Saturday, June 15, 2013

Gregor and the Marks of Secret, Suzanne Collins

Book 4 in the Underland Chronicles. Man, I am going through these so fast! They are all around 300 pages and super easy quick reads. Book 5 is now waiting to be picked up at the library, and it's the final book. So sad!

In Book 3, a new character, Hazard, is brought in. He's 6 turning 7 and turns 7 at the beginning of this book. His father was an Underlander who ran away from Regalia. His mother was an Overlander whom we know next to nothing about, except that she was killed when Hazard was young. Hazard has a unique talent in that when he was super young, he learned how to communicate with the Hissers (lizards) and other various jungle dwelling creatures. He and Boots start learning how to speak "Crawler" language too (Cockroach). This multi-lingual ability serves the group well in many instances. Which goes to show you that when you learn to communicate with others and make the effort, especially to communicate in their native tongue, it goes a long way. I think this has something to do with the anti-war agenda because many Americans believe that everyone should learn OUR language and not the other way around. And so in many, MANY nations, English is a required second language course. But that is quite arrogant of us, isn't it? Now, I feel pretty strongly that if you want to LIVE in America, you need to learn English. Just as I would feel it absolutely necessary for me to learn Korean if I were to personally choose to go live in Korea. Or learn Swedish if I were to choose to live in Sweden. I would expect my children to be held back a grade in school if they didn't master the language to their grade level ability by the end of the year. Because it's different when you choose where you live. In my mind. And that's just my opinion. But when it's about communicating, you should make an effort to do so in the language of the people you're communicating with. And if the other person showed you the same courtesy, a mixture of two languages and mutual respect and appreciation for the effort can't hurt either one.

Anyhow, in this book, the nibblers (mice) are the ones in trouble, but also an entire war is about to break out between the gnawers (rats) and the humans (whom in the old old language are referred to by the rest of the underland as killers). In fact, this is the only book that ends in a true cliff hanger and will segue into the final book.

I look forward to see how it wraps up!

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