Liebe Schülerinnen und Schüler des Humboldt Gymnasiums,
hiermit präsentieren wir euch unsere persönlichen Lesetipps in englischer Sprache für den Sommer. Das Besondere ist, dass sie von Schülerinnen eurer Schule rezensiert worden sind. Gerne besorgen wir Euch/Ihnen die Titel: Sie können telefonisch unter 4339503, per Mail firstname.lastname@example.org, per Whatsapp Festnetznummer 4339503 oder über unseren Webshop www.tegeler-buecherstube.de bestellt werden. Dort befindet sich unter dem Reiter `Lesetipps Englisch´ diese Auswahl. Solltet der Wohnort nicht in der Nähe sein, versenden wir auch gerne kostenfrei. Unser Geschäft ist in der Grußdorfstr. 18, ggü. der Tegeler Post. Enjoy the read!
Trevor Noah, Born A Crime (Recommended by Mathilda)
“Born a crime” is a #1 New York Times bestseller written by Trevor Noah and published in 2016. The author is a famous South African comedian and host of the Daily Show on Comedy Central. This book is an autobiography about his South African childhood under apartheid. The Cosmopolitan is calling it “mind-blowing” praising the book for its content and writing style. Besides, it has been well received by The Washington Post, People Magazine, and The Enquirer, among others.
The main characters of the book are Trevor and his mother living in a suburb of Johannesburg. Since his father is a white man from Switzerland and his mother is a black South African, he has got semi-coloured skin. Due to the forbiddance of relationships between races under apartheid, his skin was the evidence of a crime. Before he turned six, he had to hide indoors, so the police couldn't get hold of him. Even after Apartheid had been declared illegal, he still didn’t get accepted neither by black nor white people in South Africa. During his childhood he had to face murder, gang criminality, and civil war. This book tells the incredible story of his journey.
Set in the 1990s of South Africa it allows you to find out more about an important period in the history of racial discrimination. Due to Trevor’s detailed anecdotes it’s easy to imagine the surroundings.
I strongly recommend “Born a crime” to every reader from the age of thirteen. Containing history as well as comedy makes this wonderful and interesting memoir a perfect blend.
Dan Brown, The DaVinci Code (Recommended by Anna)
“The Da Vinci Code” is a historical fiction written by Dan Brown and published in 2003. It is the second part of a five-part-series.
The main protagonists are Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor, and the French cryptologist Sophie Neveu. After the curator of the Louvre, Jacques Saunière, has been murdered, Langdon is called to the scene to decipher a code which the murdered curator has written beside his body. But soon Langdon realizes that he is a suspect of the French police. With the help of Sophie Neveu he flees from the Louvre and deciphers Saunière’s code. As it turns out he was the Grand Master of a secret society called The Priory of Sion and had knowledge about secret, ancient documents, well known as the Holy Grail, which are coveted by many, especially the church and a catholic sect named Opus Dei. At this point a thrilling pursuit begins, in which they dig deeper and deeper into the history of the church and its antagonist The Priory of Sion. But will they be able to find the hidden documents and save them from the church? Who is the mysterious person who calls himself `The Teacher´? And which role does Opus Dei play?
These questions kept me reading and made me want to find out more about the characters and the plot although the language was sometimes rather challenging. The novel is well-written. Its narrative style makes it vivid. And combined with the clever structure and the many unexpected twists, the novel is thrilling until the end.
I strongly recommend the novel to readers of all ages because it contains heart-racing action scenes as well as well-investigated historical facts.
Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Recommended by Johanna)
“Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief” is a New York Times bestseller written by Rick Riordan. It’s the first part of the fantasy and action book series “Percy Jackson” and it was published in 2005.
The main character Percy Jackson tells the story from his perspective. He is a twelve-year-old-boy, a troublemaker diagnosed with ADHD. After having killed a Minotour, he finds out more about himself and his heritage: His father is Poseidon, God of the Sea and one of the most relevant Gods in the Greek mythology. Percy, with the help of two other teenagers, are expected to find and then return Zeus’ stolen property to prove that he is not the thief. But in order to succeed on his quest, Percy must to deal with a lot of different conflicts and dangerous situations. Will they make it before the Gods start a big war? Who is the real thief? And will Percy meet his dad?
All these questions will be answered as the story continues. The novel’s English is easy and its message is amazing. You can learn from the novel that believing in yourself, no matter who you are, is most important.
I would recommend the novel to teenagers, but I also believe that adults may also like to read the book.
Teri Terry, Slated (Recommended by Leon)
If you are looking for a light weight alternative to novels such as “1984” by George Orwell, this might be a hint for you. “Slated” written by Teri Terry, a Canadian globetrotter and bunny puppet owner currently living in England, is a psycho thriller set in a fictional dystopian reality and is part one of a trilogy and it was published in 2012. The story basically describes a 16 year old girl named Kyla dealing with reintegrating herself into society after getting her memories wiped out. In 2052 the UK or rather England is isolated and ruled by two parties, the “Central Coalition”. A financial crash in Europe in the early twenties (of the twenty first century) led to violent civil unrest and the UK closing borders. Their solution to deal with criminals or terrorists is “slating” them, which means “giving you a new chance” by deleting all your memories and controlling you with surgical implants called “Levos” monitoring your emotions until one is 21 and “reintegrated” into society. The story is written in first person perspective. As every other slated Kyla starts out at “Central London Hospital” where they relearn everything before they are sent to their new (host) families. But she is different from the others. She learns quicker, is smarter and has reappearing nightmares that seem extremely real. In her new life as a member of the Davis family she does not stay in line either and she is not too bothered about it until she sees other slateds just randomly disappearing like they have never existed... I really enjoyed reading this book. Although, it takes time to build up its’ arc of suspense, you can read it pretty quickly. The author did not use any extraordinary language, but it would not make much sense either, because of the perspective the book is written from. In addition to that, the idea is not too original. Its’ main strength is how authentic the idea is actually implemented, which makes it very thrilling. I especially liked it because it was so easy to read even for non-native speakers like me. All in all, I would definitely recommend this book not just to dystopia fans but to everyone who searches for some tense afternoon lecture covering a longer period of his or her time and/or wants to improve his or her English.
George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones (Recommended by Henri)
George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy novel “A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One“ was published in 1996 and is the first book of the popular book series “A Song of Ice and Fire“ that already contains five volumes. It is set in a middle-age, fantasy world and tells the stories of members of different royal families and their rivalry between each other. The reader follows three different plot lines throughout the book, each of them having their own setting and atmosphere, but often crossing each other. The first one is about the King and most of the
high nobility of The Seven Kingdoms, the Southern part of the continent of Westeros. The families Stark, Lannister, and Baratheon rule the biggest parts of it and live in constant rivalry with each other. Most of the important characters are members of these aristocratic houses. Westeros is divided by The Wall into the South, where The Seven Kingdoms are located, and The North, a cold, barren and mostly uncivilized area. The Wall is a huge wall of ice and the only defense line between the South and the mysterious and evil creatures of The North. It is also the setting for the second plot line. A bastard from the house of the Starks lives here with a group of people that are supposed to defend The Wall. The third plot does not take place on Westeros but rather on a continent East of it called Essos, a land full of plains and deserts. The two last descendants of the house of the Targaryen live here. This family ruled The Seven Kingdoms for a long time before the Starks and Baratheons came to overthrow them. Now the two siblings search for ways to get back on Westeros and reclaim the throne of The Seven Kingdoms. The atmosphere on Westeros is rather dark and grim as the long summer that has been there for more than seven years is slowly turning into a long winter, a time that is feared by most of the people. This is because the creatures from the North often go South and famines break out during the winter. This is not a problem that the people of Essos have, but the Targaryens are starting to stir up a lot of problems here. I personally really enjoyed reading the book as I am a big fan of fantasy novels but I cannot recommend it for everyone. The novel contains a lot of violent and sexual scenes which some people may find unsettling. The language level in the book is not too hard to understand, somebody with an average understanding of the language should not have too many problems reading it. It can also be confusing to meet all the characters at first, but after a while the reader gets sucked into this full-blown world with the help of Martin's beautiful and descriptive writing.
John Green, Paper Towns (Recommended by Anonymous)
John Green's third novel "Paper Towns" was published in 2008. It deals with the life of Quentin "Q." Jacobson, the main protagonist, who falls in love with Margo Roth Spiegelmann, a girl living in his neighborhood, even though he had never met her alone before. The story is told from his point of view.
Paper Towns is written from protagonists point of view. One night, Margo appears at Q´s window, summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge (on people in life, who treated her in a bad way), and he follows. Next morning, Quentin arrives at school where he discovers that Margo disappeared. He figures out that she left hints for him and that he is the only one who is able to find her. The closer he gets to her, the less Quentin sees the girl he thought he knew - who is the real Margo?
John Green based the story on the life of young people. This helped me to identify myself with the main character Quentin and lead me into the novel. The fact, that I could identify myself with the protagonist caught me and I always wanted to know how the story would continue. With his style of writing he creates a mysterious atmosphere and keeps the audience reading. Furthermore, he illustrates the feelings of the protagonist very well, so that the reader is able to get into the story.
All in all, I highly recommend the novel of John Green for every teenager, as it deals with the problems of our society and our youth lifestyle.
Ken Kesey, One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Recommended by Leonard)
Ken Kesey’s first novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was published in 1962. The book is about the patients in a psychiatric hospital who suffer dehumanization and are completely and utterly at the vicious nurse Ratched’s mercy. The author Ken Kesey has worked himself as a night attendant in a hospital’s psychiatric ward and experimented with psychoactive drugs on his own. As a result of his work and as an inspiration he wrote this novel. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” takes place in Oregon, USA. The book is narrated by one of the psychiatric hospital patients Chief Bromden, a Columbian Indian who suffers from hallucinations. The nurse Ratched is the supervisor of the ward and rules the hospital like a totalitarian state by manipulating the patients and therefore taking away their identity. However, Randle McMurphy, a sharp-witted redhead who chose to be admitted to the hospital in order to avoid his sentence on a working farm, challenges Ratched’s power and by that he initiates the transformation of the other patients and becomes a symbol of resistance. Through his actions against the nurse he motivates the others to become manly again and they start following his lead and start refusing the strict day plan of Ratched. The atmosphere throughout the entire book is tense because of the present fear of getting electroshock treatments. Nevertheless, there are sparks of humor which give the book the necessary thrill to get through. Ken Kelsey wrote his novel, because of his work and experience with mental patients on the one hand and on the other to underline the idea of rebellion. It is supposed to be a critique to the American institution which fits in the general context of the situation in the 1960’s. All together I would actually recommend this book to those who are interested in the core of the problematics during that time. Yet, I cannot imagine that the book was written for my generation because one cannot really call it entertaining.
Veronica Roth, Divergent (Recommended by Talia)
Divergent is a New York Times bestseller written by Veronica Roth and first published in 2011. It's a young adult novel and it received great feedback from people like the author of "The Maze Runner" James Dashner who called the book: "Captivating and fascinating."
The story takes place in the future of Chicago after a huge war has just finished. After this the government decides to separate the citizens of Chicago into five factions, according to their character traits and to assign a particular job to them. But the protagonist and Abnegation member Beatrice Prior just can't seem to find her place in this system. When she takes a test that is supposed to tell her into which faction she belongs, the results are unclear and she is told that she's Divergent. People like her are hunted by the government because they're said to be dangerous which is why she has to keep the test results a top secret. But for how long can she keep the secret? Which faction will she choose at the choosing ceremony? And what are the Erudite plotting?
All these questions will certainly keep the reader in constant suspense throughout the novel and will make reading it so much easier and so much more. Also the language is quite understandable and in case you miss a word, you can look it up in the dictionary really quickly.
The book has a pretty amazing message, too: Don't let anyone put you into a faction because people aren't defined by just one thing. You are Divergent.
I strongly recommend the book to readers between 12 and 20 since it contains action as well as romance.
John Green, Looking for Alaska (Recommended by Ilayda)
The novel "Looking for Alaska" by John Green was published in March 2005. 16-year-old Miles Halter leaves Florida for a boarding school in Alabama and finds good friends for the first time in his life, which means very much to him. One of them is Alaska, clever, funny, sexy, screwed up and utterly fascinating which makes Miles fall for her. Hard. The message of this novel is that you shouldn't let society pressure you and you should find out who you really are and what you want to be. It's also about how other people can change the way you see things. The language is pretty colloquial and feasible, which makes me recommend the novel to literally everyone (no matter how old they are).
John Green, The Fault in our Stars (Recommended by Florina)
The novel “The Fault in our Stars” written by John Green in 2010 tells the reader about it.
Hazel, a-16- year old girl, goes to a support group to get over her depression. She doesn’t enjoy life until the day, when a boy named Augustus Waters “Gus” appears. It’s like a wonder, because he’s a person who changes her whole life: After a while they become a couple and Gus wants to make Hazel’s dreams true.
It is a story which is very close to reality, maybe because it is a real-life story. In fact, the story is also full of emotions because the characters tell you everything about their feelings and thoughts. Sometimes they are happy, and other times they are angry and then sad. You can feel with the characters because it is written in a very realistic way. But sometimes the novel is also difficult to read because there are vocabularies not everybody at my age knows.
All in all, I would say, this book is very, very good, which is also true of the film, and it’s a must-read. The language is pretty feasible because you can guess unknown words from the context. I would definitely recommend the novel to you!
James Dashner, The Maze Runner (Recommended by Benedikt)
The novel “The Maze Runner” was written by James Dashner in 2010. It tells the story of Thomas, a boy who is set out in the middle of a giant maze. But he isn’t alone there. The ‘’Gladers’’ are the other fighters who are allowed in there. The really strange thing is that nobody in the Glade can remember anything but their first name. The walls of the Maze are made out of massive stone but every dawn those huge stone walls slide into each other at some spots and open entrances into the Maze. The Maze itself is an assembling of deadly traps and other things which can easily kill you. Every morning when the gates open, the so-called runners run out and search an exit for the others….
The book it pretentiously-written and generates a huge mass of tension and flashed me for a long time. Because of the fact that the ‘’Gladers’’ were at some point cut off civilization, they designed a different language which makes the book extremely pretentious and you have to have some more experience in reading English novels and texts to understand what’s going on there.
I recommend this book to people who are twelve or older (I was twelve, when I read it) because the plot can be disturbing at times and some scenes are really scary.
I hope you enjoyed reading my recommendation.
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games (Recommended by Catarina)
The novel "The Hunger Games" was written by the American author Suzanne Collins and published in 2009. It’s the first part of an amazing trilogy, which is named “Hunger Games Trilogy”.
The main character is Katniss Everdeen, who lives with her little sister Primrose and her Mother in a country in North America. The country is divided into 12 districts and every year all the districts have to send one girl and boy aged between 12 and 18 to the Hunger Games which is a fight to the death on live TV and it takes place in a huge area, which looks like a big jungle. Katniss volunteers to take the place of her little sister, whom she loves, and the boy tribute (Tributes are the chosen people) is Peeta Mallark. Those two will be sent to this “Killing – competition” and after they have learned how to make a fire, the Hunger Games start. But there can be only one winner, who can survive....
The 384-page book contains much violence and strong emotions so younger people may find it rather disturbing. But you should not underestimate the message of the book and it will take you a time to understand it. It says that you will live only once, and you should use your chances and never give up.
The language used is rather difficult but you will understand them for sure once you get into the story. It also has many very good recommendations from well-known writers such as Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight Saga, who commented “I was so obsessed with this book (...)”.
On the one hand I think the book is very brutal and includes much violence, but on the other hand I think the English sounds great and the novel will teach you something for your life.
“The Hunger Games” is a “Must-read” and I definitely recommend it to you! You won’t regret it and after you have read it, you can watch the film, which is also very exciting!