Tag: Matilda

10 Fictional Schools Even Worse Than Ones We Went To

The back to school season is always difficult for those of us still enrolled in the education system, however we really don’t have it all that bad. And there’s nothing quite like books to make our lives feel just a little less sucky in comparison.

Here are ten fictional schools that we would never want attend, in order from least bad to the absolute baddest.

 

 

10. Wayside School (Wayside school Series)

Wayside School is Falling DownImage via Scholastic

 

There is no way in hell that Wayside School is up to OSHA code. It’s literally falling down.

Plus, none of the kids in this school learn anything. Sure it’s fun to muck around in class every once and a while, but these kids are learning math without numbers and being turned into apples by evil witch teachers.

Call me old fashioned but that environment doesn’t seem very conducive to learning.

 

9. Rosewood High (Pretty Little LIars)

Rosewood HighImage via Pretty Little Liars Wiki

 

Rosewood High has all the average high school stressors. There’s sexuality to figure out, eating disorders to cling to, and teachers to be assaulted by.

But what really puts Rosewood on the map? The blackmail and murder. A lot of it. So, so much.

 

8. Thomas Ewen Consolidated High School (Carrie)

Carrie at promImage via imdb

 

This particular school is a bit different. It’s not Carrie’s school that’s awful, it’s her fellow students. Carrie’s peers relentlessly cruel, and the teachers don’t really seem to give a damn.

If you were to attend this school you might get a couple tampons chucked your way, which is pretty mean, but not deadly.

Definitely stay in on prom night though…

 

7. Pencey Prep School (Catcher in the Rye)

Catcher in the RyeImage via Amazon

 

If you’ve ever toured at a boarding school or college, you might be familiar with schools like Pencey Prep. The website is sleek, the brochures are long and convincing, and the images all show students having the time of their lives sitting in class or enjoying their extracurriculars.

Then you get there and it’s raining, the classrooms still have those televisions on rolling carts, and there’s no clubs to speak of.

How phony is that…

 

6. Lowood Institution (Jane Eyre)

An interpretation of LowoodImage via WatchingJane

 

Jane Eyre is sent to Lowood Institution as a punishment from her cruel aunt, Sarah Reed.

If the starvation, cruel discipline, and threadbare clothes weren’t punishment enough, holding on to your best friend desperately as she dies of consumption probably fits the bill.

Students attending this school today are definitely gonna want to get vaccinated before the school year starts.

 

 

5. Prufrock Preparatory School (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Prufrock PrepImage via Lemony Snicket Wiki

 

Prufrock Prep isn’t exactly… welcoming.

Among Prufrock Prep’s many dazzling features are the Orphan Shack where all orphans are forced to live, a punishment where being late to class means you are forced to eat your meals like a dog with your hands tied behind your back, and your grade in gym class is worth 51% of your overall grade meaning most members of Bookstr‘s audience would probably flunk out.

Ha ha, gotcha. Nerds.

 

4. Crunchem Hall Primary School (Matilda)

Crunchem HallImage via Sony Pictures Entertainment

 

While Crunchem Hall didn’t last forever, it certainly left an impression on every child who read Matilda. I don’t even like to wear my hair in pigtails because I’m so irrationally afraid someone will grab me by the braid and fling me into the air.

They also just don’t look that good on me. I have a big forehead.

Also this school is literally shorthand ‘Crunch Them’ Hall. Who did that.

 

3. Hogwarts (Harry Potter Series)

HogwartsImage via Penguin Teen

 

I know everyone wants to be a wizard or witch, and everyone wants to hang with Harry and his crew, but Hogwarts is dangerous.

Even prior to Voldemort’s presence on campus there was a giant lizard monster in the basement, murderous mermaids in the water, and a backyard so deadly they had to name it the Forbidden Forest to keep students from going in and getting killed.

Some people might think I should’ve put Durmstrang on this list instead of Hogwarts, but honestly Hogwarts seems way more perilous.

Hogwarts became a literally battlefield at the apex of a wizarding world war, Durmstrang is just emo.

 

 

2. Shiroiwa Junior High (Battle Royale)

Shiroiwa Junior High class photoImage via What’s on TV

 

Realistically, you wouldn’t want to be an eighth grader at any school in this universe. You probably also don’t want to be a eighth grader in any universe, to be fair.

However being an eighth grader in Battle Royale means you could be randomly selected by the government to participate in a Hunger Games style fight to the death that lasts over the course of three days.

Now I didn’t love my middle school classmates, but I don’t want to murder them, and I definitely don’t want to be murdered by them.

 

1. The Rachel and Leah Re-Education Center (Handmaid’s Tale)

Image via Abbey Research

 

This school is where handmaids learn how to be handmaids. The women attending have their hands chopped off, their eyes gouged, and their tongues cut out as punishments for misbehaving.

Definitely makes detention seem like a walk in the park.

 

 

 

 

Featured image via American Cinematographers

The Top 10 Most Mouthwatering Foods in Children’s Fiction

We’ve all craved a magical food that doesn’t actually exist, or we’ve read about a real food that didn’t live up to the hype of our childhood imaginations. Here are some of the foods (in no particular order) that still seem to appear in my dreams.

 

1. Everlasting Gobstoppers (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory)

 

Willy Wonka with an Everlasting Gobstopper

Image via iCollector

 

There are what feels like hundreds of candies within the walls of Willy Wonka’s factory, all of which sound absolutely mouthwatering. However, everlasting gobstoppers stick out to me because they actually exist. You can go down to your local corner store and buy a box right now if you really wanted to.

But you don’t want to. Because the real everlasting gobstoppers are flavorless little balls of cement. And the fictional ones are, well, fictional.

#JusticeForEverlastingGobstoppers

 

 

2. Fruit From the Toffee Tree (The Chronicles of Narnia)

 

An illustration of the toffee tree

Image via Citizen of Anvard

 

C.S. Lewis doesn’t do the most creative job of describing this treat. The fruit falls from a tree, and it’s described as being “not exactly like toffee – softer for one thing, and juicy – but like fruit which reminds one of toffee.

The tree formed when a toffee candy was planted in the ground in the moment of Narnia’s creation, and it grew at an incredible rate because the song that brought Narnia to life was still clinging to the world.

Must taste pretty good, with an epic backstory like that.

 

3. ‘Eat Me’ Cookies (Alice in Wonderland)

 

'eat me' cookies from Alice in Wonderland

Image via Amino Apps

 

There are a couple of bad side effects when you snack on these magical cookies. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice takes a bite of one these and grows to be about the height of a one-story house.

Yet somehow, that just makes them more tempting. What’s life without a little risk of becoming gargantuan?

 

4. Pasta Puttanesca (a Series of Unfortunate Events)

 

Pasta Puttanesca inspired by 'A Series of Unfortunate Events'

Image via Fiction-Food Café

 

Pasta puttanesca is a very real dish, and something you can order at most Italian restaurants. However, sometimes the way something tastes in reality just can’t compare to the way it tastes in your imagination.

In A Series of Unfortunate Events, the pasta puttanesca serves as a small amount of comfort in the bleak world that the Baudelaire children have found themselves in after the death of their parents. Something about the warm, homey feeling that it provides makes it an absolutely crave worthy dish.

 

5. Green Eggs and Ham (Green Eggs and Ham, obviously)

 

The cover of 'Green Eggs and Ham'

Image via io9

 

Sam-I-Am was pretty insistent about this dish. If someone follows you from a house, to a box, to a tree, to a train, to the dark, to the rain, to a boat just to get you to try a bite of their food then they’re probably insane.

But they probably also have some pretty good eats.

 

 

6. Leek and POTATO sOUP (Coraline)

 

Potato and leek soup

Image via Food Network

 

Coraline isn’t particularly excited by this dish, choosing instead to stick with her frozen mini-pizzas. However, considering the themes of family and parental love in this novel, this soup dish gives off a cozy and homey sort of vibe.

And if someone hands you a warm pot of homemade soup, that someone must love you an awful lot! Certainly more than your eyeless, soul stealing, puppet mom.

 

7. Saffron Tea (Kiki’s Delivery Service)

 

A moment from 'My Neighbor Totoro,' another Studio Ghibli film

Image via Studio Ghibli

 

Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio, has a knack for animating foods in the most delicious looking way possible. This particular gif is from My Neighbor Totoro, as the saffron tea from Kiki’s Delivery Service didn’t make it’s way out of the book.

In the book the tea serves as a reminder of Kiki’s home while her travels become too much to handle. The smell and the warmth remind Kiki of her mother, and the memory helps keep her spirits high while she’s speeding around on her broom.

 

8. Unicorn Blood (Harry Potter Series)

 

A bleeding unicorn from 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'

Image via Sci-Fi Stack Exchange

 

This one is a bit macabre, but there’s something undeniably intriguing about the unicorn blood in the Harry Potter.

The golden trio (plus Draco) are serving detention in the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid, when they stumble upon a pool of shiny silver goo. When they see a shadowy figure knelt over the body of the unicorn, the kids all run away screaming, except for Harry who stumbles over a tree root.

He’s saved by a centaur, the story moves on, and no one even asks for a sip of that shiny, magic goop.

Maybe this is why I never got my Hogwarts letter.

 

9. Magic Beans (Jack and the Beanstalk)

 

Some perfect beans

Image via Tourism Currents

 

If a bag of beans is worth selling your family’s only source of income, they better be some damn good beans.

 

 

10. Giant Chocolate Cake (Matilda)

 

The moment where Bruce Bogtrotter must eat a whole cake in 'Matilda'

Image via Giphy

 

Bruce Bogtrotter is one of literature’s bravest heroes. He’s punished for his humanity (what child wouldn’t try to sneak a piece of cake?) and still emerges triumphant despite all odds.

While this scene can be a bit nauseating, there’s always something enticing about the thought of having a triple layered chocolate cake plopped down directly in front of you.

Plus, you get to dive straight into that sucker fork first.

Might not be such a punishment after all.

 

 

 

Featured image via Simplemost

Lucius & Draco, fucked up father & fucked up progeny

The 7 Baddest Dads from Literature

Bad dads are a massive inspiration when it comes to literature and media, a broad spectrum of general douchebaggery that ranges from King Triton’s overbearing & possessive nature to Anakin Skywalker’s… well, everything. Luke, I am the source of all your issues going into adulthood! The ones that aren’t actively bad are frequently absent or neglectful, perfect fodder for creating plot conflict or generating sympathy for the protagonist. So, happy Father’s Day weekend to the dads that don’t suck! While we could never compile each and every one of literature’s shittiest dads, these seven will make even the most mediocre among you glow in comparison.

(Obviously, spoiler alert for all the books featured below!)

 

 

1. KING LAIUS

OEDIPUS Rex

 

 

Oedipus, the original motherfucker

Image Via Tv Tropes

 

 

Yup, it’s Oedipus’ dad—one of the only dads worse than Oedipus himself, whose behavior invited some intense scrutiny upon his two daughters, Ismene and the badass Antigone. It’s pretty f*cked up to abandon your child on top of a mountain, even if you HAVE heard he’s going to kill you and then nail your sexy wife, Jacosta. We all know that Oedipus’ fulfilment of the prophecy actually came about because of this blunder: not knowing his parentage, he murdered his father and bedded his mother without any recognition of what he’d done. But even if you’re pro-hillside-abandonment and think it was a justifiable move, why didn’t Laius just kill the kid and save everyone a lot of trouble???

 

2. King Lear

King Lear

 

 

Ian McKellen as King Lear

Image Via PBS

 

 

With enormous power comes an enormous chance of being a d*ck to your children. We’ve heard of divorced daddies’ cliche-riddled ploys to buy their children’s love. Lear actually expects his three daughters to buy his love, saying that Goneril loves him twice as much as Reagan because she offers twice the number of soldiers. He also calls his daughters “unnatural hags,” which we imagine is an untrue statement, given the lack of Sharpie brows and lip fillers back in Shakespeare’s day. Also, maybe Reagan and Goneril would have gotten along better (and hated their father a lot less) if Lear hadn’t obviously favored Cordelia. Some people say the play is an exploration of nature versus nurture, but there wasn’t really a whole lot of nurturing.

 

3. Humbert Humbert

Lolita

 

 

Humbert Humbert & Lo

Image Via Heard Tell

 

 

And here’s Humbert Humbert at number three, proving that this list is not in order of sh*ttiness. Humbert Squared is an evil pedophile who tricks a woman into marrying him so that he can have easy access to her twelve-year-old daughter, Lo—a girl he calls Lolita. When the girl’s mother discovers Humbert’s perverted motives in his journal, she runs to spread the news and is hit by an oncoming car. Humbert destroys the journal pages and takes legal custody of Lo, a position of power he abuses to coerce her into sex with gifts and threats that life would be far worse in an orphanage.

 

4. LUCIUS MALFOY

The Harry Potter Series

 

 

Lucius Malfoy, shit dad

Image Via Elite Daily

 

 

My parents sure didn’t let me get a tattoo when I was in my senior year of high school. Now, obviously that’s secondary to raising your child in a cult centered around the concept of blood purity. While every parent has a responsibility to keep their children safe, Lucius got involved with Magic Manson, an irresistible leader so dangerous that he’d be safer in jail than facing Voldy’s wrath. (Not to mention, of course, that’s he’s obviously a massive racist and literal slaveowner who mistreated Dobby.) He also tried to force his son to murder someone, either by dangling the carrot of his approval in front of Draco’s nose or by reminding him, helpfully, that Voldemort would likely kill Draco if he failed.

 

5. MR. WORMWOOD

Matilda

 

 

Mr. Wormwood, ass

image Via Matilda Fan Wiki

 

 

Ideally, fathers would share words of wisdom with their children. Apparently, some say: “I’m right & you’re wrong. I’m big & you’re small, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Ideally, fathers would embody the values that they want from their children. Apparently, some sell dangerously broken cars to customers that will run for ten minutes and then break down. Mr. Wormwood is a verbally abusive sh*tbag who happily abandons his child with a random schoolteacher he doesn’t personally know. Is Matilda better off with Miss Honey? Um, obviously. Is it still pretty messed up that he didn’t care at all about keeping his only daughter? ABSOLUTELY.

 

6. ALPHONSO

The Color Purple

 

 

'The Color Purple' Alphonso, leering

Image via The Color Purple Blogspot

 

Here’s a heads up that this depiction of parental abuse is pretty graphic. Considering that Humbert Humbert is on the list and THIS one needs a disclaimer, you can imagine the level of violence. Alphonso beats and violates his daughter, Celie, which has resulted twice in pregnancy. The first child, he took to the woods and murdered. Her father also steals the second child and takes a second wife—though he still keeps Celie close and abuses her physically. Despite his fixation on Celie, Alphonso frequently calls his daughter ugly and gives her away to a man who doesn’t love her. And the icing on the f*cked-up cake? Alphonso isn’t really Celie’s father: he’s her stepfather, pretending to be her father in order to inherit her deceased mother’s property.

 

 

7. VALENTINE MORGENSTERN

The mORTAL inSTRUMENTS sERIES

 

 

Valentine Morgenstern

Image Via FREEFORM

 

 

The devil’s in the details, and Valentine certainly didn’t miss the smallest one. He fed demon blood instead of Gerber’s fruit goo to his firstborn Jonathan Christopher, basically guaranteeing that the newborn would be an unhinged, child-murdering sociopath for the rest of his life. After his wife ran off with their daughter, Valentine found a RANDOM CHILD (Jace), convinced Jace that he was Jace’s real father, and then faked his own death violently in front of the kid. When Valentine reappears and finds Jace and his daughter Clary, he lets them (falsely!!!) believe they’re biological siblings—which is definitely a problem, since they’ve been dating. Oh yeah, and Valentine also murdered Jace’s pet hawk before telling the boy: “to love is to destroy, and to be loved is to be the one destroyed.” Is that the reason Jace has a reputation of sleeping around? Who knows? It’s not like that kid ever saw a therapist.

 

 

Featured Image Via Tor.

10 of the Coolest Heroines in Fiction

For much of history, much like in real life, female characters in fiction were sidelined, often not promoted to the front like their male counterparts until recently. But this has begun to change, with strong and nuanced female character coming to the forefront of genres like fantasy, science fiction,  historical and more! And even looking back throughout literary history, there are numerous examples of kickass women who paved the way forward. Here some of the best, counting down from ten!

 

10. Offred- The Handmaid’s Tale

 

Offred from the Handmaid's Tale sits in a red dress with a table and bottle of milk before her

Image Via Amazon

The Handmaid’s Tale tells of a future where women have been reduced to the role of reproductive slaves in a society run by a religious order, made into the property of men and forbidden from reading, writing, or holding positions of power. Offred, whose real name is June, is a woman who dreams of a better life and despite all the hardship she endures, she instills the spark of rebellion, piece by piece, through her actions and inspires women around her. She may not be an action hero but it’s clear she’s the strongest character, holding power over the men who claim to own her.

 

9. Sabriel- Sabriel

 

Sabriel is a young woman with a blue outfit standing with a thin sword against a grey hair

Image via Goodreads

In a world where the dead walk the earth, one young women holds the key to countering the dark evil rising from the depths of the underworld. Enter Sabriel, an eighteen-year-old girl who is finishing her work at an all female college where she sees a vision of the dead walking out from the other realm beyond her own to infest the earth. Sent by her father to stop a group of Necromancers, Sabriel is fierce, ferocious, but also very human and showcases a quiet inner strength that allows her to overcome Death itself.

 

8. Nancy Drew-Nancy Drew mystery stories

 

Nancy Drew, clad in a green dress sits in a swamp as she attempts to open a clock

Image via Tvline

Nancy Drew was created in 1930s but nevertheless emerged to become an icon for countless generations. A young girl working as an amateur detective, Nancy Drew constantly went headfirst into danger, exploring abandoned castles, creepy mansions, slimy swamps, and dark basements to solve mystery after mystery. The character has been updated to become stronger and older as the years went by, letting her evolve while also staying true to her roots, always a girl as brave as any boy and sniffing out the next case to crack.

 

7. Matilda- Matilda

 

Matilda stands on a bed with a crafty smirk

Image via Entertainment 

Another young girl, Matilda emerged as one of the best characters of Roald Dahl’s novels who has a love of reading and kindness while also possessing rad telekinesis. She overcomes adversity not through brute force, contrasting her nemesis, the Trunchbull, a massive tyrant of a headmaster who bullies the children in her care. Matilda’s mind is her greatest asset and is gleeful to see her emerge as the smartest person in the room. You can’t help but cheer as she overcomes the Trunchbull, letting her mind flow freely to literally grab the brute of a woman and give her a taste of her own medicine.

 

6. Princess Cimorene- Dealing with Dragons

 

A princess and a dragon stand side by side as they have tea and cake

Image via Wikipedia

This princess turns the classic trope of a fair damsel getting kidnapped by a dragon and rescued by a knight on its head. Cimorene runs away from her kingdom where her parents try to make her marry an undesirable prince, runs to a dragon, and takes up a job under the dragon’s wing. Cimorene takes charge of her life from the first chapter, showcasing her strength, wit, and skill to get a life she wants, not the one the story has set out for her. And she gets to be best friends with a dragon, which is badass.

 

5. Isabella Trent- A Natural History of Dragons

 

A black and white photograph of Lady Trent, both older and young

Image Via Book Reviews

Written as a memoir by supposed famous dragon naturalist Lady Trent, A Natural History of Dragons chronicles the adventures of Isabella Trent who strives to become the authority of dragonology. Written as a bookish, very English sort of woman, Isabella is prim and proper, erudite and sophisticated while possessing a true passion for the dragons of the world. She would sooner examine a dragon up close than scream in terror, being truly fascinated and possessing a scholarly disposition that makes her quite lovable. It’s wonderful to watch her evolve as the series go on, seeing her adventures with dragons and showcasing how she is the most brilliant mind in the room.

 

4. Katniss Everdeen- The Hunger Games

 

Katniss Everdeen stands in a jumpsuit with a bow of arrows on her back

Image via Forbes

Thrust into The Hunger Games, a bloodsport that pits her against teens from fellow Districts, Katniss Everdeen rises to the occasion to take control of her destiny. Refusing to play by the Capital’s rules, she fights against the game at every opportunity, first refusing to kill her supposed ‘enemy’ Peeta at the game’s end, threatening to kill herself if the Capital doesn’t let them both live. Eventually, she becomes the leader of a rebellion against the District entirely, becoming a full fledged warrior as the Districts rise around her to overthrow President Snow. Katniss is a champion for inner strength, fierceness, and stone cold badassery.

 

3. Scout Finch- To Kill a Mockingbird

 

Scout Finch, a young girl leans on the table with her elbows

Image via Pininterest

Scout is great because of how real she feels. She narrates the book from her POV, showcasing her child’s view of the world, making us fall in love with her mannerisms and her fiesty attitude. She’s curious, always ready to get into a fight, and a tomboy, contrasting with the small town atmosphere around her that disapproves of her unladylike ways. She is at once relatable, yet always reminding us she’s a child and has a lot of growing up to do. But Scout is always wonderful, a great protagonist who showcases the spirit of a women beneath her childish exterior.

 

2. Arya Stark- A Song of Ice and Fire

 

Arya stands with a coin in hand as Sander Clegane lounges in the background around a campfire

Image Via the Wrap

One of the protagonist of Game of ThronesArya began as an immature girl, the third child of Ned Stark who was interested in very unladylike things, being fiesty and independent. But as the series progresses, she grows into a fully fledged warrior, swearing revenge on those who killed her family and becoming one of the Faceless Men, learning their skills as an assassin. She wields an awesome sword named Needle and ventures across Westeros, trying to complete her list of named targets. Extremely popular with fans, Arya is vicious despite her small size and should never be underestimated.

 

1. Hermione Granger- Harry Potter

 

Hermione stands in her school uniform against a brown backdrop

Image via Vox

One of the iconic figures in the series, Hermione is arguably more capable than Harry, being an intelligent teenager with a gift for magic, an aptitude for history, and often described as a walking encyclopedia. Favoring brains over brawn, she comes up with the plans throughout the series and often represents a clear headed contrast to the more impulsive Ron or even Harry. She isn’t without her flaws, with her fear of failure driving her to nearly kill herself as she drowns herself in schoolwork, but she always prove herself a strong young woman, ready to smack anyone who challenges or insults her.

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon

5 of Your Favorite Bookworm Characters from Literature!

August 9th is Book Lovers Day! As a book-obsessed kid, I often found myself latching on to bookworms within the books themselves. It’s awesome to read a book and find your own passions reflected in a character. Here are a few amazing book lovers we find in our pages (and screens)!

 

 

 


 

 

Hermione Granger

(Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

hermione

Image Via Pintrest

 

[…] She was dashing back, an enormous old book in her arms.

“I never thought to look in here!” she whispered excitedly. “I got this out of the library weeks ago for a bit of light reading.”

Light?” said Ron, but Hermione told him to be quiet.

 

 


 

 

Matilda Wormwood

(Matilda by Roald Dahl)

matilda

Image Via Stylist

 

“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.” 

 

 


 

 

Tyrion Lannister

(A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin)

tyrion

Image Via ThoughtCatalogue

 

“I have a realistic grasp of my own strengths and weaknesses. My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind… and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge. That’s why I read so much, Jon Snow.” 

 

 


 

 

Liesel Meminger

(The Book Thief by Markus Zusak)

liesel

Image Via Pintrest

 

“She said it out loud, the words distributed into a room that was full of cold air and books. Books everywhere! Each wall was armed with overcrowded yet immaculate shelving. It was barely possible to see paintwork. There were all different styles and sizes of lettering on the spines of the black, the red, the gray, the every-colored books. It was one of the most beautiful things Liesel Meminger had ever seen.

With wonder, she smiled.

That such a room existed!” 

 

 


 

 

Klaus Baudelaire

(A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket)

klaus

Image Via The UPOU Book Club

 

“Klaus sighed, and opened a book, and as at so many other times when the middle Baudelaire child did not want to think about his circumstances, he began to read.” 

 

 


 

Belle

(Beauty and the Beast)

belle

Image Via Oh My Disney

 

“Look there she goes, that girl is so peculiar
I wonder if she’s feeling well
With a dreamy, far-off look
And her nose stuck in a book
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle…”

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Wattpad