Absence

I apologize for my absence. I caught a cold early in September, and then school started up. Although I could have blogged during these times, for some reason I did not post anything and did not get myself to be active on this blog…I am so lazy sometimes. Anyways, I am going to be sitting down and hopefully getting through a lot of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain today, so I should have a new book to add onto this blog soon. I have so many novels I have not yet finished, and some of them, such as Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, will take me quite awhile to get through. Hopefully I will start posting more.

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Book Reviews Informative Post

We’ve all been there. “Mom, can I read (insert book title here)? Jonah read it, and so has everyone I know.”

What do you do? Your child (or relative, or child you have custody of) wants to read this book. You don’t have enough time to read the entire book, but you also heard a rumor that (insert book) may have (insert moral issue or adult topic) in its pages. You want your child to want to read. You don’t want him/her to get teased by his/her friends because they aren’t allowed to read it unless absolutely necessary, or, you don’t want them to miss out on this chance if it turns out to be a false alarm.

I have been there. I was in my freshman year of high school. I had been reading Rick Riordan’s novels for years. The House of Hades had recently come out. I was with my friends discussing the novel. One of them mentioned something about a problem in it. My mom had me wait to read it until my friend’s mom had finished proofreading it. When my friend’s mom finished it, she let my co-op know about the details of the issue we were worried about, and told us the page numbers of when it was mentioned. My parents approved of the novel and let me read it, but not until we sat down and had a discussion about the problem Rick Riordan covers. I think my parents also wanted me to write something on it, too.

It is pretty much impossible to keep a child 100% pure/innocence in these times. Whether it is television, the internet, people on the street, etc…the world is just so impure. Sadly, when I write summaries and information about various books, there WILL be topics covered/mentioned that don’t go along with innocence, because of the content of each book. I can’t regulate the content of the books. I am going to hopefully be as blunt and to the point as possible. So I will pretty much give details about issues with the author’s book content (things some adults may not want their kids knowing about). I want to give parents a way to know about a certain book without having to read it to approve it.

I came across a blog a year or two ago about books. The person who had it would write on the books (she?) was reading. I think that was where my inspiration for this part of the blog came from. At one point this blog was going to be reviews pretty much until I evolved it into this blog you see here.

I am not perfect. I do not know each of you individually. I can’t promise the book will be just as I covered it, and that there will be nothing else that may bother you. Let’s face it, so many people have different ideas of morals, and different ways of raising their kids and teenagers. I can be used as a source to get an idea of what the book may have in it, but I should not be the only source you use when choosing books for your child.

Also, each book I am going to cover I have read or studied in school. This doesn’t mean I have read the book recently, or that my memory will be perfect, or that I have read the entire book cover to cover. I am hoping to be able to write in the beginning of each summary how I learned about the book. Most of the books/series I should have read fully.

I hope I somehow help someone with this big issue. 🙂

Controversy

Why are there so many different opinions? Everybody has their own morals, beliefs, and ethics. People are so different that they never seem to be able to get along.

One blogger I tend to read is Matt Walsh. You can visit him here. He is very blunt and to the point on things. When he wrote about the Josh Duggar problems, he mentioned something about how “I must also admit that the more I think about this, I realized I was too easy on the the Duggar parents as well. Jim Bob and Michelle knew that their oldest son was struggling with severe sexual sin, they knew their daughters had been abused, they knew their family was in the midst of moral and spiritual turmoil, yet they STILL decided to put themselves and their children on TV for ten years.”

This personally bothered me. Everyone has rights to opinions, but sometimes it is easy to get overly sensitive about them. Matt Walsh is full of really great arguments. He is such a great, godly man with a bunch of great points. Maybe his bluntness is what bothers many people. But you know what? Maybe the only way to make an impact is to be blunt! People these days are so twisted. Human nature has always been one of selfishness and sinfulness. Don’t we all want the best? Don’t we all have some pride? People these days are so worried about offending people! Stop it! Be nice and godly, but everyone has a right to believe what they want, and to speak out against the crowd.

Wasn’t Martin Luther King Jr. not liked back in the day? But think about how we act about him now! We even have a holiday in honor of him! What is wrong with us? Has MLKJ changed in any way? No he has not! Its us who has changed! We think of him fondly because we finally abolished African American segregation! But when he was alive, some people were not interested in changing America. People change with the tide. We have one opinion one minute, and the next we have another.

America has changed so much since it was first founded! What our original country was founded on is not what our country looks like today…perhaps that means something……

What do you think? Do you think America is going in a good direction, or in the wrong one? Please don’t condemn anyone or make any rude comments.

School Year

In exactly one week from today, I start my schooling officially. Though I have already been doing homework, I will officially be in the school year on September 8th. I’ve been in high school for multiple years now, but I still haven’t figured the year out yet. I continually treat my year badly. I don’t spend nearly enough time doing things I love that do not relate to technology, and some things I end up deciding to do is something related to technology. My year ends up consisting of social media, tv, and school/breaks. That is a problem, especially since my practice of many things has fallen out of place. I used to read so much more than I used to! I also did not have nearly as much stress….

Last year I took a class about Life and Academic Skills, and they taught us a ton of information. One thing the class covered was making goals. This coming school year, I want to make goals to use my time better. God has given me a certain amount of time on this earth, and I need to be spending it wisely, instead of wasting it on frivalous things that I will later regret.

Technology isn’t always bad, it definitely has its advantages. What I mean by my last sentence of the previous paragraph is that I need to be using my time doing things that help me grow as a person, that teach me new skills, and things I enjoy doing that is unrelated to social media. I am going to post some of my goals for this year on this blog, and I hope it helps keep me on track. I am hoping to add/continue in my usual schedule of this year:

Be a great student.

Spend daily time with God.

Practice guitar at least four days a week.

Do lots of math.

Write/Read for fun a lot more than I do.

Keep up with my blog.

Give myself time to myself.

Do you have any goals, or do you want to make goals for this coming school year? Comment below about the goals you would like to make/complete this school year!

Walk The World’s Rim

Yesterday I finished reading an enjoyable book titled, “Walk The World’s Rim.” It was authored by Betty Baker. My American History teacher assigned this book for my class to read. Though I still have another week until the half day of class, and another entire week until the full day of co-op, I still had homework. Ever since I got into high school, I have had homework to do even before school starts. Thankfully, this book was pretty good.

Summary of Plot:

The protagonist is named Chakoh, and he is a Native American boy who goes on an expedition with Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, and three other men. Chakoh becomes very fond of one of the expedition members, a man called Esteban. The entire story revolves around his friendship with Esteban, his adventures, and what life was like back in early America.

Book Analysis (Contains plot spoilers):

I personally thought the book was a good story. It is not very long, and probably written for a younger audience. Some of the issues it brings up may be offensive to some (ie slavery). Esteban is an African American slave. Chakoh doesn’t realize this for the longest time, and once he does, he is very mad. Chakoh grew up believing that slaves were warriors who surrendered rather than fought to the death. He thought it was a disgrace to be a slave, and remarks, “They are men of no honor. They would rather be slaves than die like true warriors, and they did not care if the world knew of their fear. Their hearts are weak. They have no sense of shame, for they surrendered rather than fight.”. Esteban tells Chakoh, ” ‘Perhaps they did not have a chance to fight.” Chakoh responds, “Then they should have refused to do the work of slaves. They should have forced their masters to kill them by trying to escape.” Later Chakoh even says, “No man of courage and honor becomes a slave.” (all quotes from page 31). Later, he realizes he was wrong. Esteban actually had to go into slavery to save the rest of his family. Chakoh even realizes he would rather be a slave than a begger, which shows a huge and positive change of heart for Chakoh. The bond between the two protagonists of this story is so strong, even though Chakoh has a tendency to be easily angered.

The story does have lots of references to the Native American religion. Chakoh does multiple things that are not very Christian like, and the author does not show that he has actually converted to Christianity. He continues to believe in both Christianity and his religion, which may bother some people. The references and different forms of something that resembles witchcraft may be a problem.

Another problem with the story is Esteban’s death. Though one of the most powerful and moving parts of a story can be the death, that doesn’t change the fact that Esteban was a very sweet and kind character, who thought of others almost the entire story. Some young readers may become sad because of his death.

Personally, I think this book is very, very clean, and though it touches on topics that may offend some readers (slavery) and the protagonist can be very mouthy (he does not curse. He is merely very outspoken and judging), I think it is a good book for all ages.