Sunday, December 20, 2009

2nd quarter ORB review

Anna Wang

December 19, 2009

Mr. BG


Second Quarter Outside Reading Book Review

The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer. Health Communications, Inc. Genre: non fiction

The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer is based on the author’s childhood life when he was in foster care, after moving out of his mother’s house. It is the sequel to A Child Called It and the second book of this trilogy. In this book, David has to face many obstacles including the fear of “betraying” his mother, going to court, and making friends, which is difficult because many people have prejudice against foster children, and calls them “F-child”. He seeks love from his foster parents, since he never really got any from his mother. This book is filled with obstacles and him overcoming them. As he got older, he became less of a timid child who only seeks to please, and more confident and less afraid of the world around him. You can see David as he matures and overcomes the obstacles in his life.

"The Lost Boy" is the harrowing but ultimately uplifting true story of a boy's journey through the foster-care system in search of a family to love. This is Dave Pelzer's long-awaited sequel to "A Child Called "It". The Lost Boy" is Pelzer's story--a moving sequel and inspirational read for all.” –

Dave Pelzer descriptively described his life while he was in foster care. He describes his emotions so that the reader can feel it as if they were in his shoes. While in foster care, he faced many challenges including rejection from his peers at school and even adults just because he is a foster child. David wrote the story as if he is went back in time and was reliving it, instead of writing it as if he was looking back. Throughout this book, you feel hope that he will come through in the end, that he will persevere and work hard to overcome his struggles instead of running away from them.

“I tried to imagine what it must be like for them to live with Mother now. I pray that somehow my brothers would forgive me. I felt like a deserter. I also prayed that the cycle of hate had not moved on to one of them. I felt sorry for them. They had to live in total hell.” (page 54)

I usually hate biographies, or any non fiction books for that matter because they bore me to tears. This book is an exception. It is very interesting, and instead of boring me to tears, it makes me cry tears of sadness as well as happiness as Dave goes through the ups and downs of this life.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

laughter or money? which is more important?

Laughter or Money? Which is more important?

In a society based on material wealth, it is hard to decide what is and isn’t valuable. Is it really the expensive, flashy items we own that we value the most? Or is it the priceless moments that we’ve shared with our friends and family that we truly treasure? The moments when they’ve made you smile, no matter how depress you might be. Most people value their pricy possession because they usually take their friends and family for granted. They are always there for you, while on the other hand, you have to work to save up money for whatever you want to buy.

Snow gracefully swirled down from heaven and softly embraced the ground. The sun gleamed on the freshly fallen snow as the wind whipped a crystal covered branch against my window pane. It was the day before Christmas and the excitement in the air was high. My mom bustled in the kitchen, preparing our breakfast. I let my nose lead the way to the kitchen, inhaling the aroma of fried eggs and sizzling bacon with a hint of toast.

Every year after breakfast, my sister, my mom and I would spend the day packing for our annual Christmas trip to grandma’s. I’ve always looked forward to this because it is the one time of the year that I get to see all my family members that I usually don't.

As the dark slowly upon crept us, we eagerly got into the car and we would drive all the way to New York City, the city that never sleeps. As our car pulls into the driveway of our destination, my sister and I would jump out of the car and race each other up the stairs.Then, we would wait patiently, or at least we tried to, for everyone else to arrive. We were all excited to finally see our families again.

The adults would sit together and share stories of news and events that happened since they last saw each other. Us “kids” however would chase each other around the house, play hide and seek, and even Simon Says on few occasions.When we finally got tired of catching our breaths every few minutes, we would sit down and talk the night away.

On Christmas morning, we would wake up extremely early and bang on the doors of everyone else’s room. Soon, they would all come out of their room, annoyed that we’ve woken them up so early. Then, our uncle would hand out the neatly wrapped presents to each one of us. We would all rip off the wrappings with lightning speed to reveal the gift that is concealed inside.

I slide my thumb around my sleek, purple ipod, choosing the song I want to played then plugged my ears with the earphones and I’d listen to the music blasting away. I would often stay like that for hours and hours and not notice the time flying by.

I value my ipod because one, it’s expensive and it’s not something that I would want to lose, but also because I can just get lost listening to the music. It takes my mind off of whatever that is bothering me and calms and relaxes me when I’m stressed out or nervous.

It also makes time pass faster and doing unpleasant things less torturous, for example, homework. Doing hours of homework is agony, but if you add a little music to it, it’s not half so bad. It also helps when you’re waiting in line for something. When you listen to music, it’s like you fall under its spell and you become totally unaware of everything surrounding you. Before you know it, your turn will be up and you will be wishing that you were still somewhere in the middle of the line.

I value Christmas with my family and my ipod for similar reasons. The two are similar because they both bring me up when I’m feeling down. My family can always make me smile and laugh until tears pool around my eyes no matter how upset I am. My ipod makes it so that I can forget all about my worries and take me away from all my troubles, even if it is just for a short period of time. I personally value my family a little more because with an ipod, you can always misplace it and you won’t be able to rely on it to make you feel better. But with family, they are always there for you no matter what. You can try to push them out of your life, but they will still fight to be there for you. You can never lose them and can always trust them to turn that frown upside down

Monday, October 12, 2009

1st Quarter Orb Review

Anna Wang

October 03, 09

Mr. BG


First Quarter Outside Reading Book Review

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Delacorte Press, 2003. Genre: Fiction

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray is a story of love, friendship, and magic all mixed together into one thrilling book. Taking place during the Victorian period, Gemma, age sixteen, is sent to London and enrolled in Spence Academy after the strange and unusual death of her mother back in India. It is at Spence, that she discovers secrets about the mystical Order and her connection with it. She also finds that she can do magic in the realms and more importantly, she is able to see and speak to her mother. Along the way, Gemma makes valuable friendships with some of the girl at school who helps and encourages her throughout the book.

“A Victorian boarding school, a gothic mansion mystery, a gossip romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other worldly fantasy – jumbled together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.” - review

A Great and Terrible Beauty shows Gemma as she tries to fit in at Spence with all the other girls. She had almost no luck until she finds Felicity together with a Gypsy boy named Ithal. Felicity made Gemma promise to tell no one, and that was the beginning of their friendship. Pippa, upset that Gemma has taken her place as Felicity’s best friend, or so she thought, tries to exclude her out of their group and becomes closer to Ann. Bray creates a realistic situation in which jealousy leads to detest for another. It draws the reader’s attention because they can easily connect with it. Bray also uses sarcasm in Gemma’s thought which adds humor throughout the book. The reader can also accurately picture the Victorian age, where girls were brought up to be possessions for the lives of rich men, thanks to her vivid descriptions.

“Maybe it’s the steady downpour that’s driving me mad. Maybe it’s the thought of lovely Pippa, married off to a man she doesn’t love, who doesn’t love her, only wants to acquire her. Maybe it’s imagining Ann squelching her voice to work for pompous aristocrats and their hateful children. Or Felicity trying to hold back her tears. Maybe it’s that every word that she said is true.” (315)

This is the first book I read by Libba Bray. I loved A Great and Terrible Beauty. It shows me how the life of the girls was and how they were treated like possession, not someone to love. I thought it was interesting the way people thought at that time.

Friday, September 11, 2009

my summer reading essay

Anna Wang
September 10, 2009
Block F
Mr. B-G

Rebecca Berlin from Briar Rose
Isabella (Bella) Swan, Alice, and Jasper Hale from Twilight

Setting: airport, hotel and streets from Twilight

“I don’t want James or Victoria hurting any one of you,” whined Bella as she got out of the plane with Alice and Jasper, “I think I should just go back. I’m not worth all that trouble.”
“Don’t be ridiculous Bella,” said Jasper impatiently, “You are. And just think what would happen to Edward if you died.”
At that moment they bumped into a girl trying to find her flight.
“Um excuse me, I’m Becca. Do you happen to know which plane goes to Poland?” she asked. “I’m trying to find out about my grandmothers past. Gemma just died recently and left us with a little mystery.”
“Of course, its on lane 5. Good luck!” said Alice. Maybe after you discover you grandma’s past, you could give us a call and we could go do lunch or something,” she added with a smile.
Bella’s about to be hunted by James, they were trying to get her as far away from him as possible and yet all she thinks about is lunch with a complete stranger they had just met. Typical, thought Jasper with a grin.
“Sure,” answered Becca, “that would be great.” And with that she disappeared into the crowd.
A week later at their hotel, they got an unexpected visit from someone. Knock knock, went the door.
“I’ll get it,” Bella jumped up to get the door just for something to do. She felt like she was about to die of bored any minute soon. “Becca! We weren’t expecting to see you so soon. Come in please.”
“Thanks,” said Becca brightly as she stepped over the threshold.
Alice glided across the room from the couch to give her a hello hug. Jasper only smiled and nodded. Being new to his “vegetarian” diet, he had to be careful around humans. Their casual conversation soon turned into story time with Becca telling them all about her expedition to Poland. She told them how her grandmother was a refugee during the World War II and all the hardships she had faced at the extermination camp because she was Polish.
After a while, Alice suggested that they go out and grab some lunch. She didn’t need to eat but figured that Bella would be hungry since she hadn’t eaten since this morning.
“Great idea,” said Becca enthusiastically, “I’m starving!” With that, they all grabbed their jackets and headed out the door. Outside, the streets were crazy with cars going in every which direction. Suddenly, everything seemed to be going in slow-motion as Becca accidentally stepped in front of a red car.
“Watch out!” screamed Bella, but by then, it was already too late. Or so it seems. Jasper had also mysteriously disappeared from sight. Within just seconds, he reappeared at her side with Becca in his arms; her eyes wide open with surprise. Bella forgotten that vampires had super speed. He saved her just like how Edward had saved her not too long ago, she thought. Edward. She groaned. Oh how I miss him.
“W-what? How?” Becca managed to sputter, still trying to recover her breath from the shock she just had.
“Its nothing,” murmured Jasper, feeling guilty that he has given away their secret. But still, how could he let a car crush the life out of her?
“Its ok,” said Alice gently, “I think you should tell her, we can trust her. I can see it,” she tapped her head reminding them of her power.
“T-tell me what?” Becca eyed them suspiciously.
“We’re vampires,” started Jasper. ‘And being vampires not only mean that we suck blood but we also have super speed. And don’t worry, we only drink animal blood” chuckled Jasper when he felt her tense up, “I guess you could call us vegetarians.”
“Oh…ok,” said Becca, sounding as if she were deciding whether or not to believe them, “and before I forget, thanks.”
“No problem,” answered Jasper, “shall we do lunch then?”