The Blind Side by Michael Lewis
The young man at the center of this extraordinary and moving story will one day be among the most highly paid athletes in the National Football League. When we first meet him, he is one of thirteen children by a mother addicted to crack; he does not know his real name, his father, his birthday, or any of the things a child might learn in school such as, say, how to read or write. Nor has he ever touched a football.
What changes? He takes us football, and school, after a rich, Evangelical, Republican family plucks him from the mean streets. Their love is the first great force that alters the world’s perception of the boy, whom they adopt. The second force is the evolution of professional football itself into a game where the quarterback must be protected at any cost. Our protagonist turns out to be the priceless combination of size, speed, and agility necessary to guard the quarterback’s greatest vulnerability: his blind side.
Who would want to be living either on the streets or just going from place to place staying the night? To me that is no way to live and that is exactly the type of life that Michael Oher was living at the beginning of the novel The Blind Side by Michael Lewis. There are three main things that I enjoyed are the theme. The second is the way I really got a sense of who Michael Oher really is, and the third is the strong protagonist of the novel.
The first thing I really enjoyed was the challenging theme of the novel. To me the theme is that no matter where someone comes from or what type of life they live they do not have to live that way forever. The theme is very strong and inspiring and reaches out to many audiences not just one set group. I feel that this is one of the best themes out of the novels I have read so far this school year. The main theme to me is don’t give up, don’t ever give up. This novel really inspired me to work hard at everything I do, not only to better myself but to make a good life for myself also. Everyone should just remember that no matter how bad things seem they can always get better if you try to make them better.
The second thing element that I enjoyed was the way I really got a sense of who Michael Oher was. At first he wouldn’t talk hardly but then he really came out of his shell. I think that Leigh Anne Tuohy had a lot to do with this. She was the first person he really talked to and would really listen to. Michael Oher was one of the most surprising students that Briarcrest Christian School had ever seen. He had a GPA of 0.6 and didn’t know any of the things that normal students his age had known for years. When they looked at his records his teachers had basically passed him to get him out of their class. Everyone was shocked by the outcome of Michael Oher’s football career.
The third and final thing that I enjoyed was the strong protagonist. I feel that Michael Oher was the protagonist. He is because he went through a big change throughout the story. He went from nothing to one of the best in the NFL. He went from having a crack addicted mother to being adopted by a rich family who treats him like one of their own. His life changed very much for the better and most of it is because of his new found family, the Tuohy’s. The story behind Michael and his career is absolutely wonderful and really shows how anyone can change and make things better.
Overall the novel was great and inspiring. I enjoyed most everything about it. I recommend this book to anywhere from middle school and up. It is great for all audiences and I think it will open up some people’s eyes and inspire them to do better and make a better life for themselves. The challenging theme, the way I got to really know Michael, and the strong protagonist were the three things I enjoyed most of this novel. Michael Oher is definitely a strong character and his story can really make people think about their lives and think about how to make their lives better. Altogether I enjoyed his novel very much.
by Stephen King
Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter sets in, the idyllic location feels even more remote… and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five year old.
I bet everyone thinks that going to a nice hotel and having it all to yourself for the whole winter would be wonderfully fantastic, am I right? Well the Torrance family quickly realizes that having a hotel all to yourself and pretty much being trapped in by snow isn’t all they imagined. They soon come to realize that every hotel has it’s ghosts. Well the Overlook Hotel brings a whole new meaning to hotel ghosts. The novel The Shining by Stephen King will surely terrify and make people think twice when they hear something go bump in the night at a hotel. It is terrifying and wonderful all at the same time. The main parts of the novel I enjoyed was the descriptive setting, the use of such colorful characters, and the way the character’s interact with each other.
The first part of the novel I enjoyed was the descriptive setting. The way the author described every little detail of the way The Overlook looks inside and out, all the way from the details of the carpet to the way the hedges outside look. I really felt like I was in the hotel with them. The author did a wonderful job at this. I could visualize every part of the book. The hotel was a great choice for the story to take place. The setting was greatly added to by describing the snow also. The way the snow really made an obstacle for the characters really gave me a sense of how it would look trying to go out and play like Danny did. I felt that the setting was my favorite part of the whole novel.
The second element of the novel that I enjoyed was the colorful characters. Dick Halloran was my favorite character. He was the cook at the Overlook and is just as uniquely talented as Danny and is very helpful to Danny and Wendy Torrance. Jack Torrance is a former alcoholic who was a teacher until a previous incident cost him his job. He is trying to control his temper and as time goes on he starts to feel strange as if the hotel wants him. But the question is does it want him or does he want to be a part of the hotel. Wendy Torrance is a very sweet woman and has stuck right by her husband’s side through it all. She forgives and forgets and moves on from each disappointing crisis. In the end they all must try and save each other but it seems as though Jack doesn’t want to be saved. I feel as though the hotel is a character also. The way it really comes alive it is as though it has it’s own personality and all. There also seems to be some guests that have failed to checkout.
The final element of the book that I enjoyed was the way the characters interact with each other. The characters in the beginning seem to be a happy family. Well besides the fact that Jack Torrance is a recovering alcoholic and his son Danny and his wife Wendy never know when he is going to lose his temper and hurt one or both of them. Wendy really tries to keep the family together and you can really feel how much she loves both her husband and son. She tries to keep the piece and keep Jack from hurting himself or someone else but all he thinks is that she is nagging at him. Their son Danny is a very uniquely talented little boy to be only five years old. He is very much daddy’s little boy and at times his mother gets jealous. But all in all they think going to the Overlook and spending the winter together would help them all be happier. That is until the severe storms really kick in and it hits them that they are pretty much trapped in the hotel all alone with no connection to the outside world. Or are they really alone? Soon they begin hearing things and sometimes even seeing them. For Danny this is nothing unusual but for his mother and father it makes them think they are going insane. The way the characters connect and interact with each other is really an important part of the novel.
All together the novel was wonderful. I really enjoyed every last page of the book and loved seeing the story unfold right in front of me. I recommend this book to those who love to read anything that will make them check their closet and under their bed. I definitely look forward to reading more of Stephen King’s novels in the future. I definitely want to find out if all of his books are as great as this one. Everyone should absolutely read this book sometime soon just to experience the hotel as described in the book.