Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book #1)

Greg’s mom buys him a diary—excuse me, I mean a journal—and he decides to write and draw cartoons of his everyday, middle school life. Greg loves his video games, is always getting into mischief, and he has to deal with his mean older brother, Rodrick, who is destined to humiliate him. Greg bullies around his friend Rowley and finds that he feels jealous and left out as Rowley begins to gain popularity in the tough middle school social scene. We watch as the boys scheme up a profit-making haunted house and roll the world’s biggest snowball to keep trespassers off of their neighborhood hills. A series for reluctant and lower-level readers, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is geared for fifth to eighth graders. Greg is a pretty unlikeable little dude who does mean things much like Eric Cartman in South Park. Whereas South Park has satire and highly intricate plots…

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Review: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

Steve’s family has a newborn baby, Theo, who is in and out of the hospitals and doctors’ offices. Theo has a variety of life-threatening developmental disabilities, including heart trouble, and may not survive. Steve’s family has their hands full as he suffers from anxiety, depression, and what is suggested to be OCD. With the added stress of this sick baby, Steve’s issues are put on the side burner. At the same time, outside of the house, wasps are building a nest. Steve suffers from terrifying dreams that the wasps are building a new baby for his family within this nest. After saying yes to a deal with the queen wasp to swap babies, Steve realizes that he loves his baby just the way he is. Unfortunately, Steve made a deal with the devil and must now try to save himself and Theo. The Nest is an incredibly disturbing and terrifying juvenile Stephen…

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Review: North of Happy by Adi Alsaid

Late one night, Carlos and his older brother, Felix, decide to taste test their way through the food stands of Mexico City in search of the perfect taco. In a tragic accident, stray bullets kill the free-spirited, nomadic Felix, leaving Carlos with his brother’s ghost and the desire to recover his own happiness. During Carlos’ high school graduation party—faced with a well intentioned but uninspiring predetermined future with the family business—Carlos runs away from his privileged life to a small island off of Washington state. With no plans except to visit Provecho, a bucket list restaurant in his brother’s diary, Carlos must find a place to sleep and a way to earn a living. In a matter of luck or fate, Carlos begins working as a dishwasher at Provecho and is taken under the wing of the master chef with the threatening promise of termination if he does not stop…

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