Category Archives: Teen Book Reviews

Reviews of YA books you’ll love.

What’s on Your 2020 Reading List?

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The Children of Virture and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi is the top book on my 2020 reading list. It’s been a while since I read Children of Blood and Bone so I decided to reread book one first.

Children of Blood and Bone is a fantasy book set in Africa, during a time when magic has vanished and the people who use to wield it, were either killed or became oppressed. Zélie, the book’s protagonist is a rebel. You learn this about her nature as soon as you open the book. She’s a fighter and when the opportunity arises to fight back against her oppressors and return magic back to her people Zélie decides to fight.

I’m not sure what else is on my list. I definitely want to check out other series that I started. I would love to read the second book in the book had zombies and is set during Civil War times. In this series young slave girls are zombie killers.

Teen Writing Prompt 834

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The winter storm brought in several feet of snow. Luckily there was lots of wood to keep the fire burning. We stocked up on food. Lots of it and there was plenty of water too.

When you looked out the window all you saw was white as the wind tossed the snow to and fro. As Hayden looked out the window she saw a figure approaching the door. She knew it couldn’t be here parents they told her that they were snowed in with her grandmother.

Who comes to the door? Is it friend or foe? Does Hayden open the door and it so what happens next?

Scholastics Arts and Writing Competition (Poetry, Science-Fiction/Fantasy and Short Story)

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Here’s the information for the poetry, science fiction/fantasy and short story categories. (This information was taken from the Scholastics Arts and Writing site)

Poetry

Writing in verse. May include but is not limited to prose poetry, free verse, formal poetry, song lyrics, and spoken word.

Special InstructionsEach submission may consist of 1–5 poems, which will be judged as a collection. Students may submit more than one collection, but must register each separately You are limited to 20–200 lines (total for the entire collection.

Science Fiction & Fantasy

This category includes writing that uses supernatural, magical, futuristic, scientific, and technological themes as a key element of the narrative.

All work in which science fiction/fantasy is the key element should be submitted in this category. Do not base characters or plots on already published works (books, movies, comics, etc.). Works that are novel-length should be submitted to the Novel category.

Your submission is limited to 500–3,000 words.

Short Story

A fictional narrative written in prose. You are limited to a submitting a story that is 500–3,000 words. If your story is Sci-Fi-Fi or fantasy then submit to that category. 

https://www.artandwriting.org for more information.

Teen Book Review- The Institute by Stephen King

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I just finished reading The Institute by Stephen King. As the story beings with Tim Jamieson, a disgraced cop from Florida gives up his seat on a plane heading towards New York in hopes of making a few bucks. Tim hitch hikes and takes a few jobs on the road until he ends up in the southern town of DuPray, South Carolina. He takes a job as a   night knocker at a local police station and decides to settle there for a while.  

Across the country in Minneapolis child prodigy, Like Ellis meets with a school counselor and plans to relocate with his parents to the east coast to attend MIT and Emerson. One night after celebrating, Luke’s plans come to a halt when armed assailants murder Luke’s parents in their sleep and kidnap him.

Like wakes up in a room that looks like his room but isn’t. He notices subtle clues, a rip in the corner of the poster on his wall, a few things out of place, along with the fact that unlike his room at home this room has no window. It’s there Like meets other children who share his predicament and “special skills” like his – telepathy or telekinesis. The children are subjected to a series of tests and tortured all in the hopes of enhancing their latent psychic abilities. Abilities that will be used for nefarious plans. 

King tells two parallel stories that eventually collide after the children decide to change their circumstances and take the control back.This book was exciting and takes you on an intriguing journey.  There are many characters and a few subplots that are woven together to create a brilliant story. King is truly a master of character and storytelling. I loved this book and so will you.

Teen Writing Tip

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November is approaching and besides thinking about getting together with the fam and eating turkey why not add NaNoWriNo to your list? NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Writers take a shot at writing a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1 and November 30.

I have a new story that I am excited about writing so this year will be my first year at giving it a try. Why not join me and WRITE!.

Teen Book Review Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

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Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land tells the story of Millie, young girl whose mother is a serial killer. Millie goes to live with a foster family and is given a new name while her mother awaits trail. Millie is the key witness and after years of abuse she turns her mother in. When Millie goes to live with her shrink’s family she discovers that therapy opens a door allowing the painful experiences she endured at the hands of her mother return. To make things worse Millie is relentlessly bullied by Phoebe, her foster sister.

Millie starts to show a hidden cruel nature as the torture continues. Millie fights to remain a “good girl” and hates the power that her mother has over her. Everything builds as Millie prepares to be reunited with her mother, a child killer one last time.

This book was very suspenseful with a lot of surprises. #YA Thriller #serial killers #bullying

Teen Writing Prompt 825

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Write a short story about a character with the name Winter. Describe her like the season she’s named after. What does she look like? What is her personality like? What are her hopes and dreams and what kind of challenges does she encounter on her journey?

What are her friends like? Challenge yourself and have them take on at least one aspect of the season.

Be creative and have some fun!

 

Teen Book Review – Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

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Long Way Down is a unique book that turns poetry into prose. It tells the story of Will, a 15 year old African-American teenager, living in a place where people live by three rules. Rules that keep you safe and a also get you killed.

The story starts off when Will’s brother, Shawn is murdered. Will struggles with trying to deal with the loss of his big brother and following the rules most people where he lives feels compelled to follow at any cost. The rules are plain and simple, don’t cry, don’t snitch, and get revenge.

Will retreives a gun out of his brother’s secret drawer and takes the elevator down to meet this fate and get revenge. Along the way down, he encounters the ghosts of family and friends who lost their lives to gun violence. Their stories force him to make a choice about his decision.

Long Way Down is a special book that is beautifully written and not only opens the world of poetry, making it more accessible to people who have never connected to poetry. It’s an engaging story that will capture you as soon as you read the first page.

#Jason Reynolds #YA #poetry

Young Arts Mentorship Program – Spoken Word

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The spoken word competition requires a sort video to accompany the poem. It makes a lot of sense because spoken word is all about the performance. Practice a few times and record yourself. Think about what you’re saying in the poem and look at other spoken word poets online for inspiration.

Below the are requirements for the spoken word submissions.

  • Two (2) to three (3) written poems. Total written materials not to exceed 10 pages.
  • Separate video performance for each poetry submission.
  • Submissions must be in English. If words or phrases in another language are used, translations

    must be included in the written portion.

Teen Book Review- Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

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Akata Witch by Nnedi Okofor is like Harry Potter set in Nigeria. This book centers of the life of Sunny, a young Nigeria-American albino girl who lives in Nigeria. Sunny is an outcast at school but she soon finds friends who know how to wield magic and shape shift, and conjure spells with their juju knives. Sunny and her friends ChiChi, Orlu, and Sasha are young “witches” in training. One thing I love about the book is it’s rooted in Nigerian culture.

As the story begins as a serial killer, The Mat Hat is killing and maiming young children in Nigeria. At the beginning of the novel Sunny discovers that she can see visions and soon with the help of her friend ChiChi and Orlu Sunny is introduced the a world filled with magic spells and danger. Sunny hides her magic from her “Lamb” nonmagical family. Soon the four teens unite in order to defeat the Magic Hat but along the way they meet up with danger and a little bit of romance. It takes you on a thrilling journey into a magical world.

Great book! Exciting and suspenseful.

#YA #magic #fantasy