BPL Teens Recommend

Row of colorful book spines with BPL Teens Recommend blog header

Book, movie & music reviews by teens for teens! Because who would know better what Berkeley teenagers might want than other Berkeley teenagers? 

Some of the most recent reviews are featured here. 

See all the reviews at BPLTeensRecommend.wordpress.com

Then check them out from the library

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Cover of The Bite of the Mango bookBite of the Mango is about a girl who lives in a village in Africa. Her parents both die and her uncle takes her in but he’s harsh. He says that she is ugly and because her skin has spots he can’t sell her, and so he gives her to an orphanage. In that orphanage she gets raped and abused; she has her baby but he dies. Then while traveling to a neighboring village she gets attacked by rebels who cut off her hand.  There was a LOT going on. But eventually she makes it to Britain and this is the story of how she goes from being by herself in an orphanage in Sierra Leone to being in Britain.

I liked that it was kind of sad and it made me feel some type of way toward her. It is a true story and it made me empathetic. It is pretty graphic so I recommend it for 7th graders and up. I haven’t read any book like it or see anything like it.

Reviewed by Celine – 8th grade

Find Bite of the Mango at the library.


Cover of Star Wars: A New Hope book

This was a good movie and the plot was basically good and bad. It’s a science fiction space thing and there are lots of spaceships and big battles and laser guns and really futuristic tech. The main character is Luke and he’s in a rebellion fighting against the Empire led by Darth Vader. He’s a jedi and he has a lightsaber and he does cool tricks with it. The best part – well, I don’ really want to spoil it – but there are a lot of good parts, basically all of it! They had really good special effects in the fight scenes and the acting was good. I recommend it to elementary students and middle schoolers and high schoolers – and YOU if you haven’t seen it!

Reviewed by Raphael – 8th grade

Find Star Wars: A New Hope at the library.


Cover of Otomen by Aya Kanno

I love this series! It has all those clichés that you think about in a typical shojo manga but in reverse. The guy is into all this really girly stuff and the girl is really manly and they have to deal with other people’s views of them. The main character’s mother thinks he should be more tough and gets “sick” whenever he doesn’t act manly enough, even though she is faking it. Throughout the two main characters try to hide what they actually feel, and so there’s a lot of drama about just being who you want to be instead of trying to match your parents view of who they want you to be or what they think someone should be. This is for manga fans that are young teens to anybody, really. It’s a good series. Read it!

Reviewed by Oscar – 9th grade

Find Otomen at the library.