Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm takes place on a mismanaged farm in England. The animals, upset with their treatment, prepare a rebellion to take over the farm. Once the farm is taken over, the animals attempt to validate their rights by painting seven commandments on the wall; these commandments are known as “animalism,” and they set the basic laws for the farm animals. These laws are: whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. no animal shall wear clothes, no animal shall sleep in a bed, no animal shall drink alcohol, no animal shall kill any other animal, all animals are equal, and whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. In addition, the farm, known as the Manor Farm, is renamed into Animal Farm.

Soon after the animals seize control of the farm, the pigs, the leaders of the farm, run into management issues. The two leaders of the farm, Snowball and Napoleon, can not decide how they want to run the farm; Snowball wants a windmill to be constructed in order to reduce work hours, while Napoleon believes a hard-working, simple farm is the happiest lifestyle the animals can work.

Day after day, the pigs become more human than animal, and they begin to slowly change the seven commandments, in order to manipulate and dominate over the other animals. For instance, the law “no animal shall drink alcohol” is changed into “no animal shall drink alcohol to excess,” and as time goes on, the pigs even begin to purge the farm of opposition to their reign.

Animal Farm reflects history since it shows even a government with the noblest intentions can be corrupted. Snowball represents the idea of capitalism, while Napoleon represents communism. Napoleon controls the farm through the belief that the animals are their own rulers, and that they are better off ruling themselves than they were under the reign of humans. The reality is that Napoleon is simply deceiving the animals with words and numbers, as the pigs slowly force the other animals into submission until the animals cannot differentiate pig from human.

-Josh N. 

Animal Farm is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm is a novel written by George Orwell about animals who over throw there farmer and establish a new government. This book is known as a allegory. This is supposed to depict the Russian Revolution.

They have many similarities in the book like how animalism sounds a lot like communism. Communism is the government that was first thought of by Karl Marx. The idea consists of that every one is equal.

In the book the Farmer Mr Jones just treats the animals horribly. He never feeds them and often he just shoots them and orders them around. The animals decide they have had enough of this and overthrow Jones and establish animalism.

Now in the book the pigs took power and told the half witted animals lies and the most stupidest things that you could think of. Because of course that actually happened. The three main pigs in the book are Napoleon, Snowball, and Squealer. They represent Stalin, Trotsky, and Squealer was actually the propaganda Machine.

In the book he would win every argument because he knew Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. They are known as Ethics, Emotions, and Logic. He would use these in every argument in the book. When Squealer would say something he would win the dumb animals over to him and Napoleons side.

If you know your Russian History you can probably guess what happened to Snowball because he is Trotsky. There aren’t really any spoilers in the book because these events actually happened. But when you read the book you find at least some sentiment for the things that happened to people during the Russian Revolution.

The one fact that stuns people is that how dumb the animals are. I mean you would think that they would be a little more smarter but there not. They are just plain dumb. Another main part of the book was that it also showed other countries as farms such as England and Germany as Pilkington and Fredrick who represent the farmers.

-Max U.

Animal Farm by George Orwell is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Frozen Movie Review and Readalikes

frozen_movie_posterDisney’s newest animated feature, Frozen, is about princesses Elsa and Anna. Elsa has the beautiful and dangerous power to create snow, but after hurting Anna when they were little, she tries to hide her ability. When her power is revealed, she runs away, leaving Anna more alone than ever, yet Anna is determined to go after her, restore summer, and just get her sister back.

Frozen is an amazing movie with laugh-out-loud moments along with the ones that make your heart shatter. Although it doesn’t really follow the plot line of Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale, The Snow Queen, with Elsa being good and Anna’s sister for instance, it maintains a fairy tale quality while having a modern feel.

The animation is astonishing, the snow so realistic, you almost get shivers just seeing it. The music that is equally fantastic, one of my favorite song being “For the First Time in Forever” (second only to “Let it Go”) because, besides being beautiful, it is the duet between two sisters and the theme of the entire story. The sisters were well developed with Anna somewhat awkward (in a good way) and adventurous and Elsa very cool and collected. What I liked best was how sisters were more important than a love interest, though that element is still there.

It is one of the best Disney movies I have seen and I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves those “Disney classics” that seem timeless, because that is Frozen. In honor of this movie, here is a list of books with sisters inspired by fairy tales.

sisters_grimm_coverThe Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

After the mysterious disappearance of  their parents, sisters Sabrina and Daphne Grimm (descendants of the Brothers Grimm) are sent to live with their grandmother in Ferryport Landing, where every fairy tale character (they prefer to be called Everafters) lives. When their Grandmother is kidnapped, it is up to the Sisters Grimm to take up the family business of fairy tale detectives if they ever wish to see their family again.

sisters_red_coverSisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Sisters Scarlet and Rosie were attacked by werewolves at their grandmother’s house when they were young. Now they are the ones who hunt the werewolves down. Scarlet won’t stop until every werewolf is dead, but Rosie doesn’t want to fight anymore. How do you explain that to the sister who saved your life? It follows a possibility of what could have happened after the little red riding hood tale.

wide-awake_princess_coverThe Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker

Did you know Sleeping Beauty has a little sister? Her name is Annie and she is immune to magic. It’s the only reason she didn’t fall asleep with the rest of the castle. To save the kingdom, Annie adventures out to find her sister’s true love to break the spell, maybe finding her own along the way. A sweet retelling of Sleeping Beauty as well as a few other fairy tales mixed in.

-Nicole G., 10th grade

Disney’s Frozen vs. Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen

frozen_movie_posterDisney has remade many classics fairy tales into movies. Their latest animated feature is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story, “The Snow Queen.” Disney spun this tale into their newest movie, Frozen.

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!

In Andersen’s version, the story focuses on the relationships between two childhood friends, Kay and Gerda. In the story, trolls send an evil mirror down to Earth and it breaks into pieces and a piece of it lands in Kay’s heart which will turn his heart into a lump of ice. A piece also lands in his eye, making him aware of all of the world’s imperfections. A few nights later when it is snowing he sees the Snow Queen but she quickly fades away. The next day the Snow Queen steals him away and Gerda goes on a search to find him. The Snow Queen is made out to be the villain and Gerda, the hero. She finds Kay blue as ice and dying. Gerda’s cries and her hot tears melt the ice in his heart and Kay begins to cry, too, and the mirror comes out of his eye. The story ends when they go home and summer begins.

Disney’s adaptation, Frozen, is a much more emotional tale. It is a story of sisters, Anna and Elsa of Arendelle. The girls were best friends as children but Elsa had a secret: she had ice powers that she could not control. Once, when playing with Anna, she accidentally struck ice into her head. Their parents rushed her to the trolls and they wiped her memory of her sister’s powers and that saved her life. Elsa was from then on, forced to keep her distance from Anna to protect her. The two became estranged and enclosed. Their parents closed the gate to their castle to shelter their children. They soon after passed away, leaving Elsa to the throne. The castle is reopened for the first time in years for Elsa’s coronation. Elsa becomes nervous and accidentally reveals her powers in front of the kingdom and sets off an eternal winter. She runs away and Anna goes to find her. She tries to convince her sister to come home and bring summer back. They begin to argue and Elsa accidentally strikes Anna in the heart with ice and only an action of true love can save her.

I personally preferred Disney’s rendition of “The Snow Queen.” The movie was heart warming and magical. It brought so much emotion into the story and gave it a depth that the original story lacked. It quickly became one of my favorite Disney movies. The animation and the soundtrack to the movie were phenomenal. The cast was flawless and the film was absolutely fantastic! I’d recommend everyone to see it!

-Sarah B., 12th grade