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    $7.19 $5.04 list($7.99)
    1. Neverwhere
    $5.85 $3.20 list($6.50)
    2. The Giver
    $10.20 $9.88 list($15.00)
    3. Whales on Stilts (M. T. Anderson's
    $10.46 $7.44 list($13.95)
    4. Their Eyes Were Watching God
    $6.29 $2.44 list($6.99)
    5. Fahrenheit 451
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    6. Shadow of the Giant (Ender)
    $16.50 list($35.99)
    7. The Trouble Begins: A Box of Unfortunate
    $8.09 $3.95 list($8.99)
    8. Speak
    $8.00 $3.60
    9. A Separate Peace
    $21.59 list($35.99)
    10. The Situation Worsens: A Box of
    $8.96 $4.00 list($9.95)
    11. The Stranger
    $6.29 $4.18 list($6.99)
    12. Ender's Game (Ender Wiggin Saga)
    $5.85 $2.96 list($6.50)
    13. A Wrinkle in Time
    list($15.95)
    14. Keys To The Kingdom, The #3: Drowned
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    15. The Outsiders
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    16. Monster
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    17. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young
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    18. Among the Enemy (Shadow Children)
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    19. The Poisonwood Bible
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    20. The Bean Trees

    1. Neverwhere
    by Neil Gaiman
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0380789019
    Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
    Publisher: Avon
    Sales Rank: 2551
    Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart -- and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed -- a dark subculture flourish in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city -- a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known...Richard Mayhew is a young businessman with a good heart and a dull job. When he stops one day to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk, his life is forever altered, for he finds himself propelled into an alternate reality that exists in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations below the city. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere. ... Read more

    Reviews (420)

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a bloody marvelous novel!
    I had the pleasant encounter with Neil Gaiman himself at the DreamHaven bookstore in Minneapolis, MN. As well a large number of people turning out to see him in person. Before seeing him in person, I've read his first major novel, "Neverwhere". Wow, it's truly the best modern fairy tale novel for adults since "Alice in Wonderland"! London came really alive to me, the above world never knew about life hidden in the under world. Literally I mean way under the above world. The characters are so fascinated and I love those two crazy killers acting like some english nobles with perverse sense of humors. Neil Gaiman is very inventive and creative with the story and based on his past stories he'd written for the comic book industry, this man is destined for greatness. I've sweared that Neil Gaiman is the modern William Shakespeare! No one have ever write the stories as well and marvelous as Gaiman...not even since James Joyce and William Shakespeare. I told Neil this and he was rather flabbergasted but it's the truth! Read the novel, then read "Stardust", then read every story Neil has ever written and you'll know that we may have a William Shakespeare for the 21st century! Oh, by the way..."mind the gap!"

    4-0 out of 5 stars Gaiman is a Pro at Weaving Worlds You Get Lost In
    I read American Gods last year and loved it, eager to read what else the author of the fabulous "Sandman" graphic novels has written, I picked up Neverwhere and read it in a day.

    Here, Gaiman takes the real life "London Underground" system of subways and tube stations and adds a twist, a magical world beyond the underground, London Below where pockets of lost time and places are filled with the forgotten people of the world.

    London Below is a world of Baronies and Fiefdoms, of angels, beasts and killers. Richard Mayhew, a securities analyst gets drawn into this secret, invisible world when he helps what appears to be an injured homeless woman. Because of his contact with her and some of the people from her world, he slowly disappears from his own reality. It seems that most people aboveground cannot deal with the reality of London Below so they conveniently can't see them or anything they do.

    A classic quest follows with an interesting cast of characters. Richard and The Lady Door, together with a reprobate Marquis and a bodyguard head off through danger to find answers. You enter the world of rat speakers, sewer dwellers and secret societies. It's all very interesting and funny as well as giving the reader the occasional scare. Below is a world where nothing is what it seems and danger lurks everywhere and yet, its inhabitants seem to derive pleasure from their lives despite that.

    As with Gods, Gaiman weaves his mythical world into the tapestry of the "reality" of every day life and there are times when you aren't sure if what is happening is just a manifestation of Richard's insanity or not. It's a nice tension.

    This book will please the fantasy reader as well as those who love a good mystery. It's a worthy read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sorry about the confusion
    this a good book. it is reaeally good fool. It is like fantasy, but not really. it is good. it is a good book that is good and it is a book, see, it is a good book and i liked this book beacuse it was a book that was a good book that was good.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lovely dark fantasy
    Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman finds himself mixed up in the weird alternate reality of "London Below" when he rescues a strange girl named Door. He joins her and a few other denizens from London Below --- such as the (ah, hell, why not?) irrepressible Marquis de Carabbas and the rather intense Hunter --- in her search for the Angel Islington, whom Door's father told her she could trust right before he and the rest of Door's family were murdered by two henchmen named Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar (who were hilarious, by the way).

    Gaiman obviously had a lot of fun with names of tube stops and prominent places in London and with the possibilities for parallels between London Below and London Above. I loved the sense of wonder and the sense of humor in Neverwhere, though both were balanced by the sense of darkness in the story. Quintessential Gaiman. A wonderful and imaginative book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great novel from Gaimen.
    From author Neil Gaimen (Sandman, Good Omens) come this enchanting novel about a world underneath London where magic and violence reigns. The novel's hero, Richard Mayhew, is a simple man with a simple life until one day he sees a bleeding girl lying in an alley. The choice he makes to help the girl opens a whole new world to him. The very next day, Richard's life, as he knows it, has drastically changed. No one seems to know who he is. All records of his life have disappeared. His only hope is to find the girl (called Door) again and see if she can offer any explanations on why his world has turned upside down. His search for the girl leads him to a whole underground world beneath modern London where nothing is at it seems.

    This novel was much better than I anticipated. Full of action and a great storyline, Neverwhere will stretch your imagination to its fullest. Great characters round out this superb story of love, vengeance, magic and escapism. ... Read more


    2. The Giver
    by LOIS LOWRY
    list price: $6.50
    our price: $5.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440237688
    Catlog: Book (2002-09-10)
    Publisher: Laurel Leaf
    Sales Rank: 959
    Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.


    From the Paperback edition.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2207)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel - Worth all the praise & adoration it gets!
    After Lois Lowry produced the entrancing 'Number The Stars' it didn't seem possible that she could produce a work, for children, to top it. With 'The Giver' she easily met that goal.

    'The Giver' appears to be a rather simple story of a young boy (12 years old to be exact) named Jonas who lives in a seamingly perfect society. He is given the task of becoming the 'Receiver of Knowledge'; an apprentice to the 'Giver of Knowledge'. But that is where the simpleness ends.

    The 'knowledge' spoken of in Jonas' job title is all of the memories of pain and suffering that were collected to rid all citizens of uncomfort. The Giver telepathically has to give Jonas all of these memories so he can suffer the pain of famine, war, disease, and death - to spare the community.

    The themes in this novel are profound. The thought of a 'utopia' is considered extensively, but it is clearly shown that a perfect world can not exist -- therefore, 'distopia'. The novel also deals with life, death, indivuality, and more; an amazing amount of thought-provoking subjects for a book with a grade 4.5 reading level.

    This book, however, may not be suitable for younger readers. Death is a common theme and the murder of an infant is described. There are mild nods to sexuality, but many young readers will dismiss these as benign.

    A must read for students as well as adults! Excellent job, Ms. Lowry. You gave America another profound and excellent novel - one that will be on schools' required reading lists for many years to come!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A children's version of 1984, only more entertaining
    My own personal grudge against the book comes from the extent of the writing profession, and how it beared so scary and remarkable a resemblence to one of my unpublished ramblings into the SF genre. I had plans of doing a novel where all emotion is stripped away, set in a world much like THE GIVER. Then when I read it, I was somewhat concerned for my own work.

    Anyway, this is often comparted to a children's 1984. Yes, while it does bear resemblance to 1984, this book is wonderful on its own terms. The story is the world has been taken down into a utopia, a place with no crime and no feeling, no true feeling. The family establishment is essentially nil with no sexuality at all (this resembles the dominant theme in my own work). Birth Mothers are the source of the population, though it does not give the identity of the fathers. Work and family comes about by selection. Jonas, the hero, has been selected to be the Reciever of Memory. It is here he realises how shockingly sterile and devoid of beauty his world truly is. The ending, somewhat vague, rewards the reader by not giving away to much detail.

    For those readers who will be travelling on to Orwell after this, go to ANIMAL FARM, my own personal favorite, and then 1984 for when they're older.

    Like all good children's literature, this book deserves to be read by both adults and children alike. Bravo Lowry!

    Other significant works by Lowry: Number the Stars.

    Mike London

    5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant dystopian novel
    This is a complex, beautiful book that offers a look into a futuristic dystopia in which there is no color, no aberation, no hot or cold, and no personal choices. Drugs are taken to repress sexual urges and even out temprament, and careers are chosen for children based on their aptitude. Children are raised in prearranged family units. There is no privacy and no personal choice, but is this really a bad thing if people have no concept of those things? There is no hunger, emotional pain, violence, crime, war, or sadness.

    Growing up in this world is Jonas, a bright 12 year old who is about to receive his career assignment. He is given the important but extremely rare job of "Reciever": the keeper of "memories" of what life was like before the creation of his utopian world. Slowly, he begins to see color, to learn what love, hate, death, and heartbreak are like. He begins to understand that some of the "happy" things around him maybe aren't so happy.

    The brilliance of this book is that the world unfolds gradually. Lowry does not hit us over the head with an up-front description: in fact, the place starts out sounding fairly normal if a bit Montesori. Slowly, though, the reader realizes quite how foreign this world is. Lowry is a deft writer with an excellent sense of subtlety.

    Ultimately, this book is about the importance of cultural memory. The idea of cultural memory is probably a new one for kids, and some of the concepts of death and destruction might be a little disturbing, so I recomend that parents read this book too so that they can discuss it with their children. This in no way means that I think that it is innapropriate for kids: I just think that it is an amazing starting point for discussion about what makes us human. Please read my review of "A Wrinkle in Time" (also made today) for my thoughts on how these two books are related.

    This is a moving, thought-provoking book that is a great read for adults as well as kids. Adults might find it interesting that the idea of a drugged-to-make-them-"normal" population where everyone is encouraged to analyze and discuss every aspect of their lives sounds eerily familiar...

    5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant dystopian novel
    This is a really brilliant book, which everyone should read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Giver
    Kiddoes, I just finished rereading this book for about the eighth time, but I'll try to transport my mind back in time to when I first read it. I think you'll get a better perspective that way.

    It's about a society that wants to be 'perfect'. Well, actually, 'perfect' wouldn't be the best word. I suppose that they want everything to be structured and uniform. They call it in the book 'Sameness'.

    There are books and movies about futures that stink, but, let me tell you, this is an especially insane one.

    The land is climate-controlled, and completely the same. Flat; no hills, no valleys. No colors, even. And it isn't just the outside that's controlled... The people don't love, aren't sad or guilty... basically, they don't feel human emotions. Only the Receiver is allowed to experience those things, and he is the keeper for the entire community... without him, the memories would be unleashed and the community would revert to chaos.

    People have their jobs chosen for them, their mates chosen, even their children. You get to old? You're 'released'. (Releasing is killing, if you haven't figured that out.) A twin, and smaller than your brother or sister? You're released. Make a mistake, like flying in the wrong direction? Released. It's scary about what you can't do...

    Jonas is chosen as the new Receiver, and (surprise) he's the character that the book centers around. We read about his life before he is selected, during, and afterwards, and I don't know about you, but it was a major shock to me that there wasn't color.

    I'm not sure if I can say that I LOVED this book. Loving would imply that I loved the concepts, and also would imply that I wasn't horrified while I was reading it. Happy little kiddoes in America aren't really exposed to this kind of stuff... not even CLOSE to it.

    But I really respect it, and totally understand why it's a classic. Lois Lowry got a fan with this book; Number the Stars didn't quite do it for me.

    And another thing I think people need to understand about this book is that even though the text is simple and that youngsters can READ it, the concepts are meant for older kids. ... Read more


    3. Whales on Stilts (M. T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales)
    by M. T. Anderson
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0152053409
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
    Sales Rank: 532
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Lucky for Lily Gefelty, her two best friends are the stars of their own middle-grade series of novels: Jasper Dash (better known as the Boy Technonaut) and Katie Mulligan (beloved by millions as the heroine of the Horror Hollow series). It's going to take all their smarts to stop this insane, inane plot from succeeding.

    This first installment of a riotous and wonderfully weird new series marks the Harcourt debut of award-winning author M. T. Anderson. With Whales on Stilts, he's entering new territory, creating a smart, sassy, and self-aware comedy that fans of Lemony Snicket will snicker and snort over.

    Look for future installments of M.T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales, coming soon!
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
    A got an advanced reader's copy to review through a library program, and at first I was turned off by how "little-kidish" (short, small, and double spaced), but within moments, I couldn't put it down. You don't have to be a young kid to enjoy this - in fact, the older (and, I'm assuming, wiser) you are, the more allusions you're likely to catch.

    With chapter titles like, "What You Can Learn From Larry's Teeth," and a quick, witty writing style, you can't help but laugh and read on. Although it is soon obvious how the ending will turn out, it doesn't seem to matter while you're reading it; the reason why Whales on Stilts! stands out from other books is not its complex plot, but its halirity.

    Don't miss it... or the whales will crush your home and shoot lasers from their eyes at you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great fun!
    We just finished Whales on Stilts--we'll I was reading it to my nine year old and he couldn't wait to finish it so I finished it after him--anyway--very funny, over the top--lol!We loved the end of the book "literature circle" discussion prompts and essay question starters. We spent an hour making up our own silly book club discussion questions after reading MT Anderson's and had fun using his format to lampoon other books my son had to read for literature circle this year.We hope there will be more to come!

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Monstrous Thrills! Gruesome Chills! Sidesplitting Laughs!"
    "On Career Day Lily visited her dad's work with him and discovered he worked for a mad scientist who wanted to rule the earth through destruction and desolation." Lily Gefelty has always considered herself a little drab next to her friends Katie Mulligan and Jasper Dash, who each have their own adventure book series. But when Lily uncovers a plot to take over the world at her fathers workplace in the clearly labeled Abandoned Warehouse, it's her turn to step into the limelight and save the planet. Cleverly masked as "a midsize company devoted to expanding cetacean pedestrian opportunities," the goings on in the Abandoned Warehouse are not what they seem (er, actually...). Lily and her friends discover that Mr. Gefelty's boss, Larry, is really a whale-human hybrid intent on destroying the world using whales, stilts, lazers, and mind control. And it's up to Lily to stop him.

    At first glance, you may think that "Whales on Stilts" is a silly, cheesy story geared towards ten-year-olds. You'd be right. However, "Whales on Stilts" goes so far beyond cheesy that it's positively hilarious for readers of any age, ten on up. If Douglas Adams had made a foray into juvenile fiction, this uproarious book may have been the result. Lily is so normal that she's the perfect main character to put into such a ridiculously overdone book. The other characters are uniquely strange in their own rights. The plot is straightforward and wouldn't be interesting at all in other circumstances, but the story is so stuffed with hilarity that the obvious and cliche plot is perfect. The best part of the book, in my opinion, actually occurs after the ending - an "educational" section written by one Ann Mowbray Dixon-Clarke, who seems to have a bit of trouble writing objectively ("1. How are Katie, Jasper, and Lily different? ... Do you have any friends who are different from you? What are they like? Why don't you think that Ann Mowbray Dixon-Clarke has any friends? She bought a big grill for her backyard, hoping that people would come to cook their ribs...."). "Whales on Stilts" is definitely a must read, because who knows when you'll need to know how to defeat an evil whale-human villain and his lazer-eyed whale minions?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stilted Whales
    A got an advanced reader's copy to review through a library program, and at first I was turned off by how "little-kidish" (short, small, and double spaced), but within moments, I couldn't put it down.You don't have to be a young kid to enjoy this - in fact, the older (and, I'm assuming, wiser) you are, the more allusions you're likely to catch.

    With chapter titles like, "What You Can Learn From Larry's Teeth," and a quick, witty writing style, you can't help but laugh and read on. Although it is soon obvious how the ending will turn out, it doesn't seem to matter while you're reading it; the reason why Whales on Stilts! stands out from other books is not its complex plot, but its halirity.

    Don't miss it... or the whales will crush your home and shoot lasers from their eyes at you. ... Read more


    4. Their Eyes Were Watching God
    by Zora Neale Hurston
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060931418
    Catlog: Book (1998-12-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 3113
    Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    At the height of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1930s, Zora Neale Hurston was the preeminent black woman writer in the United States. She was a sometime-collaborator with Langston Hughes and a fierce rival of Richard Wright. Her stories appeared in major magazines, she consulted on Hollywood screenplays, and she penned four novels, an autobiography, countless essays, and two books on black mythology. Yet by the late 1950s, Hurston was living in obscurity, working as a maid in a Florida hotel. She died in 1960 in a Welfare home, was buried in an unmarked grave, and quickly faded from literary consciousness until 1975 when Alice Walker almost single-handedly revived interest in her work.

    Of Hurston's fiction, Their Eyes Were Watching God is arguably the best-known and perhaps the most controversial. The novel follows the fortunes of Janie Crawford, a woman living in the black town of Eaton, Florida. Hurston sets up her characters and her locale in the first chapter, which, along with the last, acts as a framing device for the story of Janie's life. Unlike Wright and Ralph Ellison, Hurston does not write explicitly about black people in the context of a white world--a fact that earned her scathing criticism from the social realists--but she doesn't ignore the impact of black-white relations either:

    It was the time for sitting on porches beside the road. It was the time to hear things and talk. These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sounds and lesser things. They passed nations through their mouths. They sat in judgment.
    One person the citizens of Eaton are inclined to judge is Janie Crawford, who has married three men and been tried for the murder of one of them. Janie feels no compulsion to justify herself to the town, but she does explain herself to her friend, Phoeby, with the implicit understanding that Phoeby can "tell 'em what Ah say if you wants to. Dat's just de same as me 'cause mah tongue is in mah friend's mouf."

    Hurston's use of dialect enraged other African American writers such as Wright, who accused her of pandering to white readers by giving them the black stereotypes they expected. Decades later, however, outrage has been replaced by admiration for her depictions of black life, and especially the lives of black women. In Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston breathes humanity into both her men and women, and allows them to speak in their own voices. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

    Reviews (293)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good read
    "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston is a book about the life of a Negro woman in the 1900s. The story begins with Janie telling about her life, but then the author takes over the book. In the beginning, Janie returns to see some people she used to know sitting on their porch. After they dine with food she brings, Janie begins to tell her story, with Hurston soon taking over the point of view.

    We first hear about Janie's grandmother wanting her to marry Logan Killicks, an older man. She protests her decision, but her grandmother wants her to have someone who can offer Janie the security and protection of his older age and a large potato farm. The marriage occurs in the next chapter, but soon after Janie leaves her new husband to be with another man - Joe Starks.

    Joe and Janie go off to another place in Florida. Joe becomes mayor of a new town, named Eatonville, of all black people. Joe also builds a store in this town. At first, Janie is enjoying this relationship. But after the town starts developing, Janie doesn't enjoy life with Joe as much. This is partly because Joe is becoming the man of the town and Janie feels left out. She is asked by Joe to run the store, as Joe is busy doing town duties as the mayor, such as getting a new street light installed.

    Later, many other events happen in the story, but if I told you anymore I'd spoil the book.

    The author, Zora Neale Hurston, uses the dialog of Negroes in the story. Phrases such as "Aw, Tea Cake, you just say dat tuhnight because de fish and corn bread tasted sort of good" let you imagine the dialect used by southern black people. The characters created by the author really do let us know that they were blacks. We know this because of the way they talk, and because of the life that they are living as explained to us by Hurston.

    One theme of this novel relates to man versus society. In this case, man is Janie and society is the men of the south. Janie finally realizes all the hardships she has been through and how her life has changed. In a nutshell, this novel tells the life a Negro woman trying to live a happy life through difficult times.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful language, memorable characters, amazing story
    This book was originally published in 1937 and brought back into print because of an article in MS Magazine written by Alice Walker in 1975. It is considered a classic now, and is often required reading in South Florida high schools, and elsewhere I suspect, as well as being the book selected for Read Together Palm Beach County and for Read Together, Florida, a statewide reading project in 2004. Hurston was a member of the Harlem Renaissance movement, but was abhorred by Richard Wright who criticized her severely. Nonetheless, this book was an alternate pick of the Book of the Month Club when originally published. A short time later, some very ugly charges were leveled against Hurston; she eventually cleared her name but she never really got over it. Her books went out of print and she died, penniless, and was buried in an unmarked grave. Alice Walker found what was presumably Hurston's grave and erected a monument that reads, in addition to her name and dates, "Genius of the South."

    Their Eyes Were Watching God has quite a bit of Hurston's life, and more importantly, her beliefs invested in the main character of Janie Crawford. The novel is framed by Janie's return to Eatonville, the first all black incorporated city in the United States. Everyone in town is gossiping about her, and Janie tells her story to Pheoby, her best friend, and asks her to tell the townsfolk. Janie was raised by grandmother, Nanny, a former slave, who marries her off to an older farmer, Logan Killicks, when she's 16. She's not happy in that marriage and she leaves and marries Joe Starkes, who takes her to the new town of Eatonville. He becomes mayor there, and builds a store that becomes the center of town life. Twenty years later he dies, and she hooks up with the love of her life, Tea Cake, who is much younger than she is. He takes her to the Everglades where they survive the hurricane of 1928 that wiped out the 'Glades, but Tea Cake gets bitten by a rabid dog in the process. After his death, Janie returns to Eatonville, completing the frame.

    This is the story of a strong black woman's search for happiness and independence in a time when neither of those things was easily attainable. It is written in dialect, and is not an easy read. I listened to the beginning of the book on CD, produced by Recorded Books and read by Michele-Denise Woods, which it made it much easier to read on my own. It is also available on audiocassette read by Ruby Dee. Reading it aloud also helps - hearing the dialect makes it much easier to read. It's a terrific story and the language is incredibly beautiful, making the life of Janie Crawford a memorable one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Zora as Muse
    Criticized for not writing a protest novel by some of her fellow African-American writers of the time, Zora instead wrote one of the most poetic novels ever written in the United States. Written in the vernacular of her African-American characters while narrated in standard form, this novel is a blues tale which uses both variations of the language to tranport the reader into the heart and soul of Janie, a young African-American woman in the 1930s on a search.

    Musical, heartbreaking, endearing, hilarious, and a novel where the issues of the day enter in horrific ways, this book's title has to best describe Zora as she wrote this book, divinely inspired. There is love, there is marriage, there is separation, there is an irrepressible woman who still speaks to all about the search all meaningful lives undertake.

    Alice Walker so loved this book and this author she restored her grave.

    4-0 out of 5 stars God is with us
    Sometimes it takes forty years of life, many tragedys and three marriages
    before we finally get it right.
    Janie got it right towards the end. Zora Neale Hurston was ahead of her time ... writing about a black female hero, a woman who had opinions, a woman who didn't accept tradition, a woman after my own heart.
    Janie is a black woman with attitude.
    "What does he mean I can't do that, do I not have a mind, an opinion, a soul?"
    Janie is black, not the color to be in the 30s, 40s, 50s, even now, sometimes....but she endures, lives, loves.
    Tea Cake is her shining star; the younger man, the one most likely to leave her, since she's a forty year old has-been...but
    he is her beautiful prince, her young Lolita, her life.
    Janie is a survivor, a woman we all want to be like, a believer in the human experience, a woman...(Watch me Roar!)

    "Their Eyes Were Watching God" is about a woman outliving heartache, humiliation and death...
    She is still living...
    inside every woman who believes life can be caught in mid-air, sucked up, absorbed, and changed
    if one so desires...
    How about you?

    3-0 out of 5 stars Their Eyes Were Watching God
    I was required to read this book in class. Although many of my peers disliked it, I found Their Eyes Were Watching God to be an interesting book. The vernacular dialect made it hard to read but I enjoyed the theme of love throughout the book. I was interested in the lessons that Janie, the main character, learned through each person that she met throughout her journey. I was interested in all of the African-American culture that filled this book. I would not recommend this book to everyone but it would be good for anyone who wants to broaden their horizons. ... Read more


    5. Fahrenheit 451
    by RAY BRADBURY
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0345342968
    Catlog: Book (1987-08-12)
    Publisher: Del Rey
    Sales Rank: 976
    Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Nowadays firemen start fires. Fireman Guy Montag loves to rush to a fire and watch books burn up. Then he met a seventeen-year old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid, and a professor who told him of a future where people could think. And Guy Montag knew what he had to do....
    ... Read more

    Reviews (969)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Burning on the mind
    Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, a thought-provoking book about censorship centered around book burning, seemed to get off to a slow start by following the life of the main character, Guy Montag, a firefighter who does not put out fires, but rather burns books for a living. Some of the descriptions given at the beginning of the book were confusing at first, like those of the parlor walls, which really turned out to be futuristic video screens, and the mechanical hound, a robot which is used to track and kill people by the chemical scents they leave behind. However, as I got into the book more, I felt that the almost boring way Bradbury wrote the introduction helps give the reader a sense of what Montag's life was normally like, and allows the reader to see the vastness of the changes he encounters in his lifestyle.
    I also felt that as the plot thickened, Bradbury did an excellent job of giving Guy human qualities, such as making him impulsive and sometimes hot-tempered, and showing how he strove to do what he thought was right. His interactions with other characters are very real, especially those with his boss, Beatty. When Montag starts to regret burning books, and starts to perceive that there is more to the books he burns for a living than he and most other people believe, Beatty senses Montag's change in emotion, and does his best to set him straight, telling him that books are only filled with useless thoughts and people and places created by writers that are long gone. This is the main conflict that leads to the rising action of the novel. Montag is told that books are bad, and thus by human nature becomes even more interested in them. However, the conflict is greater than this, as it is not just Montag versus Beatty. Besides also trying to get his ditsy wife interested in books, Montag faces an internal battle with himself. He has to weigh the consequences of getting caught with books with the rewards of what he could possibly gain by reading. I especially appreciated the effort Bradbury went through to bring the feelings and emotions Montag goes experiences to the reader by his word choice, and the way he showed the reader how Montag was playing a sort of tug-of-war in his mind.
    I think Bradbury did a good job surprising the reader whenever possible, such as with Montag's actions. Just when you begin to think that you might see how Guy will act in a situation, Bradbury twists the outcome, keeping you on the edge of your seat in some cases, or at least wondering what will happen next. Such is the case with Faber; a man Montag becomes friends with who also has interests in the forbidden world of books. Just as Bradbury leads the reader to believe that Faber will be somewhat in control of how Guy responds to the remarks of his boss Beatty, Montag leaves Faber in the dust, taking matters into his own hands and acting on impulse.
    Bradbury uses a serious tone throughout the novel, which helps to bring forth the importance of the subject at hand. I liked the serous way in which Bradbury presents the world Montag lives in, a world without books or leisure reading material. This made me question what I would do if I were in Montag's situation, even though in this day and age it is quite unlikely that books would suddenly be totally banned. It really got me thinking about censorship in general, and how at times in the past we made steps toward making Montag's world a reality by banning books from libraries and bookstores. On the other hand, in brought to light the fact that the bans placed on many books were lifted after such acts were declared unconstitutional, which somewhat renewed my faith in the ability of our government and society to recognize and correct some of its mistakes.
    The novel is still thought provoking, however, because no matter what kind of society we live in today, we can all imagine living in one that is totally different, one we do not feel comfortable in, one that we let our imaginations run wild in creating it, making it painful to think about let alone live in. I enjoyed how the novel made me realize how many freedoms we have nowadays, and how they can easily be taken away.
    Without spoiling the ending, I just want to say that I thought it was very fitting. As Granger says near the end of the novel, "You're not important. You're not anything." Montag and his group would have appeared to be insignificant to any unsuspecting stranger, even though they were the keys to a vast world of knowledge, one they hope someday the world will get to experience again.
    Though I do think that Ray Bradbury did a very good job of writing Fahrenheit 451, I feel that it has a few weaknesses. First would have to be a shortness of description, especially at the beginning of the novel when the reader is trying to form an image of the world Montag lives in. His short initial description of things such as the parlor walls and the mechanical hound left me somewhat confused about what they really had to do with the novel. Another case of confusion occurred with the mechanical snake that was used to empty Montag's wife's stomach and change her blood while she was sleeping after Montag found out that his wife, Mildred, had swallowed some thirty sleeping pills. It is not so confusing how this event happens but rather why it happens, and it does not seem to be important later in the story.
    Despite some weaknesses, the main point of Fahrenheit 451 is clear, and makes the book a definite "must-read."

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Prophetic Novel of Censorship
    Guy Montag is a firefighter who burns things. Specifically books, and the houses they are found in. He lives in a state where books, and possesion of them, is illegal. Guy enjoys his job until the day he meets Clarisse McClellan.

    Clarisse makes Guy doubt his motives and he soon becomes daring enough to break the law and read a book. He finds he loves litereature, he keeps steals books from the houses he's burning and reads them at home. He finally goes as far as to skip work one day, and his Fire Department Captain, Captain Beatty, shows up at his home. He tells Montag that it's normal for a Fireman to go through such doubts at a stage in his life. Then proceeds to go through a long monologue as to the history of banning books. According to him, special interest groups objected to books that criticized, belittled, or undermined their causes. For this reason, books became more and more neutral in order to avoid offending anyone. However, this still wasn't enough. So society agreed to outlaw books.

    Montag is not convinced and begins to plot with a professor he had previously met named Faber. They plan on planting books in the houses of Firemen as a way of discrediting the profession and destroying the governments unit for censorship. However, thing go when the alarm sounds at the firestation and Montag goes to the last house he'll burn in is career, his house.

    Unlike its fellow dystopia-themed predecessor, 1984, much of Fahrenheit 451's depiction of modern society came true almost prophetically. Although not outlawed, literature now holds a narrow audience. And the brainwashing televisions Ray Bradbury depicts aren't far off of today's one-eyed-boxes.

    Ray Bradbury's adjectival descriptions in this book are strong, even at times; on occasion, one could even say they became monotonous. However, the books never crawls forward for to long; the progress, although not quick, still moves fast enough to keep the reader's attention.

    Overall a strong novel censorship. Although not perfectI would recommend Fahrenheit 451 to any reader interested in either mere science-fiction, or one actually interested in a political criticism of censorship. Both will find their time well spent, the latter will definitely get more out of it, as for the previous. . .
    Maybe you would enjoy Star Wars??

    5-0 out of 5 stars Definition of a classic...
    I've heard so many people say they've been influenced by Bradbury (writers and others) and I can see why--this is simply a great novel. Bradbury is really a national treasure. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, don't miss him. His stories are priceless. (Especially the one about his anger at people telling him for years that he was crazy to believe man would set foot on the moon in his lifetime. He said he called up every person who laughed in his face the night Neil Armstrong did--and pretty much laughed in their faces!) There is a fantastic one-on-one interview with him in the Walt Disney Tomorrowland-Disney in Space and Beyond DVD (interviewer is Leonard Maltin). His friendship with Disney (a fellow futurist) was fascinating. But it's the sense of wonder and child-like curiosity and optimism (not childish or blind optimism as he clearly understands what can create a dystopia) that make you realize why he is a national treasure. He's inspired me to look to the future, to look up, to look forward, to always be wary and alert to what can go wrong, (and the dangers of closed or lazy minds) BUT not to let any of that stop you--that anything is possible in a world willing to believe, in a free world with open and curious minds.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A book that continues to touch on modern life
    Though I was long familiar with many of Bradbury's works, I had put off reading "Fahrenheit 451" in favor of other books until a friend lent it to me recently. After reading it, I'm angry with myself for having taken so long to pick it up. This book is a fantastic tale of a future society that abandons intellectual development and destroys its books. Like all great literature, it offers insight into our society today despite having been written over a half-century ago, and it continues to reward reading today.

    This book is more than a seminal work of dystopian literature, however; it is also one of the most elegant meditations on the value of literature in modern society that I have ever read. In envisioning a society that destroys books, Bradbury has to explain what is lost as a result. His answer, as we see in Faber's expositions during Montag's visit, is the exact thing which makes this book worth reading - the insights we gain into our own world and our own lives through reading. Integral to this process, of course, is the fact that people must read them and put what they take from them to good use for a society to thrive; as Bradbury notes, the first step towards the world of his novel was taken when people stopped reading. It is this message which makes "Fahrenheit 451" essential reading, especially in a society where entertainment today bears an ever-closer resemblance to the noise-dominated media depicted in Bradbury's nightmarish future.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Reply to a response
    How does someone miss the point of a REVIEW by such a vast margin? I agree with your and Mr. Bradbury's alarm about the state of politics and culture, but my review was not concerned with his message, but with his storytelling. Just because one agrees with an author's stance does not mean that one has to like the way in which the author conveyed that stance. Mine was a literary critique, not a political one, and those who rate this book so highly simply because of the gravity of the message are deeply misguided. Message aside, it's an awfully cheesy and childish book. Admit it.

    Anyway, I said the DIALOGUE was wooden. The characters were flat. ;) ... Read more


    6. Shadow of the Giant (Ender)
    by Orson Scott Card
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312857586
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
    Publisher: Tor Books
    Sales Rank: 47561
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    Book Description

    Bean's past was a battle just to survive.He first appeared on the streets of Rotterdam, a tiny child with a mind leagues beyond anyone else.He knew he could not survive through strength; he used his tactical genius to gain acceptance into a children's gang, and then to help make that gang a template for success for all the others.He civilized them, and lived to grow older. Then he was discovered by the recruiters for the Battle School.

    For Earth was at war - a terrible war with an inscrutable alien enemy. A war that humanity was near to losing.But the long distances of interstellar space has given hope to the defenders of Earth - they had time to train military geniuses up from childhood, forging them into an irresistible force in the high-orbital facility called the Battle School.That story is told in two books, the beloved classic ENDER'S GAME, and its parallel, ENDER'S SHADOW.

    Bean wasthe smallest student at the Battle School, but he became Ender Wiggins' right hand, Since then he has grown to be a power on Earth.He served the Hegemon as strategist and general in the terrible warsthat followed Ender's defeat of the alien empire attacking Earth. Now he and his wife Petra yearn for a safe place to build a family - something he has never known - but there is nowhere on Earth that does not harbor his enemies - old enemies from the days in Ender's Jeesh, new enemies from the wars on Earth. To find security,Bean and Petra must once again follow in Ender's footsteps.They must leave Earth behind, in the control of the Hegemon, and look to the stars.
    ... Read more

    7. The Trouble Begins: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-3 (The Bad Beginning; The Reptile Room; The Wide Window)
    by Lemony Snicket
    list price: $35.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 006029809X
    Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
    Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
    Sales Rank: 16
    Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Fans of Lemony Snicket and newcomers to his gleefully ghastly Series ofUnfortunate Events will be elated to discover this boxed gift set of the firstthree books in hardcover: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, andThe Wide Window. While it's true that the events that unfold in Snicket'snovels are bleak, and things never turn out as you'd hope, these delightful,funny, linguistically playful books are reminiscent of Roald Dahl, CharlesDickens, and Edward Gorey. After they get their paws on this boxed set, there isno question that young readers will want to read the continuing unluckyadventures of the three Baudelaire orphans. (Ages 9 and older) --KarinSnelson ... Read more

    Reviews (100)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Box of Unfortunate Events: The Trouble Begins (Books 1-3:
    Dear Reader,
    This series is about three children: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Bauldiare. The books are filled with misery and woe, the children are always followed by misfortune and a crook by the name of Count Olaf. He is always after the Bauldiares enormous fortune, and somehow never seems to get a firm grip, just like you couldn't grab a stick of melting butter with your bare hand. The children (orphans, which we are bound to call them) always find a way to escape the scraggly grip of Count Olaf... The first book started as the three soon to be orphans were walking along the beach examining strange specimens that got washed up on the shoreline. When a strange figure came up to them, it turns out that it was Mr. Poe, the Bauldiares bank manager. This started all of the childrens' misery: the fact that an enormous fire had destroyed their home, and their parents... This has been just the beginning of the first book. There are currently 13 books, where misfortune and Count Olaf follow the poor Bauldiares, trying to get control over the fortune and the their lives.The books are very negative, so I personally don't recommend them for smaller children, but they are good, if your heart doesn't melt in the midst of them. Do the orphans escape Olaf, or do they lose their fortune, and their lives. To find out, read the Series of Unfortunate Events.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Teacher's Review
    As a teacher, I am constantly looking for the newest and biggest book to read to my students. During my travels, I came across a book entitled "The Bad Beginning" by Lemony Snickett. I decided to take a chance and purchase the book. I sat down at home and read the entire book in about two and a half hours, and it was one of the most enjoyable stories that I had read in a long time! I tried the book out on the kids, and they just ate it up. The students couldn't get enough of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire....and to be quite honest, neither could I!! Soon after reading the first book, I purchased books two and three, and not to my surprise they were just as good! I again read these books to the students, and they again ate them up!!! Unfortunately, by the time we had finished the third book, the school year was over. However, I went on to finish my collection by getting books four through nine. I love these stories! The black humor that they contain should be that of a Coen Brothers film. The kids got every joke, and they totally fell in love with Snickett's radically original storytelling - explaining things in detail, translating Sunny's baby talk, and giving hilarious backstory. My peers often make fun of me because I read so much children's literature, but I have recommended these books to all of my friends. I even believe that these books are more interesting and fun to read than the Harry Potter series...but thats just me! I would recommend this book to parents of third and fourth grade students (it might be a little unfullfilling to the fiercly loyal fifth grade Harry Potter crowd) and also to adults who are unfamiliar with the series. A truly remarkable find and the most entertaining children's novels since Roald Dahl. Summer's the perfect time to pick these up!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Books!
    I've bought these books, and I've recieved them in a short period of time. They are interesting to read. It's hard to see these children struggle, and face all the sorrow that comes their way. I thought I would not like these, because they were supposed to be depressing. If you want a series you really get involved in, try these. This collection is by far entertaining, and detailed. I can't wait to buy the next box set!

    4-0 out of 5 stars From Bad to Worse: The Story of the Baudelaire Orphans
    When I first started reading this series of books I was set back a little because these stories are not written in the style of typical children's books. These stories are dark, and the evil characters are truly evil. A number of reviewers have panned this series because they are dark, and because they often push the boundaries of what some of us may find acceptable for children to read. It is because of the dark imagery that I have typically recommended that age 9 be a minimum age. Some children may be unprepared for these books until later.

    In the first three books in this series we learn that the three Baudelaire children, Sunny, the baby, Klaus, her brother, and Violet, a young teen, have lost their parents in a terrible fire. The children are sent to live with their evil uncle Olaf, who has ulterior motives yet to be revealed in later books. The children quickly learn how evil he is, and ultimately escape. They next go to live with their uncle Montgomery Montgomery in "The Reptile Room," only to be forced to move on again. In "The Wide Window" the children live with an aunt who is afraid of everything, only to ultimately be forced to move on again, continually chased by the evil Count Olaf in a variety of disguises.

    Book 11 in this series is soon to come out, and the original plan was for there to be 12 books. These books are like potato chips. Once you start one and find it intriguing, you will want to keep reading. If you do not like the first book, plan to stop with the first.

    This series is highly creative and many children 9 and older find them enjoyable. My children read them as teens and loved them. They did think they were different and unusual, and since they could not explain why I read them myself. They are different and unusual, but they also introduce children to situations that have occurred to children in the real world. A good way to introduce scary subjects.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The first three books = Set-up....
    Well, I'll admit its been a while since I've read the first three books of the series. They are are my least favorite in the series. Because in my opinion they get much better after those three. Especially after book 5. However, since this is a 1-3 box set, I MUST review these specific ones right now, so here goes.

    Book One: The Bad Beginning - Well in book one we our introduced to the Baudelaire's, they are quite happy children that live with their parents in a large house, and are very rich. These children include: Violet, a 14 year old whom is a genius inventor, and will tie her up when in the midst of inventing, Klaus, her 12 year old brother whom is a genius of books, hecan't get enough of them, and is quite often a well of imformation, and last but not least Sunny, a small baby whom is still crawling, can't really talk yet except with made up words, but she has for EXTREMELY long & sharp teeth.

    Now, so the story goes, the Baudelare children were playing on the beach, when they became orphans(wont tell you how), this is where there misfortunes began, because they must live with a gardian now, a relative or something. Well, they end up living with Count Olaf, and really I don't want to tell you more of that book.

    NOTICE: If you DON'T want ANYTHING in the books after book one spoiled DON'T the next to descriptions of the books, skip them and read my summary.

    Book Two: The Reptile Room - In this book the Baudelaire's have escaped Count Olaf and Mr. Poe has placed them in the care of Dr. Montgomery Montgomery, or their Uncle Monty. He is a man whom studies reptiles and has many interesting and dangerous reptiles. The Baudelaire's begin to feel that they will actually enjoy living there too. But is it safe for them to get comfortable?

    Book Three: The Wide Window - After they had to leave Uncle Monty's house(I wont say why), Mr. Poe has placed them in their care of their paranoid grammar obsessed Aunt Josephine. A woman who's husband died a couple years back and wont use stoves in fear that she set the house on fire or something like that. Her house "barely" sits on a ledge next to lake Lachreymose by Domocles Dock. The Baudelaire's don't enjoy living there very much, but how long will it last anyways?

    Well, I would say that "The Series of Unfortunate Events" is for those who are morbid at heart. These books have an extremely morbid sense of humor. But it is a great sense of humor, may take some time to get used to. And even though book 4 is the lowest rated on Amazon.com, I'd say that is where the books really hit their stride, in book for. That's where I really began to enjoy the books and their unique sense of humor. So whether you are young or old, though I think older people may enjoy these a little more cause they can understand them better(and most the people I know who've read them have been at least my age, 19yrs), you'll probably still enjoy them, they're fun books. And they have some things to teach, even though they don't seem like it.

    God Bless & *enjoy* ~Amy ... Read more


    8. Speak
    by Laurie Halse Anderson
    list price: $8.99
    our price: $8.09
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 014131088X
    Catlog: Book (2001-04-01)
    Publisher: Speak
    Sales Rank: 2044
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

    Awards for Speak

    A 2000 Printz Honor Book
    A 1999 National Book Award Finalist
    An Edgar Allan Poe Award Finalist
    A 1999 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
    Winner of the SCBWI Golden Kite Award
    An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
    An ALA Quick Pick
    A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
    A Booklist Top Ten First Novel of 1999
    A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
    A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
    A Horn Book Fanfare Title
    ... Read more

    Reviews (721)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Emily's Speak Book Review
    Laurie Halse-Anderson's novel, Speak, is a riveting story about a teenage girl starting her high school days as an outcast. The main character, Melinda, had called the cops on the end-of-the-summer bash and everyone is busted. The reason for calling the cops is something Melinda keeps deep inside and does not reveal until the end. This novel shows Melinda as she struggles with many difficult aspects of high school and her home life. She has trouble speaking to people and expressing her true emotions. Though she's still very apprehensive, one person she starts to open up to is Mr. Freeman, her art teacher. He has taught her how to express her feelings through art and also told her he'd always be there to listen. Will Melinda finally open up to him or anyone, and find her voice?
    I enjoyed this novel because it was realistic and detailed. It is a book that brings forth a mixture of emotions. It will make you laugh, cry, and yell out in anger. I definitely recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very touching novel
    Laurie Halse Anderson's novel, Speak, is very well written. It's an entertaining, riveting tale about a girl who calls the police to a party which results in several of her peers getting busted. Something happened at the end-of-summer party that changed her life forever.
    Upon returning to school in the fall, the main character, Melinda Sordino, is blackballed by her classmates. She chooses to deal with her problem and those around her by silencing herself. There is an internal battle going on inside Melinda's head throughout the novel. She finally finds refuge in one of her classes, art. The art instructor is a very caring individual who notices that Melinda is acting strangely and that she is different and withdrawn. He wants to help her so he shows empathy toward her. She begins to use art as an outlet and finds meaning and symbolism in it.
    Anderson does an extraordinary job using symbolism throughout the novel. She deals with a very serious subject, yet her writing is extremely witty and funny. I found myself laughing aloud while reading it.
    School can be a very negative experience for many young people. The life of a ninth grade student is told from Melinda Sordino's point of view. She is unpopular and berated. The cruelty displayed by her peers, comfortable in their cliques, is something many young adults will be able to identify with. By the end of the novel, Melinda finally speaks! She tells why she called the cops that night. At first no one believes her, then another event happens that turns her life around. You have to read this book!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    I really liked this book. I just finished it a few weeks ago, because in English we had to do literature circles and this was the book three other people and I read. I thought that the book was really good and so did two of the other people in my group they rated it 8 out of ten and 10/10 and I rated 9/10 but the other person in the group gave it 1/10. He said that all Melinda did in the book was whine about things but I don't think that's true.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Whatever you say can and will be used against you
    Speak is an amazing read for anyone. While it is targeted towards Young Adults, I think it would be a good book for parents to read as well. Perhaps parents could read more YA books and it might actually give them a better understanding of their own teenagers. This gives the reader a good insight into the theory that there are two sides to every story. Not only does the unspoken character have to deal with the horrid aftermath of rape pulling at her emotional soul, but she can't talk about it to anyone. Fear of rejection, peer pressure, and teen angst play a major part in this powerful coming-of-age story

    4-0 out of 5 stars speak
    I recommend Speak for ages 13 and up, especially, if you are going into high school. It talks about first experiences in high school, the struggles with her classes and teachers, and includes her experiences on the bus. "The bus picks up students in groups of four or five. As they walk down the aisle, people who were in my middle-school lab partners or gym buddies glare at me. I close my eyes. This is what I've been dreading. As we leave the last stop, I am the only person sitting alone." She met a new girl named Heather. "Another wounded zebra turns and smiles at me. She's packing at least five grand worth of orthodontia, but has great shoes. 'I'm Heather from Ohio', she says. 'I'm new here. Are you?' I don't answer. The lights dim and the indoctrination begins." This book gave me a heads up on what high school will be and some of the experience that an ordinary student would go through. ... Read more


    9. A Separate Peace
    by John Knowles
    list price: $8.00
    our price: $8.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743253973
    Catlog: Book (2003-09-30)
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 8042
    Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

    A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles's crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic. ... Read more

    Reviews (647)

    2-0 out of 5 stars personally I did not enjoy this book
    A Seperate Peace is supposed to be a story about friendship, betrayal, and conflict. The Story is written with a sense of irony and sadness in the tone. I personally found the book depressing and pointless. The story really shows a dark side of human nature that most people don't like to see or even acknowledge. The story is about boys in a private New England school at the time of World War 2. Gene, the protagonist seems life-like and well-defined, but in a way that makes hima whining idiot. He is impossible to sympathize with, and the only thing that keeps the other characters from being the same is that they have no sense of realism at all. Conflict develops in many different times, and different levels throughout the novel. The conflicts are mostly well-defined, but since the story has no plot, it is hard to see their connection or point. I found the authors tone harsh and cold. The author probably could have defined the other characters better. The book also presents many conflicting views that are darn near impossible to figure out and relate to the story. If you do read this book (and for most students it is mandatory), I certainly hope that you enjoy it and get a lot out of it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The loss of innocense - the dawn of war
    John Knowles captures the loss of innocense in his "A Separate Peace." Set on the eve of a larger conflict overseas in World War II, the book is a stream of consciousness writing, as the narrator reflects after the war the incidents at Devon that were a sort of rites of passage for him into adulthood.

    But 'A Separate Peace' also reveals the deep twists of an unusual friendship between a scholar and an athlete. Their bond and the betrayal that follows. It is a moving drama on a human scale, the climax and conclusion being most unexpected, but reminicent of the tragedy of war, not the resoluution of Peace.

    For looking at the youth that will fight the war, rather than the war itself, the author details the peace found between friends that will have to recreated on the battlefield. An agonizing book, it will live in your heart long after you have read the last page.

    4-0 out of 5 stars a separate peace
    This book is a good book. in the beggining it starts slow but then it picks up the pace, it starts getting personal with the characters, and all the action happens after the introduction of the characters, when Finny and Gene become real good friends.
    i like this book, and i think you will enjoy it too. and also watch the movie, but they act kind of gay but they are not, so dont take it the wrong way.
    1love

    1-0 out of 5 stars This book is not good
    It is BOORING and i will not recomend it to anyone. The vocabulary is very difficult too!!

    1-0 out of 5 stars even lisa simpson thinks this book is lame
    i don't understand why they still make high school kids read this. ... Read more


    10. The Situation Worsens: A Box of Unfortunate Events, Books 4-6 (The Miserable Mill; The Austere Academy; The Ersatz Elevator)
    by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist
    list price: $35.99
    our price: $21.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060095563
    Catlog: Book (2002-11-05)
    Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
    Sales Rank: 30
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    What could be worse than a book by Lemony Snicket? Three books by Lemony Snicket—all in one foul package. This second Box of Unfortunate Events, contains The Miserable Mill, The Austere Academy, and The Ersatz Elevator. ... Read more

    Reviews (20)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Books 4-6: Hitting the stride....
    I feel its easier to review the box set then three seperate books in three seperate reviews... So this is what I am doing.

    I had a 1yr hiatus between books 3 & 4. I became disinterested in the series, but for some odd reason I decided to pick the series up again. I never stopped thinking about the books or liking them, I just felt they were'nt good enough to continue reading. And maybe you've felt the same about the first 3 books as well. If you have, I encourage you to continue to read on.

    In book for, though its the lowest rated on Amazon.com at 4stars, I wouldn't say its the worst, this is the book that got me hooked, the book where I really appreciated Snicket's humor and morbid writing style. Maybe it had to do with me being older, or the old saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder.", who knows? So anyways, onto the book reviews.!

    Book Four: The Miserable Mill - I have a feeling that the reason this book is rated so low because of the Child Labor issue. I mean the person whom is in charge of the Mill is disqusted at the idea that some 14,12, and 1yr children should do normal children things. No, he believes that they are loafers and must make a a living for him in the Mill living on nothing but a stick of gum for lunch and a small dinner. We're talking about machines that could very easily kill children, especially babies. Not to say everyone supports this, but none of the adults are willing to oppose him so, that's how it is. I think that this book handles the issues very well. I enjoyed the book despite the touchy issue because it still had humor and such. But just be aware what you're stepping into. Also, in my opinion this boomk has Count Olaf's best disquise.

    Book Five: The Austere Academy - This book deals with bullies. In the form of Carmelita Spats and Mr. Nero. They both despise orphans, and this is why any orphans are forced to live in the orphans shack. Right now, that is where the Baudelare's are residing. The former residents were the Quagmire triplets. A brother and sister whom lost their brother and parents. Sunny is forced to be an administrative assistant and the Baudelare's have to learn in classes with moronic teachers who make them memorize dumb stories and exact measurements of things. Nero also makes all students listen to his HORRIBLE violin playing in a nightly madatory 6hr concert, whoever doesn't must give him a big bag of candy. ;P Its quite absurd, is it not? But that's the joy of these books. Book 5 is the place where the books begin to take a new turn in a events. But of course I wont give that away.! But trust me, they get better here.!

    Book Six: The Eratz Elevator - This book has them placed in the care of Jerome and Esme Squalor, a couple whom lives on the top of a HUGE apartment complex in a room with 70some odd rooms(Boy I wish I lived there, hehe). This book deals with the the obsession of being fashionable or as Esme would say "In". haha She is OBSESSED with being the MOST in person possible, which includes such things as going with electricity, wearing pin-stripe suites(Actually I like pin-stripes, ;P). Well, many other ridiculous things like eating at a cafe that serves only salmon dishes(including dessert). HAHA There many more things to be revealed here, but I don't want to give anything else away. Its just a lot of fun(and annoying) watching Snicket make fun of people obsessed with fashion. :D

    All in all, I'd say this is a strong set. The books only get stronger after these three, so if you love these 3, you'll love the next three even more. :D So *enjoy*!!!!

    God Bless ~Amy

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hooked on these books...
    I've read several books in this series, and they seem to be addictive. The incredible perils of the Baudileare children, the incessantly evil imagination of Count Olaf (WHERE will he turn up next?!), and, of course, the hilarious place names (Lake Lachrymose! Curdled Cave!) combined with a very droll writing style make these a fun read over the course of an evening or two. The books themselves are very attractive, with deckle edged pages and a nice binding. The illustrations are just right. If you're having a bad day, just read a few chapters of this series of unfortunate events and your life will look much brighter!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Another Great Series
    I like buying series such as these for my kids as they are more eager to read the next book and to keep up the love of reading.

    I'd also recommend the new series by RT Byrum - the first being Mystery of Shrieking Island. You dont have to worry about witchcraft, evil or gore in any of his books.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The story continues
    If this series was categorized into box sets by plot formula, for Snicket is a lover of parallelism and symmetry in his writing, "The Miserable Mill" would likely be placed with the novels found in books one through three, "The Trouble Begins" box set. This book has much in common with its two precursors. In its pages, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are given to yet another guardian, the foreman of a lumber mill, but a man who takes no effort to parent the children, leaving them emotionally on their own more than in either "The Reptile Room" or "The Wide Window." Additionally, this book begins the childrens' requirements of hard physical exertions to protect themselves and satisfy their caretakers, a theme that will repeat itself in future novels and testify to the growing strength of the protagonists under hardship and comardery. But not to confuse potential readers - these children's lives are described most houndingly in terms more negative than positive, and Snicket's threats of misfortune are most real.

    When the orphans' legal representative runs out of living relatives after book four, the children are sent to a most unequal boarding school, where two new characters are introduced. This development resumes an active dynamism between novels, lost between the second and fourth books, where one could theoretically skip one or all of these narratives without losing a bit of the larger plot. Somewhere between these two books, Snicket appears to have found a new way to add depth and interest in his books - here only slightly, but later on with increasing strength. The author has perfected his style of adding completeness to a single novel: placing the characters in a strikingly different environment, reinforcing particular themes of vocabulary and diction, and forming each story to a blueprint which gives the reader a clear indication of position within the story's plot. Now, and finally, Snicket can work on creating a larger and slowly-revealed mystery surrounding the Baudelaires.

    Book six, "The Ersatz Elevator," appears at first to continue simply with Snicket's guardian blueprint, but unresolved elements of the previous novel quickly appear and grow, rather than conclude. Book six is the first of A Series of Unfortunate Events which never felt slow to me as a reader, even as the books slowly increase in volume. Features of the grander mystery - V.F.D., the Baudelaire house fire - now begin to increase curiosity regarding questions that remain unanswered, propelling interest in the series as a whole. Though Snicket seems to be doing an awful lot of ad-libbing as he goes, readers who think his teasing won't go anywhere will later find themselves disproved. Snicket is indeed inventing a story of shifting character and escalating tension, and he continues to get better at it the more he writes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE BAD BEGINNING
    SOME PEOPLE WROTE THINGS LIKE THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR KIDS. BUT I THINK IT IS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS EVER. I LIKE THESE BOOKS BECAUSE IT TEACHES LESSONS FROM TIME TO TIME. I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THE OTHER NINE BOOKS. ... Read more


    11. The Stranger
    by ALBERT CAMUS
    list price: $9.95
    our price: $8.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679720200
    Catlog: Book (1989-03-13)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 2353
    Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The Stranger is not merely one of the most widely readnovels of the 20th century, but one of the books likely to outlive it. Written in 1946, Camus's compelling and troubling tale of a disaffected, apparently amoral young man has earned a durable popularity (and remains a staple of U.S. high school literature courses) in part because it reveals so vividly the anxieties of its time. Alienation, the fear of anonymity, spiritual doubt--all could have been given a purely modern inflection in the hands of a lesser talent than Camus, who won the Nobel Prize in 1957 and was noted for his existentialist aesthetic. The remarkable trick of The Stranger, however, is that it's not mired in period philosophy.

    The plot is simple. A young Algerian, Meursault, afflicted with a sort of aimless inertia, becomes embroiled in the petty intrigues of a local pimp and, somewhat inexplicably, ends up killing a man. Once he's imprisoned and eventually brought to trial, his crime, it becomes apparent, is not so muchthe arguably defensible murder he has committed as it is his deficientcharacter. The trial's proceedings are absurd, a parsing ofincidental trivialities--that Meursault, for instance, seemed unmoved by his ownmother's death and then attended a comic movie the evening after her funeral are two ostensibly damning facts--so that the eventual sentence the jury issues is both ridiculous and inevitable.

    Meursault remains a cipher nearly to the story's end--dispassionate,clinical, disengaged from his own emotions. "She wanted to know if I loved her," he says of his girlfriend. "I answered the same way I had the last time, that it didn't mean anything but that I probably didn't." There's a latent ominousness in such observations, a sense that devotion is nothing more than self-delusion. It's undoubtedly true that Meursault exhibits an extreme of resignation; however, his confrontation with "the gentle indifference of the world" remains as compelling as it was when Camus first recounted it. --Ben Guterson ... Read more

    Reviews (379)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Existential Angst
    The Stranger (translated from Camus' l'Etranger) is the story of Monsieur Meursault, a Frenchman living in Algeria. He is a normal working-class clerk who enjoys the normal pleasures of life. However, the reader notes his strangely impassive attitude from the opening of the book, where we see his inexplicably detached demeanour in light of news of the death of his mother.

    In fact, Meursault is too indifferent to judge any of the events or people that surround him. Accordingly, he does not expect others to judge him either, and the fact that the story focuses on his trial where others examine his life is very ironic.

    The trial centres on the events surrounding one of Meursault's trip to the beach at Algiers. Camus has chosen the name Meursault with purpose, with the French for the sun and sea (mer and soleil) which come together here just as they do at the beach where the crucial episode of the story takes place.

    Underneath the simple plot, there are many abstract ideas brought forth on prejudice and societal conventions. The most important of these themes is the existentialist philosophy of Camus that is realized by Meursault in the final chapter of the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Is this book the existentialist bible? No.
    The other reviewers base their interpretation of this novel on the belief that Camus was an Existentialist and that Camus presented Meursault as a hero. Concerning the last point, nothing could be further from the truth. Before interpreting "The Stranger", one should first read Camus' essays on his own personal philosophy of "The Absurd" and how he relates it to the myth of Sisyphus. These essays reveal that Camus' personal philosophy was distinct from Existentialism in that he imagined that Sisyphus could be happy even though he was condemned to roll a huge stone up a hill in Hades only to have it roll down again on nearing the top. Similarly, Camus believed that people could be fulfilled by searching for the meaning of life even though they know they will not be able to discover it. Consequently, Meursault is not a hero in Camus' eyes because Mersault has given up trying to find meaning in his life and accepts without struggle the lack of emotion and spirit in it. In other words, don't trust everything that was written on the back cover of the american paperback edition of this novel. The back cover contained incorrect information that misled many readers, including myself, about the true meaning of this work. Read Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays" before interpreting "The Stranger" and new meaning will become apparent from this excellent and frightening novel.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Crime and Punishment in Algeria
    Set on the northern coast of Algeria, THE STRANGER is more a
    psychological novel than a hard-core crime read. The story opens with the death of the protagonist's mother in a distant old people's Home. The young man, to whom Camus never gives a first name, is a mild-mannered, unambitious office worker, who treats Life as a spectator sport. His calm and cool demeanor during the all-night vigil and subsequent funeral surprise and repel the residents who knew his mother. Dazed by lack of sleep and dizzy from the long walk to the village church in blistering heat, Meursault says little and remains outwardly unemotional.

    Back in Algiers he spends a pleasant weekend with his casual girlfriend and agrees to help an acquaintance from his building write a warning letter to his unfaithful Moorish mistress. The plot is barely visible up to this point, when the gender and racial feuds become a serious vendetta. Emotions escalate as tropical passions erupt in both premeditated and implusive violence.

    If Part I may be called The Crime, Part II proves the Aftermath. The unnamed anti-hero can be described as the prisoner and later as the defendant. His vauge, controlled responses confound his interrogators and dismay the earnest Catholic chaplain. More concerned with adjusting to the harshness of prison life, Meursault devises a mental stategy to cope with deprivation: women, cigarettes and personal freedom.
    Even hs court-appointed defense council often despairs of him during the long months before the actual trial.

    This novel provides interesting contrast between French and American
    courtroom prodcedure. But why is the strange prisoner--almost outside the pale of normal human emotions--really on trial: for the murder of an Arab who was stalking his friend, or for not being a good son? Was his "Crime" against society in general more shocking than a beachside shooting practically in self-defense? Narrated in the more intense first person, THE STRANGER offers insights into social (or emotional) deviants--examining how civlization seeks to justify or punish them. Camus
    deliberately ends his story prematurely--leaving readers to fill in their own denouement. Is society truly in danger from the dark tides of one man's soul? How could this Sizzling Sands murder have been prevented? Just what has the prisoner learned
    from his experience with French Justice?

    5-0 out of 5 stars A magnificent book, pity about some of its readers...
    I have never felt the need to comment on reviews posted by others on this site, but I feel that Ted Rushton's review (below) of The Stranger is a disgrace and I am amazed that Amazon have seen fit to publish his offensive and ill-informed half-witted drivel. Anyone who can use the moronic term "surrender monkeys" in a review of a book should confine themselves to the latest piece of trash by Frederick Forsyth and steer clear of authors of the calibre of Camus, whose ideas are clearly beyond him.

    Even if Mersault could be seen as exemplifying the attitudes of the French people - and he clearly exemplifies nothing of the sort - Mr Rushton's anti-French tirade crumbles when you consider some facts he omits to mention. Firstly, Camus himself was active in the resistance during the war and also edited, at considerable risk, the clandestine journal Combat. Secondly Camus' The Plague is an allegory of occupation and resistance and, despite Mr Rushton's assertions to the contrary, exhibits considerable moral bravery. Then he should consider Sartre's Roads to Freedom trilogy, three books which concern themselves unflinchingly with issues of engagement, commitment and resistance.

    In any case what philosophy could be more brave than existentialism, a philosophy that rejects the safety net of God and all other transcendental metaphysical fairy tales and insists that man is morally responsible for his own actions and the consequences thereof?

    And by the way, as an Englishman who has travelled in France I can assure Mr R that the French do not hate the English and we - apart from a few tabliod reading idiots - do not hate them either.

    The Stranger itself is one of the great books of the 20th Century: a masterful study of a man who refuses to conform to the false values and hypocrisy of mass self-assured organised society and ultimately pays the consequences for his bravery in refusing to "fit in". The court room scene is one of the finest pieces of writing you will ever come across, and the book as a whole is beautifully written, intensely moving, and ultimately uplifting.

    Buy the book and ignore Mr Rushton's vile "review"

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not sure I "got" it...
    Quoi? Que-est-que c'est?

    This book stumped me; I was absolutely sure how *I* felt about this Mersault chap, but I was not sure what Camus was trying to say - is Mersault the "modern" man? Is his way of living the "existentialist" way of living? Is it ..."good," "bad," or inevitable? In short, what the heck??

    In Mersault, we do not have a "man" as far as I would define a man, we merely have a simple-emotioned animal. Just read the book: all Mersault reacts to are the most basic wants for comfort: food, sex, warmth, sleep. He shoots a man because "the sun" made him do it!! HE SHOT A MAN BECAUSE HE THOUGHT SOMEHOW IT WOULD COOL HIM OFF?!?! Granted, he might have been nervous or something on the trigger, but to empty a gun into a man because the sun is beating down on you?? Is this what "existentialism" is? To become a simple man-animal? Camus I thought was playing up the tribal element of man with the arabs versus the French, but the reason Mersault shoots the arab is not based on any visceral tribal feeling, it is a total non-sequitur. Modernity I think has something to do with complex thoughts, or as Dosty puts it in "The Idiot": "Men of those days... were absolutely not the same people that we are now.. In those days they were men of one idea, but nowadays we are more nervous, more developed, more sensitive, men capable of two or three ideas at once...Modern men are broader-minded."

    Mersault cannot hold a single idea, or anything that "does not interest him." What does interest him are food, sex, warmth, and sleep. Congratulations Mr. Camus, you have artfully depicted an ape. Put an ape into the modern world? Now THATS absurd!!

    If the price to pay for reading this "classic" is just the hours it took to read this book (it is thankfully short), so be it. But perhaps there was a better book I could have been reading when I was reading this? eh, who knows. ... Read more


    12. Ender's Game (Ender Wiggin Saga)
    by Orson Scott Card
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0812550706
    Catlog: Book (1994-07-15)
    Publisher: Tor Science Fiction
    Sales Rank: 867
    Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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    New York Times

    Intense is the word for Ender's Game.Aliens have attacked Earth twice and almost destroyed the human species.To make sure humans win the next encounter, the world government has taken to breeding military geniuses -- and then training them in the arts of war... The early training, not surprisingly, takes the form of 'games'... Ender Wiggin is a genius among geniuses; he wins all the games... He is smart enough to know that time is running out.But is he smart enough to save the planet? ... Read more

    Reviews (2010)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the best sci-fi book I've ever read.
    This book is one of my all-time favorites. I first read it in eighth grade on a recommendation by my english teacher. I figured, "Oh yeah, this will be good." I was wrong. "Ender's Game" grabbed my attention from the beginning and hurdled me through to the very end. I loved it. Orson Scott Card's description and detail of his world of the future was always riveting and left me spellbound when I finally finished the book. Andrew "Ender" Wiggin is a very likable character that keeps the story flowing. And he is one tough kid. This book has a great fight sequence that puts Alfred Hitchcock's shower scene to shame. Zero gravity battles in an enclosed dome, space rides at close to light speed, and instant message transmission across the galaxy are just some of the things we experience while we're reading this masterpiece of science fiction literature. The screenplay and film are under negotiation to be made now. I, for one, can't wait.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ender's Game
    I am not an avid reader. So when I received Ender's Game, it was quickly plopped onto a shelf to wait for a rainy day. Well the rain came. And the rain left, yet I still could not put down the book. Within only a few days (a speedy rate for me), the book was read. The character's lack of emotions, and what few he has left being so strong shows how writing really is as artistic as painting and composing. A fantastic work by Card.

    Ender, at age six, is taken away from family and friends to join the army of the future, to go to a space station where he will train for years before he is sent off to defend his world. He arrives a shy and lonely boy, with suspicions that nothing is like it should be. Training (disguised as games) is difficult, and he is disliked by too many. Ender advances ranks years before he is due. Which encourages the other soldiers to hate him more. Back at home, the population (including Ender's family) create their own ideas of the truth to the battle. It is predicted that as soon as the inter-galactic war ends, the "old-fashioned" land wars between countries will take place again.

    However, Earth takes a back-seat in the story of Ender. The book focuses on the feelings within Ender as he advances to the next rank, and the practices within the games (of which Ender participates in every day). The book is as emotional as they come but still keeps its action-oriented plot. There is not a single page of dull. The age of characters can sometimes be misleading and confusing, but it is mentioned little and is easily ignored.

    Ender's Game is a masterpiece, a guarenteed favorite to all who read it. My recommendation can be no higher.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ender's Game
    I have just a read Ender's Game. I'm reading it in a summer school class and we are dicussing many ideas and we came up with the conclusion this book is AWESOME. I also am half way through Ender's Shadow and that one is great so far. Honestly i think I like Ender's Shadow a bit more then Ender's Game, but only slightly. Orson Scott Card is an excellent author. Ender's Game makes you feel like you're up in battle school with them. If you like Ender's Game I defiantly recommend Ender's Shadow. I think it's a good idea to pick which one you like better and go along with that series and then finish the other one. Hope you enjoy this wonderful series.

    4-0 out of 5 stars yes, it¿s a good book and people adore it¿ but honestly it¿s
    Why You Should Read This

    If you regard(ed) yourself as a gifted child you will find the reading cathartic. If you're a parent of a gifted child then you should regard this book as non-fiction. Anyone looking for a very good book to read over the weekend or during some other short interim of time then there are really no finer books. Ender's Game is an excellent book to give or recommend to someone unfamiliar with the genre who isn't desirous of much in the way of high-brow literature. If you've read other books by Card and are (rightly) puzzled and disgusted at his iconic status then you should give this one a try.

    Why You Should Pass

    There is an extraordinary amount of hype surrounding this book. Do not flip the cover open expecting to have your life changed. Have realistic expectations for what it is: a decent book with mass-market appeal. If you're looking to have your life changed or affirmed, seek other books. Do not expect heavy philosophy here, you won't find it. If you're looking for heavy philosophy likewise seek elsewhere.

    READ MORE AT INCHOATUS.COM

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you like Harry Potter, you will love Ender's Game
    ENDER'S GAME is my all time favorite book. Having been introduced to this book roughly 20 years ago, I have read and worn out many copies, and couldn't even tell you how many times I have read it. I have given away many copies as well, buying new ones as I use up or give away the old. At 226 pages (hardcover) the book is so compelling it can easily been read in one sitting.

    It always amazes me when I run accross people who list this book as their favorite because to me the Sci-Fi genere has always seemed too obscure, and there are not many Sci-Fi books I enjoy reading.

    As the Harry Potter series has successfully emerged, I have often drawn some comparisons between the two series and why they have attracted so much attention.

    Both Ender's Game and Harry Potter have attracted an audience that would normally not indulge in the generes of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or Children's books. While the Harry Potter series had attracted many adult readers, Ender's Game (which is not a children's book) has attracted many adolecent readers and acts as a bridge moving them into adult literature. Both Harry Potter and Ender's game tell the story of a young child (Ender is only 6 when the book starts)entering a dark and scary world, with a power neither one of them knew they possess. Both have enemies that they as children must conqure, with the fate of the world on their shoulders.

    As a child (I believe I was eight or nine when I started reading Ender's Game)I believe it was those themes, along with the powerfully written characters that drew me to the book. As an adult I particularly enjoy the social issues the book raises, and seeing some of the science fiction become reality (the internet plays a heavy role in the book, even though it was non-existant at the time). Over time I have only grown to love and appreciate this book and would recomend it to anyone who loves to read fiction of any genere. ... Read more


    13. A Wrinkle in Time
    by Madeleine L'Engle
    list price: $6.50
    our price: $5.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440498058
    Catlog: Book (1973-04-01)
    Publisher: Yearling
    Sales Rank: 329
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com

    Everyone in town thinks Meg Murry is volatile and dull-witted, and that her younger brother, Charles Wallace, is dumb. People are also saying that their physicist father has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother.Spurred on by these rumors and an unearthly stranger, the tesseract-touting Mrs Whatsit, Meg and Charles Wallace and their new friend Calvin O'Keefe embark on a perilous quest through space to find their father. In doing so, they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time. This is no superhero tale, nor is it science fiction, although it shares elements of both. The travelers must rely on their individual and collective strengths, delving deep within themselves to find answers.

    A well-loved classic and 1963 Newbery Medal winner, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time is sophisticated in concept yet warm in tone, with mystery and love coursing through its pages. Meg's shattering, yet ultimately freeing, discovery that her father is not omnipotent provides a satisfying coming-of-age element. Readers will feel a sense of power as they travel with these three children, challenging concepts of time, space, and the triumph of good over evil. The companion books in the Time quartet, continuing the adventures of the Murry family, are A Wind in the Door; A Swiftly Tilting Planet, which won the American Book Award; and Many Waters. Every young reader should experience L'Engle's captivating, occasionally life-changing contributions to children's literature. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

    Reviews (787)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Space Travel at It's Best
    "A Wrinkle in Time " tells the story of Meg and Charles Wallace who, with their friend Calvin, decide to look for their missing father. They meet three mysterious alien women who aid them in their search by giving them interesting powers. With the help of their new alien friends, the children enter a tesseract, a short way of traveling between worlds. They go to a world terrorized by the evil It. Their father is on this world and the children devise a plan to safely leave with him. Their plan goes terribly wrong.

    This book has lots of action and it' s characters are children whose reactions are very realistic in their situations. If you like science fiction and love to read about time travel, you will love this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding Sci-fi!
    Do you know those books where you accidentally yell out loud to a character to run or hide because you're so tied into the book? Well if you do, this book is definitely one of those. The book started me off confused with Mrs. Whatsit and her involvement in the book, but soon enough the unique characters of the three children and the odd supernatural women made me want to read more.

    I loved how Madeleine L'Engle wrote about the aliens and their planets. Most people believe that aliens are much smarter and stronger that us, but she described them different than us, but with a reasonable intelligence level. It makes sense that she made Earth a clouded planet because compared to Ixchel, our planet is full of hate and evil. The only downside of the book for me was the ending. I expected a showdown between good and evil in the last heart stopping scene, but the book came to an ending with the usual 'love is the best power of all."

    Looking at this book and comparing it to Harry Potter wouldn't be fair. First of all because after reading both books the overall excitement of Harry Potter way beyond that of A Wrinkle in Time mostly because of the size of the book. I t would also not be fair because Harry Potter, when I was reading it, was the best book of all time and the excitement in the writing was just incomparable. If you're looking for a good Sci-fi book though to read on your free time you will love it. Then again, I guess what I am trying to get to you is that if I were to choose to read the fifth Harry Potter book or all four of the Wrinkle in Time books (I think they are about the same amount of pages) I would definitely choose Harry Potter.

    Hope this helps,
    Travis Robinson

    5-0 out of 5 stars Really good!!
    I read this a long time ago, but it's still really good! Read it! Anyway, that's not my real point.

    Would all those people who are complaining about the "lack of scientific substance" stop?!?!?! This isn't supposed to be a scientific journal! It's a NOVEL! What do novels do? Tell stories! NOT give scientific facts.

    So, with that aside, I recommend this book to everyone.

    Have fun reading!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Wrinkle in Time
    A Wrinkle in Time is a fantastic Sci-Fi young adults book. It is about discovery of one's self and accepting yourself as you are.

    The story follows Meg, her brilliant brother Charles Wallace, and her new friend Calvin as they journey through space and behind an evil cloud to find Meg's father. They are assisted by Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, who show the children that they can do anything with the talents (and weaknesses) they have.

    The reason it didn't receive 5 stars is because the story fell flat in certain places and many times it seemed rushed. Also, my favorite is A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and comparing this book to that one, this book falls short, but only just a little bit.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Challenging and thought-provoking for all ages
    This is one of those amazing kids books that can be read on all different levels by people of all different ages. Is it the story of a bunch of spunky kids out to save their father? Or is it one big metaphysical metaphor?

    When gawky Meg, "new" Charles Wallace, and popular Calvin O'Keefe get whisked off across the universe to rescue Meg and Charles Wallace's father, they have no idea that they are part of the greater battle between good and evil.

    The amazing thing is that this book does not talk down to kids. It is chock full of graduate-level science, religion, and philosophy. Classical poets and thinkers are quoted without a second thought. A relatively obscure sonnet from Shakespeare serves as an important plot point. But although it challenges, it also rewards. It is never difficult to read or understand.

    I have always thought that this book would be a great starting point for a discussion if read alongside Lois Lowry's "The Giver." Both are about dystopias where there is no such thing as individuality and privacy. How are the two worlds different, and how are they the same? "Aberations" are dealt with in surprisingly similar ways. What is the role of "love" in both books? What does Meg mean when she screams "Like and equal are not the same thing" and how does that relate to the snobiness that Jonah's "parents" show towards some professions?

    Everyone over the age of 10 should read this book. Grown-ups should not consider it a "kids book," because it can be read on so many different levels. It is a classic, thought-provoking book that will be read again and again. ... Read more


    14. Keys To The Kingdom, The #3: Drowned Wednesday : Drowned Wednesday (Keys to the Kingdom)
    by Garth Nix
    list price: $15.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0439700868
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
    Publisher: Scholastic Press
    Sales Rank: 397453
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    Book Description

    Everyone is after Arthur Penhaligon.Strange pirates.Shadowy creatures.And Drowned Wednesday, whose gluttony threatens both her world and Arthur's. With his unlimited imagination and thrilling storytelling, Garth Nix has created a character and a world that become even more compelling with each book.As Arthur gets closer to the heart of his quest, the suspense and mystery grow more and more intense....
    ... Read more

    15. The Outsiders
    by S. E. Hinton
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 014038572X
    Catlog: Book (1997-11-01)
    Publisher: Puffin Books
    Sales Rank: 3394
    Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1145)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Prejudice
    I really liked S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders because of the unique way the book was written. Instead of the "conventional" writing style, Ms. Hinton wrote the book like she is Ponyboy Michael Curtis, "Greaser." This book was very interesting, it had many unexpected twists and turns. The Outsiders is a very believable book, and in many ways there are real "outsiders" today.

    The Outsiders dealt with prejudice, and as you are reading this book you begin to understand what life is like for other groups and how they act towards each other. It's sad because no matter what or who is in the group, they are all classified as "bad," "good," "smart," etc. It made me realize that I too judge and group people too easily, we all do.

    I would recommend this book to anyone (over the age of 11 or so) who wants to read an awesome novel about life, family relationships, friendships, social groups and prejudice.

    A Student at Secrist Middle School, 3rd period Language Arts

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Outsiders - A Timeless Read
    Even though S.E. Hinton's young adult novel, The Outsiders, was first published 35 years ago, it is timeless. Just like Romeo and Juliet, or West Side Story, it is a story of rivaling groups and the emotional and physical scars that the rivalry plays on the individuals of both sides. There is no love story, but the relationships among three recently orphaned brothers and their gang of greaser friends tells of deep attachments, love and hate.

    The story is told by fourteen year old Ponyboy who is the youngest of the Curtis boys. He reveals his opinions, insights and feelings towards the people and events going on around him. Throughout the story Ponyboy's sensitivity to the complexities of peoples thoughts, motivations, and actions, including his own, increases dramatically. As Ponyboy develops an understanding of his world, so does the reader develop an understanding of how a teenage mind works and grows.

    Hinton's greasers and socs (socialites) represent the cliques that forever seem to reign in middle and high schools. For this reason most readers will find it easy to relate to one or more of the characters. If the reader is an adult, like me, Ponyboy's revelations will shed some light on who some of those other kids in school were, and why they did what they did. For the teen reading the book for the first time,Ponyboy offers insights that might make the road they're travelling easier to understand now.

    If you have a teen in your home, don't show them the movie. Give them this book to read. They are sure to appreciate the gift.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Outsiders - A review
    This book is very good. i have read it in 2 days, and you can read it very good. it is not bad.keep cool, Heiko Rabus

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Outsiders is the best book ever!!!!
    Hey everyone we had to read the book the Outsiders this year(8th Grade) and then we had to watch the movie we had to do a BIG report on it and it was so0o0 much fun and I got a great mark on it..I liked it so much that in the summer I went out and bought the book and then I rented the movie and I have read the book like 4 times and watched the movie like 5 times it's the best ever if you are looking for a good book to read, read The Outsiders!! It's worth it!!
    From The Outsiders Fan
    Gel

    5-0 out of 5 stars A girl's review on the outsiders..
    I have read this book 3 times and everytime I learn something different. I think everyone can relate to atleast one caracter in this book. I related myself to Ponyboy (the caracter that's telling the story from his point of view.)
    The author made me feel like he really went threw all of this, and this book wasn't fiction at all. Many life lessons come out at you as you read...and you don't want to put it down. The main caracter is an intellegent, opinionated teenager who is willing to hide himself and his feelings in order to fit into the world he is forced to live in..but some people he'll trust to open up too. He comes off as a poor troublemaker by the way he dresses, but he is really purer and golden than anyone.
    I recomend this book to everyone, especially teenagers. ... Read more


    16. Monster
    by Walter Dean Myers
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0064407314
    Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
    Publisher: Amistad
    Sales Rank: 7897
    Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I'll call it what the lady who is the prosecutor called me. MONSTER.

    FADE IN: INTERIOR COURT. A guard sits at a desk behind Steve. Kathy O'Brien, Steve's lawyer, is all business as she talks to Steve.

    O'BRIEN
    Let me make sure you understand what's going on. Both you and this king character are on trial for felony murder. Felony Murder is as serious as it gets. . . . When you're in court, you sit there and pay attetion. You let the jury know that you think the case is a serious as they do. . . .

    STEVE
    You think we're going to win ?

    O'BRIEN (seriously)
    It probably depends on what you mean by "win."

    Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon is on trial for murder. A Harlem drugstore owner was shot and killed in his store, and the word is that Steve served as the lookout.

    Guilty or innocent, Steve becomes a pawn in the hands of "the system," cluttered with cynical authority figures and unscrupulous inmates, who will turn in anyone to shorten their own sentences. For the first time, Steve is forced to think about who he is as he faces prison, where he may spend all the tomorrows of his life.

    As a way of coping with the horrific events that entangle him, Steve, an amateur filmmaker, decides to transcribe his trial into a script, just like in the movies. He writes it all down, scene by scene, the story of how his whole life was turned around in an instant. But despite his efforts, reality is blurred and his vision obscured until he can no longer tell who he is or what is the truth. This compelling novel is Walter Dean Myers's writing at its best.

    2000 Coretta Scott King Honor Book, 2000 Michael L. Printz Award, 1999 National Book Award Finalist, 01 Heartland Award for Excellence in YA Lit Finalist, 00-01 Tayshas High School Reading List, and 00-01 Black-Eyed Susan Award Masterlist

    2000 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA), Hornbook Fanfare 2000, Michael L. Printz Award 2000, 2000 Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor Book, 2000 Quick Picks for Young Adults (Recomm. Books for Reluctant Young Readers), and 2000 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)

    ... Read more

    Reviews (341)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Monster
    "Monster" is what the prosecutor called 16-year-old Steve Harmon for his supposed role in the fatal shooting of a convenience-store owner. But was Steve really the lookout who gave the "all clear" to the murderer, or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? In this innovative novel by Walter Dean Myers, the reader becomes both juror and witness during the trial of Steve's life. To calm his nerves as he sits in the courtroom, aspiring filmmaker Steve chronicles the proceedings in movie script format. Interspersed throughout his screenplay are journal writings that provide insight into Steve's life before the murder and his feelings about being held in prison during the trial. "They take away your shoelaces and your belt so you can't kill yourself no matter how bad it is. I guess making you live is part of the punishment."
    Myers, known for the inner-city classic Motown and Didi (first published in 1984), proves with Monster that he has kept up with both the struggles and the lingo of today's teens. Steve is an adolescent caught up in the violent circumstances of an adult world--a situation most teens can relate to on some level. Readers will no doubt be attracted to the novel's handwriting-style typeface, emphasis on dialogue, and fast-paced courtroom action. By weaving together Steve's journal entries and his script, Myers has given the first-person voice a new twist and added yet another worthy volume to his already admirable body of work. (Ages 12 and older) --... --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Monster
    Luis G.
    I read the book Monster by Walter Dean Myers. The story is about a 16-year-old boy, Steve Harmon, on trial for felony murder. Steve, who wished that experience were only a movie, writes the story in a movie script format. There only needs to be enough evidence to say he was at the scene of the crime and participated in the drug store robbery, regardless of whether or not he pulled the trigger on Mr. Nesbitt, the person killed. If so, he might spend the rest of his life behind bars. Steve is the only dynamic character in the story; when the movie begins, he is a simple 16-year-old boy who had only seen the world through his somewhat happy life. Towards the end he realizes not all people in this life are decent, or anywhere close to decent human being, but rather there is a mix of good and bad living amongst each other. Steve's movie contains flashbacks that sometimes leave the reader wondering of their significance to the story. In them we see a Steve Harmon prior to him being in jail. We see him hanging out with his friends and family. Readers are able to relate with Steve regardless of whether or not they have experience a jail term. Walter Myers does an excellent job of characterization especially in those flashbacks, because Steve seems so much like a real. Because you are able to relate with Steve you begin to feel sympathy for him just because of the awful place he is at. Myers's imagery of the jail is excellent. You realize the brutality and the perverse minds of some inmates, and also the depressed state Steve is in. as a consequence, you begin to feel sorry for him and wish he be found not guilty. This book is on of a kind because you observe the brutal side of jail through the mind of a 16-year-old boy. I think that all teens might want to consider reading this book, and I also think they are the ideal audience.

    4-0 out of 5 stars MONSTER
    Monster

    This is one of the best books I have ever read, and I don't usually like reading books. I know you have heard that many times before but when you hear it from me you know its true because I absolutely despise reading.
    This book is based on a true story: Three men planned a robbery at the local drug store in which the local drug store clerk was shot and killed. Now these three men are on trial and one of them is innocent, can you tell who? One of the characters is Steve. He was one of the three being convicted of murder. Whether or not he was guilty, you'll just have to see for yourself. Evans was another of the three that were on trial for felony murder. And James King is the last main character that is on trial for murdering the store clerk.
    This book is good because all of these characters seem realistic. The author describes how appropriately they dressed for their court trials. The way that the author talks about the characters makes me able to picture the characters in my head. " Cut To: Steve Harmon getting dressed in his cell wearing a tie and button up shirt". The author also makes the murder scene real because the police go through the proper procedure that they normally would at a regular murder scene.
    The court case also seems true, Mostly because the book is written in play form, with characters being given dialogue and actions. Its almost like its being written by a court reporter.
    The way that this book was written was the first thing that jumped out at me because it is so realistic. You can picture the man or woman who is talking. However there were some flaws to the way it was written because the narrative alternates between third person play form and first person diary format making parts of the book hard to understand. I would get lost while I was reading because I would get so into it I wouldn't bother reading the names of the person who was talking.
    In conclusion I think that this was an extremely good book. I recommend this book to people who like mystery books because with this book you never know what's going to happen next.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The master piece
    This book is amazing.This book is about a kid on the streets that is accused of robbery and murder .The book can be compared to the movie "juice" .

    3-0 out of 5 stars Book Review
    Monster is mainly about a 16 year old boy named Steve. Steve is a very timid kid fighting for his innocence. This book takes place in a Manhattan Detention Center. Steves problem is that he is being falsely accused for commiting murder. Now he has to go on trial and see what happends.

    This book "Monster" is basically all dialogue and no actions. There are alot of characters in this book and it is hard to keep track of them since it's written like a movie. This book has alot of realism since it was based on a true story. There really isnt alot of suspense in this novel. "Monster" drags out alot and i wouldnt recommend this book to anyone.

    To the peron who wrote this book, I think he should have sold this "script" to a movie maker. This book was a waste of time to read. Thank You. ... Read more


    17. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
    by ANNE FRANK
    list price: $5.50
    our price: $4.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553296981
    Catlog: Book (1993-06-01)
    Publisher: Bantam
    Sales Rank: 2494
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    A beloved classic since its initial publication in 1947, this vivid, insightful journal is a fitting memorial to the gifted Jewish teenager who died at Bergen-Belsen, Germany, in 1945. Born in 1929, Anne Frank received a blank diary on her 13th birthday, just weeks before she and her family went into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Her marvelously detailed, engagingly personal entries chronicle 25 trying months of claustrophobic, quarrelsome intimacy with her parents, sister, a second family, and a middle-aged dentist who has little tolerance for Anne's vivacity. The diary's universal appeal stems from its riveting blend of the grubby particulars of life during wartime (scant, bad food; shabby, outgrown clothes that can't be replaced; constant fear of discovery) and candid discussion of emotions familiar to every adolescent (everyone criticizes me, no one sees my real nature, when will I be loved?). Yet Frank was no ordinary teen: the later entries reveal a sense of compassion and a spiritual depth remarkable in a girl barely 15. Her death epitomizes the madness of the Holocaust, but for the millions who meet Anne through her diary, it is also a very individual loss. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

    Reviews (436)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Diary of Anne Frank was a wonderful book.
    I read the book, "The Diary of Anne Frank." I thought that it was not only a wonderful book, but it was very real. It is the captivating story of a young girl, told to her diary about her life, growing up under sone of the strangest, and saddest conditions. It was written in Holland in the early 1940's, during the anti-semetic movements of the Nazi party. Is is told from the innocent eyes of a child, forced to go into hiding to escape Nazi persecution. She lives under close quarters, with seven other people. I felt, because the book was so real, that I actually knew the characters in the book. I found myself relating to ideas that Anne had and things that she said. I think that everyone should read this book because is is an insight into life, love, and hate. I believe that this is a great book and could be enjoyed by anyone.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl
    The book that I just finished reading is called Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl written by Anne Frank herself. It is one of the best book that I have ever read. It tells you about the life of a teenage girl who is trying to survive the awful times of the Holocaust while in hiding. Along with her, there are seven other people living in this hiding place. She learns how to cooporate with other people and how to live while all cooped up. The story takes place in Amsterdam and the hiding place is called the "Secret Annexe". There are two people who get them their food and take care of them. The end of this book is so heart-wrenching that it is unbelieveable. I would definately give this book nine stars out of ten. This book is so informative that is really makes you realize how fortunate we really are these days. It explains everything so well that you can't even believe that something this horrible could ever even happen. This book has definately made me think completely different in a good way and I hope that it will do the same for you.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Franco's Fabulous Book Review
    Anne Frank, a 13 year-old, strong-willed, and courageous girl, is living in the Secret Annex during WWII to escape the Nazi regime. Anne, along with her family and close friends, are hiding from the Nazis because they are of the Jewish faith. Anne falls in love with Peter, a 15 year-old boy who is living with her in the Secret Annex. They become very close as they spend time in the attic trying to escape Peter's annoying mother. The group living in the Secret Annex has to be extremely careful. If they make too much noise, they have a chance of being caught. If they are caught, they will most likely be sent to a concentration camp. Any loud noise or movement could cost the eight tenants of the Secret Annex to die.
    "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" is an amazing book. It lets you realize how lucky we are to live in the world we live in today. The struggles that Anne and the group go through to live a "normal" life are nothing like anyone in today's world would be forced to go through. It allows people interested in WWII to gain information as to what is was like to live during the war.
    "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" is a must read. It is ver informative, yet allows the reader to learn about WWII in an interesting way. So, if you like WWII and are interested in learning what it was like to live back then, this book is for you. It is also a good piece of historical fiction. Pick it up today!

    Julie Francolino

    4-0 out of 5 stars A diary that truly depicted War...
    I earnestly almost cried after reading this book.I was 13,the same age as Anne's when she started writing her diary,whom she called "kitty".

    For those who have no idea who Anne Frank is,she is a Jewish girl and the youngest of two girls.Her father was successful businessman...and the family led a happy and wonderful life after settling down in the bustling city of Amsterdam,that was until Adolf Hitler started the Nazis.The Nazis was an anti-Jew operation,where they would capture Jewish men and tortured them.The women and young and old were not let off either,many were sent to concentration camps,where living conditions there were so bad,many died of diseases rather than the slow torturings.

    It was at this time that Mr Frank decided to go into hiding with his family.With some of his kind-hearted co-workers,they managed to perfect a secret hideout.Anne,her mother and sister Margot began moving into the hideout,which was located just behind the office.Joining them were the Van Dans (not sure if spelling is right)who had a son named Peter and a doctor.Life was very tough,for living behind the office with barely a bookshelf as a wall means not making loud noises.No one must know of their existense,so all everybody could do is to crept round their area softly,tip-toeing and even speaking in hush-whistle.

    For almost 2 years,that's the life of Anne.A growing teenager,she could not go out to the streets to watch a movie,play with her friends or even talk to boys,for that means getting caught by the Nazis.It was also round this time that Anne had one true friend where she can confide everything to:kitty,her diary.

    In her diary,she wrote of how talkative she was in class(she went to school before the hiding),how she hates her mother when the latter compared her to her sister Margot,how she detested Mrs Van Dam...and her deepest thoughts on growing up in a secret hideout.She also shared about her crush on Peter,who also liked her.

    Anne,as we could see,was a normal girl,someone who detested writing,someone who likes a boy and someone who wants to grow up being an author.Well,you could say she is one now,with her diary published after the war, which was later translated to more than 50 languages and sold millions worldwide...but the young girl,unlike her diary,did not survived through the war,for she was captured from her hideout one fine day.Mrs Frank,Margot,the doctor,the Van Dams and Anne herself,all died.All except for Mr Frank himself,who survived...

    By the way, a little unknown fact about her Anne:her real name is Annelies Marie Frank.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Anne Frank:The Diary of a Young Girl
    The epic Adventure of Anne Frank, born in Germany Anne Frank spent two years of her life in Astonishing Circumstances. Anne faces adventure when the Nazis where murdering Jews. Anne, Mummy, Daddy, Mrs. Van Daan, Mr. Van Daan, and Peter. All hid in a secret passage in an old warehouse in Amsterdam. Anne and her diary explains of the fear of being discovered by the Nazis. Yet within it, a tender love story slowly unfolds-from her shy avoidances with peter to incessant glances and first kiss! Thus her diary is not a lament but a song to life, no matter the circumstances, no matter what the threats.
    Great book for all ages, and you can't beat the low price. ... Read more


    18. Among the Enemy (Shadow Children)
    by Margaret Peterson Haddix
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0689857969
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
    Sales Rank: 57261
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    19. The Poisonwood Bible
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060512822
    Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
    Publisher: HarperTorch
    Sales Rank: 3156
    Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In 1959, Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist, takes his four young daughters, his wife, and his mission to the Belgian Congo -- a place, he is sure, where he can save needy souls. But the seeds they plant bloom in tragic ways within this complex culture. Set against one of the most dramatic political events of the twentieth century -- the Congo's fight for independence from Belgium and its devastating consequences -- here is New York Times-bestselling author Barbara Kingslover's beautiful, heartbreaking, and unforgettable epic that chronicles the disintegration of family and a nation.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (1208)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Stunning, wild, hungry... Kingsolver is a wonder
    The author of the magnificent books, 'The Bean Trees', and 'Pigs in Heaven', leaves her protagonists Turtle and her mother in the Southwest and puts us in Africa, the Congo, Kilanga, in 1959. This stunning book is the tale of the family (of girls) of a Baptist preacher who moves them to a Congolese village to convert the heathens. The story is told through the voices of the girls: Rachel, Leah, Ruth May, Adah, Rebecca, and their mother, Orleanna Price. Their father's ignorance and somewhat violent tendencies, the sheer poverty and simpleness of the village, and the vast differences in their lives for these girls from Georgia are expressed by all of them. Their personalities, their strengths, their needs and their confusion are evident by their every word and their complex thoughts. Kingsolver, who is a brilliant writer anyway, brings a fascinating perspective to her imaginary family in the Poisonwood Bible - as she, the daughter of public health care workers who spent time in the Congo when she was very young, "waited thirty years for the wisdom and maturity to write this book." A powerful story, an excellent read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I Would Definitly Recomend
    The Poisonwood Bible set in the Belgian Congo during the 1960's, releases the story of a missionary family and their journey to Africa. The Poisonwood Bible is a historical based novel, where much happens politically in just a small amount of time. Within five hundred pages of mostly fiction plot isn't the main focus of the novel. The story is made of mostly thoughts and reflection, and some of this could have been replaced with more action and adventure for some extra balance to the overall tale.
    Kingsolver seems to make a huge effort to drive this book by its characters. The characters seem so real, because the reader can see inside the protagonist's heads. Kingsolver allows five women, four being only children for a majority of the book, to release such strong views, beliefs and emotions. Within the family of characters, each person was given such a different personality; this was key to get the broadest sense of the story possible.
    The language is consistent through out the entire novel. I wouldn't say it was an easy book to read, but I wasn't sitting next to a dictionary looking up three words per page. The content of the book is what was more difficult to undertake. Depending on what stage of life the reader is in could change the book entirely. Kingsolver makes it easy for the reader to relate to book by incorporating 'every human' thoughts into the characters thoughts.
    The beautiful and unique style of The Poisonwood Bible is what kept me turning the pages in a smooth rhythm for so long. The images and writing techniques used in Kingsolver writing of this book, is what made it seem so real. After finishing this book it was hard to believe it was a work of fiction. Detailed descriptions and portrayal of the big picture are two aspects of writing Kingsolver managed to use and put together to keep the equilibrium of the book.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Meh...
    Maybe it's because I'm a Senior in high school who was forced to read this over the summer, but I really despise this book. I give it 2 stars because it is obviously well-written, but it is just one big incessant ramble. I thought it would never end; thank God I was wrong. The book is a composition of "journal entries," although the characters never really wrote in journals. One of the characters is a little girl who writes her chapters at the college level. The main flaw with this book is that the characters are completely unlikeable. One daughter is a vain superficial jerk (and I liked her the best out of all of them, which is not saying much), the other is a pretentious snob, the other is mentally handicapped and annoyingly writes a lot of things backwards, and the 4th daughter is a little girl who seems to have terrible luck. The mother is submissive to the father and shrouds herself in self-pity, and the father is a preacher who does nothing BUT preach.

    I understand why women would like this book (...), but if you are a red-blooded male who enjoys car chases, explosions, and the occassional romantic comedy (who didn't love You've Got Mail!), do not subject yourself to the torture of reading this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a truly profound and abstruse novel
    i first read this book when i was twelve and got little meaning or understanding out of it. now five years later i re-read it for my junior research paper. the level of understanding and knowledge that Barbara Kingsolver potrays in her novel is simply amazing. i found myself to have a greater understanding and a much greater knowlege of the trials and tribulations that a white American family would have during the 1960's in Central Africa during their time of Independance. Through the Price family's gained understanding of the African culture, we as Americans can truly see and appreciate our American lifestyle. I believe that it is important for people to read this book because of the recondite worldview that Kingsolver's novel allows us to have.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superb
    This book was such a well written story, I made my husband read it after I finished. It is still up there on my list of favorites. Afterwards I sought other books by Barbara Kingslover and picked up The Prodigal Summer which took me a while to get into and was written differently, but also became a favorite. Kingsolver has a way of making me want to go to the places that she writes about so I can see it for myself. I feel what she writes very strongly. ... Read more


    20. The Bean Trees
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    list price: $7.99
    our price: $7.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0061097314
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
    Publisher: HarperTorch
    Sales Rank: 4593
    Average Customer Review: 3.97 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.

    Available for the first time in mass-market, this edition of Barbara Kingsolver's bestselling novel, The Bean Trees, will be in stores everywhere in September. With two different but equally handsome covers, this book is a fine addition to your Kingsolver library. ... Read more

    Reviews (319)

    4-0 out of 5 stars This book has brilliant political and family views.
    For the english portion of my communications class in high school, we were told to write a book review of The Bean Trees. A novel written by Barbara Kingslover. During this book review I will be discussing the plot, theme, character analysis, and author's style. The story tells about a young girl named Taylor Greer. She takes a '55 volkswagon bug and sees where it will take her. On the way to her unknown destination, she recieves a baby by a mysterious woman. She takes the baby with out really knowing what she is doing. She ends up moving to Tucson. She winds up living in a house with another woman whose husband has just left her and she had a baby of her own, Dwayne Ray. Taylor ends up working in Jesus is Lord Tires with Mattie as her bus. Mattie has a sanctuary above her buisness. Esperanza and Estevan are two people running from their government of Guatamala. Later in the story Tayloe decides to take Esperanza and Estevan to a safe place and on the way she decides she is going to try to find Turtle's aunt so she can give Turtle to her legally. She doesn't fine them so Esperanza and Estevan act like her parents and let Taylor adapt her from them. At the end of the story Taylor and Lou Ann figure out that they are a family. The author use many themes in her story and one major theme is family. Everything that happens in this story had something to do with family. Taylor and Lou Ann become a family through out the story and figure it out that they are at the end. Lou Ann describes family as knowing everything about each other good and bad sides. The politcal theme is very strong also. It also plays an important role in the story by using the immigrants form Guatamala. The main characters in the story are Lou Ann, Taylor, Turtle, Mattie, Esperanza, and Estevan. Lou Ann started out with a low self esteem to being confident and sticking up for herself. Taylor was strong willed and confiednt from the begining and became more sensitive through the story. Mattie likes to help people through hard times. Turtle was extremly quiet but then became rather talkative through the story. Esperanza was extremly emotional and quiet. Estevan was brilliant and strong. The author's style was brillant and well put together. She used a lot of figuaritive language. She knew when and where to put in the politcal points and she explained everything in detail. She used a strong theme and stuck to that one through out the book. I thought that this book was pretty good and overall I gave it four stars. This story took people from entirely different worlds and meshed them together. They discover each other and help them discover themselves.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Bean Trees is an excellent book in my opinion.
    The Bean Trees is an excellent book in my opinion. I read it for my 10th grade English class and really enjoyed it. It's about a young woman who leaves her Kentucky home to escape becoming pregnant at an early age and to see what else is out there. When she gets to Oklahoma, a woman puts a baby in her car and says take her. Taylor, the young woman, now had the burden of this young child. The rest of the the book deals with her learning to become a mother, fitting in, and realizing the hard decisions you have to make as an adult. There are many themes in The Bean Trees. One of the main ones, in my opinion, is family. Throughout the story, Taylor has to learn how to be part of a family. Her father had left her and her mother when she was young so she doesn't know what a complete family feels like. When she reaches Arizona, her final destination, she meets Lou Ann. She becomes her new roomate.Lu Ann also has a child named Dwayne Ray. She and her husband, Angel, have gotten a divorce and he had left them so Lou Ann is also searching for a "family." So, this novel also deals with Taylor, Turtle (her baby), Lou Ann and Dwayne Ray learning how to become a family. Taylor, who's original name was Missy, is a very independent, outspoken person. She's never needed help from anyone before so when she gets Turtle, she has to learn how to get help from other people and become more interdependent rather than independent. Turtle is a small child about the age of three. When Taylor first got her she thought she was two but later in the book she finds out otherwise. Turtle is indian and was abused sexually by her aunt's boyfriend. You find out more about that in the book. She is a very quiet person and clings. She got the name Turtle because she would grab on to something and not let go. Just like a mud turtle. She learns how to open up throughout the story. Lou Ann was a very insecure person. She had an extremely low self-esteem and didn't try to do anything with herself. Taylor helps her to open up and not be so critical. She also has another trait. She is terrified that any little thing could kill Dwayne Ray or Turtle. Eventually she becomes less paranoid and relaxes a little. Barbara Kingsolver has a unique style that adds interest to the book. She uses a lot of similies to help us better understand what she's talking about. For example, "Edna was so sweet we just hoped she would cancel out Virgie's sour, like the honey and vinegar in my famous Chinese recipe." Kingsolver also uses symbolism. One of her most common is birds. She uses other symbols but these appear the most. Again, for example, when Taylor takes Turtle to the doctor to get checked out for her abuse earlier in life, she looks out the window while the doctor is telling her all the horrible things that had happened and she sees a mother bird making a nest within a cactus. The bird doesn't seem to realize it's danger as it zooms past the spines, it is only concerned with making a safe haven for it's family. So as you can see, The Bean Trees is a very inspirational novel and it's fascinating how Kingsolver ties everything in at the end. I recommend it for all and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Bean Trees: Metaphors and Similies
    The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver is a book rich in metaphors and similes. It is a story about a young girl who escapes her small town, where most young people drop out of school, and the girls get pregnant. For Missy, these are not options. She buys herself a car and heads out for maturing experiences. Her first decision is that since she is starting a new life, she needs a new name, so she calls herself "Taylor." As she is driving, she tells herself she will stop and live in the city in which her car breaks down. This doesn't happen because along the way, she picks up a passenger, a little Native American baby. Now she has herself and the baby to worry about. She stops in Arizona and loves it. So, she decides to stay. It is in this town, she discovers friendship, love, responsibility, maturity, and the true meaning of family.

    The physical descriptions in the book, while at times, may seem over done, are truely what make the book a vivid, potent journey. Before Taylors journey begins, she is working in a hospital and one of the girls she went to school with, but got pregnant and married, is brought into the hospital covered in blood, and Missy says she was, "...like a butcher holding down a calf on its way to becoming a cut of meat" (10). She also witnesses a tire blowing up and says, "... Newt Hardbine's daddy flying up into the air, in slow motion, like a fish flinging sideways out of the water. And Newt laid out like a hooked bass" (15). Then when she gets to Arizona, she see rocks that were "...stacked on top of one another like piles of copulating potato bugs" (47). These are just a few of the similies that enrich the story. She also uses metaphors in abundance to create a picture.

    She compares driving in traffic during a hail storm as ...moving about the speed of a government check" (49). Kingsolver uses metaphors to compare some of the characters' lives. Taylor says "...but I had to give her credit, considering that life had delivered Sandi a truckload of manure with no return address" (89). In comparing a park she loves to visit, Taylor says, "Constellations of gum-wrapper foil twinkled around the trash barrels" (148). The best description comes in the combination of metaphor and simile in the description of the night-blooming cereus: "The petals stood out in starry rays, and in the center of each flower there was a complicated contruction of silvery threads shaped like a pair of cupped hands catching moonlight. A fairy boat, ready to be launched into the darkness" (249). The pictures are that vivid.

    If you need a book that is rich in description using similies and metaphors, read The Bean Trees.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not too good.
    This book was not to interesting for me because of the plot.It started out interesting when they found Turtle but after that it got boring. Nothing else interesting happend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story
    I was assigned to read this book for my 11th grade English class. I loved it so much that when it took the class two months to completely read it, I took it home and finished it in a couple of days.

    I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a very descriptive book about love, motherhood, and just starting over. Definately a must-read! ... Read more


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