Herberg Middle School's Book Club Reviews

    Not too long ago, we were awarded a grant by James Patterson's Saving Bookstores, Saving Lives program. We've been putting it to good use by starting up programs to promote literacy and a love of reading among kids (read more about them here!).
    But this post isn't about us—it's about the awesome bunch of 8th graders over at Herberg Middle School who devoured the books we presented them with back in November and are now working their way through the latest batch we dropped off in April when we visited their classroom again to talk about books and reading. Want to find out what they thought of them? Read a selection of their great reviews below... and stop in to check out these great books for yourself if you find them convincing!

Heir Apparent by Vivian Van Velde
Reviewed by Abbie Catalano

I really liked how in the book they make the video game seem real but also subtly remind you that it's a game. I like that they give the characters personalities and give you enough information about them that you get attached to them. I kept forgetting while I was reading that the game wasn't real. I also liked when they give the updates on the game damage and the solutions. I was also trying to think of things that she could do instead but sometimes the opposite of what I thought would happen. I would definitely recommend the book to my friends.

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Review by Abbie Catalano

If you like magic/fantasy books, you would love this book. Rithmatists are people who can draw with chalk and it “comes to life”. Joel always wanted to be a Rithmatist but he was not chosen. The school he goes to is one of the best schools in the Isles. All the United States had to be flooded to keep the chalkings away. After a new professor comes to the campus kids start to disappear. Joel tries to find out who is responsible. This is a great book, I recommend this book to anyone that likes this type of book. It is one of my favorites.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Review by Mary Howe

I loved this book! Its kind of set up like the game CLUE, full of mystery, suspense, laughter, and skeptism. Its about these 16 people who come together to solve one big mystery: who killed Samual Westing?! And if you enjoy unpredictable books, then this is the book for you because it keeps you guessing until the end.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Review by Matthew North

I was amazed at how much I enjoyed this novel. The concept of the character Christopher was amazing. Also the uniqueness of it all was really cool. For example, how the chapters were numbered by every prime number. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books that make you think!

The Uglies by Scott Westerfield
Review by Trista Dearstyne

            From the first sentence to the last you won’t stop wanting more. In less than two weeks, my friends and I were ready to read the sequel. With every chapter the main character, Tally, faces a new conflict, decision, or meets a new character. The book is on self-image in a destopian futuristic setting that makes you question, “What makes someone pretty?” Once you start it… you won’t stop.


The Uglies by Scott Westerfield

Review by Grace Cohan

            I read this book with my friends and we all finished it in about 2 weeks. This book takes place in the future and once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. The society consists of two main groups – the uglies and the pretties and the main character is Tally. She is considering following her new friend Shay to a place beyond the city. Will she go or will she stay to become pretty? It is a great balance between a friendship between two girls with lots of ups and downs including opinions, relationships, and life changing choices and a future world that might not be exactly what you think it would be.

The Uglies by Scott Westerfield
Review by Elise Wellman

            Uglies by Scott Westerfield is an amazing book. Tally Youngblood, the main character, goes through drastic changes about her self esteem. This captivating book makes you want to read on. I finished it in only two weeks; an amazing book start to finish. Not only does this make you feel all different types of emotions it makes you question your perspective. In Tally’s society there are two, very different social groups. Today our definition of pretty isn't nearly the same as theirs.

Escape from Memory By Margaret Peterson Haddix
Reviewed by Olivia Murphy
"The main character was hypnotized and remembers a different past than she thought she had. Her mother doesn't act like other mothers. She never talks to her, never drives her anywhere, just sits in the background and watches, and is always nervous. A woman takes Kira to where Kira thinks she belongs but there are so many lies, so many secrets that Kira doesn't know who is her real family, where home is, or how to save everyone she loves. This is a great book. It is written really well and will keep you captivated the whole time. There are so many plot twists that it is so hard to explain. I could not put the book down; I read for seven hours straight and was so happy that I decided to read this book."