I believe that books are certainly dangerous to a dictatorial rule. Books are able to give people an opinion about something the dictator is saying. In the Book Thief she steals a book called “The Shoulder Shrug” that had been burned by Nazi officials. She wonders why the book was burned, when she realizes that the protagonist is a Jew who is portrayed in good light. If you are a dictator you definitely don’t want your people doubting what you are telling them. Books have the power to sway minds, and as such are an enemy to dictatorial rule, because they offer the people a chance to doubt what their leader is saying.
Source: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. Page 177
Context: There was the funeral, and Bruno and Gretel and Father and Mother and Grandfather sat in the front row, Father wearing his most impressive uniform, the starched and pressed on with the decoration.
Dictionary Definition: stiffen fabric of clothing with starch
Ammon Definition: harden and make nice, with cloth
Characters are essential to a good book. Without good characters the book feels dull and hastily scrapped together. Good characters give the book depth and the reader something to cheer for. If you have a bad protagonist then the reader almost wants the villain to win because he can’t find any reason to not want the villain. He feels like the protagonist just hates the villain for no reason. Where as, if you have a good villain the book has more meaning and feels more entertaining. It doesn’t only happen in books though. Take Black Panther, for example. The movie was an instant success and earned Marvel a crap load of money. The villain, Killmonger, had an interesting backstory, and in some ways was right about what he was fighting for. So, authors, give your characters better depth
Source: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. Page 170
Quote: “‘It’s only food.’ Bruno said. ‘I can’t’ said Shmuel, shaking his head”
Context: Shmuel is a jew in a concentration camp who has been brought up to Bruno’s house to clean some glasses for Bruno’s father, a high ranking Nazi official’s, birthday party. Bruno is offering Shmuel food and Shmuel is refusing it.
This Makes Me Think: It’s cool to see the differences between the poor, abused, hungry Shmuel and the healthy, happy Bruno. To Bruno the food doesn’t mean anything and he could give it away to everyone at the concentration camp. But, to Shmuel the food is everything and needs to be cherished. It’s interesting to see the differences and Bruno’s ignorance.
Source: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne. Page 164
Quote: “‘There’s a pirate in it,’ said Bruno. ‘Called Long John Silver. And a boy called Jim Hawkins.
‘An English boy?’ asked Kotler.'”
‘Yes’ said Bruno.
‘Grunt,’ grunted Kotler.”
Context: Bruno runs into a Nazi soldier named Lieutenant Kotler. He doesn’t like Kotler and Kotler asks him what he is doing. Bruno is reading Treasure Island and this is the conversation that follows
This Makes Me Think: I think that this is a really clever way that the author successfully shows us the extent of the Nazi’s hatred for the English and the Allies. While not exactly inspiring it shows how people turn against everything associated with someone in a time of war.
Context: The Journal of Curious Letter by James Dashner, page 134
Quote: “He told it all and when he finished, he felt like three loads of concrete had been lifted from his chest.”
Context: Tick has been meeting some pretty weird people and some potentially dangerous stuff has started to happen to him lately. He just sat down with his dad and is telling him what is happening.
This Makes Me Think: I think that some people feel that it’s annoying when someone tells them how good it is when you unload a guilt onto someone. But I don’t think that we can stress it enough how important they are. So, furthermore people sometimes do need to unload something onto someone.
Source: A Journal of Curious Letter’s by James Dashner, page 124
Quote: “Had things changed so much? Had his boy grown up, leaving his poor father behind to wallow in ignorance”
Context: Edgar has noticed something going on with his son, Atticus. He is noticing that Atticus is not telling him something. He wonders what happened because he and his son used to be so close.
This Makes Me Think: I don’t know why but when I read this I started thinking about how people are always complaining about millennials I wonder weather or not people how gotten so detached from their families that their families are jealous at who they give their attention to now. I wonder if the things that people complain about could be caused by the fact that people are no longer connected like we used to.
What I read: Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee, historical fiction, 278 pages, 4 out of 5 stars
How it starts: Jean Louise has come home from New York City to her hometown of Maycomb Alabama. She meets her boyfriend, aunt, father, and uncle. She starts to notice some stuff going around about different practices that have change (i.e. not visiting black folks, and a city council being set up.) She notices that her family, who have always been very anti-prejudice, have starting to attend the city council meetings, get mad at her for visiting her old black friend, and not defending the blacks as rigorously as they used to.
How it get complicated: She finds her father and boyfriend attending a city council meeting in which a man is speaking about how terrible black people are. She thinks that her father, boyfriend, and aunt are becoming as prejudice as the rest of the town. She goes to her uncle and tries to get him to help her understand whats going on.
What I liked: It is a deep book that talks about the civil rights movement and why it happened and how it could have been avoided. It is a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird and addresses some issues in that book as well as revisiting her childhood. It talks about how people like to think that we have changed from the Civil War and stopped being as bad of people, but we really haven’t.
What I disliked: It’s super confusing and sometimes hard to understand. Some people think that the main character’s father is a prejudiced in this book but I don’t think so.
Recommendations: I would recommend this book, I think it’s super good, and I really loved it. For anyone who loves historical fiction or thinks that some stuff that gets super deep is good, then I think they would like it
Words are important. Nowadays people are confused how some people used to get around without being able to read. Not only this but sometimes words in stories can change someones opinion even more than a passionate speech. Take To Kill a Mockingbird, or Uncle Tom’s Cabin. These are famous titles you may recognize. None of these stories are true and yet more people’s opinions were changed by reading the stories, than were changed when listening to a speech made in the House of Congress. Words do have power. Weather we like it or not reading a book about something helps to better fell empathy. So, books and words do have power.
Book: Witch of Blackbird Pond, page 168
Context: “She could not face the family, or the whispering and staring that would turn her own family pew into a pillory.”
Definition: a wooden framework with holes for the head and hands, in which an offender was imprisoned and exposed to public abuse.
Ammon Definition: a trap for public ridicule