Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog

17668473Author: Anne Blankman

Age: 13 and up

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

Released: 2014

Click here to read summary from Amazon.

Sequel: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke

First off, the cover is so perfect. Darling girl with a mysterious vibe!! My blood is rushing already with the anticipation…what is she running from??

I love reading books from other perspectives. In this book we read from the perspective of a young girl in Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. Many of her closest friends are Nazis. Of course, this changed through out the course of the novel as she began to realize life is not a simple as it seems. Secrets and hidden agendas lie all around her. She realizes her true friends and love can come from the most unlikely places.

Characters: It was interesting to read about Hitler from an admiring eye. Most definitely a change from normal. The main character is brave and darling. The Jewish reporter, who is the romantic figure, is adorable along with typical reporter gumption.

Why I want to read the sequel: Prisoner of Night and Fog happens before WWII. I want to know what happens during the war. Also, I need to see how the romance ends!

Content Advisory:

Language: 2/3 I honestly do not recall any, so if there was any…it was mild.

Sexual:  2 kissing perhaps. Girls argue about being loved by some psychopath.

Viloence: 4 May contain spoilers, highlight to read: Main character is beat-up badly by a supporting character who has problems. Early on in the book, Nazi boys beat-up a Jew. Lots of fights between political parties and gunfire.

Similar Books to enjoy: Code Name Verity and The Book Thief

Other Books by Author: Traitor Angels comes out May 2016.

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Science Ch. 4 Week 2 copy


Review: Code Name Verity

code name verity

Title: Code Name Verity

Author: Elizabeth Wein

Age: Young Adult

Genre: Historical Fiction

Released: February 2012

Click here to read summary from Goodreads.

This is one of those books that I just don’t have the words to do it justice. I didn’t even want to read this book, because I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction. But Rachel and Jules made me. I finally read it when I felt left out after they walked off to fangirl without me. So I checked it out from the library.

Code Name Verity is one of the most beautiful friendship stories I’ve ever read. As Verity unfurls the story of how she and Maddie met, it’s impossible to not become absorbed. As they fight against the Nazis, these two best friends learn their strengths and balance out each other’s weaknesses. They experience the good during the bad. As Verity says, “It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend.”

The story isn’t always fast-paced. But it’s beautiful. And it sometimes is fast-paced and in those moments you’ll wish it weren’t. And in several moments you’ll cry. You’ll question your friendships and wonder if you are a good enough friend to those you love the most. You’ll probably admit that you aren’t, that no friendship of yours will ever compare to that of Verity and Maddie. But you’ll be inspired to be that good of a friend, because these two fierce girls will convict you.

You’ll want to hug your best friend close and tell her through your tears, “We are a sensational team.”

Content Advisory:

No official content advisory because I lost my notes, but there is quite a bit of cursing and some suggestive comments.


Rose Under Fire is the companion book to Code Name Verity

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Review: Flygirl

Review and Content Advisory for Flygirl by Sherri L. SmithAuthor: Sherri L. Smith

Age: YA (14 and up)

Genre: Historical Fiction

2010 ALA Best Books for Young People
2010 Capitol Choices Noteworthy Books for Children
2010 Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices Selection
2010 Kansas State Reading Circle Catalog Selection
2010 Amelia Bloomer Project Selection
2010 Tayshas Reading List
2010-2011 South Carolina Book Award Nominee
2009 Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books
2009 Washington Post Best Kids’ Books of the Year
Spring 2009 Indie Next List Pick for Teen Readers

Goodread’s synopsis

Rachel’s Rambels:

I really enjoyed this story. The main character is from Louisiana, so that made it really engaging to read. One error I found- Louisiana has parishes, not counties. After reading Code Name Verity, It was really interesting to see what was happening with American women in relationship to flying planes during WWII. The twist to this story is that the Main Character is an African American – light skinned enough to pass for white. The issues this novel arises are the questioning of identity, forsaking family, women’s rights, and patriotic duty. It also opens an interesting window into the WWII timeframe that isn’t normally opened.

There is a little romance, but like Code Name Verity, this novel is about the sisterhood. I love Ida’s (Jonesy’s) new best friends, Lily and Patsy, in this book. Lily is so sweet and gentle. Patsy is unforgettable. While Ida is from a southern strawberry farm, Lily is from a rich home and Patsy is use to circus life. They make an interesting trio.

Content Advisory:

Language: 2/3 (I don’t remember how many, but there wasn’t a lot)Mild cussing throughout (h & d words).

Sexual: 1 , couples kiss and unexpectedly get married.

Violence: 3, WWII is going on…


Review: BOMB

Review and Content Advisory for Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

Author: Steve Sheinkin

Genre: Informational Nonfiction

Age: YA

Awards: YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction (2013) Newbery Honor (2013)

Synopsis: Here is the one from Goodreads.

Rachel’s Rambles:

This past summer, I saw ‘Fat Man’ and ‘Little Boy’. (Ok, so replicas…you know what I mean.) When I saw this book, I figured it was a worth a shot to fill up my mandatory non-fiction reads for YA libs. So glad I did!

I found myself laughing, holding my breath, biting my cuticles from anticipation, and my jaw dropping from shock. Its packed full with crazy scientist, spies, and lots of government secrets.

If you like spy stories…read this. You will have to remind yourself that these adventures are not just part of an action novel—they really happened.

Once again, I found a nonfiction book that was a thrill to read. Fast paced and thrilling. I want to buy it and add it to my shelf.

5 out 5 stars for sure!!

Content Advisory:
Mild cussing, Bombs, and other war stuff.

Educational Review: The Book Thief


Author’s  name: Markus Zusak

Publisher and original publication date: Random House Children’s Books, 2005

Description of format:  Chapter book, with Illustrations and Journal writings

Pages: 550

Recommending Source: Michael L. Printz Honor, Kirkus starred review

Ages:  14-17           

Suggested Grade Level: 9th-12th grade

Summary: Read Goodread’s summary here.

 Personal reaction: When I picked up the book I was expecting a Middle Grade book akin to The Diary of Anne Frank. Instead I found a complex story filled with both English and German profanity. I found the story slow to read through, but the narrator humorous. When I finished the book, my friend came over and I immediately recommended it to her. It was a good, heart felt book that left me teary-eyed.

Sociological implication: This story takes on a view of World War II from a German’s perspective. It reveals how not all Germans were evil supporters of the Nazi party. They said and did all the right things hoping to not get caught while secretly helping the Jews. It also reveals how the Nazi party used censorship and brings it into question.

Evaluation of potential popularity: It is written by the handsome New York Times best-seller, Markus Zusak, and has recently be turned into a highly anticipated film. The non-traditional narrator and witty framework will make it a gem on young person’s bookshelf.

CCSS Correlations:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.6 Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.

*I would use Anne Frank.

Theme/s: Censorship/propaganda, words, Death vs Life, Loyalty, Family, Thievery, symbolism

 Content Vocabulary: pfenning, Hitler Youth, Fuhrer, Heil, LSR, Luftschutzwart, Mein Kampf, Gestapo, “Colors”

 Academic Vocabulary: Censorship, Communist, Dictatorship, propaganda, aptitude, conglomerate, repertoire

 Text Links:

1. Code Name Verity– Elizabeth Wein

A story of World War II told from the Allies perspective with heavy focus on sisterhood and the female’s role in the war.

2.     The Diary of Anne Frank –Anne Frank

This is a young Jewish girl’s diary that was written while she was in hiding.


I was given this review back, edited by my professor. Supposedly I can not refer to Markus Zusak as “handsome”. It is too subjective for a review. However, I left it in here for you guys!