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What South High Reads: book reviews by PSH Students and Staff Fall 2010

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1: Reviewed by Katie Dries, PSH Student Ranked 5 out of 5 Genre: Fantasy This book is a fast pace book that will keep you on edge. It is the first in a series and the whole series is amazing and has twists...some that you aren't expecting. | City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

2: The Help by Kathryn Stockett Ranked 5 out of 5 Reviewed by PSH Business Teacher, Amy Belding. Ms Belding says "this is a great book that follows 4 women in the South during the 1960s. This book deals with the issues between blacks and whites during this time, and one woman who was not afraid to stand up against racism. A must read for all!"

3: Kathryn Stockett | Check out the author's website: http://kathrynstockett.com Genre: Historical Fiction | Reviewed by PSH CRS, Molly Cumiskey | Ms Cumiskey's review states that "this book was about the lives of household maids from Mississippi in the early 1960s. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a page turner from the beginning because it was easy to read and engaging. The storyline was both gut wrenching and humorous. I felt so proud of the main characters in this book for being so courageous during such difficult times.

4: The Demon King by Chinda Williams Chima Book 1 in a series called Seven Realms | Ranked 4 out of 5 Genre: Fantasy, Mystery/Crime, Romance | Reviewed by Jeremy Evers, PSH Student

5: It was really good. However, only read it if you like FANTASY! Otherwise, it'll just be boring to those who don't accept magic. It takes place in a past world where magic and Queens rule mostly together, except when the wizards start trying to control the queen, then it gets actiony. There are some down parts but also a lot of exciting parts. I recommend it if you have read, The Heir Trilogy, any of the Percy Jackson series, or the City of Bones Series. | Book 2 of Seven Realms The Exiled Queen

6: Reviewed by Alice Zou, PSH Student | Genre: Both books are Fantasy and Romance and Graceling is also Adventure | Ranked 5 out of 5 | Ranked 4 out of 5

7: Graceling by Kristin Shore isn't your average "princess falls in love with a prince who rides on a white horse and they live happily ever after" story. In this far, far, away land there are people called "Gracelings", people who have special talents. Katsa's grace is killing. She is used by her uncle, King Randa, to punish those who go against him. But she creates a group that fights for justice and in a secret mission, she meets Prince Po, who has the grace of fighting. Together they learn secrets about each other and of other corrupt kingdoms. | Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley starts with the death of Beauty's mother and how Beauty can always remember the smell of her mother's perfume: roses. Roses are very rare because only sorcerers can grow them. Beauty, her sisters Lionheart and Jeweltongue, and her merchant father used to be wealthy and popular. When they fall into debt, they move to Rose Cottage, which they inherited from an unknown old lady, in the town of Longchance to get away from the city. The family ends up loving the little cottage and Beauty after taking care of some thorn bushes, they turn out to be roses, and it is found out that roses can also grow if they have immense love. Beauty falls in love with the roses. But there is a curse that will happen if 3 sisters live in Rose Cottage. One winter, the father gets lost in the woods and wanders into an enchanted palace. There he is taken care of overnight and in the morning, he takes the rose from the breakfast table. A beast appears as the master of the palace and tells the merchant that Beauty must live at the palace or he will kill him. Beauty finds his dead roses and brings them and his heart back to life with love. But what happens to her sisters with the curse? This is a story about love and courage.

8: The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah Genre: Biological History/Contemporary Critique; Nonfiction | Reviewed by Steve Ehrstein PSH Social Studies Teacher Ranked 4 out of 5 An interesting book that weaves together personal experience told in a breezy voice with scientific fact and historical data. It gives a thorough overview of humanity's interaction with Plasmodium and how this has driven evolution and culture. Reminiscent in some ways of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steele and William McNeill's Plagues and Peoples. It differs in that Shah levels criticism of modern attempts to defeat malaria ranging from over-application of DDT to inadequate use of antimalarial drugs to the, apparently, useless current effort to distribute bed nets to African children.

9: Reviewed by Steve Ehrstein, PSH Social Studies Teacher Genre: Spy Thriller Ranked 4 out of 5 | The Russian House by John LeCarre' A step back to the end of the Cold War in the classic LeCarre' style (Tom Clancy for the thinking man). | It has the usual melancholy of LeCarre's works with various flawed characters struggling within an overwhelming system which they, in the end, manage to circumvent at best. A somewhat depressing look back.

10: Reviewed by Amy Belding, PSH Business Teacher Genre: Historical Fiction Ranked 4 out of 5 | Philippa Gregory takes us back to England during the time known as the "War of the Roses", when brothers turned on brothers and families turned on their own kin in an all out battle for the throne. The book begins when a commoner, Elizabeth Woodville marries the young, newly crowned King Edward in secret and stirs up the royalty in London (House of Lancaster and the House of York). This book explores the dynamics, romance and challenges of the 1400s England. Elizabeth and Edward endure many joys (having many children) and losses (death of family, war), most historically important the disappearance of her two sons in the tower of London. Although this story has been studied from a historical side, Gregory adds her own research of Woodville and King Edward IV to hook readers in a wonderful story!

11: Reviewed by Steff Beaty, PSH Social Studies Teacher This is a great story for anyone to enjoy. The characters are brilliant. Also, if you like history, you will love this book! I can't imagine anyone not liking this book. Enjoy it! | Ranked 5 out of 5 Genre: Historical Fiction

12: Reviewed by Claudia Doty, PSH Science Teacher Genre: Mystery/Crime Ranked 4 out of 5 Theodore Boone is only 13 years old and is solving cases like a real lawyer. Because his parents are lawyers, he is familiar with the court system and how it works. His goal is to become a great trial lawyer. In this book, Theo is caught in the middle of a murder trial. The information he knows would put the killer behind bars, but Theo has made some promises. These promises could help the killer go free. Using his thinking skills, Theo and his parents come up with a plan. Read this book to find out how Theo handles his dilemma.

13: Reviewed by Katie Pendleton Librarian Genre: Historical Fiction Ranked: 5 out of 5 This is an outstanding book. It has clever use of words, font, and layout, unique style in its narrative (the story is narrated by “Death”), and a profound story told in between. This is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich during WWII. During these dark times, Liesel finds her contentment in books. With the help of father, she learns to read. She and shares her stolen books with her neighbors as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

14: Reviewed by Becky Neil, PSH Librarian Genre: Science Ficton Ranked 5 out of 5 Unwind is a page turning story that takes you through the action pack journey of three teens trying to save their own lives after they have been sentenced to be unwound.

15: Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer Ranked 5 out of 5 Reviewed by Becky Neil, PSH Librarian | Through Miranda's journal entries, you are drawn in to an incredible experience of how life can change in a blink of an eye. The moon is hit by a meteor changing the world through natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Companion novel, The Dead and Gone and sequel, This World We Live In, extends this story to the big city and takes you on a journey of what happens when the world you knew is gone forever!

16: Reviewed by Razan Rajab, PSH Student Ranked 5 out of 5 | The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Genre: Fiction, Violent, Sad, Historical This book contains a lot of emotional events that occur in a foreign person's life. Amir, the Pashtun protagonist, fights the guilt of watching his friend, Hassan (Hazara) get hurt, and not saving him. He learns more about his Baba (father) and finds love with a general's daughter. The Kite Runner brings about the meaning of family and tough life situations through a Muslim boy living in Afghanistan.

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About This Mixbook

  • Title: What South High Reads: book reviews by PSH Students and Staff Fall 2010
  • Trying to figure out what great book you want to read next? Checkout what PSH Students and Staff have been reading.
  • Tags: book reviews, pshs
  • Published: about 9 years ago