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Write reviews for your favorite books. Receive volunteer/community service hours to count towards graduation requirements, National Honor Society requirements and more!
To start, simply choose a book to read. We would prefer that you select a book from our collection, but feel free to choose any book that you feel strongly about. Next, write a compelling, well-written review of the book that you chose. Try to aim for 200-400 words, or approximately two paragraphs. Incomplete or un-edited work will be sent back to the submitter to be re-done. Please note that your review doesn’t have to be positive, so just be honest.
Make sure you have submitted your Community Service Volunteer Application and background checks in order to qualify for community service hours. Email these to  Finally, submit your work via this Google Form.
Each review is worth 1 volunteer hour. Once your review has been posted, you will receive the volunteering credit.

Attention: Please complete a Community Service Volunteer Application (linked here) before submitting a review. Anyone aged 14-17 only needs to complete the volunteer application.  Anyone age 18 and up  must also complete the following:

  • PA State Police Criminal History Clearance (PCHC)
  • PA Child Abuse History Clearance (CAHC).

These are free for volunteers. Due to high demand, we cannot guarantee that we can accommodate everyone.
Those seeking volunteer hours for the National Honors Society should consider having one or more backup locations in order to obtain all required hours. Hours are first come, first served, so submit your applications as soon as possible!

*Please note that the opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blog participants and not the library itself.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Reviewed by: Darlene

“Eat, Pray, Love begins with Elizabeth struggling with her relationship with her inner self. She’s in the midst of age where ladies her age start to wonder their purpose in life and begin to have children, however this isn’t the paradigm she sees herself conforming to. She’s conflicted with herself and knows she has no choice, but to break the news to her husband that yearns to build a family with her.

In the midst of this conflict, she fights to find hope in the messy divorce. In the background she is spoken to by a journalist which sets on her journey to Indonesia to communicate with a mysterious monk. This monk tells her that she will visit Italy, India, and Indonesia, but she will be stripped of everything at first, but in this she will be like a dove flying out of the chaos. However, she must revisit the monk once more, but for the time being she will reside at her abode.

The chaos that surrounds her will soon disappear as she embarks on balancing her spiritual journey with the pleasures of life.

I gave this book 5/5 stars, since the author perfectly details her journey to Italy, India and Indonesia. The plot was engaging and made me glued to the book. The use of rhetoric in this book is visibly present and makes me awe at the words on the page. However, I would definitely recommend this book to young adults (ages 13+), due to the mature language and dark themes it includes. For instance, suicidal thoughts and explicit language present in the book.”

Passing by Nella Larsen

Reviewed by: Darlene

“Passing by Nella Larsen was a thrilling short novel to read! It’s about Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry being white-passing in a society where African Americans were discriminated against intensely. Irene Redfield chose to embrace her racial identity through remaining in Harlem, however Clare Kendry (who once was her friend) decided to portray herself as a white American female.

Irene Redfield on the other hand held disdain for Clare abandoning her roots. All she yearned for was Clare to get out of her and her husband’s lives once and for all. Irene is the only person in Harlem that knows of Clare’s true identity. This posed a difficult choice for Irene. To say the truth about Clare, or keep it in the dark?

The balancing of two identities, white and black. Clare had chosen to live and embrace the white American culture of a female. Throughout this story, she got to experience the privilege of being and experiencing what the white identity entails. However, in the process she succumbed to lusting towards Irene’s lifestyle. Clare had ultimately regretted her decisions, however there was no going back into the past. Was the unparalleled marriage, societal gain, and stable family all worth it? Was losing her identity worth it to Clare? The answers to these questions go subtly answered in a tragic way as we observe Clare through the lens of Irene.

I gave this book four out of five stars, since it sends a notable message to the audience. The difficulties of embracing an entirely different culture, in order to gain the favor of society. It’s an important tale to tell, since we’re forced to see the consequences of a judgmental and prejudiced society and how it affects individuals. However, one thing I disliked was the ambiguous ending of Clare. I loathed how it glossed over her death. Was she killed by falling or was she pushed? This question goes unanswered at the end. I do recommend this novel for young adults (13+), due to the explicit language.

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka was an intriguing and eccentric novel to read! The main protagonist Gregor Samsa who is a salesman who is unhappy with the current circumstances of his life. He’s unfulfilled and constantly struggling to find a balance between himself and his job. However, he doesn’t leave his job due to him yearning to conform to this paradigm that every male must succumb to, which is essentially to be the breadwinner no matter if you’re satisfied with your career.

He unfortunately transforms into this insect-like creature after the accumulation of stress that he must fit into the conformity rather than be himself. Sadly, everyone who he communicates with is frightened with his new images and immediately is deferred from him. He’s a protagonist who is truly misunderstood in this society where he is unable to conform, which results in him being isolated from mainstream society.

I was enamored with this novel, due to its difficult themes and language. The theme of this novel fascinated me since it reminded me of how us (working class and others) believe all there is to life is conformity however if we don’t change this mindset we will soon fall prey to what occurred to Gregor Samsa. Therefore I would definitely recommend this novel to young adults ages to 15+, due to the absurdity it depicts. However, this absurdity truly makes me realize how the majority of us suffer the consequences of fitting into this model of “american dream” we all strive for, which is something we shouldn’t aim for, but rather seek our desires.

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

“You’ve Reached Sam” by Dustin Thao is about a young adult named Julie who unfortunately has to experience the death of her boyfriend named Sam. She struggles to find motivation and reconciliation, however everywhere she turns and looks everything reminds her of Sam. Sam’s death has impacted her on a deeper level in which as us the readers grasp onto the reality and the solemnity of the situation.

But, until one phone call which flipped her world upside. She had called a number, which was Sam’s and he picked up. Continuous calls and communication with her and Sam references that she was never able to officially say goodbye to him. It makes the audience feel a sense of melancholy that one day we will experience. Julie is suffering in the process of the consistent communication between her and Sam. She acknowledges that she needs to let go so she too can break free of the bondages of sadness.

I gave this book a 4/5 stars, due to the nature and seriousness of the situation that Julie undergoes. I would definitely recommend this to young adults such as 15+ who are interested in emotional and profound topics. This book has truly changed my perspective and learning how to communicate my feelings and thoughts more actively, since the death of a loved one can truly impact me in the future. This book is a reality check and made me realize how much I should appreciate the people I have surrounded myself with.