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Westlake READS

Looking for a good book?  See what Westlake readers have to say!

Game Changer by Tommy Greenwald

This is a story about a boy put into a coma by football. The story switches between different people’s thoughts as people try to find out what happened while the injured boy slowly recovers. I personally liked this book and never would have read if I weren’t participating in Battle of the Books. The title makes the book sound like a book for people interested in sports fiction, but it really it's more a mystery novel. I would recommend it to people who like mysteries. The book is also a bit like the novel Restart. If you read that and liked it, you should like this. I like this book because it stays interesting and has unexpected twists and turns. It feels great when you get to the end and everything starts coming together. I also like how it ends with an end that wraps the story up but still leaves room for you to think might be next. - By Emerson M

The truth as told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

The book is a fun and suspenseful.  It's about a 12-year-old boy named Mason Buttle. His mom was killed by a drunk driver, and he is picked on by a gang of bullies because of his size, his sweatiness, and his dead friend.  Mason has to figure out ways to get home untouched. The police lieutenant who is investigating the death of Mason’s friend is constantly “interrogating” him about Benny Kilmartin’s death. The fact that Mason has no friends makes the odds heavily stacked against him. Then things begin to turn around when he meets Calvin Chumsky, and a great friendship is born. They have such fun together until Calvin goes missing. This book will tug at your heartstrings, and this book is on the same level as “Wonder”. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good read. - By Jaxson P.

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman

Are you interested in fantasy books with a little adventure? The book “The Evil Wizard Smallbone” is about a boy named Nick who gets lost in the woods while running away from his Uncle Gabe. He unwillingly ends up as the apprentice of the Evil Wizard Smallbone. Nick finds books in the library to help him learn spells, but Smallbone doesn’t know about it. There is also another Evil Wizard named Fidelou. Compared to him, Smallbone is not too bad. With strange things happening in Smallbone Cove and Nick secretly learning to be a wizard, this book is full of adventure and suspense. Because Nick is keeping a secret from Smallbone and you worry about Smallbone finding out. Anyone who likes fantasy novels will like this story along with adventure lovers. By Sabrina S

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

Two kids, one name. Freak the Mighty tells a wonderful tale about Max and Freak’s quest through different neighborhoods and a journey to defeat the vicious Killer Kane after Max is kidnapped by him. Freak the Mighty will pull at your heartstrings and at the same time will leave you snickering. I think that this book was one of the greatest novels one could read. This novel would be amazing for everyone to read, but specifically for readers who like heartfelt stories and have a sense of humor. - By Bronwyn L

Left Out by Tim Green

This is a great book is about a boy who has a hard time hearing and is having a very hard time with life.  But then he starts to play football and his life changes a lot.  This book was a good read and is a good realistic fiction sports book.  You don't find many sports books like this.  Also there is probably something in this book that anybody can relate to.  I recommend this book for people that are thinking about playing sports and are having a hard time with life too.  - By Andrew A

The prisoner of cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

The book is about a boy named Michael who has a big secret, his electric powers. His crush, Taylor, sees him accidentally shocking Jack and the rest of his posse when they try to pants him. Taylor pressures him to explain. Once he finally tells her, he learns that there are others like him including her. When Micheal’s mom gets kidnapped by Doctor Hatch, all he thinks about is saving her and the others. In my opinion, I thought that this book was great! One of the greatest parts was when Taylor had one of her greatest dreams come true. The plot twists were nerve-racking times, and not everything turns out to how you expect. I recommend this book to people who like an adventure.  By Brooke B

The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick

This is a science fiction novel set in the future. It is about the character, Spaz, a boy who was sent away from his family unit to a different latch. When he is away, he meets a man named Ryter, Spaz gets a note from his sister and then the adventure starts.  This is a great book filled with adventure and conflict.  Also the book makes you feel like it is a movie where you are seeing everything before your eyes.  I would recommend this to anyone that likes futuristic books or anyone that likes adventure and suspense.  -By Luke H

Magyk by Angie Sage

Septimus Heap would have been a powerful wizard, the seventh son of a seventh son but he is pronounced dead on the night of his birth but his father finds an abandoned baby in the woods, a newborn girl with violet eyes. She takes the place of Septimus and is named Jenna. But who is she? And what happened to Septimus? I think it is a great book that is very suspenseful with wonderful plot twist. It brings you into the magical world of Septimus Heap. The author writes the book full of mystery and action. It is a long book but each page is full of detail like how the castle wall looks or the exact location in the world. This is what contributes to the story and no detail is unnecessary in the story line. I would recommend it to anyone who like magics or Harry Potter. - Finlay M

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Berry

Many stories have been written about Peter Pan and Wendy Darling, but very few of them start at the very beginning. In this book, Peter is a poor orphan, Wendy is a secret member of a magical society, and Captain Hook is a common pirate. Read carefully as Neverland is discovered, the Jolly Roger gets its name, and Peter learns how to fly. This book is a good fit for anyone longing for a life more interesting than their own.  This book is beautifully written and has a wonderful story line with a captivating and engaging plot.  It is full of detail and excitement. I enjoyed this book a lot. - By Noah S

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the odd one out in a huge school? Well, you can stop wondering and read this book. In Ungifted  Donovan is just an ordinary troublemaker in middle school. But, when he pulls a prank that goes too far, he accidentally gets sent to a gifted school. He knows that it was definitely a mistake; so he uses the school as a hideout while he tries to make a plan. This book is a great read because it has a very captivating and interesting plot. It is also funny at times. The plot is interesting because you get to see what Donovan is going to do and what will happen next. It is also interesting seeing the story from different points of view by different characters. I would most recommend this book to kids in middle school who love realistic fiction. - By Lexiana R

Paint the Wind by Pam Munoz Ryan

This is a story from two different perspectives. The first perspective is a brown and white paint horse named Artemisia. The second perspective is a quiet and shy girl, Maya. Her parents died when she was five. Maya lives with her grandmother, Mrs. Menetti, on her dad’s side.  Then one day Mrs. Menetti has a stroke, and Maya has to go live with her grandpa, great uncle, great aunt, and cousin on her mother’s side. At Sweetwater, she has a lot of adventures, including riding a horse for the first time, meeting Artemisia, going on a hunt to bring Artemisia back to Sweetwater, surviving an earthquake, getting lost and injuring her arm and foot. I personally love this book because it is just sad and really, really adventurous. 
This book was fun to read.  - By Julia P

Keeper of the Night by Kimberly Willis Holt 

This book left me in awe. Keeper of the Night is about a young, religious family whose mother suddenly died. Then, the family has to decide how they want to handle their grief. They face many challenges finding their way back to happiness. This was a very exciting book with new context every chapter. I enjoyed reading this book because it always made me wanting to read more. This book also always made me want to skip to the last page to see what happens. I was always on the edge of my seat!. I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. Some people might enjoy mystery novels, and others might not. I love mystery books and was intrigued the whole time. However, it was hard to keep track when it isn't connecting into the different chapters. I recommend this book to people who love intriguing, and suspenseful mystery novels.   By  Cameron M

Countdown by Deborah Wiles

Do you like historical fiction with added pictures?  Then you will enjoy this book because it is a historical fiction book showing the Cold War from a kid named Franny's point of view. Franny just wants some peace with everyone and not to be skipped in reading allowed. But it is hard to get, when her best friend is in a conflict with her. Plus her sister has disappeared, and her uncle is fighting a war in his head. Also,her younger brother is not helping her get the peace she wants. Finally the boy across the street, who she likes, only makes things more difficult. I think it is a great book because the story flows pretty good, and it is nice to read. It is also a good book because at the start there is a the timeline about what is happening and where; so you are caught up to what you need to know. I would recommend it to people who like history and fiction because it has some historical places and also some fictional parts. If you like using pictures to understand, it is an amazing book. But you have read to find out what happened to Franny and the country.  By Ryan H

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

The first time Leo met Stargirl he didn't like her. He didn't like how Stargirl was different - nobody liked that. Stargirl.  She is the new student at a high school where everybody is the same. Being out of line made you weird. “Nerds” and “popular kids” acted the same because they didn't wanna be that weird kid who stands out. Stargirl is one of the best books I have ever read. This book is good because there is a surprising amount of romance and mystery which hooks you in and makes it unique. The book makes you think about what it's like being different from other people at your school -  what it's like to be different and not to care about another person's opinion. There are many turns and the book will make you want keep reading more. If you like a little romance, a little adventure including some mystery, I recommend this book. By Maya S

I am Princess X by Cherie Priest and Illustrated by Kali Ciesemier   

I am Princess X is about a teenage girl whose name is May.  Her parents are divorced and her only friend is supposed to be dead.  But after finding a childhood comic that they made together, May is determined to find her friend.  May makes friends along the way. I love this book because of the plot twists and epic ending. The other reason I love this is part of the the story is written as a graphic novel. I warn you though. I couldn't put it down, and I was hooked the entire time. Anyone who likes murder mysteries should read this book or mysteries books in general.  By William R

Sting : it takes a crook to catch a crook

This book is about a group of young thieves with tons of money, and they decide to do one last heist. In the middle of the heist, they are caught and all of their money, their house, their yacht and their possessions are gone. So they must pull one last heist to steal a trio of very valuable diamonds. This book is one of the most detailed and entertaining books I have ever read and will keep you on the edge of your seat every chapter. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be a kid millionaire, this is the book for you.  By Antonio F

Click by Kayla Miller

This book is very entertaining because of all the unexpected jokes like at the beginning there was an unexpected karaoke party. Click is about a middle school girl and a talent show. She LOVES talent shows. She and her friends work out an act and audition.  I am a middle school student and related to this book. We have the same problems, but she makes them funny. If you like comic books and graphic novels that take place in a school setting, you will like Click.  If you like Click, you will like the two sequels.  By  Louis K

Never Say Die by Anthony Horowitz 

"It's just 3 words long - but it's enough to make him believe that Jack may be alive after all." Never Say Die is about a 14 year old spy named Alex Rider.  On his mission is to take down the terrorist organization called SCORPIA. In this book his best friend and caregiver, Jack Star Bright dies, and Alex is trying to cope with her death. Then he gets an email that could mean she is still alive.  So he goes to Egypt for clues. SCORPIA has a new terrorist plan that uses children. Now Alex must stop SCORPIA before he can find Jack. I thought that the book was action-packed with something new each page. I recommend this book to young adults that like action.  By Ethan N 

The Ostrich and Other Lost Things by Beth Hautala 

This heartwarming novel is about an 11-year-old girl named Olivia, who has a knack for finding lost belongings for herself and her neighbors. She lives with her brother Jacob, an autistic 13-year-old who acts like a kindergartner. Because he processes things differently, he makes scenes in public, has certain preferences for everything, and does not make sense to many people. Unfortunately, when he loses his toy ostrich, his autism starts to increase in severeness. Olivia has been looking for the ostrich for months but has not found it. When Olivia trespasses into a traveling zoo, she meets an ostrich named Ethel who resembles Jacob’s toy ostrich perfectly. She gets caught by the head zookeeper, and she has to make up for her action by doing “responsibility hours”.  She gets to know the zoo staff and makes a friend named Charlie, who is blind, He supports her when she is trying to find the ostrich again, through hard times with Jacob, and for her audition and performance of Peter Pan with Jacob. This captivating book is perfect for anyone who loves realistic fiction because of the protagonist you can relate to and the heartfelt plot.  By Nicolas G

Down The Rabbit Hole : an Echo Falls mystery by Peter Abrahams

“A reporter was standing in front of 341 Packer Street, and the writing at the bottom of the screen read Echo Falls Murder ( p 153)."   This story includes lots of suspense and Ingrid, main character, was at the murder scene.  Well, her shoes were!  This story is about how Ingrid investigates the murder in Echo Falls. There is suspense, mystery and intrigue.  Also there are snapshots that are super suspenseful and are so MYSTERIOUS. If you like reading mysterious, suspenseful, and exciting pieces of writing, I highly recommend that you read this one of a kind book. By Keira W

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

In The Screaming Staircase, Lockwood, Lucy, and George all go to Combe Carey Hall to find ghosts. They are hoping they will make it out of Combe Carey Hall alive. This is an extraordinarily good book with an abundant amount of thrillers and action. The main thing that I like about this book is how well it flows. The only thing that I didn’t like about the book was that the beginning was a little bit slow. The majority of the book feels realistic; so it gives the horror and action parts a more realistic feeling.  Also this book is filled with crazy plot twists. I would highly recommend “The Screaming Staircase” to kids 11 and older especially if they like action packed horror stories. So anyone 11 and older should teleport to the library to get this action packed thriller.  By Lauris M

Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn

Closed for the Season is full of mystery, beyond amazing snapshots, and descriptive dialogue. This book will give you the taste of curiosity on every page - always wondering what's going to happen next. This book is a decent read. It has all the main aspects of a good mystery book. However this book could use a little more excitement beyond just trying to find something. This book has very descriptive dialogue.  For example, “He leaned across the hedge, his face was so close I could smell his gum. Mrs.Donaldson died there… she was murdered.” (pg 4)  Sometimes this book can make you have a bone chilling moment just because of how well it's described. Closed for the Season is available to read at Westlake Middle School in any season! So if you're looking for a mystery book, go find this book and make sure to notice every detail so you don’t miss the magic.  By Kaden P

Doglands by Tim Willocks

Are you an animal lover? Or love fantasy books?... Well this book is for you!  This book tells a story of a dog, Furgal, a young greyhound pup. He is born at Redbones Hole and when his mom notices something different about him things get bad. When I was reading this book it seemed like every sentence was packed with snapshots! There were so many adventures and lessons taught to young Furgal. This book gave me the adventure I was looking for, but also had a soft side with some sad parts. This book told stories of dogs and how some humans are just not right to them.  I would recommend this book to many!! It was an amazing book and one I never wanted to close. If your an animal lover this book will do you wonders!!  By Mackenzie S

Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff

Ever wonder how you would feel if you killed somebody on accident? Well, in the book, Lost in the Sun, Jeremiah Jacobson does just that. It is a fantastic book because it has memorable characters like Fallon Little.  Jeremiah meets Fallon, a very strange girl, his first year of middle school, and it is about their journey together. It hooks you into wanting to read more.  It makes you wonder why Fallon has a scar across her face. It has comedy that is appropriate for all middle schoolers.  It is hilarious.  Brothers teasing each other about girls! I mean who doesn't like that. I think everyone should read this book.   By August I

Brotherband: The Outcasts by John Flanagan

Ever wonder what the life of a Viking would be like? Well now you can find out by reading Brotherband: The Outcasts. The book is about Hal, a boy in Hallasholm, Skandia. He turns sixteen and has to compete in Brotherband training with other boys his age. Two captains choose boys from their circle of friends until only eight unchosen boys remain. These boys become the third brotherband, and they are the outcasts. The ones that no one wanted. They choose Hal as their Skirl, or captain, and go on to fight in their battle for acceptance. This is an amazing book that I would recommend to anybody who likes action and adventure.  By Seth O

Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo

The book “Elephant in the Garden” by Michael Morpurgo is a compelling story about a young german girl named Elizabeth who has to embark on a journey to the Allies after her beloved city was bombed.  Lizzie is not alone on this journey though.  She is accompanied by her family, a British navigator named Peter, and an elephant named Marlene.  As Lizzie continues her journey, she witnesses hate in a way she had never before seen.  Lizzie must find a way to get to the Allies, before Peter is discovered by the Nazi soldiers. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in historical fiction.  This book is such a wonderful piece of literature, it is nearly impossible to put down once you’ve started reading.  It has such an interesting plot along with well developed  characters.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in historical fiction.  By Ava M

The House on Stone's Throw Island by Dan Poblocki

“It’s a swastika…” page 57  in  The House on Stone Throws Island.  This WWII related story takes place on a remote island. A wedding party travels to the isolated island and where the youngest members of the group start noticing strange occurrences--including a drenched ghostly figure. Growing curiosity pushes Josie and Eli to explore a abandoned building. They hear a faint voice “Helfe” and discover a rusted swastika. Bringing the matter up to the adults, no one believes them, and the children start doubting it as well. But their worries are renewed when the groom starts speaking in German suddenly, and the men start acting mysterious. As suspicions grow, so does a raging storm leaving them stranded with no contact to land. The men's actions grow more peculiar almost as if they’re being possessed and Eli and Josie take drastic measures. While the book has its downfalls, the pros outweigh the cons.  I absolutely recommend to 6th graders and up interested in the Holocaust. This book is a great read, and I definitely recommend it.  By Kennedy W

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

“Fishy!” I would highly recommend The Goldfish Boy to anyone because of its exciting plot twists and interesting characters. In the book, the main character's (Matthew) neighbor goes missing. Teddy Dawson is only a toddler and his mom dropped him off at his granddad's house for the weekend. Teddy goes missing, and since Matthew has severe OCD, he watches everything from his bedroom window. He takes notes and works with the other neighbors to solve the mystery of who took Teddy. This captivating mystery has interesting plot twists, and characters that are very well written. Anyone would like this book, especially those interested in mysteries. Can you solve the mystery of who took Teddy?
By Haylee P

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is a historical fiction novel set during WWII. Two characters, Verity - a British spy, and Kittyhawk - a pilot, are friends. Both women crash-land in France and need to escape from the clutches of the Nazis. The reader sees what is happening through the two friend’s notes/journal entries. The author uses a variety of techniques in her writing to keep you reading through to the end. The two main characters focus more on their friend than themselves in their notes. There is scarce but concise attention to setting as well as balanced dialogue. The greatest thing about this book is the reader can see two perspectives of the same event which really keeps you hooked. Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in WWII or historical fiction. Warning: This book contains strong language and gruesome depictions of torture and death. By Rhiannon H

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted is a great book for 5th graders to 8th grader that like fantasy or classic books. Ella, the main character, is given the gift of obedience by a fairy named Lucinda when she was just a baby. Ella is forced to keep her gift a secret her whole life. When her mom dies, things change and her life flips upside down. Ella is trying deal with all of this and trying to stay in touch with her best friend Char with the help of her godmother, Mandy.  I like this book because it not only has lots of happiness, but tragedy and has great cliffhangers at the end of some of the chapters. I think this book is great because it is similar to Cinderella, but still keeps me wanting more.

Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton

Thirteen Chairs is a wonderful book featuring a young boy named Jack who comes across a room of story tellers.  Each one has a different story to share. In my opinion, this is a great book filled with bone-chilling stories. This is because the characters are so life-like it's as if they are right in front of you, and the end of every tale leaves behind a mystery to get the reader thinking. This book would be best suited for those who love a good collection of ghost stories or are just new to horror.  By Brooklyn T

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini is a great fantasy book about a war against an evil tyrant. I thought the book was written really well and had an interesting plot line and loved how the different chapters were in different points of view. The characters were realistic, and they made mistakes like real people. This books would be good for young adults, teens, or adults who love fantasy.  I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in fiction.

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

The book The Wild Robot by Peter Brown is about a robot named Rozzum and this robot crash-landed on the shore of an island. In the story Roz learns how to survive in the wild with the help of animals and her own programming.  I really like this book because it makes me laugh a lot and tackles the troubles of parenting. I would recommend this book to anyone who is 10 years old and over because this book doesn't really challenge the mind to find a word's meaning, but it does have some things that are hard to understand. What I didn't like about the book is that in the beginning of the book there is no description of how the ship crashed and what the storm looked like. ​

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

The main character is a boy named Auggie Pullman who has a deformed face and has a hard time in school and outside of school.  Auggie wanted to have a normal face and have a normal life, but he knows and thinks that he will never have a normal life. So, he wears a helmet to hide his face.  Then he goes to school. He is going to middle school (5th grade). He has a tough time in school, but he gets use to it. It is a hard but a good adventurous journey.  The book has a good theme of - be yourself. It is good to be different because if we were not all different it would be boring. Auggie has a deformed face and that is what makes him different, and he tries to be someone else which he should not do.  But over time he does get use to being himself. I think this book is really good, and I like a good emotional story. This book will be good for people who like to be different and like a good ending story that has a lot of emotions in it.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

I like the book because it has a great story line that fits together so well with the events. The book might have graphic and sad events, but that is what happens during a war and revolt. So it all fits together perfectly as a historical fiction book. The story is mainly about a girl named Lina as her life is ripped away from her.  She is thrown on a scary journey of surviving and taking risks to keep alive. She meets people along the way and loses others. As she’s trying to protect herself and her family. She is realizes how bad people can really be. I would recommend this book to people that like historical fiction books because the book explains a perfect historical fiction book all together.

Ruby on the Outside by Nora Raleigh Baskin

The main character is Ruby.  She wants her mother to get out of jail, but her mother had committed a crime and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. So Ruby always did the best she could to go visit her mom at the correctional facility.  Next Ruby makes a new best friend that she could tell anything even about her mom. Ruby On The Outside teaches us about growing up in a positive way and understanding that bad things happen, but new people can change how we fell about the scenario. Honestly, this story has a very emotional and amazing feelings comes to you when you read it.  I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys reading realistic fiction, and they like to have some feeling for the character that is going through tough times.

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

This is a historical fiction about a young boy, Elijah, who lives in a small town called Buxton.  It is a settlement in Canada for runaway slaves near the United States border, and he is the first child to be born free.  Elijah’s best friend, Cooter, has been saving up all his money to buy his family out of slavery, but a thief steals Cooter’s money.  Elijah decides that there is only one thing to do, and they set off to find the money. In my opinion this magnificent story is very detailed, and it paints a picture in your mind getting better and better by every page.  I also think that this book would be good for people who really enjoy books about the world’s past experiences because the entire book keeps you guessing about what’s going to happen next in the story. That is why I liked this book, and I think that you would to - if you are in to this kind of genre.