/*Gets Random Review, From PurpleMoggy*/ /* Gets Related Post from Purple Moggy*/

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Digital Fortress

Digital Fortress, by Dan Brown, is about Susan Fletcher who is one of the top cryptographers at the NSA. She is called in to work by her boss when he finds a piece of code in one of NSA's top computers that seems to have an impossible algorithm. Even the most advanced computer at the NSA cannot crack the code, and as the program counts down towards an unknown time, Susan Fletcher becomes more and more harried. When the creator of the program is found dead, and Susan's Fiance David is sent to investigate, the book takes on a whole new level of suspense and action. The story continues on two fronts, one with Susan trying to crack the code and dealing with a murderer in the NSA, and one with David as he tries to avoid being killed by a hit-man.

I think that Digital Fortress had a great appeal to me because it was about computer programs and cryptology, two subjects in which I am very interested in. This gave the book an added appeal that may not be present for some readers. However, the twist at the end of Digital Fortress is even more severe then is normal for Dan Brown books. The villain is not really know until the very end of the book, which can either keep you awake, or put you to sleep. So if you can deal with the constant suspense, and you enjoyed Dan Brown's other books, then Digital Fortress is a great read.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Deception Point

Deception Point, by Dan Brown, is another suspenseful novel that follows Rachel Sexton as she tries to verify the authenticity of a meteorite thought to carry extraterrestrial material by NASA. She is caught up in a plot that evolves groups from all corners of the country and from all parts of the government. You do not know who is friend and who is foe in this novel which is characteristic of Dan Brown thrillers. You are kept on the edge of your seat all the way until the book ends and you finally know who the real. enemy is

Just like all of the other Dan Brown books I really enjoyed Deception Point. Though it is overshadowed by the some of his other novels, I think that Deception Point is as good if not better than Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. Deception Point brings in a strong female protagonist with a supporting male character. The suspense in the novel is almost too much to bear. In fact, with this book I woke up at 1 in the morning just because I could not sleep. It would not let me go to bed because I had too many unanswered questions going around my head. This is a good book if you liked the other books by Dan Brown, or if you enjoy suspenseful novels in general.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The End of the Beginning

Its my birthday today, so the review is going to be about one of my favorite books. It will also be a little shorter than normal, no rest for the weary, but I hope you will not begrudge me a little break.

The End of the Beginning, by Avi, is a book about a snail and an ant who go off in search on adventures. As they travel the length of a branch, they meet all sorts of colorful animals. They come help a caterpillar, teach a song to a cricket, and discover a dragon in disguise. Along the way they also learn the importance of friendship.

This is one of my favorite books just because of the witty way in which it is told. It is not a hard book to read by any means, but it contains a kind of logic that makes you really think. The way that the ant and the snail see the world is very different from the way that you or I would see it, and this makes for some very interesting dialogs that really make you question the way the world really is. In the end, the book teaches you how to make even the most ordinary of days into adventures, a technique that can turn a dreary day into one of excitement and wonder. The simple way in which the ant and the snail conquer the challenges that are set before them, and the way that they think their way through with a logic that is funny but also carries wisdom will appeal to children of all ages and most adults as well. If you think that you need a break from the monotony or fast pace of daily life, The End of the Beginning offers a great way to escape from the rigors of your life. It will draw you in and leave you with a sense of wonder of your life that will transform even the simplest of tasks into pleasurable experiences.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, is the sequel to Angels and Demons, which I reviewed for you yesterday. It does not really matter which book you read first, I read them out of order, and reading one before the other will not ruin the story for you. Once again Robert Langdon is the protagonist, and once again he is joined by a dashing female. However, in Da Vinci code, Langdon is trying to help solve a murder, one in which he is the prime suspect. Langdon is called in to help solve the murder of a Louvre curator who is much more connected than anyone really knows. He is part of a secret organization that is made up of numerous intellectuals around the country. The church is trying to do away with this organization and Langdon is drawn in to help solve the murder.

As I discussed in my review of Angels and Demons, there were three main points that sold the Da Vinci code to me. First, there was a strong protagonist who was somewhat of a geek, but still managed to get the girl at the end. Second, the book had me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it. It was incredibly suspenseful, and I had to stop myself really late at night or else I was going to pull an all-nighter just to finish. Lastly, the book contained true references to ancient cults and rituals which meant that you were learning about history without even realizing it. If you like suspenseful novels that also have a hint of puzzle solving in them, then The Da Vinci Code is good for you.

One quick note as well, I would recommend reading the book before the movie just so the suspense in the book is not ruined. It is just not the same if you know what is going to happen, and the book builds to the climax much better than the movie.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown, is about Robert Langdon the professor that was the main character of the novel The Da Vinci Code. Angels and Demons was actually written before The Da Vinci Code, but it did not become very popular until after The Da Vinci Code came out. Robert Langdon is the protagonist who is trying to stop a time bomb in Rome from going off. The book is characteristic of Dan Brown novels, with characters with hidden motives, a suspenseful plot line, and a beautiful female heroine. Robert Langdon goes from place to place following clues in hopes that they will lead him to the bomb which he can disarm and save the Vatican from destruction.

Though the plot was rather less than believable, I enjoyed Angels and Demons for the same basic reasons that I enjoyed the Da Vinci Code. Angels and Demons had a strong but unsure protagonist who gains confidence and ultimately gets the girl. It also featured ancient cults and true historical references which gave the story a life that is hard to find in other suspense novels. But the most important reason is that the twist at the end is incredibly shocking. For those who read the Da Vinci code, or saw the movie, you know how unpredictable the real villain was in the story. I will tell you that in Angels and Demons, the villain is even less predictable. You think you know who it is, but you really do not have a clue. Leaving you with that cliff-hanger, I would recommend Angels and Demons to those who liked the DaVinci code or those who like suspenseful novels. If you did not like the Da Vinci code then you might want to steer away from Angels and Demons as well.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The House of the Scorpion

The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer, is a book about a young boy named Matt who is a clone of a mafia godfather like figure named El Patron. The book is set in a futuristic world where Mexico and the United States have been separated by a country called Dreamland. El Patron is one of the leaders of dreamland, and an opium baron. The book is split into parts by different time periods in Matt's life. As Matt grows up, he learns more about what it means to be a clone, and with the help of a girl named Maria, Matt discovers a horrible truth about his relationship with El Patron. Told with very little violence in a way that makes you forget you are reading a science fiction book, The House of the Scorpion is a great choice for younger science fiction readers.

I enjoyed House of the Scorpion because as the story progressed, Matt learned more and more about what it really means to be a clone. As he comes closer to the horrible truth, the book becomes more and more suspenseful, which is something that I like in my science fiction books. I also enjoyed the way the author could take a dire situation, and infuse enough charm in it to make it seem as though it were not as dire. This lead to a feeling of suspense with out the deep worry about what would happen to your favorite characters. Overall, The House of the Scorpion is great for new science fiction readers who are in elementary and middle school, and who want a fairly long read to tide them over the summer.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bronx Masquerade

Bronx Masquerade, by Nikki Grimes, is a story about an inner-city school where on teacher is striving to make a difference in a way that seems contradictory to the setting where the story takes place. The teacher, Mr. Ward, is trying to get his students to travel the path of self revelation by writing poetry, a medium in which none of his students are very well versed in. The book follows a few of Mr. Ward's Students as they go about their daily lives. Each chapter about the kids is followed by a short poem, written by a student. The book continues like this, and you can see the subtle, but powerful, change that is worked within each of Mr. Ward's students. The book is a powerful testimony to the changing power of words.

Though Bronx Masquerade was a book that deviated from the normal type of book that I was reading at the time, it still kept me entertained as I read it. I would say that I liked it, even if it was not my favorite book of all time. I think the poetry within the chapters was what threw me, but the story kept me coming back for more. By the end of the book I had come to terms with the poetry, and I was not just skipping over it. The poetry in the book is half the story, so if you think that you are going to skip over most of it, then this probably is not the book for you. The story and the poetry are well written, and the individual tones of the students gives the book a charm that is hard to find in many books about inner city life. This book portrays life in the Bronx as difficult but engaging, and the way that Nikki Grimes writes really brings out the best in each of the characters. If you are a fan of poetry, or if you can stand some poetry along with a story, then Bronx Masquerade is a good choice for a high school reader.

Also a quick question. I am going to be away at camp from June 21st to July 14th and will need some reviews for the blog. I wanted to know whether any of the readers would like to submit a review that would be published? If you are interested drop me a line on my email: alagaesia00@gmail.com.


Saturday, June 9, 2007

Watching the Tree

Watching the Tree, by Adeline Yen Mah, is a book of Chinese philosophy and thought. "It is said the every Chinese wears a Confucian thinking cap, a Taoist robe, and Buddhist sandals", and in Watching the tree, Adeline Mah reflects on the various influences, both religious and personal. She speaks about various topics, from religion and philosophy, to basic Chinese proverbs and wisdom passed down to her from her grandfather. Almost like an introduction to Eastern thought, Watching the Tree brings together the various influences on Chinese culture in a way that allows both those who are inexperienced and experienced in Chinese thought to receive something from the book.

Watching the Tree was the first book to fully immerse me in a thought process other than the one that I was brought up in. Though I have always been fascinated by Eastern living, I never understood the depth and breadth of idea that many of these ancient ways of thought could bring to light. I received something special from the book, and it is not a stretch to say that others could receive the same. Even if you are not looking for a change in your basic philosophy, it is always good to broaden your horizons, and this book is a great way to do that. For those looking for new ways of thinking, the topics discussed are interesting, but the book does not go into depth which leaves you with a strong sense of curiosity that will help you precede in your search. All in all, Watching the Tree is a great introduction to Chinese philosophy, religion, and wisdom that will give you a new perspective on the East.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska, by John Green, is a novel about a young man named Miles "Pudge" Halter whose love for last words drive him to search for the "Great Perhaps" ( The last words of Francois Rabelais). He travels to boarding school where his life is turned upside down by Alaska Young, a quirky girl who as an event all on by herself. Alaska takes Pudge along for the ride on her roller coaster of a life. Pudge is pulled into the inescapable world of Alaska Young and the crazy happenings around Culver Creek Boarding School. He meets new friends, makes new enemies, and does more within the first month than he thought he could ever do in a lifetime.

I enjoyed Looking for Alaska a lot. It offered a good view of teenage life, but had enough scandal and twists to keep me entertained in places where I normally would not have been. Though the story sounds like one about a boy becoming a man through a process of trials that are placed before him, it is really a story about dealing with loss. The book is set up in a distinctive two parts, and the contrast between the moods and tone of the parts made me reflect of the book all the more. However, the abrupt change in style does not distract you from the plot, but rather it enhances your understanding of the characters, and gives you even more to think about than you had before.

As it would seem, this is a book for high school students, and even though it could entertain some adults, I think that they may want to pick up another book. Though they may receive something from the plot-line, it is very little compared to what a high school student might get out of reading the book. Looking for Alaska is a powerful novel, and a great read for high school students.

A String in the Harp

A String in the Harp, by Nancy Bond, is a story about 15 year old named Jen Morgan who flies to Whales to visit her family for Christmas. She is not expecting very much from the trip, and at first it seems that she will leave unsatisfied. Her brother Peter is angry at her, her little sister missed her a lot, and her father is preoccupied with his job as a teacher that brought the family to Whales after their mother's sudden death. However, when her brother finds a magical harp key that shows him glimpses of an ancient bard's life, Jen and Peter must work together with their family to save the hard key, and protect themselves.

When I read A String in the Harp, I remember thinking that it had an enjoyable story-line, but it was not a book that I would necessarily read over and over. I am not sure why I did not connect with the story, but I think it had to do with the fact that I could not really relate to the characters. The way the author portrayed them made it so I had a hard time comparing myself to them. This kept me from immersing myself in the story the way that I normally like to do with books. It does have a good fantasy story line though, so I would recommend it to upper elementary and middle school students who are looking for a fantasy book to fill the time in between the releases of Harry Potter and the third Inheritance Trilogy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Dial-A-Ghost, by Eva Ibbotson, is a wity fantasy story about a boy named Oliver Smith, and a family of ghosts called the Wilkonsons. Dial-A-Ghost is the name of an addoption agency that pairs people with abandoned ghosts. The ghosts get a nice place to live, and the people get companions or haunts for their houses. The story is fairly simple. Fulton and Frieda Snodde-Brittle are looking for a pair of mean spooks to haunt an estate and "accidentily" scare the Oliver, the young heir, to death. However, a mix up at the ghost adoption agency sends the Wilkonsons, who are very nice ghosts, instead. Oliver and the Wilkonsons hit it off well, and the Snodde-Brittle plans are ruined. As the story progresses, evil ghosts turn out to be not so evil, and the story ends with a great twist.

I enjoyed reading Eva Ibbotson's books. They are filled with fantasy and adventure, and Dial-A-Ghost is no exception. I first read it when in fifth grade, and though I have read it since, I have been able to read it in about one sitting. Therefore, I think that the book would be more suited to younger readers. The interesting plot will keep them well entertained, and they will enjoy the stories of ghosts and spooks. The story has a good ending as well that will keep them on the edge of their seats until the very last page.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Dial-A-Ghost to an elementary school reader, as a book for a report or project or for just plain enjoyment. This great story is a fine example of the work that Eva Ibbotson is know for.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Ironman, by Chirs Crutcher, is about a young teenager named Bo Brewster an aspiring triathlete with family problems and a drive to compete.After an angry outburst against his football coach, is sent to Mr. Nak's class for Anger Management. There he meets a group of teens who are even more high strung and on the edge than he is. It is in that class that he also meets and falls in love with Shelly, a tough girl who can beat Bo up three times over. In the course of these events, Bo is training for a triathlon that could catapult him into the big time. With witty dialog and a unique first-person style, Ironman is a great sports book by a great sports author.

Chris Crutcher specializes in capturing the ups and downs, twists and turns of a teenagers life. All of his books are about young adults, many who participate in sports. Similar to Breathing Underwater, Ironman is told from the main characters point of view, which makes for a very interesting story. I really enjoyed Ironman because I thought that it offered a harsh-but-true view of adolescence. Often I think that people miss the uncertainty of teenage years, and I think that Ironman does a great job in depicting these uncertainties.

Though Ironman is not a book for the elementary student, upper middle school, and high school students will find a great story in the pages of Ironman. I also think that the book holds some good things for adults as well, if only so they can reflect on their own teenage years.

Monday, June 4, 2007

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsbirg, is about two children, Claudia and Jamie who run away from home to go live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They settle down in the museum and become accustomed to a life of avoiding guards and bathing in fountains. One day however, a special piece comes to the museum. It is an angel said to have been made by Michalangelo, and mystery surrounds the sculpture. Soon Claudia and Jamie are caught up in the adventure as they try to solve the mystery of Angel on their own. Their search takes them to Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler and a challenge that even they might have trouble passing.

I throughly enjoyed this book. It had genuine and enjoyable characters, and had a good mix of humor and adventure. I also like the story of the runaways and the daring nature of their escape appealed to me when I first read this book. Though it might be a short read for middle school students, higher elementary children will really enjoy this book. It offers them a good mix of adventure and suspense, and they might even learn something about art in the process. The book also has a good pace for elementary school students, and the action never really dulls, which will help keep them engaged in the story, even due to its cultural content. This is a great book for reading with a child, and even adults will have a good time reading this book.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Buddhism: Plain and Simple

Buddhism: Plain and Simple, by Steve Hagen, is a book about being awake. The book offers you a view of Buddhism without the traditions and customs that have accumulated over the course of five-thousand years. Steve Hagen is a great writer who I think captures the spirit and essence of Buddhism and gives it to you in a format that is both easy to understand and meaningful. Unlike some other books on Buddhism that I have read, Buddhism: Plain and Simple cuts straight to the chase, and it stays true to its goals throughout the whole book.

For someone who wants to learn about a great religion, or just wants a refresher course in the true essence of Buddhism, this book is a great choice. With down to earth advice, and great examples and excerpts from the great teachers of Buddhism. This book does not offer very deep insight if you want to go very deep into the ideas and practices of Buddhism, but it does give the beginner a good platform to start their travels into Buddhism.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Wheel on the School

The Wheel on the School, by Meindert DeJong, is a book about a small fishing town named Shora, and the adventures that they children of Shora have as they try to get storks to nest in Shora. It all starts when a girl named Lina writes a composition about Storks. This sets off a frenzied discussion that soon turns into an adventure that has the children searching the whole country-side for a wheel. They search far and wide, in places where a wheel could be, and places where a wheel could not be. In the process they make friends of he most unlikely of people, and learn important lessons about themselves and their village.

I really enjoyed Meinder DeJong's story. It was both entertaining and heartwarming, and I have read it many times since I first opened it. The book won a Newbery Medal, and is a great story of friendship and adventure. Though I read it when I was in fourth or fifth grade, the story can also appeal to middle school students. The book offers some great points for discussion and will have you wanting your own pair of Storks on your roof. It will also leave you questioning your own life, for that is what this book is really about. It is a book about questions, and the ways in which a simple question can transform a person, a school, and a village.

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart, is a book about four young gifted children. They all read a newspaper advertisement that says "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" They all take the test and are asked to infiltrate a school for gifted children stop an evil genius, and save the world! All through the book they face a series of challenges that challenge their intellect and friendship.

I really enjoyed The Mysterious Benedict Society. As a gifted student, I really connected to the characters and their challenges in the book. The author's mix of humor and adventure was very enjoyable as well, and the way that the different characters personalities meshed added a great feel to the book. Each of the different characters has their own strengths and weaknesses, and all of the characters support each other, and their streangths complement each other perfectly.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Breathing Underwater

Breathing Underwater, by Alex Flinn, is a book about a young teenager named Nick, who is under a restraining order from his ex-girlfriend. The book follows Nick as he looks back on his abusive relationship, and as he goes through Family Violence class. In the process he goes from wanting his girlfriend back, to accepting his mistakes and working to change them.

Breathing Underwater is most defiantly not suited for anyone under high school age. It deals with some more mature themes and subjects, ranging from abuse to violence. It does tell a good story though, and the mature parts do not get in the way of the great plot line. Alex Flinn crafted Nick to be a well rounded character, and the growth that he experiences from beginning to end of the novel is great. I think that the way that Alex Flinn portrays the conflicts between the characters brings a lot of life to the novel, as well as make the novel the much more personal.

Even though Breathing Underwater does have a lot of conflict and mature themes, the wonderful story gives these conflicts a much different light. Alex Flinn's novel Breathing Underwater is a great book for High School students and adults alike, and is a great quick read for those looking for a novel with a great story.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Loser, by Jerry Spinelli, is about boy named Zinkoff. He is the odd one out on the playground, at school, and around the neighborhood. He laughs at the wrong things, answers the wrong questions, and looks the wrong way. Most everyone has a name for him, Zinkoff is just too busy to hear it. The book follows Zinkoff from first through 6th grade as he is the butt of jokes and scorn. Eventually though, Zinkoff has his moment to shine, and performs admirably, as the old names transform into a new name, "hero".

This is another book that I have not read in awhile. Though I know the basic story line, I am not sure how well the book affected me when I first read it. I think that it is a good story, a little scrambled in some parts, but overall a good book. When I was reading it, I remember feeling lost during some events of the book, but it never got to the point where I could not pick up the story as it continued. The overall implications of the story are deep, so younger readers may have more trouble grasping the deeper meaning of the story.

I am going to recommend this book as a book for reading with a child. This way they can understand the story, as well as the deeper meaning, and with an aid of an adult, they can get much more out of the book.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dillon Dillon

Dillon Dillon, by Kate Banks, is the story of a young boy named Dillon Dillon who is trying to find himself during a summer trip by a lake. When his parents give him a red rowboat for his birthday with his name painted on it, he asks them a fateful question. "Why did you name me Dillon Dillon?" With the answer to that question comes a truth that Dillon is not ready to accept. He escapes to the lake in his rowboat, he discovers and island and meets a pair of loons through which he discovers his true identity.

I read Dillon Dillon a while ago. When I read it then I do not think that I understood the book in its fullest sense. Whether this was a lack of knowledge or wisdom, I do not know, but when I have read the book again I have gleaned deeper and deeper meaning from its pages. This is something that occurs often with my books, but something that I noticed more than usual with Dillon Dillon. It is not a very long book, and the underlying story is very strong, which allowed me to read the book at a younger age. However, I think that it takes a more mature person to understand the book on a deeper and more meaningful level.

For this reason, I recommend Dillon Dillon as a book for children, but also as a book for high school students and adults. The older ones are the people that may get the most out of the book, but the story can satisfy younger readers also.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, is set in France during the time of the French Revolution. It follows Lucile Mannete and her father and husband. The book tells of the bloody events that led up to the French Revolution, as well as the executions of the royal family and other nobles. A Tale of Two Cities is another book that I read this year and school, which took away some of the enjoyment that I think I would have found from reading this book.

I felt that the book was well written, but the writing style of Charles Dickens made it hard to follow the story. In this regard, reading it with a class was very helpful. However, reading it with a class made the book less enjoyable because it took away some of the personal meaning that I think I could have taken away from it. A Tale of Two Cities is a very deep book, which can be interpreted in many different ways, but when read with a class, some of the more abstract interpretations are set aside.

I think that A Tale of Two Cities is a good classic, but as classics go, some of the other ones that I have read have given me more meaningful stories. But, I am not sure whether this is because of the book, or because I read it with a class. I would suggest that A Tale of Two Cities be left in the classroom, due to the fact that it has very hard language, but if you want to glean deeper meaning from the book, then it might be better to read it on your own.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Rule of Four

The Rule of Four, by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason, is a book about four students, and good friends, at Princeton. The story takes place towards the end of the school year as one of the four friends is hard at work on his term paper about the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (unpronoucable, I know). When a diary is discovered that is thought to be the missing piece to the puzzle, another student of the book is found dead. The four friends must work together to solve the mystery of the book once and for all.

I found The Rule of Four to be slightly predictable. It has been compared to the DaVinci Code, and is similar in the fact that in both books people are trying to uncover mysteries that are much bigger than themselves. Unlike the DaVinci Code, I felt that The Rule of Four lost some of its momentum as it reached its climax. I thought that it was slowly building up to a great finish, and then it lost alot of its steam. Even though there was a surprise ending, I thought that it came too late to make much of a difference to the story, almost as if it were added as an afterthought.

So if you loved the DaVinci code, and you are looking for another fairly suspenseful novel, then The Rule of Four is a good read, otherwise you might want to pick up another book.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, is a book about human nature and companionship. The book follows two men George and Lennie as they work towards their dream of owning an acre of land. George is a quick and shrewd man of which Lennie, a man of tremendous size and the mind of a child, is a polar opposite. They have traveled far together and George always looks after his companion. When they land a job on a ranch, they meet others who become part of their dream to own land, but Lennie's loyal obedience to the things that George has taught him makes trouble for the pair.

This too was a book that was required reading at my high school, but one that I did not enjoy as much as To Kill A Mockingbird. Even though it was a well written story, I felt that I could not connect to any of the characters, which made it hard to dive into the book in the way that I normally do. Even though I can see how this book is a good choice for High School discussion, I do not think that it would be something that I would have read outside of school. It did work well as a discussion piece, and the somewhat controversial nature of the ending led to some great debates and discussions which is something that I do not see come out of all books.

So even though it may not have been my first choice as a personal read, Of Mice and Men is still a good High School or Book Club read because it offers great topics for discussion and debate.

Friday, May 25, 2007

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird , by Harper Lee, is one of the great American anti-racist novels. It is told from the perspective of Scout, a young girl who lives in Maycomb, Alabama. She and her brother face many challenges as their father defends and African-American in a case against a white woman. Scout and Jem try to separate right from wrong in an area where there is a very fine line between the two. As the case escalates Scout and Jem have to face increasingly difficult challenges to choose the right path.

I read To Kill A Mockingbird for school, and found it surprisingly enjoyable. Harper Lee brings life to the little town of Maycomb in a way that has given this book international acclaim. I really enjoyed this story of moral conflict because it gave a perspective on rural life in the south that many people do not see. The racial nature of this book did not diminish its message, and I did not feel that at any point it came across as though it was "preaching". It did however bring to light the racial segregation of the south and the way that blacks were treated. I felt that this is good for high school students and adults alike.

I feel that To Kill a Mockingbird is a great read for high school students, and I agree that it is a good choice for high school literature.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Yesterday, I posted a review about The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini's first book. I finished his second book yesterday and really enjoyed it. What follows is my review, I hope you enjoy it.

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini, is a book about two specific women in Afghanistan; however, it is a book about all women in Afghanistan, and the struggles that they face everyday. Khaled Hosseini, captures the struggles of these women, the same way that he captured the struggles of his main character in The Kite Runner. A Thousand Splendid Suns, goes from the 1980's, all the way to 2003, and not once does it let you go. I read the whole book in essentially one sitting. The horrors that the women in the book face are almost beyond belief. They have to face their angry husband, and a world that is extremely unkind to women.

I felt that they way in which Khaled Hosseini captured the suffering of the two women was what made the book so enchanting. Despite the hardships that they had to face, he showed that they could still find love and friendship. The way that Khaled Hosseini showed that despite the abuse that their bodies and minds took, their spirits were still capable of achieving great heights. It is this realization that made the book so great for me.

A word of warning, A Thousand Splendid Suns is for adults and high school students. There is alot of violence and other adult themes. However, I do not think that this should turn away any perspective readers, but I do believe that it is for older students and adults.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a great novel, and is possibly even better than The Kite Runner. If you are looking for a novel that shows how the human spirit can survive even when faced with hardship, then look no farther than A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Kite Runner

The author of The Kite Runner, came out with another book titled, A Thousand Splendid Suns. I am looking forward to reading his new book, and hope that you enjoy my review of his first book, which is a wonderful novel.

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, is a book told in two parts. The first is about a young boy named Amir, who is carefree and innocent. But after he witnesses an atrocious deed done to his friend, Amir turns into a recluse and insomniac, and drives his friend out of his house. As Amir and his father, struggle to escape the growing violence in Taliban ruled Afghanistan, Amir does not forget the horrible wrongs that he has done.

In the second part of the book Amir is grown and has a wife, when he is visited by an old acquaintance of his father. Amir is told that there is a small boy who is living in Afghanistan who needs his help, and Amir embarks on a journey to save this boy. As Amir travels through Afghanistan, he sees firsthand the horror that he barely escaped.

The Kite Runner is a clear view into the horrors that people face everyday in Afghanistan and the middle east. It is a clear and concise novel that not only offers a great view on the politics that go on in Afghanistan, but it also has a wonderful heartwarming story about a boy's mistakes and his struggle to right them. Khaled Hosseini also escaped from Afghanistan when he was a boy, and the feelings of fear that he breaths into his novel, make it seem almost real. The Kite Runner, is a great book for high school and adult readers, which gives you a no frill view into the horrors and struggles that people face in in our world today.

More Books Like This One