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Zombie Baseball Beatdown

Zombie Baseball Beatdown - Paolo Bacigalupi

This book was about a boy named Rabi and a few of his friends, Miguel and Joe. Rabi's mother left for India to tend to a sick relative, Miguel's family got deported to Mexico, and Joe's father is mostly irresponsible, so during the time of the situation, the boys were basically on their own. They live in the town of Delbe, Iowa, and they all play baseball at the Delbe Middle School. There is a corrupt meat company in Delbe, called Milrow, that uses strange drugs on cows (their source of meat) in effort to make them grow, and they can sell more meat. The drugs are bad and have turned cows into zombies, and then people get infected by getting bitten, or eating the zombie meat, and it starts to spread. The boys start to find out about the zombies when their baseball coach, Mr. Corcoran starts acting weird and wants their brains, and so for a few days they watch the company, try to break in, and find proof that these zombies exist and show it to the police, who did not believe them. They broke lots of rules and were constantly getting into trouble. They drove illegally in the pickup truck of Miguel's deported uncle, have threatened adults, made the police think the entire deal is a prank, and even blew up a truck. They decided that at the next baseball game, they would show off a zombie cow head that they managed to steal from the factory, along with the executive of the company, Mr. Riggoni. Before they could execute their plan, things went wrong, because there was a truck selling the meat of the zombie cows in the form of hamburgers, and people were eating them and turning into zombies. The boys teamed up with all the other baseball players and worked together, beating zombies with bats, baseballs, and other projectiles to get to the truck they were driving illegally to escape from the zombies and hopefully get to safety. In the end, they did make it to safety, but they were in trouble for violating the terms of a contract Rabi and the boys had signed promising to no longer associate themselves with the zombie uprise, and leave it to the guy who made them sign the contract, Mr. Maximillian. He was a very tough guy to beat, wise of fighting for justice, and ensured to the three kids and their families that there was nothing they could do to get out of the legal trouble they were in without losing everything of value that they possess, but Rabi had an idea. Rabi thought that if he told everyone that the whole zombie uprising did not happen, and that it was merely a story, they could get away with everything they did.

 

In this book, I noticed several connections. In the book, Rabi is accused of playing jokes and lying when telling people about things that may seem impossible, such as the zombie apocalypse. I can relate this to another book I read in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, where the main character tries to tell his friends and others that something really happened, and nobody believes him. In the book, Rabi basically sucks at batting in baseball, and is always teased for it. I can relate because I too have been made fun of and teased for my inabilities. This, in some cases has to do with my inabilities in sports, like Rabi. Lastly, the three boys, right away, wanted to find out what was going on at the factory and meatpacking plant when the big bad smell surfaced. They wanted to find out the cause of the smell, which led to them finding out about the zombie cows. Kids in general can relate to this because many kids are curious about things and want to find out why things happen.

 

I would recommend this book to people who like stories based off of action, suspense, and thrills. I was definitely thrilled and "hooked" from this book. I found the story very exciting and sometimes funny. There were many moments of excitement, like when the whole crowd became zombies and the remaining humans on the baseball field had to beat a lot of them down in order to get to their truck, beat some more zombies and then escape in effort of finding safety. There were a few jokes in the story that made it funny. With that said, I conclude that if you are person seeking a story of humor, excitement, scares, action, suspense, and thrills, this book is for you.

Spy School

Spy School - Stuart Gibbs

This book is about a kid named Benjamin Ripley who came home to a man named Alexander Hale who worked for the CIA, and was supposedly one of the best in the spying department. Benjamin had been recruited into the Academy of Espionage of the Central Intelligence Agency for his amazing math abilities and achieving phenomenal grades in school. He was disappointed when he got to the academy, for it did not meet his expectations and he had nearly been killed in the same night. The next day he found out that his recruitment was simply a sham, and that he had been used to draw in an enemy with false information in his student file, and that he was not really capable of being a spy. The academy did not tell him that. Ben wanted to work together with another student, who is said to be one of the best students in the academy. He hoped that he could redeem himself by finding out who the enemy is and defeating him. The many days leading to the discovery of the enemy included instances of Ben being attacked, hurt, his friend, Mike, being put in danger, and attempts of abduction. He also found out that Alexander Hale was a fraud, that he only looked like a hero because he took credit for everyone's work, and that he was actually generally incompetent. Him and the other student found out that the enemy was Murray Hill, a person that was supposed to be his friend. Murray had deceived everyone into thinking he was just a kid in which nothing about the school or the aspects of being a spy piqued his interest, that he wanted a desk job in the CIA because it was too dangerous for him, and that he would never harm anyone. Murray was going to blow up the academy's Hale Building by planting a bomb under it. When Ben found out that Murray was behind all the activity happening in the school, Murray convinced Ben into joining his group and defeat the supposedly good side. After a failed attempt to kill Murray, Ben chases him to the practice fields of the campus. There, a brief exchange of gunfire occurred, which ended in Murray being knocked unconscious by a mound of ice that Ben had shot down from the top of a nearby building in the campus. Everyone gathers around, Alexander Hale claiming to have defeated him. Then, Ben starts to grow fond of the school. That had began his journey into becoming a spy.

 

In this book, I had noticed a few connections. In the book, Ben has high expectations for the school and a few others things in the book, based on what he has seen before in movies, and is let down when he experiences the real thing. He is let down when he gets to the academy because it turns out to be essentially the same thing as regular school, and he thought that this kind of school would look advanced and that he would be treated better than in regular school. He thought that when a person got shot, they would just shake it off and move on, but when a bullet grazed his arm, it really hurt. People can relate because everyone has certain expectations for something based off of what he/she saw, read, or heard, and then is disappointed because what he/she experiences does not meet his/her expectations. Ben was also surprised when Alexander took all the credit for knocking out Murray Hill. I can relate to this, as others have taken credit for things I have done, such as projects. The last connection I found in this book pertains to the use of words. The words overall demonstrate a wise and sarcastic attitude. One of the lines along the lines of, "Apparently the last time this dorm was weatherproofed was during the Kennedy Administration," exaggerated on how careless and old the school appeared to be. This relates to two books in the Percy Jackson and Olympians series because the book also has a witty and snarky attitude.

 

I recommend this book to people who like story with suspense, excitement and tension. I found many moments of excitement and suspense in this story. I was finding myself constantly wondering what was going to happen next. Some moments, such as a few explosions were unexpected, hence why I found it exciting. I found this book to be, overall, full of adventure, tension, action and suspense. I found tension and suspense to be the most effective in the book because that is what intrigued me the most. If you like a book with suspense and action, then this book is for you.

Hoot

Hoot - Carl Hiaasen

This book was about this kid named Roy Eberhardt, who moved to Florida from Montana. One day, on the bus en-route to school, he sees this strange skinny barefoot boy running across backyards who really piques his interest, and he sees him again a few days later and decides to chase after him. But this bully named Dana Matherson stops Roy and starts choking him, so Roy punched him in the face and chased after the running boy to a golf course, and gets knocked out by a golf ball. A few days later, he apologizes to Dana and asks to start things over fresh, to no avail, and he finally catches up with the boy who calls himself Mullet Fingers, because of his ability to catch mullet fish with his hands. Things were shaky for the both of them in the beginning, because when they first met, Mullet caught Roy in his territory and tied him to a tree and covered his head with a hood, but they eventually became friends. There was construction going on at this site around Roy's neighborhood, which was supposed to be "Mother Paula's Pancake House", but they were building the pancake house in the environment of owls, so Mullet constantly vandalizes the site for the sake of the owls. Soon Roy, Mullet Fingers, and many students of Roy's middle school were protesting for the protection of the owls, which resulted in the company being forced to cease construction of Mother Paula's Pancake House, and Mullet (real name then revealed as Napoleon Bridger) returns to his home and life in the wilderness, near the golf course where Roy had been struck by the ball. Through all this, Roy has adapted to Florida's lifestyle and made many friends.

 

In this book, I noticed a few connections. In the beginning of the story, Roy's reaction is explained when he hears that him and his family are moving to Florida. He cried and hid from his parents because he really liked Montana and was used to it. Some people cam relate, because they do not want things to change after they have adapted. I also acknowledged Roy's huge level of curiosity on the running boy. Roy was interested in the running boy, and chases after him, as a result of this curiosity. I can relate because I am the kind of person that tries to get a closer look of something that I find interesting, dubious, funny, etc. because I am curious. I also noticed that Roy's apology letter to Dana Matherson for punching him consisted of a mildly sarcastic tone, because he did not believe it was fair to apologize to him, for Dana nearly strangled him to death, leaving marks on his neck. And he only punched Dana to defend himself. This connects to a book I read called The Lightning Thief, where the main character, Percy, is accused of interrupting his stepfather's poker game and is asked to apologize for it. He said something along the lines of, "I am so sorry for interrupting your very important game", because he did not think it was fair to apologize when the stepfather made him the center of attention when he walked into the apartment, where the poker game took place, interrupting his own poker game. These connect because in both novels, the main character apologizes in a sarcastic tone because of what he believed.

 

I would recommend this book to people who like stories that consist of suspense. Some parts of this book consisted of moments of long term suspense. For example, it seemed like a while until I found out if Roy and the running barefoot boy would ever meet, and it was definitely a while until I found out who was vandalizing the construction site. I encountered quite a few moments of suspense while reading this book, wondering what will happen next and I could not wait to get to the next page. This book did consist of a few moments that I found somewhat exciting and consisting of action, but in my opinion the main factor is the suspense that had me constantly hooked to this book. This book did excite me but not a whole lot. I conclude that if you like stories that will have you in suspense, not wanting to stop reading until you find out what happened, you should consider reading this book.

Battle of the Labyrinth

— feeling cyclop
The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan

This book is about a half-human, half-god boy named Percy who went to attend a new school orientation, which ended in disaster; the school was on fire, two cheerleaders who happened to be demons attempted to kill Percy and his mortal friend. After escaping from the school, him and his equally half-god friend went to their camp (which is a special camp for half-bloods). There was a new swordfighter named Quintus, who came into the camp through the Labyrinth, which is a huge, constantly expanding series of tunnels with deadly traps and hard to navigate. Luke, (who was a camper, and betrayed everyone and left to join Kronos and the Titan Lord’s army and take over Olympus) searches for Ariadne’s string, (which allows him to navigate the Labyrinth and take over the camp). Percy, his half-brother, and his friends went into the Labyrinth a few days later to stop Luke from getting the string by intercepting it from Daedalus,  the creator of the Labyrinth, and try to find Pan, the god of the wild whom Grover had been pursuing for years. The quest consisted of battles with strange monsters who tried to eat the three, betrayal, Percy almost dying and ending up on an island in the middle of nowhere for weeks, and finding out that Quintus is actually Daedalus in another form. After that, a terrible war broke out at camp, leaving a few dead, including Daedalus to get rid of the evil Labyrinth. Percy went back to his mother’s for the summer, however, his father, Poseidon, came to warn him that most disaster awaits.

 

I noticed a few connections in this book. Percy is hyperactive and finds almost everything he sees appealing, and he can identify secret messages. This connects to some people because people do pay attention to many little features of something, and sometimes that allows them to identify things or see things in their true form. In the book, when Quintus reveals himself as Daedalus, Percy does not believe him and he replies with something that he ends up unsatisfied with and comes up with three things he could have said, because he wants his reply to be witty. This connects to be because sometimes I don’t have time to decide what to say and end up saying something that makes no sense, and I keep on thinking of things I could have said. This book reminds me of a book I read a long time ago called Fox because that book also consisted of someone bypassing the dangers of outside through a tunnel to get what they need and return.


I would recommend this book to others because it gives the reader the feeling of suspense, and it is usually exciting and full of action. Some scenes in the book are even creepy and scary. When reading the book, I couldn’t wait to get to the next page, where what happened next is explained. In the book, during the fights, you probably would want to imagine what the scene would look like and sound like as they were explained in the book. At some parts of the book, the author would describe what the three saw in the Labyrinth in such a way to create an eerie mood. I would recommend this book to people who like a story with a lot of action, suspense, and scenes that will either excite you or scare you, so if you like to read a thrilling story, this book is for you.