children of blood and bone cover
Silverdolphin827 says:

It was once a blessing…Now a curse. White hair is the mark of a magi. They were once celebrated. Then magis started to take advantage of their power and became feared. King Saran studied and found a way to break the magis’ connection to the gods and their magic disappeared. But the King wasn’t done yet. He sent his soldiers to kill every magi they could find, in case they tried to get their power back. He left the divîners though. They are the magis who hadn’t turned 13, and thus, hadn’t gain accessed to their powers. Zélie Adebola’s mother was killed that night and Zélie is to be forever a divîner. Her white hair now means her people are treated as evil even though she has never been able to use her promised magic. Zélie lives as normal a life as possible never able to be who she was meant to become, or so she thinks. That all changes went she helps a frightened girl at the market. She discovers the girl is Amari, Princess of Orïsha, and she carries a scroll that can bring magic back. When Zélie touches it she can feel her magic returned. She and Amari show the scroll to Mama Agba. When Mama Agba touches it, it is revealed she is a seer who hid from being killed by getting rid of her white hair. She sees a vision of Amari, Zélie, and Zélie’s brother Tzain traveling to a sacred temple. She urges them to follow her vision. And thus Amari, Zélie and Tzain start on a dangerous journey that could potentially restore magic. They are being hunted by Prince Inan, Amari’s own brother, who wants to save Amari from herself and killed Zélie and Tzain. Along the way Inan discovers he has a secret. Zélie has to consider many questions on her journey, the most important being: Does she want to bring magic back at all? You’ll be sure to love Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. I recommend this to anyone who has ever picked up a fantasy book.

AB says:

What would you do if an irreplaceable artifact, the object that inspired an entire nation, had just been stolen right under your nose? Well, Kate Messner has written the story, Capture the Flag, where this national crisis has become a horrifying reality. The Star Spangled Banner, the very flag that had flown with pride over Fort McHenry during the British Bombing through fog and smoke and miraculously survived, was swiped during a convention at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington D.C. Meet Anna, a school newspaper reporter who is very mindful of her surroundings, José a quiet bookworm who doesn’t like crowds, and finally, meet Henry, a video game nerd who’s a good problem solver. These three young strangers have several things in common, one of these traits being that they all have relatives in the Silver Jaguar Society; an organization dedicated to protecting precious pieces of art. These three strangers are drawn together by an argument of who gets to use the outlet when they are snowed in at an airport in Washington D.C. When they hear the horrific news that the cherished flag has been stolen, they decide to form an alliance and investigate the airport for any clues as to the theft. Are they on the right track? Or are they heading down a path deemed for failure?
Kate Messner has written a story that will make you feel like you are in the book experiencing everything that Anna, José, and Henry experience and will make you wonder what you would have done if you were in some of those situations with them. This mystery book is a great read for relaxation because you don’t need to think a lot, but it’s also good if you want suspense and surprises. This book is best suited for anyone in 4th grade to 8th grade, and it will be especially intriguing to anyone who likes crime/mystery novels. If you enjoy Capture the Flag, then you should consider the second book in the series, Hide and Seek.


Have you ever felt insecure about yourself? Or gotten a horrible grade on a test? Or been faced with a difficult choice? When these things happen do you ever wonder what you’re going to do? What would she do? : 25 true stories of trailblazing rebel women is a book about 25 of the most unconventional women of all time. The women who weren’t afraid to be different, or do poorly, or make choices. The women who fought against society’s norms and paved the way for girls who came after them. The women who were frowned upon during their time but achieved something so much better than popularity. Read about Joan of Arc who saved England and Frida Kahlo who faced so many challenges but used them as inspiration for art. Read about Emma Watson and all the work she’s done for girls everywhere and Marie Curie who discovered radiation. This book tells their amazing stories. In addition to telling their stories this book also offers advice about what they would do when faced with everyday problems such as insecurity. I recommend this book to anyone who has read Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls or Because I was a Girl. Or anyone who has ever felt insecure or not good enough. Kay Woodward’s What would she do? : 25 true stories of trailblazing rebel women is sure to inspire anyone who reads it.

Your voice counts

Posted: October 25, 2018 in Reading

Some of you may know the author Linda Mullaly Hunt who wrote two amazing stories, Fish in a Treeand One for the Murphys, both available in our library. Linda has just revealed the cover of her newest book titled Shouting at the Rain, on the Nerdy Book Club website, which will be released in May 2019.  As excited as I am about her new book, I hope you will take a few minutes to read her post on Nerdy Books which is directed to you, her readers, about what it means to hear from students like yourselves, and how she strives to write stories with characters facing real problems with strength, humor and tenderness.

Here’s the link to her letter. Enjoy!

By Dystopian Life, gr. 8 JFDS

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if people were segregated based on the color of your blood? This is Mare Barrow’s world in the book Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Mare is a red, someone with no special abilities, ruled over by cruel and uncaring silvers, people with special abilities. Mare lives a horrible life with her family, struggling to meet ends as a thief. Mare is prepared to be shipped off to war by the silvers when she meets a strange man in the woods, who manages to land her a job in the palace to work for the royal family. Mare discovers that she is has abilities just like the silvers. To hide this impossibility, she is forced into the role of a lost silver princess and is forced to marry the prince. Mare finds herself thrust into a world of lies and secrets as she finds her way battling through life as a silver. This is not the only complication, Mare joins a secret organization called the Scarlet Guard, which fights for red equality by undermining the silver elite. One wrong move could lead to Mare’s death, read the book to find out what happens to Mare, the Scarlet Guard, and her family. This book is highly recommended for anyone who has enjoyed The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Testing.  Red Queen will leave you wanting to read the whole series.

we were liars cover

Meet the Sinclairs. No one is needy, no one is wrong. They are tall and blond. They are democrats. Everybody is normal. They are a perfect family… Except when they aren’t. Meet Cadence Sinclair Eastman. She is the eldest grandchild and heir to the Sinclair fortune. She is also mentally impaired. She suffers migraines. She has since a mysterious accident that happened on the Sinclair private island during one of her summer-long visits. After the accident she fails school, she gives away all her possessions, and she dyed her hair black. After two years she is visiting the island again but something is different. Her mother and her sisters hug on the dock. Her aunt walks around alone at night. Her grandfather keeps calling her Mirren, which is her cousin’s name. Her cousins are very protective of her. She can’t remember her accident and why she became impaired. She asked around but no one will tell her, because according to the Sinclairs forgetting what happened was the best solution. It was the kindest way to deal with tragedy. Cadence wants to find out what happened anyway. Over the summer more and more of what happened that summer when her life turned upside-down starts to come back to her. But is she ready to remember that tragic summer? Will remembering the truth help heal her or will it break her forever? We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a wonderful realistic fiction read that reminds us that life isn’t perfect no matter how hard you try to pretend it is.

BookThiefBy Mysticat33 – grade 8 at JFDS

THE BOOK THIEF By Markus Zusak is one of the most powerful books about the Holocaust ever written in young adult literature. The story revolves around a young girl named Liesel Meminger, who’s mother could no longer provide for her. She is sent to live with a foster care family, Rosa and Hans Hubermann, on a little street named Himmel Street, in Nazi Germany in the 1940s. At first Liesel is refusing to leave her family but Hans is gentle with her and Rosa is stubborn to make her stay, so she comes to love her foster parents. All is going well, with Liesel going to school and Hitler Youth and making friends with a snarky boy named Rudy Steiner and other children on Himmel Street. Liesel suddenly becomes obsessed with words after stealing a book from a gravedigger’s apprentice. Hans, who she calls Papa, begins teaching her how to read through her first stolen book THE GRAVEDIGGER’S HANDBOOK. Stealing books gave Liesel a bit of thrill and she begins to steal books from all sorts of situations. And she usually got away. Then something dreadful happens. Papa allows a Jew to hide in their basement, to escape the Nazis. Liesel was fearful of the Jew, but complications in Papa’s past led this Jew here. But Liesel and Max, the Jew, are very similar. They both have nightmares and Liesel and Max bond over the love of words. Max writes books for Liesel and Liesel gives Max verbal pictures of what is happening outside Max’s lonely basement. Soon, Liesel has 10 books of great importance to her and the weight of hiding a Jew gets heavy on the Hubermanns and Liesel badly. Can Liesel continue to be friends with someone persecuted by society? What are the secrets Hans Hubermann has refused to share from his past? Will Himmel Street, where their house is, be bombed or raided by the Nazis? How will Liesel ever get away with stealing all those books? This book truly proves Markus Zusak’s ability to use the power of words to write about one of the most tragic events in world history. No words could ever be persuasive enough to tell you how great this book was. This is a very deep read and a pretty long book (about 550 pages), so it takes great dedication to get through all of this. I was just dumbfounded by the astonishing story and I really had to savor ever word. This book has many buried meanings and is very symbolic to the time period. One of my many favorite things about this book is it’s narrator is Death itself. Considering how many millions of people died in that time, Death is a significant symbol. This is a great historical fiction and if you liked DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL by Anne Frank or you adore WWII and Holocaust books, this is the book for you. But most importantly, if you love a good read this is definitely one.

Do you know what a scarlet pimpernel is? It is a little red country flower. But is also the code name of a mysterious hero who saved countless lives from the guillotine during the French Revolution. Baroness Emma Orczy’s novel The Scarlet Pimpernel is set in England in 1792. It focuses on a “the cleverest woman in Europe” Lady Marguerite Blakeney and her husband Sir Percy Blakeney. The Blakeneys are the most popular couple in Europe. However they are not at all happy. They used to love each other before they were married but now Sir Percy is an idiotic nobleman for whom Marguerite feels only good natured contempt. However despite their unhappiness life goes on. Marguerite is the queen of London society and gossips with everybody about the one thing on everyone’s mind: The brave, daring, and cunning Scarlet Pimpernel who smuggled poor French aristocrats out of France to safety right under the very noses of the Republican government of France. Like everyone else Marguerite thinks very highly of him never once did she think she might be forced to betray him. One night Marguerite is visited by an old friend and a member of the Republic of France, M. Chauvelin. He has come to Europe on a mission, to catch the Scarlet Pimpernel. He wants Marguerite’s help. He had discovered evidence that Marguerite’s brother, Armand, is in league with the Scarlet Pimpernel. If she helps him, he will spare Armand from the guillotine and if not Armand will pay dearly for his crimes. Unknown to Marguerite the stakes are higher than she could ever have guessed. Baroness Orczy does a wonderful job of showing her readers the horrors of the revolution but also conveying a message of hope and showing that there are good people in the world. I read that book four times in a row because I just couldn’t put it down. It is full of action, adventure, cleverness, and bravery. If you are looking for a good exciting story with high stakes this book is for you.

I recently polled most of our students during book browse visits and asked them what their favorite book was so far this year. Click on the image to link to their responses and maybe give one a try!

Mysticat33 says:

A long time into the future, a young woman named Nell, lives in a place called the Pale and Pasture. The sick live in the Pale, the healed lived in the Pasture. The island was desolated and barricaded from human interaction of the outside world during a horrible epidemic with a disease that takes people’s limbs. Nell is one of the many survivors of the sickness by being given biochemical heart, the first person with an biochemical organ transplant. But unfortunately her father was the genius who invented the biochemical limbs as a fight against the sickness. Now everyone expects her to have the same world-changing ideas. In the book SPARE AND FOUND PARTS by the new author Sarah Maria Griffin, it tells the story of how Nell is coping with everyone knowing her as the daughter of the famous Dr. Crane. She wants to do something huge, something good for the community. It’s hard when she barely has any friends since her heart ticks like a clock every day so everyone sees her a different. Then one day she finds a hand on a beach and it sparks a new idea. What if she could build a whole person from just spare and found parts? This is a completely new novel that has many secrets and interesting mechanics in it. If you love engineering, dystopian worlds, or ingenious character personalities, this book might be right for you!

Silverdolphin827 says:

Have you ever wondered what the world will look like in a few hundred years? If so that you will defiantly be interested in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Guy Montag is a fireman. He burns books for a living. Just like his father and his father’s father. Montag is happy…or is he? One day when he was walking home from work he meets a girl named Clarisse. She was different. She spent time thinking, her family sat around just talking, and she made him realize he wasn’t happy. Montag no longer was happy burning books. He wanted to read them. So when they were burning down a house that was holding books Montag took one. What will happen now? Find out in this fast-paced story of a dystopian future.

athlete vs. mathlete coverThinkPoodles says:

I recently finished Athlete VS. Mathlete by W.C. Mack. This book follows the two stories of fraternal twins Owen and Russell Evans. Owen has always been the family’s star athlete, while Russell would rather focus on his Masters of the Mind competitions. However, when the new coach for the basketball team arrives he puts Russell on the team. Eventually, it shows that Russell is a pro at basketball. Meanwhile, a new student threatens Russell’s position as leader of his Masters of the Mind team. Russell is going to need some help, luckily the perfect person lives just down the hall. Can Russell keep his rightful place, and can this family have two athletes? Read the book to find out.

ThinkPoodles says:

I recently finished a book series not currently found in the JFDS library. The Last Kids on Earth, by Max Brallier, follows Jack Sullivan, and to put it into Max’s own words, “POST-APOCALYPTIC ACTION HERO!” Set in the once-charming little town of Wakefield where monsters now roam the Earth. You’ll see your typical zombies, but you’ll also see some unique original monsters. Can Jack survive the monster apocalypse and complete the “ULTIMATE FEAT OF APOCALYPTIC SUCCESS?”  Read the book to find out.

by SilverDolpin827

Have you ever wondered what happens to your favorite fairytale characters after their stories end? In Chris Colfer’s novel The Wishing Spell you can find out! Alex and Conner’s lives have been rough since their Dad died and they are in more need than ever of a little magic. When their Grandma gives them her storybook of fairytales the twins had no idea they were going to embark on an adventure of a lifetime! After discovering the book was a portal to the fairytale land after falling into it the twins immediately start to look for a way home. Along the way, they make new friends and meet characters they had only dreamed of meeting. Little did they know they were going to discover a secret that would change their lives forever. This fast-paced adventure story is impossible to put down and you’ll find yourself wishing you could fall into this book yourself! This amazing fantasy story is full of surprising twists and will bring magic to the life of anyone who reads it.

Read another fantasy book review by SilverDolphin827, here.