Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Sister's Keeper

Book Title: My Sister’s Keeper Author: Jodi Picoult
Pages: 432 Publisher: Atria
Why did you decide to read the book? Honestly, I’ve been wanting to read the book for a long time, but I never had the motivation to read something that big in size. But because of the ORP, I finally had the motivation to read it and I don’t regret it.
Brief Summary of Book (6-8 sentences): My Sister’s Keeper is a novel about a sister, Anna, who was born in vitro to save her sister, Kate, who is dying of cancer. Anna was born so she could give whatever Kate she needed, bone marrow, kidneys, whatever Kate needed, her parents took from Anna. When Anna finally gets up and says that she doesn’t want to help Kate anymore, and her parents refuse to let her have her way, Anna hires a lawyer and sues her parents for the right to her own body. Anna still loves Kate as much as she always has but she does not want to help Kate anymore. There are many surprising twists and turns in My Sister’s Keeper, especially ones that make people think, and think a lot. You’ll have to read the book to know what happens at the end.
Audience: The audience of this book is anyone who just needs a good heartfelt read.
Writing Style: The writing style goes between the narration of the mother of the book, Sara, and Anna, the girl suing her parents. The following passage is used in the Point of View of Anna.
Passage – “When I was little, the great mystery to me wasn't how babies were made, but why. The mechanics I understood -- my older brother Jesse had filled me in -- although at the time I was sure he'd heard half of it wrong.” Page 1
Word: Granulocyte Definition: a circulating white blood cell having prominent granules in the cytoplasm and a nucleus of two or more lobes.
Sentence & page it came from “Molecular relapse and granulocyte and portacath -- these words are part of my vocabulary, even though I'll never find them on any SAT.” Page 10
Word Portacath Definition tube used to drain bodily fluids from cavities of the body.
Sentence & page it came from “Molecular relapse and granulocyte and portacath -- these words are part of my vocabulary, even though I'll never find them on any SAT.” Page 10
Passage #1: "You dont love someone because they're perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they're not"
Passage #2: "Extraordinary things are always hiding in places people never think to look."
Theme: Don’t Take Life for Granted.
I believe that this is the theme because this book shows that life can be taken very quickly, and most people takes life for granted, this book
Letter Grade: A. I think that this book deserves an A because of the cumulative reviews by major novel critics, and the review I personally gave it. This book moved a lot of people, covering a very controversial topic, I applaud Jodi Picoult for her mastery of effectively writing on this topic.

Code Talker

Book Title: Code Talker Author: Joseph Bruchac
Pages: 231 Publishers: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Why did you decide to read the book?
I decided to read this book because it seemed like a very interesting book. After being recommended to me3 by a friend, I deiced to look at it and my friend was right, this book was very good. When I opened the book and started reading it I was hooked.
Brief Summary of Book (6-8 sentences): The story of the sixteen year old boy who wants to join the army when he find out that the Navajos are being recruited. When young Ned Begay breezes through his boot camp and other training, only to find himself involved in a secret task only performed by the Navajos. Now this young boy must fight the fight of his life against the Japanese and help send code back to the camp of the Navajos because he is now a code talker. During his experiences in the battles, he learns to talk in code better and better and helps out the Navajos. The many battles that he has to encounter are very life threatening, but still continues to help out as best as he can. In the end the young teenager returns a man to his native tribe. He is given the highest honors and is revered a young many. This is a truly good book that keeps you reading page after page.
Audience: the audience of this book is directed toward people who are interested in war. Also it may be directed to people who are older, and may have experienced war and can relate to these instances like these. The one other type of people that would like to read a story like this is perhaps older teenagers. All of these people can relate to this story in some way because they have either experienced similar events, or like the extreme amount of action within the book.
Writing Style: The writing style of this book is written in limited third person. The author narrates the story of the book while there are moments of they young boy telling the story himself. For the majority of the book however, it is told in limited third person.
Description – During moments of the book, the story is being told by ned, where in other moments of the story, it is told by the author narrating the story.
Passage - It was strange knowing that American blood had dark ended the surf of this island I was landing on so easily. (104)
Word – commissioned, sun Definition – A free pain agent, a star or bright astronomical object
Sentence & page it came from
Passage #1: Grand children a “nom-Com” is a non commissioned officer. (70)
Passage #2: A five mile hike in the sun carrying heavy packs. (61)
Theme: The them of this book is war because it is all about war, and what people do in war, and how they survive and can change.
Letter Grade: A

The Maze Runner

Book Title: The Maze Runner      Author: James Dashner      
Pages: 372    Publisher: Delacorte Press     
Why did you decide to read the book? My little stepbrother mentioned it to me so I thought I might as well read it.     
Brief Summary of Book (6-8 sentences): A young boy named Thomas travels up in a metal box; his memory is wiped and doesn’t know what’s going on. He arrives at the Glade where there are many boys around his age. His first day at the Glade is so confusing to Thomas and cant handle whats going on. He finds out there is a mazr surrounding the area they were in and that there are monsters named Grievers. He then has to go through each job position, and he ends up being a runner. Also a girl comes through the metal box, a girl has never came to the Glade before so everyone is freaking out. Then Thomas Treasa and the rest of the Gladers have to find a way home by studing the maze patterens and anything they can.     
Audience: The audience is mainly towards science fiction fans.                                                                                 
Writing Style: The writing style is getting told the story through Thomas’ eyes.
Description – Thomas talks like any other teenager does, but his vocabulary changes to how the rest of the Gladers talk such as “shunk, shank, and klunk.”          
Passage – “That shank oughtta be the Keeper of Runners,” Thomas said, trying to make a joke to hind his fear.      
Word       Definition      
Sentence & page it came from      
Passage #1: Spontaneously- pg 107, Newt had given him a stare so harsh Thomas thought Chuck might spontaneously combust.     
Passage #2: Rebuke- pg 260, Thomas looked at Newt sharply, hurt by the rubuke.     
Theme: Never give up hope    
Letter Grade: A+

The Golden Compass

Title: The Golden Compass Author: Philip Pullman
Publisher: Yearling Pages: 399
I decided to read this book because it was recommended to me by a friend. I needed to find a book and she thought that I would enjoy it.
In this novel the main character Lyra Silertongue and her daemon Pantalaimon (Pan) embark on an adventure to save their world from Dust. In this book’s world every human has a daemon, an animal who is always by them and part of their soul. The story begins by being in her Masters office, Master of the school she goes to in London. There she is locked in the closet and learns about Dust, no one knowing she is there except for her uncle Lord Asrail who tells her to stay there because if they find out she snuck out she will be in huge trouble. After seeing images to the north she is determined to find out what is happening up North when children begin to disappear.
I think this book is for young adults. Even though the ideas and the concepts are childish the diction of the author is at higher level. He uses higher level vocabulary.
The author writes in a very descriptive way. Descriptive enough so that you get a picture in your head about what is happening, however not getting to the point where there are pages and pages of description.
- “She could hardly take her eyes off of Farder Coram’s daemon, who was the most beautiful she’d ever seen. When Pantalaimon was a cat, he was lean and ragged and harsh, but Sophonax, for that was her name, was golden-eyed and elegant beyond measure, fully twice as large as a real cat and richly furred” (142).
-Divagations- to wander off the subject under discussion
“Instead of its wayward divagations around the dial it swung smoothly from one picture to another” (133).
- Duplicitous- deceptive; dishonest; or misleading
“They should have forced his resignation long ago. Duplicitous plagiarist” (328).
“The sight filled the northern sky; the immensity of it was scarcely conceivable” (184).
-This really struck me because of the description in the passage I have always wanted to see the northern lights and after reading this I really got a picture in my mind of how it would look.
“Weary and scared, Lyra began to stumble over the harsh and slippery rock, following
the bear, wondering how she could talk her way out of this” (324).
- This struck me because even though she was in a bad in a horrible situation she managed to keep clam. She automatically went into a train of thought of survival and trying to get out.
I think the primary theme in this novel is that you have to fight for what you believe in. I think so because Lyra was constantly fighting others and herself in this book in order to get to the north, to save her father and the abducted children.
I give this book an A. It has everything tht a good book should have action, drama, and comedy. The characters are relatable to, you can see yourself being friends with the characters. The characters all are really different and its interesting to see how the author makes them interact. This is a great book and I highly recommend it.

Code Orange

Book Title: Code Orange Author: Caroline B. Cooney
Pages: 189 Publisher: Random Books
Why did you decide to read the book?
Well I choose this book because it sounded good and people told me it was very good.
Brief Summary of Book (6-8 sentences): There is a kid named Mitty Blake who is a very crazy kid. He doesn’t care about much. But when he has to do a term paper for science, he gets himself into a lot more than he bargained for. He has to help figure out a huge problem that has been over looked before time runs out.
Audience: The audience for this book would have to be teens to young adult.
Writing Style: the writing style of the book is very simple it uses a lot of slang, not a very hard read.
Description: the style of her writing is very simple but gets the point across.
Passage: “oh, I get a huge salary from your tax dollars to oversee a disease that doesn’t exist.”
Word: Variola Definition: Small Pox
Superiority the quality or condition of being superior.
Sentence & page it came from: Page 22. Derek responded with loathing, thinking how to repellent she looked with that little crease of superiority across her forehead.
Page 21 Mitty scrolled around. Variola major turned out to be smallpox; a disease Mitty had vaguely heard of.
Passage #1: The books were thick and dusty. Mitty picked up Principles of contagious disease because the leather was soft and gold, like melted butter. He opened to the title page and, remembering he had to have a bibliography, turned one more. Page 9. I choose this paragraph because of the similarly, plus it was the book that started the whole book.
Passage #2: On Friday, Mr. lynch walked around the classroom making sure everybody had written down the due date fin their assignment books. Luckily, he started at the far side, giving Mitty Blake time to whisper to his best friend, “due date for what.” I choose this passage because it’s the paragraph that gets everything going and starts the book.
Theme: The theme of this book was to show that a simple science project can even turn into something big.
Letter Grade: I give this book a B because it was a good book but it wasn’t the best book I have read but overall it was pretty good.


Book Title: Cell       Author: Stephen King     
Pages: 449    Publisher: Pocket Books     
Why did you decide to read the book? My mom went to a bookstore in Rhode island and I had told her I wanted to read a Stephen King book. When she went into the store, she asked the owner what the best Stephen King book was and he gave her Cell.      
Brief Summary of Book (6-8 sentences): Clayton Riddell’s life seems to have just taking a turn for the best. When everything seems great, a secret organization delivers a phenomenon to the millions of people living in the United States of America. They called it “The Pulse”, and the way it got to the people was through the millions of cell phones in the hands of nearly every American in the country. The phenomenon delivers messages to people’s cells that turn them into zombies, and the zombies start to terrorize everything. Throughout the book, Clayton struggles to stay alive and reach his home town in Maine, accompanied by other survivors, but Clayton soon realizes his son has a cell phone. Clayton faces the horrible truth about the condition of his son, Johnny, as he finally reaches home after his long journey across America.      
Audience: The audience for this book is older teens and adults because of the language and mature content it contains.    
Writing Style:
Description - Stephen King’s writing style is very creative and is filled with imagery and descriptive language. He also uses diction that is enjoyable and relatable to readers, and uses humor in his writing.
Passage - “‘You must have missed March of the Penguins,” Alice said.
“Actually I did,” Tom said. “When I want to see someone waddle in a tuxedo, I go to a French restaurant.”’(King 125)
Word: rapt  Definition: adj. carried off spiritually to another place, sphere of existence, etc.
Sentence & page it came from: “Clay watched, fascinated, as if it slid partially aside, revealing one rapt and blink less eye.”(King 199)    
Word: declamatory   Definition: adj. merely oratorical or rhetorical; stilted
Sentence & page it came from: “ Silence, except for the cawing of crows. Then Jordan spoke, flat and declamatory.”(King 376)    
Passage #1: “‘Hey, Johnny-Glee,” he said, “Fo-fo-you-you.” And pressed the cell against his son’s ear.”(King 449). This was the last sentence in the book. This is when Clay decides the only way to save his dying son is to let “The Pulse” turn him into a zombie. This passage stuck with me because it shows the love he has for his son, and the things we will do for the people we love.    
Passage #2: “For a little while he drowned them out with his own.”(King 376). This passage stuck with me because it describes Clay right after he witnessed the murder of a friend. He realizes the horrors of what has happened to the world, and how the human race has changed.
Theme: I think the main theme of this book is morality and whether or not one can justify doing horrific acts in order to survive. For example, in the book they kill multiple zombies and just a few days ago those zombies were normal, living, human beings. Was it morally right to kill those people? Another example of this theme is the overall journey of the survivors in this book, and how they had to choose between fighting hard or doing the so called “right thing”.
Letter Grade: I would give this book an A. I absolutely loved this book. It was full of action, suspense, and thrill. I love books that explore than idea of an apocalypse, so this book was perfect for me.

How I Live Now

Book Title: How I Live now Author: Meg Rosoff
Pages: 194 Publisher: Wendy lamb books
Why did you decide to read the book?
I wanted to read this book because, there was just something about this book that just got my attention, and I enjoyed reading. This was one of the first books that I have like in a while, and I am glad I liked it.
Brief Summary of Book (6-8 sentences): This book is about a young girl that has been sent to England from New York. She stays with her cousins that she has never met before in her life. In England a war breaks out and there aunt is at work and cannot get back home to the house. So they are on their own living li9fe with no rules and doing what they want to do. But one day a army guy came to their house and took it over so all the cousins had to break up from each other and go on with their lives.
Audience: The Audience attracts kids from the age of 13 and up. I think even some adults might like this read especially if there English.
Writing Style: The author uses formal writing, and no big words its an easy read.
Description – the book is a love story with a little war involved.
Passage -
Vocabulary: the vocabulary is modern and there are rarely words I stumble upon I don’t know.
Word- mnemonic Definition-assistor or intended to assist the memory.
Moronic-a person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment.
Sentence & page it came from
Pg.71 – I started making up a mnemonic the way I used to do in school bit it was hard to keep it straight since I had to keep adding words on as we went along, and whoever named these places wasn’t doing it with any particular pattern in mind.
Pg.57-we must have looked pretty moronic just staring at him with our mouths open because he said perhaps I should speak to your mother or father and then Osbert puffed himself up like he was going to make a big speech and said there’s only us.
Passage #1: And after a little while of this my brain and my body and every single inch of me that was alive was flooded with the feeling that I was starving, starving, starving for Edmond.
Passage #2: And what a coincidence, that was the feeling I loved best in the worlf.
Theme: The theme of this book is love and it shows it out through the book.
Letter Grade:

The Freedom Writers' Diary

Book Title: The Freedom Writers’ Diary Author: The Freedom Writers and Erin Gruwell
Pages: 292 Publisher: Broadway Books
Why did you decide to read the book? I decided to read this book because I watched the movie and I thought it was really moving and inspirational. I also wanted to hear more of the students’ stories, and learn more about who the students are.
Brief Summary of Book (6-8 sentences): This book is about the lives of the students of Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. There is an ugly race caricature in the school that leads to extreme violence between the different races of the school. Mostly every student in the school knows someone who has been killed because of racial violence. Most of the students don’t even think that they will make it to graduation, or live to graduation. This is an inspiring book about the freedom writers’ toughest times, with their teacher, Erin Gruwell, narrating. Erin Gruwell is a young white woman from the rich town of Newport, Rhode Island. She heard about the racial problems in the school, and decided she wanted to help the students, even though she was told the students were “un-teachable”. Erin proved the teaching staff wrong when she bought her students The Diary of Anne Frank, and they were inspired by it. Erin Gruwell changed the lives of the students of Wilson High School in the biggest way possible. She helped them to graduate high school, and to continue pursuing their dreams.
Audience: The audience of this book is anyone who has been through hard times, or for anyone who wants to read an inspirational book. That is because the students went through very tough times in life, and learned how to succeed from their teacher.
Writing Style: The authors’ writing styles are emotional and simple.
Description - The authors’ writing styles are emotional and simple because the stories are written by the high school students about their own lives. Ms. Gruwell’s writing style in also inspired, because the reader can tell that while she is narrating the students’ stories, she is moved.
Passage – “Ahh, I’m so frustrated! This entire semester has been one ordeal after another, from race riots to walkouts. But I don’t know if I’m more frustrated with the students or the system. Although they’re a pain, they’re just kids,” (30).
Word: Gestapo Definition: The German state secret police during the Nazi regime, organized in 1933 and notorious for its brutal methods and operations.
Sentence & page it came from “The Gestapo operated against Germans suspected of treason by using brutal interrogation and torture; they instilled widespread fear by their terrorist methods,” (249).
Word: Ruthless Definition: Without pity or compassion.
Sentence & page it came from “The simple truth was that I hated him because he had a ruthless temper,” (231).
Passage #1: “One of the guys who had never seen a gun before grabbed it. He and the other guy started to fight for the gun. The gun accidentally went off and hit one of them in the forehead. He died instantly,” (28). This passage moved me because it is really sad that these high school students saw these things happening around them on a regular basis. I couldn’t even imagine seeing something like this.
Passage #2: “They hate reading, and getting them to write is out of the question. And homework? Please!” (30). This passage struck me because Ms. G was judging the students before she got to know them. She later realized in the book that the reason they didn’t do homework, reading, and writing was because no one believed they were capable of actually doing work because of their backgrounds.
Theme: I believe that the theme of this book is to never give up, no matter how bad you have it. An example would be that Ms. Gruwell taught the students about many people who suffered from racial violence, just like them, and she taught them how to pursue their dreams. Also, Ms. Gruwell taught the students how to survive together as a family, and how to deal with the violence surrounding them to be able to fulfill their dreams of graduating.
Letter Grade: If I was to give this book a letter grade, I would give it an A+, because even though it was written with a lot of slang, it was a very good read and was an extremely motivational book. It shows people that no matter how bad they have it, they can always succeed. There are many life lessons that can be learned from this book, one being to never give up on your dreams. This book can also show people to appreciate what you have, because the stories of these high school students were unlike any I have ever heard before.

How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found

Book Title: How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found Author: Sara Nickerson
Pages: 281 Publisher: HarperTrophy
Why did you decide to read the book? I was in desperate need for a book, and then I looked through the shelf in Ms. Lesniak's class and I stumbled upon this book.
Brief Summary of Book (6-8 sentences): Margaret's dad died few years ago. She lives with her mom and sister. Her mom hasn't taken his death hard. Then odd occurance happens. Maragaret finds clues to the reason of her dad's death. It's up to her and her sister to solve her dad's true death.
Audience: The audience can range from age 11 up, but I mostly recommend this book for middle school students. I feel this because there are some parts that young teens or younger children would not be able to understand.
Writing Style:
Description - Her writing style is simple, with much exaggeration. It seems like she beats around the bush to make the reader more curious.
Passage - "Boyd stepped out...glanced down at his watch and started to run. Smack! Suddenly he was on the ground with the wind knocked out of him."(113)
Word macrobiotic Definition Diet of grains, and vegetables.
Sentence & page it came from "His parents had recently switched to a macrobiotic diet, which meant several different bowls of green food and maybe one or two bowls of brown."(37)
Word waterlogged Definition Saturated with water.
Sentence & page it came from " I kicked against the weight of my waterlogged shoes and jeans, struggling to get to the surface."(248)
Passage #1: "I knew he was an excellent swimmer, so I wasn't worried about him--all I worried about was getting away and making my escape."(263)
Passage #2: "And when the story was finished, the whole world looked different. I'd met my father out there in the water. I'd felt him both pull me under and the push me up...That was it."(264)
Theme:Don't take life for granted, and enjoy the little things in life.
I feel these are reasonable themes for this piece of literature. I feel this because of the odd occurance that was behind this whole story, which was the death of Margaret's father. It all comes into play when Margaret finally finds out the entire story.
Letter Grade: B+
This book is a B+ because it draws the reader's attention to keep on going with it as it can bring out your curiosity. There are few parts that are a bit confusing, and there are other parts that can get a bit boring like when it becomes more detailed.Other than that I feel that this book can be interesting no matter what age you read it at. You can even be a parent reading it to your younger child and still enjoy it. It's a mystery story that can always keep you on your toes.

Lost Names

Book Title: Lost Names
Author: Richard E. Kim   
Pages: 200  
Publisher: University of California Press, Ltd.

Why did you decide to read the book? I decided to read this book because its not the type of book that I would normally read. I thought it might be interesting to read about something that probably wouldn't intrigue people in my age range. Also, after I got through the first chapter I kept on reading because I wanted to find out what happened at the end of the book.
Brief Summary of Book (6-8 sentences): This book is about a young boy (whose name is never mentioned) and the experiences that he goes through living in Korea, at the height of the Japanese occupation (1932-1945). The occupiers force the Koreans to renounce their own last names and adopt Japanese ones instead. The book follows the young boy and his family through the Japanese occupation to the surrender of the Japanese empire.
Audience: I think that this book is recommended for both teens and adults. There are some scenes in the book that are inappropriate for a younger audience. Also, the material would be hard for a younger audience to understand. It would probably confuse and disinterest them.
Writing Style: The writing style is very descriptive. Richard E. Kim always describes the setting, the people, personalities and minor details. He does a good job at giving the reader a visualization of what's going on in each scene.
Description - In this scene of the book, the boy is just a baby and his mother had just gotten off a train leading to Manchuria. The boy's father had gotten led off of the train to get questioned and ended up getting beaten. The boy's mother does not want to leave her husband, so she exits the train into the winter night in order to reunite with him.
Passage - "The silvery snow flurries are dancing in the air, whishing and roaring, as if cleansing the lingering rays of the bloody sun from the northern sky.. The air is cool and fresh and she prays." (pg. 11)
Word- Pulverized      
Definition- (verb) To reduce to dust or powder, as by pounding or grinding; to demolish or crush completely.    
Sentence & page it came from- "..with gluey paste mixed with pulverized glass, so that one is able to cross the string with those of other kites and cut them off-" (pg. 68)
Word- Kerosene    
Definition- (noun) A mixture of liquid hydrocarbons obtained but distilling petroleum, bituminous shale, or the like, and widely used a fuel, cleaning solvent, etc.    
Sentence & page it came from- "Ahead of us, a young farmer stands by the orchard's gate with a kerosene lantern." (pg. 84)  
Passage #1: "She says to herself she can't cry, she mustn't cry, she she must be brave." (pg. 11)
Passage #2: "And I know my eyes are filling with tears. I fight back the tears and swallow a big lump in my throat." (pg. 37)
Theme: I think the theme of this book is staying strong. The boy and his family go through a lot while undergoing the Japanese occupation, but they still manage to pull together and stay strong until the Japanese are overthrown.
Letter Grade: I believe that I should get a B- or above on this assignment. I took my time reading this book and finished it in a short period of time. I put in a lot of effort with my book cover, and answering the questions for this assignment. Also, it is hard to be descriptive when answering some of these questions because added description will give away some of what happens in the book, so I tried to be reasonably brief.