Monday, October 29, 2012

Jordan's Review: Killing Mr. Griffin

Summary: Killing Mr. Griffin is about 5 high schoolers who hate their English teacher Mr. Griffin. They feel that he is cruel to his students, and doesn't give them any second chances on things. One student in particular that is bothered by him, is Mark. Mark has a plan to kidnap Mr. Griffin, and gets other students to help. They only meant to scare him, but things go wrong. Soon, people start to die; and the group has to face that someones a murderer. 

Review: Killing Mr. Griffin was a pretty good book but it was dragged out. The beginning was good, but then it started to really slow down. It seemed that she crammed a lot into the last 50 pages and didn't do much in between the beginning and end. It was a great story and written really well. It has a lot of jaw-dropping parts, and keeps you wanting to read more. I would recommend the book to any 12+.
Final Take: 3.5/5

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jordan's Review: Flipped

Summary: Bryce moves to a new house in second grade, and everything seems normal. But when he and his dad are unpacking, Julianna shows up. Julianna never really had friends, and when she heard someone her age was moving in she just had to meet them. Even at age 7, Bryce found Julianna weird. She somehow managed to creep him out in every way possible. She also continued to do so until seventh grade. When Julianna starts losing interest in Bryce, Bryce becomes fond of her; and things get flipped.
Review: Flipped was most definitely not one of my favorites. It lacked good writing, had a horrible storyline and I didn't relate to it. The whole entire book was the two of them fantasizing about each other with no other subplots. The vocabulary was extremely easy, and gave me no challenge at all. You could read five pages of this book and know the same amount of information as someone who read the whole thing. This book wasn't suited for my age but I would say that kids between the ages of 8 - 10 might enjoy it more than I did. Kids with advanced vocabulary and advanced reading skill would find this book elementary.

Final Take: 1/5

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jordan's Review: When You Reach Me

Summary: Miranda has a pretty good life, with a roof over her head. a good friend, and a great education. Even better, her mom just found out shes going to be on a game show!  Slowly, things begin to go downhill. When Miranda and her best friend Sal were walking home one day, Sal gets punched by a random person.  Miranda tries to comfort him, but he runs away. Suddenly Sal starts to fade out of her life, talking less and less to her. When Miranda eventually realizes they aren't friends anymore, she is devastated. Who else did she have to hang out with? Who will she sit by at lunch? Just when she thinks things can't get worse, she starts receiving creepy notes from an unidentified person. Could  it be her dad that she hardly remembers, or a friend playing a prank? As things grow stranger and stranger each day, she begins to investigate these bizarre occurrences. As she uncovers the meaning to the notes new friendships begin to emerge. Will her and Sal ever reunite? Will she figure out who has been sending her the notes?
Review: When You Reach Me wasn't a bad novel and I could very easily relate to it because I have a girl best friend and understand the dynamic of that relationship. It made it easier for me to see the characters points of views. It had a mix of mystery and realistic fiction which I both love, so that was a thumbs up too. However, the book was extremely easy to read; and think the wording in the book was too simple for someone 12+. I like a challenging book, so this one missed the mark for me.I also felt that the author kind of dragged the story out, and didn't really get to the point as quickly as he could have. All in all,it was an okay book that would be great for anyone looking for a quick read.

Final Take: 3/5

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Jordan's Review: The Great Wide Sea

Summary: The Great Wide Sea by M. H. Herlong is one of my favorite books. While still mourning his wife’s death, a father of three sons, decides to sail the Florida Keys. Sixteen year-old Ben and his two younger brother s Dylan and Gerry think it’s insane, and have a heartfelt, crazy journey while sailing with their father. Many exciting and unexpected things happen, and each page gets more and more intense. Once you pick it up you won't be able to put it back down.

Review: The Great Wide Sea was incredible, and greatly written. I had never felt so attached to a book in my life! Every time I began to read it I kept getting sucked into it. It made me feel like I was there, with them on the boat. No matter where I was in the storyline it kept me entertained. If you thought you could predict what could happen – you were wrong! With each chapter bringing a new twist to the story, you didn’t know what was going to happen. This is a MUST READ book, and I think it would be great for ages 10 and up. After I read it I made my mom read it… and she loved it too! c:

Final take: 5/5

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jordan's Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Summary: Thirteen Reasons Why is about a freshman in high school, Hannah Baker, struggling with her life.  She had been going well through the year, until boys started treating her poorly. Not only that, but she had witnessed something no one should ever have to see.  When she decides she is going to commit suicide, she records a tape for each person she holds responsible for her death.  After sending out the tapes, she takes her own life.  In this book you will go through what it was like for Hannah Baker to go through high school.

Review: I extremely enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why, and thought it showed immense realism, and intensity.  You feel as if you are experiencing what she is going through.  You hear a more intense story tape after tape. Each tape leaves you hanging, and wondering what will come next. I wanted to keep reading so badly, I finished the book in less than three hours. Once you get started you won’t be able to put it down. The more you read the better it gets.  The story also has an amazing lesson along with it.  It shows to not treat girls disrespectfully, and to always be aware of your actions. This book is great for anybody twelve and older. I highly recommend it, and think that it is a must read.

Final Take:  5/5 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jordan's Review: Crazy

Summary:  Fifteen-year-old Jason has had quite a lot of bad times—his mother has died and his father has fallen to mental illness. As he tries to hold his crazy father and their crumbling home together, Jason relies on a host of imaginary friends for guidance as he stumbles along trying not to draw attention to his father’s condition.

Review: Crazy was not only intense and thrilling, but extremely funny too.  With the voices in his head telling him what to do, you couldn’t help but laugh at some of the advice they gave him.  It also gave a great lesson in saying always be grateful for what you have. With every moment becoming more and more ‘crazy’ Jason starts to lose grip.  He begins going to the social worker and the authorities get involved.  You can’t help but feel sorry for him and feel the emotions he’s going through. I felt a great connection to him because I would have done the same as he did if I was in his position. All in all I thought this book was extremely great and would recommend it to anyone 12 and older. If there was a sequel I would read it in a heartbeat!

Final Take: 5/5

Monday, July 16, 2012

Gates's Review: Kingdom Keepers: Shell Game

 Summary:  Shell Game by Ridley Pearson is an exciting, page turning addition to the previous collection of Kingdom Keeper books, the 5th book in the series.  Kingdom Keepers is about a group of kids who at night turn into holograms (called DHI’s) to protect Disney.  The Kingdom Keepers are under siege from the Overtakers (a group of Walt Disney’s most evil and diabolical villains who are determined to take over Disney). The Kingdom Keepers, barley able to force back the enemy, now have a new problem. A Disney cruise ship The Dream is being launched and the five Kingdom Keepers, high school students Finn, Maybeck, Charlene, Philby, and Willa, are onboard because villains have infiltrated the cast and crew of the ship.  They must work together to try to stop the villains on the ship, despite the threat that their Base back at home is under attack and about to fall.  The Overtakers seem more powerful than ever before, so Finn and his friends have their work cut out for them.  If they fail, the Overtakers will control Disney and eventually take over the world.

Review:  For me, this book was phenomenal. I liked the growing tensions between the friends; it made the book feel more realistic with the feuds between Philby and Finn regarding who was the better leader. Another thing I liked was the overwhelming number of enemies facing the Kingdom Keepers. It seems like in this book the only ally they have on the ship is a mysterious girl called Storey Ming who could be a spy for the OT’s (Overtakers).  One last thing I liked was the uncertainty of where the Overtakers would be. In the book there are two main places the Overtakers attack: Disney World and the cruise ship. Not knowing where they’ll strike next created a sense of mystery and suspense which kept me turning the pages.
While I did like a majority of things in the book, there were a few things that I didn’t like. Although it didn’t affect me, all the confusing elements such as DHI’s make it hard to pick up on the story if you haven’t read the other books. One other thing that I didn’t like was that DHI’s are mainly for defense. This is kind of a problem when you’re in a war against villains that can cast spells and throw fireballs.

Other than some little nit-picky details, I thought the book was great. I would recommend it to any fan of Disney and any fan of adventure-type novels.  I hope you pick up Kingdom Keepers: Shell Game, if not the entire series, and read it for yourself.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jordan's Review: The Year Money Grew on Trees

Summary:   I previously read The Year Money Grew on Trees.  This book was about 14-year old Jackson and his family working to keep his neighbors apple orchard in business.  He and his cousins and sisters all agree to work on the orchard; and split the money earned from selling the apples.  What he doesn’t tell them is that he agreed to give his neighbor (the owner) $8,000 dollars of the earnings.  When they get done fertilizing, irrigating and actually start selling the apples, he realizes making over $8,000 may be harder than he thought. Read this book to find out if Jackson and his family reach the goal and get their money!

Review:  The Year Money Grew on Trees was definitely not one of my all time favorites.  It lacked some things that I thought were needed. For one, it wasn’t very well written for teens, even though it is about teenagers.  It made it hard to connect to the things going on in the story.  It had a good story line to it; but I don’t think it was good for anyone over 12. I’m sure someone that was ten would enjoy it; but they wouldn’t be able to connect to the story and its characters either.  I also didn’t get excited when they accomplished something, because I wasn’t really that into the book.  Aside from those two things, I thought that overall it was an okay book. 

Final Take: 3/5

Saturday, July 14, 2012


A couple months ago, I (Julie) had an idea of adding a new feature to our Girls Just Reading blog, that would have young adults review books a couple times a month. Instead of making it a feature, Jenn thought that maybe we start an off-shoot and create a blog just for them. Hence, Kids Just Reading!

Since this is new for us, we aren't sure what direction this blog will take but we hope you enjoy it! We hope you tell others about it. Word of mouth is key for a new blog.

Find out more about our bloggers on our About Us page (here).

Know a teen or tween who might be interested in contributing to this blog?  Email us at kidsjustreading (at) gmail (dot) com