by R. J. Palacio

5 Stars

Wonder: Palacio RJ: 0780537302395: Books - Amazon.ca

Wonder tells the story of Auggie Pullman, a homeschooled 10-year-old boy in the 5th grade suffering from a severe form of Treacher Collins syndrome, making his face deformed. His parents, wanting him to experience life outside of homeschooling, enroll Auggie in a private school by the name of Beecher Prep. After meeting the principal on his first day, Auggie is introduced to 3 classmates, Charlotte, Jack Will and Julian, to help him just to his new environment. During his tour of the school, Julian begins picking on Auggie for his facial deformities as Jack Will and Charlotte stand up for him. On his first day of school, Auggie tries his best to blend into the background, but his efforts fail as Julian and his friend group constantly bully him for his appearance.

The bullying caused by Julian, who holds popularity to a high standard, is a constant obstacle Auggie must deal with throughout his first year in school. Though supported by friends such as Charlotte, Jack Will and his older sister Via and staying his best, the constant torment caused by Julain is a lot for 10-year-old Auggie to handle. This book switches perspectives very often, telling the story of the people close to Auggie and the struggles they deal with on a daily basis, including his bully. This wonderfully written novel shows that everyone struggles with something, experiencing challenges on a daily basis, making the reader understand other character’s actions more clearly and why they do what they choose to do. I recommend this novel to anyone 10+. It is an inspirational, extremely well-written novel deserving of a 10/10.

Vlada E.

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by Malala Yousafzai

5 Stars

I Am Malala - Wikipedia

The book I am Malala is a really inspiring and motivational story of what she had to go through and how she overcame her fears. Malala Yousafzai lived in Mingora, Pakistan. Born July 12, 1997, she was born in a Pashtun family, with two parents and two siblings. 

It was not easy to live in an area like Mingora. There were lots of Taliban, gunshots, and much more horrible events. At a young age, Malala had to see and go through a lot of horrendous incidents. 

Malala’s goal was to fight for education and to tell everyone that girls should be treated the way boys were being treated. In the old days, the girl’s responsibility was to look after the home, and the boys had to go and make money for the family. Malala thought this was wrong, so she stood for every girl in Pakistan, and she made things right! 

In my opinion, this was a very well-crafted book. It’s not easy to stand up for a whole community when everyone’s against you. You need to have lots of courage like how Malala did. For many girls in Pakistan and in the world, Malala’s a real role model. If it wasn’t for Malala, things would have still been treated the way they were in the old days. Malala was a true fighter, in her childhood she had to face a lot of critical circumstances where she could have lost her life. But she was strong, and she had the courage to keep going and never giving up! I would definitely recommend this book for ages ten and up.

Ahmed. Q

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by Robert Zemeckis

5 Stars

Forrest Gump (1994) - IMDb

Forrest Gump, directed by Robert Zemeckis, is a critically acclaimed drama film starring Tom Hanks in the lead role and a winner of 6 Academy Awards. The movie follows the main character, Forrest Gump, throughout his fascinating life, filled with unexpected twists and turns, all told from Forrest’s point of view. 

Forrest, a kind-hearted man with an IQ of 75 (10 points under the average of 85), recalls the story of his life to curious strangers while sitting on a bench at a bus stop in Georgia. He recounts the many events he has gone through in his life, including achieving a football scholarship to a renowned college and even fighting for his country in Vietnam. President Lyndon B. Johnson awards Gump with a Medal of Honor for his efforts in Vietnam, where he rescued many of his fellow soldier’s lives, bringing them to safety. 

Though he had accomplished so much in his life, it never mattered to him. All he ever cared about was his childhood friend and love interest, Jenny Curran. Once he receives the Medal of Honor, he gives it to Jenny as a gift, telling her he only received it by doing what she told him to do in his childhood when he was relentlessly bullied “Run, Forrest, run!”. 

This is a fantastic film that explores the fact that a person born with difficulties is only ever limited by their own thoughts and if they put their minds to it, are able to accomplish anything. I recommend this movie to anyone 13+. It is a definite 5/5 film that explores important issues.

Vlada E.

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by John Green

4 Stars

Paper Towns : Green, John: Amazon.ca: Books

Paper Towns begins with a prologue taking place nine years before the events of the novel. Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman are only nine years old when they discover the body of a man who committed suicide in their neighbourhood park. Fast-forward nine years later, the main characters are seniors at Winter Park High School. Quentin is an outcast, while his childhood crush Margo is a popular girl. Margo reappears into Quentin’s life, showing up at his window one night and recruiting him to help her play mischievous pranks on her boyfriend and friends who betrayed her. The next day, Margo is surprisingly nowhere to be found. With the help of his friends, as well as a series of clues Margo left behind for him, Quentin embarks on a mission to find and reunite with the girl of his dreams. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and thought that it was quite entertaining to read. However, I did find that the middle of the book was a little long and tedious. Besides that, I loved the way John Green mixed together both romance and comedy. John Green’s writing style is amazing, and this was a great piece. Also, the characters within the book were very relatable, and I felt connected to each of them, especially Quentin. Overall, Paper Towns was a great coming-of-age book and has an amazing storyline that will keep you engaged. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery and adventure novel!

Emily K.

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