Ransom Riggs
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Friday, Mar 9, 2018

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the limbs of peculiars. A princess with a forked tongue. The story of the first ymbryne. These are a few of the stories told in the Tales of the Peculiar, a book known to hide information about the peculiar world that was introduced in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. This book invites you to read this collection of original stories and learn some of the secrets of the history of peculiars.

I really enjoyed this short story collection. Really pleased with how all of the stories in this collection wrapped up and also how it tied in...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/930668036_if_i_grow_up
Todd Strasser
Reviewer's Rating: 
4
Wednesday, Mar 7, 2018

In the inner city project where DeShawn lives, daily life is ruled by drugs and gang violence. Gun shots ring out on a daily basis, and the cops never do anything about it. Most teenagers he knows drop out of school and join gangs. And everybody knows someone who has died because of it. DeShawn is smart, he knows he should stay in school and keep away from gangs. But while his friends have drug money to buy expensive shoes and flat-screen TVs, DeShawn’s family can barely afford food. How he stick to his morals when his family is hungry?

This book gives readers insight into a problem...

Teen Review
https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1248402036_how_to_fake_a_moon_landing
Darryl Cunningham
Reviewer's Rating: 
3
Monday, Mar 5, 2018

This book was written to build a case for critical thinking and the scientific process. It explores homeopathy, chiropractic principles, vaccination naysayers, and deniers of evolution and climate change. The author uses a mix of his own drawings and photographs to demonstrate science denial. He sheds light on how conspiracy theories and strange beliefs get started. He also explains how large corporations manipulate data to their own advantage.

An outstanding cartoon presentation for middle school aged kids to adults. Cunningham takes on pseudo-science, global warming deniers, the...

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