Back to top

Westlake READS

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

 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 Throws 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

I enjoyed the book “The Goldfish Boy” by Lisa Thompson. I would recommend it to anyone in search of a captivating mystery. The protagonist, Matthew, is an 11-year-old boy suffering from OCD. His neighbor’s grandson, Teddy, goes missing and the whole neighborhood looks for him. Matthew’s entire life is turned upside down. Two features that make this particular book stand out are its memorable and likable protagonist and its surprising plot twists. The main character, Matthew, is very well written and contributes to the story through how he interacts with others. Because of his brother, who died as an infant, Matthew has a feeling of guilt which causes a strong sympathy. The book's several plot twists, while confusing at times, all come together in the end and strengthen the story. Anyone of any age or grade, regardless of preference, is sure to enjoy this heartwarming story and compelling mystery. I enjoyed this book very much, and would recommend it to anyone.
By Ismael L

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.

Restart by Gordon Korman

Chase fell off of a roof and has forgot everything about his former life. He has the chance to redo his entire life because of the amnesia he got, while learning about how he was a jerk before he fell off of a roof. In Chase’s journey, will he become a new person, or revert back to the jerk he was before?
Chase fell off of a roof and has forgot everything about his former life. He has the chance to redo his entire life because of the amnesia he got, while learning about how he was a jerk before he fell off of a roof. In Chase’s journey, will he become a new person, or revert back to the jerk he was before?

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.