Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allan Poe

In "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe, the narrator takes revenge on an old colleague, Fortunato, who has betrayed him. The plot, characterization, and setting are what makes the story as creepy and chilling as it is. Set in a dark place underground the Montressor's house, with dark details and a cunning way of tricking Fortunato, this short story shows just how extreme some people can get when it comes to getting their revenge. This was my favorite short story I have read because of how cleverly put together and well thought it was. I enjoyed every sentence of the story and I wished that it could be expanded somehow into a novel or made into a movie. My favorite part was how Fortunato screamed for help and mercy as the Montressor casually walled him in and enjoyed the sound of his screams, then cries, then the silence. I would recommend anybody who is a fan of Poe to read this short story because it portrays some of the greatest work Poe has ever done.

- Reviewed by Gamer, grade 9.

[Librarian's note: this short story can be found in several formats in the Library, including The Pit and the Pendulum and Other Stories (an annotated, illustrated edition), Tales of Terror (on audiobook), and Edgar Allan Poe: Graphic Classics (adapted in graphic novel form).]


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hidden Talents, by David Lubar

In Hidden Talents by David Lubar, Martin Anderson and his friends don't like being called losers. But they've been called that for so long even they start to believe it. Until Martin makes an incredible discovery: each of his friends has a special hidden talent. Edgeview Alternative School was supposed to be the end of the road. But for Martin and his friends, it might just be a new beginning. I felt this book told me that whenever we start something new or start fresh we should always consider the past because that's what always counts. But here they were bullied, moved schools, and then started fresh. My point of view is everyone is different.

- Reviewed by Natalia, grade 9.


Monday, January 12, 2009

What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones

Sophie has a distant father and a mother who seems more interested in her soap operas. Aside from that, she's pretty much a normal teenage girl. After dating dark, gorgeous Dylan and chatting with dangerous Chaz, she realizes that she needs to stop trying to hide her crush on the school nerd, Murphy. In this book, Sophie distinguishes the differences between love and lust, and becomes comfortable with being herself. Sonya Sones writes What My Mother Doesn't Know with a very kind yet exciting plot, that makes you smile and blush every once in a while. I recommend this book to all young adults and teenagers because it is very easy for someone to relate to Sophie. Sophie doesn't know what she wants and is very confused, and that makes it easy to put yourself in her shoes. It's an easy going book that is highly recommended.

- Reviewed by Ina, grade 9.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Illusionist - movie review

The cast of The Illusionist was very well picked for the part. Edward Norton, Paul Giammatti, and Jessica Beil all played their roles with a near flawless performance. Eisenheim played by Edward Norton is a mysterious magician who is accused of dark magic. In the beginning is a flashback of a perfect world where Eisenheim is a poor child who finds love of a rich princess. They aren't allowed to be together, so she is taken away. Later he finds her again and the plot thickens. The movie keeps you guessing until the very end. The movie was a bit dark and confusing, but it made up for it through the jaw dropping acting. Check this movie out!

- Reviewed by Vazgen, grade 9.

[Librarian’s note: This movie was based on the short story, “Eisenheim the Illusionist,” by Steven Millhauser. It can be found in his short story collection, The Barnum Museum.]