Tag archives for Avi
Have you ever felt unsure of yourself when venturing into the unknown or making a decision? It may have been something small like “I wonder what color socks I should wear today”. Now imagine if it wasn’t something small, but a choice that could change your whole life. This pressure and uncertainty is exactly what Charlotte feels in this book and trust me, the journey she makes is a lot more important than what color socks she is wearing! Charlotte Doyle is a thirteen year old girl who lives in England in 1832 where she receives the finest education money can buy at the Barrington School for Better Girls. She has lived in England since she was six, but was born in America. The rest of her family lives in Providence, Rhode Island. So now Charlotte is set to sail on the Seahawk on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to live with her family. She can barely remember America so it is almost like moving to a whole new country again! Despite the unknown, she is excited to go because there will be two families with kids her own age travelling with her. However, at the last minute Charlotte finds out that the two families cannot accompany her to America so now she must travel alone.
At first Charlotte is uneasy about being the only lady aboard the ship. But the captain is well known and works for her father and she begins to make friends with the crew. After a time, she finds that there is a peculiar hatred of the captain of the ship. Charlotte now has to decide if she believes the rumors of the captain’s cruelty or if she should betray the sailors she has befriended.
I usually don’t read that many adventure books, but this one immediately captivated me. I had recently learned sailing at summer camp and thought I could test my knowledge since this book is set on a ship. Still, many words were unfamiliar to me, so I thought it was really handy that it had a diagram of the ship so I would know what they were referring to as I read along. I also thought it was amazing that I could relate to Charlotte even though she lived in 1832. I couldn’t believe the trip she was taking at age 13 and it helped bring to life the fact that my great-grandmother made a similar trip when she was only 16. I can better appreciate how I would feel if I had to move to an unfamiliar country without the support of my family. This is definitely a book that will stick with you through the years and I guarantee if you read it, you will be rereading it a couple of years afterwards.
BOOK NAME: The Secret School
Ida Bidson is devastated when she hears that her teacher, Miss Fletcher, must travel to take care of her sick mother, and therefore her one-room school is closing. Since it is almost the end of the school year, Mr. Jordan, the mean head of the school board, decides to save money and refuses to hire another teacher to substitute. This ends all of Ida’s dreams of taking her exit exams, and maybe going to high school! But wait… could there be a solution?
Tom Kohl, Ida’s best friend who is in eighth grade with her, tells her that he thinks she should be the teacher. At first, Ida is quick to decline the idea. But as she thinks more about it, she starts to convince herself that maybe, just maybe, she could be the teacher! After all, that is what she wants to do in life! So after voting with the class, Ida Bidson, who is only 14 years old, becomes the teacher. Yet the kids know that if they tell the school board, Ida will not be allowed to be the teacher, so they make it a secret school. At first, Ida has some troubles. It’s not easy to teach seven children in one room, especially if the kids are from first to eighth grade! Yet soon enough, Ida begins to get
used to playing the role of “Miss Bidson”, and is a great teacher.
One day, the school board finds out about the secret school. Will they close the school down? Or will Ida speak up and find a way to allow the school to continue?
I really enjoyed this book. Although it is an easy reader, I would recommend it to anyone. The book is great for ages eight and up. The characters are well developed, and sometimes the suspense of the story is unbearable!
BOOK NAME: The Fighting Ground
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a soldier when you grow up? Have you ever thought of what it might feel like experiencing war? Well then you would want to read The Fighting Ground by Avi.
Jonathan, a 13 year old boy has always dreamed of fighting in the Revolutionary War, battling the British and winning glory. When the tavern bell rings, calling soldiers to battle, Jonathan knows his dream is close to coming true. Soon, he is with the Americans, carrying his gun, following the path to the battle site. During the battle against the Hessians (German allies of the British) Jonathan is exhausted and is caught prisoner by three Hessians. He and the Hessians finally seek shelter at an abandoned house. Here Jonathan finds a young boy whose parents are killed and he wonders who killed them. Jonathan is left confused as to which side in the war is he really. When the truth about the boy’s parents is revealed, along with the other incidents, Jonathan realizes the horrors of war.
This is a Newbery Medal winner novel which is simple to read. It is very unique because the plot takes place in only one day. Because of this reason, there are no chapters; rather small sections identified by the time, for example 5:40 and then an incident. Since the book focuses in on war, readers get a clear picture of what it is like to be in a battle. Jonathan’s change in attitude towards the war shows how experience can change a person’s view point.
BOOK NAME: Nothing But the Truth
I had to read this book for school. Even though I had to read it for an assignment, I found myself thoroughly enjoying it. Sometimes reading for homework isn’t that bad, because you can end up reading some amazing books.
We already know that telling a lie is never good, but in this story we see that a lie can quickly escalate as more and more lies are added on to cover for the first one. Philip Malloy is in 9th grade and he dislikes his English teacher, Miss Narwin. Because of this, he purposely tries to do things to get on her nerves. As part of the daily morning activates at his high school, the national anthem is played. One day, Philip started humming along while it was being played. Despite warnings, he did this two more times during that same week, and ultimately was kicked out of the classroom and suspended from school.
Philip claims that this was an act of patriotism, but he’s really not a very big patriot in the first place. But many people jump on his bandwagon which leads to a series of events that result in some unfortunate consequences for almost everyone involved. It would seem that no one wins this battle.
Nothing But the Truth is a very intriguing book in that you’ll find yourself asking what is a lie and what is the truth? Sometimes it falls somewhere in between. I like the documentary style of this book’s writing because I found it easy to follow. It was also a great way to lay out the different viewpoints of the characters.
I would recommend this book for middle schoolers as I think they would find the subject matter the most interesting. This story will really make you stop and think and realize that there is always more than one side to a story, and that there can be some dire consequences to telling a lie.