September 30, 2011

A Magical Trip

I keep discovering more and more books that I've forgotten to blog about!  Today's is The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone.  And guess where it's set?  The Chicago Art Institute!  It's about the Thorne Miniature Rooms.  Those rooms are AMAZING.  If you're ever in Chicago, you must beg to go to the AIC (Art Institute of Chicago) and then head downstairs to see these gorgeous miniatures.  They're like extremely well-created doll houses.  I've seen adults get excited about them.  Anyways, the book is about a magical key that the two main characters, Ruthie and Jack, find and what the key can do.  It's a really neat story, and I enjoy it, despite the magical elements.  It's nothing as extreme as Harry Potter, and my mom approved the book.  There's also a sequel coming out in January! :)

Oh, there's also a book about the Thorne Rooms (I had to buy it, LOL).  It's about the process of creating each and every room.  If you don't like details like that, I wouldn't suggest buying it.  But I enjoyed it, and I love looking at the pictures.  You can buy it in paperback or hardback at the AIC; I've also seen it on eBay and Amazon, too, I believe. ;)

Happy reading, and TGIF!

September 27, 2011

JUST ONE WEEK *fangirl squeal*

*fans self* Breathe, Emma, breathe.  Just one.more.week until Home for the Holidays and The Son of Neptune are released!!!  I am so excited, I can't put it into words.  I have H4H on order at our local small town bookstore, and one of my besties has (hopefully!) pre-ordered SoN because we're going to both read the book we got and then switch at our Friday homeschool co-op.  Neither of us has enough money to buy both, meh. :P But I'm super, super excited!  Rick Riordan just released the last new character image on his blog, and every single character has got me intrigued.  Octavian is pretty creepy-looking, but Reyna and Ella the harpy sound cool.  And so does Hazel.  And I know in The Lost Hero that Jason mentioned Hazel and Reyna.  And two other people named Dakota and Bobby.  If Dakota's a girl, Jason sure has a lot of gal pals...LOL!  I'd also like to thank Grace (y'all might know her as the blogger who writes "Tales of a 7th Grade Mosquito Hater") for giving me some sneak peek spoilers from her ARC copy of H4H that she won in Heather Vogel Frederick's contest.  Yay, Grace!  Even though I'm very jealous of you, ha-ha.  Well, that's all for this rainy Tuesday.  Next time I write...I just might have H4H...

September 25, 2011

On. The. Runway

This blog post probably won't be appreciated/liked by everyone.  I'm cool with that.  But I have to feature the last of my favorite series that I have neglected to blog about so far.  The series is called On the Runway.  It's written by Melody Carlson, and here comes the part that most of you won't like (I'm guessing): the series is Christian teen fiction.  The main character is a Christian.  There are several other Christians Erin Forrester (main character) encounters who help her grow in her faith.  Erin sticks to her moral standards that many would see as a bit stifled, but I see them as refreshing (although Erin's not real) in a world where so many things are now allowed that would've been forbidden even one hundred years ago.  This series should also have an age limit.  I don't think anyone under 13 or 14 should read it because of some of the topics discussed.  But I absolutely adore the series.  After's about fashion! :D Here's book 6's cover.  Oh, and the books are-in order-Premiere, Catwalk, Rendezvous, Spotlight, Glamour, and Ciao.

Ciao  -     
        By: Melody Carlson

September 18, 2011

Lousy Weekend

Hello, lovely readers!  I've had a terrible weekend.  I've come down with a cold. :( Plus, I should really be starting Call of the Wild as bonus reading for school, and work on tackling my pile of science homework....nah, I'll wait until I'm feeling a tad better tomorrow.  Even though I have about six drawings of plants to do, tons of questions, a lab report, test studying....yeah, I should start tonight, LOL!

I'm looking for some new reading.  Do you think The Hunger Games would be appropriate for a Christian?  I need something to read (besides Call of the Wild) while I wait for Home for the Holidays and The Son of Neptune.

In other news, I think I'll be participating for the first time in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  It's in November, and there's no prize (unfortunately), but it might give me the incentive to finish my second MDBC fanfiction, and several other books I've been working on.  Are any of you going to participate?  Not everyone's a writer, and I get that (and to be honest, I'm glad because it means less competition, LOL), but it would be cool to talk about our books on here.

TTFN, readers!  I'm off to go tackle that pile of science homework....oh, how I already hate it, and I've only been doing science for two weeks!

September 16, 2011

Week of Books, Day Five: Animal Farm

The final book I chose was Animal Farm by George Orwell.  It's an allegory (correct term?  Not sure. xD) to Communist Russia, and I could definitely tell that throughout the whole book.  The book was much shorter than I was expecting, and the ending was very abrupt, but my mom explained that Orwell wrote it that way because Communism had not yet ended when he wrote the book.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who feels they are intellectually mature enough to read it.

September 15, 2011

Week of Books, Day Four: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

I started A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at the end of our trip back in July and finished it at home.  Written by Betty Smith, it is the tale of Francie Nolan, a young girl in Brooklyn, New York.  It has an authentic style to it, but there was a lot of foul language and name-calling (RACIST name-calling) that bothered me.  There was also one scene that is very mature.  I wouldn't suggest A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to anyone under 14.  So choose your reading material wisely. ;) If you'd really like to read this book and you're under 14, I'd look for an abridged version.

In other news, Rick Riordan [Did you know his name is pronounced Rye-or-din?  I always thought it was Ree-or-din!  Guess you learn something new every day, ha ha.  ANYWAYS.], Rick Riordan TAUNTED us on his blog with a picture of him and a copy of The Son of Neptune, the next book in the Heroes of Olympus series.  SoN is released October 4th, and the wait is driving me crazy!  And he had to go and taunt us with an actual copy to boot.  Cruel, cruel, cruel.  At least Heather Vogel Frederick isn't doing that with Home for the Holidays! (Also released October 4th.)

September 14, 2011

Week of Books, Day Three: The Yearling

Y'all remember that vacation I took back in July?  Good.  Well, on that trip I brought the next two books on my summer reading list and read both.  They were much shorter than Gone With the Wind, LOL.  First up was The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.  It's the tale of Jody Baxter, a young boy in post-Civil War Florida.  The dialect in the book was very authentic, although some sentences took some re-reading to understand what the characters were saying.  The ending is a bit sad, so if you're very sensitive to...(I think I can say this without spoiling the ending entirely...) deaths, I wouldn't read the book quite yet.  Wait until you're older. ;) Overall, I'd only give this book a 2.5/5, but then, I've never really enjoyed books with boys as the main characters, ROFL.  Percy Jackson is excluded in that statement.

September 13, 2011

Week of Books, Day Two: Gone With the Wind

Next on my reading list was a tale of epic proportions-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  It took me approximately 2 weeks to read this hefty book, and I can usually read a 500-page book in 2 1/2 hours!  Gone With the Wind, for those who haven't read it or heard of it, is the tale of Miss Scarlett O'Hara, a Southern belle.  The story takes place before, during, and after the American Civil War of the 1860s.  The characters of the book are well-formed.  You could even say Tara (not a person) is a character.  But who is Tara?  I challenge you to read Gone With the Wind to find out. ;) This book doesn't claim a top fave spot for me (those are dominated by P&P, MDBC, Percy Jackson, Canterwood Crest, Warriors, On the Runway...I should stop there, LOL.  Otherwise we'll be here for hours!), but it's definitely a masterpiece.  I learned in reading it that even if you weren't a slave owner, your opinions could be biased by people you knew who were...... (Margaret Mitchell was one of those non-slave owners.)

September 12, 2011

Week of Books, Day One: Cheaper by the Dozen

Cheaper by the Dozen, published in 1948, was written by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.  It's the story of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and their 12 children.  It is hardly anything like the 2003 movie, but quite similar to the 1950 movie.  The book mainly focuses on the Gilbreths' lives in Montclair, New Jersey.  There are a lot of funny parts in the book (jokes about how many kids they have, and the hilarity that ensues).  I definitely recommend reading this book because it's appropriate, a family story, and very sweet.  Once you read it, I recommend hunting down the 1950 film version and watching it.  I always love watching movies based off of books and knowing who everyone is when my mom doesn't, LOL! (That happened the first time we watched Pride and Prejudice, and I was shocked to learn that my mom hadn't read my beloved P&P.)

Well, that's all for today.  Gotta get back to school.  I still have studying for tests, a history assignment, a couple English assignments, French, and some stuff from co-op, but I wanted y'all to have this blog post when you got home from school.

September 10, 2011

Now I know how Emma (the OTHER Emma) felt about Pip...

(sorry about the picture quality; took it with my cell phone)

You see that little cutie?  That's Fern, a former stray.  She waltzed into our yard today when we were outside.  She immediately took to me, and I wanted to keep her so badly!  But, the sad news is, my parents are both allergic to cats. :( BUT we took her to our local no-kill shelter.  They took her in, and we got to give Fern her name since we rescued her.  I chose Fern because it just felt right.  The crazy thing?  She might be expecting kittens!  'Course, it's hard to tell because she's so, so thin. :( I was petting her, and I could feel her shoulder blades, her spine, and her ribs.
I also wanted to use this post to ask people to adopt from shelters.  There are so many strays that no-kill shelters are having to turn them away and send them to Animal Control.  Animal Control kills animals if they don't have enough space or if they're there too long.  So, NEVER buy from pet stores (they get their dogs and cats from puppy and kitten mills) and try not to buy from reputable breeders.  Yeah, they're reputable, but there are so many poor shelter pets that need loving homes!  Check the ASPCA (American Society for Prevention of Animal Cruelty is the full name, I believe) and check your local shelters.  You can make a difference just by adopting a rescue pet.  OR if you or a family member is allergic, consider making a donation. ;)
I'll be posting again on Monday about the first book I read this summer. ;)

September 8, 2011

A Week of Books

This summer, I had to read 5 books from a recommended reading list (that I also have to read from over the course of this school year).  Since I never blogged about them, I decided next week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, I'm going to blog about each book.  They were certainly interesting reads, and I hope if you haven't read them yet, I'll inspire you to.

In other news, my homeschool co-op starts Friday.  One of my teachers e-mailed my mom the syllabus for the class.  It's an English course, just one semester, and it's going to be INTENSE.  Oh, boy...that's what I get for wanting to take three English courses, though, LOL!

September 7, 2011

The Scarlet Letter

I had to read The Scarlet Letter for lit class.  I found it both interesting and boring at the same time.  The characters were kind of dreary and weird, the writing style was seriously old-fashioned, but the plot was pretty cool.  I was totally shocked when I found out the true identity of two characters.  If you haven't read this book yet, I'd recommend it for a book report, not pleasure reading.  It would definitely impress your teacher if you used this book.  Well, that's it for this pleasant September day!  I'm about to go next door and take care of my neighbor's dog.  And use the swing she has for her granddaughter, LOL. ;) It's a nice day for swinging.