I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 By Lauren Tarshis [Book Review]

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I borrowed a paperback copy of this book from my library. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 By Lauren Tarshis

Book Review: I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 by Lauren Tarshis | Historical Fiction | Middle Grade | Book Blogger | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Title: I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Series: I Survived, 5
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: March 1, 2012

Summary – I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906

Ten-year-old Leo loves being a newsboy in San Francisco — not only does he get to make some money to help his family, he’s free to explore the amazing, hilly city as it changes and grows with the new century. Horse-drawn carriages share the streets with shiny new automobiles, new businesses and families move in every day from everywhere, and anything seems possible.

But early one spring morning, everything changes. Leo’s world is shaken — literally — and he finds himself stranded in the middle of San Francisco as it crumbles and burns to the ground. Does Leo have what it takes to survive this devastating disaster?

First Thoughts

I’ve read the first couple of books in the series and I’m going down the line.

Book Cover

The cover is “realistic” enough in the sense that shows the heart of what the story is about – right in the middle of the natural disaster.

Plot

Leo goes about his normal life, selling newspapers and occasionally getting beaten up by some local bullies. He treasures his father’s piece of real gold that was passed down from his father’s father.

Then the earthquake happens and the fire spreads. Leo and his friend stick together in order to survive and possibly get out of the city – but there’s really nowhere to go. The journey they go on for those few hours is a great one of determination and survival that no one should ever have to go through. It was an interesting read.

Characters

Leo and his friend Morris were great characters to read about through this tragedy. They even help the two bullies out when they were in trouble and even become friends with one of them. It was great character development for all of them throughout.

Writing Style

As always, this book was a quick and easy read. There was just enough information about the natural disaster, but it wasn’t thrown into your face.

I Survived The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 by Lauren Tarshis

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

This is another great, informative read. Even though it’s a big young, anyone can read it and get something out of it.

3.3

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I Survived The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor, 1941 By Lauren Tarshis [Book Review]

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I borrowed a paperback copy of this book from my library. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: I Survived The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor, 1941 By Lauren Tarshis

Book Review: I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis | Historical Fiction | Middle Grade | Book Blogger | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Title: I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Series: I Survived, 4
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: October 1, 2011

Summary – I Survived The Bombing Of Pearl Harbor, 1941

History’s most terrifying moments are brought vividly to life in the action-packed fictional I SURVIVED series! Do you have what it takes to survive … the bombing of Pearl Harbor?

Eleven-year-old Danny Crane is alone on his favorite beach in Hawaii when the world is torn apart and World War II officially hits the United States. Does he have what it takes to find his way home in the midst of the bombs, the smoke, and the destruction of the day that will live in infamy?

First Thoughts

I’ve read the first couple of books in the series and decided to continue them.

Book Cover

The cover says a lot of what the book is about and set it right at the climax of the story.

Plot

Danny and his mother move to Pearl City, Hawaii from New York City. She’s a nurse on the island and Danny isn’t too thrilled to be there. When she leaves for work, he’s torn with the idea of running away back to New York, but he doesn’t want to hurt his mother. Then the attacks happen.

Like the other books in this series, the plot is well-executed and the fictional character is always set up to be brave and help out in any way during the disaster. It was certainly an interesting read.

Characters

I liked all the characters in this one. Danny was a great protagonist and he was great with all the other characters. The supporting characters such as Mack and Mrs. Sudo were helpful and had a purpose throughout the story as well.

Writing Style

Like the rest of the series, this is a quick and easy read. There’s a lot of information about the bombing of Pearl Harbor in this one, including facts, resources, and other information in the back of the book. It’s certainly a good read.

I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

This was a great read and, in my opinion, the best so far in this series. It’s worth a read to learn more about this tragic event.

4.3

Favorite Quote

“You’d have to be crazy not to be scared, with what was happening in the world, with America at war with both Japan and Germany now.”

Lauren Tarshis, I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 (I Survived 4)

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I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 By Lauren Tarshis [Book Review]

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I borrowed a paperback copy of this book from my library. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 By Lauren Tarshis

Book Review: I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis | Historical Fiction | Middle Grade | Book Blogger | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Title: I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Series: I Survived, 3
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: March 2011

Summary – I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005

His whole world is underwater…

Barry’s family tries to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina hits their home in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. But when Barry’s little sister gets terribly sick, they’re forced to stay home and wait out the storm.

At first, Katrina doesn’t seem to be as severe a storm as forecasters predicted. But overnight the levees break, and Barry’s world is literally torn apart. He’s swept away by the floodwaters, away from his family. Can he survive the storm of the century – alone?

First Thoughts

These are quick reads and I enjoy the historical tidbits. After reading the first two books in the series, I grabbed the next three.

Book Cover

The cover shows Barry and a dog he rescued in the middle of Hurricane Katrina trying to find their way to safety. As always, it shows a lot about the plot and the design is well done.

Plot

Life is normal for 11-year-old Barry until the forecasters urge everyone to evacuate for the upcoming storm. Everyone is worried, though Barry doesn’t fully understand why until the storm is directly on top of them.

The plot was well executed with enough information about the historical tragedy without laying it on thick.

Characters

Barry was a good protagonist to follow along with such a story. He was strong and brave throughout the whole event. He followed his parents’ lead and overcame the storm. It was interesting to see the events through his eyes, even though he’s fictional.

Writing Style

This is a super quick and easy read. I learned more about Hurricane Katrina than I thought I knew. The information is easy to comprehend and it’s quick enough to read in one sitting.

I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

This is another great addition to the I Survived series. If you’re looking for something quick with a little history boost, this is the one for you.

4

Favorite Quote

“Out there in the flood, Barry had discovered some powers of his own.”

Lauren Tarshis, I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 (I Survived 3)

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The Shark Attacks Of 1916 (I Survived, 2) By Lauren Tarshis [Book Review]

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Book Review: The Shark Attacks Of 1916 By Lauren Tarshis

The Shark Attacks of 1916 (I Survived, 2) by Lauren Tarshis | Book Review | RachelPoli.com

Title: The Shark Attacks of 1916
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Series: I Survived (Book 2)
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Publication Date: September 1, 2010

Summary – The Shark Attacks of 1916

It’s the summer of 1916 and the Jersey shore is being terrorized by a Great White shark. Can 10-year-old Chet and his friends survive a swim in the local creek?

Chet Roscow is finally feeling at home in Elm Hills, New Jersey. He has a job with his uncle Jerry at the local diner, three great friends, and the perfect summertime destination: cool, refreshing Matawan Creek.

But Chet’s summer is interrupted by shocking news. A great white shark has been attacking swimmers along the Jersey shore, not far from Elm Hills. Everyone in town is talking about it. So when Chet sees something in the creek, he’s sure it’s his imagination. . . until he comes face-to-face with a bloodthirsty shark!

First Thoughts

I read the first book of this series and enjoyed it so I wanted to continue the series. Plus, they’re quick, informative reads.

Book Cover

The book cover is nice and showcases what the book is about. The shark is creepy looking and fairly realistic which is a nice touch.

Plot

The plot of this story is, of course, the shark attacks of 1916. Back then, no one knew much about sharks and it was believed that sharks wouldn’t attack willy-nilly. They were proven wrong when a few shark attacks occurred unprovoked.

This story follows a 10-year-old boy named Chet. He and his friends hear stories about the sharks but don’t believe them. His pranks prank him making him believe there’s a shark in the water. Chet gets them back so when the real shark appears, no one believes him.

I found the plot of this story to be better executed than The Sinking of The Titanic, which is the first book in the I Survived series. I enjoyed the characters a bit more and the plot didn’t seem to go as fast. Yet, all the information was there and well done.

Characters

Chet is a regular ten-year-old boy living with his Uncle when his parents were traveling for his father’s work. Chet isn’t sure he belongs there and is happy to have made some friends. That is, until they prank each other and get into a fight.

Chet redeems himself though as do his friends. His uncle was a great character as well. I enjoyed reading this bit of history with these fictional characters telling the story.

Writing Style

Being under 100 pages, this story was well told with all the facts present. There was no filler yet there was just enough character background and development for the fictional characters who encountered a real-to-life problem. The quick read was worth it.

The Shark Attacks of 1916 By Lauren Tarshis

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

This quick read is worth it. The characters are likeable, the history is easy to learn, and the facts are laid out. This is a good one if you’re looking to learn a bit more about the shark attacks of 1916.

4.7

Favorite Quote

“And then he saw it – a large gray fin, slicing through the water like a knife.”

Lauren Tarshis, The Shark Attacks of 1916 (I Survived, Book 2)

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The Sinking Of The Titanic (I Survived 1) By Lauren Tarshis [Book Review]

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Book Review: The Sinking Of The Titanic By Lauren Tarshis

Book Review: The Sinking of The Titanic (I Survived 1) by Lauren Tarshis | Middle Grade | Historical Fiction | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Title: The Sinking Of The Titanic, 1912
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Series: I Survived (Book 1)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: June 1, 2010

Summary – The Sinking Of The Titanic

The most terrifying events in history are brought vividly to life in this new fictional series! In book 1, ten-year-old George is trapped on the Titanic — how will he survive?

Ten-year-old George Calder can’t believe his luck — he and his little sister, Phoebe, are on the famous Titanic, crossing the ocean with their Aunt Daisy. The ship is full of exciting places to explore, but when George ventures into the first class storage cabin, a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Suddenly, water is everywhere, and George’s life changes forever.

First Thoughts

This series has always been in the back of my mind. The 9-year-old I babysit for mentioned these books to me and I decided to try to read some of his favorite books over the summer before I see him again in the fall.

Book Cover

The book cover is nice. It shows all the elements of the book and the title is big and easy to read.

Plot

This book tells the story of the Titanic through the eyes of a young boy boarded on the ship. His name is George and he’s on the Titanic with his Aunt Daisy and younger sister Penelope. They’re on their way back home to their father. When there are about three days left of their trip, the Titanic hits an iceberg and begins to sink.

The plot is well executed and tells the story of the Titanic well. It’s a quick read and for such a subject, no information is lost or left out.

Characters

The characters in the story are fictional though they are based off real people who had survived the Titanic. George and his family meet a young boy and his father. Aunt Daisy takes the young boy since only woman and children are allowed to evacuate first.

George accidentally gets left behind. He and the boy’s father work together. I enjoyed how this played out since it really showed development in all the characters but also genuine human kindness in such a dire situation. The fictional characters are well played.

Writing Style

The writing of this book is perfect for the target age group. All the information about this historical event is there. It’s not thrown in your face or too graphic.

This book is under 100 pages. You learn a lot in a short amount of time. Reading it through a 10-year-old boy’s eyes really makes it easy to read and understand despite the subject matter.

The Sinking Of The Titanic, 1912 By Lauren Tarshis

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

The plot was well done as we were the characters though it did go a bit fast. However, it’s age-appropriate and there’s no info-dumping. This is worth a read and I look forward to the other books in the series.

4.3

Favorite Quote

“A bellowing sound, like a giant beast was dying a terrible death.”

Lauren Tarshis, The Sinking of The Titanic (I Survived, Book 1)

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Revolution: The Nora White Story (Book 2) By Yecheilyah Ysrayl [Book Review]

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Book Review: Revolution: The Nora White Story (Book 2) by Yecheilyah Ysrayl | Historical Fiction | Creative Writing | Books | Reading | Book Blogging | RachelPoli.com

I received a free ARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

When Nora White is drugged by her friend she is forced to deal with the harsh reality of life in the North. She meets Keisha and the women catch a ride to The Den, a gambling and numbers hole-in-the-wall in Jacobsville New York. Unlike the upper echelon of Harlem, Nora’s new friends are hustlers but down to Earth and feels more like family. They take her to Liberty Hall where she is introduced to Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.).

Meanwhile, Nora has no idea her father has been arrested and back home Molly is hanging on by a thread. When the community discovers the truth of the alleged crime they devise a way to get Gideon out of jail but their actions could mean life or death for everyone involved. Will Nora come to her senses and return home in time to help the family or will her naiveté lead her astray once again?

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover is beautiful. It’s simple and easy to look at. I find it ironic that when I look at the cover, I see peace, and that’s everything this book is not.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I read the first Nora White book and enjoyed it, so I’ve been looking forward to this one.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Nora gets herself into an interesting situation, though she meets some fun characters and makes the best out of it, in a way. Meanwhile, her family is unraveling back home because Gideon is in jail and Nora is missing.

There’s a lot going on in this book and there’s a lot of different characters to follow. The plot flowed pretty well through it all though and it was easy to keep up with and to understand.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

There are a lot of characters and they’re all likable (except for a few here and there which I’m sure we’re not really supposed to care too much for). They all have their own agenda going on or their own conflict and everyone is intertwined with each other. It’s well done.

My favorite part about all the characters were their voices. They speak how they would if they were real and it sounds authentic adding a new level to the book.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a fast paced book with fairly short chapters. There’s plenty of dialogue but there’s also a good amount of description to back it up and paint the picture. The story flowed well and there were many moments where I turned the page fast just to see what would happen next.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a great read and held up to the first book’s standards. My only complaint was that I felt the ending was a bit abrupt and moved too quickly. It was a satisfying ending, but I felt as though there could have been a little more in between the last couple of chapters. Still, if you’re into historical fiction and read and enjoyed the first book, definitely pick this one up.

Revolution: The Nora White Story (Book 2) by Yecheilyah Ysrayl gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Young man. I don’t want any trouble. I am, however, willing to put my foot in someone’s ass, if need be.” –Yecheilyah Ysrayl, Revolution: The Nora White Story (Book 2)

Buy the book:

Amazon

Read my review of Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book 1) by Yecheilyah Ysrayl!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around! Also, check out other Book Reviews I’ve done!

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Kitty Hawk And The Curse Of The Yukon Gold By Iain Reading [Book Review]

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Book Review | Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading | RachelPoli.com

I have received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I love this book cover. It perfectly sums up some major events of the book – the plane, Kitty climbing the mountain, the whale in the background – and the art style is just great. I love looking at it and it certainly enticed me in.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I was approached by the author’s publicist about this book. I love mysteries and was intrigued by the “historical fiction” part of this story. I’ll admit, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up on my own, but I decided to give it a try.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Kitty Hawk goes on an adventure flying off in her plane to Alaska in order to watch whales, observe, and study them. Then she runs into a group of gold thieves. She overhears their plan and they catch her before she can run away. Her mission is no longer whales, it’s the gold.

I felt as though this book was slow to start. I didn’t really get interested in it until Kitty ran into the thieves and that was around 100 pages or so into the story. When that happened, I got really into it. I felt as though the plot was cleverly crafted into the story making the history important, but not bombarding me with a history lesson.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed Kitty’s character. She was a strong protagonist and certainly knew how to take care of herself. However, a good chunk of her dialogue, especially in the beginning, was her talking to her internal self. It got confusion since her thoughts were in normal quotations and I also didn’t think it made any sense. She was having actual conversations with herself. It became annoying and I didn’t think it was needed.

Once I met Charlie, Buck, Will, and Jay, I enjoyed their characters a lot more. The four brothers were certainly a great addition to the cast. Though, I wonder if all four were needed. Their personalities were certainly different from each other.

However, Jay was the silent type. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it was almost as though he wasn’t even there. He didn’t start really speaking until the main part of their journey was halfway over. I had completely forgotten about him to the point that when his name was stated I had no idea who he was.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This story flowed well. As stated earlier, I felt as though the beginning was slow, but it did pick up when the adventure truly began. Once that happened it was smooth sailing. The history lessons were minimum but I learned a lot anyway.

I enjoyed all the description of their adventure, though a lot of the dialogue felt unrealistic to me. A lot of dialogue didn’t contain any contractions making the characters sound almost robotic. It just didn’t seem like something a person would say in real life.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

Overall, this was a great read. Once you get past the beginning it’s an enjoyable read. If you like a casual mystery and have a taste for adventure, give this one a try.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Apparently even in deadly serious situations boys simply can’t resist the urge to play like they are secret agents or something.” –Iain Reading, Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About The Series

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves.

There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (book 5).

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

For more information, go to Kitty Hawk World

Check out the book trailer: YouTube

About the Author:

Iain Reading | Kitty Hawk and the Yukon Gold | Book Review | YA Mystery | Historical Fiction | RachelPoli.comIain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to his Amazon page.

Readers can connect with Iain on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

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