Real Reviews! 

Welcome to Real Reviews! Here you will find book reviews on popular classics and upcoming titles provided by “real” people a.k.a. library staff and even some from our very own teens.  These reviews are meant to give you a general description of the plot and a feeling of how the book impacted the person who read it. Each book will be given a Read it! Rating score of 1 to 10, 1 being “No rush” and 10 being “Drop what you are doing right now and read this book!” Want to check out a title? Simply click on the cover art or the title itself to see if the title is available. Want to recommend a book to be reviewed or write a review yourself? See the bottom of the page to find out how!

The last dragon




The Last Dragon by Silvana De Mari

The Last Dragon is the story of an elf child named Yorshkrunsquarkljolnerstrink–Yorsh for short–who is the last of his kind. He befriends two humans, Sajra and Monser, who help him fulfill his destiny by helping him find the last dragon. The last dragon turns out to be a very old, pitiful, and boring dragon who can’t remember its own name and can’t take care of itself. Yorsh promises to stay and help this dragon. Sajra and Monser go off their own way. Thirteen long and boring years later, Yorsh is in for the surprise of his life when he learns why his dragon is so incredibly dull and whiny, and he is suddenly tasked with a lot more than he bargained for. Events become even more interesting when Yorsh’s life collides with a girl named Robie. This book is filled with delightful characters (save for a couple annoying dragons) and love stories that you will be dying to see happen. I give this book a Read it! rating of 6. A great book for a rainy day. I recommend this book for grades 5–12.

Review by Penner Jones – Teen Contributor

Au Revoir



Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber

Perry and his family are hosting a foreign exchange student. She is quiet, out of touch with American society and spends much of her time hidden in her room; at least that is what it seems like to Perry and his family. The college application process has Perry searching for the most unique essay responses to stand out to the admissions committees of the Ivy League schools he so eagerly strives to attend. Lucky enough for Perry Gobi, his family’s foreign exchange student, came when she did. Gobi takes Perry on a thrilling, fast-paced adventure on the most anticipated night of high school. Throughout the night Perry learns more about himself, his family and the mysterious life of Gobi than he had ever known before. This book was INTENSE and because of that I give it a Read it! Rating of 8. You will finish this quick, hard-hitting book in one sitting, just make sure to buckle your seatbelt. Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick is recommended for teens grades 6-12.

Review by Alex Pirela – Adult Service Assistant






Muckers by Sandra Neil Wallace

If you liked the movie “Remember the Titans” this book is an absolute must read! If you aren’t interested in football or sports in general this story may compel you to give the Muckers a chance. Sandra Neil Wallace takes the reader deep into the 1950’s to the once mighty mining town of Hatley, Arizona only to show waning hope and inevitable failure. The town itself has been sentenced to life in one year. That’s where the Hatley High Muckers football team intervenes with Red at quarterback and Cruz at wide out. On and off the field these Muckers fight for every inch and in both arenas, like the muck itself, things aren’t always pretty; Red’s family was torn apart by war and much more and Cruz deals with agitating discrimination as the race relations of the Southwest run hot. With one season left the smallest team in the state digs in and fights for their town. Wallace’s focus on life off the field breathes more life into the game of football and those who play it. After finishing the book and reading the author’s note describing her commitment to the true story, I give this book a Read it! Rating of 7.5 for its honesty and insight into an inspiringly real story that would have otherwise been forgotten. Muckers is recommended for ages 12 and up.

Review by Alex Pirela – Adult Service Assistant

Through the woods 2


Through the Woods: Stories by Emily Carroll

Spooky, spooky, spooky. These stories are succinct in length and thorough in fright. The woods have always been a place people tend to avoid after sunset and in these five stories, Carroll reminds us of why. Each story is surprisingly captivating and many of them leave the reader in charge of the ending. The events that take place within the stories themselves, Carroll makes sure to vividly depict and share the horror she must have experienced thinking the images up herself.  I give the book a Read It! Rating of 8 for its quick creep, its lingering effect and the timing of the review taking place in October. Through the Woods is recommended to teens grades seven through twelve.

Review by Alex Pirela – Adult Service Assistant




silence of our friends





The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos and Nate Powell

From being blind then able to see, and from choking oppression to breathing free this autobiographic graphic novel cuts through the middle of one of the tensest events of the civil rights movement. Jack Long, a local television reporter on race delivers his controversial work to local television sets in Houston, Texas while his family adjusts to the recent move. Larry Thompson is an African-American professor at TSU and a civil rights activist who lives in the Third Ward of Houston with his wife and two kids. Jack’s work brings him and his family closer to understanding Larry’s situation in a time and place where lines were drawn and not meant to be crossed. Soulful tunes rip the pages in pieces and stretch out to you as you read while television sets brighten the pages and bring the history it records to life. The silence of the art speaks as loud as the words in this emotionally compelling story of justice. I give the book a Read It! Rating of 7 for its effective art and intentional reality. The Silence of Our Friends is recommended for adults due to occasional swearing and racial slurs reflective of the times but is manageable for teens desiring a look into a world that seems so far away.

Review by Alex Pirela – Adult Service Assistant

an abundance of katherines1







An Abundance of Katherines by John Greene

“You can love someone so much, he thought. But you can never love people as much as you miss them.” In An Abundance of Katherines John Greene introduces us to Colin Singleton, a child prodigy struggling with his identity in a most seriously funny way. The funny thing about Colin is that while he can understand just about anything the world has to offer, due to his prodigiousness and whatnot, he cannot seem to understand why he has been dumped by 19, count ‘em, 19 Katherines. Colin and his witty best, and only, friend Hassan take to the open roads one summer in an attempt to give Colin some air after his sad series of heartbreaks - anagrammatically: he breaks art - and to create a formula predicting the outcome of relationships. The grave of one deadly dead guy catches Colin’s eye and hurls them into a hysterical adventure that gives both Colin and Hassan a few more answers about themselves, their new friend, and the world around them. This book was so funny that I made sure to read it by myself so no one would think I was crazy for laughing that much at a book. This book was so deep that I stayed alone after finishing it just pondering the weight and beauty of it all. I give the book a Read it! Rating of 8.5 for its funny pulse and loud heartbeat. An Abundance of Katherines is recommended for teens grades 7-12.

Review by Alex Pirela – Adult Service Assistant

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