Kids Read & Write Program: week seven

Summer book reports

"Get Well Soon" by Julie Halpern

Get Well Soon, by Julie Halpern, is about a girl so depressed, her parents decide to send her to a mental hospital. But as she finds her place in this wacked-up, cut-off world, she realizes that it isn't as bad as she first thought. Aside from people like her doctor, who can't stop bothering her about her weight, and the messed-up workers, who are even crazier than the kids. Then there's the complete isolation, unbelievably stupid rules, and other downsides of living in a loony bin. The other kids aren't so bad. In fact, some of them are pretty cool. She makes friends pretty fast, and feels more accepted than she had back home. She even finds a crush in the oh-so-controlled environment of the mental hospital. Narrated in the unique voice of the main character, Anna Bloom, this book has the perfect amount of comedy, sadness, and appropriate romance. Although this book is meant for high schoolers, it is still appropriate for some junior high students. This easy-to-love book will capture the hearts of many readers. Don't forget to read the sequel, "Have a Nice Day."

—Amanda Tener, 8th grade, Glenview

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by J.K. Rowling

I had read the first six Harry Potter books. I was very interested to find out how everything ends. That's why I read the seventh book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in a hurry. In this book Harry, Ron, and Hermione do not go back to Hogwarts to study. If I was with them, I would miss Professor McGonagall. I think it's a shame they could not stay to graduate. Most of the time they are hiding from Lord Voldemort and are looking for Horcruxes. They are also looking for one of the three Deathly Hallows — the Elder Wand. They go to Hogwarts where the final battle of Harry and the good wizards against Voldemort and the Death Eaters takes place. I liked the books more than the movies because of Peeves the Poltergeist who was funny. Kids should read the books and then watch the movies because the books have more characters and details.

—Aurelius Zemaitis, 9, Willowbrook

"The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green

I chose the book "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green. "The Fault in Our Stars" is a book about cancer. Even though it is about a grim topic, it has a lot of humor in it. In my opinion, John Green did an amazing job writing the story. Hazel is the main character in "The Fault in Our Stars." She does not do a lot of things, and she has stage four thyroid cancers, which is in her lungs. Even though Hazel does not do much, she is a fighter. She is fighting cancer, but not for her sake; she is doing it because she loves her Mom. She normally sits in bed and thinks about death. In the beginning of the book, her Mom decides that she is depressed and she sends Hazel to a support group at a church. The support group is a bunch of people who have cancer who go there to talk about their illness and their problems. There is also the character Augustus Waters, a funny, loving character who will make you laugh. Hazel meets Augustus at the group. Augustus is there because he has osteoarthritis, even though he has been cancer free for years, but he is mostly there because his friend Isaac wanted him to go. Isaac has only one eye because he lost one of his eyes to cancer. Sadly, for Isaac the other eye will follow his first eye's path.

Even though "The Fault in Our Stars" is sad, John Green did an amazing job adding some humor to the story. I think I liked "The Fault in Our Stars" so much because it was so well written and funny and you really care about and like the characters. I also liked it because in the story, Hazel decides to try to meet the author of her favorite book which is called "An Imperial Affliction." "An Imperial Affection" is not a real book … I checked. So in the book, Hazel had Augustus read her favorite book, while she read a book he recommended to her. After August reads "An Imperial Affliction," and loves it too, they decide to try and meet the author, who lives in Amsterdam. I would love to meet the author of one of my favorite books, but if he was not who he seemed to be, I would be disappointed. Also, "The Fault in our Stars" is being made into a movie soon. What is even cooler is that the actress, who is playing Tris from "Divergent," is going to be playing Hazel in "The Fault in Our Stars."

"The Fault in Our Stars" is somewhat like "Matched," by Ally Condie, because it is kind of a love story and has a female main character, but these are not girly books, trust me.

—Ben Janosy, 13, Wheaton, from his blog

"The Problem Child" (The Sisters Grimm, Book 3) by Michael Buckley

Over the summer I read the 3rd book in a series called "The Sisters Grimm." The characters in this book were Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, the main characters and the sisters Grimm. Puck, a fairytale character and nicknamed, "the trickster king." Granny, the grandmother of the sister Grimm.

This book is in a series, but mainly, a witch casts a spell over Ferryport Landing so every single fairytale character is trapped in there until the last Grimm dies. Sabrina and Daphne used to live with their Mom and Dad until their Mom and Dad got kidnapped. So, they went to an orphanage for 1 ½ years when suddenly their long lost Granny was relocated. Since then they all have been fighting the crimes and mysteries of Ferryport Landing.

I think there are two lesson for this series and they are, "never give up." And "expect the un-expected."

—Brooke Chomko, 9, La Grange Park

"Wild Magic" (The Immortals, Book 1) by Tamora Pierce

"Wild Magic," a young adult fantasy book, was well crafted by the award winning Tamora Pierce, who wrote several series including "Circle of Magic," "The Circle Opens," "The Song of the Lioness," and many more. "Wild Magic" is the first book in "The Immortals Quartet."

In this compelling novel, Diane, a 13- year-old girl, is looking for a job with her horse, Cloud. She gets accepted as an assistant with Ouna, the horse mistress for the Queen's Riders. Diane, Cloud, and Ouna, along with the horse herd they were taking care of, travel along the road to Tortall. On the way they meet Master Numair Salmanin, a black robe mage who works for the king and Allana, the Kings Champion. They also have to face stomwings — bat like creatures with a human head — and spidrens — large spiders with human heads — but they were never aware of the dangers they would face after they arrived.

The featured character in this book was a very strong willed character named Veraldiane Sarrasri, also called Diane. This character has to face many tough problems: facing the Immortals, getting in control of her magic, and facing her emotions. In my opinion she is a great role model for girls because of her loyalty to her friends and her caring for others. She is also a very relatable character for most girls. She is torn between her feelings and what's right. She wants to protect everyone at the same time which is only hurting them more.