Sunday, December 20, 2009

Second Quarter Outside Reading Book Essay

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams. The Random House Publishing Group. (THGTTG) 1979, (TRTETU 1980). Genre: Comedy/Science Fiction.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is Douglas Adam’s, a British Comedy Writer, brilliant brainchild. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy takes place in Magrathea, a dead planet that once built planets for galactic billionaires. Arthur Dent and his Betelguesian friend Ford Prefect, hitches a ride off of Planet Earth as it is about to be destroyed by a Vogon constructor Fleet. They hitch a ride with Ford’s cousin, Zaphond Beeblebrox (the galactic president) on the ship “The Heart of Gold”. Zaphod takes Ford, Arthur and his girlfriend, Trillian, to the world of Magrathea to discover the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything and also to get a large amount of money. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is the sequel to Adam’s first book. The main character is again Arthur Dent, one of two of the last humans alive. As the crew are leaving the planet of Magrathea, they are attacked by another Vogon Ship. Zaphod’s ancestor then saves them from annihilation. They then show up at Milliways (the namesake of the book) and find a stunt ship that they cannot seem to get out of. Marvin then finds a teleporter and everyone passes through it.
“With droll wit, a keen eye for detail and heavy doses of insight…Adams makes us laugh until we cry” – San Diego Union/Tribune
This book series is uncomparable to any book published. The author, Douglas Adams, has a unique writing style unlike any other author. He fits sarcasm into his prose as if you were actually talking to someone. The book is a mixture of Saturday Night Live and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The series never ceases to please with its ridiculous humor such as Marvin, the manically depressed robot, or the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.
“Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.” (90)…”Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as if fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now” (91).
Douglas Adams is definitely one of my favorite authors of all time because he has a great way of writing in a comical way. This book affected me by opening my mind up to different genres of books, I had no idea that an author could express so much humor in writing like this.This book made me realize that writing doesn’t have to be boring and can be as comical as you can make it be.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Sounds of Music during Christmas

What really is value? To many people, value means something that has monetary worth. Most of these people are the greedy, materialistic type. But what does value meant to you? To me, value is something that I hold close to my heart, something I think of every day. It’s something that I use every day. This is what value means to me.
Months have passed since I had had my precious ear buds keeping my ear canal warm. That's ninety days since i have heard my music, floating playfully around my head. Too many bus rides wasted staring through the smoked glass of my school bus. The immature yelling, screaming in my ear and asking me the useless, redundant questions that will have no use to me or anyone else later on. They twist my words into bad jokes that drive me insane. My music is the fine line that separates my annoyance to me "going postal" on these fifth graders.
The first legitimate MP3 player i have ever had was an Ipod Nano. This thing was large and you could clearly see if i had this behemoth in my pocket or not. When i bought my first, i made the investment of twenty dollars towards the one year warranty. I am glad i bought this because someone threw my Nano into the washing machine (wink wink). The one year warranty ensured me that i would get the newest available model as a replacement if i had ever broke it. Just as the Nano broke, the new Nano third generation was released. This was just my luck. This Nano was smaller, looked flawless and even performed flawlessly. It could even play movies!
The drive to Best Buy was a happy one. The whole entire ride i was fumbling my fingers and smiling ear to ear, even my father noticed. As we left the Interstate, i saw the big, yellow price tag secured to the building. At this point, i was pretty much jumping for joy. We pulled into the parking lot, walked through the door and met Customer Service at their designated desk. I handed my plastic-gilded piece of rubbish to the employee. He inspected the ipod meticulously, looking for the evident problem of water damage and if he could possibly fix, even if he knew he couldn't. He couldn't turn the ipod on, and this ensured me the new ipod. My grin grew even larger, all the customers staring at the child in the corner of the store who wore the stupid grin. He handed me the the shining silver square that was the new Nano third generation. I couldn't think that my grin could grow any larger but it definitely did.
The moment i stepped into my house I ran to the computer and uploaded my large library of audio bliss onto my new baby. As you can see from the joy i exhibited on my trip to Best Buy, my music means very much to me. My music is my personality, its how i express it. My Ipod keeps me company when i'm lonely, and it's also something for my friends and I to listen to when we're together. It has helped me through the rough times and i've also had countless hours of happy times with it. I love my music, and i love it more now that i can keep my portable bliss concealed in my jeans.
It's that time of year again, where sand and shovels are your best friend. That's right kids, it's winter! I love winter, just not specific parts of it. Winter is the time where tiny bits of two-faced, frozen water fall from the sky and land inconveniently on my drive way. Its my least favorite season but i always look forward to it for one specific reason. That reason is Christmas. Christmas is the time of family, where most familys are together. My favorite part of Christmas is not in fact getting presents on Christmas Day, but picking out the Christmas tree.
I walked down the stairs one morning and i find that there is this one huge spot being cleared in my fireplace room. My mom is rearranging furniture away from the large patch of carpet and also away from our front door. My little brother had been talking about it for a while and its what the guys in the family had looked forward to. Today was the day when we get to pick out our Christmas tree. Both of my brothers had infinite glee in our eyes, because this is the moment in the season that we all wait for. We gathered our bungee cords and drove down Route 116 to Class Grass.
We jumped out of the car and we find that there are millions of trees to choose from. There are short trees and there are tall trees, skinny trees and fat trees. The tree we were looking for was a tall tree that was also fat. We browsed for an hour until we found the perfect tree. The tree was nine feet tall and we were not even close to wrapping out arms around the green hunk of joy, a Douglas Fir. We paid for the tree, which was a reasonable price. We threw the tree over the top of our van and tied it down with our trusty bungee cords. My family and I then rode down Route 116 with pine needles flying off of the tree.
These are the things in life I most value. I value my music because it speaks to me, understands me, and describes me. My music keeps me company when I'm alone, and the opposite when I'm with friends. The Ipod may have cost money, but to me it means more than that. I value my music the same way I value that moment every year when we pick out the Christmas tree. We bicker about the perfect tree not in anger, but we anger United. I would never miss this moment in the year for the world. We all decide on the object that symbolizes the season. This season is meant for family, and family is what matters.
Both moments cost money, but that's not what matters. Whether the song is ninety-nine cents, or the tree is one hundred dollars, it's the feeling that matters. Both make me happy, and that is what really matters. To me, happiness has no real price.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

First Quarter Outside Reading Book Essay

First Quarter Outside Reading Book Essay

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer, Miramax Books, 2005 Genre: Science Fiction

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception is the fourth book in the Artemis Fowl Series. The book is about a teenage genius trying to stop a narcissistic pixie mastermind attempting to stop her from revealing the People, a race of fairies that live below the Earth’s surface, to the human race. The story takes place in Europe, over many locations, and also in the Lower Elements where the People live. At the beginning of the story, Opal quickly disposes of Commander Root, who kills him with the help of a bomb that she herself is controlling and in turn tricks Holly, Commander Roots’ comrade and friend, that she can stop it. By the video that is on the surveillance camera that had been monitoring them, it seems that Holly had shot Root, and she becomes a rogue agent, and escapes to save Artemis from the rest of Opal’s plot. They gain the help of an infamous troll named Mulch Diggums, whose expertise includes but not limited to a tunnel digger and a walking stink bomb. He escapes from jail and helps Artemis and Holly to help stop Opal’s terror plot

“Agile Prose, rapid-fire dialogue, and wise-acre humor ensure that readers will burn the midnight oil”, Publishers Weekly states.

The book starts with Artemis in Munich stealing a certain portrait named The Fairy Thief. As he is working on this plot, Opal Koboi, the pixie mastermind is working on her plot for revenge against the people who had put her into an asylum, who are Artemis Fowl, Captain Holly Short, Commander Julius Root, and a genius centaur named Foaly. This book shows Artemis’ personality and morals from before he was put under a mesmer by Holly Short. Artemis then shows his true colors by being generous in the face of death.

Artemis Fowl’s life is packed with a lot of action made exponentially greater by his writing style, stated in the quote by Publisher’s Weekly. The book has the same writing style as his other books, with the same description in high action situations by stating every miniscule detail. Its wide range of vocabulary keeps the reader interested but not necessarily confused. This book is great for young readers and adults alike.

I have read previous Artemis Fowl books, but by far this is my favorite out of the ones I have read. It has more action than the rest of his books. I also like that the view of this book is not just from Artemis’ point of view, it is also in Opal’s point of view and as well as Holly’s. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read, as well as a book to teach you about morals.

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Ironic Reunion

Briar Rose, Rebecca Berlin, A Child Called It, Cabot Street- Holyoke

Rebecca was walking down Cabot Street on a snowy, New England night. The roads were brown with sand scooped away with last night’s snow. Slosh lie in potholes interspersed along the road. She wore an old brown trench coat she had bought five years ago.
“Finally, an ending to the story of Gemma”, Rebecca said to herself.
Ever since Rebecca had lost Gemma she had an all new take on life. She had been even more sympathetic than she had been before. Ever since Gemma passed, she had always given change to the needy, reading books to kids at the local library, and even helping her neighbor bring in the groceries.
While walking down the street, Rebecca had encountered a teenager, maybe fourteen or fifteen, walking up the street alone. He wore shabby clothes with holes in them, and a thin fall jacket. It looked like it barely kept him warm. The one thing he lacked was shoes, and you could tell by the color of his feet, which was a deep reddish-purple.
Rebecca stopped to ask, “Why are you alone? And what’s your name kid?”
“My name is Dave Pelzer.” The teen replied
Rebecca reached into the depths of her brain, his last name had sounded familiar. The name had been the last name of Gemma’s other daughter, Catherine.
She asked the boy politely, “Is your mother’s name Catherine?”
There was a short pause, and Dave replied, “Yes! How did you know?”
“My aunt’s name is Catherine Roerva Pelzer, you must be my cousin!”
Dave’s smile had broadened, since he had just heard that he had other family besides his abusive mother. He had been surprised because Rebecca was so nice and sympathetic of his current status.
“Why are your clothes so worn and ripped, dear?” Rebecca asked with a worried look on her face.
“I have just escaped the grips of my mother, she was horrifyingly abusive. She has done things to me that she wouldn’t even do to a fly.” Dave responded sadly.
Their conversation ran deep, especially about Dave’s abuse at home. Once Dave had told the whole story, Rebecca was disgusted by the acts Aunt Catherine had committed to Dave. Rebecca wanted to learn how she could help, but Dave wanted to talk more to her long-lost cousin.
Once Rebecca had learned about Dave’s life, she compared it to the Holocaust. She couldn’t believe that Dave was referred to as “A Child Called It”. Rebecca never realized that hate of this magnitude had still existed, and Rebecca began to break down into tears.
“Why are you crying? You shouldn’t be crying, this doesn’t affect you at all!” Dave responded.
“My grandmother, Gemma, I loved her so much. She recently passed away and I guess your path and her path are alike. She was in a holocaust death camp, Chelmno and escaped. I compared your story to her story. She called it the story of “Briar Rose””, Rebecca explained.
“I guess in a way your right” Dave had agreed
“Lets get you some new clothes, something to eat, and some sleep”, Rebecca had said wholeheartedly. They walked down Cabot Street, both happy to know that their lives had merged together