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Teen SRC 2021 – The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

The Prince: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition): Machiavelli, Niccolo, Parks,  Tim, Parks, Tim: 9780143105862: Ethics: Amazon Canada

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli is a meticulous and methodical commentary regarding the roles and responsibilities of how an efficient leader should conduct their own affairs relating to the state. The pragmatic nature of Machiavelli’s psyche is emboldened throughout the book as The Prince seeks to elaborate that the aspects of survival justify the actions of a ruler in achieving glory and establishing a secure nation.

The Prince was originally dedicated to the ruler of Florence, Lorenzo de’ Medici, as a straightforward and logical guide concerning the duplicitous nature of a nation’s subjects, political assertiveness/etiquette, and the desired conduct of a leader during war efforts. Machiavelli also focuses on the personal virtues a successful ruler should uphold, in which specific virtues can be favoured for their merit, but to conform to them would be damaging to the rest of the state. The Prince often uses numerous real-life examples to illustrate the effectiveness of certain forms of government and the strategies they employed to maintain power and the goodwill of the people.

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Teen SRC 2021 – Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky is a striking and sharp analysis/retrospective of one man’s remorse and mental conflict regarding the murder of his pawnbroker. Even though it might seem to only concern itself with the crime committed by the protagonist, the novel seeks to make insightful and arguable opinions regarding the very concept of moral superiority among the human psyche.

   Rodion Raskolnikov is a cynical yet intelligent former student who holds a strong belief that those who are “exceptional” within society are not held to the same moral constraints as the rest of the populous, in which people with Napoleonic personalities are given a moral right to be above the law, as they are intersected in more utilitarian goals relating to the idea of “necessary evil” to bring about a higher level of peace and stability. To test his radical theory, Raskolnikov murders his unscrupulous pawnbroker, Alyona Ivanovna, and by lack of foresight, Lizaveta Ivanovna, the pawnbroker’s submissive sister. The rest of the novel is dedicated to gradually expand Raskolnikov’s internal struggle to comprehend the weight of his actions, which leads him on a path of redemption as the police slowly come to realize the truth behind the murders as Raskolnikov’s guilty conscience causes him to undergo a fundamental shift in his beliefs and nihilistic worldview.

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Teen SRC 2020 – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451: A Novel: Bradbury, Ray: 8580001038919: Books ...

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury uses the genre of science fiction as a paragon for the author’s message, in which an unbridled oppressive government will damage its society by hindering the creativity and freedom of their people. The dystopian sub genre that outlines a futuristic technocratic and totalitarian society that demands order and harmony at the expense of individual rights is a meticulous representation of the novel. 

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Teen SRC 2020- The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

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The Chrysalids by John Wyndham has the author focusing on a variety of issues that individuals are constantly challenged with in life. The people of the fictional village of Waknuk have to struggle against constant prejudice, intolerance, and ignorance within their community. There is a constant theme of using faith as a source of control over the population, as the novel beckons its readers to understand how fear has the ability to shape and manipulate society.

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Teen SRC 2020 – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is a captivating narrative regarding the moral ambiguities of science and the duplicity of human nature. Dr Jekyll is a benevolent, well-respected and brilliant scientist who meddles with the malevolent aspects of science, as he aims to discover and breed his depraved alter ego. He does this through transforming himself into Mr Hyde, a monstrous being who is unable to repent or accept responsibility for any of his heinous actions.

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Teen SRC 2020 – The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells demonstrates the power to transform the human body using advances in scientific achievement. The novel itself is an enthralling and entertaining tale of terror and suspense, and it is a significant Faustian allegory of the dangerous capabilities of unregulated and unbridled scientific endeavours many decide to embark on. The Invisible Man is able to endure as one of the most notable stories in science fiction, in which Griffin, a brilliant and progidouous scientist uncovers the secret to achieving invisibility, but his grandiose ambitions and the power he unleashes causes him to spiral into intrigue, madness, and murder.

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Teen SRC 2020 – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give eBook: Thomas, Angie: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas features Starr Carter, an African American teenager who sees her childhood best friend, Khalil Harris, being shot and killed by a police officer after a routine traffic stop escalates into Khalil’s untimely demise. Starr is then forced to decide whether she will adhere to the unspoken laws of her local neighborhood and stay silent about the injustice she had witnessed, or testify in front of a grand jury and join an ongoing movement to end racist/xenophobic violence and police misconduct in communities across her area.

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Teen SRC 2020 – 1984 by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty Four: Amazon.ca: Orwell, George: Books

1984 by George Orwell illustrates a dystopian society and political prophecy in which Big Brother is always listening in, and high-tech devices eavesdrop in people’s homes.  1984 takes place in a world of endless war, where fear and hate are used as weapons against foreigners. It is a world that has the government insisting that reality is not “something objective, external, existing in its own right” — but rather, “whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth.”

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Teen SRC 2020 – The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

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The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells is an innovative and imaginative book written at the end of the nineteenth century, in which humanity is left scarred by a devastating attack from the Martians. Wells uses diverse language and intriguing metaphors to engage with his audience not only with the themes of his books, but to the world as a whole. In his popular novel, War of the Worlds, Wells uses an extraterrestrial invasion to exhibit and provoke the concepts of life, free will, fate and dominant forces that we cannot control.

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Teen SRC 2020 – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

 

Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Off the Shelf

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is about a young girl known as Liesel Meminger who grows up in Germany amidst World War II who lives with her new foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Throughout the story, Liesel steals various pieces of literature, even though she is oblivious to what the words and paragraphs within them mean and how to read them. At first, she doesn’t even know how to comprehend the words and letters within the books, but she knows that the books themselves hold significant values and ideas. Hans notices and teaches her how to make sense of the letters, in which Liesel slowly progresses in her journey to become a more literate person. Eventually, Liesel realizes that Hans and Rosa are secretly in defiance with the Nazi regime by hiding a Jewish boy known as Max in their basement. 

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