Saturday, June 7, 2014

Literature Week


This week we each read a literature book from one of the subtopics we laid out for Reading University.  Our subtopics needed to fit one of the following criteria:

American Novel - literature genre set in North American or by a North American author.
European Novel - literature genre set in Europe or by a European author.
World Novel - literature genre set outside of North America and Europe or by an author from outside of North America or Europe.
Poetry - book or collection of poems from any country, including anthologies of poetry.

Books Selected:

Zach (American Novel)

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
My rating: 3 1/2 of 5 stars

Robin Hood and his merry band of men rob from the rich, give to the poor, and celebrate with great feasts.  Each story tells the tale of how each person joined Robin Hood's adventures.  They laugh a lot, and the ending will surprise you.  If you like disguises, competitions, male bonding, and merriment, this is the book for you.

Michelle (American Novel)

The Lottery and Other StoriesThe Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a collection of short stories that run the spectrum of emotions for me, but this review is about "The Lottery". I have read this 3 different times in my life, and knowing the ending doesn't make it any easier to read. This story is about tradition, and what can happen when people blindly follow what has been done in the past without stopping to question why we do the things we do. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but I feel this story is an absolute "must read" for everyone. It will spark deep discussion, and it will change your perspective.

I need to go cry in a corner now and be depressed for the remainder of the day. Well played, Ms. Jackson, well played. This story left an imprint on my psyche and I will be thinking about it for days.

Maddie (American Novel)

White Fang by Jack London
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

White Fang is about a wolf-dog who lives Yukon with his mother, father, and four siblings.  During a time of famine, his family dies and he lives alone with his mother.  They soon run into some Eskimos who take them in.  He slowly adjusts to life with humans, then his mother is sold and taken away from him.  He becomes a sled dog and is sold to a cruel owner and forced into a terrible, violent life.  White Fang is rescued by a loving owner who only wants the best for him, but White Fang no longer trusts.

Will White Fang ever learn to trust again?  Will he ever be free?  Faced with challenges, and life-threatening tasks, White Fang is an enriching tale that will keep you glued to your seat.

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