By: Abigail M.

Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii
Author: Vicky Alvear Shecter

Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: A slave boy, Tages, wants to win his freedom via the gladiator ring. Lucia wants to get out of marrying, Vitulus, a man old enough to be her grandfather. Thia story is set in ancient Pompeii, the month leading up to volcano day. A long the way, Tages and Lucia share a forbidden love while Mount Vesuvius threatens to cover their home in ash and destruction.

Review: This book was very entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I think it was gracefully worded, and it switches between Tages and Lucias point of view. There is a very big change in Lucias character development. From all that I know, this book is historically accurate. It is very sad at the end, so if you plan to read this book, bring a lot of tissues. 

Author: R.J. Palacio

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Genre: Fiction

Plot: A boy who had been homeschooled all his life is going to his first year of public school.  With concerned parents, an overprotective sister, a sick dog, and a not-so-normal face, Auggie Pullman goes through all the backstabbing, friends, drama, and fieldtrips that come with fifth grade. 

Review: I would highly recommend this book. It is one of my favorites! I really love this book because the story can happen to people. The story jumps from different points of view and you see everyones take on the story.  Auggie, the main character, Will and Summer, along with many other characters, show great character development.  This is an interesting collection of first-person point of views. It is set in the present and follows a kid throughout fifth-grade, which I found interesting, because most stories are based on kids high-school age or above. I have grown to love many of these characters over the course of reading and re-reading this book.  If you read it, I think youll love them all too!

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