125 Things Meme: Day 9

Today's theme is Children and Young Adult books. Because you're never too old for some of these.

41. The Giver by Lois Lowry:

In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price

Why you should read it: This is a book that lingers. With echoes of ignorance is bliss and you don't know what you have until you've lost it and, well, pretty much the standard malfunctioning utopia fair, it is a great book for any age.

“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

“They were satisfied with their lives which had none of the vibrance his own was taking on. And he was angry at himself, that he could not change that for them.” 

42. The Abhorson Triology by Garth Nix:

Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. She soon finds companions in Mogget, a cat whose aloof manner barely conceals its malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage long imprisoned by magic, now free in body but still trapped by painful memories. As the three travel deep into the Old Kingdom, threats mount on all sides. And every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death—and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny.

Why you should read it: This triology - Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorson - contains some of my favourite books. It's... well, IDK how to really describe it, only that this isn't one of those kids series where the realities of life are glossed over. There is life and death and pain and loss and evil - and hope. Truely brillant.

“Does the walker choose the path or the path choose the walker?”

“Let this be my final lesson. Everyone and everything has a time to die.” 

43. A Wrinkle In Time by Madelene L'Engle:

Everyone in town thinks Meg Murry is volatile and dull-witted, and that her younger brother, Charles Wallace, is dumb. People are also saying that their physicist father has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother. Spurred on by these rumors and an unearthly stranger, the tesseract-touting Mrs Whatsit, Meg and Charles Wallace and their new friend Calvin O'Keefe embark on a perilous quest through space to find their father. In doing so, they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time. This is no superhero tale, nor is it science fiction, although it shares elements of both. The travelers must rely on their individual and collective strengths, delving deep within themselves to find answers.

A well-loved classic and 1963 Newbery Medal winner, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time is sophisticated in concept yet warm in tone, with mystery and love coursing through its pages. Meg's shattering, yet ultimately freeing, discovery that her father is not omnipotent provides a satisfying coming-of-age element. Readers will feel a sense of power as they travel with these three children, challenging concepts of time, space, and the triumph of good over evil.

Why you should read it: You just should? IDK, the later books in the series get a little too... mystical for my taste, but this is a genuinely good book.

“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself."

44. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien:

If you care for journeys there and back, out of the comfortable Western world, over the edge of the Wild, and home again, and can take an interest in a humble hero (blessed with a little wisdom and a little courage and considerable good luck), here is a record of such a journey and such a traveler. The period is the ancient time between the age of Faerie and the dominion of men, when the famous forest of Mirkwood was still standing, and the mountains were full of danger. In following the path of this humble adventurer, you will learn by the way (as he did) -- if you do not already know all about these things -- much about trolls, goblins, dwarves, and elves, and get some glimpses into the history and politics of a neglected but important period. For Mr. Bilbo Baggins visited various notable persons; conversed with the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent; and was present, rather unwillingly, at the Battle of the Five Armies. This is all the more remarkable, since he was a hobbit. Hobbits have hitherto been passed over in history and legend, perhaps because they as a rule preferred comfort to excitement. But this account, based on his personal memoirs, of the one exciting year in the otherwise quiet life of Mr. Baggins will give you a fair idea of the estimable people now (it is said) becoming rather rare. They do not like noise.

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Why you should read it: A fun, light-hearted tale almost completely at odds with the terrible death and destruction that comes in Lord of the Rings. Granted, prefer the later, being a fan of the darker, more realistic things than anything quite so... happy, but even in this "children's" book, things can get quite dark... Plus, you kinda have to have read this to live in the 21st century these days.

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” 

45. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett:

When orphaned Mary Lennox, lonely and sad, comes to live at her uncle's great house on the Yorkshire moors, she finds it full of secrets. At night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors. Outside, she meets Dickon, a magical boy who can charm and talk to animals. Then, one day, with the help of a friendly robin, Mary discovers the most mysterious wonder of all -- a secret garden, walled and locked, which has been completely forgotten for years and years. Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring it back to life?

Why you should read it: To be perfectly honest, now that I think about it, the movie adaptation of this is about 10x better than the actual book. (Exception that proves the rule, I guess.) I find the author to be pretentious, self-rightous, and often times annoying, but it's a lovely story regardless. Mostly, though, if you liked the movie, you'll at least find this enjoyable.

“One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands out and throws one's head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one's heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun--which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with the millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone's eyes.” 

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I am in the very rare position (for me) of having read all of these XD I think my favorites are The Giver and A Wrinkle In Time. I still own copies of both books, in print and in ebook.

Edited at 2012-06-29 12:11 am (UTC)
And now only was it one or two off a post, but all of them :D I'm proud of myself now XD
*grins some more*

To tell the truth, The Abhorson Trilogy was the only one I was going to orignally include, but then I was like, 125 books, I can afford to be generious - or, at least, can't afford to be stingy...

It's been years since I read most of them though, if you can't tell my by the "why you should read" bits.
I'm very glad you decided to expand :P You named some truly amazing books, and I'm glad that there's finally a book or two that I can actually, you know, have a conversation with you about. I can contribute!

I think you did pretty well with your "why you should read this" bits.
ah, I felt like I let people down, not expanding as much as with the others.

So, er, what book(s) do we want to have a convo about?

Myself, I'm a fan of Garth Nix (duh). The Abhorson books are my favourites by him - I discovered them on one of the "book benders" I did in high school, where I'd read 3-8 books a weekend to enterain myself. I'm a big fan of his Keys to the Kingdom series though too. Have them on audio and tend to liste to them while I'm playing the Sims, IDK why.
You wouldn't have let anyone down by not expanding! I'm glad you did, but it wasn't necessary.

Oh, I don't mean to force a conversation. I'm just pleased because this time, if we happened to start a conversation, I could actually contribute!

I've only read Garth Nix's Abhorson series. I never really gave much thought to his other work. What's his Keys to the Kingdom series about?
Oh, the Keys to the Kingdom is sort of along the same lines - a magic kingdom, only here things are controled by words, and there's a vague and non-religious correlation going on with the Seven Sins and Seven Virtues, and basically it's a war for control of the universe... but that does it no justice. I really enjoy it, though. Mister Monday is the first book.

And you weren't forcing a convo... I'm bored and writing's not going so well (blame dad) and it looks like I'll have to be out of the house most the day tomorrow for annoying RL reasons... so I'm just trying to keep occupied and try to find my muse again. le sigh.
I really like the idea of words controlling things - that could have such interesting implications. Words have such power in real life, after all.

Ah, good. I didn't want you to feel obligated. I'm sorry you're bored though - I hate being bored. There are no fics you want to read? My muse is never cooperative :( Good luck finding yours though! If tehre's anything I can do to help, let me know.
Words are power.

I'm rereading some old fics, but, nah, I've drained dry the well of new stuff already. And it's not your fault I'm bored. I'm just PO'd, 'cause I realized everything I written last night just wouldn't work, ever, and have to start from scratch. Le sigh.

I know what I want to happen, I just need to get us to that part first. With any luck, this new way I'm trying will work. After all, Michael has to find out he's a Wraith sometime, right?
I hate when I have to scrap everything and start over. It happens to me often, though mostly because I absolutely detest what I've written.

Yep, Michael does need to find out he's a wraith at some point *nod* I have confidence you'll get something down that you're pleased with :D
I'm trying. just got to get into the right headspace. which is hard when dad comes by and interupts me every few minutes.

Is it Oedipal of me to say that I see a lot of John in my dad? God, I hope not. Though, in my defense, it's really only the military bits. Plus, if dad ever found out I was comparing him to anyone in the Air Force, it would be my head.