Very interesting to read about Paulsen's extensive experiences in the wilderness from a young boy basically teaching himself to almost crashing in a p...moreVery interesting to read about Paulsen's extensive experiences in the wilderness from a young boy basically teaching himself to almost crashing in a plane in Alaska. Superb writing and diction. Would be a great companion piece (though some of the descriptions might make sensitive souls or stomachs queasy) to the Hatchet series. (less)
Introduced by Billy Collins by SHS teacher P. Riley. We read these poems around your hospital bed - I hope you heard some of the words and that they b...moreIntroduced by Billy Collins by SHS teacher P. Riley. We read these poems around your hospital bed - I hope you heard some of the words and that they brought you some comfort. We still miss you.(less)
Maybe it's me, but I found this just a little annoying - I had heard great things about it and kept waiting for the great thi...moreRecommended by Melissa U.
Maybe it's me, but I found this just a little annoying - I had heard great things about it and kept waiting for the great things to happen. A little didactic for me - and the writing every now and then was a little rough. Tao of Pooh was more enlightening.(less)
I often see this on students' summer reading lists - great piece to go along with Mockingird by Kathryn Erskine. I enjoyed it and students have told m...moreI often see this on students' summer reading lists - great piece to go along with Mockingird by Kathryn Erskine. I enjoyed it and students have told me they like it too.
One thing I love about this book (besides that he is an unreliable narrator - welcome to the club already populated by Nick, Holden and Huck), are the many references to all sorts of other subjects. Examples:
Science: "And when the universe has finished exploding,..all the stars will begin to fall toward the center of the universe again...and we will know that the world is going to end soon because when we lok up into the sky at night there will be no darkness, just the blazing light of billions and billions of stars, all falling...
Math - This is how you work out what prime numbers are (there is a chart) p. 11...Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them. p. 12...Of if you see someon'e name and you give each letter a value from 1-26 and you add up the numbers in your head and find that it makes a rpime number, like Jesus Christ (151), or Scooby=-Doo (113) or Sherlock Holmes (163) or Doctor Watson (167)
English - This is another reason why I don't like prper novels, because they are lies about things which didn't happen and they make me feel shaky and scared. (less)
This was recommended to me by my brother. I read this about the same time I read Cormac McCarthy's The Road. It was winter. In New England. Dark. I do...moreThis was recommended to me by my brother. I read this about the same time I read Cormac McCarthy's The Road. It was winter. In New England. Dark. I don't recommend reading both at the same time or in winter. Still, it was absolutely amazing. I will read it again - maybe next summer when I can sit outside in half-shade. I mentioned this book in Lenten column I wrote for the Covenant Companion - see part of it below. In Jose Saramago’s harsh and extraordinary novel Blindness, a world of people becomes suddenly blind with the exception of one woman. Towards the end of the book, she and her husband take temporary refuge in a church as she recovers from a fainting spell brought on by a nasty shock. As she recovers consciousness, she is horrified to see that all the images of the church, from statues to paintings, have their eyes covered with either strips of cloth or thick brushstrokes of white paint. Even the sculptures of the man on the cross and the woman next to him have their eyes covered with white bandages. She describes the scene to her husband and they try to understand the motivation for such an act. Perhaps a priest did it, knowing he too would soon lose his eyesight and that it would “lend some dignity to our suffering”. Perhaps it was to comment that “God does not deserve to see”. As the other blind people in the church hear this, they panic and fly out of the church because “the idea that the sacred images were blind, that their compassionate or pitying eyes only stared out at their own blindness, became all of a sudden unbearable.” (less)
Maybe I'm the only one in the world who doesn't love this or maybe I'm hearing the echo of a parent survey we conducted in my school (grades 6-12)and...moreMaybe I'm the only one in the world who doesn't love this or maybe I'm hearing the echo of a parent survey we conducted in my school (grades 6-12)and many parents commented that the selections we had for summer reading were rather depressing. This book is depressing. I did like the characters and that is was still somewhat applicable to kids today (bullying, etc.) though it was published in 1977, but overall, not a choice I'll add to my lists.(less)
The people of Ember have escaped their dying city, but coming out to the real world (which they never knew existed) is fraught with peril. Luckily the...moreThe people of Ember have escaped their dying city, but coming out to the real world (which they never knew existed) is fraught with peril. Luckily they discover a small town nearby, Sparks, which welcomes a doubling of their population, at first. Once resources grow thin, things begin to get ugly and Lina and Doon try to figure out how they can restore peace and ensure the survival of everyone.
I wish the language had been reflective that two different and completely separate societies (over two hundred years) evolved their languages to reflect what had happened to each of them. Certainly our language is very different than it was two hundred years ago. I expected different vocabularies and maybe even some sentence structure differences. It also seemed that the people of Ember acted much more childlike in their expectations of care from Ember than seemed reasonable. Hard for me to get over that - but the characters make up for those smaller issues. (less)
Very interesting perspective how a very bright young boy tries to come to terms with his father's death on 9-11 in NYC. Nine-year-old Oscar thinks mor...moreVery interesting perspective how a very bright young boy tries to come to terms with his father's death on 9-11 in NYC. Nine-year-old Oscar thinks more outside the box than anyone I know. I loved his thinking - quite precocious, which at first made me think he sounded more like the author, but that faded. Oscar's mom is mostly ignored; at the end, however, she comes through shining. Not sure I could have done that. No spoiler alert here.
Great secondary and minor characters.
The intercalary (for lack of a better word) sections concerning the secondary plot around his grandparents' lives detracted from the main plot. The Dresden fire bombing was a fascinating parallel to 9-11, but their story was not (though the differnt typing formats and pictures were another example of thinking outside the box and quite effective). My biggest beef - grandmas don't write about their very specific sexual experiences to their grandsons, even if they did concern their husbands. They don't. That was weird. So only a 4 - not a 5.(less)