Analysis: Book Characters & Their Movie Counterparts

For this post, I decided to something special, something different. I have decided to do a character analysis on some of the most popular books of all time. I have made a short description for each of these great characters.

lightning_thiefPercy Jackson
From one of Rick Riordan’s most popular series, Percy is the main character. Percy never gives up in any mission that comes upon him; he finishes the mission and ends up doing more. He is a model character for all.
Overall, I would rate him a 9/10 for his great personality.

 

stormbreakerAlex Rider
Another character from a great series, starting with Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz, Alex is brilliant, he thinks of things in a quick flash, whereas others would take much, much longer. He was picked for MI6 not only because of his family ties but also for his cleverness. I would rate him an 8/10 for his smartness.

 

harry_potter_coverHarry Potter
Created by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter is the most “magical of all characters.” But don’t only think of Harry Potter as a magician, he works hard and always does what has asked to do, although he might not be as popular as other characters he is a very popular character. I would rate him an 8/10.

Now, for the next part, I’m going to tie the character to the movie.

The Lightning Thief movie
I think the first movie based on the Percy Jackson series was okay. Although it was very popular I thought that some main parts it skipped and if you hadn’t read the book you could have been thoroughly confused about what and why the characters do what they do. Overall I rate the movie a 6/10.

Stormbreaker movie
Honestly, this might be the worst movie based on a book; they skipped so many parts, even though I read the story I was still confused why some characters did what they did in the movie, no wonder they didn’t make a second installment of the series. Overall, I rate the movie a 4/10.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone movie
I personally thinks that the first movie of the Harry Potter series was amazing. All scenes were captivating, I didn’t move during the whole movie, and it was honestly awesome. Overall I would rate it an 8/10.

Now, after tying these characters to the movies, overall I would think that Harry Potter is the best character out of these. Please comment below about your thoughts on these characters and the movies.

-Satej B., 7th grade

Book vs. Movie: The Giver

giver_bookvmovieThe Giver is an award-winning book written by Lois Lowry about a futuristic dystopian community of “Sameness.” The book was written in 1993 – before the teen dystopian literature era took off so I guess you could say it was before its time in two ways!

Because most middle-schoolers end up reading The Giver as part of their curriculum, I don’t want to go into the novel or movie details. However, I will share that the novel was originally written by Ms. Lowry as a result of realizing her father was losing his memory. This sad, negative situation was developed into imagining a society that had lost its memory; that is, it had no past. Eliminating a “history” means that many ingredients making up that “history” must also be eliminated. The protagonist in The Giver is Jonas, an 11-year old who lives in this resulting community known as “Sameness,” a seemingly utopian society where everything is the same and everything is equal. Jonas, through a developing uniqueness, is able to see past this “sameness” and perceived utopia.

After 18-19 long years of hoping and trying to bring the novel to the big screen, Jeff Bridges, who plays The Giver in the movie, successfully premiered the movie on August 11th and opened it nationwide on August 15th. I have seen it twice: I attended a special showing on premiere night and then saw a regular showing about a week later. I had been anticipating the release of this movie since last August when I first learned that Taylor Swift was going to play a small, but important character role of “Rosemary.”   As a Swiftie and a lover of Lois Lowry’s Giver Quartet (of which The Giver is the first novel), my excitement was barely containable!

So because I saw the movie twice within one week, you probably think I LOVED the movie the first time and went back to enjoy it a second time. Not exactly . . .

I was actually disappointed when I saw The Giver movie the first time. I thought the beginning was very rushed. I was annoyed by the changes made in the movie. I sort of expected the movie to be a bit more accurate because I had read they kept writing, discarding, and rewriting the screenplay in those 18 or so years. And I was extremely “let down” that the anticipation of the movie was over.

When I saw it the second time, I went into it expecting to be disappointed again. (I had promised my friend to see it with her.) Surprisingly, I found I liked the movie this time. I really did!! So what changed?

Yes, compared to the book, the beginning is rushed. But you can’t fit a 200+ page book into a two-hour movie. So, I guess I’m okay with that. The “rushed beginning” still set the stage for the movie which was what it needed to do.

As for the changes in the screenplay . . .all the people involved, including Lois Lowry, agreed that the movie stayed true to the book’s storyline. So who am I to get upset with the changes? Yes, the movie is different than the book.   But that’s not necessarily a bad or negative thing.

And as for being “let down” . . . I left the movie the second time feeling more satisfied, happier, seeing the positives more, and appreciating the movie for its differences. I actually LIKE the movie and hope that the other Lois Lowry books in The Giver Quartet also find their way to the big screen!

-Danielle L., 6th grade

Book Review: Dragon of Silk by Laurence Yep

dragon_silk“Silk is in our blood” – An excerpt from Dragon of Silk by Laurence Yep

Four Chinese girls from different generations each given the name Swallow. Each living in a different era with different difficulties. The one thing tying them together is their heritage and bond with silk. This book spans over seventy-five years, from 1835-2011, in both China and America. Each girl shows the strength and courage of a dragon through the the thick and thin. They fight and sacrifices to keep the family together and pursue her passion.

Dragon of Silk was published in 2011 and is the 10th book in the Golden Mountain Chronicles. This book can be considered a stand-alone book.

Dragon of the Silk is a story of courage and strength but at the same time it brings the theme of the importance of family and how one person can have a huge affect on another. There is also the theme of giving up something to help someone else. Due to the setting of the story, it allows the reader an insight on how Chinese people and immigrants lived during those times. There are also many mentions of the Chinese legend of the Weaving Maid, as well as some of the many festivals celebrated in the Chinese Culture. The characters are well written and have a quality that makes them more real to the reader.

This is a perfect read for anyone. This doesn’t have hardcore action and adventure but it has a wonderful tale for those willing to take the time and read it. This is certainly one of the tops in my book lists.

-Sarah J., 9th grade

Book Review: Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell

eleanor_parkWhile browsing Sparknotes one night for help with homework, I was lured into the “fun section.” You know, the section where you can find information about celebrities, current events, and popular books. Well, I’m very glad I did, because there was an article on great books to read during the summer. Eleanor & Park was near the top of the list. The comments on the book were mostly positive, so I decided to give it a try.

Guys, this book is really, really good. It’s funny, exciting, and relatable on so many levels. Eleanor & Park follows the lives of two teenagers in high school as they go through all of the awkward stages of love.

It’s not a typical, boring, lovey-dovey type of love story, but rather it is raw and honest. Both Eleanor and Park struggle to find their respective places in the world, and both have issues with their parents (problems I think most teenagers can easily relate to).

The story is told in a dual-narrative style, with both Eleanor and Park sharing their opinions on the events taking place.  I usually don’t like this type of narration because it can easily become repetitive and boring.  However, Rowell manages to keep it fresh, without rehashing scenes that the reader already knows about. Overall, the book was very enjoyable to read, and I definitely recommend it!

-Amanda D., 12th grade

 

 

AP Lang Bible Assignment

bookstack2I decided to write a blog on this topic because I found it surprising and interesting that I would be required to read the Bible for AP summer work. I grew up listening to stories from the Bible and have grown accustomed to hearing my pastor speak about random passages, but I never knew how the dialect of the Bible and the famous stories have translated themselves in many ways into works of literature.

As a pre-AP Lang student, I am responsible for reading the entire chapter of Genesis from the Bible and creating an alphabetized dictionary full of important people, events, and places. I must also read the entire gospel of Luke and retell fifteen of the most significant parables stating their significance. A parable is a short story that has a purpose and moral/lesson.

I’m sure many of you incoming AP Lang students have this odd homework assignment along with me. At first, I was surprised that a public high school would incorporate religion into the Common Core assignments, but my previous English teacher explained to us that we must familiarize ourselves with the biblical stories in order to better understand the allusions referencing subjects such as the Garden of Eden or the historic “Christ” character in many novels. Regardless of the assignment, I’m fascinated by the different approach I have to the Bible now. No longer am I just a Christian reading the Bible, but now I am a “college” student analyzing the stories and parables.

If you too find this AP Lang assignment interesting, feel free to leave a comment expressing your opinion on the work, not the religion :)

-Kelsey H., 11th grade

Book Review: The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan

joy_luck_clubInsightful, heart-warming, and beautifully crafted, Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club portrays mother-daughter relationships that must endure both generation and culture gaps. Each of the four Chinese-immigrant mothers narrates their past of growing up in China and immigrating to America. They also describe their struggles to raise daughters who won’t forget their Chinese heritage and values, as well as the legend of their mothers. On the other hand, the four American-born daughters strive to separate themselves from their mothers and find their own identities in America.

While reading, you will learn to be open-minded, as this will allow you to enjoy and understand the intended overall meaning of The Joy Luck Club. The novel teaches many important lessons that include being accepting toward different cultures, never judging someone from just their appearance, appreciating your parents, and being grateful for all of the opportunities we have in America. Many countries’ cultures are very different than the American culture, so we must always respect their customs. In addition, each daughter views their mother as weak and embarrassing to be around in the beginning. Once they begin to listen and see their mothers in an entirely different light, they discover that their mothers have experienced and sacrificed a lot for them to grow up and have a better life. This also leads them to be thankful for all the opportunities they are able to have, unlike their mothers, who grew up in China. All in all, both mother and daughters learn to discover the true meaning of love and come to accept each other for who they truly are.

I would definitely recommend this touching novel to anyone over the age of fourteen, since some mature topics are discussed. I especially recommend The Joy Luck Club to mothers and daughters because it will remind you of the significance of the unbreakable relationship and how important family is. Amy Tan is a remarkable author, and through her writing, she is able to weave a series of short stories into one complete, fulfilling novel.

-Kaylie W., 9th grade

Book Review: Never Fall Down, by Patricia McCormick

never_fall_downHave you ever heard of the Khmer Rouge?  Or the infamous Killing Fields?

During the mid ’70s in Cambodia the communist group, Khmer Rouge, were the force behind a terrifying genocide.  Patricia McCormick tells the true story of a young boy’s horrifying experience during this time.

Never Fall Down is a true story that takes you on the shocking and terrible life experience of one boy who lived in Cambodia at this time.  The boy’s name is Arn and he was taken first from his home, then from his family by the Khmer Rouge. Arn was taken to a camp based on his gender and age.  At the camp Arn was forced to work on the rice fields. The lifestyle was very tough. One day, the Khmer Rouge soldiers asked if any of the boys could play an instrument.  Even though Arn has never played anything in his life he volunteers because he knows this will save his life. Later, Arn somehow find himself in the middle of the place we know today as the Killing Fields.  Then Arn is handed a gun and is sent to battle with the other boys still alive. “He lives by the simple credo: ‘Over and over I tell myself one thing: Never fall down.”‘

This story exposed me to a huge event in history that I never knew happened.  I had never heard of the Khmer Rouge or the Killing Fields.  Never Fall Down made me come close to tears. Arn’s struggles are so traumatizing.  It made me wonder what I would do in a situation like his.  It is a very touching story.  This story showed me how scary it is to be a child in the middle of a war.   At times while reading this book I forgot I was reading about history.  Instead I thought I was reading a survival novel.

I personally don’t like to read books on history or war but Never Fall Down is one of my few exceptions.  It takes you on a boy’s journey that starts in a happy home and ends with his search for freedom.  I recommend this to every teen.  It helped me understand the life struggles of the many immigrants that came to America during the ’60s and ’70s.  I advise that you be prepared for many deaths and heartbreaking moments.  I love this book so please go check it out.

-Erika T., 8th grade