Teen Review
Fish in the Sky
Fridrik Erlings 
Pub 9-2012, Candlewick, $16.99
Fish in the Sky by Fredrik Erlings is about the art of becoming a teenager. The author drags you through the slightly (and sometimes very) uncomfortable moments, especially for readers like me, who are not going through this phase of classic teenage boyhood problems. Unlike other books I have reviewed in the past, I cannot make a comparison for this book because I have never read about something like this.Fish In The Sky is about a thirteen-year-old boy named Josh Stepheson who is having a tough time starting out his teen years. He’s madly in love with a girl who doesn’t know he’s alive, his cousin has just moved into his house and is  driving him crazy, and his best friend doesn’t understand what he is going through, so he clearly has nobody to talk to. He seems to be having a moral dilemma because he is skipping school using a fake letter that he forged with his mom’s signature. He copes with his feelings by escaping to the edge of Iceland’s rocky coast.I  think this book is interesting but I wasn’t able to relate to the problems this boy was having. In my opinion, there wasn’t really a moral to this book, except to be true to yourself. I think this would inspire someone very much who is going through these teen problems.I think, overall, this was a good book , but I think that maybe that I am not the right age group for it. I think that the way the author wrote about it was very profound — it was actually sort of told as poetry in the way the author tells the story. I can tell author was once a teenager like Josh.
Diana R., 9

Teen Review

Fish in the Sky

Fridrik Erlings 

Pub 9-2012, Candlewick, $16.99

Fish in the Sky by Fredrik Erlings is about the art of becoming a teenager. The author drags you through the slightly (and sometimes very) uncomfortable moments, especially for readers like me, who are not going through this phase of classic teenage boyhood problems. Unlike other books I have reviewed in the past, I cannot make a comparison for this book because I have never read about something like this.

Fish In The Sky is about a thirteen-year-old boy named Josh Stepheson who is having a tough time starting out his teen years. He’s madly in love with a girl who doesn’t know he’s alive, his cousin has just moved into his house and is  driving him crazy, and his best friend doesn’t understand what he is going through, so he clearly has nobody to talk to. He seems to be having a moral dilemma because he is skipping school using a fake letter that he forged with his mom’s signature. He copes with his feelings by escaping to the edge of Iceland’s rocky coast.

I  think this book is interesting but I wasn’t able to relate to the problems this boy was having. In my opinion, there wasn’t really a moral to this book, except to be true to yourself. I think this would inspire someone very much who is going through these teen problems.

I think, overall, this was a good book , but I think that maybe that I am not the right age group for it. I think that the way the author wrote about it was very profound — it was actually sort of told as poetry in the way the author tells the story. I can tell author was once a teenager like Josh.

Diana R., 9

Teen Review
A Dog Called Homeless
Sarah Lean
Pub 09-2012, Katherine Tegen Books, $16.99
A Dog Called Homeless is about a girl named Cally who starts seeing her dead mother at the graveyard a year after she died (also her dad’s birthday), but nobody believes her. Soon after, she starts seeing her mom wherever she goes, and a large grey dog that appears whenever her mom is there. I think A Dog Called Homeless is a very profound book because it really does show that you can connect with somebody without speaking. This book is very similar to The Secret Tree by Natalie Standiford because the two authors come up with unique plots that take place in the country.At Cally’s school they start doing sponsored silence. Nobody thinks that she can be quiet but clearly they’re wrong because Cally takes it a little too far and doesn’t speak for a whole month. Soon after, Cally finds out that her and her dad and brother are going to move. She takes it as a misfortune (but of course she dosen’t say it), but then she meets Sam and his mom, Mrs. Cooper. Sam is blind and deaf, and it makes Cally feel more reassured because she stopped talking, but she can’t talk to him anyway because he is deaf. They find a way to communicate and become good friends. The grey dog seems to appear more often and her bond with the dog becomes strong. Cally decides to name the dog Homeless because he was right across the street from a man that had a sign up that said “ homeless”.  But her dad does not want to keep the dog so Cally has to see him secretly.I think this book was very profound and unique. I think that the moral of this book is that you can communicate in strange and different ways but still be able to connect to the past. I think that it also shows that if you‘ve lost somebody that meant a lot to you, you can always find a link to them. I think  the author combined all of these troubled characters into one great book.I think that, overall, this was a great book, and I think it really shows that there are links to almost everything, and in this case the link was a dog. Unlike other books, all of the characters who appear in this book are troubled in their own way. An overall 10/10.
-Diana R., 9

Teen Review

A Dog Called Homeless

Sarah Lean

Pub 09-2012, Katherine Tegen Books, $16.99

A Dog Called Homeless is about a girl named Cally who starts seeing her dead mother at the graveyard a year after she died (also her dad’s birthday), but nobody believes her. Soon after, she starts seeing her mom wherever she goes, and a large grey dog that appears whenever her mom is there. I think A Dog Called Homeless is a very profound book because it really does show that you can connect with somebody without speaking. This book is very similar to The Secret Tree by Natalie Standiford because the two authors come up with unique plots that take place in the country.

At Cally’s school they start doing sponsored silence. Nobody thinks that she can be quiet but clearly they’re wrong because Cally takes it a little too far and doesn’t speak for a whole month. Soon after, Cally finds out that her and her dad and brother are going to move. She takes it as a misfortune (but of course she dosen’t say it), but then she meets Sam and his mom, Mrs. Cooper.

Sam is blind and deaf, and it makes Cally feel more reassured because she stopped talking, but she can’t talk to him anyway because he is deaf. They find a way to communicate and become good friends. The grey dog seems to appear more often and her bond with the dog becomes strong. Cally decides to name the dog Homeless because he was right across the street from a man that had a sign up that said “ homeless”.  But her dad does not want to keep the dog so Cally has to see him secretly.

I think this book was very profound and unique. I think that the moral of this book is that you can communicate in strange and different ways but still be able to connect to the past. I think that it also shows that if you‘ve lost somebody that meant a lot to you, you can always find a link to them. I think  the author combined all of these troubled characters into one great book.

I think that, overall, this was a great book, and I think it really shows that there are links to almost everything, and in this case the link was a dog. Unlike other books, all of the characters who appear in this book are troubled in their own way. An overall 10/10.

-Diana R., 9

Teen Review
The Secret Tree
Natalie Standiford
Pub 5-2012, Scholastic, $16.99
The Secret Tree by Natalie Standiford is about a girl named Minty who calls herself “Minty Fresh”. Her and her friend Paz (“Pax-a-Punch”) are roller derby fans. I think that The Secret Tree is very similar to The Apothecary by Maile Meloy and Ian Sheonherr. They’re similar not only in their way of writing but also in the plot: a pretty normal girl getting involved with a troubled and adventurous boy. I think that The Secret Tree is a thriller but also a friendship fiction book. 
At the beginning of the story, Minty starts seeing flashes in the woods  After seeing many of these flashes, she tries to catch the person making the flash but soon he’s gone. She follows him into the woods, and on her way out of the forest she hears a tree that seems to be murmuring something. She tries to peek inside the tree to see if there’s somebody inside. There isn’t, but there is a piece of paper: “nobody likes me except my goldfish.”  Some pretty weird things start to happen and they seem to be connected to one night that happened the summer before. When she does catch the flash, it’s a boy with a camera. He says he spies on the people around town and figures out which secret from the Secret Tree is theirs. There is a ghost that lives in a tree that eats the secrets that the people put there. Minty gets to know him better and they team up and try to solve the mystery of the weird things happening with the secrets. I think this book was very well written. I think that it’s one of those books that are so suspenseful that you can’t stop reading it. I think that one of the reasons it was good was that some of the elements of the book are definitely from the present, but other aspects would definitely be from a long time ago. I think it’s great that she combines all these elements and makes them from her own time period. I think that the book has a pretty good moral: everybody has flaws. I think the writer really shows that even the people who seem flawless aren’t always. 
I think that, overall, this is a well-written book. I think that, unlike other books, this book was about the dark side of people. I also like the plot because it shows that exiting things do happen in the suburbs.  I know that many authors set  their  horror novels in the country but I think  that the  author  combined  a lot of  original details  to her story. An overall 10 out of 10!
-Diana R., 9

Teen Review

The Secret Tree

Natalie Standiford

Pub 5-2012, Scholastic, $16.99

The Secret Tree by Natalie Standiford is about a girl named Minty who calls herself “Minty Fresh”. Her and her friend Paz (“Pax-a-Punch”) are roller derby fans. I think that The Secret Tree is very similar to The Apothecary by Maile Meloy and Ian Sheonherr. They’re similar not only in their way of writing but also in the plot: a pretty normal girl getting involved with a troubled and adventurous boy. I think that The Secret Tree is a thriller but also a friendship fiction book.

At the beginning of the story, Minty starts seeing flashes in the woods  After seeing many of these flashes, she tries to catch the person making the flash but soon he’s gone. She follows him into the woods, and on her way out of the forest she hears a tree that seems to be murmuring something. She tries to peek inside the tree to see if there’s somebody inside. There isn’t, but there is a piece of paper: “nobody likes me except my goldfish.”  Some pretty weird things start to happen and they seem to be connected to one night that happened the summer before. When she does catch the flash, it’s a boy with a camera. He says he spies on the people around town and figures out which secret from the Secret Tree is theirs. There is a ghost that lives in a tree that eats the secrets that the people put there. Minty gets to know him better and they team up and try to solve the mystery of the weird things happening with the secrets.

I think this book was very well written. I think that it’s one of those books that are so suspenseful that you can’t stop reading it. I think that one of the reasons it was good was that some of the elements of the book are definitely from the present, but other aspects would definitely be from a long time ago. I think it’s great that she combines all these elements and makes them from her own time period. I think that the book has a pretty good moral: everybody has flaws. I think the writer really shows that even the people who seem flawless aren’t always.

I think that, overall, this is a well-written book. I think that, unlike other books, this book was about the dark side of people. I also like the plot because it shows that exiting things do happen in the suburbs.  I know that many authors set  their  horror novels in the country but I think  that the  author  combined  a lot of  original details  to her story. An overall 10 out of 10!

-Diana R., 9