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:


Where you don't have gaps in your knowledge:


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."