Great Minds: Ten Writers You Should Know
By Emily Smith, Grade 11

Many readers today simply pick up a book from the “Newly Arrived” section of a bookstore. While new literature certainly entertains, it does not always leave a lasting impression, and more often than not, the reader walks away without a bit of fresh thought or knowledge.

The following authors have kept their books on bookshelves for good reasons: content, cleverness, and complex thought. These authors have continuously inspired modern literature, and their themes carry on through various stories.
  1. Ezra Pound (1885-1972): Ezra Pound was an innovative poet far ahead of his time. He contributed to the modernist movement and experimented with imagism. He, and a small group of other forward thinking poets, removed themselves from the abstractness of poetry, and created concrete images with imagery.
  2. Langston Hughes (1902-1967): One of the most prominent African-American poets, Hughes wrote some of the first jazz poetry (used often in poetry slams), and contributed greatly to the Harlem Renaissance. His poetry emphasized his belief that “black [was] beautiful”, and inspired poets of all races.
  3. T.S. Elliot (1888-1965): Regarded as one of the most important poets of the 20th century, T.S. Elliot partook in the modernist movement with Ezra Pound. In fact, Pound encouraged the publication of Elliot’s first poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
  4. Sylvia Plath (1932-1963): Constantly unhappy, Plath directed her depression towards creative endeavors, namely poetry. From age twelve she won awards for her strangely unique but moving poetry, until she delve into madness at age thirty, when she promptly ended her life.
  5. Gertrude Stein (1874-1946): The poetess who broke past poetic boundaries, Gertrude Stein wrote prosaic poems and left out one of a writer’s greatest weapons: grammar. Indeed, she was once quoted as saying, “And what does a comma do, a comma does nothing but make easy a thing that if you like it enough is easy enough without the comma.”
  6. Oscar Wilde (1854-1900): Even today, Dorian Grey is a symbol of man’s deterioration from the inside, out. Corruption, evil, and loss of child-like innocence are all common themes associated with Dorian-esque characters.
  7. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (1785-1863): These brothers are the masterminds behind some of the edgier fairytales; Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty are just some of the classics that still inspire writers today.
  8. The Brontë Sisters (1816-1855): Sisters of meager means, these three girls (Emily, Charlotte, and Anne) wrote of the lives that they could not live themselves. Exploding with angst, bitterness, and heartache, it’s a wonder their books don’t burst from the seams.
  9. Jane Austen (1775-1817): Although she herself never married, Jane Austen wrote beautiful prose on love, most notably Pride and Prejudice. Like the Bronte sisters, she came from a family of little fortune, and lived vicariously through her characters. As Anne Hathaway in Becoming Jane says, “My characters shall have, after a little trouble, all that they desire.”
  10. Shakespeare (1564-1616): Need I say more?

Quote 1: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0416508/quotes
Quote 2: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/commas.htm

The Book of Tomorrow: A Summary
By Maggie Poling, Grade 9

Cecelia Ahern, author of P.S. I Love You and The Gift, has recently released a new book entitled: The Book of Tomorrow.

The story follows a snotty, popular, attractive sixteen-year-old girl named Tamara Goodwin, whose father has just committed suicide. Tamara and her mother are sent to live with Tamara’s aunt and uncle, an odd, mysterious couple who keep much to themselves and spend little time on silly matters. Tamara’s uncle is the groundskeeper of a nearby castle ruin in Ireland, once belonging to a royal family, now only ashes in the wind.

At first, Tamara is conceited and pompous, only thinking of herself. She reflects on her Dad’s passing, and whether or not it was the money they owed to the bank after buying more than they could afford, or whether it was Tamara’s selfish attitude that sent her Dad to such great lengths as to kill himself. Her mother is so miserable that she never leaves the guest room on the second floor, leaving Tamara alone with two complete strangers, who just happen to be family.

Initially, she acts tough, bratty even, but as the story continues we see she is only scared of what has been, and what is to come.
Until, that is, a library comes to town - a portable library, a truck filled to the brim with books on various subjects. It is then that Tamara finds a book, a blank book with no title and no author, that her worries begin to fade. She takes it back to the cottage, and the next day, opens it to find her own writing. It’s a journal entry for the following day, and although it seems like a joke at first, tomorrow occurs just how the diary prophesied it would. As the story unfolds and the days continue, Tamara begins to learn secrets of her past she couldn‘t have possibly guessed. The book of tomorrow gives her answers to questions she’s pondered forever, and with these answers, she becomes a kinder, more understanding Tamara.

Book Rating: Four and half stars! A great summer read for all of the girls out there!


5/23/2011 04:07:37 am

I agree wholeheartedly with the Bronte sisters. Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre" really changed literature.


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