Sunday, November 15, 2009

Too Many Hate Crimes? Not Anymore!!

The vicious acts that are carried out on people because they are different are wrong. No one person is the same as another, our individuality is what makes this world so great. So why are people being beaten, burned, and even murdered for being different? It is all because of the bias feelings that people harbour inside themselves. They feel that certain people, the ones who live their lives the "right" way and are the same as themselves, deserve to live, and the other people in the world, the majority of all people, do not.

A way has finally come to put a stop to all the hate crimes being committed by the world's ravenous inhabitants! The Matthew Shepard and James Boyd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed by President Obama in the hopes of stopping, or at least trying to prevent, all of the terrible hate crimes. According to Kathi Wolfe's article Obama deserves praise for signing hate crimes law from The Progressive, the act protects people from hate crimes based on bias feelings about disability, gender, and sexuality. The act also allows the Justice Department to assist in prosecution of hate crimes.

Not all people are for the act though. They feel that the act inhibits their freedom of speech, and that they can be prosecuted for what they say. The act does not inhibit a person's freedom of speech, even though it should in this case. A person can still say whatever he/she wants no matter how crude or how wrong his/ her words may be. Sad as it may seem, the act only protects against violent acts, such as murder or beating someone, based on bias.

This act may take time to sink in on some of the predators out there in the U. S., but it should eventually start to scare them from doing anything they might regret. The government is finally buckling down on the offenders as they should have done years ago. If nothing else, this hate crime prevention act will at least make the pray of the offenders feel safer while walking down the street.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

President Obama Deserving of Nobel Peace Prize?

"Congratulations! You really deserve this prize!" These are a couple responses that President Obama probably heard when he was excepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. But did Obama truly deserve such an amazing honor? No. He was awarded the prize for what he said he might do. How does anyone know he will actually do what he says? President Bush wanted to make the world more peaceful, but he wound up making the fighting worse. Who says that President Obama won't do the same?

Our new president was nominated for the Nobel Prize after a mere four weeks in office. After only four weeks in office, President Obama's goals as president weren't even clear to himself much less anyone else. He was still new in office, and like a bully in a new school he didn't know who to pick on yet. How could he have won over anyone with plans that were not set in stone?

Before he was even elected as president, Obama said that he wanted to end the ongoing war overseas. All he has done so far is make the war worse. He hasn't pulled the American troops out of Iraq or Afghanistan like he said he would; actually, he has actually escalated the number of troops. President Obama says he wants to send even more troops overseas. How does he think he is going to bring peace by sending more men and women away from their families? As far as doing anything to bring about peace, and deserve the peace prize, President Obama hasn't done a thing.

For many years the people who have won the Nobel Peace Prize have strived their whole lives to make the world a more peaceful place to live. They are the ones who have actually helped people out, face to face, and maybe even been the ones needing help from time to time. Those people have fought their whole lives against abuse, war, hatred, hunger.

So why did President Obama truly get nominated for the Peace Prize? Maybe he received the award as motivation, so he wouldn't destroy the country. Maybe someone thought the honor might actually make our president follow through with what he says he will do.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sentence a Day

His Sentence

There is very little shelter here, almost no food, no clothes, no clean water.

From The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The author used and asydeton and an anaphora to describe the rundown orphanage in Afghanistan.

My Sentence

There is very little people here, almost no kids, no adults, no elderly people.

Sentence a Day

His Sentence

Such grace, such dignity, such a tragedy.

From The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The author used an anaphora to describe the town.

My Sentence

Such love, such devotion, such a disappointment.

Sentence a Day

Her Sentence

All the great themes of literature and of life are the fabric of this extraordinary novel: love, honor, guilt, fear, redemption.

By Isabel Allende. Her review of The Kite Runner. The author used and asyndeton to describe what the book contains.

My Sentence

All the terrible emotions of life and of heart are the basis of his distasteful attitude: hatred, anger, racism, dishonesty, spite.

Sentence a Day

His Sentence

The sun hadn't quite set when we drove into Jalalabad, capital of the state of Nangarhar, a city once renowned for its fruit and warm climate.

FromThe Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The author used an appositive to describe which city in Jalalabad he was talking about, and to describe the city.

My Sentence

The rain wasn't completely done when we walked into Wal-Mart, store of the town of Batesville, a town know known for its comfort and dry climate.

Sentence a Day

Their sentence

In the diagrams in this modified table, electrons are shown as blue dots and electron shells (representing energy levels) as concentric rings.

From the AP Edition Biology book: Seventh Edition by Campbell Reece. The author uses an interruption in the form of parenthesis to show what the electron shells are representing.

My Sentence

In the book in this tiny room, people are shown as big bargainers and savers (describing economic downfall) of excessive money.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sentence a Day

Their Sentence

"I spend as much time with my kids as i can," says Chris (in New Youk City with son Mario).

From People Magazine. The other uses an interruption in the form of parenthesis to provide the information about where Chris is at and who he is with.

My Sentence

"Jake spent as much money of his mom's as he could," said Nick (in Wal-Mart with brother Sam).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sentence a Day

His Sentence

A powerfull frills, no nonsense, just hard, spare intimate account of family and friendship, betrayal and salvation that requires no atlas or translation to engage and enlighten us.

From The Washington Post Book World's description of The Kite Runner. The author uses ellipsis to help explain about the novel by leaving out things that may not be so important, and to elaborate on the rest of his explanation.

My Sentence

A strong hurt, no weakness, just strong, heafty intimidating amount of muscle and strength, weakness and power that frightens no child or adult to run or scream his name.

Sentence a Day

His Sentence

On the south end of the garden, in the shadows of a loquat tree, was the servants' home, a modest little mud hut where Hassan lived with his father.

From The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The author used a periodic sentence to describe where Hassan and his father lived.

My Sentence

On the east end of the town, in the darkness of rundown building, was the monsters' hideout, a frightening big concrete building where Jack-o-Lantern lived with his family.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sentence a Day

Her Sentence

It rested on the tousled quilts on two large beds at the end of the room, on the great spinning wheel and the small on the home-made loom in the corner.

From Indian Captive by Lois Lenski. The author uses the repetition of prepositions and an asyndeton to describe how the morning sun falls upon the furniture within the house.

My Sentence

Kate sat on the wrinkled rags on three small rocks at the edge of the sidewalk, on the amazing traveled road and the highway on the man-made interstate in the town.

Sentence a Day

Her Sentence

They're a headen down Conewago Creek toward Sarp's Run, a-killin', a-butcherin' and a-plunderin' as they come.

From Indian Captive by Lois Lenski. The author uses parallelism to describe what the indians do as they raid the Englishmens homes and towns.

My Sentence

We're a goin up White River toward Batesville, a-paddlin', a-swimmin' and a-talkin' as we go.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sentence a day

Her Sentence

She saw her long, thin arms waving to keep the blackbirds off--the fight had begun.

From Indian Captive by Lois Lenski.

The author uses dashes to show what is happening with the girl as she is waving the blackbirds away.

My Sentence

Jess saw his tiny, young sister gasping to keep the air in--the attack had begun.

Sentence a day

Her Sentence

Corn! Corn and work.

From Indian Captive by Lois Lenski.

The author uses a rhetorical fragment to emphasize how important the corn is.

My Sentence

Love! Love and Hate.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Whole New Mind...MInd in the Eyes Test

After reading A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink I was asked to do one of the tasks he lists in his book. I chose to do one of the suggested tasks stated under the portfolio for Empathy.

Pink states that "Empathy is the ability to imagine yourself in someone else's position and to intuit what that person is feeling. It is the ability to stand in others' shoes, to see with their eyes, and to feel with their hearts." Pink states in his book that research shows women to be better at reading people's facial expressions and detecting when people are lying.

After reading about empathy, I decided to take the Mind in the Eyes Test. The test showed me pictures of eyes and nothing else. I had to decide from the eyes how that person was feeling. I did not do very good;I scored below average.

The test had 36 questions total, and I scored 19 correct. The test said that, on average, people scored between 22 and 30 questions correct. A score above 30 on the test is very good. The test says that the people who score above 30 are very accurate in decoding facial expressions through the eyes. A score below 22 indicates that the person taking the quiz finds reading facial expressions through the eyes very difficult.

I did not do very good on the Mind in the Eyes Test, but that does not mean you would not. I have never really considered myself to be good at deciphering feelings through the eyes anyway. To take the test you can visit

Below is a picture that I actually got correct. The correct answer is marked.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Great Gatsby Book Review....A Classic

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is an interesting novel. I did not enjoy reading the book very much, but it was not too bad.

The Great Gatsby is not the easiest read ever. I had some trouble trying to distinguish what was happening at given times. The story is kind of hard to follow along with. It goes from one place and time to another with just the changing of a paragraph.

The story is told through the eyes of Nick Caraway. He explains what is going on and how he feels about what is going on. Nick's character acts just like people from the real world. He stands up for his friends when he knows they did nothing wrong. Nick has mixed feelings about some of the characters. Sometimes he feels as if he loves them, and then at other times he can not even stand to be them.

Jay Gatsby is a well to do man. He throws huge parties that hundreds of people come to. Gatsby is a very considerate man with great manners. He is not mean to anyone and keeps his cool in times of crisis. Gatsby was not always a rich man. He grew up poor, but he knew there was something out in the world for him. He joined the army, and when his time was up he was given a job. Gatsby does not use his real name. He was born with the name Jimmy Gatz, but he changed it after his time in the army. Gatsby is in love but he does not know how to get the attention of the woman he admires.

The setting of the novel is set in the 1920s on Long Island and the surrounding areas.

Gatsby earned most of his money from organized crimes. He used the money to buy a great mansion and many expensive clothes. Gatsby was not the only one who did this though. Most of the characters with fancy homes and clothing were also ones who committed crimes. Many people wanted money and great things for themselves, and so they would do just about anything to get it. The people wanted to live in comfort with no worries of money.

The Great Gatsby was definitely not one of my top 10 favorite books. I enjoyed reading The Great Gatsby very little. Just because I did not like the novel does not mean you would not, so I encourage you to read The Great Gatsby if you truly wish to.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Of Mice and Men Book Review

John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men was an interesting read. I found the novel a bit boring, but I still enjoyed reading it.

The main characters Lennie and George travel around together working on different farms in different towns. Lennie is not as smart as most people. He cannot ever remember many things unless he repeats them over and over in his mind. Lennie is bigger than most people, and he is very strong. Lennie has the strength of over two maybe even three men. George is not as big as Lennie, nor is he as strong. Ever since Lennie's Aunt died, George has been watching over him. George is pretty smart and takes care of all of the business negotiations. Lennie likes to pet soft things, but he winds up killing all of the animals he pets.

George and Lennie wind up sleeping in a bunk house at a ranch run by a man named Curley and his dad. Curley is an evil man. He does not like people that are bigger than him, and tries to pick fights with people to show how tough he is. Curley does not like Lennie because Lennie's size intimidates him. George and Lennie pick barley each day so that they can make some money to buy a few plots of land.

The characters in Of Mice and Men seem to be very lonely. Candy works on the ranch with George and Lennie and his only companion is an old dog. Curley's wife is also lonely. Curley does not give her enough attention, so she walks around the ranch talking to the men. Crooks is also lonely. He is the only black man on the ranch, and he has no friends. He is not even allowed to stay in the same bunk houses as the white men. George and Lennie were both lonely which resulted in their companionship. The novel illustrates how people need to have friends and people to talk to so that they do not become lonely. Every person deserves to have at least one companion to talk to.

The novel Of Mice and Men is kind of boring, but I enjoyed reading it. I would recommend the novel to just about anyone, but if you get offended easily do not read the book.

Reflection of My Sophomore Year

When my sophomore year first started, I thought that it would never come to an end. Each day drug on and on without end. I had trouble in most of my classes, and to be completely honest I did not like all of my teachers.

As the year continued on, my thoughts about being a sophomore changed. I started to enjoy some of my classes and some of my teachers. The other students in my class helped make each day more enjoyable and fun. Jokes were made everyday that resulted in the sudden outburst of the whole class. The class work became easier as the year continued. Though the class work became easier the days still continued to go on and on forever.

I may not have enjoyed my classes, but I had a great job participating in all of my club activities. I helped out the Key Club with the canned food drive and the Hog Barbecue. Along with the services in Key Club I was also elected as next year's secretary for the club. I became the Sophomore Representative in the Drama club and had a blast. When the homecoming pep rally came to town, I was a part of the Earth Club's float for the parade. I also enjoyed being a member of the Beta, Christian, and Spanish Clubs.

Softball season was my favorite part of being a sophomore. I had so much fun practicing after school each day and traveling to the ball games as well. The softball team may not have won, but we played hard in every game and made it pretty far. The new freshman on the team were really amazing. Two of them made the varsity team from day one. I loved playing softball this year, and I am going to continue playing for as long as I possibly can.

The school play Oklahoma was very fun to participate in. I did not have a major role in the play, but I had so much fun learning my part and singing and dancing. The cast of Oklahoma practiced and prepared for over three months. Mr. Williams, the director, was amazing and helped us learn our parts easily.

I also attended the homecoming dance. I had so much fun going to find my dress. When I got to the dance I talked to my friends and listened to the music. I did not dance, but I still had fun.

My sophomore year was pretty good. I found that most days were boring, and that the homework and classwork was hard, but I still had fun. I enjoyed all the activities I did this year, and I would do them again in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The House on Mango Street Book Review

Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street was somewhat confusing. There was really no story line in the novel. I did not like reading The House on Mango Street. I found the book kind of boring.

An amazing thing about the novel is that Esperanza and Cisneros are both Mexican American women. They both have hardships they are battling to overcome. Cisneros and Esperanza have many qualities in common, and they show in The House on Mango Street.

The main character in the novel is Esperanza. She has lived in many different houses in her life, but she never considered any of them home. Esperanza has always dreamed of living in a beautiful house that her whole family would fit in. Instead of having her dream home though, Esperanza is stuck in a one bedroom house on Mango Street. She and her family have to share the room, and it is very crowded.

The novel does not really have a plot to it. Unlike most novels, The House on Mango Street does not tell one continuous story. Each chapter is a whole new story in itself. Esperanza tells about her name in one chapter, and in another she talks about a time when her grandfather died.

I would not recommend The House on Mango Street to anyone. I found the book uninteresting, and I did not really enjoy reading it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Giver Book Review

Living in a world with no memories of life before your time may sound awful, but the characters in The Giver do not have any problem with it. They actually enjoy not having any of the old memories. The Giver is an interesting book, and I really enjoyed reading it.

Many lessons can be learned by reading The Giver. One important lesson in The Giver is that things are not always as they seem. Jonas, the main character, learns that the life he has been living has not always been that way. He learns that color and music exists. Jonas learns that just because he thinks someone is telling him the truth does not mean he actually is. Jonas has grown up in a community were expressing feelings happens at the end of each day. He learns that some of the feelings he thought he had are actually completely different. Another lesson learned in The Giver is that memories are important. The community lives without memories of time past their own, with the exception of one. Jonas starts to receive memories from the past, and he realizes that even though some of them are bad the community needs to know them. He discovers how much knowledge can be learned through memories, and he knows all of the good that used to be.

The characters live their lives day by day performing the same routines everyday. In the mornings the family units tell of their dreams, and then they head off to work or school. After school, all of the children of a certain age do service at jobs they might enjoy. When everyone gets home at night, the family unit tells each of their feelings from the day while eating supper. The people of the community do not have very exciting lifestyles, and they have many rules that need to be followed.

The Giver was a very good book. I would recommend The Giver to anyone. The book is very interesting, and it will keep you wanting more every time you set it down.

Friday, April 24, 2009

So Much Depends Upon...

So much depends upon
The timeworn softball field,
Dusty and damaged from so much use
Enveloped in the camouflage of the woods.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Softball Is Over

The dreaded day has finally arrived; softball season is over! I really have been dreading the end of this season and hoping that it would not come to soon. The season seems to have flown by way too fast, and I wish we were still playing.

This softball season was so much better than last year. Practices and games this year were way more exciting, and way more fun. We made jokes and learned a lot of new drills. The drills we learned this year helped us improve our game and work better as a team.

We had new coaches this year too! Coach Coker and Coach McDonald are awesome coaches. They both helped teach us many new techniques that helped us play better. They made sure that everyone knew what to do, and helped anyone that needed helped. If someone wanted some extra fielding or batting practice, Coach would make sure to help them. While at practice, and before some games as well, both coaches would make jokes to make practice more enjoyable.

I am going to miss softball so much, and the seniors that are leaving this year are going to be missed as well. I have to say that even though we did not make playoffs, we had an amazing season and played our hearts out.

Animal Farm Book Review

In George Orwell's Animal Farm ten commandments become one terrible saying, " All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." Animal Farm is a good novel and I enjoyed reading it.

The characters in Animal Farm are very realistic. Even though they are animals, they act like humans. The animals plow the fields and plant the grain each season just as a human would. The animals start learning to read and write, and they build a windmill. Most of the animals are very hard workers just like humans. Other than the work, the animals also have conversations and carry out business. They talk about work and about their leader mostly. The pigs in Animal Farm are very lazy and do not work at all. They are supposed to be in control of all the business transactions and running the farm, but all they do is sit around all day and eat and sleep.

All of the animal in Animal Farm are supposed to be created equal, but they really are not. The pigs take control and work the other animals almost to death. The animals work so hard each day for only a tiny ration of food, while the pigs sit around and eat all day long. The pigs claim to need more food because they are in charge, and the extra nourishment helps them make better decisions. The only reason Animal Farm ever came into being was so the animals could live equally, but some start to think that maybe they were better off before the pigs were in charge.

I would recommend Animal Farm to anyone who likes books that have animals as the main characters. If you do not like animal books, you should probably stay away from Animal Farm.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Favorite Techie Tool

Do you have a favorite techie tool that helps you with your work? Most people enjoy how easy it is to use Microsoft office, but there are other tools out there. Calculators, cell phones, and even e-mail are very well known tools that people use on a day to day basis.

My favorite techie tool would have to be e-mail. With e-mail I can stay connected with my friends no matter where they are at. Sending letters by e-mail is much faster than by snail mail, so my friends receive my messages sooner.

Besides staying in touch with my friends, e-mail also helps if I need help with a school assignment. If I forget what my homework is, I can e-mail my teacher and they can send me the assignment. Sometimes I have trouble doing my homework, and with e-mail I can quickly contact someone that can help me.

E-mail is a very resourceful tool, and anyone with internet can use it. E-mail can be used for multiple reasons and it is very easy. For you environmentalists, e-mail also helps conserve trees.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Book Review Premonitions

Imagine seeing clips in your head about the future but not knowing when and where the actions are going to take place. In Jude Watson's Premonitions the main character Gracie sees things before they happen. Premonitions is an exciting and mysterious story that I really enjoyed reading.

When Gracie's mom died she moved in with her aunt Shay and cousin Diego. When she moved in, Gracie found a new friend named Emily. One day when it was excruciatingly hot outside, Emily wanted to go to town and get ice cream and Gracie did not want to. Gracie was being mean to Emily that day, and caused her to leave. That night, Shay received a call from Emily's mom who told her that Emily was missing. Shay awoke Gracie and they went over to Emily's house so that they could talk with her mom. A few days later, Gracie started getting weird visions of Emily but she did not know what they meant. Gracie spent everyday trying to find Emily and trying to see visions of her. Gracie had many suspects in her head about who she thought had kidnapped Emily, and almost all of them were wrong. Gracie does find Emily, but gets herself into trouble in the process.

Premonitions teaches that all people should be careful what they say to their friends. Just because you are mad about something does not mean you should push your anger onto someone else. The person you are talking to may take you too literally and may take what you are saying personally even if you really do not mean what you are saying. Gracie upset Emily so bad that Emily had to find somewhere she thought she would be loved. Gracie did love Emily; she was just taking out all of her anger on Emily. So be careful what you say and who you say it to, or you might find yourself in a bit of trouble.

I would recommend Premonitions to anyone who likes reading suspenseful books. I would recommend the book to both boy and girls.

2 books

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Book Review The Missing Book 1 Found

Imagine being an important person in history and not knowing about it because you were stolen by time travelers. Well, in book one of The Missing thirty-five children experience this exact fate. The Missing's first book Found is an exciting book, and I really enjoyed reading it.

Unknowingly thirty-five children are living in the wrong century. They live a normal life everyday, and they are all thirteen years old. The children have families and friends who love them, and they do not know they are not from the decade they are living in. One day two of the children start receiving mysterious letters with no return address. When they find out other kids have been receiving the same letters, the two friends become frightened. They meet up with a woman named Angela who explains to them some of the weird things that are going on. While talking with Angela, the friends are witnesses to a drastic event that almost cost them their lives. When the kids finally figure out everything that is going on, it is too late. All of the thirty-five kids, with the exception of one, were led into what could be their doom.

An important theme in Found is leadership. When the letters first begin to arrive, one boy named Chip takes control to find out what is going on. He did not know that he was adopted, and know that he does, he wants to find his real birth parents and know what is happening with the anonymous letters. He calls a list of names to see if any other kids have received the letters too. He also asks them if they were adopted and if they know anything about the letters. Chip conquered a lot of obstacles to get were he was going, and he used his leadership abilities to do it. Later on in the book, Jonah, Chips friend, takes control of a somewhat hostile situation. Jonah demands to know why the future people want to take them away, and he gets his wish fulfilled. He ties up all the adults so that the other kids could talk with them and question them. Jonah used his leadership abilities to save the lives of thirty-five children.

Mysterious people from the future, oblivious children from the future, and time travel make for an exciting book that is very hard to set aside. I would recommend Found to anyone who has read the Shadow Children series, and even if you have not, Found is still a very good book.

2 books

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring Break

Last week was spring break for the Batesville School District, and that means no school. My spring break was pretty boring but it was not bad.

The thrill of my spring break was staying over at my friend Stacy's house. While I was there, we played the Wii, and we played basketball outside. Stacy's little sister was really funny and kept us entertained throughout the night.

I earned some needed Beta Club hours over spring break as well. The hog bar-b-Que was going on, and members of the key club were there to help. We did not cook the food though; we packed it so that other people could eat it. When I was finished working, I got a chance to try the bar-b-Que, and it was extremely tasty.

Practice! Practice! Practice! Softball practice was very exciting over spring break, although that may be because my break was boring and softball practice was something to do. I love to play softball, even though I am not the best player. We worked on batting all practice one day, and the other practice we worked on fielding.

Some people may say that learning how to crochet is boring and for old people, but I really like it. My Mimi taught me how to crochet over spring break, and we also celebrated my grandpa and my other grandma's birthday. Learning to crochet was very fun, but I am not very good at it.

All in all, my spring break was not full of much excitement. Though it lacked the excitement, it was a much needed break from school that I needed.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Exert from Anthem Essay

I recently entered an essay contest about Ayn Rands Anthem. I was asked to explain why the characters rarely reached the age of forty-five. Below is an exert from my essay.

Equality 7-2521 says that " When a miracle happens and some [of the Old Ones] live to be forty-five, they are the Ancient Ones." Many reasons can be found as to why most people do not reach the age of forty-five. An individualized world can have a huge impact on a person and whether he or she wants to live or die.

Most people, by the time they reach the age of forty-five, are weak. They have been worked hard their whole lives. Over exercise can severely wear the body down. With a hectic schedule, the people could not get enough rest. Working the same schedule everyday with no rest, with the exception of maybe just a few hours, is too much work. Weakness could have also been brought forth by punishment. If someone stepped out of line in any way when they were younger, they were severely punished. They were sent to the Palace of Corrective Detention where they would receive their punishment. The Palace would strip the scoundrel and then beat him or her with a whip. The beatings from the corrective detention officers could wear down the body.

In a world with no love, no hope, and no freedom what is there to live for? Having nothing to make life worth while can make living to see the age of forty-five a miracle. No one can express his or her own individuality in any way; they have to be the same as every other person.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Anthem Book Review

Ayn Rand's Anthem is a story of hope and perfection. The novel upset me at first, but began to brighten as it continued on.

The characters in Anthem live in what they view as a perfect world. There is no I, only WE. All the people are living for their brothers and sisters, not for themselves. Everyone is supposed to be happy and appreciate what they have. They believe there is no happiness except in pleasing their brothers.

Every character in Anthem is assigned a job by the Council of Vocations. When assigned their job, the characters have to go live in the house of that vocation. None of the characters get a say in what their job is to be. They are supposed to be happy with whatever is assigned to them.

Eating, sleeping, and even resting are only at designated times. Each morning, when a bell rings, all the people are to get up, get dressed, and eat breakfast in a matter of thirty minutes. The characters work in five hour increments, and at the end of each five hours they get a meal. The people are allotted thirty minutes for lunch and one hour for dinner. At the end of each day the people are allowed to go to bed until the bell rings the next morning.

There is no love in the world Ayn Rand created. Although all brothers are supposed to love each other, they cannot love one more than the other. All people are supposed to be equal, and if someone is loved more than another the rules have been broken. Men and Women are not supposed to fall in love either. They are not even supposed to look at each other except at certain times each year.

Anthem is a very good book. I would recommend Anthem to any reader. The book made me wander about what a perfect world could really be like, and about the true importance of the word "I".

The Host Book Review

Aliens are taking over the world! The human species is on the brink of extinction! Within Stephanie Myers The Host Aliens, souls, are taking over the earth. The Host is an amazing novel, and is probably the best book I have ever read.

The souls taking over the earth are not hostile, they actually just want to make the earth more peaceful. The souls view humans as a violent and vicious race, and they want to stop the fighting and anger. Do you think the human race is violent and needs to be changed? Would you fight back knowing that your body was being taken over?

The Host contains many themes, one of them being that just because someone is different does not mean he or she is evil. People all over this world make assumptions about others just off of differences. If those people could get to know the other person then they might possibly change their mind about him or her. Everyone on this planet is different, and judging someone because they are not like you is not fair. Melanie Stryder's body gets taken over by a soul named Wanderer. Normally the human mind would disappear when the body is taken over, but Melanie does not leave. Melanie shows Wanderer all of the cherished memories of the ones she loves. Melanie knows that her brother and boyfriend are still out in the world and she begins to lead Wanderer to where she thinks they are. Melanie unknowingly leads Wanderer to a cave housing over twenty humans. The humans are disgusted by Wanderer because they think she is just another soul, and they do not know about Melanie. After living with Wanderer for a while the humans discover that she is not so terrible. They begin speaking with her just as she was another one of them.

The characters within The Host are very realistic. Wanderer does not care about her own well being, but about the well being of others. Wanderer stood up for a man who wanted her dead because she did not want him to be harmed. Wanderer is not violent, but she is full of real life emotions. She feels anger, jealousy, fear, and even love. Melanie is full of realistic emotions. She becomes jealous very easily. When Wanderer is holding Jamie or Jared in her arms Melanie becomes full of jealousy. Melanie becomes angry when she cannot speak to anyone herself. Melanie and Wanderer are not the only realistic characters in The Host though. Almost every single character can be related back to a real person. They all show anger, fear, hatred, worry, love, and concern.

The Host is an amazing book that I would recommend to any girl. Boys probably would not like The Host, but girls probably would.

3 books 637 pages

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

To Perfect My World...

This world is far from perfect. The people in this world are to judgmental, and just about everyone tries to follow the crowd.

To perfect my world all the fighting needs to be stopped. Many of the wars going on have no point, and are just making the earth worse. Wars are not the only fighting that needs stopped; many countries fight bloodless battles everyday. If every country in the world could get along and work together this world would be so much better. Family and friends quarrelling needs to halt. If friends and family members cannot get along nothing will be perfect. All the inhabitants of this world need to get along for the world to be perfected. Gang violence is the worst. Young kids, and even some adults participate in gang violence.

To make my world perfect no one needs to be judgmental. People make the wrong assumptions all the time about other people. The people they judge do not always take criticism so well. No one should have to worry about being criticized in this world.

The one most important aspect of my perfect world is Jesus. The world would not revolve if it was not for Jesus. I believe the world would be one thousand times better than it is right now if every single person would except Jesus into their life.

There needs to be individuality in the world. No one needs to follow a crowd, they just need to be themselves. People need to think for themselves and not worry about what anyone else is doing. Individuality could make this world so much better.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister Book Review

One beautiful girl, two ugly stepsisters, one bossy step mother, and one prince; sounds like the ingredients for a good Cinderella story huh? Well, in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire, a twist is added to the story for a more appealing read. I truly enjoyed reading Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. The novel changed my view of the original Cinderella, and the new twist were exciting and different.

Many themes are shown within the novel, but the most precise would be "do not judge a book by its cover." Have you ever judged someone off of likes, or maybe even smell? The consequences of your actions could seriously hurt someone else. Within Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, other citizens tend to shy away from Iris and Ruth, "the ugly stepsisters." Though they repulse most, Iris and Ruth do not repulse Caspar, the Master's apprentice. Caspar takes the time to understand the girls and get to know them. Other citizens see Caspar, and get to know the girls better as well. Caspar starts liking the girls after he had a chance to get to know them. So, just because from the outside someone seems repulsive does not mean he or she is on the inside. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister teaches that a person needs to look within someone else before he or she begins to judge.

Gregory Maguire tells the story in a way that makes the reader feel as if he or she is a character within the story. The book is so hard to set aside because the author pulls the reader in through his style of writing. He uses many creative and realistic events to make the reader feel that the story is really happening.

In the traditional Cinderella story, Cinderella finds true her true love in the form of a prince, and her stepsisters get put in their places. Well, within Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, the stepsisters are not mean, and they get a happy ending as well. Within Cinderella, Cinderella does not get along with her sisters, and they make her do all of the housework. Within Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Clara, Cinderella, gets along with her sisters really well. She also volunteers to do housework, although not without the assistance of her stepsisters. Many other connections can be made between Cinderella and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, and many other changes from the Cinderella are within Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister.

I would recommend Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister to all most anyone, but mostly girls. For those who enjoy the classics though, I would not recommend Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Gregory Maguire puts a strange, yet fascinating twist on the classic Cinderella story that is really appealing and hooking.

372 pages...2 books

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Call of the Wild Book Review

In Jack London's The Call of the Wild a simple house dog is transformed into a tough, strong sled dog. The book was very insightful and held my interest with ease.

The Call of the Wild was written based on personal experience. Jack London's writing put the reader in the story. He kept the reader entertained through adventures and real life happenings. The book held no confusion and was easy to focus on.

Survival of the fittest is the main theme of The Call of the Wild. Have you ever taken a stand to survive? Not so easy huh? Survival of the fittest is tough for almost anyone and anything. There can be both negative and positive consequences from surviving in the wild, and Buck, the main character of The Call of the Wild, experiences both. Buck goes through many hardships and endures many lessons so he can survive in the wild.

Everyone in the world has instincts, but sometimes the instincts are hidden deep within. The hidden instincts will be revealed when the time is right. Buck never had to rely on his instincts until he became a sled dog. After weeks pulling a sled, Buck's instincts completely took over his mind and body. He no longer had to worry about starving or surviving. Through instinct, Buck established his rightful place in the world.

I would recommend The Call of the Wild to anyone. The adventures are very thrilling, and there are many surprises along the way.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Antigone Book Review

How far would you go to bury your brother? Would your answer change if knowing that mourning a loved one is one of the only rights you had? Within Sophocles' Antigone, Antigone, one of the main characters has to make the choice. Antigone was quite interesting and many lessons can be learned by reading the play. I enjoyed reading Antigone.

Taking a stand was clearly the main theme of Antigone. Have you ever stood up for something you believe in? Women, unlike men, have to take many stands in their lifetimes. Women all over the world have to summon up the courage to take a stand for something they want, just as Antigone did.

Antigone was not the only one to take a stand in the play, Haemon, her fiance, did too. He did not consider the consequences of his actions as Antigone did though. Haemon's actions led to his tragic downfall. What was the downfall? Well, I can not tell you unless you want me to ruin the play for you.

Many lessons can be learned in Antigone. Thinking before acting is a major lesson learned in Antigone. Have you ever learned a valuable lesson from a mistake you made? Most of the time the realization of your actions registers to late right? Well, that is exactly what happened to Creon. He made a mistake, but realized to late what his mistake was. If Creon had realized his mistake earlier than he had, a tragic downfall could possibly have been prevented. Creon learned his lesson about acting before thinking, and realized his mistake. I think that Creon may start thinking about his actions instead of acting on impulse.

Would I recomend Antigone as a good play to read? Yes, Antigone is a very short, quick, and easy read. If you like short, easy, quick reads, Antigone is the play for you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Taking a Stand

A couple of years ago, while I was still enduring junior high, I decided to take a stand against one of my best friends. She and I would fight almost everyday, and she would say extremely hurtful comments abut me. She told me that I was fat and that I had no real friends. After we had gotten over many arguments, my friend decided to start drinking, smoking, and engaging in other harmful activities. She kept trying to persuade me that there was nothing wrong with the activities she was doing, but I did not agree. I told her that she was wrong and that she was going to ruin her life. As my friend kept bad mouthing me and ruining her life, I decided I had to take a stand. I walked up to her one day and declared our friendship over. The conversation turned into a full blown yelling match as I voiced my opinion about what she was doing to her life and mine. I screamed at her until my face turned blue to stop ruining my life, to stop saying bad comments abut me, and most importantly to stop trying to make me do activities against my will. My old best friend and I are no longer friends, but I bettered my life by deciding to finally take a stand.