Senior SMORE Reading Summary
Charlotte's Web- E.B. White (1952)
A spider and a pig are two unlikely companions, but in E.B. White's Charlotte's Web, Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider embody the true meaning of friendship. This heart warming tale of an array of unlikely farm animals compiling their efforts to save a radiant young pig from becoming Christmas dinner, reminds readers of the importance of compassion, loyalty and determination. Charlotte's Web is a must read for young readers because the story nurtures the development of strong moral fiber and encourages the expansion of vocabulary through the direct impact of the words created by Charlotte.
The Giver- Louis Lowry (1993)
In a society with no memories, freedom, or individuality how will one young boy ,Joana, react to being chosen to be the keeper of all citizens memories. As a young twelve year old boy Joana must come to terms with his first encounter with true human experience through the reception of his first memory . With the new found information through memories Joana must decide how he will handle the oppression of society and learn the value of individual memories. Lowry makes readers ponder what part of human experience makes a person who they are and what the readers true underlying morals are.
The House of The Scorpion- Nancy Farmer (2002)
El Patron, a rich elderly man plans to live on forever and with the aid of clones used for organ harvesting has lived beyond his natural life time. El Patron's evil knows no bounds and torments Matt, the most recently created clone for organ harvesting. Mat not only must overcome El Patrons evil agenda to transplant his organs but also must thwart the protagonist's most evil, sinister, and far-reaching secret plot. This story of a boy treated as live-stock who becomes a hero will capture readers attention and will keep them on the edge of their seat. The House of The Scorpion reminds readers to not blindly trust those in power and exemplifies that true wealth is found in morality not currency and substances. This easy read helps readers explore new ideas from a new vanity point allowing for the development of a healthy amount of suspicion for the world around them.
Annabel Lee- Edgar Allen Poe (1849)
Annabel Lee is a haunting sad poem of two lovers separated by death. The narrator stands at his sweet lovers grave by the crashing shore and paints a ghastly picture with his description of his surroundings and emotions. This sentimental poem is very useful text because Poe's writing exemplified an wide array of poetic terms such as rhyme and repetition. The beauty of Poe's writing and the literary devices makes Annabel Lee a classic must read.
Romeo and Juliet- William Shakespear (1579)
Romeo and Juliet is the ultimate story of love at first sight. The whirlwind courtship between Romeo and Juliet is the ultimate example of star crossed loves whose passion could not be squandered by societal pressures. The complete devotion to one another reshapes these young teens and creates violence between people around them. The dramatic story resonates with teenagers who believe they are in love no matter the obstacle but also resonated with readers who interpret the book as a warning to the foolishness of too much passion without it being contained.
The Grapes of Wrath-John Steinbeck(1939)
The Grapes of Wrath is a story which follows the journey dysfunctional Joad family farming family struggling through the great depression. The author writes of the families journey to the west and California in a last ditch effort to supply for the whole family. Readers follow the family and feel their triumphs, grief and disappointment. The Grapes of Wrath is an exponentially important novel because of accuracy in which the book brings light to the poverty and bareness of the middle class and lower class during the great depression.
Why We Can't Wait- Martin Luther King Jr. (1964)
Why We Can't Wait is an eloquently worded book written by MLK to highlight the importance of civil rights for black people specifically in the U.S. MLK reminds readers of the struggles of the African American race for generations. The oppression of black people should no longer be a fact of life preaches King in his novel. The peaceful protests from which the oppressed African American citizens plan to gain equality is highlighted on Kings writings. Why We Can't Wait should be read by all people to remind Americans that no group must ever be prosecuted as African Americans' were in this time period. The painful past of the oppression of African American people must be remembered to help continue the progression of equality in the U.S. and make sure that country does not repeat its past.
The Scarlet Letter- Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)
Puritan society has very strict religious laws and even harsher punishments; a fact known all to well by Hester Prynne. Hester Prynne is an adulteress who was publicly shamed by being branded with a scarlet A on the bosom of every article of clothing she owned as a reminder to her and every other citizen of her sins. Throughout the book Hester Prynne struggles with the bondage of her past, the weight of the secret of who the father of her illegitimate child is, the need to become a good mother and the shame of the letter that shines as a constant beacon upon her chest. Prynne is not forever shackled by the ghosts of he past she grows to be an admirable, a loyal lover and even shifts the connotation behind the scarlet A to a positive symbol. The dynamic nature of the characters and symbols of The Scarlet Letter creates an engaging tale worthy of the contemplation of readers of all ages.
Hamlet- William Shakespear (1603)
When your uncle murders your father to marry your mother and steal your crown vengeance is called for. Young prince Hamlet's story in the quest for vengeance seeking justice is one of emotion turmoil, indecisiveness and insanity. Readers watch captivatedly as the dark truths of the shift political power are uncovered. The longer young Hamlet takes to act upon the belief that his uncle killed his father the more his insanity grows and the web of vengeance widens. Hamlet is a must read due to its thrilling plot twists and endings. Hamlet's inner turmoil draws people in because they see the themselves in his struggles.
The Importance of Being Ernest- Oscar Wilde (1895)
Ironically insignificant things being treated as dire matters and other forms of satire to poke fun of society are compiled into a comedic satirical play called The Importance of Being Ernest. Jack and Algernon , two of the main characters, use fake identities when in either the city or the country to woe the women they love. When the lies of the men's identities are discovered the story begins to escalate into petty, comical ordeal. The humorous excerpts of The importance of being Ernest is sure to please readers and make them contemplating society and their roles. All together the play is comical and thought provoking.