October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

This is my favorite Halloween poem!!!


A GHOST STORY
Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr.


On a dreadful stormy night
My dear Tommy had a fight
With great Peter Snookum Snee,
Cat of fighting pedigree.

In this battle, sad to tell,
My poor Tom, alas, he fell,
Ending thus his earthly life
Through the wicked God of Strife

On the next night while in bed,
Sleepless and with aching head,
For my Tom, my precious pet,
My poor eyes with tears were wet.

Suddenly his voice I heard,
And in ghostly whispers purred,
"I am coming, mistress, dear,
Yes, 'tis true I'm very near.

"Good cat heaven have I left,
I would comfort you, bereft
For your precious Tommy pet,
I would teach you not to fret.

"Do you hear me in the hall
With my ghostly soft footfall?
Up the stairs I bound to thee,
Jumping steps from one to three.

"Now my paw is on your door,
I turn the knob one-two-three-four,
And you may see your Tommy now--
Me-ow! Me-ow! Me-ow! ow! ow!"

October 24, 2011

Everlost By Neal Shusterman





Everlost





It all started with a piece of metal.

Lying in the road. The Mercedes ran over the metal, and the driver lost control. Attempting to weave in and out of oncoming traffic, the car crashed into a white Toyota headed the other way.


"The crash of splintering glass became the sound of a rushing wind, and the world went very dark...there was a point of light at the end of the tunnel, getting larger and brighter as they got closer, and there came a feeling in their hearts of calm amazement they could not describe."

-Everlost, page 4


Nick and Allie wake up in Everlost to find a grinning and terribly freckly young lad bouncing around wearing weird clothes and saying things they do not understand. Soon both realize (with the help of the young boy, whom Allie names Lief) that they are in fact dead. They are, essentially, ghosts. Or, Afterlights.

Nick and Allie set off, and soon experience strange incidents that render them (especially Allie) suspicious. There are no adults in Everlost. The kids they do find seem to be doing the same things over and over again. They've gotten stuck in ruts.

Allie suspects that Mary Hightower, the leader and "queen" of a large group of Afterlights living in the ghosts of the twin towers is hiding information. Allie seeks Nick's help, but he seems to be falling for Mary and refuses to help her until she tells him about these newly discovered "ruts".

Is Mary who she says she is? Can they trust her? Who can they trust? Is there a destination beyond Everlost?

How will they get all the answers they seek?

Discover the answers to these and many more questions along with Allie, Nick, Lief, and Mary.
This book has fairly good pace, but some parts are predictable. In all, it is a pretty good read, and worth "checking out"!!!
(Pun intended.... :D)

October 12, 2011

Internment Camp Presentation





We did projects in Language Arts for the book called "When the Emperor Was Divine" by Julie Otsuka. The first part of this is the script for the movie I made for my project. The second part is my script for when I presented my project:





SCRIPT:

“I joined the war for my country. I wanted to be patriotic. I wanted to do what was right. I thought joining in the war was right! Our country was supposed to be the best country! We were all supposed to be treated equally and fairly. I joined the war to preserve our country’s philosophy! What they did to Japanese Americans was worse than unpatriotic. It was barbaric and cruel!! Japanese Americans have been treated terribly since the war. Even though the war ended 2 years ago, Japanese Americans still don’t get the respect they deserve. All those people, herded into horse stalls and sheds. I know. I was there. On one of the many camp bound trains. There were so many people. So similar, yet so different. Some were asleep, while others laughed joyously. Some stared at me with all the hatred they could muster, while most refused to look at me at all. None of them talked to me. Not one. Except for the girl.

We would have them put their shades down while the train rolled through towns in order for villagers not to see them, get angry, and throw things at the train windows. Even though we took this precaution, a rock was thrown at the train, and a brick smashed through one of the windows as well. As I strolled through the train car one day, saying “shades down, shades down”, I spotted a young girl peering out a sunlit window. I laid a hand on her shoulder and reminded her “shades down”. She looked up and stared into my eyes. I will never forget the look on her face. She was studying me. I could almost see the gears in her brain turning, figuring me out. Judging me by my face. The way white Americans have judged her. I held her gaze. She seemed so innocent, sitting there in her seat, evaluating my eyes. They all seemed innocent. They all were innocent. Every one of them. I continued my walk along the train. “Yes, Sir” the girl whispered. I did not turn back. But I heard her. I heard. ”







PRESENTATION:

I chose number 77 on that great big list of ideas Maggie so generously gave us. The idea was “retell a part of the story from a different point of view”. The reason I picked this idea was because there were many scenes in the book that were illustrated from a specific point of view when there are always two (and often more) points of views too take into account. I wanted to choose a scene where there were people whose lives were so different and who played extremely opposite roles in that time period so the points of views would be either startlingly different, or maybe more similar than suspected. I decided to pick a scene involving military personnel and a Japanese-American. The most powerful of these scenes (for me) was the train ride. This scene involved a soldier and his confrontation with the girl. The soldier seemed like he was regretting something. At least the way the girl described him. It seemed as if there was something he was going to say, but then changed his mind. In my opinion, the first part of this video illustrates what was going through his mind at the time. What he wanted to say, but didn’t have the courage to.

In our culture, in order for a story to be satisfying to us, there has to be the quintessential “bad guy”, and this “bad guy” has to be defeated. Even if the story is true. If this does not happen in a story, we walk away feeling deflated and ripped off. “That was good, but the ending was terrible.” we say. “I kept waiting for the guy to come back to life and defeat the evil tyrant! And he was supposed to get the girl!! What about her?” But what if that bad guy isn’t bad? In World War II, the government did terrible things to Japanese Americans, absolutely!! But can a group of humans that large all have the same opinion, and all be greedy, power-seeking morons??? I would hope that there would be at least someone with a little humanity! Didn’t someone feel like they were doing the wrong thing?

Taking this optimistic point of view, I wanted the soldier to feel bad. I needed him to feel bad! In order for our country’s actions to be justified in my mind, I needed him to feel guilt. Of course this video justifies nothing, but it makes me wonder...how many of the bad guy are really bad?


October 9, 2011

The Warlock By Michael Scott





The Warlock





The fifth installment in this action packed and page turning series was astounding!! Michael Scott made my mind ache! A group of immortals that includes Dr. John Dee, Billy the Kid and Niccolo Machiavelli are on the island known as Alcatraz, and they are preparing to lose thousands of hideous and carnivorous monsters (that have been cooped up in its cells for millennium) onto the city of San Francisco so the city will crumble, their Elder masters will come to "save the day" and they will be worshipped by humans for eternity.

Meanwhile in the city, Sophie Newman desperately wishes that her twin brother, Josh, chose to side with her and the Flamels. No matter what has happened in her life, she could always rely on her twin brother. They had trusted each other. Now Josh has chosen a side. A different side than she. Who can Sophie really trust? Will she ever get her brother back?

Scathatch, Joan of Arc, Palamedes, Saint Germain, and Will Shakespeare are all trapped on the ancient and past Shadowrealm of Danu Talis, known in our world as Atlantis. This magnificent island has not sunk yet, but in order for these character's lives to be what they are in the present, it will have to be destroyed. This task is becoming increasingly difficult for the travelers as more enemies pile on, friends and relatives from the past offer help (not knowing that their niece is the one seeking aid), and there is no way they can connect with their allies in the future.

This is not the last book in the Nicholas Flamel series and I believe that all the unanswered questions that have formed in this book will be answered in the next. A nail biter and page turner, this book will have you glued to the text like never before.

October 2, 2011

Jonathan Livingston Seagull By Richard Bach


Jonathan Livingston Seagull









First of all, my mom has been bugging me to read this book for years, and I finally have. Jonathan Livingston Seagull always wanted to know more. He didn't care about food, or fighting, or standing around on beaches. He cared about flying. He flew night and day. While other seagulls fought for soggy bread scraps, he was teaching himself how to dive into the water and catch fish that resided ten feet under. He taught himself how to fly using as little energy as possible and how to dive from extremely high altitudes and pull out successfully. When Jon proudly displayed his talents to the Flock, he was met with scorn and disbelief and was labeled Outcast. For the rest of his life, he learned alone. He learned as much possible about flight and to what extent a seagull's body can fly.

When it was time for Jonathan to pass on, he was escorted up through the clouds and higher still by two golden gulls to Heaven. There, he was taught wonders by a gull named Sullivan. He learned that a being is always everywhere and everywhen, and a gull just has to visualize his location and they will be there. While in heaven, though Jonathan was constantly learning, he loved his Flock on Earth, and wished he could return to teach them what he knew.

Jonathan returned to Earth, and found that a few young birds shared his dream of being forever in flight. He gathered them into a group and tried to teach them what he knew. Little by little, the birds learned the truth about their existence. As Jonathan Seagull taught, birds learned. As birds learned, more and more were eager to know. Gradually, all the seagulls in the Flock came to catch him teach every day. After a while, Jonathan had to return to Heaven. His best student, Fletcher, was given the task of carrying on Jonathan's mission. A mission to encourage seagulls to strive for the unknown and embrace knowledge with happiness and a never ending yearning to learn more.

In this book, Jonathan was ostracized for thinking differently than his fellow seagulls. While in Heaven, Jonathan lived with gulls that shared his passion. When he returned to Earth, he was able to share his knowledge and enlighten the very gulls who had mistreated him before. This goes to show that everyone can learn from people who think differently than they do. If people don't agree, it doesn't mean that they are wrong. Listen to others. We can learn so much.