Saturday, September 20, 2014

Banned Books Week - Author Happenings!

September 21st-27th, 2014
To acknowledge Banned Books Week 2014, here is a look at what some authors have been up to:
Pictured above (right to left), parody artist Weird-Al Yankovic, author Neil Gaiman, and author George R.R. Martin. 
This year Banned Books week will be focusing on banned comic books and graphic novels. Pictured above, you can see Neil Gaiman, author of "(...)one of the top banned and challenged graphic novels" (according to the American Library Association), Absolute Sandman (pictured below).
Pictured with Neil Gaiman is renowned author George R.R. Martin, of the banned Game of Thrones series.

Banned Books Week!
September 21st-27th, 2014
To acknowledge Banned Books Week 2014, here is a list of books that have been banned:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

1984 by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

Holes by Louis Sachar

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Halloween is Almost Here!

Guys, it's almost October! And you know what that means! Candy, ghosts, and the Haunted Forest (spots are filling up!). To help get you in the spirit of the Halloween season, here are some of our favorite spooky books and movies.

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
Alexis is thrown into a world of supernatural dangers as she fights to save her sister.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Ghost-hunter Cas is spared by a ruthless ghost known as "Anna Dressed in Blood"
Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A story that explores an abandoned orphanage and mysterious photographs.

Asylum by Madeline Roux
A high school student stays in an abandoned mental institution, and chaos ensues.

Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites and Katee Sackhoff star in a recent horror film about a possessed mirror that has destroyed a family.


Natasha Callis and Jeffrey Dean Morgan star in a movie detailing the possession of a little girl.

Rosemary's Baby 
Zoe Saldana portrays a woman pregnant with a demon child while being pursued by a cult in France.

We hope everyone has a scary (but safe!) Halloween season!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Advanced Placement English Books (Suggested Reading)

Are you considering taking AP English at some point in the future? Have you chosen not to take it, but still love great literature? Luckily for you, you have the opportunity to read some of the greatest pieces of literary art in the world, without having to spend six+ hours a night close reading/ crying uncontrollably! The actual list is extremely long, and can be found here.We have taken it upon ourselves to provide you with some of the coursework that we enjoy, from Champlain Valley Union High School's AP English curriculum.

Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky):
A story following the moral dilemmas and mental instability of a poor student who chooses to commit murder in St. Petersburg. 

The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka):
After waking up to discover he has turned into a bug, Gregor is alienated from his family.

In the Penal Colony (Franz Kafka):
A traveler is forced to witness the disturbing torture and execution of an innocent man, only to witness it go horribly wrong.

Paradise Lost (John Milton):
A ridiculously long poem (written in blank verse) which tells the story of Satan, Adam and Eve.

A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving):
The story of a remarkable young man's religious enlightenment.

Hamlet (William Shakespeare):
A tale of death and mental illness in the royal family of Denmark. In script format, written by Shakespeare himself!

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee):
Now known as"The American Classic," this novel simply encapsulates racism and injustice in the south during the 20th century, through the perspective of a young white girl.

The Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison): A young black man from the South encounters many people and situations that slowly force him to face the truth about racism and his own lack of identity.

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen):
A few sisters navigate the difficult challenges of love and marriage in the 18th century.

Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte):
A young woman suffers through abuse at the hands of her surrogate family during her childhood, only to become the governess of Thornfield Hall, where many secrets lie with the mysterious Mr. Rochester.

Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut) :
The story of a soldier in World War II.

Dubliners (James Joyce):
A collection of short stories all set in Dublin. They form a depiction of Irish middle class life in the early years of the 20th century.

Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte):
In a depressing, angst-ridden and thoroughly difficultly written love story, two people fight status and circumstance to be together.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde): 
A Gothic tale of a young man's downward spiral and its reflection in a portrait of the young man.