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Friday, December 30, 2011

The Dead Face Girl (part 5)

This is a continuation of an original fiction piece by flickagirl. The first part is found here! You can find all installments by clicking on the tag "dead face girl."


As I walked home from school that day, I considered stopping by Missus’s house to tell her about Ben, but I decided not to. I was just too tired and confused by the day’s events to do anything else than crash on my bed and listen to my iPod at an absurd volume. Unfortunately, my mother had other plans.

Our house is way out in the middle of nowhere. It’s about fifteen minutes away anything other than trees. My foster mother says that it lets her experience nature at its height, but I know it’s because, since the plows often don’t make it out this far, my mother has an excuse for when she walks into work late. She likes to sleep in.

Anyway, it’s a beautiful walk. And I have to say, it’s a beautiful house, too. It’s painted brown, and has huge windows that look out on the yard. It’s got two stories. The lower level is the basement, but also the main living space. It has windows that are exactly at ground level, so you can see the leaves in the fall and the snow in the winter in incredible detail. It’s very peaceful. On the outside.

On the inside, everything’s perfect. Depending on your definition of perfect. There are pictures on the mantle and little glass thing hung in the windows, but there’s that feeling that you get in a museum, where if you touch anything, you’ll get arrested. And I’m not entirely sure you won’t. My foster mother (her name is Julie) keeps everything exactly in its place. She never moves anything. Ever.

Once, when I had just moved to her house (I was only six), my foster mother had gone to get groceries. I was throwing the only thing I got to keep from my previous life, a little red ball, up in the air and caching it. At one point, the ball hit Julie’s tiny glass jars that were on the mantle. Fortunately, the floor was carpeted, so none of them broke as they fell. I gently picked them up and placed them back on the mantle, hoping that they were in the same place as I had left them. But when Julie came home an hour later, she noticed right away. She dragged me out of my room and started shaking me, demanding I tell her why I had touched her things. Almost at the point of tears I told her. She let me go and went back into my room. After a few minutes, she came out with my little red ball. She told me that she was going to keep it until she was sure I had learned to keep my grubby little fingers off her things.

A week later, when I asked for my ball back, she told me that she had thrown it down the garbage disposal. After that, I locked myself in my bedroom and cried for about three hours. That ball was my whole life at the time. From then on, I hated Julie. I hated her to death. But I never showed it. I never showed anything ever again.

As I stepped into the house, I noticed that something was different. It smelled different. But it was a good different. It smelled like fresh backed chocolate chip cookies.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The dead face girl (part 4)

This is a continuation of an original fiction piece by flickagirl. The first part is found here!  You can find all installments by clicking the tag "dead face girl."

Chapter 3 (part 2)

The rest of the day was pretty normal, until recess. I was sitting on the swing, just, well, swinging. I wasn’t swinging very high, because I was writing in my journal. Yes, I keep a journal. No, I have not let anyone read it. (And for those of you who have too much time on your hands and are reading this book over, DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!)

Anyway, I was just swinging, then, surprise, surprise! Ben walked up, staring intently at the ground and wringing his hands. “Heeellllloooooo,” He said slowly, as if worried that I couldn’t speak English, “Myyyy naaame iiiiiisssss Beeeen.”

I waited a few seconds before answering, just to make sure that he was done. “I’m in your math class.” I informed him.

He breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness,” he said, “You can talk.”

I snorted. This boy wasn’t going to make my day any better. I tried to decide what to do. Should I give this kid another ugly stare? No, I wanted to see what he wanted. I settled on a sarcastic, “Really? I hadn’t noticed!”

He stared at me for a couple seconds, trying to decide whether I was serious.

“It was a joke.” I said exasperated. At that he smiled. Again. “You know what?” I thought, “Changing my mind about the smile.” I shook my head.

“So, what do you want?” I asked, suddenly in a hurry to get this over with.

“I, um…” he stammered, “I want to… well… beyourfriened.” He spluttered out the last words in a hurry, like he thought that if he said it fast enough, it would make the reaction less scary. Wrong. Although it might have been slightly delayed, as I tried to figure out what he had said. But I got it eventually.

“You what?”

“I want to be your friend?” he said uncertainly.

I was about to give him the death stare, but I realized that this might be fun. This had happened to me several times before. Someone had asked to be my friend, and I had accepted, expecting every time that it would work. Of course, I now had enough experience to know that it never does. Ever. But it might be fun to see how long this boy would last. “Alright,” I said, “you can try to be my friend. But be warned, this has never worked out for anyone.”

“I know,” he said matter-of-factly, “I can tell from the rumors being spread about you.”

“Rumors?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. “What rumors?”

I acted like I had no clue, although I knew every single rumor there ever was about me. I had even started some of them.

“Oh, ya!” he said eagerly. “One of them was that you couldn’t talk, another was that you didn’t have a name,” I stiffened at that, but Ben didn’t notice. “And others say that you’re actually dead, and are a zombie!”

I snorted. “I like that one.” I told him.

He laughed. It was a nice sound, his laugh. It was like his smile. It made me want to laugh. I tried to smile. I managed it, sort of. I got my weighty lips to turn up at the corners, but I could tell from Ben’s face that I wasn’t actually showing any emotion, so I gave up. “What?” I asked, when I noticed that he was still staring at me.

“You’re funny.” He replied, searching my face for any sign of anything. Of course, he didn’t find whatever he was looking for. “Anyway, he continued when he realized that I still wasn’t showing any emotion, “to really be someone’s friend, you have to know their name. You already know mine, Ben. It’s only fare if you tell me yours.”

Crap. I was afraid of this. What should I say? I couldn’t have him call me Honey, because that would be weird, and I wouldn’t let him call me Abigail. I hate that name. But before I could decide what to do, the obviously bored playground monitor said, “Time to go inside.”

“Gotta go!” I said, as I jumped off of the swing and bolted toward the door.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Dead Face Girl (part 3)

This is a continuation of an original fiction piece by flickagirl. The first part is found here!  You can follow the tag dead face girl for all installments.


Chapter 3

By the way, this chapter is important. It’s arguably more important than the chapter in which you met Missus. Arguably. So pay attention.

It wasn’t that long since I met Missus, when there was a new kid in school. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, his name was Ben. The first class I was in with him was math. Our math teacher, Mr. Schwartz, made him stand up in front of the class and talk about his personal life. We found out where he lived before he moved to Duluth, Minnesota, and what he thought about living here. He hesitated a few minutes, and then said, “It’s a little colder than California.”

At that I snorted. It was only fall. Wait till he felt winter. Instead of listening to the rest of Mr. Schwartz’s interrogation, I studied this Ben character. He was short for boys his age, barely 5’ 1’’, and that wasn’t the only way he was small. He was terribly scrawny, with brown hair that was slightly mussed. He had extremely prominent cheek bones, and impossibly pale skin. But he stood in a welcoming position, and had a warm smile, so, under normal conditions, I probably would have liked him. But unfortunately for him, I was in a bad mood today.

Mr. Schwartz finished his dumb questions, and Ben sat down. As Mr. Schwartz started the lesson, Ben took a quick glance around. The first person that caught his eye was me. He gave me a little smile. Like I said I was in a bad mood, so I decided to be a little evil. Well… a lot evil. I pulled down my hood, flipped back my hair, and starred right into his eyes. He made a sound like a puppy makes when its tail gets stepped on.

“Ha!” I thought, “That kid won’t be bothering me again anytime soon.”

How wrong I was.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book Review: Inheritance, by Christopher Paolini

Book Title:  Inheritance series
Format: Hardback
Price: $27.99
Length: 880 pages

A thrilling series with excitement and suspense is now reaching a breathtaking finale with a book called Inheritance. The series starts with a boy named Eragon who finds a blue dragon egg. Without knowing it Eragon changes his life and fate by taking the egg home and names the dragon in the egg Saphira. After three novels filled with all of Eragon’s adventures, the final battle that fate has brought Eragon to is now here. Now Eragon and Saphira have to face Galbatorix and the fate of all of Alagasia rests on there shoulders. But with the help of Glaedr and others that you will hear about in Inheritance maybe Galbatoix will be defeated and a new ruler will rule Alagasia again.
To me the book Inheritance was a great finale with an ending that wasn’t as romantic or sad as it could have been. But the way it was written, the end was fabulous. One of my favorite parts is when Saphira, Glaedr, and Eragon find hidden treasure on Vroengard and discover that not all is lost. Another one of my favorite parts is when Roran conquers Aroughs. There are other parts I really loved but I won’t go into the details. If you are interested in reading you must read the other books. Sometimes they can be slow with lots of details but there are certain parts that are so good the slower parts don’t even matter anymore.
The ending of Inheritance was a good ending but it was sad because Eragon never got the one he loved and neither did Murtagh or Saphira. I think the author did that so the book wouldn’t get lovey dovey. But the way Eragon and Saphira left was I think great way to finish the book and the series.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Book Review of The Arkadians, by Lloyd Alexander

Book Title:  The Arkadians
Format: Hardback
Price: $15.99
Length:  272 pages

Lucian worked in the palace and found that the soothsayers are cheating the king. Then, he was chased out of the palace after meeting Fronto, a poet-turned-donkey. He attempts running away, but runs into Joy-in-the-Dance, “a girl of marvels and mysteries.” She helps Lucian get Fronto back after he was stolen. Afterwards, Lucian runs with some (friendly) wolves and finds Ops in a tree. Ops was a village leader, until the king ordered everyone working with the Lady of the Wild Things, and then he was made the village scapegoat (he took all the blame for everything that was wrong in the village). After getting Ops down, they run into the Goat Folk. Catch-a-Tick (member of the Goat Folk) hits Lucian in the head. Buckthorn is the leader of the Goat Folk and leads the group through a mountain pass to the valley of the Horse Clan. Joy-in-the-Dance is the daughter of the leader of the Horse Clan and the Lady of the wild Things. See-Far-Ahead (leader of the Horse Clan) leads them through another mountain pass to the palace of the Lady of the Wild Things. When they get to the palace, Ops finds someone to be his true love, and the Lady of the Wild Things sends Lucian and Fronto to find the shipmaster that is loyal to her and will do any of her favors. Ops and Joy-in-the-Dance have to stay behind. Joy-in-the-Dance and Ops sneak on board, and then the boat crashes on an island. There, they have to fight (and ultimately kill) a bull. Joy-in-the-Dance ends up calming the bull down long enough for the others to escape, and runs after them. They get back to Arkadia, and they immediately find the old king in ruins. They bring the king along with them, and go to the shipmasters old tavern. There, he finds his fiancĂ©, who kicked him out (but didn’t really want him to go) and who helps them. The guards catch the king (who ran away to save his life, and didn’t want his newfound friends to get in trouble) who goes with them to allow Lucian and the others a new chance at life. Lucian and the others promptly go to the palace, and try to stop the sacrifice. Lucian ends up hitting the king in the head and knocks him out. One of the banisters catches fire and lights the whole palace on fire. The whole town is in flames soon. And you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens next. The end is all good, but I’m not telling.

I think this book is really weird, but it's a really good book.   This is the fourth or fifth time I've read it, so clearly I like it.  It's really random, and I'm kind of random, too.  I think that the author described stuff really well, in my opinion, and he knew a lot about medieval castles, the way they were run.  I didn't enjoy the language, and I would have substituted one word with "donkey" because he says it a lot.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 chocolate bars
Appropriateness:  Some inappropriate language
Cover Thoughts:  I like both covers.  The hardback cover shows the setting, and the paperback cover shows the main characters really well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

jblover6's Review of Superfudge


Book Title: Superfudge
Author: Judy Blume
Format: Paperback
Price: $5.99

Short Summary:  This book is about when Fudge eats his big brother’s turtle (his mom got him a dog
to make it up to Peter since he loved his turtle) and his mom is having a baby. His little brother ran away and his mother freaked out. Peter is having a bunch of trouble going on in his life. Peter plans on running away from his home because he already has an annoying brother who follows him everywhere he goes.

Strengths/Weaknesses/Favorite Parts: I like it when he want to run away because he doesn’t want to have another baby but he found out that he likes the baby way better than Fudge, and I did not have a
part that I didn’t like. It was awesome.

Rating:4.5 out of 5 chocolate bars
Appropriateness: 5 out of 5 it is not appropriate but it is still funny.
Cover Thoughts: I like the title because it shows how like Fudge owns his life and that he an do anything that does not have to do with Fudge.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

:) Little Angel's review of Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Title: Silver Phoenix
Author: Cindy Pon
Format: Hardback
Price: I got this book from my teacher.

In this book, Ai Ling (a girl born in a land similar to ancient China) discovers the power to jump from soul to soul. At first it’s just reading minds, but it slowly grows, and it’s starting to scare her. But when her dad is gone longer than normal and other things push her away from home, she leaves to go find her father. She meets her travel partners and is getting closer and
closer. But what will happen when she discovers the origins of her powers?

Silver Phoenix, I felt, was a very well-written book. I felt excited at every moment and was never bored with the book. I really liked all the mythology for it; I have never come across any Chinese mythology before. I liked how well the characters were developed and all the emotion Pon described. I felt as if I was jumping from person to person right along with Ai Ling. I just got right into it, it was just so suspenseful, and I never wanted to put it down.

The only problem I had with this book was the ending, it was just so unpleasing. It wasn’t so bad that I wanted to chuck the book across the room.  I just think it was unpleasing. BUT there is a sequel so I am quite pleased, and as I am typing this I have the book right next to me just calling for me to
pick it up and read it. All I can say that is it is also very well-written so far.

You may not find the book with this cover because they changed it. The say it was because there is a Chinese girl on the front, and that might deplete the interest in the book. I don't think this at all! I love the original cover; it's colorful, bright, and it's just so much better than the new cover.

5 out of 5 chocolate bars
Appropriateness: I have to say it’s a young adult borderline teenager. :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Book Review: Paint the Wind, by Pam Munoz Ryan

screen name: -Aligator-
Grade: 6
Book Title: Paint The Wind
Format: Paperback
number of pages: 316
Price: $6.99
Short Summary: Maya lives with her grandmother, who is all about discipline. Maya can`t wear jeans, t-shirts, or anything fun. She doesn`t have any friends, pobably because of how she dresses. And her parents? They died. Both. All she has left of them is a box full of toy horses, which her grandmother would MURDER HER if she found out about them.

Maya`s grandmother hates Maya`s mom, a lot. She cuts out her face out of photos, or puts up photos without her mom. When Maya`s grandma has a heart attack, Maya comes to live with her strange relatives on her mom`s side, which turn out to be her new family. She also meets Payton, her cousin, and her mom`s old horse, Artemisia. I don`t want to give too much away, so I can`t explain anymore. The book is beautifully written, just to point it out! I really enjoyed reading the fantastic story of a girl who realizes she can be anything she wants.
Rating: 5 Chocolate bars!
Appropriateness: Fairy Princess
Cover Thoughts: I LOVE the cover. It`s mysterious and dramatic, It`s exiting yet somehow calm. It shows an amazing looking horse, running in the wind.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Reasons to be Happy Reviewed by: Cece07

Title: Reasons to be Happy
Author:  Katrina Kittle
Format:  Paperback

Reasons to be Happy is about an 8th grade girl named Hannah who thinks she is a downer, fat, and stupid. She thinks she is the big fat tree standing in the way of her parents' spotlight. Her parents are Hollywood movie stars, and she's not. What Hannah finds out is revolting, sad, heartbreaking, and depressing. Part of the reason is her mom is diagnosed with cancer. She doesn't know what to do. It's like the world is frozen and she is all alone.Her dad is not helping by becoming an alcoholic. She asks herself...." is this really happening?" Yes. It is really happening. She tries to find a way to stop her madness--first it was an S.R. (secret remedy);  now, it is the monkey clinging to her back. Her life is falling apart. Her aunt Izzy is the closest friend she has, when something devastating happens. No one in this book is as brave and liberal as Hannah.(Well, maybe her aunt Izzy.) Katrina Kittle has woven sorrow and magic into these pages. Read this page turning tale that is sure to have you hooked.

Rating: 5 out of 5 chocolate bars
Appropriateness:  Vampire rating for some swearing and mature topics
Cover Thoughts:  I think it's a good cover.  It kind of matches the book in that it has a hidden side.