Reading is a high priority in Sally High’s challenge class literature circle for seventh-graders, and she has plenty of avid readers in the class at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.
In this 12th of an occasional series of Pagosa Reads book reviews, six students review their recent favorite books.
All the books are available at the Ruby Sisson Library in Meagan’s Place, a special section of the library devoted to books and games of interest to early teens in the sixth through ninth grades.
It is hoped that this series will encourage more teens to read and discuss their favorite books with family and friends.
1. “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl,” reviewed by BaiLee Gallegos.
There are many books in this world which I would recommend, but this book far surpasses all others. It is realistic, touching and extremely well-written. A young girl, Anne Frank, lives in a secret apartment in an attic with her mother, father, sister, the Van Daans, the Van Daan’s son, and a dentist, hiding for about two years. She suffers from boredom, hunger and the everyday fear of being taken away by the Germans. She regularly writes in her diary, sharing her deepest secrets, thoughts and memories. She practically exists in a living nightmare, a nightmare most of us could not possibly imagine. This diary is an utterly complete work of art that has become one of the best books ever written.
2. “Blink” by Ted Dekker, reviewed by Brayden Mitchell.
Do you like a book with danger and thrills around every corner? If so, then “Blink” is a book for you! This book is about Seth, a 21-year-old college student with an IQ around 192, and an escaped Saudi Arabian princess on the run from the U.S. and Saudi Arabian police and hit men. Seth has the ability to see multiple potential futures, which keeps them both alive and running. This is an awesome book with excitement, and I believe everyone should read it like I did.
3. “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, reviewed by Devyn Doctor.
This is a thrilling story about a young girl and the situations she is forced to overcome during her difficult life. Jane starts out living with her wicked aunt who is taking care of her because of her deceased husband’s will. Finally Jane is sent to boarding school. After eight years there, six as a student and two as a student teacher, Jane travels to Thornfield Hall and becomes a governess to a lonesome little girl. She meets the owner, Mr. Rochester, and unexpectedly falls in love with this rough and unattractive man. When Mr. Rochester lets his plans be known to marry a young lady he met at a party, Jane is at a loss for a way to stop him. Will the plain little governess get to save her true love after all? To answer this question and many more, you must read this classic love story.
4. “Peak” by Roland Smith, reviewed by Colton Polczynski.
For a climber, stopping by Everest is like saying you’re stopping by to see God. Fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello’s parents are expert climbers. Following in their footsteps comes Peak. Growing up in New York City isn’t like growing up in the Alps, though. Peak decides to climb the tallest skyscraper he can find, and it turns out the mayor is meeting in the same building! Peak is arrested and taken to court. The judge decides Peak will not go to jail but he is not allowed to return to New York for six months. Peak’s father offers him a trip to Everest and maybe even a chance to summit. If Peak is able to conquer this feat, he will be the youngest person ever to do so. Will he survive and triumph over the mountain or will he return home moping for another try?
5. “The Amulet of Sarkamand” by Jonathan Stroud, reviewed by Allison Kuhns.
A young magician will go to the extremes to get revenge on a well-hated enemy with the help of a dijini by the name of Bartimueas. He commands Bartimueas to steal a prized amulet of the enemy’s and hide it in his master’s study. What he doesn’t know is that the amulet is essential in the plot to overthrow the prime minister. The magician’s only task is to keep the amulet out of reach of a very deadly person. I recommend this book to all young readers who love a great magician’s tale.
6. “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, reviewed by Shawnee Koster.
This is an inspiring story about two young siblings and a father who is a lawyer. With their mother deceased, Scout and Jem are raised by Atticus, their father, and a housemaid who is like a mother to them. Towards the climax of the story, their dad is representing an African-American in court. When the man who is actually innocent goes to jail, and the real person who is guilty is let off the hook, Atticus knows that he must prove his client is innocent. The case becomes very intense. It makes you want to read more and never put the book down. I recommend this book to anyone who loves to read … even to ones who do not like to. It is a very inspirational story that you will never forget.