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Teen SRC 2020 – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I originally discovered To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee in my sister’s extensive book collection and I decided to finally read it after months of anticipation.

The novel introduces the Finches (Atticus, Jem, and Jean Louise). The Finches are as normal a family as you can find in Maycomb, Alabama. The story follows the Children (Jem and Jean Louise Finch, and sometimes Dill) as they learn about their father’s hopeless struggle to defend a black man accused of rape. The novel also contains a side plot where they learn about Boo Radley, Macyomb’s local mystery.

The novel flows excellently from chapter to chapter and page to page; readers are drawn in by Lee’s incredible storytelling. The novel does a great job of introducing readers and its own characters to racial bias and injustice. With the rise Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and around the world, the morals and message woven into the story are more than relevant. I would wholeheartedly recommend this novel to anyone who wishes to read about racial injustice and rate this an 8.5/10

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 – Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm: Orwell, George: 8601417743553: Books - Amazon.ca

Hey guys! Summer School is almost over, and as a result, I’ve had more time to read! Animal Farm by George Orwell is a pretty short book though, so that may be why I was able to finish it so quickly.

This story starts at Manor farm, where Old Major, a very old and wise pig, shares a story/chant about the animals rioting against their owner and running the farm themselves. After Major dies, the animals really do riot, and they take over the farm. They start off living peacefully together, all animals are equal and they all help each other. However, things start changing, subtly yet consistently, and one begins to wonder whether all animals are equal after all…

Honestly, I really really enjoyed this book. The entire story is an analogy for the Russian Revolution and I recently just learned about that in Summer School, so it tied together very well. This is probably my favourite of the classics I’ve read so far, probably because it was short, yet very well written. Normally I find classics drone on and on about absolutely nothing important, so Orwell’s style was extremely refreshing. Every little detail contains multitudes of significance, and it just blows my mind how Orwell was able to organize all that in a way that showed, and didn’t just tell. My final rating is a 9/10 because once again, the writing is extremely powerful, and this is definitely a book where you will find new hints no matter how many times you’ve read it. If you’re looking to get into classics, this is the book to start with. The ending was also one that made me just sit down and say “wow,” so please do give it a read! It’ll take around a day or two MAX.

Teen SRC 2020 – The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis

The Horse and His Boy - Lewis, C. S.

The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis

It takes place during the Golden Age of Narnia, with the Pevensies ruling at their peak. The two main characters and horses are escaping from Calormen and travelling north of Narnia. On their travel, they learn of the Prince of Calormen’s plan to overtake Archenland. They then have to race the Calormen to Archenland in order to warn the King of Archenland of the incoming attack.

Although the story is set in the countries to the south of Narnia (Calormen and Archenland), which gives it a quite different experience then the previous books. I always find the visual imagery and the feelings of each character as they evolve fascinating. But he revived his deceitful, dirty, turban-clad race, the Calormen. A lost fair skinned boy grew up among them and he is depressed until he is finally reunited with the beautiful, white, and kind people of Narnia. His representation of the people of Calormen is dreadful . When he says “Calor-men”, by calor is he implying people of the hot countries or is it the not inconspicuous way of indicating colored people? However, the descriptions reveals it all; the people are described as dark skin, wears turbans, and savage slave owners. Their leader is a dishonest war-dealer. This land and its people are consistently compared against the fair-skinned, wise and free-thinking people of Narnia and Archenland. However, all of this could be seen from another point of view. Lewis may have been trying to describe the life as it was years ago in that area. There were slavery in those communities too as it was in the western world, and there were child marriages in their society. Besides that, the story came off strongly and all the scenes and visuals are really detailed. I still really enjoyed the story and how it was different from the first two and I rate it 8/10.

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 – 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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Teen SRC 2020 – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Hey guys! I can’t believe it’s already summer 🙂 I hope you’re all doing well and participating in the SRC!

Lately I’ve been continuing on my Classics spree so I’ll be reviewing Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen today.

Although this is one of the “best” love stories ever written, so was Romeo and Juliet (which I did not enjoy), so I didn’t have too high of hopes for this.

The story is set in rural England, and Mrs. Bennett, the mother of 5 daughters, has just one goal: to see them all married. 1/5 of her wish is about to be answered when a wealthy bachelor, Mr. Bingley, comes to their town, and takes a liking to Jane, the oldest Bennett sister. With him, he brings his sister, and a few friends and among these friends is Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, an even wealthier bachelor, but with a terrible pride.

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