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The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani; reviewed by Kate C.

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani; reviewed by Kate C.

"The School for Good and Evil  by Soman Chainani is a thrilling fantasy tale of two young girls who have the adventure of their life.


Every four years two children, one good, one evil, are abducted from their villages and placed into Either the School for Good or the School for Evil. They must earn top marks in their classes and when they are through, they are let out into the endless woods and create their own fairy tales.


Sophie is positive she will get into the School for Good this year. With her captivating good looks and her expensive attire, nobody would second guess her as a princess.


Agatha, on the other hand, doesn’t believe in these fictional schools beyond the endless woods. She’s much happier with living in her grungy graveyard house in the tranquil village of Gavaldon where she and Sophie can be friend for ever. She was sure that if these schools were real, she’d end up in the School for Evil.


But on the night of the abduction something very unexpected happened. Sophie and Agatha were both kidnapped but put into the opposite schools; Agatha in the School for Good and Sophie in the School for Evil!


Through the course of the book, the girls find out who they really are and strive, though reluctant, to accept it.

I really liked this book because I could relate to the characters. Some were adventurous and curious and some were quiet and shy. I also liked it because the plot line kept you on the edge of your seat. It was just as interesting at all points of the book." - Kate C.

To find out more about this great book, read more here! This review is part of our Summer Reading Challenge.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider; reviewed by Julia K.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider; reviewed by Julia K.

"The Beginning of Everything is the type of book that anyone could relate to. It has the romance any hopeless romantic could ever want, while still having the suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. In sunny San Diego, Ezra, a 17-year old high school student, struggles to figure out what his life now means after the accident that shattered his knee. When a new girl, Cassidy, joins his school and his group of friends, he can't help but fall for her.
The book takes the reader on a journey of self discovery and hope. It's witty and charming while still being serious. No matter who you are or what you've been through, you're going to be able to relate to Ezra in one way or another. Ezra teaches us important lessons about love, heartbreak, and living life to the fullest. The Beginning of Everything will keep you hooked on every word until the very last page." - Julia K.

This fantastic book will be available at the end of August! While you wait for it to come out, you can read more here. This review is part of our Summer Reading Challenge.

Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin; reviewed by Ella S.

Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin; reviewed by Ella S.

 

"Overall, I thought this book was pretty good. I definitely enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, that was because of the beginning which was not very grabbing. I thought the book was good, not great. I felt that it was more of a check out from the library: "Oh I guess this looks god" rather than a "This looks great let's buy it" kind of book.I also felt that the summary on the back was slightly misleading. Though I did enjoy reading this book, it was simple and sweet." - Ella S.

 

If you'd like to find out more about Rules of Summer, you can do so here. This review is part of our Summer Reading Challenge.

Ink by Amanda Sun; reviewed by Mimi S.

Ink by Amanda Sun; reviewed by Mimi S.

"Ink, by Amanda Sun, is a novel about a girl named Katie Green who moves to Japan to live with her aunt after the unexpected death of her mother.  Once there, she meets a mysterious Japanese boy who she soon realizes has godly capabilities with the maneuvering of ink.  This book has a plot very similar to those of many shoujo/shounen manga (Japanese comics geared toward young males and females), with the supernatural occurrences and the fact that it is, well, based in Japan.   It is pretty dark storyline, but with lots of romance mixed in between.  In my opinion, the overall book was okay.  I enjoyed the inclusion of Japanese culture and language, but sometimes the romance got a bit cheesy (however do keep in mind I am not a very romantic novel-minded person).  For those who liked Twilight but wished Bella sometimes did something other than be saved, this is the book for you.  Think Sarah Dessen gets thrown into theDivergent by Veronica Roth, and then is shipped to Japan and put in with mangas likeNaruto.  Voíla! Ink by Amanda Sun.  Beautiful artwork included inside the book." - Mimi S.

If this book sounds good to you (it sure does to us!) read more here. This review is part of our Summer Reading Challenge

Anne Lamott - Help, Thanks, Wow

Montclair blogger Barbara Falconer Newhall writes about Anne Lamott's talk about her new book, Help, Thanks, Wow, at Montclair Presbyterian on Nov. 15. Go to "Anne Lamott on Getting Older -- Drop the Rock!"

Pulse by Patrick Carman; reviewed by Hannie R.

Pulse by Patrick Carman; reviewed by Hannie R.

"What do you think the world will be like in 2051? A happy place? A place filled with amazing technology? Do you ever think that maybe it will be a dying world? Pulse is the story of the world in 2051 where most people live in "states": giant civilizations with millions of people living close together to try to stop global warming before it destroys the world much sooner than anyone thought. The main character, Faith lives outside of the states. She doesn't like them at all and swears to never move to one. More and more people are moving to the states though, and eventually Faith's best friend moves too leaving Faith all alone to discover that there is more to the states, and herself than meets the eye. Faith has to figure out who to trust, or more importantly who not to trust quickly because her life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.

        Pulse is dystopian fiction.It had a bit of a slow start but once it got going it was really entertaining. I loved the whole idea of the book; the people, the powers, and the adventure. Pulse really makes you think, the people in it depend so much on technology that they could hardly live half a day without it. Is that our future? We already depend so much on technology it could easily happen. This book sucks you in so that all you can think about is what will happen next. It's intriguing and exciting, and of course it wouldn't be teen fiction without a bit of romance. Pulse is a great book and I enjoyed reading it." - Hannie R.

If this book sounds good to you, read more here. Pulse will be available starting in February 2013.

Growgirl by Heather Donahue - Barbara Falconer Newhall's blog

Heather Donahue was our guest recently for a reading from her book "Growgirl."
We recommend Barbara Falconer Newhall's great post about the book - check it out here.

The End is Here

So I'm pretty late posting this, but the Summer Reading Challenge is in fact over. It's been a great run - thanks to all of the kids who read and got their cards punched, and thanks to the kids who wrote the wonderful reviews that can be seen on this website. I've really enjoyed working on the program and I'll see you again next summer!

- Lizzy 

THE END IS NEAR!

Attention all kids who have been participating in the Summer Reading Challenge (or who want to get a very late start): only 3 days left to redeem your (full) punch cards for free advance copies of books! We will continue posting reviews if we continue receiving them. Thanks to everyone who participated by reading books and/or writing these fantastic reviews. Keep reading and we'll see you in the store!

- GGP Staff

Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead; reviewed by Hannah M.

Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead; reviewed by Hannah M.

"Liar and Spy is a great book that really makes you wonder: is anything true? It's about a boy named Georges (silent "s") who stops by to see what a piece of paper saying "Spy Club Meeting Today" really means. But when he walks through the door, it's only two very strange members named Candy and Safer. This odd meeting sets Georges off to find the "true" nature of Mr. X. This is a great follow-up to Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me." - Hannah M.

If this book sounds good to you, read more here! This review is part of our Summer Reading Challenge.

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