Wednesday Wars is a rare piece of literature that feeds the soul. Schmidt creates a plot that skims along the positive side of life, occasionally dipp...moreWednesday Wars is a rare piece of literature that feeds the soul. Schmidt creates a plot that skims along the positive side of life, occasionally dipping into the deep, heavy emotions of loss and love. Holling Hood Hood is content with his shallow existence as a sports loving, cream puff craving young man skipping through his urban wonder years during the late sixties. An unexpected relationship develops between him and his teacher, Mrs. Baker. Because Holling is mostly ignored by his ghostly mother and his work obsessed father, Holling finds a mentor in Mrs. Baker who listens to his ideas and feelings, while challenging him intellectually with the works of Shakespeare. Schmidt shows readers how literature actually effects and changes people's lives through Holling's realization that the plays he is reading give him immense perspective in every situation in which he finds himself. Holling begins to become a mature, deep thinking adolescent by cultivating his relationships with the other characters in the novel. As a reader, it is wonderful to see a character wade out of his shallowness and stare into the depths of reality and greater truths. For a teacher, Mrs. Baker's relationship with Holling is a template that we wish we could create with all our students. Overall, Schmidt has created a feel good book that demonstrates how vital our relationships with others can be, and how literature truly enriches the life of a thoughtful reader. (less)
T. H. White retells the Arthurian legends uniquely, adding enough new ideas to make those familiar with them never know what to expect. Every knew ide...moreT. H. White retells the Arthurian legends uniquely, adding enough new ideas to make those familiar with them never know what to expect. Every knew idea, from an ugly Lancelot to Arthur's shape-shifting lessons as a boy, has been thoroughly and meticulously pointed to a message of pacifism. Although it may seem an oxymoron, telling of the violent exploits of the knights of the round table while pushing an anti-war message works suprisingly well in White's capable hands. This book has the depth of a classic and the driving force of modern young adult fiction. I reccomend this for anyone who loves the classics and reading with a pencil in hand. (less)
I tried to read Feed once before, but the run-on sentences and future slang became a barrier between me and this incredible piece of literature. My wi...moreI tried to read Feed once before, but the run-on sentences and future slang became a barrier between me and this incredible piece of literature. My wife suggested listening to the audio production, which actually uses multiple readers and bits of music to simulate the feed, which can be confusing and flat if read in one's head. I highly recommend this to anyone that has given up on Feed before or anyone who requires a book to be written with a moderate amount of punctuation. This book is an unintentional re-imagining of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World if he had a knowledge of the internet. Anderson attacks America's consumer culture with his small menagerie of vapid, lesion covered, drug addled youths and his idea of a context activated internet implanted in everyone's head (otherwise known as "The Feed"). ADD is redefined as the main character, Titus, relates a tale of love and loss through a narrative full of run-on sentences and interruptions from his feed. Anderson illustrates a future run by giant corporations, where American citizens have become complacent and intelligence has become outdated. Everyone is taught to be consumers who deserve to be entertained, and reality becomes as shallow as a beer commercial. Anderson even goes so far as to ask whether love can be replaced by voracious, materialistic appetites. Unlike many darkly futuristic depictions, Anderson's ideas are just as entertaining and poignant as his plot. He gives the reader so much to think about, and many of the predictions are chillingly accurate. Anderson has created a darkly humorous masterpiece that forces the reader to examine their own life and motivations. (less)
Although the main characters strongly resemble the more realized characters of Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns is worth reading for those who love Gre...moreAlthough the main characters strongly resemble the more realized characters of Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns is worth reading for those who love Greene's style. If you've never read one of John Greene's books, I strongly suggest reading Looking for Alaska first. It has a much more powerful plot with characters that are more realistic than Q, Margo, Radar, Lacie and Ben. However, Paper Towns is a sweet dessert best enjoyed after Looking for Alaska's main course. As far as the book itself, Paper Towns is a light mystery with a serious climax. Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass is consistently alluded to, making it something any Paper Towns reader should check out before they reach the second half of the book. Overall, Greene has created an important look into the philosophical mind of adolescents that is enjoyable and satisfying.
CAUTION- Contains Language and adult situations(less)