Book responses

 A Series of Unfortunate Events – By Lemony Snicket   

A Series of Unfortunate Events is the story of the three Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Claus and Sunny. The books are narrated by Lemony Snicket, a mysterious man who follows the story through clues passed on through a secret organization known only as the V.F.D. The series begins with the three children losing their parents in a fire. Although, a banker named Mr. Poe takes care of the children and leaves them with the nearest relative, Count Olaf. The children, however, are doubtful that Olaf is actually a relative. Olaf and his troupe become the villain of the series. During their stay with Count Olaf, the children are forced to perform ridiculous and cruel tasks. Eventually, the children are able to escape, and though the children are not still under Olaf’s care, he is still intent on finding them and stealing their enormous fortune that their parents had left them. In each book, the children are given a different guardian which causes more problems for them. In their attempts to settle down into a home, the orphans find that the problems they encounter all seem to be pointing to the same mysterious agency, the V.F.D. They meet many members of this secret organization that train them in different areas. Violet is a great inventor. Klaus is good at research. And, Sunny, though just a baby, is good at biting things. The mystery of the V.F.D. compounds as the series goes on, making it often ambiguous as to whether the agency is good or bad.

All of the Baudelaire have their only personality, and I personally thing that I can relate to all three of the Baudelaire personalities. Violet who was the eldest (14 years old), is creative and resourceful, she can make anything out of anything, I relate to Violet because I am really creative and artistic, but I am not that resourceful. Klaus who is the middle child (just older than 12) and the only boy, is very smart he knows just about everything he like to read book and learn about new things; I relate to Klaus because I too like learning new things and expanding me knowledge, but I do not like reading as much as Klaus. Sunny who is still an infant who is always very cheerful, I myself always tries to look on the brighter side of things so that is how I relate to Sunny.

This series of books relate to children who are orphans in the real world. Just like how the Baudelaire siblings lost their parents so have million of other people in the world, and they too have to go through the pain and sorrow that the Baudelaire siblings had to go through.Like Lemony Snicket said at the very start of the book “..In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle”, like the real world there are plenty of people who have to go through bad beginnings, bad endings, and bad other really bad things; in the world there are children that don’t have siblings, that gets taken away from their parents, or something happens to their parents, that take a turn for the worst; they get involved with their local gangs and end up dead or in prison, or they end up going to a even worst family than before and get end up with some sort of mental illness that causes even more trouble. I know that is a worst case scenario and that not what happens in the book, but in the book they have a lot of unfortunate things happen to them, just like some orphans in our world.

Other books that have a relationship with this series of book is the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. Like The Baudelaire siblings Harry loses his parents too, and there is a person chasing after them, and just like the Baudelaire siblings, Harry comes across some very hard unfortunate events; but unlike the Series of Unfortunate Events series, Harry gets a happy ending.

I think how the story is told by an outsiders view opposed to through any character’s eyes gives the book a little bit more mystery because we don’t know what is going through each character’s mind, and gives us as the audience to give out own opinion on each character rather than basing it own someone else’s opinion. Overall I really enjoyed these series of books, as it make me think how cruel and selfish a person can be, but it also showed me how strong willed a person could be and to never give up.       

The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is based in the middle of a nuclear war. These 25 British boys aged between six and twelve, get stranded on a tropical island after their plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean. When they awake on the beach of the island, two boys Ralph and Piggy find a conch shell on the beach, and Piggy suggests that the conch could be used to summon the other boys. During the meeting Ralph is elected as leader/chief. Ralph elects Jack to be in charge of hunting, providing food for the entire group and the boys who want to hunt. After a expedition of the island, Ralph declares that they should light a fire to attract passing ships.

Since there is no adults around the boys are playing around. Ralph starts to complain they should be maintaining the signal fire and building huts and shelters. When the hunters fails to catch a wild pig, Jack becomes increasingly distracted with hunting rather than building shelters. When Ralph and Piggy are walking up to check on the signal fire they noticed that the fire had gone out. Ralph gets really angry at the hunters because it was their job to maintain the fire. Ralph calls a meeting. During this meeting the boys find out that some of the ‘littuns’ (younger boys) have been having nightmares, and they are convinced there is a beast lurking around the island; the older boys try to convince them otherwise, but what the beast symbolizes in this novel is the boys sanity, slowly all of the boys start to believe in the ‘beast’ on that is terrorizing the boys; and one night during a feast the boys are so convinced of the ‘beast’ that they think Simon (one of the younger boys) is the beast emerging from the forest and they end up killing Simon thinking it was the beast.

As the novel processes there is a lot of conflict between Ralph – who want to keep law and order- and Jack- who wants to hunt and have ‘fun’-. Jack at the next meeting that they have declares himself the leader of the hunters. The following morning while Ralph and Piggy are talking, Jack’s tribe attack them and steal Piggy’s glasses. Ralph and his group travels to Jack’s stronghold in an attempt to make Jack see reason, but Jack’s 2IC (second In Command) Rodger rolls a bolder down the hill killing Piggy and shattering the conch shell. Ralph hides in the forest for the night, and the following the other boys hunt him like an animal. Jack and the others starts a fire in an attempt to smoke Ralph out of his hiding place. Ralph gets chased through the forest and ends up collapsing on the sand of the beach, when Ralph looks up and there is a British Naval officer standing above them. When the rest of the boys arrive on the beach all of the boys break down in tears.

Something that connects me and the novel is Ralph. Ralph intentions in the book are to make sure to take care of everyone and make sure they survive. Like me, I like to be in charge in tough situations, and make sure I take care of everyone. Just like how Ralph made sure everyone was doing their job, I would do the same thing. But I am also like Piggy I like to make sure there is peace. Both Piggy and myself (in my view) are both peacekeepers, we dont like violence. 

Something that connects the the world and the novel together is violence and how we lead each other and our people. Like how the novel ends with tree boys dead, and the others had lost their humanity, this book shows us that violence doesn’t solve anything, and this book also shows us that we need of balance of law and order and fun. Like how Jack takes over the tribe because Ralph is too controlling over the ‘tribe’, jack thought it was too boring and a waste of time; but when he became the leader of the group everything went to chaos people were dying the boys were losing their humanity. So this novel shows us that it is good to have a good balance of work and fun, and that violence never solves anything.

Overall I really enjoyed reading the book. It was really eye opening to see what these young boys can do if they don’t have adult super vision I personally haven’t read any books similar to the lord of the flies. Like The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket I liked how it was told for an outsiders point of view because it gave us as the audience to develop our own ideas of the characters. 


 The Dead Lands By Toa Fraser

The Dead Lands By Toa Fraser is about a tama(boy)- Hongi- who is chasing after an enemy (Weirepa), who killed Hongi’s whole tribe. On the way to finding Weirepa, Hongi meets the taniwha (monster) who is just a man who is cursed because he killed he entire iwi(tribe) just to protect his fathers honnor. Over time The Warrior (the taniwha) and Hongi develop a friendship. In the end Hongi doesn’t kill Weirepa because Weirepa wants ‘he tino mana’ (big glory) and if Hongi does kill Weirepa, Weirepa will get that mana, if Hongi doesn’t kill Weirepa, Weirepa will bring dishonor to his family and his iwi. In the battle The Warrior gets injured and before he dies Hongi says that his ancestors will let him into the afterlife, since his ancestors won’t let him into the afterlife because he killed his iwi. 

I relate to Hongi because I am the same age as him. This movie relates to the world because in the story someone did something bad and he felt the consequences of his actions, the same in real life if you do something bad, you face the consequences.  

I really liked this movie it was nice to see what pre-settlers Māori were like, and how they dealt with their problems.


Beans By Patrica Grace

This short story is about how energetic this boy is; he gets up every Saturday morning in winter, and he bikes into town to play rugby. When he comes back from rugby he lays on the grass and eats whole lemons, and the little old lady next door says to the boys mother ‘that boy is full of beans’, meaning that the boy has a lot of energy.

I liked this short story. It was really relateable because we all have to get up early let it be sport or other things, but we put in all this energy into out activity and we come home tired, we all filled with beans you just have to decide where the beans go to.

Butterflies By Patrica Grace

This short story is about a little girl who went to school and wrote a story about killing butterflies; her teacher said that they don’t kill butterflies but the teacher is wrong because, farmers kill butterflies because they kill their vegetables. the grandfather then said that the girls teacher buys her cabbages from the supermarket, he says this because you don’t go into a supermarket and see all these nibbles around the edges id the cabbage or any vegetables and he says this because he is a farmer and he gets butterflies that eat his cabbages that he has to kill.

I liked this short story/poem because it’s relateable because, lots of people just people think that something looks pretty and not threatening (like a butterfly) they think it doesn’t cause any problems for anyone, but something as little as a butterfly could have a huge impact on someone like a farmer, because if a lot of butterflies landed on a lot of different cabbages and started eating them that means that the farmer can’t sell that cabbage because it’s been eaten by butterflies, then they would lose money from not selling the cabbage. 

Beasts of No Nations Directed by Cary Fukunaga

Beast of No Nations directed by Cary Fukunaga, is set in South Africa during a civil war. There is conflict everywhere and rebel forces are taking children and making them soldiers. Agu (the main character) was with his older brother, father and grandfather, (after his mother and younger sister was sent away by Agu’s father) and was shot and killed by government soldiers, lucky Agu escapes and run into the and found by a rebel force. After Agu runs into the rebel force he is quickly trained to be a soldier and under the command of the rebel leader (Commandant).To get people to fight Agu along with others he is brained washed an example of this was after the ceremony to initiate the trainees into the rebel force, they used blank bullets to make the soldiers think that they are invisible to the enemy.During the time he was with the rebel force he loses his childhood, he was made to kill people, he became addicted to drugs and alcohol, and he was sexually abused by the Commandant. One day when the force was walking through the forest after they left the Supreme Commandant’s base, the force was attacked and Agu’s friend Strika is shot, so Agu carries Strika on his back until he dies. After Strika dies, the force walks through the forest util they get to some grass lands where they dig trenches. After a while 2IC declares to Commandment that him and other soldiers (including Agu) are leaving. After leaving the force they walk through the grass lands and they find the UN (United Nations) solider sand surrender to them. Agu is taken to a UN remedy camp, where he gets his childhood back.


I really enjoyed the movie, it was really eye opening for me to what the rest of the world was like compared to mine. A lot of the people in the movie was very uneducated that is why they were so easily manipulated and brained washed. I was a really emotional movie, and it made me feel really sad for Agu and other people in the movie, I mean this boys are 10 to 18 and they are fighting and killing people instead of playing games outside and enjoying themselves, instead they are killing people daily, getting addicted to drugs and lots of other terrible things that  a 10 year old should not be exposed to. This movie made me thank my life and the privileges that I get everyday like an education, parents, food, even a bed a night and none of these young boys get these privileges in their situation.  This movie was very touching and emotional for me.          


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