Thursday, February 19, 2015

Image result for a child called it I read A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer. I chose this book because the story seemed very inspirational and also seemed very good. As most of us do, I read the back cover of my memoir and was instantly intrigued. The lead of the book hooked me and I wanted to read more right away. This story was sad and very gross but that only made the story better. A Child Called “It” follows the story of a young boy in elementary school. His name is Dave, and is part of one of the worst abuse cases in California history. Dave takes the reader in depth about some of the awful experiences he must go through. His mom does not allow him to eat much at all, and he must overcome the fact that the rest of his family simply doesn't care for him anymore. He gets one set of clothes each year, so he has a terrible stench that follows him as well. At school, he is made fun of for stealing and looking bad, and his mom comes up with ridiculous stories about how he has hurt himself. He steals lunches at school and shoplifts grocery stores, only to come home and have to throw it all up with the force of his mom. Both his parents drink, and he is not sure whether he hates his mom more for abusing him, or his dad for doing nothing about it. One of the more gruesome events in the story is when Dave’s mom makes him eat a used diaper that was once his baby brother’s. Dave isn't allowed to even sit with the family, and must sleep on a cold, hard cot in the garage. Every time he manages to find food, whether it comes from the garbage can or leftovers on a plate, his mom soon finds out and punishes him. Dave uses a slow pace when telling the story, and gives the reader a lot of description. By the end of the book, you think you were in his shoes. The plot seems absolutely devastating, but I did learn a few things from A Child Called “It”.

A Child Called “It” provided a lot of good messages throughout the book. The most interesting was that no matter how hard life hits you, you just have to keep fighting and eventually the results will take care of themselves. Dave shows an incredible amount of fight throughout the whole story, and when he finally is ready to give up, he keeps going and never gives in. A Child Called “It” relates to the “why am I the way I am?” idea because this moment in Dave’s life shows how much he fights to get what he deserves. His experience he wrote about changes everything in his life. Dave will never be the same after this child abuse case and his traits have probably changed too. The author is now able to be proud of getting out of the hole he was in, even though it was an awful experience. This is the one event that changed everything for Dave, and that is why it is most important to him. This moment in his life will haunt him forever, and that is why the reading wasn't always easy.

The reading difficulty was rather easy in A Child Called “It”. I would say the level would be a one or two out of five because the book was less than 200 pages long and there was no extremely difficult vocabulary in Dave’s memoir. Although the actual reading was quite easy, the subject matter difficulty was much harder. A four or even five out of five would explain this book well. The idea of this book is very sad, disgusting, and terrible in many different ways. At times, Dave’s story was hard to read because of how extreme the book was. I did not cry at all during this book, but if you decide to read, tears might be streaming from your eyes. If crying doesn’t suit you, you will still definitely be sickened by the gruesome events that happen. Although the subject difficulty was on the harder side, Dave's message in the book was a lot more important.

In A Child Called “It”, Dave’s “so what?” is that some of the biggest moments in your life don’t have to be good ones. Also, the way people act throughout an event can explain you as a person. In Dave Pelzer’s memoir, he never gives up on life throughout his abuse and keeps on fighting. As a reader, I can tell he has a lot of determination in life. Some of the elements that Dave Pelzer used was flashback and foreshadowing. Throughout the whole story, Dave refers back to the time in his life when he was abused. Also, Dave uses foreshadowing in A Child Called "It". As the reader, I could predict what awful action his mom might do next based on the content of the book. Sometimes Dave's mother would tell him to run home as fast as he can after school. Dave was always dreading the moment when he had to come home. As the reader, I can tell that Dave was most likely going to get abused as soon as he came home from school. The elements enhanced the story very well and created a better memoir.

A Child Called “It” was a very inspirational story that I just could not put down. Some of the elements that Dave used included flashback and foreshadowing. I could predict what was going to happen and also see an event that happened in the past. The ongoing descriptive events kept me excited for more. Although the book included some repulsive details that not only sickened you but also made you sad. The story takes you inside the abuse case and gives you an insight of how the child feels. Imagine a life without people who care for you, or people who don’t even bother to acknowledge your existence. Dave was physically and mentally struggling. No food, no friends, no family, yet he still never gave up. From being forced to lay in the bathtub naked in cold water, to eating ammonia and constantly throwing up. Dave gave the reader a chance to go in his shoes and feel the absolute pain that he had to overcome. For us, a lot of things come for granted. Simple things like food and good clothing. I couldn’t believe that a mother would do such a thing to her own child, and not care at all. Dave has taught valuable lessons to each of his readers. Never lose hope and never take anything for granted. I hope you can also read this book and see what Dave must go through.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Individual Reading Blog: The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

One of the most recent books I have read is The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima. This book follows the story of a young warrior, Jack Swift. Jack is a born wizard, but had no weirstone. A weirstone is a stone inside of your body that gives you powers to whatever guild you are in. The magical guilds include wizards, enchanters, sorcerers, seers, and warriors. After birth, Jack is given a warrior weirstone by a wizard named Jessamine Longbranch, as some sort of experiment. Jack Swift lives his whole life in Trinity before he finds out he is warrior. Linda Downey, Jack Swift’s aunt and a magical enchanter, takes Jack to get Shadowslayer, one of the seven most powerful swords in the world. Hastings, a very powerful wizard, trains Jack to become an amazing fighter. Nicodemus Snowbeard, a very old and powerful wizard, trains Jack on some wizardry, and eventually turns him into a warrior with a little bit of magic up his sleeve. Hastings puts Jack into the Tournament, a battle to the death with other warriors, and Jack plays a very close friend in the game. The actual idea of the book is very well thought out, but that is not the only thing that was so appeasing in the book.

The Warrior Heir was written in third person. I think the author chose to write the book like this because she wanted to give the reader a chance to see what was happening in the story from an outside view, instead of just giving the story from one person’s point of view. This style of writing also made it able to see what was happening to each character at the same time. For instance, if the book was written in the eyes of Jack Swift, the reader would only be able to follow Jack’s thoughts and actions. Cinda W. Chima also wrote this book with a fast-paced style that made it hard to put the book down. Her style of writing also was serious and made it easier to follow, but also put in some humor into the story. The style of writing in this book didn’t surprise me at all for a fantasy book. Yet what surprised me the most was the content of the book.

The idea of The Warrior Heir surprised me because I was thinking that the book would only follow warriors and the fights of the warriors (hence the name The Warrior Heir), but ended up being a lot more about other magical elements and also incorporating a regular boy’s life with magic. In this novel, Jack Swift is just a regular teenage boy who plays soccer and lives in a small town called Trinity in Ohio. I really liked how Cinda Williams Chima wrote this book because I could never seem to put it down. The one and only thing I did not necessarily like in this book was the mixture of ideas. I thought the book could have easily ended at several different times in the story. Besides that, I loved this book and was definitely one of the best books I have read this year. The Warrior Heir has lead me into a whole three of the next books in the series, and I have loved them all.

The Warrior Heir introduced me into a whole new world of magic. This whole series began as a simple book introduced to me by a friend, and went into something way deeper. The Warrior Heir was definitely a surprise to me because I thought the idea of wizards and warriors was something I would not particularly enjoy, but it ended up being a book that I could not put down. This book also means a lot to me too. At times I will finish a book just to add to my Reading Counts total, but this book quickly introduced the topic and seemed to make me an expert on the magical guilds. Not only has this book just got me into the rest of the Heir Chronicles, but also the Seven Realms series, a four book series featuring the Queendom of the Fells.

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima was a book like no other. The plot and story of the book kept me intrigued, and the fast-paced style made it harder to put down. I am so glad I read this book that opened the idea of Chima’s other books, and I would certainly recommend this book if you have not yet already read it. If you have read it, some books I would suggest are the rest of The Heir Chronicles and also The Seven Realms. Both series feature magic in some way, whether that is through the guilds of Dragon’s Ghyll or the Charmcasters of the Fells. The Warrior Heir and the rest of the Heir Chronicles were not made into a movie. This is an advantage and disadvantage because like some movies in the past, the book was way better (And that is an understatement). At some points, I actually wish there was a movie based off this book. Although it might ruin the image for me, I would like to see how the producers envisioned the characters and how they would sound. I believe the fight scenes in a movie would be rather cheesy, but the rest would do just fine. I would definitely recommend this book and the Heir Chronicles to anyone who loves fantasy books or books that keep you reading. If you do read it or are planning to read it, I hope you enjoy it and treasure it as much as I did.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Important Book- The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

My most important book is The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. This book follows the story of Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon and New York resident Sally Jackson. He makes his way from a boarding school in Manhattan to a Camp Half-Blood. Camp Half-Blood is a place for the daughters and sons of Greek Gods and regular mortals. In The Lightning Thief, Zeus’s lightning bolt goes missing. The God of the skies thinks Percy has stolen the lightning bolt, but he is wrong. The actual thief is Luke Castellan, son of Hermes. After the demigods figure out about the war between the Gods, Percy Jackson and his friends Annabeth (daughter of Athena) and Grover (satyr) go on a quest to return the lightning bolt back to Zeus and The Helm of Darkness back to Hades.

This book was written in first person through the eyes of 12 year old Percy Jackson. The author probably wrote this way to show Percy’s long experience and what he must go through to complete the quest. The Lightning Thief was written in a fast-paced humorous style. Although it contains a lot of action, there is humor within what Percy says or thinks, but also what happens in the story. When I read this book, I could not stop reading it. The book is filled with suspense and questions, making you want to find out. At the end, there is a cliffhanger that leads perfectly into the sequel, The Sea Of Monsters.

This book surprised me in a plethora of ways. When I found out who stole the lightning bolt, I was shocked. Rick Riordan lead me to believe that a different character had stole it, but then the surprise hits you like a train. I loved the way the author kept me reading the book with all of the suspense. Just when one thing was solved, another problem would pop up on the quest for the demigods and the satyr. The book was fast paced, yet it went into each important event with great detail. I liked this because I could learn more about the important ideas in the book, but I could breeze by the less important happenings. The only thing I did not like about this book was that it ended.

This book got me into the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series. This book is important to me because it got me into reading about Greek, Roman and Egyptian Mythology. This book also was the first book that I have read by myself and actually loved. The theme of the book was never doubt yourself even if the odds are not in your favor. This theme sounds weird based on what happens, but it is actually true. Percy, Annabeth and Grover had to return the Helm of Darkness to Hades, return the lightning bolt to Zeus, and do that all in enough time to prevent the Gods going to war with each other. As you can probably tell already, the three heroes succeed in their quest.

To sum it up, you can tell I really like this book for its writing style and story. I would definitely read this book if you are interested, and if not, well then, your loss. This is probably my favorite book ever, yet the movie was terrible. In the movie, it skips key moments in the book, and if it did mention an important moment, then it was definitely not described. Other things in the movie were added, additions that were not made in the book.If the movie replicated the book, then it would most likely be one of my favorite movies. Unfortunately for me and other Lightning Thief lovers, the producers were unable to do so. When I read The Lightning Thief the second time, it was just as good. This book keeps me reading every time I read it, and is a satisfying experience for me. I definitely recommend this book for you to read, and I hope you get the same sensation as I did.