Thursday, March 24, 2011

To Save A Life

To Save A Life, The extremely touching story about the pressures in real life and high school. Meet Jake Taylor, the typical popular high school jock. The star player on the basketball team. The guy with the prettiest girlfriend in the school, and the one that never misses an invite to a party.
Yes, Jake had what seemed to be the perfect life. He always had his friend by his side. This friend, Roger saved his life. One day in middle school Roger ducked in front of a car to block Jake from being hit. This left Roger with a permanent limp. Roger was always made fun of , but Jake was always thankful.
When Jake got invited to a big party he left Roger in the dust.
When Jake and Roger got into highschool, Roger was completely ignored and made fun of. One day when he couldn't take any more abuse, he took his own life. In front of everyone, at the highschool. Jake took this personally. Roger saved his life, and Jake couldn't even be a good enough friend to give Roger a reason to keep his. Jake wanted to change his life. He was not sure how to do so. He started at church and at the local youth group. Trying to make his peers get along and see eachother equally. Jake learned from his friend Roger how important life is. He really wants to change and potentially save lives. Even if it makes him lose a college scholarship, his beautiful girlfriend, or his future child. How much will he give up to save a life?
1. Why do you think that Jake and Roger stopped communicating?
2. What would you give up to help a friend in need?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

John Tyree is 23 and is a Special Forces Army Sergeant. He is returning home to Wilmington, North Carolina for a two week leave. John is on the beach when he comes across a young lady, Savannah Curtis. She has dropped her bag into the ocean and John dives in and gets it for her. For John, it is practically love at first sight. Savannah is a college student and during her summer is helping build houses with Habitat for Humanity in North Carolina. That night, Savannah takes John to a bonfire where he meets Tim Wheddon. He is an older man, his son is close with Savannah. His son is very young and has a mental problem. Soon enough, John and Savannah become really good friends and after that, they fall in love. It only takes two weeks for them to fall in love with eachother. Unfortunately, John's leave is up and Savannah has to return to UNC, her college. Before John leaves, Savannah suggests that John's father might be autistic. They get into a fight but make up before leaving eachother. As John is gone, Savannah and him right to eachother as much as they can. Savannah promises her love to John while he is away. Unfortunately September 11, 2001 happens. John feels that it is his duty to reenlist in the army and fight for his country. Savannah is upset because she feels like she can no longer wait for John. She sends him a note while he is away. She ends things with him and says she has met someone. John does not know what to do, he is so upset and burns all of her letters. John gets shot while fighting and has to return home. His father falls ill and sadly dies. John really has nobody anymore. He decides to go and see Savannah. She is married to Tim Wheddon, he has cancer and really needed Savannah to help take care of his son. Tim is dying and tells John that she still loves him and she has never looked at Tim the way shes looked at John. You'll have to read the rest to find out what else happens.

1. If your loved one was going away to the army, would you end the relationship or hope for the best?
2. Do you think it was shallow of Savannah to break up with John, even after she promised her devotion and love to him?
3. If you were John, would you have reenlisted in the army. Remember he made a promise to marry Savannah, so would you leave and be with your loved one or fight for your country?

The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks

The notebook by Nicholas Sparks is an outstanding love story. The story begins in a nursing home, where an elderly man reads to a women with Alzheimer's every morning. The man reading these stories is Noah Callohan. He is telling these stories in hope to trigger the women's memory of their love and life together, Allie Hamilton. The novel is then told in flashbacks starting in 1946. This part of the novel focuses on Noah buying a real fixer- upper of a dream house. This home is a symbol of where Noah and Allie's love blossomed. Noah came from a family of very little money and never had a prestigious job. He was able to get the money to buy this home from serving in the Vietnam War. The story now flashes back even further to the summer that Allie and Noah first met. It was the summer of 1935 and these two teenagers became inseparable, they were truly in love. Unfortunately, when the summer ended so did their relationship. It was hard for them to keep in touch when Allie moved back home and her family was not fond of Noah's class. The story now goes forward to 1946 and Allie is engaged to an extremely successful man. While planning her wedding she sees an article in a newspaper of Noah standing next to the house they spent time in as teenagers. Allie decides that she has to to go and see Noah. During her visit she realizes how madly in love they still are. The rest of the story focuses on Allies struggle whether to follow her heart or follow the path her family has made for her.
1) If you were Noah would you spend most of your day trying to trigger Allie's memory or just go on living your life?
2) If you were Allie would you listen to your family and marry a man they approve of or would you end the engagement and be with Noah?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Burned by Ellen Hopkins

This book is about a girl name Pattyn von Stratten who is raised in a devout mormon family. Her father is abusive and, at one time, had more than one wife. She has several brothers and sisters and because she is the oldest she usually ends up taking care of them while her mother is in bed all day. When she starts acting out by hanging out with guys and starting to do bad in school her dad sends her out to her aunts house. While she is there she meets Ethan. She falls in love with him and when it is time to go he drives her back. When she gets home she realizes that she is pregnant with Ethan's child. She tells him and tells her family about what happened and runs away. When Ethan picks her up she tells him to drive and they decide to go to California. Because the police are following them Ethan starts to speed up and looses control around a curve and they get in an accident. Both Ethan and Pattyn's baby die, her father disowns her, and she is faced with the decision to move on or shoot everyone who ever caused her pain. When she goes back home she tells her father that if he would just say that he loved her that she would spare him but he will not say it.

If you were Pattyn and you knew that your father was abusing your mother and yourself, would you tell someone or keep it to yourself like Pattyn's father tells her too?
What would you do after you found out that your father disowned you and both the love of your life and your child died? Would you do the same thing as Pattyn?

! Ranger's Apprentice : The Ruins of Gorlan !

The Ruins of Gorlan is the first book in John Flanagan's series of the Ranger's Apprentice. The novel follows a group of orphans and the paths they have taken during the middle ages. The protagonist, Will, always had his heart set on being a brave warrior, as he believed his father to be, but to his surprise and initial discontent, is chosen to be the apprentice of the ranger Halt. Not much is known about the rangers, but it is speculated that they practice dark magic because of their always elusive behavior.
Will's training as a ranger begins with tedious tasks such as housework, but eventually escalates to stealth and weapons training. Will's training was first put to the test when he and his hunting party were confronted by two large boar. He shot an arrow at the larger of the two, effectively distracted it and saving his friend, Horace, whom at the time he was feuding with.
The climax of the novel is when Lord Morgarath, an evil man bent on conquering the kingdom, attempts to advance with his dreaded Kalkaras, massive beasts immune to most weapons. Will plays a vital role in killing one of the beasts by shooting an arrow through its eye. Later, at a celebration the Baron announces that Will would be allowed to become a warrior's apprentice as he had originally wanted to do. But because of all he had learned under Halt, he declines and decides to stay a ranger. Halt then tells the story about how Will's father bravely saved Halt in a battle, sacrificing his life.

1. If you had the chance to do something that had always been your dream, but in return you had to give up something you loved now, would you do it?
2. Will found out that his father was not actually a traditional warrior, but he was still proud. Would you be proud if you found out your father was not some one who you thought he was?