The Maine Student Book Award is a statewide program in which any Maine 4th-8th grader who reads 3 or more books from this year’s nominated list can vote for their favorites in the spring of 2015. Teens up to 8th grade, please talk with Brooke at McArthur Library, Ms. White at the Biddeford Middle School library or Ms. Bellavance in the Biddeford Middle School Literacy Lab for more information. And stay tuned for upcoming book groups where you can share your thoughts with other readers of the MSBA Book Award nominees!
Visit the MSBA website at http://msba.umeedu.maine.edu/ to see this year’s nominated titles and learn more about them!
Kira’s desperate journey to find two cures and save the world continues in this third installment. Not only is her path to success unclear and fraught with obstacles, but her heart is pulling her in two different directions. She thought her destiny was to save the world — can she do it?
This is a thrilling continuation of a series ripe with suspense and littered with plot twists. Dan Wells’ clear and compelling style draws you into read and re-read. In his realistic, dystopian world, primal emotions splash across pages to excite any with a love of action. Recommended for ages 11 and up.
Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11.
This book is the third in the Divergent series. Tris and Tobias find themselves venturing outside the city walls. Meanwhile inside the city, two different sides form with different perspectives on how to run the city.
There are many things I disliked about this book. I thought it was going to end one way, but then it threw me a curve ball. I also didn’t like that it didn’t give many hints as to what the characters were going to do later in life. I did like how they went outside the city in this book because throughout the first and second, I was wondering what was beyond the city limits.
Reviewed by Olivia – 7th grade.
This books is about a teenage boy in high school named Brett Miller. He is totally “normal.” He is on the football team and has a totally hot girlfriend. His life is pretty average until he meets Zach.
I thought this book was pretty good. I didn’t love it because Brett acted like a jerk most of the time even though he is going through a struggle. I think this is for older kids because kids in middle school might not understand some of the content or feel uncomfortable. It is realistic fiction. It’s also not part of a series.
Reviewed by Madison – grade 7.
Macallan and Levi are two new best friends that have just met in 7th grade. This book follows the story of the two best friends, with ups and downs, and especially romance issues.
I LOVED this book. The two perspectives of the story are both grasping and very distinctive. The story is very realistic, and doesn’t rush things for the ages. It’s fictional and a standalone. It was a very lighthearted book and good if you’re suffering from a book hangover. Recommended for ages 12-16.
Reviewed by Maggie – 7th grade.
Nik is positive that his future is secure- after high school, he will be recruited for the Internal Security and Intelligence services and will do his part in the war to keep the hostiles on the other side of the bridges from overtaking the city side. But when his school is bombed, and his friend’s young brother is kidnapped, Nik will embark on a journey that will open his eyes to the truth about the war — and himself.
This was an example of how two sides of the same event can be racially different. The characters were strong, with unique traits that made them three dimensional. However, while it was written with skill and description, there was not much emotional connection. With the turbulent events, some more focus on communicating and transferring the emotions to the reader would’ve been nice.
Perhaps I am less struck by this novel because I have recently read a slew of “divided city” books. This one follows the basic pattern, though the author does a worthy job of creating characters and adding plot twists. Recommended for readers 12 and older.
Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11
Renee de Winter wants nothing more than to serve the Crown. But as the only girl left in her class of cadets, and with one cadet getting cut by the end of the year, she has much to prove. What she needs to do is focus on her studies and swordsmanship–especially since the new trainer is Commander Savoy of the famed Seventh squad.
However, when sinister events start to brew, she can’t help but jump into the middle of it, feet-first. She no longer worries about surviving another year as a cadet–she worries about surviving the year at all.
With a few good twists and more action than anything else, this was a fast-paced read that I flew through. While the ending tied up the loose ends, it was also open enough to suggest the possibility of a sequel. Romance is minimal and cloudy, making this a perfect read for anyone looking for a tale of decisions, corruption and loyalty.
Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11