Monday, 6 August 2012

Michael BUCKLEY (2010), N.E.R.D.S, M is for Mamma’s Boy, Amulet Books
By Isaac Chicaiza, 2º E.S.O. A

The second book of the N.E.R.D.S series starts with Duncan Dewey, a chubby Afro-american boy who works for the national espionage, rescue and defence society. He has the ability to climb and stick on to any surface, hence his nickname “Gluestick”. In this adventure Simon is back and he has the help of a wannabe superhero named Albert.
The main character is Duncan, my favourite because he is smart and talented; the best agent in the team. He has a promising feature, but he has a weakness: he relies on technology too much. He has a super computer which does everything for him; it even helps him to get dressed! So, when his powers (which are created with nano bytes) he feels useless. However, throughout many situations, he learns that the best thing to do is to man up and stop relying on technology so much. I think this also shows that the writer is trying to connect with the real world, as most teenagers nowadays use mobile phones, mp3s, computers... too much.
This book helps you understand what a misfit feels in his relation with his classmates and even his family. It shows just how hard it is to fit in, just because of the fact that you are smarter than the rest of the average people.

If you want to see the writer, Michael Buckley, talking about this book in May 2010, go to TOP SECRET VIDEO - NERDS Book Two: M Is for Mama's Boy
For a general presentation of the series by Jay Johnson, see

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Joseph CONRAD, Heart of Darkness, Penguin Readers, B2, 2300 Headwords
By Daniel González Fernández, 1º Bachillerato EFL

Marlow is a seaman who tells a story about his adventures in Africa years ago. He went from London to the Congo River to arrive at an ivory station, and find a man, Kurtz. Kurtz was a crazy and racist person who died while he was on the ship fleeing from Africa.

I liked the part of the story where Marlow arrives at the Belgian company. There, the importance of Belgium during that period is explained. I like this book a lot because I'm interested in history. I didn't know anything about Joseph Conrad but I would want to read more of his books.

The story is a little bit hard because racism, madness and violence appear constantly. That is the reason why I would recommend this book to people older than me. For young people it is difficult to understand the historic context, the causes, etc.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

John GRISHAM, The Client, Penguin Reader, B1, 1700 Headwords
By Odile Liquete, 1 Bachillerato B, EFL

The book is about  a Mafia lawyer, Jerome Clifford, who before killing himself - reveals to young Mark Sway where the body of the US Senator who was assassinated by the Mafia weeks before, is hidden.  Because of this revelation, Mark Sway will be in serious danger and he will need to find help before the Mafia finds him.
The passage I liked the best, and which the whole book is based on, is  when, before killing himself Jerome Clifford- talks to Mark and - tells him about the turbulent and mysterious activities of the Mafia. ‘’My name is Jerome Clifford, and I will be dead in five minutes.  Barry the Blade is a member of the Mafia in New Orleans and he killed a US Senator…’’
I recommend the book because it’s easy and fast to read. It is an entertaining book full of mystery.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Marc CERASINI (2008), Cinderella Man, Penguin Readers, B1 1700 Headwords
By Guillermo Momparler, 1º Bachillerato A, EFL

This is a tragic novel with shades of a love story. It tells the story of Jim Braddock , a successful New York boxer who lived at the time of the American crash. The story goes throughout his life and how he took his family out of poverty.

This is a contemporary book that talks about the boxing world and all the surroundings of the fame and luxury that turns poor and sad. It mixes historical events and lives of famous people.

I think the part I liked the best or I enjoyed the most is when Braddock told his wife, Mae, that he won the fight, and their little daughter, Rosy, started to punch her dad, smiling, because I think it's a very emotional moment when you're a dad and your little kids smile with happiness at you, saying that they love you with their eyes.

I would recommend this novel to students of English who are preparing their FCE exams because this kind of novel gives you a wide range of specific vocabulary about the boxing world.
Oscar WILDE, The Importance of Being Ernest,
By Luis Cabrero García, 1º Bachillerato A, EFL

The book talks about Algernon, a man who lives in London. He has a friend called Jack. Jack moves between London and his country house. Jack invented a brother called Ernest, the name which he calls himself when he is in London. He falls in love with Gwendolen, Algernon’s cousin. She thinks his name is Ernest as well. He met another girl called Cecily. The plot of the book focuses around the two girls trying to marry Ernest. He was abandoned as a child and given the name Jack but he thinks his real name is Ernest.

The main character is Jack Worthing, who is a rich bachelor also known as Ernest Worthing. He’s the protagonist because the plot revolves around his attempt to marry Gwendolen. His aunt, Lady Augusta Bracknell, is the antagonist because she opposes the intentions of the protagonist. Her refusal to allow Gwendolen to marry Jack is where most of the plot comes from.

I think anyone could read this book. It’s very funny and easy to read because it is a play and the dialogues are easy to understand as well. There is also a film.