Saturday, March 31, 2012

World at War: The Story of World War II

Title: World at War 
Author: Nigel Cawthorne 
Pages read: 56
Reviewed by: Jacob Wallman 

This story is about a World War II and about the strategic plans used by the Nazis during the war and about the attacks and all of the men killed and that gave their lives. It also talks about why Hitler did some of things he did and how some of the attacks weren't planned by him or were a mess up in communications, like in Holland when they capitulated but Rotterdam was still bombed because of the mix up in communications. It also talks about about how they got behind enemy lines and how Poland were the last country to ride horse's into battle. Also how even though Finland had a small army the were able to win back there freedom twice.     

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Second Skin

Title: Second Skin
Author: Caitlin Kittredge
Pages Read: 150
Reviewed by: Brin Mrzel

Second Skin was written by Caitlin Kittredge, it is a fantasy novel. The book starts of in a strange setting, a suicide attempted, a man is on the roof threatening to kill himself because of a plague or mutation that is going around and that is turning people into vampires or werewolves (nothing to do with Twilight). The man is described only as a jumper, and the main character (Wilder) is a detective/policeman/nagotiator, she believes that 3/4 of jumpers only say that they will take their life and do nothing about it just for the attention, in this case she was wrong. Even though the book started there it has nothing to do with the rest of the story, Wilder is the girlfriend of a werewolves that is in constant fights with the werewolf and a lot of "gang violence" rises, the story begins to unravel when Wilder starts showing her inor daemon and cannot help herself, she is also a vampire but chooses to tame it. The story has some vulgar vocabulary but I really enjoy reading it and cannot wait to see what will happen in the next chapter.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Crossing Over

Title: Crossing Over
Author: Anna Kendall
Pages: 330

     The book I have been reading for the last two weeks now is called "Crossing Over". It is about a guy named Roger Kilbourne. Roger crosses over to the land of the dead and speak with its residents. In this book it is mentioned that it is a gift to pass to the land of the dead, but the gift is not a pleasant one. Roger manages to escape his brutal uncle who didn't let him to show his talents for years. His uncle thinks that he will be safe after he gets a job in the palace laundry. Instead, there are worse dangers. First he falls in love with a Lady Cecilia and next he is pulled into court. Soon roger is using the gift as a way to get the life he dreams of, even if it means bringing the dead back to the land of the living.
     So far this book is amazing for me. In the beginning of the book there was a character called Roger, but then his uncle got involved and so much more happened. Now he needs to make a decision of either bringing back the dead or not? It seems like he will. This book gets more exciting as it goes on.  

A Company of Swans

Title: A Company of Swans
Author:  Eba Ibbotson
Genre: Historical Fiction

       The book I read this week is called A Company of Swans.  It is about a girl who runs away from her very strict father in England to join a professional ballet group performing in Brazil.  In Brazil she falls in love with ballet and a rich and handsome man, and has no idea that her father has sent her ex-suitor to find her.  Her "boyfriend"s ex-fiance is also coming to Brazil, hoping that she will be able to get that man back now that he is rich. 
         I really really enjoyed this book.  In the beginning of the story, it was a book about a girl running away from home to dance because she wants to dance.  It then turns into a deep romance.  The novel also explains about how important ballet is to ballet dancers, and has a deep dip into friendship, too.  Even though I don't even really like ballet, this book made me so passionate about it that I want to go see one now!  Even though the title and cover of this novel may not seem so great, I would not judge it by its cover, because it is a truly remarkable story.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Little Women

This week, I decided to reflect on the ending of my book, as our book reports were due on March 14th. I was actually quite surprised by the ending of my classic novel, and I was taken aback by how some of the characters ended up. Of course, I was devastated by the fact that Beth died, as she was the one who always kept peace in the family, and she was always the one who was kind and generous towards all the members of her family. It is unfortunate that she didn't settle down with someone she loved, and had a family, like the rest of her siblings. I was really happy when I read that Jo had two sons with Proffesor Bhaer, as she finally found someone with whom she shares a lot of interests, and with someone who has similar goals and expectations as she does. It was also quite interesting that she named one of her sons Teddy, possibly after Laurie, as his real name is Theodore. I found that a little awkward because Jo did reject Laurie, and made him extremely sad and frustrated. However, I am happy that Laurie and Amy ended up together. It is quite ironic though, that their daughter, whose name is Beth, is quite ill. Finally, Meg ended up marrying Laurie's former tutor, Mr. Brooke. Personally, I was quite surprised by the fact that Meg married a very poor man. When the March family lived in horrid conditions, during the war, she was always the one complaining about not being able to host fancy parties, and not having beautiful dresses. However, it is nice that she married someone she loved, and who loved her back. The ending of the book really captures the main theme of this book, which is to be grateful for what you already have, and that you can be rich without having a lot of money. It is important to value your family, friends, dreams and goals. The last scene pictures the whole family sitting around, having a picnic, saying the different things they are thankful for in their lives, which I thought was reallly inspirational, and just an overall great ending to this fantastic novel.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Boys of the Paul Street

Notice: this is last weeks blogpost and this is what happened last week

The Boys of the Paul Street
Ferenc Molnar

I finished the book the Boys of the Paul Street this week and the ending was not what I expected at all they fight fot there base against the redshirts and they succeded in defending it since Nemecsek who has pheumonia comes and helps them fight of the redshirts and protect there base. After this event he faints and falls seriously ill and in the end dies, but then the boys of the Paul street also find out that there base is going to close since the onwners of the land are building something on it.

I found the end very sad and quite unexpected, because one of the two protagonists dies, but he shows imense courage. I really liked the book and the ending even though it was really sad was well written and gave the book just that much more charm. I rate this book 9.5/10 since it was great.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Midsummer Night's Dream

Title: Midsummer Night's Dream
Author" William Shakespeare
Pages: until Act 3 Scene 1.
Genre: Fiction/Play

Reflecting on the play, that we are currently reading in class, I would like to say that it is very interesting and creative. Switching between modern and original texts can be a difficult task, especially when the "original" comes from nearly 500 years ago. Overall, I really enjoy reading the play because it is very amusing. The whole context of it is very surreal, as in there are faires and things that are not so true. But adding a little fiction/myth to it is a very great idea, because it enchants the story and adds some colors to it (comedy).
At the beginning of the plot, Shakespeare tells us a little about how it was before; only the father was able to choose who would have the privilege to marry his daughter. In this case Egeus (father) gives his daughter (Hermia) to marry a your man (Demetrius) that is madly in love with beautiful Hermia. But Hermia doesn't love him, she lover Lysander, a man that Egeus prohibited her to marry. To disobey the rules and not get punished, Hermia and Lysander decided to sneak out of Athens and live happily married at his aunt's house 20 miles away. But Hermia's best friend (Helena) knew their plan and decided to follow them along with Demetrius, who she loved.
From there we have small complications, and everything happens in one night. Robin, Oberon's assistant (the king of Fairies) went on a mission to charm and make people fall in love with each other. Unfortunately some things go wrong and it' up to him to fix the mess.

I really have a positive opinion on this and I hope that my classmates do too.


Extra Credit

Title: The Poisoned Crown
Author: Amanda Hemingway
Reviewer: Brin Mrzel
Pages Read: 150

The book I read is a sci-fi/ fiction, it was written by Amanda Hemingway, I read about 150 pages this week. This is the final book in the Sangreal trilogy (which is very fascinating since I couldn't think of any other good trilogy but the lord of the rings.) I really enjoyed the book for now because of its compelling characters, and vocabulary. The story begin or continues with Nathan Wards, he is the main protagonist in this story and he can  enter his dream, and a parallel universe.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Crossing Over

Title:Crossing Over
Author: 330
Pages:Anna Kendall

I just started this book after I finished my book project on the book "To Kill A Mockingbird". I just got it and looked at the review at the back cover and the book seems to be about a guy named Roger crossing over to the Land of Dead and speak to the people there. It also says that "when Roger has the chance of a new life, it seems a gift." I am really excited to read this book!

This past week I did some research for our book project.  I discovered some really interesting things about the Statue of Liberty and other things happening in the world in the late 1800s. 
It made me realize how Jules Verne was writing about an exciting time in history.  A lot was going in the 1870s.  For example the Statue of Liberty was started in the early 1870s and parts of it were exhibited at the Centennial in Madison Square Garden in 1876. 
Edison was also busy inventing many things like the telegraph and the light bulb, both which revolutionized life.  He did this in the late 1870s and 1880s.
In world politics, new empires rose in Europe and Asia.  The United States was recovering from Civil War and the Franco-Prussian war had just ended.  Both Jules Verne and Lewis Carroll were busy publishing books that are still popular today.


Now that I have finished this book, I can say it was very good. The first part of the book was, as I said a little boring at first but after awhile it got very interesting.  This book is quite fast-paced and in the second part the girls are all grownup. Meg gets married to Mr. Brooke, Laurie’s tutor. There is a big wedding. Jo is off writing articles for the newspaper and has earned hundreds of dollars. Beth dies after Scarlett fever weakens her.  This is one of the most tragic parts of the book. Her sister, Amy is off in Europe with Laurie at the time and he helps comfort her after this great tragedy.  In  one part, Laurie proposes to Jo and she rebuffs him. I thought this part was very surprising because they were best friends and they seemed bound  to end up together.

Jo ends up marring a much older man who is a writer, like she. Amy then wed Laurie. I liked how this book taught you different lessons and even thought it was written in such a different time period I felt like I could strongly relate to some of the topics. My favorite character was Jo, because she always was strong and stood up for what she believed in.  I would recommend this book to girls mostly in their teens because it teaches many life lessons. Adults many find this book interesting too since my partner really enjoyed reading it again. When I first started reading this book there was a quote where Marmee is talking to the girls, “My child the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning and may be many, but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one. The more you love and trust Him, the nearer you will feel to Him, and the less you will depend on the human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but may become the source of lifelong peace , happiness and strength. Believe this heartily and go to God with all your little cares, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidently as you come to your mother," I really enjoyed this quote because it taught you something important about life.


Paul Jennings

Paul Jennings is an Australian author of many books such as Unreal, Undone, and Unbelievable. These are all short stories were the story ends when the antagonists suffer a gruesome or disgusting punishment. The book I read, Uncanny, contains the stories:
On the bottom,
A teenager is fishing with his dad when he catches a baby shark, and when he gutts the sharks stomach he finds a tattooed finger. The tattoo proceeds to move from the dead finger onto his hand, which leads him to finding a dieing man on a boat, the man is covered in tattoos. However as soon as he touched him, all the tattoos are transferred onto his body.
When Uncle Sid's nephew visits him, he finds that his uncle has had a brain transplant, with a mouse. Now his uncle goes around the house eating cheese while his aunt sits around and does nothing...
Spaghetti Pig-out
When Guts Garvey steals a remote control form a kid, it does more than just play videos. It can make a man eat his dinner backwards, make anyone stay still for up to 4 minutes. It can fast forward, and re-wind. Think of the possibilities.

The White Mountains

The White Mountains
John Christopher

In the future, tripods invade the earth. Tripods are metal creators with 3 legs. They have taken over the earth and have been ruling it for about 100 years. When a person comes of age, around 12 or 13, they are capped. When a person is capped it makes them complete slaves to the tripods. They do what the tripods say and they don't ask questions. About what the tripods are or what they are doing. They just go with it. Before they are capped they can ask questions and they wonder. One person who asked a lot of questions was Will. He had a friend a year older than him who was scheduled to be capped. Every once and a while when people were capped when it was done it did not work. Before his friends capping he hoped that the capping would not work so that he would still have his friend, well not exactly. His friend would become a vagrant, a person who was capped, but when something went on in the process so that the caps did not work properly. Vagrants like to move around a lot and no one is sure why. Vagrants are much different than normal people and capped people. When it comes to the day of capping and Will's friend comes out capped Will hopes that he is feeling sick because that is one of the signs that the capping went wrong and that they are vagrants. When Will's friend's capping is over her is feeling perfectly fine. Will was very upset because he had none left. Not too long afterward a vagrant, Ozymandias, came. He was a very strange Vagrant, he spoke very weirdly, but Will decided to hang out with him a bit because he had nothing better to do. He and his cousin were to be capped the next year. Will did not want to be capped but he would eventually have to unless he ran away. Little does he know that Ozymandias is not who he thinks he is........who knows what will happen from here.

So far I have really enjoyed this book and I a, going to enjoy reading it more.

Oliver Twist

Title: Oliver Twist
Author: Charles Dickens
Genre: Classic/ Fiction
Pages: 374

As the quarter is coming to an end, so is my book that I am reading. With only around 20 pages left, I am able to conclude what happened throughout the whole book. Starting with the death of Oliver's alcoholic mother, up until when he finds out what her name was. She died right after she gave birth to Oliver. The young little boy, is given away to the parish to be taken care of where they treat children like objects. Asking for more food, was considered a crime. (according to page 15) 
Oliver is being sold for only 5 pounds to work as a slaveAs he escapes by being sold, he is to work as a brutish chimney sweep and is eventually apprenticed to a local undertaker, Mr. Sowerberry. 
There is a lot of lifestyle changing in this plot, moving from places to places and meeting new people - good and bad. The story ends happily, with Oliver finally finding him "right spot" with a family as Mr. Brownlow adopts him. Oliver's actual father, Mr. Leeford, is to be discovered that he is now unhappily married to a wealthy woman, after having n affair with Oliver's mother, Agnes Fleming.

Both me and my partner really enjoyed reading this book, and in my opinion it is one of the best classics out there, especially Charles Dickens for having such a creative mind to it and writing a masterpiece such as "Oliver Twist". 

The Time Machine


Title: The Time Machine

Author: H.G Wells

Genre: Science Fiction

This week I've decided to read an extremely old book, published in 1895. The book's main character is an inventor who lives in London. He is never identified, so people see him only as a normal 'The Time Traveler'. This time traveler showed his friends that time is a 4th dimension, and that a device can move back and forth in this fourth dimension. So, he decides to create an even bigger time machine so that he'll be able to fit in it himself. After this, he, as every other person would do, sets himself in the future. That's where I stopped reading this book. From what I see, this book is going to be quite an adventure to read. What will happen to this man in the future? How does this future look like? Back then, did the author describe the future as it is today, or even more extraordinary and imaginary? All of these questions have come up to my mind as I was reading the first couple of pages of this book this week. Usually, I enjoy reading science fiction books- they're always really mysterious and interesting in my opinion. I think this will be one of my favorites, especially because there's so much drama yet to come! I can't wait to continue reading this week!