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The following information is from a book review done by my friend, Lisa. Lisa is a library paraprofessional in a high school in Northern Illinois.  She writes book reviews for her students to help them choose books from her library!  Lisa was kind enough to allow me to take her Word document book review and transform it into a Tackk in order to demonstrate how to take a regular non-published document & publish it quickly & easily to the web!

For a tutorial of how I created this Tackk, please see the presentation or watch the video below.

Welcome to the Winter Edition
of my Book Reviews:
As always, I will provide a summary of the book & then my review & rating!

Here is my rating system:

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Lexile 1020

Oct. 11th, 1943 - A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

My Review:
As an adult I have seen and read my fair share of WWII movies and books. I feel as though I have a fairly good grasp on the events and atrocities that occurred. Yet after reading Verity, I felt like I was learning about it for the first time. The unique female perspectives of a pilot and spy shed a whole new light on this war. It is a completely engrossing and riveting story that, at its root, is about the profound love and friendship of two remarkable young women. Verity is slow to start and tricky to navigate, but quickly becomes clear and barrels forward at a breakneck speed that will keep you up into the wee hours.

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X
by James Patterson

Lexile 680

He was born with great power
The greatest superpower of all isn't to be part spider, part man, or to cast magic spells--the greatest power is the power to create.
Daniel X has that power.
And a deadly secret
Daniel's secret abilities - like being able to manipulate objects and animals with his mind or to recreate himself in any shape he chooses - have helped him survive. But Daniel doesn't have a normal life. He is the protector of the earth, the Alien Hunter, with a mission beyond anyone's imagining.
Now the fate of the world rests on Daniel X
From the day that his parents were brutally murdered before his very eyes, Daniel has used his unique gifts to hunt down their assassin. Finally, with the help of The List, bequeathed to him in his parents' dying breath, he is closing in on the killer.

I am a huge James Patterson fan, in the adult genre. Patterson’s books are easily digestible, fluffy, frothy, mindless, beachy fun. Daniel X is much the same for young adult readers. The plot is simple and action plentiful. While aliens aren’t my thing, if they are yours, this is a quick fun read. Daniel is immensely likeable, heroic and practically perfect in every way. This is not life-changing literature with lots of depth and challenging vocabulary, but for kids who like action and an easy read, this might be a great book to recommend. As an added bonus, if you like this book, it is the first in series of 6.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Lexile 770

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift. Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

The Maze Runner was very exciting and fast paced and I loved almost every moment. I was completely intrigued by the maze and grievers and I loved that we, the readers, came into the maze with Thomas and learned the new slang and secrets with him. I was at times craving more answers than I was given, but to be told it all immediately wouldn’t build suspense or keep those pages turning. I found the concept very clever and I truly enjoyed reading this book with my children, until the end. I was disappointed at the direction the book took and I am, truthfully, struggling with sequel. My children, however, loved it and that says something as they are the target readers. This trilogy is in the same vein as The Hunger Games and Divergent so if you liked those, I bet you will enjoy this as well.