BEDSIDE READING WEEK 6/7

So as I said the other day, I went and found a new book to read: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean- Dominique Bauby. I found this book quite interesting but also quite sad to read. I find it amazing how Bauby had the patience to write  this entire book with just one eye and continue living life as best he could while paralysed after having a stroke. I also like the idea he used of the Diving Bell describing his paralysed state and how he felt trapped by his body, and the Butterfly which represented his free to wander mind/imagination which helped him to escape his position (in the hospital and being unable to move). I would definitely recommend this book to level two students as it puts our problems in our lives into perspective and makes us realise just how lucky we are to be able to move freely and do as we please.

BEADSIDE READING WEEK 2-6

In the last few weeks i have been reading The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney. Being so busy with exam study and a great deal of homework i haven’t been able to fit much time in for reading but what also makes this worse is the fact that when ever I can read, I am having a little trouble trying to follow along with the book. I am greatly confused on which characters are who and it seems to continuously move from past to present im guessing? So basically this book is not really sinking in for me, I would need to have more time to read it properly. So im going to see if i can find a much shorter novel that I can read in a few days that I can write a response on.

BEDSIDE READING WEEK 1

Didn’t end up reading Thunder Mountain by Zane Grey last term as I wasn’t able to read it all towards the last couple of weeks of school due to a lot of homework and assessments. So instead I finished reading Opal Dreaming by Karen Wood which I started reading earlier this year but never got around to finishing it. Opal Dreaming is the third out of the five books in the Diamond Spirit series by Karen Wood, a great read about a young girl called Jess and her love for horses and the spiritual Australian outback. Opal Dreaming was a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it, filled with adventure, mystery, romance, greedy thieves and a bunch of great friends that come together to form a tight relationship with one another. This term I’m aiming to read Thunder Mountain by Zane Grey. I have read a little of the start of the story and it sounds like an interesting read and I cant wait to read further into the book. I am aiming to read a couple of chapters from the book tonight and I will post an update on my reading next week.

BEDSIDE READING WEEK 2,3 AND 4

099 1My book to read this term: Thunder Mountain by Zane Grey.

Greed and gold unleash a storm of robbery, vengeance, and murder. On the word of a dying Indian, the three Emerson brothers come to Thunder Mountain in the Sawtooth Range and discover more gold than they ever dreamed possible. But instead of finding peace and prosperity, Jake, Kalispel, and Sam Emerson find more treachery than any normal men could hope to survive.

Blurb: Young Lee Emerson looked down on the valley beneath Thunder Mountain and felt the full torment of cold, bitter fury. The valley where he and his brothers had found a fortune in gold and the seam which they alone had discovered and guarded were now covered by a swarming throng of miners. His gold strike had been snatched from him. His brothers had vanished. All he could hope for now was vengeance  the vengeance of a man who had nothing more to lose.

Thunder Mountain is a book I have been meaning to read for so long now, as well as the series, but due to us recently moving and further moving at the end of this year, these book shave been packed away. I managed to find the series the other day and I am hoping to read them this year. Thunder Mountain is the first book I am going to read for this series (as there isn’t really any particular order that the books go in – I don’t think lol) Hoping to start the next book later this term after I have read Thunder Mountain. This term I have done some reading – I have read some magazines and read some of another novel, Opal Dreaming by Karen Wood, that I didn’t get to finish reading it last year. I will begin to start reading Thunder Mountain as soon as possible this term.

BEDSIDE READING Week 9

I was able to read one chapter of Return For the Gold this week, I was hoping to have gotten three quarters of the way through the book this long weekend but I have a big art internal to do and was unable to get a lot of reading done. I still aim to get the book finished by the end of next week in time to do my response for the last week of term. I am still dying to find out when and how Southern the robber will escape from prison and whether or not he ends up finding the stolen gold and take Mary with him from Swag and Tucker.

BEDSIDE READING Week 8

This week I was unable to read any more of my book due to going on my Geography Trip for three days, homework and other commitments. I aim to read at least a couple of chapters later this week and finish the book by the end of term.
I am still dying to find out when and how Southern the robber will escape from prison and whether or not he ends up finding the stolen gold and take Mary with him from Swag and Tucker.

BEDSIDE READING Week 7

I was able to read a chapter of Return for the Gold this week and as previous i have to same questions and am curious about the same things as last week. The ruthless robber, Southern, will escape out of prison to come back for his gold and I think he will attempt to try take Mary but wont succeed. I am curious to know how and when the stolen gold will be found or if is found at all, and I also wonder what will become of Southern towards the end of the book, whether he will be sent to Lyttelton Prison again or if something else will become of him.

I am aiming to finish reading Return for the Gold this week/next week and post a response about the book soon. I would definitely recommend this book to those who are interested in historical fiction, romance and mystery related stories.

BEDSIDE READING Week 6

This week I was able to read a couple of chapters of Return for the Gold (Due to homework and family commitments), So far, Southern the robber, has found a way to escape but the question is when, and when he does, will he be caught or escape with out a trace and take the gold and Mary with him? I am thoroughly enjoying this book and would recommend it to any one who likes a bit of romance, mystery, and historical fiction.

BEDSIDE READING Week 5

Due to a lot of homework and family commitments this week, I have been unable to do a lot of reading. I was able to read one chapter of Return for the Gold this week, Southern the robber, has found a way to escape but the question is when, and when he does, will he be caught or take the gold and Mary with him? I am also curious to know whether Mary’s friend Bess will make it to Swag & Tucker safely and when Mary and Nickolas will get married and have their new dream house built.

BEDSIDE READING Week 4

During this week, I have read a few more chapters of Return For the Gold by Margaret Hall. I still have the same sort of questions and am curious about the same things as last week, So far the robber, Southern, has found a way to escape but the question is when, and when he does, will he be caught or take the gold and Mary with him? I am also curious to know whether Mary’s friend Bess will make it to Swag & Tucker safely and when Mary and Nickolas will get married and have their new dream house built.
This book is getting more interesting with each chapter and is building suspense with each chapter as well as I wait to see when Southern escapes out of jail and whether he will try to take Mary.

 

BEDSIDE READING Week 3

This week i have read a couple more chapters of Return For The Gold by Margaret Hall. Currently, I still have the same questions and am curious about the same things as last weeks post, I am finding the book very interesting and    I would like to continue reading it as it grows more interesting.
‘At the moment, I don’t have any questions, but I think that the ruthless robber, Southern, will escape out of prison to come back for his gold and I think he will attempt to try take Mary but wont succeed. I am curious to know whether Mary will meet her friend Beth again and how and when the stolen gold will be found, and I also wonder what will become of Southern towards the end of the book.’

BEDSIDE READING Week 2

ReturnGoldCurrent Read: Return For the Gold
Author: Margaret Hall
Description: Mary Kendrick lives with her family in their isolated community in South Westland. As this stand-alone sequel to Swag & Tucker opens, they await news of the conviction of the men who took the community’s horde of gold at gunpoint, and hid it nearby. Daily life in the settlement – where the men dig gold on the beaches, and fell trees inland for cattle pasture, and the women are engrossed in domestic work and childcare – is woven through with the thread of anxiety that the robbers will come back for the gold, especially once news breaks that the dangerous John Southern has given his jailers the slip in Lyttelton Harbour. 
Feisty, funny, affectionate and resourceful, Mary is seventeen, teacher to her siblings and neighbours, and anticipating her marriage to Nik who is away most of the time clearing bush and preparing their inland farm and house. 
But a ruthless robber is biding his time, to return for the gold he’s hidden and, if he can find her alone, for Mary. First published March 2009.

* * *

During the past week, I have been reading this New Zealand book, Return For the Gold by Author Margaret Hall. I have read at least a third of the book this week, spending about twenty minutes each night reading it. So far I am enjoying the book and think it is well written, a great read for those young adults who enjoy historical fiction and drama. At the moment, I don’t have any questions, but I think that the ruthless robber, Southern, will escape out of prison to come back for his gold and I think he will attempt to try take Mary but wont succeed. I am curious to know whether Mary will meet her friend Beth again and how and when the stolen gold will be found, and I also wonder what will become of Southern towards the end of the book. I also started reading Opal Dreaming by Australian author Karen Wood, but I will finish reading Return For the Gold before I read this one.

Books I have Read This Year

Return For The Gold by Margaret Hall

Over the holidays, I will be reading this book called Return for the gold by Margaret hall. This book was set back in the 1800’s in New Zealand during the time of the ‘gold rush’ along the West coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

Novel Historical/Suspense. Age 12+ Return for the Gold is the sequel to Hall’s 1993 novel Swag and Tucker. The preface outlines the main events from the original novel needed to read Return for the Gold.

The publisher identifies this story as young adult historical fiction. The story is set in the 1880s at Swag and Tucker Beach in an isolated, fledgling gold-mining community. The reader is held in suspense from the beginning as each chapter draws us into the inevitable showdown between the main character, feisty Mary, and the ruthless robber John Southern.

Hall carefully sets the historical context of the community as members rally to resume normal life in a harsh environment after the loss of their small but hard-earned stocks of gold and valuables. Told from Mary’s perspective the reader experiences the dreams and fears of the small gold-mining community through the eyes of a seventeen year old as she works and waits for her wedding to Nikolas and the return of Southern. Mary’s nightmare is real. As the story progresses we begin to understand her fears as we learn more about the character of John Southern and his determination to return to find the gold.

The publishers have produced a study guide, available on their web site, which focuses on Hall’s use of language – imagery, figures of speech, personification, third and first person, use of past tense and the inclusion of words from this time period. It also provides suggestions for character studies and creative responses.

Return for the Gold will be enjoyed by those who like suspense or historical fiction focused around a female character. It could be used for formal study in English or as a read-aloud text in class. It provides readers with an opportunity to develop an understanding of the social history of a small mining community in the 1880s and perhaps in so doing, to making comparisons with how life today differs from the past.

Reading Response #6: Rangers Apprentice – Ruins of Gorlan

 

If you’re a fan of fantasy and action books, you’ll love the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. In the series, Will becomes an apprentice to master Ranger Halt. Rangers are secretive warriors who use their intelligence, courage, ability to move around unseen, and skills with bows and knives to protect the kingdom of Araluen. After training under Halt, young Will is off on a series of adventures to save Araluen from the evil Lord Morgarath.

Will is scared of the Ranger’s at first, he doesn’t know that they are the protectors of the Kingdom. Then one day Will who is only 15 years old is asked to attend a ceremony were Will then is chosen as the next Ranger’s Apprentice. Soon after he starts training to be a Ranger, he receives a bow and arrow. Will is challenged to a quest were he must hunt a wild boar. Will is getting better and better at becoming a Ranger. But what Will doesn’t know is a HUGE battle is coming, exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night is about to attack the kingdom. Will is going to have the battle of his life. Will he be able to defends the kingdom? Or will the Rangers be killed unable to protect the King and his people.

Readers meet the main characters and learn about their skills and personalities in the first book of the series, The Ruins of Gorlan. Will, a ward at Redmont Castle, had hoped to become a knight, but his small size was not suited to that path. Instead, he learns that his stealth and intelligence would serve him well as a Ranger. He’s placed as an apprentice to Halt—the ultimate teacher. Despite Halt’s grumpiness and constant demands, Will admires his master and soon considers him a father figure.

Will and Halt team up with Halt’s former apprentice, Gilan, to battle a group of beasts, the Kalkaras, dispatched by the evil Morgarath. Fifteen years ago, Morgarath, a former baron of Araluen, tried to overthrow the king of Araluen, but was defeated by Halt and sent into exile on Mountains of Rain and Night. Will’s newly learned skills—and his ability to use them under pressure—are put to the test.

This is a really awesome book and series and I would rate the book and series 10/10.

Reading Response #5: Boy In the Striped Pyjames

Irish writer John Boyne’s fourth novel is the first he has written for children. It’s a touching tale of an odd friendship between two boys in horrendous circumstances and a reminder of man’s capacity for inhumanity.

Bruno is a nine-year-old boy growing up in Berlin during World War II. He lives in a five-storey house with servants, his mother and father and 12-year-old sister, Gretel. His father wears a fancy uniform and they have just been visited by a very important personage called the Fury, a pun which adult readers should have no trouble deciphering. As a consequence of this visit, Bruno’s father gets a new uniform, his title changes to Commandment and, to Bruno’s chagrin, they find themselves moving to a new home at a place called Out-With.

When Bruno gets there he is immediately homesick. He has left his school, his three best friends, his house, his grandparents and the bustling street life of urban Berlin with its cafes, fruit and veg stalls, and Saturday jostle. His new home is smaller, full of soldiers and there is no one to play with. From his bedroom window, however, he notices a town of people dressed in striped pyjamas separated from him by a wire fence. When he asks his father who those people are, he responds that they aren’t really people.

Bruno is forbidden to explore but boredom, isolation and sheer curiosity become too much for him. One day, he follows the wire fence cordoning off the area where these people live from his house. He spots a dot in the distance on the other side of the fence and as he gets closer, he sees it’s a boy. Excited by the prospect of a friend, Bruno introduces himself. The Jewish boy’s name is Shmuel. Almost every day, they meet at the same spot and talk. Eventually, for a variety of reasons, Bruno decides to climb under the fence and explore Shmuel’s world.

After some initial tonal clunkiness where you can almost detect the author thinking “how do I write a child”, the story is an effortless read that puts you directly into Bruno’s worldview. It is elegant story-telling with emotional impact and an ending that in true fairytale style is grotesquely clever.

Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel is rendered with neat awareness of the paradoxes between children’s naive egocentricity, their innate concept of fairness, familial loyalty and obliviousness to the social conventions of discrimination. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is subtitled A Fable and, as in other modern fables such as Antoine de St Exupery’s The Little Prince, Boyne uses Bruno to reveal the flaws in an adult world.

I read this book for part of our English course this year, I found this book quite interesting and I was able to learn more about World War 2 and how the Nazi’s rasigm worked. I would rate this book 9/10.