Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Romanticism Project

Sorry, Ms. Frank, this is not a book post and it isn't my week to post either. I want to see if anyone has Dan Owen's phone number, email address, or any other way of contacting him as he was not here on Monday or Tuesday when we worked on projects. My group needs his work so we can finalize our project for presentation on Monday. If anyone has his email or phone number, can you please leave it in the comments? And again, sorry Ms. Frank, but I have no other way to get his information.

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles is told in two separate points of view: Kiara and Carlos. Kiara, a senior at Flatiron High, has had a nervous stutter her entire life, and it is in her senior year she is determined to become less shy and overcome her stutter. Carlos, a transfer to Flatiron from Mexico, wants nothing less than to have to attend school. With gang affiliations in both Mexico and Flatiron, he just wants to carry on a family tradition that was broken by his older brother Alex, when Alex decided to leave the gang life behind and pursue his girlfriend and his dreams of going to college.

Carlos is perfectly fine finding his own way, and only finds his path impeded by his student aid, Kiara. She was asked to help him around his first week of school and in that first week, they form a friendship that is more than slightly dysfunctional. In trying to shake the attention of one of the most popular girls at school, who has friends who may be part of a gang rival to Carlos' he asks Kiara to become his fake girlfriend. After major internal battling, she agrees, only to find herself falling in love.

Carlos does not believe he can ever fall in love. Being stalked by, and then unwittingly jumped into, a new, more powerful gang, means dating Kiara would be putting her and her family, whom he had come to live with after being falsely accused of possessing drugs, in danger. But he did not want to stay away from her.

1.) Carlos and Kiara try to battle the odds by being a couple...her the quiet, unsocial introvert and him the gang-related bad boy. Realistically, would there relationship be able to survive? Explain.

2.) Kiara's best friend, Tuck, has never liked a boy she dated, until Carlos. Carlos is mean to Tuck, but by trying to protect Kiara, they form an unlikely friendship. Should Tuck have held a grudge against Carlos for all the times Carlos had been mean to both him and Kiara, or should he be as forgiving as Kiara, if for nothing else than for her? Explain.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Host by Stephanie Meyer

Melanie Stryder refuses to to fade away. Planet Earth has been invaded by an unseen enemy and humans have become hosts for these unseen creatures. These "souls" come from a distant place and inhabit the bodies of creatures of different planets; the hosts' mind is taken over, but their bodies are still intact and they continue to live their lives apparently unchanged. These "souls" live lives of peace; never fighting, never stealing, never lying. It is unnecessary to take protective measures on Earth while the "souls" inhabit it because of their way of peace. Most of the human race has been taken into this new life style. However there are still a few survivors who are in hiding that have refused to succumb to the "souls". One girl, named Melanie was one of the remaining humans not occupied by an invader. However, while on the run with her brother Jamie, and a man she fell in love with, Jared, to find the safe haven her uncle left behind for her, she is captured. The "soul' that now occupies her her body is called Wanderer. Wanderer is warned of the dangers of living in a human body; the strong emotions and vivid memories could be over whelming. The first few days of Wanderer's existence in Melanie's body goes by without trouble, but soon enough Melanie begins to fight back. Wanderer is at times herself, but at others, Melanie grabs hold of her own conscience and tries to order her body the way she used to. The event of a human being strong enough to fight back is very rare, but Wanderer refuses to give in to Melanie. She hears Melanie's thoughts and often talks to her. Because she is able to see how Melanie feels, she begins to break away from the peaceful life of the souls and tries to find the remaining humans. Also by listening to Melanie's thoughts, Wanderer begins to fall in love with Jared and develops a sisterly love towards Jamie. The two are forcibly allied and as one they make their way to the remaining humans. At first Wanderer is locked up and treated with great caution but eventually proves herself. Both Jared and Jamie had already found their way to this safe haven and at the sight of Melanie, pain is great in them. Jamie learns to trust Wanderer and makes a bond with her, and is able to feel Melanie sometimes, while Jared does not trust Wanderer but at times when Melanie is strongest he can feel her presence and learns to endure Wanderer. While at the safe haven Wanderer comes to make new friends. A man named Ian also begins to fall in love with Wanderer. It is hard for both Melanie who has to be with Ian because of Wanderer, and is hard for Jared because he sees Melanie's body with Ian. In due coarse however, Wanderer attains a body for her own and Melanie is given back her own body. Both Melanie and Wanderer are given a life to live where one is not at the mercy of another.

1. Melanie fights through Wanderer to sometimes gain conscience of her own body. She is strongest when she thinks of Jared and her brother Jamie. Do you think this is because of the strength of her love for these two men, her unwillingness to be taken, or both? Do you think that this shows love is one of the strongest emotions of a human being?

2. Throughout the novel, it is shown that souls lack the intensity of emotions that humans feel. It is also shown that they have a very peaceful way of life. Do you think this shows that human emotions contribute to many of the crimes that occur in the real world?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

This book, Prince Caspian, is the fourth book in The Chronicles of Narnia. In this book, Peter Edmund, Susan and Lucy all are on their way back to boarding school when they get transported to an unknown ruin. After exploring the ruin, the believe it to be a part of Narnia, a land in which they went to the year previously. They question whether it is actually Narnia because it has turned to a ruin, but they realize that time runs differently in this world. While sitting by a fire, they see two guards trying to drown a dwarf, and Susan uses he bow and saves the dwarf. The dwarf then joins their party. The dwarf then explains this is Narnia and they have been called upon by the horn. Peter and Edmund were kings and Susan and Lucy were queens of Narnia thousands of years ago and the horn was given to Susan in case she needed help. When the horn was blown they were transported here. The horn was blown because since their time, Telmarines took over Narnia and the true Narnians, also known as the "Talking Beasts" were fighting back. The leader of the Telmarines son, Caspian, disagreed with his fathers ideals and fled in order to escape his death. He later discovers the talking beasts and decides to befriend them. They consider Caspian their king and are in a war with the Telmarines. In dire conditions, the horn was blown and the kings and queens come. The dwarf tells them and they are here to help the cause. They get lost along the way and eventually reach their base. They are struggling but High King Peter challenges the Telmarine leader to a one-on-one match to end the fighting.

If your father and you did not see eye to eye and disagreed on beliefs, would you leave without knowing what is beyond the castle walls or would you stay in a place that you are familiar with and accept that you do not agree?

In the situation of the High King Peter, would you try to end the battle quickly like he tries even though he will lose his life if he loses or would you try to use strategy to overcome your opponent even though your chances are slim?