Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Magician, the Djinni, and the Rebel

I finally finished reading The Golem's Eye (book two of the Bartimaeus trilogy) by Jonathan Stroud - I've been watching so many (maybe too many) rented vcds lately. Even though there was so much going on in the story - "the fates of Nathaniel, Bartimaeus, and Kitty explosively collide" - I didn't find it an exciting page-turner like book one, The Amulet of Samarkand. But it was witty and an enjoyable read. Bartimaeus is as likeable as ever (or even more likeable). It was a mystery story with an ending that makes you curious and excited about book three. And I think that it's actually a story about politics. Hmmm, I don't think I've ever read fantasy or children's literature this political before.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Thank you so much to everyone who replied to my kids lit survey post! I really appreciate it. =) Now I have a better idea of what children are reading now. And I've been reminded that children mostly read books that were suggested, given, or required by their parents/other older relatives, teachers, or librarians. Hahaha!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

Survey on Children's Literature

As an English teacher one of my research interests is children's literature (the other is fantasy literature). I read a lot of children's literature, but now I'm wondering what CHILDREN are actually reading. =) If you have children, nieces/nephews, and/or godchildren, what are they reading??? What kinds of books do they prefer and why? What kind of books do you buy for or read to your children/nieces/nephews/godchildren? If you teach children what books do you assign your class?

Thanks in advance. =)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

FAMILY

I was finally able to watch Mission Impossible 3 on Sunday (Mothers' Day), and I was able to watch it with my family. Of all things, what really struck me from the movie was: "Family is... everything." And I was finally able to watch Bee Season (Monday night) and Everything Is Illuminated (Tuesday) on vcd. What I was reminded of by Bee Season is that only from God can our families have true happiness, joy, peace, good health, protection, unity, and strength. From Everything Is Illuminated I learned that everything is illuminated by the past. For example, the past of my broken family definitely illuminates my plans and desires for my future family.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

1. Reply with your name (in the comments section) and I will write something I like about you (also in the comments section).

2. I will then tell what song reminds me of you.

3. If I were to apply an o'clock to you, I'll tell you what it would be.

4. I will try to name a single word that best describes you.

5. I'll tell you the most memorable moment I've had with you.

6. I will tell you what color you remind me of.

7. I'll then tell you something that I've always wondered about you.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

"Although she is the daughter of Damar's king, Aerin has never been accepted as full royalty. Both in and out of the royal court, people whisper the story of her mother, the witchwoman, who was said to have enspelled the king into marrying her, to get an heir to rule Damar - then died of despair when she found she had borne a daughter instead of a son. But none of them, not even Aerin herself, can predict her destiny - for she is to be the true hero who will wield the power of the Blue Sword..."

Sunday evening I asked my family what I should read next: Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry (the sequel to The Giver), (Book two of the Bartimaeus trilogy:) The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud, or The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. Almost everyone "voted" for The Hero and the Crown, so I started reading it that night in Starbucks. (I finished reading it very early Friday morning.) It's a fantasy book and the 1985 Newbery Medal winner, so I was thinking it had great potential to be a book I'll love. It's a combination of my two favorite literary genres: children's literature and fantasy literature. =)

While reading the first chapter I was distracted by thoughts about reading The Golem's Eye instead. I was wondering what Nathaniel and Bartimaeus were up to. But I soon got caught up in the romantic story of Damar's dragon-slaying princess.

I have been reading a lot of the latest fantasy novels and I found The Hero and the Crown refreshing because it is a good old-fashioned fantasy story. (It reminded me of the kind of books I read when I was in elementary school - which makes sense because it is a book published in the 80's. Haha.) It's a very detailed sword and fantasy (I think that the fantasy part is subtle) story (that I think can also be considered a feminist text). It's a real page-turner! It's the kind of novel that makes you resent anything that keeps you away from reading it. ("Like Harry Potter," as my friend Corinne says.) I would look at my students and think, "Grrr, I could be home right now reading The Hero and the Crown." It's the kind of story that lingers with you and haunts you after you have finished reading it. You walk around in a dream-like state when you're reading it and after you've finished reading it. (Again, "Like Harry Potter," as Corinne says.) It's the kind of book that has you wanting to take your time reading it so you can really savor it and you don't want the experience/the story to end but you're torn because you also can't turn the pages fast enough, you're always excited about what's going to happen next, and you can't wait to know how it all ends. (Once again, like Harry Potter.)

The romantic parts of the story made me kilig (loose English translation: giddy). =D I'm wondering though about one part of the novel that is the start of an, um, ahem, intimate scene between two characters. After reading that part I was thinking, "This is children's literature?!" I think people of all ages will enjoy reading The Hero and the Crown, and that particular part of the novel made me doubt a little its being categorized as children's literature.

The story is also sad. =( =( =( I wonder why a lot of fantasy novels are sad or have melancholy undertones. Is it part of good fantasy? Is it part of the nature of fantasy? Can that be traced to the roots of fantasy literature?

I found out that The Hero and the Crown is the prequel to The Blue Sword. Yay! I know what book to buy next. =)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's survey time again =)

1.) Where were you when the ball dropped for 2006?
In General Santos City, Philippines, with my family and relatives. =)

2.) What color underwear are you wearing?
yellow

3.) Do you own an iPod?
no

4.) What did you do this morning?
I didn't wake up until 10:30, then I just got ready for work.

5.) What does your dad do for a living?
He's retired...

6.) Where do you work?
in a language center in a university in the Philippines

7.) What ended your last relationship?
We weren't compatible. =(

8.) What are the last two digits of your phone number?
25

9.) What was the last movie you watched?
Silent Hill

10.) What do you dislike at the moment?
nothing =)

11.) Did you dream last night?
I don't remember anymore.

12.) What was the last TV show you watched?
Kim Sam Soon (a Korean soap opera)

13.) What is your favorite piece of jewelry?
earrings =)

14.) What was the last thing you ate?
an afternoon snack: an egg and ham sandwich

15.) Who is your best friend of the opposite sex?
my brother JP and my gay best friend Isaac (so does that count as the opposite sex?)
my ex was my male best friend when we were still together

16.) Are you on any medication?
no

17) What color is your razor?
blue-green

18.) What is your favorite frozen treat?
ice cream

19.) How many tattoos/piercings do you have?
0/2

20.) What is your favorite store?
bookstores

21.) Are you thirsty right now?
I think so.

22) Can you imagine yourself getting married?
yes

23.) Who's someone you haven't seen in a while and miss?
Isaac

24.) What did you do last night?
I stayed up until 3:30 a.m. reading The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley.

25.) Do you care what people think about you?
yes (especially as a teacher)

26.) Have you ever done something to instigate trouble?
I don't think so.

27.) Do you like your nose?
I don't love it and I don't hate it.

28.) What color is your bedroom?
mostly white

29.) When was the last time you worked out?
???

30.) Are you an aggressive driver?
I don't drive...

31.) Who is your cell phone carrier?
Smart

32.) Do you like the person who posted this last?
(my cousin Stephanie) yes =)

33.) What color is your car?
What car?

34.) What do you smell like right now?
???

35.) What are your favorite colors?
pink

36.) Do you like mustard?
yes

37.) What do you tell yourself when times get hard?
I don't think I tell myself anything, I just get depressed and try to cheer myself up by watching a movie.

38.) Would you ever sky dive?
I don't know, but I don't think I would.

39.) Have you ever bid for something on ebay?
no

40.) What do you think of Angelina Jolie being pregnant?
I think it's great! =)

41.) Who is your favorite Star Wars character?
Padme

42.) What books, if any, have made you cry?
A LOT of books have made me cry.

43.) What are you allergic to?
nothing =)

44.) Are you a jealous person?
Yes, but I'm not a VERY jealous person.

Hey guys, please fill this out and email me. =) I love answering surveys AND I love reading others' answers to surveys. =)