Category Archives: realistic fiction

My top 5 FAVORITE Realistic Fiction books

Hey guys,

After finishing an AMAZING entitled See you in the Cosmos, I had an idea.

I know, some of you are like freaking out. Chill. Chill. I know, it’s a bit crazy. But in honor of LOVING this recent read, I’m going to recommend my top 5 favorite realistic fiction books.

Enjoy!  (;

 

Out of my Mind by: Shanon Draper


Summary:
Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom - the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she's determined to let everyone know it - somehow.

In this breakthrough story, reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.

I remember when I read this, I LOVE this book because it’s one of those books that let’s you think and re-evaluate your life. It’s SOO good and I highly recommend it.

 


Wonder by: R.J. Palicio


Summary:
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

Probably my FAVORITE of this list, Wonder was a SUPER interesting read that was an emotional rollercoaster the whole way through. Easily one of my favorite reads two years ago, Wonder will NOT disappoint.

 


Counting by 7’s by: Holly Goldberg Sloan


Summary:
In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family. 

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life... until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

Ever in need of a heartwarming story, This is MY PICK! As soon as I finished this, I was SOO HAPPY! The ending was SUPER satisfying, and I really LOVED this story…


 

See you in the Cosmos by: Jack Chang


Summary:
11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

THIS BOOK COMES OUT MARCH 2nd! PRE-ORDER ASAP! I LOVED this book. From the diversity in characters to how the story is all told in recordings, this was a super interesting read that I HIGHLY SUGGEST!

 


 

Paper Things by: Jennifer Richard Jacobson


Summary:
When forced to choose between staying with her guardian and being with her big brother, Ari chose her big brother. There’s just one problem—Gage doesn’t actually have a place to live.

When Ari’s mother died four years ago, she had two final wishes: that Ari and her older brother, Gage, would stay together always, and that Ari would go to Carter, the middle school for gifted students. So when nineteen-year-old Gage decides he can no longer live with their bossy guardian, Janna, Ari knows she has to go with him. But it’s been two months, and Gage still hasn’t found them an apartment. He and Ari have been "couch surfing," staying with Gage’s friend in a tiny apartment, crashing with Gage’s girlfriend and two roommates, and if necessary, sneaking into a juvenile shelter to escape the cold Maine nights. But all of this jumping around makes it hard for Ari to keep up with her schoolwork, never mind her friendships, and getting into Carter starts to seem impossible. Will Ari be forced to break one of her promises to Mama? Told in an open, authentic voice, this nuanced story of hiding in plain sight may have readers thinking about homelessness in a whole new way.

 

That’s it! Those are my Favorite Realistic Fiction reads! Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed anything. Later this week I’m planning on re-reading Frindle , (Thank’s Caroline)and then continuing on finishing Ettiquite and Espionage. Thanks for reading!

Bye!!!

 

REVIEW-See you in the Cosmos by: Jack Cheng

 

Summary:

11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew. 

Source: Netgalley
Recommended Age: 12+
This book comes out March 2nd!

When I saw this, I knew It wouldn’t be the normal MG book that I expected. It was different, an EXCELLENT different.To be honest I haven’t read a ton of MG Contemporary, and until I saw this I could say I’d only read 3 others. Going into this book I wasn’t expecting a lot. My expectations were down at a low, I grabbed a good bag of pretzels, and settled into my reading chair hoping for the best. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I LOVED IT! LOVE LOVE LOOOVED IT!

Starting almost Immediately at the beginning, I knew something wasn’t right. One of the reasons I liked the book so much was the faint mystery vibe that it generates, along with the sweet, innocent, MG vibe that all other middle grades book have. I have to admit, the beginning is a bit rocky, and I felt I had TOO many questions that need answering.

  • Why is this kid going to New Mexico by himself?
  • Why does his Mom have “quiet days” where he see’s her go on walks and not return until a few days later.
  • How STUPID is this kid?

I wasn’t a HUGE fan of the dog, Carl Sagan. I felt like he wasn’t necessary and that he only held back the story. Although I did like that he had a smaller role in the second half of the book. It saved the story from being about a boy and his dog, and made it something MUCH MUCH GREATER!

    One of the things I disliked was the LOGIC in this book.

MC: Oh I’m Alex. An 11 yr-old that goes on a train that leads to New Mexico to go to a rocket contest. I also have a brother that doesn’t care about me and who’s busy making money while my Mom sit here going on her random walks. I don’t follow her though, that would be rude. I also meet a deaf man and another man and get in their car and get driven to LA, and I’ve never even MET THEM!  WHAT IS LOGIC!

The whole time I was reading this I tried to think of an 11 year-old that is dumb enough to get in a car with random strangers. Fortunately, I only thought of one. (I’m not going to answer it though. That’d be extremely rude). The MC also takes the advice of the internet to travel the world to find his “Maybe Father”, Which I’m sure parents TOTALLY approve of. (Sarcasm).

One of the things I LOVE about this book, is that it’s told in recordings. Alex, (the MC) is wanting to record his journey of creating a rocket so that when he sends it, he can send his i-pod along with it, So that somebody in space can listen to what he has to say. Personally, I was a HUGE fan of this, it made reading this book an enjoyable thing to do, and really helped make the characters likable.

The ending was good, just not what I was hoping for though. To me, it felt like some things were unresolved and not as developed as I’d hoped for.But I have to admit is was a pretty good ending. Overall I fell in LOVE with Alex and the rest of the characters and thought that this book was CRAZY ORIGINAL, told in a way that makes me want to read this again and again.

 

Star Rating: 5/5 Stars

Percentage Rating: 97%

READING PROGRESS
01/25 marked as: to-read
01/25 marked as: currently-reading
01/29 38.0% “Hopefully I can get to 50 tonight. *Crosses fingers*”
01/30 45.0% “Getting better.”
01/30 80.0% “Pretty good! Sooo surprised”
01/30 80.0% “Wow! So surprised!”
01/31 marked as: read
01/31 100.0% “FINISHED! LOVED IT 5 stars all the way!”

Thank’s for reading! I will have another post out soon so look for that, BYE!!!

REVIEW- Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor by: Rick Riordan

Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder-god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon–the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn’t just lost. It has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer’s return is the gods’ worst enemy, Loki–and the price he wants is very high.

Guys. Guys. It was SOOO good. Going into this book I had high expectations because, hello Rick Riordan. I have LOVED EVERY book he’s came out with. So why wouldn’t I not like it now? Although I had a few problems, (That I’ll address later) it was a really good book.

The beginning. THE BEGINNING! What I’m about to tell you is NOT a spoiler for the book but it is one of the first plot points. (In case you want to go in knowing nothing skip ahead to the next paragraph) Basically Magnus and Samariah are meeting at this coffee shop because they have received a message from an unknown source that involves Thor’s hammer. They go, and well the messenger get’s KILLED in the first five minutes! It was a REALLY good way to kick off this amazing book making us as the reader realize this is a much more serious book than the last one.

The story was great, the setting’s were all great. But the thing that made this the best was the diversity that wasn’t present in the first book. In a way it made it more powerful because of everyone’s differences that really helped contribute to the plot to make it as good as possible.

Ex.

Samariah, daughter of Loki- Muslim (Only mentioned on occasion)

Magnus, son of Frey- Atheist (Only mentioned on occasion)

Hearthstone, son of a horrible father- Is deaf and speaks through sign language

Alex, son of loki.- Trans-gender (only mentioned once)

ALL of these things were JUST MENTIONED. Nothing actually was present except for Samariah mentioning that she was praying earlier.  While I would recommend this book to all of the Percy Jackson fans out there, I feel like as all of these characters in this world are growing up, fight’s are becoming more intense, plots more complex. It’s CLEAN though. Clean fighting, if that makes any sense at all.  🙂

My Favorite Character:

HEARTHSTONE. Hearth is a deaf elf and can only communicate through ASL. Did I also mention that he can use “Runes” to be able to do magic and a bunch of other awesome stuff. Reading conversations in ASL is SOOOO cool and different. I want to read a solo book just about Hearth!

While there were a bunch of awesome things about this book, Their were a few things that hated, badly. Let us begin.

First, I couldn’t stand how much Percy and Magnus are alike. Have a sword, son of a god, demigod, fights monsters, goes on quests, special privileges with gods. EVEN THE SAME WITTY HUMOR! (Which I love btw) I just think If Rick’s gonna make another “Norse” series that will eventually tie in with Percy’s story, you would assume he would try to make the characters different to make them more distinct and not the same.

The story wasn’t the most original book ever, but it was satisfying enough I’d buy the third one.

Overall Magnus Chase was pretty good and I would recommend you read it, just know it isn’t the most original thing out there.

Grade Rating: B+

Star Rating:

-Jared

dabook.club

Instagram: @Jared_dabook.club

 

REVIEW- The Book Thief by: Marcus Zusak

cooltext133089402245467 From Goodreads, It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster-father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

cooltext133089303484155 Man I feel played.  I fell into the author’s hands and he crushed me to pieces. This book was amazing! While reading this you never fully realize how attached you get to these characters. This book is so amazing! I did not instantly fall in love with these characters, but by at least page 100 I loved them all!

Edited with Afterlight

cooltext133089343094800 May I begin by saying this is a way thought out book! I love that it gave such amazing imagery. The characters were exquisite.  And the plot was so different and I fell for the plot twists every time. For those who don’t know this story is told from the perspective of Death as a person. It’s different and at the hard it’s a little hard to retain information, but in the end you get used to it. Now keep in mind that I read this book for school but it was on my TBR (To be read) list. BIG ALERT! THIS BOOK CONTAINS SOME STUFF I.E a bunch of swearing-in German. But for school our teacher had edited it for us. I would recommend reading this to your child if you edit, she (The teacher) used a sharpie and it still was as good!

cooltext133089378843909The beginning, it was so hard to retain things. At least I felt like the beginning didn’t really live up to its amazingness. It was so hard to read it, but being forced to read it by myself for homework made me power through this puppy! (Not literally)

Rating: 4.5/5

stars

Thank you for reading and I’ll have another post up soon so until then, bye!

-Jared

dabook.club

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REVIEW- The Fire Within By: Chris D’Lacey

cooltext133089402245467

A magical adventure about the power of dragons…

When David moves in with Elizabeth Pennykettle and her eleven-year-old daughter, Lucy, he discovers a collection of clay dragons that come to life. David’s own special dragon inspires him to write a story, which reveals the secrets behind a mystery. In order to solve the mystery and save his dragon, David must master the magic of the fire within—not only with his hands but also with his heart.

cooltext133089343094800

Well I remember reading this a while back and decided to give the first book a try again to see if I like it.

Unfortunately I did not.

dragons 1

cooltext133089378843909

First off I felt the cover of this book was a bit mis-leading. With the cover of a dragon you’d assume that this book is about dragons, and while it partly is the author only touches on the dragons a little at the beginning and at the end. We then also experienced short sentences saying, “Lucy Pennykettle ran up the stairs to get her dragon.” DRAGONS ARE NOT THE MAIN FOCUS OF THIS BOOK! The main focus of this book is squirrels. Literally it focus’ on them at least bare minimum 80%.  Also in the story it says that our Main Character, David attends college. But we never even see the man attend it. I felt like the author over-used the word college in his story as well as didn’t say class, once in the entire story. I don’t say when I go to school, “I don’t have homework for my college!” Who says that? lI was really disappointed with this novel and was looking for a good Fantasy book, instead I felt like I was reading about the lives of squirrels. My advice to people who want to read this book is this, Go into this book knowing it drags a little as well as talks like 20% about dragons the entire book. If you pick up this book ready for an adventure with dragons you’ll be VERY disappointed. If your into a day in the life of squirrels then I suggest you grab a bag on nuts- cause this book would be for you.

Rating: 1/5 stars

1-star

 

 

 

Fuzzy Mud By: Louis Sachar

# of pages: 192

Suggested Age: 9-13

Publisher: Random House

Source: NetGalley

Summary: Tamaya Dhilwaddi and Marshall Walsh have been walking home from school since forever. When one day Marshall leads Tamaya to a (Shortcut) There Chad (a bully in the school) finds them walking home together and grabs Marshall and trys to beat him up. Tamaya freaks out and all she can do is to grab a handful of this fuzzy mud and throw it at Chad’s face. Tamaya grabs Marshall and they run home. The next day they come to school and Chad doesn’t show up. And what’s even worse is that her hand she used to throw mud at  chad is hurting and blistering bad. The doctor thinks that it’s just an allergic reaction but Tamaya thinks otherwise. If her hand is hurting and Chad isn’t there something bad’s happened to Chad. And she is going to try to find him one way or another.

Characters: I enjoyed this read. My favorite character was Chad. Just learning about this characters life and feeling the sorrow and saddness of his life and why he is so sad was so juicy and good.

What I liked: Again I have been blown away by Louis Sachar. Kids will gobble this book up and enjoy every second of it! Just like I did. While the story is short I really liked this story and how you got to read the reports of how they judged the maker of this disaster. I really enjoyed the

What I didn’t like: This book was really short and was filled with silliness It’s the story of mutant bacteria breaking out on a town. He makes it sound more light-hearted than it really should be and made it feel like it came and was nothing and then passed. I really wanted to learn more about Tamaya’s emotional state and seeing how she reacted to the town being under quarantine.

THIS BOOK COMES OUT….  August 4th 2015

4/5 Stars

STAR-4