Throughout my time in Japan, which is about ten years, books have always been a part of my life. Whether they were assigned by the school, or I wanted to read them myself, I have been reading books. During my first few years in Japan, when I was around first grade, I read picture books, and children’s series such as The Magic Tree House. I also started reading the Harry Potter series, after having seen the first movie. During the third or fourth grade, the teachers started assigning books for classes to read, at around this time, I had also read a number of Roald Dahl’s books, including The BFG, The Witches, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. From the fifth grade I read books such as Shiloh, and Roald Dahl’s auto-biographies. During middle school, I discovered the Artemis Fowl series, by Eoin Colfer, which is now my favorite series, to date. I actually discovered it because my father had randomly chosen Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code, as a christmas present. I should thank him. I also decided to try and read J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit. I didn’t read many personal choice books during the ninth grade because of the massive amount of books we were given in English, aside from the Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan. My most recently read book would Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which I took out from the library as soon as this school year started. As of now, the three most significant literary works in my life are Roald Dahl’s The BFG, Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, and Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

When I read Artemis Fowl, one of the questions I later end up asking was “Who was the good guy?” This question is disputable between the two parties of the story, Artemis Fowl II and the two Butler siblings, or the LEP (a.k.a. the Lower Elements Police, as in the faeries’ police force). As of yet, I have not answered my question. Artemis, although he is the one who commits the criminal acts, and is seen as a cold and ruthless boy, he has the goal of rescuing his father, Artemis Senior, who had disappeared during a business venture to Russia, and saving his family. He (Artemis the Second), is also tasked with taking care of his mother who was slowly drifting into madness at the loss of her husband, and managing the family’s financial troubles. On the side of the faeries, the LEP were just trying to rescue their officer Captain Holly Short (who is also a main character), who Artemis had kidnapped for a ransom. Although it could be noted that the LEP weren’t hesitant in eventually bombing Artemis’ side, it should also be noted that the bombing was faeries’ last resort, and the bomb was part of the procedure in the event of a kidnapping by a human. In the end, I would question exactly what morals limit. Although Artemis did kidnap someone, he did it in the hopes of earning enough money to help him rescue his father, and he succeeded in earning that money as well. The narrative itself has a unique sense of humor, including the use of sarcasm and even toilet humor (courtesy of the dwarf race of faeries). The narrative in the book also highlights some of our activities that damage the environment. Overall, Artemis Fowl is a book that I consider special because of the various subjects that it explores, albeit lightly.

The BFG was one of the first books I read by Roald Dahl. When, I first read The BFG, I was entranced by the story-telling, the characters, and the plot itself. Now that I look back at the book, I realize that the story touches upon many different issues among daily human life. Some of these issues include bullying, as seen through the other giants’ actions towards the BFG, which includes, literally, throwing him around, and humanity’s morals, such as when the BFG remarks that Humans are the only creatures that have wars with each other. The BFG was a book with an undeniable charm, through its characters, the story telling, and even lets readers speculate on the subjects that the BFG argues with Sofie, the main character.

My most recently read book, The Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, gave me constant chuckles at the various little jokes throughout the whole book.  The book as well, questions mankind’s views on itself. First of all, humans are established   as only the third most intelligent beings on the Earth, second to dolphins and mice. Then, there is the general idea that the Earth in its entirety is as insignificant as a pencil, when she is deconstructed to make way for a hyperspace bypass. We find out later, that the Earth is much more significant. This significance involves the mice (who are actually hyper-intelligent pan dimensional beings), and quiet possibly the meaning of life. Generally, the ideas conveyed through this book lead me to think about what we, as a global community, are doing. Are we in fact doing anything of significance, with all our efforts against global warming and poverty? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, leaves me with the impression the humanity should probably be doing better than it has been, what with all the technological advances that has occurred over the last century.

Through grade 10, I expect that we will be exploring more complex books. We are already reading one such book, After Dark, and I think my fellow students and I will become enlightened as to the subjects at hand during the year.