Author Archives: Mr. Feliciani
Rowling , J.K. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. New York: Scholastic Inc., 2003. Print.
Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix
Ages: All ages
Harry Potter is a special boy with a scar that goes along with a story that every witch and wizard knows. Everyone may know his story and how his parents died but what they don’t know is that Harry has been having a hunting dream about a door at the end of a corridor. What might be even more terrifying than Harry’s dream is the socking pain in his scar that follows causing him to wake up in the middle of the night yelling in pain. As Harry enters his 5th year at Hogwarts school for witchcraft and wizardry he pushes his dream and his pain to the back of his mind thinking it is the least of his problems. Harry along with his pals Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger are excited to began this school year knowing that Ron and Hermione are now perfects which is a special honor given to very few students and as Harry a star Quidditch is now the Quidditch captain.
After a few short months of the new school year Harry, Ron, and Hermione find themselves with a problem and the problem’s name is Professor Umbridge. Professor Umbridge is from the Ministry of Magic which is a place that controls unprofessional, dark magic, or underage use of magic. And because of problems in the past at Hogwarts and long periods of time with out headmaster Dumbledore the Ministry of Magic puts Professor Umbridge as the new headmaster. As Professor Umbridge comes to Hogwarts the fun leaves. Umbridge writes a long list of rules in which students must follow and if they don’t they must serve a detention by writing sentences with a special pen. This pen has a special twist it uses students blood to write with leaving scars on the back of their hand of what they are writing. Along with Umbridge, Harry, Ron, and Hermione also have to deal with passing their O.W.L.S which stands for Ordinary Wizarding Levels. They must past their O.W.L.S to determine they classes that they will take next year.
As Harry deals with Umbrige and his O.W.L.S his dream becomes more detailed and the pain in his scar grows deeper. He starts to wonder if it had anything to do with the Dark Lord Voldemort, he begins to question it more but later pushes it to the back of his mind. Harry and his friends plan to get rid of Umbridge because of her ridiculous rules she gets rid of Qudditch team taking absolutely all of Harry’s fun out of his 5th year. As friends say that they will help get rid of Umbridge Harry takes time to focus more on his studies and the cause of his dream. He then realizes that it is time to take this problem the Dumbledore, Dumbledore says that it is simply nothing Harry should worry about and to focus on his studies but Harry cant help but to think other wise. Harry can’t help but to take things into his own hands and figure things out like how get rid of Umbridge and pass his O.W.L.S and how to fight his dream and his pain. To find out how Harry deals with everything you will just have to read “Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix” By J.K. Rowling.
About the Author
Cory,Doctorow,little Brothers, New York: Tor Books, 2008, print.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Reviewed by Caleb Nguyen
Recommended Audience: middle school and high school
Mark Yallow is a 17 year-old senior who is a tech geek and a leader of 3 friends. His tech name is W1nston which later changes to M1K3Y. He attends Cesar Chavez high school. One day Marcus gets accused by the principle of hacking into the school. The principle threatens to call the police but Marcus isn’t scared because he knows there isn’t evidence against him. Due to the lack of evidence he is let go free of charge. Later however, Marcus, Jolu, Vanessa, and Darryl ditch school to go play an online role playing game that involves quest. While on the quest the worst terrorist attack has happened and everyone runs to shelter. While they are overrun by the crowd of fleeing citizens Darryl gets stabbed so the four friends flee to find an ambulance. Instead of an ambulance coming a military looking vehicle arrives and they were caught at the wrong time at the wrong place.
Three men come out and put bags over the kid’s heads. The men were part of the Department of Homeland Security. A woman described as severe haircut lady interrogates Marcus. Even though they said they would release him if he unlocked his phone he kept claiming to see his lawyer. Because he was caught at the wrong place at the wrong time they were suspected of the terrorist attack. Marcus gets tested 6 times before he is released because he finally tells them his phone password. Later that day he pees his pants. After 6 days of interrogation everyone but Darryl is released. When they are released Marcus is told that he will be monitored at all times because he is still a suspect. Marcus is furious that they ignored his right so he plans to seek revenge against the Department of Homeland Security. Marcus holds a meeting for anyone who wants to join to fight a rebellion against the DHS. He brings his only laptop so that everyone can make a key for their Xnet account where he can tell them plans to bring down the DHS. During the meeting he meets a girl named Ange whom he begins to like. After everyone has made their keys and tooken a picture of it he smashes his laptop with a hammer to show that he is not with the DHS and that way there won’t be evidence of what happened. The four friends split up when Marcus told them about his idea to take down the DHS, so he is all alone. Marcus and Ange start dating and were boyfriends and girlfriends. Marcus tells Darryl’s parents about what happened to him and how his whereabouts are unknown.
At first Marcus doesn’t even tell his parents about what happened, but eventually he cracks and tells his mom. They come up with an idea to bring their story to Barbara Stratford so she can publish it in the Bay Guardian newspaper. Marcus bumps into a guy named Zeb who hands Marcus a note telling him that he was in the same cell as Darryl. Zeb escaped but Darryl is still stuck. His letter was given to Barbara as evidence. A worker for the DHS named Masha claims to be tired of working for the wrong people so instead of trying to capture Marcus offers to keep him safe becuse Barbara Stratford revealed Marcus’s identity. Marucs creates a diversion by telling his followers that there is a vampire game. He is told to wear a red hat. Marcus and Ange try to escape but Ange is lost among the crowd. So Marcus has no choice but to follow Masha. During their journey to a secret base Marcus sneaks away from Masha and finds two kids in whom he befriends. When he reveals that he is M1k3y his Xnet name they start to idolize him. He goes to their house to use their Xnet to try to find Ange. During his stay he sleeps for a little and replies to Zeb’s email about finding a safe place to hide until everything is over.
Video on Little Brother
Dunn, Mark. Ella Minnow Pea, A Progressively Lipogrammatic
Epistolary Fable. MacAdam/Cage Publishing, 2001.
Ella Minnow Pea, A Progressively Lipogrammatic Epistolary Fable
Written by: Mark Dunn
Reviewed by: Michael Feliciani
Recommended Audience: High School
Nollop is a small autonomous island off the coast of South Carolina known for its devotion to education and language as well as its rejection of modern technology. It is named after Nevin Nollop, the creator of the well-known pangram “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” In honor of Nollop and his pangram, an enormous statue was created, in his likeness, on the island with the phrase written across. Years later, the tiles begin to fall from the statue’s inscription. As each letter falls, the town council members interpret this as a message from Nollop that the letter is no longer needed in the vocabulary. The council members ban the use of the letter and enforce a three strike system to regulate its use. The first strike is a public denouncement, a choice of a lashing or stockades the second, and the third offense is banishment from the island.
As the novel progresses, more tiles begin to fall and the town’s people must deal with this new way of life. Censorship in the destruction of books, newspapers, and radio programs become rampant on the island. People begin to report on one another and soon, whether by choice or by banishment, large portions of the islands citizens leave in exodus. The remaining citizens must find a way to revert this change in the island’s laws before there is nothing left to save.
Ella Minnow Pea provides an almost comical depiction of misinterpretation, devotion to ideals, and governmental control. The novel is written as letters between the citizens of Nollop, as modern technology is mostly rejected by the island people. As the story progresses, letters in their alphabet begin to become banned by the community. The reader can watch the devolution of the language in the actual letters between characters. As each letter is banned, the writings between the characters become less complex and the struggle for freedom of expression comes to the forefront of the text. This is a great novel for adolescents as it explores the concepts of individuality and freedom in a fun way.
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