Monday, September 28, 2009

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak -- A Book Discussion

~Discuss the symbolism of Death as the omniscient narrator of the novel.Why is Death haunted by humans?

~The Grave Digger's Handbook is the first book Liesel steals. Why did she take the book? What is significant about the titles of the books she steals? Explain how Liesel's own attempt to write a book saves her life.

~How does Max's life give Liesel purpose? At what point do Liesel and Max become friends? Max gives Liesel a story called "The Standover Man" for her birthday. What is the significance of this story?

~Liesel Meminger lived to be an old woman. Death says that he would like to tell the book thief about beauty and brutality, but those are things that she had lived. How does her life represent beauty in the wake of brutality?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Reader's Choice October

Halloween Party by R.L. Stine
The invitation arrived in a black-borderred envelope and was delivered by the beautiful and mysterious transfer student. The inside showed a coffin with the inscription "reserved for You" -- perfect for an al-night Halloween party in an old house on Fear Street.
The party was well under way when the lights went out. That's to be expected at the Halloween party. But when the lights came back on, there was a boy on the floor with a knife in his back. Just a Halloween prank? Maybe. Maybe not. Now the guests trick-or-treating has turned to terror. And it looks like someone's idea of a party game is murder!


Hell House by Richard Matheson
Rolf Rudolph Deutsch is going die. But when Deutsch, a wealthy magazine and newpaper publisher, starts thinking seriously about his impending death, he offers to pay a physicist and two mediums, one physical and one mental, $100,000 each to establish the facts of life after death.Dr. Lionel Barrett, the physicist, accompanied by the mediums, travel to the Belasco House in Maine, which has been abandoned and sealed since 1949 after a decade of drug addiction, alcoholism, and debauchery. For one night, Barrett and his colleagues investigate the Belasco House and learn exactly why the townfolks refer to it as the Hell House.



The Black Cat, The Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Pit and the Pendulum, and The Tell-Tale Heart are the most well known Edgar Allan Poe works.

If you vote for Mr. Poe please write your top 3 stories in the comment area! That way we can determine what 3 to discuss at the end of October!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama -- A Recommendation

The son of a black African father and a white American mother, Obama was only two years old when his father walked out on the family. Many years later, Obama receives a phone call from Nairobi: his father is dead. This sudden news inspires an emotional odyssey for Obama, determined to learn the truth of his father's life and reconcile his divided inheritance. Written at the age of thirty-three, "Dreams from my Father" is an unforgettable read. It illuminates not only Obama's journey, but also our universal desire to understand our history, and what makes us the people we are.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath -- A Book Review

Esther Greenwood is at college and is fighting two battles, one against her own desire for perfection in all things - grades, boyfriend, looks, career - and the other against remorseless mental illness. As her depression deepens she finds herself encased in it, bell-jarred away from the rest of the world. This is the story of her journey back into reality. Highly readable, witty and disturbing, The Bell Jar is Sylvia Plath's only novel and was originally published under a pseudonym in 1963. What it has to say about what women expect of themselves, and what society expects of women, is as sharply relevant today as it has always been.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September's Book Selection

And the winner of this month's Reader's Choice poll is.....The Book Thief by Markus Zusak ***HERE IS A SMALL FACT***
You are going to die
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
***SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION***
This novel is narrated by Death. It’s a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, Some fanatical Germans, A Jewish fist fighter, And quite a lot of thievery.
Another thing you should know: Death will visit the Book Thief three times . . .
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