Roy Long’s review of We are the weathermakers: The history of climate change by Tim Flannery and Sally Walker

51d6aq8ff0l-_sx338_bo1204203200_In this compelling story, Tim Flannery explains the history of our climate in a simple, concise method that anyone can understand. He explains both natural processes and human impact, which is significantly altering the former. The book ends by discussing successful communities that have curbed their carbon footprint – and how they can be a model for all of us.

In the era of global climate change, it is important to understand both the science and the politics of the issue. The book is especially well written by the scientists, because the clarity makes it an agent of communication between the scientific community and everyone else.
The book is also well written in science. Discussed topics range from the Milankovitch Cycles to the rise of carbon in the Anthropocene. In short, this makes a great science book.

Roy rates this book 4.5/5

Tags: Nonfiction, climate change, science, politics, human impact on nature

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Mrs. Ashworth’s review of Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

29589074In April, 1936, millionaire and founder of the Ellingham Academy, Albert Ellingham, received a riddle. A threat, signed “Truly Devious”. No one took it seriously at the time, because if there was anything Ellingham appreciated and nurtured, it was a love a good game. The Ellingham Academy just so happened to be a special free school for the gifted and talented, one where students were encouraged to use their brains. Unfortunately, soon afterward, one of the brightest students, Dottie Epstein, met a tragic end at the bottom steps of the tunnel leading to the glass-domed structure at the center of the lake behind the house. No one solved the crime. But Stevie Bell, of the current-day Ellingham crop, has decided that her school project will be to solve the murder. The problem: once Stevie starts broadcasting the news, another riddle appears, and another murder takes place, and the list of suspects for the current murder includes many of her classmates. Is the latest murderer a copycat, or has Truly Devious returned to keep the original case cold?

I appreciate a good mystery, and this certainly fits the bill.  It’s the first book in a series, so be prepared for a “to be continued…” at the end.

Mrs. Ashworth rates this book 4/5

Tags: betrayal, friendship, identity, light romance, mystery realistic fiction, suspense

Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

61i7djavpnlThe book is set in a time when TV dominates society, and books are seen as irrelevant and are burned to ashes by the firemen. Guy Montag is one of the firemen, but during one book burning, he ends up taking a book. Reading it ends up changing Montag’s life. He becomes a fugitive that the government wants to track down after attempting to infiltrate the fire station with the help of a man he meets because of his interest books.

I would recommend this book to people who love classic novels with strong meanings woven in the writing. This book has amazing description and literary devices that enhance the story and often require rereadings of some sections. As an added bonus, the book is relatively short and a quick read for those lazy readers.

This reviewer rates Fahrenheit 451 5/5.

Tags: dystopian, science fiction, censorship, intellectual freedom

 

Mehek’s review of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gone_girl_28flynn_novel29When Nick Dunne’s wife goes missing, it’s up to him and the police to go on a strange and long journey, following misleading clues and twisted story lines and uncovering dark secrets to find out what happened- but as suspicion against Nick builds up, can he prove he’s not a killer? Is he a killer?

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for an intricate and well planned mystery/thriller that will leave them shaken and thinking about the book weeks later because of the insane plot twists with every page. However, since there’s a lot of dark and mature themes, I wouldn’t recommend it to someone easily disturbed.

Mehek rates this book 5/5

Tags: suspense, thriller, realistic fiction, mature themes

 

Isha’s review of The Scarlet Pimpernel by the Baroness Emma Orczy

51-bt9jwyqlThe novel begins in a very Tale-Of-Two-Cities-esque manner, as this book is set during the French Revolution, and the writing feels similar. It also dances around the ideas of conforming to societal norms prevalent during the Reign of Terror, in a very Tolstoy-way.

Soon, however, the story concentrates on the strained relationship between a man and a woman, and the increasing interest in France and England regarding an anonymous and controversial man, known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, who dresses in a mask and saves French Aristocrats from the guillotine. Another major part of the plot regards the apparent danger the woman’s brother is in (for helping the Pimpernel), and the woman’s internal conflict regarding whether to save her brother at the expensive of the safety and life of the anonymous hero.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys more classic, formal writing (as it might be frustrating to those who do not enjoy that sort of diction). As mentioned previously, it also reminded me of Tolstoy’s writing due to the sheer number of characters and their complicated web of relationships, as well as the descriptions of how high class society functions (similar to The Age of Innocence, as well).

I also recommend this to readers who enjoy mystery novels. While this book is not necessarily of mystery genre, the suspense regarding the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel is equally thrilling.

This book would also be enjoyable to those who are fans of superheroes such as Batman and Spiderman! This book was particularly fascinating because I read elsewhere that many superhero stories such as Batman and Spiderman are all loosely based off of this novel, which was written and published in the early 1900s! While I am not necessarily an avid fan of superhero movies and comics, I am aware of the stories and watch the movies. Thus, it was fun to pick out aspects of the novel reflected in modern culture! (Hint: You can find many parallels between the symbols Batman leaves behind, and the ones the Scarlet Pimpernel utilizes, and similarities between the public opinion of the Scarlet Pimpernel and Spiderman!)

Happy Reading!

Isha rates this book 5/5

Tags: adventure, classic, French history, light romance, mystery, suspense

Review of Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

9ad31-daughterofsmokeandboneA girl, Karou, is an artist who draws imaginary creatures. The imaginary creatures that she draws are real but she pretends they are fake because she knew no one would believe her. Karou lives with one of the creatures who asks her to get teeth, human or animal, not knowing what they were for. As she slowly discovers out why, she meets a boy named Akiva who is an angel who hunts down her kind, chimera. Akiva spares her and they work together to survive and figure out more about Karou’s past and her past life.

I would recommend this book to any eighth and ninth graders. The vocabulary is not too big but some scenes can be disturbing to some younger grades. Some scenes may also be inappropriate. This book is not useful when it comes to learning new words, but older grades can read this book and still enjoy the fast paced and suspenseful plot. This book is like many other books for teenagers but still has it’s own unique feel and interpretation.

The reader rated this book 3/5

Tags: modern fantasy, adventure, romance

Cassandra’s Review of Landline by Rainbow Rowell

18081809I really enjoyed Landline by Rainbow Rowell! The story is about an established married couple that faces some troubles in their relationship. The wife, Georgie, is super busy with work and decides not to go with her family to Omaha for Christmas. Unexpectedly, her husband, Neal, leaves with their children without her, and Georgie spends Christmas by herself in Los Angeles. Suffering from loneliness and guilt, Georgie goes to her mother’s house where she finds a phone that allows her to communicate with a younger version of her husband. As Georgie talks to the past Neal, she begins to realize new things about her marriage and gets the opportunity to repair or destroy it.

Landline has the perfect blend of humor, sadness, and warmth. I especially liked the inclusion of the magical telephone. Georgie is a fascinating character. She is funny, demanding, and determined. Neal suits her so well!! He is super grumpy but loves Georgie so much that he is willing to sacrifice part of his career to make her happy. I also like how Landline focuses on other relationships besides marriage. Georgie’s relationships with her parents, younger sister, and best friend all develop throughout the novel. The flashbacks in the story focus on Georgie’s love life, but the present scenes focus on her interactions with other people besides her husband. Landline does not have a very strong Christmas influence, which makes it a good read at any time during the year.

Cassandra (Alumna) rates this book 3.5/5

Tags: family, relationships, loneliness, self-discovery, humor, realistic fiction, fantasy