School’s out, but we’ve got another review by Lillian.
Leah on the Off Beat is the amazing sequel to the book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, and it follows Leah, on of Simon’s three BFFs. It showcases the senior year (of high school) in Simon, Bram, Nick, Abby, and Leah. Although this book is from Leah’s perspective, it does show how different relationships from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda turn out and progress. This book is amazing, and it also helps you learn about more of the background characters from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda a definite must read. Embarrassing, Laugh out loud funny, beautifully written, this book shows a message similar to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and it is that everyone deserves a love story, and that’s why Becky Albertalli books are so moving and inspirational.
Eastern Middle School put on the production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth is a gruesome tale with a large amount of blood, death, and scandal. Written in 1606, the story, which is meant to be constructed in play form, is about a man named Macbeth who is told that he is to be king. After hearing this prophecy from three weird sisters, Macbeth, as many people would, sets off to kill the current king. This, however, didn’t make Macbeth feel powerful; it made him feel weak and powerless.
Eastern Middle School’s production of this show was a wonderful portrayal of this play fit with music, melancholy, and of course, murder. The actors and designers in this show have worked extremely hard and they delivered an amazing show. Someone important to highlight is Mr. Matthew Bowerman, the director of this incredible show. He is an actor himself and has brought so much to the production. His adaptation of William Shakespeare’s original work is amazing – the play has been brought to a whole new level. Many people’s favorite parts were the creativity and the music incorporated into the story. Macbeth has quickly become my most favorite Shakespeare play which is why I think you should take a look into this play as well.
Note from Mrs. Ray: Can’t get to a live production of Macbeth? I recommend Patrick Stewart’s film version. Want a modern adaptation? Read my novel MAC/BETH!
Keurybel is delightful. Smart, funny, sometimes quiet, lights up when he knows the answer or enjoys a reading or a concept. In middle school, which can be dramatic and wild, Keurybel seems to stay above the proverbial fray and cruise through the day. I always love when he comes through the door to Literature class. He’s enthusiastically written two reviews, and this is the first to be posted.
The Missing: Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix is about a 13-year-old named Jonah Skidmore who was adopted. He has always know he was adopted. But when he and his friend Chip start to receive strange letters and Chip learns he was also adopted, they, with Jonah’s “sister”, seek to find their true origins. After discussion with the FBI, JB (Janitor Boy), a janitor working under the FBI, and Angela DuPre, a pilot attendant, meet up with Jonah, Chip, and Katherine. Talking to JB about what the FBI is hiding and Angela about how 13 years ago, a plane landed mysteriously, out of nowhere, and landed with 36 babies onboard alone, Chip and Jonah find out that they are missing kids, kidnapped from history and time.
In The Missing: Found, there will certainly be laughter, confusion, and you guessed it, awesomeness! From this book, I learned the importance of friendship and maintaining history and time like nature. What I really liked about this book is that it puts a inexperienced 13-year kid into a life-or-death situation which just makes the story a lot more exciting and a lot more funnier. This series was also very cliff-hanging, which is to say that there is a lot of suspense, which I like. This series is one of the best in all the world of book series history. You just have to go back in time to get this series. It’s that good. Read it! I rate a 10 of 10. I recommend it for readers 10 and up who enjoy reading sci-fi and mystery, so go read it! It’s a must-read! There are 8 books in the series The Missing.
This week we have the SAME book independently reviewed by TWO different students. The book was recently made into a movie called Love, Simon, which I saw with my daughter and her friend, and we all loved it. It’s everything I loved about 80s teen movies with more diversity/true representation of the world they’re growing up in (and none of the creepily questionable depictions of women, which I didn’t notice as a teen). Great acting, great writing, great message, and now I need to check out the book!
Anyhow, the two students writing here today are George and Lillian. Lillian is a returning reviewer (her last one was for Every Last Word), and she’s still great fun and super energetic. George is new to this book review party, and he is a kind, thoughtful, determined guy with a smile that lights up a room. As we fly through the last quarter of the school year, I’m pondering how much I’ll miss then and their classmates come summer.
Everyone deserves a love story.
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: If he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing with, will be jeopardized. -Amazon
George writes: When you read Becky Albertalli Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, there will certainly be tears, laughter, and, most importantly, realness. Simon Spier, a gay teenager who is still ‘in the closet’, is just trying to define himself, and trying to love himself for who he really is, while life just keeps on throwing obstacles in his way. How the book depicts Simon as just a normal high-schooler going through life, makes me so happy. Most times, books with a LBGTQ+ protagonist goes out of the way to center the plot about the difficulties about coming out, and coming to terms about your sexuality, but not this one. It’s a genuinely heart-warming novel, a simple and sweet romance, one that makes you smile when you think of it, one that makes you feel so happy, as if you just ate a rainbow and there’s now flowers growing within your bones. The book really stands for the rights in the community, firmly stating that only you can come out, on your own accords, and that in the end, being gay really isn’t that special. Simon asks, “Why is straight the default?” It’s so sad that even in 2018, people are still homophobic and acts viciously cruel towards gay people. Everybody, whether you’re gay, straight, bisexual, whatever; this novel is truly a must-read, one that will make you think about it months after you finished it.
Lillian writes: Simon Vs The Homo sapiens Agenda is a book by Becky Albertalli. Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is about a “Not so openly gay” teenager Simon. This is the one secret that Simon is hiding from everyone, his friends, and his family… except for one person, “Blue”, the one person who Simon trusts with everything, his sexuality, his life, and his thoughts. But… one day . . . [note from M. Ray – I cut spoilers] Now, what will happen next in this story? Find out by reading this amazing book by Becky Albertalli. This is in my top five favorite books, and it can easily become yours, for this book is a work of art. Out of ten (one being AWFUL and ten being BEST BOOK EVER), I would rate this a 9, it’s an inspiring, funny, heartfelt book that definitely needs to go on your reading list. I definitely recommend this book to kids ages 10 and up.
Campbell is thoughtful, reflective, and sweet. She’s in the class that likes to “huzzah” when good things happen, and she always smiles at it with a mix of “this is so funny” and “I can’t believe this is happening”. It’s a great expression. Campbell always has great ideas, both on paper and when sharing with a group, so I’m thrilled she chose to share her book review with you.
“Some houses are more than just haunted… they’re hungry. Dash, Dylan, Poppy, Marcus, and Azumi don’t know this at first. They each think they’ve been summoned to Shadow House for innocent reasons. But there’s nothing innocent about Shadow House. Something within its walls is wickedly wrong. Nothing — and nobody — can be trusted. Hallways move. Doors vanish. Ghosts appear. Children disappear. And the way out? That’s disappeared, too… Enter Shadow House… if you dare.” –Amazon
Creepy ghosts that are dressed up as dolls trying to capture you, what’s better? Well, maybe being able to find the way out of a haunted house that has no exit. Dash, Dylan, Poppy, Marcus, and Azumi have been summoned to Shadow House for a variety of reasons that they think are real. Shadow House: The Gathering is a horror fiction book that gets graphic at times making it PG-13. Asides from that, this book is the perfect pick for people who love to read imaginative horror and don’t get scared very easily. You’ll also love this book if you like things along the lines of trapped spirits, solid ghosts, dolls filled with ash, dolls that have been decapitated, mirrors on fire, a hungry haunted house, and death. If not, well, that’s really to bad because it also includes lots of adventure, mystery, and cliff hangers which will leave you on the edge of your seat wanting to know more. In the end, this is a great book worth reading for all of its wonderful features.
Mia is an unassuming, sweet, reflective young lady who I never would have guessed would be a powerhouse on the stage, but she is! In December, I went to support a friend appearing in a play, and on walked Mia playing a bratty, rude, loud character — the exact opposite the kid I’d seen in class every day for months. An entertaining surprise! You can’t judge kids based on their in-class reserve, and you can’t judge a book by its cover. Or maybe you can, because since Miss Peregrine popped up on shelves (at the exact same time as Falling for Hamlet, as I recall), it looked intriguing, mysterious, and scary. Let’s see what Mia’s got to say about it.
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. – Amazon
Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the best book that I’ve read (so far) ever. Adventure, World War 2, monsters and very, very peculiar children – one of the best combinations ever. Set in modern times (Florida, USA), teenager Jacob Portman has always felt a little out of place. (I know that sounds like a cliche, but trust me, this is good.) With his grandfather getting older and his childhood dreams of being a world famous explorer fading from memory, Jacob is just getting settled into the normal life of anything and everything boring. But when a terrible and unbelievable “incident” happens, Jacob realizes that his grandfather’s old childhood stories might be a bit more real than he expected. This book is truly amazing, but just a warning it is a bit scary and creepy, so if that’s not your type you might want to read something else. Also it’s a series of three and there’s a movie, all great. Happy reading!