Sanjula's Library

Amulet, Vol. 1: The Stonekeeper - Kazu Kibuishi

The book Amulet was about kids who discover a secret amulet with powers.  The book starts out when they were kids.  Emily, her younger brother Navin, the mom, and the dad are driving when the car crashes and the dad dies.  Two years later they want to a fresh start so they move into one of their mom's grandfather's house. Nobody really knows what happened to the grandfather. While they're exploring the house Emily discovers an amulet and puts it on.  When everyone is sleeping the amulet tells Emily that her family is in danger and she needs to protect them.  Then they hear a noise in the basement and when they look, it's some sort of monster and it takes Emily's mom and brother.  Shes uses the amulet to fight it off but only manages to save her brother from it.  After that the amulet tells her to follow the creek and go to the house there, and there she will find her great grandfather that went missing, Silas Charnon.  It also tells her that now she's a stone keeper and that it's a huge responsibility. Before they get there someone tries to attack them but someone else fights them back and tells the kids to hurry with him.  The person who helps them is Charnon's robot and he takes them to the Charnon house.  Silas is dying but before he dies he tells Emily about her powers with the amulet, and she accepts to be the stone keeper. Mean while Emily wants her mom back so Silas's assistants help her fly into a dangerous tunnel where the monster still has her mom.  Emily doesn't end up getting her because her brother gets attacked by the dangerous creatures in the tunnel and the mom says to help him instead.  They leave and end up in the forest.  That's when Emily finds out the Elf King's Son was the one that attacked her earlier and he tries to do it again because he wants to use her powers to kill his father.  Then she uses the amulet to stop him but chooses not to kill him.  After that they find her mom and she brings her back to the Charnon house.  Then, they find out the mom has been poisoned.  They remember the house can walk and use it to walk to the city and find an antidote.     


This book connects to me because it was a fantasy, non-fiction book and I like books in that genre.  Another book I can connect with this is Harry Potter because they both have magical and mythical creatures that the hero is trying to defeat.  This connects with the world because if the book was realistic and this happened in the world I think there would be the same outcome.  


I would recommend this book because I think it's easy to make you interested in it.  I would mostly recommend this book to people who like graphic novels, and fantasy.   

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies - William Golding

This book was about a group of boys who plane crashed on an uninhabited island. The pilot dies but most of the boys survive.  The first two boys who find each other are Ralph and a boy nicknamed Piggy. Ralph finds a conch and blows to gather and find the rest of the boys.  Realizing there are no adults, they name Ralph chief and he leads them to explore the island.  Over time Ralph comes up with rules.   The main one being to keep a fire on the mountaintop in case a ship passes.  Jack, whose in charge of hunting doesn't keep the fire going because he focuses on hunting and lets a ship pass.  Instead of being outraged, the boys celebrate chanting "Kill the pig, Cut her throat, Bash her in". Ralph and Piggy become upset with the boys behavior and have a meeting to criticize them.   Meanwhile some show concern for a "beast" that they think is on the island.  Later, the twins Sam and Eric are gathering wood when they see a dead pilot (who parachuted and landed on the island) and mistake it for the beast.  After hearing the news the boys decide to search the island and hunt the beast.  On the hunt Jack kills a boar and the resumes their chant.  When they get back Ralph dismisses the hunters again leading to an argument where Jack wants Ralph to no longer be chief.  No one agrees with him and he runs to the other side of the island in tears.  However, one by one the boys (except Piggy, Sam, and Eric) change their mind because they are annoyed with Ralph's persistence in having a fire.  Jack has a feast to celebrate and leaves the pigs head on a stick as a gift to the beast.  Meanwhile Simon is wandering around and finds the pigs head with flies around it and calls it the Lord of the Flies.  He imagines it talking to him but then later sees the dead pilot and realizes the boys mistake when he goes down to tell the boys what he found they mistake him for the beast, tackle him, and kill him.  Later that night Jacks tribe attacks the four boys for Piggy's glasses (what was being used to start the fire).  After the attack, the four boys decide to groom themselves and go to castle rock (where Jack's tribe is staying) and appeal as civilized people as appose to Jacks tribe who are naked and painted with clay.  When Jack doesn't listen to Ralph, Ralph calls them "painted fools", and Piggy asks "Is it better to be a pack of painted Indians or sensible like Ralph?"  But Roger tips a rock to hit Piggy and he falls off the mountain and dies.  Sam and Eric are ordered to be tied up and Ralph is chased out with spears hurled at him.  He hides for the night but the next day he gets chased again and manages to stab two people or as he calls them savages.  Then they smoke out the island burning everything including the fruit, to close him in and kill him.  But as he runs towards the beach a naval officer with his ship is waiting for them having seen the fire.  When he sees the boys he thinks their playing and scolds them for their wild behavior.  


This book connects with me because I learned many lessons from the book. For example one I learned was how society affects our  natural state of evilness. On the island, Jack and the other acted violent with their rituals for cutting the pig and other things like when they tried killing "the beast" (when they really killed Simon). However the thing that motivates their evilness is the thing they fear, the beast. In the real world they wouldn't be able to do any of this in the first place.  Another book I read similar to this is The Hunger Games. The summary and situations are different in the books, but they both show the same concept of savagery vs. civility. This connects to the world because it can make you think of what can happen if there is no proper government or order, and why it's important to have a proper and good leader. In the book when the boys no longer listened and followed the rules they acted as "savages". Under Ralph's leadership they, worked together and could've been rescued soon. But under Jack's leadership they made unwise decisions and did what ever they wanted, instead of what would contribute to the bigger goal.


I would recommend this book to anyone who likes books that make you think.  However I would mostly recommend this to adults because the conflict can be indirect and confusing, and at some points the book is difficult to understand.   This book includes suspense, action, surprise.  And it's interesting how the book reveals the personality's and traits of the characters.  Overall I would say it's a good book.  

Divergent - Veronica Roth

The book Divergent was about a girl named Tris, formerly Beatrice, and her difficulties being Divergent.  In the beginning of the book, Beatrice is in the faction or group, Abnegation which is known for being selfless, and kind.  They are also in charge of the government.  Since Beatrice is now 16 she can now switch factions if she chooses once she takes her aptitude test.  The test is a brain simulation however it feels realistic and you are not aware that its not real at the moment.  When Beatrice takes her test, for some reason her results are inconclusive, she is told she is Divergent but that its dangerous and she must not tell anyone.  She also doesn't realize that the brain simulation isn't working because shes aware that shes taking the test.  She doesn't know what Divergence is or how its dangerous.  At the choosing ceremony she can pick from the factions Erudite known for intelligence, her original faction Abnegation, or Dauntless known for being adventurous, dangerous, and brave.  She picks Dauntless.  By joining Dauntless, (she finds out afterwards) she has to train and compete to get into the faction.  She becomes especially close with one of her teachers named Four, they figure out Erudite is trying to overthrow the Abnegation government .Meanwhile she makes some friends and enemies in her faction. She is especially targeted because of how small she is but manages in the end to be ranked first.  She also ends up dating Four. At the end of the ranking the whole Dauntless faction is given a tracking device that in reality is a simulation serum, Tris doesn't realize until later that this is how Erudite will overthrow Abnegation.  The next day all of Dauntless is mind-controlled and ready to kill any Abnegation they see.  Tris and Four are divergent so it doesn't affect them.  They save as many Abnegation lives as possible but are eventually outnumbered, however they manage to destroy the simulation and Dauntless are no longer brainwashed so they stop killing.  


This book connects with me because I can relate to the character Beatrice, who represents a strong female role and can be a leader when the time comes.  This connects to the book/ series The Hunger Games because a lot of the concepts were the same, such as: both books are written about the future.  Both try to overthrow the government.  Both are split up into groups where the government has more than everyone else (even though in Divergent the resources were not being used by them but given to the factionless).  This connects to the world because this is a realistic situation in saying that one group is willing to kill many people to get what they want.  And in some countries and governments people try to overthrow their leaders.  


I would recommend this book for many reasons, some of them are: its easy to relate to the character because through the story she develops bravery and heroism.  Also the book is interesting and has a lot of action.  I think if you are into stories with a strong female role, action stories, romance, or a book that makes you think a lot; you will especially love this book.  




Among the Hidden/Among Imposters - Margaret Peterson Haddix

           The book "Among the Impostors" was about a boy who lives illegally.  In this book, due to famine and other problems, third children are illegal and the discovery of their existence is punishable by torture and death by the government.  The main character Luke is a third child.  He is starting school however at Hendricks, it takes a lot of fake paperwork, fake ID's, the help of a government official, and the risk of getting caught by the population police.  When he starts at his school he is confused and frustrated, almost a month into the school he doesn't have any friends, know what correct class to go to, or anything else.  One day he follows a group into the woods and finds out they are also third children.  He reveals himself and is relieved to finally have a group to belong to and talk to, he now has friends. However, much later Luke over hears the leader of his group of friends Jason talking to the population police.  He is a spy for them and is planning on turning in all of the third children in.  Luke plans carefully and manages to make Jason unconscious, strap him down in the nurses office, and use code to tell Mr. Talbot the government worker hes associated with about Jason.  Because of this Mr. Talbot arrests Jason and his secret partner claiming the reason is because they are third children.  Luke later finds out that Hendricks school is aware of the high population of third children and is used to help them become more open to society.


               This book connects to me because I remember when I was starting school it was also hard for me to blend in and get accustomed however, like in the book later on it got better.  This book connects to the book I read "Wonder" by Raquel J. Palacio because in both books the main character is first starting school and have a hard time fitting in.  Also the main characters make friends and are later betrayed by them.  This book makes a connection with the world because in some countries there are two- child policies such as China and Iran.  Although the policy between the book and those specific countries are the same, I don't think the punishments to the discovery of third children are the same.


             I would highly recommend others to read this book.  I also found the first book in this series interesting and entertaining.  I recommend this book because not only will the ending surprise you it makes you think a lot about the two-policy in other countries, and how might other children feel living in fear.  People who enjoy mysteries, action, and adventures with heroes; will definitely like this book.