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TPCA Media Class… Grow In Grace

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Into Middle Earth, Into Adventure

Hobbit_cover

Review of: The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

Reviewed by: Jake

“Third time pays well.”  One day there was a hobbit who enjoyed doing the expected, but did something completely unexpected. Let me explain; one day a little fellow with hairy feet, Tookish blood, and a highly respectable reputation named Bilbo Baggins was asked to do the unpredictable. You see, a dwarf by the name of Thorin, his company of 12, and a wizard named Gandalf came to Bilbo’s hobbit hole. Once the dwarfs and the wizard came in, they got right to business. Bilbo overheard their commotion about treasure. Then the “Took” in him woke up, which means that his adventurous spirit woke up like his ancestor, Bullroarer Took. One month later, Bilbo was on a journey to a mountain that once belonged to Thorin’s ancestors, but fell into the claws of a treacherous creature. Bilbo had to do many, many daring things to stay alive and venture on to the mountain. For example, he had to escape the household of Gollum, battle gigantic spiders, escape and elven prison, and kill goblins, trolls and wargs.. After many obstacles, he and the dwarfs (Gandlaf had left them) arrived at the mountain where they met Smaug. Fortunately, Smaug left, but they weren’t safe, not yet.

The Hobbit was … I can’t describe how brilliant it was. J.R.R. Tolkien described the creatures so well, yet it didn’t take four pages do to it; I could vividly see wargs in my mind due to the description.  The story also showed symbolism in so many ways; the story shows the spiritual battles that go on every day through their battles with trolls, goblins, and spiders. I marveled how the author shows Bilbo slowly conquering his mountain of fear and learning to have courage and never give up even if he is struggling. This book was superb, wonderful, and… you know, if I made a list of all the adjectives describing this book, you’d be sitting here on the computer reading this review for a couple of centuries, so I’ll just end this paragraph by saying: it is stupendous!

The Hobbit blew my mind (well, if it did this review wouldn’t exist and I would be in the hospital) and I recommend it with 100% of my heart.  Unfortunately, some scenes are gruesome, so I think this book should be read by people at the age of 10 or older. This book pushed the limits of awesomeness to an entirely different level.

The Trials for Treasure

Hobbit_coverReview of:  The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Reviewed by:  Erica

The last thing Bilbo Baggins, from the novel The Hobbit by J.R.R. Toilken, wanted was an adventure; but an adventure is exactly what he got when Gandalf, the greatest wizard in all the land, selected him as the burglar for a risky mission. (And believe me, Gandalf does not take no for an answer.) The mission? Bilbo, Gandalf, and 13 dwarves were to all journey to the Lonely Mountain to retrieve the ancestral treasure of Thorin, which is worth a fortune, from a devious dragon. Easier said than done. And besides, quite frankly, Bilbo is more absorbed in peaceful tea time and carelessly blowing smoke rings than slaying some dragon named Smaug. His priorities much change from savoring his comfortable Hobbit-Hole to just surviving. Every action he takes could mean his survival or his death. Clumsy trolls, wicked goblins, and nefarious wargs seem to make it their business to ensure that their adventure is unsuccessful. They travel through deep murky forests, cross ice cold streams, and climb countless rocky mountains. As their days become more and more treacherous, Bilbo longs more and more for his home. He needs courage and the will to go on more than ever. His bravery is his only weapon, and his courage is tested when in the distance the Lonely Mountain looms, frowning upon the valley.

If deep, meaningful, touching novels are your favorite, I would recommend The Hobbit.  If you crave for a lot, (and I mean a lot,) of adventure and mythical creatures, The Hobbit is your book. So basically if you like fantasy, you’d appreciate this novel. The figurative language is ingenious, and in my notes I was constantly jotting down similes, metaphors, personification, and idioms. I kept noting the themes and Biblical connections I made and recorded all of the amazing vocabulary. By page 306, my copy was nearly falling apart from all of my notes. The writing was plain brilliant. There’s no other way to put it. It blew my mind. Bilbo’s courage and perseverance grew throughout the story, and I love seeing a character transform over the length of the book. It was so well written that I was able to compare a lot of the creatures and characters to the Bible. Over all, The Hobbit wasn’t my favorite book ever, but that was mostly because fantasy is not a genre I enjoy. I prefer books that I can relate to my own life. The only reason I didn’t love it was because of the genre. The writing was astounding; I can’t say that enough. So, I guess this book was okay after all!

I recommend The Hobbit to readers who love adventure packed books. If you like to dig deep into your reading, this is your novel. I’d say you should be at least 11 years old to read this, because this is not an easy read.

 

The First Tower

two towers

Review of: Part One of  The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

Reviewed By: Lucas

They’re scattered like seeds in a field. The Fellowship broke apart, but Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli stayed together. They found Boromir dead, so they gathered the weapons of the orcs he slayed while dying, and sent him with the weapons down a river. Then thewent to find Merry and Pippin.

Meanwhile, Merry and Pippin were tied by orcs and headed for Isengard.During one stop, the orcs were attacked, and the hobbits escaped. They sprinted to Fanghorn Forest where they met an ent named Treebeard, also known as Fanghorn, an ent is a tree giant. They roused up Treebeard against Isengard, and he angered the ent council, the ent council roused up the rest of the ents. Merry, Pippin, and all of the ents attacked Isengard, and latter met Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli. They told them their story about tracking the hobbits.

Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli tracked The two hobbits up to where the orcs were attacked. There they met the Riders of Rohan. They lent them horses, they tracked the hobbits to Fanghorn, and they found Gandalf there. He told them to go back to Rohan with him.

At Rohan they saved a cursed king and traveled to attack Isengard, but retreated because there were too many orcs defending. After the attack, the orcs attacked, so Rohan defended their fort. After they killed all of the Isengard orcs, they went to Isengard to find ruin, Merry, Pippin, and Treebeard. They all went to visit Sarumon, their enemy, and Worntongue, the enemy’s assistant, in the Orthonic, which is the first tower in the book. They talked a bit about fake peace. Then they left.

I thought The Two Towers  just as amazing as the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring, I loved it. I thought it was awesome when the ents were getting roused up, because it was  exciting. I also thought the battle at Helm’s Deep was one of the coolest parts, because the whole time I read it, i was wondering which side would win.  J.R.R. Tolkien did an amazing job writing the sequel. I learned that size does not matter in adventures. Merry and Pippin helped take down a walled city, and i’m about their size.

I think if you are above sixth grade and you have read the first book, you should definitely read The Two Towers because it was amazing. You need to read the first novel before you read this one or it will make no sense at all. Definitely read these books if you have not.

Pirates and Perseverance

Review of Kidnapped

by Jake

kidnapped“The sword in his hands flashed like quicksilver into the huddle of fleeting enemies”.  In Kidnapped by Robert Stevenson, there is a young and perceptive man at the age of fifteen in Europe named Davie. He wears a buttoned shirt and khakis. He desires to just have a normal life playing games and being with family. He desperately wishes for a family and close friends. Instead, his loving parents are dead from an awful sickness. His parent’s death made him have to go the House of Shaws to live with his uncle where he wasn’t raising the roof to be there.  He was kidnapped from his strange uncle, Ebenezer by notorious pirates which he had to live with for a few months of his insane life.  After his time on the horrible ship he gets shipwrecked on a rocky island and is now anxiously living with a  suspicious individual who is accused of murder. He must cleverly dodge obstacles and NOT TRUST ANYONE!

This book is excellent; it was like a sack of candy for my brain.  It contained a lotand I mean a lot, of exciting action. Davie fights on a ship with three pistols and a large sack of bullets that was as heavy as a cinder block.  One time David expertly shot an attacking pirate in the back when he was jumping off the look out post. I didn’t enjoy how Davie talked about his cruel suffering while being unluckily shipwrecked on a tiny island, but it did show that you should never give up even in times of hardship. The author’s writing was perfect for his pain because he used a very gloomy and dark voice. He demonstrated this by his word choices which included, “gloomy”, “moaned”, and many other dark words.  Davie’s amazing story teaches perseverance. My all-time favorite character from this book would have to be Davie because he is as solid as a boulder.Kidnapped is a long, yet incredible read.

I would recommend Kiddnapped to people who love action packed novels.  As a matter of fact I already have.   Unfortunately, it includes of a boatload of violence and some cursing, so I think kids that are either eleven or older should be allowed to read this incredible novel. This book is marvelous, and I highly encourage you to read it.

Fuzzy but Fierce

REVIEW OF: Watership Down by Richard Adams

REVIEWimageED BY: Rachel

“Here comes Peter Cotton Tail hopping down the bunny trail…” then, BOOM!  Here comes General Woundwart, with a thirst for blood and vengeance.  In Richard Adams’ Watership Down, rabbits are doing everything but peacefully hopping down a bunny trail.  Fiver, a rabbit who just may end up being the savior of his warren, had been having terrifying visions that display his warren and his family being demolished.  Fiver’s brother, Hazel, is very trusting and devoted to his younger brother, so off they go into the woods, with all of the rabbits they could persuade to come with them, hoping to avoid sudden death. Hazel, the leader of the pack, leads them very well as they trek through the forest, scattering at any sudden movement for fear of the unknown.  The group encounters some predicaments: savage rabbits, hungry predators, even some murderous humans. After many close-calls, the travelers finally find a place to settle down and start their own warren. Suddenly, they come to the realization that they have a huge problem: they don’t have any does. Without does, or female rabbits, their warren will not be able to thrive, for there would be no way to breed and mate. The rabbit leaders devise a plan to invite some does back to their home from a neighboring warren, but their neighbors aren’t terribly friendly. You see, any rabbit who enters the other warren is not allowed to leave, so getting does out of it proves to be more difficult than expected, especially with a very powerful Chief Rabbit, General Woundwart, standing in their way. Strong-minded and unwelcoming to outsiders, General Woundwart proves to be a roadblock the rabbits are unable to avoid, so with Hazel’s group’s wits and General Woundwart’s strength, the outcome of this war could be very different than expected.

Watership Down is definitely not just for the animal-loving type; no, it is for any reader who loves a good, classic adventure novel.  Sure, the whole book is about rabbits, but the action and adventure absolutely makes the story for anyone. I enjoyed the novel for many reasons. I especially liked the humor throughout the book. I loved how ignorant the rabbits were to man-made inventions and even the stories that made up their own mythology on how they “came to be.” I also enjoyed the character development. For instance, at the beginning of the book, Hazel just wanted to save his own skin and get out of harm’s way, but, by the end of the story, he became the leader the rabbits needed to survive. Overall, Watership Down is a very enjoyable and lively book to just sit down and read.

I definitely recommend this novel, for I feel that many kids and even adults from ages 11 and up would enjoy it. The topic of the rabbits going on this great adventure in the woods is perfect for children, but the novel is long and I would’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t ready to read an almost five-hundred page book.  Also, although the novel is action-packed, it can kind of a drag at some points, but if you pull through the slow parts, you will no doubt be rewarded later.  Watership Down is a great book for almost any stage in your life, and I hope that if you read it, you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Adventurous, Astonishing ,and Amazing

Review of: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Reviewed By: Luke

 

tom sawyer

Do you think you’re a rebel? Compared to Tom Sawyer, you’re just a goody-two shoes. Mark Twain writes about a rebellious boy who steals, runs away, and is always ready to explore. The title perfectly fits the story, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. There is also two more important characters in Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Joe Harper. Huckleberry Finn is famous for being the baddest kid in town, but he and Tom become friends throughout the story. Joe Harper has been Tom’s pal since either of them could remember. Tom Sawyer involves wacky and exhilarating adventures including runaways, creepy graveyards, and a mysterious cave. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry are wandering throughout a graveyard to find some treasure, they encounter men putting somebody’s body in the graveyard. They figure out that a man named Injun Joe had murdered someone. They run as fast as they can and swear that they will never tell anybody about what they have just seen. As Tom and Becky, Tom’s crush, are stuck in a cave with no sense of direction. Tom hears somebody walking throughout the cave; as he gets closer to the person he realizes it’s Injun Joe, the town scoundrel. He realizes that Injun Joe is coming for him because Tom had gotten him in trouble, in court, for murdering an innocent man. He runs away from him and tries to find his way out of trouble.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a interesting and exciting book. In my opinion Tom Sawyer has some useless detail like what he is doing at school, which can make the book boring at times. However, Tom Sawyer is an outstandingly written book, containing  descriptions that really makes it amusing and sensational to read.  I like how Mark Twain describes Tom as a tough kid, but when he gets away from home, he wants to go back even though it doesn’t seem like it.  Tom Sawyer is a fantastic book, and once I got into it, I didn’t want to put it down.

I would recommend Tom Sawyer for kids that are 10+. The book contains contains scenes in it that aren’t quite a good fit for younger kids. Other than that, this book would be satisfying for kids to read because it contains excitement and entertainment for all. This book is also adventurous, astonishing, and amazing. Tom Sawyer has lots of themes too like, its has lots of action, mysteries, and it is very humorous.

 

Rambunctious Rascal

rascal

Review of:  Rascal, by Sterling North

Reviewed by:  Colin

Most young boys have a dog as their constant companion; Sterling North has a raccoon. In Rascal, Sterling North (which is also the author’s name) is an adventurous 11 year-old and is very knowledgeable about nature. Sterling lives by himself because his two sisters are married, his mother is dead, and his brother Herschell is fighting in the army in France. Sterling has mountains of pets, including  everything from dogs to skunks. He gets most of them by catching them in the Wisconsin wilderness where he lives. One day Sterling, his friend Oscar, and his Saint Bernard, Wowser, go out in the wilderness and find a den in a hollow stump. They tried to find its contents and are surprised when a furious mother raccoon explodes from her den. She also had four kits who ran off with their mother. However, Oscar was quick enough to catch one in his cap. It was their only reward for their labor, but reward enough as time would prove. Oscar let Sterling have the kit because his parents would not let him have a raccoon. Sterling names the raccoon Rascal, but surprisingly Rascal grows up fast and becomes exceptionally smart. Sterling loves Rascal, but the neighbors are not so fond of him. They want Rascal to be caged and have a leash instead of letting him wander. Sterling must make the difficult choice either to cage his beloved raccoon or take him away and let him go free.

I thought Rascal was one of the best books I have ever read. One of my favorite things about Rascal is it’s extraordinary choice of vocabulary. There are words such as tremolo, cantankerous, vociferous, and competent. I thought it was neat how the chapters titles were months.  One of the best things about Rascal is how immensely it shows the relationship between Sterling and Rascal. For example, Sterling says he would fight the toughest bullies to protect Rascal. I think it is a simple but original concept. Overall I thought Rascal was an amazingly well written book.

I recommend Rascal to ages 11-14. I say this because there are a lot of harder words and the book is written in an older fashioned way. I think people who like nature and animals would enjoy this book more than others. I thought Rascal was an incredible book.

It All Started on Bilbo’s Birthday…

fellowshioReview of: The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Reviewed by Lucas

It all started on Bilbo Baggin’s eleventy-first birthday; that was the day Bilbo left Hobbiton. Years later Frodo left Hobbiton too. The difference between the two hobbits is that Bilbo wanted adventure, and Frodo had the “One Ring.” Frodo had to destroy the corrupt ring so Sauron could not have it and rule Middle-Earth. He knew this because it had the writing on it:.

“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them”

Frodo left Hobbiton with Sam, Merry, and Pippin, and went through the Old Forest to the village of Bree. That night they were attacked by shadows, also known as Black Riders, so they left the next day with a man named Aragorn, also known as Strider. They headed for Wreathtop and were attacked by the Black Riders again! This time they poisoned Frodo by stabbing Frodo with a black blade. Later the hobbits and Strider met an elf who gave Frodo a horse and told him to ride for Rivendell, where the elves live, but the shadows pursued and caught up to him. Somehow Frodo made it to Rivendell, and he reunited with his friends.  In Rivendell, the Fellowship of the ring was formed:  Gandalf the wizard, Aragorn the ranger, Boromir the warrior, Gimli the dwarf, Legolas the elf, and the four hobbits. They all started out on a quest to destroy the precious ring in the fires of Mount Doom!

They headed to the Mountain, because it was in their path, but snow came down as hard as rain. Finally, they decided to go under the mountain and, through the Mines of Moria, instead of trudging through the blizzard. At last, they made it into the mines. Sadly they did not all make it out for they were attacked on their journey through, and Gandalf fell off a bridge. The rest of them ran for the woods of Lothlórien, where other elves lived. The elves helped them on their journey by giving them gifts and boats to help keep them safe. The Fellowship then left in boats, continuing to Mt. Doom to destroy the precious ring. Will Frodo destroy it, or will Sauron rule Middle-Earth?

I loved the Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. He did an unbelievable job writing The Lord of the Rings. I thought I was really there watching the story happen. Tolkien did an amazing job describing everything. This is the best book I’ve ever read. It was hard to put down because, it was full of action, but calm when needed. I was sad to be in reality again after reading about Middle Earth.  This is by far the greatest book I have read.

I believe others should read this novel because it’s exciting. If you like adventure or fantasy, you would love this book, but you should be at least in fifth grade. I think this because some parts are intense for younger people. It is also very long, and there are some slow parts you have to plow through.  Even so, I think others should read this book.

 

Many Islands, Seven Lords

Review of: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Reviewed by:Jake

dawn

“We have found Lord Bern!”    In Voyage of the Dawn Treader  by C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian searches for the Seven Lords who fled from Narnia because of Miraz was trying to kill in the time of his reign. In this novel Edmund, Lucy, and their cousin Eustace travel back to Narnia through a picture on the wall and go aboard the Dawn Treader with Caspian. They venture an the seas to various islands to find the Seven Lords, but the obstacles on the islands are hindering them. These obstacles include of the gold-water and the invisible people. In the story, Caspian, Lucy, Eustace, and Edmund  have to overcome their own fears to defeat obstacles and find the Seven Lords.

I enjoyed this novel because of all the action on all the islands.  My favorite island was  Goldwater Island, or as Reepicheep calls it, “Deathwater Island” due to its water that turns everything to gold; it was frightening that Edmund almost died because he almost went into the water. In the novel Eustace becomes kind and humble which I enjoyed, but it was a little bit sad because he wasn’t as humorous after he changed. This book is my second favorite novel in the “Narnia” series.

I recommend this book to children 9 and older who love a hilarious and action-filled book. One reason I think it shouldn’t be read by anyone below the age of 9 is because it contains rude humor. Another reason is that it includes a good amount of action and some islands might disturb littler kids, like the Dark Island and the Island of Voices. The reason I do recommend this novel is because it is funny, symbolizes the way Jesus forgives and saves us, and because it has action (but you would already know that if you’ve seen my earlier reviews because I usually don’t recommend a book if it doesn’t have action).  This book is amazing! 

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