Monday, 17 November 2008

The Twilight Effect - Readers Score Better Results on Finals

I haven't done a scientific study of this, but it seems like students who read the entire Twilight series in the months leading up to the final exam have gotten better writing scores.

I'm serious. If you look at the writing that students did at the beginning of the year (let's say the first term test), then you look at the reading hours in the past three months (especially those of Twilight fans who read a whopping 2400 pages in a short time) and then you look at the scores on the final exam, you will see a strong correlation in improved writing scores.

It's no mystery. Meyer's intense narrative is exactly the kind of writing that makes for good O-level Paper 1 scores. Students who read her stuff before an exam (or something like Harry Potter), are likely to imitate her style and to hear that "narrative voice" in their heads as they write. They devise interesting plots and relationships in their stories. Each character that they write about is more interesting. Their paragraphs have greater emotional depth to them.

You know, you only spend three hours a week with me, so it is great if you can spend an extra hour each day with Cg Stephenie. She is modeling exactly the kind of thing you need to do to be a successful writer. Forget tuition classes. Put down your $20 and get endless hours of English lessons with Cg Stephanie. She can teach you a lot and you don't even have to leave your home.

I'd like to take this chance to congratulate the students who put in the extra reading hours this year and are now enjoying the benefits. Those students have seen an incredible (almost magical) transformation of their writing. I am truly amazed at how much some students have improved and, in fact, I think many of you are worthy of publishing.

Last night I marked a large number of scripts and I felt a bit like I was reading a short story collection from a book - some of the stories were that good! Numerous writers had me turning the page, breathless, wondering what was going to happen next. Some scary stories even creeped me out. Wonderful!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

The Host is here!

Best Eastern's Shipment Arrives!

I was pretty excited when I got the call yesterday that The Host had arrived at Best Eastern. As you know, I've been trying to hunt this book down ever since I finished the Twilight Saga. Last night I swung by The Mall to get my copy, but there was so much traffic I couldn't get anywhere near the building. I mean, what's with that? It was Wednesday night at 7 pm. It's not like it was payday or anything.

Anyway, I went to get my copy today and things were pretty quiet. They have piled the books on top of the Twilight books. That's probably a good marketing move. My copy was safely tucked behind the desk like a lost child waiting to be picked up and taken home where it belongs.

I asked about Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion, but the woman at the counter had no idea what I was talking about. It looks so cool. I thought it was a typical movie picture book kind of garbage, but when I looked inside the book (on Amazon) I could see that there is a lot of interesting information in it. I guess I should have ordered it along with my other book. D'oh. Here's the link. Have a look inside the book:

Also, did you know that there are Twilight trading cards?! Imagine having a few of these under your plastic desk protector to show off! Check out the website:

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

And the winner is...."Eclipse" by Stephenie Meyer

Teen Top Ten Winner for 2008
The Teen' Top Ten Award for best novel of 2008 is Stephenie Meyer's Eclipse. Wait a minute. Eclipse beat out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows? I demand a recount! Oh well, there is no way to argue with the 8,000 teens who voted - they knew what they liked.

Westerfeld's Extras came in at number nine. I've read the other books in the series so I had better get this one I guess! It makes me proud to be so hip. :-) I actually know three of the books in the top ten.

Maybe next year we could try voting too. It looks like Meyer's The Host has been nominated for 2009. I had better track down a copy soon.

Here is the complete list of winners for 2008:

This list of nominees from 2008 gives you a good blurb to help you choose some of the hottest books that you might like to read:

Here is the nomination list for 2009, including Meyer's The Host:

Friday, 17 October 2008

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life--first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse--seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed... forever?

Wow. That was incredible.

If you’ve read the first three books of the Twilight Saga, you won’t be disappointed by the final book. It is full of interesting new developments and has an exciting, edge-of-your-seat climax. Although I didn’t always feel satisfied by the directions that Meyer took her books, the final one in the series pulls it all together and makes it work.

At various times while reading it, I didn’t want to put it down. That’s always a good sign and it’s the benchmark by which I judge a book worthy of five stars. On the other hand, I was taking my time with it like you do when you are eating a really good piece of chocolate and you let it sit there on your tongue for a few extra seconds so you can enjoy every bit of its taste before you are forced by necessity to swallow.

At the end of Breaking Dawn, you’ll feel like the characters are old friends. You’ll like them and care for their well-being. You’ll feel desperate for a happy ending. And when it is all said and done, you’ll be left with the feeling that it would be so nice if Meyer would just write four more books.

Without hesitation, I recommend everyone read this story. It belongs on your shelf next to Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Okay, well, maybe one shelf down, but still.

By the way, wouldn’t it be nice of they could just skip the first three books and make a movie about the last one? Oh well, we’ll just have to be patient as they churn out one movie at a time until, eight years from now, they will complete Breaking Dawn: The Movie.

If you have ever read a series like this, you'll know this feeling. First, you're thinking, "Wow, wasn't that great?" Then, you sit back and reflect on what you have just read. You might imagine what happened next or focus on the stuff in the books that you enjoyed. However, that warm feeling is soon replaced by confusion. What do I do now? When will I find another interesting series of books to read? What should I read next?

5/5 Stars

Monday, 13 October 2008

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

All the orphaned Daine wants when she comes to Tortall is a job. What she finds is magic in many forms, an ongoing war with creatures from legends and nightmares, a new home and, eventually, her unknown father. Hired by the Queen's Riders to help with their horses, she learns her knack with animals is a rare magic which helps her to communicate with the animal kingdom.

With that discovery she becomes the student--then friend and sometimes protector--of the great mage Numair. He also helps her to develop her second magical skill, the ability to sense the presence of the immortals, fabled creatures who have come to mortal lands after a long imprisonment.

All these changes in Daine's life bring her new human friends as well as animal ones: Tortall's rulers, Alanna the Lioness, the heir to the throne of imperial Carthak, a pygmy marmoset, and the badger god. Often she comes into contact--and sometimes conflict--with Stormwings--half human, half steel birds; dragons; spidrens--giant furred spiders with human heads and an appetite for human flesh; griffins; and the clawed, winged horses called hurroks. Daine is kept on the move as she grows into adulthood and her power, coming to terms with her world and her strange, mixed parentage.

Wouldn't it be fun if you could talk to animals? What would you say? What would they say? Better yet, what if you could become an animal? How would it feel if you had the body of a hawk, but you still had your mind? That would be cool. You'd have the keen eyesight of the bird and the ability to fly. What if you could be a wolf? You'd have such a strong sense of smell. What instincts would you feel pulling on you? What would it feel like?
I have loved animals my whole life and I feel a strong connection with them. Animals have always kind of liked me and even generally mean animals will be quite gentle around me. I like to think that animals are a good judge of character and that they know when you are a good person (though they can also smell fear and weakness). Maybe I'm just crazy. I talk to animals as if they were people. My favourite horse out in Jerudong likes that a lot. She is always excited to see me and she'll even nuzzle her face up against my chest as I pet her - it's like she's asking for a hug. It's so weird. Her neck is so soft, but she likes it best when I scratch behind her ears. Horses are amazing! I wish I'd appreciated them more when I had them. My cat, Cha-cha is a lot like a person. He does NOT like to be ignored. When I go out every morning I have to remove him from the hood of my car because he is determined to get at least 30 seconds of my time before I head to work. It's hard to ignore a cat when he is staring in the windshield at you. He's one cool cat with personality plus and a wicked attitude if you do something that annoys him. He's great.

Anyway, last year I came across Tamora Pierce's Immortals Series. If you enjoy the myth-science fiction stuff like Narnia (or the more sophisticated Lord of the Rings), then you should be able to get something out of Wild Magic. Even if you aren't into that type of book, but you like animals, you will still really enjoy it. When I read the book jacket, the idea that a thirteen-year-old girl would discover the magical ability to become animals really caught my attention.

Pierce creates an interesting world and it is fun to join Daine's journey as she discovers her magical abilities. I highly recommend Wild Magic. Read the set in order, though. You'll enjoy them more that way. I donated the entire set to the Reading Room and there are also some older copies in there so you should have a good chance of getting a hold of one. Look under "P" for Pierce.
BTW, I really like the cover art. Isn't it great? It looks so much nicer than the older versions.
4/5 Stars

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Witches *****

Could you identify a REAL witch if you saw one?

A witch-hunting, cigar-smoking grandmother tells her grandson all about how to identify witches. They stumble upon a witch convention and are faced with protecting the children of England from a horrible death.

This story is so funny! I laughed and laughed. How did I miss this book when I was growing up? Roald Dahl is a very imaginative writer and I can’t wait for my son to grow up so I can read this with him! It tells us about all kinds of disgusting witch secrets. It even teaches us how to train a pet mouse to tightrope walk. Read the first ten pages. I guarantee you will want to read more! You are going to love this!

Quentin Blake’s drawings look quite crude and so the cover art isn’t very appealing, but once you get into the book you will enjoy their simplicity. They help to make the story even more entertaining and outrageous! Now, I've grown to like the little drawings a lot.

By the way, I really liked the loving relationship the boy has with his grandmother. I sure wish I had had a grandmother like her around when I was a kid! Well, except for the cigar smoking of course.

I have a copy of this one on my desk. I'm thinking about donating it to the reading room, but it is so hard to part with. Would anybody like to read it?

Click on the link to read the first few pages:

Monday, 6 October 2008

Goosebumps: One Day at Horrorland****

What if you were trapped in a haunted amusement park?

This book is awesome. I love the idea of it and I swear that R.L. Stine is a genius! He must have just been sitting around and thinking, "Hmmmm. What woud be a good setting for my next horror story? I know, how about an amusement park!"
What a great setting for a horror story. I mean, imagine it. You suddenly find yourself in an amusement park and you think, "Isn't this great? I love amusement parks." Only then you discover that it is haunted and full of monsters. What would happen? How would you escape?
Stine finds many ways to make the story more interesting. Lizzy is a teenager and she has a really annoying little brother named Luke. Part of the fun is in their difficult relationship. Their parents get lost trying to find Zoo Gardens and end up discovering an amusement park called "Horrorland". Nobody has ever heard of it and the parking lot is empty, but they decide to give it a try anyway. The kids figure it will be fun. Wrong!
You'll really enjoy this one. I read this last year and I'd love to buy a copy if anybody sees it around. Has anybody else read this? Just good fun.
If you would like to read the beginning of the story, follow the link and go to "excerpt"

Puffin Graphic Novels: Frankenstein***

What were they thinking when they put this ugly cover on a book? Yeesh!

I don't usually like monster stories. However, Gary Reed made the story very interesting and easy to read. I enjoyed the story even more because of the cool pictures. I loved the drawings by Frazer Irving. It felt like I was watching a really good movie.

I would recommend this too all of my students as a fun way to spend an hour or two. Be sure to take your time and enjoy the pictures!
What did I learn from the story? First of all, I learned that reading a graphic novel can be very fun. Although many people, including teachers, don't want their students to read comics, I think that reading them can be worthwhile. Students can still learn a lot of new and interesting words!
Frankestein's story teaches us that scientists must always consider the morality of what they do. Just because a scientist CAN do something, doesn't necessarily mean that he SHOULD do something. Also, it shows that sometimes new technology can create new problems for us. This science fiction theme is very common and it is great to read one of the stories that really came at the birth of the genre.

I donated my copy to the Senior Reading Room so there is a chance you may be able to read it. Also, they sell the Puffin Graphic books at Bookers in Gadong.
Want to see the first few pages? Follow the link and go to "excerpt":

Goosebumps: Legend of the Lost Legend ****

You want the treasure? First you'll need to pass the survival tests.

Justin and his sister, Marissa, are looking for a silver chest containing "The Lost Legend". They get lost in a magical forest and then meet a strange woman who tells them they must pass a series of survival tests to get the treasure. They will get the treasure if they live!

After looking at the 4E book list I thought I should review one of the series mentioned. I really like the Goosebumps series. The stories usually have something interesting happening and they often have a strange "What if..." question built in.

This was a very good story. For me, it might be one of the best Goosebumps books out there. I enjoyed the adventure style. I especially liked the giant cats that tried to eat them. A couple of times I laughed out loud because there are a few really funny parts like when the cats were "playing with their food"!

What did I learn from the story? Don't judge a book by its cover. The cover art doesn't look very good and even the blurb on the back wasn't too exciting. I thought I would give it a chance and if it was too boring then I wouldn't recommend it to others. After the first forty pages, I really started to get into this book. I didn't want to put it down. I was interested to see what all of the "tests" would be and then I wanted to know what the "Lost Legend" was. I was glad that I read this book and I hope the rest of the class will give it a chance too.

Goosebumps can be a great, quick read. Don't knock them until you've tried them. It can be nice to kick back and read an entire book in one sitting.

Want to read the first few pages? Follow the link and click on "exerpt":

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Edward's soft voice came from behind me. I turned to see him spring lightly up the porch steps, his hair windblown from running. He pulled me into his arms at once, just like he had in the parking lot, and kissed me again.
This kiss frightened me. There was too much tension, too strong an edge to the way his lips crushed mine—like he was afraid we had only so much time left to us.

As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob—knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

This is another interesting book by Stephenie Meyer and well worth reading if you have read the first two books. It is quite good, especially because of the tension that develops between the three main characters. I'll give it four stars out of five. I enjoyed most of this book and I'm happy to recommend it.

Again, it doesn't have a very complex plot, but Bella's inner life is explored and it makes for an interesting read. In my opinion, it was better than "New Moon" and I enjoyed getting more of the back story. Here, we learn more about the werewolf legends as well as how many of the characters came to be monsters. There is also an exciting climax and a bit of an unusual epilogue that will catch your attention.

*Spolier Alert* - Do not read this paragraph if you have not read "Eclipse". Okay, I've almost given up hope that Bella will become a vampire. If Meyer had made her a Vampire in "Eclipse", she could have spent the fourth book playing around with Bella's new life and I think that would have been really interesting. However, now I suspect she won't become a vampire until the end of the fourth book. That's a shame. We got a taste of what it would be like in the epilogue where we were able to see things from Jacob's perspective as a werewolf. Wouldn't it be amazing to experience Bella's first year as a vampire? Anyway, Meyer is in her comfort zone. Maybe she would have difficulty with a plot-driven book. Maybe she doesn't feel comfortable dealing with action. I mean, we didn't even get to enjoy the battle scene in Eclipse. We had to hear it through Edward and even then we didn't get many details. Sometimes I feel like reading Harry Potter again. Rowling is so much better at keeping you on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. Meyer usually misses the chance to develop a lot of excitement and suspense. She prefers to spend 3/4 of her time dealing with Bella's feelings towards Edward and Jacob. I guess that's okay, though. She's writing for a female, young adult audience and not for a middle-aged guy like me! If you girls can tell me that you loved books two and three and you really enjoyed all the relationship stuff, then I'll know why she wrote the books the way she did.

4.5/5 Stars

Thursday, 25 September 2008

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Back cover blurb:

For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella could ever have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realize their troubles may be just beginning…

I've just finished New Moon! I know, I know, it took me long enough.

If you love the first book, then you will enjoy the second one. It is pretty good. I really enjoyed the first chapter and the last third of the book. However, there are times when this one was a bit slow.

*Spoiler alert* If you have not read New Moon, then do not read this part of my post. I felt that Meyer could have done a better job with this story. I was all excited about the possibility of Bella becoming a vampire. I didn't expect Bella to spend four hundred pages sitting around with Jacob and lamenting the fact that Edward left. Then, the bad vampires came along I expected things to get exciting, but that didn't last long. Thank goodness the book ended really well. I enjoyed the trip to Italy. In fact, I wish she had spent a bit more time with that part of the plot. A hundred pages less with Jacob and a hundred more in Italy would have been great. That's not to say I don't like Jacob. I found his character interesting and I get the feeling that he could play an important role in the next two books. Oh, and did you react the same as me? I assumed Jacob would become a werewolf way back in book one so having to wait for Bella to figure it out was excruciating. I was yelling in my head, "He is a vampire already! Come on! Let's get on with it!" By the way, did you notice the missing words? About four or five times I noticed missing words from the text. For an international bestseller, it could have been edited better. Anyway, the book ended really well, didn't it? Weren't you excited about reading the third book? I'm nervous, though. Will I get to the good stuff right away or will Meyer keep me hanging on at the beginning? We'll see.

4/5 Stars

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Back cover book blurb:

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. Not for her license—for turning pretty. In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’s rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world–and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

Imagine what would happen if everybody in the world were beautiful. What would it be like? In Scott Westerfeld's book that's basically what happens. At the age of 16, everybody gets their body surgically enhanced so that they are a perfect "10". In fact, people can choose how they would like to look. Then, they go off to a city where all they do is party and have fun. Imagine.

Now, what would happen if you didn't want to become pretty? What if you liked yourself the way you were?

That's the idea in the Uglies Trilogy. The stories are very interesting and fun. I really enjoyed all three books and, at times, I couldn't put them down. I donated my copies to the Reading Room so you should get a chance to read them. Please, do yourself a favour and read Uglies first. There are plenty of copies floating around the country and you can usually find a copy in Best Eastern.

You'll think I'm a bit weird (like you don't already), but the last time I visited Best Eastern I noticed that Uglies was hidden behind some other teen novel. While the sales attendant wasn't looking, I moved it to the front of the shelf where people buying a copy of Twilight would likely see it! Yes, Mr. Jason is a bit of a nut.

I'd love to read your comments on this book and/or comments on the nature of beauty. After reading this book I started thinking about how we react to beautiful people. It is weird, isn't it? It really is just dumb luck that makes some people more beautiful than others. I mean, congratulations, your parents were attractive and so are you. So what. Anybody can be born beautiful. It doesn't take any special talent. Actually, I should mention here that I like beautiful people. Don't get me wrong. I just like them a whole lot more when they have other things going for them also.

It is sad really. If you are born beautiful and all you ever hear is, "Wow, you are beautiful" then you start to think that being attractive is your thing. That's who you are. That's what you do well. I really hope that doesn't happen to you. Don't let your beauty be everything. You've got more to offer the world.

I don't want to get too personal here, but as a teenager I wasn't very happy with the way I looked. I was so tall and thin. Besides, my family didn't have the money to buy me fashionable clothes. Being attractive definitely wasn't my thing. I was good at English. I was okay at a lot of stuff. I had convinced myself that looking attractive wasn't important. It's what is inside that counts, right? Well, of course that's true, but now I think that it's okay to do the best with what you have.

Anyway, enough about that. The Uglies Trilogy is a lot of fun. I hope you get a chance to read it!

By the way, I first heard about this book when I was looking at the New York Times Best Seller list. I stumbled on this article and it sounded like an interesting book.

5/5 Stars

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean

Inside Jacket Blurb:

Neverland is calling again. . .Something is wrong in Neverland. Dreams are leaking out—strangely real dreams, of pirates and mermaids, of warpaint and crocodiles. For Wendy and the Lost Boys it is a clear signal—Peter Pan needs their help, and so it is time to do the unthinkable and fly to Neverland again.

But back in Neverland, everything has changed—and the dangers they find there are far beyond their dreams. . .

Wouldn't you like to stay a child forever? Wasn't life much simpler then? Something changed in your world when, one day, somebody asked you "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and you were actually able to give them an answer. Being an adult isn't all it's cracked up to be. In Peter Pan in Scarlet the children from the original story have grown up, but they get one more chance to become children and return to the fantasy world of Neverland.

This is a very good book. I absolutely loved the first few chapters and I enjoyed reading it out loud to the class so much. This is the kind of book you just have to own. It is a work of art.

Confession time. I never really liked Peter Pan much. Even as a child, I never found the story to be very interesting. However, one day S.A., our delightful English HOD, came into the office with this book. I was immediately hypnotized by the cover and begged to be the first one to read it.

This has to be one of the best book covers ever! I love the shimmering map that is kind of in the background. I liked to just hold it in my hand and walk around with it. Even the paper is that beautiful, thick white paper that feels so good to the touch. Wherever I went, people kept coming up to me and asking to take a look at it. I love when that happens.

Anyway, the story is very good. You will enjoy it. It is a teen novel rather than a children's story and I think most people would get something out of it. It is so nicely written and really captures your imagination. The first three chapters are incredible and rank up there with some of my favourites. Geraldine has such a great start in this one. The climax hit pretty early so I was a little slow in finishing it, especially when I got Twilight and I wanted to see why everyone was reading it.

However, I still think it is very interesting and I would highly recommend it. The story really wrestles with the idea of becoming an adult and what that all means. I liked that about the book.

There is something strange about that time in our lives when we go from being a child to a teenager and then from being a teenager to an adult. For me, it was a tough time. I wasn't in a big hurry to grow up - which might explain why I still behave a bit like a teenager. :-)

5/5 Stars

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Deeply sensuous and extraordinarily suspenseful, TWILIGHT captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite. Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.

Imagine if you fell in love with a vampire. What would happen? Can you imagine how hard it would be for your vampire love to resist biting your neck and damning you to a life as a blood sucker? Cool!

Twilight is an excellent book! You should read it. I give it five stars.

After seeing so many copies of Twilight bouncing around my class, I just had to ask. I was told it was a vampire love story and I guess that sounded interesting so I Googled it and found out that it has been a bestseller for a few years now. Actually, I felt a bit embarrassed that I hadn't heard of it. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about so I went down to Best Eastern at The Mall. I didn't see any copies on display so I asked one of the sales attendants about it. To my surprise, she knew what I was talking about and directed me to the counter. She pulled a bag off the floor in a spot hidden below. She uncovered it and placed it in my hands. I think it had somebody's name on it, but she let me buy it anyway (sorry if that copy was yours). If I had known that it was the last copy available in the country, I guess I would have been jubilant. Instead, I simply grinned with satisfaction, not knowing how lucky I really was.

Anyway, I was tired the night I got it so I only read the first 20 pages. The book seemed pretty good, but I was so busy at the time and I still had a couple chapters of Peter Pan in Scarlet to finish off. A few days later I read another 50 pages or so. That's when it took off. I coudn't put it down and one night I stayed up late to read it. I was so tired the next day I wondered if the students could tell. Yes, even teachers stay up later than they should sometimes. Great book. Everyone should read it.

I give this book five out of five stars simply because there are times when you just can't put it down. No, it isn't as incredible as Harry Potter, but it is still very good. I suspect the reason why a lot of the girls like this book would be their attraction to Edward. Also, they probably like the first person narrative because they get to see the world through another girl's eyes. I'm just guessing though. You will have to tell me (maybe in the comment section of this post).

For me, I couldn't help wondering what it would be like to be Edward. Wouldn't it be great to be a vampire? You could live forever. You could be rich. As Edward, you could read people's thoughts and charm them. You'd be super strong and fast. You would never have to sleep or eat (well, except for drinking blood). You could study all kinds of things like piano, languages, and history. And, you could be a "good" vampire. You could go out and hunt down evil criminals and make them pay! In other words, you could be a superhero! I like that idea. There should be a TV series like that. Good fun.

(*Spoiler alert* do not read this paragraph if you haven't read Twilight) I guess it was the whole saving Bella from the car accident that caught my attention and the mystery behind why Edward seemed to hate her at the beginning. I knew it was a vampire book so I was curious as to how Meyer was going to develop the story. How would she find out that he was a vampire? What would happen next? Would she want to become a vampire? Actually, I was a bit disappointed when Jacob just out and told her about the Cullens. I had hoped Bella would slowly put the clues together herself. Still, that was okay. Oh, and one other thing I really liked was the references to literature like "Romeo and Juliet". I hope it inspires you to read it someday!

5/5 Stars

Our Amazing Donors

296 books from Peta in the UK
105 books from Sal (Froglady) in the UK
102 books from Mary in the USA
60 books from Gill and Mark in the UK
32 books from Angi in the UK
28 books from Jodie in South Korea
19 books from Kickee in USA (MD)
12 books from Banriona in the UK
12 books from Paul in USA (PA)
12 books from Debra in USA (OR)
12 books from Brownbear in UK
12 books from Caffeine Junkie in UK
10 books from Marianne in Switzerland
10 books from Hanneke in the USA
10 books from Amtep in Finland
10 books from Kirsten in the USA
10 books from Lisa in the USA
10 books from Karen in UK
10 books from Shell_8 in the UK
10 books from Margot in France
8 books from Molly in USA
8 books from Liz in the USA
7 books from tacprio in Hong Kong
7 books from Alana in the USA
7 books from adilit in USA (MD)
7 books from Ruby in Singapore
6 books from Gwen in the UK
5 books from Bristol in USA (AK)
5 books from Cassy in the USA
5 books from Mimz in Singapore
5 books from Deborah in the USA
5 books from Ellie in the UK
5 books from Linda in USA
5 books from Kitkat in Canada
5 books from Fred in the USA
5 books from Helen in Japan
5 books from WendyLaf in USA
5 books from Cara in Canada
5 books from Margaret in USA (WA)
5 books from Julie in USA (LA)
5 books from Belen Abad (Spain)
5 books from Lee (OH, USA)
5 books from Iacobus (Australia)
5 books from Wandering Star (UK)

Updated Oct. 20th, 2009

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Do you believe in "happiness"?

Think about it.

What would happen if one day you woke up and realized that you had almost everything you have ever dreamed of? Could you handle it?

Welcome to my life. I'm an English teacher in paradise. I have the best job ever and I work with the best students at the best school in paradise.

I don't want to lay it on too thick, but I love my job. I go to work with a smile on my face every day. Sometimes I pinch myself and I think, "Do I really work here? What did I do to deserve this?" Ten minutes before class I start pacing back and forth. I can't wait to get there. I don't want to sit at my desk because I can't wait to see what is going to happen next. I look forward to seeing their smiling faces and hearing, "Good morning Mr. Jason" in their, soft, sweet, enthusiastic voices. It's amazing!

I'm not sure why I want to start a blog. Perhaps I could put some pictures here. Maybe I could talk about all the great books my students and I are reading. How about if I write down some personal stuff or just random thoughts? Could I add some school stuff like advice or tell some stories about my students? Who knows where this road will take me? I hope some of you will join me on the journey...