Looking for new books to read? Here are some UHS students’ favorite books…


Isabella Mariani, Reporter

The weather is getting colder and everyone is inside a lot more with nothing to do. But instead of doing nothing, you can pick up one of these books which are favorites amongst Urbana High School students. 

Ava-Grace Lee’s (9) favorite book is the Forbidden Game series by L.J. Smith. She said it was her favorite because, “It’s a really adventurous book that is really well written.” The Forbidden Games start when Jenny buys a game for her boyfriend, Tom, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the guy behind the counter. There is something mysteriously alluring about Julian’s pale eyes and bleached-blonde hair. And when he places the game into her hands she knows that they have a deeper connection. But as Jenny and six friends begin to play the game at her boyfriend’s birthday party, a night of friends and fun quickly turns into a night of terror and obsessive love. Because the game isn’t just a game. It’s the seven friends’ new reality where Julian rules as the prince of shadow. One by one the friends must confront their phobias to win the game. To lose the games is to lose their lives. And this is only the beginning. 

“I find the main character relatable, and we go through similar situations. The book is also very sad, and I love sad books.” Is what Dunya Senic (10) has to say about her favorite book Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. This book begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about a lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. 

In Coraline’s family’s new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors are open and close. The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own. Only it’s different. At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind- up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there’s another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope for rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself. That is the description for Grace Nelson’s (10), favorite book, Coraline by Neil Gaiman. It’s her favorite because, “I love the character,” Grace Nelson explains, “I also love the story and setting. It’s creepy yet comforting, it’s always been one of my favorite books for fall season. There is also a sense of nostalgia everytime I read it.” 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is the favorite book of Audrey Cowles (10). “I like the variety of cast,” Audrey explains, “They flesh all of them out very well and the plot is very well done and all of the action was well thought out and didn’t feel unnecessary.” Six of Crows takes place in Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price. No one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered the chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull this heist off alone. By his team has a convict with a thirst for revenge, a sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager, a runaway with a privileged past, a spy known as the Wraith, a heartrender using her magic to survive the slums, and a thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Kaz’s team is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction. That’s if they don’t kill each other first. 

These are just the favorite books of a few Urbana High students, but hopefully their recommendations can help you find a new book to read and maybe a new favorite.