The book, Going Bovine by Libba Bray, orbits around the illusions of 16 year old Cameron Smith as he is slowly taken over by Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human equivalent to mad cow’s disease. His story begins after he accepts a quest offered by Dulcie, a literal pink “punk rock” angel, to engage in an exorbitant adventure find Dr. X, the time traveling physicist who triggered the end of the universe via his excessive trips across dimensions through the means of wormholes. Along with Gonzo, his neurotic hospital roommate affected with dwarfism, the sudden appearances of Dulcie, and random signs of guidance, Cameron goes on a utopian road trip to Disney World, the location of Dr. X’s secret laboratory. En route, they meet Balder, a Norse god cursed to appear in the form of a lawn gnome, escape the ever appearing theoretical fire dragons commanded by the Wizard of Reckoning, encounter a mysterious cult, meet the acquaintance of several physicists and fight against a notorious snow globe corporation. At their final destination, Cameron realizes his true identity and twist that shakes the reader’s entire perspective of the book is revealed. The book offers valuable insight to the true meaning of life and leaves the reader wondering even after the last page, regardless of the number of times, has been turned.
The novel brings up unpopular yet eye-opening perspectives on modern education, religious cults, as well as American materialism, and includes several references to wormholes and string theory. Its overall bold quirkiness and unpredictable storyline also added to the book’s appeal. The unexpected twists and turns of the plot made the book more intriguing and harder to put down. Although the book supports several disliked opinions and contains varying degrees of profanity, it offers stimulating views on various topics trending in modern culture. The book invites the reader to be more curious as to how a character ends up. I would recommend this book to readers interested in profound, vivid and yet cryptic dark comic tragedy.
Reviewed by Sritharini R.
Summary: I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, is by Malala Yousafzai, a young girl from Swat Valley, who is standing up for girls rights and education against the Taliban. I am Malala is an autobiography that describes the hardships of living under the Taliban, and the ways Malala herself stood up against their bans on the things that women could do, such as being educated. This book is her journey through her life that started peacefully without the Taliban, and then as the Taliban gains power how life changed and instead of doing as the Taliban wanted and keeping safe, she spoke up against the inequalities and stood up for women’s rights. It shows her dedication to a safer and educated world for not only girls, but boys as well. Not just children but adults. Even after being moved to England, she continues to fight for education.
I thought this book was amazing because Malala was 12 year old girl that impacted the world so greatly and in such a positive way. It shows how a girl who doesn’t let go of her hopes and dreams can achieve so much, even though they are from a humble background. The book was very informative and encouraging. Malala talks about all the things that are going on as she struggles against the Taliban with her father and a few other outspoken individuals.
I agree with Malala’s opinions, that every child and adult should be given an education because it is their right. No matter the gender of a person, people have a right to being informed, and it is crucial world that people are educated. A common theme is that people should be informed and educated. That people should have the rights that they deserve, rights that all people should have because they are human.
I believe this book is encouraging and that it really shows a human face to this great international hero that Malala has become. It also shows the hardships that people face, living under the Taliban and breaks the many stereotypes that people have gained of Muslim people. I really liked this book, because Malala spoke out through this book to show people what was really going on in the Middle East. Many people have a very withdrawn perspective on what is going on in the Middle East. They don’t really understand what it is like to live there, but I am Malala can change this spectator view and show what is really going on. Living in America, or really anywhere not in the Middle East, it is hard to be able to “walk” in these people’s shoes. We don’t know what it’s like, but through Malala, we can understand. I would definitely recommend this to everyone. I believe that everyone should read this book, not just because of the ideas that Malala Yousafzai talks about, but also because it is an incredibly encouraging and life changing story.
I picked up this book because I was curious to learn about Malala Yousafzai. It was wonderful to see someone my age, though at the time younger, to go through these hardships that she faced and still keep fighting for something that is so dear to her heart, and because of her struggles and her continuous efforts has changed the world for the better in so many ways. Malala Yousafzai’s tale is an encouraging tale, and I would recommend it to everyone. Malala’s story is sure to grab anyone’s attention, and it can really change a person’s perspective as well as help them make a difference in their own community.
Reviewed by Rabia kamal
Summary: In Jeff Hirsch’s novel The Darkest Path, In a dystopian version of America’s future, Callum Roe, a sixteen- year-old former child soldier struggling to survive in the midst of the Second American Civil War, which is between the Glorious path who wanted total control over America, and the U.S federal army who wants to restore peace and is the remainder of America’s army. Callum and his brother (James Roe) were taken away from their family 5 years ago and were forced to serve in the Glorious Path, but when Callum finds out what is in store for them in the future, he escapes into a long and tiring journey to seek his long-lost parents with the odds of survival stacked against him. Sadly, his brother James doesn’t believe him and decides to remain in the Glorious path. Along Callum’s 2,147 mile journey from Arizona to New York (location of the U.S federal army) he befriends a dog named Bear and murders his Commander/trainer who was going to train him into a killing machine. Together, they must overcome fate’s test for friendship, betrayal, and loyalty in ways you would never think were ever possible.
I decided to read this book because of its positive reviews by the people who read it and an interview of Jeff hirsch talking about the book. Another reason is because Jeff Hirsch is one of my favorite authors when it comes to books, one of his most recent books was the eleventh plague, which received some rewards and a lot of amazing reviews for it. Amazingly, The Darkest Path showed some signs of similarity to the eleventh plague genre-wise, which made me think Jeff Hirsch likes post-apocalyptic subjects. One reason why I kept reading The Darkest Path was because I was so intrigued with the plot due to its fast paced/heart pounding events and how it kept me at the edge of my seat…literally. Secondly, The Darkest Path got me so emotionally hooked, I had to shed a few tears along the way to process the unfortunate moments the book has to offer which was not common when I read books! Lastly, as I continued to read Jeff Hirsch’s story, I got pulled into Callum’s point of view and felt, saw, heard, smelled, and tasted throughout his journey. I believe this is for anyone who wants a face paced, heart pounding, and emotional ride into a post-apocalyptic version of America’s future. I would also recommend this book for fiction/adventure readers, if you are not looking for any of these, I would definitely still pick it up because trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
Reviewed by Edmund W.
The book If I Stay by Gayle Forman is about a young girl named Mia who wakes up to an unexpected joyful snow day, making her and the rest of her family now have some available free time. They all together decide to take a small trip to visit some family friends at their home. They could have visited, then go to a bookstore to roam all of its inviting ailes, and then have dinner with the grandparents, but everything changes within seconds. There is a sudden car accident, completely totaling the car. Mia gets up only to shattered pieces of the car everywhere,both her now deceased parents, and her younger brother lying on the ground. She finds her own wounded body on the ground as well. She watches as the ambulances arrive quickly rushing her body in an ambulance and follows. Mia is in very critical condition putting her in coma. Now, Mia is forced to accept the death of her family and realizes she might not want to stay at all. This story brings attention to the difficult question that Mia has to answer that will make out what her life will become. In the end,she still is struggling with making her decision whether to take the easy way out and leaving with her family or to fight and live with the loss of her family. Will she have the power and courage to stay?
I picked this book up because it caught my eye after hearing and many good reviews about it. I also knew there was a movie and was excited to read before watching to compare and contrast. I kept reading even though it was upsetting to me, I was determined to find out what she decided. It helped me in a way I could relate, my situation is not as tough and difficult as hers but it still guided me on my own life decisions making me realize every decision has an impact and effect. I would give this book to be honest to anyone really. It’s a great fictional read that could very much be a real life thing. It has the message of how in the matter of seconds everything can change and any decision you make no matter how easy or hard there’s always needs to be consideration of yourself and others.
Written by: Anam .R
Lost and Found by Shaun Tan is a graphic novel containing three unique and interesting short stories. Each tell a simple story with simple plots but the heavy messages in those stories are what ultimately invests a reader in the story. Even more impressive is the art style and sheer creativity in expressing the pieces in the book. Shaun Tan’s style is hard to pin down, its like a mixture of minimalistic, steampunk, cartoonish, and abstract. A different style is expressed in each of the stories to give them individuality, tone, and mood. Personally, the book sent me down into a smooth river of feelings and emotions that subtly changed after each story was told. It was a riveting experience that ended all too soon because of the books width. However, the novel’s depth weighs more heavily than the books length. Like a song we understand just as much it understands us in such a short amount of time. Before I began the awe-inspiring journey, I picked up the novel and found curiosity in its bizarre art style that I would later call beautiful. Like the perfect song, I fell in love with its deep, hidden meaning and emotional art. Anyone who likes to find special meaning in lost and forgotten things ought to give this little book an audience.
Reviewed by Autumn Greene
The Dursleys are nothing but mean to Harry Potter and all he wanted to do was go back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As he was about to leave he meets a house-elf who warns him, if he goes back to Hogwarts terrible things will happen. And they sure. In Harry’s second year of Hogwarts, he gets a new teacher who worries about his hair more than the class, a ghost haunting the girls bathroom, and Ron’s sister, Ginny, who is obsessed with him. But, those are just minor things, the real trouble began when someone or something is turning Hogwarts students to stone. Who could it be, Harrys formidable enemy, Draco Malfoy, or Hagrid whose mysterious past is finally revealed. Or could it be Hogwarts most suspected- Harry Potter himself! I think this book is very action-packed and exciting at every page, like you never want to put down this book down until you finished it. This book is very interesting and has a lot of funny,serious , and sad moments. I kept reading it because I enjoyed the first book very much and I wanted to find out about Hagrid’s past and who is turning the Hogwarts students to stone. I would give this book to anybody who like the first book in this series and anyone who like magic, action, and mystery novels.
Reviewed by Swetha Thiagarajan