Under Fire

Burton, Fred, and Samuel M. Katz. Under Fire. 1. 1. New York: St.    Matin’s Press, 2013. Print.

ISBN: 978-1-250-04110-4

Under Fire

Authors: Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz

Name: Bryce Ash

Recommended Age: High school and above

This book contains the first detailed account of the Benghazi attack from terrorism experts Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz.  These men gave the reader a blow-by-blow description of the events that took place during the attack. The attack took place on September 11, 2012 at the U.S. Embassy.  A group of terrorists from Libya came into the embassy with heavy artillery.  These men were equipped with grenades, multiple types of guns, anti aircraft machine guns, as well as mortars.  A call for help was issued to the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.  Hillary effectively ignored the call and left our Consulate stranded.  Several people we killed and faced serious injuries.

Right after midnight the attack began.  The CIA annex was attacked with machine guns, rockets and mortars. The CIA defenses held off the attack until the morning of September 12. Early in the morning, Libyan government forces met up with a group of Americans, which had arrived at the Benghazi airport. The group of Americans drove to the annex around 5:00 a.m. to transport 32 Americans to safety.  As soon as the men entered the gates of the annex they fell under attack.  Many people died and suffered severe injuries during the attack.  Subsequently, we persevered and were able to fend off the Libyans, while we escaped.







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Where the Red Fern Grows


Rawls, Wilson. Where the Red Fern Grows. London, Toronto, Auckland, Sydney, New York: The Curtis Publishing Company, 1961.

ISBN 0-553-27429-5

Where the Red Fern Grows

Written byWilson Rawls

Reviewed by: An Vu

Recommended Audience: Middle School

Billy Coleman, a main character in Where the Red Fern Grows who works really hard for two years to save money to buy two coon dogs. He named his dogs Little Ann for the female and Old Dan for the male. Little Ann has the brains, Old Dan has the brawn. Listening to his grandfather’s stories about the behaviors of the coons how to train dogs to hunt .On their first hunt in the river bottoms, the dogs beg for help occasionally. Then Old Dan finds the raccoon scent and heads off with Little Ann at his side. The raccoon pulls a simple trick by swimming across the river. Two hours later the dogs have treed their first coon in the tallest sycamore tree in the bottoms. Finally after many hour of chopping the tree, the sycamore falls, and the hounds race off to find and kill the coon. After many hunting with his dogs, Billy is able to communicate with his dogs in someway even though they are animals. Billy and his dogs soon become the best hunting team in the valley.

They compete with many others teams. Hunt down a mysterious raccoon that no one has catch before. They signed up for the biggest competition. Old Dan and Little Ann lead Billy to his proudest moment when they win the gold cup in the hunting contest, but the happiness of Billy’s victory is quickly fade away. Old Dan dies in the claws of a savage bobcat, and Little Ann succumbs to grief for her companion. To remember his beloved dogs, Billy digs the graves himself and buries them among the red ferns.

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Anderson, Laurie. Speak. USA: Penguin Putnam Inc, 1999. Print.

ISBN: 0-140131088-X


Written by: Laurie Halse Anderson

Reviewed by: Quan Vu

Recommended Audience: High School

Speak tells the story of Melinda Sordino, a ninth grader at Merryweather High School in Syracuse, New York. August before her freshman year, Melinda and her closest friends attend a party with seniors and beer. At the party, Melinda feels uncomfortable and out of place. She gulps down a couple beers before walking outside for some fresh air. While outside, Melinda meets Andy Evans, an attractive senior boy. Andy begins dancing with and kissing Melinda, and Melinda is taken aback but too drunk to say anything. Andy pushes her to the ground and rapes her. In her confusion afterward, Melinda dials 911 and the police arrive at the party, but Melinda finds herself unable to tell anyone what happened. When the entire school discovers that Melinda broke up the party and got some students arrested, her friends stop speaking to her. No one knows that she was raped.

She arrives friendless on her first day of ninth grade and receives angry glares from strangers. She decides that speaking only hurts her, and remains mostly silent. Melinda slips into depression and her grades suffer. She finds an abandoned janitor’s closet and makes it her sanctuary.

Initially, Melinda is befriended by Heather, a new girl from Ohio. However, Heather is eager to be a part of the social scene and she soon joins a clan known as “the Marthas.” Heather realizes that having Melinda as a friend hurts her social reputation, and she tells Melinda that they can no longer spend time together. As Melinda sinks deeper into depression, she begins to skip class. Her parents and teachers notice, but believe that it is just an immature attention-seeking ploy. Only her art teacher, Mr. Freeman, observes Melinda’s depressed behavior. He encourages her to use her voice and shows interest in her artwork. Melinda also befriends her lab partner, David Petrakis. Like Mr. Freeman, David pushes Melinda to speak up.

Author’s website: http://madwomanintheforest.com/youngadult-speak/

Publisher’s website: http://www.us.penguingroup.com/

Author’s interview about speak: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJU7b3C8QMk

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Dangerous Angels


Block, Francesca Lia. Dangerous Angles. 1-2. New York: HarperCollins Publishers , 1989. 3-154. Print.

ISBN: 9780062007407

Written By: Francesca Lia Block

Reviewed By: Amenda Hong

Recommended Audience: High School

        Dangerous Angels is a collection of five books: Weetzie Bat, Witch Baby, Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, Missing Angel Juan, and Baby Be-Bop. InWeetzie Bat, Weetzie Bat is introduced as a young lady in high school. To Dirk, the best-looking guy at school, Weetzie stood out. In Dirk’s eyes Weetzie “was a skinny girl with a bleach-blonde flat-top. Under the pink Harlequin sunglasses, strawberry lipstick, earring dangling charms, and suger-frosted eye shawdow she was really almost beautiful.” I personally like how modern the author made the characters dressed. Her description of each character she introduces is very detailed. I can imagine every character she introduces with ease. My favorite part of the novel is when Dirk and Weetzie meet, because it is the start of a new long-lasting friendship. The author also did a wonderful job with mixing magic and reality together, making me enjoy the book even more!

In Witch Baby, someone has left a baby on Weetzie’s and Dirk’s doorstep. Later in the novel, it turned out to be Weetzies lover’s baby. While he was out for some time thinking what to do, he had done things that he regretted with a Witch. With warm welcoming hands Weetzie accepted the baby with her daughter Cherokee. The baby had “wild, dark hair and purple eyes and looked at the world in a special way.” The family called her Witch Baby, and raised her as if she was theirs. As time went by, Witch Baby knew she couldn’t fit in if she tried. She never felt as though she truly belonged.  One day she packed her bat-shaped backpack, put her black cowboy-boot roller skates, and went out into the real world to find out who she really was.

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Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. New York: Penguin Group, 2003. Print.

ISBN 014131088X


Written by: Laurie Halse Anderson

Reviewed by: Khanh Tran

Recommended Audience: Teenagers

The book  Speak of Laurie Halse Anderson tells a story about a teenage girl, Melinda Sordino, that started High School the wrong way, she busted an end-of-summer party. Melinda, a teenage girl with, like all normal 14 years old, all the “important business” to worry about rather than study or chores. But that was not what Melinda’s world looks like. Melinda’s world was full of days of crying in the corner with hope that no one would listen, in other people’s eyes, she was a weird kid that no one would be friend with. She yearned for attention, for someone who was understanding and close enough to share her big secret, a secret from the horrible night that she would do anything just to forget. Instead, the attentions toward her were not the attention she wanted. Everyday in school was another day of torture to Melinda, she started cutting school. The school noticed her absences and reported to her parents. Her parents, who works always the priority in their lives, started noticing their daughter more. That was what hurt her the most, for she just can’t brought herself to tell her parents what was going on with her. She tried telling other people. No one trusted her. When Melinda darkest truth finally revealed, it wasn’t a very happy day at Merryweather High.

Is attention good? Or it is a double-edge knife? “Speak”. The name has said it all. The book encourages people to speak up for themselves. In the book, Melinda desperately crying out for help through her actions. Her ultimate triumph at the end of the book is an encouragement for speaking up against bullying.

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Chosen, A House Of Night Novel

Cast, Kristin. Chosen A House of Night Novel. 1st ed.

New York: ST. Martin Cast, 2008. 307. Print.

ISBN: 9780312360306

Chosen, A House of Night Novel

Written By: Kristin Cast

Reviewed By: Cora Barras

Recommended audience: Teenagers and Up

In the book Chosen, A House of Night Novel  written by Kristin Cast, a young girl named Zoey Redbird has been marked by a vampire goddess.  The book starts off with Zoey as a fledgling, or someone who has been bit but has not completed the transformation into an adult vampire.  In the book humans greatly despise vampires although vampires have nothing against humans.  Because of the relationship between humans, vampires along with fledglings live in secret dorms.  In the dorms full grown vampires teach fledglings about vampire history and the futures they will obtain while being a vampire.  Throughout the story Zoey Redbird has to deal with many problems including her three boyfriends she is trying to juggle, the fact that she has an affinity for five elements, and that her dead best friend didn’t actually die but turned into a monstrous vampire and cannot be controlled.

Throughout most of the story Zoey Redbird is in a relationship with three people at the same time.  She must choose between her human boyfriend Seth that she has known since second grade, her boyfriend Eric who is a fledgling as well in the House of Night, and also the adult vampire Lauron Blake who is a teacher at her school.  She knows she has to make a decision, and fast, but she does not want to let any of them go.  Zoey was gifted with an affinity for five of the elements which was given to her by the goddess Nyx.  Because of her affinity she is the leader of a group at her school, called the dark daughters, and she has to perform rituals in front of other classmates. Along with all of the other stress Zoey has in her life, she also has to deal with her best friend Stevie Rae who died and came back to life wanting to hunt humans and kill everyone in her path.

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The Last Song

20FridayDec 2013

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Sparks, Nicholas. The Last Song. 1st ed. New York and Boston: Grand Central Publishing, 2009. 1-413. Print.

Written by: Nicholas sparks

Reviewed by: Madi Haney

Recommended audiences: High School

14 year old Veronica, or “Ronnie” has the perfect life. She is an amazing student, pianist, and the perfect daughter. Yet her life takes a turn when her parents divorce. Ronnie stays with her little brother and mom in busy New York City, while her dad moves to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

3 years later, now 17 years old. Ronnie has completely isolated herself from her parents, brother, and old friends and has replaced them with partying, stealing, and not the best people. She has also given up her talent for piano. Ronnie has changed they way she looks and acts, so her mom decides it’s a good idea for her and her brother to get away for the summer. She sends them down to their fathers. Ronnie’s attitude was negative from the beginning. But soon Ronnie meets Will, and slowly feels herself falling for him. During this time she is finally rebuilding her relationship with her father. But, Summer was coming to an end and her dad told her what was going wrong with his health. Although she finds love, she has pain on her way, and she finally realizes how important family is.

Youtube video for trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwLmQqRanvM

Writer’s page: http://www.nicholassparks.com

Discription of book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6400090-the-last-song

Sound cloud: https://soundcloud.com/user475124947/audio-recording-on-thursday

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The Fighting Ground

Avi. The Fighting Ground. New York: Lippincott, 1984. Print.
The Fighting Ground
Written by: Avi
Reviewed by: Monica Baca-Chavez
Recommended Audience: High School
     This story takes place over 24 hours. Jonathan always dreamed of being a soldier, but his father wouldn’t let him. Jonathan was only thirteen, when he went to battle on April 3,  1778, without his father knowing. It was the Civil War, a battle against neighbors. In the afternoon he was captured by the German soldiers. The soldiers were his age and older. Although there is a language difference the soldiers and the captive experience similar emotions and needs. For example, when it started raining they all sought protection from a cedar tree. Through out the day he learns to be a soldier and learns what it means to be a soldier.
    Jonathan starts to understand his enemy and forgets to escape like a good soldier should. He goes back and forth with his alliance to himself as a soldier and befriending a fellow boy. In the end, Jonathan quickly becomes a man when he faces death, there are decisions to be made.

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Friday Night Lights

Bissinger, H.G. Friday Night Lights. 1st. United Sates: Da Capo Press, 2000. 14-313. Print.

Friday Night Lights: A Town, A team, And A Dream.
Written by: H.G. Bissinger
Reviewed by: Jimmy Madrid
Recommended audience: High School
In the book “Friday Night Lights” you will read about a high school teams struggles through a though season and the outcomes of what goes on. The setting of the story is a small town named Odessa, Texas. The main character to focus on is Boobie. Boobie is the Permian panthers main running back until a life changing injury. In this story Boobie faced a challenge that potentially ended his career playing football. During a scrimmage game Boobie has injured his left knee. His place is taken up by Brian Johnson. After a couple of week go by without him on the field, he returns but is not the same. Boobie is given the ball only a couple time in the next game and knows he isn’t the same. Now Chris has taken his spot and he doesn’t appreciate it.

Another problem Odessa faces is the problem of racism that is going on in town. In the years that passed Odessa people didn’t want colored people in town. In schools there wasn’t a high percentage of colored people. Not only does Racism focus on just blacks but towards Hispanics also. With this the city closed the school Ector High. For football the blacks were far more talented than whites. When the 1988 season came schools in Odessa had realized that no matter what race you should be able to play football without a problem.
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something borrowed


Griffin, Emily. Something Borrowed. 1st ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2004. 1-322. Print.

ISBN 10: 0-312-32119-8

Something Borrowed

Written by: Emily Giffin

Reviewed by: Elyse Toal

Recommended Audience: Middle School/ High School

        In the story “Something Borrowed”, Rachel is the main character and her best friend is Darcy. Rachel and Darcy have been best friends since they were in elementary school; they were so close that they called themselves sisters. Rachel is a few months older than Darcy, but Darcy had always been the luckier one: not having to have braces, tanning easier, pretty, extremely confident, outgoing and wealthier. Since they were that age they always dreamed of their 30th birthday as being amazing.  The significance of their 30th birthday would mean that they would celebrate it by going on a nice date together with their husbands, each being happily married with kids, and having amazing jobs.

        Rachel is a lawyer at a large New York firm. While attending law school she had become friends with another student named Dexter, Dex for short. Rachel had started falling in love with him, and although she was pretty, intuitive and very smart, she always felt as though she was inadequate. Dex was a very handsome, soft haired, charming, amazing kind of guy. One evening, Darcy joined them on a dinner that Rachel and Dex were having celebration. That night was probably Rachel’s worst mistake, because then on after Dex, the man of her dreams, started dating her best friend, Darcy.

        It’s now Rachel’s 30th birthday and she’s having a surprise party made for her, thrown by Darcy. By this time Dex and Darcy are engaged and Rachel is Darcy’s maid of honor.  Towards the end of the party Darcy is very drunk, and Dex decides to take her home. A little bit later Dex comes back because Darcy had forgotten her brand new clutch, but Dex’s friend Marcus convinces him to stay and so he calls Darcy who is okay with it. Around       2 am Rachel and Dex are the only ones left at the party. They decide that they should probably leave, but once they get in the cab they decide to go to another bar for one last drink.  They stay there until around 4 am, and by this time they figure that they need to go home.  They call a cab and tell them to make two stops, but as they are getting closer to Rachel’s apartment, Dex begins to kiss Rachel and she realizes she is kissing him back, and then Dex changes the plan to only make one stop – to Rachel’s place.  They end up spending the night in bed together.

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