Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I am not the most normal person when it comes to reading books. Keep that in mind when I tell you I wanted to hate this book. I got to choose from three books in English to read, and this seemed the least likely to make me want to pull my hair out. And part of me wanted to hate it.

There are a couple of instances where there are books or series that I love to hate. It’s just, I dunno, joyful. This one I just wanted to hate on principle. I don’t read books like this, where it’s all romance and gooey feelings packaged around pretty words. I can list things I didn’t like; the language use seemed unrealistic, the only plot was love, some of the characters seemed like boards of people with the occasional snap of humanity. Yet, throughout this, in the end I liked it.

Elizabeth Bennet, of which whom this novel most closely follows, is rather funny at times, the dialogue toes the line of humor, and some of the characters break the bounds of what was proper. That was what I liked, that and the talked about subjects still discussed today.

There aren’t really warnings on this. If you can understand the first few chapters, don’t mind a dialogue based plot primarily about marriage, and dialogue that makes you wonder if people actually spoke like that, then you’re good. Enjoy, ya lil freaks. We all know I begrudgingly did.

The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler

This is another not superbly written book, yet this one is very entertaining and I love the series. It’s a quick read and I can’t wait to get my hands on the third book.

In this book taking place in 18th century Japan, Seikei is the son of a tea merchant who longs to be a samurai. But in this time, he must follow what he is born into. Also in this time, merchants are seen as low, greedy, and selfish which causes Seikei shame. When he witnesses the thievery of a jewel, Judge Ooka requires his assistance to go undercover and help find it.

This book had many things I liked and I found it quite enjoyable. Although the writing was a bit simplistic, it was still a nice and easy read. There is violence and sword fights, but would be good for 8/9+. It also was rather educational on the topic of Feudal Japan.

My List Of World War II Books You Should Read

First Book on this list is ‘The Devil’s Arithmetic’ by Jane Yolen. This book is about a girl in the 80’s or 90’s who is transported back into a Polish village in the 40’s. It’s a book about remembering and the Holocaust that’s short and easy to understand. I liked this book a lot when I read it a few years ago. Good for kids 10+.

The next book is ‘Number the Stars’ by Lois Lowry. Where the first book is about Jewish people in concentration camps, this one is about a girl in Denmark observing the Danish Resistance as her family helps. This book is also short and would be good for ages 9+. I read this for the first time in fourth or fifth grade and I really enjoyed it a lot.

The third book on this list is any Anne Frank diary translation by, well, Anne Frank. This is her diary, her diary of her life in hiding during World War II. This book, you shouldn’t even question whether or not to read it, you should just shut up and read it. Just do it.

Fourth book is one I finished just today: ‘When My Name Was Keoko’ by Linda Sue Park. This book took on a point of view that was new to me in these WWII books. The viewpoint of two siblings in Korea, which is occupied by Japan. This is a fabulous book, and is good for 10+.

I know that these are only a small number of books written on this topic, but these are just the ones I have read so far.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

I heard good things about this book, so I checked it out of the library during the week. I was sick the first three days of the week, so on Friday when I got home, I had a ton of work to do. I decided to read a few pages of this 300+ page book after a few assignments. That was a mistake.

This book was so good, that I had trouble focusing on my homework. Friday night, I ended up mostly just reading. The next day, I vowed to actually work since everything was due Tuesday. Somehow, I managed to finish only 10 of my 25 assignments, and the whole entire book.

This book was just amazing. There really are no words to describe it. I loved it, and recommend it highly to teens. It’s a great young adult book written in the past few years about teens in the ’80’s. This book is a good, quick (at least it was for me) read that will leave you thinking.

My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

I admit, I did not like this book. This book takes place at the beginning of the Revolutionary War from the point of view of Tim Meeker. Tim is the son of a tavern keeper who’s brother, Sam, is in college. Then Sam joins the war as part of the Patriots, but his family are Tories. Tim is confused by the war and two sides, not knowing which side is he should align himself with.

There were many things I didn’t like in this book. For one, some of the gory scenes were a bit too descriptive. Another thing I didn’t like was how the book made the Revolutionary War seem like a very small thing that didn’t really matter. The book also made all soldiers seem horrible. And it made Generals and all those other important military men seem like all they wanted was to teach soldiers a lesson, not even caring if they were guilty or not. And for the majority of the book, it made it seem like the Patriots were the bad guys and the British were the good. Also, the title spoiled what happened on the last page of the book. 

The writing, however, wasn’t terrible. And I guess you could call this a different perspective on the Revolutionary War. You could also call it a book showing how the war impacted ordinary peoples lives. But, that was not my thinking as I read this.

This book had violence, gore, and some other stuff. It’s best for ages 12+.

The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky

This book was beautiful, eloquent, and wonderful with an open ending that made me think and consider what might have happened. This book’s writing is beautiful and I was hooked by the first sentence. It left me wondering. I got this book at the library today and it’s already finished, 4 hours later. This book was shot (140 pages), but did not feel brief. It was not lacking in parts.

This book is about a class of 11 girls in Sydney, Australia in the year 1968. In the book they have a teacher who’s different from the old, stuffy teacher’s at the fancy school they go to. Their teacher takes them on trips to a close by park where they write poetry or learn from the man that works there, Morgan. They all think their teacher, Miss Renshaw loves him. One day, Morgan and Miss Renshaw take the 11 girls to a cave where Aboriginals supposedly painted on the cave walls. Miss Renshaw, like all the other times they go to the park to see Morgan, tells them not to tell anyone. They girls don’t like it in the cave, so they while Morgan and Miss Renshaw are still in there. They wait on the beach, but they don’t come out. They wait for a while before searching in the park and heading back to school.

The teacher’s find out that Miss Renshaw is missing, but the girls don’t tell the specifics, since they promised not to. They are wracked with guilt and don’t know what to do. Then One person tells. This story deals with guilt, with secrets. With what something like this does to a class of 11 girls around 10 years old. With what happens after.

I honestly really liked this book. I thought it was beautiful. This book is recommended for ages 12+, and I think it’d be good for ages 11-14. It was a very good book though.

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

If you read what I said about the ‘Fault in Our Stars’, you would know I dislike sad books. And this was indeed a sad book. But, what can you expect from a book about World War II in Warsaw. This book is sad, and you shouldn’t get attached to any character’s.

This book takes place from a boy who is a thief in Warsaw at the beginning of WWII. He knows nothing of his past, no name, no age, no memory of his family. He meets Uri, a boy who takes him in and keeps him alive. Uri gives the main character the name Misha, and also makes up a back story for Misha to hold on to. They navigate the streets, stealing food for themselves and others. Then, more of the war reaches them and Misha gets caught up in it.

This book is about something that happened that was terrible. So, the writing has words and thoughts about Jewish people and Gypsies that is offensive. There is slander, swears, and other time period related stuff. I would say 14+.