November 16, 2009

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:30 pm by timgillis


AP seniors respond to this Pulitzer-prize winning bestseller.


November 12, 2009

Selected Short Stories

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:41 pm by timgillis

short-stories_webA baker’s dozen-worth of student reviews: covering short stories from Borges, Marquez, Singer, Oates, Moore, O’Brien, Joyce (2), Mansfield, Jackson, and Munro.

November 11, 2009

The Stranger by Albert Camus

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:07 pm by timgillis

blog1The final novel in the “Men are Monsters” senior English unit, this existential tale offers perhaps the most human, and most monstrous, character so far – Meursault.

November 10, 2009

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Posted in book review tagged , at 5:52 pm by timgillis

frederick_douglass1The true story of a slave who escaped to freedom, written in the 1st person.

November 9, 2009

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

Posted in book review tagged , at 2:39 pm by blueblazeslib

DealBreakerDeal Breaker, the first of the Myron Bolitar series, is written by Harlan Coben the bestselling author of Tell No One.  It is a novel about Myron Bolitar, a sports agent, who ends up spending most of his time investigating.  His main client, Christian Steele, calls him one day about getting a phone call from his ex-girlfriend, who was supposedly killed the year before.  When Bolitar starts investigating he learns more and more about the night she died, and he ends up getting into more trouble than he signed up for.

Myron gets into fights with the mob; threatened by a professional football coach; and even one his clients wants him dead by the end of the book.  Myron Bolitar is not all serious.  He also has a great sense of humor, and it is that humor that usually gets him into quarrels.
This book is filled with adventure, humor, suspense, and drama.  There is always a new twist when the reader least expects it.  The book is really well written, and is perfect for teenagers and older.  The book can be considered a modernized Sherlock Holmes book for young adults, and is great for any book lover.

Dylan, Sophomore

WHS Library owns other books by Harlan Coben. Check our catalog!

Deal Breaker is available through Interlibrary Loan. Ask us how in the library.

Anthem by Ayn Rand

Posted in book review tagged , at 2:29 pm by blueblazeslib

AnthemAnthem, written by Ayn Rand, is an exemplary work of fiction with a clear message about the necessity of individualism. the plot centers around a lone individual living within a near hive-mind society. In this society, every physical or mental difference is frowned upon, everyone is expected to be  of the same intelligence, and grow at the same rate. even the use of the pronoun “I” is forbidden on pain of death. eventually, the individual, (who is unnamed until the end) breaks away from the collective, and renames himself Prometheus. I found the book to be brilliant in terms of writing style and philosophy, the harsh depictions of the collective versus the optimism in Prometheus is a magnificent display of Man Vs. Society as well as a great way to depict a first person point of view. Rand is able to depict prometheus as both a brilliant maverick, who’s advancing faster than the entire society, as well as a lost child, who is unable to grasp why his society does not want to move forward with him. as complex as the book is, it is not a difficult read, so I recommend It for 9th graders and up.
I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Marty, 10th grade

We own Anthem! Check the catalog to see if it is available.

The Woods by Harlan Coben

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:25 pm by blueblazeslib

The Woods, by Harlan Coben is a great thriller that is very different from his Myron Bolitar series.  The Woods is about a boy named Paul Copeland, who lost his sister when he was a regular teenager at a summer camp.  His sister is one of four campers who is lost in the woods and are never heard from again.  Until, twenty years later the full grown corpse is found of one of the missing teenagers from that night.  When this corpse is found Paul Copeland begins wondering if his sister is still alive.

Copeland ends up investigating and finding out more information than he needed or even wanted to know.  What he knows about the night that the four teenagers were last heard from could get him killed.  He ends up finding hurtful and surprising news about family and loved ones that leaves everyone in shock.

thewoodsThis novel is a great thriller for teenagers to adults.  The book is filled with suspense and twists that make the reader never want to put the book down.  This book is a great overall thriller for anyone who loves books.  It is really well written by a best selling author, and perfect for any young adult.

Dylan, Sophomore

WHS Library owns other books by Harlan Coben. Check our catalog!

The Woods is available through Interlibrary Loan. Ask us how in the library!

Homeland by R.A. Salvatore

Posted in book review tagged , at 2:23 pm by blueblazeslib

homelandDrizzt escapes from his kin, in order to stand by his own moral code and fight against the evil of his brethren.

The story is set in a different fantasy based realm in underground caverns, known as “The Underdark”. The story follows a young dark elf or “Drow” named Drizzt Do’Urden, as he takes steps as a child to a man that rebels against his culture and leaves his home in order to find a better life.

The culture in the city revolves around religion which follows the evil deity known as “The Spider Queen, Loth”. There fore the female Drow are in more power than the males, and if they’re priestesses they are in more power than other females. As a culture, the Drow are cruel and causalities are common, what’s more common than most, during most rituals or any-form of social meetings, is casualties.

Salvatore uses rich but, not full blown vocabulary, making it easy to read for the people with a limited vocabulary, yet it can still give an extra chuckle or two to those who don’t. The world that Salvotre has created seems well flourished and with no loose ends. What’s more, as a critic of many different forms of media, I wasn’t capable of finding any major plot holes, which brings a satisfying feel once you’re finished with the novel and are waiting for the next book.

The first out of a ongoing series of 15 books, Homeland gives a great introduction to Salvatore’s work, and the Drizzt Saga, leaving you wanting more.

Age Recommendation: 13+
Release Date: 1990 (Original) 2005(Rerealease)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Rating: 5 stars

– Dmitri, 10th grade

WHS Library owns many books by R.A. Salvatore. Check our catalog for more information.

November 5, 2009

Love You, Hate You, Miss You by Elizabeth Scott

Posted in book review tagged , , at 7:25 pm by blueblazeslib

lyhymyAmy thinks she murdered her best friend.

So does everyone around her, except her parents and councilor. She has a major drinking problem and was forced to go to a “crazy house” after the accident. No one understand Amy, she feels like she is alone in the world and only alcohol is the solution, it makes everything better, it has the power to make her forget everything that has happened around her.

She hates her parents because their so in love with each other, which is absolutely not normal and it makes her almost invisible around them. Amy hates her shrink, although she makes Amy realize that its not her fault, people make choices and some of them are not always good.

Love You, Hate You, Miss You is about dealing with the past. Walking around school, people staring, whispering and thinking murderer, Amy feels like dying and never coming back to school again. Maybe some people and make her feel like she can still go on and not blame everything on herself for the rest of her life.

Age Recommendation: grades 10+
Release Date: 2009
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 4 stars

Daria, Sophomore

Love You, Hate You, Miss You is in the WHS Library, along with several other Elizabeth Scott books.

TMI by Sarah Quigley

Posted in book review tagged , at 2:07 pm by blueblazeslib

TMIOk, so Becca has this huge problem of over-sharing. She speaks EVERYTHING that is on her mind, which she didn’t realize was such a bad thing until she experienced some of the biggest mistakes of her life so far, can she stop this problem of babbling to anyone that would listen?

Lucky for Becca, she has a best friend, Katie, who has been through all the TMI—to much information moments that Becca has shared with her. Becca has a load of embarrassing moments that the “popular group” remind her of everyday. So in addition to her one friend, Becca comes across the “new kid” which totally looks like a rocker in the future, he immediately becomes part of the group, but he also has a secret of his own.

So this book definitely shares information that you really did not need to know and it would have been fine if you just didn’t hear it (or read it.) I love how the character Becca just goes all out and explains everything in detail and you can probably expect to laugh at her stories, moments, and life.

In the end Becca realizes that she needs boundaries. She concludes that she can hurt a lot of the people that she loves and it takes more than saying sorry to get them back. This book portrays the strength of friendship, trust, boundaries, and to learn to let go.

Age Recommendation: Grades 10+
Release Date:2009
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
Rating: 5 Stars

Daria, Sophomore

TMI is in the WHS Library!