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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Red Dragon

By Thomas Harris

Reviewed by Ms. Andersen, BCCHS English teacher

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris is the scariest book I have ever read.  I read this book in high school when everyone was saying that Silence of the Lambs was the scariest book ever.  It is not.  This one is.  They share one character, Hannibal Lector, but he is not prominent in this book, as he is in Silence of the LambsRed Dragon has another antagonist, the Tooth Fairy.  Sure, a character named the Tooth Fairy doesn’t sound scary, but this one is.

The Tooth Fairy is named that because when the killer in Red Dragon kills his victims, he leaves teeth marks on them.  But not normal teeth marks, teeth that have been filed to a point.  The killer wants to be called Red Dragon, but the FBI get on to the Tooth moniker and can’t leave it alone.

This book becomes scary when the FBI get close to catching the Tooth Fairy, but he outsmarts them by faking his own death.  Once I realized it was a fake, I was terrified.  I used to read this book late at night in front of a window.  Not a smart choice.  So I started reading it at the beach in full sunlight.  Still scary.  Once the killer faked his death I started reading it at night again.  This was a mistake.  So scary.

If you like Stephen King books, you will like this one.  Red Dragon is scarier than most Stephen King books that I have read, even his scariest (in my opinion), Salem’s Lot.  Thomas Harris does a brilliant job at terrifying his readers.  So if you want to be scared, read this book.  At night.  While your family is sleeping.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Lightning Thief (Series: Percy Jackson & the Olympians)

By Rick Riordan

Reviewed by Ms. S. Goyak, BCCHS history teacher

What would you do if you discovered that everything you knew about yourself was wrong? That all of the flaws you thought you had were actually strengths? That's what happens to Percy Jackson one day when he goes on a field trip for school.  His entire world is turned upside down when he discovers that he is the son of a Greek god.  From there, he is plunged into a brand new world - one of gods and monsters, heroes and quests.

The first in a series of novels about Percy's s adventures as a Demi-god at Camp Half Blood, The Lightning Thief is an exciting read that puts a new twist on the old myths of Medusa, Poseidon, and Zeus, while introducing a new batch of gods for a new generation.  From the most causal reader to the most avid book enthusiast, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is an excellent choice for any student.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Generation Dead

By Dan Waters
Reviewed by Anthony L., BCCHS student

Many teens at Oakvale High have died, but strangely enough, they are not staying dead. They come back to life, but they do not come back the same. Some say they are “Living impaired” and “differently biotic.” They are doing their best to try to blend back into their society again.

Phoebe Kendall was never cut out to be popular. Nobody can believe how she falls for Tommy Williams, a “living impaired” guy. Not even her best friend, Margi, can believe her. Even her neighbor, Adam, doesn’t believe her.

Adam, the star football player, is really good friends with Phoebe. He believes his feelings for her run very deep. He would do anything just to make her happy. What’s life like at a high school like this? Read to find out.

The Schwa Was Here

By Neal Shusterman

Reviewed by Saroha N., BCCHS student

This book has many aspects to it. It is about a boy who is virtually invisible to everyone but meets one friend. He tries to figure the Schwa out by talking to him. They later meet a blind girl and to the Schwa this was the only girl who saw him without literally seeing him. The mystery behind the Schwa is illustrious and leaves you to your vivid imagination. This book also teaches a lesson about how the most invisible person could be visible with the right tools. Neal Schusterman has so many vivid and sensory details that will put you in the Schwa’s situation which will make the book enjoyable.

I Don’t Want to be Crazy

By Samantha Schutz

Reviewed by Rebecca R., BCCHS student

*** This book is available at your local public library or bookstore.

It’s a terrific autobiography of her life after she comes face to face with her problems. At age eighteen she gets diagnosed with anxiety disorder and as a freshman in college this is like a death sentence. Samantha talks about her daily ordeals and sleepless nights dealing with anxiety. Reading this book makes you feel like you are living her life and facing her problems. It is all so surreal. I Don’t Want to be Crazy is a really fantastic nonfiction book that discusses topics you never knew existed.

Hunger Games

By Susanne Collin

Reviewed by Andy O.

The Hunger Games written by Susanne Collins is one of the best books I’ve read since Harry Potter. It is a book that is written so well and does it great job of showing and not telling. It is a book filled with suspense, romance, and action. It is a blend of all books and there will be something in there for everybody.

The book is about a girl named Katniss Everdeen who struggles in the district where she lives, along the way she encounters hardships that force her to make some difficult decisions, but through these decisions she learns that not all of them were made correctly.

I truly recommend this book for everyone and it is a great read for a English project or just for your personal taste. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Raiders Night

By Robert Lipsyte

Reviewed by Marsail J., BCCHS student

“Matt measured the distance across the kitchen table as if Dad were a tackler who needed to be avoided or leveled.”

This book is a very good book; a lot of interesting things happen. This book is about real things that really happen in football in high school, from players getting played favorites to taking steroids to get them musclcular. There’s always that one group that thinks they’re cooler than everybody else; in this book it’s called the Backpack group. They are the juiceheads on the team; all they do is lift and try anything to get bigger and be the best on the team, and they think taking steroids is the key to getting bigger and badder.

There is an incoming freshman that plays tight end/ wide receiver and he is really good, but there is a senior that is starting already, and the senior knows that his spot is in jeopardy, so he decides to do something heinous to the incoming freshmen. The leader of the team finds out and he doesn’t know what they should do: tell or keep it quiet. He ends up with a lot on his plate trying to figure out what he should do. Out of 10 I give this book a 9.57.  I recommend this book to all students in grades 9-12.  Even though some of you may not be into football or like it, I think you guys will still enjoy Raiders Night.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

By Robert T. Kiyosaki

Reviewed by Afshin A., BCCHS student

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki presents many great points about how the rich people make money work for them and how everyone else works for money. The book does a great job on teaching how one should think about work and money. It has good real estate and business management advice, but I do not agree with how the book presents this information. Kiyosaki speaks as if investing in real estate and the stock market is a really easy thing to do, but your average person has virtually no experience in investing in the stock market or real estate. The biggest problem with this book is that it lacks actionable techniques, in other words it doesn’t tell people what to do.

One of my most favorite quotes in the book would be, “Most people never study the subject. They go to work, get their paycheck, balance their checkbooks, and that’s it. On top of that, they wonder why they have money problems. Few realize that it’s their lack of financial education that is the problem.” I like this particular quote because it distinguishes what the working class does compared to the wealthy. I would recommend this book as a way to challenge one’s thinking about work and money, but not as an educational book for tactical recommendations of financial strategies. Overall, I would rate this book as a 7 out of 10.