All posts by voicesofroom217

About voicesofroom217

A 7th grade class of readers and writers.

Unstoppable by Tim Green

Unstoppable: impossible to stop something or someone. Harrison Johnson is your unstoppableaverage 12-year-old boy who has learned to play football and love it. After people saw what he could do on the field, they started growing jealous. This realistic fiction takes place in a town where people aren’t as accepting as he hoped. Being the new kid, it wasn’t easy making new friends once people found out that the coach was his foster dad. Tim Green does a great job capturing how hard it is to fit in because after people found out about what was happening to him, they started excluding him. Fortunately, Harrison didn’t really care about having friends…all he really wanted was to play football.

My first reason to pick out this book is because the cover stood out to me, mostly because I LOVE fictional football books. My favorite part of this book would have to be when he puts his shoulder pads on backwards. I don’t blame him for not knowing what to do since it was his first time playing football. Some people might dislike Unstoppable because of the whole football part, but if you’re in the mood to feel motivated, this book would definitely cheer you up.

Unstoppable isn’t just about football, it’s about getting up after a hard hit. The theme of this book is to encourage readers to not give up. My favorite thing about Harrison is that he can be a really sarcastic person sometimes. As a reader, I obviously want more details that can lead up to an important conclusion. Unfortunately, there was a time gap that led from him trying to run away from his parents, to him playing football again, and I wanted to know what happened in that time gap.

All in all, I rate Unstoppable an 8/10. A reader who has been through tough times would like this book because Harrison has struggled internally. If Tim Green comes out with a new book, I would be sure to check it out!

 

Review by Nicole M.

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The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Imagine a city, set deep underground, with a breaking generator, low on supplies, surrounded by darkness. Now imagine that you found an old, broken up letter thaembert seems to be giving instructions to something. Well, that’s the situation 12 year olds Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow got into in Jeanne DuPrau’s science fiction novel, The City of Ember. The letter, torn apart by Lina Mayfleet’s little sister has to have been written in immaculate hand writing and put in a special box for a reason, right? The two are unable to keep their minds off the strange letter and set off to discover its meaning. Join Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow as they piece together the broken words that they hope could save their people from their quickly dying city, The City of Ember.

Jeanne DuPrau has written a truly perfect story. A story about adventure and discovery in a dire situation. A story about friendship. Many similar types of books I’ve read have had similar stories to one another. While some parts of the story are kind of cliché, like finding something that leads to an adventure of sorts, most of the story is new and refreshing to me. The most different aspect of The City Of Ember to other books I’ve read is the setting. Some books of the genre have had the story take place in many large locations. Sometimes entire sections of the book are dedicated to a certain place. While this can be a good thing in many cases if done well, having just a few smaller areas can make each are more memorable as they have more time for you to get used to them and it’s not as clustered.

Another thing I loved was the interactions between the characters. From the friendships like Lina and Doon, to the enemies like Lina and the mayor, they all feel genuine and like they could be interactions between real people. With all this being said, my one major issue with the book is that it doesn’t have a real emotional moment that made me feel for a character. The few that were attempted were quickly forgotten about and didn’t have much impact to the plot. I like a book that can make me cry, but The City Of Ember just couldn’t do that. In summary, I love the story that was told and the character interactions, but didn’t like that there was no good emotional moment.

If you like a book with a great story, likeable and charming characters, and a villain you will root against, I would highly recommend The City Of Ember. Maybe it will get you thinking about what life would be like living in an underground city, a place completely different from where you live now. I know I did. Just don’t expect an emotional moment that could make you cry. I would definitely rate The City Of Ember 9 out of 10 stars. I look forward to reading the sequels and more from Jeanne DuPrau.

 

Review by Jose N.   

Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff

Lisa Graff’s realistic fiction novel Lost In The Sun is about the life of a sixth grasunde boy named Trent. He was the main reason why a hockey incident led to a death a couple of months ago and he feels terrible. In this book, Trent also struggles to have a good relationship with his father and can’t really seem to make friends easily. Trent is just very confused with his life and trying to figure out which path to follow. As you read you will learn how Trent deals with losing friends, trust and problems at home.

This book drew me in because of its different plot. For example, Trent who is just twelve years old has to live with the pain of killing someone. He also has to deal with feeling helpless and lonely. Reading about his life was fascinating because the death caused more events to unfold later in the book.

One strong point of the story was the author’s choice of narrator. I like how it spoke in Trent’s point of view. By Trent telling the story I really understood him and felt like I was there with him.

As I was reading, I was really wondering if I would read another story by Lisa Graff. Her writing was so good in this book I wondered how her others were. So, I did my research and came across some titles and summaries only to come to the conclusion that her writing is amazing and I would love to read more. I think anyone who likes drama would enjoy this book because there’s lots of family drama and problems. I would most definitely rate this book five out of five stars. It was a book I will never forget and I will definitely re-read.

Review by Kylie N.

Where I’m From

These poems are inspired by the original of the same title written by George Ella Lyon.

Where I’m From

I am from walking around town with my friends friends

and playing football and fighting

over the rules until we lose our voices.

I am from screaming my heart out

at the television when football is on.

I am from warm eggs and toast on Saturday mornings.

I’m from fighting with my brother

over dumb things.

I’m from constantly begging for a dog

until I get one.

I’m from burning my mouth on my dad’s

delicious homemade cornbread.

All these memories blow through my head like leaves

in the cold autumn breeze.

By Josh K.

 

Where I’m From

I am from crisp sunsets

with a helping of waffles.

I am from soccer balls slamming

against the net.

I am from a trombone horn blasting

towards to audience.

I’m from a scorched army post

in Oklahoma.

I’m from munching down

Chicago dogs at dusk.

I’m from Giordano’s twisted

Chicago style pizza.

I am from a sky blue baby drum set somewhere

in the land of storage.

I am from a cherished Lion King blanket

destroyed in a car accident.

My childhood memories drift in the wind like a paper plane.

By Brandon H.

 

Where I’m From

I am from pitching
at the little league field
under the bright lights.

I am from strategies

on the checkerboard playing

with my grandpa.

I am from the country music blasting

as I work in the cold garage shop.

I am from casting the spinner

into the foggy water.

I’m from the red canoe racing

through the water.

Memories hang in my head

like tools on a wall ready

to make new memories.

by Andrew G.

Two Summers by Aimee Friedman

15 – almost 16 – year old Summer expects to have the best summer of her life. She is Two-Summers-Aimee-Friedmanwaiting to get her first kiss, to fall in love with a dazzling French boy, and explore the beautiful scenery with her Nikon camera. But, the fate of her summer of dreams rests in the hands of the Accept and Decline buttons. She is standing in front of the airplane gate about to give the gate agent her ticket and boarding pass, when she gets an unknown call. In this story called Two Summers, Aimee Friedman shows us two different stories of which one, she doesn’t answer the call and finds herself in France,  and in the second, she does answer and stays at home in the suburbs. But, she can’t escape the truth of the family secret that has been kept from her for all these years.

I think the strength of this story was the storyline. I love how Aimee Friedman came up with the idea to split the story in half with two different sides of Summer. At first, I thought that two different stories would be confusing, but it really wasn’t. It made the story more interesting. I think the weakness of the story was that I found the big family secret a little predictable. I could definitely tell what it is at the end of part 3. I chose to read this book every time I had free time. I finished this book in only a couple of days, which isn’t that long. I read at least 1 part every day.

I think that the author did a great job of making me feel like I was Summer. When Summer found out the major family secret that has been hidden all these years, Aimee Friedman used great language to make me feel as much sorrow and pain as she did. For example, “The ground seems to tilt beneath me, and shake, like there’s an earthquake.”

There were a couple of topics explored in this book. For one, it was forgiveness. Summer learns to forgive her family and copes with the change in her life. Another topic is expectations. She thought she would have all these huge expectations but when she doesn’t, she realizes that it’s okay not to.

I would definitely read another book from this author because I think she is a very creative person with unique story lines and I really like those in books. Readers who enjoy Jennifer Niven and Sarah Dessen will enjoy this book. This book has a lot of heart break and romance.

I think this book was absolutely 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading in general.

– Leigha

The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is one of the most amazing fantasy books I have ever read. Untitled1City of bones takes place in present day New York. The main character Clary Fray is just your average 15 year old that is an aspiring artist, which is until her mother gets kidnapped. Clary meets Jace Wayland, and her whole world turns upside down. She learns about the biggest secret her mother has ever kept from her. Her only focus becomes spending time with Jace, and finding the Mortal Cup, but most importantly her mother. My friends started telling me about the show and how there was a book but they didn’t remember the name of the book. Then the next day I went into class and my language arts teacher started recommending books to us and told us about City of bones and I recognized the story behind the book from the things my friends told me and went and checked it out instantly.

This story is by far the best I have ever read and it has changed my life completely. Between the romance, action, “magic,” and fantasy it’s everything I need to keep me reading the books and the series. The book did an amazing job of keeping my attention. In between classes, in free periods, on my way home, and at night before I fall asleep, every chance I had to read I would. I loved the book so much that I watched the movie, the show, and now I’m reading book number two of the series. I like they way the author had all the characters act with each other and towards each other. I may or may not be slightly OBSESSED with this book and the characters inside it.

It was so touching how Clary only cared about her mother and sacrificed all of the other things going on in her life just to get her mother back. As I was reading I was constantly picturing battles, “Distracted, Clary had hardly noticed the Forsaken that broke through the protective circle, until it loomed up in front of her, as if it had sprung up from the grass at her feet.” The only thing I didn’t like about the book was as soon as something good started to happen she would leave us at a cliffhanger and then start a new section. This is probably the reason why I kept reading the book, to find out what happens, but I still think it would be better if the sections about the same topic were together. I was always on my toes to find out what was going to happen next.

I think the theme of the book is to never give up and keep going after your priorities. Another book that had a similar theme was Papertowns by John Green. The main character went looking all over the east coast just for a girl he was in love with after she disappeared. They are both one of my favorites. The author likes to write fantasy and normally I don’t read fantasy, but this book has forever changed me.

The book was so good at the end, but they left at a cliffhanger so I definitely will be reading more of her books to finish the series, and all the missing pieces from the first book. Readers who enjoy a good book to keep you entertained, a struggling relationship, betrayal, action and battled will love this book. My over all rating of the book is an A.

-Jess

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

“The writing pulls me in and holds me captive and I can’t do anything to get free but read until I finish the entire work.” ev.owa

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters is a thriller about Adam Daley, a 16-year-old whose world was turned upside-down when a global catastrophe disables all electronics and sends society spiraling out of control. He must work with his neighborhood, Eden Mills, to survive. It takes place in spring 2014. His dad is thousands of miles away from his family, a commercial airplane pilot working for Delta Airlines. He must discover the fate of his dad and what caused all the electronics to shut down before it is too late to save anyone.

What made this book one of my favorites was the author’s choice of words and the topic itself. The topic of global catastrophic loss of power and/or electronics alone hasn’t been used very much in entertainment recently, thus making it quite unique. The last time I saw or remember this topic being used was the T.V. show “Revolution” that ran from 2012 to 2014. It’s really interesting and I would like more with the same subject. As for the author’s writing, it’s descriptive and intense. He uses some similes and a few pretty elaborate metaphors. For example, on page 295, Herb, a retired government spy, is explaining to Howie, a guard and former PD member, why they have to turn away everyone who wants to stay their safe, defended & protected neighborhood. He says, “This neighborhood is a lifeboat in a storm we can’t stop. Only so many people can be in our boat, no matter how many swimmers you see bobbing in the ocean. If you try to pull in too many, you sink. You save nobody, including those who were on the boat. Our priority has to be those who are in the boat, because we can’t save all of those who need to be in the boat. Our only exception has been when those on the outside can make our lifeboat stronger and more self-sustaining.”

I would definitely read another book by this author. The writing pulls me in and holds me captive and I can’t do anything to get free but read until I finish the entire work. Somebody that would enjoy this book is someone who likes action, battle, books about catastrophic/apocalyptic situations/events, and a little romance mixed in. Such books are like Life as we Knew It, Ashes, Ashes, and ZOM-B. I rate The Rule of Three 9.5 ultralights out of 10.

-Jonathan

The Compound by S. A. Bodeen

The Compound is a book full of mystery. Eli takes on challenging events in the bunker. S. A. Bodeen is the author’s name. In the beginning we find out what the setting is right away and it takes place in a nuclear compound. The genre is a suspense/ thriller and Bodeen did a good job showing that. Eli starts to feel something is wrong and now really wants to know what happened outside. 51j0X2DAnlL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

This story is one of the best I have read. I think it is the best because it is so suspenseful and I want to always read. A lot of the events in the book gets progressively better. I think that because everything leads to another problem or solution. I could not put this book down. The characters were very different than I expected. Eli the main character was very curious, about everything. He was the one who effected the whole family’s lives. He wanted to know what the outside was like anyways. Lexie, Eli’s sister, was very depressed and sad. Eli is worried about that and doesn’t know what to do. The weirdest one of the family is the father, and I am sure. He is acting very strange and protective of his office. He is always doing something in that office. He knew the nuclear attack was going to happen and all of this was set up apparently and that is what Eli can’t understand.

The author made me feel like I was actually there with the characters and had to survive the 6 years in a compound. This book was unique because there is not a lot of books about nuclear shelters. I think this the author skipped some of the years of their survival. I think we could have had more of an idea of how they lived every single year. Overall this book is a well written book by S.A Bodeen and I hope to see a lot more in the future.

I would definitely read a book by the same author. I am actually reading the sequel to this book right now. Also I definitely recommend this book to people who like fiction, suspense, or even nuclear war. I think you should read this book if you are interested in one of those things. I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars for sure.

-Daniel

 

What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know By: Sonya Sones

I read the book What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones. In this realistic fiction book, Robin tells the story of what happens when after 15 years of him being a loser and alone, the girl of his dreams, Sophie, finally falls for him. But then things turn out a lot 51tUpcrjywL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_more complicated. The one thing Robin really wanted was Sophie and he has been waiting for her for a long time. He finally gets her but do think they will get along and make it work out? This book took place mostly in school Robin’s and Sophie’s house. I don’t want to spoil too much of the book because then if I do there is no point in reading the book!

I really enjoyed What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know because there were many things happening throughout the book and the characters were different. For example, Sophie was Jewish but Robin still likes her even if they don’t have the same religion. Sophie also fit in more than Robin, and this shows that they are different. I think if you are a teenager this book might relate to your life at school. If you read any other books by Sonya Sones you will enjoy this one as much. But if you read What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know you should read the book, What My Mother Doesn’t Know first, so you can understand the story about Robin and Sophie better. I think Sonya Sones choose good personalities and feelings for the characters. I wish the author would make a third book because there can be so much more interesting things in Sophie and Robin’s relationship.

I would definitely read more books by Sonya Sones, and I think I did. I’m not sure if she wrote any more books, but this has to be my favorite one. Readers who enjoy romance, adventure, and a little mystery would love to read this book. I wouldn’t recommend this book to children under 13, because there are some mature things throughout the book, so you must be mature when you read this. My rating of the book What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know in stars would have to be 9.5 out of 10 stars. Like I mentioned there should be a book that continues, and that’s why I’m a little disappointed. If there was another book that continued I bet it would be as good as What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know. I read this book fast which means that I really loved it, and I couldn’t stop reading. If anyone reads this book, I would like to know if you liked this book, and if you agree with me that there should be a third book.

-Angelina

Odes: Poems of Praise & Celebration

Through our mentor texts were were able to learn about metaphor, simile, and personification. We also continued our exploration of imagery and line breaks. These poems went through two rounds of revision.

Ode to Portugal

I love when the trees sway

in the sweet air.

I love the old stone houses

with Victorian windows

and moss covered roofs.

I love my family

the twin cousins

and the sixteen aunts

that drive me to small lakes

and large beaches.

I love the old brick roads

that wrap themselves

around the edges of mountains

and sides of cliffs.

I love the tabby cats that

try to catch the

snow white butterflies

in the morning,

my personal circus act.

I love the clear chirps

of crickets that sing along

with the squeaking bats.

I love the silky field

against  the crimson

sky in the afternoon.

-Christy

Ode to My Hair

My hair is dark coffee with a splash,

of milk.

I sleep with a tight braid tucked

behind my ear.

The waves of my hair break

against the shore of my shoulders.

After school I throw

it up in a messy bun

like a ball of yarn.

Friends touch my hair,

because they think it’s shiny,

like the sun.

Sometimes I let my hair

loose on chilly days or

I twirl it around my fingers

when I’m not paying attention,

in math class.

-Angelina

Ode to My Mom’s Chocolate Cake

Silky smooth chocolate splashes

into a white round bowl.

Her black apron drips with chocolate

when she mixes the melted

chocolate in a heavy cream. Then

she layers the bitter dark chocolate,

and crunchy graham crackers

onto a rectangular pan.

My mother sets it in the fridge

for the whole night, until its ready

to be eaten. Then she tops

it off with coco powder to give

it a rich taste.

This homemade cake

is better than any other.

I take one small bite, and it feels

like heaven.

-Angelina

                                            An Ode to Baseball                     

The white ball, full of red

                                     seams to grip.

My brown glove, ready to catch every ball hit.

My black and gold bat wants to

rip the cover off the baseball

My team wants to win every tournament.

Green grass and brown dirt,

      want to get worn down and filled with greatness.

Umpires in gear, call

      balls,

                  strikes,

                      safe,

                             or out!

Coach writes down a game plan, on how to beat the other team.

Parents root for their kids and team

jumping up and down like bunny rabbits.

Kids rattle the fences, wanting to distract the pitcher.

This great game being around,

for so many years getting more and more competitive.

The sun beaming down on people wanting to experience great TALENT on the field.

                                                                                 By: Gustavo

An Ode to My Toilet  

I love my royal throne

with its pearly white

seat. Its coldness

gives me goose bumps.

It gives me joy when

I have to go relieve myself.

I sit on it when I brush

because I like to sit when I brush my teeth.

I also use it to flush my colorful dead fish.

I watch them sink down

into their own graveyard.

It’s like they’re being sucked in to a mini tornado.

This invention makes my world a whole lot less smelly.

 – Anthony

Ode to Snowball Fights

Snow falls lightly 

On the ground.    

The cloudy sky    

Hides the sun    

and protects    

the snow from

its heat.    

The tranquil silence  

is broken     

as my sister and I   

run out into the   

snowdrifts that cover

the already frosty ground.

We are splashes of color

against a blank, white canvas.

The walls are built up

to shield us from

the snow spheres

used as ammunition

against each other.

The snowballs are

lacking some accuracy

cut the targets

can still potentially be

found by the icy cannonballs.

Our battle lasts for hours

the sun continues its path

across the sky

behind the cloudy cover

as the snow flies.

 – Jonathan

Ode to Coffee

The scent of caramel

floods my kitchen

as water fills

my old rustic metal cup.

The light  pitter patter  

of popping bubbles

come from the small iron cup

on the oven.

The French Press

comes apart

letting me put ground coffee

into the glass cup.

I pour the water in to the glass cup

pressing the filter down.

I tillt the French press

into my clock tower mug

letting the dark liquid spill

like a waterfall into my cup.

 – Christy