Last June, Page Explorers roamed around our Bonifacio High Street branch for this year’s Junior Book Crew summer program. They learned about the journey of a story—from the initial spark of an idea, to bringing this idea onto the page, to delivering these pages to readers’ hands.
In true Fully Booked spirit, they picked out their own favorite reads and shared their thoughts on why these stories have a special place in their hearts. Check out their picks and reviews below!
Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal by Dan Middleton
Review by A JBC Student Has No Name
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – 5 stars
I like this book because it is about Dan and Trayaurus racing to recover five enchanted crystals before Denton finds the crystals.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Review by Janine Liwanag
“He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a brilliant novel that tackles African culture and westernization. Achebe decided to write the book after having enough of the European perspective of Africa.
One might think that an eighth grader required to read a historical fiction novel about a culture immensely different from her own would be bored, but I was not. It was fascinating to read about highly patriarchal Nigerian tribes of the 1890s, even more so because of the beautiful writing. Furthermore, this book talks about the father-and-son relationships, disrespected customs, domestic abuse, religion, and much more.
We can recognize the characters’ struggles with colonization in our own history, remembering the oppressors that still have an impact on our lives to this day.
I highly recommend that you read this book—required, or not.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Review by Euan Santiago
Rick Riordan’s first Norse mythology book, Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer, gives a new and fresh perspective on the Norse gods. For those who are unfamiliar with mythology and ancient history, this book will teach you about the Norse gods and creatures in a fun and humorous way. The story will make you giggle at the way heroes act and handle situation. It gives you a vibe that will make you say, “Seriously?” For example, a chapter would read “We Have a Pre-Decapitation Party, with Egg Rolls.” The hero, Magnus, names and narrates the chapters.
Adding to the interesting twists, there are crossovers of heroes from Riordan’s other popular books, which makes the story even more interesting and fun to read. Overall, this is a great story that both young and old readers will enjoy.
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Review by Kaylee Hartigan-Go
Blue Lily, Lily Blue is the third book of The Raven Cycle Series by Maggie Stiefvater. The series follow a group of teenagers searching for the lost Welsh king, Glendower. Along the way, they discover magic, uncover secrets, and battle with demons—both inside and out.
The plot of the novel alone is original and exciting, but it was the characters that really kept me invested in the story. The author was able to bring each one to life, and it was extremely fulfilling to read about the unbreakable friendships they formed with each other. The characters are vulnerable and struggling, but also witty and extremely courageous. Blue Lily, Lily Blue is my favorite book because here, I felt I could understand the characters and see what is truly at stake.
Stiefvater’s storytelling goes unsurpassed. I recommend this series to teenagers and adults who enjoy adventure threaded with romance and magic.
The Heir by Kiera Cass
Review by Indee Duay
The Heir is the fourth book in The Selection Series written by Kiera Cass. This book shows that not all plans go, well, as planned. This book shows that even though you have carefully planned something out, if you choose to do a certain action because you think it would lead to the consequence you want, not everything you want will go the way you want it to go. It also tells us how things can turn around—from something that you thought was negative—into something positive. The writer portrays love between the family and the other characters. This is my favorite book because aside from it being kind of cheesy, there is a lesson.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Review by Matthew Mapua
In a world where everything is perfect, a boy named Jonas was chosen to be a receiver. As a receiver, his role is to keep memories from the past, both good and bad. Jonas begins to question why some memories are erased, his existence, and his society, as a whole.
I like this book because it shows the troubles of a teenager, including the mood swings that teens go through. It may be a coming of age book but it tackles a very complicated topic. It makes one wonder whether a utopian world is perfect.