Book Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Rory has just arrived in London, but she’s not the only new arrival. Jack the Ripper has returned and is even more terrifying than before. This story has believable characters and surprising twists, though some seemed a bit much and rather far-fetched. It took away some reality, but did make the story interesting. I’d rate it 4 stars — I liked it a lot.

This is a book crafted by a creative mind — the largest twist is shocking and, in my opinion, completely changes the genre of the book! Nevertheless, it is wonderfully executed!

-Marissa, age 14

Book Review: Saga of the Sioux by Dwight Jon Zimmerman

This is a book that tells the other side of the story — something I’ve been looking for. I liked that it was full of information, but in an easy format. The only thing I didn’t like was that the maps were omitted, but that’s due to the unpublished nature! [Note: this review is of a pre-publication galley of the book]. The chapters were well-planned and the cover striking. This is a book directed toward youth, which was enjoyable, and it was full of useful and fascinating information.

This book truly captures the courage, pride and integrity of the Sioux chiefs. They were continuously wronged, and they fought for what they knew was rightfully theirs. This is an embarrassing blotch on the USA’s history. I’m excited to finally be able to read the Sioux’s side.

– Marissa, age 14

Book Review: The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

Annabel’s family has been avoiding work for years, so when the new lord comes to town, she is sent to work in his castle as payment. Stern, mauled and foreboding Lord LeWyse is not a welcoming man. Chased by the Bailiff, Annabel is saved time and time again by her Lord. What interest does he have in her?

This was a realistic Beauty and the Beast — a tale of unconditional love fraught with pain and heartbreak. I’d rate it 5 stars — there was nothing I didn’t like about it!

A potent combination of my favorite genres — romance and action, all set in medieval times. Annabel is a perfect heroine, embodying the traits of women both ages ago and today. Humble, shy and caring, she is also quick-witted and unafraid to follow her heart. I immediately connected with her, cheering her on every step of the way. Lord LeWyse is a man with heart-wrenching scars — inside and out. While his beard hides his scarred face, his rough, harsh demeanor hides a heart of gold and a sweet soul. He is fiercely loyal, and committed to doing what is right. I love the way chapters switched between the two. I couldn’t wait to find out what the other was thinking in each event. It gave the piece a three-dimensional quality that I have ever encountered before. This is truly a phenomenal book with characters that are strong and realistic beyond belief and a plot that twists with each page.

One of the best books I have ever read.

-Marissa, age 14