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This Writing Life is a weekly column by Andrew Joyce, about writing, self-discipline, and growing as an author.
But we’re in the business of reviewing books here at ItB, and part of that is thinking through what makes a book transcend time, experience, and cultures. It doesn’t take much reading to see that a book is not only a sequence of events, or a piece of entertainment. So a great book will resonate with its readers, because the story it is telling applies to many different people, of many different cultures and times.
When the passing fad goes away (amish romance, zombies, pick your poison, there’s a million fads out there), how well will most of those stories age? Lord of the Rings, for example, is not a Christian book, but Tolkien’s strong faith echoes in every corner of Middle Earth. These stories echo truths about the world around us: truths that we can all relate to as humans who feel similar emotions and hope for similar dreams. Jane Austen, a much more pleasant author, does no less considering of the human mind and the emotions.
We keep these books around for a reason: many different people have found them worth reading. ABOUT ItB REVIEWSInto the Book was born out of a crazy idea of a blog that'd provide book reviews for teens. With the second installment of the Hunger Games appearing on screens today, fans of the trilogy will be clutching hot movie tickets as they head to the theater to identify similarities and differences between the what they read in Catching Fire and how it comes to life on the screen.
Hugo— One of my daughters’ favorite books, Hugo is about a 12-year-old orphan Hugo takes up residence behind the walls of a Parisian train station after his father dies. James and the Giant Peach— When young orphan James spills a magic bag of crocodile tongues, he soon finds himself in possession of a giant peach that flies him away to strange lands. A Wrinkle in Time— The classic Madeline L’Engle tale comes to live as Meg Murry (Katie Stuart) and her brother, Charles (David Dorfman), search for their missing father, who disappeared while doing confidential government research. Charlotte’s Web— As a child, I always watched the animated Charlotte’s Web movie but in this version, Hollywood A-listers give voice to Wilbur and the rest of E.B. Velveteen Rabbit— Every child with a well loved and worn stuffed animal can identify with the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, a beloved stuffed rabbit found by Toby after he’s sent to the house of his stern grandmother for the holiday season. The Very Hungry Caterpillar— Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who are already familiar with this well loved Eric Carle book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar springs to life in this delightful collection of animated tales, that includes four more of Carle’s popular stories. Scholastic Storybook Treasures Tall Tales— From high-wire acts of daring to the wonder of first snowfall to the work of keeping a busy city clean, discover classic children’s books (The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, The Snowy Day, I Stink! Here are some other must-reads for Hunger Games fans ages 12 & up that are available from The Scholastic Store and all book retailers nationwide but would make great movies! Leticia is the founder of Tech Savvy Mama, a mom of 2, and a chronic multitasker who loves what she does as a social media strategist, blogger, and freelance writer but makes a point of unplugging to spend her afternoons with her kids when they come home from school. As parents, we’ve listened to a fair share of our kids’ crazy ideas but what if you said yes more than you said no? One of the highly anticipated topics for this year’s Back to School nights has been about curriculum changes. AboutI'm a DC Metro area dwelling mom of 2 and former teacher with an background in classroom technology integration & school administration.

Subscribe to O, The Oprah Magazine for up to 72% OFF what others pay on the newsstand — that's like getting 19 FREE issues! It also touches on reading, what makes a good book, and living a life in the context of God’s biggest story. You can’t stop talking about it, you bring it up in conversation, and you recommend it to all your friends.
Maybe you have kids, or maybe you teach, or maybe you just want to start building a collection of books that will stick with you throughout your life: great books, that are worth saving. Mortimer Adler writes, “[Great books] should be works that are as much of concern to us today as at the time they were written, even if that was centuries ago.
That usually happens when the message behind the story becomes more important than the story itself.
She seeks to study what the self is, and what effects ambition, powerful feeling, and love have on life.
When you’re talking human stories, seeing what other humans have read can take you a long way.
There aren't very many book review websites out there exposing awesome, high-quality Christian literature, and there are even fewer that target teenagers. I spent the better portion of my sophomore year in high school English class reading a book, watching the movie, and writing compare – contrast papers but unfortunately none of the literature we read was ever as gripping as The Hunger Games books.
However, from time to time there’s value in reading books, watching their cinematic counterparts, and being able to realize the similarities and differences as movies bring the story to life.
There, he meets Isabelle, the daughter of filmmaker Georges Melies, who holds the key to Hugo’s destiny.
But that’s not half as odd as the oversize talking insects he finds living inside the peach. Guided by three celestial beings (Alfre Woodard, Kate Nelligan and Alison Elliott), the children travel to the malevolent planet of Camazotz. Frizzle as their teacher, the next best thing is bringing her into your living room as kids are introduced to science topics as the Magic School Bus travels to outer space, under the sea, through an anthill — and even inside the human body!
In the sequel to the 1999 blockbuster movie, adorable Stuart still lives happily with his adoptive family, the Littles – but is ready for more zany misadventures with his human brother and their mischievous cat. As a Stream Team member, I received a Welcome Kit with items to facilitate me watching content via Netflix but no compensation was received for my involvement and all opinions are my own.
I'm a family technology expert, social media consultant, freelance writer, and Samsung Imagelogger. They’re popular because they follow the fads, not because the story itself is valuable.
Even the most remote, alien story is still grounded in the emotions and ideas of humanity, because a human wrote the story.
A great book is not only filled with morals and allegories, but with deep truths that underpin the foundations of the story. Through reading them, we can learn from the minds of writers who lived hundreds of years ago, falling in love with characters who only exist as words on a page. The context couldn’t be more different from Joseph Conrad, but the same study of humanity gives both books their value.

Here are thirteen age appropriate movies that match their story counterparts that are fun for all ages to watch via Netflix but only after you’ve read the book, of course! Now the heartwarming series about seven best friends and their highly organized babysitting service comes to live as they experience the ups and downs of babysitting along with tween and everyday issues. From cursed mirrors and rampaging monsters to haunted libraries and shambling zombies, original stories along with adaptations drawn from the popular books are a fun spooky watch for older fans.
There, Charles falls under the sway of a coercive power — leaving it up to Meg to rescue her family. The Watch OWN app is free and available to you as part of your OWN subscription through a participating TV provider.
Sure, there may be a few Amish romances out there that are hidden gems, but as a whole the genre is surfing a fad. We can’t escape our humanity, which means that all our stories will have some echo of humanity in them. Stories expose us to many different views, warn us of pitfalls to come throughout life, show us the consequences of rebellion and sin, teach our hearts to thrill at the thought of things worth loving, and balance our emotions by showing many different perspectives and viewpoints. Consider Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, a disturbing examination of human nature. After all, who’s to say that one person’s favorite will translate to the next person over? And this is not the only fad out there: dystopian YA novels, dragon-riding questers, the list goes on and on. A wise author will use this to his advantage, telling a story for more than just entertainment.
A good books conveys experiences to you, so that you are richer as a person having read it.
It’s not always pleasant to read, but Conrad is wrestling with questions of existence that have preoccupied men from Aristotle to the modern day.
People are so different, and the way we experience things so varied, that it’s hard to recommend books, from one person to another. Take away the glow of popularity, and many of these stories turn into pale imitations of better books.
A good story teaches through the telling of an experience that we can all, in some way, relate to. Instead of than subverting the story to stick a worldview into the book, a great story will meld worldview and story into one graceful piece. You will find that the main themes of a book will be its most memorable moments distilled into ideas.

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