Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Our visit to Grey Court School on PhotoPeach
13 03 2012

Friday, 23 March 2012

D.H. LAWRENCE et al., British and American Short Stories, Penguin Readers, B2, 2700 Headwords,
Álvaro Conesa Vidagany, 2º Bachillerato EFL

This book is an anthology of nine short stories written by British and American authors. I would like to recommend the second short story: ‘Mabel’, whose writer is W. Somerset Maugham.

George is a young handsome American man who was engaged to an English lady, Mabel, but they were separated for eight years as a result of several problems (wars, jobs, etc.)
One evening George received a letter from Mabel, which said that she was coming to the States to marry him. They hadn’t seen each other for a long time and George, being scared, decided to run away. However, Mabel, follows him everywhere he goes.        George flies to Asia to try and hide in Singapore, China, Bangkok, Hong Kong and finally in Tibet, where he has a friend who is a Consul. He thinks he is safe there, but one morning...

This book is ideal for people who don’t have time to read long novels, but enjoy reading interesting short stories, where each one treats a different topic and theme. 

This book has been recommended before. See 3rd March 2011.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

COELHO, Paulo (1998), Veronika Decides to Die, HarperCollins
Patricia Bonelo, 1º Bachillerato B, EFL

-The book is about a girl called Veronika who is tired of routine and, even though she leads a good life, she decides to die. She tries to kill herself but she fails and is taken to a madhouse called Villete, where she is informed that because of her trying to kill herself, she has irrevocable heart problems and she can die in any moment. But in Villete, she meets a boy called Edward who makes her happy, so she wants to live again. Finally, thanks to the treatment she has, she gets well again and she lives with Edward.
-The most interesting part of the book is when Edward and Veronika are in a bench waiting to see the sunrise, but she falls asleep and Edward believes that she is dead.
-I recommend this book to sixteen year olds and above. This is because the book has a very deep meaning to it, which I don’t think anyone under the age of sixteen could really grasp.  

PATON, Alan (1999), Cry, the Beloved Country, C1, 3000 Headwords, Penguin Readers 

By Javier García Navarro, 1º Bachillerato A, EFL

Stephen Kumalo, who is a black church minister, leaves from Ndotsheni to Johannesburg to look for some lost members of his family as are his son, brother (John) and sister(Gertrude). After a long journey and bad experiences, he manages to find them all with the help of Mr Msimangu; but they have changed. His sister has turned to prostitution and has a little boy; his brother has lost his faith and his son has murdered Arthur Jarvis, an opponent of apartheid. Stephen goes to James Jarvis’ house to tell him what his son did to Arthur. Absalom, Stephen’s son, is sentenced to death. Msimangu gives Stephen all the money he had, so that he goes back to Ndotsheni. He has to return home without Gertrude, who has disappeared.  Finally Stephen goes back home, there the drought still rages, and he prays for it to end. Time after, a letter came saying the date of the hanging of Absalom, and ...

The part I found most interesting was when James Jarvis, Arthur Jarvis’s father, went to Ndotsheni to meet Stephen and immediately it started to rain, although there was a drought there. And a few days later James sent an agricultural expert to teach local people new farming techniques. I like this part of the book because I find very interesting that, although Stephen’s son murdered his own son, James wanted to help him and his community to handle the drought. I think James saw in Stephen remorse for what his son had done and that he felt awful.

I would recommend this book both to teenagers and adults. 
Thomas HARDY Far from de Madding Crowd (abridged ed. 2001), B1 1700 Headwords, Penguin Readers

By Ana García Bahamonde, 1º Bachillerato B, EFL

The book is about a beautiful young woman, Bathsheba Everdene, and her three suitors. Each man has a different way of loving her, but finally she marries the wrong one. It is a tragic story that takes place in the beautiful countryside of the south of England.
For me, the most important character is Bathsheba Everdene. She is a strong, independent woman sure of her feelings. She knows what her obligations are and she always acts sensibly until she meets her third suitor. Shortly after, they get married and everything becomes more complicated because he only loves Bathsheba’s money.
I recommend the book to everybody because it is pleasant to read the descriptions made by the author

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Dewey GRAM (2009), Dante’s Peak, A2 Penguin Readers
By Daniel Gonzalez, 1º Bachillerato A, EFL

Harry, an expert in volcanoes, and his boss Paul Dreyfus, go to Dante´s Peak, a small village at the top of a volcano. Everybody thinks there isn´t going to be an eruption, but a few days later the volcano suddenly begins to throw ash and smoke. Harry and Rachel start to help people in the town and in a mine, where they are nearly killed by the volcano, but everybody in the village survives.
I think the best part of the story is when they are all fleeing from Dante´s Peak. You can see what the eviction is like when a volcano eruption happens. I never imagined how fast the lava goes. In a few minutes a volcano can destroy many places, and in this book you can imagine how. The characters have to think fast and to act precisely.
I don´t know exactly which age group I would recommend the book to, but I definitely want to recommend it to my family because every Christmas we go to the Canary Islands, where there are a lot of volcanoes, and I usually climb them. When you read this book you see volcanoes in a different way, not like boring mountains.

Dante’s Peak Movie Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbPYO7rxOag
ROWLING, Joanne Kahtleen (2000), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Bloomsbury.
By Patricia Maldonado 1º Bachillerato B, EFL
                The Triwizard Tournament is being celebrated this year in Hogwarts, between the schools of Beauxbatons, Durmstrang and, for sure, Hogwarts. Underaged students cannot participate, but someone puts Harry Potter's name in the Goblet of Fire and he is selected as the fourth wizard.
Dragons, unexpected creatures and unexpected feelings between some of the characters will make a year full of hard emotions and near dangers. The Daily Prefect, the wizards' newspaper, gives a new image of Harry, which is not very realistic. In the last challenge Voldemort reappears and he and Harry fight. Finally, Harry escapes from him and takes Cedric Digory's body (who had saved him before dying) to his father. Then Harry understands that a new life, a warrior life, will begin for him.
The part that I liked the best is when Ron is very jealous of Victor in the Christmas Eve Dance, and he and Hermione begin to argue until she tells him that if he had been more courageous and had asked her before Victor she would have accepted.
                I recommend this book to everyone because it's beautiful the way that it introduces you in a world where everything is possible, as the part Harry fights against the Dark Lord by the power of his faith in his parents and friends.
The Official Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Website: http://harrypotter.warnerbros.com/gobletoffire/main.html
Sthepenie MEYER (2008)   Twilight, Little Brown
By Guillermo Momparler, 1º Bachillerato A, EFL
This book is a love story mixed with horror. The main plot is the story between Bella (a human teenager), who falls in love with Edwar (a vampire) and all the events that happen throughout their relationship to keep their love alive.
            In my opinion, the most exciting part of the story is when Bella has been bitten by a vampire and Edwar has to decide if he wants Bella to become a vampire or if he will fight for her life as a human girl.
I would recommend this type of novel to teenagers who love reading and who enjoy novels with a continuation, because this book is part of a saga of three more books about the story of Edwar and Bella.

This book has been recommended before, see March 2011
Arthur CONNAN DOYLE, Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Boscombe Pool, B1, Penguin Readers
By Odille Liquete, 1º Bachillerato B, EFL

This book is about the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, who is helped by Dr.Watson one more time. They must discover who killed farmer McCarthy when all evidence of guilt points in his son James’s direction.
The part of the book  I consider more interesting is when old Turner claims that he killed Mr McCarthy so that McCarthy's son, James, doesn't marry his daughter Alice.
I recommend this book to learners of English who like detective stories
This book has been recommended before. See February 2011
Graham HURLEY (2008), The Chop, Barrington Stoke Ltd.
By Paloma Vela, 1º Bachillerato B, EFL

Norman, the main character, narrates incidents that happen to him and his family and friends. The Bird Flu is killing a lot of people in Britain. After several incidents, Norman’s grandfather falls seriously ill. Seconds before his death, he reveals important secrets.
The part of the book that I liked the most was the last chapter, because the grandfather reveals his secret. I didn´t like the rest of the book very much because too  many strange and unimportant things happen.
I’d recommend the book to students who know English because it’s difficult to understand.

If you want to know more: http://www.grahamhurley.co.uk/books/chop
Og MANDINO (1968, 1989), The Greatest Salesman in the World, Mass Market Paperback
By Daniel Maldonado, 1º Bachillerato B, EFL
The story takes place in Christ’s time. It is about a rich old man called Hafid who was a salesman. When he was young his master gave him 10 scrolls, which had a hidden secret about how to see life from another point of view and which were going to help him throughout his life. He made a lot of money. His servant Erasmus always accompanied him.
The part I found most interesting is when he was going to die and he finally found a successor to keep his scrolls. It was a man called Paul who had met Christ and said that he had to meet Hafid to give him something.
This book is a psychological, fantasy tale which has been a best-seller because it has helped a lot of people in their lives.  The message the book gives is: Do not be afraid of life, enjoy the moment and fight for what you want.
I recommend it to people who have problems in their lives. You should be at least 15 years or older to read this book.

Saturday, 17 March 2012