Had this one on the radar for awhile too. Picked it up at B and N, mostly because I have a thing for paranormal mystery books. I still have to finish...moreHad this one on the radar for awhile too. Picked it up at B and N, mostly because I have a thing for paranormal mystery books. I still have to finish my work for my class, but I needed to read something last night that I could get through in one night and would destress me, so I grabed this one, which read a bit like a paranormal Veronica Mars (though not quite as Snarky.) I rather enjoyed it, they kept tossing random teenage boys in leading the reader to wonder which one would turn out to be involved someway. I really was not sure how it could put together, looking back I should have noticed, there were clues that seemed like random through-away comments at the time. This was a quick, fun paranormal YA, a little fluff mixed with some very good writing. It was nothing taunt or tense- more fun with a little danger, and mostly doubt, tossed it. (less)
I actually started To Kill a Mockingbird in December, when our local Borders was closing, they were havin...moreConnection and Teaching Comments for a class:
I actually started To Kill a Mockingbird in December, when our local Borders was closing, they were having sales and I purchased it because I realized I had never read it, and that seemed wrong, but due to my move/slow unpacking I only got about 1/3 done with the book, until this Summer.
I can see why this is often required Summer Reading for students, even the simplest thing (the setting) is so well done that you can feel the hot Alabama summers as you read. I made text to self connections to this book from the start, with the character of Scout. Scout and her love of reading, her love of a good mystery (I used to check houses for Ghosts, not Boo Radley) but it was her pure bewilderment over the situations around her that brought it home to me. I may be an adult now, but I still see the world a certain way at times, until something jars me into realizing the world is not always as simple as it should be.
This book is wonderful to use in conjunction with studying the 1960’s especially when talking about race relations, of course. But, that is not the only theme: it’s about innocence in a time of hate, standing up for what you believe in, even if you know you’ll fail, finding our heroes in every day men and women who display strength of character. Teachers could use this as a great novel to study character, since the development in the characters (the family especially) is amazingly well done. It also would be a good novel to teach first person narrative. Scout may be the main character but by looking through her eyes we see the strengths and failings of the world around her. (less)
Hahn's books were some of my favorites when I was in elementary school, so I picked this one up at the book fair to see if it lived up to her books fr...moreHahn's books were some of my favorites when I was in elementary school, so I picked this one up at the book fair to see if it lived up to her books from the late 80's and 90's. I felt it took a bit too long to get to the good and spooky stuff, some of my students might have given up on it early...but that would be a shame, because it really had it's moments that even gave me the shivers (but in a good way). The watery cover and dark imaginary relating the lake is enough to make me wonder what might be underneath me next time I go for a swim.(less)
Having read The Giver, and Gathering Blue in the past I was really looking forward to getting Messenger off my To-Be-Read Pile (especially since a 4th...moreHaving read The Giver, and Gathering Blue in the past I was really looking forward to getting Messenger off my To-Be-Read Pile (especially since a 4th novel, Son, is coming out soon.) This book takes places in the village briefly seen at the end of the “The Giver” in fact, several questions from The Giver are answered in this book, and allusions (okay I'm a Giver fangirl, so this made me happy.)
It is a strong story even as a stand-alone, and it probably has the clearest plot and themes, relating to generosity and selflessness. I felt this book also related well with one of my previous reads this month, Something wicked this way comes. I would compare the transformation of the villagers in this novel to that of the “freaks” in Something Wicked this way comes. In Lowry’s novel the forest around the village is physically corrupted and changed by the self-ish nature of the villagers, while the “freaks” in Bradbury’s work are physically corrupted and changed but their own sinful nature and selfish desires. (text connect)
The strength of the theme in Messenger is what is most compelling. If I were to teach this book at the middle school level that would be my focus. The village was created to protect the weak, and the different, but as the viewpoints of the villagers change (from welcoming, to self-ish and threatening) so does the forest around the village. It also discusses different types of sacrifices, pointing out that many people sacrifice parts of themselves without thinking, and for material possessions and vanity- they lose themselves in the search for self happiness. This is compared to sacrifices made for the good of others. (less)
We had to read a Jack London story for my Middle School Lit Class, one we haven't read. I read "the Call of the Wild" in 7th grade so that was out, it...moreWe had to read a Jack London story for my Middle School Lit Class, one we haven't read. I read "the Call of the Wild" in 7th grade so that was out, it was the only test on Summer reading I did poorly on, not sure why really so I decided not to re-live that by reading White Fang, and downloaded an audiobook of this instead....well three, one was abridged and awful, the other had a narrator that sounded like a drunk robot, and the last one, was gold. I think if I had read this myself i would not have appreciated the tension as much, but the narrator did a wonderful job of getting my attention and keeping it as I took my nightly walk. It has your basic Jack London themes, man vs nature (spoiler: nature usually wins) and I enjoyed the characterization of the man (foolish, arrogant, but stubborn and fighting through it all....that's humans, we are not that bright at times, but we don't go down without some fight and the dog (with his natural instincts making him superior to the man who practically enslaves him) in the comparison the dog is the logical side of the equation. Having this story read aloud really made it come alive, I would recommend it in audiobook....as long as you get a good narrator (less)
Enjoyed this one, Veronica Mars with a paranormal edge. It's more like. 3.4 edging to a 4. I like the characters, it's got some slight heft (not just...moreEnjoyed this one, Veronica Mars with a paranormal edge. It's more like. 3.4 edging to a 4. I like the characters, it's got some slight heft (not just paranormal fluff) the mystery itself was something i had figured out early though...because I wanted to be Nancy Drew and have read a food deal of mysteries in my lifetime ;) I enjoy this series(less)