Amity Middle School Orange Book Blog

Read reviews by an avid young adult book enthusiast.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Also Known As by Robin Benway

Margaret (Maggie) Silver has been warned by her mother many times, “Be careful what you wish for.”

Maggie’s parents work for a top secret spy agency known as the Collective. Her parents make quite the pair—her dad knows many languages and Maggie’s mom can hack into any system.  Maggie, herself is quite talented as well. She was able to unlock her first padlock at the age of four! Her skills at breaking and entering into locked spaces are now legendary in the espionage community.
Their last spying assignment had the family located in Reykjavik, Iceland. Maggie can’t wait to get off the island of Iceland when the family is relocated to a loft in the area of Manhattan known as Soho. Her mother’s words of warning, “Be careful what you wish for,” clearly should be heeded.

Maggie has never had the chance to attend school. She’s never been in one place long enough to even make friends! Suddenly she is thrust into a private high school. Then the assignment comes. It will be Maggie’s first assignment. Her mark is Jesse Oliver, the son of Armand Oliver. Armand is about to release information that could be damaging to the Collective. Maggie must find where Armand is storing the documents, and she must steal them before the Collective is destroyed,
When Jesse decides to throw a party, Maggie sees an easy way to gain access. What Maggie doesn’t bargain for is falling for Jesse!

I enjoyed reading this new series! Maggie’s friendship with the most mistreated girl at the school named Roux and her special relationship with long-time family friend and master spy, Angelo made the story engaging.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Going Rogue by Robin Benway

**Be sure to read the first book in this series- Also Known As by Robin Benway.
Maggie Silver has enjoyed living with her parents in their loft in Manhattan. It’s been a year since they moved there.  For a change Maggie can actually experience what most teens her age stress about rather than worry about her safecracking and spy activities.
She and her best friend, Roux, are studying for the SAT exam. Jesse Oliver remains the boyfriend of Maggie’s dreams until. . .
Her parents, renown spies on their own, working for the Collective, have been falsely accused of stealing some extremely valuable coins dating from the 1930’s.  In order to clear her parents’ names and reputations, Maggie will have to enter an apartment owned by Dominic Armenti to find his hidden safe and secure the gold coins.  All seems to be in order when Maggie is able to get past the security system and make her way into Dominic’s apartment.  But things get complicated when Maggie realizes Dominic hasn’t left--he is upstairs showering! 
Can she still pull off the theft of the valuable coins worth 700 million dollars despite the fact that Dominic could come downstairs at any time and catch her?
Will Roux, Jesse, and Maggie be able to remain friends?
Will the stress of being the world’s best safe and lock cracker tear the friends apart or will it bring them back together as close as they were a year ago when they foiled the attempt by Colton Hooper to kidnap Maggie?
Read Going Rogue to find out.

Mindblind by Jennifer Roy

Nathaniel Clark is brilliant. At eleven he graduated college! His scores on the SAT were perfect.  His ability to solve complex mathematic problems is beyond most people’s comprehension.  Nat’s latest dilemma is what graduate school he should apply to and what course of study he should undertake.

There are other issues in Nathaniel’s life, however. He has a condition known as Asperger’s- -his ability to understand and express his emotions makes him socially inept.
Nat’s condition has caused his parents to react in very different ways.  His mother is his rock, while his father’s treatment of him seems abusive.  The parents divorce.

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to see the world through someone’s eyes who is a high-functioning autistic person with Asperger’s, this book will clearly fit the bill!

Wonderstruck by Bruce Selznick

If you read and enjoyed The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, you most certainly will also enjoy Wonderstruck!
Selznick has created a new genre of fiction--part fictional storytelling--part graphic novel.
Plagued by repeated dreams of wolves chasing him on a cold winter’s night, Ben lives just 83 steps away from the house he used to live in with his mother.  After her tragic death, Ben is being raised by his mother’s sister and her family in their cabin on Gunflint Lake in Minnesota.  Ben’s story is told in a traditional written format using text.
Rose is the central character of the graphic novel.  She lives in Hoboken, New Jersey, fifty years before Ben’s birth.  Her story is told through detailed illustrations.  Born deaf, she rebels against her parents and runs away to New York City where her brother Walter lives.  She is desperate to become educated and overcome her extreme isolation.
In a very cleverly written plot, the two characters meet.  What they have in common will surprise the reader!
Enjoy this beautifully told story.