Reviews written by Barbara Bell

9 results - showing 1 - 9
Ordering
April 07, 2018
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Lake Life, Friendships, Secrets, & Podcasting

Kasie West brings us another compelling read with “Listen to your Heart,” a story about lake life, friendships, secrets, and podcasting. Our main character, Kate Bailey, would choose spending all her time on the lake if it wasn’t for her parents insisting she go to school,...

February 11, 2018
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
A heart wrenching & beautiful tale

Heart breaking and beautiful story all in one. Warning: you may not be able to put this down once you start reading it.

January 17, 2018
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Great read and a great reminder to trust your instincts.

In Sarah Dessen’s “Saint Anything,” the author shows what it’s like to be invisible in one’s own life. It is the teen who goes to school and interacts with a couple of close friends, but is virtually unseen by her family due to her brother’s actions. Her brother...

August 03, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
What happens when you win the lottery? Do you change or do the people around you change?

Maddie, our main character in Kasie West’s “Lucky in Love”, is logical, hard-working, and a mega planner. She has a plan to get into college, a strategy to get a scholarship, a design with her study group of best friends, and an air tight pact not to be distracted...

July 16, 2017
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Good mystery set in Scotland and involving whales

One confusing passage involved Willie and Mr Wallace, fisherman and harbor master. Critical piece of the plot, but I had to keep remembering who was whom. When characters are engaged in a passage, sometimes the names that begin with the same first letter,p make the reader stop to say -...

July 08, 2017
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Photography fans, this is one to read!

I loved this book! This was one of those books you want to read slowly. You can take in all the details of the who's who as the plot builds up and then unfolds. You want to read a bit, put it down for a bit, savor...

December 07, 2016
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
All you need to know about US Presidents and the US Presidential Election

It’s been about a month since the US Presidential Election, and Scholastic’s newest release will help you learn everything you need to know about the US Presidents in “Scholastic Book of Presidents” by George Sullivan. This is not just a who’s who of presidents, either. Sullivan’s...

November 07, 2016
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
A riveting read with high school football, age-old rivalries, and a heated political campaign

Even if the characters take a bit to warm up to, the book is a good read. Stick with it - even if the chemistry isn't always there, the author does bring it altogether by the end of the story.

October 11, 2016
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Compelling read about race in the South in 1950s America

I thought this was a compelling read on race, but one that wasn't initially obvious. No pun intended, but race and race relations are never a black and white issue. By researching and writing about the Chinese who built the railroads in the South in the 1800s, readers...

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