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

Do you have opinions about books, movies and music? Submit your own review!


Cover of Hidden FIguresThe movie Hidden Figures is about 3 black women that want to have jobs in NASA. But since it is the 1960s and segregation is still going on, it is very hard for those women to find jobs that match themselves. They are very smart people, responsible, punctual, but racism still gets in their way. When they want to do something, they often can’t really reach it because of the color of their skin. But my favorite parts are when they are able to overcome what the dominant group said about them and reach a higher level. When the other NASA scientists couldn’t figure something out, they always turned to the women. And it proved that in situations where they were told they were not needed they actually were needed. They were able to just back them up, pike when the men were trying to figure out some weird, complex math equation that they couldn’t figure out. The women always had good reasoning, good opinions. It’s a really nice story, a true story, and I would recommend it to anyone who believes in justice and wants to learn the history of black people and segregation.

Reviewed by Suhera – 9th grade

Find Hidden Figures at the library.


Cover of Nimona by Noelle StevensonNimona is a shapeshifter and she comes into the employ of Blackheart and he has some ideas about villainy that they disagree on. She thinks they should just have free reign to murder but he has different rules that he lives by, like no murdering kings and people and peasants. When they try to steal some *science* everything goes wrong and Nimona starts killing people. Then Goldenloin shows up and he’s this guy who is blonde with perfect hair and a stereotypical hero-kingdom-guy-dude. So then Nimona runs off and the laboratory explodes and she escapes. She impersonates some stuff, steals some plans which Blackheart reviews and then…stuff happens.

It is a comic book for people ages 10 and up and I recommend it to fans of good comedy, fans of Lumberjanes or fantasy or Prince-less or sharks. It’s really good and it’s fun and it’s amazing and you should read it!

Reviewed by Oscar – 9th grade

Find Nimona at the library


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.