January 28, 2013

3 by Sumin

The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Reviewed by Sumin

Are you looking for some thrilling adventures? Then, try reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle. It is a most fascinating and interesting book about detective Holmes and his biographer / assistant Watson, and I recommend it to sixth graders or higher who are seeking adventures.

As I have explained previously, this story is made up of series of smaller stories about their adventures. My favorite one was The Blue Carbuncle. This story starts out funny — a man who dropped his Christmas goose because a friend of detective Holmes scared him without meaning to. But then, a totally unexpected thing happens: inside the goose, there was the lost blue carbuncle of the Countess. So they start to try to find out how this happened, an unimaginably precious gem in a Christmas goose. Holmes fathoms it out with his great detecting and observing skills, then finds out that a young, poor, and extremely frightened farmer caused this all, tempted by the thought that he'll become rich. The man started crying when he realized what he had done. At the sight of this, Sherlock Holmes just hollered at him to get out, making sure that he'll never do this stuff again.

I was very impressed by Holmes's character traits. He might only look like a sharp, keen, and intelligent detective who always clears out cases, but he also lectures criminals, gets sidetracked, and forgives. It won't be just the adventures you're getting out of the book, but it also teaches you lessons and leaves a huge impression in your mind.

Like the character traits, it's telling you that rather than punishing a person, it's better for the person who caused the trouble to learn not to do it anymore. Also, if Holmes didn't tell the police about the man who stole the carbuncle, it means that Holmes would get no credit for it. In most of his cases, Holmes doesn't get credit for them. He says that he does his job because he enjoys it.

So, really try this book. You'll sometimes find yourself so into the book so that you can't get out of it.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Reviewed by Sumin

If you've read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, you probably know about Huckleberry Finn, the poor boy who lives in a little hut with his drunken father. This book is a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Huck and a runaway slave Jim goes on an adventure around the Mississippi river, and you'll learn a lot about this pure-hearted boy.

Most people judge him as an impudent dirty boy and all the moms despises him for being a bad role model for their kids, until in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom and Huck found a fortune and people celebrate them. Huck thinks his tough life with drunken father ended, but his father returns and he escapes down the Mississippi River with Jim, a runaway slave. They have a lot of adventures together, including shootings and frauds and the slavery. If Jim gets caught by the police or goes back to his mistress, he'll be punished for sure. Huck — and later Tom joins in — has to free Jim from slavery, but is he finally going to find freedom?

The thing I enjoyed the most about this book was Huckleberry's character traits. His mind was so pure. When he gave up going to Heaven for going against slavery, it was quite surprising how warm-hearted he is because at that time period, everyone thought that slavery is natural, and it was against the rule to help a runaway slave. Anyone who helps a runaway slave will not go to Heaven. I truly learned that one must not judge a person by his looks.

One thing that you might not like about this book is that Huck's the narrator, and he doesn't speak perfect English. I had a hard time reading it too, but it was worth it. Other than that, this was the best book written by Mark Twain in my opinion, and you'll enjoy it very much.

Call of the Wild by Jack London
Reviewed by Sumin

Every book I read leaves something in my mind — and this book, Call of the Wild vividly left the trace of Buck, the main character who is a dog. Jack London's descriptions are so rich, so that it made me feel as if I were feeling what Buck was feeling every time. I recommend this book for people who are around 11 or older, to be able to fully understand the lot of philosophy behind the plot.

The time is set in Gold Rush, when people were going crazy for the hope of getting a lot of gold and many dogs were needed to pull the sleighs. Many dogs were stolen to be sold in the North, including Buck. He had been living comfortably in a big house in Santa Clara Valley. Buck, with a powerful soul, struggles to survive in the cold North, pulling sleigh without any rest, with very little food, and sometimes with terrible owners.

The thing that I admired the most was Buck's strong spirit and intelligence. He never wants to lose, and he doesn't give up in anything. However, he learned that he can never defeat a club and he cannot do anything about that nature of fangs of the wild dogs, so he keeps it in his mind and calls it "The law of club" and "The law of fang". He also learns "love", another thing he'd never experienced before.

This book often reflects the human society. The law of club represents an obstacle in the society that one cannot overcome, and it only exists in the harsh human society. Since it's from an animal's point of view, I was able to see the misconducts of different people and what it's like to view it as a dog. Call of the Wild taught me many things about people, life, and nature. There's a lot more things than what I talked about so far, and I was even surprised by how vivid and rich this small book can be, like a magical book.

Posted by Arlo at January 28, 2013 04:19 PM
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