by Kayla Miller

4 Stars

Click: Miller, Kayla: 9781328911124: Books - Amazon.ca

This graphic novel written by an amazing graphic novelist author, Kayla Miller, was about a girl named Olive in grade 5 who’s facing a dilemma. In her grade 5 class, there’s a talent show going on that she’s very excited about. When all her classmates have an act she has to decide what to do. Whether she asks to be in one of her many friend’s acts or go solo. Olive is expecting to be asked to be included and not ask her classmates. She even says in the book that if she were to ask, it would make her seem like a dork. This graphic novel not only tells you about Olive and what she does to fix her situation but, it also teaches you about how at the right time and the right place something good can happen to you that may or may not fix our problem. Lastly, it also teaches you about who are your friends and who aren’t your friends. I would recommend this book to kids from grade four to grade 8. This book is based on a girl in middle school and might be too “childish” for those that are in high school

Not only was it an entertaining book, but it was also funny, exciting, and had a few moments of suspense. I liked the graphic novel so much that I finished it in the span of two days with a total of 2 hours, maybe even less. This graphic novel would be very age-appropriate for the ages of 9 and above. Although I’m above the age of middle school, I really enjoyed this book. I give this graphic novel a score of 4 stars out of 5 because there are some parts of the graphic novel I’d change. Olive was quite popular among her fellow classmates, but she didn’t seem to really have a best friend. All her classmates were basically her friends that she’d hang out with during different periods of the day, whether it was during the weekend, sleepovers, or just at school. Another thing that I’d change is some of the attitudes that Olive had toward different things. She didn’t want to ask anybody to be in their performance for the talent show because it would make her seem like what she thought was a dork. If I was her, having the whole class as my friends, I’d ask. It doesn’t hurt to ask, when you ask you’ll get your answer. Lastly, I’d change the appearance of some of the characters. In the graphic novel, some characters shown included Olive’s little brother, aunt, and mother. The presence of her brother in this graphic novel wasn’t there as much as I would have liked. What were her mother’s friends, her aunt’s friends, her brother’s classmates? Overall it was a well-written graphic novel to read. In the future, I’d most definitely read another novel like this, written by Kayla Miller.

Faith D.

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by Lois Lowry

5 Stars

Amazon.com: The Giver (9780385732550): Lowry, Lois: Books

The Giver is a very engaging novel with intense, fast-paced action on every page, taking the readers on a thrilling roller coaster ride to the unknown future. While this graphic novel is very close to the original book, it still allowed some room for creativity and imagination. Each illustration complemented the story and made the words pop out of its pages and take life. This book captures many emotions, such as feeling sad, confused, happy, scared, surprised, inspired, and loved. The storyline is amazing. The story’s suspense and cliffhanger made it a page-turner. The symbolism made the novel more interesting. As a reader, it will make you raise questions while holding you on your toes, leaving you wanting more and wondering more.

This graphic novel takes the readers on the journey of life, “without pain, color, or past” along with the protagonist of the story named Jonas. Jonas is a brilliant boy who lives in a dystopian society and is now faced with the greatest challenge of his young life. As the story evolves, one thing to appreciate is how the author showed the main characters’ flaws which made them more relatable, real, and inspirational. With every scene in the story, it pulls the readers right in and captures their imagination such that the readers feel as though he or she is part of the story itself. 

I would recommend this book to those who are 13 years old and over. This is great for students and can be part of the school’s library. Although there are several scenes in the story that are realistically for a more mature audience, the author has brilliantly written it in a manner that is child-friendly. So I encourage you to read this fictional novel and let your mind wander into the future and its possibilities.

Tyler D.

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by Derek Fridolfs

5 Stars

Field Trip Disaster (Secret Hero Society, #5) by Derek Fridolfs

A graphic comic novel that is intriguing and filled with fun and adventure describes what this book contains. And looking at the book I could tell that it was a part of a series; specifically the 5th book in the DC Comics: Secret Hero Society. I knew that this book would have aspects of adventure and mystery which drew my attention. This book was written by Derek Fridolfs and published in October of the year 2019. The Story is about Diana Prince, who is Wonder Woman, Bruce Wayne, who is Batman, and Clark Kent, who is Superman. But it all begins when a new exchange student arrives at their school, and they begin to have some suspicions due to the sole fact that they couldn’t find anything about the student.

As they dig deeper into the mystery they find themselves accidentally travelling into the future. They find out some terrible things that the villains are planning on doing, and it’s up to them to save the future and make their way back to the past in time. I think that this book was overall a pretty good read, but I feel as though it wasn’t as much for my age group, and it was meant for a much younger audience. I found it quite difficult to keep up with the plot. But overall, I personally enjoyed reading this comic. The author displayed a good sense of humour and creativity; For example, when he put the text messages so we would really see it from the character’s perspective. Personally, I don’t like how the book was all in black and white because I feel as though it took away from the imaginary aspect of the story. I recommend this book to much younger audiences who are into the thrill, adventure, and DC Comics.

Anne I.

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by J.K Rowling

5 Stars

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Book by JR Company

Harry kicks off his second year at Hogwarts after a terrible summer vacation with his relatives. Just as he starts packing up his bags, he receives a letter from a mysterious creature claiming, if he returns to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, disaster will strike immediately. Confused and worried, Harry sets out on his journey, back to his wizarding school to see what was wrong. The beginning of Harry’s second year at Hogwarts starts with fresh torments and horrors begin to arise, including a spirit who haunts the girl’s bathroom and other unusual events. But the real danger begins, as he discovers that a mastermind is turning the students of Hogwarts into stone. Harry and his friends have been assigned a difficult task, and it’s up to them to find out who this mastermind really is. Could it be Hagrid? Could it be Hermoine? Or possibly Harry himself? Find out by reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  

Overall, this book was an absolute gem. It’s filled with adventure, imagination, and fantasy that helps the reader engage more in the story. This exciting sequel makes me never want to put the book down. The words written in the story bring the wizarding world to life, making me and other readers wish this all would exist. It was well-crafted and included a surprising plot twist during the end. This book is a must-read, and I recommend this to all ages who love fantasy, action, and humour. I would give this book a 10/10. 

Ahmed Q.

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by J.K Rowling

5 Stars

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Rowling J.K.: 9781408855652:  Amazon.com: Books

Harry’s life is gloomy and filled with despair. With his parents dead and his uncaring relatives who he’s stuck with, he’s forced to live in a dark, tiny closet located under the stairs. Every day seems the same to Harry, being mistreated by his relatives and being bullied at school. But one day, his downhearted life soon changes as he receives a letter claiming that he’s no ordinary boy, but a wizard. A mysterious visitor soon saves Harry from his relatives and brings him to a mysterious school called Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry’s first year at Hogwarts academy was phenomenal, but there was still one problem. A secret object was hidden in the castle walls of Hogwarts. Harry realized that it was his duty to protect it from evil hands that could cause destruction to the whole world. By doing so, Harry will go through the toughest of forces that he could’ve never imagined. 

To conclude, this book was absolutely amazing, and one of my favourite Harry Potter books from the series. There was never a dull moment, and J.K Rowling kept me engaged from the beginning to the very end of the novel. I would definitely recommend this book because it keeps you engaged without ever putting the book down. The book makes you love the characters and their personalities. Remember to not only read this but the whole series as well. The rating that I would personally give this book would be a 10/10.

Ahmed Q.

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by S.E Hinton

5 Stars

Book Review For Teens: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Set in the ’60s, in the divided state of Oklahoma, this novel tells the story of two rival gangs separated by poverty and social status. The Greasers, known as the working class, are seen as very low in the eyes of the Socs, a high-class gang, the complete opposite of the Greasers. The Outsiders is told from the perspective of 14-year-old Greaser, Ponyboy Curtis. He details two of the most intense weeks of his short life, struggling in a community where he is viewed as an outsider with difficult decisions of right and wrong.

His life certainly hasn’t been an easy one. Having his parents taken away from him due to a recent car accident has taken a toll on him. Ponyboy and his 16-year-old brother Sodapop are allowed to live with their eldest brother 20-year-old Darry, as long as they stay out of trouble.

While out with his friends, Ponyboy attends a drive-thru movie where he meets a Soc girl named Sherri, the first of the Socs he had ever gotten along with. As the gang walks home with Sherri, they are stopped and threatened by her boyfriend, a Soc by the name of Bob. Ponyboy gets home at 2 am, angering his guardian Darry, prompting him to slap Ponyboy. Due to this, Ponyboy runs out of the door, meeting his friend Johnny in a park expressing his anger.

Bob, Sherri’s boyfriend, suddenly reappears along with his crew. Ponyboy and Johnny are outnumbered, a gruesome fight breaks out, ending up with Ponyboy being held underwater to drown by Bob. Johnny freaks out and kills him. After the fight ends, they realize they can’t go back, they now have blood on their hands.

This novel is extremely interesting, constantly keeping the reader engaged and interested. Definitely a 5-star book.

Vlada E.

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by Jen Wang

5 Stars

The Prince and the Dressmaker: Wang, Jen: 9781626723634: Books - Amazon.ca

In her 2018 award-winning graphic novel, The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang takes us back to Paris at ‘the dawn of a new age’. We meet Frances, an aspiring seamstress hoping to be noticed and work under her idol, Madame Aurelia, and Sebastian, the Crown Prince of Belgium and the heir to the Belgium throne. Sebastian and his family had come to Paris to meet some of Sebastian’s potential suitors for when he ascended to the throne. Frances, on the other hand, had lived in Paris for most of her life and no longer wanted to work as a minimum-wage seamstress. 

In a strange twist of fate, Frances finds herself within the royal castle working for an unknown client, but, she quickly finds out that she is working for the Crown Prince of Belgium, Prince Sebastian. Sebastian asks Frances to keep his secret and she agrees. Frances realizes that working for the Prince would lead her a few steps closer to fulfilling her lifelong dream of working with Madame Aurelia. Sebastian realizes that with a seamstress at hand who knows his secret it would be easier to fulfill his deepest desires. In the daytime, he is Prince Sebastian, and Frances doubles as his best friend and his personal seamstress, but when the sun fades to black and the moon appears, he is known as Lady Crystallia and Frances is her friend. Together, these two friends engaged in scandalous adventures, heated arguments, romantic endeavors, and drawbacks that may change the whole course of both of their lives, forever. 

The Prince and the Dressmaker is a great book for anyone who wants a Cinderellaesque story. It teaches a lesson about not giving up on your dreams and on the people you care about.

Timi O.

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by Raina Telgemeier

5 Stars

Ghosts: Telgemeier, Raina, Telgemeier, Raina: 9780545540629: Books -  Amazon.ca

Ghosts, written by Raina Telgemeier was written very well. Like many people in the world, Cat, who is also known as Catrina, faced a new struggle. The task was moving to a foreign place where you know absolutely no one except the family that travelled with you. On top of knowing not many people, she had to make a good situation out of something that she would not have ideally chosen. The family moved to find better doctors to treat Maya, Cat’s little sister who has cystic fibrosis. Although the family did not move out of the state they previously lived in, it was still far from the place they called home for a very long period of time. 

The illness that caused the family to relocate is cystic fibrosis. It is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. The illness has no cure, and people don’t generally survive and live ‘till the normal life expectancy. People with cystic fibrosis have a general life expectancy of living to their mid-forties if they have a generally healthy lifestyle. 

Many people have a fear and that is perfectly normal. The fear that Cat faces throughout the story goes undetected for most of the story. It is not until she becomes close friends with their neighbour Carlos’s cousin, that she finds what her true fear is. Fears are perfectly normal and this story can help young readers understand that. Sometimes you need the right people in your life to help you get through your problems. From having a sibling, like Cat or Maya in the story, or even a neighbour, someone is always there to help. 

After an incident with Cat’s ghost loving sister, Cat shut herself off from her friends. “No! Leave me alone!” (Telgemeier 107) she shouted as she began to avoid one of the only friends she had made. Cat seems very protective of her little sister like many older siblings in the world are. Even though she may not always want to be around her sister, she is always very loving with and to her. 

This book teaches us, as readers, that everyone has their own sort of struggles. Even though Maya has a severe illness, she does not let that get to her. When they first got to the new house she was doing her treatment for cystic fibrosis where “the vest helps loosen the mucus in her lungs.” (Telegemeier 15) But, according to Maya’s family, “Maya’s soul doesn’t need any loosening” (Telgemeier 15) as she is always happy and is the light of her family. Like Maya, we should not allow things in our lives to stop us from getting what we truly desire in life. We can learn that even though life may be rough, you can always be happy.

Mackenzie M.

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by Mark Waid Illustrator: Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, Veronica Fish

4 Stars

Archie, Vol. 1 by Mark Waid

The Graphic novel, Archie, written by Mark Waid, illustrated by Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, and Veronica Fish, is a very alluring and engaging book. It is about a freckled-faced teenager named Archie who introduces himself right at the beginning as, “I’m not the most interesting guy in town.” This causes actual interest in who Archie really is. The story is about how Archie meets a rich new girl at Riverdale High and how that affects him and everyone around him. He experiences many changes in his friendships and love life. The story’s genre is based on drama, comedy, and romance. As a person who has been reading many Archie Comics over the years, this graphic novel is a very accurate representation of what the comics would be like in modern times. The graphic novel has effective graphics and dialogue. There is no inappropriate language and actions in this graphic novel. 

I would recommend this book for ages 10 and up. This graphic novel has a lot of romance and drama that might be difficult for children under 10 years old to understand the situations and events. The plot of the story is thrilling to read. The story introduces interesting dilemmas where the reader wonders what would happen next. There are also parts of the story that pique the reader’s curiosity. This happens in the part of the novel where Archie says, “We’ve been a couple since kindergarten. Until last week. Until the Lipstick Incident.” This causes the reader to question what had happened. The big downside to this graphic novel is that the way it ends, it might be dissatisfying to a reader. This graphic novel would be great for people that love books or series with cliffhangers at the end. Overall, I would rate this graphic novel 4 stars. It’s a very good story to read, and would be especially interesting for people that have read Archie comics.

Liza P.

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by Nicola Yoon

5 Stars

The Sun is also a Star: NICOLA YOON: 9780552574242: Books - Amazon.ca

Natasha believes in science, facts, and things that can be proven with evidence. She doesn’t care for fate, and she most certainly doesn’t care for love. Not that she has time to worry about either of those things. She and her family are being deported to Jamaica in twelve hours, and she is going to do everything in her power to stop that from happening.

Daniel wants to be a poet. In fact, he is a strong believer in fate and the way of the universe. But that’s not the path his parents have planned for him, and rather than following his dreams he plans on meeting his parent’s high expectations. This changes when he meets Natasha. He knows something greater is at play—it’s destiny, decided by the universe, and he can’t let Natasha go.

The Sun is Also a Star explores themes of fate and destiny, and how they compare and connect to science and reasoning. Both main characters are people of colour, and I really enjoyed the chapters that explain the history behind elements of their cultures as they are mentioned. I also like Yoon’s style of storytelling, which includes the main storyline, the cultural history parts, pieces of the characters’ pasts, and side characters who only appear in a few scenes but are crucial to the story.

This book is perfect for those who are just getting into reading, and people want a quick or fast-paced read that will hold your attention, because the entire story takes place over twelve hours. I think this is a five-star read, and I really enjoyed reading it!

Michelle G.

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