Click'd by Tamara Ireland Stone

The cover of Click'd has a navy blue background with pixels on it, with sketches of various electronic devices
Click’d

Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone is an excellent book that tells a great story about friendship. The book is about 12 year old Allie Navarro. Allie loves to code, in fact she even made a app called Click’d at CodeGirls summer camp, and she can’t wait to show her friends. Click’d is an app that matches users based on similar interests and then sends them on a scavenger hunt to find each other based on clues the app gives them. Allie hopes to enter Click’d into a contest called Games for Good and beat her archenemy Nathan by winning.

On the first day of school Allie shows Click’d to her best friends Maddie, Emma and Zoe and they love it! At first Allie is determined not to release Click’d to the public until the competition, just to be safe. But her friends convince her that everything will be fine. Instantly Click’d is a huge success and Allie loves all the fame she is getting from her classmates. But soon Allie discovers a glitch that could destroy her chances of winning the competition and even worse, could expose users’ secrets. In order to make things right Allie must share the computer lab with Nathan. Allie must fix her game in time for her competition even if it means working with Nathan to make it onstage to present Click’d to the judges and hopefully win. Click’d is a great book because it tells the story of friendship, gaining new ones and fixing old ones. On top of that Click’d has a good sense of humor and makes you want to never stop!

The Geography of Lost Things by: Jessica Brody

A book cover for The Geography of Lost Thongs shows a road with trees on either side
The Geography of Lost Things

Ali (that’s not her “real” name) Collins has a lot of things on her plate.

Her dad left her . . . twice . . . and just a little over a week ago, she found out he died.
Her father left her his most prized possessions, a 1968 Firebird convertible.

Ali has a few memories about that car, and she plans on selling it to a bidder over in Crescent City, CA. However, if she wants to get there, she’s got to drive on a stick shift. But she really wants to go there because the amount of money the buyer’s giving her is enough to save her childhood home from foreclosure.

Therefore, she asks her ex-boyfriend, Nico, if he can drive her up there. He agrees to drive her up there.

The trip goes off terribly, with multiple detours and the tension between her and her ex, Nico.
Along the way, Nico starts collecting objects from strangers, and Ali starts finding their worth, thinking they are brought to her for a reason.

Finally, all these objects, a few clues, and flashbacks, help find an unknown truth about her father, but will Ali be ready to hear it?

This is book is a solid 10/10, and way more, like a 100/10. It is beautifully written and the character development is subtle but it’s there. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. It’s such a good book, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Enjoy!

Surprise!

A bicycle is propped up against a building with bright lights in the background
Image from Pixabay

It was May 5, 1996. Kevin was sitting on his bed reading when he heard the telephone ring. It was his friend Bobby. “Hey,” Bobby said, “wanna come over for dinner?”

Kevin lived in a quiet neighborhood in southern Massachusetts with his mother. It was a small run-down Cape Cod style home with torn window screens, chipping paint, a few roof shingles loose, and a few window shutters missing. His father left when Kevin was 8 years old, said he couldn’t handle having a family. It hurt Kevin really bad, but he’s learned how to deal. His mother works 2 jobs and can barely pay for the mortgage and groceries in the same month, but for the past 5 years, she has made it work. She is real hard on Kevin and gets snappy all the time, so he gets out of the house whenever he gets the chance.

“Sure,” he answered. He told Bobby he’d be over in 10 minutes. He quickly tapped down the stairs, told his mom where he was going, grabbed his jean jacket, and went out to the shed to hop on his bike.

When he approached the door, he combed his fingers through his hair and rang the doorbell. Bobby’s mother invited him in and he sat down at the dining room table. It was spaghetti night, Kevin’s favorite.

“So how are you doing Kevin?” Bobby’s dad said cheerfully.

“I am okay. Momma was real tired this afternoon, so I was glad I could get out for a while so she could have some time to herself,” Kevin replied.

“I know she works tough hours,” Bobby’s mom said.

“Yeah,” Kevin said, not wanting to be too self-centered and say how she could be a little nicer to him.

After dinner, Kevin and Bobby went into the living room to play Checkers. Later on, Kevin went home. No one was there, so he figured his mother had gone out for cigarettes. He was hungry for a snack, so he went into the kitchen. On the cupboard was a note that said, “Needed to get a few things. I’ll be back by 8:30.”

Kevin went in the living room to watch TV. 8:30 came and went. Then 9:00. Then 9:30. Kevin was getting worried. He walked down to the corner store where his mother usually went to grab odds and ends. She wasn’t there.

The owner said she had stopped by a little while ago. He recommended that Kevin walk down the street to the celebration hall. Kevin thought this was really strange, but he figured he had no reason not to.

When he arrived, he knocked on the door. It squeaked open slowly, and the room was dark. All of a sudden, the lights flew on and his mother, schoolfriends, and extended family all shouted, “Surprise!” Naturally, Kevin was shocked. They were throwing him a spontaneous party, planned by his mother who wanted to express how she loved Kevin, even though she knew she didn’t show it really often. He was ecstatic.

It was a wonderful evening for everyone, especially for Kevin and his mom.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate Dicamillo

Cover of Because of Winn Dixie

Opal Buloni and her preacher dad move to little ol’ Naomi, Florida from little ol’ Watley, Florida. Even though it’s a new place, ten-year-old Opal isn’t digging it. She misses her friends, her home, and her mother who left her when she was a little girl. Life is pretty rotten.

Enter Winn-Dixie, a mangy stray dog that Opal befriends as he ransacks a grocery store.The lovable mutt falls in love with Opal and the preacher, they fall in love with him, and voila! Opal’s summer suddenly takes a turn for the better.

Thanks to Winn-Dixie’s easygoing nature, he manages to introduce Opal to new friends in Naomi — the little old librarian, Miss Franny; the alleged witch, Gloria Dump, and the shy pet store worker, Otis. Opal spends each day swapping stories with these new friends, despite taunts from the neighborhood bully patrol.

As Opal’s brain gnaws on the stories, she learns that, like Bertie Botts Beans, what you see ain’t always what you get. She also aches for the loss of her mother, wishing she could have story time with her.

Things go on like this for a while, and then Opal and Gloria Dump plan a shindig. Opal invites everyone, including the bully patrol. Everything is going swimmingly until a storm comes and poof! freaks out Winn-Dixie, who is ridiculously afraid of thunderstorms. Poof again! Winn-Dixie disappears.

Opal and her dad search and search, coming up with nada. Then, as her dad tries to convince her to give up, Opal has a mother of a meltdown. Literally. It’s about her mother (you know, the whole “abandonment” thing). She and the preacher have a heart-to-heart. Opal realizes that her mom isn’t coming back, but she has a father who loves her, friends who love her, potential friends to love her, and she’ll be okay.

Plus, Winn-Dixie was hiding under the bed at the party the whole time. So Opal still has a mangy dog that loves her, too. But it’s not just that. She can love each and every one of them in return, for as long as they are in her life. It’s a happy, happy day in Opal’s world. Life lessons learned; warm fuzzies felt.

Review of K. A. Holt’s House Arrest

House Arrest is about a 7th grader named Timothy who stole a wallet in order to pay for his baby brother Levi’s medication. These actions caused Timothy to be placed under house arrest and ordered to keep a journal describing his feelings and day to day life. The book contains the pages of Timothy’s journal, separated by the seasons marking his year of house arrest.

I loved this book as it explored many aspects of Timothy’s life from his friends, to his school, to his family. It was a very real look at an unusual situation, as Timothy’s brother was suffering from a life- threatening illness and Timothy himself is on house arrest. In addition to this interesting view, the story included many heartwarming characters like Levi’s nurse, Marisol, his friends Jose and Isa, Timothy’s probation officer, James, and Timothy’s mom. All these characters and more are brought to life by the vivid descriptions that filled the pages of Timothy’s journal.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in realistic fiction and looking for a quick read. Although it clocks in at about 311 pages, it’s almost poetry-like structure makes it easier to read. Age-wise House Arrest seems to be more directed at a middle-grade audience, but its message makes it a good read for anyone. Seven out of ten, would recommend.

Behind the Paper: Part Eleven

girl holding her finger to her lips as if to shush someone

The day went by smoothly and I felt reassured. Charlotte appeared from behind my cubicle when I working on an article.

“Hello stranger! I haven’t seen you since the day you moved out of the department! Where were you?” Charlotte smiles and then frowns, “I called your home phone but only Darry picked up. He sounds worried because you haven’t been coming home. Is this true?”

I shrugged and looked at my clock in my cubicle, “It’s lunch time. How about let’s go out to eat.”

After I told my best friend Charlotte about everything that happened, I felt relieved to tell someone about it.

“J-Jacob ROD!” Charlotte screams at the top of her lungs. Noticing curious eyes around us, I quickly stepped my foot on hers under the table.

“OWWWWWWWWW!” She yells.

I secretly whispered, “Its suppose to be a secret! Shhhh!” Like she understood me, she hushed and nodded.

“So, that cheating scoundrel thinks he can live his life without Molly!” Charlotte said as she madly stuffed food in her mouth.

“Yeah, but its okay,” I smiled, “at the end, it’s a win-win. He gets to cheat on me and I get to see Jacob’s house.” Giggles came out of Charlotte. She suddenly stops her laughing and looked sad.

“Are you okay though?” Charlotte stops eating and looks at me, “I mean you have been dating him for three years and this happened suddenly.”

I looked at my cup and said, “When life brings you lemons, sell them.”

To be continued…

Behind the Paper: Part Six

An hour later after the coffee incident, my boss, Fernando, told us all to go to the conference room for our first meeting. As I settled in my chair near the others, boss walks in. 

“If you haven’t finish your work from your last department, then I suggest you finish it and leave no strings attached. This isn’t a part time job either so you guys should know if you don’t do your work here, your most likely gonna get fired real soon. You are in the best department here so I suggest you should keep up with your work,” Fernando tells us as he sits in his chair with stacks of paper.  

“Yes sir,” everyone in the conference room says.

“Ok so let’s go over the details for the magazine articles. We will want this to be a hit. Garrett and Freddy, you guys are going to write a piece about a scandal that’s going on with the pop star, Isabella Gouma and President Henry. Rumors have been going on that Isabella cheated her way up top because of the help of the president. Molly and Jacob, you guys will be focusing on an very famous soccer player, Kenitu Lovas. He will an interview on the 9th and I expect you guys to go. Louis and Andrew, you guys will….”

After that, I didn’t listen. I am working with Jacob?! I swear, what did I do to deserve this?! But apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought that way. 

“Wait. I didn’t hear you correctly. Who is my partner again?” Jacob questioned.

“Molly. Is there a problem with that?” Fernando looked at Jacob with an cold expression.

“No sir,” Jacob looked at me and wrote something in his notebook. 

When he put his notebook down I took a peek and read . . . .