Wednesday, November 20, 2013

GINS Post 4: Tumblr Mashup

Check out my consumerism-themed Tumblr here

Hello! Recently, I have been reading the novel “Thunder Over Kandahar” by Sharon E. McKay. We have also been talking a lot about consumerism and economics, and have created Tumblr's that focus on consumerism and economics. Today, I am going to talk about how the issues in Afghanistan relate to economics. In Thunder Over Kandahar, McKay addresses many issues in Afghanistan such as Women’s Rights issues and the Taliban. Consumerism talks a lot about scarcity and economic systems.
First, I will start off with Afghanistan’s economic system. Afghanistan has a planned economy, which means that prices, production, investment, and incomes are determined largely by the government. This is because Afghanistan has been largely devastated by war and the Taliban. They are still recovering, and so the government has to control, economically, pretty much everything. This is not a particularly efficient way to run the economy, but I think that if they slowly recover enough, they could manage to have more individual involvement. This means that in the consumer aspect of things, prices are largely predetermined so they likely have less choices to make. Instead of comparing prices between stores like we do, things probably have common price, not like the majority of people could afford it anyway. They are really poverty stricken in Afghanistan and so they typically have much less money than we in Canada do.
The quality of life there is much lower than we have here. Quality of life is your personal satisfaction with the cultural and intellectual conditions where you live. I would imagine that the quality of life there is very low because it is poverty-ridden, and probably pretty scarce due to war. Because the quality of life is so low, that means that they have very different consumer choices that they have to make. Here, we have lots of money, so we have lots of consumer choices. There, they have very little, so I would imagine they would take whatever they can get.
This really shows how different the whole concept of consumerism would be if I were to live somewhere different. Here, we constantly make choices as to what brand we buy or what price. There, as I stated, I would pretty much take whatever I could get. I would also imagine that it is more of a barter system than money, because people typically have less of it. They probably are also thinking a lot less about what they value in products. We could value brand or price but they could just value the product in itself if they can get it.
I think that a main issue that connects both economic systems and Afghanistan is the US military. We have been talking a lot recently about how economic systems. The US has a market economy, which means that the majority of the economy is made up of individual companies and the government rarely intervenes. This is a connecting factor because with a market economy, government rarely intervenes, but in Canada, the government provides a variety of public companies, like CBC. Our taxes also pay for free healthcare. But where do the US taxes go? They don’t have free healthcare. A good chunk (an estimated ⅕) of taxes do toward military/foreign aid. “Foreign aid” can typically encompass Afghanistan. There is a lot of controversy around this as to what they are actually doing there, as the impetus for sending troops was most likely the Taliban. Now, it is no longer under Taliban rule, and things are still not drastically improving. They have a planned economy as I discussed, and so most things are controlled by government. The government is mostly affected by other countries like the US. Things are still slowly improving, but many question the need for so many troops.
A main issue in Thunder Over Kandahar was the Taliban. A main issue for the US is the Taliban, and so they devote a lot of money to trying to stop them or whatever they do over there. Taxes are a large part of economics, so this is quite the issue in the US, and considering how in debt they are, I would imagine they would try to take all the money they could get.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Global Issues Novel Study (GINS) Post 1

Hello everyone!
We have started a new project where we read a book about real world issues, called the Global Issues Novel Study, or GINS. For mine, I chose to read the book "Thunder Over Kandahar." I will be answering questions on this novel in my posts as I read. So far, I have read 20% of the novel. 

-What is the main issue being addressed in your novel?
I think that so far one of the biggest issues being talked about is Women's Rights in Afghanistan. Things are very different over there, and Women must where burka's, pieces of cloth that cover the entire body. If men even see them that aren't their husband, it wouldn't be good. The talk a lot about this and how much of an issue this is. Women are regarded as much less intelligent than men, and are treated as such; like garbage. Women typically need to have a man with them at all times in public and can get beat up for attracting too much attention to themselves.
-Why did you choose this piece for your project?
I chose this piece mostly because I enjoy action and suspense. I really enjoy a genuinely gripping novel.  I was reading the back covers of books when I found this one, and it talked about the Taliban, Suicide-bombers, land mines, and much more. This book seemed very interesting and intense, so naturally I chose to read it.
-What background knowledge do you already possess on this issue?
Prior to this novel, I knew that things were very different in third world countries than they are here. I may have read some articles about how few rights women have, but I am not an expert on it. Reading this book has shown me how bad things really are, and I am only 20% done it.
-What questions do you have as you begin to read?
For starters, I wonder about a few words they say in the novel that are not English but that is a given (praise Google Translate). A question I have is what will happen next? So far, the two main characters, Yasmine and Tamanna, have become best friends, and things are going very well for them. A school has just been built at this point in the novel, and they are about to go. Things seem perfect, so something bad is bound to happen.
-What characters/players have been introduced so far?
As I discussed in the previous question, the two main characters are Yasmine and Tamanna.
Yasmine is a 14-year-old girl from England. Her family has decent money, which is considered pretty wealthy in Afghanistan. She moved to Afghanistan with her family because her father used to live there and he is working on his novel. They are considered foreigners and still are getting accustomed to this new life.
Tamanna lives in Afghanistan, and from what I can gather has been there her whole life. She is very accustomed to their ways, and still has to get used to Yasmine and her family, who she has been sent to work for. She lives with her uncle and a person called Mor, which I assume is either her mother or aunt. They are poor, and she delivers bread to Yasmine's family. She has trouble taking compliments and generally talking to Yasmine's family because that is what she is accustomed to, not being able to speak, whereas Yasmine's family is very open and nice.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Litspiration: The Lightning Thief

For my newest Litspiration Challenge, I chose to make a short game/animation that covers the first few chapters of the novel Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. In the game, I took some of the most important events from the novel and converted them to a game. I did this because I felt like this book really painted a picture in my head. With this in mind, I tried to visualize with the details given what the characters would be like and used some quotes from the book such as when Gabe, Percy's stepdad states that the trip to camp Half-Blood would come out of their clothes budget. In other lines I would add dialogue that I thought the characters might say. I chose this project format because Scratch is very easy to use to make games on, but the programming is very slow. For this reason I do not have more than the first few chapters, with the limited time. Still, the character art except for the Minotaur is mine as well as the programming. This task was pretty difficult due to limited time and lots of codes to put in. Sometimes I work for months on my Scratch projects, so this one was a challenge, but still very fun. I feel like this was a good pick for a litspiration challenge because it challenged me to determine importance in this novelm a critical talking to the text skill.

Although the finished product is short, it took a long time to make so I hope you appreciate it:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Whale Story

We also read the first few chapters of Whale Story, a novel by Cheryl Kaye Tardif while at Bamfield.
Initially, I found that the main character didn't really fit an eleven-year-old. Sure, she put lots of emphasis on being that age, but it felt like her actual thoughts and feelings didn't really match the idea of being eleven. Her thoughts were based around it, but it felt like it didn't really fit. I feel like it has a theme of acceptance. At first, the main character had thoughts of not wanting to move, and leaving her friends. Later, she accepted the move and had an open mind, and it turned out she really liked the home and location. I also felt a much stronger connection to this novel than the previous considering that it actually takes place in Bamfield. It felt very relatable to the actual experience.

The Sea Devil

I just got back from Bamfield, and we read a couple of short stories. Here is a short analysis of one:

The Sea Devil is a short story by Arthur Gordon about a man that is fishing and accidentally gets his line caught on a giant (9 ft) manta ray.
Initially, I thought of the main character as a gruff fisherman who had lots of fishing knowledge, as we can see basically right off the bat. After reading the full story, I noticed that there was some foreshadowing at the start of this story. First off, the story describes how he dropped his cigarette and noted where it landed. Later in the story, he sees this location again. Another example of foreshadowing is when he sees and catches the mullet, it kind of shows that he takes something out of the sea, then the sea takes something, him, out of land. I think the foreshadowing is really interesting in this short story. I feel like the theme almost seems like equality. It relates to treating others how you want to be treated. This is not directly stated, but when you think about it, the man takes something out of the sea, the mullet, and the sea takes him into it with the sea devil. The mullet was probably as terrified as he was, and it escaped, and he escaped too. I felt like the story was almost like a lesson, saying don't go out by the ocean alone at night. It almost seems like just another version of a children's fairytale. It still felt very relatable considering we were at the coast.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Return of the Joel

Over the summer, I did not read much. The reason for this is because in the summers I am too busy sleeping or going outside. To me, reading is for the winter, when there is nothing to do outside. I just prefer reading in the winter. So I didn't really read in the summer because I was either too lazy too or not around to. Also there are not really any interesting novels I have right now. Anyway, I am back for year 2 of blogging. Don't worry... I will read things! (Eventually)...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

THOTS: Film Study

This is my final post for the House of the Scorpion. Today I will be comparing the main character of the movie Gattaca, Vincent, and Matt from House of the Scorpion. Aside from the huge age difference, Matt and Vincent are not that different. They are both being outcast from society for very similar reasons: the wrong genes. The main difference in the genes is that Matt was rather unique in being a smart slave, while there are many people in Gattaca who have not been genetically altered. Their means of dealing with this are also different, for Matt tries to conspire against his enemies, Vincent actually tries to change himself. One of the overarching themes we thought of for House of the Scorpion, "Nobody can tell you who you are," partially applies to the film Gattaca because of the fact that Vincent still manages to go to space with a heart condition and a 30 year life expectancy. It also can be argued against because of the literal thought of how nobody can tell you who you are, but they tell him he is not worthy, so he turns into SOMEONE ELSE! Some similarity is that Vincent and Matt both have a romantic interest that are really emotional. The main difference is that the girl in Gattaca may have problems, seeing as she gave him a hair and she said "see if your still interested" implying there may be something wrong with her. There was not too much wrong with Maria, other than that her mom left her. They can still be related to each other, though, because they are both in love with the main character and stay true to the end. Another thing is that they both leave their homes. The difference is that Vincent left to get a life and Matt left to save his. They also both have a father figure. For Matt, it was Tam Lin. For Vincent, it was the doctor. This is still arguable though, because Tam Lin spent WAY more time with Matt than the doctor did with Vincent. Anyway, that's all we have for today. I guess that's all the individual posts. Stay tuned for my next review (if there is another). Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

THOTS: Narrative Structure

Hi! This is my fifth individual post for the House of the Scorpion. It focuses on the Narrative Structure of the novel. I think that the major exposition in the novel happened until about page 146, the first chapter of Matt's Old Age. The reason I think that this was the point that ended the exposition is because until this, we basically just established all the characters, and the storyline was introduced, it was the exposition. In the first part of the novel, youth, we started to learn about Matt, a boy that was not so normal. Then, as time went on, Maria and a few members of the Alacran family were introduced. There was a bit of action when Matt was thrown in prison, because I was always wondering when he would get out, or what was going to happen. Middle Age marked the introduction of one of the most important characters in the book, El Patron, or The Landlord in English. We began to learn a bit more about who he was. Until Old Age, Matt pretty much thought that El Patron was a good guy. Then, at this point, Matt began to realize what El Patron really was. The Action began to rise, and Matt was in conflict with himself about whether El Patron was good or bad. I think that the climax of the novel was the first part of Age 14, Death. This chapter was the climax because El Patron requires Matt's organs and a surprising twist (that I will not reveal) leads Matt to go to the plankton factories. The action is actually still pretty high here, especially when Chacho and Matt are stuck in the Boneyard. After this, La Vida Nueva is basically all action, up until probably chapter 38. When Matt sees everyone is dead is the resolution. It is rather short, which was a bit disappointing. Eh, I guess it is just preparing us for the sequel. Anyway, that is all. Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 6, 2013

THOTS: Theme

BOOM! Here comes my fourth individual post regarding our novel study, The House of the Scorpion. In this segment, we discuss theme. I'll get right to it: I thought that this novel was awesome with theme. There were so many different themes that could have been applied to the novel. For example, I can think of two completely different themes: "Your greatest enemy is yourself." and "Don't let others determine who you are." These can both relate because for the first one, it applies in two ways. The first is the literal sense of how in the end El Patron was the greatest enemy of Matt, but he was the first Matt, and so they were the same person. It can also apply in a non literal sense with how Matt keeps convincing himself that El Patron is not bad, or that there is nothing wrong with the Keepers. The second theme relates because everyone always judges Matt the second they find out that he is a clone. They said that he was just an animal, but in the end he proved he was more than that. These two themes both relate to the novel, and they both strongly relate. This shows that Farmer used such good ideas and thoughts that if you asked ten people to make a theme statement, chances are that they would all be completely different. It is quite fascinating. It is also really relatable because it is not TOO far into the future. The still have Dracula and stuff like that. Because of this, Farmer can use metaphors and ideas that still relate to these times. Anyway, I guess that is the end of my fourth individual post on House of the Scorpion. I hope you join me next time when I discuss the Narrative Structure. Thanks for reading.

THOTS: Challenge 3 coming soon!

We are making a movie trailer in which I play Matt. It's gonna be great!


Here is my thoughts so far on the novel, the House of the Scorpion. So far, I have read the first 49 pages of THOTS. Sorry that this post is a little delayed, I thought I posted it. Anyway, in this section of the novel we stepped into the life of a very interesting 6 year old. Now, one thing I especially noticed was that when Matt was thinking or talking, he sounded much older than six. Maybe Farmer did this to try to give a bit more inside into the novel instead of a typical six year old's thoughts "I think I can reach the cookie jar from here" but anyway, Matteo Alacran was brought up much differently from normal children. He lives in the middle of some poppy field with Celia, his "mother figure." As the story progressed, we met some of the Alacran family, who seemed nice at first, then found out he was a clone and treated him like trash. It was very weird to see how they just suddenly changed from nice to Matt to having the deepest hatred for him. He was thrown in a prison, where he slowly wasted away. He was still fed, but I could just imagine how bored he must of been. I could NOT have done that as a six year old. Rosa, his jailer, you pretty much are forced to hate, so in summary: Everyone is evil except Matt and Celia. I think that these characters may warm up to Matt, but it will definitely take some time. We also know Matt is special, he is a clone, so maybe he will have some power or something. I don't know. I do know that Rosa is really evil, and so she will probably not be around very long (hopefully). Anyway, that is my thoughts so far, thanks for reading!

THOTS: Real World Issues

This is my third individual post for The House of the Scorpion, which focuses on Connections to Real World Issues. I think this book contains some very deep metaphors that relate to society today. One of these is that the Alacran family is like the government. People do not know a whole lot about them, and they live in a place of secrecy (the Big House). They also make the big decisions. This book takes place in the near future, and so this book may show that drugs and greed should not possess the future. This is a terrible future to have, with eejits and farm patrols. Anyway, I think that the Boneyard in the novel that Chacho and Matt are dumped in relates to society. It shows that in life, if you are thrown under a mountain of obstacles (the bones), then you either beat the odds or die. To sum it up, I mean. This novel also relates to poverty in todays society, a big issue. In a large part of the world in this novel, poverty is what makes people try to hop the borders, they always are longing for something new, like in the novel when El Patron states that he catches as many people going one way as the other, or something like that. It shows that people in the US think Mexico (or Aztlan in those futuristic times) is better, and Aztlanians think that the US is better. People are always looking for something better, and this is much like todays society where we take vacations, etc. We always think that somebody is having a better time than us. This isn't an issue as big as poverty, or necessarily an issue, but it still affects everyone in today's society and the one in the novel. Well, this pretty much wraps up my post. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

THOTS: My contribution to Challenge 2

For our second litspiration challenge, go here:
I explained (and even created!) some songs that Maria from The House of the Scorpion would listen to.
Another quick thing to note is that my name is first in the url.
Just saying.
It somehow makes me important, ok?

THOTS: Characterization

My second individual post looks at characterization in the novel, "The House of the Scorpion" by Nancy Farmer. In this section of the novel we found out a lot more about the characters with characterization. For one: Maria, a character we did not know much about, really developed in her relationship with Matt. Another thing is that Celia's awesomeness multiplied, especially right here: To quote Nancy Farmer, '"Arsenic creeps into the whole body," Celia went on, her eyes as cold as the eyes of a snake. "It grows into the hair, it makes little white lines on the fingernails, it settles into the heart. I didn't give Matt enough to kill him---I wouldn't do that!---but enough to kill anyone already weak who tried to steal his heart. You've had your eight lives, El Patron. It's time to make your peace with God." "Witch!" shrieked El Patron.' We learned a lot about everybody, and how all the Alacrans are evil. We also learned that Tam Lin's friendship with Matt was stronger than we previously thought. A few foil characters were introduced such as Benito's wife, Fani, who helped to reveal a bit more about El Patron, and how he forced two people who hate each other (Benito and Fani) to marry, just for money and power. This reminded me of Renaissance times, when they would marry for power and money. We also learned that the only person from the Alacran family that was actually ok, Steven, still wanted to bust Matt and treat him like garbage. In this book, it kind of seems like there is a whole whack load of evil characters, and good characters number small. This adds lots of suspense to the story. It was also interesting when Matt's greatest enemy was El Patron, as he wanted to steal Matt's heart. This meant that at that time, the Antagonist and Protagonist were the SAME PERSON: Matteo Alacran. Anyway, that's all I got for characterization. Join me next time when I discuss Connections to Real World Issues.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

THOTS: Matt's Prison

This is my picture of Matt in prison:

This picture occurs in the novel after the members of the Alacran family discover that Matt is a clone, and so they hand him over to Rosa, the evil housemaid. He is thrown in a barn that was later filled with sawdust. In my picture he is admiring a dove feather. The picture also shows his "kingdom" underneath the sawdust where bugs, food, bones, etc. that he acquired were kept. I attempted to make the Prison look pretty bleak, like Farmer described it:
    • “The days passed with agonizing slowness, followed by nights of misery. He dreamed of the little house, of Celia, of a meadow so intensely green it made him cry when he woke up."
 So, here it is. Hope you like it!

I also had to choose a song to represent this time. I chose the song Still Alive by GladOs and Jonathan Coulton. Listen to it here:
It should be quite obvious why I chose this song... It says in the title of the song! It perfectly describes Matt at this time, Still Alive, not dead yet, etc. The song also talks about science (the way Matt was created) and although it does not completely follow the story, the story shows things kind of from Matt's point of view. He waits for the day that he can be rescued and, like the song states:
believe me I am still alive

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The House of the Scorpion: Setting

The first section of The House Of The Scorpion established a powerful setting to leave you wanting more. The main settings in the novel so far are vast and imaginative, taking place in a stretch between future Mexico (Aztlan) and the United States. At the start of the novel, we hear about a dark lab where cloning experiments are taking place, and while all embryos die, one survives. This created an eerie feel and was an excellent hook into novel. Later, we journey to the house of Matteo Alacran, a small house in the middle of a poppy field. Farmer used excellent description and I felt like I was there when she talked about the blinding white poppies that were outside, and how it was nice inside the house. Later in the novel, after suffering an injury, Matt is taken to the Big House, where his guardian, Celia, works. Farmer also used rich description to show us exactly how it felt to see the vastness, and niceness of the Big House. Shortly after this, Matt was thrown in prison as his status as a clone was discovered. Farmer made me feel trapped when talking about how the days dragged by, and how Matt was reduced to watching bugs, and using bones as toys. I was constantly in suspense, wondering what ever would happen to young Matt. He was then taken to out to meet El Patron, who he was a clone of. The area he was taken to (the front of the Big House) was vastly beautiful, as Farmer describes, "He was enchanted by the marble-walled entranceway and statues of fat babies with stubby wings" or "They started up a flight of wide, marble steps that shone softly in the darkening air." There is lots of great description in the writing, and I look forward to continue reading The House of the Scorpion. P.S. From now on I will refer to The House of the Scorpion as THOTS. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Welcome To The New Version Of My Blog

Welcome to the new version of my Litspiration Blog!
Now I am changing gears and working on The House of the Scorpion. I am really excited about this as I have heard it is a good book. I can't wait to start blogging!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Update on 2112 Review

I am currently still working on my alternate text review. I just got back from vacation, and am very busy. Here is the original song:
While your waiting, here is a fancy cursor...

Peer Book Review: The Hobbit

Original Paul’s Review:
Bilbo Baggins lives a nice life in his hobbit-hole in the bag end of the town of Shire. His idea of an adventure was going to his pantry or into town. That is, until a company of 13 dwarves and a wizard show up at his door at tea time one day. They have come looking for a 14th member for their quest to rescue their treasure from a dragon lost over half a century ago. Along the way they find an adventure in an adventure. They encounter creatures that you could never imagine, though some you may have heard of but you chose not to believe their existence. 

I suggest this book to read because it is a very good entrance to the Lord of the Rings saga because it explains how Bilbo got the ring and how the adventure started. I give this book an 8/10. While it was very fun and exiting to read it was somewhat difficult to read to at the same time. J.R.R. Tolkien was very descriptive and in depth about how Bilbo’s life had turned around in just a couple of months. The author also went in depth in how all the creatures that he met on his journey. They went in depth how they looked and how they spoke. Although I rated the book 8/10 it is very descriptive, adventures, action, and fantasy all rolled into 1 amazing book that I say is a must read if you want to read the Lord of the Rings books.

I thought that this review was pretty good, but I do have lots of disagreements. First off, what happened to everyone else? All I know is that there are 13 dwarves, a wizard, and Bilbo Baggins. Last time I checked there were 12 dwarves and a wizard, 13. That is the whole reason that they recruited Bilbo; they thought 13 was an unlucky number and they wanted 14. Also, I would probably name at least some of the dwarves (Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Thorin Oakenshield, Dwalin, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, and Ori. The two youngest are Fili and Kili). Also, I don’t really understand the phrase “an adventure in an adventure.” They go on one adventure and try to find the treasure of Smaug… There is no second adventure (what is this, Inception?) I do like Paul’s description of Bilbo Baggins, how an adventure means going to the pantry, and this remains true for the entire story. I also don’t understand how it is “fun and exiting to read” and “difficult to read?” I don’t know… I thought that it was easy to read, and enjoyed the occasional illustration. I didn’t really see a theme… but a theme that I would give this story is “adventure is waiting, you just have to find it.” This is because Bilbo was really quiet and would never go on an adventure. He found adventure by joining Thorin and Company. Anyway, I thought Paul’s review was pretty good, and I was pleased to re-review it.

Bilbo Baggins was just an ordinary hobbit. Nothing special. He lived in a nice, cozy hobbit-hole, and his greatest daily achievement would be making a tea. He never imagined that he would embark on an epic adventure. But, when the wizard Gandalf the Grey, and 12 other dwarves led by the famous Thorin Oakenshield show up on his doorstep, his dreams become reality. Bilbo embarks on a great adventure to defeat the wicked dragon, Smaug, the antagonist of the story, as well as Thorin’s greatest rival. Poor Bilbo Baggins and his friends encounter many challenges on the way such as goblins, giants, and more to make this the adventure of a lifetime.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2112 Litspiration Challenge: Sketch

My non-text review of the song (a work in progress, I just got back from vacation and am very busy), 2112 by Rush, I got litspired to make a sketch. Now, I know I am no artist, but this is the best I could do. The top left shows the wheat field in the story, and top right shows the waterfall in the story. The bottom left shows the guitar, and the bottom center shows the symbol of the Solar Federation, the dictators at this time. I chose to make this in pen, and very messy and scribbly, because the story seems kind of dark and evil, and how the Priests crush everyone's hopes and dreams. Each of the scenes from the story were significant, and I did not include the Temples of Syrinx because I had trouble visualizing. Anyway, here it is, my (poorly drawn) litspiration challenge!

Keroppi Walking Sanrio Frog

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Peer Book Review: The Spiderwick Choronicles Book 1: The Field Guide

Peer Book Review
Original Reviewer: Arya
Book: Spiderwick Chronicles Book 1: The Field Guide

I am re-reviewing the book the Spiderwick Chronicles 1: the Field Guide. This is the original review by Arya:
The Field Guide or book one of the Spiderwick Chronicles is the adventurous story of three siblings as they discover the magical world of Spiderwick. Jared the brains, Mallory the fearless fighter and Simon the kind creature lover. These three go on an amazing adventure once they find their great Uncle’s lost book or “The Field Guide” 

Book 1 “the Field Guide is an adventurous beginning to the amazing world of Spiderwick and is a good book for anyone who enjoys a little adventure. Diterlizzi’s illustrations really bring the setting and the book together and really go “hand in hand” with Black’s writing. This is a great “series starter” you will want to read the other four books. Overall this is a great book and an adventure for all ages. I think that this series is a great adventure and fantasy and this book really "opens your eyes up" and you really want to keep reading

I have some disagreements with this. First off, Arya said, “Overall this is a great book and adventure for all ages.” Sure this is an ok book, but it is not for all ages. It includes lots of pictures, and is very light reading. Most people my age and older will get bored of it, I know I was. This book is meant for a younger audience, about age 9, as that was the age of the protagonist. I do agree with Arya when he said this was a “great “series starter” and you will want to read the four other books.” I really agree with this statement. This book is strong and imaginative, with a surprise ending to ensure that YOU WILL READ THE NEXT BOOK. Quote Arya, “Jared the brains, Mallory the fearless fighter and Simon the kind creature lover.” I don’t think that this is an accurate representation at all. I disagree. Jared is not that ‘brainy’ at all. He gets into fights at school. He is not very good at figuring hard problems out. Simon is the smart one. I think a better description would be “Jared, the adventurous, Mallory, the brave, and Simon, the brains.”

The Spiderwick Chronicles Book 1: The Field Guide was an interesting series starter and introduction to the series. It takes you into the magical world of Spiderwick. There are creative illustrations, and surprisingly descriptive writing. I think this book is for a younger audience though, as it features younger characters. It is a creative introduction book with a surprising ending. I think the theme is “If you open your eyes to the world, the world will show you anything.” I think this because Jared, creative and imaginative, finds the ‘field guide’ written by his uncle. He believes it, and so do Mallory and Simon, and suddenly they start to see more. Strange creatures begin to appear when they opened their eyes. A land of magic and mystery awaits you in the epic first book of the Spiderwick Chronicles.