Student Book Reviews


Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo
Review by Gwyneth, 12th grade

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo provides the curious student with a narrative of Indian social and economic inequality through the eyes of teenagers in the slums.   A glimpse into the real effects of extreme inequality in impoverished communities both introduces new ideas and challenges the old. Through the scope of a murder accusation in the slums, Boo targets the question of what causes people to fall into the state of corruption and isolation that prevails across all economic levels of Mumbai.

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Challenger Deep, by Neal Shusterman
Review by Ella, 6th grade

Caden Bosch is torn between two worlds. He’s either an insecure high schooler with imaginary problems, or a lost young man at sea travelling to the deepest point on Earth.

Caden has two lives: In his real life, he’s an timorous teenager with a passion for computers and drawing. He has a innocent, unassuming, sometimes annoying little sister, and his tired, ...

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Challenger Deep, by Neal Shusterman
Review by Sam, 7th grade

Challenger Deep is a powerful journey across the mind. It is a fiction book, that describes the true stories of what Neal Shusterman’s brother, Brendan, experiences with mental illness. Challenger Deep is about Caden Bosch, a boy with mental illness, that lives in reality and in his own world on a ship going to the deepest place on Earth. In the book, there are pictures that Brendan drew, and they describe what he saw. Most ...

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Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen
Review by Aidan, 7th grade

At first glance Hatchet doesn’t look interesting. The cover of the book is simple and the title is the same. However, Gary Paulsen’s book might be one of the most compelling survival stories I’ve ever read, because it isn’t boring, nor is it romanticized.

Brian is a normal kid. He lives a normal life until his parents divorce, and since then something had been bothering him, and it changed him. He became quiet, timid, ...

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The Search for WondLa, by Tony DiTerlizzi
Review by Evalynn, 6th grade

Eva Nine had never been outside in her life.

But when the underground “Sanctuary” where she and her robot caregiver, Muthr, live is attacked by a vicious intruder, Eva is forced to abandon her home, her Muthr, and ...

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Teaching a Stone to Talk, by Annie Dillard
Review by Kimmy, 11th grade

What does memory mean to you? Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dillard will make you wonder about this question and many more. Dillard tells us her story in a nonfiction collection of personal essays that question humanity, and the fears and struggles that come with it.

To Dillard memory is a complex contradiction. She struggles between wanting...

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