Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Reading

Over the summer, you were asked to read at least two novels of your choice.
1) Briefly tell me what you read, including the titles and authors.
2) I want to know what you liked about the books, what you learned and, more importantly, what matters to you about the book's content.

*Make sure to adhere to proper conventions and proofread your response. If, for some reason, you did not read two novels, tell me about two novels you have read and answer the above.

69 comments:

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  3. Over the summer, I read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and One Second After by William R. Forstchen.
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is about Tom Sawyer, a young boy in the old Southwest. He goes on adventures with his friends. I liked that Tom Sawyer, yet a small kid, was learning about people in ways some adults didn’t know, especially on the manipulative side. I learned that back in the old southwest, things were very different. Kids ran free all day, the parents barely worrying, unless they didn’t come home the next day. I learned that one must have fun and take risks, but still be safe and in control.
    One Second After is about an EMP detonating over the continental US, frying all modern electronics, and what would happen after. I enjoyed how the author didn’t sugarcoat it. He told the blunt, sometimes ugly, truth. It made me think, which I personally enjoy, in this context. I learned that human nature can go two ways in struggles for survival. One is teamwork. Small towns banded together to preserve food and fight of attackers, which is the other way people can go. They can fight to the death for one scrap of food or a sip of water. The latter is the less noble. This book made me question, am I ready to kill to defend my family? This book was great, and I am still pondering over it.

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  4. Over the summer, I read The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and Contest by Matthew Reilly. The Da Vinci Code is about a man who, after being murdered, points to a set of clues that lead Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu on a hunt for the tomb for Mary Magdalene and answers.
    Contest is about a doctor who has been selected to take part in an interplanetary fight to the death, taking place in the New York Public Library. His daughter and his guide, named Selexin must defeat six other competitors and the blood-thirsty Karanadon before he can escape the game he doesn't want to take part in.
    2) Both book were very similar in the aspect that they both contained action, suspense and somebody making sense of it all. The action and suspense concepts kept the pages turning, because I enjoy reading about those and trying to figure out "What will he do? What will happen?". I also like the main character figuring it out as he goes, and explaining how he did it so I understand what ust happened and how they escaped. What I learned from The Da Vinci Code was the famous landmarks, famous people and ideas I would have never thought of. Contest taught me that there is always more then one way out of any situation and you need to think out of the box in order to find alternatives.

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  5. Over the cummer i read The Da Vinci Code, and 5 People You Meet in Heaven. The Da Vinci Coed is about a modern day quest for the holy grail. Having experts give insight in this fictional field of research. In the book this quest leads them to find seceret cults, jump from country to country, and stare life death right in the eye. I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommened it to anybody that asks.the second book, by Mitch Albom, was about Mitch wondering about what life really is about. When his uncle dies after working at the same place his entier life, he wonders what he had done with his life so far. Mitch thinks if people would remember him in a good or bad way when he dies. the book crosses philisophical thresholds i never had seen in a book before.

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  6. oh and the authors were DAn Brown for The Da Vinci Code, and Mitch Albom for The 5 People You Meet in Heaven

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  7. This Summer I read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.
    Ender's Game was a science fiction novel about a young boy going off into a military space school where he would learn to be captain of a space fleet. In the book, Earth is in war with an alien race called the "Buggers", who have previously attacked earth twice. Scientists have been breeding genius children with the capabilities required to be in the space school. You soon learn that although Ender is only six at the time he enters the school, the heads of the school and military see him as the only way Earth will survive the next alien attack. The reason I liked this book was because of the genre. I do not usually read science fiction and it was a nice change. I also learned that people are not always as they appear and that people's intentions are not always clear in the beginning.
    Ella Enchanted is a fantasy book about getting past obstacles in your life. In the beginning of the story, Ella is burdened with the curse of always being obedient. Although she tries throughout the book to break the curse, she does not succeed. Throughout the book, Ella is forced to do things that hurt not only herself, but others around her. Eventually Ella falls in love with someone she cannot be with because of her curse, and she finds a way to break it. What I liked most about this story is the way she is always trying to find a way around her burden to stop herself from hurting the people she loves. Ella Enchanted taught me that we all have crosses to bear but with enough effort we can get through the obstacles.

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  8. Over the summer I had the privilege of reading two wonderful books. Their titles were Perfume, by Patrick Suskind, and Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer. The first is a story of a murderer who killed young women in order to capture their scent and create the best perfume in the world.
    The second was the incredible popular book about a normal girl and a vampire falling in love. Twilight changes vampires from their old intimidating and slightly creepy folklore and turns them into thinking beings which appreciate culture and human company. This was a book that I reread in order to get pumped for the premiere of the new movie.
    These were both very good books and I wouldn’t say that I learned much from them except some vocabulary words from Perfume and all about how scents are captured.

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  9. This summer, I read Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and The Light in the Piazza by Elizabeth Spencer.
    Les Misérables is the story set in 19th Century France were revolution is looming on the horizon. The central protagonist is ex-convict, Jean Valjean. After being released from 20 years of prison, he vows to live an honest life but has trouble breaking the habit. Valjean assumes a new identity of a mayor of a small town, constantly hiding from the police. He goes through many obstacles and the story weaves its way through a multitude of characters. One reason why I enjoy this story so much is the level of depth that Hugo puts in his characters. You could make a novel revolving around each one of them. They all have a terrific backstory and that insures a fantastic story. Each character really represented a different trait of human behavior; innocence, greed, repentance, and so forth. I really found that quite relevant to me.

    The Light in the Piazza follows a mother and daughter, Margaret and Clara, traveling abroad in Florence, Italy. Margaret, an overbearing mother, keeps a watchful eye on her naive daughter when a native approaches them. He introduces himself as Fabrizio and chemistry between the two young people is instant. After numerous attempts to see each other, all of which interrupted by Margaret, the two finally meet at a swimming pool. Margaret panics and takes Clara away with plans to leave for a new destination. It then becomes clear that Clara was kicked in the head by a pony as a child, thus allowing her mental abilities to be limited to that of a ten year old while her body grows up. In the end, the two are engaged and set to be married. Even though it is only one of the short stories in this book by the author, it had a great deal of content. It starts out seeming so innocent but turns into this dark tale of " the perfect American family " and the flaws they throw under the rug. I enjoyed this story not only because I am a fan of the 2005 musical, but because it is a story with many layers, each page revealing something more tragic than the last. I learned about Italian customs and culture along with the character of Margaret who is a fascinated narrator and character.

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  11. Over the summer, I ended up reading 11 books which would be hard to fit in this blog, but I'll try. I read Night Runner by Turner, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass by Lexis Carrol, Dragon by Jeff Stone, Everlost by Neil Shusterman, Wereling by Steve Feasy, Kingdom Keepers 3 by Ridley Pearson, The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, Beastly by Alex Flinn, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekell and My. Hyde by Stevenson and The Alchemyst by Scott.


    Reading all of these is a little strange on the brain so stay with me. Night Runner was good, written well, and you want to find out what happens next. Alice was wonderfully written and has become my FAV. Alice falls into a world of mystery and meets all kinds of crazy and creepy characters. Dragon was a perfect end to the Five Ancestors series. It nicely tied everything up and had a very interesting ending. Wereling was a horrible book and I would never recommend it because its too short, it doesn't really develop and just kind of drops at the end. Kingdom Keepers 3 was an OK book and it, once again, encompassed the imagination of Disney with the technology of today, making wonderful adventure. The Red Pyramid I would not recommend, unless you are constantly remembering what happened. There is too much going on at one time and you can and might get lost. Beastly was a wonderful read and shows how love can encompass any tribulation. Jekell and Hyde is a weird book and you will need to read it twice to understand whats happening. The Alchemyst was a good start to Scott's series of good and evil. The story keeps moving and will keep you wanting more. Hopefully, I didn't forget anything.

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  12. Over the summer, I read "Tuesday's With Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet in Heaven", both written by Mitch Albom.
    "Tuesday's With Morrie" is about a college graduate who became great friends with his old professor Morrie. Mitch promised after college he would frequently visit Morrie. Years went by and Mitch had never seen his professor until one day on the news he heard that Morrie was diagnosed with Lou Gehrigs Disease,(ALS),Mitch began to visit Morrie every Tuesday and Morrie would teach him all about life lessons and continually remind him how he's supposed to live his life.
    "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" is about a man named Eddie who had worked maintenance at an old amusement park for many years, until one day there was an accident on one of the rides and it lead to Eddie's death. Eddie visited with five different people in heaven with which his life made an enormous impact on all of there lives. Eddie realizes he was in heaven to learn about his mistakes on earth and how he impacted on everyones life around him.

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  13. Over the summer the two novels I read were Beastly by Alex Flinn, and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer. Beastly was a modern day Beauty and the Beast. It is about a boy who is popular and thinks very highly of him self. He has a lot of money and is mean to everyone. A witch comes along and changes him to a beast, and until he can break the spell by falling in love he is stuck like that. He meets a a girl who has a hard life and not much money but who can see him for who he truly is. In the end he falls in love with the girl and is a better person. It was a great story with good lessons and I would recommend it to anyone. The next book I read was The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. It took after the third Twilight book Eclipse. The book was about a vampire on the other side and her side of the story. It talked about what was going on in her mind and how she was taken advantage of which eventually led to her death. The book was talking about how the bad vampires prepared to fight the good ones and lost the battle. I loved this book and would tell anyone to read it, especially people who liked the Twilight series.

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  14. This summer the two novels I read were If I Stay by Gayle Forman and The Forbidden Game by L. J. Smith. If I Stay is set in first person, however, throughout the entire book the narrator is having an out of body experience. Mia, the main character, is involved in a horrific car crash with her family, which puts her into somewhat of a coma. The rest of the book follows her as she reflects on her life and family, while staying with her lifeless body before making the decision to continue her life or not.
    The Forbidden Game starts when the main character, Jenny, buys a board game from a mysterious store. She and her friends begin playing the game later that night, and essentially are transported into the paper house which is used as the game board. There is no way out, except to beat the game, which is specially designed so that each and every one of the players has to live their worst nightmare to survive.

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  15. Over this summer, I read Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. I do realize the extreme differences between the these two fantastic tales. The Virgin Suicides really gave me a sort if inside look on what suicide may look like to outsiders or even close friends. It gave me a mere glimpse of how the suicide of a loved one can affect the lives of the people that person once cared about, the girl's three sisters in particular. This twisted story of course leads to the death of the rest of the sisters, which is stated within the first chapter of the book. It shows how coping is a necessity; if people can't cope they simply sit around in their own misery and pity (not to be too blunt with death or suicide). To be quite frank, this book was a bit of a downer but I really liked the insight I got. I'll admit it was a pretty slow read; it was not very interesting until the climax or last twenty pages. But quite the climax it was.

    On the contrary, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince displayed a different side of the wizarding life at Hogwarts; this book mostly based itself around emotions and relationships. I felt like this book held key information which directly lead into the journey Harry has yet to face. Harry grew closer to Dumbledore, only to be ripped apart; meanwhile, Ron starts dating a girl called Lavender Brown. He later breaks it off with her. I believe this book was the funniest so far, despite the deeply saddening closer. I thought this book was extremely important to the series for it seemed to tie some loose ends, but at the same time leaving just enough open to make the reader want much more. I think these books proved themselves quite fantastic; an unfathomable amount of connections were formed within both books (with characters mainly), half of them smeared with massacre.

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  16. What I liked about If I Stay was that it really opens your eyes to the possibility that you may not live another day and that every opportunity in life should be taken. The Forbidden Game showed me that people do change under many circumstances and there are people that you come across in life that you would be willing to do anything for. Both of these were very good books and I would recommend them to anyone.

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  17. Over the summer i read two novels required for the incoming Freshman. The first book i read was House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. This book was a good book because it contained realistic ideas about the future and what would happen if the United States switch political positions with Mexico. When matt realizes he is the clone of a spanish Opium drug lord, he fights for a normal life. But people treat him like an animal because he is a clone. when El Patron (his father) realizes he is dying, he wants matt to donate his organs to him. But when matt declines the offer, he must flea from his home town.
    I also read Crispin by Avi. this book goes over the events in a renaissance times.When his mother is killed a bounty is put out for his head. Even though he didnt kill her. When he finds out he is the rightful aire to the thrown of Italy, he must go o a journey from his village to the capital city to claim hos place is life. The books both had the same moral story. in House of the scorpion matt realises that even though he is a clone, he can accomplish many if not more things then a normal human can. is Crispin, he realises that even though he is a poor boy from a small village, he can make a big impact on italy. the containt of these book taught me that no matter how little you feel or hpw little your social network, you can always make an impact on your community.

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  18. During this summer I had the priviledge of reading two wonderful books, Eragon and Eldest by Christopher Paolini. Both of these books were about a boy named Eragon who finds a dragon egg that hatches for him. These books are about his struggles, journeys and how he grows with his dragon, Saphira.
    I liked these books a lot. i liked them because they were full of adventure and made you wonder what was coming next. Both of these books had so many cliff hangers i couldn't put them down. I learned that if a book is written well it should be like a movie in your head when you read it. These books were like this for me. That showed me that these books were written by a great writer. The content of these books was very well written. This matters to me when I am choosing whether or not to read a book. These books kept you hanging on to the authors every word.

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  19. Over the summer I read a total of 10 books. Eight of these books were the Pretty Little Liars by Sarah Separd. What I enjoyed about those books was that it was a mystery. I never knew exactly what was going happen up until the last second.I learned that hate can be carried for long time periods and that people are never exactly like waht they seem or how they act. What matters about the books content is that its a lesson to treat people with respect beacuse it is never know if it is going to come back and hurt people. I also read The Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day by Mitch Albolm. i liked that both these books had defferent perspectives on life and death. i learned that it is good to take things like death gracefully beacuse it happens to everyone. What matters to me about the content is that it is from a different prespective that most people dont have. overall i greatly enjoyed all of the books and would recomend them to others.

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  21. The two books i read over the summer were "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'brien and "The Divanci Code" by Dan Brown. "The Things They Carried" was a book about Tim O'brien, a vietnam veteran and his experiences in the jungles. This book mostly describes the horrors of war along with the emotional burdens (guilt, dealing with death, etc.) it bestows upon young soldiers. I would reccomend this book for its insights and descriptive narrorating. The next book I read was "The Davinci Code" by Dan Brown. "The Davinci Code" describes a quest to find the holy grail. Leading you all over the map this book is full of action and mystery. I would reccomend either of these books to anyone.

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  22. Over the summer I read Both Sides of Time by Caroline B. Cooney and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
    I like that in Both Sides of Time you get to read about life in the 18 hundreds which is a "blast from the past" experience. I read it and laughed at how chivalrous the men were and wondered what had caused the change of attitude. I learned that I am very lucky to be able to have a voice and an opinion as a woman, because they were completely under male control back then. I thought that 'Both Sides of Time' started the series very well and was a fairly easy, but addicting read.

    Speak was a more serious book. I liked that Laurie Anderson was able to write about such a hard topic,and still make the book funny, if not lighter, in some parts. The book taught me to speak up when something bad has happened. I have read 2 of Laurie Anderson's books, and i think 'Speak' was written the best.

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  23. I got the privilage to enjoy two more books out my favorite series Pendragon over my Freshman summer. I first read the 5th book in the series called The Quillan Games. The Author, DJ MacHale, emploids a feeling of surprise and misfortune in every page I turned in the book. The novel is about Bobby Pendragon on the territoy of Quillan rising to power in a broked world overpowered by a single large company. He gets his fame by competing in a fight-to-the-death Olympics the entire populations loves. He tries to overpower the company but ultimatly turns into his demise when a crutail custom organazation is destroyed. The 6th book in the series is the Pilgrims of Rayne, where Bobby is found on a paradise island sheilded from its horrible past. Bobby tries to stop an invasion from the outside world but is unsucessful due to lack of technology advancements. Bobby flees in the end to regoup and hold problems elsewhere. These books are addicting and are fun to read over and over again.

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  24. 1) Water For Elephants by Sarah Gruen. What I like about this book was how it made you think about things other than what was written on the page. There was lots foreshadowing and hints but they were masked and hidden, so while it wasn't evident in the plot line, it was always in the back of your head, making you wonder. In this book I learned a lot about life after the Great Depression, and how people coped with the aftermath. The thing that mattered most to me in the book's content, is how the author makes you feel sympathy for all of the characters, even the antagonist.
    2) Dark Flame by Alyson Noel What I liked about this book was the fact that I couldn't put it down! This book captured my attention from the very first page, and the way the plot twists and turns, it never failed to surprise me! This is a paranormal book, so it wasn't very informational, but I learned a lot about the supposed chakras, auras, and different types of meditation. The thing that mattered most to me in the book's content is how the plot is constantly turning and the protagonist's thoughts are always changing, so you have no way to predict the outcome.

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  25. The two novels that I read this summer were Chicken Soup for the Teen Soul by Jack Canfield and The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Chicken Soup for the Teen Soul explains to kids how to deal with the struggles of new schools, friends, peer pressure, and much more. Chicken Soup helped me to prepare myself for high school. Kids told about their struggles and how they dealt with them, even under the toughest circumstances. I learned some very good ways to keep myself from falling in with the wrong people. Also I learned how to be a good person and friend no matter what happens. The one thing that I really liked about this book was how the kids told their own stories in a way that I could connect to and learn from. The Tipping Point was all about how the smallest actions can set a trend. This book talked about how products became very popular when they were being used by small groups of people. Once everyone saw these products being used that wanted them for themselves and so began the new trend. I really liked to see all of the different situations where small actions caused a giant ripple effect. I also liked how since these event were real I could really connect them to my life and how trends are set every day.

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  26. During the summer I read The Canticle Kingdom by Michael Young. This is a magical fantasy about a wonderful world that resides in a single music box. Besides the fact that the music box houses a kingdom this tiny toy can bring people for the outside world to the world that resides within. In this tale a young blacksmith, Johann, accidentally stubs across the truth about his world. The there queen falls deathly ill and the whole kingdom falls into chaos. With the help from and old band of rugged knights and a unexpected girl from the outside world, Johann might just bring peace to his rocking civilization. What I like about this novel was the creativity of the plot. I also like how Young her readers to understand the characters on almost a personal level as you read about there struggles. Like many other fantasy novels The Canticle Kingdom sparks the imagination that anything is possible.
    Also I read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. About a young boy, Ender, who has a genius mind in battle strategy. And he is forced by the commanding officers to go through the hardest schools and test that were designed for much older students, to prepare him to battle earth’s enemy, Buggers. In the final chapter of his training, Ender unknowingly destroys the Buggers, who he did not thing where holy evil. I loved the conflicts in this book. First there’s the inner conflict in Ender thought out the book as he struggles to follow the instructions his commanders give him and his own desire not to be used as a tool. The there are Ender’s siblings who are one half of Ender. Valentine is the nice and caring side of him and Peter in the vicious and murderous side of him. This book also sheds light on the fact that children’s educations are being monitored so that they will receive the education the world thinks they need rather then the education the student needs.

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  27. This summer I read Tuesday's With Morrie by Mitch Albom and Secret life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. Both of these books had incredible themes that made powerful impacts on the reader. What I enjoyed about each of these books was the fact that the moral of the story was something that could actually be benefical to your life.

    In Tuesdays With Morrie I learned so much about having a meaningful life and a life with no regrets. In Secret Life Of Bees I learned that people are always different then they appear and that everyone can enjoy a family that loves them even if it's not your actual bilogical family. What matters to me about both of these novels is that they were so good that I will actually remember what they were about and value it.

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  28. I read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: The Second Summer of the Sisterhood and The Sisterhood of the Traveling pants: Girls in Pants both by Anne Brashares. What I like about the books is the free spirit. All the girls are very unique but they have this spirit about them which makes you smile. I love how they all can connect and grow and be their own person as well. I learned a lot from this book. I learned that you should always be yourself and be who you are. I also learned that you shouldn't be afraid of growing up because it will happen and you just have to make the best of it. What matters most is the friendship these girls have. The whole story is based of this friendship and the fact that regardless of their different internal beliefs -they can still love each other and be best friends. They are free-spirited, young novels but they hold meaning of life, love and growing up amidst chaos.

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  29. This summer I read Desecration and The Remmnant both by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. These books are a depiction of the end times through a group of Christian rebels opposing the one world government which is headed by the devil himself. During this rebellion they are persecuted while trying to get others to become Christians.

    I liked these books because they were always intriguing and for the most part left me on the edge of my seat. I learned from these books how Christians reach out to others, and also the widespread dislike of different religions worldwide. There was also some good survival scenarios in the book that could possibly carry over into the real world. What mattered to me about the content was how it was a Christian book, because I being a Christian enjoy seeing these books being published and very good sellers.

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  30. The two books I read this summer are The Necromancer by Micheal Scott, and For the win by Cory Doctorow. The necromancer is about the stuggles of teenage twins who have learned that they are budding sorcerer's destined to save the world. In the fourth installment in the series Josh and Sophie newman find themselves conflicted on which side is the right side to fight for. I feel this shows both the human nature to question or world, and the ever present temptations in our lives. As the twins are presented with different opportunities and proposals they learn more about themselves and the differences in their lives. Will they come to an agreement or will these siblings turn on each other with deadly results?

    The second book I read was For the Win by Cory Doctorow. This book follows the lives of teenagers from all over the world as they use MMO (massive multiplayer online) games to fight the struggle of unfair working conditions, and ridiculous management. I liked this book for it's radical views of government and how it affects our everyday lives. Cory delves deep into how the economy of a country largely hinges on the citizens belief in it's value. It was a truly thought provoking read with a well written plot that I would recomend to anyone.

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  32. Over the summer, I read Born to Run by Chris McDougall and Call of the Wild by Jack London. Born to Run was a very interesting book that talked a lot about the science running. It was neat to see how McDougall intertwined the story of his adventure in learning about the Tarahumara, a tribe in Mexico whose obsession is running, and the science behind the Tarahumara's running success. The book taught me a lot about misconceptions about how a person is supposed to run and how all of us were "born to run". The content in this book mattered to me because I am a cross country runner.

    The second book I read was Call to the Wild. Call to the Wild is a celebrated classic and I really enjoyed its sense of adventure and its interesting take on an animal's thoughts. I learned a lot about Alaskan Dog Sleds that I hadn't known before from this book. The content in this book mattered to me because I enjoy adventure and also I like reading classics.

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  33. Over the summer, I read several books for the requirement for incoming freshman. Two of the novels I read were Sahara and Spartan Gold, both by Clive Cussler.
    In Sahara Dirk Pitt has to find the source of a contaminate that’s causing a large rapidly growing red tide to grow that if left unattended will smother the world and killing of all the life on earth. Dirk, along with his pal Al Giordino, must travel up the Niger river toward the dangerous country of Mali, which is ruled by the dangerous General Kazim, the dictator of Mali, who plans to stop them from finding it.
    In Spartan Gold husband and wife, Sam and Remi Fargo, are hunting for a sunken boat when they find a mysterious shard of glass that turns out to be from a wine bottle from Napoleon’s lost cellar. When they find a second, and even a third bottle they realize there are hidden symbols under the labels that are in a secret code. After finding the code book and following the clues, Sam and Remi find a priceless treasure, Spartan Gold.

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  34. The first book I read over the summer was The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien. This book is the second book, in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and that is a fantasy series. The Two Towers focuses on the three companions, and their travels through Rohan in search of two hobbits, taken by a band of evil minions. The two hobbits have their own adventures, escaping the evil minions, meeting talking trees, and taking down an evil fortress. The 3 companions find an old friend who died, but came back to life. So those four companions ride to Rohan, save a king, take part in a huge battle, and other enthralling adventures. It also discusses the story of two other hobbits, that travel through evil places, and meet with Rangers, and climb mountains, and they even encounter a giant spider. I like how this book captures the true fantasy spirit, and it is filled with creative poems and songs, and how it’s dramatic, sad and is really action packed.
    The other book I read was The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien. This book takes place right after the events of The Two Towers. In this book, the 4 companions meet up with the missing hobbits, they ride to Rohan, and then they all split up and go separate ways. 3 go to conjure up an army of dead men, 1 stays and rides with the people of Rohan, and 2 others go to a castle, before the tide of war hits it. But they all end up in a huge battle at the castle. And meanwhile, the two hobbits still are traveling in the evil lands, hoping to destroy the power of the enemy, which is in a ring. They succeed, the enemy is vanquished and everyone is happy. What I liked about this book, was that it really showed how strong the burden of the ring was on the small hobbit, and how much he struggled, and how much the ring influenced him, and that was a major part of the story. I learned from the 2 books that J.R.R. Tolkien is an ingenious writer, “The father of Fantasy as we know it.” And all of the books content mattered to me because it was so well written, and I will remember it throughout my life. Also, I plan to read the series again sometime because the books were incredible.

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  35. Over the summer, I read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan, and The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen.
    What I liked about the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series was the content of Greek myths. I have always been interested in Greek mythology. Percy Jackson was a great read in which I was able to both learn about different Greek myths, and be able to read these amazing adventures from a teenager's point of view. I learned that, although you may be in a tough situation and feel like giving up, you always have to persevere. What matters to me is that Percy does the things he does out of his love for his family and friends.
    I liked the Truth About Forever because it dealt with a regular girl, Macy, struggling with a tragedy that had happened in her past. She slowly realizes that she has to make the most of her life, and not to be afraid to do what you want. I learned that having friends that care about you really make a different in your choices and help you to stretch out and trust others. What mattered in this book was that, even though Macy had been through so much loss in her family, she was able to heal along with her mother with the help of friends and a little bit of much needed recklessness.

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  36. Over the summer I read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and It's Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong. These books were very influential and the experiences will stay with me for the rest of my life. Lance Armstrong's book shows that life after cancer can still be a success and how an individual can perservere and keep fighting. It also explains how much he trained in order to get back in shape from his illness to win his first Tour de France. Since my dad is an avid bike racing fan, and I used to bike race as well, I had a connection reading this book and was very grateful I did. It was a very inspiring story that I will highly recommend.

    The Book Thief was an action packed story that keeps you turning the pages. From the first ten pages I was very intrigued and pulled into the story. This book is about a young girl named Leisel who is foster child during World War II in Germany. Her brother died and her mother couldn't take care of her, so she lives with Rosa and Hans Hubermann (her foster parents). Her foster father teaches her to read and she falls in love with books. She begins stealing books from the Mayor's wifes' library, since her town is poor. It's very interesting how a young girl can roam freely with her friends and cope with her tough past, in such hard times, and not be completely affected. Both books are very influential, page turning, and inspirational stories that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

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  37. Over this summer, I read various new books for me, but 2 (well, one and a series) stuck out especially: The Hobbit, by Tolkien, and the Harry Potter series, by JK Rowling. Both of these books have been read to me when I was very little, but I figured that since these have been read to me, and not by me, and were almost fully excreted from my brain, I could read and count them respectively.
    The Hobbit is about a young hobbit- a creature like a little human- with very different customs as ours. He is planning on living a quiet life when Gandalf, a legendary wizard shows up for tea. The next day he brings 13 dwarves to his house, ready to start an adventure, which they pull Bilbo into. They embark on a journey filled with danger, complexities, and very much more danger in search of a dragon's cove of treasure. The Hobbit can be read in 2 different basic ways. It can be read for its incredible plot and characters, or it can be read for its intriguing metaphorical value. I wasn't searching for anything when I was reading it, but I sure found many references to human nature, history, even many references to Greek mythology (like in the Murkwood forest and the Underworld, there you mustn't stray from the path under any circumstances, nothing is wholesome to eat or drink- that would be bad, and, most directly, there is a black stream that causes great drowsiness and forgetfulness, much like the River Styx). You learn much about human nature from almost all of the characters- the Tyrannical Necromancer (albeit he isn't mentioned very much), the savage goblins, the gold-loving dwarves, the jolly but mistrustful elves who can hold a grudge for quite a long time, the proud eagles, Beorn, Gollum, just everyone! This all matters to me when you can see the characters coming out in people I know well.
    The Harry Potter series, meanwhile, is quite different. It is about a wizard who grew up not knowing of wizards of all, much less that he was a famous one for stopping the rise of the unbeatable Lord Voldemort (AKA He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named). However, from his very first year, it seems that You-Know-Who may come to rise to power again, and only one person will be able to stop him for good: Harry. I must confess that, when I was starting the Harry Potter series, I was fearing a variety of literature with too much description and not enough happening. Now I feel much like an idiot for thinking that. The series kept me hooked straight up to the last page of book 7, with important events happening every chapter, and the sheer fun of it. There are also many biblical and cultural references in these books, hidden amongst the action and fun, and even important life messages, perhaps even the idea that we can defeat Satan now, without the apocalypse. This all matters to me very much for many of the same reasons the Hobbit mattered for me. (And, just for the record, this is now definitely, hands down my favorite series)

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  38. Two of the books I read over the summer are...
    1)The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. This sequel to The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons lived up to its predecessors. It grabbed me from the beginning with its fast-paced action and many mysteries. It makes you think about how the characters all intertwine and connect and who's actually the "bad guy". The conclusion is something I never saw coming.
    2)Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen. This is a tale about a college boy who, in order to get a job during the Great Depression, joins a circus as a vet. This story has a little bit of every genre. It has action, humor, romance, and even some historically accurate events. This book also hooks you and makes it seem like you personally know all the characters.

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  39. Over the summer, I read The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway and Love is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison. The books are very different in pretty much all aspects, and i enjoyed each for their differences. I liked that The Old Man and the Sea was a more difficult book to read because its not typically my kind of story and that it challenged me to stay interested even through the slower parts. from this book, i learned that perseverance through even the worst defeats is very important in succeeding in life, like the man does after he goes 84 days without catching any fish and how he comes home after the marlin has been destroyed. From this book, I think the perseverance and determination of the man and the way the boy and people of his little town help him out after they see his defeat matter the most in the book.
    In Love is a Many Trousered Thing, I like Rennison's sense of humor as she describes main character Georgia Nicholson's adventures as a boy-crazed teenager. as this book was mostly just for entertainment's sake, i didn't learn very much besides what not to do in situations like Georgia's.what matters to me about the content of this story, though it's silly and unfortunate for the character, is to never be too hard on yourself, because another opportunity will come around and you can always forget the past if you really let it go, because it won't haunt you forever. these two books are very different, but each is valuable in their own way.

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  40. The two books I read over the summer were Daniel X by James Patterson and the Gallagher Academy series by Ally Carter. It is yet to be finished and I am anxiously awaiting for the next book in the series to arrive.
    Daniel X is a story about a teenage boy who is seeking out an alien of great power and evil in hopes to kill the alien. By doing so,he would avenge his parents' death after they were brutally murdered in front of his very eyes. He takes with him on this journey nothing but simple projections of friends he creates through his mind, as well as memories of his deceased parents and younger sister. He eventually stumbles upon his home village on another planet where his Grandmother resides. There he defeats an additional alien who stands in his way to the one who killed his family.
    The second book I read was a series called the Gallagher Academy by Ally Carter. The first book in the series called, I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You, is about a girls spy school disguised as an international prep school. Little did the outside know was that the girls on the inside were trained to kill and can speak 14 different languages. The main character Cammie had yet another problem to deal with, her mom being the principle. Cammie and her gang are the adventurous type and have stumbled across many secret passages that lead them to the small town outside of school. They had been there before and of course Cammie met a boy.She now chooses to sneak out of school and put her and her friends in danger as they try to help Cammie find true love.

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  41. This summer I read a book called Wanted by Sara Shepard. It is the eigth book and final book in a series called Pretty Little Liars.The entire series is about a murder of a 12 year old girl and five years later how it is affecting her best friends. What I liked about the book was the suspense. You couldn't put it down. In my opinion it was very well written. The vocabulary was challenging but not to difficult. Also the plot kept you turning the pages! It was hard for me to specifically learn a lesson from this particular book but I would say that it makes you think about who your friends really are. What was important to me about the content was seeing how the four main characters who were all completely different could still be best friends. The second book I read this summer was called Along for the Ride by Sara Dessen. The book was about a girl who goes off to live with her dad for the summer and falls in love with the mysterious and misunderstood boy in town. I enjoyed this book a lot because I am a sucker for a love story. From this book I learned that a lot of times you don't get it right the first, second, or maybe even the third time, but in the end it all works out. I thought the content was good. It wasnt very challenging so I flew through it. Even though it lacked difficutly, I still enjoyed it a lot.

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  42. Over the summer I read two inspiring books. The first book was Nineteen Minuets by Jodi Picoult and the second book was Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. Both of these books have enhanced my knowledge on that certain subject. Nineteen Minuets was a tragic story about a school shooting. It was all started with bullying. This has showed me that saying one cruel comment or doing one cruel thing can hurt someone deeper than you have ever expected. Reading Picoult’s book has inspired me to be as kind as I can be to everyone I meet. Tuesdays with Morrie was about an old professor that is dying from a chronic illness. One of his favorite students comes back to visit him in the professors hard times. Each visit is on a Tuesday. The two men talk about different subjects dealing with life, such as family, death, the world, and regrets, along with other things. The student starts to learn what really matters in life and his change by the whole experience. I like both of the books a lot. My favorite books are when someone is changed throughout the book. In Tuesdays with Morrie the students is changed and in Nineteen Minuets the people of the town are change and so is the reader. These books keep me interested and give me a lesson two. Nineteen Minuets I liked most out of the two. The book was dramatic and I never wanted to put it down. I am also a big fan of Jodi Picoult. Both books have opened my mind to new ideas.

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  43. Over the summer, I read “Fallen Angels” by Walter Dean Myers, and “The Journal of Professor Van Helsing” by Allen C. Kupfer.
    The book “Fallen Angels” was a very good book. I liked how it showed you how the war was really like over in Vietnam. Most of the time, from older wars, you get a sugar-coated image from the media with a lot of misleading information. I learned how the life of a soldier was over in Vietnam. This is another aspect that the media usually cover up and send out misinformation. The book’s content that mattered to me was that it showed the true brutality and horror of war, but it also shows the necessity of war. This is not just for the invading country, but it also concerns the invaded country.
    The book “The Journal of Professor Van Helsing” was very interesting. I liked how the story was in a journal format, and that made it more realistic. I learned that not all fiction is extreme fantasy and not believable. This book, while fiction was easily believable, except that most people don’t believe in vampires and werewolves. The way that this book explained these extraordinary creatures, however, made this book a little more believable. In this book, the content that matters most to be is the fact of the diseases are the reason for the appearance of strange creatures. This possibility is very real, and could happen very soon. The formation and mutations of viruses are occurring constantly, and the threat of a virus or disease that can change a human into a blood-seeking vampire, or a flesh-eating zombie, are being constantly raised.

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  44. Two books I read over the summer where
    1.)Untamed by P.C. and Kristin Cast. This is the fourth book in the series of the House of Night. This book continues the adventures of Zoey Redbird a high school girl who's world in turned upside down when she starts to transform into a vampyre. I like this book because it is relatable because it touches on becoming your own person, learning to deal with everything that happens in high school, even if her circumstances are a little different. I learned form this book to not take anything for granted becuase someday it could be gone and that it's ok to be different then the rest of your peers. This book is a fun book that encourages someone to be there own person and to stand out from the crowd. This text means a lot for me because it states that different isn't always bad it is sometimes a good thing.
    2.) The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan was also an amazing book i read this summer. This story follows a young demigod named Percy Jackson who has been fighting a war against Kronos for four years. Percy is the son of a god and a mortal. Posidon is Percy's dad while his mother Sally is mortal. That makes Percy half god half mortal. While the gods are away fighting a dangerous force Percy and his friends are forced to protect Mt. Olymus from Kronos. I learned that you have to believe in yourself and never to let someone else think for you. I liked this book because of the action in it and how it relates to children. This book has great meaning to me because it really stresses the importance of standing up for what you believe in and for yourself.

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  45. I read Storm Thief by Chris Wooding and a book called Ballad (I can't remember the author). Chris Wooding is my favorite author he writes about stuff that I sometimes think about. One of his books is about these creatures that terrorize the world. The book later reveals that these creatures were created by the 90% of the human brain that we don't use because they needed something to blame for all the terribleness of the world. But Storm Thief is about this island that is constantly rearranged by strange man-made storms. These were created because the island was too perfect. It needed chaos. It helped me to understand that the world needs a healthy balance of everything. There needs to be sadness in order to have happiness.
    The second book I read (Ballad) was really easy. The writing wasn't very good. The main character was really sarcastic and he had a great sense of humor. That's all that I liked about the book. In the end, the author just strang events together so there would be a happy ending. It's like she just got tired of writing and didn't really think it through.

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  46. Over the course of this summer, I read a large variety of books. The first book I read was The Alphas by: Lisi Harrison. I really liked the futuristic aspect of this novel. It takes place in a world based completely off of technology, that for the most part doesn't exsist yet. I learned a lot about how everything can change in an instant. When a civilazation relies too heavily on technology, in the chance that it breaks down, you must be sure there are other options. The main part of this book's content that really mattered to me, was the thought that our world could soon be completely based on technology. As in, people who barely have to lift a finger to complete a full day of work or school. This entire book was full of such concepts. The second book I read this summer was The Five People You Meet in Heaven by: Mitch Albom. For me, the most enjoyable part of this book is, the hope and closure of an afterlife. I learned, that even though things seem weird and obscure, everything really does happen for a reason. In this novel, as the main character travels through the many layers of heaven, he meets up with a few people that had a significant impact on his life. Each of these five people, unravel and reveal the truth behind a different section or mystery in his life. To me, the idea of an after world matters most. Both of these books are very out there. They make you think, and put little ideas in your head that just continue to grow and grow.

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  47. I chose The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. I especially enjoyed how this book was written through the perspective of a boy (Christopher) with Asperger Syndrome. He included funny tidbits of information (often quite useless!!), intelligent observations, and interesting thoughts about the investigation of the murder of his neighbor's pet poodle. Throughout the novel, I gathered a much better understanding of how a child with a learning disability thinks, acts, and works through the challenges of everyday life. This is a meaningful text that stands out in my mind. Instead of telling, it shows how Christopher deals with the problem at hand, as though you are reading his thoughts. It deepened my understanding of children like Christopher and I am sure it would have the same effect on others.

    In addition, I read a memoir called The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Jeannette explains her crazy, eventful life growing-up in a dysfunctional family. The rich novel portrayed vivid experiences and personal stories from her perspective as a young girl. She told her stories from the heart and explained her feelings about moving from town to town while being virtually homeless. Jeannette’s parents made countless poor decisions, yet they seemed so secure in the choices they made for their children. Though Jeannette suffered a rough childhood, she indicated that she and her siblings grew up to lead fairly normal lives. After finishing the book, I realized that not just conventional parents raise successful kids. Even though Jeannette had an unstructured life and her parents had strange ways of teaching lessons, she rose above and persevered through the challenges that life had to offer.

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  48. This summer I read two very well written books Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.
    1) Water for Elephants is a "twisted" love takes place in the circus world of the 1930's. This novel was very descriptive and historically correct. It taught me about something I would never have known about had I not read this book, so it was very interesting to learn about something new.
    2) Stargirl is written about a high-school girl who doesn't necessarily want to "fit in". She likes to stand out and do her own thing, which makes others uncomfortable with her. It taught me to be my own person and that fitting in isn't always the best.
    Both books I read over the summer definitely are now two of my favorites and both taught me to see the world in a different way.

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  49. 1) The first book I read over the summer was Where The Red Fern Grows by ___. It was not the most gripping or interesting book in terms of the details, but the ending was really powerful. It teaches the lesson of trust, where a strong trust builds between a boy and the 2 dogs he worked so hard to earn. At the end, the boy is distraught when he loses his dogs. It teaches that you cannot have something forever. Also, loyalty. When the one dog dies, the other one dies of a broken heart for the loss of it's companion. I learned a lot about hunting and dogs through this book. I really liked how it was just a small town boy, but he had determination and such a love for dogs to make anything happen. I loved this book and it was a really cool story.

    2) The second book I read was called the Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. It is the first book in a trilogy. This book was really gripping, and it was hard to put it down. A girl gets chosen to live in a life size arena with 23 other people, and try to fight to the death to be the last survivor. I learned a lot about survival and how thoughts can really affect the outcome of events. This book was mostly an adventure book, and from my view, it teaches that life is always changing, and it is uncertain everyday. Being prepared for whatever comes and being flexible to change is a great key. Plus, being able to stand for yourself.

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  50. The two novels that I read over the summer were The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Pastwatch: the Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card.

    The first novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, is a riveting adventure/mystery novel that solidified its place among the classics with an enthralling plot, intriguing characters, and exceptional writing. What I found myself enjoying the most about this novel was the second of the three attributes above. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous Sherlock Holmes draws in the reader, as they try to puzzle-out puzzle out his mind. Though the Sherlock Holmes novels seldom seem to focus on raw facts and insight on everyday life, one thing that can be found are human morals. There are always unseen sides of a criminal or victim revealed throughout the story that cause you to reflect on all people. Though the content of this book may not be very important to me as a person, what matters is getting to know a character, that, although he is fictional, can provide insight into the morals of people.

    The second novel I read was Pastwatch: the Redemption of Christopher Columbus. To put it simply, this book is amazing. I absolutely loved this book for a multitude of reason, but mainly because of its deep and intriguing nature. This book is not a very lighthearted, shallow story, but an intricate allegory on the fundamentals of human nature. I learned many things from this story, including more than I’ve ever learned about Spain, Portugal, and Christopher Columbus, as well as further insight into myself and what I’m like as a person, believe it or not. The books content was huge for me, making a significant impact on the way I view people and think about human nature. As one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve ever read, Pastwatch is nothing short of incredible.

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  51. Over the summer, I read, The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, and The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom. During the book, The Da Vinci Code, I was impressed by the deepness of the story. There seemed to be more and more to the story’s meaning, the more that you thought about it. After reading this fictional book, I learned that not everything that you know is necessarily true. It could just be a lie to cover up something that someone does not want others to know about. What matter the most to me personally was the completely blatant accusation that all that we know about Christianity is a lie. Since I go to church a lot, I found this very thought-provoking. In the book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the aspect that I appreciated most about the book was its length. I only had about one week to finish the book, so I figured that a two hundred page book would be perfect to not feel rushed. I learned from this short book, that your life can be shaped by complete strangers. For example, the old lady or the 3rd person that Eddie meets is Ruby, a complete stranger to him. This is the person that the pier that he works at is named for. What matters the most to me about this book is the idea that your life on earth would be completely explained to you while you are in heaven. These two books, I thought were very good and I am glad that I read these books over the summer.

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  52. Over the summer I read Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns both by Khaled Hosseini. Each realistic fiction story was set in Kabul, Afghanistan and expanded throughout Afghanistan and to America. Kite Runner is the so called "first" book whereas A Thousand Splendid Suns is the "sequel", however, neither story crosses the other except for the fact of a few similar historical events such as the bloodless coup of Zahir Shah and the Taliban.
    Kite Runner involved a servant boy and his somewhat rich master's son. The two boys were childhood friends separated by betrayal and society. I loved the way Hosseini wrote an engaging story using real life situations and tons of background and descriptive detail. I learned from this book of relationships and society in the Middle East concerning cultural tribes or groups such as Pashtuns and Hazaras. I also learned a few common words of the language of Afghanistan through the creative writing Khaled Hosseini used. What mattered to me in this novel was the morals like the pain of holding emotions and information in because sometimes i can slip into those habits myself.
    A Thousand Splendid Suns is based on two women with separate lives tied together by one husband and a life of fear. This was just slightly my favorite of the two because as a young woman I can relate to some of the thoughts and emotions these repressed ladies experienced through motherhood and "sisterhood". I learned an even more in-depth perspective of the way women were treated differently when the wars and Taliban marched in Afghanistan as well as cultures and society. I loved the intrigue and twists intertwined into their lives and the shock and hororr I experienced while looking into their abusive home. That was my weird pleasure that most get from horror movies ;)

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  53. 1) The two novels i chose to read this summer were Huge by Sasha Paley and Deadline by Cris Crutcher.
    2) In the book Huge, I enjoyed that it was narrated by two different charcters who were very different from each other. This book taught me that I doesnt matter your size or weight you can still have a happy life as long as you set your mind to enjoying it. The books content mattered to me because I felt it will reach out and speak to everyone who reads it because it not only does it dael with personal issuses but also about common struggles.
    I like the book Deadline because it spoke the truth. It didn't have a storybook "happy ending" but it still was a fulfilling novel.I learned that you shouldn't make judgements based on pre-formed opinions and that someone could be a lot more complex than they seem.The content of this book matters to me is that it really shows you simple ways to live life to the fullest whether you a year to live or a hundred years to live.

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  54. A thousand page novel takes a while to read. Yet, that is one of the reasons I chose to read Under the Dome, by Stephen King. It isn't a mere 200 page middle school-level book. It is a 1000+ novel, full of complicated themes and a confusing story. It is constantly switching the viewpoints between multiple characters.

    Basically, a small town in Maine is suddenly covered by a invisible, yet impenetrable dome. (More of a vial shape, actually.) It goes 100k+ feet high, and deeper than we can dig.

    The Dome didn't come down for a reason. It was just a normal day for the people of Chesters Mill.

    The whole novel tells the story of what happens to different people, yet they all connect. But time keeps going at the same time.

    After the done comes down, panic stets in. The mayor likes this, and tries to keep it up. Meanwhile, a small group of people, let by an Iraqi war veteran, tries to take down the tyrannical mayor who is doing all he can to keep the dome in place.

    A group of middle school boys find the dome's generator. They race back and tell Barbie, the Iraqi vet. He sends a group of people to destroy it, which they cannot. When the people touch this mysterious generator, they see aliens. They seem to be children, playing with Chester's Mill just as we would play with an anthill.

    In the end, all but 30 people die in a fire.

    Read the story yourself, It's really interesting.



    My other book would be The Lost City of Z, by David Grann. This one was only 300 pages, but still high-school or above leveled.

    It is about several groups of explorers who travel into the Amazon to find the Lost City of Z. After they all mysteriously disappear, Fawcett goes in to find the missing people, and maybe the city. He goes in multiple times, with no success. The final time, he dies.

    It's not too fun of a read. I don't recommend it.

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  55. The two books i red this summer were The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards and A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray.
    The Memory Keeper's daughter was about a Doctor who made the decision to give away his daughter who was born with Down's Syndrome. He believed he was protecting his family from sorrow by doing this, but instead it creates a space between them that can not be filled. I like how this book shows that people who are close to you can not be forgotten. This book taught me a lot about how important honesty is in families.
    A Great and Terrible Beauty was my favorite of the two books. it is about a Brittish girl named Gemma who lived in India with her mother. Gemma has a "vision" and afterwords her mother is found murdered in the street. Gemma goes to finishing school in London, but she continues to have visions. She discovers she can visit another world through these visions where her mother still lives. Gemma unwraps the mystery of a mysterious cult and learns that her mother was not who she says she was. I liked the suspense and mystery about this book. This book is a good illustration of the bad that can come from being greedy for power.

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  56. Over the summer, I read the books Into Thin Air by John Krakauer, and Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden. I enjoyed both immensely, and can't easily choose a favorite. Into Thin Air appealed to me because of it's subject. I am an avid mountain-climber, and love hiking and backpacking in the outdoors. Black Hawk Down was enjoyable for me because of my love of history, especially the history of modern conflicts.

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  57. During the summer, I read A Separate Peace by John Knowles and The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst. Both of these books were full of raw emotion. I did not like A Separate Peace because Gene’s jealousy and rudeness toward Finny, and how he hurt him, makes me disgusted. I learned that sometimes even the “mockingbirds” or innocent people have miserable and sad lives, even if they don’t deserve it. This book is about a boy named Gene who becomes so jealous that he shakes his best friend out of a tree when they are about to jump off. Finny breaks his leg and can never play sports again. Gene has ruined Finny’s dream. Near the end, Gene accidentally trips Finny down a set of stairs, breaking his legs again. When the doctor was trying to set his leg, a piece of bone marrow got caught in his heart and Finny died. Finny was already dead, once Gene smashed his dreams or sports and the Olympics. I also did not like that book because I felt like the author was just stretching out two plot ideas and putting “fluff” in between.
    On the other hand, I found The Dogs of Babel full of emotion and really intriguing. I learned what love can push a person to do, and how depression can really affect many peoples’ lives. I also learned that want could push people to do horrible things. This book was about a man who’s wife was found dead, fallen from a tree in their backyard. Their dog was the only witness. Everyone believes it is a suicide, but he is certain that someone murdered his wife. The book is about Paul trying to find a way to have is dog physically speak to him and tell him who killed Lexy, but along the way, he realized many important things he didn’t know about his wife.

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  58. 1) The first book I read over the summer was Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde. Heir Apparent is about a girl named Giannine Belissario, who chooses to play a game called Heir Apparent, she can hear, taste, smell, and feel everything like you would in real life, but there’s an accident on the machine that she’s playing in, and she has to win the game to get out, but there’s a time limit, and if she can’t make it within the time limit, she’ll most likely die. Also, if she ever gets killed in the game, she’ll have to start over, there’s nearly an infinite number of ways to win, but she can also lose in the same number of ways. I enjoy how she chooses to try things that other players have never even thought of before, even when she keeps dying.
    2) The second book I read over the summer was the Lighthouse Land by Adrian McKinty. The Lighthouse Land is about a boy named Jamie O’Neill, who has lost his arm (From the elbow down), to cancer, and because of the events beforehand (His father leaving him and his mother alone), he has stopped speaking. Later they inherit an island near Ireland, and he makes one friend named Ramsey, and they explore a Lighthouse, which is really a gateway to another world, and they have many adventures there. I enjoy how throughout the book, Jamie goes through a transformation, and how it changes his way of thinking.

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  59. This summer, I read a book entitled Shanghai Girls by Lisa See and a novel called Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Shanghai Girls was an interesting book about two sisters' struggle to escape China as World War II begins and then survive in America as outcasts. I learned a lot from this book about life in Shanghai in the late 1930's, and also how Chinese people were shunned and outcasted in America in the 1930's and 1940's. I liked the way this story was brutally honest and very fact-based, and ended with hope for a good future but not a happily-ever-after. Peter and the Starcatchers was the fourth book in a series that prequels the adventures of Peter Pan and Wendy in Neverland. My favorite aspect of this story is that two kids (Peter and Wendy's mother, Molly), with the help of magical starstuff that falls from the sky, take on twisted and evil creatures and save the world from a threat most people don't even know exists. The constant action many conflicts also make the book hard to put down! The most important part of this book to me is that good always prevails, even if the forces working for good are far outmatched by evil. This series taught me to never give up on anything and to use creativity to wriggle out of bad situations. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these books and learned a lot from their messages and history.

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  60. Over the summer, i read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, both by Suzanne Collins. These were both fantastic books mainly because they explore an action genre that hasn't quite been done before. The Hunger Games Starts off in a cliché Gladiator scenario, but in the end, it's not about the contestants triumphing over each other but about them overthrowing the people who put them there. It's a clever take on a survival story that I couldn't put down. The second book focuses more on the people that put them there, and how things have changed since the two main characters committed an act of rebellion. People are beginning to follow them, and I am very much looking forward to the third book.

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  61. This summer i read two books that enlightened, educated, and entertained my mind. They were my side of the mountain by Jean Craighhead George and Schooled by Jordan Korman. One of the amazing books, My Side of The Mountain, was about a young kid named Sam Gribley who runs away from home to live off the wild land. It lived my dreams out in paper and ink because that would be pretty cool to live in the wild. I learned tips from that book, like a fish with an empty stomach means it will eat about anything, meaning good fishing. The other book i like was Schooled by gordan Korman. It ended up being one of my favorite books. It is about a hippie kid who dosent know anything about the modern world, when he is suddenly dumped upon civilazition when his Grandma gets hurt on there farm. He joins highschool and is intantly bullied because his ideals are different and he is EXTREMELY gullible. Then as the story progresses more in dept in the end he becomes the most popular kid. The content mattered to me because it said be yourself and youll get friends.

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  62. Over the summer I read The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks and Dirty Little Secrets by C. J. Omololu. The Last Song is about Ronnie, a rebelious teenager who goes to live with her dad in a small town in North Carolina to spend the summer, which she does not want to do. She rejects her father and alienates herself from everybody else, until she meets Will, who completely makes her changer her mind about everything. I liked that the book was very easy to relate to, and it was interesting to watch the characters in the book evolve and become different people. I learned that there will be stages in your life that you don't want to live (and maybe just skip them), but they will pass and then you can move onto a happier part. What matters to me is that Ronnie was there for here dad when he needed her most, even if it was a tough time for Ronnie too.
    Dirty Little Secrets is about a family who seems normal on the outside, but in truth their mother is a hoarder, someone who never throws anything away. Their house was stacked full of junk and nothing worked because of all of the stuff in it, and it smelled, and a lot more gross, impossible conditions to live in. It really opened my eyes to that kind of life, and really made me want to help these people who have no choice but to live in a house full of trash. I learned to not judge people by the way they look, because if someone looks like a nerd, they could be hiding a terrible secret that I might not even to live with. What matters to me is that this girl took matters into her own hands in the end and fixed it so she could live a nice life.

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  63. During my summer, I read The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, and Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. The City of Ember is about a colony of people forced to live in a giant underground cave where their only light source has been slowly losing more and more energy, and is about to lose the last of it. Freak the Mighty is about a very large kid that people call "kicker" and a very smart kid that calls himself Robot Man because of the leg braces he has to wear. I liked numerous things about these two books, such as the authors unique writing styles and the lessons that each book taught me. The City of Ember taught me that even in the scariest situations, all you need to do is stay hopeful and keep faith in the idea that there is always a solution to any problem. After reading Freak the Mighty, i learned that friendship can come in all sizes. I also learned that sometimes working together is all you need to overcome an obstacle. What mattered to me about the content of the books that i read is that i could relate each one to my own life. For example, after I read The City of Ember I realized how small we really are. It made me think much deeper about how we treat one another and how we treat our planet. In Freak the Mighty, what really mattered to me was how these two seemingly different characters overcame so much together by usind their different unique talents in a way that helped them overcome a challenge. It made me think about how everyone may seem different to one another, but on the inside we're all the same.

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  64. Over the summer I read The Game, by Neil Stauss and First Shot by Walter Sorrells. The game is about this guy who learns a unique set of skills and chooses to share and teach these skills to other individuals who will pay a large amount to learn these skills. As the book goes on people that he taught decide to open their own teaching businesses to compete with his and after a while everyone in his city had picked up on the skill that he was teaching and everyone knew about it. First Shot is about a kid who thinks his father murdered his mom and the father thinks that the son killed his mom and tried to help him by burying the murder weapon in an abandoned area. In both books that i read i liked how the author made you want to keep reading. The game taught me that in life, if every move you make can be predicted by someone before you even think about doing it, then it is time to get out of whatever it is you are doing and go find a different place and a different thing to do. First Shot taught me that if you make an assumption and go along with it without trying to find more evidence or thinking that you may be wrong, then those assumptions can lead to different ones that can just make you not know any of the truth.

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  65. Over the summer, I read Only the Good Spy Young by Ali Carter and Reality Check by Jen Calonita. Only the Good Spy Young is about a high school student named Cammie. She goes to the Gallagher Academy, which is a school for spies. I liked that the book kept the reader guessing, but it was not a very good book. At the end, the reader is not given any answers, but is left to wonder what is really going on. I learned you should form your own opinions, and act on them, no matter what others say. Reality Check is about a group of girls who get their own reality show. The girls become obsessed with being famous and with material things. The show casts them in a bad light, showing them as backstabbers and just mean in general. I learned you should not let anything come between you and your friends, because you will always regret it.

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  66. Over the summer I read Touching the Void by Joe Simpson and Pendragon by D.J. Machale. I loved both books because they were so different from any other book and so gripping that I literally could not set either down until I had totally finished it. From Touching the Void I learned that whenever your friends really need you that you have to be there for them no matter if what you do will be of minimal help or a ton of help. From Pendragon I learned that your decisions are based on the perspective you are looking at a situation from and if the effort is made to see the problem from another perspective the outcome will often be more positive. What I discovered to be important was how each book was individual and possessed a character and style of it's own and left you making conclusions and making your own opinions.

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  67. Over the summer, I read Wings by Aprilynne Pike and Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. Both share the element of fantasy.
    The first book, Wings, shares the story of a faerie living among humans. This book fascinated me because I love mythical adventures. The interesting twist in the book begins when the main character, Laurel, blossoms and discovers she is a faerie. She starts to learn about her past and where she truly came from. It takes a while for this new life to settle in her brain but she finally accepts her nature. I discovered that even though some things are hard to except, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t true. It’s important to keep persisting even when life turns down a bumpy road leading to any possible opportunity. Even though morals are easily taken from Wings, its content taught me a lot too. I figured out that many people are not what they appear and you never know what will happen when you wake up in the morning and face the mirror.
    Another book I read over the summer, Book of a Thousand Days (BTD), struck me in a way that few books do. It tells the story of a young servant whose mistress forces her to take her place as princess. If discovered both of their lives would be at stake. Because of the rich woman’s refusal to marriage, she and her servant are locked in a tower for 7 years. They both find new sides to themselves and rely on each other for support throughout the harsh conditions. It’s important to build strong relationships so that when the going gets rough, you have a shoulder to lean on. BTD also had the element of survival even though it was written in a time of magic, knights in shinning armor, and evil sorcerers. I loved the thrill around every corner, at the turn of a page, and it truly inspired me to make a difference in the world.

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  68. Over the summer I read House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. In the House of the Scorpion i Liked the whole idea about clones and "chipping" someone. It was an odd concept but it made you think whether it is even possible or not. It was very interesting. It also made me learn that even if doing something will not benefit you, you should still always do the right thing. the book really talkes about morals and how to do good. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I loved all of the action and the idea of magic. It's so much fun to think about all of the things that you could do with magic and how amazing it would be. the book made me think that the whole splitting your soul thing kind of makes sense. It was an amazing book and I am really glad I chose it. I loved both of my choices.

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  69. The books I read over the summer were Black Hawk Down, a story about our nations warriors and their desperate struggle. It's a tail of harrowing cirmcumstances and even greater courage. The other book I read was The Passage, which was a heroic tale about a disease changing the world. I would strongly recommend this book to any action fan.

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