Tuesday, September 29, 2009

She Said Yes

-The unlikely martyrdom of Cassie Bernall

By Misty Bernall
First pocket Books printing Sept 2000 NY

"it is easy to die for Christ.
It's Hard to live for him.
Dying takes only an hour or two,
but to live for Christ
means to die daily.
Only during the few years of this life
are we given the privilege of serving
each other and Christ....
We shall have heaven forever,
but only a short time for service here,
and therefore
we must not waste the opportunity."
-Sadhu Sundar Singh

On April 20, 1999 Cassie Bernall was shot in the Columbine High School Massacre by two troubled teens. She was seventeen years old and studying Macbeth in the library that day when the shooter approached, held the gun to her head and asked "Do you believe in God?" The last word from her lips was a testimony of her belief in a higher being- "Yes." Cassie Bernall is an unlikely martyr because of her troubling past- one that lead her to chilling fantasies that were not unlike her killers. But, because of loving parents, in the end, as her father said, she died daily for Christ and knew exactly what she stood for when she spoke that last word.Personal Review:
This books was pretty disturbing. I had absolutely no idea that a girl shot for believing in Christ had, in previous years been fantasizing about killing her own parents. This book is a great testament that humans have light and darkness in them, that we have the power to choose what we want to be and what our legacy is. Cassie could have been remembered for the exact same thing that took her life, murder. Luckily she had parents who loved her and friends who reached out, but she chose light.

WARNINGS: suicide, Murder, Drugs, Satanic worship

Diary of A
Wimpy Kid
By Jeff Kinney
Abrams 115 West 18th Strett NY

Jeff Kinney's brilliant graphic novel is about a boy named Gregg and his quest to become the most popular kid in school while not being infected by the cheese touch! It's a laugh out loud book that has kids everywhere soaking his books up like sponges. The characters and drawing are fantastic and the plot is something every person who's ever been to middle school can relate to.

Personal Review:
This book is AWESOME! Laughing out loud funny! The pictures are great but I thought the writing style was just as entertaining! It totally explains how little boys think and captures the funny little thing kids go through. Its something that kids can relate to and so can adulst because hey, we were all kids once right? Loved it.


Stuck in Neutral

by Terry Trueman

"My name is Shawn McDaniel. I'm 14 years old.
I think my father is planning on killing me."

Scholastic INC NY 2002

Stuck in neutral gives a brilliant teenager a voice from within a broken, sick body. Nobody knows that he is actually a 14 year old genius with his own thoughts, feelings, dreams and desire to live life to the fullest he can given the circumstances. This book addresses what families who have disabled children go through and many of the ethical decisions parents with disabled children struggle with. It's a story about love- how it's defined and a boys desire to love out loud.

The author of this story- Terry Trueman is the father of a boy named Henry who, like Shawn in his story has cerebral palsy. It some ways it seems as though this book was his way to cope with the challenges that come as he watched his son suffer from his condition.

Personal Review:
I found this little book to be a quick and interesting read. I wish I had read the authors note from the end of the book about his own son with disabilities before I'd read the entire book. Having done so I now find it interesting that he wrote a book about such a controversial topic. This book gave me a lot to think about and I'll never forget Shawn stuck in neutral.

WARNINGS FOR STUCK IN NEUTRAL: Sexual content, deals with deciding whether or not a human being should be given the chance to live in bad conditions.
by Laurie Halse Anderson

Scholastic books inc

Melinda Sordino is a teenage girl living through a hell on earth completely alone. The only person who knows what happened to her the night she called the cops is the very "it" she so wishes she could omit from her memory forever.
Laurie Halse Anderson does a fantastic job telling her story- her coping mechanisms, her day to day, her dark sense of humor, her peers, school,
parents and silent existence hiding from the world.

"Its easier not to say anything. Shut your trap, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say."

Speaking Out

Laurie Halse Anderson

Aspiring writers are often told to follow their dreams.


To tap into the interesting stuff, the dark blood of your heart, the hidden well, you must take another path.

Follow your nightmares.

My young adult novel, Speak, was born out of terror. I woke one night, in the winter of 1996, to the sound of a girl sobbing. I leaped out of bed and dashed down the hall to check on my two daughters. Sound asleep, both of them, no tears on their pillows. They were fine.

But I could still hear a girl crying, hysterical. She was in my head. It was a nightmare.

Continue reading at : http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/spring00/anderson.html

Personal Review:

This was one of those books you pick up and don't set it down until you've turned the last page and sat contemplating the effects of the novel for at least a half hour before returning to life. I really enjoyed the writing style... the morbid humor. I wanted to scream and fight for Melinda, slap her parents in the face and get this poor girl some therapy. But that's not always the way it works, some people fight the battles all alone. Very good, although do something fun after because its totally depressing to read.



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