From Bio Gel to Bird Marms: Honors 9 Book Review

"Meet all the peculiar children..."

Hannah Garner, Sophomore Staff Writer

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For 9th grade, Honors English students are required to read three books from a given list of six choices.  These choices are:  Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin; Paper Towns, by John Green; What I Saw and How I Lied, by Judy Blundell; Knights of Hill Country, by Tim Thorp; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ranson Riggs; and The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary E. Pearson.  Students must complete written responses to a series of essay questions that must be applied to these books.  As an incoming freshman, I chose to read Jenna Fox, Miss Peregrine’s …, and Elsewhere.  All were thoroughly enjoyable reads.

adoration-of-jenna-foxThe Adoration of Jenna Fox give a whole new meaning to the question of “Who am I really?”  Jenna is a sixteen-year-old who has just awakened from a year long coma. Jenna is trying to remember who she is, or more importantly, as the reader discovers, “what” she is.  The answer presents interesting questions for both parents and children alike.  The novel is well-written, an easy read, and presents strong characterization.  For these reasons, in addition to the thought-provoking plot, I just couldn’t put it down.  Even the cover of the book was eye-catching, piquing one’s curiosity.  This is a must read for anyone who enjoys sci-fi lit or is just looking for a good summer read.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a very unique and intriguing novel.  After Jacob’s  grandfather dies, he travels to an island off the coast of Wales where he soon discovers that his ordinary life is not so ordinary.  He also learns that his grandfather’s mysterious stories may have quite a bit of truth behind them.  The story itself is full of mystery and suspense, with a spooky twist: the author uses old, bizarre photographs to people the personalities of the characters in his novel.  These, coupled with the story line, create an eerie tone and mood for the reader.

Elsewhere, my third choice, tells the tale of fifteen-year-old Liz Hall who ends up dead in a place like Earth, that isn’t; it’s “Elsewhere.”  To be honest, I was pretty sure that I didn’t want to read this book until I began to.  I was surprised that I really enjoyed it.  It was an easy read, and the characters seemed realistic although the relationships in the novel didn’t always.  The worst aspect of this book was the fact that it seemed to drag on, and the plot became very predictable.  Overall, it was good, but not one that I’d strongly recommend.

There are three other choices that might appeal to readers other than myself, so the next time you’d like a book just for entertainment’s sake, try one of these six selections.

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