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 Hurricane Katrina, 2005 By Lauren Tarshis [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. This means I earn a small commission should you purchase anything from these links. It’s no extra cost to you and supports this blog. If you’d like to learn more about affiliate links on this website, please read my Privacy Policy. Thank you.
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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Peter Green And The Unliving Academy By Angelina Allsop

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I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book Review: Peter Green And The Unliving Academy By Angelina Allsop

Peter Green And The Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop | Middle Grade | Fantasy | Book Review | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Title: Peter Green And The Unliving Academy: This Book Is Full Of Dead People
Author: Angelina Allsop
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade

Series: The Unliving Chronicles (Book 1)
Publisher: TCK Publishing
Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Summary – Peter Green And The Unliving Academy

Fourteen-year-old Peter Green can’t remember how he died. 
All he has are his pajamas, a silk tie, and a one-way bus ticket to Mrs. Battisworth’s Academy and Haven for Unliving Boys and Girls, a strange and spooky school for dead orphans like himself. But that’s all he needs: the Unliving Academy has everything, from vampires in the hallways, to monsters in the cafeteria, to ghosts in the basement. 

And that’s just the teachers; the students are far stranger.

As Pete learns to fit in with his new supernatural schoolmates, he starts to discover his own uniquely undead abilities, and even begins enjoying his life after death…but he just can’t shake the feeling that he’s forgotten something (or somebody!) important. 

Somebody he left behind in the land of the living. 

Somebody he loved very much. 

Somebody who’s in terrible danger. 

First Thoughts

I was approached by the author’s publicist through her publisher about reading and reviewing this book. The blurb sounded intriguing so I decided to give it a try.

Book Cover

I like the colors of the book cover. It’s a cartoon-like design, though the building in the background looks more “real” and ominous.

Plot

Peter Green is dead. How he died and why is a mystery to him. However, he’s young and is not allowed to have his memories until he graduates Mrs. Battisworth’s academy. Peter adjusts quite well but he can’t shake the feeling that he’s forgetting something important from his life when he was alive.

Unfortunately, the plot wasn’t as interesting as it sounds. Some parts of the story seemed to drag on for no reason while some parts were too quick. I honestly didn’t get into the story until the end. There was a lot of build up for the last handful of chapters.

It was an interesting concept though. The world was well done and I enjoy the idea of living after you die. Peter wasn’t able to get his memories until after he graduated, which is explained with good reasoning. However, at the same time, I felt like that was just put into place to make the plot more intense or suspenseful, but it didn’t work for me.

Characters

I enjoyed all the characters in this book. Peter had a great group of friends and they were diverse with unique personalities and tones. It was easy to tell them all apart and I enjoyed going on the adventure with them.

However, Peter is 14 though he acts much younger in the story. I actually forgot he was 14, which is mentioned in the summary, and went through the whole story thinking he was about ten. It wasn’t until I started writing this review that I realized my mistake.

Writing Style

This is a quick read. It’s not too long, though there are some parts that tend to drag on. The ending was really well done and that was when I started to get into the book. Before I knew it, it was over.

The world building was great and the characters, even though Peter was portrayed much younger than he actually is, were done well too. On the other hand, it was tough to read at times because there were a lot of typos and grammatical errors. Normally, I don’t mention that in my reviews, but there was more than just a handful which made it hard to read at times.

Peter Green And The Unliving Academy By Angelina Allsop

Rating

Plot
Characters
Writing Style

Overall

Peter Green And The Unliving Academy isn’t a bad read. It’s worth it to give it a try if you enjoy fantastical worlds with some paranormal sprinkled in.

3.3

Favorite Quote

“Did you know that the root of most hate is love?”

Angelina Allsop, Peter Green and The Unliving Academy: This Book Is Full of Dead People (The Unliving Chronicles, Book 1)

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About The Author

Angelina Allsop | Book Review | Peter Green and the Unliving Academy | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

Angelina Allsop lives with her husband, Bryce (and a very old and quite fat bulldog called Roree) in San Tan Valley, Arizona. Allsop enjoys reading, rainy days, and (of course) writing all about the many adventures that take place in her imagination. Peter Green and the Unliving Academy is her first book, and while she’s never personally been to AfterLife, Allsop supposes she will visit one day. As will we all.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Angelina Allsop’s Facebook

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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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