RHS READING CENTER!
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, Review by Tristan H.

In a breathtaking adventure, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, exploits the challenges some soldiers experienced during World War II. Unbroken is set in the time of World War II, following Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic long distance runner turned bombardier. Hillenbrand manages to put together a story full of pain and sadness, and still make an amazing story. What’s even more fascinating, Unbroken is a true book–Louis Zamperini is a real person who has been through all of the scenes. An important theme in Unbroken is resilience. Louis Zamperini has shown constantly throughout the book that he is a resilient person. For example, despite having cracked ribs and bleeding in pain from getting ganged up on by other runners, he managed to crush the original NCAA Championship record (1,609 meter run) at 4:20, he ran a 4:08.3. After all this, he had only missed the WORLD record by 1.9 seconds. However his run and finish would stand as the NCAA record for nearly 15 years. Despite being injured during the race, he had one of the most stellar performances in a long distance run, ever. Another example of resilience is when Louis is captured by the Japanese Navy, and he was…

Monsters by Rich Cohen

Monsters by Rich Cohen was not only great for  Bears fans but for any sports fan in general. A good alternative title would be “The Heart of Chicago” because this football team gave the city life, a new identity, and most importantly, a championship. This story takes place in Chicago during the 1985 season. Then, it takes you to the present, where the players are now, and how their lives have been away from the game. This team proved that Chicago is and always will be the Chicago we all know and love, as the tough and rumble mid-west football city. Cohen wrote this book to provide insight on how the Bears lifted the city and brought them all together. There was no north or south side, it was just Chicago.       The first page of the book, describes how Cohen got 2 super bowl tickets, “. . . in a manner I won’t bother to go into. . .” (Cohen 1). This grabber makes you wonder how did he get the tickets? Did he steal them? Did he scalp them? “That’s what I want to know. How did he come into (“illegal”) contact with them. The author…

The Boys of Winter by Wayne Coffey
Biography , Non-Fiction , Sports / April 18, 2017

The Boys of Winter is a biography of the 1980 U.S. Olympic gold medal hockey team then and now, on their lives both outside and inside of hockey and their connection to Coach Brooks. The book starts off with a shocking tragedy with the funeral of one of the key parts in their success at the 1980 Olympic Games. Then, you go inside Coach Brook’s mind and see how he viewed life and what his life was actually like. The stories get really interesting for all you hockey fans out there, especially when the players let their guards down and say it like it is without sparing any details. Although the players take you through all the ups, the downs are really bad, almost as bad as watching a bender out on the power play.       I’ve played hockey my whole life. I’m 17 years old, and I love watching it, playing it, and even reading about it, which this book does a great job of allowing me to do. Every hockey player and fan loves to know the “how to” of each player to see what it takes to be a pro and perform at a high level. Also,…

The Boys of Winter by Wayne Coffey
Biography , Non-Fiction , Sports / February 28, 2017

The Boys Of Winter is a nonfiction novel written by Wayne Coffey and is about the 1980 United States men’s olympic hockey team. The foreword is written by Jim Craig, who played goalie for the team. The foreword discusses how Herb Brooks, who was the head coach of the team, tragically passed and is set at the funeral of Brooks. The team was assembled of all college players and set to play national powerhouses, like the Soviet Union and Sweden. They were a unique team, in the fact, since they were college rivals, this lead players, who already had bad blood from playing each other, to believe that players from certain teams were being treated differently. The way they were coach by Brooks was intense. After an exhibition game against Norway in which they were victorious, he kept them on the ice and made them do sprints, even after team doctors advised against it, and even after the rink’s manager turned off all the lights for the night, he just kept pushing. The book is mainly about the “Miracle” game and cuts away from the game to go in depth on a certain player or coach’s life before the olympics…

Jobs – Walter Isaacson
Biography , Narrative Non-Fiction , Non-Fiction / December 20, 2016

  Steve Jobs is the biography of Jobs written by Walter Isaacson. It is written to tell the story of how Apple started and its co-founder’s life and what went wrong and right in the company’s development. Almost all of our modern-day cell phones and computer technology was based on or inspired by something Steve Jobs and Apple envisioned, designed, and assembled. During Jobs’s childhood, he would get into a lot of trouble because he was so much smarter than everyone else. He played some pretty crazy pranks, one of which was when he and a friend made an unauthorized “Bring-Your-Pet-to-School” day in elementary school. They made posters and everything and the next day the school was a zoo. He would act out in school because he was just bored. Later in life, his boredom led him to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs and to pursue certain types of religions that discouraged  showering, resulting in body odor. He thought eating natural foods would prevent that body odor but it didn’t work. Ultimately, he smelled, and people were repulsed by him at work. For example, at Atari his stench and his habit of not wearing shoes caused his co workers to hate…

American Sniper – Chris Kyle

American Sniper by Chris Kyle is the story of a Navy SEAL, Chris. Since a kid,  Chris has dreamed of serving our country in some way. After struggling in school and dropping out of college he goes to work as a farm hand for his friend. While there he gets the call he’s been waiting for; a Navy recruiting officer tells him they want him to join the SEALs. As he goes through the training, he realizes he is not in as great of shape as he once thought. Although he may not be as fit as others, his mental attitude and perseverance make him rise to the top. Once training is over, he is sent to California where he meets his team and prepares for what they all know is coming, their deployment. Eventually they are sent over seas for the Iraq War, and the story turns into a mix of fighting and fighting back emotions. Unlike other war stories there is a very personal touch added between his personal stories and the input given by his wife, Taya. During one operation in Sadr City he was leaving a house where they had been hiding when something terrifying happened, “A shot…

Bob Dylan Chronicles – Bob Dylan
Biography , Narrative Non-Fiction / March 14, 2016

The Bob Dylan Chronicles by Bob Dylan is the story of Bob Dylan the kid from Minnesota who traveled across America to New York to make his mark on the musical world as a folk singer. While in New York, he played at many musical locations such as Cafe Wah and others, until he was discovered. After that, he went on tour with some of the best of all time such as Tom Petty, The Band, etc. When he was on tour with Tom Petty, Dylan was at his lowest point, and he thought there would be no way to come back from the creative slump he had fallen into. But he did recover and produced some of the greatest music of the time with albums and songs such as Desire with “Hurricane” and others including “Like a Rolling Stone.” Not too long into his career, he turned to the electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival. This was the start of the musical legend who played with the best of all time and influenced the best of all time. For instance, in this book it talked about how he would listen to Roy Orbison, and how he had a huge…

Bringing Down The House – Ben Mezrich

“Kevin tried to hide his trembling hands. Truth be told his name wasn’t really Kevin. And he wasn’t even slightly drunk. The red splotches on his cheeks had been painted on in his hotel room. And though thirty thousand dollars in chips was enough to make his hands shake, it wasn’t something that would impress the people who really knew him. They’d be much more interested in the ratty duffel bag beneath his chair. . . A hand in the hair meant only one thing. Get out. Get moving. Now (Mezrich 1-2). This is the life of a carefully handpicked group of MIT math wiz kids. The story of this group of kids surfaces for the first time by storyteller Ben Mezrich. The reader is taken into the dark corporate side of Vegas with its video cameras, backroom investigations, floor managers, and bodyguards. The group of MIT students, lead by a past MIT professor, now blackjack genius, face the full force of this dark underside of Vegas including their burly pit bosses, endless martinis, and darkwindowless back rooms. The group of college kids need to balance school frat parties, course exams, and their home life with their undercover fake identities…