The Hunger Pains: A Parody

While surfing the web, I came across a parody novel of The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. This parody novel is called The Hunger Pains: A Parody. The novel is written by an undergraduate humour publication at Harvard University known as The Harvard Lampoon. After reading the parody novel’s blurb, I let out a delightful chuckle.

When Kantkiss Neverclean replaces her sister as a contestant on the Hunger Games—the second-highest-rated reality TV show in Peaceland, behind Extreme Home Makeover—she has no idea what to expect. Having lived her entire life in the telemarketing district’s worst neighborhood, the Crack, Kantkiss feels unprepared to fight to the death while simultaneously winking and looking adorable for the cameras. But when her survival rests on choosing between the dreamy hunk from home, Carol Handsomestein, or the doughy klutz, Pita Malarkey, Kantkiss discovers that the toughest conflicts may not be found on the battlefield but in her own heart . . . which is unfortunately on a battlefield.

Works Cited

The Harvard Lampoon. The Hunger Pains: A Parody. Digital image. Archonia. Archonia NV – Androme Group. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://media.archonia.com/images/samples/98/66/119866_s0.jpg&gt;.

The Harvard Lampoon. The Hunger Pains: A Parody. New York: Touchstone, 2012. Print.

Lisa Simpsons Meets J.K. Rowling

In this video J.K. Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter series, appears on the well-known cartoon, The Simpsons. Lisa Simpson comments on how Rowling has influenced a generation of children to read.

(Note: This episode of The Simpsons aired a few years before J.K. Rowling completed the Harry Potter series, which explains why Lisa wants to know what happens in the end.)

 

Works Cited

Groening, Matt. “The Regina Monologues.” The Simpsons. Fox. 23 Nov. 2003. Youtube. Youtube, 8 July 2008. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTGbKbEEE8o&gt;.

Wingardium Leviosa!

This blog is named after a levitation spell in the Harry Potter novels known as Wingardium Leviosa (pronounced Win-gar-dee-um Lev-ee-o-sa). This spell is typically taught to students in the first-year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In the video that I am sharing with you, Wingardium Leviosa is being taught by Professor Flitwick to first-year students at Hogwarts, which includes Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and Harry Potter.

“Oh, and enunciate! Wingardium Leviosa!”

Works Cited

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Dir. Chris Columbus. Perf. Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe. Warner Bros. Pictures, 2001. Film. Youtube. Youtube, 16 Apr. 2009. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAQBzjE-kvI&gt;.

A List of Must-Read Books

Are you looking for a novel to read, but don’t not which book to choose? I will help you find the right novel by giving you a list of books that you must read. In no particular order, here is my list of must-read books:

 

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini

During one of his travels through the woods of Alagaesia, Eragon, a teenage boy, stumbles upon an interesting looking stone. He takes the stone, hoping that it will sell for some money, but soon learns that it is not a stone at all after a dragon hatches from it. Many years prior, King Galbatorix, the leader of Alagaesia, was a dragon rider. Dragon riders were powerful peacekeepers of the land. But after King Galbortorix’s dragon died, he became mad and killed all the dragons in Alagaesia. Over time, Eragon builds a supernatural bond with his dragon, who he names Saphira. Eragon fears that Saphira would be taken away from him by King Galbatorix, so Eragon keeps the dragon a secret. However, King Galbatorix somehow learns about Eragon’s dragon and sends people to arrest him. Eragon must flee his home and find a safe haven for him and Saphira.

 

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

An Afghan boy, named Amir, lives with his rich father, and their poor servants, Ali and Hassan. Though they are Amir and his father’s servants, Ali and Hassan are treated like family. However, not all people see Ali and Hassan as equals. Ali and Hassan are Hazaras, an ethnic minority in Afganistan, and are looked down upon by Pashtuns, who make up the majority of Afganistan’s population. Hassan is Ali’s son, and is Amir’s closest and most loyal friend. However, Amir does something very terrible that causes his only true friend, Hassan, to suffer through a horrific incident, and lives the rest of his life in painful guilt.

 

Heir to the Empire, by Timothy Zahn

Five years after defeating Darth Vader and Palpatine, and ending the evil Galactic Empire, the New Republic has been established, Han Solo and Princess Leia are married, and Luke Skywalker becomes the first Jedi Knight of the New Jedi Order. But thousands of light-years away, the last of Emperor Palpatine’s generals have taken command of the extremely damaged Imperial fleet, and plan to take on the New Republic. But this time, an evil admiral has made two vital discoveries that could destroy everything that the Rebel Alliance has fought so hard to build.

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling

During his stay at the Dursley house for the summer, Harry Potter receives an unexpected guest, named Dobby. Dobby warns Harry not to return to Hogwarts, explaining that terrible things are going to happen. Despite this warning, Harry goes to Hogwarts anyway to attend his second year at the school of witchcraft and wizardry. As Dobby had said, terrible things are indeed happening at Hogwarts. Throughout the year, students of muggle descent are found mysteriously petrified and messages written in blood are written on the walls warning that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened.

 

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

A rich, cruel city known as the Captiol rules the nation of Panem, which is made of the ruins of what was once North America. The nation is divided into twelve districts. As a punishment for past uprisings from the districts against the Capitol, the Capitol holds the annual Hunger Games. Each district must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The tributes are imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena where they must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins. The entire event is televised for the whole nation to see. The protagonist of this novel is Katniss Everdeen, a poor sixteen year old girl from the poorest district, District 12. Against all odds, Katniss’ little sister Prim is chosen to be a tribute. But, Katniss saves her sister by volunteering to take her place in the Games.

Works Cited

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Series #1). Digital image. Barnes & Noble. Barnesandnoble.com LLC, 6 Dec. 2008. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/imageviewer.asp?ean=9780439023481&imId=27358626&gt;.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic, 2008. Print.

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead, 2003. Print.

Palencar, John Jude. Eragon Book Cover. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 14 July 2008. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eragon_book_cover.png&gt;.

Paolini, Christopher. Eragon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003. Print.

Rowling, J. K., and Mary GrandPré. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. New York: Scholastic, 2000. Print.

Werner, Honi. Kite Runner. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 26 Feb. 2011. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kite_runner.jpg&gt;.

Wright, Cliff. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 13 July 2007. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Harry_Potter_and_the_Chamber_of_Secrets.jpg&gt;.

Zahn, Timothy. Heir to the Empire. New York: Bantam, 1991. Print.

Zahn, Timothy. HeirToTheEmpire. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 15 July 2008. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HeirToTheEmpire.jpg&gt;.

Literature Circles

In my English class, I have participated in literature circles, which is an activity where a small group of people read a particular novel, and discussions about the novel take place periodically among the group. This year, I have completed two novels from taking part in literature circles. The two books that I read are The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, and The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. Both books are fantastic and I highly recommend them to everyone.

The Kite Runner is a novel about an Afghan boy named Amir, who lives with his rich father, and their poor servants, Ali and Hassan. Though they are Amir and his father’s servants, Ali and Hassan are treated like family. However, not all people see Ali and Hassan as equals. Ali and Hassan are Hazaras, an ethnic minority in Afganistan, and are looked down upon by Pashtuns, who make up the majority of Afganistan’s population. Hassan is Ali’s son, and is Amir’s closest and most loyal friend. However, Amir does something very terrible that causes his only true friend, Hassan, to suffer through a horrific incident, and lives the rest of his life in painful guilt.

I took pleasure in reading The Kite Runner. One thing that stood out for me in this book is how I grew to hate the novel’s protagonist, Amir. I have felt pity, praise, sorrow, and happiness for the main characters of books before, but never before had I felt hatred towards a protagonist. After learning how Amir allows his lifelong companion to suffer a horrible fate, I felt absolutely shocked and disgusted. But strangely, this made me enjoy reading the novel. I may not have liked the main character, but I definitely enjoyed the shock value. The ability to provoke such strong emotions is commendable. If you are looking for a book that will surprise you, you should read The Kite Runner.

The other book that I read for literature circles was The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. The novel takes place sometime in the future in Panem, which is made of the ruins of what was once North America. Panem is divided into twelve districts and is ruled by a rich, harsh, and cruel city known as the Capitol. As a punishment for past uprisings from the districts against the Capitol, the Capitol holds the Hunger Games every year. Each district must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The tributes are imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena where they must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins. The entire event is televised for the whole nation to see. The protagonist of this novel is Katniss Everdeen, a poor sixteen year old girl from the poorest district, District 12. Against all odds, Katniss’ little sister Prim is chosen to be a tribute. But, Katniss saves her and volunteers to take her sister’s place in the Games.

I absolutely loved reading The Hunger Games. This novel is one of the most enjoyable novels that I have read in a long time. Full of thrilling action, intriguing twists, and constant suspense, The Hunger Games is a novel that is very satisfying. For me, it was a novel that I hated to put down. I never wanted to stop reading it. I liked the novel so much that I completed the book long before my literature circle group was planning to finish it. After I finished reading The Hunger Games, I craved the suspense and excitement that I felt while reading the amazing book, so I decided to read the other novels in the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. If you have never read The Hunger Games, it is definitely a book that you should consider reading.

As for the process of the literature circles, I thought that they were interesting. I enjoyed being able to discuss novels with others. In our little group, each of us must do certain jobs, such as identify themes, symbols, and traits of characters. During the periodic discussions, I learned new things about the novels that I did not pick up on my own. Learning new things about the novels made me draw deeper meaning from them and made me appreciate the books more. If you ever have the opportunity to participate in a literature circle, I would recommend that you try it.

Works Cited

Book Club. Digital image. Northport Community Book Club. Webs, Inc. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://nptbookjunkies.webs.com/bookclub.jpg&gt;.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Series #1). Digital image. Barnes & Noble. Barnesandnoble.com LLC, 6 Dec. 2008. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/imageviewer.asp?ean=9780439023481&imId=27358626&gt;.

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic, 2008. Print.

Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead, 2003. Print.

Werner, Honi. Kite Runner. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 26 Feb. 2011. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kite_runner.jpg&gt;.