Category Archives: 8th Grade

Silent Days, Silent Dreams

This is a complex book.  It’s not a light read.  It can serve readers who read for a variety of purposes, and for the right audiences it would be worthy of a “Highly Recommended” rating.  It is a picture book … Continue reading

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Paper Butterflies

How much abuse could you be dealt before it crushes your spirit?  Lisa Heathfield’s story of June’s child and young adulthood is a psychological twister, alternating chapters between before and after an event that changes everything.  Before, June’s mother had … Continue reading

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A Very, Very Bad Thing by Jeffery Self

A Very, Very Bad Thing by Jeffery Self is written in a way that keeps readers wanting more. Narrated through the voice of Marley, a gay senior, the story begins by revealing that Marley has done something bad. Time shifts … Continue reading

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All The Crooked Saints

Filled with magical realism reminiscent of Isabel Allende, Maggie Steifvater takes readers to the fantasy of town of Bicho Raro, Colorado, where strangers find themselves coming to “find themselves”.   Three cousins, who act more like siblings, Beatriz, Daniel and Joaquin, all … Continue reading

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Wax by Gina Damico

Reviewed By: Shelley Walter, OHS Library Secretary This is the story of a teenage girl, Poppy, who is an aspiring actress. She has a nightmare performance and is ridiculed by her peers, namely a boy name Blake. Blake bullies her … Continue reading

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Hip-Hop Culture

Hip-Hop Culture, part of the Hip-Hop Insider series, takes one on an informative, fast-paced and fascinating trip through hip-hop history up to today’s influences such as Lin-Manuel Miranda’s use of hip-hop in Hamilton. Written by history teacher/author Judy Dodge Cummings, readers … Continue reading

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Karl, Get Out of the Garden!

A picture book biography about the man responsible for developing the scientific classification and naming system used throughout the scientific community today.  The water color illustrations do a good job of evoking the time period (1700s) in which Karl Linne, … Continue reading

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The Negro Leagues: Celebrating Baseball’s Unsung Heroes

The Negro Leagues: Celebrating Baseball’s Unsung Heroes by Matt Doeden is written in a simple, easy to understand format with lots of pictures, however, the issues are very complex.  At a time in history when baseball leagues were segregated by the color … Continue reading

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The Ghost of Graylock

Neil and Bree are sent to stay with their Aunt in upstate New York.  Neil wants to be a ghost hunter so he is excited with the transition to his Aunt’s house. Within walking distance of their new home is … Continue reading

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Labyrinth

Labyrinth, by Israel Keats, is a juvenile fiction book in the science fiction genre that is fast paced and action packed. The story begins with two teens, a boy from a dysfunctional family who feels that he has nothing to … Continue reading

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Black Holes: A Space Discovery Guide

Black holes, by there very nature cannot be seen.  The only information about black holes is from observing how other objects in space behave around them.  This book details many of the devices that are used to collect information about … Continue reading

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Esquivel! Space-age Sound Artist

I love the illustrations. I like the idea of picture book biographies, especially more multi-cultural ones. From what I read, he certainly seems to have been a ground-breaking musician, so perhaps this book will help him become more well-known.  I … Continue reading

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Will’s Words: how William Shakespeare change the way you talk

A really approachable and informative non-fiction picture book that I think has a wide grade-range of appeal.  The illustrations are cartoonish enough to be inviting, but still do a good job of providing the reader with a visual context for … Continue reading

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The Haunted Mansion #5

Even though I have not read books 1-4, this was a good read. It helped to have a synopsis on the title page. Danny went to the mansion to help his deceased grandpa. Danny is now trapped inside the mansion … Continue reading

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The Mystery of the Sphinx

The sphinx and the pyramids in Egypt’s Sahara Desert have intrigued people for thousands of years.  Scientists, archeologists, and scholars have studied, excavated, repaired, and wondered about the creation and purpose of the sphinx.  Which came first, the sphinx or … Continue reading

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Charles Drew: Distinguished Surgeon and Blood Researcher

This biography is of Dr. Charles Drew and his amazing contributions to science concerning blood.  Born in 1904 in Washington DC, Drew, an African American, had more opportunities for a solid education.  Because of DC’s large African American population, schools … Continue reading

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The Mesmerist

Jess and her mother make a living in Victorian England as fake spiritualists, ‘helping’ grieving people connect with their deceased loved ones. Jess and her mother discover that Jess can actually communicate with the dead – she is a mesmerist. … Continue reading

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Plastic, Ahoy!: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean is a giant pile of garbage.  Scientists have studied the phenomenon, and the creators of this book journeyed to witness science in action.  They focus on three scientists, and show some of the … Continue reading

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Keep Me In Mind

When one of two star-crossed lovers full of teen agnst run falls off of a cliff in the 1st chapter, readers of Keep Me In Mind by Jaime Reed will be anxiously ready to turn the next pages.  Alternating chapters between … Continue reading

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Memoirs of a Sidekick

How appropriate my fortune cookie read, “An optimist is always able to see the bright side of other people’s troubles.” Boris Snodbuckle and his sidekick Adrian are true optimists. They are seventh grade nerds or geeks at Bendale Public School, … Continue reading

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The Icarus Show

The Icarus Show, by Sally Christie, is a tender and insightful examination of strategies used to cope with uncomfortable situations and how they can interfere with living a full life.  Alex has devised the perfect coping strategy for his first … Continue reading

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Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (Music Storybooks)

Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet is presented as a picture book with stunning mixed media illustrations by renowned Mexican artist Gabriel Pacheco. In addition to beautiful telling of the story, the book includes information about the composer, background about the ballet, and descriptions and definitions of … Continue reading

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Make me the Best Football Player

Make Me the Best Football Player is part of the Make Me the Best Athlete series which, in addition to football, also includes the sports of track and field, baseball, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and volleyball. This non-fiction, easy to read text highlights five … Continue reading

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Dallas

Dallas is part of a new series called Texas Fridays by sports writer Sam Moussavi. This series is football themed. Moussavi wrote the Hoops basketball series, and many non-fiction sports biographies. In Dallas we meet Bobby Dupree,  a backup quarterback who has been trying to make an … Continue reading

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Stay in the Game

Megan Atwood’s short novella, Stay in the Game, is riveting from page one. The overriding theme is that ”Is it okay to do harm for a good motive?” and “Does not knowing the consequences of an action, make one not … Continue reading

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