Teen Picks (From Real Teens)

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062470140
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - May 16th, 2017

The book “How Dare The Sun Rise” by Sandra Uwiringiyimana is a very blunt and important autobiography written by a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her story is one that every single person should read because the first step to being more open minded is to learn about others’ stories. This story in particular was very difficult for me to read at times because of the honesty and it making me wonder why are we not doing more to help people in these kinds of situations as well as questioning what can I do on a personal level.

Although this book is a book I believe everybody should read at some point in their life, I do not think it is appropriate for those under the age of 13 because of some of the topics discussed. Sandra does not do much censoring of her book, nor should she, but this leads to her talking in detail about how her sister was killed, how her brother nearly lost both of her arms and how she was sexually assaulted. So although this book is very interesting and impactful, please use caution while lending it to younger readers who may have nightmares more easily.

This book will open your mind and help you understand the true hardships and heart-wrench that comes along with fleeing your homeland.

Overall this book is absolutely amazing and if you are on the fence about reading it, I highly recommend that you go for it and possibly change your global perspective. I personally give this book a 10/10 and plan on rereading it many times.

-Alanna, age 14

Last Day on Mars (Chronicle of the Dark Star #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062306715
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Walden Pond Press - February 14th, 2017

As much as I wanted to enjoy the book “The Last Day On Mars” by Kevin Emerson I honestly couldn’t for a variety of reasons. Although there were many amazing concepts in this book, it felt like an incomplete story with lack of character development or smooth transitions.

The only character that seemed to have any semblance of true emotion was ironically the robotic panda, JEFF. For the majority of the book I had no concern that the human characters were getting in trouble because it felt like there was a lack of the peril because we never really got to know Liam or Phoebe.

In spite of the lack of character development, I really enjoyed a lot of the concepts that were introduced in this book. For example, one that I really enjoyed was the Virtnet and how much their lives revolved around it.  I wish there were more details about it because had it been expanded upon, it would’ve been really interesting food for thought. Another concept that I found really neat and wish that had been expanded on was the alien technology that allowed them to see a possible future and how the characters reacted to seeing their own deaths.

Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of this book but I believe that with a few improvements it could’ve easily been a bestseller.  The age I would recommend for this book would be between 4th and 6th grade.

-Alanna, age 14