Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer Reading

Over the summer, you were asked to read at least two novels of your choice.

1) Briefly tell me what you read, including the titles and authors.

2) I want to know what you liked about the books, what you learned and, more importantly, what matters to you about the book's content.

*Make sure to adhere to proper conventions and proofread your response. If, for some reason, you did not read two novels, tell me about two novels you have read and answer the above.


  1. Over the summer of 2011, I read two amazing novels and enjoyed them both. The first book I read was Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe. This book was published in 1852, and is believed to be one of the causes of the American Civil War. The second book I read was released at a much more recent date, May 2011. It was entitled The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan. This is the second series he wrote, after his widely popular series Percy Jackson and the Olympians.
    I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin first, and found it much more moving than The Throne of Fire. In Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a slave from the 1800’s gets sold away from his wife and family. I liked this book because it was so moving and was actually based on fact. I learned that, at this time period, African-Americans were treated like dogs, where you buy them to please you and make your life easier, but if you need to settle a debt you can sell them away, even from their puppies. And just like a dog, if they do something too serious, you need to put them down. I found some parts of this story horrifying, because I have some African-American friends and I can’t imagine how any man could see them as less than a person. The Throne of Fire was the second book I read, and I found this book a lot more adventurous and happy than Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This book is the story of two children, Carter and Sadie Kane, living in a world influenced by Egyptian mythology. They must join together and save the world from the evil of Apophis, the lord of chaos before he breaks free of his prison and eats the sun. What I learned from this book mainly consisted of the names and powers of the Egyptian gods and goddesses (Ra, Horus, Isis, etc.) and not much else. I enjoyed this book due to its gripping tale of two people with a quest to find these sacred objects in five days to save the world. The book involves many intense battle scenes, several near-death experiences, and a great amount of the story left open-ended for the third book to close.

  2. This summer I read the books, "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult and "It's Kind of a Funny Story" by Ned Vizzini.

    In "My Sister's Keeper", I really liked the story and the plot. I love reading realistic fiction novels, so this book was the perfect pick for me. I also loved how the sisters in the story interacted and how they're love for one another caused them to make the decision they did. In this book, Anna loves her dying sister Kate very much. Kate wants to die, but their parents won't let that happen. Therefore, they use Anna to keep Kate alive using blood transfusions. So Anna takes matters into her own hands and it ends up causing a lawsuit. In the end there is a really big twist, but what I learned throughout the book is that love conquers all. This overall theme really means a lot to me and I loved how the author conveyed that. I really loved this book and I would read it again and again.

    In "It's Kind of a Funny Story", I again really liked the story line and plot detailing. This book is also a realistic fiction novel and I loved how different the setting was. This book is about a kid named Craig. He gets into a great high school, but then he slowly starts to go downhill. His life goes out of control, and he checks himself into a mental hospital. I have never read another book like this one where the setting is so unique. In this book I learned that no matter what happens to you, you can always make the best of it. Craig was feeling really suicidal, but then once he checked himself into the hospital, he started to realize that he could actually use this as a good thing. He could get away from all of things that were making him suicidal and just have some time to himself. Craig really made the best of his situation, and I really like that. I like that in a book a character can go through a rough patch, but he turns it around in the end. Overall, I really like this book.

    Over the summer I read a lot of good books, but these two were at the top of the list. I loved both of them and they were both really great reads.

  3. Over the summer, I read two books that I've come to find are two of my favorites. The first book that I read is called "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte, followed by "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen.

    In "Wuthering Heights", I enjoyed both the intriguing plot and the thinking required to really comprehend the book. When I first started reading "Wuthering Heights", my love for classic novels was the only thing that kept me from putting the book down. But as I progressed in the novel, I realized that I truly liked the book. "Wuthering Heights" is said to be a love story; but what I learned was that the story was based purely on revenge. Heathcliff is full of resentment and anger while Catherine is selfish and confused about her own identity. But even with their bad qualities, nothing can keep them apart. That, combined with the inevitable events throughout the story, is what I valued most while reading "Wuthering Heights."

    In "Water for Elephants", I absolutely loved how the story engulfed you and made you feel as if you were there, as if you were experiencing what the characters were experiencing. The book is a historical novel about the American circus in the 1930s and is a story full of love. Jacob Jankowski shows a passionate love for Marlena, a performer for the circus, but he also shows a deep, meaningful love for the performing elephant, Rosie. He cares for both of them in a rare way, one not usually expressed in books. I found this both a life-lesson and encouraging. I learned that even when you're going through a life-changing conflict, you can find redeeming qualities where you least expect them.

  4. Over this summer, I read two very interesting books titled 'Candide' by Voltaire, and also 'A Man called Blessed' by Ted DekKer. I really enjoyed Candide because of the history behind the book. It was one of the earliest philosophical novels, being published in 1759. As a philosophical satire, many parts were quite hard to comprehend, but it was still very entertaining in many parts. It is based largely on Voltaire's experiences of the Seven Years War, so an anti-war message is found throughout the narrative of Candide. Because of this, I also learned about some of the things that happened during that time period. The other book that I read over the summer is called A Man called Blessed. It is a mystery/thriller that is often fast-paced but still adds some emotion into the text. Ted DekKer is a christian-themed author that is known for exciting and adventurous fiction novels. This book is a sequel to Blessed Child, and the main character is a child named Caleb. In the second book, Caleb has grown up and is now in his 20's. In a few parts of the book, it mentions some topics of politics and relations between countries. Although the politicians are fictional, some of the situations are the same as modern times.

  5. Over the summer, the two novels that I chose for my summer reading assignment were “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott and “The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette” by Carolly Erickson.

    “Little Women” I fell in love with instantly! I found the book easy to connect with, specifically, the main character Jo. I found many similar qualities between the two of us. Alcott made the book very descriptive, so much so I found myself so immersed in the book that I felt like the book was my story, my life, not some fiction piece that I'm required to read for school. I also found myself crying for joy or feeling sorry for all the different characters as their stories were carried on. One of the reasons that I was able to connect with all of the characters was the fact that Alcott wrote the different chapters from different characters’ points of view. I always enjoy when the authors do this because it helps me understand the story to a deeper level. Also, it lets you find out about different characters for yourself rather than just taking one character’s opinion of the other characters. This book taught me more about the lifestyle and manners of the 19th century.

    “The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette” I really enjoyed at first, but towards the middle of the book, it took a left turn and suddenly became a very depressing book! I have praise for the author in the fact of how realistic she made seem, but personally I didn’t enjoy the story line! Yes, most of the story line was fact (such as she dies by the guillotine at the end), however Erickson filled in the meat of the book with vicious gossip, one too many affairs, unneeded deaths, and in my mind went over the top on the description on the topics such as the deaths and attacks from different people verbal or physically. This book was hard to distinguish fact from myth as all of it could have happened. This book taught me about the horrible life the last rulers of France held near their ends of days.

  6. This summer I read two great novels. "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrel and "The Inferno" by Dante Alligri.I really loved "Lone Survivor" because it was a true story about a Navy SEAL and his journey to make it into the Navy SEALs. The way he described the events of what happened was phenomenal and were so clear that I could see them happening. He described all his hardships and emotions about everything he did. He even went into his failed mission Operation Red Wing and what happened. It was a disaster and after he describes how close he and his team were it was heart wrenching and painful to read. But a great true story told none the less. A book that was slightly less enjoyable was "The Inferno" by Dante Alligri. I had to restart this poem several times and still felt like i had to take notes on what was happening. But I did enjoy the history of this pre-1300's piece of his legendary "The Divine Comedy" and how well he wrote it. Considering it had to be translated from Old Italian which is admittedly still not accurate I thought it was an amazing piece and they way he wrote his ideals and philosophies into this story was unmatched by any other author or book I have ever read. I plan to read the second and third part of this epic poem, La Purgatorio and Il Paradiso.

  7. I read two very good novels over the summer, one called "Band of Brothers" by Stephen E. Ambrose, and the other called "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom.

    "Band of Brothers" is a novel about E Company, 506th regiment, 101st airborne division's journeys in the Eastern theater of WWII. What I enjoyed about reading the book is the quotes and the knowledge that the men in the novel actually experienced the accounts recollected. Also the battle scenes in the book were very detailed with the description of the surroundings and the emphasis on how the soldiers were feeling during the battles. I learned that teamwork in the most dire of circumstances is key to accomplishing any goal in battle and in life. Also, school is like a battle, you need to have friends and teachers that will work with you until you get it right under any circumstances. Ultimately, the book involves many implied life lessons, it's filled with lots of suspense for a non-fiction book, and the men in the story have lots of personal accounts of the soldiers keeping the reader hooked.

    In addition to reading "Band of Brothers", I read a much more heartfelt novel called "The Five People You Meet in Heaven". This novel is about a man (Eddie) who works at an amusement park on a pier and is killed saving a girl from a falling kart from a free fall ride. I like this book because it highlights Eddie's life before his death, and how the five people he meets are people that have been affected by him during his life. I learned from this book that you need to cherish life in every day because you never know when His time for you to meet Him is. I also learned that the people you meet in life can always be impacted by what you do and wherever you are so be careful what you say and do because everything you do has consequences. I love this book and want everyone to read it at least once because it can help anyone to gain a better understanding of life and realize how precious it is. This book is written with incredible details into the lives of the people in Eddie's life and anyone who reads it will find connections to their own lives from this book.

  8. Over the summer I read two novels that I had mixed feelings about. The first novel I read was The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. The second novel I read was Lord of the Flies by William Golding. The Da Vinci Code was a book I really enjoyed. It was filled with mystery, action, and lots of history. I really like adventure books that are filled with action on every page. This book definitely lived up to my expectations with action in almost every chapter. The Da Vinci Code made me predicting and thinking on every page. It ends with a twist no reader could ever expect. Dan Brown definitely did his research for writing this history buff book. I learned so much about the Catholic religion, whether it was true or not. I am a fairly religious person and the novel’s context definitely had me wondering about my religion. Lord of the Flies was not one of my favorite novels. In my opinion it was a book that I would need to discuss with others about, mostly because of the degree of difficulty. It had tough vocabulary but an even tougher comprehension of the story and meaning of the story. I hated this book before I read the notes about the book. The notes in the end of the book really helped me understand the true meaning of the novel. After reading the notes I really appreciated this book even more. Even though it was a tough read for me I still wouldn’t recommend this book to others. Even though I disliked one of my novels I still enjoyed reading both of these books over the playful summer.

  9. I am not the one who is found with my nose in a book during free time, so selecting two books worth reading was a challenge. Fortunately, I completed the summer assignment pretty early on. The books I chose to read and learn from are called 'My Sister's Keeper' by Jody Picoult, as well as 'Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope' written by the Families of Laura Van-Ryn, and Whitney Cerak.

    My Sister's Keeper was one of the first books I read that I couldn't stop reading. The main family in the story is made up exactly like mine is. I like this about the book. Although, if my family was in their position, I would be the child diagnosed with cancer. This hit me hard emotionally as I made countless connections to my own family throughout the book. Of all the things I took away from the book, the most important one can only be explained by a quote I know.
    "Family is a circle of strength and love…
    With every birth and every union the circle grows…
    Every joy shared adds more love…
    Every crisis faced together
    makes the circle grow stronger."
    The main family in this book go through crisis after crisis, with few and far between moments of happiness. I believe the above quote cannot describe a better family than the one I read about in 'My Sister's Keeper.'

    The second book I read was no less of a downer, and againhad to do with a family crisis. A brief description of the book involves 2 families that don't know each other, that both send their daughter on the same bus to a sporting event. The bus is in a terrible accident, and the girls who somewhat look alike, are mistakenly identified as one another. (Hence the name of the book). One daughter dies and the other is next to dead in the hospital trying to recover from serious damage everywhere, and in a coma. Towards the end of the book, the wounded daughter identified herself as the girl who was supposedly killed, and had actually been cared for by the wrong family for 5 weeks. While this was going on, the other family had buried their thought to be dead daughter and started adapting to the new way of life. You can imagine the shock. I loved this book because its unlike any other book I've heard of. The way the families react when they realize the incredible mistake basically defines the book. This is also a completely true story. These two books were the ones I chose to learn about this summer and I have not once regretted it.

  10. Over the course of the magnificent summer, I had the great privilege to read Airborn by Kenneth Oppel as well as the entire Circle Series by Ted Dekker. Both books display unique qualities of writing that I’m sure many people would enjoy.

    Airborn, the first in a series of three books by Kenneth Oppel is based not on the ground, but in the air. Matt Cruse, a daring cabin boy aboard the mighty airship Aurora, as well as Kate de Vires, a passenger accompanied by her chaperone, set off on an adventure that will reshape the world of science and their own lives. One evening, Matt is up in the crow’s nest, searching for anything unusual in the skies above. He spots a balloon with a man in it who tells Matt about “beautiful creatures” that float in the sky. A couple days later, the ship is raided by the notorious air pirate Vikram Szpirglas, who damages their ship and causes their hydrium (the substance that keeps the ship afloat) to leak. Matt and the crew are forced to land on an island where they must prove the existence of the “beautiful creatures” and fight to get rid of Vikram Szpirglas once and for all.

    The Circle Series, composed of four books (Black, Red, White, and Green) by Ted Dekker has to be the most well written and most exciting series that I have ever read. A virus is overcoming the world, and one man, Thomas Hunter is standing in its way. He is stuck between two realities and each tie into each other, helping him to save the Earth. He then is caught for 20 years in the other reality where Elyon, their god, is the main purpose of living. Thomas of Hunter, as he is called in this world must fight against his mortal enemies, the Horde for the fate of his world. Eventually, in Thomas and his Forest Guard reach the final battle of their world. The Horde and the Forest Guard fight a massive war with much bloodshed, while Elyon and Teelah (the evil god) fight in the heavens. Soon everyone is struck dead but Thomas and the leader of the Horde. The leader of the Horde is so forlorn and aghast at this situation that he gives himself up to Elyon, and finally finds happiness. Thomas also goes to Elyon, but wants a chance to make it right, so Elyon sends him back to the beginning again, and the whole series starts over.

    This summer had some great reading, with my favorite being The Circle by Ted Dekker, and I look forward to reading even more great novels.

  11. Over the summer, I read the best two books I have ever read in my life. My first book was "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. This book detailed the life of Louie Zamperini, an Italian that grew up in California. As Louie grew up, he was the worst behaved child in town and craved attention for bad deeds rather than good ones. However, his brother, a star runner, saw potential in Louie and helped him through track. At first Louie struggled greatly, but over time became a record-breaking runner that ultimately went to the Olympics in Berlin, Germany. After the Olympics, Louie enlisted in the Air Force for World War Two in the Pacific theater. He and his team had many successful bombing runs but one day crashed into the Pacific Ocean while flying to an island. Louie and the other surviving crew members drifted with next to no supplies for over a month, only to be captured by the Japanese. They were then moved through various camps only with increasing cruelty by their captors. After being presumed dead for many months by the army, Louie and his friend Phil returned home to the joy of their families, after enduring the most challenging times of their lives.

    I could not put this book down because of its engaging story line with many twists and turns that kept you on the edge of your seat constantly. In this book, I learned what it truly means to persevere through your difficult situations and what the other side of World War Two was like. What mattered to me most in this book was Louie. I enjoyed how the author made Louie into a round character so that you actually cared what happened to him and were infuriated at the injustices committed to him.

    The second book I read was "A Prayer For Owen Meany" by John Irving. This book is narrated by Owen’s best friend John and tells of all the important experiences in their lives ranging from their childhood to their adulthood. Some of these experiences include the death of John’s mother, a Christmas play where Owen sees his gravestone with a death date, and Owen’s daring acts to dethrone their school’s headmaster. I thoroughly enjoyed this book because of the highly developed story line with a plethora of description. I learned about the different types of faith people can have. Owen had complete faith from the start and never doubted the purpose of anything. John, Owen’s best friend, lost faith after his mother died because he did not believe that had a reason to occur but ultimately regained his faith. What matters most to me about the content of this book is Owen’s devotion to accomplishing his purpose in life.

    I would highly recommend both of these intriguing books to anyone looking for engaging and fascinating reads.

  12. The books I read this summer were Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.

    Angels and Demons a total page turner! I couldn’t put it down! It was one of the most action-packed books I’ve ever read. The fact that the entire course of the plot happened in several hours made it more fast-paced. Everything came down to the minute, and it almost felt as though you were reading it is real time. One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was because it takes place in Rome/The Vatican, and I love traveling and hope to visit these places in my life. I learned a lot about the culture there, art, and the Catholic church and their traditions.
    The Golden Compass was actually much more similar to Angels and Demons than I had ever anticipated. It was very fast-paced as well. The church was also a key element, although in this case it was more of a dystopian situation. I found this book to be much easier to relate to. The main character was a young girl, which obviously helped. But I also thought that the other characters were more similar to people in my life. I started associating certain characters with people that I know. The views expressed in this book, while different from my my own, were interesting. I learned that climaxes or big moments in books can be very meaningful, or very forgettable based on how they were built up. I actually learned this because I watched the movie (which was terrible) after I read the book. In the book, in the scene where Lyra finds the boy with the fish and realizes what the Gobblers are doing, it’s haunting and epic. In the movie, it wasn’t, because you hadn’t really been set up to wonder what the Gobblers were doing in the first place.

    I enjoyed both Angels and Demons and The Golden Compass very much.

  13. This summer I read two books, both by Anne Brashares. The first novel I read was The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

    I love to read, but this summer I had not been reading much because I had no new books. My mom and Grandma offered me suggestions, but I usually turned down most of them.

    One of the ones I turned down was The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I had heard of the book before, and assumed it was a stupid, shallow book about teenage girls who thought they looked good in jeans.

    But for my eighth grade graduation, my uncle gave me a Kindle. The Kindle has a feature where you can sample part of a book to read. I was bored so I sampled the Sisterhood, and I bought the whole book because I could not put it down. I finished the book in two days, which led me to purchase the sequel and the second novel that I read this summer, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood.

    It turns out the girls in the story all have their ups and downs about relatable things, such as boys, family, and school drama. Each of the girls also has their deep moments. This, I believe, is what makes the book so likable.

    In the book, the four best friends, Carmen, Bridget, Lena, and Tibby, are getting ready to spend their first summer apart. They find a way to stay together by sending letters along with a pair of jeans that magically fit them all. The pants help them stay together, but it also teaches them how to be their own person without their friends.

    The sequel follows the same storyline, with the girls spending their summers apart and sending the pants back and forth. Both of these books made you really feel for the characters. They were sad, cheerful and funny all at the same time. I also read the remaining books in the series because they were all so amazing. The Traveling Pants series were some of my favorite books I read this summer, along with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which I have almost completed.

    I would definitely recommend these books and I look forward to reading more novels in class this year.

  14. Over the summer I read two novels. I read "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, just in time for the movie, and I read "My Sisters Keeper" by Jodi Picoult.

    Harry Potter is a series about a boy who is a wizard and he goes to wizard school. The book illustrates his challenges and journies through his wizard schooling and his life as a wizard. This particular book was about him searching for horcruxes and his challenges he faces while doing that, whether it was with friends or Lord Voldemort himself. At the end there is a war between Hogwarts and the Death Eaters, then you can really see how much everyone around Harry loves him. I really like this book because even though it is fiction there are still real emotions and actions going on. I really made a connetion with Harry and his two best friends, because I have friends exactly like them. They will do anything for me and I don't even have to ask. I also learned how to really take care of your friends and that be the best friend you can be because then you will get the same in return.

    Along with "Harry Potter" I read a much more heavy novel. "My Sisters Keeper" is about a very dysfunctional family with a big problem. Kate has cancer and Anna is pretty much just her donor. Sure she is a part of the family but she was created to donate to her sister. Anna becomes unhappy with the way her body is being used and starts to protest. Meanwhile Jesse is feeling very forgotten and he starts doing a bunch of things to try and get himself noticed. I really like this book because even though it is very sad it still shows that at the end of the day family is improtant and you all love eachother even though sometimes it doesnt seem like it. I learned from this book that never take life for granted. There are people out there that are fighting to be alive and would give anything just to be healthy so we need to appreciate what we have.

  15. Over this summer I read one great book and one I didn't care for as much. The great book I read was called "Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins. The other book was called "The Lord of the Flies", by William Golding.

    I enjoyed Mockingjay so much because it was very action-packed. Almost every page you turned had a great deal of action. Also, it was full of unpredictable twists that would shock anyone! There wasn't a chapter that ended where you could just put the book down and be sick of reading it. It was just that exciting! Plus the book really made you think about the main characters thoughts and if she was doing the right things or not. Any reader would find theirself getting very into the book and feeling like they are the character.

    The second book I read was "Lord of the Flies." This book turned out to be very dull to me. I thought the plot of a bunch of schoolboys being stranded on an island was somewhat intriguing, however I found the story to be written in a very descriptive and dull manner. I just found it tough to understand with all the long paragraphs. I did think it was very action-packed and a little exciting though.

  16. Being an avid reader, I enjoyed well over two books this summer. The titles of two of many novels I read over the summer are Everfound by Neil Shusterman and The Deadly Sister by Eliot Schrefer.

    Everfound is the third in a trilogy detailing the interwoven paths of children and teenagers who get trapped in a ghost-like state between life and death. I enjoyed it because it incorporated more drama and characters than the previous books, yet it still had the same imagination and creativity. I am so intrigued by authors’ perspectives on life after death and this book exhibits a separate world unlike most cultures idea of the afterlife.

    My second choice, The Deadly Sister, is about two sisters, the older of which would, and does, do everything to protect her sister. The reason I liked this story was how it portrayed their unconditional bond. The older sister stops at nothing to save her sibling, even when she knows something has gone horribly wrong. I connect to this story in a way because I see myself doing the same thing to protect my younger sister. This story has such an accurate and emotional portrayal of that kind of love.

    Though these stories were very different, I found something to deeply appreciate in each of them.

  17. This summer I read two books both by the same author, Stephanie Meyer. Twilight is love story with an unusual twist. Bella has just moved from Arizona to Forks, she is a very relatable high school girl who isn't always perfect. In the boy's eyes at school she's hot. Contrary, the girls do see her prettiness, but of course, they're jealous. Edward is a vampire who can't possibly resist Bella. He unsuccessfully attempts to and fails. Consequently, they fall in love, but everyone's shocked and judgemental on their relationship. Jacob, a longtime family friend to Bella whom she hasn't seen or talked to in years, all of a sudden re-emerges into her life and tries to meddle in between and breakup the perfect couple. The book carries on and Bella and Edward's relationship has really moved along, leaving you to wonder what will become of it ultimately in the end. Breaking Dawn is a long-waited follow-up in which Edward and Bella tie the knot in marriage and very soon Bella becomes pregnant. Her pregnancy is progressing at an unatural rapid state leaving Edward's family only to realize that the "thing" is killing her. Everybody wants to stop the pain for Bella, however she will allow no one to hurt her baby. Edward soon realizes that Renesme, the baby, loves Bella very much. I really like the fact that both of the books are extremely intriguing and engaging in every single sentence, if not word. I learned that true love doesn't always come easy and that it is not always accepted by friends and family. Life may not always follow paths expectedly, but may create new ones not even dreamed about.

  18. To begin my action packed summer, I decided to search the shelves of the library to try and discover two novels that I would enjoy reading. My exploration was successful, since I found not only one page turning novel, but two! Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, and A walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks were novels that I give two thumbs up!!

    I decided to start off the assignment with more of a romance novel. A Walk to Remember by Louisa May Alcott was a book that I knew I would absolutely love instantly! I have to admit, when it comes to reading, a good romance novel makes me fly through the book! I loved how the plot was so simple yet touched your heart. I also loved how Landon learned to love Jamie for who she is as a person. She changed his ways, and along the way they fell in love. This book gave me hope. It tells the reader that no matter how bad a person may act, there's always hope for them to change their ways with just a little help, which in the end is all that matters. It taught me to remember the blessings that you have, because with the snap of your fingers, they can disappear without warning.

    The second book I decided to read was Little Women by Louissa Mary Alcott. I actually hesitated to read this novel at first, but looking back, I have no regrets with my decision! This book had a great theme about loving your family to no end. It showed me how thankful the sisters were with what they had. They never stopped to think what their life could be like and in the end they all got what they were looking for. It taught me that even though I have my whole future planned out in my own fairy tale with a happy ending story, it doesn't always guarantee that thats what's going to happen. Its like having a blindfold on in hitting a pinata. You may miss a lot, but in the end you'll hit right on target. The girls always reached out to people, and never stopped showing their love and happiness. I really enjoyed this book to no end!

  19. Over the summer I read 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Just Listen by Sarah Dessen.

    13 Reasons Why was very intriguing yet difficult to read. Clay struggles to listen to 13 tapes from one of his classmates who recently committed suicide, explaining how he, and twelve other people made her choose to end her life. As he listens to the tapes, he faces people that he would sometimes just pass by and has to deal with the fact that they were part of a tragic event. It was hard to read about something that is a common problem in modern society but still managed to draw me in. I liked how real it seemed and how the emotions and difficulties faced by the various characters really came through.Some of the problems she faced seemed related and it was interesting to know how the girl justified ending her life. I learned how some peoples decisions, ones they may not even be aware they make, can be so hard on someone else. However sad this book might have been, the emotional journey and difficulties will always be with him.

    In Just Listen, Annabelle Greene seems like the typical impression of a popular teenager. On the outside it seems as if she got it all, great friends and a successful modeling career but behind the scenes, her family is going through some tough times and her heart isn't in modeling anymore. As time passes her goals in life slowly become more clear as she deals with her family and friend issues and becomes more involved with new opportunities and people.I like that this book didn't have any major action scenes or involve any fantasy but still managed to bring excitement, laughter and heartache. It is important to follow your heart even when things get troublesome, be supportive when times are tough and really give it your all.

  20. Over the summer, I had the privilege to read two amazing novels. The first book I chose to read was Through My Eyes by: Tim Tebow. This incredible book opened my eyes as a Christian. Throughout the entire book, Tim shares his life, through ups and downs. As the reader you get a first hand experience of what Tim went through and how he got there. What I enjoyed most about this book was being able to observe Tim and how he handled himself in certain situations. The other book I was assigned. I was not looking forward to this book because it was assigned. The book Lord of the Flies by: William Golding, actually turned out to be a great read. Throughout this book many kids trapped on and island undergo many ups and downs later leading to many deaths. I very much enjoyed the context of this novel. It showed me what it would look like (possibly) if kids had to live on there own without the comforts that we have at home. This book made a connection to me. The overall lesson I took away from it was to never take things for granted. I made the right choice on my summer reading novels.

  21. Over the summer, I had the chance to read two books. The first was "Identical" by Ellen Hopkins; a novel about a pair of identical twins who have individual problems that intertwine with each other in a weird kind of way. The second book that I read, which I mistakenly thought could count as the second book but was proven wrong, was "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. This book was about a group of boys of all ages who get stranded on a deserted island. Both books were very intriguing in their own ways.

    Starting off the summer, I read "Identical". I, surprisingly, loved this book way more than I thought I would. I believe that it has a little to do with the fact that I am a twin, too, which allowed me to connect with the text easier. I learned that no matter how stressful things may seem, with time, things will become more manageable and work themselves out. In the book, the two twins, Kaeleigh and Raeanne have conflicts in their lives that slow things down in school and with their friends. By taking their minds off those conflicts, they both made it through the tough times together. It inspired me to persevere and push through the struggles occurring in my life, too.

    The second book that I was able to read this summer was "Lord of the Flies. I thought the idea and meaning behind the story was very interesting, however, the plot seemed to lack in really holding its interest very well. After completing it, "Lord of the Flies" really helped me understand society deep enough to grasp bits and pieces of how a society functions. I learned how society changes without and rules and why people like Jack and Roger become savages when survival was on the line. I genuinely liked how the author corresponded the book with human nature and real life society.

    Together, I thoroughly enjoyed reading both, "Lord of the Flies" and "Identical". Both gave me some interesting insights.

  22. Books are my way of traveling and filling the long, uneventful days of a hot Colorado summer. My head was buried in two very intriguing books this summer: Catalyst written by Laurie Halse Anderson, and Ally Carter’s Uncommon Criminals, the sequel to Heist Society. Those books were my vacation.

    Catalyst was a wonderful book because it was so easy for me to relate to. Kate Malone is a straight-A senior, unimaginably smart, and strives to be the best. Sounds exactly like me! But when life throws her a curve-ball, she struggles to adjust. Her college plans are ruined, and her once perfect and orderly life-style is now a complete mess. Picking up the pieces wasn’t easy, but she pushed on. Kate is exactly like me - a perfectionist. But reading this book showed me I have to be flexible and not everything goes as planned. The content of this book was one resource that prepared me for high school - do well but also have fun, don’t get disappointed if something doesn’t go as planned, be generous towards others, and never give up.

    Uncommon Criminals is a suspenseful spy book that kept me on the edge of my seat. Katrina Bishop is part of a family of spies, whether she likes it or not. She and her crew are known as the people who robbed the greatest museum in the world. Pressure anyone? Of course she is the one to be asked to steal a prized Egyptian jewel. Katrina and her friends later discover their the dangerous job was performed for a thief just like themselves. They have to go to desperate measures to retrieve the jewel and restore their reputation. Instead of Kat, I was the one repelling down buildings and sneaking around at midnight. The description painted a vivid picture in my mind, and I was even convinced becoming a spy was my future career. This book matters to me, because when the words ended, the story didn’t; I imagined another book to follow this one. Kat is the girl I want to be: headstrong and independent.

    This summer I became a spy and learned how to be flexible. These books consumed my brain, and of course they will go in my re-read pile.

  23. This past summer, I thoroughly enjoyed reading "An Eye for An Eye" by Irene Hannon and "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult. "An Eye for An Eye" is a story about a FBI Hostage Rescue Team member named Mark who has a chance encounter with Emily, his first love. While they are catching up, a sniper shoots at them but misses his target and flees the scene. Mark, the FBI HRT member works to discover who was the sniper, and who was the actual target of the shooting while trying to rebuild his relationship with Emily. "My Sister's Keeper" is a story of two sisters, the younger of the two was intentionally conceived by the parents in hopes of utilizing chord blood transfusion to save the older daughter from the devastating disease of Leukemia. The story chronicles the years of medical treatments both girls endure. Ultimately they must decide whether or not to fight together or tear their family apart. Both novels shared a suspenseful theme, however "An Eye for An Eye" was an action packed thriller novel, whereas "My Sister's Keeper" is a thought provoking story on a sensitive issue.

  24. The two novels I read over the summer were "Lies" and "Plague" by Michael Grant. They are the third and fourth books of the Gone Series by Grant. The series is set in Perdido Beach, California, in the present day. One day, everyone over the age of 15 in the area disappears, and a giant dome traps the teens in a 20-mile radius. Some of them develop superpowers, and, inevitably, struggles for control erupt. In addition, a constant vague enemy known as the Darkness is a dangerous threat. They battle these forces, of both themselves and the Darkness, throughout the series. Before "Lies" begins, the group believes they have defeated the Darkness, but they are deceived, and they're will is almost defeated in the third installment. In "Plague," the Darkness brings new challenges, including giant insects and a killer plague. Another foe is the infamous Drake, a vicious boy who is obsessed with causing pain. In the end of both books, the "good guys," led by Sam, delay the full force of these devils, but more installments are to come.

    I enjoy these books because they contain fantasy, and a dystopian setting. It is interesting to see how people, especially adolescents that I can connect to, manage to overcome these seemingly impossible challenges.

    I read these novels before beginning "Lord of the Flies," and ironically, they have many common themes and messages. The audacity of human nature to conquer one another, and never give up, has a strong effect on the turn of events. While one is more fictional than the other, the brutality and realness of the problem is conveyed clearly in both. In an unintentional way, these novels helped me reinforce the meaning I took out of our other summer reading assignment.

    After reading the novels, the above mentioned topics are the parts of the books' content that had the most impact on me. The enjoyment, the ability to make a connection, and the hidden messages about human nature, both good and bad, are what truly give these stories meaning.

  25. Over the summer I read two great novels I read The Pact by Jodi Picoult and 1st to Die by James Patterson.. These were two very different books but I greatly enjoyed each of them. The first book will probably always be one of my favorites. I have read a lot of her others books but this one is my favorite. It dealt with so many powerful and controversial issues and yet still made me fall in love with the characters. This book not only taught me some life lessons but also a lot about my self. I identified so much with one of the characters and that made the book so much more powerful to me. The second book I read was a murder mystery. I have never read a book that kept me turning the pages so quickly! This book had so many twists and interesting characters. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery.

  26. Over the summer, I read the books "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding and "Hiroshima" by John Hersey.

    "Lord of the Flies" is about a group of boys struggling to survive on a deserted island after suffering through a plane crash. Soon after finding one another via the noise created by a conch shell, the young boys begin to create an order. As to be expected, this doesn't last long, and pretty soon they become savages in attempt to stay alive.

    What I loved about "Lord of the Flies" is that it was so easy to become immersed in the story. As I read and annotated, I really felt like I was there with them. Not long after starting, I was speaking to the characters through my comments! They all had such strong traits, which was another quality I loved about “Lord of the Flies”. When I read, there usually aren’t any characters that I really hate with a passion. Jack Merridew is the big exception to this. Never in my life have I disliked a fictional being so much! Now, although I don’t particularly like this character, I love that he has such an intense presence, as do many of the other boys. This is what most intrigued me about Golding’s writing, because never before have I felt so in-tune with what’s happening in my reading.

    This book taught me a fair bit about mankind. It displays throughout its pages what we are capable of doing in order to achieve our desires. On top of that, these boys are younger than all of us! What could someone twice their age possibly do for power?!

    What mattered to me most about “Lord of the Flies” and left a big impression was the fact that while things will not always go your way, you really need to just be strong and get through it calmly. While it may be easier to take it out-of-hand, it’s not what’s right in the end. I think this will be a really good thing to remember over my high school years through the typical drama and struggles.

    The second book I read was “Hiroshima” by John Hersey. As the title suggests, the non-fiction accounts take place in the Japanese city of Hiroshima over the course of recovery from the atomic bomb dropped there in World War II.

    This book was not one of my favorites, but I do like that it’s accurately retelling the details of the unfortunate city’s state after the devastating attack. It’s definitely an important book, as it gives the city a voice on what happened whereas we may not know what they went through otherwise.

    As “Hiroshima” is essentially a summary of the aftermath of an actual event, I came away with much more knowledge about the attack than I had known as I opened to the first page. It showed me that even though the bombing itself was terrible, the repercussions of the event were just as damaging, if not, even more than the initial attack. Those affected were so strong and perseverant. (It also taught me how much difficulty I have with reading about such gruesome injuries! I had to put down the book and take a break at some points because the descriptions were just too much!)

    The material discussed in this book may not apply directly to me, but it certainly applies to our world and is something that, although horrible, should not be forgotten.

  27. Over the summer I read The Teammates by David Halberstam and The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemingway.

    The Teammates was an insightful story about the lives of some of the older Boston Red Sox players, and their long adventure of forming great friendships.This story taught a lesson on how frienship can make all the difference in your life.

    The Old Man and the Sea told the story of an old man going out one day fishing and catching the fish of his dreams. This story was mostly about the struggles he had to go through to catch these fish and told a message about how if you keep shooting for your goals you will achieve them.

  28. The first book I read this summer was 'Breaking Dawn' by Stephanie Meyer. The second book I read was 'Stargirl' by Jerry Spinelli.

    When reading 'Breaking Dawn' I noticed that even though the story is fictional, you feel so much emotion from the characters in the book. I've read the whole Twilight series and I would have to say that the final book is by far the best. It has so many levels to it, as far as intensity and humor as well as undeniable love. The author did a fantastic job of passing the emotion right along to the readers.
    When I read 'Stargirl' I was almost instantly inspired, envious, and entertained by what kind of person she was. The thing I loved the most, was how it wasn't about how great she was for staying true to herself. It was about how every single person struggles to hold on to what makes you beautiful and brilliant. 'Stargirl' was inspirational in so many ways and I'm still using it's lessons long after I put the book down.

  29. This summer, I was enthralled by the two novels "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak, and "A Million Little Pieces" by James Frey. I thoroughly enjoyed by 'The Book Thief", because it kept me enthralled throughout the entire novel. Though it was fictional the colorful writing and the detail was amazing. This is the story of a German girl, Liesel Meminger who lives with her foster parents and has a Jewish man hiding in their basement. The part I most enjoyed out of it is the fact that it was told from the point of Death as Liesel has many experiences, but also that it was mostly about the leading up to World War II and after through a German girl. All of the novels I've read about the Holocaust are always through a Jewish persons' eyes. I was very impressed about how well this novel was written, and by how clever the author was to think to tell the story from Death. I also finished the book "A Million Little Pieces" This is the story of a man who abuses drugs and alcohol and is sent to a rehabilitation center. He manages to recover from his disease in about six weeks. Shortly after reading this, I was informed that much of this novel was made up. While this made me enjoy the book less, it was never one of my favorites. The thing I think I liked the best was how James was comfortable enough with his problem and recovery to form his feelings into a novel.

  30. Over the summer I read the books, The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

    I read The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown first. I loved this book. Events kept popping up that made me want to keep turning the pages. There were also some parts that were dry and I wanted to put the book down but I am glad I did not. The DaVinci Code was about Robert Langdon being accused for murder by the French police and Agent Sophie Neveu helps him to prove his innocence. They send the police on a wild goose chase through France and London. Finally when the police come to search one of the houses that Langdon and Neveu hid out at, they realized that someone else had been watching the murder victims and that Langdon was innocent. What I took out of The DaVinci Code was that if you keep working and solving problems that come up, you will eventually get what you want and where you want to be. I really enjoyed this book and how much effort they put in to get the outcome that they wanted.

    Second, I read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I have read this book many times before, but I like it a lot. In this book, Jim and Scout Finch meet a little boy named Dill who comes to visit his aunt, who happens to be Jim and Scouts neighbor, for the summer. Mean while in the town there is a lot of talk and judgement going around about Tom Robinson, who was accused of raping Mayella Ewell. Jim, Scout and Dill try as hard as they can to make sure that they are in the court room while it is in session. I enjoyed how much Jim and Scouts father fought for Tom because he knew he was innocent. I also loved how Mr. Finch did not let all of the town’s people get to him because he was defending a black man. I loved this book because it was inspiring to me that no matter how hard people tried to make Mr. Finch change his mind about defending a black man but he stuck to his gut decision.

    I enjoyed both of these books a lot. I would recommend them to anyone who loves suspense and excitement.

  31. Over the summer I read Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

    The Five People You Meet in Heaven conveys a message about the inevitable consequences of one’s actions, whether desired or unintended through the life and “after-life” of Eddie, a maintenance worker at a rundown amusement park. Though Eddie believes his life to have been meaningless, he learns that even his life affected others through meeting or reconnecting with five people in heaven. I appreciated this book because it presents the age-old, yet important, adage that actions have consequences, in a more enjoyable format than an over-used cliche

    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby describes the breakdown and change of societal values and morals that occurs naturally during the growth of a culture.Through the story of Nick Carraway, a resident of 1920’s Long Island, New York, and symbolism woven throughout , Fitzgerald conveys the message that though change and growth is necessary, it must be balanced by a maintenance of traditional values and morals. I liked this book because it conveyed views similar to that of my own, the necessity for growth and change to be balanced by traditional, central values.

  32. Whenever I get a chance I read a book. This summer was no different. Over the summer I read two wonderfully page turning novels entitled: Gone by Michael Grant and Hunger by the same author. Hunger is a sequel to Gone.

    Gone is a great book about a a small California town. Everything is normal until on day a teen named Sam's teacher disappears! He is shocked as soon finds out that everyone age 15 and older had also mysteriously disappeared. No one quite knows what to do, so most of the kids drink soda and play video games. But so of the kids, like Sam, start developing superpowers! The rest of the book is about the struggle between the kids from Coates Academy prep school, and the kids from the public school. This book is a great read and I would recommend it to anyone.

    The second book that I read this summer was Hunger, the sequel to Gone. In it the fun and games of drinking soda and eating chips all day is over. The town is running out of food, and the only food source left are the farms. The only problem is, some animals have been mutating and the fields are infested with giant mutant worms! The struggle for power continues, on this time in literal terms. The power plant is a prime target for the Coates kids who want nothing more that to deprive the town of the power.

    Both of these book were amazing classics, and I will definitely be re-reading them.

  33. This summer I read the books “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown and “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. Of these two books, what struck me the most was the characterization in “The Help”, and the amount of suspense and facts stored in “The Da Vinci Code.”
    “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett is told from the views of three very different, but strong, women. Minny is an African American maid whose biggest fault is that she speaks her mind when the white women would rather ignore her. Aibileen is a wise African American is heartbroken when the white babies she looks after grow up and realize there is a difference in her color and theirs. Skeeter is a young woman whose main goal in life is to be a writer; to express her opinions. I love how Mrs. Stockett uses the way these characters speak and react to events around them to develop their characters. Also, she uses their appearance and habits to speak a story about their character. I found that I could admire each of these strong women. I learned a lot about civil rights and how to develop characters in my own writing. The content of the book showed me the views of these women during this conflicted time.
    “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown was full of mystery, facts, and excitement. I read about how the caretaker of the museum arranged himself in the same position of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and was amazed at the connections it provided. Also in the book was the search for the holy grail, and I learned different perspectives on that. For example, many people consider the grail to not be a chalice, but a woman. Mr. Brown built up the suspense by showing different perspectives from both the 'Teacher', who was the antagonist, and a view from the protagonist. He providing a twist on the culprit in the end that made you realize that even though someone might seem crippled, they are capable of amazing things. What matters to me is that I have found that I can follow Mr. Brown’s example in my own writing when I am trying to make the reader hold their breath with anticipation.

  34. I read two books this summer, The lord of the Flies by William Golding and The Year of The Hangman by Gary Blackwood. The LOTF was a book about a tragic accident when a bunch of boys are stranded on an uninhabited island. The thing I liked most about this book is how the author changed the personalities of all the characters throughout the events of the story, when things go from bad to worse. I learned that people need to work together to succeed and survive. When they all start getting lost in the woods, this mattered to me because my grandpa got lost in the woods for a while just recently in Estes Park. The Year of The Hangman is a story about a spoiled bot who gets kidnapped and shipped to America during the American Revolution, but thing don’t go the way they planned when they are attacked. I don’t want to spoil it for you but, I will say that I enjoyed how creative the story is because it is like a modified or different history. I learned how sometimes in life you have to improvise when things don’t go the way you planned. It mattered to me when Craigen, the main character, gets lost in an American town cause I once got lost in the mall one time and was very scared. Both books were very interesting and seemed to be planned very creatively in different ways. In LOTF however, I was disappointed with the amount of death, I was not expecting children to lose their minds so quickly.

  35. Over the long summer of 2011 I was able to read 2 books (both delayed because of a Europe trip) the first one was the incredible book "Lord of the Flies" (which I had read 1 time previously in the past) and the bizarre but underrated “The Graveyard Book “. Right off the bat I’m going to say both of these were fantastic.

    “Lord of the Flies” was an incredible, unforgettable trip through hysteria and insanity. While I thought the beginning was a bit slow it really picked up and after the first 75 pages or so I couldn’t put it down. I loved how it accurately portrayed children and what they would do if they really had no rules. Towards the end of the book I realized how this parallels to real life, is it better to survive by being civilized or being savage? Also, in parts where Simon was talking to “The Lord of the Flies” we could see a once sane and innocent Simon spiral into insanity because of his own self-loathing and regrets (The pig’s head was telling him how he was foolish). Not to mention the great characters such as Ralph, Jack, Simon, Piggy, Sam, Eric, Rodger, and that their own fear created a character, the terrifying beast. Overall it was a fun, sad, and happy read that had an end that was well crafted.

    “The Graveyard Book” wasn’t as intense as “Lord of the Flies” but it had its thrills and laughs along the way. At first I was a little reluctant to read it since it seemed a little childish but I figured out that it was far from childish. It created a fictional world of ghosts and other creatures that fill up the real world without anyone seeing. Without saying too much about the plot it has a wonderful cast of characters that all seem realistic even though they are ghosts. It tackles issues that some teens and pre-teens have mainly finding your own place in the world and it even incorporates a girl for Nobody, fortunately it doesn’t turn into a romance novel. In the end, I thought it was a fun, light read that really anyone can enjoy if you have a great imagination.

    I think that everyone should read “Lord of the Flies” which tackles social issues and creates a very scary world but I think if you have a big imagination and you’re looking for a light, fun read the pick-up “The Graveyard Book”, it will definitely be worth it.

  36. This summer I read "Mockingjay" the trilogy of the "Hunger Games" series by Suzanne Collins, and "Heaven is For Real" by Todd Burpo.

    What I loved about "Mockingjay" was that I thought It was a great ending to the series. I didn’t see it coming, and the surprise made me wanting more, which is what happens in a good book. Also I felt like I could really connect with Katniss, Gale and the other tributes. In most parts the description was so exact I could almost picture the scene in my head. What I learned from this book was that you need bravery to fight for what you want. Katniss was fearless in her fight against the Capitol and in the end she killed President Snow, and saved others life’s. This series has helped me to discover the fun of reading and has helped me read more novels.

    "Heaven is for Real" is an amazing book about four year old Colton and his trip to Heaven. What I really loved about this book was that Todd wrote it in first person. Usually I don't like books in first person because you can’t get into other character's thoughts, but Todd does such an amazing job giving you all the details about his family, and Colton. There were two things I learned. One, Colton is one of the wisest and faithful four year old I have ever read about. He inspires me to have a deeper faith in God and have a better relationship with my family. Two, his stories make you wonder how a kid could make this stuff up, therefore it has to be real.
    Colton is four and is as wise as someone who has lived 50 years that shows that we can build our young generation into the wisest, most knowledgeable generation yet.

  37. The first book I read was "Water for Elephants" by Sara Green. The book is about one man’s life working with the circus. The book is suspenseful on every page. I love how the author packed each sentence full of detail. The only important parts were of his life were written about, unimportant detail was kept out. The content of the book is full of deep, meaningful, and very realistic connections. "Water for Elephants" was easy to connect to my life.
    The second book I read was "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. The book was placed in the 60’s, when many people were raciest. When a southern society writer comes home from college, her childhood maid is missing. She has an idea for a book and is determined to write a book, a book that has a slim chance of becoming anything. This book was impossible to put down. It was in the point of view of three very different women. The book is full of humor, family, love hate, and any emotion that could be thought of. The realism of the book was fascinating. From the “very awful thing Minny did” to the fate of Mrs. Skeeter’s maid, it all correlated perfectly to the real problems of the 60’s. This book has a beautifully written plot. I recommend this book.

  38. Over the summer I read Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden and Passage to Dawn by R. A. Salvatore. I greatly enjoyed both of these books. I enjoyed Black Hawk Down because if gave me great insight into what our troops overseas go through on a daily basis. It really made me appreciate the sacrifices that they make for us each and every day. It especially matters to me because I am thinking about becoming an engineer through the military. I also really enjoyed Passage to Dawn because Salvatore is a fantastic author and he really makes the book come to life. Passage to Dawn was filled with good lessons, characters, and morals. It really helped me understand concepts to a greater level like the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It matters to me because I can apply these themes to my everyday life and learn through them.

  39. The two books that I read this summer were Airman by Eoin Colfer and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Both books are on my favorites list and I would read them 20 times over again. The book Airman was great. The author masterfully created this novel by mixing a fictional story with true historical facts, one of the many reasons I loved it. I could also really connect with the main character, Connor Broekhart, due to the fact that he was around the same age as me and had gigantic aspirations, even though the book had him living in the 19th century. On the other end of the chronological scale, the book Mockingjay is part of a whole series called The Hunger Games and is the last book. I read it so that I could find out the end of Katniss Everdeens story in the post-apocalyptic world of Panem. Her journey began her as a lowly “villager” bringing her to basically a full blown soldier. The setting of the book really drew me in, it was placed in the U.S. after some sort of major apocalypse, and is staged in the world that was created afterward, but had already been taken over by the “system”. Overall both books excited me and I was glad that I read them over the summer.

  40. Over the summer I read two amazing books. The first book was called" Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury. The second book I read was called "Lord of The Flies" by William Golding.

    Fahrenheit 451 was about Guy Montag who is a Firemen in futuristic America were he has to burn books. In this society people don't read books, enjoy nature, have independent time or have meaningful conversations. Guy Montag's eyes are opened by a girl named Clarisse and he starts going against protocol and starts reading book which opens him up to so much knowledge. He starts learning new stuff and knowing that the way they live life isn't right. The reason why I like this book is because the plot in this book is amazing with a very good plot with good characters and every page is filled with suspense and action.It also makes you think about what a world it would be if we lived in a society like them. It also makes you think about how you live your life and if you have the right priorities. It also makes you wonder if the Government will ever limit us to what we can and not do and try to control us. Overall this book was a really good book and I recommend it to any teenager as a must read.

    Lord of The Flies was a book that I had mixed feelings about. First of all it's about these kids that survive an air plane crash and are stranded on a deserted island. As the story goes on they start to form a society with a chief, hunters, and workers. All seems to go well but then Ralph and Piggy realize it's going to be much harder then it looks. The littluns stop helping, Jack is hell bent on hunting and the society's priorities are all messed up. At first reading those boring slow pages that was really not filled with anything to pay attention to I thought I was reading Jim The Boy again. But once Jack and Ralph split up and so does the society the story starts getting interesting and people start fighting and the book gets good. I loved Golding's attention to detail when he describes the island or what the kids looked like. It made it feel like I was there and gave me a good visual of everything making it fun to read. I love when the books plot twists with a crazy final destination death like Simon or Piggy. And as far as the rivalry between Jack and Ralph goes all though Jack is not completely sane I definitely think I'd survive in his group. It makes you think if you were in that situation would you be pushed to limits were you would kill? or would you be a good person. All I know if I was in that situation I would do what I have to do to survive. Last I did hate some parts of the book like how Piggy's death isn't looked at as a big deal or the confusing conversations between Simon and the Lord of The Flies and last but not least the cheesy game show ending were marines come out of nowhere learn that the kids have murdered two kids and don't care. So although this book does have it's bad parts it makes up for them with outstanding parts.
    this summer I got the chance to read two amazing books and I can't wait to read more this year.

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  42. Nicholas Sparks is my favorite author, so this summer I read The Notebook. As a hopeless romantic, I loved the way that Sparks created a romance novel that involved many real life situations that a lover might have to face. The Notebook is a true representation of love. It shows that it’s something to fight for, and it doesn’t come easily at all. There are always going to be hardships, always going to be disagreements. But when you truly find real love, you fight until the very end. Throughout the novel, Sparks develops a strong message; Even though Allie and Noah were separated for over 10 years, true love prevailed. The best example of this is when Noah reads to and elderly Allie, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Allie remembers Noah, and they are “taken away” together. The idea of true love and its power is the content that matters to me most.

    The second novel that I read was Pendragon: The Merchant of Death by DJ MacHale.
    This book was a quick and thrilling read, following the story of Bobby Pendragon. At 13,
    Bobby is whisked away into another dimension, only to find himself in a position to save a world from destruction. I liked how MacHale gave a strong moral to an action-packed adventure. Bobby shows that even though he may not have been the toughest, or the most prepared, he rose to the level of expectation and became the leader that he needed to be. I learned that you don’t have to be a certain age, or tall, or strong or anything to be a true leader. All you need are the right motives and a strong heart. MacHale puts a spin on the situation when it becomes a society on the path of destroying itself for power. The most important content I received was that sometimes you need to be saved from yourself in order to mend the situation.

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  44. Over the course of the summer I read two novels of my choice. "The Deathly Hallows" and "The Time Travelers Wife"
    The first one I read was "The Time Travelers Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. What I thought was interesting in this book is she had an odd way of telling the story. Either from Henry's point of view in the past. Or Claire’s with Henry in present time. It was a hard book to grasp onto because the story telling method is so diverse from what I’m used to. I have to say though, it kept you interested not like other books that are 300 pages long but it loses you on page 250. It wasn't the best book that I would recommend to my peers just because of the way the story sets up and the plot line I felt it was a little difficult. The most important thing I learned from this book is that love exists in two different worlds. The first world where love is just more than you can ask for and in almost every way perfect, except for one major flaw of some sort. And you would do anything to fix that flaw so that the love can be perfect.(The love between Henry and Clare.) The other love is that you don’t know it's there because you are so hard trying to chase the perfect type of love. But what most people don't know is that that this love is perfect in itself because the significant other doesn’t care that you aren’t perfect and will never be. (Love between Clare and Gomez)

    "The Deathly Hallows" is the finale of the hit Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. This is my all time favorite series of books. I have been a wizard fan from the beginning. Why I only read the last of the seven instead of the whole series is because I have already read the series around three times and the last one has always been my favorite. I think "The Deathly Hallows" has a different writing style than the beginning books. It has a more modern and mature feel to it, and you can defiantly tell by the way she portrays the characters. I really liked this because it made the series feel a lot more realistic and less of a fantasy book. What I learned from this book is that a happy ending isn’t necessarily happy. It may have seemed happy when Harry finally killed Voldemort but once you realized the aftermath of tragedy in the whole series just to get to this point it's not exactly roses and chocolate. Fred died in battle, Hogwarts is destroyed, Sirius died, Dumbledore died and let’s not forget doby! I guess all I’m trying to say is that no matter how happy the ending may seem there had to be some sort of tragedy to get there.

  45. Two novels that I read this summer were My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult and The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I loved both of these books. They were both filled with love, confusion, drama, and realization. My Sister’s Keeper was about a young girl who finally says no to her parent’s demanding rights to her body. She shares her deepest fears and hopes through the book and you come to feel as if you are living in the book as a viewer on the side lines, experiencing every moment and breathing every breath with the characters. I really like how this book was written from many different perspectives so you got to see the story from all different sides and viewpoints. Every person thinks differently and there is a quirky unique feel to each chapter. I also like how the author gave the ending of the book a huge spin that you weren’t expecting, so you were forced to read on to find out every detail of what happened. I loved all the characters in the book and how it was a real life situation, with a real family that has normal problems and goes through the same things we do as teenagers. I loved the strength and determination every character had to exemplify throughout the book and how each challenge made everyone of them stronger. It was a book that kept me on my toes and drew me in till I was up all night reading just to see how it ended!
    The Secret Life of Bees was also a very intriguing book. It was neat to see how the civil rights movement was so important to our country and how it changed many lives. While reading the book I came to see how hard it was to be a black man or women during that time, and what it meant to have your freedom and rights. I connected well with the main character Lily Owens, who is on a journey to find herself and where she belongs. As a teenager, I am also finding out who I am and what I want to be. I was able to feel her frustration and happiness, her fear and her joy. I went on Lily’s journey through history and stepped with her every second of the way. Lily’s sweet spirit and never ending hope for the future makes me want to live every day to the fullest, and enjoy life all I can because our time here on earth is way too short. I really loved the religious part of the book because I was able to connect with the sister’s desire for faith and hope. In that day and age, their faith was really all they could hold onto and I admire their strong will and determination that inspired all around them. I would highly recommend both of these books to anyone who is looking for a heartwarming and fantastic read!

  46. Over the summer, I read the books “Hollow Fields” by Madeleine Rosca, and “Tempted” by P.C. and Kristen Cast.
    “Hollow Fields” was an enjoyable book all around for me. It had a little bit of action, some humor, and lots of suspense. It had some varying characters with a variety of funky, weird personalities. Another thing I liked was the setting. It was set at an old, almost factory like school that had been running for 80 years. It was also very maze like giving more suspense and adventure to every page you wait to see what was around the corner. Some of the things I learned in “Lord of the Flies” were the true extent of human character and human survival. At this school, one kid is sent to detention every week, but they never came back and were never seen again. You see from the protagonist, Lucy Snow, her struggle not only to find out where the kids are going, but to stay out of detention herself. What matters about this books content is to realize that everything is not what it seems. All the teachers in this “school” are actually more like robots that are falling apart at the seams. And this school really isn’t a school at all. Instead, it’s just a place for the teachers to get new test subjects.
    “Tempted” had a vast amount of feelings not only from the characters but from the events as well. Some of the things I enjoyed were the element of fantasy in the real world. In this world, vampires exist and are just like you and me. They have their own schools and their friends, just like normal kids. Some of the things I learned were character and true effects of a life shattering event. Zoe, the “chosen one” suffers not only loss but the weight of the world on her shoulders. The reason this books content is important is because it allows us to have a tangible world that is our own, have an element of fiction and fantasy. Also, it gives us a teenage character that so many of us can connect to, especially in times of loss and extreme emotion.

  47. This summer, I read two amazing novels, "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, and "Nectar In a Sieve" by Kamala Markandaya.
    "To Kill A Mockingbird" has long been considered a classic by millions of people, so I decided to find out for myself. In the small town of Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930's, a young girl named Scout and her brother Jem are about to have their world shaken by the life-changing case that their father Atticus is about to take. Atticus, a local lawyer, has been assigned to represent a black man in a rape charge. Facing hate and resentment from their former neighbors and friends, Scout and Jem see firsthand the racism of their times, and learn how to overcome and conquer it. I really liked this book for the amazing point of view it gave from a tomboyish 7 year old growing up in revolutionary times. It was an amazing book that I would be happy to recommend to anyone.
    My second book, "Nectar In a Sieve" might just be my favorite book to date. Like "To Kill A Mockingbird", "Nectar In A Sieve" was written in a time of intense changes, this time in India. The heroin of the book is the woman Rukmani, given as a twelve-year-old to a poor farmer in need of a wife. As the book progresses, you watch her grow as a woman, and stand strong and tall as she works with her husband to grow enough rice to feed her family in a land terrorized by droughts, monsoons, and thieves. She watches one of her sons die of starvation, and her daughter become a prostitute and give birth to an albino child with no real father. Her sons leave her for jobs in faraway lands, and her house is claimed by a sprawling factory that turns her tiny village into a fast-paced city. I loved this story because no matter what happens, Rukmani survives and fights her way to life. It was inspiring and made me realize how very lucky i was.

  48. The two novels that I read this summer were The Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom.

    I loved The Help! It was one of the best books I have ever read. At the end of every chapter the plot thickened and more and more problems arose. I couldn't put it down! Not only did it have a great plot, but I learned a lot more about the many problems African Americans faced in the early sixties. It is so tragic how horribly people treated others just because of their difference in skin color. It is not like I have never heard about the some of the challenges African Americans faced in the sixties;I just have never heard in this way. See, textbooks seem to sugar coat things and make bloody events seem like a small quarrel. However, as soon as I picked up The Help, I knew this was not the case. This is also what matters to me about the book's content. People being able to see how African Americans were really treated. Even though this was just a novel, it provided similiar circumstances to what people faced in the sixties.

    The Five People You Meet in Heaven was okay. I wouldn't call it a page turner but there were definitley some parts that I enjoyed. One part of the book that I loved was when the old man saved the young girl from being crushed in a freak accident. He pushed her out of the way just in time and died in her place. For me it was just so sweet how such a "tough old guy" would give up his life for a sweet young girl. One of the things that I learned while reading The Five People You Meet in Heanven was that life is precious and people should embrace every minute of it. People need to take chances, try things, and work hard so that they can live each day to fullest. No one knows when their day will come and that is why it is so important to be careful about what is said and done. Finally, what matters to me about the book's content is that it talks about how people influence our every move. Sometimes people may wonder, "Why did this happen to me?" The Five People You Meet in Heaven tells readers that everything happens for a reason. Other people affect out lives and are the reason why certain things happen. This puts into perspective how careful folks need to be with their actions. Actions don't just affect one person, they affect the people around them.

  49. The Great and Terrible Beauty written by Libba Bray and The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

    I enjoyed the The Great and Terrible Beauty since I, first of all, love fantasy and marvel at the vastness of imagination the authors need to have to create the intricate plot and real-like characters. Also since it took place in the 1600's in England, it has the historical aspect as well. The content of the novel was to teach others that things are not always as they appear, your friends, your mother, or even your life. The Diary of a Young Girl was a deep, moving book that in realness far outshines the fabricated land and character of the latter book. Anne Frank was a real girl who lived in a time of great sorrow, and reminds us today the history of a truly horrid genocide. I learned more about the treatment of the Jews in the streets, concentration camps, and how the Jews were feeling and thinking at the time. Its content was eye-opening as is any realization of how humans have treated each other in the past, and my life has been changed with that knowledge.

  50. 1) The two books I read over the summer were Hourglass by Myra McEntire and Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda :)

    2) Over the summer I read two really good books. One was Hourglass by Myra McEntire, and the other was Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda. Hourglass is about seventeen year old girl who had been seeing ghosts since her parents’ death, and with her brother working on reconstructions on old buildings in their small southern town, ghosts keep appearing. But when she meets someone who can help make her visions go away, she goes through a journey through time with the hopes of changing her past for the better. On the other hand, Devil’s Kiss was actually a book that my cousin suggested. Although it was a little far fetched, I actually got sucked into it. It is about another teenage girl (surprise) named Billi who’s mother is dead (another surprise) and is part of the secret organization of the Knight’s Templar, which was thought to be long gone after a crisis when supernatural beings killed off all the members. But Billi, her family, and a select group of skilled people, they keep evil beings at bay. But when Billi’s psychic friend Kay accidentally opens a door to an ancient spirit realm, he releases creatures that almost tears the Templars apart. Sounds cheesy, I know. But there’s something about the way the book is written that relates to common issues that we all know, like arguing with parent’s or learning to forgive someone who might have made a mistake that directly effected you, makes the book very intruiguing. Plus you have the creepy undead factor that is my favorite.

  51. 1) Briefly tell me what you read, including the titles and authors.
    My favorite books that I read this summer were “The Lord of the Flies” by William Golding and “Twisted” by Sara Shepard. They were both very different styles of books. I don’t really have a specific style of literature that I like reading, I just enjoy good books!

    2) I want to know what you liked about the books, what you learned and, more importantly, what matters to you about the book's content.
    The first book I read was “The Lord of the Flies” by William Golding this was a story of a group of young schoolboys whose plane crash on an island and how they worked to survive and be rescued. What I liked about “The Lord of the Flies” was that it was kind of a problem solving book. It really made me think while I was reading it because I wasn’t always sure what the boys were going to do. Also this book made me think more than the book “Twisted” did because you really needed to pay attention as you were reading to catch some of the points they were trying to get across or to understand what the author wanted you to understand from that passage. From reading this book I learned one that just because it was a small book didn’t mean that it was an easy read book. And from the story I learned that even in bad circumstances there are ways to push through. Even though the book didn’t end well for some of the boys and the ones that were left had gone a little crazy they did work through many obstacles together in the beginning. What matters to me most about this book was that even though it went into ruin the boys within days of understanding they were deserted set up a civilized and sorted out a way of living. My other book I read this summer was called “Twisted” by Sara Shepard. This book is about a group of friends whose best friend was murder and now has come back to haunt them. This book was defiantly an easier read because you didn’t have to think about the plot as much as the plot to “The Lord of the Flies.” I do enjoy books like this that are fun to read before bed and won’t keep me up all night reading them to find out what happens in the end like some of the other books I read. What I learned from this book is to never underestimate someone that you don’t know well because they could be you highest competitor. Also I learned that you should never prejudge someone based on appearance. What matters to me most about this book is that even though the hunches or ideas the girls have in the book aren’t always correct or on the right path of thinking they never give up, reinforcing the idea of “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.”