Write Me Up

Official writing with some random thoughts

Review on Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi February 10, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Dorothy Lynn @ 10:20 pm
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I read this book mostly because I love young adult literature, but also because on of my students is going to start reading it for class (which gave me a perfect excuse to gobble up this great piece of fiction).

I like Avi as a young adult author, although I cannot offhand remember any specific works of his that I have read before. I do have vague recollections of browsing the YA section of my library as a kid and picking up a few of his books.
Crispin is a great story, in the historical fiction genre. It is about a boy in the Middle Ages, after the time of the Black Death, in England. He lives in the small village of Stromford, as a poor widow’s son. He is shunned by his village, but does not know why, and when his mother dies, he is chased from the village after an unjust accusation. After this, he embarks on a journey to find safety, and in the process finds out who he truly is. It is fast paced, and extremely informative, with excellent information about the life and times of people in who lived then. Really my only complaint is that the ending was a bit anticlimactic.
I am excited to have my student read this, and also glad that I get to have an excuse to read good books for my job. I read this book in about 4 hours or so (stretched out over a couple of days). If you like the YA genre, you should definitely partake in this story.

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A random thought February 7, 2014

Filed under: General Blog-tastic Writings — Dorothy Lynn @ 2:33 pm

One of my pet peeves is when I see a link that someone shares on a website and I eagerly click it to start reading, only to discover that it is a video. In our technology ridden world, I suppose it is strange to be annoyed by having the option to learn visually about my topic of choice, but I have to say, I much prefer reading an article than watching an expository video. Perhaps it is because I can read it as fast as I want, whereas the video requires that I watch it on its terms. Yet another sign of my impatience. Or perhaps a sign that I just love to read. Yeah, I’m gonna go with hat second one.

Now for another random thought. Today during work one of my students caught me in the hallway in between classes and said, Miss Jarchow, S me dijo que hoy usted parece como la bella durmiente porque tu pelo es muy bonito. (Translation: S told me today that you look like sleeping beauty because your hair is very pretty) ( I curled my hair today haha). It was rather funny, because S is a sixth grade boy. But hey, being compared to sleeping beauty isn’t a bad thing. So now, in honor of that, here is a painting of sleeping beauty by John William Waterhouse

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Review on Rocannon’s World February 3, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Dorothy Lynn @ 7:44 pm
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I finished reading Rocannon’s World by Ursula LeGuin. It is only 136 pages so it’s quite an easy read, but like all of her books that I have read, it is so rich. Reading her books is like eating a rich dessert. You have to go slowly because it is too full to gobble up, but by the time you reach the end, you are extremely satisfied. She has a beautiful ability to create a plausible world, complete with cultures, races, languages, and geography without overloading the reader with too much data. At the same time she is building this world, she is telling a story of a few people, or in this case, one person.

Rocannon, the title character, is a man from a league of worlds sent to study the cultures of a recently discovered unnamed planet. The world is inhabited by multiple races of people. They know that he is from another world, in fact, they call him Starlord, however they are still in the Bronze Age technology. While Rocannon is on this world, a race from another planet rebels against the League and takes refuge on the planet, killing his fellow researchers and destroying the lives of many people on the planet. He decides he needs to warn the League, and sets off to find the rebel group.

The majority of this story is Rocannon traveling with the group. It has a very “fellowship of the ring” feel to it, as he goes through many dangers, meets new people, and has an end goal in mind. However, it doesn’t deter from the richness of his character. LeGuin is very subtle in her character building. You don’t realize that she is creating such a full person until you finish the book and are sad to say good bye to this new person you have met. In that sense, this book is much like her others I have read. However, I could often tell it was her first novel. There were some abrupt transitions, and the ending was very sudden and short. That being said, I kind of like that I can see her improvement. It is encouraging to see improvement in writers, especially since I would love to be as good as her someday. Even as a first novel, this is spectacular, and if you are a sci-fi or fantasy reader, you definitely need to read this one. She is very good at blending science with more traditional fantasy.

That’s about it. I’ve started reading The Idiot by Dostoyevsky, however, don’t expect a review on that one anytime soon. Those Russian authors like to be wordy 😉