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Teen Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Samantha – Hi! I’m a 7th grader and really excited to be blogging. I LOVE to read and write so I’m most likely going to have a lot of posts. I’ll give you the most honest reviews possible. I hope you read them!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In the future, in the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, no one reads books (which I can’t imagine), and firemen start fires to burn books instead of stopping them. A fireman named Guy Montag has never really thought about the books he burns, until one night one woman loved her books so much that she told the firemen that if they were going to burn her books they would have to burn her too. That got Montag thinking. What was in these books that caused people to die rather than live without them? He thought about that so much he decided to steal a book and read it. Then he saw what that woman saw in her books.

But then he got caught, in the exact same way. If you decide to read this book and like it as much as I did, you can see the play at Prime Stage Theatre.

I saw the play A Wrinkle In Time there in the spring, and it was really good so I also advise you to see all of the plays they will be showing this year:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Nov 2 – Nov 11, 2012
Directed by Justin Fortunato

His fear in 1953 was that television would kill books. Bradbury imagined a future of giant color sets — flat panels that hung on walls like moving paintings. Televisions “walls” and its actors as “family.”   Has his Science Fiction become our Fact?

The Great Gatsby
Mar 1 – Mar 10, 2013
adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel by Peter Joucla of Tour de Force Theatre, UK.
Directed by Richard Keitel

“This new stage adaptation is filled with live jazz music to recreate the glitz and decadence of the Roaring 20’s. Gatsby’s motives are driven by love and hope, rather than greed. The absorbing drama is fast-paced, visually evocative and highly theatrical.”  Theatre Basil, Switzerland.

Walk Two Moons
May 10 – May 19, 2013
adapted by Tom Arvetis, based on Newbery Award book by Sharon Creech
Directed by Lisa Ann Goldsmith

“Flawlessly adapted, Walk Two Moons challenges audiences to look outward into a world where everyone has the immense power to help one another. Walk Two Moons has a poignant, valuable message for audiences of every age.” – ChicagoBeat.

The Blending Time by Michael Kinch

Hey readers! I’m Neeloy Chakraborty and I’m an 8th grader at Science and Technology. I just love reading mystery books and Sci-fi. We do have to do a lot in my school, so whenever I have the time, I read. I also have an interest in Lego robotics so I want to become a robotics engineer when I grow up. I hope you enjoy reading my book reviews.

The Blending Time by Michael Kinch

Once upon a time, I was in the library and picked up a book called “The Blending Time”. It looked interesting so I got it to read. This book was amazing to read so I want you to read it.

The year is 2054 and the world has been turned into a dystopia. Once a person turns 17, you have to get a job or your life takes a turn for the worse in deadly canal work. Three S’teeners, whose names are Jayme, D’Shay, and Reya, get their jobs in Africa being blenders. A while ago, a huge solar eclipse happened not allowing Africans to repopulate. The Blender’s job is to help save Africa’s population in separate villages. The three S’teeners quickly become friends and help each other out until Reya gets abducted by Renegades and the others get separated too.

Will the three S’teeners get back together? I can’t really tell you because it goes against the principle of reading a book! I thought that this book was very interesting with a clutch of action. If you ever read this book, you have to read the next book with even more action and a new setting. And so, I hope you get the chance to read this book and this is Neeloy, signing off!

Pittsburgh: Everyone’s Favorite Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland

In 1868, the journalist James Parton described Pittsburgh as “hell with the lid off.”

Fast forward a century, as well as a complete reinvention from a smoggy steel town to a revitalizing medical research center, and you know what people think of when they think of Pittsburgh?

The end of the world.

No, really. Over the last few decades, Pittsburgh has been the focal point of a number of different apocalyptic wastelands, each more dire than the last, and it seems that filmmakers and video game programmers have striven to see how far they can envision Pittsburgh’s urban enclaves of abandoned buildings into a hopeless, desolate place. Warning: the end of the world is not, as you can imagine, a pleasant place. The following clips might contain curse words or reasons to be scared of ever venturing into the tunnels.

For instance, thanks to George Romero and his 1978 movie Dawn of the Dead, the world bore witness to a world in which hordes of zombies, rapidly overtaking the living, surrounded a ragtag group of hapless survivors taking refuge in… Monroeville Mall.

Trust me. These people aren’t banging down the doors looking for a sale. They’re looking for your brains.

Another couple of decades later, and Pittsburghers who played Fallout 3 were treated to a dystopian Pittsburgh in which the rivers became irradiated by nuclear fallout, causing genetic mutations, social upheaval, and a grimy industrial slave trade.

Not long after, Pittsburgh and the Western PA area debuted as a place where dread and desolation reign, and where cannibals run amok as the setting for the film version of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. You might even recognize a number of shots from the film from this stretch of abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Finally, enter Naughty Dog’s upcoming game for PS3, entitled The Last of Us. The Last of Us features a world in which the Ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani fungus, which infects ants’ brains and forces them to climb up to places where it can shower its spores onto the rain forest floor, has somehow found its way into humans. Players play as a man who, along with a 14-year-old girl, must match brutality for brutality as they attempts to survive in a world turned upside-down.

If you’re in high school, you’ve probably spent a lot of time imagining how you’d survive a variety of different apocalypses, from natural to zombie alike. Well, if the last few years of entertainment are any indication, you’re going to have a lot of people doing the imagining for you.

~Joseph
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Teen review (modern classic edition) : The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My name is Jenna. I go to a high school where I’m part of the marching band and the cheerleading squad. I’m pretty busy, but I always find time to read. I’m also very creative and I like doing little crafts out of random things I find.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I decided to read the Hunger Games because I kept hearing how good of a book it was. When I first read the description, I didn’t think I would even like it or actually end up reading the book. This book definitely deserves all of the hype it’s getting because it’s an excellent story!

Katniss Everdeen is the main character. She lives in District 12, the poorest district of all 12 districts. They are the coal-mining district, and they are looked down upon by the rest of Panem (their country). She is a very independent girl. Katniss is the one who takes care of her mother and sister by hunting illegally in the woods and trading what she hunts for items that she can put on the table at dinnertime. She is rough and probably stronger than most boys in her district.

But, the Hunger Games is right around the corner. Every year, two tributes from each of the 12 districts of Panem, 24 kids in all, are taken from their homes and put into a game where they have to kill each other to win. Whoever is the last person standing, wins, and becomes rich after. And the whole thing is broadcast on television throughout Panem.

Against all odds, Katniss’ little sister is picked to participate in the Hunger Games, and Katniss is so surprised and appalled that she offered to take her sister’s place.

Throughout the book, you are taken on this crazy wild journey to the Hunger Games with Katniss and the other District 12 tribute, Peeta. Read the book to experience the frightening and fast-paced game that these two teens have to go through.

Good News about Dystopias

 

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Dys + (u)topia.  According to www.dictionary.com  (Based on The American Heritage Dictionary, 2009), a dystopia is “an imaginary place…where life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror.” So why would anyone want to read about them? What makes them – actually – fascinating? 

If they’re  like the books on the list put together by bibliokaren a few months ago https://clpteensburgh.wordpress.com/2009/03/26/give-it-up-for-the-giver/, they quicken the blood, give you an edge and alertness. They  distract you from  other pressures. Their main characters’ survive  and, maybe overcome, horrfic conditions, even if in some limited way.  Since Katniss or Matt or  Jonah can live with dignity through the end of the world as we know it or a tyrranical government that tortures or puts teenagers to death; we can handle hard times too.  If they can face ambiguity and temptation, so can we. Any kindness in the midst of so much inhumanity,  makes us hopeful and hopefully kinder ourselves.

UgliesThere’s some good news in the world of dystopias. First of all, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld  is now available as a download: http://www.boingboing.net/2009/08/06/scott-westerfelds-as.htmlabout. Use it to read about  Tally, who can’t wait to be made gorgeous through mandatory cosmetic surgery on her 16th birthday. When the powers-that-be send her to retrieve a friend who’s escaped, she learns about an alternative life. 

Hungar GamesCatching Fire, sequel to Susan Collins’ Hunger Games, will be out in September.  Haven’t read Hunger Games? Do so immediately! Besides a dystopia, it’s a love story. Katniss volunteers to replace her younger sister for The Hunger Games, a televised to-the-death battle among 11 to 18-year-olds from twelve districts. Peeta, who loves her, is determined to ensure she’s the victor. Katniss pretends to love  Peeta, despite a relationship  at home with Gale. Although this wins over their audience, it confuses Katniss as she struggles to keep herself –and Peeta–alive.  

Catching FireCatching Fire continues where The Hunger Games leaves off. This time, Katniss faces worse threats as she competes against  victors from other years as well as becomes a symbol of rebellion against the Capitol.

I’ve found it almost impossible to put down the advanced copy I’m reading–its characters and situations are so vivid and full of life even as death surrounds them.  If you’ve read Hunger Games,  put yourself on the waiting list for Catching Fire. If you haven’t devoured Hunger Games, shut off this blog and get it out. Now.

Then write me to let me know if you agree with me that  Hunger Games and Catching Fire are two of the best books of  last year and this.

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