Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Red's Untold Tale by, Wendy Toliver

A book called Red’s Untold Tale, by Wendy Toliver is a story based on the popular TV series Once Upon a Time. This is a fantasy novel by Wendy Toliver. It details the experiences of a 16 year old girl, who got the nickname of Red because of the red cloak that she wears, as she deals with her crush on a boy named Peter, her grandmother’s failing bakery, and wolf attacks on her town. Every month, during the full moon, giant, ferocious wolves roam the town and surrounding forest, killing animals, and sometimes people. 

Tensions in the town are rising, because while Red’s grandmother knows the true nature of the vicious beasts, having witnessed her brothers’ death by the creatures, the other villagers think she’s crazy and go out to fight the wolves themselves. On top of the danger of these wolf attacks, Red is trying to sort out her feelings for Peter, deal with three bullies named Violet, Florence, and Beatrice, and save her grandmother’s business. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would definitely recommend this to a friend, especially someone who is familiar with the television series Once Upon a Time. 

The writing style utilized in this novel makes the reader feel like they are in Red’s position. The suspense is constantly building as a result of the almost constant wolf threat. There is a somewhat subtle romance in this book between Red and Peter, and you can see their relationship develop throughout the novel. Red’s responses to the conflicts in her life, while not always the best solution, show that she has good intentions (most of the time). If you choose to read this novel, you can find out how Red and the town deal with the wolf problem, how Red reacts to the bullies, and how Red and Peter end up. If you like fantasy, fairy tale type stories, this book is for you, especially if you watch Once Upon a Time, as this book ties in nicely with the series. You should read this book.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

American Ace, by Marilyn Nelson

American Ace, by Marilyn Nelson, tells a story narrated by a teenage boy named Connor, who notices that his father is not himself after Connor's grandmother has died. Connor thinks there is something more to his dad's sadness and discovers that there is. His dad has just learned a family secret that has to do with his biological father. With the clue of a gold ring and pilot wings, Connor works to unravel the mystery about a grandfather he never knew. 

Throughout the story we learn about Connor and his dad's relationship as Connor is learning to drive with his dad's help. The book is about family relationships and self discovery. The story also deals with racism, and we get to learn a lot about the history of Historically Black Colleges and how and when they came about. We learn about the history of the Tuskagee black airmen who were the first African American military in the U.S. armed forces, and how they stood up to racism in the U.S. airforce during World War II. 

 The story is full of true facts. For example, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt had requested that she be flown by a black pilot to visit the Tuskagee Army Air School in order to make progress for racial equality. Another fact was that in 1948 President Truman integrated the U.S. armed service. I liked how the story was told in a poem format- each chapter was a page long and the story moved along quickly and was interesting. If you like stories about family, racial identity, and historical United States military events, you would enjoy this book.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Kid Owner, by Tim Green

In the book Kid Owner by Tim Green there is a boy named Ryan. When his father whom Ryan’s never met and whose name he doesn’t even know dies, he leaves Ryan the Dallas Cowboys. A confusing series of flashbacks and exposition about Ryan’s relationship with football sets the story up, including his mother’sl refusal to let him play and the odd position he occupied on the team as a player so small that his coaches purposefully prevented him from experiencing the contact side of the sport. 

 This rough beginning gives way to a character driven story. Ryan battles urges to exploit his new status, with the help of a mother determined to teach him to be a good person and two wonderful best friends (a friendly giant of a teammate and a pretty, fantasy-football whiz) who like Ryan for himself, not because he’s the newly famous kid owner. But bullies on his team still target Ryan, and Ryan’s wicked stepmother schemes to snatch the Cowboys for her own son—the star player of the rival middle school’s team. When Ryan isn’t dealing with power plays from lawyers or the Cowboys’ feuding general manager and coach, he’s trying to earn a shot at quarterback; despite his not-spectacular arm, Ryan’s ability to read defense makes him a natural for a spread offense. 

All story-lines culminate in a big game, and it’s a good one. I really enjoyed this book because my favorite sport is football. It was interesting to see that a little boy was running a football team. This book was very intense and made you want to flip the page every time. This book will make you non stop read until you finish it. I also liked it because there was also a little bit of drama. I would recommend this book to the people who enjoy sports and love drama.