Tuesday, November 24, 2015

'Animal Farm' by George Orwell

Here is a very brief review of the book to tell you what is going on.
Here is Orwell's explanation of why he wrote the book and what it means.
Here is the PDF version of the book.
Here is the teacher's guide to the book.
Brought to you by the CIA:
The audiobook:

Here is as Quizlet of plot details:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Neil Gaiman: 'The Graveyard Book'

Neil Gaiman is a genius and a brilliant writer.   Here is a link to Gaiman reading The Graveyard Book. Gaiman knows what a good story is and what a good story sounds like.


Here is the New York Times's review of the book, which is pretty dead-on.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Joseph Bruchac: 'Code Talker'

Straight off the Amazon page for this book:

"Readers who choose the book for the attraction of Navajo code talking and the heat of battle will come away with more than they ever expected to find."—Booklist, starred review

Throughout World War II, in the conflict fought against Japan, Navajo code talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending messages back and forth in an unbreakable code that used their native language. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. Yet their story remained classified for more than twenty years. 

But now Joseph Bruchac brings their stories to life for young adults through the riveting fictional tale of Ned Begay, a sixteen-year-old Navajo boy who becomes a code talker. His grueling journey is eye-opening and inspiring. This deeply affecting novel honors all of those young men, like Ned, who dared to serve, and it honors the culture and language of the Navajo Indians. 

 An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
"Nonsensational and accurate, Bruchac's tale is quietly inspiring..."—School Library Journal Adam, this is a great book and a great, great story that would be well worth your time.

All of the code talkers have passed away, but their stories are available on YouTube, and you can check them out Here's a piece that is nicely done even if it has King Bush II narrating the story.

Here's a Navajo vocabulary quiz you can try after you read the book.

Ransom Riggs: 'Ms. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'

Here's an excerpt from School Library Journal that gives you an idea of what goes on in this book.  (I think it sounds like our family.  Think of Grandma's old photos and Grandpa's wildly interesting stories of his exploits!

As a child, Jacob was inspired by his grandfather’s stories about a home where a variety of peculiar children lived.  His grandfather shared haunting photos of these children: a girl who seemed to float on air, a girl with a mouth on the back of her head . . .  

As Jacob grows, he begins to doubt the wondrous stories his grandfather has always shared.  He is working at his uncles drug store empire, trying every day to get fired and wondering what his future holds when his grandfather dies.  Jacob has seen a strange creature which everyone thinks is part of his coping mechanism.  

Soon Jacob is sent on a journey where he tries to find this home, to learn the truth about his grandfather. Miss Peregrine’s home is a rich fantasy full of adventure and discovery....

  • Check out  author Ransom Riggs's website here for more about the book.  His photography is pretty crazy, too.
  • After you read the book, try this quiz to see what you can remember about it.
  • Try these games to remind yourself about the meaning of the few strange words in the book.
  • Here is the preview trailer for the movie version of Miss Peregrine.  It's creepy in a Tim Burton way, but don't let that put you off.