Lord of the Flies by William Golding

lordoftheflies_williamgoldingPre-reading impression:
Boys + island – adults = cannibalism

Post-reading impression:
British Boys + pig infested island – adults and their rules = wait … Was no one eaten?

I think this was one of the main disappointments. It’s a story about a bunch of little boys on an island. Is it too far-fetched thinking that cannibalism would eventually ensue?

The boys still go savage. That at least was consistent with my pre-reading assumptions. All the little boys are between the age of six and twelve. They start their adventure in an assembly. Their main chief, Ralph, calls them all together by blowing into a conch shell. One thing that always struck me odd is that no one ever knows exactly how many boys there were on the island. They have a whole bunch of assemblies where all the boys are present, but for whatever reason, no one bothers to count everyone during this time. Would it be so hard for Piggy, who is the only boy with brains and common sense on the island, to just turn his head and count the little kids and the big kids.

The characters themselves are pretty distinct. I ignored most of the little ones during the story because they didn’t do much except have nightmares. Simon and Piggy were my favorite characters, and Ralph can grow on you. He is a natural leader, and although he stuck Piggy with the unfortunate nickname, he knows how to take charge of a situation and manage the priorities on what must be done to survive.

Some phrases in the book became pretty common in the assemblies. No one liked listening to Piggy, because he was fat and wore glasses, so in order to get the boys to listen, Piggy would say, “I’ve got the conch.” In response, Ralph often replied, “Oh, shut up.” To which Jack demanded, “We need meat.” Where Ralph would say, “The fire is the most important thing.” Just the same argument over and over.

This is one of those classic books where everything is written for a reason. All the main characters represent a different part of society. It starts fairly organized but eventually gets more chaotic. There are strong archetypical symbols. I found myself thinking, rain is an archetype for rebirth. Thank you, freshman English class. But as fun as it is to just pick out symbols and match them with their corresponding meanings, the book just becomes so much deeper with these ideas in place.

So if you are looking for a classic book with all male characters between the ages of 6 to 12 on an island devoid of cannibalism, Lord of the Flies is the book for you.

-Nicole G., 12th grade

Lord of the Flies is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library, Overdrive, and Axis360

How to Improve your SAT Critical Reading and Writing Scores

glasses-272401_640As a high school junior, I have grown to realize the importance of the SAT, and have searched for hours for ways to improve my scores.  From my own experience, reading is ridiculously helpful in improving critical reading and writing scores, so I thought I would provide you guys with a list of books that are both rich in SAT vocab, and enjoyable to read.

Leonardo di Caprio and Carey Mullligan in a still from The Great Gatsby1.  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald:  Fitzgerald is one of my favorite authors of all time.  I love him because he writes about the 1920s, which is pretty much the most interesting era of all time, and his writing style is beautiful.  The Great Gatsby is one of those rare books that I actually recommend reading after you see the movie, as it makes the plot much easier to understand and hey, looking at Leo DiCaprio for three hours isn’t all that bad either.

2.  Lord of the Flies by William Golding:  This was my favorite book that my class read during sophomore year.  It’s a fictional expose on the concept of civilization and it is interesting and terrifying all at once.  I definitely recommend this book if you are a fan of survival stories, adventure, or even horror.

brave_new_world3.  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley:  This book was required reading for my sophomore year, but I would have read it even if it wasn’t required.  Brave New World is a book that predicts how our future society will look, and also uncovers the startling faults in our own present-day society.

4.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:  I can sum up all the reasons I love this book in two words: Atticus Finch.  Atticus is one of the main characters in the book and is pretty awesome.  He is one of those silent-but-deadly literary heroes that are so hard to find in books nowadays, and that makes me love him even more.

catcher_in_the_rye_cover5.  The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger: This book is amazing because it is written exactly the way I think: sarcastically, honestly, and caustically. (Like how I threw in an SAT vocab word?)  Holden Caulfield is one of the most famous literary characters of all time, and you should definitely read the book to find out why.

6.  Animal Farm by George Orwell:  This book is a satire on the Russian Revolution, as different figures of Russian history are represented by farm animals.  The great part about this book is that it will help you learn grammar and a little bit of history at the same time!

Other books that I haven’t read yet, but are rich in SAT vocab include:  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Have you guys read any of these books yet?  What did you think of them?  Are there any other books that helped you with your SAT studying? Reply in the comments and good luck on your SATs everyone!

-Amanda D., 11th grade

Book Review: Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

lord_of_the_flies_coverHave you ever wondered what it would be like to be stuck on a stranded island with other people, oh wait, I’m sorry– I mean, other kids? Imagine all that freedom! But could all that freedom lead into something horrible or evil?

Well then, you should read Lord of the Files by William Golding. A fictional story taking place in the “near future,” it is a story about a group of boys who crash land on a stranded island. They all realize later that there are absolutely no adults that survived the terrible crash. This book has some suspenseful moments that keep you reading until you literally fall off your chair.

Mr.Golding also did a wonderful job using figurative language to describe his beloved, and ruthless characters and the strange and creepy island the boys are on. I must say, though, that you have to be at least in 8th grade to read this book. The reason is because there are many scenes that do have some violence that may not be suitable for a 7th grader or below. Also because many times in the book the author tends not to say what is happening or actually what happened. The author really wants you to figure out what is actually happening, he wants you to analyze the story.

If there are any readers out there that really like suspenseful, and adventure type books, this is the book for you!

-Robert N., 10th grade