Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865)
95 pgs
Age 11 and up
Part 1 of 2 (Through the Looking Glass )

“I’m late. I’m late, for a very important date.” Alice follows the white rabbit down a hole into the world of Wonderland. Wonderland is a strange place were a sip of a drink can make you shrink and a bit of a cake can make you the size of a giant. This is a place where our world’s rules do not apply.  Alice is left to find her way through Wonderland and back home again.  Alice meets a few character along the way such as; the strange grumpy philosophical hookah-smoking Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat who can make his body disappear, the Mad Hater,  and the Queen of hearts who is forever screaming “off with his head.”   Alice manages to get herself into heaps of trouble, read to find out how she gets out.

Latest movie version: (more based on the second part Through the Looking Glass)

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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)
238 pgs
Age 14 and up

Hester is a married woman who’s husband is away.  Hester has a newborn baby, but the baby is not her husband’s.  She has committed adultery and now has to wear the letter A on her chest  for all to see.  Hester will not give the name of the father of the baby and so she must bare the shame alone.  Later in the book the reader finds out that the father is none other than Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. the reverend has made friends with a Roger Chillingworth who becomes the town’s doctor and who happens to be Hester’s husband, but no one knows this. Roger is trying to find out who the father of Pearl is and he suspects the reverend.  The need for revenge transforms Roger and guilt rips the reverend apart.

This book goes to show that every action has a consequence and that your actions have the power to effect far more than yourself.  This is a classic worth reading.

Other books you might like:

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies by William Golding182pgs Age 14 and up

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
182pgs
Age 14 and up

Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a chilling tale of what can go wrong when civility is taken out of humans.  A group of school boys are on a plane  during a war heading  for safety when they are shot down.  Their plane lands on an island.  No adults survive the crash leaving the boys to take care of themselves. The eldest boy is only twelve years old.  Ralph is nominated chief, but Jack is upset by this.  So Ralph in an act of diplomacy makes Jack the leader of a group of boys that are to be the hunters.  This may not have been the best of ideas. For day by day, the isolation from civilization and rules changes the boys.  Ralph tries to hold it together, but Jack’s influence is too strong.  Jack’s influence is deepened by the growing fear of a beast on the island.  Will they become complete animals? Will they ever get off the island? Read to find out.

This book is loaded full of deeper meaning but it can be a bit violent  Still it is worth a read because it does make some interesting points about human nature.  Because of the content this book’s age level is suggested at 14 and up.

This book was made into a movie in 1963 and  1990

Arthur Christmas (Movie 2012)

ArtXmasdvd[1]Looking for a new Christmas movie this year? check out Arthur Christmas, it’s sure to delight.  Arthur is a Claus but not the next in line to be Santa. He is a bit of a screw-up, but he loves Christmas.  Arthur responsibility is to answer the mail that is sent to Santa.  The movie opens with a little girl sending a letter to Santa asking him if he is real and how what he does is possible.  She also includes what she wants for Christmas, a pink bike with training wheels, just in case he is real.  The whole Santa operation is in a state of transition; it’s going more high tech and the eldest son, Steve,  is starting to take over. Through all the hustle and bustle, a present gets lost. The present is found with some time left before Christmas morning, but Steve writes it off as an acceptable error.  Arthur is the only one that seems to care that the child will not be getting their present. The child turns out to be Gwen the little girl from the beginning of the movie Arthur is determined to get her her gift before morning to do this he goes old school with the help of grand Santa and a warping elf, but things don’t go as planned.  Will Gwen get her gift? What trouble will Arthur, an epic screw up, get himself into? watch to find out.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

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The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi (1990)
pgs 232
John Newbery Medal Winner

Charlotte Doyle boards a ship by the name of Seahawk against her better judgment.  She becomes friends with Captain Jaggery who is rumored to have beaten a man on the last voyage.  Charlotte becomes his spy and alerts him when she hears plans of mutiny.  The mutiny is started by none other than the man that Captain Jaggery beat on the last voyage.  Captain Jaggery takes care of him and then chooses a member of the crew to set an example of.  The crew member is Charlotte’s friend, she tries to stop the captain and in the process whips him. He does not forgive her for this. Charlotte devastated by what she has done and wanting to make it up dresses like a boy and becomes one of the crew.  there is a murder on the ship and Charlotte is accused of the crime. Will she be punished for a crime she didn’t commit? Will the reign of Captain Jaggery every end? read to find out.

This is a historical fiction story taking place in the mid-1800s.  Because of this the reader gets to experience a bit of what it was like during that time. so if you like history check out this book.

Other books you might like:

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

Aquamarine (Movie 2006)

Aquamarine (2006)

Aquamarine (2006)

Claire and Hailey  are two teens that find an unexpected treasure during a difficult time.  Claire and Hailey are best friends that are about to be separated because Hailey’s mom has gotten a job in Australia.  Hailey is determined to make the best of the time they have left together, but Claire keeps bringing it up.  The next day after a great storm Claire falls into the pool and gets a peek at what the storm has brought in, a mermaid.  Aquamarine has surfaced because her father has arranged her marriage, if she can get a human to fall in love with her in a certain number of days then she could break off the engagement.  She enlists the help of Claire and Hailey and if they are successful they get a wish which they plan on using to keep them together.   Will Aquamarine find love? Will Claire and Hailey be able to stay together? Watch to find out.

Clueless (Movie 1995)

There’s drama at Beverly Hills High. Cher, the most popular girl in school loves her projects.  This time she may have bitten off more than she can chew.  Her grades are low and her teacher will not listen to her pleas and excuses so she decides to try to make a love connection to soften her teacher’s cold heart.  While this goes on a new girl, Tai,  enters the school and is clearly in need of Cher’s assistance.  New project. Cher takes her under her wing and  nurtures her into a lady fit for her crowd, but has she created a monster?  To top things off Cher wants a boyfriend and is not fond of high school boys so when one shows up that she finds suitable.  She decides to take herself on as a project, but he doesn’t exactly turn out  to be what she expected.  Will things turn around for Cher? Will she manage to keep it together? watch to find out.

The movie is a retelling of Jane Austin’s Emma who was also found of matchmaking.  So if you like this movie you might want to check out this book.  Because of some of the content I am suggesting that the age level be 14 and up.

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (2000)pgs 283Age 13 and up

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (2000)
pgs 283
Age 13 and up
1st in a series of 16

The Princess Diaries is not your typical princess story.   You would think that a girl might be somewhat thrilled at the idea of finding out that she is a princess, but this is not the case for Mia.   Her parents kept it from her until it became clear that her father could no longer have any more children.  Her parents were not together so the secret that he was a Prince was a little easier to contain although it does not seem likely.   Mia does not take the news well and acts out.  Grandma is called in for reinforcements, which for a while only makes things worse.  To make matters even more complicated two love interest enter the picture all centering around a dance; one with pure intentions the other only seeking to benefit himself.  The story is told through diary entries that make for a most interesting and entertaining read.  If you are thinking I have already seen the movie I don’t need to read the book think again because there are major differences.  But if you have not seen the movie you should check it out to, it is very cute.

Show Me a Story by Emily K. Neuburger

Show Me a Story by Emily K. Neuburger (2012) 144 pgs Age 11 and up

Show Me a Story by Emily K. Neuburger (2012)
144 pgs
Age 11 and up

Show Me a Story by Emily K. Neuburger is a collection of 40 craft projects that are meant to inspire the creation of stories.  The imagination is such a wonderful thing that is easily lost as you get older, so when I found this book I thought it would be fun for tweens and adults alike to use to re-spark their imagination or just to keep it active.  This would also be the perfect book for aspiring writers for they are bound to get writer’s block and these crafts seem like the perfect cure.

One of the hardest parts about writing is starting, there is one craft called story starters they are wooden chips that are painted and then an image is put on them.  you make several of them and then put them in a jar and pull a few out.  From the few you pull you start a story.  This exercises could lead to a great story or give you an idea for another. In any case, it sounds like a lot of fun and the book is full of crafts like these. IMG_6076[1]

Sleeping Beauty and Other Favourite Fairy Tales Chosen and Translated by Angela Carter

Sleeping Beauty & Other Favourite Fairy Tales (1982) 128 pgs Age 10 and up

Sleeping Beauty & Other Favourite Fairy Tales (1982)
128 pgs
Age 10 and up

This book is a collection of 13 fairy tale stories including; Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast, Donkey-Skin, and Cinderella: or, The Little Glass Slipper.  You are most likely familiar with all  the stories mention above except Donkey- Skin. Donkey-Skin is a fairy tale about a king who’s wife has just died. But before she dies she makes him promise that he will remarry. She wants to look like she is not selfish but she does not really want him to remarry, so she adds that the women he remarries must be more beautiful than her, thinking that this is not possible. The king, heartbroken and hesitant agrees. Now the next part is disturbing but I assure you that it all ends well and the king was not in his right mind so keep reading. So the King realizes that he must make good on this promise while he is dwelling on this his daughter happens by. She has grown into a beautiful young woman and is the only one more pretty then her mother, so the king purposes. The daughter horrified contacts her fairy godmother, the Lilac Fairy, who suggest that the princess agree to marry her father only if he is able to make a dress the color of the sky because she believed this impossible. Guess what it isn’t. The fairy has three more failed suggestions. The last involved the king skinning his prized position a donkey who pooped gold coins; the fairy thought he would never part with it. The princess dressed in the skin which the fairy-enchanted and ran away. She finds work at a farm where they make fun of her for wearing the donkey skin. The Fairy sends the dresses that the king had made to her and one day she puts it on in her room, a prince happened by and saw her but was not able to speak to her. There starts the love story which I will leave for you to read.

There are more fairy tales stories in this book that I was not familiar with. The ones that I am familiar with were because of Disney and let’s just say that they are different and worth reading. I believe these are written for a more modern audience so they may not be true to the original tales. The fun part is they also include a moral at the end of each story.