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Around the World in 80 Books: TAP’s French Library

This year, to gain a little insight on France before we travel there, we ask that each student choose three books, plays, or poems from our list to read this year.  Officially, this assignment begins June 1st (but we’re posting it a bit early to give you all a head start if you want it), and we ask that you read one by July 31, a second one by October 31, and your third choice by December 31.

(In mid-December, we’ll post another list of literature selections that relate to the Benelux countrues – BElgium, the NEtherlands, and LUXembourg.  For that assignments you will be asked to choose two Benelux books to read between January 1 and June 1).

The assignment is as follows.

  • Select a book (total of three) that interests you from the lists below.  Be sure to take a look at the different categories, and try to expand your horizons a bit by selecting from different ones
  • Read and learn a bit more about France.
  • After you’ve read, come back and use the comments section on this page to post your TAP Book Report.
  • After you’ve posted, remember that we’re hoping for a discussion here.  Pick four other kids’ book reports and respond to them with your thoughts or questions. 
  • Repeat until you’ve read three books/plays/poems from the list (or more if you want).

Please have your books read and your comments posted on or before the due dates listed above.  Reading, posting, and commenting is worth a total of 50 points for each book, or a total of 150 points for the entire assignment.   

Find your French books below:

Myths and Legends     Poetry    Plays    Classics    Modern Classics

The Not So French People     For Younger Readers     Graphic Novels

Of course, if you have a book in mind that fits the criteria, but doesn’t appear on one of our lists, please let us know what you’d like to read.  Maybe we’ll even add it to the list.

TAP Book Reports:

Here are your areas of focus for your TAP Book Reports.  Each report should have six sections.  The point of these is to help you connect your reading to what you’ll see on your trip.  Please be sure to submit complete reports.  We suggest writing your TAP Book Report in another program, like Word or Google Docs, then copy/pasting it into the comments box for this assignment.

Part 1: Book Basics

Give us great information about the book itself. No, not information about what happens in the book – we want to know about the book.  Information could include:

  • The publication date
  • The genre
  • The basic theme
  • Other books in the series (or other books with similar themes this author’s written)
  • Awards the book has been nominated for or won
  • The audience the book is intended for
  • The popularity of the book (is it a bestseller? is it considered a classic?)
  • Was it made into a movie, a video game, toys, TV shows, cartoons?
  • What’s your opinion of the book?

Here’s an example I’ve written for my book summary on Jock of the Bushveld, a book set in South Africa:

Jock of the Bushveld is a fast-paced and exciting series of adventures the author, Percy Fitzpatrick had with his dog, Jock, in the late 1800s South Africa.  The book was first published in 1907 and has since become a South African classic.  Fitzpatrick’s tale is one of the most popular South African novels ever published, demonstrated by the fact that the lodges at Kruger National Park in South Africa are all named after characters from the book.  Over the years, Jock of the Bushveld has been made into two movies (one in America and one at home in South Africa) and one children’s cartoon.

Part 2: Author Info

Now it’s time to tell us some more about the person who wrote your book.  Information about the author could include:

    • why/how they came up with the idea
    • jobs they’ve had before writing
    • where they’re from, especially if that has anything to do with the setting of the book you read
    • other books they’ve written
    • family or friends that influenced or impacted their writing
    • If there’s an illustrator, who was it? What should we know about them?
    • or a million other things.

Here’s an example:

Percy Fitzpatrick was a clerk in a Cape Town bank before his father suddenly passed away. He then took it upon himself to try to make a fortune in the South African Gold Rush of the 1880s to make enough money to support his family.  He hitched a ride with some transport drivers to the gold fields of the Transvaal, but did not have much luck mining for gold.  Instead, he made just enough money to buy a team of oxen and a wagon, taking up the life of a transport driver and helping move people and their belongings across the wilds of South Africa to settle what would become towns like Nelspruit and Johannesburg. After his adventures as a driver, he worked as a shopkeeper, a journalist, an author, and later got involved in politics.  His most famous book, Jock of the Bushveld, comes from the adventures he and his dog had while moving people and goods across the country.

Part 3: A Character

This section is all about your a character from your book (the main character or good guy will work best, but any major character will do). You should write about the character, not what they do in the story. Things you could include are:

  • their name
  • something about their personality
  • how old they are or something else that gives us an idea about age like their year in school
  • their job or role in society (besides being a student)
  • hobbies they have that are important in the story
  • anything about their family or friends that makes them who they are
  • and anything else interesting about them
  • your character’s strengths
  • and weaknesses.

Here’s the example:

Since the main character of Jock of the Bushveld is Percy Fitzpatrick, the author, and I’ve already talked about him, I’m going to use this space to focus on Jock, Percy’s dog.  Jock was the runt of the litter of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and Percy met him just minutes after he was born.  It’s often thought that the runt will spoil the litter, because he needs more attention and nourishment from his mother, so it was common practice to drown the runt to save the rest of the pups.  Percy saw something special in Jock and saved the pup from that fate, taking him from the litter and raising him on his own.  Jock was Percy’s constant companion from that moment on.  He proved Percy to be good judge of character, because Jock was smarter, more loyal, and braver than any other dog.  Jock traveled alongside Percy during his years as a transport driver, hunting game with him whenever the group needed food.  Jock was an outstanding hunter, because he was patient and obedient.  On more than one occasion, Jock’s quick thinking and bravery saved Percy or another member of the team.


Part 4: Time

Next is a paragraph about your book’s time period.

  • First you should give us an idea of when your book takes place. You could give specific years or an era of history (you could use a decade, a war, or the name of an era like The Middle Ages or The Great Depression).
  • If you don’t know a specific year(s) or era, use context clues like historical events, pop culture references, and any technology (or lack of technology) that are in the story to help you figure it out.
  • Next, tell us about the season or time of year (if it’s important to the story).
  • How much time passes in your book (a day, a year, a lifetime)?
  • What’s going on in the world to give us some context?
  • How the time period is different than now (if it’s a modern book skip that one)?
  • Finally, if your book is takes place over more than one time period (like a time travel book) be sure to explain that.

Here’s the example:

Jock of the Bushveld takes place during the South African Gold Rush of the 1880s.  Tensions were mounting in South Africa and soon after the story, the English and Afrikaners of the country would go to war in what we now call the Boers War.  You see some of that tension between people developing in the story.  The story takes place over the course of several years, as Jock grows from a puppy to a mature, strong dog.  There are a few key scenes that take place at night out in the Bushveld, while Percy and Jock are lost in the wilderness hearing lions and hyenas off in the distance.  Time of year is important too, because some parts of the book take place during the rainy season and some during the drier times, which changes how Percy is able to move his transport wagons.

Part 5: Place

Writing about where your story happens takes a few steps.

  • Start out with the big picture: tell us the name of the country, state, city, or even planet where you book takes place.
  • If the place isn’t named, you can just describe the environment (is it mountains, country, city, small town, swamp, desert…). Some of you will be able to do a little of both.
  • Next you’ll zoom in and tell us about some of the specific locations your book uses. Think about if your book was being written as a play – what sets would we have to build on the stage – a classroom, a bedroom, a playground, the beach, a museum…
  • If it’s important, you can tell us about the things like climate and weather.
  • Then tell us what makes the world your characters live in different from ours.

Here’s the example:

The Lightning Thief is a fantasy story that takes place in several locations around the United States. The book starts in upstate New York, follows the characters to New York City, and continues as the heroes travel across the country to Los Angeles. There are several important settings in the story. Yancy Academy, Percy’s school, is where the story begins. We also see a museum in New York, the St. Louis Arch, an amusement park in Denver, an arcade in Las Vegas, and the ancient Greek Underworld. Percy travels to many different places across the country while on a quest to retrieve a stolen lightning bolt for the Greek god Zeus. The story is loaded with humor and keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wait to find how Percy saves the world.

Part 6: Connection to the World

In part 8, write about how reading this book, play, or poem is going to help prepare you for your trip.  What did you learn from the book that will help you better understand the places you’ll be visiting?  Come up with three specific things (three paragraphs) and expand on them to help other students see how reading that piece of literature is important.  

Here’s the example:

This year I read Jock of the Bushveld by Percy Fitzpatrick.  There are numerous ways that I think this novel helped me prepare for my trip to South Africa later this year.  First, it gave me a more accurate view of what South Africa looked like.  I always used to picture a few big cities, surrounded by vast wilderness that all looked like the savannah region around Pride Rock in The Lion King, and I always figured there was jungle in there somewhere – after all, that’s where they sang Hakuna Matata!  Now I have a much better understanding of the geography of South Africa.  The bushveld, where most of the story takes place, is an open, relatively flat area, filled with bushes and trees in the wet season, but is very empty in the dry season.  That disparity was shocking to me, but I suppose it shouldn’t have – home looks much different at different times of the year, so why shouldn’t South Africa?

Second, I guess I didn’t realize how big South Africa is.  The story is about Percy, and some other men, who make a living transporting people’s belongings from larger cities on the coast, like Cape Town, to areas that were growing and expanding in the north, because of the gold rush.  These journeys took an incredible amount of time, and appeared to be very dangerous.  It reminded me of covered wagons making their way across the western United States as pioneers.  The parallels to these two stories are remarkable, so to be able to make that connection gave me a much better understanding of South Africa’s expansion and history.

Finally, I knew there was a great deal of racism in South Africa’s history, but what I hadn’t realized that there was so much division amongst white South Africans until I read this book.  This book opened by eyes to the discord between South African whites with English heritage and the South African whites called Afrikaners – Dutch heritage.  Many of the miners, drivers, and shopkeepers who were Afrikaners, or Boers, seemed to hate Percy for no reason.  Slowly I realized it was because of his English heritage, which I didn’t get.  Also, even though I knew there were several different tribes of native black Africans in South Africa, I didn’t realize the level of dislike and distrust between some of them.  One character in the book, a Zulu, saw himself as superior to all the other black Africans from other backgrounds.  Of course, soon after the story took place, the Boers Wars erupted, English and Afrikaners fighting one another for control of the country.  Reading this book gave me a whole new perspective on that war.

117 Comments leave one →
  1. Jaden Easton permalink
    June 22, 2015 8:39 pm

    This exciting and action packed book was published in 1999 by Hudson Talbott. It is Myth and Fantasy book and the basic theme is, it’s about a knight who searches for adventures and finds love and hate along the way. This book is intended for grade school children who want to get a basic understanding of the story. This book has been made into many movies but for alternate versions.
    The author, Hudson Talbott, was born in Louisville Kentucky but lived in Amsterdam for two years. Living in Amsterdam evoked his curiosity about the myths, legends and stories of Camelot. Other stories written by this author include, King Arthur and the Round Table, Excalibur, and The Sword In the Stone.
    Lancelot is the brave, handsome main character. Lancelot is a knight for King Arthur of Camelot. Lancelot goes on man quest by order of the King. He saves civilians within their kingdom. Many of Lancelot’s friends are royal so he becomes important. One of his strengths is fighting and outwitting. His weakness is he is easily heartbroken.
    This book takes place during medieval times when technology was not advanced. Also during this time period, it was not a democracy but a monarchy. Decisions regarding the society were determined by the royal family.
    The story occurs in Camelot, a kingdom in England. There are mountains, woods, and developing civilization. They have established themselves communities depending on their wealth and rank with in the royal family and/or court.
    While reading the story of Lancelot, I learned more about how the royal family works. I understand that the King makes all decisions and the court follows his orders. I learned about how before you become a knight; you must present yourself to King Arthur of Camelot to show that you are worthy.
    I also learned a lesson from the relationship of Lancelot and Elaine, Elaine returned the favor of Lancelot saving her life by saving his life and bathing him and returning his mind and his happiness. When Lancelot realized that she was devoted to him, he knew she deserved to feel the same way, so he married her. So I learned treat people the way you want to be treated and to reciprocate a act of kindness if someone is nice to you.
    I learned that even with little money and comfort, you can still be happy and go on with life.

    • June 29, 2015 10:39 am

      It’s pretty obvious how Lancelot’s story fits into English “history” and mythology, but how does he fit into this particular trip to France?

      • Jaden Easton permalink
        August 12, 2015 5:06 pm

        Lancelots story is a cultural story to France and it shows history with a twist. It relates to France because it was written in France by Hudson Talbott, a French man.

    • Isaac Westerhoff permalink
      July 31, 2015 10:16 pm

      The story seems interesting with the king and showing him who the people are. But what is the purpose of going up to the king?

      • Emma Pienkos permalink
        August 15, 2015 11:29 pm

        I’ve seen quite a few movies that are based off of the novel. What are the differences between the story and the movie?

  2. Jared Weis permalink
    July 6, 2015 1:38 pm

    In a nutshell, “Lancelot, or the Knight of the Cart,” is a realistic-fiction story about a brave knight, on an adventure to save the queen, who has been kidnapped. The story starts with Meleagant abducting Guinevere. After tricking the king into letting him do so, although a man named Gawain told him not to. Lancelot and Gawain then set off to find the queen, and meet a dwarf driving a cart, who tells them which way the queen and her captor went. The story then goes on to tell stories of how Lancelot helped beautiful damsels, and defeat the knights who oppose him. He eventually finds Guinevere and Meleagant, and decapitates the traitor to King Arthur.
    While I was reading, the beginning showed many traces of old European words and culture, though I didn’t understand most of it. The book would have taught me much more about the things they do in places like France, had I understood what was going on.

    • July 6, 2015 1:45 pm

      Look closely at the requirements of the assignment. You’re missing quite a few of the pieces.

      • Jared Weis permalink
        July 14, 2015 2:31 pm

        There being many versions of the Lancelot story, the version I read was published around 1180, by Heraklion Press. It’s author is Chretien De Troyes, and was written as an Arthurian Legend. The basic theme is that love can either help you on a quest, or get you killed in some way for it. It sounds odd, but it’s true. Both versions of the theme are in the book. The man in the middle of the story is beheaded by Lancelot for stalking some random woman. Lancelot on the other hand, survived injury after injury to find the love of his life. This book is always considered a classic, and will stay in many people’s hearts after they read it. Lancelot story was also so appealing to film directors that a movie called Camelot was made in the book’s honor.
        Chretien De Troyes was a late 12th century French poet, who was known for his Arthurian subjects and originating Lancelot himself. He is from Troyes, or at least connected with it. He has had many other major works such as Eric and Enide, Cliges, and Yvain, Knight of the Lion. There are also the lesser known poems such as Philomena. Not much is known about his life outside of poetry other than that he served at the court of his patroness Marie of France.
        Lancelot is the main hero of the story. He is brave, willing to take on any challenge. Normally hiding his identity to those who don’t know him, he is a knight of King Arthur of Camelot. When the Queen is kidnapped by Meleagant, Lancelot sets off to rescue her. He faces trial after trial, and, determined to finish this quest, finishes each one. His strengths include his skills at sword fighting and his perseverance, but when faced with the decision to kill or have mercy, he sometimes can’t decide.
        The story takes place somewhere between 1150-1170, based on the way the characters speak and what they use in their daily lives. The story takes place over about a week or so, during the spring. The time period is much different, as people fight using things like lances and sword, where as we fight with things like guns.
        The story takes place mostly in Caerleon, Wales, where Meleagant takes the queen after kidnapping her. On his journey, Lancelot makes several stops at various cities and kingdoms which are not named in the book. This is different from our world because many places don’t have kings and queens.
        There are many things about France that this book taught me. For one, I now have a much better view on old French, or European history. This could help me answer some questions about past events in France. Like the story, many things in France around Lancelot’s time period were much different than ours, like hoes, battle axes, and things like that, giving me a better vision on its history.
        Second, I can learn much more about the events in French history, as that some of the events in the book could relate to historic events. Like the battle between Meleagant and Lancelot. What if something like that happened in a court in France? Then I would have a much better understanding of how it went down and why it went down.
        Lastly, the people of early France. The characters in the book are possibly related to real life people from that time period. Lancelot could be a nod to a brave knight who fought in a war many years ago, dealing the final blow to end said war. Meleagant could be a nod to the one who began the war. These could all be nods to actual people and actual events.

        • Sierra permalink
          July 29, 2015 11:15 am

          This story seems to really show a lot of history which is great before our trip. Also is Lancelot in love with the queen or does he just want to save her? This seems to be a good story.

        • Aidan Bell permalink
          August 14, 2015 6:59 pm

          I thought the story of Lancelot was a story about a kingdom in England, how is this story helpful for our trip?

    • Katie Moran aka yeet queen permalink
      August 11, 2015 5:21 pm

      So… Lancelot ends up taking the guys head off in front of the king?? Or bringing his head to the king?? Or??

  3. Ryan Doody permalink
    July 16, 2015 1:23 pm

    The Little Prince is the tale of a pilot stranded in the Sahara desert where he encounters a small alien prince who tells him his story. It is thought to be an allegory of the author’s, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, own experiences being stranded in the Sahara. It was published in 1943 and can be considered many different genres, but overall stands as a fable or fantasy. This book is meant for adults who can understand it on a deeper scale about being a grown up and such. That being said though, I still enjoyed it. The Little prince is one of the most popular books of all time, selling over 140 million copies worldwide. It is the third most translated book and was adapted into a film in 2015
    The author of the book, Antoine de Saint-Exupery came up with the idea based of his actual real-life experiences stranded in the Sahara. He saw the Little Prince while he was hallucination due to dehydration. Before becoming an author Antoine was a cargo pilot and a WWII air force member. Antoine is French and wrote many other books, his most famous being Wind, Sand, and Stars which won the U.S. National book award. The illustrator of this book was actually Antoine himself, who had no prior experiences being an illustrator. He even acknowledges that he’s not very good in the book.
    The whole story is told from the narrator’s point of view but the Little Prince is the main character. He is very small, hence the name the Little Prince. Despite his size he is very adventurous and believes in himself. He doesn’t understand the way Earth works and how the people here act which causes him to get confused often. The Princes age is unknown and by the way he acts it is very difficult to tell. The Prince lives on a planet that has a population of one so there is no society for him to play a role in. The Prince is in love with a rose and cares very much about it. He is very stubborn and stands by his opinion. This, in my opinion, is one of his greatest strengths.
    In the book no one ever says when it is taking place and since it all takes place in a desert the season is also unknown. However, we do know that it takes place sometime between WWI and WWII.The book takes place about a week’s period of time, the amount of time the narrator is stranded. It was different back then. Nowadays, when a plane crashes they have emergency radios and cell planes and a whole slew of other things that allow them to be rescued if they are stranded. Back then they didn’t have that kind of luxury.
    The story technically takes place in the Sahara desert, a huge desert in Northern Africa Spread out across multiple countries. But many parts also happen on tiny unnamed planets that the little prince visited. The Sahara desert is very hot, barren, and very very dry. The book never gives a specific area in the Sahara they may be, just the Sahara in general.The Little Prince’s world is different from ours because it is so small and one person is in charge of everything. On Earth we have so many different countries with different cities with so many different leaders. Our planet is much more diverse than his.
    This year I read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Reading this story has lead to me discovering some interesting things about my trip . First, I realized how different the countries are going to be from the United States. I realized this when the Prince first came to Earth how everything was different and he was very confused. But, he learned to like it and embraced the difference which is what I’m planning to do and I hope everybody else does.
    Second, I learned that I need to learn how to talk differently. In the countries we will be visiting they will not understand the kind of slang that is common here. If I talk like I normally do they will get sometimes get confused and I will have to explain myself, just like the narrator had to do sometimes for the Little Prince. I will also have to explain to many of the people that I am not French which will be difficult.
    Third, I learned that each of the four countries we visit will all be very different. In the story the Little Prince visits multiple planets in a row and although many of them are extremely close together they are all extremely different. That’s how going from country to country is going to be. The people on each of the planets were different too. It’s going to be a lot different than from going state to state. I think the things I’ve learned will help me a lot on my trip.

    • Isaac Westerhoff permalink
      July 31, 2015 9:39 pm

      I read The Little Prince as well and I thought the same thing Ryan. But hopefully the people are different than they they were in 1943. Most of the stuff that you wrote I wrote as well and I hope that our trip to France is good and the people can understand us. And I hope that we can adapt to what it is like in the countries that we visit.

  4. Ryan Doody permalink
    July 16, 2015 2:21 pm

    The Necklace is that tale of a Madame Mathilde Loisel who wishes she was rich and grand. She gets the chance when her husband gets the two of them invited to a posh party. She spends a large sum of money and buys a beautiful dress and borrows a diamond necklace from her friend, Madame Jeanne Forestier. After a great night, she returns with no necklace and has to take many loans in order to buy a new one. After ten years, her and her husband’s debt finally paid off, she sees her friend. Jeanne, shocked over how quickly Mathilde has aged tells Mathilde that the diamonds were fake and that the necklace she lost cost a fraction of what she replaced it with. This story was published in the newspaper on February 17, 1884. It is a fable by Guy de Maupassant, who also wrote other short stories such as Piece of String and Mother Savage. This book is for kids and adults and has been told to teach a lesson. Over the years the story has been adapted into many films. I personally enjoyed the story, especially the twist ending.
    Guy de Maupassant was a great short story writer from France. He was a writer his entire life and as a child was heavily influenced by his mom. She made the bold choice to divorce her husband even if it meant she would be socially disgraced. It wasn’t the kind of thing most women did in the 1860’s. Since she was his only parent, she was Guy’s inspiration.
    The main character of this short story is Madame Mathilde Loisel, a poor woman who wishes that she was rich and desired. She is somewhere in her twenties and is a spouse to a husband whose name is never said. She likes to dream of a better life where she is beautiful and sought after. She in reality is very pretty, but being poor is a weakness that holds her back from achieving being desired which she very much wants to be.
    This book takes place a very long time ago, around the late 1800s. It takes place in the city of paris and either in Spring or Autumn. We know this because at the end of the party it is raining and Mathilde’s husband is worried about Mathilde getting cold. The books takes place over a few days time, then flashes past and tells us what the couple did for ten years. If this kinda problem happened nowadays Mathilde would have gone on the internet. When she was looking at how much the necklace was she would learn the diamonds were fake and all would’ve been well.
    As I mentioned before the book takes place in Paris. Paris nowadays is much bigger than it was back then, but even so Paris was still considered a huge city compared to how small most cities were back then. The climate is somewhat chilly at the time of the book taking place. The world the characters live in is very different than ours. Something like this story seems completely impossible to us nowadays but back then is could’ve happened.
    This year I read The necklace by Guy de Maupassant and it taught me some interesting things to prepare for my trip to Paris this year. The first thing I learned is how old Paris is. This short story was written over 120 years ago. That’s a long time but Paris has been around hundreds of years before then and you realize what a deep, rich history Paris has.
    The second thing I learned is that when the short story first came out it was supposed to take place in modern times, which it did when it was first published. However, when we look at it nowadays it happens in olden times and it taught me that one day all the realistic fictions of today will have happened so long ago when we look at them in the future. It’s an interesting concept that I will keep in mind when we read more books from the past.
    Finally, the third thing I learned is how the class system has changed from back then to now. If you were poor or even if you were around or just below middle class you weren’t treated well, beauty not factoring in, just how much money you had. Nowadays if you are super poor but a rich person thinks you are beautiful then he will treat you normally or even better than normal, money not factoring in. Things for Mathilde would have been very different had she lived in modern times. It is something that I learned from the book I read and it is very interesting for sure.

    • Jasmin Zielinski permalink
      July 30, 2015 11:52 am

      The class system changing is very interesting and I know exactly what you mean by beauty factoring in nowadays. Does the book explain any more about who Madame Jeanne Forestier is? She seems like a very important character to the plot of the story. Also, how else does the husband contribute to the story? Well, besides getting them invited to the party. This book sounds like a very good read.

      • Ryan Doody permalink
        August 11, 2015 4:41 pm

        Madame Jeanne Forestier is mostly kept as a minor character who is only encountered twice in the story. The husband contributes by by helping her pay off the debt and giving up getting a new hunting to get his wife a new fancy dress. It’s a good short story and I recommend you should read it.

      • Katie Moran aka yeet queen permalink
        August 11, 2015 5:17 pm

        Do you think the necklace, which could represent wealth and fortune, have an influence on decisions made by each of the characters? Obviously It had a negative impact on the husband and wife, but do you think it would have impacted everyone else at the party the same way if it had been them instead of the couple?

  5. Hannah Jackson permalink
    July 20, 2015 12:42 pm

    La Belle et la Bête by Villeneuve

    The fairy-tale Beauty and The Beast (La Belle et la Bête) was originally written by French author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in the 1740’s. The version I read was a shortened English translation found in The Blue Fairy Book, a collection of fairy-tales. The theme is to not trust appearances, to look for the beauty on the inside rather that the outside. The intended audience is children and it has been considered a classic fairy-tale that sparked many more books, plays, movies, TV series, games, and toys that follow the same basic story line. I really enjoy the story of Beauty and The Beast from Disney’s movie, so to a read the original was fantastic. I love how unlike most princess movies, Beauty takes her time to fall in love. I also love the theme of the story; I agree that it is important to look on the inside for beauty rather than just the outside.

    I was unable to find very much information on the author of Beauty and The Beast. Her name is Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and she is from France. Madame d’Aulnoy, Charles Perrault, and various précieuse writers influenced her writings. She was also the first to come up with the story of Beauty and The Beast. Her work inspired a chain of various versions of Beauty and The Beast.

    The main character Beauty is a very selfless character. She sacrifices herself to leave her family and live with a beast in order to save her father. Belle is also very brave and strong. At the beginning of the story, after her father loses all his fortunes she is quick to recover and tries to makes the best of things and helps the family to recover. She is also content with a simple life. When her father leaves in hopes to collect his fortunes he promises each of his children something of great value upon his return. Belle simply asks for a rose, something of almost no value, just to admire its beauty. Each of these characteristics are strengths. I have to predict that Beauty is a young adult since she still lives with her family and she couldn’t be too young that her father would let her go away and then get married. The only job she has is the role she plays in her family. She helps out with chores and such. Her sisters are far more full of themselves and don’t care for Beauty or the rest of the family as she and her brothers do. They show how she is the kindest and the cleverest, especially since she is the one to sacrifice herself. Belle also enjoys singing and dancing which shows that she is a cheerful girl that tries to make the best out of a bad situation.

    Beauty and The Beast takes place most likely in the mid 1700’s when the book was written. There is nothing in the context suggesting the year it takes place. There are little things, like how they wear gowns and have ships and castles, and the lack of technology developed in the 1800’s that suggest that it takes place during the time it was written. The time period is very different than today because the lack of modern technology and the use of castles and ships. The story most likely covers three to four years. They start off rich and then become poor for sometime. Then two years later Beauty’s father left to gather some of his fortunes and was gone for six months. While returning to their cottage, he found refuge in a castle after battling the harsh winter. He was able to return for a month to gather a daughter, who he brought back to live in the castle. She lived there for a little while then was able to return home for two months. When she returned to the castle again she married the beast. Overall this plot was over a few years.

    There is not too much in the story to give a good idea about where the story takes place. I can predict that it is somewhere in France since it was written by a French author. It is also somewhere far enough from the sea that it is a long journey for Beauty’s father to reach on horse. They live in a forest in a small cottage near small villages. They eventually move into a small village. As a play, the scenes that they would have would be a castle, a cottage, a small village, and the woods. The climate includes four seasons since her father was stuck in the harsh cold of winter, while other parts of the story include summer like conditions. The world the characters live in is different from ours because there is magic when Beauty gets teleported and there is a beast that does not live in our world but is a main part in theirs.

    From reading Beauty and The Beast I learned, that while on the trip to not just look at something and take it for granted based on its appearance. To truly get an understanding of something you have to look deep inside it, to find its meaning and understand its purpose and beauty. Being the moral of this fairy tale, the idea to not trust appearances can be used in many cases.
    This fairy-tale is very popular in modern day, reading the original, written by a French author and taking place in France gives me a good picture of French culture. Fairy-tales are written to teach children lessons, showing the morals and values of the culture in which they were written.
    Lastly, this story shows a little into what things might have been like in the mid 1700’s. Not too much about any hard times, since it is a children’s story, but it includes what they wore, how some people lived, and jobs during that time. It is interesting to know about a country’s past especially since we will not be able to experience it ourselves, just imagine based on remaining culture and art.

    • Sierra permalink
      July 29, 2015 10:41 am

      I never would have though that The Beauty and The Beast to be written by a french author. I personally love this story. Also i agree that the story teaches to look for the beauty inside. I do have one question, did the version you read and the Disney movie have any big differences?

      • Hannah Jackson permalink
        August 8, 2015 1:36 pm

        Yes, there were some key differences between Villeneuve’s version and Disney’s Version. First, Beauty is the main character’s name and she comes from a family of six boys and six girls that were at one time very wealthy until he father lost all his fortunes. In the book, Beauty never showed an interest for reading like in Disney’s version and her father didn’t leave her because he created a new invention, he left to find wealth for their family. In Villeneuve’s version, Beauty’s father was told to leave the castle and bring back one of his daughters to the beast on their own choice, Beauty never found the castle on her own. The biggest part that Disney created, because it’s Disney, was the human like objects that could talk and move. In Villeneuve’s version, there are no apparent servants, thongs are done almost magically, like the appearance of a meal.

    • Jasmin Zielinski permalink
      July 30, 2015 12:52 pm

      I also agree with the theme of beauty is on the inside too. This is very important, as you said, for when on the trip. I, too, think that you need to take a closer look at something to be able to judge its true beauty. The importance of this theme will help me personally on the trip to find the really beautiful things, i.e. paintings, architecture, etc, and learn something from them. It sounds like Beauty has quite a big family. How many brothers and sisters does she have?

      • Hannah Jackson permalink
        August 8, 2015 1:37 pm

        Beauty came from a family with six brothers and five sisters who all lived with their father.

    • Jonathan Lohman permalink
      July 31, 2015 4:13 pm

      I didn’t realize that Beauty and the Beast was originally written that long ago and was French. I’m so use to the Disney version and was surprised to read that Belle had siblings. I like your idea about not judging a book by it’s cover. Just because we see something that doesn’t look all that interesting doesn’t mean it isn’t. We could miss out on a really cool opportunity.

  6. Jackie Keeton permalink
    July 22, 2015 3:23 pm

    The Little Prince is a modern classic French tale published in 1943 by the talented author Antoine De Saint-Exupery. The book is most likely intended for young teens but is fascinating enough for all ages. Sadly, the book does not appear to have won any awards but the book was made into a tv series. The Little Prince really has an interesting back story. From my research of the reason Exupery decided to write the book i discovered that, since Exupery was a French pilot, he had crashed into the Sahara desert himself and because of dehydration he had hallucinations of a little prince. Everything he writes about in the book is about his past experiences, I definitely didn’t expect that to be the cause of him writing this book. Speaking of crashing in the Sahara desert, the basic theme of the book is when a single male crashes into the Sahara desert once his plane engines breaks. There he meets a little prince who ends up teaching him great lessons, such as looking at the little things in life. My opinion of the book is that it sends a really great message to be open minded. Specifically, to not look at figures in life but to look at the person as a whole. The book used many good metaphors such as seeing a beautiful house as a child and appreciating it but as an adult wanting to know the price before anything is considered to backup my statement. Even though the book does say adults only look at figures i think some adults do still perceive things as good. The Little Prince does have a second book, The Return Of The Little Prince, and i’m looking forward to reading that one also.
    The author of The Little Prince is Antoine De Saint-Exupery. He had been a former pilot in the French Air Force which which helped contribute a storyline to the book. He had written many other books such as Wind, Sand, and Stars and Night Flight. The illustrator of the book also happens to be Antoine. It was stated that it was a first time experience for him to be drawing and he wasn’t all that impressed by his work.
    The main character in the book happens to be the little prince. No matter what his figure is, since he is fairly small, he still believes in the good and appreciates the little things. All though the things may be small, they have a greater importance and that’s what The Little Prince is all about. Since he is from another planet the Earth is still undiscovered by him and his curiosity leads to questions and it gives a really good feel to the book. The age of the little prince was never stated in the book but looking at his actions still makes his age unknown. Since the little prince lives on a planet by himself there is nothing for him to take a role in. There happens to be no society or ways of control on his planet for him to participate in. The prince does pick boabab sprouts but mainly cares for his rose, which he happens to be in love with. It wasn’t really known for the prince to have any weaknesses but he does believe in himself which can give him great power.
    Unfortunately, you can’t tell when the book is taking place and since he is stranded in the desert you can only identify one season. Since Antoine was a pilot in WWII and thats when he crashed it could be known to have happened around that time period. Since, back in the day, technology wasn’t as complex, the author was stranded for about a week. Which in the long run, could have been the end of Antoine. Although, his dehydration and hallucinations brought us a great tale.
    All these events take place in the Sahara desert. Antoine crashed there, hence, the character who portrayed him crashed there and was stranded. The air was hot and the sun beats down. It was a miserable time and personally, i can only imagine because i think it’s too hot in Illinois. The climate really is different thank our because it was extremely hot, but yet he was stranded and hopeless.
    While reading the book i was really sucked in, i couldn’t put it down. Overall, the book makes me realize the difference between planets, countries, and even something small like nationalities. Im glad that i can learn this kind of lesson through a book. I think that now, ill be able to get a better understanding of my trip and the value it really is.
    Another really important detail of this book, and lesson i’ve learned is to not judge a book by its cover. I understand it’s old and cheesy but this book really made me feel it. It mentions adults only seeing figures and really it makes me look at people differently. Since ive read the book ive had a different perception of the world and i think that will be a great quality to have on the trip.
    Finally, ive learned to appreciate the little things. I have learned that through the June movie of the month and my book. All of the assignments teach me and make me appreciate the fact that i get to go to France. I get this opportunity and i can enjoy these things. After reading this book i really appreciate my opportunity to travel.

    • Sierra permalink
      July 29, 2015 10:49 am

      This sounds like a very good book, maybe I should read it. Where was the plane going to when it crashed? Also i agree with the lessons of not to judge a book by its cover and to appreciate the little things.

    • Isaac Westerhoff permalink
      July 31, 2015 9:46 pm

      Most of what you said I would agree with because I read The Little Prince and I thought the same things. But what I would agree with is wouldn’t you think that The Pilot is the main character. Since Antoine wrote the book about himself being the pilot I would say he is the main character.

    • Shivani Sharma permalink
      August 8, 2015 3:01 pm

      I adore this book as well, so I’m glad you enjoyed it! They’re making a cartoon movie out of The Little Prince that’s coming out later this year. The trailer is on YouTube; I hope you check it out sometime. In your opinion, is The Little Prince a children’s book and do the age classifications even matter?

    • Katie Moran aka yeet queen permalink
      August 11, 2015 5:07 pm

      How did he get out of there after being stranded for so long?

    • Aidan Bell permalink
      August 14, 2015 7:04 pm

      I thought the book was cool because the author was writing the story off of his own experiences I have to pick it up sometime.

  7. July 23, 2015 3:45 pm

    “My Life In France” is a beautifully written autobiography about Julia Child and her years in France, and was published in 2006. Julia and her husband, Paul, just moved to Paris. While Paul already knew a lot about France and most of their official language, Julia barely knew much of it and could barely speak French. She didn’t even know how to cook at first. But after all of the training she went through and living in France for quite a while, she became a great chef/cook! Julia then realized that she had one dream, which was to become a famous chef and to publish the cook book she was working on. The basic theme of this story was: “Experiencing different food and cultures can change your life completely.” This is considered a bestselling memoir. It is even on the list of the New York Times best sellers! Over a million of these copies have been sold. The intended audience is probably for teenagers or young adults, because young kids might not be able to read that much, and teens and young adults might be able to connect with Julia’s and Paul’s life. “My Life In France” was even made into a movie! Along with “Julie and Julia; 365 Days, 524 Recipes, One Tiny Apartment”, written by Julie Powell, it was made into the movie “Julie And Julia”, starring Meryl Streep as Julia, and Amy Adams as Julie, It is a very popular movie, with a lot of positive reviews. I really enjoyed reading this book. I love how Julia had so much respect, appreciation, and love for France and it’s food. The amount of time she devoted to cooking is just unbelievable! I also loved the patience she had for her career. It did take a while for her to pursue her dream, but she never once gave up. That’s what I admired most about her.

    Julia really wanted to share her life in France with others, so that’s why she decided to write an autobiography about herself. Before she wrote, she worked for the OSS during World War 2 in China and Ceylon, after she graduated college. Pasadena, California was her hometown before she moved to Paris, and that was where she grew up. Other books she wrote were: “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom”, “Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home”, “In Julia’s Kitchen With Madter Chefs”, “The Way To Cook”, “Julia Child and More Company”, “Julia Child and Company”, “From Julia Child’s Kitchen”, “The French Chef Cook Book”, “Mastering the Art of French and Cooking”, volumes 1 and 2. Alex Prud’ Homme and Paul Child greatly influenced her writing.

    Another important character in the story is Paul Child, Julia Child’s husband. He was very outgoing, creative, and was appreciative of his surroundings. He was about ten years older than Julia. The reason why him and Julia had to move to France was because of his job. The job he was offered was of the Visual Presentation Department for the USIS in Paris. Some of his main hobbies were cooking, relaxing, and enjoying the French food. His mom, who he was raised by, lived in Paris and was an excellent cook. That’s where his cooking abilities and great knowledge of France came from. Although he knew a lot about France, he sometimes got impatient with things and was always busy.

    This autobiography takes place during 1948-1990. Most of Julia’s life is explained in this story. The beginning talks about the time when she first moved to France, the middle explains more about her cooking career, and the ending explains the time when her years in France almost came to an end. Just like now, in the story, Americans ventured off into Paris and toured the city, and French cooks like Julia shared the same dream of enrolling into Cordon Bleu and publishing their cook books, so there were plenty of hard workers, trying to pursue their dreams. The time period in this autobiography is different than modern time in a few ways. It is a bit old-fashioned. First, the people in the story didn’t have a lot of fancy technology as we do now. No smartphones, no high-Tec devices, nothing. Today, we have smartphones, fancy high-tec devices, colored television, etc. People wore different clothes than the France people do now. Now, their clothes are much more fancier.

    This autobiography takes place in Paris, France. It is now a giant urban city, with a lot of people living in it. To be more specific, when Julia was cooking, it either took place in her tiny apartment kitchen, or her cooking classroom. When her and Paul went out, it was either out in the streets or in a restaurant. When Julia relaxed, she usually relaxed in her apartment. The difference between the characters’ world and our world is that their food was a lot different. Their food included many ingredients that we would never put in our normal food, or the ingredients they used are hard to find in American grocery stores. Also, their world seemed much more peaceful and beautiful than our world now. (France’s world still seems more peaceful and beautiful than our world, and their food is still much more different.)

    A lot of the foods that are mentioned in the story are foods that we will most likely come across in France. It even explains what’s in the food and the ingredients! Now, I’ll know what I’ll be eating there, and there will be foods that I will look for and actually try. I can even feel like Julia and Paul when I eat the same foods they try! I won’t be afraid of the ingredients anymore! Honestly, I thought that some of the contents of the food would be just human and animal intestines, and that grossed me out kind of bad. I was afraid of even trying the foods! Now, I know that there are more food options than just intestines, and now I am even willing to try some of the intestines. I know, I’m a risk taker.

    After reading, I realized that Julia and Paul became even more of a happy couple when they lived in Paris. They also created many memories, and Julia was able to make her autobiography in a happy tone. Also, she didn’t even want to ever leave Paris, and neither did Paul! This helps me believe that I will make many happy memories in Paris, while I’m with my friends and favorite teachers. And I know I will enjoy my time there, and I probably won’t want to leave! I would probably want to live there!

    A lot of people believe in the stereotype of French people being rude. Now, I can say, “hah, you guys are all wrong!” Because French people are actually quite nice! When Julia and Paul went from place to place, they came across many nice French people. There was not a single rude French person they came across. Of course, they were nice back! We just have to be nice to the French first. I think that whenever Americans go to France, they just flat out treat the French poorly because of that unbelievable stereotype. Now, I know that people will be really nice and welcoming towards us! We just have to be polite in return. I hope that I’ll meet new people in France and keep in touch with them.

    • Sierra permalink
      July 29, 2015 11:01 am

      I agree so much with “Experiencing different foods and cultures can change your life completely”. I really want to read this book, it sounds so good. What dish of hers sounded the best?

    • McKenna Tkaczuk permalink
      July 29, 2015 7:38 pm

      I feel like I would love this book since I love to cook and bake! And it was always a dream of mine to work in a bakery in Paris, but I would have little knowledge like Julia did with the language and almost everything else.

      • August 5, 2015 9:00 am

        Start learning now – you’re a lot younger than Julia was when she got started. I just took a French cooking class in Paris five days ago (and I’m old), and I learned a ton about food, flavors, culture, and even language.

        • McKenna Tkaczuk permalink
          August 5, 2015 1:07 pm

          That’s so cool! And yeah I have a lot of books on cooking/baking. I also learn from cooking shows, but I’m hoping to start a cooking class soon.

    • Jasmin Zielinski permalink
      July 30, 2015 6:33 pm

      Julia sounds like a very admirable woman. Have you read any of her other books? Are they interesting? Did the book say how long Julia has been in France? I think it would be really cool to cook with the different ingredients they have in France. I was always a picky eater and I may now even try more food than I intended to.

    • Jonathan Lohman permalink
      July 31, 2015 4:21 pm

      I’m looking forward to trying French foods. It will change my perspective of American foods and how different they are. I heard French food is really heavy and I’m looking forward to seeing if that is true or false.

    • Molly Weindorf permalink
      August 5, 2015 10:02 am

      I think I would really enjoy this book and I definitely want to read it before our trip. Cooking is something that I find to be really fun and I think cooking and learning how to cook in Paris would be even more amazing.

    • Hannah Jackson permalink
      August 8, 2015 1:48 pm

      This book sounds very interesting. I love food and completely agree that “Experiencing different foods and cultures can change your life completely.” It’s very interesting that from reading this book, you became inspired to try all new foods on our trip, especially since you were kind of wary of it before. So what are these amazing foods that you are so excited to try?

    • Aidan Bell permalink
      August 14, 2015 7:07 pm

      The book sounds cool, but why did she want to learn to be a world famous chef?

  8. Ryan Felgenhauer permalink
    July 23, 2015 6:06 pm

    The Little Prince was a confusing, yet great book. It kept me hooked on through the whole book and made me re-read parts of it several times. The author of this book is Antoine de Saint-Exupery a very successful author. I haven’t really been a big fan of older books as this one was published in 1943 not that old, but old for my liking. But this one was different and I really enjoyed it. This was a fantasy novel about a boy getting trapped in the desert and meeting a little alien boy called The Little Prince, it is based off of the authors experiences. This novel was intended for older ages such as old teens and adults but as a young teen reader it wasn’t to hard for me to understand some of it. This book was made into a movie and the movie received several rewards. The book is the 3rd most translated book and has over 140 million copies.

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote this novel because of his own experiences in the Sahara desert he saw the Little Prince through hallucinations. Antoine was a commercial pilot before World War 2 then when the war broke out he joined the French air force. He was born in France. He was born in 1900 and died in 1944. In this book there were pictures and he was the illustrator of those pictures. Some other books he has written are Wind Sand and Stars, Night Flight, Flight To Arras, and ETC.

    The main character of this book was the Little Prince, the Little Price is a very brave straight forward, confident, stubborn little boy. He is a little boy not older then 12 years of age, they don’t say his age in the book but based off of the way he acts I could give a estimate. But I could be completely wrong. He doesn’t come from Earth so his role is to really explore space and keep up with his own little planet. His big hobby is exploring different planets and teaching people things and learning new things from the people on those planets. A really interesting thing about the Little Prince is that he has his own planet that he lives on by himself and takes care of his own responsibilities. The Little Princes strengths are he doesn’t let anybody change his opinion about something, once he has an opinion he sticks by it.

    This was very hard to determine what time period this book took place in but I would imagine some time in the 1930’s because if it was based off of a experience the author had then it would have to be in the 1900’s. Also World War 2 was going on in the late 1930’s so maybe his plane crashed from World War 2 in the desert. Since they whole story took place in the desert and there were some flash backs I couldn’t determine what season it was. The whole story took at least 3-7 days. The time period was definitely different because when his plane crashed he simply had no one to call and had to try to fix the plane with just himself. Usually now a days you could call some one with radio (if it still works) or you have flares and other tools to signal for help. He had nothing.

    This book takes place on Earth (some flash backs take place on different planets) in the Sahara desert. The Sahara desert is a very hot dry desert located in northern Africa. I can’t really pick out a specific place in the Sahara that they were. The little Princes world was a lot different for ours. First of all he was the only one on his planet there for no society and no government. He never really gave any clue on the climate there so I don’t know how it it there.

    The first thing I learned from the book that will help me understand the places i’m visiting better is I will have to learn there customs and cultures. When I travel I am going to be surrounded by different customs. Just like the Little Prince was.
    The second thing is I am going to have to learn sayings and languages the other countries speak. The Little Prince was lucky because he spoke the same language but if he didn’t it would of been so much harder. When I go I am going to be clueless of what others are saying if I don’t know any of it.
    The third thing is treat others the same even if they are different. The Little Prince treated everyone on different planets with respect of what they do and with kindness. When I go on my trip i’m going to be with people that are totally different then me and I am going to have to respect that.

    • Jonathan Lohman permalink
      July 31, 2015 4:31 pm

      I like how the Little Prince respects others and how he travels around different places and gets knowledge of different places. Those are some good lessons we can learn from the Little Prince. We can respect others no matter where we go, especially as we travel to different places and we can and are gaining knowledge as we prepare to go on our trip.

    • Isaac Westerhoff permalink
      July 31, 2015 10:02 pm

      Well Ryan I would agree with most of what you said, but the part about the main character and how long the book is. The main character I would say is the pilot because Antoine wrote the book about one of his own life stories as a pilot. Also in the book he starts as a six year old but turns into a pilot so I would say that the book was a little longer than 3-7 days.

    • August 8, 2015 10:46 am

      One of the traits of the Little Prince I find most interesting is how he will always staunchly defend his own ideas and opinions. I found that a lot of the material in the book is symbolic, and I am still curious to what others think that part of the Little Prince symbolizes from the real world at that time.

    • Emma Pienkos permalink
      August 15, 2015 11:26 pm

      I’m reading The Little Prince next, and I never knew that the book was based off of the author’s experiences. That’s really surprising to me, I don’t know many authors who get their inspiration off of their own life experiences, especially hallucinations. I’m interested to see how it impacted the author’s writing and writing style.

  9. Easton Otto permalink
    July 24, 2015 3:18 pm

    Arthur Rimbaud was a poet, one of his poems, Novel was published in 1873 in Brussels, but the majority of the copies sat in the printer in his basement until 1901 because Rimbaud could not pay the bill. The basic theme of the poem Novel was that no one is serious at 17 years old. Arthur Rimbaud did not win any awards. Most of Arthur Rimbaud’s poems are considered a classic. None of Arthur Rimbaud’s poems were turned into a movie, video game, a toy or a tv show/ cartoon. My opinion of the poem was that it was great, the poem was very realistic because I believe that the poem was true that some of this stuff in the poem happens in life. Arthur Rimbaud starting writing poems very young in life, he loved the way he could express his feelings. Arthur Rimbaud didn’t have a job before writing but during his writing career he was a chief employee in the Bardey agency, however he had to quite the job in 1884 to become a merchant in his account in Harar, Ethiopia. Arthur Rimbaud was from Charleville but was a adventurer who explored many places. Arthur Rimbaud had other poems such as “Asleep in the Valley”, ” A Winter Dream”, ” Druken Morning”, “Sensation”, and a bunch more. Arthur Rimbaud was influenced by his school to write poem because of how good he was. His family and Verlaine also impacted his writing. Arthur Rimbaud poems don’t really have pictures to go with his poems. Arthur Rimbaud was a great student and has a great personality until high school, he started acting very bad, he began drinking at 15, spoke buntly, wrote scatological poems, stole books from the sops, and grew his hair long. Arthur Rimbaud graduated high school in 1822. Arthur Rimbaud became a poet and had maybe 1 or 2 jobs outside of being a poet. Arthur Rimbaud really didn’t have any hobbies except for writing. No one else in Arthur’s family became a writer but him. Something interesting about Arthur Rimbaud was that he got to travel the world and see many amazing things. Arthur Rimbaud I don’t think had any weaknesses but I know one of his strengths were writing poems. I believe the poem Novel by Arthur Rimbaud was about home when he was 17 which would have been in 1872. The poem Novel takes place in June which is summer. In Novel it passes a day but it happens in life everyday. During this poem its saying that no one takes things for real when there a teenager. Arthur Rimbaud as just becoming a adult when this poem came out, so this poem is different from time now because we have a lot more things that the people from the past didn’t have. The poem takes place in France. This poem was made to be in France because of how Arthur Rimbaud fell in love. The weather was hot because the poem takes place in summer. Arthur Rimbaud had a different life then me, he got to write poems for a living and travel around the world and have mny things that we dont have this period of time anymore. This poem is gonna help me prepare for Paris because this poem was written about Paris and the poem explains how loud it might be, the smell of the air, how the wind will bring sounds to your ears, how there is a café that Arthur Rimbaud went to Paris and saw many places, I can’t wait to go and experience the same things that Arthur Rimbaud got to experience.

    • Jasmin Zielinski permalink
      July 30, 2015 6:53 pm

      Who was Verlaine in relation to Arthur Rimbaud? Where in the world did Rimbaud travel? What kind of poetry did Arthur Rimbaud write? He sounds like an interesting person.

      • Easton otto permalink
        August 7, 2015 11:58 am

        Arthur Rimbaud and Verlaine were close because Arthur Rimabud was a huge fan of his poetry and them when Arthur Rimbaud became a famous poet he met Verlaine which was probably a exciting moment for him. The most place Arthur Rimbaud traveled was Paris and many other places, and most of his poems he wrote about himself.

  10. McKenna Tkaczuk permalink
    July 27, 2015 5:02 pm

    I read “The Bad Queen” by Carolyn Meyer which was published on June 13, 2011. The book is historical fiction along with 6 other books in the series; “Mary, Bloody Mary”, “Beware, Princess Elizabeth”, “Doomed Queen Anne”, “Patience, Princess Catherine”, “Duchessina”, and “The Wild Queen”. This book is intended for 12-17 year olds. I picked this book because I read a summary on it, and it reminded me of a t.v. series I watched that I loved so I thought I would love the book, and I did. It was VERY shocking, heartbreaking, and I really liked how loving and loyal Marie was to her husband even when she fell in love with somebody else. I think that she was judged by the world to much because people saw her as heartless and selfish when she was actually lonely as she always tried to be “perfect”. Overall, I enjoyed this book and and I actually want to read more from this series.

    Carolyn Meyer saw Sophia Coppola’s 2006 movie, Marie-Antoinette and wanted to know if she was as heartless as she was portrayed or what really made her “the bad queen”. Growing up, she had many jobs like, a secretary, freelance writer, teacher, and a lecturer. She grew up in Pennsylvania and used everything around her as ideas to write, and she wrote over 60 books! She did get married then divorced to Tony Mares, a college professor, historian, poet, and essayist, and they had 3 sons who did give her ideas to write also.

    Marie-Antoinette, was around age 14 in this book and her main job was to get a male heir to continue her husband’s royal line. In the book she loved her mother but they had a very difficult relationship. She was “the most hated queen” and was known for saying “let them eat cake”. She did give birth to a daughter because that’s what everyone was waiting for her to do, but everyone was mad she had a daughter and luckily her next baby was a boy. I looked more up about Marie-Antoinette and everything I read was pretty interesting.

    This book happened around the late 1700s or around the French revolutionary wars. The book started when she was about 13 years old as an Austrian princess all the way to her death in 1793. Also big puffy dresses that touch the floor, very fancy hair, and people always carrying around fancy fans was casual around this time. where now, more people go indoors to get out of the heat and casual for girls is a pair of leggings and a shirt.

    Marie-Antoinette was born in Vienna, Austria where she was princess and the book mostly took place in France because she was queen their. She spent a lot of time in the Petit Trianon and her private castle of the Palace of Versailles. Her life is different from ours because she was the Queen of France where she was pushed to be “perfect” and forced to have a boy child.

    This book showed me that a lot of people judged her without really knowing her. She hated being queen because of all of the rules she had. Like always having to wear a stay, and not being able to ride a horse. Also, she always had to live by what the world told her to do or everyone would hate her even though the world always hated her. Nobody really knew that she was pretty lonely and did things against the rules sometimes to try and be more happy.
    I also learned about the history of Marie’s favorite places. Like how she lived in the Palace of Versailles when she became dauphin of France. Even with the Petit Trianon. She was given a gift to renovate it. She spent a lot of her time at these places without people knowing or she would of probably been breaking rules.

    • Jonathan Lohman permalink
      July 31, 2015 4:41 pm

      I didn’t know anything about Marie-Antoinette. Especially that she was hated that much. I can’t believe she was only 14 when she became queen. That’s crazy! I hope we will be seeing some of these places you mentioned they sound pretty cool. France is becoming bigger than I thought. I used to only think about Paris now I have so much more to think about.

      • McKenna Tkaczuk permalink
        August 5, 2015 1:09 pm

        Yeah and that’s the age she got married at too! But back then that wasn’t too young for getting married.

    • Aidan Bell permalink
      August 14, 2015 7:14 pm

      I’ve never known that people could have a responsibility that big at such a young age, I couldn’t imagine being the head of a country at the age of fourteen.

    • Caitlyn Kranz permalink
      August 15, 2015 1:51 pm

      I think the story sounds extremely interesting and weirdly enough, I feel like a lot of people, me included, could relate to her. I think Marie was brave but it must’ve been horrible that she had to live her life at the call of another. I would love to learn more about Marie Antoinette and I’m incredibly excited to see experience the footprints she left in Europe.

  11. Bryce Barnes permalink
    July 28, 2015 2:07 pm

    The publication date of The Last Musketeer is 2011. The genre is a fictional adventure because of the time travel and their adventures. The basic theme is that friends are great to have and to never give up even though things look down. Other books in the series are Traitor’s Chase and Double Cross. The book is geared towards young audiences, mostly teens. This book is a classic and I thought it was good. I liked all of the missions they went on in this book.

    The author is Stuart Gibbs. He wrote this book because he found out that his family is tied to the Musketeers. The family that influenced him was his relative who was in the Musketeers. Other books he published are Spy School, Belly Up, Spy Camp, Space Case, Poached, Evil Spy School, Traitor’s Chase, Double Cross, Big Game and Spaced Out.
    The character I chose to write about from the book is Greg. Greg loves his parents and doesn’t like being poor. His family used to be rich but then they spent too much and lost most of their money. He is 13 and going into the 8th grade. His role in this book is to save his parents from the past France after they time travel. When he was rich he did fencing, horse-back riding and rock climbing. These things would help him out in this book during the missions he encounters. His family had to move a lot to find jobs and he would have to move to all kinds of different schools in the process. His strengths are thinking well on his feet and the activities he did when he was rich and had money to do them. He really doesn’t have weaknesses that show in the book as long as he has his friends and family.

    The time of this book starts in modern time then Greg time travels to past France during the time of King Louis XIII. The time that passes in this book is about a week. The people mostly don’t know how to read and they use muskets. Their names and the way they dress are different then now. Greg starts in the present and then time travels thanks to Mr. Dinicoune who is the villain of this story.

    The countries illustrated in this book are the U.S.A. and France. Many cities in France, including Paris, and surrounding areas are the settings. At first they were in the Louvre and then after they time travel they are in the Norte Dame, the castle and a prison are the main places.

    There are many things from this book that will help me with my trip. One thing I really noticed was the Norte Dame. I guess I didn’t realize how big it is. In the book they ran up a ton of stairs to get to the bell. It also had a ladder which led to the garden they had. In my mind now I can picture how big it is and what to expect if we visit it.

    Another thing I realized is that France hasn’t changed much from then until now. Some things that didn’t change from that era and still have the same look now are the stone roads. They must be really old but they still look nice and have a modern look to them. The Louvre and the Norte Dame are a lot older than I thought they were from just like 50 years ago.

    The last thing is the Louvre. The Louvre was not even a museum then. When Greg was being chased I got a picture of it in my mind and the size of it. I really want to see it and I know now after reading this book that I will appreciate its size more.

  12. Sierra permalink
    July 29, 2015 10:26 am

    The Phantom of the Opera
    “The Phantom of the Opera” is a suspenseful mystery book by the author Gaston Leroux and translated by Lowell Bair. The book was first published in 1910 and is now considered a classic for the audience of teens and adults. Other books by Gaston Leroux include “The Mystery of the Yellow Room” and “The Perfume Lady in Black”. The Lowell Bair translation of “The Phantom of the Opera” has received no awards. Although, “The Phantom of the Opera” has been made into several movies and plays, in my opinion the book is the best. The Book was very well written and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Gaston Leroux was a French journalist and writer. He was also a war correspondent and crime reporter for a local newspaper. Gaston Leroux is from Paris, France where the famous opera house is located which inspired him to write “The Phantom of the Opera” since there were many events happening at the Paris Opera House that we now consider historical. For the original author, Gaston Leroux, Carl Maria Von Weber, a German author, inspired his work. For the translator Lowell Bair, the current opera house staff and records inspired him to translate the book.
    One of the big main characters of the book “The Phantom of the Opera” has several names. He is called The Opera Ghost, The Angel of Music, and The Phantom. His real name is later found to be Erik. Erik’s personality is very bipolar. Erik is mostly apathetic to everyone except for Christine Daae, Erik is in love with her. Erik is very mysterious and sensitive so you never know what he will do. Throughout the book Erik’s age is not specified, but he is defiantly an adult. Also Erik is not shown as having a job. But Erik does have hobbies. Erik’s hobbies include music composing and singing. Erik also had family issues. According to the book Erik was born extremely ugly, so ugly his own mother wouldn’t kiss or look at him. This caused Erik to be emotionally distraught and to run away at an early age. Although his bad past, Erik does have strengths. Erik’s strengths include being very intelligent, a brilliant music composer, and he has the voice of an angel. Erik also has weaknesses, they are Christine, Daae, letdowns, and heartbreak. Christine is a weakness because of his love for her he can’t handle disappointing her and has to make tough decisions. Erik is very sensitive but tough at the same time, tough enough to kill someone with a smile.
    The book takes place in the 1870’s over a few months, so the seasons change. Most of the book only has about a year of time passing, but towards the end there is a section called The Persian’s Notes which a lifetime passes. The events around the time of the book is set in are, the 15th amendment being added to the U.S. Constitution. Another event that takes place in France was a temporary government that was formed after an uprising during the Franco-Prussian war, it was proclaimed in Paris and called The Paris Commune. Other events were the Chicago fire and the first successful telephone call. The time period is different from now in several ways. One way is transportation, there weren’t cars like today roaming the streets, only the first styles of cars and horse carriages. Another way the times are different because things were handmade, not from factories. Also people wore fancy dresses or suits to everyday casual events. The 1870’s were very different from our modern times.
    “The Phantom of the Opera” takes place in France, to be specific, the city of Paris. Almost the entire book takes place inside of the Paris Opera House. Some of the specific locations inside the opera house are Christine Daae’s dressing room, underground cellars, and of course the stage. The book also will take place outside the opera house in the city of Paris, but not many events take place outside the opera house.
    For my first book response I read “The Phantom of the Opera”. This book helped me in numerous ways prepare for the trip and better understand the places we will be visiting. First, the book gave me the insight of how elaborate people built some buildings. I knew some buildings would be pretty of course but I didn’t realize how much detail there is and how every detail is perfect. Now when touring places like The Louvre or Notre Dame I will realize the work put in and gain an appreciation for it. This will make my trip even more meaningful.
    Secondly, I really didn’t know the lifestyle in the 1870’s which had had so many historical events happen. The book helped me understand the lifestyle of the 1870’s. By knowing the lifestyle of the 1870’s, I can understand certain things better when touring. For example: a painting from the 1870’s. By knowing the lifestyle of the 1870’s I can better understand what the artist’s life was like and maybe unravel the meaning of the painting. This would make the painting meaningful and something to remember.
    Lastly, I think the book prepared me for our trip by giving me a sense of history. By that I mean as I walk through Paris I will remember what I learned. I can imagine how other people we read in history class could have stood where I will be. I think this is important because it will make you think and learn so much more. Also having a sense of history will make what you learn mean so much more. Since what you learn will mean much more, you wont forget even the little things.
    -Sierra Rabe

    • August 5, 2015 8:58 am

      I’ve never read this book, but your review (and the fact that I went on a tour of the Paris Opera House three days ago) make me want to pick it up. Maybe going on the tour of the Opera would be something you could do during your free time.

  13. Tommy O'Dette permalink
    July 29, 2015 5:18 pm

    In the story of Asterix the Gaul, I learned that Asterix and the Druid used trickery and cleverness to escape the Romans. I can use this strategy in the case of a kidnapping. This strategy can be used best in that situation when they want something from you. This book is a great classic comic and is good for young adults. There are 32 other books in the series! A comic series, however, which are short stories usually about super heroes. This comic was published on October 29, 1959. This comic really is a classic! I’m not into comics as much as some people however this book will help me explore that genre. The authors of this story are Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. Rene Goscinnny was born on August 14, 1926 in Paris. His main role in the creation of the comic, Asterix the Gaul was being the illustrator. Before his main profession, he was an assistant accountant at the age of eighteen. His first piece of work was illustrating the book, The Girl With Eyes Of Gold. Later in his career he began to illustrate comics, such as, Asterix. Not only did he illustrate the book I read, He illustrated 23 more of those comics. During the time he was illustrating the Asterix comics he died of cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, he couldn’t finish all 33 comics. Albert Uderzo was born on April 25, 1927 in Fismes, Marnes, France. His parents are immigrants from Italy. In his teenage years he lived in Brittany to help with his father’s furniture business. When it came to choosing where Asterix lived, he chose Brittany because he loved it’s the people and land. Some of the other characters Uderzo created were Oumpah-pah and Jehan Pistolet. However, Asterix was by far his most famous creation. One character that a large role in the first book of the Asterix series was Getafix the Druid. He was the one who gave the Gauls a potion to have super human strength to fight against the Romans. He is around the age of 60 and is very clever. He can make any complicated potion without even having to have written recipe and he had no problem escaping the Romans. He can basically use his knowledge to defeat anyone. However, he is old which can slow him down. This book takes place in the year 50 B.C. The book is about a 30 minute read but within the story it spans over about a week. During this time the Romans are attempting to take over Europe and more. But the romans are having a hard time taking over the village that Asterix lives in because of the super human strength. You’d think that the Romans would use guns however during this time they didn’t have any. In battle they would use shields and spears unlike today. The book takes place in Gaul (Today it is known as France) in their village called the Gaulish Village. Asterix goes to three main settings. One is the village, the second is the woods, and third it is the Roman camp. With the conflicts between the Romans and the Gauls seems weird to me to live in that environment. Here in the United States we don’t experience warfare in our community. Asterix the Gaul was a great story to help me understand the history of France. Details from the book, such as, mistletoe, the land, and people, are things that will help better understand the places we will be visiting on the trip to France.
    Mistletoe is common in the country of France. In the story of Asterix the Gaul, Getafix the druid goes to pick mistletoe regularly for his potion. Mistletoe is a part of a family of trees called Ogham trees. There are 23 species of these trees and France is home to all 23. These facts will help me understand the agriculture and I would like to see these trees because I’ve never seen a mistletoe tree.
    When the author was choosing a setting for this series of comics, he used a place he loved, Brittany. He chose this place because of it’s land and people. Seeing the land in the pictures illustrated by Rene Goscinny helps me understand some of the rural country in France.
    Lastly, I found that going on this trip would help me understand the people in the story. The author also mentioned that he loved the people of Brittany. Even though we won’t be going there the author’s observation helps me understand the personalities of the people. When we go on the trip I can also compare my culture to theirs.
    All in all I’ve learned much from this classic and I am expecting good things to come on the trip to Europe.

  14. Jasmin Zielinski permalink
    July 30, 2015 11:59 am

    The Mystery of the Yellow Room was an enjoyable book, and I was always on the edge of my seat. This book had me trying to figure out the mystery, and I even developed my own theory. I cannot wait to read the sequel, The Perfume of the Lady in Black, also written by Gaston Leroux. The Mystery of the Yellow Room was published on January 1, 1908, and was very popular with adults and older readers. In fact, it was voted the third best locked room mystery; even though there has been no mention of winning or nominations of awards. Also, two movies were made based on the book: one in 1930, and another in 2003. I believe the theme of this book is, do not believe what everyone tells you, they could be wrong.
    Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux was born in Paris, which also happens to be the setting of most of his books. He replicated himself in the protagonist of The Mystery of the Yellow Room. Leroux’s careers before writing include court reporter and theater critic, which leads me to believe that he inspired his own writing. His first book was The Mystery of the Yellow Room, followed by The Perfume of the Lady in Black, and The Secret of the Night. Gaston had two children, Alfred Gaston and Madeline, with his second wife, Jeanne. His daughter, Madeline went on to be an actress. Leroux died in Nice, France in 1927 at the age of 58.
    Since she is of great importance, I have chosen to focus on the victim of the crime, Mademoiselle Mathilde Stangerson. Mademoiselle Stangerson is 35 years old and of great beauty. Although she is beautiful, she hasn’t married, yet. Her fiancé is Monsieur Robert Darzac, a suspect in the crime whom most of the evidence points to. Mathilde and her father, Monsieur Stangerson, are both scientists, and they work together. They also often walk around the pavilion during the day. Something interesting about Mademoiselle Stangerson is she knew who the murder was the whole time and never told anyone, with an exception of Monsieur Darzac. She did not enjoy talking to the journalists and tried to keep herself away from the public while she was recovering.
    The crime happens in October 1892. The season is important because as it’s getting colder, it is harder for Mademoiselle Stangerson to recover from her injuries. I think about six months pass. The attacker comes back two more times after the initial attack with some space in between each one. Also, by the end of the book, the mystery is solved and Mademoiselle Stangerson is doing better. The book does not mention, though, what is going on in the world. There are journalists from newspapers at the scene as opposed to cameras from broadcasted news shows.
    I know The Mystery of the Yellow Room takes place not too far from Paris, since the characters go there often. The environment is near a forest, in particular, the Sainte-Genevieve forest. Some specific settings are: a laboratory, and a bedroom, or sleeping chamber. There are also two adjoining galleries, a pavilion, and sleeping chambers of the guests. The climate in the book is not too important. There are not very many differences between our world and their world; but the Stangersons’ house has different rooms than in a house one would see here. Their house has galleries and a laboratory, my house has a living room and a dining room.
    I knew that French people were different than American people, and I know now how different they really are… or are not. I noticed that they act a bit differently. In America we tend to hold grudges against others, but I noticed, in the book, they can suspect someone and still be open to other ideas. I also saw when they aren’t speaking French, they have different ways of saying things. For example, when talking about age, I got used to reading five-and-thirty years as opposed to thirty-five years; also, bedrooms are called sleeping chambers. The French in the past are similar to Americans though. Here, Africans were enslaved and worked for whites. In France, they had servants, but their servants were treated nicely instead of being whipped by their “owners”.
    Although The Mystery of the Yellow Room was mystery fiction, it told a little bit about what the past was like. The time frame was not completely what I expected it to be. I expected police swarming the crime scene and always snooping around. That is usually how I see it in the crime movies. There was a big lack of technology, of course, throughout the whole book. They could not just order something and have it imported from another country, they had to travel there and get it. For instance, Fredric Larsan had a cane from London, which had to be bought in London. Also technology affected the investigation. They could not just take the fingerprint of the murderer from the crime scene and scan it in the computer. They had to use the other evidence to move the investigation along.
    I also got to visualize how the suburban and rural areas look compared to the city. I was caught up in the pretty lights and the scenery of the city. I did not realize there was more to France than Paris, and now I do. The houses outside the city are big and spaced out. They are not very close to places like the Donjon Inn (a specific place in the story). There are also big forests with huge trees and tall bushes. The book depicts the forest as creepy scenery in the background, yet I believe the forest was of great importance to the story.

    • Derek Barrow permalink
      August 15, 2015 8:26 pm

      I must say how interesting this book sounds! I’ve been looking for a new mystery novel to read and this sounds like one I’d be interested in. My question is if you could change one thing from this novel, what would it be?

  15. Joy Padua permalink
    July 31, 2015 11:05 am

    The Left Bank Gang, written and illustrated by cartoonist JASON, was an intriguing twist set in 1920’s Paris. It was publicated in 2006 and one of JASON’s older works. The story portrayed a historical fiction type of genre of what life would be like in that time period. This book was an entertaining graphic novel set for adults and young adults, yet was illustrated in a childish type way, like a newspaper comic. The Left Bank Gang was a short, illustrated story only having one book. It has received one award in 2007, yet has not been given it’s own movie, yet I believe it deserves more credit than it was given. In my personal opinion, it was more enjoyable than I planned it would be! JASON has also written many more books which are all under the graphic novel category, during different times in history.
    Before JASON was JASON, he was John Arne Saeteroy. He was born in Norway and worked as a cartoonist until he started to make his own graphic novels. He has made 20 novels so far, each based off an event in history, like I Killed Adolf Hitler or The Last Musketeer.
    JASON was inspired by Hemingway, his favorite book being The Sun Also Rises. So the main character of The Left Bank Gang is none other than Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald in 1920’s France! In this story both are struggling cartoonists trying to make a living. Scott is married to Zelda and Ernest with Hadley, both families living in cheap apartments. While Hemingway is more creative, Scott is more patient and optimistic. These two along with cartoonist Ezra Pound and James Joyce think of a plan to make money faster than their comic panels are selling.
    It was stated throughout the book, ‘These are hard times’ referring to 1920’s Paris. Even though they ensued tough times, neither of the four wanted to leave Paris. It was the time of culture and inspiration, everyone made it big in Paris. In just one literate day, we get too see the beauty and dark side of Paris during this age. Sometimes people were so desperate for money that they would go as far as to steal or rob others, yet that is only half the picture. The beautiful side of it all is that artist, writers, journalists, all come to Paris for the purpose of inspiration.
    Like mentioned before, this story takes place with our four prodigies of the 1920’s in a fictional tale of cartooning. Even though the story is fictional, the setting is quite accurate. Some places the author mentions are Shakespeare and Co, Gertrude Stein’s, and The Closerie des Lilas. Since this was a graphic novel, the pictures helped very much in setting a visual. Paris always had many tourists and crowded streets, street vendors and classy old style houses. Thinking about the scenery, I believe that not much would change. Since France is an old country, it’s not very fond of changing, yet the place is still beautiful nevertheless. Comparing their world and ours, since they lived in an earlier time period, life was harder than they are now. They experience some dark things in Paris, yet they also experience the beauty. This book was an interesting twist in well known historical characters that kept me wondering what would happen next.
    In this book, The Left Bank Gang, there are many ways that I think this book will help prepare me for the trip. One is that these trip are not just fun, but they’re a learning experience. It showed me that everything is not all rainbows and sunshine, I should observe more than just one side of the culture. It would help me become more open-minded and remind me not to judge too quickly.
    Secondly, it reminds me that Paris is so much more than the Eiffel Tower. There are so many things to see and so many places to go. It once again reminded me to broaden my expectations and see what is there to see.
    And lastly, I learned that not everything can be brought to you with a simple green paper. Throughout the book, the characters planned to do anything for money and help their families, but in the end they realize money isn’t needed to make them happy, its just simple being together. Living together under the stars of Europe. Reading this book gave me whole new perspectives and ideas of what our trip will be like. Since this book mostly revolved around France, it makes me excited to read some of about Benelux countries in the future.

    • August 5, 2015 9:14 am

      The left bank, specifically neighborhoods like The Latin Quarter and Montparnasse are my favorite parts of Paris. There are no major landmarks there, it’s just a different feel – I’m glad you picked up on that in The Left Bank Gang.

    • Shivani Sharma permalink
      August 8, 2015 3:36 pm

      This sounds like a really cool graphic novel! I would recommend that you read A Moveable Feast next, because it is Ernest Hemingway’s actual nonfiction account of his time in Paris featuring all of the people and places you described. It’s one of my favorite books. I think I’ll have to pick this one up sometime soon.

  16. Jonathan Lohman permalink
    July 31, 2015 3:54 pm

    Asterix the Gaul is a graphic novel written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo in 1961. The comic was originally created for the magazine Pilote, a Franco-Belgian comic, on October 29, 1959. It was a huge success. Asterix was quickly loved by everyone. It is a funny comic about Asterix the Gaul and how he defeats the big bad Romans and all the craziness that follows him. There are over 30 books in this series and tons of comics about him. There are also cartoons based on Asterix’s adventures. In addition, there have been several full feature films spanning over the last 40 years and many different video games starring Asterix. There is also a website dedicated to the Asterix Universe. I liked this book because it was a fun filled adventure with Asterix fighting the Romans. It made me think about why the Romans were after the Gauls and why they fought each other. I like when the little guy beats the bully.

    Rene Goscinny was born in Paris, France in 1926. He moved to Argentina when he was 2 years old and lived there until he was a teenager. He was known for his clowning around. When his father died he had to start work at an early age. He worked as an assistant illustrator for an advertising agency until his uncle invited him to move to New York but he struggled for 5 years. He moved back to Europe and joined the French Army. Afterwards he went back to the United States and started working for MAD Magazine. In 1949, Goscinny moved back to Paris to work with Georges Troisfontaines, boss of World Press, and Yvan Chéron, head of International Press. There he met Albert Uderzo, in 1951, and became great friends and co-workers. Together they created many heroes including Oompah-Pah, who many people believe was Asterix’s predecessor. In 1959 Goscinny, Uderzo and other comic writers created the magazine Pilote where they created the character Asterix the Gaul. In 1963 Goscinny worked on numerous comic strips – Asterix, Iznogoud, Little Nicholas, Lucky Luke, Valentin, The Dingodossiers, and more. Together Goscinny and Uderzo founded their own cartoon film studio, called Studio Idéfix. In 1977 Rene Goscinny died leaving Uderzo to continue alone. In the 50 years since the first comic, 34 of Asterix’s adventures have been translated into 107 languages or dilecs and 11 films were made, not to mention all the other projects and by-products.

    Asterix the Gaul is the main character. He is a powerful, outgoing fellow for the town. He is super strong from drinking the Druid’s super strength potion, but he needs to take the potion constantly or he will lose his super strength. However, he is intelligent and cunning on his own. He is an adult with a full grown mustache and his best friend Obelix is super strong because as a baby he fell into the vat of potion and if he drinks any more of the potion he will die. Asterix’s job is to help keep his town safe from the Romans and to keep their magic potion out of Roman hands. Their town is the only town that hasn’t been defeated by them and Asterix wants to keep it that way. In his daily routine he hunts boars for himself and his friends to eat. It is usually when he is hunting that he comes across Roman soldiers and defeats them.

    This story takes place in 50 BC in Celtica under Roman control. The village Asterix is from is called Armorica which is present day Brittany, a region in the north-west of France. It is towards the end of strawberry picking time, possibly early to mid-summer) because Asterix has the Roman soldiers looking for strawberries to stall for time. Time here moves fairly quickly to keep the reader interested. Transitions are used like; much later, meanwhile, suddenly, etc. Since this story takes place in the past there are many differences. For one, many of the places that are in this story have change names, such as Celtica was located where Switzerland, France, and Luxembourg are now. Another change is that Roman soldiers no longer occupy that area. Finally this story takes place when there is no electricity, cars or any modern conveniences. People had to rely on their cunning and strength to survive.

    As I stated in the last paragraph Celtica is where modern day Switzerland, France and Luxembourg are located and the town Asterix is from is called Armorica which is present day Brittany, a region in the north-west of France. The Gaul village is surrounded by Roman camps. The Romans live in tents out in the fields outside the Gaul village walls. The Gauls live in houses made of stone with thatched roofs. Their village is surrounded by a huge fence. The main difference between our worlds is that they have magic potions to make you strong among other things.

    This story helped me prepare for my trip to France because first, it gave me background knowledge of the location of France, Luxembourg and Switzerland and that Rome once occupied their lands. I didn’t realize how close those countries were to each other and it gave me a better prospective of their locations. When I think about all the countries we are going to they seem so spread apart. I had no idea where they were even located on the map. After reading Asterix and doing some research I saw how close the countries really were. They are practically neighbors.

    Second, I learned that Gauls were real. They weren’t just made up for the story. I never knew countries had many different names across the ages and Gaul is just another name for the area also known as Celtica a.k.a France, Luxembourg and Switzerland. In fact, they were call Gauls because of Julius Caesar. They called themselves Celts. The basis of Asterix the Gaul was founded in history. The Gauls really did fight the Romans for control over their land.

    Third thing I learned is that Asterix is super popular. He is a famous character know all around the world except the United States. He would be equivalent to Mickey Mouse. There is an Asterix Amusement Park in France called Parc Astérix. I would love to go there! It’s only 22 miles north of Paris. There were 11 films made about his adventures and his comics have been translated into over 100 different languages. He is a good role model for kids around the world. I’m glad I got the opportunity to read this book and learn about Asterix the Gaul.

    • Shivani Sharma permalink
      August 8, 2015 3:04 pm

      Since Asterix was our movie of the month for July, how do you think the comics compared to the movies? Which one did you prefer?

      • Jonathan Lohman permalink
        August 13, 2015 9:57 pm

        They’re basically the same thing. There wasn’t much difference between them. I liked the book more because it was a graphic novel and I like graphic novels. I could use my imagination more, like what the character’s voices sounded like. Their voices in the cartoon was totally different from what I thought they would sound like.

  17. Paige Bjerke permalink
    July 31, 2015 4:25 pm

    Paige Bjerke
    The Murders in Rue Morgue
    The Murders in Rue Morgue is a detective story, thought to be one of the first. It was originally published in Graham’s Magazine in 1841. The general plot is about a very analytical man and his friend who want to participate in solving the murders in Rue Morgue. Edgar Allan Poe is an author of short stories and poetry. He has many famous works including Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven and Annabel Lee. I would guess that this was written for the adult audience of his time. It was made into a movie but did not get very good reviews. I enjoyed this story very much. It made you think and anticipate what was going to happen.
    Edgar Allan Poe had a difficult life, which has influenced his writing. He was born in Boston, but his parents passed when he was three. He then was raised by a family in Virginia who wanted him to be a gentleman and a businessman. Poe wanted to write, but had little support. He put himself in debt to go to school but continued to struggle. When he came home his fiancé was engaged to another man. This was one of the tragedies in his life. Poe then joined the Army and was accepted to West Point. While gone his step-mother died and by the time he returned home she was buried. Poe tried to get along with his stepfather but was never able to repair the relationship. He moved to his home town where he met his wife and they married. He continued to try to be a successful writer but struggled most of his life. He lived in Philadelphia and New York having various jobs. He wrote book reviews and short stories for Messenger Magazine and was an editor for Burton and Grahams Magazines. He finally got his dream when he bought the Broadway Journal in 1845, the same year that the Raven was published which made him a household name. His wife died shortly after and Poe went into depression. He was not heard from for some time until he started lecturing in the area. He died in 1849 at 40 years old. I don’t believe he ever got to realize how his work really impacted American Literature.
    In The Murders of Rue Morgue there was a man named Dupin. He was a very analytical person which means he was more aware of his surroundings then most. He seemed to be a middle-aged man. He came from a wealthy family but lived a very quiet and retired life. He spent most of his time reading and observing the world around him. His family was long gone but he had one friend in the writer of the story who he had only known for a short time. His biggest strength was defiantly his ability to analyze things differently then anyone else. He could almost see things that weren’t there. His weakness would be that he was very anti-social which seemed to make him a depressed sad man, similar to how I would imagine Poe to be.

    The story takes place in Paris France during the mid 1800’s. It covers a bout a month but most of the plot is over a couple of days. You can tell it’s the 1800’s because of the lack of technology and the description of the streets of Paris as they walked at night. There are many things that are different now that would have changed the story. The police would have been able to get there sooner with phones and faster vehicles. The crime scene investigation also would have changed drastically with forensic evidence and technology.
    The Murders in Rue Morgue takes place in Paris, France in the Rue Morgue area. There are several main sets that would be necessary for a play. Dupins house, to understand their true living conditions and lifestyle. Madam l’Espanayes home where the murders took place and her yard where her body was found. Also the police station wear they helped describe the actual events and save an innocent man.
    I’m not sure how reading this story would help prepare you for a trip to France because it takes place over such a short time and with such a specific storyline. It did give me a better understanding of the country. Their legal system seems to be very similar to ours, using witnesses and proof before a judge. The response of the neighbors was also what I would expect from Americans. They were trying to help when they heard the screams and were then very concerned about their neighborhood and their safety. Everyone was willing to give a statement to try to help the police. Three things that I found most important in this story were the explanation of how an analytical mind works, that you cannot believe everything you hear because there were several different stories form people witnessing the same event and to help understand Edgar Allan Poes writing.
    His explanation of an analytical mind was very in depth. The story started with several examples of games and how different people play them depending on how they think. It carried on throughout the story and was the defining reason that he was able to solve the murder. It made me realize that having an open mind and looking at things from a different direction can allow you a completely different view of the world.
    Not believing everything you hear was an important one in this story. The police interviewed every witness and several people that had known or recently encountered the victims. Though there were a lot of similarities the differenced is what surprised me. They described the voices and what language they thought they heard differently, what they thought her job was, her personality and even how much time passed during different points in the murder. It shows that you should not believe everything you hear and that you need to consider everyone’s opinions to make the best decision on the actual truth.

    Finally reading this story will help you to understand and to know what to expect from Poes writing. I can see that his writing is probably very deep and in depth, that you have to look into the story more then the words. His foreshadowing made it very suspenseful to read. I would expect that from any of his stories. Knowing that he was a tortured and depressed man most of his work is very dark or sad. You really have to think when reading his stuff to understand it fully. In fact you may have to read it twice.

  18. Tommy Stadler permalink
    July 31, 2015 5:18 pm

    The book Around The World In Eighty Days by Jules Verne is an action packed adventure story where the main character Phileas Fogg and his servant enter a bet that they can travel around the world in eighty day. In their quest for success, they encounter many problems such as bad weather and indian attacks, forcing the characters to act fast to finish their adventure and claim victory of the large monetary prize. The book was originally published in 1873 and now is known as a classic. Over the years the book has grown in popularity and many alternate versions have been made. The book has been made into a few movies one in 1956 and one in 2004. Around The World In Eighty Days is meant for middle school to high school age students or anyone who wants to read an amazing adventure story. Overall I thought that the book was very good and I always wanted to know what was going to happen next.

    Jules Verne was born and raised in Nantes, France where he went to boarding school. When he was done his father sent him to Paris to study law. In Paris he fell in love with theater and gave up with law completely. His friend Alexandre Dumas (the author of the Three Musketeers) encouraged him to write plays. Verne’s plays weren’t that successful so he became a stockbroker to support himself. Finally he found his place and wrote his first book Le Salon de 1857 (“The 1857 Salon”). Later he started to write science-fiction and during his lifetime he wrote over 70 books. Some of them include “Around The World In Eighty Days”, “Journey To The Center Of The Earth”, and “ Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under The Sea”. Today Verne is known as the father of science fiction because he wrote about many technologies before they were a reality. The book Around The World In Eighty Days was inspired by his childhood imagination of adventure.

    Phileas Fogg is a very rich older man. He is very precise and is very good at keeping calm. In the beginning of the book he makes a bet with a few of his friends at the reform club that he can travel around the world in 80 days. The bet is very risky because a lot can go wrong when you are travelling around the world. During the trip a lot of good and bad things happen. One good thing is that he found Aouda an indian woman who came with him on part of the trip. This was important because he didn’t have any family or close friends around him so this made him very happy. Some of the bad things that happened were bad weather that delayed ships and Indian attacks. These things tested his willingness to continue and most people would have given up but Phileas Fogg kept going and completed his adventure.

    Around The World In Eighty Days takes place in the later 1800’s. All that they had for transportation were trains and steamboats. Their time period is much different than ours. Today we have planes so we could make a trip around the world in much less than 80 days. But for them travelling around the world in 80 days was very fast. In the book just over 80 days went by, one day before the trip and then 80 days travelling all around the world. The time of year had a great impact on the story. Since the book took place in the winter the weather had been harsh in some parts of the world. This slowed down steamboats and caused some of them to be too

    Around The World In Eighty Days takes place all over the world. The book starts and ends in London at Phileas Fogg’s house. Along their journey they visit many places such as Suez, Bombay, Hong Kong, and New York. At these places they go to the jungle, train stations, docks, shops, and a court house. A good portion of the book also takes place at sea. The characters are always catching steamboats to do most of the travelling. Sometimes the weather at sea was harsh and it slowed down the steamboats greatly, this forced Phileas Fogg to act fast and find other means of transportation. When they needed to or were travelling on land they used trains. On the trains they hung out in the cabin and played cards. Overall the book took place in many different parts of the world.

    While I was reading this book I learned many things that will help me to better understand the places that I am visiting. First in the book the characters had to be conscience about the customs and culture in the places that they were visiting. Sometimes they knew the culture and were ok but sometimes they didn’t and it had a bad result. This helped me to learn that while I am traveling I will need to be aware of other people’s customs and culture. Second of all I learned how much transportation has changed and without it I would not be able to go on the trip. In the book they travel by steamboat and train and their trip took 80 days. On our trip we will be traveling on a plane and our trip is about 2 weeks. This is a huge difference in the time it takes to travel. Finally I learned that having a schedule is very important. In the book they are on a tight time constraint but they had a schedule that made their trip possible. By having a schedule we will be able to see as much as possible during our trip.

  19. Alexis Riley permalink
    July 31, 2015 5:43 pm

    Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artist Claude Monet a biography. That was published in 2015 and this book is about the amazing life of Monet. The author/ illustrator Mike Venezia and he has other books that are easy to read. His books are mostly about painters or other famous people. This book has not won an award but has an exciting new content. The audience is for younger kids that are into Dutch painters. But I think that this book is an easy read, very informational, and the photographs are beautiful to look out.
    Mike Venezia lived and was born in New York city and moved to Chicago when he was ten years old. His dad was in Trans World Airlines. His dad knew a lot about airplanes because he was a mechanic during world war 2 in the U.S. army. Mike and his father would draw airplanes and make up battle scenes together. Mike was not very good in school but he was the best artist in his class. He attended school at the Art Institute of Chicago and received a bachelor’s degree there. Before he started writing books he retired from his job of being vice president of the largest advertising agency. After that he started creating the books Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artist, Getting to know the world’s greatest Composer, Getting to know the US President, Mary Leaky, Stephen Hawks, Getting to know the World’s Greatest Inventors & Scientist. I found most of this information at this website called
    Claude Monet is a great artist that helped invent an important style of art called impressionism. he was born in Paris in 1840 and died at age 86. He do well in school he just kept on drawing funny pictures. When Monet was little he moved to Le Havre, Paris right on the sea. His dad owned a grocery store and ships would come for supplies. Monet would steal some and painted pictures. When he was a teenager people would ask him to draw them and Monet will get money for that. Monet is an artist that likes to paint nature. He made a boat into an art studio. Something interesting about him the he was drawing was there was these 4 lady’s. One of these lady’s was named Camille and she and Monet got married.
    Monet also had a son named Jean and he would paint him and his wife all the time. Monet struggled was that people weren’t interested in his paintings as much. people in Paris liked historical events paintings that are dark and mysterious. Monet likes to paint outside with light colors. When he was older he moved backed to Paris in Giverny and built a wonderful water garden there. He spent 10 years painting water gardens. These painting were the most beautiful and famous.
    Paris 1840 beautiful city nice and warm and beautiful! This book has paintings that Monet drew that might be in a museum that we might see. The difference between our world and there world is there is no cars and we will kind a communicate more because we don’t have our face in our phones. They mostly communicated through going to them or out for coffee.
    This book was location was Paris and was about Monet life and successes. Monet paintings are giving us today what art is really about. This book is like a travel because when we go to Paris in Giverny in his garden we will see the paintings he drew in real life.

    • Caitlyn Kranz permalink
      August 15, 2015 2:06 pm

      I find it so interesting that he created a studio out of a boat and I actually found a painting of it. I wish there was some way to see that boat still, that is really incredible. But I also find it interesting how the writer lived in Chicago and has so much credibility with all of his books, etc. I’m very excited to see some of Monet’s work in Europe.

  20. Cayla Werling permalink
    July 31, 2015 6:40 pm

    Journey to the Center of the earth is a science fiction classic novel about a Professor, his nephew, Henry, and a guide, Hans, who travel to the center of the earth using volcanic tubes. This book was written by Jules Verne and published on November 25, 1864. The first copy was written in French, and an English copy was published in 1871. The book was made into a movie in 1959 and was remade in 2008. I thought the book was very good. There were very exciting parts like when they discovered the animals and forests underground, but there were also very slow parts of the book.

    Jules Verne was born in Nantes, France. As a kid he was exposed to schooners and ships departing and arriving at nearby docks, and this inspired his imagination for adventure. Not only did Verne write about adventures, but he wanted to experience them himself, so as an adult he bought a boat to have his own adventures. While he was in boarding school he wrote short stories and poetry. After school his friend Alexandre Dumas (author of The Three Musketeers) encouraged him to write plays. This began Verne’s 10 year period of living as a playwright. He wrote plays, dramas, and operettas, but he wanted to write books as well. Verne wrote more than 70 books in his career. He wrote Adventures of Captain Hatteras, From the Earth to the Moon, Captain Grants Children, and many more.

    In this book the Professor Von Hardwigg is one of the main characters. He is 50 years old, tall, and very thin. He is a Professor of philosophy, chemistry, geology, and mineralogy. The Professor’s weakness is that he gets very caught up in his work. At the beginning of the book he wouldn’t eat or sleep until he made a breakthrough on what he was working on. He also can read and speak many different languages which helps them on their journey, because their guide, Hans, only speaks Danish. The Professor can tell the difference between different rocks, trees, and animals which helps them on their journey. He also knows what to do in difficult situations and saves the group’s life more than once.

    In Journey to the Center of the Earth there is no specific year mentioned. In this book there are no cellphones, computers, walkie talkies, or any technology we currently have, so I think the book took place in the year it was written, 1865. The time passed in the book was from mid June to October 4. Throughout the story Henry and his Uncle are keeping journals with the dates written down so while reading the book the reader knows how much time has passed.

    Journey to the Center of the Earth takes place in several different locations around Europe and underneath Europe. The story begins in their home in Hamburg, Germany, but the Professor and Henry travel to Mt. Sneffels in Iceland, where their journey begins. There they meet Hans, their guide, and begin their climb, and once they reach the top, they descend into it. They hike through the volcanic tubes to reach their destination. It was all rock for the first month they were hiking, but they come across a world underground. They find forests with vegetation and animals that live there. There is a ocean they sail across and they discover there are sea monsters living in it. While they are discovering all of this life in the center of the Earth they track where they are underground. Henry tracked them the whole time and they traveled under Iceland, England, under The Channel, under France, and most of Europe.

    Reading Journey to the Center of the Earth helped me prepare for our trip to Europe. First, this book taught me how important it is to do research about where we are going, and to plan ahead. Knowing ahead of time what you’re going to do makes things less chaotic when we get there. Also it is very important to pack to be prepared for anything. Pack the right clothes for the day, because some places have dress codes. If it’s colder, you want to be warm enough. You must have enough water/food because you don’t want to be dehydrated. This book also helped me realize that when we are on our trip, things may not go as planned. A fight may ne delayed or we may miss a flight, but if things don’t go as planned we should make the best of it.

    During one of our meetings before summer, we were told that we will have journals and every evening we will write about our day, and take notes on what happened/what we saw. In my book I read, everyday they wrote in their journals and took detailed notes so they will remember what they saw. I realized the importance of writing in our journals when we take our trip. We are going to be in a different continent. People act differently all around the world, so when we take our trip we should notice how the people act and how you act to the people, because what is considered acceptable here, may not be there.

    People travel for different reasons. Some travel to sightsee and some people travel to know more about the world. Reading this book made me see the reasons why I want to travel. I’m curious, and I want to know what it’s like in other countries, and what the buildings are like and how different places are from the Untied States. I think curiosity is a big reason why people travel. Also I want to learn about the places we are visiting. I love history and I think it’s going to be so cool learning about the history of the places we are going to. This trip is going to be quite an adventure!

  21. Faye besterfield permalink
    July 31, 2015 8:29 pm

    The little prince is about a pilot stranded in the Sahara desert. While stranded she comes across a little alien prince. This book was published in 1943 and would be classified a fairy tale or a fantasy. I would guess that this book would be meant more for teens and adults who could understand the background of the story and how it’s like to be older and more grown up. I still loved the book even though it confused me and kept me thinking. Though I have never heard of this book it is considered one of the most well known books of all time. It has sold over 150 million copies and was just recently turned into a film

    Antoine de Saint Exupery wrote this book because of his own experiences. Before World War II he was a commercial pilot but soon joined the French Air Force when the war started. He was a fantastic writer but an even better illistrater for his book. He has written several other books such as wind sand and stars,ETC,and night flight. Antoine de Saint Exupery was born in 1900 and dies 1944.

    The little prince in the book is the main character. No matter his size he still appreciate everything the world has to offer and looks at things in a whole new way. I was never sure of the little princes age in the book but i know he is playing a kid or teen role. The prince wasn’t known to have any weakness in the book but he always stayed true to himself and belived in what he did. Even though there is no society or people on the planet there is no way of control he has to be apart of.

    These events that take place in the book all happen in the Sahara desert. In real life the author crashed there and god stranded just like the little prince. Since it was the desert the air was hot and the sun burned him up. If I was him I wouldn’t survive and it would be a miserable time. To me the 80s is too hot but if I was in the desert in the 90s and 100s that would be hopeless.

    I think this book was a great read and I would read it again in my free time. It sucked me in and got me thinking about what I would do if I were him. I couldn’t out the book down! The book makes me understand the differences between other planets and places around the world. It helped me get a better understanding of how lucky I am to be going on this trip,

    What I learned for the book is it helped me understand the importance of where we are going and to look at things from a different and better perspective. Not to just look at a building and think that it looks cool but to see the culture behind it.

  22. Isaac Westerhoff permalink
    July 31, 2015 9:15 pm

    The Little Prince is a novel/children’s literature book. The Little Prince was written by the author Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The book was published on April sixth in 1943. The Little Prince has been created in to a movie in 1974, and a recent one in 2015. Related books that Antoine de Saint-Exupery has written are Wind Sand and Stars, Flight to Arras, Night Flight, and Man Sieht Nur Mit Dem Herzen Gut. The little Prince would be considered a classic. It is very popular, it has been selling nearly two million copies annually with sales totaling over 140 million copies world wide. The Little Prince has become one of the best-selling books ever world wide. My opinion of the book is pretty good. I liked the book because some times kids can see things better or in different ways than adults. And I really liked that The Little Prince came from a different planet.

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery is from France which influences the book because the book is French. Before Antoine de Saint-Exupery was an author he was a pilot at the French Air Force. He got the idea to write a fairytale because of Hans Christianson-Andersen’s fairytale that he showed Antoine while he was going to the U.S. More books that Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote were Courrier Sud, Wartime Writings, and Citadelle. Antoine de Saint-Exupery was the author and illustrator of The Little Prince. Someone that influenced Antoine de Saint-Exupery to write The little Prince was Hans Christianson-Andersen.

    The main character is The Pilot. A hobby that The Pilot had when he was young is painting. The Pilot starts at age 6 but gets older as the story goes on. In the beginning of the book The pilot loved to paint but the grown ups told him that he was bad at it and he should do something else, and that is why now he is a pilot. The Pilot’s job in the story is to fly planes. A strength that The pilot would have is that in the end he knew what kids could see that adults could not. But a weakness would be in the beginning of the book he listened to what the adults said.

    The Little Prince is set in the mid 1900’s. They don’t have cell phones, but they can paint, and they could fly planes. For about half of the book they are in a desert so I would say the season is summer. I would say about a 10 or so years pass in The Little Prince. The time period is different from now since the book came out in 1943 they were using the same technology as in 1943. There were a lot of things going on at the time in France. World War 2 was going on at the time. In France they were trying to stay neutral during the war but Germany was trying to get France on their side but they stayed neutral. But Germany did not listen and made France join their side and make weapons and armor for the army. But some of the French moved locations so they could be in the army and make money. Also the other French people who had to make weapons thought that the people who moved were traders. The Little Prince was not a time travel book.

    The book is held in the Sahara desert which is in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, and Tunisia. But at the beginning of the book the place is Paris, France. The Little Prince travels through other planets too. If it were to be a play we would have to build a set with sand for the desert, one for Paris, and one with six other, small, planets. In the desert it tends to be very hot. For the pilot’s life he flies planes in the desert and our lives are going to school or teaching.

    The adults paid more attention to what they were doing and not seeing what is actually important. Adults yawn and sleep while children look for new things to discover. The adults would do the same boring things everyday even if that thing means no purpose, like how one guy would count the stars everyday so he could try to find a new star to own even though those stars don’t mean anything. Children see the beauty in objects even if that object is ugly, and the adults would see something that is worthless.

    This probably reflects how the people behaved in France at the time. A lot of adults thought they owned everything. They thought that they could rule the world with what they had. Like how one guy in the story wanted to be the handsomest on the planet even though he was the only person on the planet. And the king of France thought he was the king of the world when he only had power over France.

    So in France the adults weren’t as fun as the children. The children could see things that adults could not. These feelings might have been throughout the world. The Little Prince said there were 111 kings who thought they ruled the world when they only ruled their state or country. There are 7,000 geographers who think they are the best. 900,000 business men who thought they were the best. There were 7,500,000 tipplers who want to stop drinking but couldn’t so they drank more. There are about 311,000,000 conceited men so about 2,000,000,000 grown-ups in all. And all of those grown ups thought they were the most important things on the earth, but they would only take up a 20 foot box.
    The Little Prince tells us we are only as important as we are valuable to other people.

    • Shivani Sharma permalink
      August 8, 2015 3:31 pm

      I don’t think the point was just about France at that specific time, I think that Exupery wanted to make a point about all adults from every time period. Adults, and really teenagers as well when you think about it, get caught up in these constructed notions of what success is as well as figuring out a way to stand out from the other 7 billion people in the world. The Little Prince breaks that by saying what people knew all along; that it is the fact that other people know you and love you and spend time on you that makes you special because you are special to them. At least that’s what I got out of it.

  23. Aidan Bell permalink
    July 31, 2015 9:37 pm

    The book I read was The Last Musketeer. This book is the first in a three book series. This book is one in a series is based off of the story of the three Musketeers, and was written by Stuart Gibbs. This book is a fiction book that goes back to medieval Paris. It was published in May of 2011. The audience this book was intended for are juvenile readers interested in action adventure tales.
    I really enjoyed reading this book. Action/adventure books are a particularly favorite type of reading for me. I actually have started reading the second book in the series.
    The author, Stuart Gibbs, was born on June 11, 1969 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He moved to the Washington D.C. area when he was a wee lad of five years old. At age seven, he moved to San Antonio, Texas where he lived until after his high school graduation. He currently lives is Los Angeles, California. He is the author of a number of fictional adventure books such as The Last Musketeer Traitor’s Chase, Belly Up, Poached and Spy School to just name a few. He also writes for TV and film. He has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile
    Mr. Gibbs began writing stories when he was in kindergarten. Before he began his formal writing career, he studied about the world’s largest rodent, the capybaras which I thought was rather unusual. His writing career began with film writing. He attended college at the University of Pennsylvania.
    The main character in The Last Musketeer was Greg Rich. He was a fourteen year old boy who enjoyed playing polo, fencing and rock climbing. His family included his mother and father. Greg Rich had attended a private school for children of wealthy families, but because his family’s financial situation, he had to attend public school.
    The setting of this particular novel is medieval Paris, France around 1615. Paris was very dirty. There was a lot of pollution in the air and rivers. Only the wealthy had luxuries such as toilets. Bathing was thought to be taboo as people believed that the dirt blocked pores therefore not allowing disease to enter the body.
    Some of the recognizable places the book took you were the Louvre in Paris, LaMort which was known as a dangerous prison. It also took you to Notre Dame Cathedral as well as the French countryside.
    The book helped to give me a glimpse into what Paris, France and some of the French countryside was like many years ago. I have a picture painted in my mind of the areas that were described in the book such as the Louvre. It will be interesting to me to see if the picture I have in my mind is the same as what I will actually experience when visiting the Louvre. I think the experience of reading about a place, having a mental picture of that place is significant because you have an expectation of what you will see and experience. The neat thing will be if your mental expectation is the same once you actually visit and experience the place.

  24. August 1, 2015 1:06 pm

    I read Normandy a Graphic History of D-Day. I liked the book because how the author wrote it in a comic book form. He explained the invasion of Normandy with cartoon like pictures. The author, Wayne Vansant, wrote this book in 2012. He was the main artist for Marvels “The Nam”. He has written other graphic novels about Gettysburg, the Vietnam War, and Nazi Germany.
    The story is told by the point of view of the allies. The combine allied powers were United States, Great Britain, Canada, and the free French forces. They knew they had to cross the English Channel and assault the Atlantic wall. Part of this was the Normandy region of France.
    I learned about the many different battles that were taken there. There were 5 landing beaches: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. I also learned about the battalion of the 82nd airborne. The paratroopers missed there drop zone and landed on the middle of the town of Ste.-Mere-eglise. When they came down, they were perfect targets for the Germans in the town square. They came down and got caught in trees or buildings and couldn’t reach their weapons. Most of the battalion was killed.
    On June 6, 1944, the first wave touched down on Utah beach. The assassin division commander, Brig. Gen. Theodore Rosevelt Jr, realized they had landed on the wrong part of the beach. He instructed the Navy to land right behind them and move the men inland. On Omaha beach, the high waves destroyed most of the DD tanks. The waves made some boats off course and made other boats strike mines. Some soldiers drowned in the deep water because they were carrying 80 Ibs of equipment.
    In one of the chapters, they talked about Omaha beach. Many men were killed while in their landing crafts. Some men were given the job of taking out gun casements on the cliff of Pointe Du Hoc. The men climbed the 9 story cliffs and fought across the top of the cliff to find out they weren’t installed. Eventually, the tanks reached the shore to help the men. In some places, it took 7 hours to fight off the beach. Omaha beach had many casualties, over 2500 wounded, dead or missing men.
    For me, I really enjoyed the book. It really explained about what weapons and gear they used in it. They also talked about the generals. It was really cool how they talked about them, explained their missions, and how they were famous. After reading this, I am even more into WW1, WW2, and Vietnam War history. There could be artifacts or gear that generals and soldiers used at the Caen memorial. Seeing the beach area where all this happened will be very exciting. I really can’t wait.

  25. Molly Weindorf permalink
    August 1, 2015 1:27 pm

    The Little Prince is the story of a pilot who’s plane breaks down, only to crash in the Sahara desert and meet a prince from another planet. The book is thought to recall the events that the author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry experienced in his own life including the plane crash and being lost in the desert. The story can be considered many different genres but usually stays in the category of fable or fantasy. The book was published in 1943 and is not a part of any series. I think that this story was most likely intended for older teens to young adults so that the audience could understand what it is like to be an adult and have some of the problems referenced in the book. Although for me, I think I understood the book and overall really enjoyed it. Throughout the years, The Little Prince has been made into a tv series, a movie, and many audio books, the book is also considered a classic in France and has sold over 140 million copies worldwide.
    The author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, came up with the idea for the story based on his real life experience of being stranded in the desert and hallucinating what he thought of as the little prince. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry also illustrated the book as well, he was never an artist before so he had no experience. His jobs before writing included being a commercial air pilot and also being a pilot in the French Air Force. Afterwards, Antoine became a writer and wrote many books including, Wind, Sand, and Stars, Night Flight, and of course The Little Prince.
    The main character of the story is the little prince. The story doesn’t say how old he is but I would guess he is pretty young, around 11 or 12. The way the little prince acts in the story is very independent and he doesn’t change his mind very easily, I think both of those things are his personality strengths. Since the prince lives on his very own planet with only his rose and two volcanoes, his role is most like a caretaker. He has to make sure his plants and volcanoes are healthy and clean, he has to take care of them. I think that the princes greatest weakness is not listening to other peoples perspectives or ideas when they most likely know more than he does.
    In the book, the author never says the year or the time period and because the story takes place in a desert, we also don’t know what season the events take place in. The whole story takes place for about a week because of how long the pilot was in the desert for. Today, our world is very different than it was back in the time that this book was written. Today, if you were to get struck in the desert, there are radios, phones, and rescue vehicles that know if someone is in danger.
    The whole book takes place in many different locations, the main one being the Sahara desert. Although most of the story is set in the desert, in parts of the book we see the little prince’s home planet and the other planets that surround it. The main location, the Sahara, is a very dry, hot, lifeless place and seems very different from where the little prince is from. The little prince’s planet is very very small and only has a population of one, which already makes it very different from the Sahara and the planet Earth. The little prince is used to only having himself and a always being in charge, where as on Earth, we have over 7 billion people and there isn’t just one to be in charge. I think that is the biggest difference.
    This book is going to help me in three major ways on my trip for sure. One of them being accepting that most everything is going to be different there and enjoying it as it is. Since we are traveling to foreign countries, people, food, places and so many more things will be much different than they are here. Just like In the book, the little prince wasn’t used to Earth or other people being around him, but he enjoyed it.
    The second thing this story taught me was that I need to listen to the tour guide and the people that live in Paris, Amsterdam, and everywhere else we are traveling. They know everything about where we will go and what we will learn. I learned this from this story because the little prince wouldn’t listen to anyone else’s opinions or knowledge because he thought he knew, but he really didn’t know anything about Earth, just like how we won’t know as much as the tour guides know about these countries.
    The third and final thing this book taught me and helped me realize is that I should probably learn a little bit of French before we leave. Asking questions and communicating will most likely be a big part of this trip and to learn the main language that the French speak could be very useful. The little prince and the narrator sometimes had a hard TI,e communicating because of the words they used and the way they used them. I think knowing this language could really improve my trip. Overall, I think the things that I learned from reading this book will help me when we travel.

    • August 8, 2015 10:40 am

      I too read the The Little Prince and I agree with some of the things that you have learned from the book. I agree that we should be accepting of other cultures when we are travelling because even though it may not be normal for us, accepting the foreign customs/cultures will help us better understand and appreciate the places we are going.

  26. Maya Thomas permalink
    August 2, 2015 9:42 am

    The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie Antoinette is apart of Carolyn Meyer’s young royals book series which is based on the early lives of multiple royalties. The book was published in 2010. This book did not receive any awards. The genre for his book is a Historical fiction. In her new home, at the grand palace of Versailles, her every move is controlled by the members of the French court. Marie Antoinette disobeyed the rules of etiquette, she would rather party and have a forbidden romance.My impression of this book was, that it was very boring because she just gave a little background of her family and wasn’t really considered a “Bad Queen” to me. But as I continued to read the book she didn’t want to do anything that her mother wanted her to do ,dressed differently and went out to more parties which made the book more interesting to read. In some ways, she is like the average teen girl.

    Carolyn Mayer was born in Lewistown, a small town in central Pennsylvania. Where she first started to work at a radio station to type commercials for advertisers. She has also wrote over more than 50 books in the past years. The person that most influenced her on written was her teacher Miss Frankenberry, who taught English at her high school. She gets most of her ideas from things she has read, places she has visited, and people she has met.

    The main character in the bad queen is Marie Antoinette. Marie was 15 when she first got married. Her main job was to marry Louis XVI to continue her royal line. One of Marie Antoinette’s major hobbies/interest was to go shopping for really big and expensive clothing. Another thing that she really liked to do is organize really elegant dances in the palace. Marie main strengths was that she never really gave into the court wishes and was open minded. Her weaknesses was she got immersed in her own pleasures and forgot about her people,drank and partied a lot.

    The Bad Queen takes places in the 18th century also considered The European Enlightenment. During the time Marie Antoinette was the queen the French Revolution was occurring. The time period in The Bad Queen differs a lot. For one in the 18th century a 17 year old girl would be looking for a marriage, for the 21st century they would have extracurricular activities, maybe a part-time job, or thinking of college and career paths. Another reason why the time period is way different than now is because, in the 18th century, the more affluent people used to have fun at formal dances, masquerade balls, sewing, fishing, and tea parties. Today young people have fun by hanging out with friends, watching movies, going to parties, playing sports, and doing extra-curricular activities.

    The Bad Queen takes place in different locations around France. In the beginning of the main locations are Austria and Palace of Versailles. Throughout the Bad Queen we also read about La Conciergerie,Chapelle Expiatoire, Basilica,Opera Garnier, and Petit Hameau. The world Marie Antoinette lived in is different from ours because she was born as an Austrian princess, has a U.S. city named in her honor and a fairy-tale village was built for her at Versailles.

    By reading The Bad Queen I have found many reasons to prepare myself for France. First it gave me the opportunity to see the history in the 18th century in France. Such as Marie-Antoinette, remains one of the most fascinating figures of the history of Versailles. This is because it was personally built for her. The Treaty of Versailles was ordered to pay its debts and being no longer able to struggle for independence, the Republic of Genoa ceded Corsica to France.Second is to follow the rules. Marie Antoinette wanted to do her own thing and not follow the simple rules that her mother gave her to be a good queen which got her in Conciergerie. All she wanted to do as the queen was have a forbidden romance, party and many other things.Third be nice to people. Marie Antoinette wasn’t very nice to people and then got punished for it. This is like the French people saying hello to us at one of their stores and we ignore them they may think that that is rude and kick you out of their store. In some ways it is like treat someone how to be treated.

  27. Shivani Sharma permalink
    August 4, 2015 10:31 pm

    Waiting for Godot is an absurdist play that premiered in 1953 in Paris. Originally written in French under the name of En attendant Godot, the play is subtitled ” A Tragicomedy in Two Acts” in the English version, translated by the playwright Samuel Beckett. This play is considered one of the strangest pieces of literature ever written due to its complex and almost indiscernible themes set against the backdrop of what seems to be absolutely nothing. It can be argued that this play is intended for the high-brow and elite class, because it does certainly read that way. However, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact audience at which the play is targeted. This play is considered one of the landmarks of Irish drama and as one of the very first pieces of post-modernist literature ever written. The general gist of this play is perfectly described by a reviewer when the play was first released; ” It is a play in which nothing happens, twice.” It is about two men, Vladimir and Estragon, who sit by a road and wait for a man ( I assume, it’s never really specified) named Godot who promised to meet them there. I thought this play was brilliant due to the way Beckett manages to say so much under the backdrop of absolutely nothing.

    Samuel Beckett was an Irish man who spent most of his adult life living in Paris. He maintained that a defining moment in his life was when he was introduced to James Joyce by whom he was largely influenced. This influence is very clearly seen in the similarity between the experimental styles of the two authors. Beckett has said that his inspiration in writing Godot was a painting by Caspar David Friedrich, either “Two Men Contemplating the Moon” or “Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon.” Beckett wrote many pieces of literature through his life, including Endgame and Happy Days. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. He is one of the most well-renowned writers in history, especially from the critical standpoint, as his plays and their interpretations still cause heated debates amongst critics everywhere to this day.

    By way of characters, this play does not have any abundance of them, with a grand total of 5 characters physically appearing. However, I think that the most interesting and maybe the most important character is Mr. Godot himself. He is not one of the 5 appearing characters, and we know absolutely nothing about him outside of the fact that the main characters (Vladimir and Estragon) were told to meet him by the tree, although they might not have been, we don’t know. Didi and Gogo, our protagonists in a way, are anchored to their places due to the hope that Godot may come and help them out of their apparent poverty, having but one pair of clothes and spending their nights in ditches. He’s a symbol of hope, and plays heavily into every interpretation of the play. Beckett was very clear in the pronunciation of the name, God -oh with the first syllable stressed. This bears resemblance, obviously, to God. This parallel is even more clearly drawn when Beckett made the statement that he does not know if Didi and Gogo think that he exists, and he as the writer doesn’t know that he exists. Godot is the driving force of the play in a way, even though ironically all he does is keep our characters rooted in the same spot.

    This play is very vague in nature, and I think that one of the most vague aspects of it is the time in which it takes place. There’s no mention whatsoever of the time period in which the play takes place aside from the singular word “evening” at the beginning of the first act. The play is known to take place over a time period of 2 days, in a time where there was distinct poverty and social elitism in France, which could really be any time in semi-modern French history, as in 1800s – 1950s. However, there were several war references which leads one to believe that it takes place after one of the world wars. The lack of context in this play adds to the minimalistic feel, which is what makes it so brilliant.

    The only information about the landscape in this play is that there is a barren tree visible by a deserted country road with an implied ditch somewhere in the distance, as well as the fact that it takes place in France. However, despite this distinct lack of place, the setting actually means quite a bit to the story. The only way the boy (who comes at the end of every day to tell Didi and Gogo that Godot will come tomorrow) would have access to their location would be via the country road that lies next to them. At this point, it is obvious to the reader that if the two were to simply take the road, they would end up seeing Godot, which is the only reason they are there in the first place. This road is one of the most iconic pieces of irony in literature. The world of Vladimir and Estragon is vastly different from ours, while still being a part of it because they represent the poor of France just after wartime with no real motivation to do anything after their experiences. Clearly, this background is vastly different from our own middle class American upbringings in the early 2000s.

    In reading this play, I learned quite a bit about French humor. The French tend to rely heavily on irony and wordplay, as well as the surreal and completely absurdist outlook provided in Waiting for Godot. The name of the title character itself is a play on words, with the very prominent allusion to God used as reference to the way Vladimir and Estragon view him. They do not know for sure if he existed at all, and yet they spent all of their time in the play waiting for him to arrive. It is this kind of clever with that permeates the realm of French humor, which is filled with decided subtlety as compared to our modern American counterpart, and I think that Godot helped me in understanding it more. This will most likely be a very important skill to properly understand the French culture.

    Waiting for Godot also helped me view France as the complex and diverse place that it is. Most media nowadays usually only shows the part of France that everybody knows; the city of Paris with all of its aristocratic and wealthy people drinking wine on red velvet lounge chairs. Godot provides a completely different picture, one of people living in ditches and being beaten up often, apparently with different people (or maybe the same ones) doing it each time. They both appear dirty, with disheveled clothing and no place to live. This taught me that France is more than just wealthy aristocrats in Paris, but it also contains harsh truths and realities just as every other country while also painting a vague picture of the state of its people after the war.

    Finally, this play introduced me into the genre of French drama, which is something I have not yet explored very well. The people of France have always enjoyed drama, and the plays of a certain time are potentially the most representative pieces of literature from that era, as they show the status of people from the time period as accurately and vividly as possible. The genre of French drama is very rich, and this play has effectively opened me up to all of that insight into the lives of French people through the ages.

  28. August 5, 2015 9:09 am

    That’s awesome. You took away some amazing things, from an amazing little book.

  29. August 5, 2015 10:03 am


    The Mystery of the Yellow Room was an enjoyable book, and I was always on the edge of my seat. This book had me trying to figure out the mystery, and I even developed my own theory. I cannot wait to read the sequel, The Perfume of the Lady in Black, also written by Gaston Leroux. The Mystery of the Yellow Room was published on January 1, 1908, and was very popular with adults and older readers. In fact, it was voted the third best locked room mystery; even though there has been no mention of winning or nominations of awards. Also, two movies were made based on the book: one in 1930, and another in 2003. I believe the theme of this book is, do not believe what everyone tells you, they could be wrong.
    Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux was born in Paris, which also happens to be the setting of most of his books. He replicated himself in the protagonist of The Mystery of the Yellow Room. Leroux’s careers before writing include court reporter and theater critic, which leads me to believe that he inspired his own writing. His first book was The Mystery of the Yellow Room, followed by The Perfume of the Lady in Black, and The Secret of the Night. Gaston had two children, Alfred Gaston and Madeline, with his second wife, Jeanne. His daughter, Madeline went on to be an actress. Leroux died in Nice, France in 1927 at the age of 58.
    Since she is of great importance, I have chosen to focus on the victim of the crime, Mademoiselle Mathilde Stangerson. Mademoiselle Stangerson is 35 years old and of great beauty. Although she is beautiful, she hasn’t married, yet. Her fiancé is Monsieur Robert Darzac, a suspect in the crime whom most of the evidence points to. Mathilde and her father, Monsieur Stangerson, are both scientists, and they work together. They also often walk around the pavilion during the day. Something interesting about Mademoiselle Stangerson is she knew who the murder was the whole time and never told anyone, with an exception of Monsieur Darzac. She did not enjoy talking to the journalists and tried to keep herself away from the public while she was recovering.
    The crime happens in October 1892. The season is important because as it’s getting colder, it is harder for Mademoiselle Stangerson to recover from her injuries. I think about six months pass. The attacker comes back two more times after the initial attack with some space in between each one. Also, by the end of the book, the mystery is solved and Mademoiselle Stangerson is doing better. The book does not mention, though, what is going on in the world. There are journalists from newspapers at the scene as opposed to cameras from broadcasted news shows.
    I know The Mystery of the Yellow Room takes place not too far from Paris, since the characters go there often. The environment is near a forest, in particular, the Sainte-Genevieve forest. Some specific settings are: a laboratory, and a bedroom, or sleeping chamber. There are also two adjoining galleries, a pavilion, and sleeping chambers of the guests. The climate in the book is not too important. There are not very many differences between our world and their world; but the Stangersons’ house has different rooms than in a house one would see here. Their house has galleries and a laboratory, my house has a living room and a dining room.
    I knew that French people were different than American people, and I know now how different they really are… or are not. I noticed that they act a bit differently. In America we tend to hold grudges against others, but I noticed, in the book, they can suspect someone and still be open to other ideas. I also saw when they aren’t speaking French, they have different ways of saying things. For example, when talking about age, I got used to reading five-and-thirty years as opposed to thirty-five years; also, bedrooms are called sleeping chambers. The French in the past are similar to Americans though. Here, Africans were enslaved and worked for whites. In France, they had servants, but their servants were treated nicely instead of being whipped by their “owners”.
    Although The Mystery of the Yellow Room was mystery fiction, it told a little bit about what the past was like. The time frame was not completely what I expected it to be. I expected police swarming the crime scene and always snooping around. That is usually how I see it in the crime movies. There was a big lack of technology, of course, throughout the whole book. They could not just order something and have it imported from another country, they had to travel there and get it. For example, Fredric Larsan had a cane from London, which had to be bought in London. Also technology affected the investigation. They could not just take the fingerprint of the murderer from the crime scene and scan it in the computer. They had to use the other evidence to move the investigation along.
    I also got to visualize how the suburban and rural areas look compared to the city. I was caught up in the pretty lights and the scenery of the city. I did not realize there was more to France than Paris, and now I do. The houses outside the city are big and spaced out. They are not very close to places like the Donjon Inn (a specific place in the story). There are also big forests with huge trees and tall bushes. The book depicts the forest as creepy scenery in the background, but I believe the forest was of great importance to the story.

  30. Mikaela Casillas permalink
    August 6, 2015 1:46 pm

    Freedom of Love was published in the 1920’s by Andre Breton. This surreal poem was inspired by the different characteristics of his wife, each aspect described through metaphors. Other poems written by Andre include; Always For The First Time, Le Verbe Êntre, Less Time, Postman Cheval, and many more. He also has a number of books such as Earthlight, Break of Day, and the most popular Nadja. In my opinion this poem is intended for adults or anyone who knows love well enough could understand the depth of this poem. In 2004, a director named Nick Knight created a short film inspired by Freedom of Love. The five minute video consists of Brad Pitt during a photoshoot while he narrates the poem. I really liked this writing because in the new generation it is always suggested that the girls fall madly in love and they are the ones to notice tiny little aspects about people. But this poem proves that wrong as Andre Breton describes everything about his wife.
    Andre Breton was born in a small town in Normandy, France. Although his family were shopkeepers, he showed interest in medicine and the varieties of mental illnesses. Around 1921 he met a man named Sigmund Freud, and the two worked to unlock different theories of the mind. Three years later Andre joined a group in Paris which created a movement in not only literature, but art as well, called surrealism. Some artists involved in the surrealist movement affected Breton’s work and vice versa. In the span of about twenty years Andre had married three different women by the names of Elisa Breton, Jacqueline Lamba, and Simone Collinet. Since the poem was published in the 1920’s I assumed it was inspired by his first wife Simone.
    There is no name for the character Andre is writing about but she is the author’s wife. In the writing the wife’s physical characteristics are described more than her personality traits. From the poem, a picture of this woman is able to be drawn through the descriptions given.
    The poem was written in the 1920’s, which has an affect on the story due to the different timings of his marriages. Perhaps if it had been a different woman, the piece of writing would have some noticeable changes. Almost a century has passed since Freedom of Love was written and the literature has absolutely changed since then. Some details of his wife left me confused because I have never heard them before.
    Learning about Andre Breton really helped me understand the literature in France, especially during the 1920’s. The surrealist movement he was involved in, which had begun nearly ninety years ago, still affects works of art today.

    • Caitlyn Kranz permalink
      August 15, 2015 2:14 pm

      This poem sounds beautiful and since I read another poem by Breton, I can tell even more how intellectual of a person he was. He finds detail and beauty in so much in the world, it’s absolutely incredible. I’d love to continue reading more of his work.

  31. Bryce Barnes permalink
    August 7, 2015 12:38 pm

    The book I read is Black Radishes. I thought that this book was a very good book. The publication date is in 2010. The genre of the book is historical fiction and the basic theme is when things turn for the worst don’t give up and keep fighting. The audience this book is recommended for is young adults. This book is a little bit popular and is the best book Susan Lynn Meyer wrote. My opinion of the book is really good. I really liked all of the facts and enjoyed all of the adventures that went on in the book.

    The idea of this book is from her father’s life story during the war. She is from Baltimore, Maryland and other books she wrote are New Shoes and Mathew and Tall Rabbit Go Camping. The family member that inspired her was her dad. She is wanting and could be currently working on a new book when Gustave got to New York after arriving in America. If she ever publishes this book it will be her 4th book and 2nd in the series.

    The character I want to write about is Gustave, the main character. Gustave is a young boy who is playful and loves to play with his friends. The book does not give an age for Gustave. His role in the society is a Jewish boy scout. The one hobby he has throughout the book is painting a map were France and Nazi territories are and when one of them took control of a new territory. His family and his friends are tough and fight through the struggles and he has that in him too. His strengths are keeping his cool some of the time and to fight through the difficulties that he is going through. His weakness is being a Jew because that makes him a Nazi enemy and in the story he has to hide it a lot.

    The time this book takes place is during World War II. The amount of time that passes in the book is almost a year and the whole part of the war where the Nazis take a lot of countries and is invading France. The time period is different than ours because they don’t have a lot of highly developed war weapons. Another thing is that then the Eiffel tower is painted over and is dull and not beautiful.

    The country this takes place in is France and the two major cities are Paris and Saint-Georges. Paris is the main city of France and holds the Eiffel tower and other amazing sights. Saint-Georges is a city with very few people and a small school the opposite of Paris. Some of the main settings are the two cities, both of his schools and the city next to Saint -Georges. My characters are not in a different world but it is different there because they are not free and are being overrun by the Nazis.

    One thing I learned about is parts of Paris. When we visit Paris I can get an idea from how the book describes it. One thing is the Eiffel tower. In the book they had to disguise the Eiffel tower so the Nazis couldn’t bomb it. It was dull and looked camouflaged to its surroundings. The book also talked about the street and how some are made from brick and how the shops look. The last great detail is that in the book Gustave describes the Eiffel tower when it is not camouflaged. He describes it to glimmer when the lights are on it and more great facts about it.

    Another thing is the city of Saint-Georges. I don’t know if we are going to visit the city but we might pass through this city on our bus. In the book, Gustave gives great details about how Saint-Georges is in the country with very little people compared to Paris. The school is small and there is a river that separates two sides and would later in the book be a divider for the two sides.

    The last thing I learned about are black radishes. The title of the book confused me but near the end of the book I understood the title. When Gustave’s dad needs a way to get the German soldiers to trust him and let him through all the time, he uses black radishes and ends up saving some of their family. The reason I said all that is because I have never heard of a black radishes and I wonder if they are popular in Europe. If they are or I get the chance to try one, I will and I’ll remember this book when I try it.

    • Katie Moran aka yeet queen permalink
      August 11, 2015 4:36 pm

      Does Gustave ever end up in a concentration camp or does he somehow evade gatting captured?

  32. Michael Peters permalink
    August 8, 2015 7:07 pm

    Journey to the Center of the Earth
    by Jules Verne

    Published August 28, 2011 by Jules Verne. A Heroic Quest! Join Professor Von Hardwigg, his nephew Harry, and their Icelandic guide Hans in their daring quest down a volcano and toward the center of the earth. Guided by an ancient parchment filled with a mysterious Runic code, the three explorers encounter hazardous storms, wild prehistoric animals, vast underground seas and fierce cavemen. Will they complete their quest? Will they reach the center of the earth. . . ?
    Jules Gabriel Verne (February 8, 1828 – March 24, 1905) was a French novelist, poet, and playwright best known for his adventure novels and his profound influence on the literary genre of science fiction.
    Verne was born to bourgeois parents in the seaport of Nantes, where he was trained to follow in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer, but quit the profession early in life to write for magazines and the stage.
    Verne is generally considered a major literary author in France and most of Europe, where he has had a wide influence on the literary avant-garde and on surrealism. His reputation is markedly different in Anglophone regions, where he has often been labeled a writer of genre fiction or children’s books, not least because of the highly abridged and altered translations in which his novels are often reprinted.
    The Main Character in this story is Harry. Harry loves mineralogy, and geology, and likes to help his scientist uncle Hardwigg in his laboratory. I predict based off of what Harry studies and does throughout the story that he is in college or university. Harry’s Job is to help his uncle out in his laboratory and his projects and quests. Harry likes to explore different places around the world. His Uncle Hardwigg is the last of his family that remains alive in the story. Harry’s strengths is science and math and anything to do with school work or science work he is very good at. Harry’s weaknesses are following the right way and wanting to do things his way. One big weakness is not listening.

    The Journey to the center of the earth takes place in the Great Depression age, because they always relate to the Germans and how they dislike them, so this leads me to think that its near the great depression World War 2 era. The season in this story is most likely late spring to early summer. The story takes place over time in a week. At the time, nothing big is mentioned as far as what’s going on.

    In this book it doesn’t really tell us where the story takes place. We know it is in Europe, and they talking about Germans a lot, so I predict maybe in Germany or some country near Germany. One of the main places in the journey to the end of the earth is the volcano. The volcano was extremely hot and very dangerous to be in and a couple times, Henry almost fell. Another main scene is the Eastern tunnel and it is a long cave that goes through the hills. In the tunnel was various creepy creatures and it was very dark and cold.

    This book helps me prepare for my TAP trip by letting me know there are a lot of adventures to experience in different places of the world and sometimes you get to see things you haven’t planned on seeing before. For example, we might be going to the Mona Lisa the painting, but on our way there we might see more amazing and interesting paintings that we didn’t expect to see.

    This book has also taught me to not expect to be able to do everything you want to and if you are able, there may or may not be things you have to do to get there. For example in the story, Harry got lost multiple times and some paths could not be walked on due to dangerous or hazardous conditions or where blocked. This can relate to our trip by, for example, going to a museum and getting stuck in traffic or delayed due to a storm.

    • Caitlyn Kranz permalink
      August 15, 2015 2:23 pm

      I feel like this story definitely taught some important lessons about how our attitude should be on the trip, open to adventures and seeing things that we didn’t expect to. Also, this makes me want to read more surreal pieces of literature. The poem I read was also surreal and I loved the style of writing, and this story sounds great too. I’d love to see some of the settings placed inside this book.

    • Derek Barrow permalink
      August 15, 2015 8:00 pm

      I always heard of Jules Verne and Journey to the Center of the Earth. I think the story as you told it would be very interesting to read. I also agree how this trip will be a wonderful adventure, lets just hope we don’t end a in a volcano!

  33. Matthew Strand permalink
    August 9, 2015 5:37 pm

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret was published January 30, 2007. It is a historical fiction book that takes place in Paris around the 1930’s. One theme is family. Hugo had no one until he was taken in with his friends godparents. This book is not in a series. This book has won three awards. The Caldecott Medal in 2008, The Quill Award for Children’s chapter book/middle grade in 2007. The Last award was Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Children’s Literature. The intended audience is for middle school. This book is a bestseller. This book was made into a movie and it came out on November 23, 2011. My opinion was I thought it wasn’t bad but it was slow.Brian Selznick got the idea of writing this book from reading Edison’s Eve by Gaby Wood. He became interested in Georges Melies who made the first science fiction movie, A Trip To The Moon. also Brian was interested in Georges automata which is mechanical device to imitate simple human tasks. I could not find jobs before Brian was a writer. Brian Selznick is from East Brunswick Township, New Jersey. Brian has written eight books and illustrated six of them. Brian, when he was younger, he would draw and read when he was younger. Brian’s grandfather’s cousin, David O. Selznick was the producer of King Kong and Gone With the Wind and Brian loved the stuff he did. Brian was the illustrator for The Invention of Hugo Cabret.In the story, Hugo is the main character. He lost both of his parents. Hugo’s dad worked with clocks at a museum. One day, Hugo’s dad found an automaton. Hugo’s dad began to fix it up at the museum. One night, it burnt down and his dad was trapped in it . So Hugo’s uncle took him in as an apprentice at the train station to keep the clock running. Hugo lived by himself in a train station where the workers used to sleep in private, and no one knows he is up there doing his uncle’s job. Hugo is twelve years old and he keeps the big clock running in the train station. Also his dad worked at a museum and found an automaton and which Hugo finds lying on bricks from the burnt museum, so Hugo tries to fix it by stealing parts from a toy store. Hugo’s hobby is machines. Hugo makes no money accept his paychecks for his uncle, but he doesn’t know how to cash them. So anyways he steals food.This book takes place around the Great Depression happened. The time takes place around the 1930’s. It is winter in the story. The story takes place for a few days and then skips six months and then continues after that for a little.This book takes place in Paris mostly in the train station and sometimes at an apartment. It was cold and snowy for most of the book. Comparing to us, we don’t live in a big city.One thing I can connect is how Paris looked like. When I saw that I really want to go even more now and the Eiffel tower was in it. I just really want to go.A second thing I can connect to is how people can be. In the story they were really nice to the people that were nice to them. If you did something bad to them they would not be nice to you at all.The last thing is he believed in himself. If I believe I can make the trip like Hugo can fix the machine, than I can make it.

    • Matthew Strand permalink
      August 9, 2015 6:24 pm

      I also watched the movies in this book like, A Trip to the Moon, Safety Last, A Train Arriving at the Station and The Clock Shop.

    • Derek Barrow permalink
      August 15, 2015 6:56 pm

      I never read the book, but I did see the movie. I must say I am surprised it was made so early, I always assumed it was an older novel. Another thing I was happy to hear was how true the movie was to the book with multiple character arcs and scenes still being in the film. Finally, when I saw Hugo I was compelled by the beauty of Paris in the film, and it’s nice to hear that they got the inspiration from that beauty from the book. One question I have other than slow, how did the novel make you feel?

  34. EvanStrand permalink
    August 10, 2015 4:06 pm

    I have read the Invention of Hugo Carbret and it was written by
    Brian Selznick. The book was published on January 30, 2007 and the book has won
    the 2007 Quill award,the 2008 Caldecott medal, and the 2008 Book Sense book of
    the year award. The book is a #1 bestseller and this book is for young readers.
    I liked this book but it was not my favorite. I liked the characters and I liked
    the big plot twist.

    Brain Selznick came up of the idea of The Invention of Hugo Carbret by
    reading a book called Edison’s Eve : A magical History of the Quest for
    mechanical life by Gaby Wood. Selznck got idea for Hugo after reading that book.
    Brian Selznick has also written The Marvels, Wonder Struck, the Houdini box, The
    boy of a Thousand Faces, The Hugo movie Companion, and The Robot King.
    Brian Selznick also illustrated all of the 284 pictures in The Invention of Hugo

    Hugo Carbret is very determined and he is only 12 years old and he does
    not go to school. Hugo lives at a train station making sure the clocks would run
    correctly. His father died in a museum fire so then he lived with his uncle then
    his uncle disappears and dies some how and his mom is unknown. Hugo is
    interested in a mechanical man that he works on every day. His strengths are
    knowing a lot about clocks and machines. His weakness are finding the right parts
    to fix he mechanical man.

    The Invention of Hugo Carbret takes place during sometime during the
    1930’s and it is winter. The book take place during about 6 month and a couple
    weeks. World events during this book took pace was the great depression.
    The time period in the book from modern time is we have better advances of
    technology like cars, phones, and buildings.

    The Invention of Hugo Carbret takes place at Paris, France and the
    weather is cold. The world those characters live in is diffrent because they
    live in a city and it it is in the past.

    One thing I learned is movies were first made in 1895 and movies are
    still popular in 2015. Another thing is how Paris is so crowded. Hugo describes
    how crowded the train station is and real life Paris is a popular tourist city.
    One last thing is how the people act towards other people. Hugo was not really
    treated nice because he was a thief. In the real world people who commit crimes
    are not treated nice.

  35. Katie Moran aka yeet queen permalink
    August 11, 2015 4:07 pm

    I read a “Reynard the Fox” story from Europa’s Fairy Book, which was published in 1916. The genre of this book is fantasy. One basic theme I was able to pull out of the story was that trickery is only useful for momentary gain. There are many “Reynard the Fox” stories, each having Reynard doing some sort of trick to get what he wants. The audience this short tale was gear for is children. Whether it be to actually teach children messages or just to give them a good laugh at all the things Reynard has done, these stories were written for children’s bed time stories. Because they were common myths of Europe and Europe colonized almost every country, they were, and still are, popular stories in France and around the world. “Reynard the Fox” has become numerous cartoons and movies since the past two centuries, being a choice favourite for children all across France. I thought the fables were very good for teaching children lessons, however, as the story was aimed to children, I thought it was almost a little bit boring, due to the language used. It wasn’t hard to understand, but was almost like reading a 4th grader’s story.
    The fable originated out of northwestern Europe, however no author is known to have written the tales.
    One character from the “Reynard the Fox” stories is the character Bruin the bear. Bruin seems humble and kind, however his age is unknown. He is a bear, and therefore is more feared by almost everyone. He likes to eat honey, eat fish, and other things a bear would usually do. His family is not mentioned, however, in the story, he is living with Reynard in a den. Bruin is probably the most harmless bear in the forest. He never attacks any of the other animals, and when caught in a dispute with Reynard, decides to solve the problem with out eating the mischievous fox. Bruin is good at stealing honey and butter from humans in a nearby cottage, but is so gullible, like the other characters in the stories, that he loses all of it to Reynard and is then blamed by Reynard for eating it all.
    This story takes place before the industrial revolution, in the summer/spring time. A few weeks pass over the course of this story, enough time for Reynard to eat all of the butter and honey on for different occasions without seeming suspicious. During this time, France and England were fighting the Hundred Years War and the Black Plague was on a rampage throughout Europe (1330s-1450s), France was exploring North America and had claimed Quebec (1534), and 2 million French people were killed by famine (1692). France was much different then than now; even a small morsel of chocolate was something that only royalty could afford. Washing Machines were nonexistent, therefore everything had to be washed by hand. Because there were so many things to do, hygiene was ranked around an eight on a scale from one to ten, one being the most important to the people. This led to a high death rate, giving the need for a high birth rate. This poor hygiene eventually led to the spread of one of the worst plagues in Europe.
    The Fables take place in North Western Europe. More specifically, in a forest. There are a lot less animals roaming around Illinois than north western Europe, and a lot less trees in the area. Bears aren’t exactly non –existent in Illinois, however very uncommon. There are also no lions here. Although there aren’t as many varieties of animal here, the weather is relatively the same; we get snow, so does northwestern Europe. In the story, the animals come across a farmer plowing his field, and we have an abundance of those. You can’t go anywhere in Illinois, except maybe Chicago or Springfield, where there isn’t corn within 200 feet of you.
    Thanks to “Reynard the Fox”, I learned more about the things that had the most overall importance to the people of France. These fables are very much unlike others from France that taught an obvious lesson, so what made “Reynard the Fox” such a popular tale? If anything, they would teach the children of that time period to cheat each other. So, if they don’t teach an obvious lesson, why are these fables told to generations of children in France? Simple. These fables were told because they were humorous. It may seem strange and brutal, but scientific studies have shown that people, specifically children, are more likely to laugh at someone getting beat up with a balloon than a pun in someone’s name. People found it entertaining when Reynard screwed someone over.
    Another connection I made with this tale was the wild life of France. Obviously there would not be lions in France, but now I know not to be surprised if I see a bear. Maybe while walking around I’ll spot one catching some fish in a lake or river and be able to ask what it’s favourite joke is. I’ve also never seen a fox around Illinois, so maybe I’ll see one of those also.
    I also learned the importance of butter/honey and how valuable they were. If only the rich could afford chocolate, honey must have been almost as expensive, if not more. I didn’t really understand why Bruin and Reynard were saving the butter/honey and keeping it hidden, because honey/butter seem to be fairly common and inexpensive today; however, I now realize that they hoarded it because of how expensive and uncommon it would have been before the industrial revolution, especially because they are animals and clearly couldn’t manufacture it by themselves.
    Sorry that this was late.

  36. Graham Ferguson permalink
    August 12, 2015 4:41 pm

    I read “At One O’clock In The Morning,” by Charles Baudelaire and I thought it was good, I enjoyed this and thought that the word choice and description was very clever and overall made it a better poem. This poem was written in 1869 which became pretty popular and inspirational to the young poets that came after him. Although a great poem it didn’t win any awards. Since this poem was intended for an adult audience it was not made into a show or movie. I really liked the basic theme of this poem, it was about a man being overwhelmed and overloaded in his daily life but still he finds good in his life. Charles Baudelaire is a very good poet who has written many more poems one other being, “Anywhere of The World.”
    Charles Baudelaire was a french poet who also produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allen Poe. He was influenced to write by many of the french romantic poets in the 19th century. More specific people to influence Charles to write were Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert, and his biggest inspiration Edgar Allen Poe. It’s because of these people that the poet Charles Baudelaire was able to produce is most famous piece of literature Les Fleurs du mal (The Flower of Evil.)
    In “At One O’clock In The Morning,” there isn’t much of a character. What I was able to pull out of the text about the character wasn’t much. But this character, who doesn’t have a name, gets very stressed in his everyday life. Although he is weakened by this stress he is always optimistic. That is his strength, staying positive and not being down on himself.
    This poem was written long ago in 1869. The actual time in the poem was well, one o’clock in the morning. It was seemed like he just woke up and it only took a few minutes. But what i think it really was, is that he laid awake thinking about his day comparing to how boring it was compared to everything else people have achieved but he still stays confident about his live and stays positive.
    This poem is very short and has no action. It was very short in the actual time and he didn’t move. The narrator just stayed in bed and thought to himself. The setting of where he was is his bedroom and to be more specific, his bed. Other than that there is no information as to where this poem took place.
    Although very discreet about any specific setting it taught me some good lessons. One thing was that you have to set time aside for yourself. Just relax and reflect on yourself. Just sit back and let all other things go. That’s how you will also stay optimistic which is another thing this poem taught me to do.
    It will help me respect myself. Not beat myself up for what I didn’t do but acknowledge myself for all that I have achieved. I stay true to myself and don’t compare myself to others. I will compare myself to myself and do my personal best even if it isn’t the biggest achievement. I will stand behind my choices.
    I will do what is right. I will make sure to give my all to all that I do and finish it. I will tackle all challenges that stand in my way. I will stand by my actions without regretting them and make decisions that I won’t regret. That’s what I learned for this poem and that is what I will do in preparation for this trip and on the trip.

  37. Jaden Easton permalink
    August 12, 2015 6:43 pm

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret is the book I read, it is a realistic-fiction about a boy orphan in Paris, France named Hugo dreams of fixing an invention, an automaton. Hugo soon meets a girl and a toy booth man and he finds his big secret and himself in jeopardy. This book won the Caldecott medal of 2008. The audience of the book is directed to anyone 12 and up. This book is a very popular book; it has won not just the Caldecott medal but a number one New York Times bestseller, New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2007, and was a National Book Award Finalist. This book was made into a movie called Hugo. With 284 Pages of wonderful drawings and an excellent concept, I loved the book. I actually read it before I joined T.A.P. I think even though the drawing are black and white, they are really cool because they make you focus more on just what’s going on. Few words are written but the drawings really tie the story together.
    Brian Selznick is the writer and the illustrator for this book. Selznick grew up in East Brunswick Township, New Jersey. He graduated from three years at Rhode Island School of Design and then worked for three years at Eeyore’s Books for Children in Manhattan. When he finished writing Hugo Cabret, it was 533 pages with 284 pictures. Selznick calls it “not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things.” Selznick says at the time it was “by far the longest and most involved book I’ve ever worked on.”
    The main character is Hugo Cabret. Hugo is a 12 year old tinkerer and a thief. Hobbies of Hugo are stealing and trying to fix things, and when he finds the broken automaton, he tries to fix it. Hugo has no family because he is an orphan that lives in Paris. Hugo remains by himself living in the rail station trying to keep safe and steal any necessities. Hugo is a good thief and he lives off of what he can manage to steal.
    This book takes place in Paris, France in the 1930’s. Six months pass in the book from beginning to end. The time period is different because back then there was not advanced technology. This book takes place in a city but many years ago, Hugo starts off in his home (the train station walls). His world is different from ours because it was long ago and he did not have the ability to go somewhere and get food like a homeless shelter.
    The Invention of Hugo Cabret will help prepare me for the trip because it teaches me French history from the 1930’s and shows me what it looked like back then through illustrations and through Hugo’s eyes.

  38. Dalton Ferguson permalink
    August 12, 2015 6:44 pm

    The necklace is about a woman named Madame Mathilde Loisel who wants to be rich and important. So when her husband tells her about the king and queen’s party he got invited to she gets a chance to feel important and rich. But to feel rich she needs to look rich so Mathilde and her husband go out to buy a dress for the party. Mathilde also borrows a diamond necklace from her friend Madame Jeanne Forestier. This fable was published on February 17, 1884, in a newspaper, and written by Guy de Maupassant. This story is for all ages and has been turned into many films. This story also taught a lesson, you should always tell the truth. This lesson really got to me at the end with the big a confession. The confession is that the diamonds on the necklace were fake, but Jeanne tells Mathilde that after she lost her necklace and went through a lot of trouble and loans to buy hey a necklace with real diamonds not knowing the first necklace was fake.
    Guy de maupassant was a short story writer from France who was inspired by his mother. He was considered a father of modern short stories. He also wrote Boule de Suif, Pierrot, Deux Amis, and more
    The main character is Mathilde who wants to be rich and needed. She is married and in her twenties, and a beautiful looking women but not rich. Since she isn’t rich she feels unimportant and unneeded and seems to be held back because of that.
    This story takes place around the late 1800s in Paris, France. It is around spring and fall time because it was raining at the end of the party. There would be differences in the story if it was written today. Today Mathilde could have called people to see if they had seen the necklace she had lost, then someone could have found it and brought it to her. And today she could have told the truth because everyone knows that honesty is the best policy. The Mathilde would have found out the diamonds were fake and wouldn’t have had to spend so much money.
    This story took place in the city of Paris, France. The city is normally a little chilly not too cold and not too warm. The city has gotten bigger then it was in the past. To us this story seems really unrealistic but back then this was very realistic and probably happened to more people than just Mathilde.
    This story was very informational, it taught about the history of Paris and how much that city has been through. Like wars that they had to fight so that Paris and France can still be around today. It made me realize that you have to fight to keep the important thing in life in your life.
    I also learned that you should always tell the truth, i know thats what everyone says but in this story it really showed me how even if you think something bad will happen by telling the truth that more good will come from it. If Mathilde had told Jeanne that she lost her necklace then she would have found out that it was only worth a little bit of what she spent for a new one.
    I also learned about the history of the class systems in France and how back then people would stick to loving people in their same class because that’s what people thought was right but today people realize that it isn’t about money it’s about what you want and what the other people want. Even if you are rich but you like someone who is poor you shouldn’t be told not to see them. But before that’s how it was, that’s what I learned from reading this story.

  39. Scotty Thompson permalink
    August 14, 2015 2:42 pm

    Normandy-A Graphic History of D-Day: The Allied Invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe
    This graphic novel was written and illustrated by Wayne Vansant and published in 2012. It is about the battle on the beaches of Normandy in France. It talks about the events that led up to the WWII and this combined effort of the English, French, American and Canadian forces to drive Hitler and the Nazi’s out of France. The assault started in Normandy. This book is intended for telling history in a way with words and pictures as graphic novels do and appeals to anyone that likes graphic novels like I do. I don’t believe this graphic novel has won any awards or ever been made into another form of media but I know I liked reading about it. It is also going to not only help me on the trip next year but also the Military Topics class I will be taking in school the year.
    The author, Wayne Vansant, was born in Atlanta Georgia July 13, 1949. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He attended the Atlanta College of Art and graduated in1975. He had many jobs but began writing in 1986 for Marvel Comics. He is best known for writing the acclaimed Vietnam War title “The Nam”. He has written and illustrated many comics that are military/historical subjects. What most interests me is that he is working on graphic histories for battles like the Battle of the Bulge. This is one of my article topics.
    The main character of the story is Hitler who we all know was an evil dictator the killed millions of people. This is historically about the time when the Germans had expanded through most of Europe and in particular their foothold on and the war over the beaches at Normandy in France. It goes into great detail about the plans that were made for landing on the beaches at Normandy and the great loss of lives that day but that in the end they succeeded in driving back the Germans which was a huge defeat for them. Thank goodness we already know the rest of the story. The comic ends with the allied forces rolling into Paris as they fought back the German forces that were taking staggering losses of both soldiers, supplies and equipment. They last almost 50,000 men and about 1300 tanks alone in the take back of Normandy. And as the book plainly states in the end “…the war wasn’t over by a long shot…”
    This comic was written specifically for the time period of spring 1944 to August 25th, 1944 and covered mainly the topic of the Allied Force offensive on the beaches of Normandy in France. Germany was being defeated on several major fronts all over Europe but all of the Allies knew that the one true way to make sure they were being pushed back was to come together as a major force and drive the Germans out of Normandy. This was considered one of the bloodiest battles of WWII where thousands died. Omaha beach was one of the bloodiest. It is amazing the detail the author gives to the story and the details he has in his illustrations. The more I read the story the more it made me think of movies like “Saving Private Ryan” and the more recent movie “Fury”. The majority of the story was about Normandy but continued on with the push into France until the Allied Forces reached Paris on August 25th, 1944.
    I sort of wrote where it takes place but specifically it is from the planning involved in America, Canada and the collaboration with the British that all comes together at Omaha Beach. It took a lot of planning and discussion about how and where they wanted to attack and then when and in what order and who would go first. Just this process alone took several months of discussion. It is amazing how many generals and other leaders were involved. General Patton from America, Winston Churchill from England and on the German side General Rommel better know as the “Desert Fox” form his campaigns in Africa. The Allied Forces knew that they were going to take heavy casualties because the area they were attacking was open and gave the no sort of cover. They also encountered steep cliffs they were prepared for. The Germans had built concrete bunkers they fired from and were able to gun down many soldiers before they even got off the boats. One company of soldiers from America lost 95% of the men before they ever hit the beach. The comic does give a list of the Allied Force and German Force divisions that were involved in just this part of the war.
    Reading “Normandy-A graphic history of D-Day” truly made me think about all the people who died so that we could live in freedom. From the time we are little we learn about WWII and the evil man behind it Adolf Hitler. It wasn’t until I was older that you learn more of the specifics about the war itself and how many people died from so many places trying to defeat this man. I remember hearing about the battle at Normandy but never really thought a lot about it until I saw the movie “Saving Private Ryan” and that seemed to show just how terrible it really was. Now having read this story with its graphic pictures and all the numbers for all the battles it makes it seem even more brutal. I know that when we visit the beach and the memorial that I know was built at the beach, it will really come to life for me. All the emotion it must hold for the veterans who actually survived must be overwhelming.
    Second, If there is someone that does not know much about this specific battle of WWII it is a great way to learn because you get to do more than just read. There are the illustrations that make the story just that much better. It’s like a video game has been pressed into the pages of the book that are very colorful and well thought out and show exactly what it is the writer meant for that exact time in the story. You don’t have to guess. It also brings many of the characters to life in that some of the names you know or have heard you don’t have a face to go with the name. Because the author took time to do research and he is such a good artist, it is easy to match the faces with the names now.
    Last, It was nice to read something about history that seems to have all of the facts about the supplies used, numbers of soldiers in each division and company and the amount of military vehicles used for this particular battle all in one place. Because this author is well known for his attention to detail for both his information collection and in his drawings that some of the reasons it made this story even better to read. I really do think that reading this story will make it easier for me to understand the history of Normandy beach when I am standing there. I think it will be a very emotional day realizing I am in the same place where all of those people died. It makes me even more thankful for the freedom I have today because they gave their lives for that freedom.

  40. Rixie Davis permalink
    August 14, 2015 4:24 pm

    The classic fairy-tale La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast) is very different than the story we know today. Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve is the original creator and author of Beauty and the Beast. She wrote this incredible story in 1740 which became over 100 pages long. The theme of this story is, the inside personality of a person (or beast in this case) is more important than the outside appearance. Her story was written for the young adults of her age because back then the laws and rights for love and marriage were very different from today. Over the years Beauty and the Beast transformed into a classic fairy-tale most of us know. This story was created into to many different movies, games, toys, TV shows, and cartoons. My personal opinion of this tale is, I found it interesting because of how much it differed from other stories created from the first version. For example Disney’s version was changed and altered for a child audience.

    Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve became inspired to write Beauty and the Beast by the authors that came before her like Madame d’Aulnoy and Charles Perrault. She was also inspired by the story “Cupid and Psyche”. Villeneuve was born in 1965, La Rochelle and Died on December 29, 1775.

    Beauty the main character of Beauty and the Beast is a selfless and brave person which allowed her to do the things she did in the story. Her hobbies are to sing dance and making others happy. In the story her rich family became poor and misfortunate which caused them to go into the outskirts of town. There they had to work very hard to live which caused beauty to look at the best in things and never take anything for granted.

    The time period of this book is around the middle 1700’s around when she wrote the book. Back then not only was technology, dress attire, and even buildings different because some lived in castles, but also their ( specifically women) rights. Back then women did not have a choice at who they wanted to marry or when they wanted to marry. Some were girls who were only 14 while the men could be a decade older. This story changed that idea because beast asked her and respected her every time she said no to marry him. From beginning to end the story took place over 1-2 years because of Beauty’s family becoming poor and living that way for 6 months until their father found hope for money which was distinguished because he had cargo from a ship but his partners divided it for themselves thinking that he died. Also the time to decide which daughter would come with him to Beast’s Castle to live with him and Beauty visiting her family for the last time those events combined by time took 3 months or more

    The story doesn’t specify where it takes place but it describes that the family lives near a small town in a little cottage in the forest. If this story were to be in a play the stages settings would be a castle, a snowy forest, a cottage, and a small town. It doesn’t say much on the climate but it does say that the father of the twelve children set off on a journey for Beauty’s request, a rose. During the quest, in the winter, it starts to snow which made it very hard when traveling on foot.

    After taking shelter he loses track of where he is because the snow covers up the paths and eventually finds the castle. The difference between their world and ours is that theirs is make believe which allows them to have magic ( fairies, dragons, curses, etc).

    The things I learned from the story will help on the trip because I could look at and focus on something that might look extremely boring but it could have an awesome story behind it. Also the story helped me realize not only to remember the places I will visit by how they look but also to remember it by the stories, history, and places that made it worth going.

    The story also helps me understand how things could have been different back then like they are now and people like Beauty will be rewarded for their selfless and brave acts like how firemen and policemen risk their lives to save others.

    I also learned that fairy-tales were made to learn from. Without fairy-tales people might have to learn those lesson by experiencing it themselves. Sometimes those experiences could have devastating consequences.

  41. Casey Drew permalink
    August 15, 2015 10:36 am

    The book, Asterix the Gaul published in 1961 an instant success for it’s comic and illustrations Written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. The Asterix series has become a classic and is very popular today. The French humor and slapstick writing is sure to leave you laughing. The book tells of a time in history then The Gauls fight Julius Caesar for control of their land, it explores the hardships and trickery that are used during the battles. Over the years there has been many movies made and comic books, Asterix the Gaul is the third largest comic in all of France.

    Rene Goscinny born Aug 14, 1926 and passed on Nov 5, 1977 at the early age of 51. Born in Paris to Jewish immigrants from Poland, he spent his childhood in Buenos Aires and studied in French schools there. He was shy and was considered a class clown, started drawing at an early age. At only 18 years old, after the death of his father he became a junior illustrator for an advertising company. Goscinny joined the French Army in 1946, drew and illustrated Posters for them. Then in 1951 he moved to Paris where he met Albert Uderzo. Together they shared the same love of humor and created Asterix and many others like Iznogoud, Little Nicholas, Lucky Luke, Valentin, the Dirgodossiers and many more. In 1968 Goscinny devoted himself to Asterix. In 1977 he and his wife Rene founded a cartoon studio called Idefix. In 1974 he received the Adamson Award for Best International Comic Strip Artist, Sweden and in 2005 Inducted in the Will Eisner Hall of Fame as Judges Choice, US.

    The illustrator for Asterix, Albert Uderzo born on April 25, 1927 Retired in Sept 2011, know for his work for Asterix but also other comics such as Oumpah-pah and many others. In 1934 Uderzo obtained French citizenship, he left Paris and worked on a farm in Brittany with his father. He loved the scenery and the people of Brittany so much that it was the inspiration for the setting of Asterix comic. Other creation of his were Flamberge and also Clopinard, (a small one legged old man who triumphs against the odds). From 1947 – 1948 he created other comics such as Belloy and a few others. Awarded the Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1985. In 2005 Inducted into the Eisner Award Hall of Fame, US and in 2007 Awarded the Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. On Jan9, 2015 Uderzo paid tribute in solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shootings with a drawing of the character Asterix declaring that he “too is a Charlie”

    The year is 50 BC, the Gauls hold out against the Roman invaders. Asterix, Obelix and their friends fight against the mighty Roman legions of Julius Caesar. The setting is from Brittany, mostly summer days hanging around the tents, hiding behind trees or in a battle field. We go along with Asterix and his gang thru the trickery of battle, thru the good and bad of battle with a side of laughter. From planning of a battle, to getting captured, to helping your fellow countrymen all with humor. The French humor so very like ours but also so very different. The way the writing comes to together, the play of words, the trickery of making the Romans grow hair with a potion instead of making them strong. I really enjoyed the charter Getafix and his magic potions.

    To think that this battle lasted over 300 years! I am looking forward to seeing the countryside and hopefully the standing rocks. I heard of Julius Caesar but I didn’t know the history. The book helped me open my eyes to much of the pain the war caused the Gauls, how hard they fought, that they weren’t giving up. I would really like to meet the people, see the places that inspired so many great authors, writers, painters. It would be amazing to see in person one of the forts, kind of sad as well knowing so many people gave their lives defending the fort.

  42. August 15, 2015 1:07 pm

    Le Petit Prince, or The Little Prince in English, is a rather famous piece of French literature written by the author Antoine de Saint-Expuéry in 1943. The book is a classic piece of French literature and is the third most translated book in history. The book is an interesting read for all ages, and has been adapted into many different plays and other media forms. The Little Prince was, and still is, an insightful piece of writing, which shows in the fact that it garners over two million sales annually.
    Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger de Saint-Expuéry was a multi talented individual who drew upon his own experiences to create his most famous work: Le Petit Prince. He was born to a wealthy family near Lyon in 1900. Although he grew up as an aristocrat, he was also an accomplished writer, poet, and pilot. Before the outbreak of World War II, he flew airmail throughout Europe and Africa. He eventually joined the French Air Force (Armée de l’Air) and helped fight against Germany. He went to the USA after France’s armistice with the Germans. There he wrote some of his most famous works, including The Little Prince. After leaving the USA he joined the Free French Air Force in North Africa. While on a reconnaissance mission his disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea at the age of forty-four.
    One of the characters in the book is the Little Prince. He seems to be a young child and, as his name implies, is a prince. He is a prince of an asteroid, B-612. The little prince is shown to have a childlike curiosity of Earth and the other things around him. He seems rather simple but one of his best qualities is his belief in himself. The book seems like a children’s story but is actually seeped in analogies to the real world. Many of the things in the book are examples of this. The little prince symbolizes, in my opinion, a younger version of the narrator. All of the characters in the book that the little prince shows the narrator seem to just be analogies to how people are in real life. For example, there is a vain king with no subjects, a drunk, and a greedy businessman, all of whom are very narrow-minded in their beliefs. The little prince is a very interesting character and the main driving force for the interesting events that take place throughout the book.
    The book presumably takes place during the era it was written, although there is nothing in the book to specify an exact date. The narrator’s experience was based off of an actual event that happened to the author, so therefore I can deduce the story probably takes place in the late 1930s. The book takes place over several days. In the assumed time period, World War II was going on, which obviously had great impact everywhere. The ‘when’ of the book was not as important to the story as it is to understanding the numerous analogies in the text.
    The book takes place in a few different places. The main part of the story takes place in the Sahara Desert, although the specific country is unknown and since the Sahara spans a multitude of countries it would be very hard to tell the exact location of the plane crash. The story also speaks of several asteroids in the sky, although they are not physically traveled to by the narrator, they are only referred to in flashbacks by the little prince. The setting of the prince’s home is the only one spoken of in great detail. he asteroid that the little prince comes from is small and has three volcanoes. He also has baobab trees that try to sprout occasionally. The conversations about the trees leads me to believe they symbolize bad ideas trying to take a hold, and because of the time period the book was written it is evocative of Nazism. From his asteroid the prince can see the scintillating stars that hold such symbolic importance to both of them.
    One of the things I learned from Le Petit Prince is that I’ll need to try to understand their languages and not just use my own. Talking in a different language than someone obviously makes it hard for them to understand you, but for you to understand them, not just in a simple sense. The little prince and the narrator somehow speak the same language, but the messages might not have been conveyed if they didn’t. I believe that trying to learn and speak the native’s language is a great way to begin to understand their culture better.
    Another thing I learned from the book is to be able to accept other cultures. Throughout the book both the narrator and the little prince were introduced to foreign ideas and concepts. Their acceptance of these concepts and the broadening of their horizons helped them better understand the new things around them. On our trip it is important to understand that some of the cultural aspects of these states will be different than what we are used to, and that to enjoy and appreciate the cultures we are being exposed to we have to be able to readily accept them.
    A third thing I have learned from reading Le Petit Prince is that exploration leads to enlightenment. Throughout the book the little prince showed the narrator the stars, and taught him new things that helped the narrator’s own beliefs change. This is important to do when we go on our trip to learn more from our destinations.

  43. Caitlyn Kranz permalink
    August 15, 2015 1:47 pm

    As Andre Breton was known as the founder of surrealism, “Postman Cheval,” is a surreal poem. This piece of writing was one of his many incredible works, some include; Le Verbe Êntre, Always For The First Time, Less Time, The Surrealist Manifesto, and more. In addition to poems, he has written a wide variety of books such as Break of Day, Earthlight, and a very popular one, Nadja. I believe this poem is targeted toward young adults and up. It is complex, somewhat hard to understand, and could be interpreted in many different ways. The theme of the poem would be to not let the industrial world control you and find beauty in basic life outside of work.
    Born in an outskirt of Normandy, France, Andre Breton grew up with interests varying the ones of his families. He was into medicine and illnesses, although he ended up being the primary founder of literature, or art, called Surrealism. Sigmund Freud helping to come up with the idea also as they studied theories of the mind. Most all of Breton’s poems are surreal. This particular poem, I believe, was inspired by the constant movement of the industrial world. Growing in his time, Breton, as a writer, may have been able to take a step back and notice the bigger picture of what those workers did and how they lived. So, as the poem takes place, it holds the point of view of a postman, Cheval.
    The character in this poem would be Cheval, the postman. Breton writes the poem from his point of view and really portrays something of a real life situation. Cheval is a postman and works hard in the industrial world to provide for himself and the ones he loves. He is very optimistic and finds art in the natural world around him, taking simple structures and acts and turning them into something beautiful. As he works and provides for himself, I believe Cheval is an adult, probably somewhat older since he seems very wise. Cheval seems to really care about being happy and taking a step back from the stress of work and just seeing the beauty. I feel as though that is the main point of the poem, to not let the industrial world shape your mind, your thoughts, your actions all of the time. There should be moments where you can free yourself from that, as Cheval does. As he is able to find beauty in many aspects of life, I feel as though Cheval would have the weakness of being disappointed often when things are not as great as he looks for them to be.
    This poem takes place most likely around the 1930-40s. Although there is nothing specific about time, it explains times filled with drawers of bread, wine, etc. which were very popular items back in that period of Europe. There is no explanation or upbringing of any type of technology, showing how far back this could date. Also, there is mention of taking train, something in history that was widely used obviously before cars. The poem takes place in the course of just one day as Cheval sees art in all things. The time period of this poem is different than that of now because when finding beauty in the things around us, we would see it in much different structures than he did. Many other arts would be available to seek out now, along with many that we can no longer connect with as written in the poem.
    Postman Cheval most likely took place in an industrial town in Europe, possibly France specifically. There is no mention of a certain town, but the poem includes description of a forest, a belvedere, a public square, a train, and more. He points out the glass statue and the way it glistens the circles onto his bed, and of the swans with their wings spread, and even the smoking jacinths. I feel our world is different because today, no one seems to take any second to realize the art in all of these things.
    This poem makes me fee as though when we are in Europe, we should definitely take a second to not be influenced by the industrial world and what we are told by those forced words, and just look at the art and beauty of every single thing we see. From the people to the buildings and sidewalks, everything has beauty and I love how Breton portays that in a suttle way. I also now really want to look the beautiful sight from a belvedere, overlooking a city. I want to see all of the little holes that shined from the glass statue and feel the immense emotion that Breton had while writing this. This poem was very complex and I had to more research into it to really get the meaning but I am glad I did because it has some wonderful lessons to be taught before our trip and even to use in everyday life.

  44. Nikki Ebert permalink
    August 15, 2015 3:07 pm

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a very beautifully written and illustrated graphic novel about a boy named Hugo Cabret in 1930’s Paris. The book was published in 2007 and people still love the book for its amazing illustrations and the way the author tells the story. The book tells the amazing story of a boy that doesn’t have much and has to steal things just so he can survive. The sequel to the book is called Wonderstruck which is a bestseller and a really great book. The book has won three different awards which were the Caldecott Medal in 2008, the Quill Award for Children’s chapter book/middle grade in 2007, and the Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Children’s Literature in 2008. If you are in grades 3-7 this book would be a really great read but even if you are older the book would still be really great for you to read. The book was made into a movie in 2011 and the movie is one of the best movies I have ever watched so if you read the book I highly recommend that you watch the movie too. In my opinion The Invention of Hugo Cabret is one of my favorite books because I love the story line and I love how the story is told through the pictures and the words.
    Brian Selznick the author of the book has basically been an author his whole life. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and then worked for three years at Eeyore’s Books for Children in Manhattan, New York while working on his own book. Brian says “When I was a kid, two of my favorite books were by an amazing man named Remy Charlip. Fortunately and Thirteen fascinated me in part because, in both books, the very act of turning the pages plays a pivotal role in telling the story.” Resulting from Brian’s like in these books he wanted to use that kind of style and put it into a book of his own. He wanted to use the illustrations to help tell the story instead of them just illustrating the story. He used the films of Georges Melies as inspiration to write his book. Brian also stated, “But it wasn’t until I read a book called Edison’s Eve: The Quest for Mechanical Life by Gaby Woods that my story began to come into focus. “ Brain Selznick grew up East Brunswick Township, New Jersey. Brian Selznick started off writing children’s picture books such as his first one, The Houdini Box and then he worked his way up to writing books such as The Invention of Hugo Cabret and its sequel, Wonderstruck. Brian Selznick had two main influences on The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck and it was the two authors Maurice Sendak (author of Where the Wild Things Are) and Remy Charlip. Along Selznick’s years he wrote and illustrated 6 books and just illustrated a total of 20 books.
    The main character of the book is twelve year old Hugo Cabret. Hugo is a very young boy but he is also incredibly smart and creative. Hugo had to learn to live a very independent life and for his young age Hugo is amazingly intelligent. Hugo was a caretaker of the clocks in a train station called Gare Montparnasse in Paris. He was very interested in mechanics and spent his time studying his dad’s old notebook and trying to fix a mechanical man. Hugo doesn’t have any family to take care of him due to his dad dying in a fire at his work place and his caretaker which was his uncle who was a drunk that left Hugo to take care of himself. The one thing Hugo inherited from his father is that he had a strong mechanical aptitude. Hugo excels in creativity and intelligence. He is able to build things that the regular person probably couldn’t because they don’t have the kind of brain that Hugo does. Sometimes Hugo does go too far by stealing toys to use their mechanical parts and that kind of stuff can get him into trouble.
    The Invention of Hugo Cabret takes place in the early 1930’s. Although the story is not written with a focus of the time period of France in The Great Depression you get the feeling that most people have been living frugally. World War I altered lives for many and was the reason that Georges Melies stopped his dream of filmmaking and chose to run a small toy shop in the train station to provide a steady income. Making movies in the 1930’s was not a big business like it is today. The story’s entire timeline is really revealed in the last chapter when it skips half a year to where Hugo is now living with Georges Melies. Then, at the very end we know that Hugo’s story as a young boy has been told by the automaton built by Hugo as an adult.
    Moving inside the station’s passages that Hugo goes through to set the clocks that are high up in the building lets him see the Eiffel Tower and the beautiful city of Paris. Hugo never really travels far. He’s an orphan fending for himself. In fact he doesn’t really feel all that comfortable leaving the Gare Montparnasse train station. But inside the large train station he travels in all these secret crawl spaces and finds everything he needs by stealing from the little stores in the building. In a way, Hugo does seem to have a neighborhood in the train station with the familiar people he’s watched who work there.
    The book tells us a little about Georges Melies, the legendary French filmmaker. It’s not a part of the story, but researching Melies I found out that he built the first movie studio in Europe. Meylies’ movie making is appreciated today by producers and he is considered to be a first in movie special effects. I think that is why Hugo, the movie by Martin Scorsese, was produced in 3-D.
    Hugo was living in the Gare Montparnasse train station in Paris and he dreams of the 1895 train wreck. The train wreck was on October 22, 1895 on the Granville-Paris Express. There is a famous picture of the front of the train that crashed through the station building to the street below and it hung there for four days before being removed. It’s reported that the train was traveling too fast for its approach to the station and once the engineers realized this it was too late for the brakes to slow the train to a stop.
    The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a wonderful book (and movie). Not many books are both written and include beautiful artwork by the same person, in this case Brian Selznick. Hugo’s interest in mechanics can introduce the reader to simple machinery. The character of Georges Melies, toy shop owner who is actually a filmmaker, introduces the reader to a historical French figure in film making. The story reminds us of the history of how train stations looked and operated in the 1930’s. Books like this can introduce a reader to historical people and places that we can independently learn more about. Hugo teaches us that anything is possible if you put your heart and mind into it.

  45. Derek Barrow permalink
    August 15, 2015 3:48 pm

    This exciting epic poem, “The Song of Roland,” was a fantastical tale of a triumphant battle fought between the Christian France and the Muslim Spain that was caused by deceit, revenge, loyalty, and much more. Originally published as early as 1040, this work has gone through countless adaptations, readjustments, and translations. “The Song of Roland” is an epic poem, which means it as long, narrative poem that talks about heroic deeds. More specifically it is considered a chanson de geste, which is basically a song of the same legendary actions displayed in an epic poem. This poem is considered to be part of a larger collection known as the “French Matter”, which talks of French history and kings like Charlemagne who showed moments of heroism. Though this poem did not earn any awards, it is acclaimed as one of the earliest French literatures to be recorded, and it is considered a classic in French history. Even outside of France it is known as one of the more famous early European tales of heroism. I believe the original audience meant for this tale was most certainly the French. “The Song of Roland” uses nothing but positive words for the French knights, kings, and bishops. Words such as “noble, valiant, wise, adored by God, brave,” were very common when talking about characters such as King Charlemagne and the baron Roland. However, when talking about the Spanish, there was hardly ever an instance where a kind word was used. It was so prominent in the poem, that 80% of the time, words such as “heathen” or “vile men” were used instead of Muslims. It was easy to see that this tale wanted to put France up higher than everyone else, so it is understandable that the French were meant to hear it. Presently, though, it has been read throughout Europe by people of all countries. The song has been made into a French movie in 1978 by the same name. It was also adapted in Stephen King’s novel “Dark Tower” and has an important place in the background of Graham Greene’s “The Confidential Agent.” In my opinion, I thought this poem lived up to its “epic” standard. Though I understand it has gone through countless translations, reading poems as old as these can still be a bit hard. However, once you move past the wording, you see a wonderful tale of a brave knight who’s fighting to the death for the country he loves.
    As this poem was written in 1040, the author is very hard/nearly impossible to confirm. Most scholars speculate it was a Norman poet by the name of Turold. Their theory is derived from the last line in the poem where his name is mentioned. However, because of countless translations, they are unsure whether the line meant that Turold was the poet, another person who made a different translation, or just the person who sang it. Nevertheless, Turold is still credited with the creation of this tale. Though scholars cannot confirm the author’s identity, they can confirm where they got the inspiration. In 778, the French were at war with the Spanish over boundary lines. One time when the French were returning home from a battle, their rearguard (army of soldiers who guard the back of a military while retreating or withdrawing) was ambushed and attacked by the Basques (Spanish) at a mountain range known as Roncevaux Pass, which bordered the two countries. Of course this story was then romanticized and was made to be a battle about religion, making the king of France seem God like and all of his men seem the most noble of all people.
    One character I would like to talk about from “The Song of Roland” is Ganelon. Though Roland and the French king are the “main characters” of this poem, if it weren’t for Ganelon’s betrayal by selling out information to Spain, there would’ve been no story to tell. Ganelon was a very self-centered man, who cared mostly of himself, was very quick to assumptions, and was vengeful. We see these characteristics when the King’s Counsel needed to send a representative from France to hear Spain’s surrender (a task which had already proven to be a certain death sentence) and they chose Ganelon. Though many other Frenchmen would be willing to go for their country, Ganelon thought only for his own safety and demanded he stayed. However, it was his stepson who pushed that he go to the king. Whether it was because of discrepancy Roland and Ganelon had or Roland genuinely thought his stepfather could accomplish the task, it didn’t matter. Ganelon (who is probably in his 40’s based on him being a stepfather and him having a high rank as a count for the king) immediately assumed his stepson was trying to kill him, and a hatred grew inside of him. When he made it to Spain, he used his strength of cunningness to convince the king of Spain to spare his life. To do this, he told the king that the French King’s most important military leader Roland would be in the rearguard. This information not only saved his life, but made him joyed that he would get vengeance on the stepson whom he thought intended to kill him. However, his concern for his own self rather than anything else would prove to be fatal for him once King Charlemagne found out about his betrayal. His one most prominent characteristic would prove to be his weakness.
    This poem takes place in 778, due to the war between France and Spain. Even if I didn’t known the year, it would be easy to figure out as the story involves battles with swords, lances, and armor known as hauberks. It also gives clues as to when it is by stating things like the Persian Empire is still in place. Because the poem is supposed to be so far back in time, it probably took over a span of months if not a year due to travel time. However, the two important battles that place last only a matter of a day or two. Just as the travel time is very different, pretty much everything is different compared to modern day. It is taking place in the Middle Ages, so it lives to the middle age standards of living, transportation with horses, war, and more. One thing that is similar, however, is that religious beliefs still wage war.
    The Song of Roland occurs in Europe, more specifically France and Spain. In France, the king and his men operate in the capital city known as Aix. In Spain, the only city left under the Spanish King’s rule is the city of Saragossa. Finally, the most important setting of all is that of Roncevaux. It is a valley, mountainous on either sides, perfect for a secret ambush to occur. Both king’s chambers are very important places as well, for it is in these places that many decisions about betrayal and war were made. As I said before, this scenery is immensely different than what today’s is. I myself am pretty sure that there is more than one city in Spain that is controlled by the Spanish. I’m also sure that people don’t use the Roncevaux Pass to ride on their horses back and forth between Spain and France.
    I think this poem has expanded my knowledge of France. When you hear the word mythology, I’m guessing you immediately think of the word “Greek” or “Roman.” You hardly ever consider that any other country has a mythology to them, and I hardly expected France would. However, I was proven wrong once I read this amazing poem. I had no idea that French literature dated so far back. With this, I will be able to appreciate the city I’m going to even more, knowing how rich they are in culture, history, and even mythology.
    Another thing this tale told me was how loyal the people of France were back in those times. Most were willing to lay down their lives for their country and king because of how much they cared about it. Though a lot of time has passed in this story, I still hope the people of Paris still have the love for their country that their ancestors did. Going on this trip, I will be definitely be going around and seeing if this loyalty still holds true today.
    Finally, I learned about the land that France has. When I think of France I assume mostly just rolling hills and busy cities. However, in this story I discovered that France has much more than that. Mountains, valleys, desert-like lands, all of these I never knew existed. Reading this poem, I was enlightened to France’s much more diverse land, something I would like to learn more about.

  46. Emma Pienkos permalink
    August 15, 2015 7:32 pm

    The Stranger was published in the year 1942. It is fiction, specifically philosophical fiction. The book is often known as being a work of philosophical fiction due to the fact that it includes many of the author’s viewpoints on the importance (or in this case, unimportance) of life. Albert Camus is known for putting many of his own personal ideas and outlooks into the books that he writes. Although there are no actual other books, creating a series, many books that he has written are surrounded by a similar idea. The author won the Nobel Prize in Literature mainly because of this novel. Many people consider the Stranger a classic. This includes but isn’t limited to, many American readers and French readers. The Stranger was made into a movie in the year 1967. I really loved this book. Not only was it an interesting and fast-paced plot, but it made me think about my general outlook on life. The narrator was forced to rethink his outlook on life due to his conditions, and his thoughts were actually very interesting to me.

    Before becoming an author, Albert Camus dedicated his life working in various places. This includes working in the weather bureau, an automobile-accessory firm, a shipping company, writing a newspaper, and in theater. Albert Camus has written many books including (but not limited to) The Plague, The Rebel, The Possessed, and Exile and the Kingdom. There wasn’t an illustrator in this book, yet there was a translator who translated this book from French to English, Matthew Ward.

    The main character and narrator in this book is named Meursault. Meursault was known by his friends as very introverted. People often thought that he was constantly holding back what he was thinking. There was no clear age given in the book, but I would inference that Meursault is about 30 years old. Meursault’s job is not specifically stated in the book. As readers, we can inference that he didn’t really have any strong feelings towards his job. He never specifically said that he hated his job, but that never meant that he really loved it either. Not much emphasis was put on Meursault’s role in his society at the time. One interesting thing to note about Meursault is that he never knew his father, and never really had a very involved relationship with his mother. His father is only mentioned one time in the story, and even then Meursault’s feelings towards him are neutral. Yet he did know his mother, until she passed away. As known in the story as “Maman,” she plays a key role in how the narrator processes his thoughts throughout the story. Meursault was very good at being honest and stating what he truly thought and not hiding his opinions. Yet he was not very good at controlling his anger, thinking before acting, and being respectful always. This is one of the reasons why he had such a difficult time having lasting relationships.

    This book takes place in the 1940’s. The book takes place over about a year of time. The time period made the relationships between people very different. One thing that I noticed is that the different characters were very rude to people of other races and other ethnicities. Today, a lot of this is not present anymore. My book takes place in the Algiers. If I had to describe how I described the setting of my book, based on the narrator’s description, I would say that the setting was near an ocean and in a very warm place. The characters seemed to live in a pretty largely populated city. Within the city that the characters lived in, a few specific places in the city were important. This includes the beach, the narrator’s apartment, and the city jail. In many ways, the world that the characters live in is similar to ours. The characters seem to live in a pretty average city, yet in a different time period.

    This book was not only fun to read and fast-paced. Behind the plot, the character had a lot of deep emotions. The main character goes through a lot of hard times and tough choices during this time. He often is left making new experiences that often feel scary and unexpected. This could, and probably will, happen to all of us during our trip. Although traveling is a great experience, not everything goes to plan always. Just like the main character did in this story, it is important for us as we travel to find ways to enjoy the unexpected and learn from them. Another thing that I observed from reading this book is that the main character faces the choice of traveling to a new place. The main character ends up not accepting the offer, but he later regrets it deeply. The character later realizes the idea that anywhere is better than his home. He later wishes to travel and get away from his comforts, especially once he gets put in jail and realized how much his life could have changed. I sometimes have the same set of mind, especially as our departure date is slowly getting nearer. One more thing that I realized through reading this book is the general state of mind that is important for all of us to have while traveling. This is to enjoy what you have, while you have it because good things don’t always last. The main character in my book realized this by the end of the novel, after he went through his life moping and hating his life. It is especially important for all of us to enjoy our time overseas and keep a positive state of mind.

  47. August 16, 2015 5:43 pm

    This romantic story, Beatuy and the Beast was published in 1756. This is a fairytale story with a basic theme of don’t judge others until you get to know them. The story was meant for small children to learn a valuable lesson. Beauty and the Beast was so popular it was made into a Disney Classic and many other movies. Including plays and TV shows. I enjoyed Beaumont’s version more since it was simple and a normal fairytale.
    Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont had a couple other jobs before her rewriting Beatuy and the Beast. She was a Governess and also a teacher before she realized her true dream of writing. She was born in Rouen, France where she first started writing at age 11. She said she started writing after her mother died since it helped her cope with grief. Some of her other books are The Triumph of Truth.
    The main character of Beauty and the Beast is a young girl called Beauty. She’s the youngest of all of her five siblings. She kind, sweet, caring, and hardworking. I think her age is around sixteen or seventeen. Her favorite hobbies are to read and sing while dancing. While riding his horse to a boat with his family riches onboard, Beatuy’s father becomes lost and ends up in front of an old castle. Not being able to get his other daughters the outfits they wanted, he picks roses for Beatuy and is caught by the beast. The the Beast commands him to bring one of his daughters willingly to him to live with him in this castle forever otherwise the father has to come and die at the beast’s hand.
    The setting is in France around the time of spring or summer. Beauty is at the castle for months in the story. The difference between their world and ours is we have technology and an easier way of life.
    The environment of the different places is warm and dry since the different places are the village and the castle and Beatuy’s home.
    The connection to the world this story has is the basic theme. Don’t judge others until you get to know them first. Some people may look scary on the outside but if you get to know them, you learn they aren’t as bad as you thought. Like don’t judge a book by its cover. The theme also reminds me on how everybody in the world think the French hate everyone and think they are the best kind of people. But if you actually do go to France and talk to some of them, you learn they are very helpful people and love to meet others. You just can’t take one look at someone and think you know their life story, you have to talk to them first.

  48. Gracie permalink
    August 16, 2015 8:03 pm

    For my first book report I read the poem Anywhere out of the world by Charles Baudelaire, one of his most famous poems. Charles was born, April 9,1821 in Paris, France and died August 31, 1867 in Paris, France. He has 1 sibling and has wrote many books and was quite successful. The poem is about a man and his soul having a conversation. The man is trying to make the soul happy but is failing, the soul can never be happy no matter where in the world they may be. At first the poem was a little tricky to understand but the I thought about it the more it came to me.

    In the first stanza there is a line that says “life is like a hospital” now, when I thunk of a hospital I think of family, friends, tears of joy or sadness, bad news, good news, life changing. And that is what life about, there are ups, downs, sadness, happiness, confusion, surrounded by family and friends. The man feels that he and his soul should feel good in a place where you get well, but the soul is not happy living the hospital like life. The man talks with his soul and asks it if it would be happier to live in London where the air is warm and is by the sea, people say there it is made of marble, But as the man goes on about how happy they would be in London, the soul does not reply, it does not want to live in London because you’re still living the life like a hospital, and that is not what the soul wants.

    In the second stanza of the poem, the man asks the soul if it would rather live in Holland, very still, so beautiful and they can admire the art galleries together. Or maybe they could go to Rotterdam the man thought, it’s full of forests and so quite. The soul, remains silent. Does the soul not know what it wants? Why will the poor sad soul not answer the man who is trying everything to make the soul happy for once? What is the man not understanding? The answer is simple, but how much longer until the soul will give the man a break and help him out?

    The man goes on and on about tons of beautiful places where people could only imagine about living. The soul remains silent the whole time, the man thinks, “Could my soul be dead?” The man does not yet realize the soul is far from dead, he the soul is gone, can not be pleased, but how can one try to please something else if one can not please it’s self? You can’t, you have to understand you before you try and understand you’re soul. The soul finally lets out a scream, “ANYWHERE, ANYWHERE OUT OF THIS WORLD” The soul is tired of living in the same disrepair life full of people who don’t how to make their selves better. The sadness, the good, the bad, the tears, everything. The soul wants out, the soul wants to go somewhere out of this earth and into something more, perhaps a happy free person? Why can’t everyone be happy and get along? Our souls are all trapped here and no one can leave, but you have to learn how to set your self free.

    The soul is never satisfied and keeps asking for more beautiful things until the last day of it’s life.. Which is when it can no longer scream for help because it is anywhere out of the world.

  49. September 14, 2015 10:40 pm

    Sorry, Sierra, I just saw your question. But, to be honest, I didn’t really have a favorite dish of hers because all of them sounded really scrumptious and it was hard to choose which one sounded the best because all of them equally looked quite interesting and different! Even more interesting than the food that we are used to consuming every day. And I am definitely going to find some of the dishes she made in the past at the restaurants we go to and try them, and I will hopefully bring home one of her cookbooks and show it to my sister and dad because they both like to cook and my dad is always willing to try to cook foods from different ethnicities.

  50. October 12, 2015 6:39 pm

    I read “20000 Leagues Under The Sea.” The book was a myth that sea monsters terrorized the waters near the coast of France. This book tells the story of Captain Nemo and his submarine, Nautius, and the adventers they go on.

    • October 12, 2015 7:14 pm

      I read “20000 Leagues Under The Sea.” The book was a myth that sea monsters terrorized the waters near the coast of France. This book tells the story of Captain Nemo and his sub, Nautilus and the adventures they go on.
      Jules Verne was a French novelist, poet, and play writer who was known for his adventure novels. He published the book in 1870. He wrote lots of books like this. Like, “the Count of Monte Cristo” and “Adventures around the world in 80 days.” He was a very popular writer and his books live on today.
      The character, Professor Pierre Arronnax, tells the story from his point of view. Himself, harpoonist Nedland and Arronnax’s servant, Consell leave Brooklyn to find and destroy the monster. In their journey, they find themselves hurled into the water and hold onto “the monster” which is actually Capt. Nemo submarine, the Nautilus. Capt. Nemo allows the three on the Nautilus where they go on adventures.
      It takes place off the coast of France in the Atlantic. They travel the seas and find adventure both in real and fictional places.
      “20000 Leagues Under the Sea,” will help us on the trip by learning about the author, Jules Verne. He was not only an influence on literature and film, but also in science and technology. his novels have been translated into more than 140 languages. A number of movies were adapted from his novels, such as “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” and “around the World in 80 Days.” He still is one of the most influential French writers in history.

  51. October 15, 2015 6:49 pm

    I read the poem, “At One O’clock in the Morning.” It explains this person that hates the way that his life is turning out to be. The person is alone that refuses to talk about society that he lives in. The author uses this scenario that says,”Alone at last! Not a sound to be heard but the rumbling of some belated and decrepit caps.” He uses this to show he is not happy about his life. So he creates a barrier between himself and to the society he lives in.
    Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet who also was an essayist, art critic, and a pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. He also wrote good poems like, “Les Fiears da mat,” also known as, ” The Flower of Evil,” and “Salon of 1845.” Baudelaire was born in Paris, France on April 19, 1821.He was educated in Paris at Lycee Louis- Le – Grand. He obtained his degree in 1839, Then became a famous author.
    It doesn’t tell the time in the book, but it sounds like modern day time because he said he was annoyed about the decrepit cabs. He really never talks about the place and time in the book. It sounds like he is in the city because of the cabs. Cabs are never in the suburbs either.
    The character in the poem also contradicts himself. He says everything is horrible and he hates to even shake hands without gloves. It also seems that he secretly want to be belong. He talks about a few kind acts to people. He tries to construct a barrier but at the same time he wants to be noticed.
    It will be interesting to be in Paris to see where Baudelaire lived and wrote his poems. I have not read anything else by him. I am hoping he wrote this negative poem after a bad day and not how he actually lived

  52. Jared Weis permalink
    October 18, 2015 12:05 pm

    I chose to read The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It’s a French Romantic/Gothic novel by Victor Hugo published in 1831. With no other books in the series, the book has not been nominated for a single award. The book has been made into 3 movies: one in 1982, one in 1986, and a Disney film was made in 1993. The book was also made into the 1983 arcade game called Hunchback. My opinion on the book wasn’t very good. I constantly found myself getting lost, not knowing what was going on or who the story was centered around.
    Victor Marie Hugo (26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic Movement. He is considered one of the greatest and best known French writers. He has written other books such as The Man Who Laughs and Hernani. He lived in Notre Dame, which is significant to the story because it takes place in 15th century Notre Dame.
    Quasimodo is one of the heroes in this story, though his appearance says otherwise. He is a very shy and quiet man, but that is due to him being deaf. By his appearance, people may say that he is very old. But he is actually a young man around 25-30 years old. His job is to be the church bell ringer. This did not help him, because ringing the bell so much made him go deaf. His father is Claude Frollo, who is the antagonist. This does not stop Quasimodo from saving a young girl named La Esmerelda from execution by Claude’s hand. He has no strengths that I could spot in the book, but his deafness is his only weakness. He cannot hear anybody trying to sneak up on him, leaving him vulnerable.
    The Hunchback takes place in 15th century Notre Dame. The book takes place over a period of weeks, maybe even months. It is the world is much different than ours today. They didn’t have ships to deliver goods to other countries that were overseas. They had horse buggies that would be filled with goods such as fruit and fabrics and what not. They obviously also didn’t have technology back then.
    The book, shown by the title takes place in Notre Dame. There are places in the country that are key areas too. Places like a one man prison cell, a church, and town square. The world is different from ours because they only had prisons that held one man per cell, where as today, we have raised that standard and have began placing 2-3 people in one cell. We also have fewer churches, mainly because there are many different religions, and most people just don’t have a religion.
    This book can help us on our trip because we will be able to understand what their world was like back when pigeons carried letters to people, and when horse buggies did all of the work of getting us around. We would also learn how people would behave for the ones that they loved.

  53. Jasmin Zielinski permalink
    October 25, 2015 2:07 pm

    The Phantom of the Opera definitely shattered the expectations I had for it. This story was romantic, mysterious, and unpredictable all wrapped into one book. This classic was first published in Paris in 1910. The genre of this work would be historical fiction. I believe the theme of The Phantom of the Opera is remember that everyone has feelings. No matter how different they are from you, or how “ugly” someone is, remember that they are capable of having emotions too. Countless movies and plays have been made based on this text. The 2004 movie version was nominated for at least 35 awards and won at least 6 awards. Everyone seemed to love The Phantom of the Opera and it is now considered a classic to many people.
    Gaston Louis Alfred Leroux was born in Paris, which also happens to be the setting of most of his books. He had grown up with rumors of a ghost in the Paris opera house, and these stories inspired Leoux to write The Phantom of the Opera. Leroux’s careers before writing include court reporter and theater critic, which leads me to believe that he inspired his own writing. His first book was The Mystery of the Yellow Room, followed by The Perfume of the Lady in Black, and The Secret of the Night. Leroux’s bestselling book happened to be The Phantom of the Opera. Gaston had two children, Alfred Gaston and Madeline, with his second wife, Jeanne. His daughter, Madeline went on to be a fine actress. Leroux died at 58 years of age in Nice, France in 1927.
    Since she is the central character in this piece, I will focus on the rising singer Christine Daae. Christine is a scared, innocent girl who has found herself in the middle of a major conflict, multiple men have found themselves in love with her. Daae has been referred to many times in this work as “the young woman”. She has pursued music her entire life, and she became a performer at the Paris Opera. Christine’s mother passed when she was 6, and when it became her father’s time to go, Daae felt as if her voice, soul, and genius left with him. One of her strengths is that she can play a part. Christine can act as if she is someone she’s not, which comes in handy when she’s dealing with Erik, a hideous beast who lives under the Opera. One of her weaknesses, though, is the fact that she’s a girl, with less physical and emotional strength than a male.
    The Phantom of the Opera takes place during the Victorian period, or during the reign of Queen Victoria in England. The period of time is 1819-1901. This story takes place in a few months, but has many flashbacks to some characters’ childhoods and naive years. No specific seasons or times of year were mentioned in the book, meaning that those are not very important. The time period in the story differs greatly from the time period now. They obviously do not have the same modern technology that we have now, such as smart phones, computers, and other devices. This effects many aspects of the story like communication and the spreading of information.
    This book takes place in Paris, of course. The more specific place settings would be the opera house (including backstage, dressing rooms, the managers’ office, and the dancers’ lounge). The Phantom of the Opera also takes place on the roof, under the opera house, and Erik’s house. The characters’ world is different from ours because of the time, but especially the location. All the different locations are near each other, the specific and the general, unlike our life. Everything around here is pretty distant; at least a 20 minute commutes to a grocery store.
    Reading this story will help prepare me for our 2016 trip by helping me really visualize and see how France will look and feel. I can feel the weather and see the cars passing on the streets. I can now really picture walking along the streets of Paris, after reading so much about that city. I now know how close all the shops and cafés are, and I can see how all the countries are so near. I can see how the countries in Europe are as close as States in the United States. There are also things I can contrast between North America and Europe that will help me prepare for our 2016 trip.
    The Phantom of the Opera will also benefit my trip by showing me how the people there are different, since they were raised in a different culture. I hear so many stereotypes about the French being rude and how they’re so mean, but I believe that the Americans are the disrespectful ones. The French try to learn our language and respect our culture, but ignorant American tourists can be jerks without even realizing it. I’ve learned a lot, and I think us a travelers should try to submerge ourselves into their culture and respect them.
    Lastly, that story helped prepare me for the trip by truly putting me there. It put me with the people, in the places, and on occasion, in that time. I believe it is important for us to not only learn more about French culture, but also French history. We need to be able to connect with foreign people if we want to truly get the full-on French experience.

  54. November 4, 2015 6:40 pm

    I read the poem, “At One O’clock in the Morning.” It explains this person that hates the way that his life is turning out to be. The person is alone that refuses to talk about society that he lives in. The author uses a scenario that says, “Alone at last! Not a sound to be heard but the rumbling of some belated and decrepit cabs.” He uses this to show he is not happy about his life. So he creates a barrier between himself and to the society that he lives on.
    Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet who also was an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. He also wrote good poems like, “Les Fiears Du mat,” also known as ,”The Flower of Evil.” and the, “Salon of 1845.” Baudelaire was born in Paris, France on April 9, 1821. He was educated at Lycee Louis-le-Grand in Paris. He obtained his degree in 1839. Then became a famous author after.
    The book doesn’t tell us the time in the book, but, is sounds like it takes place in modern time because he said he was annoyed of decrepit cabs. He really never talks about the setting in the book. It does sound like he is in a city because of the cabs. Cabs are also never in the suburbs.
    The character in the poem also contradicts himself. He says everything is horrible and he hates to even shake hands without gloves. it also seems that he secretly wants to belonged. He talks about a few kind acts to people. He tries to construct a barrier but at the same time, he wants to be noticed. It will be interesting to be in Paris to see where Baudelaire lived and wrote his poems. I have not read anything else by him. i am hoping he wrote this negative poem after a bad day and not how he actually lived.

  55. Jonathan Lohman permalink
    December 30, 2015 5:06 pm

    André Breton was a poet. He was considered a pioneer in the Surrealism movement. His poems blur the lines of reality and imagination. Brenton was born on February 19, 1896 in Normandy. He was also a playwright and French writer as well as poet. He died in Paris on September 28, 1966. He has written many different poems including Freedom of Love, Less Time, and Postman Cheval.
    This poem was a little difficult to understand at first. Surrealism is hard to follow but in the poem Always for the first time I think Brenton is talking about France. It sounds like he is talking about a person but I think he is describing what he feels about France and Paris in particular. It is a changing city from one moment to the next and he never knows what he is going to find. He talks about places in France like Grasse, the perfume capitol, and Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, a military cemetery. I think the main point of this poem is how he loves France and Paris from sun up to sun down. Even in death it is a beautiful place.
    One thing I take away from this poem is that when I see things for the first time I am going to love them like Brenton did. If I went back again and again I think I would fall in love with the city over and over again. I am going to take long looks at the places we visit and try to memorize each little detail so I can re-live them again and again.
    Another thing I am going to take away from this poem is that I am not going to take this trip for granted. I am going to appreciate each stop we make. When preparing for this trip I plan on learning more information so when I get there I can see what I have been reading about and fall in love with it again.
    Reading this poem makes me excited to go on our trip. It makes me picture what Paris will look like in the different light; morning, afternoon, dusk, and evening. I want to see how much it’s going to change day to day and minute by minute.


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