Monday, February 24, 2014

Review of "Ashes" by Isla J. Bick

Review of Ashes  By Annalise Giuliano, eighth grader at Bradley Beach Elementary School

How would you feel if you were out hiking one day enjoying the beautiful wilderness in Michigan, when all of a sudden you feel a zap like a laser scorching your brain?  After you pick yourself off the ground and wipe the blood off of your face, you come to realize that whatever zapped your brain killed a good part of the population and turned the young people into flesh-eating zombies.

This is what happened to the main character Alex in Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick. Alex is one of the “lucky” few who survived the electromagnetic pulse unharmed. She embarks on a journey to find closure for her parents’ deaths and to come to peace with the fact that she has an inoperable, terminal brain tumor. Along the way, she meets an angry, eight year old girl named Ellie, and her dog Mina, the only link to Ellie’s father, a soldier who died in action. The two struggle to survive in this new world where people have turned into the top predator, no electronic devices work, and food is scarce. Alex and Ellie are saved from a pack of wild dogs and a zombie by a young soldier named Tom, who is also running from traumatic events in his  past. The trio join together to form a type of family. On their journey, they face killer zombies and untrustworthy humans that cause them to be separated against their will.

I found Ashes to be an awesome book and a fast read. It was difficult to put the book down since it was very exciting and suspenseful. Each chapter seemed to end with a cliffhanger that was not always answered until the next chapter. The characters in the story were put through many hardships, obstacles, and emotional losses which helped to make the book riveting. This book was a coming of age novel that effectively included elements of science fiction and the apocalypse. The target audience for this book are boys and girls, ages 13 and over who enjoy horror and suspense novels. I would give this book five stars. I cannot wait to see what the sequels bring!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Please tell us what you think

We are very interested in what you think of the books you get from your library. So interested that we came up with a scheme to make it easier to share your views. We call it book reviews, Bradley style. 

We have been pasting stickers into new books  

like this 
that ask you describe the book you just read in one word. 

It is surprisingly hard to do. (True confessions: I cheated on my first one and used two words :) It's also causes you to pause and think about what you've just read in a very interesting way. 

Here are a few one-word reviews: 
  • George Washington's Secret Six (Kilmeade): Illuminating
  • Horns (Hill): Macabre
  • Humans of New York (Stanton): Beautiful  
  • Leaders Eat Last (Sinek): Inspiring  
  • The Lowland (Lahiri): Gorgeous 
  • Ten Years in the Tub (Hornby): Wide-ranging
  • The Way of All Fish (Grimes): Boring
  • What If... (MacLaine): Shirley makes us think!

We hope you'll join in book reviews, Bradley style. 

If you would like to write a longer review, please email to to or drop it off at the desk. 

We want to know what you think!