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Books for the New Year

posted Jan 6, 2013, 9:21 PM by Kim Stuart   [ updated Jan 6, 2013, 9:21 PM by Julie Alonso ]
7th grader Ben is our guest blogger today. He is in our Library Advisory elective class and has some favorite books to share. Thanks Ben!

Hi. Today I’m going to talk about my top 5 books. Just a warning- most of these aren’t appropriate for some lower grades. 

1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

In the dystopian world of 2042, one thing keeps most of the world going- a highly advanced virtual reality called OASIS. When the creator of this virtual world dies, he leaves behind billions of dollars. Eighteen-year-old Wade Watts must complete the puzzles left behind for those who want to earn that fortune, but can he make it out of the battle for control of OASIS with both his virtual and real life intact? That’s a review I wrote for it earlier, and if that doesn’t convey how great it is, then I’ll tell you straight up: this book is amazing. I reread it at least 3 times over the summer, and I would willingly read it again. Check it out!

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
For those of you who haven’t heard of this book, it’s another dystopian novel, but it’s the writing that makes it stand out from the crowd. Far into the future, in the 12th district of Panem, Katniss Everdeen is about to get the shock of her life... I shouldn’t tell you more, but this is one of my favorite books ever, and it’s the first book in a trilogy. It’s now a movie, and so will, soon, its sequels Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I loved this series, and so did most of my family. 

3. Sphere by Michael Crichton

In this book, a small group of scientists are rushed to the middle of the South Pacific and lowered a thousand feet... straight down. Living in a small, self-contained habitat, they study a phenomenon like nothing ever seen before. They study what appears to be a spaceship, a spaceship of gargantuan proportions. Their expedition isn’t problem-free, though. Impossible animals start appearing, and one by one, their members start to meet grisly fates... Who is doing this, and what does the mysterious sphere they find in the ship have to do with their problems? This book has all the elements you could wish for in a book. The suspense will keep you guessing, and it’s paced just right.

4. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
This novel, set in a world where nations have far more advanced technologies going into World War 1, is stunningly well written. The context is that most of the “Clanker” nations, nations using steampunk-like war machines, are going into war against the “Darwinist” nations, who have huge, modified animals. Those animals include giant whale-like beast that fly, used as zeppelins. One of these, the Leviathan, has crashed in the Austrian Alps. Let me say one thing- this book has many similarities to the actual World War I, and some of the characters show that... Anyways, this is a great book, and I liked all three of the books in the trilogy. The other two are Behemoth and Goliath, and all three books are great.

5. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
The fourth and final book in the Eragon series, this book would have made the top of my list if it weren’t for how good the other four on the list are. A sprawling epic, this series goes from a small village in Palancar Valley to the capital of the ancient land in which the valley lies. To defeat the evil Galbatorix, Eragon will have to call on every resource he can think of... including some things that have scales and fly. A long book, but well worth the time spent reading it and the rest of the series.

Other authors you might like:

Sarwat Chadda, author of The Savage Fortress.

I really liked the book I just mentioned, and so did my sister. I am unsure as to whether or not this is Chadda’s first book, but I think that he is definitely a good author.

Henry H. Neff, author of The Tapestry series. 

I read the first book when I was waiting for a plane to arrive, and I couldn’t put it down. The same holds true for the other three books in the series, and I can’t wait for the fifth and final book to come out. In order, the books are: The Tapestry, The Second Siege, The Fiend and the Forge, The Maelstrom, and the final one, coming out soon, is The Red Winter. You should definitely try this series.

Orson Scott Card, best known for his Ender’s Game books.

I don’t know if you’ve heard of this author, but he is amazing. I read Ender’s Game when I was little, and I loved it. I still love it now, and so does my dad. I have also taken some time to read some of his other books, and they all are great. He has written a ton of books, so there’s probably at least one you’ll like.