When nine-year-old Bruno comes home from school one day, he is surprised to find the maid, Maria, packing up all his belongings. He tries to remember if he has done anything "particularly naughty" in the past few days that would warrant him being sent away as a punishment. He asks his mother, "a tall woman with long red hair that she bundle[s] into a sort of net behind her head," what is going on. He is somewhat relieved to notice that her things are being packed, too, by Lars the Butler.
To Bruno's extreme disappointment, everything about the family's new residence is the exact opposite of the beloved home in Berlin. The new house is the only building standing in "an empty, desolate place," and it is small, having only three stories instead of five. All of the bedrooms are crammed together on the top floor, the servants sleep in the basement, and the ground floor contains a kitchen, a dining room, and an office for Father, which Bruno assumes is governed by the same stern restrictions as the office back in Berlin.
Bruno's sister, Gretel, at age twelve, is three years older than him. He is "a little scared of her"; from as far back as he can remember, she has made it clear that she is in charge. Gretel has always been a challenge to her other family members-Bruno thinks of her as The Hopeless Case, and he has heard his parents refer to her as "Trouble From Day One."
Directly below Bruno's window is a small, well-tended garden with pavement surrounding it and a wooden bench highlighted by a plaque. Further out, however, the scenery changes drastically, and it is this sight that so astonishes Gretel when she looks out of the window. About twenty feet past the garden and the bench is a huge fence topped with bales of barbed wire extending as far as the eye can see. The ground beyond the fence is barren, and there are dozens of low huts and large, square buildings with smoke stacks.
Bruno reflects upon his final morning in Berlin. The house had looked empty, "not like their real home at all." Father had already left the city a few days earlier, and Bruno remembers that his mother had been very nervous. With tears in her eyes, she had said abstractedly:"We should never have let the Fury come to dinner...some people and their determination to get ahead!"
Out of boredom a few days later, Bruno is lying on his bed staring at the ceiling when he notices the paint above his head is cracked and peeling. This observation only adds to his unhappiness with his new home. He decides petulantly that he "hate[s] it all...absolutely everything." At this point, Maria the maid walks in carrying a stack of laundered clothes. Bruno attempts to strike up a conversation with her, asking her if she is as dissatisfied with their new living arrangements as he is.
After several weeks at Out-With, Bruno concludes that he had better find a way to keep himself occupied or else he will surely lose his mind. One Saturday, when neither Mother nor Father is at home, he decides to make a swing in a large oak tree a good distance from the house. For this project, Bruno will need a rope and a tyre. He finds some rope in the basement of the house, but to secure a tyre he will have to ask Lieutenant Kotler.
Bruno misses his paternal grandparents terribly. Grandfather, who is retired from his job running a restaurant, is seventy-three years old and, in Bruno's estimation, is "just about the oldest man in the world." Grandmother, in contrast, is sixty-two; to Bruno, she "never seem[s] old." Grandmother has long, red hair and green eyes because of Irish blood somewhere in her family. She loves to have parties and is an accomplished singer; one of her favorite pieces to perform is La Vie en Rose.
As time passes, Bruno's memories of home start to fade and he begins to adjust to his life at Out-With. Things remain pretty much the same: Gretel is "less than friendly" to him as usual and the soldiers go into and out of Father's office for meetings every day. The servants continue with their jobs, and Lieutenant Kotler still acts as if he owns the place; when Father is not there, he spends his time flirting with Gretel or "whispering alone in rooms with Mother."
Bruno walks along the fence for the better part of an hour. He does not see anyone or any opening that will allow him to cross over to the other side. Just when he is about to turn back, he spies a boy sitting in the dirt on the other side of the fence, "minding his own business, waiting to be discovered." Cautiously, Bruno approaches him and says hello. The boy is smaller than Bruno and wears the same striped pajamas as all the other people who live beyond the fence. When he hears Bruno's voice, he looks up.
This chapter goes back to describe an evening in Berlin several months earlier, when the Fury comes to Bruno's house and everything changes. Father returns home one day in "a state of great excitement" and announces that the Fury has invited himself to dinner on Thursday, two days from now, because he has something of great importance to discuss with Father. Bruno asks, "Who's the Fury?" Father responds by telling him he is pronouncing the name wrong and proceeds to pronounce it correctly for him.
Bruno has asked Shmuel why there are so many people on his side of the fence and what they are doing there; Shmuel reflects upon his past in searching for an answer. He recalls that before he came there, he had lived with his parents and brother in a small flat in Cracow. Shmuel's father had been a watchmaker and had given him a beautiful watch that was taken away by the soldiers. Shmuel's idyllic life began to unravel when his mother made an armband with a star on it for each member of the family, and they had to wear it whenever they left the house.
Every afternoon, after his lessons are finished, Bruno takes the long walk along the fence and spends time talking to his new friend, Shmuel. One day as he is filling his pockets with food from the kitchen for his daily excursion, he notices the piles of vegetables waiting for Pavel to peel and is reminded of a question that has been bothering him. In confidence, Bruno asks Maria why Pavel told him he was a doctor on the day he fell from the swing. Maria is startled and at first lies, but she is clearly troubled.
Bruno continues to meet Shmuel by the fence in the afternoons. He asks every day if he can come over to Shmuel's side so they can play together, but Shmuel says:
I don't know why you're so anxious to come across here.... It's not very nice.
Bruno complains the difficulties of his own living conditions and even expresses envy over the advantages he thinks Shmuel has over him, which shows that he has absolutely no understanding of what life is like on the other side of the fence.
Father's birthday is coming up, and Mother is planning a party for him with Lieutenant Kotler's help. Repulsed by the soldier's presence, Bruno decides to make a list of all the reasons why he hates him. The lieutenant never smiles, and Gretel flirts with him shamelessly. Also, when Father is away, the young soldier is always around the house with Mother, acting "as if he [is] in charge." Sometimes he is there when Bruno goes to bed and is back before he gets up again in the morning. One time Bruno saw Lieutenant Kotler shoot a dog that was barking outside.
Almost a year has passed since Bruno and his family moved to Out-With. Grandmother dies, and the family must return to Berlin for her funeral. Bruno had missed his home acutely when they first had to relocate, but in the intervening time his memories of life in Berlin have slowly faded, and the two days they spend back home are very sad. Father is particularly remorseful because he and Grandmother had fought before she died and never made it up.
In the weeks after the discovery of lice in the children's hair, Mother's unhappiness with life at Out-With becomes increasingly noticeable. Bruno understands her situation perfectly because he remembers how lonely he had been before he had found Shmuel to talk to. Mother has no one, especially now that Lieutenant Kotler has been transferred away. One afternoon, Bruno overhears an especially vehement "conversation" between his mother and father. Mother declares that she "can't stand it anymore," and although Father argues that they "don't have any choice" because of the gossip that will spread.
Shmuel does not show up at their usual meeting place for a few days, and Bruno is worried that he will have to leave Out-With without saying good-bye. Finally, on the third day, Shmuel is there again at the fence, but he looks "even more unhappy than usual." He tells Bruno that something bad has happened and his father is missing. According to Shmuel, his father had gone Monday on "work duty with some other men"; inexplicably, none of them have returned.
On the day of Bruno and Shmuel's scheduled "great adventure," it rains heavily in the morning, and Bruno worries that he will not be able to see his friend before leaving for Berlin. Fortunately, the weather improves in the afternoon, and Bruno is able to make his way down the fence to their regular meeting place. When he arrives, Bruno finds Shmuel waiting for him with an extra pair of striped pajamas "exactly like the one he [is] wearing." Bruno tells Shmuel to turn his back then he Bruno strips off his own clothes and dons the striped pajamas.
After the incident on the other side of the fence, Bruno is never seen or heard from again. His parents are frantic when he does not return home that day, and soldiers are sent out immediately to search "every part of the house and...all the local towns and villages." Mother, who had been so happy about returning to Berlin, ends up staying at Out-With for several more months, hoping for news of her son. Eventually, she decides that he must have made his way back home to Berlin by himself, and she goes to wait for him there.
Stanley Yelnats, a boy who has bad luck due to a curse placed on his great- great-grandfather, is sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention camp, for a crime he did not commit. Stanley and the other boys at the camp are forced to dig large holes in the dirt every day. Stanley eventually realizes that they are digging these holes because the Warden is searching for something. As Stanley continues to dig holes and meet the other boys at the camp, the narrator intertwines three separate stories to reveal why Stanley's family has a curse and what the Warden is looking for.
When he was a boy, Stanley's great-great-grandfather, Elya Yelnats, received a pig from Madame Zeroni, a gypsy, in exchange for a promise. Elya's promise was that after the pig grew strong he would carry Madame Zeroni, who only had one leg, up a mountain and sing her a song that she had taught him. After becoming disillusioned with the girl he thought he loved, however, Elya hops a boat to America, forgetting his promise to Madame Zeroni. Elya marries and has a child in America and always thinks about Madame Zeroni, who he believes has cursed him because of his failure to fulfill his promise. He knows that Madame Zeroni's son lives in America, but Elya never finds him.
One hundred and ten years before Stanley arrives at Camp Green Lake, the town of Green Lake is a beautiful place where peach trees bloom throughout the spring. In this Texas town, the schoolteacher, Katherine Barlow, falls in love with Sam, the onion seller. Sam sells onions to eat and to use for medicinal purposes. While Katherine and Sam are alive, racism is institutionalized in the United States and it is against the law for a black man to kiss a white woman. Because Sam is black and Katherine is white, the people in the town become irate when they find that Katherine and Sam have kissed. Charles, or Trout, Walker, the richest man in town has always wanted to marry Katherine. He is already mad that Katherine does not wish to go out with him so when he finds out that she is in love with Sam he gathers the townspeople to burn the schoolhouse and attack Sam. Katherine seeks help from the local sheriff but instead finds that the sheriff, who makes lewd advances towards her, also wants to kill Sam. Katherine and Sam attempt to escape but their boat is destroyed while only half way across the lake and Sam is killed. Katherine is driven mad by her grief and becomes an outlaw known as Kissin' Kate Barlow. Her name refers to the fact that she kisses the men she kills, leaving a lipstick imprint of her lips on their faces. In her twenty years of robbing people in the west, she happens to rob Stanley's great- grandfather while he is on his way from New York to California. She buries Stanley's great-grandfather's money somewhere and even though Charles Walker and his wife Linda try to torture her into revealing its location, Kate dies before anyone can find out where the money is hidden. After the day that Sam is killed, rain stops falling on Green Lake and the lake dries up.
Because Green Lake dries up, the citizens of the town all move away and by the time that the land is serving as Camp Green Lake, the only people there are juvenile delinquents. Stanley has a hard time digging holes there due to the incredible heat and the hard, dry land. At one point Stanley digs up half of a lipstick tube that has the initials KB on it. Stanley knows that the Warden, who happens to be a descendent of Charles and Linda Walker, is interested in this find and he speculates that perhaps Kate Barlow used to live in the area. The other boys at the camp are tough and all have nicknames. Stanley tries to stay in the good graces of X-Ray, the obvious leader of the group but this becomes harder as Stanley becomes better friends with a boy named Zero. Although Stanley and Zero, also known as Hector Zeroni, do not know it, Hector is the great- great-great-grandson of Madame Zeroni. Zero eventually runs away from camp and Stanley, in an effort to save him, follows after a few days. The two help each other to reach the top of a big mountain, which turns out to be Sam's old onion field. Because Zero is very weak, Stanley carries him up this mountain. They survive on onions for more than a week and then return to camp, planning to search for Kate Barlow's treasure in the hole where Stanley found the lipstick tube.
Stanley and Zero find a suitcase that has the name Stanley Yelnats on it. Although the Warden attempts to take the suitcase from them, Stanley's lawyer, Ms. Morengo, arrives to say that Stanley has been proven innocent and Stanley and Hector are able to leave the camp with the suitcase. It turns out that the suitcase contains many valuable items and is in fact the same suitcase that Kate Barlow took from Stanley's great-grandfather, also named Stanley Yelnats, so many years ago.
At the end of the book, it seems that the Yelnats family curse is lifted. Hector is reunited with his mother, from whom he was separated many years ago and Stanley's father finally succeeds in inventing something: a cure for foot odor. While at Camp Green Lake, Stanley has improved his physical strength and his self-confidence in addition to making a true friend. While fate has so often seemed against Stanley, in the end it serves to help him, his family, and Hector.
The lion, the witch and the wardrobe
Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie are four siblings sent to live in the country with the eccentric Professor Kirke during World War II. The children explore the house on a rainy day and Lucy, the youngest, finds an enormous wardrobe. Lucy steps inside and finds herself in a strange, snowy wood. Lucy encounters the Faun Tumnus, who is surprised to meet a human girl. Tumnus tells Lucy that she has entered Narnia, a different world. Tumnus invites Lucy to tea, and she accepts. Lucy and Tumnus have a wonderful tea, but the faun bursts into tears and confesses that he is a servant of the evil White Witch. The Witch has enchanted Narnia so that it is always winter and never Christmas. Tumnus explains that he has been enlisted to capture human beings. Lucy implores Tumnus to release her, and he agrees.
Lucy exits Narnia and eagerly tells her siblings about her adventure in the wardrobe. They do not believe her, however. Lucy's siblings insist that Lucy was only gone for seconds and not for hours as she claims. When the Pevensie children look in the back of the wardrobe they see that it is an ordinary piece of furniture. Edmund teases Lucy mercilessly about her imaginary country until one day when he sees her vanishing into the wardrobe. Edmund follows Lucy and finds himself in Narnia as well. He does not see Lucy, and instead meets the White Witch that Tumnus told Lucy about. The Witch Witch introduces herself to Edmund as the Queen of Narnia. The Witch feeds Edmund enchanted Turkish Delight, which gives Edmund an insatiable desire for the dessert. The Witch uses Edmund's greed and gluttony to convince Edmund to bring back his siblings to meet her.
On the way back to the lamppost, the border between Narnia and our world, Edmund meets Lucy. Lucy tells Edmund about the White Witch. Edmund denies any connection between the Witch and the Queen. All Edmund can think about is his desire for the Turkish Delight. Lucy and Edmund return to Peter and Susan, back in their own world. Lucy relies on Edmund to support her story about Narnia, but Edmund spitefully tells Peter and Susan that it is a silly story. Peter and Susan are worried that Lucy is insane so they talk to Professor Kirke. The Professor shocks Peter and Susan by arguing that Lucy is telling the truth.
One day the children hide in the wardrobe to avoid the housekeeper and some houseguests. Suddenly all four Pevensie children find themselves in Narnia. Lucy leads them to Tumnus's home, but a note informs them that Tumnus has been arrested on charges of treason. Lucy realized that this means the Witch knows that Tumnus spared Lucy's life, and that the Witch has captured Tumnus. Lucy implores her siblings to help her rescue Tumnus from the Witch. Guided by a friendly robin, the children wander into the woods, and meet Mr. Beaver. Mr. Beaver brings them back to his home, where he explains that the children cannot do anything to save Tumnus. The only thing the children can do is join Mr. Beaver on a journey to see Aslan a lion. Aslan appears to be a king or god figure in Narnia. The children are all pleasantly enchanted by the name Aslan, except for Edmund, who is horrified by the sound of it. Mr. Beaver, Peter, Susan, and Lucy plot to meet Aslan at the Stone Table the following day, but they soon notice that Edmund has disappeared. Meanwhile, Edmund searches for the White Witch to warn her of Aslan's arrival and of the Beavers' plan. The Witch is enraged to hear that Aslan is in Narnia and immediately begins plotting to kill the children. The Witch wants to avoid an ancient prophecy that says that four humans will someday reign over Narnia and overthrow her evil regime.
The children and the Beavers, meanwhile, rush to reach the Stone Table before the Witch. As they travel, wonderful seasonal changes occur. First they meet Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, who explains that the Witch's spell of "always winter and never Christmas" has ended. The enchanted winter snow melts and the children see signs of spring. Simultaneously, the Witch drags Edmund toward the Stone Table and treats him very poorly. Once spring arrives, the Witch cannot use her sledge anymore, so she cannot reach the Stone Table before the children.
When the other three Pevensies meet Aslan, they are awed by him, but they quickly grow more comfortable in his presence. They love him immediately, despite their fear. Aslan promises to do all that he can to save Edmund. He takes Peter aside to show him the castle where he will be king. As they are talking, they hear Susan blowing the magic horn that Father Christmas gave her to her, signaling that she is in danger. Aslan sends Peter to help her. Arriving on the scene, Peter sees a wolf attacking Susan, and stabs it to death with the sword given him by Father Christmas. Aslan sees another wolf vanishing into a thicket, and sends his followers to trail it, hoping it will lead them to the Witch.
The Witch is preparing to kill Edmund as the rescue party arrives. Aslan and his followers rescue Edmund, but are unable to find the Witch, who disguises herself as part of the landscape. Edmund is happy to see his siblings, as he has accepted that the Witch is evil. The next day, the Witch and Aslan speak and the Witch demands Edmund's life because she says that Edmund is a traitor. The Witch says that according to the Deep Magic of Narnia, a traitor life's is forfeit to the Witch. Aslan does not deny this, and he secretly reaches a compromise with her. The Witch appears very pleased, while Aslan seems pensive and depressed.
The following night, Susan and Lucy observe Aslan grow increasingly gloomy and sad. The sisters are unable to sleep, and they notice that Aslan has disappeared. Susan and Lucy leave the pavilion to search for Aslan. When they find Aslan, he tells them they can stay until he tells them they must leave. Together, Aslan, Susan, and Lucy walk to the Stone Table, where Aslan tells them to leave. Susan and Lucy hide behind some bushes and watch the Witch and a horde of her followers torment, humiliate, and finally kill Aslan. The Witch explains that Aslan sacrificed his life for Edmund.
Susan and Lucy stay with Aslan's dead body all night. In the morning, they hear a great cracking noise, and are astounded to see the Stone Table broken. Aslan has disappeared. Suddenly Susan and Lucy hear Aslan's voice from behind him. Aslan has risen from the dead. Aslan carries the girls to the Witch's castle, where they free all the prisoners who have been turned to stone. Aslan, Susan, and Lucy charge join the battle between Peter's army and the Witch's troops. Peter and his troops are exhausted. Fortunately, Aslan swiftly kills the Witch and Peter's army then defeats the Witch's followers.
Aslan knights Edmund, who has atoned for his sin of siding with the Witch. The children ascend to the thrones at Cair Paravel, the castle in Narnia. Aslan subsequently disappears. The children eventually become adults and reign over Narnia for many years. One day, in a hunt for a magical white stag, they arrive at the lamppost that had marked the border between Narnia and our world. The Pevensies tumble back out of the wardrobe to our world. No time has passed, and they return to Professor Kirke's house as children. The foursome tells Professor Kirke about their adventure, and the Professor assures them that they will return to Narnia again some day.
Mr. Dursley, a well-off Englishman, notices strange happenings on his way to work one day. That night, Albus Dumbledore, the head of a wizardry academy called Hogwarts, meets Professor McGonagall, who also teaches at Hogwarts, and a giant named Hagrid outside the Dursley home. Dumbledore tells McGonagall that someone named Voldemort has killed a Mr. and Mrs. Potter and tried unsuccessfully to kill their baby son, Harry. Dumbledore leaves Harry with an explanatory note in a basket in front of the Dursley home.
Ten years later, the Dursley household is dominated by the Dursleys’ son, Dudley, who torments and bullies Harry. Dudley is spoiled, while Harry is forced to sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. At the zoo on Dudley’s birthday, the glass in front of a boa constrictor exhibit disappears, frightening everyone. Harry is later punished for this incident.
Mysterious letters begin arriving for Harry. They worry Mr. Dursley, who tries to keep them from Harry, but the letters keep arriving through every crack in the house. Finally, he flees with his family to a secluded island shack on the eve of Harry’s eleventh birthday. At midnight, they hear a large bang on the door and Hagrid enters. Hagrid hands Harry an admissions letter to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry learns that the Dursleys have tried to deny Harry’s wizardry all these years.
The next day, Hagrid takes Harry to London to shop for school supplies. First they go to the wizard bank, Gringotts, where Harry learns that his parents have left him a hefty supply of money. They shop on the wizards’ commercial street known as Diagon Alley, where Harry is fitted for his school uniform. Harry buys books, ingredients for potions, and, finally, a magic wand—the companion wand to the evil Voldemort’s.
A month later, Harry goes to the train station and catches his train to Hogwarts on track nine and three quarters. On the train, Harry befriends other first-year students like Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, a Muggle girl chosen to attend Hogwarts. At school, the first-years take turns putting on the “Sorting Hat” to find out in which residential house they will live. Harry fears being assigned to the sinister Slytherin house, but he, Ron, and Hermione end up in the noble Gryffindor house.
As the school year gets underway, Harry discovers that his Potions professor, Snape, does not like him. Hagrid reassures Harry that Snape has no reason to dislike him. During their first flying lesson on broomsticks, the students are told to stay grounded while the teacher takes an injured boy named Neville to the hospital. Draco Malfoy, a Slytherin bully, snatches Neville’s prized toy and flies off with it to the top of a tree. Harry flies after him. Malfoy throws the ball in the air, and Harry speeds downward, making a spectacular catch. Professor McGonagall witnesses this incident. Instead of punishing Harry, she recommends that he play Quidditch, a much-loved game that resembles soccer played on broomsticks, for Gryffindor. Later that day, Malfoy challenges Harry to a wizard’s duel at midnight. Malfoy doesn’t show up at the appointed place, and Harry almost gets in trouble. While trying to hide, he accidentally discovers a fierce three-headed dog guarding a trapdoor in the forbidden third-floor corridor.
On Halloween, a troll is found in the building. The students are all escorted back to their dormitories, but Harry and Ron sneak off to find Hermione, who is alone and unaware of the troll. Unwittingly, they lock the troll in the girls’ bathroom along with Hermione. Together, they defeat the troll. Hermione tells a lie to protect Harry and Ron from being punished. During Harry’s first Quidditch match, his broom jerks out of control. Hermione notices Snape staring at Harry and muttering a curse. She concludes that he is jinxing Harry’s broom, and she sets Snape’s clothes on fire. Harry regains control of the broom and makes a spectacular play to win the Quidditch match.
For Christmas, Harry receives his father’s invisibility cloak, and he explores the school, unseen, late at night. He discovers the Mirror of Erised, which displays the deepest desire of whoever looks in it. Harry looks in it and sees his parents alive. After Christmas, Harry, Ron, and Hermione begin to unravel the mysterious connection between a break-in at Gringotts and the three-headed guard dog. They learn that the dog is guarding the Sorcerer’s Stone, which is capable of providing eternal life and unlimited wealth to its owner and belongs to Nicolas Flamel, Dumbledore’s old partner.
A few weeks later, Hagrid wins a dragon egg in a poker game. Because it is illegal to own dragons, Harry, Ron, and Hermione contact Ron’s older brother, who studies dragons. They arrange to get rid of the dragon but get caught. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are severely punished, and Gryffindor is docked 150 points. Furthermore, part of their punishment is to go into the enchanted forest with Hagrid to find out who has been killing unicorns recently. In the forest, Harry comes upon a hooded man drinking unicorn blood. The man tries to attack Harry, but Harry is rescued by a friendly centaur who tells him that his assailant was Voldemort. Harry also learns that it is Voldemort who has been trying to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Harry decides that he must find the stone before Voldemort does. He, Ron, and Hermione sneak off that night to the forbidden third-floor corridor. They get past the guard dog and perform many impressive feats as they get closer and closer to the stone. Harry ultimately finds himself face to face with Quirrell, who announces that Harry must die. Knowing that Harry desires to find the stone, Quirrell puts Harry in front of the Mirror of Erised and makes him state what he sees. Harry sees himself with the stone in his pocket, and at that same moment he actually feels it in his pocket. But he tells Quirrell that he sees something else. A voice tells Quirrell that the boy is lying and requests to speak to Harry face to face. Quirrell removes his turban and reveals Voldemort’s face on the back of his head. Voldemort, who is inhabiting Quirrell’s body, instructs Quirrell to kill Harry, but Quirrell is burned by contact with the boy. A struggle ensues and Harry passes out.
When Harry regains consciousness, he is in the hospital with Dumbledore. Dumbledore explains that he saved Harry from Quirrell just in time. He adds that he and Flamel have decided to destroy the stone. Harry heads down to the end-of-year banquet, where Slytherin is celebrating its seventh consecutive win of the house championship cup. Dumbledore gets up and awards many last-minute points to Gryffindor for the feats of Harry and his friends, winning the house cup for Gryffindor. Harry returns to London to spend the summer with the Dursleys.
Dairy of a wimpy kid
The first book begins with an introduction to Gregory "Greg" Heffley and his middle school life. It takes place during his first year of middle school. The book also explains the "Cheese Touch" early on. It is just like cooties but more intense. In the book, a kid named Darren Walsh touches the cheese with his finger. It is passed around the school, and later gets to Abe Hall, who moved to California still holding the Cheese Touch.
In the first half of the book, Rowley and Greg endure events such as Halloween, learning how to wrestle, and acting in the play of The Wizard of Oz as a tree. During trick-or-treating on Halloween night, Greg and Rowley are ambushed by a group of teenagers. They take refuge at Greg's grandmother's house and taunt the teenagers from there by making sounds and faces at them. This upsets Greg's mom, who orders them to come home. They do come home, but get a surprise when they come to the driveway—Greg's father drenches the two friends with a trash can full of water.
On Christmas day, Greg writes that he gets very few presents that he likes. He does not get the one thing he really wants, a video game called Twisted Wizard, but instead gets a red sweater because his parents mix the presents up, an 8 x 10 picture of his uncle, and a Big Wheel. Manny gets all the presents that he wanted, making Greg more frustrated. Greg then throws a football at Rowley while the latter is riding the Big Wheel, breaking his hand. At school, Rowley is surrounded by girls because he is injured, which makes Greg mad because he wants more attention from girls.
Greg and Rowley join safety patrol, and had to walk the morning kindergartners home. When Rowley isn't there, Greg chases the kindergartners with a worm. He is wearing Rowley's hat, and Rowley gets accused of doing the whole thing. When Greg confesses to Rowley, Rowley tattles on him and gets promoted in safety patrol. Rowley and Greg get mad at each other. Slowly, they begin drifting apart and Rowley starts hanging out with Collin Lee; when he goes near Rowley's front yard, walkway, or house. Greg retaliates by spending his night at Fregley's. The sleepover turns into a disaster as Fregley becomes hyper by eating too many jelly beans and begins to chase Greg with a booger. Greg then leaves and runs home in the middle of the night.
Nearing the end of the school year, Rowley's comic strip, called "Zoo-Wee Mama", is entered into the school's newspaper. Greg tells Rowley to list him as the co-creator because it was his idea and joke punchline. Rowley then denies that Greg had anything to do with it. They get ready to fight but are then interrupted by the teenagers they taunted on Halloween. They showed up to pay them back and they force Rowley to eat the cheese at the blacktop, but Greg gets away by lying to the angry, bad tempered teenagers saying he is allergic to dairy products. The next day, Greg explains that he removed the Cheese, but unfortunately for him, the other students thought that this meant Greg actually touched it, giving him the Cheese Touch. For the rest of the year, Greg is in seclusion from everyone else and he and Rowley become best friends again. Despite Greg's best efforts to become "class clown" in the favorites page in the yearbook, the title is given to Rowley for his "Zoo-Wee Mama" comics. Greg states at the end of the book that he threw away his yearbook and doesn't care about Rowley having the title of Class Clown, but if it goes to Rowley's head, Greg will remind him that he was the one who ate the cheese and won't mind telling the entire school about it.
Northern Lights Ik kon niet echt een goede samenvatting vinden, maar deze is wel erg specifiek! (en erg handig voor degene die t boek niet gelezen hebben)
Alice is sitting with her sister on the riverbank and is very bored. Suddenly she sees a White Rabbit running by her. It is wearing a waistcoat and takes a watch out of it, while muttering to himself ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!'. Alice gets very curious and follows him down his rabbit-hole.
The rabbit-hole suddenly goes straight down and Alice falls into it. She falls very slowly and while she is talking to herself she falls asleep. Suddenly she lands on a heap of sticks and dry leaves and the fall is over. She sees the White Rabbit running in front of her through a long passage and she continues to follow him.
When she turns the corner the Rabbit is gone and Alice finds herself in a long, low hall, with doors all round it. She tries them, but they are all locked. Then she comes upon a little three-legged table on which a little golden key lies. The key fits in a little door behind a curtain and when she opens it she sees that it leads into a small passage. At the end of the passage Alice sees a beautiful garden. She really wants to get into the garden, but she is too big to fit through the door.
When she goes back to the table she finds a little bottle on it with the words ‘Drink me’ printed on the label. Alice drinks from it and starts shrinking until she is only ten inches high. She now has the right size to enter the door, but she finds that the door is still locked and that she has left the little golden key on the table, which is now too high to reach.
She starts crying, but soon sees a little glass box lying under the table containing a small cake marked with the words ‘Eat me’. Hoping that this cake will make her grow or shrink too, she eats it.
Chapter 2: The Pool of Tears
Suddenly Alice finds herself growing and she continues growing until she reaches the ceiling. Now she is able to get the key from the table, but again she is too big to fit through the door. This situation makes her cry and she cries until there is a large pool all round her, which reaches half down the hall.
The White Rabbit returns, now splendidly dressed and carrying a pair of white kid gloves and a large fan. Alice asks him for help, but the Rabbit is so frightened that he drops the gloves and fan and runs away. Alice picks them up and starts fanning herself while she wonders what it is that has made this day so different from every other. She decides that she must have been changed into another girl in the night as she can’t remember her multiplication tables or geography correctly and isn’t able to recite a poem properly.
The fanning makes Alice shrink again until she is two feet high. She tries again to enter the door but it is still locked and the key is still lying on the table. Then she slips and falls into her own pool of tears.
She encounters a Mouse who fell into the pool too, but she frightens him when she starts talking about her cat Dinah and a dog. He promises her to tell her why he hates cats and dogs and they swim to the shore, taking other creatures that fell into the pool too with them.
Chapter 3: A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale
As all creatures are wet they start thinking of a way to get dry. The Mouse tries telling them the ‘driest story’ he knows, but as this doesn’t work they decide to have a Caucus-race. The Dodo draws a circle in which they all start running at random.
After half an hour they are quite dry and the race is over. The Dodo decides that everyone has won and all must have prizes. They look to Alice for these, and she hands around comfits, which she finds in her pocket. The Mouse thinks she must have a prize herself and she is presented her own thimble.
Then the Mouse begins to tell its long and sad tale, which in Alice's mind has the shape of a real tail. When no one pays attention he becomes angry and leaves. The other creatures leave too when Alice begins talking about her cat again.
Chapter 4: The Rabbit sends in a Little Bill
The White Rabbit returns, looking for his fawn and gloves. Alice wants to help but finds that the hall has vanished. When the Rabbit sees Alice he mistakes her for his maid, Mary Ann, and orders her to go home and get him a pair of gloves and a fan.
Alice enters his house and finds another bottle marked ‘Drink me’. She drinks it, hoping it makes her larger. It does, but it makes her so large that she fills the whole room.
The Rabbit angrily comes looking for her and when he tries to get through the window Alice knocks him down with her hand. He orders Pat to get the arm out of his window and Alice knocks them down again. Bill the lizard is sent down the chimney, but Alice kicks him out with her foot. Finally they throw a barrowful of pebbles in through the window, which change into cakes. Alice eats one and shrinks until she is small enough to get through the door.
She runs off past the group of animals into a thick wood. There, Alice finds a Puppy. She throws a stick because she wants to play with it, quite forgetting that she is now much smaller than the Puppy.
She has to run away to avoid being trampled under its feet.
Alice manages to escape and starts searching for something to eat which will make her grow back to her proper size. When she looks on top of a mushroom she sees a Caterpillar sitting on it while smoking a hookah.
Chapter 5: Advice from a Caterpillar
The Caterpillar asks Alice who she is. She answers that she doesn’t know because she has changed so many times that day. A brief conversation follows, during which Alice gets a little irritated because the Caterpillar is rather crusty and keeps making very short remarks. Alice tells him that she can’t remember things as she used to, so the Caterpillar asks her to repeat ‘You are old, Father William’, which comes out all wrong when she tries.
Alice starts complaining that she is too small and the Caterpillar advises her to eat from the mushroom: one side will make her grow taller and the other side will make her grow shorter. Then he crawls away. Not knowing which side makes her grow, Alice tries one part which makes her shrink until her head hits her feet. Quickly she eats from the other part which makes her grow until her head and neck rise far above the treetops.
Because of her long neck a pigeon mistakes her for a serpent in search of her eggs. Alice succeeds in convincing it that she is only a little girl and eats again from the mushroom until she is reduced to her normal size. She walks on and reaches an open place in the woods with a little house in it. As she is too big to enter, she eats from the mushroom to bring herself down to the right size.
Chapter 6: Pig and Pepper
As Alice stands in front of the house, a fish-like footman comes out of the forest, knocks on the door and a frog-like footman opens. The fish-footman delivers an invitation from the Queen for the Duchess to play croquet and leaves. The frog-footman sits on the ground outside the house.
Alice walks to the door and knocks, but the footman tells her that it is no use knocking as he is on the same side of the door and they’re making too much noise in the house to hear her anyway. Eventually Alice opens the door herself.
She finds herself in a large kitchen with the Duchess nursing a baby, a grinning Cat and a cook who is making soup. There is so much pepper in the air that everyone but the Cook and the Cat has to sneeze, and the baby howls continuously. The Duchess tells Alice that the Cat grins because it’s a
At once the cook starts throwing everything within her reach at the Duchess and the baby. The Duchess doesn’t seem to mind and continues nursing the baby in a very cruel way. Because she has to get ready to play croquet she throws the baby to Alice who takes it outside to save it from being killed. The baby starts grunting, turns into a pig and runs into the woods.
Alice notices the Cheshire Cat sitting on a branch of a tree and asks it which way she should go. It tells her that the March Hare and the Mad Hatter live near and disappears suddenly. It reappears to ask a question and then disappears again. Alice decides to visit the March Hare. The Cat appears for the third time, but as Alice tells him to stop appearing and vanishing so suddenly he vanishes slowly this time, leaving only his grin behind. Alice reaches the house of the Hare, but because the house is rather big she first eats a little from the mushroom.
Chapter 7: A Mad Tea-Party
Alice sees a large table set out under a tree in front of the house. The March Hare and the Mad Hatter are having tea at it and a Dormouse is sitting between them, fast asleep. Alice sits down in a chair, although the Hare and Hatter tell her there’s no room.
The Hare offers her some wine, but there is only tea. When she protests that it isn't civil to offer wine when there isn't any, he replies that it wasn't very civil of her to sit down uninvited. The Hatter tells her she needs a haircut and asks the riddle "why is a raven like a writing-desk?" Alice says that she believes she can guess that, and the others begin to ridicule her by starting a discussion about semantics.
The Hatter asks her what day of the month it is. His watch doesn’t tell the time but the day of the month, and the Hatter claims that it is two days wrong. Alice thinks it odd to have a watch that tells the day of the month but not the hour.
Then the Hatter asks if she has come up with an answer to the riddle. She hasn’t, and the Hatter and the Hare say they don't know the answer either. Alice tells them they shouldn't waste time by asking riddles with no answers. The Hare replies that Time is a him and not an it. The Hatter tells Alice that if she were on good terms with him, he would do whatever she liked with the clock. The Hatter tells her that he quarrelled with Time last March when he was singing "Twinkle, twinkle, little bat" at a concert given by the Queen of Hearts, and now it is forever six o'clock. As this is teatime they must always have tea and thus they never have time to wash the cups, so they just keep moving around the table to a new set of places.
Alice, the Hare and the Hatter wake the Dormouse and ask him to tell them a story. He tells them a story about the sisters Elsie, Lacie and Tillie who lived at the bottom of a treacle well and learned to draw things starting with an M. Alice keeps interrupting the story so the others make rude remarks to her. Finally she becomes really offended and walks away.
Alice notices a tree with a door in it, and when she enters it she finds herself in the long hallway with the glass table. She takes the key and unlocks the door, eats from the mushroom to make herself smaller and is finally able to enter the beautiful garden.
Chapter 8: The Queen's Croquet-Ground
Alice comes upon a rose-tree with white roses. Three gardeners are painting them red. Alice asks them why and they explain that they planted the white roses by mistake and the Queen will cut off their heads for that. So they try to hide the mistake by painting them.
At that moment the procession of the Queen arrives, which is made up almost entirely of playing cards. The Queen severely asks Alice who she is, but she is not afraid and makes the Queen angry by making a rude remark. The Queen shouts 'Off with her head!’ but Alice replies that this is nonsense and the Queen is silent. She notices what the gardeners have been doing and orders their beheading. They are saved by Alice who hides them in a flowerpot.
The Queen invites Alice to play croquet with them and she joins the procession. She notices that the White Rabbit is in the procession too and he tells her that the Duchess is under sentence of execution. The game begins and Alice is surprised by the croquet-ground; the balls are live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingos, and the soldiers make the arches. Alice tries to manage her hedgehog and flamingo, while the arches are constantly wandering away and everyone is playing without waiting for their turns, quarrelling, and fighting for the hedgehogs. All this makes the Queen furious and she constantly orders the beheading of people.
The Cheshire Cat appears and Alice starts complaining. The King notices the Cat, follows the advice of the Queen to behead it and walks off to get the executioner. Alice attempts to continue with the game, but eventually returns to the Cheshire Cat.
There’s a large crowd around it now, and the executioner, the King, and the Queen are having a dispute whether the Cat can be beheaded as they can only see it’s head but no body. Alice tells them that they should ask the Duchess about it, so the Queen orders the executioner to get her out of prison. The Cheshire Cat starts fading and when the Duchess arrives he has disappeared.
Chapter 9: The Mock Turtle’s Story
Alice walks off with the Duchess, who is in a very good mood now. She keeps attaching arbitrary morals to everything and seems to agree with everything Alice says. Alice politely tries to tolerate her presence, although she keeps digging her sharp chin in to her shoulder.
Then the Queen suddenly appears. The Duchess takes off and Alice returns to the game. When the Queen has ordered so many beheadings that only she, Alice and the King are left, she takes Alice to the Mock Turtle. While walking, Alice hears the King pardoning all the prisoners.
They come upon a Gryphon and the Queen tells him to take Alice to the Mock Turtle to hear his history. When they arrive he is sitting sadly on a rock, sighing loudly. Alice asks what his sorrow is, and the Gryphon answers that he has none.
The Mock Turtle starts telling his history which is interrupted by sobbings and long pauses. He tells how he once was a real turtle and went to school at the bottom of the sea where his master was an old turtle called Tortoise and he took courses like Reeling and Writhing.
Chapter 10: The Lobster Quadrille
The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle explain to Alice what sort of dance a Lobster Quadrille is and start dancing around her while the Mock Turtle sings the words.
When they’re finished they ask Alice to tell her story. She tells them about her curious day and when she gets to the part about her repeating `You are old, Father William' to the Caterpillar they interrupt her and make her repeat ‘Tis the voice of the Sluggard’, which comes out all wrong too. Then they ask the Mock Turtle to sing ‘Turtle Soup’ for them. He is interrupted with a cry in the distance: 'The trial's beginning!’ Alice and the Gryphon run away and leave the Mock Turtle alone, still singing.
Chapter 11: Who Stole the Tarts?
Upon arrival Alice sees the King and Queen of Hearts sitting on their throne, with a great crowd assembled about them. The Knave is standing before them in chains and the White Rabbit has a trumpet in one hand and a scroll of parchment in the other. In the middle of the court is a table with a large dish of tarts upon it. While waiting for the trial to begin, Alice looks around and notices that the King is the judge and that the jurors are not very smart.
The White Rabbit starts reading the accusation; he claims that the Knave of Hearts stole the tarts. The King wants the jury to consider their verdict, but the Rabbit tells him that they should have the witnesses first.
The first witness is the Mad Hatter, accompanied by the March Hare and the Dormouse. Alice feels that she is starting to grow again. The Hatter gives no evidence so they move on to the next witness. The next witness is the Duchess’ cook and she is being cross-examined. She testifies that tarts are made mostly of pepper. To her great surprise Alice herself is being called as the third witness.
Chapter 12: Alice’s Evidence
In the meantime Alice has grown so much that she upsets the jury box when she gets up. She hastily tries to put them back into their places. She tells the King that she knows nothing about the stolen tarts, which he considers very important. The White Rabbit has to correct him again.
Then the King reads from his notebook, stating that all persons more than a mile high must leave the court. Alice refuses to leave because she suspects that he made up the rule, and the King tells the jury to consider their verdict.
Then the White Rabbit brings in a letter, which serves as evidence. The letter contains a verse, written in someone else’s handwriting, which clears up nothing at all. However, the King thinks that it is important but Alice corrects him and explains why the verse proves nothing. Eventually the King asks the jury for the third time to consider a verdict, and now the Queen contradicts him and says that there should be a sentence first and a verdict afterwards.
Alice isn’t afraid to contradict her anymore, as she has grown to her full size now, and tells them that they’re nothing but a pack of cards. At this point the whole pack rises up into the air and comes flying down upon her. She tries to beat them off but finds herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap of her sister, who is brushing away some dead leaves that fell down from the trees upon her face.
Alice realises that everything was a dream and tells her adventures to her sister. As Alice runs off for the tea, her sister thinks about the dream and falls asleep herself, and dreams the same dream as Alice. She continues to dream about how her little sister will eventually become herself a grown woman and how she will always keep the simple and loving heart of her childhood.