Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Half Way Home by Hugh Howey

So even though school has started, :) and summer is over :( I hope everyone will still talk about the amazing books they are reading throughout the year! One I hope you all read is MOCKINGJAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's out and coming to my house tomorrow morning. As soon as I read I can give it to Ms. Kesler to be passed along, in case there aren't enough copies at the school (which is always an issue)! Another newish book, Half Way Home by the wonderful Hugh Howey, is another must get. He takes things to a whole new level, and though I regretted leaving the Molly world to explore another, it was well worth it. I can't even begin to describe this book, it is so interesting! :) I think I like the Molly Fyde series better, but that is because of my opinion on some controversial issues he faces. Politically, I can tell we do not agree but I am open minded enough to understand these things- while also recognizing a lot of others I know who share my political views would not accept this. I would say only mature eighth graders for this one; it covers tricky topics. But I love it all the same and hope a few of you can benefit from these ideas! Good luck to all in school and always read. Love from Mount Airy High School- Jessi

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Super Books This Summer

Peace out one and all. I read like every single book with a worthwhile cover that I could this summer, however there are a two books I think I aught to bring to everyone's attention...

Of all the books I have read this summer, only one stands out in my mind most vividly. During the last school year, I started reading The House Of The Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. It started out as one of those, "I'll pick this up on my spare time" sort of books. There was nothing different about it, as far as I could tell. Then about halfway through I realized that this was no ordinary book. The writing itself wasn't extremely genuine. But the storyline was so intense and packed that I could not convince myself to put it down. It definitely opens up your mind a little bit wider than it may have been before. I would highly recommend giving it some time to read.

This one will probably be shunned by most of you. It is called The White Mountains, by John Christopher. It's in a series of four, and the storyline is one of those classics. The bad guys walk around in these huge metal monsters called tripods. The tripods destroy all of mankind's technology, and then turn them into happy slaves who will jump off a cliff to do their bidding. It started out a little slow, but after about 50 pages it starts to pick up. Although the plot is somewhat juvenile, I found it to be a great 1-day read. It had the same feeling, as well as writing stile to it as did The Giver. I would strongly encourage all of you to give it a shot. :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Reading

Hello everyone! I hope everyone has had a great and wonderful summer so far! As I am typing, I am trying to finish packing from the beach. It has been truly wonderful to just sit back and relax. I have been listening to the waves while reading. I am so sad to leave this wonderful place. Who knows what next year will bring? We have actually seen tar balls from the oil spill. It has amazed me just seeing the beautiful ocean while just several miles away, there is a massive oil spill. Anyway, back on track. Books. So far this summer, I have had a great opportunity to read. I have enjoyed many wonderful pieces of literature. Sometimes I even hear my mom telling me to "put down the book and clean my room." Or something along those lines.

Pride and Prejudice by: Jane Austen- I have never been into classic literature. I always seem to stero-type classic novels. When I began the book, I was honestly very upset. I didn't want to read it at all! As the book progressed, I began to see the irony and beauty of the book! There were so many twist and turns! Sometimes it is hard to keep up. I sometimes find myself laughing at the humor. I truly enjoyed Jane Austen's crafty work in Pride and Prejudice.

City of Ember by: Jeanne DuPrau- I had heard many things about City of Ember. Many people claimed that it was a very good book and that I HAD to read it. I will have to say, while it had a very good story line, I found it being a little below my level. I finished the book in about a day. I did find myself going back and watching the movie and I have to say, I like the book better. I don't believe that I am going to continue the series.

Impossible by: Nancy Werlin- This was a very tricky book for me. I have never really been into reading things about elves or vampires, etc. But I will have to say that I did enjoy Impossible. At first, I didn't enjoy it. I wanted to give it up and not finish it. Marissa and I kept texting back and forth about it. She told me to continue reading it, I didn't want to. I ended up picking it up and finishing it. While it wasn't my favorite novel, I would suggest it to anyone who enjoys reading about curses and other mystical things.

My Forbidden Face by Latifa- I absolutely loved this book! Some people have claimed that it was very historic and didn't have much of a story. I felt the complete opposite! It really made me feel like I was in Latifa's thoughts as she told her story of living under the harsh reign of the Taliban. Considering my history in Model United Nations, I loved this book! It directly connected to some of the issues involved in the UN. I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys reading a historic account.

I have read too many books to give an account of all of them! I hope everyone is having a great summer and is continuing their wonderful adventures through reading! As we speak, my amazon order is currently $80! Plus, I still have stacks in my closet of all the books I'm about to read! Hope everyone has a great rest of the summer! High school will be starting soon and I am very excited.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Reads So Far

Hi everybody! Hope everyone is having a great summer. So far I have started and finished four new books (I still have three I have to finish). I also have to read both Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and Molly Fyde and the Blood of the Billions by Hugh Howey, both of which I forgot to pre-order (whoops!), before the end of summer. Well anyway, so far I have finished War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, The Roar by Emma Clayton, Paint the Wind by Pam Munoz Ryan and Trackers by Patrick Carman.

War Horse was one of my suggested summer reading books. I just finished it today. I absolutely loved this book! It's a story about a farm horse who is sold to the war. The coolest thing about this book is that it's written from the horse's perspective instead of a person's. Some parts were shocking, some were sad, some were exciting, but all-in-all this book was really good.

At first, I really thought I would hate The Roar. I don't know why, I just thought I would hate it. Even though I thought that, I bought it anyway. Now, I am really glad I bought it. I ended up really enjoying this book. I have no idea how to explain it so I'm just going to type what it says on the back. Mika lives in future London, behind The Wall, safe from The Animal Plague beyond. Or so he's been told. But ever since Ellie vanished a year ago, he's suspected his world may be built on secrets- and lies. When a mysterious organization starts recruiting mutant kids to compete in violent virtual reality games, Mika takes the chance to search for his twin sister- and the truth. Sounds interesting, right? It definitely is.

Paint the Wind isn't my favorite book. It wasn't very memorable to me. It's #14 on my list of Top 19 Books. I just didn't like it as much as I did some of the other books I have read. It's about a girl named Maya who lives with her grandmother. She isn't allowed to have fun at all. But when her grandmother has a stroke, she has to move to Wyoming and live with her mother's family. It may not seem like it, but this book is mostly about horses. I would recommend this book to somebody who really likes horses. Even though I really enjoy books about animals, it just wasn't that interesting to me.

So far Trackers is the best book I have read this summer. I love the way it was written. I love that it has it's own website. It was made to seem like a true story, but it is definitely fiction. It's written like an interrogation you see on a cop show like NCIS or CSI. Every once in a while in the book, there will be a page with a password on it that you can use at the website to unlock a video that goes along with that part of the book. Even without the videos, it is a very interesting book. This is supposed to be the first in the series, too (same for The Roar). I am very excited to read the next Trackers.

That's all I have so far. Hope you found at least one of these books interesting. Bye for now!~Ashleigh

I have always disliked classics.......

Hey guys!!! Wow it took me like forever to try and figure out how to create a new post, but then I realized that it really wasn't that hard:D I hope everyone is having a great summer! Well, I have found it really hard to find good books for myself to read, with out the plethora (bean!!) of novels coming from both Ms. Kesler and Mrs. Braley's libraries:) I started to read Northern Lights, a book that I have been wanting to read since Ms. Kesler purchased it, but it took me forever to get into that book! I was like reading 3 pages a day, and then putting it down, moaning about how horrible it was....after slowly reading 80 pages, the book started to finally get interesting (haha i cant stop describing books as "interesting"). And I was like yay! I am finally reading a good book!! But then, unfortunately, I realized that I had required reading that I had to do......not fun. For high school, we have to read 2 books: 1 that everyone has to read, and 1 that you can choose from a HUGE list. The one that everyone has to read is called My Forbidden Face by Latifa, a story about a girl living with the Taliban...historical non-fiction...I have gotten mixed reviews on this book. My Model UN friends, cough cough;) who love this kind of topic enjoyed this book....but some of my other friends who aren't involved with anything about the Middle East conflict found the book tedious and not interesting (here i go again with that word:D). So I have no idea what to think about that book, so I guess i have to get my butt over to the library (the freakishly small, public library, not the amazing Ms. Kesler library) :( and find the book and read it....For the second book that we have to read, we could choose a book...I made the mistake of choosing Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen....lets just say NOT my favorite book. I thought it was going to be amazing!! I was sooo excited to read it......yeah, its been a week and I have only read about 100 pages....100 pages, out of 476 pages :| .... I really just don't understand the plot...the characters are confusing....and the fact that it is written in old English doesn't help ONE bit....I am slowly getting through it, though i better pick up the pace since summer is almost over :( and I really want to get my required reads over with so I can continue working through the ginormous stack of books on my night side table...they have been sitting there ever since I started Contemporary Literature because all of Ms. Kesler's reads looked better and I knew that I wouldn't have them for much longer. Some other books I have read this summer are The Mysterious Benedict Society (umm....amazing!!! I cant wait to read the second one...but I don't know if i will, because I don't see how the story will play out), I started Little Women a while that is one classic novel that i actually enjoyed...okay now I'm drawing a blank on books...maybe i should keep a list of all the books I read in the summer like I did when I was little:P I hope everyone is having a good reading journey as well as many summer travels :) Have a great summer!
-Marissa :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Good Books This Summer (so far!)

Hey everyone! I hope you are all having a great summer and enjoying Ms. Kesler's books as well as other new, exciting ones! I am anxious to hear about them on here and look them up for myself (although I can't blame you if you don't post- I am finding this blog a little difficult to use). So I noticed, like, two days after school got out that I no longer had a refuge filled with books awaiting me at all times. This refuge is also known as my locker also known as Ms. Kesler's room! :( I had to buy books for myself, which is a hard thing to do without a credit card but my mom and I have a system going now. Here are a couple that might interest you:

Molly Fyde and the Blood of the Billions was spectacular as expected. It took me a little while to get into but the way Hugh Howey embraced these controversial topics of things such as immigration or politics was amazing. His message spoke through the story, and you could tell what his views were. As always, it left me hungry for the next one, book four. This series just goes deeper and deeper as you go on, and I love it. I'd have to say, though, out of all three I enjoyed the second one the best, which is some what odd because I usually don't like the way events flow in sequels to books.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate was a sweet book, and I thought I should read it because it was on the suggested reading for sixth or seventh grade. Naturally, then, the reading level was a little low, but I still thought it was nice and I liked a couple of the implications towards women's rights more than the scientific relations.

The Color Purple was one of many I could read for high school, and it is definitely older high school level just because of content. I cringed, cried, and laughed throughout this book, which is what all books should make you do! The first half was just to detailed for my taste but it got much better. The book certainly portrays more feeling then the movie. This book I would only suggest to women too.

Little Bee is a book I found on my own in a bookstore and I was very proud to have picked out a good book without Ms. Kesler! :) I'm starting to have to read books in the adult section, which is where this one was, but it's all good because I can have many conversations with my Grandmother or my mom's friends about them. This book by Chris Cleave was one that the story wraps around itself and you don't figure it out until the end. Some parts are more gruesome then others, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Illegal immigration was the main topic of the book but in a way you wouldn't really expect.

I don't want to list them all, but I wanted to catch up for the summer so that I could post new books as I read them. I have read many more books then this, but I want to tell you about the few you might want to check out for yourself! Also The Guerensy Literary and Potato Peel Society is probably my second favorite book in the world right now, I loved it so much. My Forbidden Face is another interesting one that I'm currently in the process of about women under the Taliban (also reading that for high school). Hope this got some of you interested, and I look forward to see your posts! Keep enjoying your summer! :)