'Three' and other book reviews
Kidsday reporters from Florence Izzo and Nicole Mammolito's classes at H.B. Thompson Middle School in Syosset read more than 100 books this spring. They prepared a suggested summer reading list for kids 14 and younger. Their book reviews will be running all week in Kidsday.
By Kristen Simmons
"Three" (Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC) is the conclusion of the young adult trilogy "Article 5."
It was preceded by "Article 5" and "Breaking Point," two strong novels that left readers expecting a lot from the trilogy's conclusion. "Three" lives up to those expectations. In this trilogy, the United States is recovering after a devastating civil war. Insurgents all but destroyed Chicago, Los Angeles and other major cities. The government's answer to the insurrection is totalitarianism, enforced by soldiers of the newly formed Federal Bureau of Reformation. All citizens must be compliant with the Moral Statutes, which require participation in the Church of America and forbid activities such as divorce, immigration and having children out of wedlock. Citizens who are noncompliant with the Moral Statutes are arrested and brainwashed, imprisoned, tortured or executed by the bureau.
"Three" is nearly impossible to put down. It has its share of action-packed sequences, suspense and near-palpable tension, but it also has scenes of emotional poignancy and vulnerability. It is a fantastic read that would catch any readers interested in science fiction or an apocalyptic universe.
Rating: 5 smiles
Ages: 12 and older
-- MARK KIM
'THE SILVER DONKEY'
By Sonya Hartnett
"The Silver Donkey" (Candlewick Press) tells an inspirational story about two sisters who find a soldier in the woods.
This soldier abandoned World War I to see his brother, who is very ill. The girls visit him and bring him food and supplies.
The soldier needs to get home as soon as possible because of his brother's condition. This is a very hard task since he needs to cross the Channel River, which is 3.5 kilometers (more than 2 miles) wide at is narrowest point. This would be difficult for anyone, plus he is blind.
Eventually the girls involve their brother, and he finally suggests a plan to bring the soldier home. The soldier agrees, only because of his good luck charm, a silver donkey.
The whole idea of the silver donkey good luck charm teaches us lessons throughout the book. For example, the soldier tells one story about a donkey that teaches us to always try our best at everything we do.
Rating: 4 smiles
-- MADISON SCHATZ
'THE LION WHO STOLE MY ARM'
By Nicola Davies
"The Lion Who Stole My Arm" (Candlewick Press) has it all: tension, surprise and determination. What can be left out?
This book may be sad, but it can teach children that violence isn't always the answer, and revenge isn't the only way to make things even.
This book is about a young boy who always loves having an adventure with his friends or his dad. One day something happens and everything in his life changes.
The main character is like one of my good friends.
Unfortunately, he has only one arm. But even though he has just one arm, he still tries his best and is able to do things other boys can do.
I liked this book because it has tension and a little mystery. I love when books have this because it makes me more interested in reading the rest of the book.
Rating: 4.5 smiles
-- MAX DECKNER
By R.A. Dickey
"Knuckleball Ned" (Dial Books) is good for kids who are nervous to go to school. Ned, the main character, is nervous about school. People in school are making fun of him, and he doesn't like it. Ned came out with his unique abilities.
There are many lessons in this book. One is that you shouldn't judge people for what they look like. Also, you shouldn't be nervous for school because you don't know what is going to happen. The book is written by baseball's Cy Young Award winner and former Mets player, R.A. Dickey.
Rating: 4 smiles
-- MARISSA VOIGHT
'THE GOLLYWHOPPER GAMES -- THE NEW CHAMPION'
By Jody Feldman
The Golly Toy and Game Co. is hosting the regional rounds for the Gollywhopper Games. "The New Champion" (HarperCollins Publishers) is the sequel to "The Gollywhopper Games." In this book, you will join brothers Cameron and Spencer as they race to win the competition. If you like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Chasing Vermeer" and "The Amazing Race," this book will appeal to you. The brothers have to go through all sorts of challenges and elimination rounds to win this competition. It is exciting and fun.
Rating: 4 smiles
-- EMILY LEVY