Book Reviews

Stone Soup Magazine
November 2018

“Science fair”: Two very innocuous words. When you hear them, what first comes to mind?  Kids presenting their mini volcanoes in an elementary school...

Since I was small, I have been a passionate reader, instantly drawn into stories that could be painted in words. When I discovered chapter books, I remember...

Following the tragic death of his female guardian, Jack Starbright, Alex Rider moves from his home in London to San Francisco to live with his friend, Sabina...

“The Veldt” is a dystopian story by Ray Bradbury. Even though the story is only a few pages long and appears relatively simple, it contains many concepts that...

Scythe is about a world in the future, where humans have conquered all things, even death. Immortality is rapidly causing overpopulation. The Thunderhead, the...

To be honest, Okay for Now, written by Gary D. Schmidt, did not immediately suck me in. The lead was rather ordinary. It wasn’t until I read about Doug’s...

Before I read this book, I had never read a book that was set in Canada…in the 1970s…that was not even published yet. This book was the first. The book in...

Lukas Cooke, our young blogger interested in nature and the environment, recently had the opportunity to read one of Patricia Newman’s books, Plastic Ahoy!:...

Photo by Rebecca Wilson via Flickr. The first book I remember buying from my own money was Finally by Wendy Mass (I recently sent a review of it to Stone...

To Kill A Mockingbird is about Scout, a girl growing up in Alabama with her brother Jem, a daring adventurous boy, her friend Dill, Calpurnia, a motherlike...

Are you craving an action packed, magic filled, fantasy novel, with a cliffhanger ending? Then Tochi Onyebuchi’s Beasts Made of Night is meant for you. The...

Another classic reviewed on the blog today: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, reviewed by Ananda Bhaduri, 13.

Does music connect people like nothing else can? Pam Ryan’s book, Echo, shows the bonds tied together by a single instrument. In Echo, a harmonica journeys...

If I told you right now that this is a review of a documentary about the cats living in Istanbul, what would you do? Yawn? Walk away? Say that doesn’t sound...

During the summer, I’m sure you are all looking for new summer reads. May I suggest The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss, a unique book that...

“Life isn’t always fair.” Remember that when you watch The Breadwinner. On the long Emirates flight to India, there were a lot of movies to choose from, but...

Immigration, poverty and racism are all really important topics in the news lately. Last month, I read a fantastic new book in which all three of those topics...

Reviewing Harry Potter is kind of like reviewing Taco Bell or vanilla ice cream. Most everyone has read it, but sometimes just knowing that a book is famous...

Three Friends. One cookbook. A chance to change the world. “Just Add Magic” is an Amazon Prime Original TV series based on a series of books by the same name...

Who here likes completely serious and scientific answers to weird and crazy hypothetical questions? Who here also likes comics? For those of you who like both...

Have you read a 200-page book full of poetry? Well my guess is no. but if you WANT to read one, I have the perfect book for you! It’s the one and only The...

At 7:30 PM one night, although I was only in the middle of the book, I set out in determination to finish Evangeline of the Bayou. I ended up reading so...

Imagine you’re a kid who faces great danger, many rivals, and who has to overcome deadly obstacles in order to survive. Well, this is what Harry Potter has to...

2 AM, the red exit sign glows in the corner as we sit on the yellow, rubber floor of the school building. The middle school principal and high school...

Note: Like our double review of Save Me a Seat, we’re publishing two reviews of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s classic Shiloh. Enjoy!   Review by Isaiah...

“The truth is, she was ornery and stubborn, wouldn’t listen to anybody, and selfish beyond selfish, and filthy, caked with mud and dust, and moody: you’d...

There are a lot of great books out there. Many of them are terrific because of the inventive plot or the characters. A few contain a masterful message. Krista...

“Summer is over.” These are the first words of the haunting book Almost Autumn. But it’s not just summer that’s over. It’s life. Jewish lives. Almost...

Are you looking for a book you can read for hours without noticing time passing? One that is funny and imaginative and has an adventurous heroine? Well, you...

Have you thought that nothing could be worse than jail? Well you would be totally wrong because in the book Holes, the prison is about as bad as it can get...

This story is about promises kept, selflessness, and friendship. It’s about Ivan keeping his promise to his friend, Stella, and trying to get Ruby to a better...

I like books that are about football, basketball, and fantasy. My dad was tired of me reading the same genres over and over again, though. So he gave me The...

The Discord of Love Love is a quarrel that never ends. It is a wonderful thing, to feel love. In many different ways, love is everywhere. In the play, A...

John Green’s Fault in Our Stars is a novel about the amiable Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen year old girl in Indianapolis battling thyroid cancer. She...

“What are you wearing?” one friend snickered as I sat down on the bus with her. I blushed the color of tomato and looked down at my velvet laced up Mary...

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis details the experiences of the Malones, a strong African American family whose journey spans the states of...

John Green, acclaimed author of The Fault in our Stars, is back after nearly five years with his new novel, Turtles all the Way Down. In this novel, Aza...

For the past 13 years, John (Jack) Buckles has lived an ordinary life, with an ordinary family. Except for one thing. Jack sees things differently from other...

Every kid has, at some point, wished for nothing more than to fit in. This is just the case with Boy, a young hunchback boy living in 1350, the year declared...

Nadia’s family had a plan. If ever their house was bombed they were supposed to meet at the dentist’s office. But Nadia is terrified of leaving her house...

There’s a fine line between right and wrong. A lot of times, there isn’t even a line at all. Some of the biggest challenges faced by modern day society...

Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes tell the stories of nine teenagers connected by one powerful poetry class. It describes the teens’ hopes, dreams, and...

Unceasing darkness. Eternal light. Both? Not possible without serious repercussions. “What, then, will happen…to those animals…born during the...

A Picture of Perfection Oftentimes, while reaching for the future, we are held captive by the experiences and memories of our past. Though we attempt to...

Mimi Yoshiko Oliver is not your typical protagonist. She is a half-black, half-Japanese girl who is unusually independent. She is also a stereotype-buster....

Kid Beowulf is an action-adventure graphic novel with lots of twists and turns. It has witty humor, and an artistic style that draws younger kids’...

Note: We coincidentally received two reviews for the same book, Save Me a Seat, by Gita Varadarajan and Sarah Weeks, so we’ve decided to publish them both to...

Ashes, by Laurie Halse Anderson, is the third and final book in Anderson’s Seeds of America trilogy. It tells the story of four escaped slaves in...

Victoria Jamieson’s fantastic new graphic novel, All’s Faire in Middle School, tells the tale of an eleven-year-old girl named Imogene (Impy, for short) who,...

Oliver Twist is a literary classic written by Charles Dickens, an English author in the 19th century. I have read an illustrated adaptation of this book. The...

Imagine living all your life without being able to walk, talk, or even move with fairly good coordination. Melody Brooks, the main character in this book, is...

New York Times-bestseller Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult is a fascinating novel about an African-American labor and delivery nurse, Ruth Jefferson, who...

Wonder, by R. J. Palacio, is a story about a fifth grade boy named August Pullman (Auggie for short). Auggie has a craniofacial difference, which means he was...

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell is my favorite book of all time. It’s an absolute must read for anyone who likes adventure, amazing details, incredible plots,...

Despite being a picture book for young readers, Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña, won the Newbery Award, a rare event that shocked the reading...

Opening Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I felt almost like I was in fourth grade again-overly eager, attentive, and absolutely addicted to the Harry Potter...

In Holly Schindler’s book, The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky, there are two kinds of people: the ones that shine like Gus’s truck, Old Glory, and the kind who...

In Hoops: Elle of the Ball, Elle is the type of girl who would prefer basketball over dancing. Especially since she’s six feet tall at age twelve. And, for...

Do you ever worry about anything when you are in school? About your grade on a test? About who your new lab partner will be? Arianna Hazard worries too, but...

Imagine having to leave the place you grew up, the only place you’ve known and only finding out a day before? That’s what happens to twelve year old Omar, in...

Eleanor and Park, a novel by Rainbow Rowell, is an intriguing love story that kept me reading until I was done. Eleanor, the fat kid with bright red hair falls...

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