Eight Must Read Young Adult Books

1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins “May the odds be ever in your favor.” This book is one of the most exciting books I have ever read. A long time ago, there was a war. Now every year each … Continue reading

My Top 5 Favorite Book Series

I have read many books, which makes this blog particularly difficult to write.  This week, I am going to talk about my 5 favorite book series.  I really enjoy reading fantasy books and books about the middle ages.  So a few of them are all in that genre.  Warning: I will not give away the ending of any of these books, but I will explain briefly what the first book is about.  Skip a paragraph if you already plan on reading the book, and do not want to know even the beginning.

 

My 5th favorite, one I haven’t read in a few years, but I remember that I loved the Percy Jackson Series as a kid.  The first story, The Lightning Thief, is about a boy named Percy Jackson, who is the son of a Greek God.  For his own protection against monsters, he is taken to a summer camp where other demigods live.  There he learns that a lightning bolt was stolen from Zeus, the most powerful God.  Percy is swept into a quest where he risks his life many times to save Zeus’s symbol of power.  These books are action packed, and also a bit funny.

 

In 4th place is a very well known book, “The Hunger Games.”  It is about Katniss, a teenager living in the future after the city called The Capitol takes over all of present day North America.  The Capitol rules over 12 districts.  Each district has to send in 2 tributes to fight to the death in the Hunger Games.  When Katniss’s sister Prim is chosen, Katniss volunteers to take her place.  The Hunger Games is a trilogy, but I only really enjoyed the first book.

 

Halfway through in 3rd place is the Inheritance series, by Christopher Paolini, which includes four lengthy novels starting with Eragon.  It is very similar to the first place series.  It has the same sort of fantasy middle ages aspect that I enjoy.  Eragon is about a farm boy named Eragon who finds a dragon egg while hunting in the wilderness.  When he brings it home, the egg hatches for him, so he talks to an old man named Brom to learn about his dragon.  Eventually, Brom becomes suspicious, and brings Eragon on a quest to teach him how to become a dragon rider.

 

My 2nd favorite book series is the Harry Potter series, which is a very well known book series about a boy named Harry Potter who grew up with his abusive aunt and uncle.  Harry learns he is not only a wizard, but one of the most famous wizards.  He is accepted into Hogwarts School to learn magic.  All the other young witches and wizards are eager to meet the boy who, as a baby, survived an attack by an evil wizard, Lord Voldemort.

 

My favorite book series is The Lord of The Rings.  Frodo Baggins is a hobbit, a simple race of small man-like people.  Hobbits like to keep to their homeland of The Shire, but Gandalf the Gray, a wizard who had sent his Uncle Bilbo on a quest a while back, sends Frodo on his own adventure.  During Bilbo’s quest, Bilbo finds a ring, which he passes down to Frodo.  Now after Frodo inherits the ring, he must go on a quest to destroy it.  An old power is threatening the land of Middle Earth, and if The Dark Lord Sauron gets the ring all hope will be lost.  The ring has unnatural powers, because Sauron forged it.  Dropping it into a volcano in the heart of Sauron’s realm, is the only way to destroy the ring.  It is a dangerous place, and exactly where Frodo needs to go.  This Trilogy without doubt deserves the top spot, another book by the same author, J.R.R. Tolkien, the Hobbit is about Bilbo’s adventure, and is also great background for reading Lord of the Rings.

 

Mad about “Mad”

Are you looking for some entertainment? If so, “Mad” magazine is worth taking a look at. These hilarious magazines are filled with spoofs and puns, and are unlike anything I have ever read. Just search for the goofy looking mascot … Continue reading

The Chocolate War Review

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, was a great story about corruption and rebellion.  Every year, Trinity High School has a chocolate sale to make some additional money for the school.  This year’s sale is extra important though, because it could be the difference between one of the main antagonists, Brother Leon, getting a promotion and losing his job.  The general consensus is that you just sell your chocolates and don’t make trouble.  There is extra motivation to follow the rules this year because the school’s evil secret society, The Vigils, are helping Brother Leon to sell the chocolates.  The main character, Jerry, a student at Trinity, is a freshman with very few friends.  He doesn’t like the way that things are working at Trinity with The Vigils and Leon being very powerful.  With that in mind, he decides not to sell his chocolates.  Normally, this would not be a very big deal, but Leon needs to sell every chocolate he can because he paid out of his own pocket for half of the chocolates.  After Jerry begins to rebel, other students begin to rebel as well.  With a massive decline in sales, Leon and The Vigils have to go to incredible lengths to sell their chocolates.  The results of their actions are disturbing, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what really happens.

Photo Credit: NPR

Photo Credit: NPR

Overall, I thought that The Chocolate War was very well written.  I enjoyed the story and thought that the characters were very interesting and that they truly grabbed my attention.  Also, I think that the book had a very good lesson on corruption and learning where to fight the power and where to follow the unwritten rules.  The ending of the story was satisfying to me, and I think that it fit the rest of the book.  I would recommend this book to all young adult readers, and to many adults, especially teachers.

Square Boy

Photo Credits: Dory Giselle Brooks

Photo Credits: Dory Giselle Brooks

Jerry is a unicorn,

Square boy, it means something

Jerry is as lost as can be,

without any sense of security,

a daring boy he is,
No, no means no,

only to disturb his universe.

 

Jerry will put up a wall,

an unbreakable wall,

to feel security, make a home,

a fool Jerry is,

a square boy who wants not

to be square, unlike everyone else,

all Jerry is asking for is someone,

someone to care,

not like a unicorn. Continue reading

MacBeth, is it Cursed?

If you have ever been to  theatre camp, or drama class, or a performing arts studio, chances are that you have heard that the play Macbeth is cursed.

Ever since the play Macbeth was written by William Shakespeare, lots of performances have gone awry, leading many to believe that the play and word Macbeth is cursed.

Macbeth is, according to thespians, Shakespeare’s darkest play, having many murders, greed, and witchcraft. Macbeth is set in Scotland and is about Lady Macbeth who wants evil ghosts to make her strong (the only reason that there is magic in this play is because King James I really liked magic) so that her husband can kill the king and take his place.

A lot of productions of Macbeth have had weird occurrences, like actors suddenly getting sick, prop malfunctions, and line screw ups, making many people think that Macbeth is cursed. In fact, in the first performance of Macbeth, one the main actors got sick, and Shakespeare had to fill in. One very dramatic (no pun intended) instance of the Macbeth curse was when someone merely said the word “Macbeth” and that night, a storm came and literally destroyed the arena where the play was going to be shown the next day, and broke all the props and lighting.

A version of the curse happened to me also. I was on a really long car drive and had plenty of time to spare, so I decided to listen to the audio version of Macbeth. When I first put the headphones in my ears, they immediately fell out, I put them back in, and they fell out again, this happened about three times before I could manage to put them in properly. Even after that, the ear buds kept slipping out, which was strange, considering I had listened to “Moby Dick” a little while ago. The play kept repeating itself too. I would listen to a lot of it, then get out and use the restroom, hit continue, and it would start almost a whole act ago, so that I was basically listening to the same scenes over and over again. Is this the curse of MacbethContinue reading

The Chocolate War, a Controversial but Fantastic Novel

Photo credit; utchick89http://www.flickr.com/photos/64113996@N05/5856664779/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Photo credit; utchick89

Before you read this, I would like to let you know that The Chocolate War is a very controversial book and that these are my opinions.

I recently finished a very outstanding novel, The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier.

The main character of The Chocolate War is a teenager named Jerry who has recently lost his mom. One day on the way home from school, Jerry encounters a strange person who calls him a square boy. That really upsets Jerry. He begins thinking about his dad, who runs the pharmacy, and how boring he is.

The school that Jerry goes to is named Trinity. Trinity is secretly led by a group called the Vigils, which all the teachers pretend not to know about. The Vigils are led by a very smart and cunning person named Archie, who was asked by a teacher named Brother Leon, to have the Vigils help with the school’s chocolate sale. (You learn later why Brother Leon needs the Vigil’s help.)

Every day, Brother Leon has a roll call for how many chocolates people have sold, but when he calls Jerry’s name Jerry says no in an effort to “disturb his universe”

I will keep the rest a secret, but let me tell you, the ending is very interesting.  Continue reading

Dont Butcher the English’s Languge!

Me and my friend Rachel just, like, went to the, like, shopping mall yesterday. First we went to the food court and we saw this super annoying kid in our history class and we went to him cause he was just, like sittin’ there. He had a ugly zit on his big ugly face. And we were, like was so grossed out that we just totally ran away. We were gonna leave but we were, like, hungry so we got some food. My sandwich was soooo bad. It’s lettuce was all brown and, like gross.

Does that sound wrong, probably not, but you should have seen all the green and red lines under that when I typed it. That is just shows the fact that America has no clue how to speak (and write) their own language properly.

For example, “like” is only to be used when you enjoy something or when you are describing something. And the phrase is “Rachel and I”. “Ain’t” ain’t not a word. There is an “n” after “a” when a vowel is the first letter of the next word, ex.: this is a error. Also, you do not need an apostrophe in “its” when telling that the lettuce on the sandwich was brown, “it’s” means “it is”. I could go on and on with all the ways people massacre English grammar.

But what may be even more annoying is spelling. It is far more easy to misspell than to make a grammatical error. A lot of people don’t know how to use a dictionary because of spell check, which most people (including me) heavily rely on to check our e-mail christmas cards that we send out to everyone in the family because we were to lazy to send cards to each one.

Not to sound like I am complaining but please,try not to butcher our language.  Continue reading

Kindle Paperwhite Review

Photo Credit: technodo.com

Photo Credit: technodo.com

Are you trying to decide between a Barnes and Noble Nook or a Amazon Kindle? This post will give you some helpful tips and specs about Amazon’s sleek new Kindle Paperwhite, including pros, cons, facts, and design.

The Kindle Paperwhite is Amazon’s first E-reader to include a light for reading in the dark. It has a glare-free six inch display for reading, and two lights (one in the top and one in the bottom) instead of one major back light which creates eyestrain. It sells for $119.00 (American) and weighs a light 7.8 ounces. It holds up to 1100 books, and lasts 8 weeks on full charge. Built in whispersync technology allows you to put your Kindle down, and return to the page you were at on your Kindle device, your smartphone, or your tablet on the Amazon Kindle app.

 

Pros:

• 8 weeks battery life on full charge (any light setting, 30 minutes of reading a day)

• Sleek, glare-free display

• Wide selection of books to choose from on the Kindle Store

• 8 different fonts to choose from and text size and margin display options

• Whispersync technology  Continue reading

The Twilight Plague

Photo Credit: Scarce

If this is Twilight, I wish the sun had never started setting. These are movies based on novels that are a stone’s throw away from being coloring books and yet people flock to them like the first drop of water they’ve seen in a million years. What did I miss? Is it really so gripping watching the extreme vampire fight with the super-jock werewolf over a girl who does little more than mumble and whine? You can see that someone actually thinks so. Evidently if you can re-write the pieces found in a typical tween’s diary, then you can be considered an “author”, much like Stephenie Meyer is. Continue reading