Books Worth Reading

Books Worth Reading: Animal Farm

I’m here with another review, and it’s Animal Farm, by George Orwell! (Also, as I’m writing this, I have realised that the two Books Worth Reading posts were published two days in a row, and this is the third! Jeez!)

“Remains our great satire of the darker face of modern history.”- Sir Malcolm Bradbury

Some info (though slightly unnecessary here): Written by George Orwell, published on 17 August 1945 and has 95 pages in the Penguin Books edition.

Cover of Animal Farm (same one as mine)

Theme/s: Corruption of ideals and power.

Genre: Political satire, fiction.

Synopsis: The animals of Manor Farm rebel when one day, Mr Jones, the drunken and lazy man they are forced to call their master, forgets to feed them. The pigs, being the cleverest, take over the farm and promise to remove all terrible inequities of the ranch. But as time passes, the ideals of the envisioned utopia begin to crumble and corruption takes hold of the farm.

Review: Animal Farm is another unputdownable book I’ve read. How George Orwell slowly unravels each of the Seven Commandants is something only the best and the most experienced of authors can manage to do. When I got more curious about this book, I came to know that some of the characters were based on real-life people (Leon Trotsky, a revolutionary who was against Joseph Stalin) served as the base of Snowball’s character). I also found it very interesting that Napoleon was the only animal who was named after an actual human being. George Orwell also showed the various kinds of people though animals, who believe in a communist government, and he did it perfectly. The one who blindly believes and obeys was the horse Boxer. The one who does not care and this government was just another passing phase of their life was the cynical donkey (but ironically, the smartest) Benjamin. The mare Mollie is the one who cannot rid themselves of the notion that they do not have a master anymore. There are so many more personalities that Orwell flawlessly illustrated to the (by now) story-captured reader. Let me tell you this, I will never be tired of rereading Animal Farm and I assure you, you will not too.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars)

Recommendation: Suitable for people interested in political satires and ages 12 and above. 

More by George Orwell: 

  1. 1984 (A book I’m absolutely dying to read)
  2. Burmese Days
  3. Homage to California 
  4. The Road to Wigan Pier
  5. Keep the Aspidistra Flying

Let me know below if you liked Animal Farm, thought it was okay, or disliked it!

Keep reading,

Snigdha

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Books Worth Reading

Books Worth Reading: Extra Credit

Second post of Books Worth Reading is here! I’ll be reviewing Extra Credit by Andrew Clements.

Who knew a simple letter could turn a few people’s worlds upside-down?

Some info: Extra Credit is written by Andrew Clements. It was published on 23rd June 2009 and has 183 pages. 

Theme(s): Friendship & cultural and traditional divide.

Synopsis: Abby Carson is going to be held back in Grade 6 if she doesn’t get a B or higher and her quizzes and tests for the rest of the year (four and a half months). So, she has to do an extra-credit project to help her to go to Grade 7. Extra credit project: writing a letter to someone in another country. Sounds simple enough, right? But then, in the country of her pen-pal, things aren’t as simple. 

Review: Abby Carson has to do an extra-credit project to pass Grade 6 and go on to Grade 7 and ends up doing a pen-pal project with someone on the other side of the world as her assignment. Easy, yeah? She chooses the country of Afghanistan. The teacher, Mahamood Jafari, which Abby’s teacher is in contact with selects Sadeed Bayat, the best student in the village of Panjshir. But according to the tradition of the people of Panjshir, a girl talking to a boy is considered improper. So, Sadeed’s sister, Amira dictates the letter in Dari, the local language, and Sadeed translates it to English. But then, Sadeed and Abby’s friendship does not make some people happy. Suddenly, after a shocking incident that happens with Sadeed, stuff doesn’t remain easy anymore. 

One thing I loved about the book (though I’m sure it was intentional as hell) is that Sadeed and Abby were absolute opposites. He was a boy, she was a girl. He was from a conservative culture, she was from an open-minded one. He was an elder sibling, she was the younger one (this may sound a bit stupid to some people, but I like it). He was an excellent student and she wasn’t. There are so many differences between them, but what I adored about Clements’ main characters were that they somehow seemed to understand bits of each other. Not everything, but just some parts. I also liked how Andrew Clements made Abby and Sadeed seem so… real. The story made me keep guessing about what was going to happen next. My favourite parts of Extra Credit were the letters exchanged between Illinois and Panjshir. 

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Recommendation: Suitable for children of ages 9 and above. 

More by Andrew Clements: 

  • The Report Card
  • Lunch Money
  • Frindle
  • Lost and Found
  • Troublemaker
Books Worth Reading

Books Worth Reading: Wonder

I am proud to present the first review in the series Books Worth Reading! It’s a review of one of my all time favourites, Wonder.

“Has the power to move hearts and change minds.” – Guardian

Some info: Wonder is written by R.J. Palacio, and was published in 2012. In the edition with the Julian chapter, there are a total of 416 pages.

Synopsis: The perspectives of various characters who entered August Pullman’s life, either when he entered middle school or after it, or they had known him since Auggie was a baby. 

Review: I first read this book when I was in grade 4 or 5, and was unable to appreciate the author’s beautiful personality description of every single character at the time. It’s not told in a direct way, but when the reader reads every perspective, the development of each person is the most brilliant thing ever. Another thing I love about this book is that when you read the perspective, you sink into their persona and find yourself agreeing with mostly everything. One also feels that the person whose perspective you’re reading, did everything for, according to them, the right reasons, and you understand what they were going through, even if you wouldn’t normally really approve of their actions, and that is beautiful. Take Olivia Pullman’s (August’s elder sister), for example. Normally, she was fiercely protective of her brother, and would be rude even to adults when they stared at August’s face. But when she came bacsk from her Grans’s place, she saw Auggie as other people did for a split second. But as you travel further in her feelings, you will understand why she wanted her high school to not know about August. Or what Miranda, Olivia’s best friend and a sister to Auggie, did at her camp. Summer was my favourite character in the story. Yes, she first sat with him because she pitied him, but that pity blossomed in true friendship. There’s only one word to describe R.J. Palacio’s novel: wonderful.

Recommendation: For ages 10 and above.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sequels: 

1. Auggie and Me. Perspectives of:

• Julian Albans, the main bully. Name of story: The Julian Chapter 
• Christopher, August’s best friend. Name of story: Pluto
• Charlotte Cody (A classmate of Auggie and first person who was nice to him). Name of story: Shingaling 

2. 365 Days of Wonder (365 precepts collected by Mr. Browne, August’s English teacher.)

3. We’re All Wonders (Picture book, where August tells how everyone is a wonder)

See you!

Snigdha

books

Review of a book that has taken permanent residence on my bedside table

After lots of wishful thinking, drafts, daydreaming, previews of this post and error from WordPress’ side in publishing my post (I PUBLISHED IT LAST NIGHT) I am proud to present….

Yes, the text is intentionally blue. 😜

YAS! MY FIRST BOOK REVIEW!

Read on, y’all! Tell me if you like it!!

A tiny bit of essential info: The Last Olympian is written by Rick Riordan, and was published in 2009. You should read the previous four books in the series. If you don’t, you’ll feel like I do in Maths class (super confused, just to be clear).

Synopsis:

Typhon, the father of all the monsters and one of the deadliest creatures, is heading towards New York to destroy the gods. All the Olympians are fighting him, except Poseidon who has a war of his own to fight, and Demeter, who is with her daughter Persephone in the realm of her son-in-law and brother, Hades, the Underworld. So it’s down to Percy Jackson and his 40 demigod friends from Camp Half-Blood to defend Olympus from Kronos, the Titan Lord who wants to tear down the headquarters for the gods brick by brick, the Empire State Building and remove Zeus from the throne and take the Olympian’s place instead. And Percy has to follow the path paved for him by The Great Prophecy and send Kronos back to his rightful place in Tartarus or die in the attempt.

Review:

This fifth book in the series is a pretty complicated one, and the reader finds out the truths that were previously shrouded in mystery. Percy is a week away from turning 16 when he finds out what the Great Prophecy says. The prophecy tells him that the fate of the world rests upon his shoulders. A herculean army headed by Kronos is descending upon Manhattan to eradicate the gods and take Zeus’ throne. To add to everyone’s worries, Poseidon is in a full-scale battle with Oceanus, the Titan of the Sea, who is wielding such powerful forces of the ocean, that Poseidon’s underwater realm is in absolute terror. Everyone under the sea is fighting the war, and everybody’s extremely worried, to say the very least. And as if the Titan Lord himself isn’t enough, Typhon, the most dangerous monster in Greek mythology, has broken out from his prison and is hell-bent on destroying everyone and everything that comes in his way. Every Olympian is fighting him, except Poseidon, Demeter and Hades. So, it’s down to 41 demigods from Camp Half-Blood to defend Manhattan. Percy’s escapades include riding a flying giant boar (not one of his best ideas) and activating automatons. And throughout the book, there is the underlying question: who is the Last Olympian?

Rick Riordan has made the readers laugh even in the most catastrophic times. I never wanted to put it down. Truly a well-written book.

Official art of Typhon.
Source: https://rickriordan.com/extra/chirons-guide-to-greek-mythology/

Recommendation:

I will recommend this for people who are interested in Greek mythology, and for ages 10 and above.

Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Personal advice:

Do not read Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes after this book, because it refers to some characters in Heroes of Olympus. No spoilers given in it, but I’d advise you not to read it (but my advice is not very strong, seeing I’ve not read the whole thing). It’s entirely up to you in the end. However, you can read Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods. Reading these was suggested to me by my friend Aaditya (who, incidentally, also cried during the end of The Last Olympian. Good reader *cue approving face*).

Be sure to comment below! 🙂