English IV Final Project

Almost Done with High School

Poppy - Avi - 1995

Tyrannical rule doesn't just come in the form of dictators over history, it happens in nature everyday. There are those who prey and those who get prey on. Poppy, a field mouse living in a colony ruled by her father are under protection from Ocax, a great horned owl. Poppy and a golden mouse by the name of ragweed are engaged and set to marry. Poppy realizes that Ocax, the protector is actually a fraud, planning to destroy the mouse colony she lives in. Poppy, must decide what she must do in order to stop Ocax from ruining her life and the lives around her. What must she do in order to ensure the safety of her life and those close to her?

This was the first novel that I was exposed to as a child that really made an impact on me. It was the first novel that I read repeatedly due to its captivating story and suspenseful nature.

White Fang - Jack London - 1906

In this tantalizing tale of a troubled life, White Fang, named by Grey Beaver, his first of three owners, has to fight his way through life. Born into a troubling situation where his father dies and his mother is separated from him, White Fang leads a life on the edge, constantly getting into fights and brawls to remain alive. He is pit against other animals as a sport, usually in a fight to the death, and comes close to not surviving more than once. Will White Fang ever find peace? Read White Fang by Jack London to find out.

White Fang is one of the my favorite books of all time, not only due to its story, but the way the book was written. It is written like a movie script in a sense, always changing scenes and keeping you on the edge of your seat as a reader. I can still read and enjoy it to this day.

Hatchet - Gary Paulsen - 1987

Surviving the the wild isn't something that just comes naturally. Those who train to survive living alone in the wild sometimes don't even survive when put to the test. Young Brian Robeson, not trained in any of these aspects, experiences an event that no young teen should ever face. While on his way to the oil fields of Canada, the pilot of Brian's plane suffers from a massive heart attack leading to a plane crash in a lake in the middle of the Canadian Wilderness. Brian survives, but he is alone, with only a hatchet to live off of. Brian must find a way to survive in the wild alone as well as finding a way to signal society of his whereabouts so that he can be rescued.

Not only was this book a great story to behold, but I could also relate as a reader. I haven't ever been trapped in the Canadian Forest with only a hatchet to survive off of, but I was a boy scout, now Eagle, that was learning the same kind of survival skills that Brian possessed throughout the book.

Much Ado About Nothing - Shakespeare - 1598

Much Ado About Nothing Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Joss Whedon Movie HD

To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time - Robert Herrick - 1648

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying;

And this same flower that smiles today, To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,The higher he's a-getting,

The sooner will his race be run,And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first, When youth and blood are warmer;

But being spent, the worse, and worst, Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,And, while ye may, go marry:

For having lost but once your prime, You may forever tarry."

This poem, written in the carpe diem theme, is about grasping opportunity while in youth to marry and bear children. It wants the subjects in the poem, and the readers to "seize the day" and make much of their time by having sexual relations.
This was my favorite text from the carpe diem theme that we read about in English IV.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may (Dead poets society)

19 Minutes - Jodi Picoult - 2007

Many have heard of the tragic school shootings that have happened over recent years, most notably Columbine and Virginia Tech among others. 19 minutes takes the reader not only into the mind of a possible school shooter in Peter Houghton, but the events leading up to the fateful day, and the day itself, fully displaying Peter's rage in school and psychological break the morning of. It is a powerful book for anyone to read and a reminder of just how tragic bullying can be.

This book struck a chord in my soul, not only helping me understand events such as a Columbine and Virginia Tech, but it also changed my attitude towards people. I was decidedly more positive and in tune with others after reading this book in an effort to prevent people from feeling bad about themselves.

All Quiet On the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque - 1928

In this graphic and unsettling piece of literature, Paul Baumer, a German recruit for World War 1 is preparing to fight for his country. Along with his friends, he has just graduated from a military academy and is prepared to take on the military training regiment, a brutal but efficient method of preparing soldiers for war. Upon completion, Paul and many of his friends are separated, all reporting to different posts on the German front. Throughout the tale, Paul, and those he considers his friends, fight through the deadliest war in human history. There are some breaks in the action, but never a dull moment in the story as Paul looks to find peace within himself and his country.

This is another book that really attacked my emotions, as at the time of reading I realized I wasn't far from the age of Paul and his comrads when they first left for combat. Due to its raw nature, it also helped me realize just how devastating wars can be.

The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne - 1850

Not committing adultery is one of the ten commandments. This book is in part a testament to this commandment. Hester Prynne a young woman in Boston, has committed adultery. As a result her husband, Roger Chillingworth, who was away from her when the crime was committed, discovers that Hester has committed adultery. He seeks to find out who Hester has cheated on him with but she will not give name to the father of her child. Chillingworth seeks out this man and eventually discovers him. Who is it, and what will Chillingworth do upon his discovery of the man responsible?

This book was one of the most important that I read in English III due to the heavy symbolism throughout the story. This book really helped me progress in the analysis of reading text.

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald - 1925

A wild series of events seems to be more common place in books than not. This is very true of the Great Gatsby, a tantalizing book dealing with the mysterious and extravagent lifestyle of Jay Gatsby. Narrated by Nick Carraway and eventual friend of Gatsby, the story takes shape to be a love story gone wrong. With several characters cheating or being cheated on by their significant other, including Gatsby, problems are bound to occur. This happens in an eventual tragedy created from confusion.

Written well by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this book is one of the few that I didn't have as much of a connection to, but I respect it for its historical context. A very important text in history, the Great Gatsby is a must read at one point in someone's life.

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley - 1818

Those who strive for knowledge and power usually find it. This can either be good or a bad thing. Victor Frankenstein, an up and coming scientist, seeks knowledge to its utmost capabilities. This results in him creating life, excited throughout the whole process, and then once his creation comes to life, he becomes terrified. Totally overwhelmed by his creation's ghastly looks, Victor runs away from his mansion. The creature is left to fend for itself while Victor remains away from the monster. The two's destinies are intertwined and they're bound to cross paths in the future. How they cross paths remains hidden. Will the meeting be a good one, or one of tension and bad blood? It remains to be seen in Frankenstein.

This was one of my favorite stories that we read directly in a high school class. It was cool to read about Frankenstein's monster and watch the progression of what Frankenstein has become today. Definitely one of the better stories I have read in high school.

The Monkey's Paw - W.W. Jacobs - 1902

In this short story, W.W. Jacobs really expands on the idea of magical things granting power. In this case it is in the form of a genie-like monkey paw (it grants three wishes of a person's choosing). This monkey paw does grant wishes but it does so in a particular way that destroys the White household's family life. The suspense is real, the magical powers are nothing to be trifled with, and the monkey paw will give you, the reader, a slap in the face when you learn just what it does.

This is my favorite short story from English class.The abnormality drew me in as a reader as this short story really separates itself from the others. The odd nature of The Monkey's Paw helped build suspense in the story and created a sense of tension that I as a reader enjoyed.