Bridge to Terabithia: Movie Version
Feb 16, 2020  

Find the recommended movie and book here: 
DVD: Bridge to Terabithia
Streaming: Bridge to Terabithia
Book: Bridge to Terabithia

Study Guide compares the novel Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson to the movie Bridge to Terabithia 
(2007) Many plot points are accurate in this movie version of Bridge to Terabithia. The movie adds plots, characters, and themes that are not in the book, but the general story sticks to the book. It’s worth watching if you keep in mind that in the book Jess and Leslie are 10-years-old, not teenagers, and the book does not have a giant troll and flying monsters.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: Bridge to Terabithia (2007) starring Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb and Zooey Deschanel. Directed by Gabor Csupo. Walt Disney Pictures.

Bessie the cow, Jess can’t swim, the sacred grove, King of the Mountain, Christmas gifts, Easter service, paper dolls, cremation, funeral wreath, the National Gallery, the Smithsonian, characters including Grandma Burke, Mrs. Pierce, Wilma Dean, Bobby Sue Henshaw, Mrs. Prentice and Billy Morris.

The greenhouse, pink sneakers, abandoned pickup, the treehouse, the lost keys, squogres and vultures, the giant troll, Mr. Bailey, Scott Hoager, Alexandra, Kenny the bus driver.

The rope, the flooded creek, Terabithia, Prince Terrien, the race that Leslie wins, the stolen Twinkie, the Burke’s gold living room, the trip to the museum with Miss Edmunds, Mrs. Myers, Leslie’s accident, Jess’s drawings, the trick played on Janice Avery, Leslie’s gift of art supplies, Gary Fulcher.

Download the Study Guide Now: Bridge to Terabithia: Movie Version

Lord of the Flies Boys as Grown-ups
Feb 15, 2020  
Lord of the Flies-art

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

What kind of men did Ralph, Jack, and Roger become? After their rescue from the island, they had their whole lives ahead of them. Childhood behavior is a reliable predictor of the kind of men they grew to be. Here are some possibilities based on the boys’ personalities and moral traits revealed on the island.

ROGER: Only one boy on the island is evil: Roger. His sadistic tendencies include cruelty to children and animals. He throws rocks at the younger boys. He tortures the female pig before he kills it. He murders Piggy. He tortures Sam and Eric. Roger’s tendencies indicate that he is a victim of child abuse himself. Roger is so damaged emotionally and psychologically that he cannot break the cycle of abuse. Prediction: Roger falls into a life of crime. He winds up spending most of his life in prison.

JACK: Jack isn’t evil. He is willful, ambitious, and needs to control people and events. Jack has a track record as a leader. At school he is head of the choirboys. He uses his political skills to depose Ralph, the elected leader on the island, and persuades the choirboys to join his tribe. He recruits all of them except Simon. Jack is not a team player. He has to be in charge and is willing to break rules and use violence to get his way. He likes wielding power and managing a large operation. Jack is uncompromising and competitive. Prediction: Jack becomes the CEO of a corporation, a real estate developer, or the mayor of a large city.

RALPH: Ralph has leadership skills, plus a sense of ethics and compassion. He is mindful of the younger, helpless children on the island. He also recognizes Piggy’s intelligence and tries to protect him from Jack and his tribe. Ralph believes in the power of laws and civil organization. He acknowledges the conch as the symbol of free speech. Ralph is an organizer. He oversees the building of shelters and devises a system for watching the signal fire. He is dedicated to the ideals of living in harmony, social welfare, and civil rights. Ralph is willing to work out solutions to problems through diplomacy and compromise. He has the ability to identify priorities.  Ralph sees the big picture. He recognizes that the most important goal for the stranded boys is rescue. The signal fire is the number one priority. Prediction: Ralph becomes a lawyer and advocate for social and environmental causes, the president of an international charity, or a career diplomat.

Download the Study Guide Now: Lord of the Flies: Movie Version

To Kill a Mockingbird: Movie Version
Feb 15, 2020  
To Kill a Mockingbird MV Title Page

Find the recommended movie and book here:
DVD: To Kill a Mockingbird
Streaming: To Kill a Mockingbird
Book: To Kill a Mockingbird

Study Guide compares To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee to the movie version To Kill a Mockingbird
 (1962) This is the ONLY movie version of the novel and a classic. Gregory Peck won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Atticus Finch.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) starring Gregory Peck. Screenplay by Horton Foote. Directed by Robert Mulligan. Produced by Alan Pakula. A Pakula-Mulligan, Brentwood Productions Picture.

Aunt Alexandra, the history of the Finch family, Uncle Jack, cousin Francis, Nathan Radley, Link Deas, the air rifles, the fire at Miss Maudie’s, the mud man, Scout’s painful experiences in first and second grade, Dill’s Aunt Rachel (in the movie she’s called Aunt Stephanie), Jem’s destruction of Mrs. Dubose’s flowers, Scout’s discovery of trinkets left in the knothole, the children’s visit to Calpurnia’s church, the story takes place over 2 ½ years.

Dill’s aunt Miss Stephanie Crawford (in the book her name is Miss Rachel), the judge’s request that Attitcus defend Tom Robinson, Jem’s discovery of the first trinkets in the knothole, Tom Robinson’s father, Arthur Radley’s cementing over the knothole, Miss Maudie as a younger woman, the trial as the main action, the reduced role of Mrs. Dubose, the story taking place in one year, Atticus throwing a glass at Tom Robinson in the courtroom.

The setting in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930’s, Scout’s fights at school, the trinkets in the knothole, Atticus’s shooting a mad dog, the trial of Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell’s spitting on Atticus, Boo Radley’s rescue of Jem and Scout on Halloween.

Download the Study Guide Now: To Kill a Mockingbird: Movie Version

Heart of Darkness: Conrad’s Congo Diary
Feb 13, 2020  
Heart of Darkness Art

The only diary Joseph Conrad ever kept was a journal he wrote during his six months in the Belgian Congo. He worked on a steamer that sailed up the Congo River to an inner station. Conrad used his notes eight years later to write the novella Heart of Darkness, published as a three-part serial in Blackwood’s magazine in 1889.

Was there really a Kurtz who embraced the life of a savage chieftain? How common was it for Europeans to go native after spending time in the jungle? The surrender to the dark side once a man arrived in Africa happened a lot. Several men are thought to be the model for Kurtz including Georges-Antoine Klein, the agent for the trading company Conrad worked for. Other Kurtz-like nominees are Leon Rom, a Belgian soldier, Edmund Musgrave Barttelot, explorer, Tippu Tip, slave trader and Henry Morton Stanley, a Welsh explorer.

Download the Study Guide Now: Heart of Darkness: Movie Version

Huckleberry Finn 2: The Sequel
Feb 10, 2020  

*Featured Artist: @trishalyonsart

Mark Twain left us hanging. What happened to Huck Finn? A new sequel to the movie version of Huckleberry Finn could satisfy our curiosity. At the end of the novel, 12-year-old Huck decides he can’t live with Widow Douglas anymore and endure her attempts to civilize him. Huck says, he’s “been there before.” Instead he decides to “light out for the territory.” He runs away.

The territory in the mid-1850s was all of the United States west of the Mississippi except for Texas and California. Like Mark Twain himself, the streetwise and gregarious Huck would shun hard labor on a farm or ranch and head for the bustling city of San Francisco.

Huck doesn’t need to work. He was awarded half of Injun Joe’s gold at the end of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Judge Thatcher invested Huck’s $6,000 and pays him a dollar a day in interest. That’s plenty to live on in the 1850s. Huck likes to be around people, he’s observant, and he has a habit of assuming different names and identities. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck introduces himself by five different names and personal histories.

As much as he likes to pose as a character, Huck would find acting too demanding. He would have to memorize lines, take direction, and be locked into a schedule. Huck is a free spirit who doesn’t like to be tied down. He needs to be in control of his time and movements. Most of all Huck craves adventure.

So in the sequel, Huck becomes a freelance newspaper reporter in San Francisco like Mark Twain. He ventures down to the harbor, out to the gold mines, and into the redwood forests and Yosemite to find out what’s going on.

Does Huck fall in love and settle down? Maybe . . .  in Huck Finn 3!

Download the Study Guide Now: Huckleberry Finn: Movie Version