Friday, October 27, 2006

Blog #2 Gideon: The Cutpurse

The name of my book that I read for the month of September is called Gideon: The Cutpurse. Linda Buckley-Archer wrote it. Linda lives in England with her husband and her two children. Gideon: The Cutpurse is the first of a trilogy and it is Linda’s first novel. Gideon: The Cutpurse is about Peter Schock and Kate Dyer who get sucked into the year 1763 by Kate’s older brothers antigravity machine. They land just as The Tar Man, the stories villain is passing by. He steals the antigravity machine fascinated by it’s powers and gives it to his boss. It is unfortunate because when the children got to 1763 they were knocked out by the force and were unable to remember what happened. Now since the antigravity machine is gone, Kate and Peter are going to have to find a way to fend for themselves in this new world.

The story starts off when Peter wakes up on a Saturday morning but is disappointed to hear that his father is leaving on a business meeting when he was supposed to take Peter out for his birthday. He was going to take him to an English Premier League soccer match, which Peter was looking forward to for a long time. This is when Peter got very upset and the last word that Peter’s dad heard his son say was, “I hate you!” Peter is driven up to a relative’s farm and meets Kate Dyer there. Soon after, Peter and Kate are taken to the lab where Kate’s older brother is working on an antigravity machine. Unfortunately Kate brings her dog and the dog runs away through the lab and out into the hall. Peter and Kate follow the dog but hit a switch. The switch kicks the antigravity machine into action and sends Peter and Kate into a new year with the only witness being the dog. The force of the landing knocks Kate and Peter out. This is when the Tar Man comes and takes the machine. (The machine being the only known way back home). Gideon who had witnessed the entrance of the kids was instantly blown away by the scene and decided to hang back out the way. A few hours later when the kids had woken, Gideon builds the courage and comes to the aid of the kids. The kids explain to Gideon what had happened and he is a bit more stunned but he decides to help to try and get the machine back. While this was happening to Peter and Kate, Their families had both hired an inspector who was totally clueless as to what happened to the children. Soon after the inspector was hired he was forced to quit the job due to no evidence what so ever.

Back 243 years, over the next few weeks the kids travel by Gideon’s carriage towards England 1763. Over the course of the time the kids gain a strong friendship with Gideon and with each other. Gideon teaches them many skills necessary like how to ride a horse, how to catch a fish and most importantly hot to avoid highwaymen. When the group gets to England they meet up with Lord Luxon who is The Tar Man’s boss. He is a decent man who is aware that both the Tar Man and Gideon want the antigravity machine. He sets up a race from his estate to the Tempest House. The Tempest House is just a little storage house about 20 miles from England and was where Lord Luxon was keeping the machine. Both Gideon and The Tar Man accepted but both contestants tried to cheat. The Tar Man put snails in Gideon’s horse’s hooves and Gideon fed poison herbs to the Tar Man’s horse. At the end of the race it was Gideon who came in first after the Tar Man attacked him. Although Gideon was beaten up the Tar Man’s horse collapsed because of the herbs. Gideon won the machine and after all the hardships that the group went through it was time to say goodbye. They just decided to flip the switch just like the way it had taken them to 1763. The idea works and the machine begins to shoot out bright white lights. Just as Peter and Kate are about to depart Peter decides he cannot leave without hugging Gideon but at that moment the Tar Man makes a surprising entry and takes Peter’s place beside the machine. Gideon whips Peter towards his ride home but it is too late. Kate, the machine, and the Tar Man are gone leaving Peter behind. This is where the first of the trilogy ends.

The book was written in the third person format just like my last book that I wrote about. (The People of Sparks). The book was very descriptive and the plot was interesting but I found the book itself was hard to follow. Because the point of view kept switching from Peter to Kate to the parents to Gideon I had to re-read bits and didn’t understand much of the book. I could relate Gideon: The Cutpurse to anything that has any sort of time travel in it which is many things. For example, there is a series called Pendragon (best book series ever!!!) about a boy named Bobby that travel’s to different, “Territories” and different times on Earth. Anyway it’s very complicated how it works but it’s an awesome series.

I think Linda could have made the transitions from person to person easier to follow. Also I think it was too descriptive as I would regularly lose concentration while reading. I would not recommend this book to anyone because of this but it has a great storyline to it. Despite what I just said I think I will continue reading the series because I want to know if Peter will get rescued. Great first book Linda!!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Blog #1 The People Of Sparks

The name of my book that I read over the summer is called The People of Sparks. The book takes place a very long time into the future but it is not futuristic because there was a war and three types of illnesses that swept away most of the world. The rest of the people who survived (Who were extremely lucky) had to start a new world. A young female author named Jeanne Duprau wrote this fantastic novel about a city of people that lived in an underground city that had been spared from the illnesses and war being underground found a way out of their almost dead city and into the real world. Mrs. Duprau has written a trilogy of novels the People of Sparks being the second. I really enjoyed this novel because I liked to see how the cave people cooperated with another city that they met up with and how the city people tried to put up with them.

The book starts off with the whole city trudging out of the cave and into a valley with the main characters Doon and Lina leading the way. I remember some of the quotes were, “Hey look light comes from up there!” “Look, it’s a ball of light!” “It’s a fur ball that moves! Ow! It bit me!” Now, you might think that these people are pretty stupid but if you had lived underground your whole life then you would understand. These people were called the People of Ember, named after their city. Doon and Lina being the pair that discovered the way out of their dying city decided it was best to find someone that could help. (If there was anyone). Soon they meet up with a small village called Sparks that is a little overwhelmed with how many refugees are storming into their village. Although they are overwhelmed they handle it very well and give the people of Ember a place to stay. The People of Sparks say that they will give them six months to learn all the skills necessary to live on their own in the wilderness. The Sparks people are very good after a few months and they provide what they can spare from their crop but after a while the People of Sparks get a little tired of these cavemen and ask them to leave before the six months is up or face the weapon.

The People of Ember are also not very happy with the Sparks people. They complain that they are not fed enough and are also very upset when they find leaves on the front step of their little house and when they cleaned it up it made them scratch all over causing the itchiness to spread. Also there was a note for them on the wall of the Town Hall that read, “Go crawl back into your hole!” It also said some more inappropriate things that hurt the Ember people. It made them especially angry when they were ordered to leave because what would they do? And how would they get through the winter with enough food? All of this infuriated them and it seemed inevitable that there was going to be a war. On the day that they were ordered to leave some of the people of Ember formed a rebellion and stood in front of the town hall making there demands. They demanded that they be treated equally with the Sparks people and that they be allowed to stay. The Sparks people then brung out the weapon that turned out to be a cannon. The Sparks people set off the cannon but it backfired and started a fire in a tree next to the town hall. Soon the town hall was on fire and the people of Sparks started a “Fire line,” where the first few people had buckets full of water and they dumped it onto the fire then filled their bucket and gave it to the next person in line. However the fire was too big and the Sparks people were losing so Lina and Doon led the way and joined the Sparks people in the Fire line. Many Ember people called them traitors for doing this but soon after more Ember people joined the line. The fire started to die down and everyone congratulated themselves and it was agreed that the People of Ember would be allowed to stay as a united city.

The book was written in third person and is told from either Lina’s or Doon’s point of view. It wasn’t extremely descriptive but sometimes I like books like that because I can paint my own view of the setting rather than the author doing it for me. It was a very quick 350 pages and I would recommend it to all readers. It doesn’t really relate to anything that we are covering in class but it could relate to how England and France are having lots of disputes in our Human Heritage textbook and how the Ember and Sparks people have their little disputes.

If you like a very descriptive book than Jeanne Duprau could’ve done a lot more for you but if your like me and get kind of bored with the long descriptions and like to paint your own image of the story then this is a perfect novel for you. Other than that I think. Jeanne Duprau did a fantastic job on this novel. Can’t wait for the third Mrs. Duprau!!!!