Monday, 30 November 2009

Sign of The Beaver - December 1, 2009

12 year old Matt sits lonely in his log cabin, now aware that he is the only person left in the house. He wonders about his father, his mother, and Sarah, his little sister. And then he wonders about Attean. His Native American student.

A treaty had arranged Matt to teach Attean the language of the white men.
Attean is a member of the beaver tribe. At first, Attean does not like Matt at all and refuses to do what Saknis says. But as they go on, Attean teaches Matt many things about the forest. In this story, Matt is invited to one of their feasts. At this point, Attean's grandmother loathes the white men, and does not trust them at all, especially Matt. Attean has a dog who adores him. Attean calles him 'pizwat' for hunting. Useless. When the dog gets caught in a trap, Matt is anxious to save him, but the dog does not understand and he refuses to be taken out by a stranger, and he scratches hisself on the trap's teeth. Hurriedly Matt runs to the Indian's village for help. When he gets there, he meets Attean's sister, Mary. mary has been baptized and she knows a lot of English. She takes Matt to her grandmother and surprisingly, the grandmother nurses the cut. It seems that the grandmother is concerned for him because she thinks the trap may have poison on it. Why is it surprising? The grandmother has never trusted white men. The grandmother is appreciating that Matt is trying to save Attean's dog. After Matt saves the dog with Mary's help, the dog and Matt are soon friends.

Attean soon has to go to find his Manatou, or his spirit. It is a rule that every indian must find his manatou to become a real man. His father and family, who is soon to come back with the new baby, has not come yet, as he had promised. The snows were soon to come and he was in danger of being alone during the winter. Attean and Saknis come, saying that Attean has found his Manatou and they have to leave. They suggest Matt come with them, as they think he will not survive the harsh weather. Matt refuses, as he believes that his family will return soon. Days after, Attean comes with a second offer. Matt refuses again, and Attean gives him many gifts from his tribe. Attean says that Matt is now his white brother. Then the Beaver tribe leaves for new land.

Soon Matt's father appears out of the snow. The baby is not there, for it only lived five days after birth. But Matt is happy, and after the family gets settled down, Matt tells them the story of his indian brother.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Whipping Boy - November 20, 2009

Can people change encough to become friends when they were enemies? Jemmy and Prince Brat did. Really seems impossible for a prince to become friends with the son of a rat-catcher Jemmy-from-the-streets is now plain old My-old-friend-Jemmy to the prince.

Jemmy, the whipping boy of Prince Horace is tired, tired, tired of getting whipped every day. Now you probably get why they called him Brince Brat. When they run away and get kidnapped, they are only enemies and just care about themselves. But as the story goes on, they are back safe at the castle together.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Double Act - November 17, 2009

Solitary. No. Better. Double. Double Act by Jaqueline Wilson tells a heartwarming story of ten-year-old twin sisters, Ruby and Garnet. They are just ordinary twin sisters, until Rose comes. They just hate her. Their mother passed away when they both were only seven and they cannot stand the new mother. This whole book is like the diary of these sisters, recorded in an accounts book that their dad, Richard, had given them. They are not sure they can handle their new to-be mother. Ruby is rude and ridiculous, but Garnet is smart and shy. They are always together until here comes Rose. They move to the countryside because their dad had lost his job and had rented a bookstore there. There is a bunch of bullies living there, and they tease Ruby and Garnet all the time. This is a just right book for me because I enjoyed how it was written and the words were like everyday words, no complicating ones but still parts that are challenging. Then they have the audition for the movie that was coming up for The Twins at St. Clare's. There she goes again, Ruby, flipping back her hair and putting a hand on her hip. So she goes on and on to the lady with the funny accent, about the gucky muesli they had for breakfast. But Garnet. After finally deciding to speak, their dad rushes in and Garnet is speechless. And so is Ruby. With anger.
Then comes Marnock Heights. The girls decide they want to go to a boarding school called Marnock Heights, and they have an interview for a full-time scholarship. But a letter comes saying that only Garnet has earned the scholarship and Ruby hasn't. They are both sure that she has got them mixed up. It MUST be Ruby. But it really is Garnet. Now Ruby is trying her best to be different from her twin sister.

Poor Garnet. Poor Ruby. They want to be the same, yet they are so different! If they sit side by side, Garnet would read one of those classics like Little Women or something like that. But Ruby? What she'd probably get out one of those big books that have all these superstars on them. Different, right? But not in looks. In the morning, you can't really tell them apart. But when they come back from school in the afternoon, Ruby's buttons are undone, her plaits are starting to come off, and her shoes are untied. But Garnet, as neat as a pin. They both have black hair which they always tie up in plaits. But after what happened, Ruby changes her hairstyle completely. When Garnet tries to copy her, she changes it again. Last, she does the most horrible thing. She takes a pair of scissors and cuts off all her hair! Well, of course, Garnet would not want to do even that. So. Now they are different.

At last they come together. In the gang of bullies I told you about earlier, there is one fat guy that looks like a blob. And after Garnet leaves, sad because they are different, Ruby and The Blob come together as friends. Then a letter comes to Ruby from Garnet who is still at Marnock Heights. She is missing Ruby very much. Maybe it will be not just Ruby and Garnet, but forever will be just Ruby-and-Garnet.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Book Talk

Here is my video book talk.