April 3

Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen is a classic novel about Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters. What do you think would happen if your father died, leaving everything to your half-brother? Well, Elinor, Marianne, Margaret, and their mother are soon to find out. One of the life lessons that Sense and Sensibility teaches is to “not judge a book by its cover.”

When Mr. Henry Dashwood dies, he leaves all of his money and estate to his first wife’s son, John Dashwood. Mr. Dashwood’s second wife and her three daughters are left with no permanent home and very little money. While looking for a new place to live, Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters are invited to stay with their distant relations, the Middletons, at Barton Park. Elinor, the oldest of the Dashwood sisters, is sad to leave their home at Norland because she has become closely attached to Edward Ferrars, the brother-in-law of Elinor’s half-brother. However, once at Barton Park, Elinor and Marianne discover many new acquaintances, including Colonel Branden and John Willoughby. Willoughby is introduced to the Dashwoods when Marianne twists her ankle running down the hills of Barton Park in the rain. Willoughby openly courts Marianne and together the two of them flaunt their attachment. Willoughby then suddenly announces that he must depart for London on business, leaving Marianne lovesick and miserable. Meanwhile, Anne and Lucy Steele, two recently discovered relations of Lady Middleton’s mother, Mrs. Jennings, arrive at Barton Park as guests of the Middletons. Lucy becomes attached to Elinor and informs her that she has been secretly engaged to Mr. Ferrars for a whole year. Elinor at first assumes that Lucy is referring to Edward’s younger brother, Robert, but is shocked and pained to learn that Lucy is actually referring to her beloved Edward. Elinor is a little skeptical of Lucy’s story. Are Lucy Steele and Edward Ferrars really engaged? And if so, why didn’t Edward tell Elinor when he came to visit her? And where has Willoughby gone? Why did he leave so suddenly? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

As I said before, Sense and Sensibility contains the life lesson of “not judging a book by its cover.” We see this principle illustrated several times in the book. A good example of this is the way Marianne saw Willoughby. She saw him the way he wanted her to see him. Towards the end of the book, we see that Marianne misjudged quite a few people because of the way their “cover” looked. I thought that Sense and Sensibility was a great book. It was a bit of a tough read because of the way it’s written. But other than that, it’s a great book. It has a really good storyline and some good life lessons. I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes Jane Austen’s other books.

March 27

Pride and Prejudice

This book report is from a while ago but I forgot to post it. So here it is now. 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is a classic romantic comedy that follows Elizabeth Bennet through her journey to finding a husband. How would you like it if you had a mother that was a noisy, foolish woman whose only goal in life was to see you and your sisters married but who often repelled the suitors that she tried to attract for you? That is exactly what Mrs. Bennet does to her daughters. In this book, several valuable life lessons are taught through the main character Elizabeth. Two lessons can be learned from this book: don’t set too much stock into first impressions and don’t be stingy in giving others a second chance because you never know when your own happiness may depend on it.

Don’t set too much stock into first impressions. That seems like it should be easy to do. However, that is not the case for Elizabeth Bennet. When Charles Bingley, a rich single man, moved to the Netherfield estate, the neighborhood residents were thrilled. Mrs. Bennet was especially thrilled because she hoped to marry off one of her five daughters to him. The Bennet girls were impressed by his friendly, outgoing manner when they met him at a local ball. They were, however, not impressed with Fitzwilliam Darcy, Mr. Bingley’s rich friend. Mr. Darcy was too proud to talk to any of the locals for he believed them to be inferior to himself. Elizabeth Bennet’s dislike of Mr. Darcy soon grew when she overheard him refusing to dance with her. Later on in the book, Elizabeth was led astray by George Wickham, a handsome officer in the militia. He told Elizabeth that Mr. Darcy did some unspeakable things to him. He made Darcy appear not only proud but cruel. Elizabeth accepted this tale without question and disliked Mr. Darcy even more because of it. But once again, we must remember that we shouldn’t put too much stock into first impressions.

Don’t be stingy in giving others a second chance because you never know when your own happiness may depend on it. Once again, Elizabeth forgot about this principle. Elizabeth went to visit her newly married friend Charlotte in her new home of Huntsford. There she discovered that the honorable and rich Lady Catherine de Bourgh was the aunt of Mr. Darcy and that he was going to come to Rosings Park for a visit. During Mr. Darcy’s visit to his aunt, he spent a lot of time with Elizabeth though he didn’t say much. He, one day towards the end of his visit, went to where Elizabeth was staying and asked her to marry him. She was shocked and repulsed for she still believed that he was a proud and cruel man. She said no and confronted him about Wickham. He left and the next day a letter came for Elizabeth explaining what had taken place with Wickham. He explained that Wickham had tried to elope with Georgiana, his sister, because he wanted her fortune. Darcy paid him a large sum of money to leave him and Georgiana alone. Elizabeth felt badly for accusing Mr. Darcy of something he didn’t do. She realized that she actually was beginning to have feelings for him as well. Is it too late to get Darcy back after she so wrongly accused him? This goes to show that sometimes in life you need to give others a second chance.

So as you can see, Pride and Prejudice demonstrates two great life lessons of not placing so much stock into first impressions and not being stingy in giving others a second chance. I thought that this book was a great read. At times, though, it was hard to follow. You have to pay close attention while you are reading so that way you know what is going on and who is speaking. I thought that the plot was captivating and had some funny moments in it. I would recommend this book to anyone who has the patience to read a long book and likes comedy and romance combined.

November 16

President vs. Prime Minister

The American President and the British Prime Minister both have important roles in the governing of their countries. In many ways they are similar in election, function, and importance, though the two positions also have distinct differences. This essay will show the main points of comparison between these two important positions, one from the United States and the other from England.

One of the main differences between the President and the Prime Minister is in how they are elected to their positions. The U.S. has two major political parties that run for the presidency; Republicans and Democrats. The UK, on the other hand, has four major political parties; Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats, and the Scottish Nationalist Party. In both the U.S. and the UK, the political parties choose candidates for the positions. The U.S. candidates, once nominated, can focus solely on their campaign and election. However, in the UK, the candidate, who is also the leader of their party, must focus on every election the party thinks it can win. Though their elections are different, they have one major thing in common. The press. The elections completely dominate the press. There is a continuous stream of news concerning the elections and the people involved. Even though their elections are not very similar, their functions are.

The President and the Prime Minister have many similarities and differences. One of those differences would be in their function. When a President is elected, he/she becomes head of government. The same applies to the Prime Minister. However, the President also receives the title of Head of State whereas the Prime Minister does not. In the UK, the queen is Head of State. The U.S. President may only serve two, four year terms. The Prime Minister, however, may serve as many terms as he/she would like as long as they keep the majority of the votes in Parliament. The President, when elected, must choose fifteen cabinet members for the fifteen departments of the executive branch. These members must be approved by the Senate before they are appointed. On the other hand, the Prime Minister can have twenty-one cabinet members. These members do not need to be confirmed by Parliament; however, they must be currently serving in the House of Commons or the House of Lords. The Prime Minister is a member of Parliament whereas the President is not a member of Congress. The Prime Minister is held accountable to Parliament for his/her actions and must attend sessions. The President is not accountable to Congress and does not attend sessions. Though these positions have differences in their function, they are similar in their importance to their country.

Both the President and the Prime Minister are important to their countries. In the U.S., the President is Head of State. He is the official representative of the United States to the rest of the world. As I mentioned before, the queen is the Head of State. So in a sense, she would be the official representative of the UK. This, however, is not the case. The Prime Minister is also the official representative of the nation to the rest of the world. The Prime Minister and the queen share this title. Both the President and the Prime Minister are official representatives of their nations. They are relied upon to make important decisions concerning the safety and the well-being of their countries. So as you can see, the President and the Prime Minister are important to their countries.

In this essay, we have discussed how the Prime Minister and the President are similar in election, function, and importance, though there are differences. We’ve learned that to be elected to one of these positions is difficult. We’ve also learned that both of these leaders have very different functions and regulations for carrying out what their position entails. And last but not least, we learned that both the President and the Prime Minister are important to their countries. So next time you hear about the President or the Prime Minister, you’ll be able to say that you know the similarities and the differences between these two important and influential positions.

May 15

Life Is Beautiful

Book Summary:

I recently finished reading Life Is Beautiful. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find it as a book. We found a copy in Portuguese but not in English. So I read the screenplay of Life Is Beautiful. I chose to read the screenplay because it provided more insight into World War II but from a different country’s perspective. In this case, the country was Italy.

Major Characters:

  • Guido
  • Dora
  • Joshua
  • Ferruccio
  • Uncle
  • Dr. Rodolfo
  • Dr. Lessing
  • Bartholomew
  • Laura
  • Upholsterer
  • Secretary
  • Inspector
  • Principal
  • Ernesto


Life Is Beautiful, the screenplay, first covers the story about how Guido and Dora met and eventually got married. Dora was engaged to Dr. Rodolfo at the beginning but later met Guido and married him. The screenplay then fast forwards a couple years to when their son, Joshua, is 6 years old. On his birthday, Guido, Joshua, and Uncle were taken away by the Nazis while Dora was out. When she came back to the house, she saw that the door was smashed and things inside the house were broken. She had an idea as to where they were taken. She went to the train station where Italian Jews were being loaded on to cars to be taken to concentration camps. As the train was leaving, she told the officer there that she needed to get on that train. He told her that she didn’t want to get on that train and to go home. But she insisted that she did so they stopped the train and put her on. During this whole ordeal, Joshua had been constantly asking where they were going, how long it would take to get there, and why were they going without Mommy. Guido told his son that this was a birthday surprise and that it would be a lot of fun. He told Joshua that all of what was going on was a game. He said that the prize, if he won, was a real tank. The only rules were that he had to hide all day and do exactly as Guido told him to do. Guido risked his and Joshua’s lives in order to keep Joshua alive. Did they make it out of the concentration camp alive? Did they ever see Dora again? If you want to find out what happens to Guido, Dora, Joshua, and Uncle, read the screenplay or find the book.

I thought that Life Is Beautiful is great. I will be honest though. Reading a screenplay is tough at first. But it got easier as I kept reading. I would recommend this screenplay to anyone who wants a different perspective on World War II. Overall, I thought that it was a great screenplay and a very heart-warming story.


Final Project:

For my final project, I chose to do digital posters. The digital posters are very similar to the Hidden Reflections projects that I’ve done. For most of my posters, you will have needed to have read the Life Is Beautiful screenplay in order to fully understand what my posters represent. I enjoyed doing the digital posters because it allowed me to complete several posters whereas the Hidden Reflections projects would be only one poster. If you have the read the screenplay, or even the book, comment below as to what you think my posters represent.


Check out my classmates blogs to see what books they read and their final projects.






April 26

Hidden Reflections: The Zookeeper’s Wife


We recently finished reading The Zookeeper’s Wife in English class. So it was time to choose another project. My classmate and I decided that we would do another Hidden Reflections poster. A Hidden Reflections poster is a poster where if a person has read the book, they will understand what the pictures represent. But if you haven’t read the book, then it won’t give away any key details.

Check out my classmate’s blog to see what he has written about The Zookeeper’s Wife.  https://pedroglca.edublogs.org


April 3

The Zookeeper’s Wife: Making the Change

World War II. What a tragic time for many people. Especially for the Jews. A lot of people know about World War II. But some things remain unknown by many people. For this blog post, I decided that I would dig deeper into something from The Zookeeper’s Wife that I wasn’t really aware of. Something that isn’t mentioned in a lot of documents, history books, etc. Something that saved lives. Making the Change.


A lot of people don’t know this but during World War II, some Jews underwent “beauty” changes. They changed who they were. People in the Polish underground set up beauty stations and hundreds of people came to them to Be “change.” This change that they made saved their lives.



Jewish women went through big changes in appearance, dress, and almost everything possible. The Underground workers taught the women how to disguise themselves to avoid the Nazis. They taught them how to dress and look like a typical Polish woman. They would bleach or dye their hair to cover up the dark color and make them appear to be “perfect” according Hitler’s standards. A lot of women underwent surgery to change their noses. Their noses were sometimes what gave them away to the Nazis. It was a feature that was very recognizable. I found it amazing that even as far back as World War II, plastic surgery was in existence. It probably wasn’t as advanced as it is today. But still. Plastic surgery in the 1940s!



Jewish men didn’t undergo as much change as the women. But it was still big enough to save their lives. Jewish men are normally circumcised when they are born. And the Germans knew that. So it was easy to tell if the men were Jewish or not. All the Nazis had to do was check for circumcision. And BINGO! They found another Jew. This was a problem for them. So the Underground got involved. The men received “operations” to help disguise that they were of Jewish descent.



A big change that took place was in their culture. They had to learn to not be Jews. Women had to make the biggest change. They had to learn to dress and look like a Polish woman. They had to learn to cook typical Polish meals and could no longer make the food from their culture. Both the men and the women had to learn to eat pork. The women were taught the Lord’s Prayer so that if they were stopped and asked to say it, they could. The men were also taught that they had to take their hats off when they entered a church and could not keep them on.


I thought that all of this was incredible. It shows how desperate these people were to survive. It is also sad that they had to almost forget who they were because they were being persecuted. No one should have to do that. Most History books don’t mention this “change.” I personally think that they should. This piece of History is too important to be forgotten. It saved lives.

March 29

The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Zookeeper’s Wife. That is an interesting title for a book. But it’s a title that has much more meaning to it than meets the eye.

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman is the true story of zookeepers Jan and Antonina Żabiński. When Germany invaded Poland during WWII, the Luftwaffe bombers destroyed Warsaw and the city’s zoo. With most of the animals killed, or taken (stolen) away to the Berlin Zoo, the couple decided to start hiding Jews in the once full cages. As the war continued, Jan became more involved in the anti-Nazi Resistance or otherwise known as the Underground. He helped by burying ammunition in the elephant enclosure and by hiding exsplosives in the animal hospital. He also helped plan and prepare for what would become known as the Warsaw Uprising. Even though she lived in constant fear of being discovered, Antonina had to keep her household afloat, caring for both its human and animal guests, as Europe crumbled around them.

I thought that this book was a really good book. I liked it a lot. I thought that it was very well written. The story of Jan and Antonina is an untold story. It’s one of those stories that had an incredible impact on the lives of the people they helped but was forgotten in the pages of history. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading inspiring stories. I would also recommend this book to anyone who likes history. Overall, I thought that it was a great book and I think that the story of Jan and Antonina Żabiński should not be forgotten.


March 23

The Giver and Hidden Reflections project

Continuing with the dystopian themed books, our teacher chose The Giver for us to read. The Giver is about Jonas and how he lives in a perfect society–no pain, no crime, no unhappiness. But when he receives his life assignment to be the Receiver of Memories, he discovers secrets about the past, and the terrible choices that make this world possible.

We did a project for this book as well. But this time it was a poster. I worked with 2 of my classmates on a poster. The way that the poster was to be was that it would make sense to those who have read the book. But that it wouldn’t give the book away to those who hadn’t read the book. If you have The Giver, comment below on what you think some of the pictures in the poster represent.

If you’d like to see what my other classmates’ posters look like, visit these sites:

The Giver: Hidden Reflections


March 23

Lord of the Flies

My class and I recently read the book Lord of the Flies. Lord of the Flies is a dystopian themed book. It is about how a group of British schoolboys are left to fend for themselves, unsupervised by any adults after being stranded on a tropical island. As we read each chapter we would journal our thoughts and questions.

We also did a project that developed our perspective writing. If you would like to check it out, here is the website: https://www.classtools.net/FB/1923-VLnUa4

When we finished the book, we did a book commercial. If you’d like to see it, it has been attached below.

My classmates did a great job with their projects. So if you would like to learn more about this book, go check out their blogs.

Lord of the Flies: Book Commercial



March 25

Gaining Freedom



It is December 1777. It is cold and the Continental Army is camped at Valley Forge. The French have decided to help the Americans in the Revolutionary War. I’ve been carrying the Marquis de Lafayette all day. He is a good friend of George Washington and he is also French. King Louis XVI. The horse next to me is carrying George Washington. He (George Washington) has been showing the Marquis around Valley Forge all day. We have seen soldiers doing drills, Baron Von Stueben training the Continental Army, and soldiers with only rags to keep them warm. They are living in tents and huts that don’t help keep the cold out. They are suffering but they don’t complain because they believe in what they are fighting for. FREEDOM. I hope that the French can help us gain freedom from the British.