In My Hands

In My Hands is a novel written by Irene Gut Opdkye with Jennifer Armstrong.

The setting is during the World War II period.

The main character in this novel is Irena Gut.

A Little Bit About The Book

Irena wants to be a nurse and then finds out that Polish is being invaded. She got just perfect timing. She is a student nurse and she gets the opportunity to get to be a nurse that helps her country. To find out more about her journeys read the novel!

Irena faces many characters that she needs to be careful with and faces only a certain amount of people that she can trust like people who help her escape.

This is about part of the Holocaust happening in the setting.










The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

If you’re looking for a new series to read, you should pick up The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. It’s a three-book series about Cassie Sullivan, a sixteen-year-old girl, who has to learn how to survive in Earth after its been invaded by aliens.

The aliens attack Earth in what Cassie calls waves: the first was complete shutdown of electricity, the second was drowning everyone within sixty miles of a shoreline, the third was a disease planted in birds, and the fourth were Silencers, a name Cassie created for the aliens who came down and tried to kill everyone.

This is a really great series and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoyed series like The Hunger Games, Divergent, or The Maze Runner.

-Julia M.

The Top Ten Books to Read

The top five books/series to read:

  • The Hybrid Chronicles                                                                                                                                         By: Kat Zhang
  • Percy Jackson Series                                                                                                                                             By: Rick Riordan
  • The Outsiders                                                                                                                                                          By: S.E. Hinton
  • Song of Achilles                                                                                                                                                      By: Madeline Miller
  • The Book Thief                                                                                                                                                        By: Markus Zusak
  • Harry Potter                                                                                                                                                             By: J. K. Rowling
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian                                                                                          By: Sherman Alexie
  • The Fifth Wave Series                                                                                                                                           By: Rick Yancey
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Unive                                                                              By: Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • Carry On                                                                                                                                                        By: Rainbow  Rowell

-Shikha Patel with help from Cassandra G.  and Julia M.

The Outsiders

The Outsiders is a wonderful novel written by S.E. Hinton.

The setting for this book is Oklahoma during the 1960’s.

Some of the characters in this book are Ponyboy, Johnny, Sodapop, Two – Bit, Darry, Dally, Bob, and Randy.

This novel has a first person ( limited ) narration.

There are two sides in this book. These sides are like the sides we have in society or in other words the different types of groups ( An example would be the popular group and the non – popular group).  The two sides are the Socs and the Greasers. Socs stands for the Socials. The Greasers are called greasers because of their greasy hair. The Socs are more popular than the Greasers.

A few themes for this book are even though there are different groups in society there will always be similarities in those groups, decisions made by emotions can be wrong or dangerous, and ,finally, nothing gold can stay.

In this book, there are flashbacks, allusions, and figurative language.

I would rate this book a five out of five, because every single, little detail is set perfectly to form this wonderful story.

Quote said by Johnny: “Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold….”


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Through an odd turn of events and an act of surprising violence, Patroclus, the awkward son of  King Menoetius is exiled to Phthia and meets Achilles, the son of King Peleus and the often cruel sea goddess, Thetis. The half-god Achilles, the best of all Greeks, becomes fast friends with the mortal Patroclus. Thetis despises their relationship, claiming that no regular mortal will ever be good enough for her son. When the time comes, Thetis decides that Achilles needs to be trained by Chiron, the centaur who trains all Greek Heroes. She insists that Achilles needs to do this training alone. But Patroclus also needs to be with his best and only friend at all times, and obviously finds Achilles against Thetis’ wishes. Soon after they start their training with Chiron, they become a lot more than just friends. When news breaks out that the beautiful queen of Sparta, Helen, is kidnapped by Paris from Troy, Achilles faces a tough decision. War against Troy is going to break out soon. You can’t just kidnap the king of Sparta’s wife and not expect a fight. Achilles, the best warrior of all of Greece must decide between fame and glory or happy days of bliss with his  lover, Patroclus. Convinced that he’ll be the first hero to be famous and happy, Achilles decides to go to war. Out of love and a great deal of fear, Patroclus decides to go to war with Achilles even though he can’t fight. In another weird turn of events, Achilles’ honor gets wounded and the best warrior known to man refuses to fight any longer. Can Greece when the war without him? What will it take for Achilles to start fighting again? And can a hero be both famous and happy?

~~Cassandra Lily Grace


Chains is a great novel written by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Chains is set during the Revolutionary War time period. This involves Patriots, Loyalists, and Neutralists. This also involves the defeats between the British side which wants the colonies to not declare independence and the other side would be the American side which wants to declare independence and be free from the rule of Britain and it’s king, King George III.

Chains is about two young slaves. The two young slaves are Isabel and Ruth. They are both sisters. Ruth needs a little help taking care of herself. Their first owners have died. These two girls were legally supposed to be free after their owner died, but Mr. Robert takes her knowing this. Mr. Robert decides to sell them both. Luckily they both stay together. The Locktons had bought them. After they all go to the Lockton’s home in New York, some dramatic things started to happen.

What dramatic things happened though?

Well you’ll have to read the book to find out!!!


Carry On by Rainbow

Hey! Sup fellas and lady fellas, so you know how I wrote about Cather Avery and her Simon and Baz slash fanfiction? Well, Rainbow Rowell published that fanfic. Can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that there is a whole section of fanfiction in Archive of Our Own dedicated to a fanfiction that a fictional character wrote about a wizardry series that doesn’t even exist. That’s like more than fanfiction. That’s like extreme fanfiction. Fanfiction times a million.

So anyway, in this fantastically amazing fanfiction book, Simon and Baz are enemies. Archenemies. They hate each other more than Harry Potter hates Draco Malfoy. Yes, it’s that deep of a hatred. Then on the first day of school, Baz doesn’t show up. And for six weeks he just doesn’t show up and Simon is sick with worry. Baz is obviously trying to plot against him. Baz is obviously siding with the Humdrum (the Voldemort of the story). Simon keeps trying to convince his best friend, Penelope, and his girlfriend, Agatha, that Baz is a terrible person who might even be a vampire. And to make matters worse, the veil that keeps the ghosts in their graves is lifting. Penelope and Agatha will take none of his problems seriously. Then someone’s ghost accidently visits Simon in the middle of the night and he freaks out.

When will Baz get back? Who’s ghost was it? And most importantly, do Simon and Baz ever get together?

~~Cassandra Grace

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Book cover

   Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a novel by Jesse Andrews. It is about a boy, Greg Gaines, and his friend, Earl Jackson, making friends with a girl with cancer, Rachel Kushner. Well, Greg was forced to become friends with her…at first. Greg’s mother told him that Rachel was diagnosed with Leukemia and that she “could really use a friend right now”. Earl and Greg are friends only because they are different than everyone else. Greg considers Earl more as a co worker than a friend. Rachel creates a stronger bond between Earl and Greg, while introducing them to her friends.

This novel is like The Fault in Our Stars, but funnier and happier and nothing like it. It’s so good that it was made into a major motion picture but the book is always better, so I’d recommend reading the book first.

Have fun!!

~ Miranda C

Every Day

Everyday is a book written by David Levithan.

Everyday is book about a soul going into thousands of other different souls and a different personality going into thousands of different personalities. If you like reading somewhat creepy books, you would probably want to read this book.

An excerpt from this book is:

“I wake up. I immediately I have to figure out who I am. It’s not just the body – opening my eyes and discovering whether the skin on my arm is light or dark, whether my hair is long or short, whether I’m fat or thin, boy or girl, scarred or smooth. The body is the easiest thing to adjust to, if you’re used to waking up in a new one each morning. It’s the life, the context of the body, that can be hard to grasp.”

“Every day I am someone else. I am myself – I know I am myself – but I am also someone else. It has always been like this.”

You’re probably wondering how does the person knows who is who and what to say?

Well, it is very easy. The information and memories are already there for that person. All he has to do is search it out from the person’s memories and the person will know who is who and what to say when.

An example of a person that the soul or personality goes into is Justin. Justin is a normal sixteen year old kid.

An excerpt for Justin is:

“Clothes everywhere. Far more video games than books. Sleeps on his boxers. From the taste of his mouth, a smoker. But not so addicted that he needs one as soon as he wakes up.”

” Good morning, Justin,” I say. Checking out his voice. Low. The voice in my head is always different. Justin doesn’t take care of himself. His scalp itches. His eyes don’t want to open. He hasn’t gotten much sleep. Already I know I’m not going to like today.”

If you want to read this book be prepared to be creeped out!


Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is about Jacob Portland and how his life got thrown upside down when his grandfather died and he witnessed a monster killing him. Jacob is a rich boy with so many things handed to him that he doesn’t know how to handle his own problems. His best and only friend, Ricky Pickering, is the exact opposite of him. While Jacob gets a car for his birthday, Ricky has a car he bought with less money than Jacob’s allowance every month. When Ricky can’t afford gas because he doesn’t have enough cash, he goes to parties and let drunk teens hit his car with a golf cub for a dollar a hit. If you smash a window or any glass you have to pay to get it fixed. How could two kids from such different backrounds be so close? Ricky and his bright green hair and tough guy attitude protect Jacob from bullies at school and Jacob helps Ricky pass classes. Their friendship ends quickly when they find Jacob’s dead grandfather and Ricky doesn’t believe Jacob about the monster.

Jacob’s grandfather, Franklin Portman, didn’t have a childhood. He was the only one of his family to escape the holocaust and ended up in a orphanage filled with peculiar children with a bird who watches them while smoking a pipe. Children who could lift boulders above their heads and take the life out of living things and give it to unliving things. Children who could make fire balls and levitate and children who are invisible. Children who could see monsters. This peculiar place was in Wales.

Jacob, devastated by his hero’s death, sets on a journey to find the place where his grandfather grew up. His mother and father and therapist eventually agree to let him go to Wales as long as his dad accompanies him. Will he find his grandfather’s home? If he does who will he meet? Are monsters real? Are his grandfather’s peculiar friends still going to be there? Where they even real? If Jacob’s grandfather wasn’t as much as a hero as Jacob thought he was, does Jacob actually want to know the truth?

~~Cassandra Grace

Out of My Mind

Melody. What does Melody remind you of?

Melody is a character in the book called Out of My Mind. She is just a simple kid, but just was born disabled. She can’t speak, walk, or do anything by herself. She needs help with everything that she does. Don’t think she is not smart. Melody is not smart, but she’s really smart.

This book is about a girl that suffers from complications to make new friends and find her space to fit in between other kids. She has a word board to communicate attached to her wheelchair. Later on she gets an electronic to communicate. She takes special classes with the other kids that are like her.

Amazing! Melody gets into the international geography bee. How does she do it? Well, the answer is a friend. Melody has a friend. Her friend encourages her and supports her. She competes with the whole class. Then, the top people from the class go into internationals.

I would rate this book a ten out of ten. If you want to read this book be prepared to be really sad.


What’s Left of Me

An excerpt from this book is “It used to be Addie and Eva and Eva and Addie, but now it’s just Addie, Addie, and Addie.”

Addie the one who is the controller of the body and Eva the mysterious inside that barely is alive and they are called hybrids. Eva was originally supposed to die out as the recessive soul, but she didn’t leave. Eva isn’t able to control the body but soon learns a little control by a special medicine that is given by Hally and Lisa and Ryan and Devon. Hally and Lisa and Ryan and Devon are one of the other hybrids in this book.

They help Eva to gain control. After a terrifying sign that Ryan and Devon give Addie and Eva a sign that means stay aware, the institution people are coming to get the hybrids. That very night the doorbell rang. They had come to get them. It didn’t take a long time to for her parents to be convinced to send Addie and Eva, because they didn’t know Eva was there. That very moment Addie and Eva had left their safe home. They were off with a strange, unknown man. Unfortunetly, she wasn’t the only one that had been taken. Hally and Ryan were taken too. The very next day they were brought to the institution. They had done tests and Eva had showed up in the x-rays. There they found a boy named Jamie that had surgery and after surgery they had stapled his head. Then, one day Peter had made an escape plan, which they were sort of successful at, but even though they had escaped they didn’t return home.

The good things about this is that might make you like it is the book is full of suspense, it’s sometimes a thrill, and the story is active through out the whole book. The genre is science – fiction. This story is also heart – touching.


All Summer in a Day

In 8th grade english we read a short story called “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury. It was published in 1954, around the time that space travel was gaining a lot of attention. The story takes place on the planet Venus where it has been raining for seven years.  The story revolves around a group of nine year old children.  None of the students remember what the sun looks like because the sun had last showed its face when the children were less than four.

But Margot remembers. She’s the one student who remembers.

That makes her different.

Margot is not like the other children because she was not born on Venus like them.  Margot was born in Ohio, back on earth.  She had seen the sun many times before she moved to Venus when she was five. She tried to tell the other kids what it was like. She told them it was like “a penny” or “like a fire in a stove”.

The called her a liar.

The students hated Margot.

Then, the scientists made a prediction.

For one hour, the sun would come out.

The children were excited and waited in their classroom.  The teacher was no where to be seen.  They took advantage of this to be cruel to Margot.  They did something awful.

They locked her in the closet.

They left her there. When the teacher came back and didn’t notice Margot’s absence, she took the children outside.  The sun had come out and was shining it’s brilliant rays down to the children where they laughed and they played and they soaked up the sunshine.

Then it began to rain again.

They realized that Margot was still in the closet. Some of the children looked around guiltily.

Then they let Margot out of the closet.

That’s where the story ends. We never find out what she does once she’s out. Does she scream? Does she cry? Does she beat them up? Does she move back to earth? Does she kill them? *Dramatic Music*

We will never know.

But here is my guess: Margot would hate the other kids.  She would hate them with a burning passion stronger than the heat of the sun they stole from her.  I think Margot would want to go back to Earth so that she could get away from the children. She wouldn’t have to wait seven more years like the other children.  Margot and the children watch the same sunset, just like Ponyboy Curtis and Cherry Valance in the Outsiders, a book the 8th graders will read this year.  They’ll watch the same sunset but they wont have the power to take it from her. In class, we talked about how the human race was so advanced in this story that they could leave Earth, go to another planet, and live there.

Despite how advanced they were, how smart they were, the children brought the worst of them along to Venus. They used their worst on Margot without a second thought.

This was a very well written story and I did enjoy it.  I rate it 4 stars because the ending was slightly disappointing since we never found out what happened to Margot.

—Meghan Brady, September 17, 2015

Fangirl by: Rainbow Rowell

Sup fellas and lady fellas. Guess who’s back! That’s right, after a long summer of doing absolutely nothing but reading, Cassandra Grace and everyone else is back!

Okay, over summer one of the many books I’ve read was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Which is obviously about an epic fangirl (like me) and her struggles going through college and the sudden return of her long lost mother. Cather and her identical twin sister, Wren, are going to the same college. For the first time in Cather’s (Cath) life, she and Wren aren’t roommates and don’t have the same group of friends.  In fact, she and Wren are barely speaking to each other. Throughout everything going horribly wrong with Cath’s life, which is everything from boy trouble to family issues, her favorite books keep her sane. Simon and Baz are Cath’s favorite fictional characters. She knows everything about them and they know everything about her. While everything in her personal life is spiraling out of control, her fans still count on her to write their favorite Simon x Baz slash fanfiction. How can Cath keep up her grades, take care of her dad, make up with her sister, sort out her boy issues, and finish her fanfiction before the last Simon Snow novel comes out?

Fangirl was an amazing book full of everything actually fangirls struggle with. Anxiety, being socially akward, and liking books more than the real world. An absolute must read for everyone. Such a great book.

~~Cassandra Grace

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is the funniest, cutest, romantic, most hilariously accurate novel I’ve read this year. And possibly my whole entire life. I loved it. I fell in love with the characters, and the story. Even the antagonist, a class clown named Martin isn’t that horrible. He did terrible things to Simon and Abby and their friends, but you understand what’s going on inside his head as much as you understand what Simon is thinking about.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is not just a book about coming out of the closet or being who you are. It’s a book about friendship and first love and trust. As read the novel, you quickly understand that these are the type of characters that you don’t forget for a long time. I give this book five stars. You should totally read this book, my lovely little angels.

Not so openly gay Simon Spier has an online boyfriend. The only problem is he has no idea who this mysterious Blue is. He knows that Blue is in his grade and goes to his school, but that’s all that Simon knows about Blue’s identity. As Simon and Blue (who I would totally take to Vegas to get married with if he wasn’t fictional and gay) become closer and closer, Simon’s life gets more and more complicated. Not only is he this close to making out with his laptop screen, but he’s getting blackmailed by his class clown, Martin. How can he tell Abby, Nick, and Leah about Martin if he’s convinced he can’t tell anybody or his sexual orientation will be in the hands of everyone at school? Martin is making Simon set him and Abby up or else Simon’s emails with Blue become public property. So not only is Martin blackmailing Simon, to an extent, he’s also blackmailing the most adorable, cute, and awesome guy Simon’s never met. In the midst of figuring everything out, Simon becomes closer and closer to Nick and Abby, leaving Leah, Garrett, and Bram behind, much to Leah’s disgust. Leah hates Abby for so many reasons, you can’t them on your fingers, toes, nails, and strands of hair. But mostly Leah hates Abby because Leah used to be Simon’s best friend, she was almost Nick’s girlfriend, and she isn’t as pretty as Abby. How can Simon fix is friendship with Leah, Garrett, and Bram, set up Abby and Martin, and meet Blue without things spiraling wildly out of control?

~~Cassandra Grace

Barry Cox: Making the 70’s Look Bad

The seventh grade has recently started a novel called “I Know What You Did Last Summer”.  It is an amazing book with a plot that pulls you in right from the start.  The characters are your typical protagonists until one dark and stormy night when…

Just kidding, that’s not what happened.

They seem like regular protagonists for a while until you learn that the blanket called their past is covering up some big mistakes.

There is Julie, a redheaded cheerleader that got into a good college far away from home.  Very far away from home…. But anyway, she seems like your average girl.  MAYBE she’d even be a likable character. Maybe…

Then there is Helen.  To be honest, Helen is not my favorite character.  She isn’t the brightest bulb in the box, but she knows one thing.  She is pretty.  Pretty enough to drop out of high school and become the Channel 5 Golden Girl.  Helen is like one of those girls on The Price is Right.  She looks pretty and smiles at the camera.





It’s pretty legitimate.

There is also Ray, Julie’s ex-boyfriend.  Ray is my favorite character because he knows that they can’t hide from their past forever.  He is a generally nice person and he still loves Julie.  That is kind of a problem though.

Then last, and CERTAINLY least there is Barry.

Don’t even get me started.

Too late.

Barry is a stupid jock who has the stupidest logic of the decade known as the 70’s.  He and Helen are in a “relationship”.  That’s what Helen thinks it is at least.  Barry only stays with Helen because she is the Channel Five Golden Girl.  She is just an accessory.  She looks pretty on Barry’s arm.

Barry is also the campus player.  In the book he said “He has a date with Debbie something-or-other”.


Helen is completely oblivious to the fact  that Barry is a jerk and isn’t worth her time.  Helen is a trophy girlfriend and Barry can tell that she is looking to become a trophy wife.  And Helen practically worships Barry.


Julie: No.

Ray: No

Barry: I am so great. I have ladies on both arms.  I am in a super serious relationship with the Channel Five Golden Girl.  I am amazing. (more non intelligent words that I don’t want to list)

But Barry is my least favorite character for many reasons.  Hopefully now they are obvious reasons.

But really, this is a great book.  You know it’s a great book when the characters and the decisions impact you.  This book certainly has.

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—Meghan Brady, April 30, 2014

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

Hello fellas and lady fellas, The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley is a heartbreaking novel about a 17 year old boy, Andrew, and his journey through the weeks following a tragic accident he believes is his fault.  Andrew has lived in an abandoned part of the Roanoke General Hospital since the day of the horrible accident. As a boy gets rushed in the hospital surrounded by a dozen nurses and doctors, Andrew can’t help but feel like he should be friends with the kid that was set on fire at a party for being gay. The boy’s monstrous howls of agony fill the emergency room as  Andrew feels like everybody deserves something to live for, especially his burned boy. Andrew takes a liking to sneaking into his burned boy’s ICU room to hold hands and read him his Patient F comics and other books. Andrew and his burned boy, Rusty McHale, end up having a very special friendship which eventually leads to something more.

Drew (Andrew), has many friends around the hospital, including three ER nurses, Emma, Jo, and Steven. He also befriends two cancer victims who are his age, Lexi and Trevor, who are with him through everything. Drew even has a relationship with an elderly women in a coma who he likes to call Gran. She’s the best secret keeper Drew has. He tells her about the comic he’s writing about: Patient F, he tells her how sick Trevor is, how much he likes Rusty, that Death wears a pencil skirt and stockings, and how much he doesn’t like Death; he hates her. Father Mike (the priest that Andrew sometimes talks to) likes to tell Drew how everything will be all right and that Patient F needs something to love in order to be a superhero, even though Drew knows what utter horse crap that is.

Death is Andrew’s worse fear. She goes by the name Miss Michelle and wears beautiful skirts and flowy shirts that are pretty. She has long dark legs and Andrew hates her so badly. He is convinced that wherever that evil social worker goes, death follows. So he started calling her Death. Andrew believes that Death forgot to take him the night of the accident when his whole life collapsed and he watched his family die. He doesn’t want Death to take Rusty, Lexi, or Trevor. He doesn’t want Death to take him or anyone he loves. But how can he save his friends even with the help of Father Mike and his boss at the cafeteria, Arnold, when Death has him on her list?

I give this book five stars, it was amazing and sad and beautiful at the same time. You should definitely read it, my lovely little angels.

~~Cassandra Grace

Divergent Review


If you liked The Hunger Games, The Giver, and/or the Maze Runner, you will definitely like this book. Beatrice is a girl who lives in a Uptopian Society many years after the fall of our civilizations now. In this Utopia are five faction: Amity, where the happy live; Erudite, where the smart live; Candor, where the honest live; Dauntless, where the brave live; and Abnegation, where Beatrice and the selfless live.

Each year, the grade of children that turn 16 choose what faction they would like to live in for the rest of their lives. Among these is the protagonist, Beatrice. To help each child decide, they take an aptitude test, which highly recommends one choice. After Beatrice’s test, the distributer tells her she is equally able to be a part of three factions, a rare and dangerous result.

Beatrice is told she must not tell anybody, because if anyone found out, she would most likely be killed. At the Choosing Ceremony, she chooses Dauntless as Tris. Can Tris pass the Initiation course of Dauntless and keep the biggest secret of her life?

I enjoyed this book, though maybe not as much as the Hunger Games series. You should definitely read this series!

What Dr. Seuss’s Books REALLY Are

We all remember reading the incredible rhyming works of Dr. Seuss when we were young. The Lorax and the Grinch were our best friends. Mr. Pendergast, seventh grade ELA teacher, has uncovered shocking secrets about these bedtime stories.

The Butter Battle Book

The Butter Battle Book is actually inspired by the Cold War. The wall that separates the Yukes from the Zukes represents the Berlin wall in Germany that separated the East Germans from the West Germans. The disagreement of the way butter is spread represents the disagreement about culture, laws, and more. The Yukes and Zukes built bigger, badder, weapons than the last, but didn’t fire them, which is exactly how the Cold War went down.

The Lorax

A little obvious – this book is based off of pollution and destruction of the environment. Companies in the logging industry wrote their own book from the logger’s point  of view.

The Sneeches

Segregation, right? No. The Sneeches is really based off of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. In the book, special Sneeches were marked by stars, which allowed them to play on the beach and such. During the horrors of the Holocaust, Jews were marked by Stars of David which un-allowed them to do a lot of things.

I’m sorry if I’ve ruined any of your childhoods, but this is a very interesting topic and I encourage you to look up more political problems Dr. Seuss’s books are based off of.


Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry

“Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry,” is a novel by Mildred D. Taylor that was published in 1975.  It is told from Cassie Logan’s point of view, the only daughter in the Logan family.  She is nine years old and has three siblings, Stacey of age 12, Christopher-John of age 7, and Little man of age 6.  Other members of the family include Big Ma, Mama, Papa, and Uncle Hammer.  The novel takes place in Mississippi during The Great Depression and during segregation.  The Logans and many other black families get a lot of trouble from the Wallaces.  Kaleb, Thurston, and Dewberry Wallace are three brothers that own a small general store in the community, known as the Wallace store.  The Wallaces are extremely racist and prejudice.  They performed many terrible acts towards black families.  They participated in something called lynching, which is when people who aren’t involved in the legal system take matters into their own hands to punish an alleged transgressor.  This was often done by hanging or even burning people.  But the small general store they own plays a large role in the novel.  It was the only store in the area, so some families, even though they didn’t want to, needed to shop there.  When Mama decided to start boycotting the Wallace store, a lot of families agreed to participate.  Mama’s plan was to get shopping lists from families that were participating in the boycott and Papa would go to Vicksberg, a city that contained a different store, to do the shopping for everyone.  Mama  hoped that this would eventually send the Wallace store into the ground.  Another antagonist is a man named Harlan Granger who is after the Logan’s 400 acres of land, and will stop at nothing to get it.  We read this as a class this year and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It makes you think back to a whole other time where things are dramatically different than they are today.  I give this book 5 stars.

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—Meghan Brady, March 5, 2015

Love Letters to the Dead

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira is a haunting novel about Laurel and how she handles the death of her older sister, May. She doesn’t want people to know about May because their pity makes her feel more guilty, so when Laurel’s first english assignment of the year is to write a letter to a dead person, she has no idea what to do. But Laurel ends up choosing  many people, and throughout her freshman year she discovers how can she forgive herself if she hasn’t even forgiven May yet. Through Kurt Cobain, Amelia Earhart, and other famous people Laurel and May loved weaves Laurel’s story. Laurel eventually understands the fact that in order to forgive herself and May, she has can’t let go of her past but learn from it.  Freshman year is amazing and wonderful for Laurel; for the first time in a long time she has friends and a boyfriend who loves her. Keeping everything about May inside leads her to making bad decisions though. She ditches class, gets drunk a lot, and goes to parties. As everything that happened to Laurel floods through her memory, she forgets herself. During a party, she accidentally reveals her two best friends’ secrets to half her high school when a boy tries to make Laurel do things she doesn’t want to do. Her now ex-boyfriend saves her, and she finally comes to ok terms with her past, May, and Mother, who moved to California soon after May died.

A Wrinkle In Time

“A Wrinkle In TIme,” by Madeleine L’Engle is a science-fantasy novel written in 1962.  Its about a girl named Meg Murry and her younger brother Charles Wallace Murry.  Charles Wallace is a genius at the age of five.  Meg often feels that Charles Wallace can read her mind and know exactly what she is thinking. Their father is a government scientist who went missing after working on a mysterious and secret project called the Tesseract, although many believe the project wasn’t real. The book begins with the famous line,”It was a dark and stormy night.”  A thunderstorm raged outside the Murry household and Meg just couldn’t get to sleep in her attic bedroom.  She went into the kitchen and found Charles Wallace eating a snack.  Meg joined him and their mother followed suit soon after.  Their strange neighbor, Mrs.Whatsit also decided to pop in.  While visiting, she casually mentioned that the Tesseract was real. Mrs.Murry almost faints.  Meg realizes that this ‘Tesseract’ could help them find their father, something Meg has been dreaming of for a long time.  The next day, the children go to a haunted house that Charles Wallace already knows is Mrs.Whatsit’s house.  The character Calvin O’Keefe is introduced and he ends up going with them.  They meet Mrs.Whatsit’s sister, Mrs.Who.  She is equal if not stranger than Mrs.Whatsit.  Charles Wallace decides that they need to save their father and that they had to leave right away.  From here, the story takes off on a twisty time-roller coaster.  I give this book 3 stars.  If you like Science fiction, or Science fantasy then you would love this book.  Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 3.06.31 PM

—Meghan Brady, February 5, 2015

The Heroes of Olympus

If you’ve ever read Percy Jackson, don’t miss the spin-off series, The Heroes of Olympus. It’s about Greek and Roman mythology. Even if you don’t like mythologies, that doesn’t mean you’ll hate it. I used to despise mythology, but this modern interpretation of ancient legends and myth is hilarious and exciting.

The Lost Hero

The Lost Hero is about Jason, someone without his memory, Piper, a tomboyish girl, and Leo the comic relief, who find out they’re the children of Greek gods and goddesses! After traveling to Camp Half Blood, they journey on a heroic quest, where Piper’s dad is rescued and Jason puts together fragments of his lost memory…

The Son of Neptune

Personally, this is my least favorite book. Percy, who’s in the Roman half-blood camp, ventures out with Hazel, whose not totally alive, and Frank, whose life depends on a chunk of wood. Percy only remembers his girlfriend, Annabeth, as he has lost his memory too.

The Mark of Athena

The seven heroes of Olympus unite (Annabeth’s one too) and begin the quest to put Gaea, the earth, into a deep sleep as she is slowly but surely awakening, and plans to kill everyone. Annabeth must go on a quest alone to find a Athena statue, restoring respect for tyne goddess of wisdom. This was my favorite book of the five.

The House of Hades

I can’t tell you much about this book as the ending of the last book is a cliffhanger introducing this plot twist. Five demigods struggle to save two of their friends, while Hazel’s half-brother Nico is trapped by giants with nothing but pomegranate seeds to keep him alive.

The Blood of Olympus

With Gaea’s consciousness appearing at a faster and faster rate, the seven demigods work to find ways to put Gaea back to sleep while Coach hedge and two more, Reyna (Roman praetor) and Nico, bring the statue back to Camp Half Blood. The series begins to conclude as the gods finally come to help their kids. Will Gaea’s sleep result in a death in one of their own?

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call.

To storm of fire the word must fall.

An oath to keep with a final breath

and foes bear arms to the doors of death.

-Julia Menaker, January 8, 2015

The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time-Indian by Sherman Alexie

The book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is my favorite book in the world. It is so funny you could cry. Although it has been banned from many school systems, it will never make you snore.

Junior, the narrator of the story, decides to go to an all white school, even though the only other indian there would be the school mascot. He doesn’t want to be poor when grows up; Junior wants to follow his dreams. At his new school, Junior learns to stick up for himself without the help of Rowdy, his best friend at his home. Jr learns how to keep friendships, and handle his emotions. Junior faces major bullying, but makes a few good friends throughout the school year, too. In conclusion, this book is really good and you should read it.

–Cassandra Grace

The Book Thief

My favorite book EVER is The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. It takes place in Germany during World War II and the Holocaust. Liesel Meminger is a girl growing up during this time. Her brother passes away on a train, and during his funeral one of the grave-diggers drops a guide to digging graves. She picks it up, and uses it along with her father who has adopted her to learn to read and write. Playing soccer with her best friend Rudy, getting beat by teachers in school, and everything else in her daily life comes to a screeching halt when Max Vandenburg, a Jewish fist-fighter, comes to live in her basement to escape the hands of the Nazis. A friendship forms between Liesel and Max, and a strong one at that. Liesel steals books throughout the novel as the need for eating eats her up.

This story is brilliantly written. Those who like Lemony Snicket will also love this dark, exciting book. The further you get into the book, the more and more you find out about the mysterious narrator.

-Julia Menaker, December 11, 2014

A Christmas Carol Review

The seventh grade students recently went to see the play,” A Christmas Carol” at the North Shore Music Theater.  It’s based off the book written by Charles Dickens.  The seventh graders are currently reading the unabridged version, meaning the version that was written in 1843.  It was a wonderful play and I was extremely impressed.  The special affects, such as smoke, fireworks, on-point lighting, and music, were all done with obvious expertise.  The music was played by people on various instruments such as violins, a cello, a harp, trumpets, flutes and piccolos, trombones and other skillfully played instruments.  The play was very much like the book.  We could recognize lines said by the characters and the scenes that happened.  My personal favorite part of the play was when Marley came to warn Scrooge.  What I really loved about that  scene was the special effects.  They added smoke when Marley flew into the scene.  That’s right, he flew.  The actor was held in the air by a system of pulleys and wires.  There were fireworks and explosions when he yelled or shook the chains he wore.  The tone of each scene could really be felt and scene.  Some scenes in the play were different than the book, but for understandable reasons.  For one, certain scenes would be impossible to do on stage, such as when the hearse drives up Scrooge’s staircase in stave one.  But some would just throw off some viewers, such as the scene where it shows Belle (Scrooge’s fiancé ) and her new family.  That would confuse some people because it would show Belle much older, with another husband, another family, a whole new environment.  Overall, this play was extremely well put on and for anyone who hasn’t seen it, I 100% recommend seeing it.

—Meghan Brady, December 11, 2014

House of Secrets

“House of Secrets” is a book by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini.  Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker had everything they ever could have wanted, but when a strange and mysterious incident happens and Dr.Walker loses his job, they are forced to move.  They move into a huge, beautiful Victorian style house.  It seems too good to be true, because of the price they paid for the house.  The house also seems very strange and creepy.  But this strange and creepy house brings the three siblings on a roller coaster of an adventure.

I read this book in 5th grade and I really enjoyed it.  I am planning on rereading it after I finish the various other books I currently have my face buried in.  I don’t remember every detail but there was a few things that happened that makes you hate and love the book at the same time.  I guess that’s just a sign that it’s a good book.  I rate this book 3 and a half stars, because I couldn’t relate to the characters or many of the events that took place.  But over-all, it’s well written and a good book for a rainy day.


—Meghan Brady, October 26, 2014

The Hunger Games

“The Hunger Games” is a series by Suzanne Collins.  In place once known as North America, now known as Panem, there is a very rich city surrounded by twelve districts.  Every year there is the annual Hunger Games where a boy and a girl from ages 12 to 18, from each district fight in a broadcasted competition where they fight to the death.  Katniss is the main character at age 16.  Her 12 year old sister Prim was picked to be in the Hunger Games, and Katniss volunteered as tribute to take Prim’s place.

I read about 3/4 of this book and I didn’t enjoy it.  A lot of people enjoy this series, but I couldn’t get myself to enjoy it.  I didn’t end up finishing it because I took an interest in a few other books.  I rate this book 2 stars. I don’t recommend this book.

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—Meghan Brady, October 23, 2014

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The series,”Percy Jackson and the Olympians” is a bestselling series consisting of five books.  The main character is a boy named Percy Jackson, a demigod.  A demigod is a person who has one godly parent and one human parent.  Percy’s godly parent is Poseidon, the sea god.  He is expelled from multiple schools in his middle school years and finally, when his teacher turned out to be a monster that wanted his life, he went on a quest with his best friend grover who’s a satyr.  They voyaged to Camp Half Blood, the only place that kids like percy could be “safe”.  At Camp Half Blood, they’re safe from monsters trying to kill them, but there are various training exercises that are plenty dangerous, such as chariot racing, extreme capture the flag, and extreme rock climbing.  All the exercises train the kids to be ready for any quests that they need to go on.  Quests are extremely dangerous and there is no protection against monsters.  Percy, Grover, and Annabeth are sent on a quest to find the master bolt, Zues’s lightning bolt.  It was stolen by a mysterious thief and it ‘s up to Percy, Annabeth, and Grover to get it back.

This series is AMAZING.  It made me look at Greek mythology in a whole new way. I never really liked reading Greek mythology, but now I actually enjoy it, because I can relate it to characters or events mentioned in the book. The series consists of five books, The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of Labyrinth, and last but not least, The last Olympian.  Every book in the series is wonderful and i highly recommend this book.  THIS IS A MUST READ SERIES.  I rate this book 5 stars.  Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 3.01.40 PM

—Meghan Brady, October 23, 2014

The Fault In Our Stars

The book “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green is an award winning bestseller.  Hazel, a girl with cancer, believes that her final chapter is based on diagnosis, but only until one certain support group meeting.  Hazel had been to many sessions of support group, but this one in particular is special because she meets Augustus Waters.  Augustus, or Gus, is also a cancer survivor.  But the cancer wouldn’t leave without a prize, taking Gus’s leg with it.  Hazel and Augustus form a very strong bond and share a love for the same book, which helped them bond.

The book broke my heart into a million pieces in the end, but is a very good book.  A lot of people are reading it and most of the views are positive.  This book has the power to break your heart, make you laugh, and make you smile.  They made a movie a little while ago, which I did it, and it did a great job re-telling the story.  The movie was actually very accurate, unlike a lot of movies that are based off books.  I rate this book 5 stars.

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—Meghan Brady, October 23,2014

The One and Only Ivan

Ivan is a gorilla who prefers to take it easy.  He watches people watch him through the glass of his enclosure. He likes to watch TV and hang out with his friends Stella the elephant and Bob the dog.  Ivan loves to paint and does so frequently.  He meets Ruby, a baby elephant who was taken away from her family. Ruby’s arrival causes Ivan to see their “home” in a new perspective.  Change arrives along with Ruby and the changes are quite interesting.  What will change and how will three simple animals cause these changes?

This book is superb! I recently re-read it over the long weekend.  Ivan is a character that isn’t quite relatable to me, but his thoughts are clear and understandable.  I rate this book 4 stars because I couldn’t really relate to the characters or the situations.  It is still a wonderful book that I highly recommend.

The one and only ivan

—Meghan Brady, October 16, 2014 


Last year I read the book,” Wonder” by R.J. Palacio.  It’s about a boy named August Pullman who was born with a facial abnormality.  He feels normal inside and he does normal things but other kids don’t treat him like he’s normal.  He has been home schooled his whole life and this is his first year going to a real school.  All he wants is for the other kids to accept him.  How will this year go for him?

This is the type of book that you always tell someone else to read.  It really makes you live the life of August Pullman and feel what he’s feeling.  I let my math teacher borrow this book last year and she also loved it.  I liked how the book was written in multiple point of views so you can get a better sense of what the other characters are feeling.  I rate this book 5 stars.


—Meghan Brady, October 16 2014

Because Of Mr. Terupt

The Book, “Because of Mr. Terupt” is a very well written book by Rob Buyea.  It’s the beginning of fifth grade for Jessica, Alexia, Peter, Luke, Danielle, Anna, and Jeffery.  Mr. Terupt is their teacher and he makes class fun and enjoyable for them.  But on one snowy day at Snow Hill school, everything changes.  You’d be surprised what one little snow ball can do.                                                                                                                                                                              I read this book in fifth grade and enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed it so much that I read it two more times. For a while it was my favorite book. It really touched my heart and I felt like I could really feel what the kids were feeling like. The book is a mixture of happiness, sadness, and sometimes it was actually pretty funny.  My favorite character was Peter because he had a good sense of humor.  I give this book four stars because it made me feel what the kids were feeling.  I definitely recommend this book.

Mr Terupt

—Meghan Brady, October 11, 2014