Sunday, March 24, 2013

A review of Gregory Maguire's "Wicked"

Divided into five stunning sections Wicked, by Gregory Maguire, is the life of Elphaba, or as she is better known as, The Wicked Witch of The West. When Dorothy stumbles into Oz she assumes that Oz is a magical place where everyone is happy, but as The Witch has grown up in Oz she develops a fuller view of how the Wizard is taking away Animal rights, (Capital A’s mean that that Animal has spirit and can talk and think, opposed to an animal.) and banning Animals from public transportation. In the book, Doctor Dillamond (a Goat) discovers more of this, and The Wizard sends a tiktok machine to murder him.

         The story begins when Elphaba is being expected by her mother Melena and her father Frex. The first chapter is called “The Root of Evil,” which might lead the reader to think that the parents are the making of Evil, this idea is even more encouraged by the author in chapter three, entitled “The Birth of a Witch.”  In this first part of the book the father, Frex has some strange experiences with a traveling show that is called The Clock of the Time Dragon which presumably can tell what the future holds, and makes the past clearer than ever. A Quadling glassblower stays at Melena’s house when she is pregnant with Elphaba and his visit is probably the cause of   Malena’s next child, Nessarose (Witch of the East) and, at the end of this section of the book Elphaba is a little girl and is predicting the arrival of the “Wonderful” Wizard. “Horrors,” she says, “Horrors.”  The next part of the book describes Elphaba time at Shiz, a respectable collage. There she meets Glinda, and other people who become important in the story.  The Third Part, entitled “City of Emeralds” tells of Elphaba’s relationship with her school friend Fiyero and how she begins to become a rebel.  “In The Vinkus” is when Elphaba lays low after a serious injury and the death of Fiyero. All of these events are, of course, leading up to the Murder of The Witch. The famous melting. That part is the same as the original story. “Wicked” is also a wonderful musical which I recently saw at the Segerstrom, and there is also a sequel to Maguire’s novel called “Son of a Witch.”


Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Review of Lois Lowry's "Anastasia Krupnik"

Anastasia Krupnik is a ten year old girl who is trying to decide a lot of things, all at the same time. This story begins when she decides to write a different type of poem than the kind her teacher, Mrs. Westvessel is looking for and gets an F as her grade. She comes home and writes in her green notebook a list of, THINGS I HATE and puts her teacher's name under it. Later at dinner she tells her parents about the poem and her father, who as it happens is a poet, tells her she needs some extra letters after that F in fact the letters A-B-U-L-O-U-S and Anastasia is astounded that she wrote such a good poem. In this short novel she has many little adventures such as this one, including whether she is in love with an obnoxious 6th grade boy named Washburn Cummings, and whether she wants to become a Christian. However all through her adventures the story's main plot is that her parents are having a baby, without telling Anastasia!!! Anastasia is furious, and to calm her down her father tells her that she will be allowed to name the baby anything she wants. Another story I must mention is her grandmother coming over at Thanksgiving. Anastasia doesn’t like her much because she is so old and can’t remember anything. A brief conversation with her is all it takes to make Anastasia feel very sad and loving to her grandmother. At the closing of the story Anastasia’s grandmother dies in her 90’s and the baby is born. Anastasia, who planned to name the baby a terrible name, decides to name the baby Sam, after her grandmother’s husband. This is a great book and there are other books about Anastasia and her little brother Sam. A wonderful book.