Friday, May 27, 2011

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter was orphaned at a young age when both of his parents died in a tragic car accident. He was forced to live with his atrocious aunt and uncle, leading a miserable life, outshined by his cousin Dudley. One day after mysterious letters begin coming, a giant comes to tell Harry that he is a wizard, just like his parents. To begin his wizard education, Harry goes to a magical school called Hogwarts where he meets his two best friends. Harry soon learns that he is famous in the wizard world for his scar that was left after his parents sacrificed their lives for him. Harry soon has to stop evil at Hogwarts when he discovers a powerful artifact called the sorcerers stone is about to be stolen by the man who killed his parents, Lord Voldemort. In the end Harry defeats Voldemort thwarting his plans.....for now.
1.If you discovered that you had been lied to your entire life, how would you feel and what would you do?
2. If you found out that you could be a wizard, would you? Keep in mind you would have to leave the normal world behind.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear John, Nicholas Sparks

Dear John is a love story by Nicholas Sparks. The main character is John Tyree, a twenty-three year old male, who is in the special forces. When John comes home to Wilmington, North Carolina he unexpectedly falls in love with a beautiful young lady named Savannah. Unfortunately, at the end of the two weeks they are forced to part and John needs to return to the service and it is time for Savannah to attend college. John's father helped her choose her field of study; she noticed that he suffers a mental disability and wanted to be able to help people like him. John and Savannah promised each other that they would write as often as they can and never stop. They stay together for John's entire term and Savannah is very excited for them to start their lives together. Little does she know that John has reenlisted due to the attack of September 11. Savannah sends John one final letter, this is one that he is not excited to receive. She tells him plainly that she has found another man and is engaged. She gives no reason or explanation to who the man may be. When John returns home for his fathers funeral he finds out who Savannah is married to and finally gets an explanation to why. The man is a shock for John; he is an older man named Tim. He has always seemed as more of an older brother to Savannah then a possible romance. When John meets with Savannah she informs him that Tim has cancer and he needed someone to raise his son. Savannah says how she never wanted to leave John and it was the hardest thing she has ever done. John and Savannah both end up living fulfilling lives but whether it is together or not you will have to read to find out.

1) If you were Savannah would you leave John to help Tim?
2) Would you wait for a loved one who is in the military knowing that you may never see them again or try to find a more stable relationship?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

In this instillation of the Harry Potter series Harry finds him self back at his Aunt's home stuck with his Uncle's fat and rude sister. Harry leaves after causing her to inflate and takes a night bus to Diagon alley only after escaping a large black dog. At Hogwarts Harry learns that a notorious man named Sirius Black who turns out to be Harry's dad's friend. Black and Proffesor Lupin discover that Ron's pet rat is really Peter Pettigrew the man that killed Harry's Parents. After defeating Pettigrew Lupin sees the full moon and turns into a werewolf, and Black turns into a dog to defend Harry, Ron, and Hermoine. The book ends with Harry time traveling backwards to save himself and Black. On his way back to his Uncle's house for the summer he receives a letter from Black explaining that he gave Harry a quiditch broom and Ron's Owl.

Would you trust Black?

What do you think of Harry's parent's murderers living with them as a rat?

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt

The Tillerman children; Dicey, James, Maybeth, Sammy, are forced on a trek to find there Great-aunt Cilla. The Tillerman's mother took the children on a car ride to visit their great-aunt but half way through the journey there mother put the oldest Dicey in charge while she went to go run an errand. The Tillermans mother never returned. Dicey takes charge and the next day she leads the other children to find there Great-aunt Cilla on foot. The children have to live on there own, finding the cheapiest food they could get, looking for money and empty houses or anywhere to sleep. After walking through a park, meeting a runaway couple, Sammy decides to steal money and food so they must run from cops now. The kids reach the Conneticut River but they continue to run out of money so dicey has to do odd jobs to earn enough money to feed them all. On there journey they befriend two college students Stewart and Windy. They spend the night with them and Stewart takes them to there Great-aunt's the next day. There Great-aunt Cilla they find is dead and there cousin Eunice takes them in. She takes care of them and sends them to a catholic school but the kids seem to be growing apart and when Sammy is believed to be mental retarded it is the last straw for Dicey and while Eunice is considering adaopting them but sending Sammy away they leave on the hunt for there Grandma Tillerman. All the while they find out there mpother was put in a mental hospital in Boston. The kids have many adventures finding there grandma. They take buses and boats, they befriend many new characters too who protect them and they stay with a circus. They meet a man names Will who looks over them and takes them to their grandmas but he leaves them there for Dicey says they must face it alone. They find there old, mean grandma in a run down farm with a boat in the barn and she refuses to let them stay for good just for the night.Later while grandma is writing a letter to Eurnice she explains to Dicey that she really does want to keep them but she has no money, she likes the freedom she has and she doesnt want to mess them up like the mistakes she made on her own kids that drove them to run away. THe nest couple days though their grandmother seems to have forgotten and takes thme in letting them stay.

1. If your mother left you alone with your three younger siblings in a car in the middle of no where, would you do what Dicey does, would you stay in the car or would you go looking for your mother?

2. If one of your siblings were going to be sent away for mental redardation, which you dont belive she has, owuld you let it happen and seperate your family or would you run away like Dicey?

Being by Kevin Brooks

"Being" by Kevin Brooks is a story about a young boy named Robert Smith. Robert does not know his birth parents, and has been jumping from foster home to foster home his whole life. However, when he goes to the doctor for a routine examination for a stomach ulcer, things get crazy. During the procedure, he wakes up from the anesthesia. He is unable to move or speak, but he can feel pain, see, and hear everything around him. There were numerous doctors in the room and large men with pistols. They were looking into Robert's stomach with disbelief. They talked about how they have never seen such a thing before, and wondered what he was.

Once Robert finally has control of his body, he freaks out. Unaware of what they saw or who they are, he takes a gun and flees. He is not sure what is wrong with him. Throughout the book, there are stolen cars, kidnaps, and even murders as Robert flees from doctors and members of a "secret society."

1. If you were in Robert's position, would you run away from the doctors, or would you trust them to figure out who and what you were?

2. Robert never had anyone in his life who really cared for him or listened to him. How would you cope with having no one?

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code begins with the death of the Louvre curator, murdered by a man in search of key to the location of the Holy Grail. When the curator's body is found in the pose of the Vitruvian Man, the police call for a professor named Robert Langdon. In describing Langdon, the narrator states, "As someone who had spent his life exploring the hidden interconnectivity of disparate emblems and ideologies, Langdon viewed the world as a web of profoundly intertwined histories and events" (15). However, Langdon is not present to analyze the codes, but because the curator wrote on the museum floor to "find Robert Langdon" in his dying moments.
Sophie Neveu, a cryptographer, appears at the murder scene as well, and she secretly tells Langdon that he is a suspect. She explains that she is the granddaughter of the curator, and she knows that her grandfather meant for Langdon to decipher the code, not that he was the murderer. The two escape the police with the discovery that the keystone is in a safety deposit box. There they find a hand-held vault, locked by a combination and equipped with a vial of vinegar which will dissolve the message if the container is forced open.
Langdon and Neveu visit Langdon's friend, Sir Leigh Teabing, an expert in the Holy Grail. Teabing tells them the legend of the Holy Grail, and his belief that it is the tomb of Jesus Christ's wife rather than a cup. The three of them flee the country in Teabing's plane, in which they discover the combination to open the vault. Inside is another, along with a riddle which leads the group to Westminster Abbey. There, the identity of the man for which the curator's murderer works, the Teacher, is revealed. At gunpoint, Langdon destroys the contents of the vault in front of the Teacher, after secretly removing the message. The police arrive and the Teacher is arrested, and Sophie and Langdon are free to follow the final clues to the guardians of the Holy Grail.

At his home, Teabing tells Sophie and Langdon what he believes the Holy Grail to be, a twist to the common belief. Teabing explains the possibility in saying, "History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books- books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe" (256).
Do you agree with this statement?
How does that change what we should believe?

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Landon Carter is very popular at his school. He and some of his friends decide to pull a prank on a kid at school which puts the kid in the hospital and paralyzed him. He was punished by having to do community service and perform in the school play. He met Jamie Sullivan and asked her to help him with learning his lines for the play. They spent a lot of time together and eventually started to have feelings for each other. Jamie had a secret that she knew she had to tell Landon. She told him that she had cancer and the medicine didn't work anymore. Landon was crushed and didn't know what to do but he started spending all his time with Jamie. Eventually he asked her to marry him so they could spend the rest of their time together and that was what she really wanted. Later on she died and Landon went to medical school because Jamie wanted him to be successful in life. He still went to see Jamie's father to talk and stay in contact.

1. If you were in love and you knew the person you were in love with was dying, would you marry them even though you know they don't have much time left and know that's what they wanted?

2. Do you think it is possible for someone to change so quickly like Landon did? He went from being someone that didn't care what they did to other people to someone that loved one person and would do anything for them.