That's a Wrap!
Junie B. Jones Is a Beauty Shop Guy: Barbara Park -1998 (Elementary School)
Junie B. Jones Is a Beauty Shop Guy was my favorite book out of all the Junie B. Jones books. In this short story, Junie B. Jones decides she wants to be a "Beauty Shop Guy" when she grows up. How can you be a Beauty Shop Guy with no prior experience? No worries, Junie B. has the answer. She decides she needs to practice a little. So why not practice? After all, a little practice doesn't hurt anyone...unless it's on...yourself? This book had a very strong effect on me as a kindergartener because Junie B. in this story inspired me to experiment with cutting MY own hair. Long story short...it is not as easy as it looks.
Freckle Juice: Judy Blume-1971 (Middle School)
A little boy named Nicky has a bad case of freckles. They cover his face, his ears, and the entirety of his body. The only good thing about his freckles, is that they hide the dirt on his neck so that his mom won't make him wash it! One day after school, one of Nicky's friends asked him where he got his freckles from. Overhearing this question, Miss know-it-all Sharon offers up her secret freckle juice recipe, if she gets paid. When her offer is taken up, a series of the unexpected starts to happen. This book was one of my mother's favorite books from her childhood, and because she shared it with me, it made me feel very special.
19 Minutes: Jodi Picoult-2007 (Middle School)
In Sterling New Hampshire, senior Peter Houghton has been bullied severely all of his life and has been pushed to his limit. One final incident of bullying sends him over the edge, and causes him to commit a horrible act of violence which results in a school shooting. This incident changes the lives of the Sterling High students forever. Even people outside the school were effected greatly, and nothing in the town would ever be the same.the superior court judge assigned to the case just happens to be Peter's ex-best friend who survived the shooting and witnessed the whole thing. It is then up to her, Alex, to decide whether to step up or down. This novel was meaningful to me because it was the first "grown-up" book that I had ever read. This novel was definitely intense, and I felt cool reading it as a middle-school kid.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Mark Twain- 1884 (High School)
Narrator Huck FInn, known as Huckleberry Finn, resides in Missouri, and is in the process of getting "civilized" by his two sisters, his widow, and a woman named Miss. Watson. At the end of the book Tom Sawyer, Huck has collected for himself a good amount of money. He gives this money to a judge in town, known as Judge Thatcher. Just in time, Huck's deadbeat, no-good father shows up, and demands all of Huck's saved money. Huck refuses to hand over his money, so his dad then kidnaps him. Huck's father takes him to an old filthy house, far away in the woods to live in poverty. Huck does not like this idea and figures out quickly, that his dad is not a nice man, and is a crazy, abusive drunk. In his efforts to get away from his father, Huck undergoes many exciting, wacky, and life threatening events which are sure to make this read an adventurous classic. This novel means a lot to me because the main character, Huck, reminded me a lot of my younger sister because they both have the same views and morals on almost everything mentioned in the book, and their personalities are very similar.
A Raisin in the Sun: Lorraine Hansberry- 1959 (High School)
The Youngers, an African-American family located in the south side of Chicago, are living in poverty. When a miracle happens, the Youngers have a chance at a new beginning. Ten thousand dollars is coming in the mail, and Lena must decide what to do with it. Everyone in the family has a different way they would like to spend the money. Bernie needs tuition money, Walter needs a down payment for his liquor store, and Ruth just wants the whole family to be happy. Throughout this short story, the family undergoes many events that challenge them on how they will decide to spend the ten thousand dollars. In the end, the family comes together as a whole, and figure out that money is not the key to happiness. This was a significant work to me, because it was very realistic and had a great meaning and moral to the story.
The Metamorphosis: Franz Kafka- 1915 (High School)
Poor Gregor Samsa wakes up one ordinary morning, and comes to discover that this morning is not an ordinary one at all. Gregor wakes up to find that he is no longer a man, but a beetle! Late for his job as a traveling salesman, Gregor struggles and panics as he has no idea how or why this has happened to him. Both shocked and horrified by Gregor's new body, Gregor and his family decide to make a constant routine for the next few weeks to make life a bit easier. As Gregor begins to become more comfortable with his body, he starts to pick up insect-like habits and grows to enjoy eating rotten fruits, and crawling all over his bedroom floor, walls, and ceiling. As Gregor continues to get used to his new "bug life" many exciting and not so fortunate events happen to both Gregor and his family. Whether Gregor will die a beetle or a man is sure to be found out in this crazy, unpredictable novel. This work was significant to me because it was a unique and interesting read, and was different than anything I had read before.
Hamlet: William Shakespeare- 1603 (High School)
Prince Hamlet is depressed. However, he has a reason to be depressed. Hamlet's father, the Old King Claudius has been murdered, and Hamlet's mother, Gertrude is already remarried to Old King Claudius's brother, within just a few months of his death! Hamlet is haunted by his fathers' ghost throughout the beginning of the book. The ghost tries to prove to Hamlet that his Uncle Claudius is the man who murdered his father by pouring poison in his ear, while he was napping in his garden. Prince Hamlet devotes himself to avenging his father’s death, but because he is very thoughtful by nature, he delays doing so, and enters into a deep depression. Through apparent madness, Hamlet also causes the deaths of many people while trying to do his father justice. This work is significant to me because I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and it made me come to like Shakespeare more than I had previously.
To the Virgins to Make Much of Time: Robert Herrick- 1648 (High School Poem)
This classic poem urges young ladies to pursue opportunities for marriage before time turns you into an "old maid." However, due to the time frame and the values of the society during this time, Herrick does not urge the ‘virgins’ to give into the pleasures of life, and to lead adulterous or sinful lives, but he urges them to marry, and to join in holy matrimony. This poem is one of the most famous poems to express the notion of carpe diem. Carpe diem, or “seize the day,” is a phrase that recognizes the briefness of life, and therefore the need to live for, and in the moment. This poem was significant to me, because I did not know what "carpe diem" meant, and I now think of it as a better form/meaning behind YOLO.
Romeo and Juliet: William Shakespeare-1597 (High School)
This play begins with a duel between the servants of two enemy families of Verona, known as the Montagues and the Capulets. Things start to take a turn when Romeo meets Juliet. Instantly they fall in love. Shortly after their love begins to form, they find out that they belong to rival families. Within a days time the two lovers get married--but this does not last long. This secret marriage force the young star-crossed lovers to grow up quickly, and fate causes them to commit suicide in despair. This play was significant to me because it made me realize how silly high school relationships are, and how dramatic young teens can really be.
Romeo and Juliet 1996 trailer
The Yellow Wallpaper: Charlotte Perkins Gilman- 1892 (High School Short Story)
The narrator and her husband John are renting a beautiful, private estate for the summer. The narrator suffers from a condition that her husband seems to think is called temporary nervous depression. The husband orders her to sleep and get as much rest as possible. While resting for so long in her room, the narrator starts to become deeply obsessed with the yellow wallpaper in her room. Because she has been in her room for so long, or because her condition worsens, the narrator begins fanatically tracing the pattern of the wallpaper and soon becomes convinced that there is a woman trapped within the paper. Shortly before the narrator is ready to leave the house, she decides that she must free the trapped woman by stripping the wallpaper off. When her husband comes into the room, the narrator declares that she is now free. This book is significant to me because it was one of the most exciting, suspenseful, and exciting stories I have ever read, and I enjoyed it a lot.