Read-A-Thon Hour 4

The mini-challenge for this hour is AWESOME and felt the need to share it and my response to it. A Literary Odyssey posed the following question: What classic book should ALL high school aged students read and why?  Here’s my response:

A classic book that should be read by all high school aged students? Oh man. There are so many! I’m partial to saying Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre because they are my favorite books, but when I think of being a teenager and that awkward phase of your life, I don’t see much being gained from reading about Elizabeth, Darcy, Jane, or Mr. Rochester.

Being a teenager is an awkward time in your life, yeah? So shouldn’t we be giving HS students a book you can relate to AND learn from? For that reason I’m going with The Diary of Anne Frank.

Why you ask? Well first, I think it’s obvious we can learn about life during WWII and what it was like to be living through it from Anne’s diary. The more important thing I think we learn is that even though being a teenager is tough and awkward and a war could be going on around you we’re all the same. We all have crushes (Anne discusses her crush on the other teen in hiding with her, Peter), we all have stressful times with our parents, and we’re all confused about what the future of our lives will hold.

I think these are valid things to point out to teens in a world where we depend less on the physical relationships around us and more on our digital ones.

This question really got me thinking! What would your response be?

#80 A Review of Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography By Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon

Having always had an interest in World War II and the Holocaust I was excited when my friend Adam found this graphic novel sitting on a table in Barnes and Noble.  During my graphic novel kick I asked Adam if I could borrow it, to which he responded of course!
Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Novel tells the story of Anne Frank, a name that has become synonymous with the Holocaust.  The book is a mesh of information about Anne’s life and also about what was going on in Europe with Hitler and the Nazis.
I feel absolutely terrible for saying this, but I was not a fan of this graphic novel.  The idea of it was there, but it just wasn’t executed well.  The novel intertwines the lives of the Frank’s and the history of the Holocaust together, side by side.  Unfortunately the book becomes very choppy because of this storytelling technique.  There are parts of the dialogue that are written over multiple boxes, making it difficult to figure out which order to read in.
The illustrations of the novel are fantastic.  Ernie Colon did a wonderful job with the drawing the difficult subject matter of the concentration camps.  His depictions of the camps give a clear picture of their horrendous nature, but are toned down slightly to give younger readers an opportunity to read and view this.
I would recommend this graphic novel for those looking for a new way to experience the story of Anne Frank.  While the book is a bit disjointed and confusing, Anne Frank’s story is one worth pursuing.
2 out of 5 Stars

The Weekly Roundup – Week 5

So I’d like to start my weekly roundup this week with the hope that everyone had a great holiday!

Belle and Sebastian (Our cats)

Last Wednesday I did a mini-happy hour with some friends from work.  Our offices were closed on Thursday and Friday so it was just a little way to start the holiday for us.  After we hung out for a bit Todd and I headed off to Home Depot to go pick out our Christmas tree.  Todd and I do fake trees because of the cats.  We had a small little apartment tree the past two years, but have out grown it now.  With our new tree in hand we headed home to get it set up and into its base.  With that all settled I began packing for our overnight trip to Jersey. 

Thursday morning we got up and watched a majority of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade while getting ready.  We hopped in the car and started the trek down to Jersey.  We hit major traffic on the Garden State Parkway but we got to Todd’s parents house with time to spare!  After a short respite from all the traveling we hopped in the car again, this time to Todd’s Aunt and Uncle’s house.  We had a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with them and got back to Todd’s parents around 11pm.  Todd’s little cousin Sarah (who is the most adorable thing ever) kept us busy the whole trip, so as soon as we got back it was straight to bed.

Our Christmas Tree

Friday morning we headed up to my parents house (half hour away from Todd’s parents) to help them decorate a bit for Christmas.  We had lunch with my best friend Stephen and then continued with the decorating.  We had a Thanksgiving buffet for dinner with my parents, Grandma, and Aunt Barbara, and then it was back up to Connecticut.  Todd and I made it back to our apartment around 6pm and started getting all of our own Christmas stuff out.  I started blasting the holiday CD’s and decorating our tree.  Adam came over and we had some eggnog and got in the spirit. 

Christine and Me

Saturday was a great day as my sister Christine and her fiancée Jason stopped by on their way down from Cape Cod.  (They live in Manhattan but went up to the Cape to spend the holiday with Jason’s family)  So over they came for lunch with their two dogs Ethan and Chelsea. It’s always hysterical to see the dogs and cats react with each other.  Sebastian tries to act all brave, but as soon as a dog gets near him he freaks out!  We all just hung out, had lunch, and randomly watched the end of Flashdance.  (It was on TV, don’t ask)  Todd and I also watched Brothers later on in the day. WHOA good movie.  I highly recommend it!

On Sunday Todd and I drove to Providence to see Jen, another of our really good friends.  We hung out and got lunch together had bubble teas, and walked around for a bit before heading to the largest liquor store I’ve ever seen.  As most of you know from Todd’s posts he is a HUGE beer fan. This liquor store had almost half  the store dedicated to just beer.  You could mix and match tons of beers from small breweries across the country.  We picked a bunch of beers and loaded the car up.  We headed back and made it home by 6.  It’s only been two days and I think I drank all the beers I picked out.  Todd can tell you more about them in his post, but I’m already counting the days to see when we can head back to that liquor store!

Somehow in the midst of everything that has gone on in the past few days I’ve managed to read three graphic novels.  I was definitely on a graphic novel kick this week.  Sense and Sensibility, The Walking Dead Volume 1, and Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography. I owe you all a review on the last one. 

With December here it’s time to kick into an even higher gear. (I didn’t know I had any more to kick into)  I’ve read 80 books, leaving 20 for December.  I looked back at my totals and realized I had read 12 for the month of November.  I will absolutely die if I make it to 92 books and fail my challenge by 8 books.  If anyone has recommendations for short fast reads let me know.  I’m in the middle of two books right now (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and Fifth Avenue 5AM) and am really hoping to complete them in the next day or two. 

Totals: 80 books read, 20 to go.  Here I go.

Happy Reading!