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Teen SRC Winners Week #8 and Grand Prize Winner!

Now that August is over, this post marks the end of the Teen SRC! We hope that you continue to use this blog for additional book recommendations, upcoming library programs, volunteer opportunities and more….

Since it is the end of summer, we thought it was only fitting that we award prizes for some of our favourite reviews. This week’s winner goes to Kaylee for her review of Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer. We particularly liked her honest opinion of the book. We’d also like to congratulate James for his review on the Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

The Grand Prize goes to Joy who posted over 60 times throughout the summer. Way to go Joy!

Congratulations and thanks to everyone for participating!

Teen SRC 2017 – Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Image result for finding audreyAnxiety disorder. Something everyone fears. And Audrey has it, and she’s afraid. To conquer her fears, she wears dark glasses. With her doctor, Sarah, she is making some slow progress. Her doctor tells her to make a video documenting her life, family, recovery, which helps her interact with others and herself. Then, she meets a boy named Linus, and she finds out that she can conquer her fears by talking about them with Linus. But she still finds it hard to talk to people she doesn’t know. One day, when she tries going to Starbucks, she has an epic meltdown and feels like she can’t take it anymore. Audrey could get panic attacks from just seeing one person out of her trusted circle.

This book deals with some serious topics relating to mental health, and I felt it handled those elements very well and managed to stay fun and emotional. The characters are very interesting. All of Audrey’s family members are very encouraging to Audrey, from overly eager little Felix to Audrey’s annoying Mom. In Eliza and Her Monsters, a book really similar to Finding Audrey, Eliza preferred to stay away from her family. She thought of them as an annoyance. But in Finding Audrey, Audrey desperately tried to interact with others.

When Audrey refused to talk to the Starbucks worker, it reminded me of when my little brother and I used to be super scared of strangers, and my parents would do all the talking if we wanted something.

I found this book extremely funny because of all the times Audrey’s mother had threatened to throw Audrey’s brother’s computer out the window, and that one time when she couldn’t take it anymore and threw it out.

I felt that the author should’ve written a bit more because it would’ve been fun to know what happens to Audrey when she goes to school.

I recommend this book to anyone who just wants a good book to read for the summer, and I rate it a 4.5 out of 5!

Teen SRC 2017 – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Image result for miss peregrine home for peculiar children bookWhen I heard this title, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, my first thought was to watch the movie. But since I’m not a big fan of horror movies, I stopped watching it when I was halfway through. Instead, I read the book. Surprisingly, it was actually pretty awesome!

It’s about a boy named Jacob, who has a pretty interesting grandpa. Ever since Jacob was 5, his grandpa would tell him stories about monsters and unimaginable creatures. When Jacob turned 7, he thought those stories were a figment of the imagination and stopped believing them. Now that he’s 16, he’s forgotten all about his childhood stories. One day, his grandfather calls Jacob and tells him that something is chasing him, and warns Jacob not to come to his house, or Jacob will become a victim as well. Jacob, however, thinks that his grandfather is just drunk, so he and his friend, Ricky, drive to Jacob’s grandfather’s house… and find it empty.

Jacob, worried, goes searching in the woods and finds a trail of fresh blood. And the trail leads to his grandfather. Thankfully, his grandfather was alive enough to tell Jacob one last message: “Find the bird. In the loop. On the other side of the old man’s grave. Sep. Third 1940. Emerson. The letter.” Jacob just nodded. Then, Jacob saw a horrifying creature with tentacles sticking out of its mouth. Then, all went black. A couple of years after Jacob’s grandfather’s death, Jacob finally worked out what his grandpa’s last words meant. He was to go to the house for Peculiar Children.

I was really scared for Jacob when he ventured into the monster-filled woods alone, because like Miss Peregrine mentions in the book, monsters can lurk anywhere, at any time. I feel that Jacob should’ve been more careful when he was helping his peculiar friends awaken the dead, since he seems the most ‘ordinary’ of them all, and he can’t afford to lose his life at such a young age.

If I were the author, I would change the part where Jacob found his grandpa’s body in the woods almost instantly, because it would seem much more suspenseful, if Jacob had seen the monster, then blacked out.

I recommend this book to people who haven’t seen the movie because I usually like to read the book then compare it to the movie. It just seems much more fun than watching the movie, then reading a book that is almost the same, when you know what everything in the book looks like already. I give the book a 5 out of 5!

Teen SRC 2017 – Revelation by J. A. Sounders.

One stunning book follows another. Ever since I finished the first book, by J. A. Sounders, Renegade, I have developed an interest in fantasy books. In Renegade, a girl named Evelyn escaImage result for revelation ja souderspes from her mother’s horrible realm, Elysium, with her friend Gavin. But now that she’s on the ‘Surface’, she has no memories whatsoever of Elysium… or Gavin. Evelyn is determined to get her memories back on track, but that means risking her life to go back to the Elysium. She doesn’t want to risk it, but at the same time, she needs to find her true self- it seems clear that she doesn’t fit in on the Surface. Slowly, she starts to long for a real home, such as Elysium. Because of her lack of memory, she doesn’t remember how her mother has threatened to kill her, nor how she had been nearly killed when she escaped with Gavin.

Like the first book, this was very breath-taking and surprising. But I have to say that it was kind of disappointing. Instead of a strong woman, Evelyn turned all whiny. And, when people usually rely on her, she now relies on others to lead her through the hardship of life. According to the doctor, Evelyn just needs time to rest, and her memories will slowly come back to her. That doesn’t exactly make sense if you have read the first book when Evelyn’s mother told her that she will forget everything forever if she sets her foot on the Surface.

However, it was also very suspenseful, and it does, in fact, have a lot of detail, compared to the first book. J. A. Sounders is a very good author, and I look up to her writing. I hope I will enjoy the next book as much as her first and second!

If I were J. A. Sounders, I would make Evelyn much stronger, and with more determination, because she’s never sure about a decision. It’s either, maybe this or maybe that.

I recommend this book for people between ages 11-15, but if you don’t like fantasy that much, I don’t recommend you read this. It requires a lot of imagination. Especially when Evelyn gets in trouble, and when coincidences surprisingly happen out of nowhere. I rate this book a 4.5 out of 5.

Teen SRC 2017 – Renegade by J. A. Sounders

Renegade is a special book who’s title means a lot. It means a person who deserts and betrays someone. In the book, it Related imageis Evelyn’s mother who betrays her world. Evelyn was adopted by her mother, a seemingly sweet woman who gives Evelyn everything she could possibly wish for. Evelyn and her mother live underwater, in a world named Elysium. To Evelyn, nothing could possibly be better. She has servants, guards, and people who respect her. She is a training to be a Daughter of the People. One day, when a Surface Dweller named Gavin, (whom the people of Elysium find dangerous), wanders unexpectedly upon Evelyn’s world. After Evelyn asks him multiple questions about the Surface, she comes to a realization. Every time she goes to meet her Therapist, her memories get erased, and she will obey only her mother’s orders. At last, she makes a plan. She will escape from the Elysium with Gavin. But it isn’t easy at all.

What was interesting about this book was the fact that whales can sing, according Evelyn. I reached that conclusion when Evelyn was watching the scene outside of her glass dome, also known as… her home. Then, out of apparently nowhere, a whale starts burping, and then another whale joins in, creating a song. I think that though it sounds pretty insane, it is all the same very intriguing, to imagine that animals can sing.

When I first saw the name of the author, I thought it seemed kind of Deja Vu. Until now, I hadn’t realized why, but now I remember. The author of Wonder, is named R. J. Palacio. The author of Renegade, however, is J. A. Sounders. Even though the two are pretty different, they have 2 letters at the start of their name, and their writing styles are very similar.

I have also realized that some of the coincidences in this book go too smooth, like when Evelyn suddenly gets a vague idea that a door is behind the brick wall, and surprisingly, it does. There was also when Gavin miraculously knows how to use the Magic Wand to heal people, when he hasn’t ever learned the rules and law of Elysium.

I rate this book a 4 out of 5 because I feel that it was both intriguing and continuously hilarious. I did give only 4, because I think the author should have included more detail and adventure. Also, the author seems to really like the saying, From the tips of my toes to the roots of my hair. But anyway’s it’s still a very good read! I recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy!


Teen SRC 2017 – Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child

How old would you expect a detective to be? Normally, probably around 30-40. But Ruby RedforImage result for ruby redfort look into my eyest is only 13. She’s a genius detective. It all started when she was two years old. Ruby witnessed a theft. A woman stole a moving object and placed it in her basket, while a man distracted the owner. Since then, Ruby set her sights on being a detective. Then, when she was seven, she made a code that nobody could crack, and was then sent to Harvard University, where the professors finally cracked it. She is definitely much smarter than a normal seven-year-old.

This book seems like a pretty large book, about 390 pages, but the printing inside is quite big, so it doesn’t take long to read. The book’s cover is really awesome as well. The design of the book is brilliantly planned, and the page behind the cover is a green fly with a white background.

Lauren Child also wrote the Clarice Bean series, which I loved when I was about 8. Lauren Child is very successful in writing, and her books have inspired many people to walk the path of an author.

Ruby Redfort is not a typical 13 year old. She is a detective. One strange day, when Ruby woke up, she found nothing out of the ordinary, but little did she know that was about to change. When Ruby arrived home in the afternoon, she saw a sheriff blocking her way. She saw that everything was gone. EVERY. SINGLE. THING. They had been robbed. After the sheriff left, the doorbell rang again. It was the butler that Ruby’s mother had called before. For a butler, he was surprisingly formal. Soon later, Ruby discovers that he is a undercover agent, and he is supposed to ‘hire’ Ruby for a secret job that nobody can know about.

Even though this was a great book, I did realize that the book never really explained why anyone would steal the Jade Buddha, but instead left it there with no explanation. Kind of confusing. Also, the word ‘bozo’ was used a lot. I felt as if the book would have been much more interesting if the author used a different variety of words.

I was really keen to find out if The Spectrum (where Ruby Redford got hired and now does her detective work there), might actually exist. I’m pretty sure there’s nowhere like Spectrum on earth, but hopefully, somewhere just as awesome will be built one day.

I recommend this book to kids of 9-14 years old, and I rate it a 5 out of 5 for it’s unlimited fun and mystery!

Teen SRC 2017 – The Misadventures of Max Crumbly: Locker Hero by Rachel Renée Russell

Image result for max crumbly locker heroLocker Hero is full of fun and (mis)adventure! This author, Rachel Renee Russell, wrote the Dork Diaries series as well. She continued with the Max Crumbly series because she wants to show two different views of South Ridge Middle School. Max Crumbly was introduced to readers in the 10th book of Dork Diaries, and from there, RRR (Rachel Renee Russell) started writing this series.

The boy, Max Crumbly, tends to get in a lot of trouble. It all started on the first day of school when he missed the bus. Then, after a long walk to school, he gets lectured by the headmaster and receives a late slip. When he thought things couldn’t get any worse, things DO get much worse. He is stuffed into his locker by the bully, Doug. By banging and shouting for help, a girl finally rescues him before he dies of suffocation in the locker. The bad news is, Doug has only one hobby, and that is stuffing Max into his locker. After school, Doug corners Max, and once again, pushes him in the locker. This time, there is nobody there to save him, and he will be stuck in his locker for the rest of the 3 day weekend. Thankfully, he finds a way to escape into the decades-old boiler room, manages to escape from a couple of crooks stealing from the school, and falls into the toilet.

Some people may think this book is for boys, but it’s not! Even though it’s written from a boy’s perspective, it is enjoyable for both genders.

I would recommend this book to grades 5-8 because it has a very fun plot, and by following the misadventures of Max, anyone can learn how important it is to always be prepared if you catch crooks stealing.

Locker Hero has a cliffhanger at the end that says, To Be Continued, and I think it is a very good way of making people want to read more, because I’m definitely dying to know what happens next.

It also had very silly sections in them, such as when Max ‘flew’ right on top of the crooks’ pizza, and when he was hiding from the crooks in the girls change room. I feel that those scenes make up Max’s personality: Fun, witty, and sometimes courageous.

There was a little bit of confusion at the end for me, because I had expected something a bit different from the Dork Diaries series, but instead, the book had mainly the same jokes as Dork Diaries, and it had nothing really making the book stand out as a whole other series. It seems kind of plain and repetitive.

I would’ve rated this book 5 out of 5 if it weren’t for the bit of repetitive humor and a lack of detail. Because of that, I give it a 4.5 out of 5.


Teen SRC 2017 – The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

The Wolf WildImage result for the wolf wilderer takes place in Russia, and it talks about the fascinating life of a little girl, who trains wolves to become fighters. It seems so unbelievable, that wild wolves don’t know how to fend for themselves, but the author makes it seems so realistic and fun. I’ve learned that the author decided to write a book about wolves because of the time her friend, Simon Murphy, took her to see wolves for the first time.

Katherine Rundell‘s writing style is fun and straight-forwards. She talks about how wolves adapt to habitats, and how to get them to live in the wild. With so many facts, Katherine still manages to make the book gripping and charming.

As I have mentioned before, the protagonist of the story, a little girl named Feo, helps wolves learn to live the life of a real wolf with her mother in the Russian wilderness. They are called Wolf Wilders. They help wolves learn that they are to fend for themselves in the wild. Feo is a wolf wilder in-training, but she has become attached to the wolves. Especially the three who stick to her. But one normal day, a Russian Army comes and threatens to take everything Feo loves. She has no decision but to run away in this life-or-death situation.

This fantasy filled book deserves a 5 out of 5, especially because it felt so realistic, and obviously, the author took a very long time to find the perfect amount of magic and survival. Along with the Wolf Wilder, I’ve also read her outstanding book, Rooftoppers, about a girl who is searching for her mother after a fatal shipwreck. The Wolf Wilder and Rooftoppers are both books that are definitely worth reading.