I recently read a creepy, yet interesting book, by Jacqueline West called The Books of Elsewhere, The Shadows. This book is about a girl who moves into this big, three story house (not including the attic) and is completely terrified of her future inside of it after she was confronted by a talking cat in her first week of living there. Next, she found magicalspectacles/glasses hidden and left in a desk drawer inside the house, which she later finds out can enable her to jump inside of many peculiar paintings hung up around the house. She later unlocks many secrets the house has to offer, and figures out the story behind “Elsewhere.”
This book was an assigned book report for a system called Chai reading which our school uses. For the presentation portion of the book report, we had a list of options in which we could use. Out of about ten options, I chose the cooking/baking/making option. You were able to choose anything that had to do with something the main character liked, or had an association with. Instead, I decided to create and make something interactive for everyone to partake in.
I decided to take vanilla wafer sandwiches (I don’t know what they are called), pretzels, gram-crackers, and icing so that everyone can have a race to build their own three story building without it falling. The objective is to have everyone understand that the three story food contraption resembles the three story house that was the setting of the story.
In addition to the cooking/baking/making project, I decided to do a Venn Diagram on the similarities and differences of me and the main character of the book, Olive.
There are many similarities and many differences, but here is just a taste; Olive is fearless. If she heard a suspicious noise, instead of running away from it, she would go near it to figure out what it was. Sometimes I can be like that, but if I were in Olive’s situation, I would run away! Both of us are curious. Right when Olive heard the first cat talk, she was first scared, but then she continued to ask the cat questions. If I were in her shoes, I may have done the same thing. Also, when she could’ve gotten help from her neighbor when I would’ve been scared to death, she slammed the door on her face to run back to finish what she was doing. I would’ve ran back to my neighbor’s house!
Although this book could have given me nightmares for the rest of my life, this was a very good book. The fact that it was scary and mysterious made it more intriguing to read, which made it easier to comprehend and enjoy. I would rate it a 4 out of 5, because, like I said, it was a good book, just it was scary enough for me to refuse reading it alone, in my room (no joke). So, all in all, I would recommend this to anyone who either shares a room with someone, or someone who isn’t afraid to wet their pants.
Where Does The Time Go? by: Benjamin C
Last month, we were assigned to read a fantasy book for the Chai Reading. The book I chose to read was called The New Policeman and it was written by Kate Thompson. The New Policeman was one of my favorite books because it was about fantasy and adventure that took place in Ireland. I would rate it five out of five stars. This beautifully written book is full of surprises and magic. I would recommend it to fourth graders and up.
The main character of the book is J.J. His mom’s birthday is coming up and he wants to get her a present. What she wants for her birthday is more time in her day. Everybody complains how time is going really fast, too fast. Actually, the situation is more drastic than it sounds. Time is leaking out from our world into a world called Tír na n’Óg. It is bad for Tír na n’Óg because it is the Land of Eternal Youth, that means time is frozen there and nobody dies. Will J.J. stop the time leak before everyone dies in Tír na n’Óg? Find out in The New Policeman.
We were assigned a project to go along with our summary. There were five choices to choose from: Notable Quotables, Going Graphic: Visual Stories, Character Traits, Now You’re Cooking, and Mapping a Book.
For my project on this book, I chose Now You’re Cooking because I like the idea of cooking. I am going to be cooking Irish scones because the book was based in Ireland. In my book, the main character, J.J., ate scones with tea. Scones are a type of dessert like a sweet biscuit. It is usually served with tea. The ingredients to make Irish scones are flour, baking powder, butter, sugar, eggs, and buttermilk. All the ingredients are combined to form a dough. The dough is then rolled out onto a flat surface. Next, the dough is cut into triangles, squares, or circles. It is then baked for fifteen to twenty minutes. Here is a link to step by step instructions for the recipe.
My final part of my project is to actually bake the scones, which will be done on Monday in school. This is going to be my first time baking and eating scones. I am excited and eager to try new and foreign foods. I cannot wait for my classmates to sample my work of art.
Ptolemy’s Gate by: ItamarL
Every once in a while, my class reads a chai reading book. A chai reading book is a genre assigned to you that you have to do a project on after you have read the book. This time I read a book called Ptolemy’s Gate. It is written by a well reguarded author namedJonathan Stroud. This is the third book in a trilogy known as the Bartimaeus Trilogy. If I had to rate this book, one through ten, it would have to be in eleven. Now let me tell you a little about the story. This story is about Magicians, Genies, and commoners living in a corrupt government. Bartimaeus is a high level genie. Throughout the story the author shifts to different characters and perspectives. Bartimaeus also adds subtexts and comments. Now for my project I was asked to find five or more sayings from the story that had a direct affect on the story. Now here was the problem, this story is about action which means that the main sayings, are from Bartimaeus’s comments. These give a perspective of his past and his mind. Though his comments don’t have an affect on the story many are meaningful and worth telling. So here we go.
This first one talks about one of Bartimaeus’s former masters.
“One magician demanded I show him an image of the love of his life. I rustled up a mirror.” -Bartimaeus
This first one is important, because it is true, whether consciously or sub-conciously many of us love ourselves. We protect ourselves from the outer world and keep our emotions for ourselves intact. Even more so, in this book higher class people after looking down at the lower class admire themselves. People in this world are selfish and put themselves, before all others. Powerful people believe they have reached success, but really they have not. Because they have shielded themselves. For what is success, without failure. Those who would sacrifice there life for a cause are truly selfless. They truly have a love besides themselves.
“He was a worried man (I’m stretching the term a bit here, I know. By now, in his mid to late teens, he might just about have passed for a man. When seen from behind. At a distance. On a very dark night).” -Bartimaeus
This quote is important because it depicts Bartimaeus’s humor. This shows how little respect he has for his current master, John Mandrake. Bartimaeus though, rude, is referring to the truth. Mandrake, at just seventeen is one of top men in the government.
“Listen,” I began, “this is an established,traditional form that-”
“Traditional nothing.Where are your clothes?”
“Clothes?” I said weakly. “I don’t normally bother with them in this guise.”
“Well,you could put on a pair of shorts,at least.Your not decent.”
“I’m not sure they’d go with the wings…” The demon frowend,and blinked.”Hold on,enough of this.”
“Lenderhosen would. They’d compliment the leather.” -Bartimaeus
Now for starters, let me just say this saying is about Bartimaeus’s forms that he takes on. He takes on disgusting forms to irritate his master and try to make him make a mistake. Though it was not intended. I actually see inner meaning this conversation. All though Bartimaeus is trying to be funny, this saying has a ring of truth. People see other people in different ways. Something that seems ok to one person might seem horrible to another. Everyone has opinions. Some judge you by what you look like, while others don’t. The important thing is, you have to look inward to see the real person.
“Burned and squashed to death in a silver vat of soup. There must be worst ways to go. But not many.”-Bartimaeus
For genies, there are quite worst fates. Demons can inflict spells on other demons that subject them to horrible deaths. Also magicians can invoke pain on genies. They can use spell such as the shriveling fire, the systematic vice, and the inverted skin to control genies.
“According to some, heroic deaths are admirable things. I’ve never been convinced by this argument, mainly because, no matter how cool, stylish, composed, unflappable, manly, or defiant you are, at the end of the day you’re also dead. Which is a little too permanent for my liking.” -Bartimaeus
Bartimaeus believes that to die is foolish. Though I believe it isn’t if you die an heroic way your name and legacy will be carry on from generation to generation. Though Bartimaeus would probably rather lurk in the shadows alive.