ENGH 011 056 Book Reviews

Part A: Bearstone by Willis Hobbs

Bearstone by Willis Hobbs highlights the various challenges Cloyd underwent in finding a stable home when he was growing up and the experiences Walter endured in ensuring that Cloyd was well provided. The most significant event in the book is in chapter 2 when Cloyd is driven to Walter’s home by his grandmother, Susan James. Susan explains to Walter Cloyd’s background that his mother died during his birth and his father is bedridden (Hobbs). Susan then highlights that Cloyd had failed all his courses in the group home where he lived. And that Cloyd had missed four school years for he was taking care of his grandmother’s goats. This event is significant as it highlights all the challenges that Cloyd had gone through for him to be brought to Walter’s. Moreover, it seeks to invoke sympathy from Walters who for the most part remains quiet. Nevertheless, it dictates the relationship that Cloyd is likely to have with Walter which is at first strained. The event summarises the whole expectation of the readers which may later be proved wrong as they read further into the book.

The event highlights the significant needs of the main characters in the book. Cloyd needs a home while Walters needs someone who will help him with his responsibilities. The book had to end such a manner that these two significant needs of the primary characters are fulfilled. In the end, Cloyd stays with Walters for he had found a man who treated him as a son and Walters was willing to stay with Cloyd for he would take care of him. I am satisfied with the end of the book for despite the rocky start of Walter’s and Cloyd’s relationship they managed to fight the challenges that they faced and still stay together. Moreover, the two characters respect each other’s culture and are willing to sacrifice their comfort for each other which is a needed attribute in the current world.

Growing up I was often discriminated as most people believed that I was different because of my social class and way of dressing. When everybody in school was wearing expensive clothes I was wearing cheap clothes for my family belonged to the lowest social level. However, I got a friend who appreciated me and fought anyone who tried to make of me. I understand that acceptance is the key to most people feeling comfortable in their situations.

In conclusion, I enjoyed reading this for it reflects many issues that are facing the current society. The fight against racism has been an everyday issue; however, Hobbs portrays that when we accept each other despite our differences, most people will be in peace and willing to improve the various aspects of their lives. I would recommend the book to other people especially those struggling with identity and discrimination for it will give them hope. Also, it will make me realise that there are people who do not dislike them in the world.


Part B: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The book highlights the effects of racism and how various people suffered while fighting for equality. The most interesting event in the book is when Boo rescues Jem and Scout from Ewell who had attacked them when they were coming from school. The rescue shows the real character of Boo whom people had tried to explain that he was a suspicious person. The event dissipates the ideas of the reader that Boo had been causing trouble in the town and that is the reason why he had been hiding. This event is significant for it shows the various ways people can judge others because they do not fit their acceptable character.

I have never understood the intensity of racism for I have not experienced it directly; however, after reading this book, I understand the effects. Lee makes one feel like they are part of the characters in that she describes the emotions experienced by each character. I now understand the pain a person feels when they are wrongly convicted of a wrongful act. Moreover, I know that everybody has a role to play in upholding equality. The latter is portrayed when Scout prevents the crowd from lynching Tom after he was accused of raping Mayella (Lee). Once age should not matter; however, we should take up the responsibility of improving the current conditions of our societies.

The characters possess diverse characteristics which are clearly explained in each occasion where they are mentioned. From the start, Finch’s character is portrayed as kind and a person who is always willing to do well. The latter is portrayed when he teaches his children to ‘never kill a Mockingbird’ which means that they should always be fair. Jem, Scout and Dill are portrayed as aggressive children who are curious to find out the truth of all the events taking place in society. This character makes them uphold justice in the community. The setting of the story is portrayed as a place where very few people believe in the justice system; however, they are willing to allow innocent people to be wrongfully convicted. The characters and setting are realistic as they represent the various factors of the societies that we live in currently.

I have learned that I should judge people depending on what I think or people say about them, but I should use base people’s character on facts. Boo is viewed by the people of as a mystery for they have never seen in and rarely talk about him. Scout, Jem and Dill start predicting Boo’s characters depending on the rumours they create about him. However, Boo rescues Jem and Scout from Ewell when he tries to kill the children when they are coming from school. Boo ensures that the children reach home and Jem is attended to after having a broken arm. Boo’s character turns out to be morally upright despite the negative rumours that people have heard about him.

In conclusion, the book is enjoyable to read, and I would recommend it to other people. This is because it highlights the challenges people face when fighting for equality. Also, the book uses simple language that can be understood by various age groups.


Part C: Book Report: The Chosen by Chaim Potok

The chosen is a book by Chaim Potok which explores the challenges that men face as they seek their identity in a society where everybody wants to dictate their way of life. Simon & Schuster published the first edition of the book in 1967. The book has 283 pages which are written in a comprehensive language that is both engaging and easy to understand. The book was set in Brooklyn in 1944, and the major characters are Reuven Malter, Daniel Saunders, David Malter and Rabbi Saunders. Reuven and Daniel become friends after a tragic basketball game. The two boys later confess to each that they have no desire to follow in the career paths that their parents have set before them. Despite their fathers’ objection, Daniel pursues a career in psychology while Reuven pursues a career in becoming a Rabbi (Potok). After a while, the two fathers agree on the decisions made by their sons and decide to support them as they undertake the careers they have chosen for themselves. The book is written in an understandable language that explores the characters behaviours while highlighting the dominant theme of identity in every occurrence.

Daniel and Reuven portray the theme of the book on identity as they try to build careers that are contrary to the expectations of their fathers. Daniel’s father Rabbi Saunders wants Daniel to become a Rabbi in order to continue the family calling. However, Daniel has a photographic memory which makes him want to become a psychologist so that he can help people. Reuven’s father, Mr Malter wants him to become a professor while he wants to become a Rabbi (Potok). These two young men attend the same school, and they both register for the course that they need to study. Even though their parents are disappointed by their actions, they decide to forgive them and support them. In modern society most men are given a responsibility to take care of their family image. Due to the latter most men forsake their dreams in order to honour those of their family members, however, Daniel and Reuven show that it possible for a person to fulfil their dreams and be respected in the family.

The characters of the book represent the various characteristics that are prevalent in our current communities where parents feel that their children are maybe making mistakes in choosing their careers. Even though parents want their children to be successful in imposing their career on them is not right, but instead, they should offer guidance. Mr Saunders and Mr Malter were parents who were willing to ensure that their children followed careers that they did not want. But when the children decided to defend their career choices, the parents respected them. The characters of the book are realistic, and the readers can directly associate with their emotions.

In conclusion, the book Chosen by Chaim Potok portrays the expectations of society towards young men. However, men should be willing to express what they want and not let the community dictate their choices. The book is enjoyable, and I would recommend it to people especially those that need the boldness to stand for their decisions. The characters of the book are realistic and portray the characteristics of various individuals in the society.




Work cited

Hobbs, Will. Bearstone. Simon and Schuster, 2008.

Lee, Harper. To kill a Mockingbird. Random House, 2010.

Potok, Chaim. The Chosen. Simon and Schuster, 2016.