Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Egypt Elections

People in Egypt have been voting in their first elections since President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown.
There have been huge queues at polling stations, with some stretching up to two miles!
Voting hours have been extended to let more people have their say in who will run the country.
But protesters in Cairo's main square are boycotting the elections - they think the military plan to hold onto power.
Egyptian women show off their inked fingers after voting
Women have their fingers marked with ink to show that they have votedThe army took charge of Egypt after President Mubarak was kicked out in February, after 30 years of rule.
There are several stages to the elections and we won't know the full results of the parliament until March.
After that, a new president will be decided - that is expected to happen by the middle of 2012.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Parvanas Journey by Deborah Ellis

Can you imagine how it would be, to find yourself alone in a world at war?
I think it would be a terrifying experience. I think it is for Parvana in this story, but Parvana copes by thinking only of the problems that the day brings. She survives from one day to the next.
Parvana's JourneyParvana lives in Afghanistan. Her family became separated in the war, and after the death of her father, she finds herself alone, but not for long:
It was eerie standing by herself in the deserted village. She felt as though she were being watched, but there was no one left to see.
A thin wail drifted on the breeze. It sounded like a kitten. Parvana followed the sound.
The cry came from the last house. Parvana stood at the doorway. Part of the ceiling had fallen in, 
and she looked over the rubble for the source of the sound.
Then she saw it. It wasn't a kitten.
In a corner of the room was a baby, lying on its back. a piece of dirty cloth barely covered it, as if it had been blown there by the wind. The baby cried without energy. It cried as if it had been crying for a long time and no longer expected anyone to come.
Parvana went to it.
"Did they leave you all alone? Come on, you poor thing." She lifted the little creature into her arms. "Did your people get scared and forget about you?"
Then she heard the flies and saw the dead woman crushed under the rubble.
Of course, it is hard work for Parvana to look after a baby as well as herself, but it is good to have some company. She manages to feed them both from scraps of mouldy food scavenged from the wreck of the village, and then she moves on, carrying the baby with her.
Where is she going? Parvana has no idea, but she is looking for her mother and sisters and brother. She does not know where they are, but she keeps on walking. Because of the restrictive rules of the Taliban militia who are in power in Afghanistan, Parvana dresses herself in boys' clothes and wears her hair short. Women are not allowed outside unaccompanied.
This is a simply written story which will show you a world of pain and poverty, hunger and neglect. This is what war brings to the people of Afghanistan.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Cookie by Jaqueline Wilson

Beauty Cookson is no beauty! She's ordinary, shy and nothing like those confident posh girls at her school. They've even come up with a new name for her...Ugly! What's worse is that Beauty and her mum live in fear of Dad's rages. Any little thing could set him off- good mood or not. But Beauty and her mum discover a new hobby: baking cookies. After a horrible birthday disaster, Dad's temper is spinning out of control. Beauty and her mum have to make a decision to keep living in the shadow of an aggressive man or start a new, happy life somewhere else.
All in all this is one of the best books I've ever read. Beauty may be no beauty; but she's kind, different, intelligent and caring. A must read! I recommend it to everyone.

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