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Best Books I’ve Read in 2014

// January 1st, 2015 // No Comments » // Blogging

    Happy New Year’s! And a new year means its time for the list of the best books of 2014! Woo hoo! Let’s start it off, starting with number 10!

 

    10. Arcade Catastrophe: Candy Shop War #2 by Brandon Mull

    This book is amazing and fun, and about magic candy! But, added with the candy, there are now magic stamps, which can allow you to fly, have super speed, have super strength, or even have the ability to breathe underwater! This is a fun (and sweet) and magical story! This book made my list because it’s magic, which is something I love, and candy, which is something I love as well.

 

    9. A Crack in the Sky by Mark Peter Hughes

    This dystopian story is mysterious, futuristic, and truly gripping. In this dystopia, global warming has occurred, and on drastic levels. The people are basically controlled by technology and the company Infinicorp, and live in shielded domes, oblivious to the dangers outside. But one child, Eli, meets a group of terrorists who live outside of the domes, to learn some answers. Except Infinicorp doesn’t want Eli learning the truth. Can Eli evade the clutches of Infinicorp, and his cruel cousin, Spider? This book was chosen for its message about how to treat the Earth, but it was also really cool, in a future setting.

 

    8. No Place by Todd Strasser

    This is the story of a popular teenager, who suddenly becomes homeless. On this adventure, he realizes what true friendship is. But somebody is trying to get rid of the town’s Tent City. And he will murder to get what he wants. Will Dan be able to stop this murderer from kicking the people out of the town? This book is great because it gives the perspective of someone who had everything, but soon, has nothing. For more information, check out my book review:

http://www.harrisonschwartz.com/book-reviews/no-place/

 

    7. The Screaming Staircase: Lockwood & Co. #1 by Jonathan Stroud

    Have you ever heard of a ghost story? Well, this book is a ghost story. It’s the story of a girl who became a ghost hunter, in a corporation called Lockwood & Co.. She, along with Anthony Lockwood, have to stop ghosts from harming or scaring civilians. Their entire business is riding on this one job though, so will they be able to keep their company alive? This book is awesome!

 

    6. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

    The Outsiders is a brilliant story of how there are problems in society and against the Socs (the rich kids) for the greasers (the poor kids). Ponyboy goes on an adventure with two of his friends, Dally and Johnny, where he discovers friendship is golden. Murder, smoking, and drinking are some negative messages in the story, but the other positive messages compensate for that. The positive messages is one of the reasons I chose this to be on my list. For more information, visit my book review: http://www.harrisonschwartz.com/book-reviews/the-outsiders-2/

    5. The Giver by Lois Lowry

    Jonas lives in a world where jobs are chosen for them, everyone has a part in the community, and everything is perfect. Or so he thinks. When he is employed to work for the Giver, he discovers things aren’t really like what he thought they were. How could Jonas handle the truth? This book was chosen mainly for being so unique. It is unique in ways I had never seen, and is really interesting. I can’t really say anything else, or it would ruin the entire book!

    4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

    The Maze Runner is a thrilling adventure with a mystery entwined into it. Thomas finds himself in isolation, with other boys, and not being able to remember anything of his past except for his name. But weird things are happening. A girl shows up, and the boys are shocked, because a girl never came before. They must escape the endless maze, or most likely be killed. Will Thomas, Teresa, and the members of the Glade be able to escape?

    3. Fallout by Todd Strasser

    What would have happened if in the Cuban Missile Crisis, missiles were actually fired? This alternate reality story explains that. A family and a few friends must survive in a bunker, because outside, nuclear radiation is everywhere. But they are running out of supplies. Will they survive long enough to get out of the bunker? This is a great book. It explains what happened before the missiles hit, and in the bunker.

    2. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

The amazing author Rick Riordan strikes again in this finale to the outstanding series, The Heroes of Olympus. Based off Greek mythology, this book is funny, cool, and flat out awesome at the same time. A great ending to the series. Its depth in Greek mythology and its humor automatically earns this story a good place on my list. If you would like to see my review for the previous book in the series, click here: http://www.harrisonschwartz.com/book-reviews/the-house-of-hades/

And it’s time. Time for number one. And that book is…

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is amazing. It really is. It tells the story of a girl living during WWII, and all of her hardships. It is narrated by Death himself, so it is really sad, but also interesting. Death talks about the colors that he sees, mainly when a person dies. The outstanding story can put people to tears, but it is definitely a great read. It truly is marvelous. It’s amazing portrayal of a girl living during the holocaust is great. For more information, check out my book review: http://www.harrisonschwartz.com/book-reviews/the-book-thief/

And that wraps it up! Happy New Year! And a happy new year of reading!

My Most Favorite Reads of 2013

// January 2nd, 2014 // 1 Comment » // Blogging

 

Woo hoo! 2013 is over! And I have to pat myself on the back. I’ve read SO MANY BOOKS! I’m so excited for a new year of reading! As I do every year, I have made a list of the best books I’ve read. This, my friends is that list. Time to begin. Let’s start off with #10!

 

10. Behind Enemy Lines

This book is the sixth in the Infinity Ring series. I liked this one more than the others. Jennifer A. Nielsen, the author of the False Prince and the Runaway King, wrote it. She is an amazing author, so the book was fantastic. It is about Dak, Sera, and Riq. They are time travelers who try to fix “breaks” that have happened. The time traveling group goes to WWII to become spies and help the Allies win the war.

 

9. The Hypnotists

This book was written by Gordon Korman. It is about Jax. He can hypnotize people, but REALLY hypnotize, not like, “when I say abracadabra you will wake up and slap yourself forever.” It is actually like they control minds, and have a connection with their victim. For more information, see my book review.

The Hypnotists

8. Tuck Everlasting

I read this book in English class in my school, and it was amazing. The dialogue was cool, and the descriptions of people and things were… well, really descriptive. It is about a girl named Winnie who stumbles upon a family. That family is immortal because they drank water from a spring that grants immortality (similar to the legend of the Fountain of Youth, right?). They regret being immortal, because it is boring, and death is part of the circle of life. There is a man who wishes to become rich by selling this water to anyone he deems worthy. It is written by Natalie Babbit.

 

7. The Fantastic Family Whipple

I got this book as an ARC (advanced reader copy) at the Book Expo of America in NYC. It was amazing and unique. The book is about a boy from a large family. Everyone in that family is a world record breaker, except for him. For more information, see my book review.

The House of Hades

6. The Underland Chronicles

Rather than putting all of the books in one series into different slots, I decided my sixth favorite read of the year was the entire collection. The Underland Chronicles is a series written by Suzanne Collins. The series is about Gregor, who goes from the Earth’s surface to the Underland, a world under ours. These books are fast paced and are very enjoyable. Here is a link to one of my reviews for the series.

Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods

5. The Runaway King

This book features, well, a king, an assassin, and a nasty band of pirates. Yep. All in one novel. Jennifer A. Nielsen did a pretty amazing job with this book. It is the second book in the Ascendance trilogy. For more information, see my book review.

The Runaway King

4. The False Prince

The first book in the Ascendance trilogy. The book was outstanding throughout, but I swear, at the end I was sure my heart had stopped. It is about a kingdom with no king. The royal family died, and the only person to take the throne was a prince who was missing. A boy named Sage, an orphan, was taken by a nobleman named Conner. With two other boys, Conner trains them on how to act like the prince, so the boy who is chosen and is brought to the throne can be his puppet. The entire book BLEW MY MIND!

 

3. The House of Hades

I have been reading Rick Riordan books for a long time. He is one of my favorite authors. His books are amazing and this one was no exception. It is always fun visiting Percy, Annabeth, Jason and Leo in Riordan’s world of Greek mythology. For more information, see my book review.

The House of Hades

2. Ender’s Game

This book was one of the most interesting, and amazing books that I have read. It is about a boy named Ender who is extremely smart. Earth is at war with the buggers, an alien species. Ender is brought to battle school, where he trains to become a commander of a fleet of spaceships. Like the False Prince, the ending had me with my eyes wide open. Orson Scott Card made a, well, AWESOME book.

 

Now, for the final book. Don’t tune out now, because my #1 book I read this year is…

 

1. The Lord of the Rings

This book is outstanding, amazing, enjoyable, memorable, thrilling and AWESOME! The descriptions of Middle Earth are amazing, and the monsters, world and races are unique and outstanding. Some people don’t like this book because they think there is a lot of walking, and not a lot of action, but some people, like me, find it to be one of the best books they’ve ever read. It was written by the legendary author J.R.R. Tolkien.

 

So, that is it. The best books I read this year. I hope you have a wonderful new year (reading books)!

 

 

My Most Favorite Reads of 2012

// January 13th, 2013 // 2 Comments » // Blogging

Sorry I am late on releasing my top books of 2012, but I spent winter vacation skiing. I got to the intermediate slopes! When I got back from winter vacation, my teachers assigned way too much homework (you know who you are, teachers) and I didn’t have time to work on my top books of 2012 list. I finally managed to get some time so, here it is.

15. Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer

This book is another book about Artemis Fowl. It is really cool. Artemis has to go back in time to cure his mother from a deadly disease. While he is back in time, he has to confront someone he never thought he would confront… himself.

14. The Genius Files: Never say Genius by Dan Gutman

This book is about Coke and Pepsi and how they continue on their road trip to their aunt’s wedding. An evil boy who was a former member of the Genius Files is trying to kill them, and they are trying to stop this evil boy. The ways he is trying to kill them is a little weird. He tries to boil them in oil and freeze them to death by using giant ice cream scoops.

13. This Book is not Good for You by Pseudonymous Bosch

This book is about Cass and Max-Ernest. It is full of humor. For example, someone named Yo-Yoji randomly turns into a samurai and thinks that someone who is allergic to everything is his master. They are trying to find the hideout of the Midnight Sun, which is an organization led by Ms. Mauvais and Dr. L. They are trying to become immortal. Cass’ mom was captured by the Midnight Sun, and Cass wants to get her mom back.

12. Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson

This book is a history book about the assassinator of Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth. The characters come alive. For more information, visit my book review.

11. The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart

This book is about Nicholas’ Benedict’s past. Nicholas Benedict was from the Mysterious Benedict Society series. I like how there are a lot of puzzles in the book. For more information, visit my book review.

10. Fablehaven #1 by Brandon Mull

This book is about how two kids, Kendra and Seth, have to stop an ultra powerful demon from rising by stopping a witch who is trying to untie knots using magical powers. For more information, visit my book review.

9. Alex Rider #3: Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz

This is another Alex Rider adventure. Alex goes with two CIA members to Skeleton Key, which is a small island off the coast of Cuba. The CIA  agents tell Alex they are spying on a former Russian general, but when Alex finds a Geiger counter hidden in a Gameboy, he knows they weren’t just spying on the Russian general. They were looking for a nuclear bomb. I like how the villain is evil because of love for his country.

8. Hunger Games #2: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The second book in the Hunger Games series is about Katniss. The Quarter Quell is a special Hunger Games when every 25 years, something different happens. This year, the Quarter Quell is that one female and one male victor must go to the games. Since Katniss is the only female victor still alive, Katniss needs to participate in the games… again. I bet you all feel bad for Katniss, just like how I felt when I read the book.

7. Alex Rider #2: Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz

The second Alex Rider adventure is an awesome book that takes place in the Swiss Alps. Alex goes undercover to a boarding school where his boss believes that Dr. Grief, the headmaster of the school, is making clones by using the students. When Alex goes there, he realizes that this is true, but Dr. Grief won’t let him out easily.

6. Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Eldest is about how Eragon’s friend, Murtagh, goes missing. Roran, Eragon’s cousin, is trying to make his village escape the clutches of Galbatorix’s soldiers. I like how each chapter is in either Roran’s, Eragon’s, or Nasuada’s (she is the leader of the group rebelling Galbatorix) point of view. For more information, visit my book review.

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

A girl named Katniss has to fight to the death in an arena. Did you hear the “to the death” part in that sentence? For more information, visit my book review.

4.The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan

This book is about how Carter and Sadie need to stop a giant evil snake named Apophis from destroying the world. They have to destroy that snake with an old man who really likes cookies. That old man happens to be a God. For more information visit my book review.

3. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This book is about August Pullman. He has to endure Middle School with a huge face deformation. It inspired me. I even made a Photostory video about it! For more information, visit my book review.

2. Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

This book is about a boy named Georges (pronounced like George). He moves into a new apartment and meets a boy named Safer. Safer appoints him as a spy to stop Mr.X, but is Safer actually a spy? Duh Duh Duh…

1. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

This book is told in 4 perspectives: Annabeth, Percy, Piper and Leo. They need to go on an adventure to save Rome and to save Nico de Angelo, Hazel’s brother (Hazel is another member of their group). Along the way, they encounter hardships. This book is stuffed with humor.

Okay… so I accidentally added an extra book, but thankfully I found a solution! Here is my favorite book of 2012! Good job drum-roll guy. You got it this year.

My favorite book is (no number, but we will just call this the book of epic awesomeness)… Eragon by Christopher Paolini.

This book is about how a boy named Eragon finds a dragon egg. He finds an elf named Arya and together they need to destroy the Shade, Durza. For more information, visit my book review.

Why I Don’t Like Graphic Novels

// January 14th, 2012 // 2 Comments » // Blogging

In reading class we were studying The Count of Monte Cristo, a work of Alexandre Dumas. My teacher thought it would be more interesting to read the book in a graphic format.  When I heard this, I was a little depressed because I don’t like books in graphics so much. I wrote this to tell you why I don’t like books in graphics.

The first thing I should tell you is that I don’t like the format of graphic books. The reason is because all the squares are too confusing to read. Why can’t it be like a regular book where they have everything they want to say organized on one page! Also, I find that the font is a little bit hard to read.

Another reason is that it doesn’t let you imagine what is happening in that scene. In every square it shows a picture, so you don’t get to IMAGINE!

Actually, I DID like the Count of Monte Cristo, but I wish that we didn’t have to read it in a graphic format. So, maybe this book isn’t as bad as all the other graphic novels I read. I hope to read the regular Count of Monte Cristo.

My Most Favorite Books in 2011

// January 3rd, 2012 // 7 Comments » // Blogging, Book Reviews

Top 10 15 Books of 2011
Okay. Let me tell you why I did a top fifteen list instead of a top ten list of books I have read in 2011. I read a lot of books in that time and I couldn’t decide which books to put on the list.
If you are confused about what some of these books are about and why I didn’t write a book review on it, here is your answer. I am a busy boy, and I have little time so I can’t write a book review on every book I have read. Anyway, here is my list of my top 15 favorite books I have read in 2011.

Top Fifteen Books I have read in 2011

15. The Medusa Plot by Gordon Korman

The Medusa Plot is a cool book with a lot of action and adventure. For more details, visit the Medusa Plot book review.

14. The Pharaoh’s Secret by Marissa Moss

I loved this book because it involved Egyptian history and it had so much action.

13. Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer

This book was awesome because it involved action, adventure, detectives, crimes and girls making men obey them.

12. The Familiars: The Secrets of the Crown by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson

I liked this book because it involves magic creatures and humans. Some of the animals who are defending mankind go on a quest, a quest to save mankind, of course.

11. Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull

Beyonders is a wicked book because it has action, adventure, magic, and of course, falling through a hippopotamus randomly into a crazy world without good guys when no one was looking.

10. Floors by Patrick Carman

Floors is a wacky book with secret tunnels, spies, a miniature New York City and the heart of it all, the Whippet Hotel. For more details, visit the Floors book review.

9. The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman

The Genius Files is a great book with dudes in bowler hats, a big vat of Spam, A guy falling out of the longest room ever and… an enormous ball of twine!

8. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society involves really smart kids, morse code, LIVE spelled backwards and controlling children’s brains with the Whisperer. For more details, visit the Mysterious Benedict Society book review.

7. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

This fantastic book has magic. A lot of magic. It also has a talking lion, an evil witch and

a teleporting wardrobe.

6. The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

This Egyptian Mythology book has adventure, action and fantasy! I especially like the mythology part. Monsters, gods,evil talking snakes. That is like, AWESOME!

5. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Wonderstruck is an amazing book with adventure. It tells a different story in different times in pictures and words. For more details visit the Wonderstruck book review.

4. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

The Son of Neptune is a story of mythology, adventure, violence and action. It has monsters, flying jewels and a girl who has resurrected from the 1970s.

3. Heroes of The Valley by Jonathan Stroud

This book has fantasy, creatures, boys who misbehave and someone hitting another person with a flaming poker and setting their house on fire. For more details, visit the Heroes of The Valley book review.

2. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

This book has a king. This book also has a prince. The prince is good; the king is evil. Big army of creatures. Adventure, action and fantasy. You know what’s gonna happen. Bye bye, Mr. Evil King!

Okay. This is what you were waiting for.This is my favorite book I have read in 2011. My favorite book is… is… hey Mr. Drumroll dude! That was your cue!  Yeah, that’s better. Okay. My favorite book is…

1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien!

Yes the Hobbit has breathtaking adventures and action.  Also, it is so long  that I couldn’t ask to add anything more!

 

The Hobbit

Now you know what my favorite books of 2011 were. So check back soon and keep reading!