I got this book at the NTTBF (North Texas Teen Book Festival) this year, so I was super excited to hand it over to one of my big readers, Lily! As I haven’t read it, I thought I’d nail her and get her opinion on the book, especially as she loved it.
LETTING GO OF GRAVITY BY MEG LEDER
Pgs. 420 Young Adult novel, published 2018
So, Lily, what did you think about this book?
“It was really good, and I say that because it shows an accurate depiction of how people are affected by leukemia. Charlie had had it but had gotten through it. The book starts when the relapse begins, and he is getting better. Charlie is really interesting and seemingly has no qualms about using leukemia to his advantage. Parker, his twin sister, seems to care a lot. It was a sad book, because of my connections to this and people I have known. Life is not cracked up to be all you want it to be, and you have to work for what you want.”
What Waits in the Water is a murder mystery. Hannah and her step-sister Katie go on a trip to a log cabin by a lake. They are staying with Hannah’s best friend, Jacob. But when the girls arrive, everything gets creepy. There is something in the water. And the woods around the lake are not exactly peaceful. What’s more, her step-sister has become very close to Jacob behind Hannah’s back. Very close!
Hannah thinks the local kids from the small town near the lake can take her mind off of Katie and Jacob. But the town holds a mystery. A local girl (who looks a good bit like Hannah) has gone missing, and she isn’t the first. Is the lake cursed? Or is someone stalking the lake.
What Waits in the Water is the perfect murder mystery to read on a plane, by the pool, or just on a lazy weekend. This book is the second in a series, but you don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this one. If you enjoy this book, check out What Waits in the Woods, in which a group of teens go on a thrilling camping trip. (This is a nice read for girls in 7th through 9th grade.)
We have a new writer on the block! Welcome to LIZ COHEN, invaluable (read indispensable) member of our Winston community! Liz will be sharing some thoughts on books she is reading that she thinks many of our students will enjoy. Liz has a soft spot for zombies, so wait for her rave reviews on those despicables.
Review by LIZ COHEN
Polaris by Michael Northrop
Do you like an adventure tale? Swashbuckling sailors? Adventure on the high seas? Maybe?! How about this: do you like a science fiction story? People running from monsters? Maybe?! How about this: do you like a murder mystery? Scientists and sailors struck down by
the unknown? Maybe?! How about this: do you like an all-boy book? Or an all-girl book? Hang onto your backpacks because this book has it all!
The Polaris is a sailing ship on a mission to the Amazon jungle looking for new plant-life. The botanist finds something else, and brings it back to the ship. What is in the trunk stored in the hold of the ship? Before you can find out, half of the ship’s crew dies, and the other halfabandon ship while trying to blow it up! The only people left are the cabin boy, the botanist’s assistant, and some deck hands, and none of them are older than 12. How will they get back to
America? They will have to sail the ship back while fighting stormy seas and the mysterious thing in the hold.
This book would be great for a book report, a diorama, a poster, or just a good read.
(Best for 5th and 6th graders.)
“The jerks are gone,” he said. “We can do. Whatever. We. Want.”
This fast paced thriller will keep you reading until the last page. The story is set in a Dickensian prison reformatory on an island. The men who oversee the boys, “scabs”, are scheming and sadistic. One of the unfortunate boys, Jonathan, is convicted of arson. Jonathan has his own guilt to come to terms with and consequently feels he needs to be punished. He arrives by boat to sit out his sentence in this foul place that, contrary to public perception, is dangerous with labyrinthine corridors, large rats and storms at sea. Fear, however, is the unexpected human element. When you come to the end of the book, another twist awaits you – a good one.
The story takes several unexpected turns which make it hugely entertaining. Parallels to Lord of the Flies by William Golding and other literature will make this a savvy read for anyone in Upper Elementary and Middle School.
Visit Dan Gemeinhart at his website and find out about his two other novels: Some Kind of Courage and The Honest Truth.