Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Final Thoughts

I had not been planning on making a year-end post, but here I am telling you my favorite books, and some 'to come' books

PAST:
I've narrowed down from all the books I've read and reviewed in the last 365 days, and have come up with a list of eleven books books.























Wildwood Dancing
Celia's House
The Princess Bride
Stormbreaker
Savvy
The Penderwicks
Mara Daughter of the Nile
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Book of a Thousand Days
A Curse Dark as Gold

FUTURE:
There are already quite a few books on my TBR09 list... This is by no means all I will be reading, but it is my starting list:


Shakespeare's Secret
Masterpiece
Pride and Prejudice
The Anybodies
The Little White Horse
Tuck Everlasting
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Sense and Sensibility
Princess Academy
The Hunger Games
Dandelion Fire

Happy New Year!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Sleep



Sleep.

I have been getting a LOT of sleep this Christmas Break. Its probably not good for me, but on average I have been getting 10-11 hours of sleep a night. It is going to be really hard to start waking up at 5:30/6:00 again...

I did not know that is was possible to get too much sleep. But it is. I know first hand.

The night before last I could not get to sleep. I tossed and turned. I put more blankets on by bed. I took all the blankets off my bed. I tried all kinds of tricks I had heard like not letting your tongue touch the roof of your mouth, and counting (I just counted numbers, though. Not sheep). I got all the way to 150 something when I decided it was not working. I tried orange juice, egg nog (its not that bad at 2 in the morning...), and even reading nonfiction!

Still no sleep. I decided it was useless trying to sleep when my body was not tired, so I pulled out my bible and read for a while. I finally fell asleep somewhere around four. To my amazement I woke up around nine. And I was not tired at all that day.

So, now I'm going to be more careful how much sleep I get. I know I wont be able to sleep in at all in about a year, so I plan on taking advantage of it while I can, but not 11 hours a night for five straight days...

What experiences have you had with sleep, or lack thereof?

The Chirstmas Linebacker

Friday, December 26, 2008

Annaversary

This is my one year annaversary with this blog. On Wednesday, December 26, 2007 I posted my first review on The Westing Game. Oh the memories...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Adoration of the Shepherds

This painting by Gerald van Honthorst was done in 1622. I love how light and shadow is used here to direct the viewer attention to the baby in the center, and Mary. The light that seems to be coming from him also highlight the wonderful expressions of all the people looking at him. One sheperd is excited, and the other two seem amazed. Why, even the ox is interested! Merry Christmas everybody!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas

Instead of reviewing a book today, I am posting part of the Christmas Story from Luke Chapter 2.


4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

(http://www.biblegateway.com)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Commentary


Today, I am sharing more notes from my modern fiction class.

Types of Commentary
(commentary is good because later you can look back and see what you thought about a specific passage.)
* questions
* connect one thing to another
* evaluate what is happening or how the author is writing
* predict
* clarify

All of these will help you remember what you were thinking when you read something. It is good to use when you have to write a paper on a book, or when you just want to remember more about what you read.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Christmas Shoes

I have heard this song countless times, but when I watched this video, I cried.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bible Blurb

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Quite A Week

This has defiantly been quite a week. We had our last regular day of school on Monday, Tuesday was a review day, and finals started Wednesday. Well, they were supposed to... Only I could get sick on the first day of finals. Needless to say, I stayed home. I sat in front of the TV most of the day watching reruns. I watched an episode of Hart to Hart (and really liked it!), a painter named Bob Ross (he is amazing!), and so many other shows that they are all running into each other.

Thursday I had two more finals and a 'homeroom' sort of hour for make ups. I made up my American Government final, and took the constitution test (I passed!), and then started my art final. After the first final, they made an announcement on the loud speaker that because of a coming storm we were starting school two hours late the next day- at 10 am. Most of us were not happy- we wanted to get our last day of finals over with- but there was nothing we could do about it.

Some storm!

It was supposed to be an inch of ice, up to 6 inches of snow, and there was even supposed to be a thunderstorm... We got some hail, and a couple inches of snow that all turned as hard as a rock. After finals were over, I was recruited, along with my sisters, to shovel the driveway... Not fun. The snow/ice was so hard that we had to use metal dirt shovels to break it off the driveway! And there is still a thin layer of ice in some spots that we gave up on.

And then, Friday night at about 6 pm, I was taught that I need to be more careful when I write things on my calendar... I had been planning on sitting The Twins TONIGHT, but I had written it down wrong and it was Friday night... I was scrambling everywhere trying to get ready and we were off in about 5 min..

We had a lot of fun- The Twins are 7 years old and are very energetic. They played on the computer until dinner, and then we played games while listening to Christmas music. We played Old Maid, Uno, The Go Fishing Game (NOT go fish), and even Chutes and Ladders. And then they broke out the Light Sabers. We were all running around like crazy and I was getting tired fast. But not The Twins. Eventually they tired- about an HOUR later- but the timing was perfect because it was time for bed.

So, yes: this has been Quite A Week.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Finals

Well, I have finals all this week. I cannot believe that the end of the semester is here already! Anyway, because of the finals I will be kinda preoccupied this week, so no posts until the 20th. See you then!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Las Meninas


Another piece from Spain. Do you see a trend? Let me explain quickly, we are looking at some spainish artwork in my Spainsh 4 class and I decided it would be good to start with these. Anyway, this was painted in 1656 by Diego Velázquez. In this painting, the princess is the girl in the white dress(notice how the light shines on her? this painting was supposed to be a portrait of her), and the king and queen are relected in the mirror. The artist in the painting (Velázquez himself) is supposedly painting the king and queen, and we see the scene the same way King Philip IV and his wife Mariana would have. The perspective of this painting is very unique, especially to Velázquez's time. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Basil In Mexico by Eve Titus

Basil In Mexico is a very fun, very quick read. Funny word games are played, where Basil and another character throw around words... they come up with "pride and propriety, snobs and society; chocolate and cheeses, bridges and breezes..."(18) and much more. Later, Titus plays with words again. There are cute street children who become Basil's Irregulars. One says the following while introducing his friends and himself to the famous detective over a meal: "To my right, Ricardo, Edourdo, Bernardo. To my left, Roberto, Alberto, Gilberto. I'm Hector" (50). Women's rights are talked about at an extent, and many more historical accounts are thrust into the story. Aside from history, language is also 'taught'. The reader is told the spanish word for cat (gato), and some verbs: comprar (to buy), volar (to fly), llorar (to cry), mandar (to send), prestar (to lend), and terminar (to end).

Basil is a mouse. He lives near Sherlock Holmes and takes notes of this detective's theories and strategies. He says : "My only aim is to follow in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes" (107). To the mouse world, Basil is Sherlock. He is well loved by everyone and has a reputation for his mystery-solving. This is why he is going to Mexico. They need his help, something very important has been stolen, and they want Basil and his assistant, David Q. Dawson, to help them find the crook. Was it the museum curator, the nosey file clerk, the work mouse, the guard, the arch villan, or the dictator? Only Basil can find out.

(If you are interested, Disney made a movie in 1992 biased off of Titus' books; it is called 'Basil, the Great Mouse Detective')

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Marking text


Today, I am sharing some notes from my modern fiction class.

Methods of Marking a Text

* Post-it notes
this is my favorite type. You don't mark up the book forever, yet the notes are still right there next to the text
* Margin notes
this works alright if the book belongs to you, and if you dont mind that anyone who ever picks up the book in the future will be able to see what you thought...
* Highlinghing
same as above, also you don't always remember why you highlighted something
* Journaling
this works great... if you don't loose the notebook... it is good for when you dont have post-its handy, but cannot mark the text

Friday, December 05, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Persistence of Time

The original name for this painting is la persistencia de la memoria , translated out of Spanish and into English it is persistence of time. It was painted by Salvador Dali in 1931. Personally, I believe it can be interpreted many ways. My preference is that time is no match for memory. That time may try and erase our good memories, but no matter how persistent it will lose. What do you think it means?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Raucous Royals


The Raucous Royals has rumors about the following people. Prince Dracula, King Richard III, King Henry VIII Queen Anne Boleyn, Queen Anne of Cleves, Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth I, King Lois IV, Czar Peter the Great, Queen Marie Antoinette, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, Empress Catherine, and George III. What are the rumors about them? Are they true? False? Unconfirmed? To find out, read The Raucous Royals.

I'm going to try to guide your blog-hopping now, a little.

For general information on the book presented in different ways, visit these sites:
A Mom Speaks

Becky’s Book Reviews

Quiverfull Family

Reading is My Superpower

SmallWorld Reads

SMS Book Reviews
Homeschool Buzz

The Friendly Book Nook

Reading is My Superpower


For Various Interviews:
Becky’s Book Reviews

Dolce Bellezza

Maw Books Blog


For quick sneak peaks, try these:
Cafe of Dreams

Dolce Bellezza

Maw Books Blog



For a 'chat review'
, visit Never Jam Today



For the definition of 'rumor'
visit the 160acrewoods



To enter a book give away,
visit All About Children’s Books



For a book trailer
, visit
Maw Books Blog

Cafe of Dreams



To learn Shakespearean insults
, visit Never Jam Today



For a mini-guide around Beccia's blog
, visit SMS Book Reviews


And for a Technorati rating update
, visit KidzBookBuzz.com


Hope this helps!

(if your blog was not listed, I am sorry. (leave a comment with a link to your blog, and what is featured at your blog) The information I used was last updated at 8:15 PM last night.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Raucous Roayals

The Raucous Royals is a disguised history book. Beccia cleverly hides this fact. Honestly, how many history books have you seen with colorful cartoons, quizzes, and codes to crack that talks about some of History's scandals? The Raucous Royals is a very interactive book that can easily keep the reader engaged from page one to sixty one. For the official website, follow this link; and for the author's very own blog, visit this link.

And now for the rest of the interview:

ME: Do you listen to music while you write? What kind?

BECCIA: No. I have to have complete quiet when I write. The opposite is true when I paint. I usually listen to music, an audio book or a lecture on Utunes. I am currently listening to all the Berkeley History lectures. They are wonderful. I am a geek when it comes to this stuff.

ME: What is the fist thing you do when you get a new story idea?

BECCIA: I tell my husband about it. He’s a lawyer and a very rational person. If he says it is crazy and it will never sell…then I know I have a good idea.

ME: What are some of your favorite books?

BECCIA: Anything by Jeanette Winterson, Alison Weir, Ken Follet, John Green, or Antonia Fraser. I read Plaidy when I am feeling indulgent.

ME: Who influenced you the most to write, and how?

BECCIA: My editor was a big influence. When I submitted art for Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo?, she wrote back that she loved the art, but asked me to also write a story around it. My immediate response was that I was not a writer. I was ONLY an illustrator. She asked me to submit something anyway. I did and Houghton accepted that book. If she did not have faith in me then I would never have got my start.

ME: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you, and why?

BECCIA: Hmmm…I know these questions are asked to reveal what you value, but whenever someone asks me this type of question, all I can think about is how I am going to get off the island. I have a deadline to make and a 1 year old at home who needs her mom. So I will have to say that I would take a cell phone to call for a ride. I would probably take with me my Kindle and a pizza too. That would hold me for a few hours.

ME: Any other comments?

BECCIA: For more raucous royals, readers can visit the book’s web site: www.RaucousRoyals.com and the blog: http://blog.RaucousRoyals.com. I feature a new scandalous royal each month on the blog and the site has tons of information and resources for anyone writing reports.

Thats it for the interview. No more sections to be revealed tomorrow... Before I give you the links to other blogs, let me point out one more thing. Carlyn has agreed to answer any questions you have for her until the end of the tour- that's today and tomorrow- so leave a question if you have one!

(and now for the links)

01 Charger, the 160acrewoods, A Mom Speaks, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Cafe of Dreams, Dolce Bellezza, Fireside Musings, The Friendly Book Nook, Homeschool Buzz, Hyperbole, KidzBookBuzz.com, Looking Glass Reviews, Maw Books Blog, Never Jam Today, Our Big Earth, Quiverfull Family, Reading is My Superpower, SmallWorld Reads, SMS Book Reviews

Monday, December 01, 2008

Snow

Well, this is the way to start December. Snow. I think its only three inches, but it is still snowing lightly. It was kind of random. Yesterday there was a lot of sleet, and I woke up this morning and look out my window. I can tell you I was NOT expecting everything to be covered in white! Although I'm a little nervous to drive in the snow, it has put me more in the Christmas mood. MERRY early CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!

Raucous Roayals


Today, I am going to give you some interesting facts from Beccia's book, The Raucus Royals, and part of an interview I had with her. Enjoy!

Shakespear invented the word gossip.

In Elizebeathan times, tooth decay was faked.

Lous XIV was king for 72 years.

In 1776, Americans melted the statue of King George III to make bullets

Henry VIII's estimated weight was over 300 punds.


And now for part of the interview:

ME:How long did it take you to write ‘The Raucous Royals’?

BECCIA: I started researching The Raucous Royals in 2005. It took about 2 ½ years to research, write and illustrate.

ME: Where did you get your inspiration for ‘The Raucous Royals’?

BECCIA: Mary Queen of Scots. Now there’s a woman who caused a lot of raucous. Over 450 years later and still no one can agree on whether she was a silly tart or a victim of unjust rumors. She was the first royal that I fell in love with. That led to my next love…Elizabeth I. And that led to another and another. I kept thinking – all these amazing stories…why didn’t I hear them in high school and college? I felt jipped! The biographies that were taught to me were so watered down that I hardly remembered any of them and what I did remember were mainly just rumors: Napoleon was short. Marie Antoinette said let them eat cake. Anne Boleyn had six fingers. Catherine the Great had a thing for horses. How did I miss the real people behind these rumors? All those court intrigues, love scandals, murders and follies committed – those are the stories that I wanted to tell. And that is the reason for the book’s format. I wanted the reader to hear the rumor alone first and then guess if it was true or false. You often don’t get to hear both sides first. The book’s format invites readers to experience how a rumor is told and then dive deeper into the truth behind it.


ME: What did you think of the researching process that you went through?



BECCIA: It was more like truth seeking then research. It’s amazing how history can be interpreted differently by so many scholars. I remember being taught that famous people in history fell into these neat columns of good or evil. I didn’t want to do that to readers. I wanted readers to come to their own conclusions and see all the different areas of gray, and most importantly, judge these royals in the time period in which they lived.

I hope in the end that readers will always question everything they read.


ME: What was the hardest part about writing ‘The Raucous Royals’?

BECCIA: Being objective was tough. It’s human nature to interject our own opinions.

ME: What part did you enjoy most about writing ‘The Raucous Royals’?

BECCIA: I always change my mind about which part I loved the most depending on my mood. Some days I say the research because I love treasure hunting for the juiciest tidbits. But the illustrations are the area that I really put my heart and soul into.

ME: How long have you been writing in general?

BECCIA: I started copywriting in various ad agencies over ten years ago. I didn’t start writing for young adults until 3 years ago.

ME: Do you have any advice for young authors?

BECCIA: Read. Read. Read. My dad used to tell me that reading was mental gymnastics. It will train you to write well.

Come back tomorrow for the rest of the interview. While you are waiting, you have several choices. You could check out The Raucous Royals website, Beccia's blog, read the press release, or look at all these other posts about this book:
01 Charger

the 160acrewoods

A Mom Speaks

All About Children’s Books

Becky’s Book Reviews

Cafe of Dreams

Dolce Bellezza

Fireside Musings

The Friendly Book Nook

The Hidden Side of a Leaf

Homeschool Buzz

Hyperbole

KidzBookBuzz.com

Looking Glass Reviews

Maw Books Blog

Never Jam Today

Our Big Earth

Quiverfull Family

Reading is My Superpower

SmallWorld Reads

SMS Book Reviews

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Well, today is Thanksgiving. I don't know what your plans for the day are, but I am sure it involves some sort of Feast, and some family. Thats what Thanksgiving is all about, right? Cleaning your house like crazy, or going to someone else's house (and I'm sure they cleaned like crazy) and eating and eating and eating. Just don't forget to give thanks.





I was challenged this week to, over dinner, mention two (or more) things I was thankful for. Not your basic ordinary things like 'my house' or 'my family' or 'that the gas prices went down'... but something that may take some thinking.

I'd like to challenge you, too. Please leave a comment with any number of things you are thankful for. You really realize how blessed you are when you write down (or type) what you are thankful for.

Consider yourself challenged.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street

This book is peppered with allusions to other books. Among others, there are references to The Mennyms*, The Chronicles of Narnia*, Five Children and It*, Magic by the Lake, Sense and Sensibility, Marry Poppins*, Agatha Christie's crime mysteries, and Gone with the Wind. Still, there is plenty of space for Penderwick family and friends.

This is Birdsall's sequel to The Penderwicks. In this book, the Penderwick sisters create a Save-Daddy Plan, an attempt at keeping him from dating and remarrying (even if it was their mother's dieing wish...). How much adventure and deceit can the Penderwick family live through?

*Signifies that I have read this book

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Peter and the Starcatchers

Peter and the Starcatchers is the fist of three books (the other two are Peter and the Shadow Thieves and Peter and the Secret of Rondon) At the beginning of this book, Peter has not yet gained the ability to fly, he has not met Tinker Bell, he does not live on the island 'Never Land', and Captain Hook is not his enemy- by the end of the book, though, all of this changes. Caught up in the middle of a secret plot, Peter really only has one choice, to help out.

The authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have written a very good book. The book is long, but so much is happening that the reader does not really mind. The chapters each focus on different plots. They range from four plots to one at the end when they all tie together,and sometimes plots cross, so they are tied into one chapter. Overall this creates a very suspenseful story. Enjoy!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Fate of the Apple Peal

Vocab has started up again in English class, so that means about twenty words a week need to be memorized. That can be a lot, so I have been trying to find ways to make it easier on my self. In the past, I have written the word on one side of a post-it-note, and the definition on the other side. Then, I would put them all up on my bathroom mirror and look at them while I got ready in the morning. The only problem was that the bathroom I use is the same one family company uses... who wants to learn vocabulary when you visit a friend? Not me, so that idea was out.

So, I have decided to write short stories using the vocab words in order. I hope to post them often, but we'll see. Here is the first one I have done. The vocab words will look like this.

The Fate of the Apple Peal


The apple peal knew its place; it knew what it was supposed to do. It knew that when it was discarded to the ground, it was supposed to atrophy. But it didn’t want to. The apple peal wanted to stay alive, so it sought out a bastion, hoping that it could strike a concord with someone somewhere that was willing to let it live.
So, the apple peal began its search for the consummate place, but, alas, it could find no such place. Is stumbled towards a trunk in disarray, and found that a beautiful vine was there. The apple peal wasted no time with cordial introductions, but immediately expressed the exigency of the matter to the vine. It did not want to be like flotsam, mere garbage thrown away; it wanted to be useful. By the time the apple peal had finished explaining, it was in a frenetic state.
The vine decided to try and help. It explained that disintegrating wasn’t the worst of fates, but that he could glean the benefits, too. Before the apple peal could grouse, the vine threatened to incarcerate it if it would not stay and listen. The vine continued, explaining that it was incumbent for an apple peal to disintegrate eventually, and that it was jocular for it to think it could live forever- in fact, it was ludicrous!
The vine tried no to be mordant, but its words nettled the apple peal. Still, the vine continued. It explained that an apple peal could never be pecuniary, but that gave it no reason to be pusillanimous. It could live bravely while it had time, but eventually is would have to settle, and disintegrate so that other plants could live off of its nutrients.
The vine invited the apple peal to rest recumbent while it explained some more. The apple peal consented, so the vine continued. It told stories of other food bits that had done adventurous things (for food parts…), and how the then settled to keep other plants alive- their most noble act of all. By the end of the day, the apple peal had decided to disintegrate near this exact vine, so that he could keep it living longer to help other creatures along. The flower smiled evilly, and thought ‘my stratagem has worked again.’

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Book of a Thousand Days

Dashti is keeping track of her life through a journal. Every entry is numbered, but many days are skipped. The way it is written had me gripping the book and shaking at moments. I had five pages left when it was time for supper. (I hate it when that happens...) so I took my book with me to the table. I had not done that in a long time, but I had reached a really exciting part and could not bear to stop reading. (one of my younger sisters ended up taking it from me and not giving it back until I had scarfed down the salad and spaghetti in about four minuets... the things we do to finish a book : D ) I should have known the ending, in fact I believe I DID know how it would end, but you see I had just read Goldman, and was expecting anything- authors have so much power!

Hale creates a wonderful world where everyone has a place, and there are laws against stepping out of place. Everything is in order, for a little while. Dashti is a maid who needs a job; because she can read and write, and because she knows the healing songs, she is hired to be a maid to Lady Saren. Lady Saren refused to marry the man her father had chosen for her(ultimately causing a war...), and is going to be severely punished for it. She is being locked in a tower for seven years to think over her decision, and hopefully change her mind. Dashti goes with her, without knowing what she was getting into. How could she have known that it would end up saving their lives? How could she know that Saren was helpless, and childish? How could she know she would save lives? How could she know that a cat could change so much? How could she know it would eventually lead to a 'happy ever after'? How could she know? She couldn't, and because it is written in first person, we are not so sure all the time either...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nearest Book

I found this meme at A Library is a Hospital for the Mind.

Here are the rules:

* Grab the nearest book.
* Open it to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post the text of the sentence on your blog with these instructions.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST

Alright, there are two books right next to me... so I will quote both.

"The smaller rocks she wasn't so sure about." -The Penderwicks on Gardam Street; by Jeanne Birdsall

"She hasn't the brains of a cat!" -Basil In Mexico; by Eve Titus

Expect reviews of both in the upcoming weeks!

This Is Home

If anyone knows how to post a youtube video, please let me know.
For now, please just follow this link to watch
Switch foot- This Is Home

Sunday, November 09, 2008

How Many Gaps Do You Have?

I found this through Maggie Reads.
Honestly, my gaps were not a surprise to me...

There Are 2 Gaps in Your Knowledge
Where you have gaps in your knowledge:

Philosophy
Science

Where you don't have gaps in your knowledge:

Religion
Economics
Literature
History
Art

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Copper Sun

First of all, a couple of things need to be made clear, and I will do it as nicely as I can. The main character, Amari, was brutally captured in Africa and brought to America to be a slave. On the voyage across the sea, the women were not treated with much respect. The same is true at the slave market. Amari was not an ugly person, and she was not bought for her strength....

Draper does a good job in her award winning book. Although it is about slavery, and the cruelty involved, it does have a somewhat happy ending. After thinking about this book, I realized Draper could have made it a lot worse. In the above clarification I told you what the 'bad' parts were... but I feel that I should defend Draper, a little. When 'certain things happen', the author does not go into detail. Nothing was brought up that made me close the book in disgust. Draper did not disclose what happen, she did not hide it, but she did not describe it. Make sense?

Amari is betrothed to Besa, and is happy because of it. Their plans change when their tribe is attacked and the survivors are chained together and forced to march. Amari has lost everything. She witnessed the death of her mother, father, and younger brother. No one she knew is ever the same again. She meets many other people on her journey. Afi, who offers love and encouragement; Polly, who despises Amari at first; Teenie, who cooks all the meals for the Derbys; Mrs. Isabelle Derby, who offers many questions and problems; and, my favorite, Tidbit; Teenie's seven year old son who haslots of dreams and games still lingering in him.

Copper Sun will not be a book one easily forgets. Let me end with a quotation from the book's Cover " Stolen from her village, sold to the highest bidder, fifteen-year-old Amari has only one thing left of her own -hope."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

S. Morgenstern's Classi Tale of True Love and High Adventure -- The Princess Bride

Satire. That is about all I have to say.

Satire. Satire. Satire.

If you like satire, you will love this book, if you cannot stand it and it drives you crazy- do yourself a favor and do not read The Princess Bride- you will go insane.

Goldman uses a very distinct writing style- that involves a LOT of satire- you either like it or you do not.

***MINOR WRITING-STYLE-SPOILER ALERT*** Goldman claims that he is abridging S. Morgenstern's Classic tale, the princess Bride. He tells this whole story about why he got into the abridgment, and about his fat son and genius wife. He constantly interrupts the story to tell you what he took out and why, or how to read the parenthesis.... it is all fake. There is no Morgensstern. Goldman wrote the whole. Thing. There is no such place as Florin.... ***END SPOILER ALERT***

If you can get over that, you will be fine. Honestly, I really enjoyed this book. It was a little frustrating at times, but that just goes to show how good of an author Goldman is; he can stir up such feelings in the reader with what seems like no effort.

The Princess Bride starts where most fairy tales end; the poor girl is engaged to the Prince. Only one problem, the girl, Buttercup, does not really want to marry him. She had planned to marry Westley, but he had no money. He sailed to America to seek his fortune, and she promised herself to him. After all, they had true love, and so they HAD to end up together, right? Soon she gets news that he had been killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Several years later she agrees to marry the Prince, not that she has much choice... She gets kidnapped by Vizzini, Fezzik, and Inigo Montoya... but who hired them? and why? who is the man in black? is he 'a good guy' or not? Will you get through the book without screaming?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Out of the Silent Planet

Honest?

I found bits and pieces of this book hard to understand. C.S. Lewis was a Professor at Cambridge, and he definitely used Collage-Professor-Sized words. Malediction, sanguine, intelligentsia, infinitesimally, and many other words of that size are used throughout the story. Granted, one can guess at their meaning by reading the rest of their sentence, but it takes away from the overall reading experience. I do like how Lewis changed things from how we are used to them on earth, such as the giant 'trees', thought process of the creatures that live on the other planet, the shapes of mountains, the intelligence of the 'aliens', and the temperature of the water... the storyline was fresh too, it is not one I have read before:

Ransom is a philologist , he studies languages. When we first see him he is hiking - he does this often when he does not have work. The place where he was going to spend the night turned him down. S, it is getting steadily darker, he is in the middle of nowhere, and he has no where to stay. Ransom ends up getting kidnapped, and when he wakes up he in a spaceship- looking out of the window he sees earth floating away, already the size of the moon. Who exactly are the people who kidnapped him? He finds out that they plan to leave him with the natives of where-ever-they-are-going, but why? Will there be any chance of escape? And then survival? Will he ever get back to earth, alive?

Be forewarned, this is the first in a trilogy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hans Christian Anderson

I have been reading some fairy tales by author Hans Christian Anderson. I had been curios about them for a while, and decided to pick up a book with several of the short stories in it.
I was astonished. People get their heads chopped off, mothers give up all they have to save their children (who die anyway), even the story of The Little Mermaid was different! In the original version, she ends up dieing and does not get to marry the Prince.
And people read these stories to their children as bedtime stories!?!?!?

Yet for some reason I kept reading. There is something about the stories that kept me interested. A friend of mine said that she read them mainly because they were a bit spooky- sort of a children's scary books. So, if that is the type of book you enjoy, pick up some of Anderson's works!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Invention of Hugo Cabret


Twenty-six thousand one hundred and fifty-nine words. One hundred and eighty-five pictures. Five hundred twenty-five pages. One amazing book. Selznick combines art and literature in a wonderful way. The transition from page to page of pictures was smooth, the pictures linked together telling half of the story by themselves. It is surprising to realize how much more one understands about the character's worry or astonishment by looking at them, and not just reading about them.

Twelve year-old Hugo has a secret. He lives in the train station and keeps the clock working, just like his Uncle taught him. He is afraid to tell anyone about his secret, lest it be taken from him. He has to fix this object, and being good with tools it is not as hard as it seems. The only way to get the parts for the mending is to steal them, so Hugo thinks. So he steels from an old man with a tool booth. One day, the man catches him and ends up taking the 'blueprints' for the boys secret. Hugo is persistent. This secret and the notebook are the only things he has left of his father; and he wants the book back so he can fix the secret. Things prove harder than they seem.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Enchanted Castle

The Enchanted Castle was written by Edith Nesbit. It was first published in 1907, so you wont find it in the 'new books' section of your library :D. The novel was written in such a way that whenever it started winding down something new and exciting happened. It seemed to me that Nesbit did not want her book to end. At times it dragged a bit, but do not let that keep you from reading The Enchanted Castle; the story itself is pretty good.

Gerald, Jimmy and Kathleen are siblings living in England at about the time the book was written. Their cousin gets sick just in time for the holidays, so the the children cannot go home lest they get sick too. The French Governess at Kathleen's school had been planning on staying at the school anyway, so she agrees when asked to watch the three children. The children convince her to let them take their lunch out of doors and eat in the woods, unchaperoned. While on the path they get lost and soon stumble upon a wonderful garden and a castle. Following the clue they find a princess asleep on the bench in the middle of the maze. After they wake her, she feeds them a most interesting meal and brings them to a secret toom. In this room she points out a magical ring she clams will turn the wearer invisible. And then the adventures begin.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Book Tour- The Diamond of Darkhold, review

Jeanne DuPrau's book is very interesting. It seems to continue at a very good pace through out the book- until the end. I felt as if the the last chapter or so was rushed- as if DuPrau wanted to wrap up everything as fast as she could. I liked how everything ended, but it felt a bit crammed together.

The Diamond of Darkhold is the fourth book in the Ember series. It is set after The Disaster, and after the Emberites merge with the Sparks. Times are difficult, but at least everyone is trying to get along now. Yet, food is still short, as are supplies, and Doon feels the urge to help is people again, but he is not sure how to go about it. And then the roamer comes. She ends up selling something to Lina and Doon that will either help them or get them into a lot of trouble. They pack up and leave without telling anyone, but where are they headed?

other blogs participating in the tour:
01 Charger, the 160acrewoods, A Childhood of Dreams, A Christian Worldview of Fiction, All About Childrens Books, And Another Book Read, Beckys Book Reviews, Book Review Maniac, Cafe of Dreams, Comox Valley Kids, Dolce Bellezza, Homeschool Buzz, Hyperbole, Looking Glass Reviews, Never Jam Today

Music Monday


Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Truth

Watch this video on youtube. Just remember to watch the whole thing, or it will not be accurate.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

SYATP

See You At The Pole is Wednesday. At seven o'clock in the morning, get together with other students at your school around the flagpole, and pray for your friends, your school, your town, your country, and your world. Watch this video from youtube.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Do Hard Things


Doing hard things is... hard.
And that is the point.
According to Alex and Brett Harris (and just about every other teen out there who are not doing hard things...)), teens are not expected to do much. These low expectations are called 'the myth of adolescence.' That means we don't have to accept it. We can get out there and do things, and turn the myth into something of the past. We do not have to sit around and do nothing- we can make a difference. This book had gotten me pumped up, and I am ready to Do Hard Things.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Life

Life has officially gotten out of control chaotic.

I have tons of homework, lots of studying for Teen Bible Quizzing, college research, college visits, ACT prep (again...), and a room that needs to stay at least reasonably clean.

... and yet somehow I have found time for all of it, and more! I have been reading at a realistic pace, been trying to blog, and even squeeze in a little 'Rummy Roots' games with my younger sisters (who knew Latin and Greek roots could be so fun?!?).

It is interesting how everything seems to fall into place...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Music Monday

This song is from the credits from 'The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe.'


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Third Drafts



Well, Saturday was a momentous day for me. After about six years of working on a book, I finally finished the third draft of 'The Silver Flower'. Those six years were not six straight years, but six years ago is when the idea first was put into my head.

It all started with a map drawn by a cousin. From there the story evolved. At first I kept it in a notebook, writing whenever I could-- or when I remembered to.

I remember that pages kept falling out, and getting lost. I changed types of notebooks to a spiral bound. At one point I lost the notebook (: --that probably accounts for a year in itself...

When it was found again, I decided it should be typed, so that it could not be lost again. Thankfully the computer never deleted my story!

When I finally finished the first draft, it was about 65 pages long. The climax was around page thirty. I had loved my characters so much I had not wanted it to end...

In my second draft I added a prologue, and took out about thirty pages. Many of the circumstances remained, but their length had shortened. I had gotten rid of the banal scenes, and changed a few of the others.

Then, about a year ago, I decided it was time to revise. Again. I took out most of the scenes, and condensed the rest. Of course, I still have a copy of all of them-- I cold never COMPLETELY delete them!

Saturday I finally transferred my written editions onto an electronic copy. It rests at twenty pages, with the climax on the second to last one.

It is time to put it in a drawer again until I can bring myself to take it out again-- with a large red pen at hand. : D

Friday, September 05, 2008

Savvy


Just about everybody has a know-how. They are really good at something, like making strawberry jam, or planting corn at the right time, or they can do puzzles really fast, or play music better than anyone is supposed to, or they can recite pi, or they are ALWAYS late. The Beaumonts have a know-how of a different sort called Savvies. Some can move the land, some can catch radio waves out of the air, or create electricity, or cause hurricanes, or do everything perfect, or go back in time, or open any lock. Mibs is hoping for for a good one. She is only two days away from getting her Savvy- everyone in her family gets their Savvy when they turn 13. But, her Poppa got in a really bad accident, and is now in a hospital in Salina, in a coma.

Everyone forgets about her birthday, the most important one in her life. Mibs is really scared for her Poppa, just like everyone else in her family. Rocket, her oldest brother, had caused all the light bulbs to break, another brother, Fish, made it rain out side, Grandpa made the ground rumble... Good thing Samson and Gypsy did not have Savvies yet! Mibs is now hoping for a savvy that will save her Poppa. The next morning bright and early Momma and Rocket leave for Salina. Miss Rosemary takes it upon herself to care for Mibs and her siblings while their Momma was gone. She brings Bobbie, Will Junior, and Mib's party plans with her. The birthday girl leaves the party she never wanted and stows away on a pink bus that is headed for Salina. Will Junior, Fish, and Bobbie all end up following her onto the bus where they find Mib's youngest brother, Samson. They know they are in big trouble when the bus heads in the opposite direction of Salina.

Savvy was written very vividly, many parts jump out at you, having you grip the cover harder as if it will make you read faster.

Every paragraph seems necessary to the plot. Nothing seems out of place, or like extra information.

Savvy was very fun to read. A younger sister of mind is reading it now, and she loves it.