Teen Summer Reading Program Titles

I am proud to say that there were 40 entries in the Waltham Public Library Teen Summer Reading Program! Everyone who entered received a free ice cream courtesy of the generosity of the owners of Lizzy’s Homemade Ice Cream. Ten of our participants received gift certificates to either More than Words or Back Pages Books courtesy of the generosity of the Friends of the Waltham Public Library. In addition to contributing 40 entries, the teens who participated wrote a total of 31 book reviews. Below is a list of the titles the participants read this year, as well as links to any book reviews that were written. Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun!

Here is the list of books that were read for this year’s teen summer reading program. Click on the link to read any of the teen reviews.

Teen Book Review — Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author: John Green and David Levithan
Stars (out of 5): 5
Review: I feel that this is one of those books that just makes you feel like you could read it forever and be happy. The characters are lovable and believable and I think that this book would be welcome on the bookshelf of any young adult.

This review was written by a 6th grader.

Teen Book Review — The Sea of Monsters

Title: The Sea of Monsters
Author: Rick Riordan
Stars (out of 5): 3
Review: This book, although a tad bit on the easy side for me, was a good, quick read. I really enjoyed the twisting and turning plot, although I really didn’t enjoy how the book seemed to drag on and on. After the 1st chapter about fighting with the giants, I couldn’t believe that there was going to be another one. Why couldn’t it have been squeezed all into one chapter? Over all, this book is a fun, light read with a very adventurous feel to it. I am planning to complete the series.

This review was written by a 6th grader.

Teen Book Review — The Disappearing Spoon

Title: The Disappearing Spoon
Author: Sam Kean
Stars (out of 5): 3
Review: This is a non-fiction book about how the elements on the periodic table of the elements were found. Some of the scientists were funny, and some were very serious and competitive. Some got very sick or died from their research and some made a discovery by accident. Rubidium is my favorite but Carbon is the best element.

This review was written by a 6th grader.

Teen Book Review — Replay

Title: Replay
Author: Sharon Creech
Stars (out of 5): 5
Review: Leo is 13 and was looking through his dad’s things in the attic and comes across his diary. His father told him not to look through his things. Leo secretly takes his dad’s diary and reads it when he is alone. Leo finds out about his dad’s missing sister and doesn’t realize how it effects his grandma and grandpa’s life until the end of the book. Leo is in a play at school. He is upset because his part is an Old Crone(Old woman) His brothers, and his sister get hurt while doing either soccer, football, and singing in the chorus, One sibling suffers a concussion, and the other 2 have either a broken or dislocated knee.

This review was written by a 7th grader.

Teen Book Review — The Help

Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Stars (out of 5): 5
Review: The Help is a powerful book. The kind of book that you read and you feel, deep down in your stomach that what is said in this book is what you believe, what you know to be true but you just have never said it before. I enjoyed this book, although it was sometimes sad, sometimes serious, sometimes almost scary and sometimes quite funny. I look forward to watching the movie!

This review was written by a 6th grader.

Teen Book Review — The House of Hades

Title: The House of Hades
Author: Rick Riordan
Stars (out of 5): 3
Review: Although I enjoyed the book thoroughly, and was excited throughout, I found the storyline disappointing in comparison to Rick Riordan’s previous books, including books from the same series (The Heroes of Olympus). I am thrilled that he decided to continue to include and build upon characters from The Percy Jackson series – I loved the mix of new and old characters.
One of my main issues is that the heroes continuously escape situations in ways that I don’t find believable even in this fantastical world. For a fantasy world to be truly compelling, it must make the reader believe that what happens is possible in an alternate universe, and I think that Riordan managed that up until this book. In The House of Hades, heroes continuously became beyond what they believed possible before and somehow managed to pull themselves completely together just at the right moment to save the day. I kept hoping for a clever escape. but that hope was not rewarded. I also found Tartarus I disappointing character. I was extremely excited that Tartarus found a human form, but was then disappointed at the ease of his distraction. While the tongue-in-cheek humor is obvious and enjoyable throughout the book, I was hoping that Tartarus, and later in the book Clytius the giant, would be more serious characters, and as I said before, harder to defeat. Sadly Tartarus was stalled by banter (although ultimately, there was sacrifice made in order to allow Percy and Annabeth to escape, so I will give credit for that), and Clytius was easily defeated by the demigods finding bursts of impossible strength…again.
So while I did enjoy the book, and will certainly read the next one, I was not overly impressed with the story, even though I usually am with Riodan’s books.

This review was written by a 10th grader.

Teen Book Review — Chasing Lincoln’s Killer

Title: Chasing Lincoln’s Killer
Author: James L. Swanson
Stars (out of 5): 5
Review: This book talks about the assassination of President Lincoln by James Wilkes Booth. It explains who hje was and how he killed the President, and then how the police chased him. He outsmarted the government and police while evading them. And then the book explains why he is still popular to learn about today. I would say that people who like action, adeventure, and a little bit of gore would like this book.

This review was written by a 6th grader.

Teen Book Review — A Black Hole is not a Hole

Title: A Black Hole Is Not a Hole
Author: Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano
Stars (out of 5): 5
Review: This book gives fun facts about black holes; their size, shape, and activities. There is a focus on how Albert Einstein decided that they existed and how he determined to prove that. The facts and discoveries go up to the current time. I think people who like humor, science, and technology would like this book.

This review was written by a 6th grader.

Teen Book Review — Divergent

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Stars (out of 5): 5
Review: I was mostly motivated to read this book so that I could see the movie, but I found that I would have gladly read it otherwise. I found the concept of a faction interesting and there was never a dull moment. The beginning is a little rough and it looks like a long and scary book, but don’t worry! Read the whole thing… You won’t regret it.

This review was written by a 6th grader.

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