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5 Reasons To Love Cardcaptor Sakura

18 Oct

For the past three weeks, I’ve been binge watching an old Japanese anime from my childhood: Cardcaptor Sakura. This year marks Cardcaptor Sakura‘s 20th year anniversary, and it looks like CLAMP has added a new arc to the Cardcaptor Sakura series to celebrate: The Clear Card Arc. There is also an anime project in the works. ❤ I did happen to read the first five chapters of the new arc. So far…Regrettably…I’m once again addicted. XD

Recently, I got wind that Cardcaptor Sakura had also been re-dubbed by Animax. As an anime fan, I couldn’t pass the opportunity to watch it up.

A little bit of nostalgia and a little bit of a fascination with mysteries and wonders in the world brought me into Cardcaptor Sakura in the first place. Re-watching it again, no matter how bad the dub sounds, how bad I have to focus to read subtitles, or how poor my Japanese skills are, I can’t help but want to watch and read the whole thing over and over again.

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No matter how many times I’ve watched this anime, I never get bored or tired of it. I couldn’t put my finger on it for the longest time. Why can’t I ever get tired of this anime? What about this anime draws me in every time?

Sure, there are plenty of great Shoujo animes out there. I’ve watched my share. But this one always seems to capture my heart every time I watch it. I usually consider myself tomboyish…But this anime brings out my “girlish” side (?). It’s just so darn sweet and cute. ❤

With that being said, I gathered 5 things I love about this anime and I would like to share them with you, readers, and maybe you might find you like these things about the anime too! For all of you newcomers to Cardcaptor Sakura, I recommend you give this manga/anime a try.

1 .Love Has No Definition

In the Cardcaptor Sakura universe, and fans know this, love isn’t clearly defined, isn’t one-dimensional, and it evolves. Truly, CLAMP, the writers of the source material, had no qualms with inculcating relationships that defy the traditional. In many respects, it was ahead of its time (since it did come out in the 1990s).

For instance, there is one couple in the series that consist of two teenage boys (though technically one isn’t human, but whatever). However you take their relationship, the material doesn’t hesitate to express that these two individuals love one another the most. They don’t turn this into something perverted or unaccepted. It seems to flow naturally in the story, is accepted, and is very romantic. It still carried a level of innocence that is not common with this kind of relationship. All of the relationships could be taken any way according to the reader. There are relationships between family that are highlighted to be stronger than relationships between lovers within this story. However you want to see love and romance, this story has a lot to offer.

Other relationships expressed in the story are still not considered acceptable. However, I applaud CLAMP’s bold approach to the romance genre and their ability to look outside of the box. Even with their canon romance, throughout everything, it was anything but boring.

I usually hate the romance genre. In anime especially, the love interest is usually super obvious and is developed long before the story takes off. It makes the following episodes boring. But I am completely obsessed with this story’s romance story.

2. Everything is Mysterious

I love anything mysterious and unexpected. Cardcaptor Sakura is full of magic and mystery. There was always a suspicious new character being introduced, always a mysterious card lying around, and the story behind most all of the characters are very peculiar and interesting. All of the characters could have their own spin-off series and it would be interesting. Though there was a lot of information left out, it didn’t stop the characters from growing,learning, and changing.

3. The Characters Are Layered And Evolve

Adding on from the last point, the characters are very individual, unique, and evolve. Even the characters one would think is the most stereotypical has something different happen to them that changes the character’s whole perspective on life, thus changing the reader’s opinion of them. The main character is an example of that. One would think that everyone would be in love with the main character. Isn’t that how it is in most Shoujo (directed to girls) anime? But not in this one. Though sure, everybody likes her, this character is not immune to heartbreak. And her idea of a love interest…certainly not someone people would initially think of as “love interest” material. In most shoujo anime, the main love interest is a handsome, tsundere/cheerful guy, who is usually older than the lead character. While this anime starts typically, it evolves into something entirely different…

All characters have strengths and weaknesses, annoying traits and charms. I can’t really say I hate any characters in the story.

4. The Music

This is particularly a point about the anime. The music is mystical and soothing at the same time. The scores are epic.

5. CLAMP-The Creators

What isn’t cool about an all female manga group? I’d say that’s pretty empowering. The four businesswomen who came together to make this project have managed to create a “stamp” for all of their creations. In many of their stories, there is always an element of mystery and intrigue. However, the most notably intriguing part of their animation is how similar all of their characters look. Many times, references are made regarding the similarities throughout most of their other anime and manga work. It almost seems like all of their characters are a part of one big universe and are all connected somehow.

There are four ways to get into the Cardcaptor Sakura story if you’re an English speaker: the translated manga, the Japanese anime subbed, the Nelvana dubbed version, and the Animax dubbed Version…

There are typically two arcs: The Clow Card arc and the Sakura Card arc. But, in the anime, they are covered by 3 seasons with 70 episodes in total. With the new Clear Card arc, there may be more. There are also two movies for the anime series.

The manga is the original source material. NONE of the animes are super close to the original story in the manga, not even the Japanese anime, aside from certain key events and characters. In the anime adaptations, there were many new scenes, extra cards collected, and new characters that weren’t in the manga. At the same time, the animes equally left out other interesting scenes you can only find in the manga. Still, the animes added all the main characters and the most important card scenes.

The Japanese anime was the first adaptation of the manga. You can watch this version with subtitles now.

The Nelvana dub changed the feeling and tone from the original Japanese anime. The cast sounded more “American” (with popular American names and customs replacing Japanese names and customs) and there are hardly any Japanese undertones. Many scenes were edited and chopped up, the opening and ending songs were changed, and the title was changed to Cardcaptors. Season 3 never aired on tv in some countries, so it may all be new to some Cardcaptors fans. They can be found online and in DVD sets. This anime was meant to appeal more to boys as well as girls. I enjoy the dubbing and music on this version. It feels more natural to me (and less cutesy 😉 ). It may be because I’m American and I started with this version. XD

The Animax version was meant to be the direct dub of the original Japanese anime. It does a decent job, but some parts aren’t completely dubbed, for whatever reason…

My advice is to read and watch whichever suits your fancy. I’ve found charms in all versions. ❤

Fans can also look forward to a new chapter in the story! I’m both excited and exasperated. I do love this anime and used to want to know what happened next. But I’m afraid that the anime will outwear its beautiful simplicity. I really liked where the manga and anime ended and I’m afraid things may be ruined or may turn sour with more added to the story. One thing that has ruined other anime and manga was having too many episodes and volumes. Everything must find an ending. I feel that this anime will be more of a gem where it’s at. At the same time, I wasn’t satisfied not seeing the rest. So maybe just one more arc would be fine…

I’ll tell you this…I don’t want to wait two more years before the anime is released. I hope the manga and anime are released simultaneously. I’m too excited! XD

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Have you watched this anime before? Do you agree with my reasons? If you love this story, what are your reasons for loving Cardcaptor Sakura? Do you plan to watch and have any more questions? I’m open to any discussions.

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Black History Month For Children: Learning Black History Through the American Girl Beforever Collection

1 Feb

Martin Luther King’s birthday has passed, and black history month is here, and so the focus may be on “black pride”.

Many children today really don’t understand their history, or rather don’t care about it, whether they are African American, Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian, Native American, Jewish,  etc. It’s a shame that I even had to witness African American children fall asleep during Dr. King movies. I’ve witnessed this recently at a school. They really take for granted the privileges they have obtained thanks to him. MLK would roll over in his grave if he could see how some of our young African American children are today.

The American Girl dolls and books to me are a great way to educate children about their history in a way that relates to them. Through the eyes of three nine to ten year old girls, children can learn to value their history, to be proud of themselves, and to work hard to achieve great things. I’m proud to announce that American Girl has added three African American characters to their Beforever line: Cecile, Addy, and Melody.

I’m not telling you to go out and purchase an expensive doll for black history month. But maybe you could read a story with your child, or get them one of the books from the library. Some parents don’t realize how important it is for children to know their history, but knowing what others have gone through helps them to develop admirable and likable qualities, such as compassion, empathy, understanding, and intelligence. They realize that everything isn’t going to be handed to them, and that it is up to them to make a future for themselves, no matter how challenging life gets. Children who understand history learn to appreciate what they have and to be content. Every privilege we have today-modern technology and political/social freedoms-we have because someone from the past worked so that we could. We also look to the past to learn for the future.

All of the characters in the American Girls series have something to teach kids. This month, we’ll be focusing on the African American characters.

Meet Cecile

Cecile‘s stories take place in 1853, centering around New Orleans, Louisiana during the worst outbreak of Yellow Fever in the city. While the story is fiction, many of the events in the stories really happened, such as the Yellow Fever epidemic and the city-wide Day of Prayer. Cecile is a wealthy French girl of color living in the French Quarter. Cecile shows a new side to African American history. While most children know of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement, many do not know that there were rich black girls living prosperous lifestyles in the South. They are often not taught about the rich black culture that has existed in the USA prior to the Civil War. Cecile’s story focuses on the struggles she faces trying to help her family and her city find healing during a traumatic epidemic that hushes the lively spirit of New Orleans.

Though Cecile’s stories are shared with Marie-Grace, a poor white girl, Cecile still has a significant role in each story.

There may be several things that may concern readers when observing reviews of the stories. I always say consider what you can take from the series rather than focus on the negative. Perhaps I can give some suggestions that may make the introduction to these American Girl books easier.

“I don’t think this is good for black history month. Her stories are shared with a white girl.”

Cecile’s stories teach several things about black culture, even though her stories are shared with a white girl. While most of the world thinks most black people were either poor slaves or oppressed individuals who could only find poor housing and poor education, Cecile’s stories introduce a whole new side to black culture. Denise Lewis Patrick herself said that while researching, she found it surprising how freely people of color interacted with other races and how some black people lived in lavish circumstances.

Having a white girl share her story further teaches girls how different things were for black people in New Orleans before “Americans” entered the city. Though places were still segregated, people often mingled together at public events. And black people often had no strong desire to mingle with white people because it truly was “separate but equal”. Schools, ballrooms, stores, and other places were just as amazing for black people as they were for white people!

Slavery still existed, and of course slaves felt inferior. But wealthy black people owned large plantations in New Orleans full of slaves as well.

Through Cecile’s friendship with Marie-Grace, both girls learned to set aside their differences and see each other for the “content of their characters”. This is not only a good lesson for black girls, but girls of other ethnic backgrounds, too. I think this was exactly what MLK would’ve wanted. I think the series still teaches black history while bridging the gaps between two different races.

Some people may be concerned that Marie-Grace outshines Cecile in these stories. I can assure you that isn’t the case. Three books are dedicated to each girl. And Cecile plays a huge role throughout Marie-Grace’s stories as well. Just seeing how Marie-Grace reacts to Cecile can also give insight into the character and the time period.

“This book seems to gloss over the actual struggles blacks have experienced in the USA.”

Black history doesn’t only consist of struggle and hardship. Just as it’s important for children to recognize how hard black people fought for equality, it’s important for children to know that they can rise above any oppression if they work hard enough. It’s important for black children to recognize that they also have a rich history with a rich culture.

Many black people may not be able to relate to this era in time. That doesn’t the series has nothing to offer children. This is an opportunity for them to actually learn.

I think one of the most interesting things about Cecile, the main character, is that she speaks French. This series shows that African American girls of that time period were well-rounded and quite cultured. Who knows. This may encourage other black children to learn French. Even though these stories don’t teach about racism largely, the books have many other things to teach children regarding black history and culture.

But I would like to point out that racism is discussed, along with other forms of prejudice, throughout this series.

“Cecile, the main character, acts a little spoiled and self-centered.”

The American Girl stories, like any stories in the world, are full of a diverse group of characters. Of the three black characters offered in the line, Cecile stands out. I think it’s great that she isn’t “Miss Perfect” in every way, just like real girls. But throughout the series, Cecile learns to be more thoughtful, compassionate, and generous. Children today are pretty privileged in comparison to many girls who lived in the past. We all are! Children today don’t have to work. They can go to school. Most children can ask their parents for toys, games, I-pads, cell phones, new clothes and shoes, and other luxury items. They are very much like Cecile, where the smallest things can mean a lot to them. I feel that Cecile relates to black children in this way.

I think Cecile’s stories can help children of all backgrounds step outside of their comfort zones and learn about other cultures. These stories promote tolerance and diminish racism and cultural ignorance. By promoting these values, we establish peace. The next generation can move into the future with open minds if we help them open their worlds. Why not start with a story like Cecile’s? Keeping this in mind, I think her faults are forgivable.

Events like the Yellow Fever brought different people together, even those who were unlikely to be friends. This shows that all of mankind has the ability to pull together when it matters most. During disastrous events like Hurricane Katrina, another event that struck New Orleans hard, and other natural disasters, children can relate to the struggles Cecile and Marie-Grace had, but can also find healing much the same way the girls did. These stories can help young girls cope with these events through child-size perspectives.

Reading along with the American Girl curriculum guides can really help teachers and parents as they read the stories to children: Cecile’s Book Guide

Meet Addy

Addy‘s stories take place from 1864 to 1866, centering around Raleigh, North Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the Civil War. While the story is fiction, many of the events in the stories really happened, such as the Civil War, Robert Lee’s Surrender, and The Grand Review. Slavery also existed, as we all should know by now. Though the Emancipation Proclamation was supposed to have freed the slaves in 1863, the year before Addy’s stories, much of the South saw themselves as a separate nation. So they ignored the Proclamation. Some slaves didn’t know about it because they couldn’t read about the news and no one would share information with slaves for fear they would run. But word eventually got around, prompting many slaves to try and escape their plantations. Many slaves were eventually freed by Union soldiers. Addy was raised a slave girl during this time. She and her mother planned a daring escape North in her stories. Addy’s stories focus on her life as a slave and her struggles as she and her family try to build a life for themselves as newly freed people of color.

There may be several things that may concern readers when observing reviews of the stories. I always say consider what you can take from the series rather than the negative. Perhaps I can give some suggestions that may make the introduction to the American Girl books easier.

“My child is very sensitive. Some of the things in the stories are too harsh for young children.”

Think about this: While your child is too “sensitive” to hear about real events, little girls like Addy actually had to suffer through torture and pain during this era. No one was around to “shield” them. Many children today go through such things, especially in other countries. “Sensitive” children are the ones that can make a difference in the lives of those suffering. I don’t think it would be right to try to “protect” a child from learning about events that can help them become a mature, compassionate adult. It’s best to protect them from things that will actually make them bratty and spoiled or physically harmed. Addy’s stories may hurt your child, but that shows that the stories reach your child. It’s not hurting them in a negative way. It’s teaching them to appreciate their freedoms. It will inspire the child to think outside of the box and grow a love of tolerance rather than hate. More than likely, your child knows wrong from right, and with you reading the stories with her or him, you can explain how some of these things are wrong.

While there are a few sensitive moments throughout the series, there are many happy and positive moments, too. There are also scenes that children can relate to. If you can get over the beginning of Addy’s stories, she really does have some happy endings.

“My child is still learning English. Addy doesn’t speak the proper English and I don’t want her speaking the way Addy does.”

“I can’t read this book. The vocabulary is horrible.”

Well we’ve reached a dilemma. How can someone teach the realities of slavery to a child when slaves didn’t really speak the way we think they should have?

This is exactly what has always been the problem and why black history is hardly taught in schools or anywhere else. And this is exactly what slave masters wanted long ago.

Addy and other slaves couldn’t receive an education, so they learned English by ear. Because of this, white people would look down on them. They wouldn’t hire them for jobs or listen to them when they spoke up on political issues. They sounded “uneducated”. So even though many were freed, they were still barred from living prosperous lives because they were looked down on. This was a part of racism.

I don’t think that parents should encourage such prejudiced attitudes by refusing to read Addy’s stories to their children. Instead, I think this presents an opportunity to teach your children how valuable education really is. After all, this is a history lesson, not an English one. History is taught through the accounts of many people, whether they spoke the way we think they should have or not. Even museums have journal entries written by people who don’t quite speak what we would consider “proper”. If your child already recognizes that Addy’s speech isn’t quite right, then there’s no reason to be afraid that Addy’s stories will make him or her speak “horribly”. They must already be at an age where they know the correct grammar. So, it’s your job to help your child understand Addy’s situation and help the child to understand that Addy really wanted to learn so people wouldn’t look down on her. And you can encourage your child not to look down on people just because of the way they speak, act, or dress. Perhaps you can also discuss how her snobby desk partner, Harriet, looked down on Addy for those very reasons, which further shows how hard it was for newly freed people.

The reality is that slaves lived this way. If you hide it from your child, you are allowing the child to grow up ignorant anyway. What would you rather do: Read about history and have a discussion about things the child doesn’t understand or prevent the child from learning about an important part of history to shelter the child from Addy’s “speech”?

Some time in your child’s life, your child may run across people who don’t speak English so well, even in school. There are no slaves in the USA today, but there are immigrants that come into the United States. Perhaps this can open up a discussion about helping students who don’t speak English well or a discussion about children who have been barred from receiving a decent education in the USA and worldwide. Perhaps you can encourage your child to develop a tolerant and empathetic attitude.

I want to add that while Addy and her family don’t speak English “properly”, the narration is quite solid.

Addy’s books are targeted to girls 8 and up, an age where they can understand the material, so reading it to any child younger would make things more complicated as well.

“Addy fits all stereotypes and makes all black people seem poor and uneducated.”

Let’s face it. Whether you hate or like stereotypes, this was the way many African Americans lived in this time. This isn’t like some Disney princess story. This is based on real history. Most of ALL black people came to America as slaves or indentured servants, and they all had to fight to be seen as “human” in the USA. There is no reason to be ashamed of that. It only shows how strong African Americans really were and only shows how far black people have come. To have endured such oppression and still thrive and survive is something we all should admire. There are other African American characters in the line that aren’t slaves, but we still have to face the fact that slavery existed. There’s no sense in brushing it under the rug, as the saying goes.

Though black people didn’t receive a “European-style” education, they weren’t dumb. They had to be very clever to outwit their slave masters and escape. Addy is very smart herself. She struggled hard to learn, but she worked hard and learned fast. She was able to rise to the top of her class in less than a month, even winning a spelling bee! She kept her mind sharp by solving riddles and guessing games. Her father was clever enough to devise a plan to help his family escape. Though slave masters tried to keep slaves ignorant, they couldn’t take away their ability to learn. Children today who struggle in school can learn from Addy’s example. Addy struggled but, by studying and asking for help, she was able to be a great student.

There are also black characters in Addy’s stories that have shown they were not poor and uneducated. Miss Dunn was a teacher and Addy’s desk partner, Harriet, was the smartest and wealthiest in the class. But should we look down on people who are poor and uneducated?

Addy’s stories teach girls not to judge people by outer appearances, status, or even the way someone carries themselves. By judging based on such superficial information alone, we create the same dividing lines that destroyed our nation during the Civil War. The North looked down on the South. The South looked down on the slaves. None of the sides could understand each other.

I really feel that through Addy’s stories children can recognize how lucky they are to have freedoms other children didn’t have. They can also learn tolerance. Help open your children’s minds by sharing Addy’s stories.

And she’s such a sweet girl to boot.

Reading along with the American Girl curriculum guides can really help teachers and parents as they read the stories to children: Addy’s Book Guide

american girl melody

Melody is American Girl’s newest African American character. Her stories take place from 1963 to 1964. Her stories focus on life in Detroit, Michigan during the Civil Rights Movement and 1960’s culture. While the story is fiction, many of the events really happened, such as The Walk To Freedom, The March on Washington For Jobs and Freedom, the Children’s Crusade, and the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing. Famous figures make cameos throughout the stories, such as Langston Hughes, Diana Ross, Berry Gordy, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Melody is a normal, suburban African American girl. She goes to school, plays with her friends, and attends her church every Sunday, much like children today. She comes from a large family (Baby Boom) and shares a connection with each member of her family. Her stories focus on black people’s struggle for equality in the USA and the role children played in the struggle for civil rights.

There may be several things that may concern readers when observing reviews of the stories. I always say consider what you can take from the series rather than the negative. Perhaps I can give some suggestions that may make the introduction to the American Girl books easier.

“The events in these stories are too scary for my child.”

Keep in mind that the children in these stories have had to face far more than reading a book about harsh realities. Many of these children fought for equality bravely and deserve to be honored. Many of these children gave up their lives. Perhaps these stories can be inspirational for your child. Perhaps these stories can teach your child to appreciate the freedoms we have in the USA. Push your children to inculcate love in their hearts for people who are different. Instead of shielding them from reality, help them to cultivate qualities that can help prevent some of the tragic things that happen in the story.

Many children in the 1960s were like children today. They were innocent. But events happened that tore children’s lives apart. It’s better when their parents hand it to them with an open discussion rather than “protecting” them with false expectations and lies or worse-the power of “omission”. There are ways to teach children important events without traumatizing them. There are ways to teach them about history in an empowering way. But we can’t act like these things didn’t happen. It’s best to teach our children early, when they are impressionable, events that will help them grow into respectful, compassionate adults.

You can’t get any more censored than the American Girls. Of all the history books in the world, they truly give history in a way that doesn’t sugar-coat the truth, but also in a way that relates to children. Don’t be afraid to introduce harsh subjects to children.

Still, these stories are geared towards children who are 8 and up. Though events can happen to any child, keep in mind that is the target age.

“I’m apprehensive about reading the Civil Rights era. Most stories and accounts make all white people seem evil.”

White people may have this concern. I understand it may be hard to face such evil scenes mentioned during the stories. Everyone knows that this wasn’t the fault of all white people. Still, such hatred existed and such attitudes even exist today. Looking to the past is important because it helps us to fix our mistakes and create a better future for humankind. If we all worked together and overcame our differences, imagine what we really could accomplish as a HUMAN race. Of course, we don’t want to stay stuck on the past, otherwise we’ll never create a future. Still, by reading about the Civil Rights Movement, we learn to develop love and tolerance. That is the black story. Through all of the African American characters, love and tolerance are important themes.

Civil Rights wasn’t just for black people, either. Imagine how many white people couldn’t marry a black person, or an Asian person, or someone Hispanic, even if they were in love with them. Segregation and racist laws even infringed upon the rights of white people! There are many white people who suffered and died because they said something that seemed “tolerant” towards other races or spoke out against racism.

Other nationalities were also oppressed and benefited from the Civil Rights Movement, such as the Native Americans, Asian Americans, Jewish families, and those of Latin American descent. Black people were the leaders of the movement, but it wasn’t a movement that only benefited black people. This is why it was an important event in the USA.

Women may have also felt inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. Many women had to push through gender boundaries in the 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Many women today are still striving to make their mark on the world, so girls today can still relate to this movement..

Why did people have to fight for something so simple as civil rights? This is a question you could ask your children to make the topic easier.

Luckily, for you more sensitive souls, Melody lives in the North where legal segregation no longer existed. Still, racism did.

Aside from the topics on racism, though, Melody is actually a normal girl that I think any children can relate to. She likes flowers, music, getting pampered at a salon and spa, and spending time with her sisters. In fact, I think she and American Girl’s Maryellen, the 1950s red headed character, have a lot in common. If people didn’t make such a big deal about race, I imagine girls like the two of them could have been the best of friends!

Children may find that the events in Melody’s stories mirror some events they hear on the news in modern times. Melody’s stories can help children transition into serious subjects that they may even hear in their daily lives. Events in the story can help girls cope with modern day events that have affected children, such as the Sandy Hook tragedy or even some of the rioting going on right now on behalf of race and against police brutality or even the Charleston church tragedy. Children may have questions about such events, and Melody goes through some of the same trials children face today-only she lived in the 1960s!

Reading along with the American Girl curriculum guides can really help teachers and parents as they read the stories to children: Melody’s Book Guide

Even if you readers don’t want to jump on the American Girl book bandwagon, don’t forget to honor all of the black leaders who,through intelligence and courage, found a way to make life more free for everyone. If you ever want to learn about black history, now is the time to do so.

Though all of these girls come from different times, their feelings, struggles, and victories are very similar to children today.

VIZ Media Stops DCTP Translations and Scans of the Manga Detective Conan

24 Jul

So I go on DCTP.ws to get my dosage of Detective Conan to find this:

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VIZ Media sent a notice to DCTP, The Detective Conan Translation Project,  an online message board for Detective Conan fans, telling them to stop scans and translations because apparently VIZ owns the “rights” to Detective Conan. DCTP was known as a website that translated the Detective Conan manga, and at one time anime, for English-speakers, since most English-speakers had no manga complement as decent as the Japanese version. DCTP drew in fans from around the world. The team was very dedicated to their job of translating, even though many had other things to do. They were greatly appreciated. The same outrageous thing happened when SOPA and PIPA cracked down on pirating movies and shows on the internet, and so DCTP had to cease their translations of the Detective Conan animes. I was alright with that as longs as I was able to read the manga. And there wasn’t an English anime airing on my t.v. And I certainly don’t want that trash, Case Closed, ever airing on Cartoon Network again. In fact, there was never a good English anime complement to the Japanese version. DCTP’s manga scans helped that. But then VIZ just had to drop the bomb.

Here’s my thing. Why now, of all times? DCTP has been around for YEARS, and they choose now to say something? VIZ Media, if you own the rights, why haven’t you been doing your job of translating the manga at the same pace as the Japanese version? I am sure DCTP wouldn’t have translated the manga had there actually BEEN some decent mangas for them to read in ENGLISH! DCTP did a better job of releasing the English scans in a timely fashion, nearly matching the timing of the Japanese manga, and they weren’t even getting paid! VIZ Media is SLOW and PATHETIC.

I don’t speak Japanese, and I don’t READ Japanese. I appreciated a website that provided a decent, well-translated manga. VIZ Media is GARBAGE. They do not know how to make good dubbed material. They translate the mangas they want to translate, and if it doesn’t give them the satisfactory number of sales they want, they will cease translation altogether. That was a perk I will sorely miss from DCTP. They were loyal, hard-working fans that would never stop translating because they enjoyed reading Detective Conan themselves and made a hobby of sharing it with other international fans.

VIZ Media never cared about manga and anime fans. All they care about is making money from anime geeks. They hope to make a profit from this. But sadly, they won’t. You know why? Because their translations are 10 years behind JAPAN’S! Over half of the English audience is 10 years ahead of VIZ Media in the story. By the time VIZ Media chokes up the most up-to-date file, English-speaking fans will more than likely just give up on the series altogether. And by that time, Japan’s version will probably be OVER! DCTP was up-to-date. VIZ Media fails as a company altogether. I understand VIZ is a company and has to make money to eat, but they don’t put the same effort behind Detective Conan that DCTP did, and that’s the truth.

Another crappy addition to VIZ Media’s version is the SCREWED title, Case Closed. Why couldn’t you have used the ORIGINAL title, Detective Conan, VIZ Media? I understand that there’s a show that already has rights to the name “Conan”. But couldn’t you have called it Detective Kudou instead? Let’s also add the fact that Ran’s name is RACHEL and Shinichi’s name is JIMMY! Why those changes? Oh, why! Why is my worst nightmare coming true! Most of the cast’s names have been changed to sound more “American”, and it’s horrifying. The Detective Boys are the “Junior Detective League”, Mouri Kogorou is RICHARD MOORE, Ai Haibara is VI GRAYTHORN (WTF?) and Heiji is Harley Hartwell! Oh, just shoot me! Shoot me now!

I might not be buying or reading another Detective Conan manga until File 84 comes out in English. And when will that be? Another FOUR YEARS? This is the most disappointing news I’ve received! And when I do get it, I won’t be reading about Shinichi Kudo. Oh no. I will be reading about Jimmy Kudo! ARGH! The agony! I can’t even cringe my way through that!

I’m also reflecting on all of the Japanese cultural moments that were so eloquently translated by DCTP. VIZ Media just loves to take Japanese tradition and culture, and STOMP America all over it! They butcher over half of their mangas to make it more “understandable” for international audiences, and it just usually ends up a pile of train-wreck! They never translate the volume almost EXACTLY like the Japanese manga, and certainly not the way DCTP did. VIZ translates, omits, and re-writes everything! They are likely to change a popular Japanese board game into checkers! WHY! Please tell me this isn’t so! I knew this was coming one day, but I guess I wasn’t as prepared as I thought for this day. I count it as a lost in my manga world.

For people around the world who don’t have to deal with VIZ, you are fortunate.

I think this is probably the worst news I’ve heard this month…

No, wait. f(x)’s schedule for this week and next week have been wiped clean. Today is not my day…

Case_Closed_Volume_36

Not Case Closed! Anything but Case Closed! NO!

Alice in Wonderland

16 May

Alice in Wonderland has become a popular part of today’s culture. It has developed into a “cult” film. There are many people interested in the story, and there’s a lot of merchandise that comes with it. I’ve seen clothing items, handbags, school supplies, toys, jewelry, posters, and many other items dedicated to this story. Teenagers had made it into somewhat of a sub-culture.

The story is quite fascinating. Many people can’t decipher the reality or inspiration behind the story. Nothing makes sense-but that’s the point, right? It’s very “mental”.

Most people are most familiar with the Walt Disney film that came out in 1950’s titled Alice in Wonderland. What most people don’t realize it that film was the most inaccurate portrayal of Alice in Wonderland out of all of the portrayals. But because most people are familiar with this one, it is often considered the main story. Whenever a new movie comes out that is more accurate, I hear people saying, “Oh, I hate it. It’s nothing like the original.” The “original” they are usually referring to is Disney’s version.

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But did you know that Disney’s version was based off of Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) AND his second novel Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)?

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Disney chopped up both stories and stuck them in one movie, combining the queens together, even combining some characters with the Mad Hatter, and omitting the scariest antagonist in the story, the Jabberwocky. The story made the “Jabberwocky” poem a popular part of poetic literature and modern culture, even though it’s purely, well, nonsense. I think there’s even a rock band named Jabberwocky. See why this is a “cult” film now?

The most accurate live-action portrayal of both books was the two-part 1985 film Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. It was made-for-tv, and it had a huge all-star cast.

Though the graphics are boo boo, the costumes are bogus, and the musical numbers are distracting, this film brought out all of the elements of Lewis Carroll’s novels, so the story was good. Once you watch this version, you can really see just how whimsical the TRUE story is. I just wish Disney had done true justice to the story. There are some characters I would’ve liked to see animated or re-done with modern graphics.

So, take a look at the 1985 version of the film and let me know what YOU think!

If you like Disney, here is a sneak peek at Disney’s next live-action film, Cinderella! Watch the trailer! Set to come out March 2015!

(Am I Too Late?) Divergent Review

2 Apr

divergent_wallpaper

Yea, yea, here comes my Divergent review. I know it’s so late. But I’m still going to do this. So…yea.

Divergent…where to begin…

Considering the number of heroine trends and the dystopian-themes that are so popular today, this movie kind of falls into the tropes.

The movie is based on the book series written by Veronica Roth.

For a fan of the book, this movie didn’t fail to live up to the novel, but the novel was exactly what we would expect from someone living in the modern-day world. Therefore, the movie didn’t end up being extremely unique. But it’s not that I didn’t leave the movie without a thought.

I’m just going to be honest. I went to the movies (as we call it where I’m from, some call it the “movie theater”) expecting The Hunger Games. Though this movie was obviously directed to tweens, and meant to have similar themes of trying to survive, fit in, deal with “love interests, and rebel against “the system”, the feeling of the two stories still had enough differences to leave different impressions. Really, there are only two reasons why I watched this movie: 1) Shailene Woodley (as a fan of American Girl, I just had to see how she’s grown since her first acting debut. I can’t say she has changed from being the “spunky heroine” in my mind. I kept thinking ‘Felicity’…) 2) It takes place in Chicago, my favorite town. 😉

Combine Inception with the Hunger Games, and you get Divergent. Basically, the movie begins fast.

We hardly get a taste of Beatrice “Tris” Prior’s (Shailene Woodley) life as an “Abnegation” starting off. We’re shown how poor she lives. Basically, an “Abnegation” helps those even more poor than they are. “Abnegations” are meant to be “self-less” people among the many factions post-apocalyptic Chicago is divided into. The factions are as listed: Abnegation (the selfless), as was mentioned before, Amity (the peaceful farmers), Candor (the honest judges), Dauntless (the brave police *cough* military *cough*), and Erudite (the intelligent). Yet, this is all explained quickly in the beginning, and Tris’s life is simplified so we, the audience, wouldn’t get restless…

Tris has this “desire” to be a part of the “Dauntless”, which… who wouldn’t? In the movie, they make a grand entrance where ever they go, make the loudest noises, and jump around all over the place. To Tris, they seem to have the “freedom” she wants. She’s obviously not happy as a “selfless” person because they can’t stand up for themselves, can’t look at themselves in a mirror, and have to live without eating luxurious foods like hamburgers…

So, in the story, eventually, all of the young people had to choose factions to belong to. First, they all had to take a test to see what faction they naturally belonged in. Of course, Tris tested “Divergent” which means she can belong to any faction. This makes her “dangerous” as “Divergents” can’t be controlled by any one faction…

I think that’s all I’ll tell you for now. Don’t want to spoil the movie. All I can say is from there-on-out, there is a long training montage, gun fights, and sad moments. 😦 Boo hoo #Sadmoments

Basically, everything moves pretty much like the video game Call of Duty…with some character interactions.

The ending is pretty predictable, if you are used to tween movies. Once you see Hunger Games, nothing can surprise you. But this movie, on it’s own right, is exciting, interesting, thrilling, emotional, and…just SWANK. There is something for every person over the age of 13, and Tris can add herself to the rest of inspirational heroines to enter the movie screen. She’s pretty tough. One thing I liked about her is that she was decisive. No love triangles, no confusion about where she belonged (themes that plague movies directed to tween girls). She knew herself, and held a sense of confidence that’s rare to see in young women in movies…as the lead protagonist, that is.

Two pet peeves: The “black best friend” (when will we ever get a black heroine?) trope and “Isn’t that guy TOO old?” (her love interest is like…way older than she is)

I recommend this movie. 10/10

The exciting news is that in Illinois (the state where the story takes place), there will be a summer camp held for 5 days dedicated to each faction.

#bfx2us

 

 

Video

Kids’ Choice Awards 2014 is Coming This Weekend!

28 Mar

kca

Click the Link Below:

http://www.nick.com/kids-choice-awards

Go online and vote! The line-up this year is better than it’s been in years! Actors and Actresses who can actually act, comedians who are actually funny, musical artists worthy of the attention, and movies that each deserve a blimp! Check it out!

KCA has always been a big event for kids. It was the first awards’ show where kids could have a voice in choosing what’s popular according to entertainment geared toward them. Of course, many teens and adults also vote. He he Guilty…

Let’s walk down Memory Lane…

So much nostalgia, I can’t breathe…cough…cough…

Let’s hope the performances are good this year, and hopefully it’s exciting…just as it used to be.

KCA will be held tomorrow, March 29, 2014, 8/7c so stay tuned!

You can also vote for Teen Nick’s Your Choice Awards!

https://www.facebook.com/90sAreAllThat

The winning show will air TONIGHT!

Fame, Entertainment Media, and Children: The Connection?

17 Sep

famous-on-youtube

Children are people who range between the ages of 1 to 17. This is the age most influenced by entertainment. They are also more influential when it comes to entertainment too. The largest consumer demographic consists of children. Those of school age rely on television, music, and fashion to express themselves, and at the same time, rely on it to tell them about the world, as well as provide answers as to how to fit in their social groups. Businesses are quite aware of the power of children. Many famous stars today rose to fame by supporting children’s networks, programs, and other entertainment outlets. If most celebrities were to observe their large following, they would see that the vast majority of fans range from tween to teen.

Children today are exposed to entertainment now more than they’ve ever been. With technology, and internet access, children can find any entertainment they want-as well, as influence what’s trendy and popular today. Blogging and voting polls give children the power to use their “voice” to influence what’s trendy and what’s not. Networks are even airing Kids and Teens Choice Awards because the voice of teens are so powerful today.

The VMAs 2013 were obviously heavily influenced by kids. For over half the nominees, many of them were Disney Channel stars. To add, I could have sworn One Direction was nominated for almost every section…many of those supporting them being from the tween audience.

With children being so exposed to entertainment today, it’s easy to see how it can take over a mind as vulnerable as a child’s. Messages sent through these mediums shape a child’s life. At the same time, entertainment can tell us a lot about children’s mind-set today, as entertainment is really a reflection of the minds of the children and what’s cool to them, right?

Well, as I flip through children’s channels, purchase toys, and read children’s books, I notice that one theme is particularly strong among youth today: Fame. Particularly vulnerable to this are girls.

What is Entertainment Encouraging Our Children to Do?

Disney Channel, a children’s network that gets millions of views from kids everyday, encourages kids to follow “their dreams” through shows like Austin and Ally, A.N.T. Farm , and Hannah Montana. “Following One’s Dream” often involves being a singer, dancer, actress, or fashion designer. But not just any singer, dancer, actress, or fashion designer. A famous one. They also encourage children to even try all of them at once and become an “idol”.

Toys like Bratz often express themselves through fashion, music, and acting. All of the characters in the line strive to be famous at whatever they reach for. Even American Girl’s Girl of the Year Movie, Saige Paints the Sky, couldn’t resist adding music to it’s final scene.

With the rise of Youtube celebrities, ordinary kids realize how easy it is to get famous in today’s society: do something funny, controversial, or sing a catchy song.

Just about every role model for kids today are in the music industry. Children today want to imitate them, and they are told that it’s okay, that there’s nothing wrong with doing something “you love”. And just about every tween walking “loves” to be famous.

The USA is most influenced by entertainment. Test scores in this country have plummeted as compared to several years ago: and they didn’t even have the same technology! http://4brevard.com/choice/international-test-scores.htm

Is it because children spend too much time on entertainment? Or is it that too many children see a future in entertainment, and see no future in education? Especially because anyone can begin a career in these fields these days-even children as young as 5!

That’s the real question: Do children feel they have any other options in the world besides being a singer, model, fashion designer, dancer, or actor/actress? Or maybe a famous sports star?

Why don’t these networks and toy companies, those who have the power to influence children, utilize it to encourage children to be doctors, lawyers, astronauts?

It says something when the number one most searched topic on the internet was Miley Cyrus…while the USA was bubbling over about the Syrian War happening overseas. Are we too concerned with celebrity status, and do we encourage our children to become over-involved with fame?

Fame and it’s Controversies

There’s nothing wrong with singing, dancing, acting, or any performing arts. What could be a problem is fame. Sure, everyone wants respect, to be recognized, to be worshiped to a certain degree…but is that self-entitled behavior something we should encourage in children?

To add, the world of fame hasn’t proven to be too kind to humans. It especially hasn’t been kind to children. Children don’t often realize the reality of the world of “Fame”. People who are famous are popular, but they have no privacy. They have all the money, and yet many children are exposed to “all that money can buy”, including drugs. This gives them nothing to work for. This also makes life meaningless. When you’ve tried everything, what’s left? This can also lead to arrogant behavior.

To add, it’s hard to keep friends, or find love interests. You just can’t tell who loves you for you. Tons of fans…but no one who truly understands you or allows you to be you. Then you have to worry about family members begging you for money all the time.

Many people love you as long as you keep making movies, music, or books, but as soon as you plummet…usually, no one is left to help you pick up the pieces. Celebrities get old quickly, and there’s always a fresh new face to replace the old, especially when you really aren’t original. Justin Bieber is a prime example. Austin Mahone is an easy replacement. One Direction took over the Bieber craze. And Bieber took over the Jonas Brother craze. The cycle keeps moving, and sales fall in the hands of the freshest face. Generations grow up, and new kids arrive to claim what’s “trendy”. Many celebrities end up bankrupt.

While it seems they can do whatever they want, celebrities are constantly criticized for things that normal people get away with (like twerking at a party). Many get called ugly, stupid, boring, untalented, sell-outs, and many other negative comments. Professional critics and journalists are always watching you, waiting for you to mess up. Celebrities have to try and ignore all of this negativity because this was their choice. There is no room for mistakes. You almost have to be perfect, and walk on egg shells everywhere you go. Everywhere you go, you have to care what everyone thinks and feels and cater to them because everyone is a potential customer. As this is impossible, celebrities often end up offending somebody.

Many journalists print lies about celebrities, or exaggerate events. You have to watch everything you say. When people offend you, you have to show the utmost self-control. You can’t get angry like other normal people. It’s almost controversial to cry-people in the comments section might call you weak or a wimp, especially if you’re a guy. You’re forced to bottle everything up. No wonder so many celebrities are on depression pills!

Few get enough time to spend with friends or family. They are constantly traveling and working odd hours. When they get married, it’s hard to spend time with children or spouse. They are constantly tired.

They also have to watch what they eat and watch their weight. If they don’t, people will talk about them, and their business will be splashed all over the news. And acting as if others’ opinions don’t matter can be threatening to their career because every fan or potential fan counts if they plan on making money.

They travel so often, they often get jetlag. They are always in the air or on a bus.

Many feel they are trapped. Once you get famous, there is no turning back. Many who lose money, or decide that this “world” isn’t for them, can’t go find normal jobs because paparazzi will humiliate them and their “downgrade”. And many times, they buy expensive things, and end up owing money. Jobs with lower wages can’t compensate for what they’ve lost. While many celebrities get sponsored, and get many free things, when they lose popularity, many of these companies expect to be paid back every cent.

Celebrities are stuck with one reputation, and often times, it’s hard for them to try and change. People expect consistency, and as change is inevitable, this isn’t possible. Many celebrities change in a way that’s more appealing, but many change in a way that isn’t so likable.

Many celebrities begin by being what their manager or producer makes them like Britney Spears and BoA Kwon, who were too young to know exactly what they wanted. When they got older, they both tried to express themselves more. This was hard for fans to adjust to, and it caused issues in their music sales for a moment until fans could be more comfortable with their new images.

To add, so many people want the same “dream”. Competition is high. And so many talent-less people often outshine the more talented. A talented actress could be overlooked by a prettier one. A wild singer (like Miley Cyrus) could get more airplay than a talented one (Ariana Grande). The world of fame isn’t always fair, like many of these shows teach children. Sometimes, you can be following the same dream for years…

Do we really want to train up our children to enter into a world where it might not guarantee happiness or TRUE fulfillment?

Why can’t we teach children that fulfillment could come from doing things for others, from service, from contributing to humanity and making a TRUE difference? Being a scientist, astronaut, banker, and other important careers can help children understand the value in service, hard work, education, innovation, and many other up-building qualities.

Fame Can Be Good, if for the Right Reasons

What happened to the days when people used to become famous celebrities because they made a difference in the world? Amelia Earhart became famous for being the first woman to fly a plane across the Atlantic Ocean. Mae Jemison was one of the first women, African American at that, to fly into space. The Wright Brothers flew the first plane. Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. Martin Luther King led the march for civil rights. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity. These people aren’t just famous, they are historical figures and role models. Because of them, many things are possible. They have a legacy that can’t ever be erased, unlike these famous “singers” who will easily be replaced by the newest, more entertaining face, no one can ever replace those historical figures. Those people deserved fame, and no one will mar their names because their personal life matters little to what they’ve accomplished.

So I conclude by saying that while there’s nothing wrong with the performing arts, using the performing arts to get famous is taking over the minds of children, and even some adults. Not enough children see the value in doing important things in the world anymore. It’s especially obvious that women are more consumers than inventors in the 21st Century. Many women aren’t making a difference in technology, science, or business…or few are getting recognized for it. Obviously, they get recognized in music because it’s a profession where a woman can shake her body and show off how beautiful she is. It shows that women still only get respect if they stay in professions that make them look good.

Even in the 21st Century, no one is trying to encourage children to truly bring in the future…without bringing entertainment with it. Entertainment is only for escape, but many businesses contribute to everyday functions of human beings in our “reality”. I feel that entertainment should tell the truth about fame, and try to encourage children to try many different things. I also feel they should encourage children to use the performing arts as a means of expression, not as a cheap way to get fame, glory, and respect.

All New American Girl Historical Doll HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED ON FACEBOOK! Introducing CAROLINE ABBOTT!

16 May

For those of you who have been hearing the rumors, this isn’t shocking at all. The news of a new doll, especially one named Caroline, has been circling the internet for some time now. Caroline has been trademarked for a year, since before Marie-Grace’s and Cecile’s release so…this isn’t shocking for American Girl fans who have been following up on things. Some people even knew the author was Kathleen Ernst.

But for those of you who haven’t, this is it!

What we have been given is the month of release: September. So she will be here in time for the fall season, right after McKenna’s movie release on dvd. Yipeee!

The first thing we can be sure of is that there is only ONE girl being released this time, so from the looks of it, they’ll go back to the original American Girl book format. Even though the new format was interesting, it just didn’t promote the dolls as well. The older format helped modern girls relate to the historical girls, like seeing that girls from back in the past had holidays, school, birthdays, changes, summer fun, etc just helped girls relate to them better. It also gave relatable accessories that girls could set up and picture living during the time, how the girls interacted in school, ya know, it was just a more interesting experience. Marie-Grace and Cecile just gave the impression that they were display dolls, not playable dolls.

The second thing we know is the title of the book covers. American Girl Publishing has announced them: Meet Caroline, Caroline’s Secret Message, A surprise for Caroline, Caroline Takes a Chance, Caroline’s Battle, and Changes for Caroline. Sounds interesting.

So any skeptics? Theories? We know one thing: she ain’t Asian, not with a name like that. Oh darn. We also know she has wavy hair…Oh you don’t? Well, lets share a semi-picture.

I’m not sure about this, but she doesn’t seem to be wearing a bonnet. I’m not sensing a pilgrim here, but I might be shockingly surprised. What I wouldn’t be surprised about is a Western themed girl. Civil Rights seems like a no-no, but it might be. Who knows…I know one thing, I better be getting my red-head with the brown eyes this time around.

Any ideas from you guys? And do you have any other thoughts? Leave a comment below and look forward to a new friend this fall!

JUST IN:  Caroline’s time is 1812. It has been posted by American Girl. More info soon!

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More in: Caroline’s picture has been REVEALED by American Girl. Also, she is from Sackets Harbor, New York near the shores of Lake Ontario as the war of 1812 begins.

The new doll Caroline Abbott!

Caroline Abbott book posted by Eurynome in AGPlaythings!

Can I say I am VERY disappointed? American Girl is getting worse and worse with their bright “ideas”. Not only is she a stereotypical blonde, but she is wearing pink–the same color Marie-Grace wore for her debut last year! So unoriginal.

Furthermore, with Felicity’s retirement, we are missing enough red heads. Even though I’m aware that red heads don’t make that much money in American Girl, it still would’ve been more creative. This doll is so boring and so expected. I feel like no creativity went into this doll. She looks like Lanie without bangs. And what did I tell you before about American Girl and this “curly curly” phase (if you read my Marie-Grace and Cecile article)? The dolls are getting less and less original, and there is no variety. I might as well buy a Lanie. If all the dolls are going to look alike, what’s the point of buying this one?

Then this is going to be the third, the THIRD, story that takes place in New York. They couldn’t think of a more interesting place to settle the character? Really? And I’m here to tell you for all of you people who don’t know much about history: the War of 1812 was n0thing more than the Revolutionary War again. So what makes this doll so interesting? Really?
So comment and let me know what you guys think. I’m personally very disappointed. In fact, this will be the only doll I won’t buy. I saw some pros and cons to the Marie-Grace and Cecile line, but Caroline…I just can’t gel with the doll.

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More In!: From Marylandpinkandgreen.com:

Now in September, 200 years after America secured its standing as a truly
independent nation, American Girl’s newest historical character, Caroline Abbott, shows girls today how to
stay steady and believe in themselves during difficult times. Caroline, an
independent and adventurous nine-year-old girl whose story is set near Lake
Ontario during the War of 1812, learns to face her most challenging moments
using her heart as her compass. Going above and beyond to help those around her,
Caroline gives of herself without expecting anything in return—becoming the kind
of real everyday hero that any girl can
be
.

The story sounds awesome! Something I am NOT disappointed in! I think the story being set by the Ocean is an interesting setting for the plot. I am not all over New York personally, but I do like bodies of water, and sailor tales. Also, the story sounds exciting, and is set in a significant time in history! More information on the story can be found on the website: http://www.marylandpinkandgreen.com/2012/08/meet-american-girl-caroline-abbott.html

Also, for all of you doll collectors, a playset and boat has been posted! The sets are to die for! CLICK the pics for a bigger size!

Meet Caroline with her book!

Caroline’s boat! Cute!

Caroline’s playset! A parlor maybe? Love it!

THE STORY PLOT:

Living with her family in Sackets Harbor, New York, Caroline loves sailing with her shipbuilder father, and she even dreams of captaining her own ship one day. But after British sailors capture her father and cousin, Caroline does her best to keep the promise she makes to her father to stay steady and ride storms through to better weather. In the end, Caroline finds—and proves—her own steadiness and strength as she navigates the challenges of wartime.
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Plot summaries/book synopsis have been announced! WOOT!
Meet Caroline: Caroline Abbott is doing what she loves most—sailing on Lake Ontario with Papa—when her world turns upside down. A British officer boards their sloop, announces that Britain and America are at war, and takes her father prisoner. As Papa is led away, Caroline promises him that she will stay strong and steady until he returns. She tries hard to keep her promise by helping Mama run the family’s shipyard. Then the British attack her village and it looks as if the American side is in trouble. Can Caroline stay steady enough to help win the day?
Includes an illustrated “Looking Back” essay about America in 1812.Caroline’s Secret Message: Caroline and Mama make a dangerous trip across Lake Ontario to the British fort where Papa is a prisoner. When Mama isn’t allowed to see Papa, it’s up to Caroline to pass a secret message to him—right under the nose of a British guard. Caroline hopes desperately that Papa will be able to use the information to escape. But can she get the message to him? And even if she does, will Papa understand it? When Caroline and Mama return home, all they can do is wait and hope. On Caroline’s birthday, an unexpected gift lifts her heart. Includes an illustrated “Looking Back” essay about Wartime in 1812.A Surprise for Caroline: Caroline Abbott imagined it would be great fun to have two girls staying at her house for the winter. But her friend Rhonda Hathaway and cousin Lydia are both twelve, and sometimes they seem to be better friends with each other than with Caroline. Worse, they’d rather stay inside styling hair than go skating and sledding. Nothing Caroline tries seems to change things, not even the special Christmas gift she gives to Rhonda. Finally, hurt feelings lead Caroline to make a rash decision—one that puts all three girls on very thin ice. Includes an illustrated “Looking Back” essay about Growing Up in 1812.

Caroline Takes a Chance:Caroline, like everyone else in Sackets Harbor, is waiting anxiously for the first supply boats of the year to arrive. Without supplies, the shipyards can’t build boats to fight the British. When Caroline and her friends Rhonda and Seth go out fishing in Papa’s skiff, they’re excited to catch sight of a supply boat—until they realize that it’s being chased by a British warship. Desperate to save the supply boat, Caroline comes up with a daring idea. Will her plan work? Or is it a dangerous and foolish risk? Caroline has no time to think—she can only plunge ahead. Includes an illustrated “Looking Back” essay about Getting Around in 1812.

Caroline’s Battle: Caroline’s Papa has barely returned before frightening news arrives—British warships are headed for Sackets Harbor, ready to attack. Every able-bodied man, including Papa, must go and fight. Mama and Caroline are left alone to guard Abbott’s Shipyard from the enemy. Caroline tells herself she would do anything to keep Papa’s shipyard safe. But when the battle seems to be lost, Mama gives her a terrible order. They must burn the shipyard to the ground to keep it from the enemy. It’s the one thing Caroline isn’t sure she can do. Includes an illustrated “Looking Back” essay about America in 1812.

Changes for Caroline: Caroline receives a letter asking her to come and help on Uncle Aaron’s new farm. Although she hates to leave her family, Caroline is pleased to see her cousin Lydia—and to meet Lydia’s pretty cow and sweet baby calf. Determined to help out in any way she can, Caroline keeps watch when a thief starts sneaking around the farm. Then she makes an unexpected discovery—and learns that some things are not as simple as they seem. When Caroline returns home at last for an Independence Day celebration, she is treated to a wonderful surprise. Includes an illustrated “Looking Back” essay about Changes for America in 1812.

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