We're Middle School Students Writing about Reading!

Welcome to our blog--we're always in the middle of a good book here!

Our posts may include book reviews, original fiction, interviews with authors and bloggers, fan-fiction, fan art, and more, so join us in our journey to explore great books and learn about book blogging!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Rebellion: original fiction by ahool

                      Chapter 1: Escape
Lush and pure. Thats basically how GladeKeep looks. I have heard stories of places other than GladeKeep...places with dark valleys and metal trees. Yet my parents say that talk is nothing but nonsense...  

They all call me Roach, because I am a survivor. You can't get rid of me, I'm tougher than somebody who can only take a punch, I'm like somebody who can live through falling off tall trees and a slash to the neck. I guess I'm just used to that stuff. It happened a lot in GladeKeep when I was a kid.

I get up and walk through the river and look around, picking up some things that could be useful later on, looking through the water and lean over to pick up a rusty blade. Right before my fingers can reach the handle of the old knife, I feel  something slam into my side. 

I look up and see Teo, a friend of mine who I have known since I was seven.

"What the--" I exclaim. "Why are you out of the grounds, Teo?! Is something wrong?" 

Teo looks at me and says one word, "Run." I scramble to my feet and see the very city I was born in under attack by masked figures armed with pistols, grenades and torches. 

I look at Teo and grab his hand because he is the only one I have left besides me. I have an awful feeling the others won't make it. Still gripping his hand, I pick up the old knife and run from the very place I was born, the place I thought was safe.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul By bubblelover

Title: Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
Author: Mark Victor Hansen
Format: Soft cover
Price: $12.05

This book has so many stories. I loved this book so much, it had stories about love, about losing love, and about learning. There was one story were three kids had gone to the store with one of their mothers and they saw a huge box, and took it home when the got home they took it to the back yard and sat in it all day using there imagination. Then when they all had to go home one of them was supposed to cover it in case of rain and forgot. The next day it was soaked from the rain they were sad for a while and then they decide to ask for a new one. It wasn't as great as the old one but there will always be more boxes out there and the'll find one like that someday.

What I liked about this book was that it had lots of different stories about learning and mistakes. I could relate to a lot of the stories because lots of them are about family and stuff. My favorite part was the box in the rain story, but I've already talked about that, so my second favorite part was the one where a boy is at a golf course, and this was when there was a lot of racism. The boy was black and his team was white, and they stuck up for him, and they forfeited because they didn't want to play without him.

I would recommend this book to people who like advice in books.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 chocolate bars.
Appropriateness: It's not inappropriate, except there's some talk of racism and stuff. I suppose there were also mentions of suicide.
Cover Thoughts: They could have put more on it, but it was okay.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Can you keep a secret? Review by Porkers

Title: Can you keep a secret?
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Format: Paperback
Price: $9.99

This book was about a girl called Emma Corrigan who lived in London, England. She went on a plane to help out with a meeting and there was a lot of turbulence on the plane. She was so nervous because she doesn't like planes so she accidentally started telling all her secrets to this guy sitting next to her called Jack Harper. Little does she know that he was the founder of Panther Cola. 

I really enjoyed this book. I like the sense of humor the author used and how descriptive she was while explaining where they were or what a person looked like. My favorite part was when Jack Harper had an interview and everyone was watching it from a tv in the office. Then Emma had to man the phones but she went to watch it anyways, and she was mortified because, later after she was watching it for awhile Jack accidentally started saying her secrets on tv.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 chocolate bars.There was violent language in this book.I thought the cover of this book represented the book well because it had key representing when you lock your mouth shut and don't tell anyone the secret that you are supposed to keep.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Best Friends For Never, A Clique Novel: Review by Alyx

Title: Best Friends For Never, A Clique Novel
Author: Lisi Harrison
Format: Paperback
Price: $9.99

There are five main characters in the novels of the Clique. First is Massie Block, who is gorgeous and hopes to rule the social scene at Octovian Country Day. Massie decides to throw her first boy/girl Halloween party, to keep her spot on top. Massie is mad. She doesn't know what's scarier, her parents making her invite the entire grade or that she has to throw the party with Claire. Next is Dylan Marvil, who has lost weight, has a bad attitude, and is planning on using her "new" boy to snatch a new guy. Then there's Kristin Gregory, who is jealous that Dylan likes the same guy she does, and she will do whatever it takes to get him. Her favorite quote is, "Clothes are for sharing. Guys aren't." Next, Alicia Rivera, who wants to takeover everything. And finally, Claire Lyons, who is out of the group and really wants back in.

I really enjoyed this book. I like that it is based upon friendship and the fact that I could relate to this book. I like how this book has letters in it because it makes the book more fun to read. My favorite part would have to be towards the end of the book when Claire and Cam were writing "love" letters back and forth. Claire isn't positive if Cam likes her or not. But Claire likes Cam! The last letter that Claire received from Cam, she read the note five times.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 chocolate bars. The book is contemporary fiction. I thought the cover of this book didn't really explain anything, other than the three main characters on the cover giving each other, "I'm mad at you, don't talk to me" looks. These girls are constantly getting into fights and starting drama over a halloween party with some guys. The design on the cover was pretty cool and the book was neatly organized.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a review by Ezio

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows is like one of my favorite books! It was a very good book. 

This book is mostly about Harry, Ron, and Hermione getting the final horcruxes in order to defeat Voldemort. 

SPOILER ALERT! Harry and Voldemort have the FINAL BATTLE!! Harry has to look for the Horcruxes (as heard about in book 6.)  

I like it because there was a lot of suspense, it was thrilling because Harry is running through a bank and a castle that is like crumbling. My favorite part is the final battle because it was cool. You didn't know who was going to win, even though you have a pretty good idea because mostly it's the good people who win. My favorite character is Harry. I relate to him because he breaks rules and doesn't listen to rules, and I do the same, at least not all the time. He also takes risks, and I also take risks, like when I jumped off a twenty foot cliff into a lake and almost hit the rocks. I've finished this series twice because I really like it. I recommend the series to ages at least nine and up, or just people who really, really love a good book.

I rate 5 chocolate bars!

Appropriateness: swearing and lots of violence
Cover Thoughts: Pretty cool. It gave you and idea of what was going to happen in it, not much though. 

plz comment!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Search Ch. 2, original fiction by fluffyvragon13

Things Get Weird

(For Chapter 1, click on "The Search" in the tags!)

The first trap he ran into was a rope sticking out of a bush. He was on the ground trying to get up and he saw a tall man with a black mask. Ben cut the rope and ran the opposite way he was supposed to. “MOM…DAD!” yelled Ben at the top of his lungs. He got to the lake and realized he was going the wrong way, yet he was at a different part of the lake. 

He looked around for a while. Then he saw he was on the other side of the lake of his cabin. He heard leaves crumpling. “Hello?” said Ben. He turned around and saw a little wolf running toward him. The wolf sniffed him and licked his hand. "Hey there, little puppy." 

"Woof," said the wolf. 

"I will call you Snippy." Because Snippy had nipped his hand before. Ben started to walk and Snippy followed him. Snippy saw a fish jump out of the water, so he jumped and swallowed it in one bite. Now to get my mom and dad. So he  ran toward the way he was supposed to. Just  then he saw the same man behind a tree. 

The man gave him a small axe and said, "You will need this." Then the man ran off. 

What was that all about? Then Ben and Snippy ran off again.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chapter 3: White Magic, by Ahool

Chapter 3: A book, a portal, and a bunch of random junk

Last thing I really remember was seeing Jess in her room, a bunch of fire and a diseased squirrel.

So as the dragon escalated higher into the air I saw ANOTHER weird shape and this is what it looked like: scorpion tail, bat wings, lion body, and the most awful of all, a distorted human face with blood dripping from its awful grin. A manticore. I don't know why in the world I did it. I guess I thought it was a dream, but I stood up on the dragon's back, leaped onto the manticore and yelled "FOR NARNIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! " while jabbing it with a plastic fork.  I probably looked like a psycho committing suicide.

I saw an image of her sitting on her bed, safe. The beast I was sitting on was thrashing madly. "GET OFF OF ME PUNY MORTAL!!!!!!"

"In your dreams, rat breath." (Seriously he needed some mints.)

Then a squirrel that was foaming at the mouth came out of NOWHERE and leaped on the beast's face, giving me some time to escape. I was so caught up in the moment I chucked my book into the air and it exploded into a portal. "WHAT DA HECKS?!" The manticore reared in mid-air and I fell into the portal.

"I REGRET NOTHING!!!!!!" I yelled, and then I blacked out. I woke up in a stinky, smelly place that smelled like death. I saw a candle "Vanilla death" (Oh, that  makes sense) Then I saw a plate of bacon, so I was like, "Oh cool, I can live with that," so I started eating the bacon (om nom nom... ) Then I  started walking around with my plate of  delicious bacon and I came to a table that had candles on it so I was like, "They are so colorful!"(sarcasm) They were mostly brown and ugly colors.  I saw a label that said (Unicorn turds) "Ewwww." I walked down another corridor and saw a plain, normal-smelling candle and poked  it. It erupted into flames ^_^. I picked it up and danced to gangnam style o(^-^o) (o^-^o) (o^-^)o.

I heard a creepy scream. I ran in that direction like I'm gonna save sombody's butt today! I finally got to it and saw a vampire carrying a random person. "Who are you? Life gaurd?"

But he just growled, "Get to your cell, worm, before I bite you and suck out all your blood until you look like a deflated whoopie cushion!" 

"I DON'T WANNA!"  I threw bacon at his face, kicked his shin, and grabbed the girl he was carrying. But  she resisted and pushed me away. So I was like, "What, you want to die or somethin?!"

I saw the vampire was wearing a cool mask. "I WANT A COOL MASK!!" I grabbed it and put it on my face. But  he picked me up by the hood.

"NOBODY TOUCHES MY HOODIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  

The girl said, "Run or you'll die, so move it!"

"Fine.." I grabbed her arm and ran, leaving my beloved plate of bacon sad and alone on the ground. Then  she created another portal. Before she pushed me in, I sat on the ground and pouted (everyone hates pouting children). The girl made a sparkly ball of sparkles. I blacked out for the second time. To be continued....

Friday, May 10, 2013

The wave by Kolton

wave-thbTitle: The Wave
Author: Todd Strasser
Format: Soft cover
Price: $6.99
Pages: 138

This book is about some kids in high school who watched a video about what the  Nazis did to the Jewish people. The kids suddenly get very interested in it and wanted to do a little classroom experiment, but it gets way out of hand.

I thought that this was a really good book. It was a historical fiction book that was based on an incident that took place in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, in 1969. One of the book's strengths was how the author makes it seem like the time period, like using the older words. I liked it because the book had lots of words on one page, so it was a longer book, not a really short book. I think longer books have a better storyline. My favorite part of the book was when things go back to normal in the end because it seemed like everything was better after that. Laurie Saunders was one of the main characters, and she seems like she would be a really nice person. I would recommend the book to people who are from the ages of 11 to 18, people who like real stories.

Rating: I give this 5 out of 5 chocolate bars.
Appropriateness: There are a couple of swear words, but that's about it.
Cover Thoughts: I like the cover because it's orange, and I like orange, and it has the Wave symbol.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday Wondering: What Makes a Book Good?

Wednesday Wondering: What makes a book good? by Lilly,The Muse
Today I interviewed multiple students in my school about what they want to read in a book. There were only three girl volunteers, many boy volunteers, and one teacher.
(I have created code names for people whose names I didn't know.) 

Volunteer#1: Violence and adventure.
Guns, violence, blood, gore and a bit of mystery, but not too much so I don't get confused. --Mason

The same thing as Mason but no mystery and lots of violence.

Mystery, action, and fantasy. --Giggle Monster

Action, killing, fantasy, and at least one death. --H.1.M.

Blood, guts, gore, death, and machine guns. And death. -- Random Man

I don't know. As long as it's interesting I don't care. --Manly Man
Guns, death, murder, and aliens. --Person 2

Murder, fantasy, death, and with a movie about it so I don't get confused.  --Person 3

Death, destruction, and cyborgs. --Gabe

Death, fantasy, and many deaths. --Male volunteer
Nothing boring. --Gamer Man(Duh)
(sorry for the monotony but these are the answers)

I don't care as long as it has pictures. --Giggle Dude
(this is what our male youth is becoming....illiterate)

I love violence in books and them being about a video game. --The Man
(so basically a gaming manual)
Some times I like fantasy, non realistic (science fiction), and sometimes I like realistic fiction like medical thrillers. I like realistic characters, but most of all something that changes my point of view  about something. --Teacher X

Violence, action, and adventure. --Text Master

No romance and all action and pictures. --Handsome Man

(In my defense, these people were volunteers and came willingly. Don't shoot me; I'm the messenger.)

Personally, I like diversity in the books I read, but I'm not crazy about non-fiction books. I love books that can take me away from this world and its problems.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bad Moonlight: A Review by M. C. Doodledog

Title: Bad Moonlight
Author: R.L.Stine                                         
Format: Paperback
Price: $8.89   

Hey it's M.C. Doodle dog and I just finished a great book! Its called Bad Moonlight by R.L.Stine. The main character Danielle had just lost her parents when they got in a car crash. Danielle lives with her aunt and brother.  Her aunt said that she should join a band so Danielle did. When she was with the band Danielle would get horrifying fantasies that seemed so real. The people in the band are Dee (she does NOT like Danielle at all!), Joey ( he hits on every girl he can see), Caroline (she is REALLY nice to Danielle ), Mary Beth, Billy, And Kit (Danielle has a crush on him!). Before the concert, Danielle went on a walk with Kit! The band did their first concert and rocked the house. After that bad things started to happen. As you get farther in the book, Danielle starts to just run, at random times when she she's in the moonlight she just runs. Danielle thinks Kit is the only thing that keeps her safe.

What I really liked about this book is how many times it made me predict what was going to happen next. And how the book would make you think one thing was happening but it wasn't. What I didn't like in the book is how some of the characters turned out. That's pretty much all of the things I didn't like. My favorite parts were whenever  Danielle and Kit were together. It made my stomach tingle.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 chocolate bars.
There was violence in this book.
I thought that the cover of the book was pretty good, but I thought that it could have been better. It was really fun trying to find out who was who on the cover.   

Friday, May 3, 2013

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: a review by Ellis

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J. K. Rowling
Price: $29.99
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 734

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire sucked.......... JUST KIDDING! THE BOOK ROCKS!! My favorite part of the book is when Harry is flying away from the dragon.  I like that part because it's entertaining and thrilling. 

This book was mostly about the other wizarding schools coming in to Hogwarts for a tournament, the Tri-Wizard Tournament and the betrayal that comes from the three schools. Harry is the fourth contender in the Tri-Wizard tournament, when usually there were only three: one from each school. 

The strengths of the book is that it is entertaining, and when you stop reading (if you ever do), it's a cliffhanger. The book was very thrilling, and it was a very heated story. There was more fighting and the climax was a life and death situation and it was about knowing your spells and being quick thinkers. The ending was reminiscent and Dumbledore dedicated a speech to one of the students. And that's all I can tell you for now.

Rating: 4.5 chocolate bars out of 5 (at points it got boring)
Appropriateness: There is a little bit of vulgar language, kissing and mushy scenes, and lots of violence. I'd recommend it for 8 years old and above.
Cover Thoughts: It told us a little bit about what it was about. It was kind of weird but fun, a very good book.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wednesday Wondering: Classics: Good or Bad?

What are thought on teachers requiring us (students) on reading classic novels??

Hello Bloggers and blog enjoyers, I did a random survey on how we (middle school students) feel about reading classic novels! So here are my responses...

Bob Lincoln: I don't like it.
Fred O.: I don't enjoy it.
Lilly: I think it is a somewhat bad idea.
Hooligan: I think it is valuable but they should be mixed up with other books.
Harry Styles: it is HORRIBLE!!!!
Keshaun: Good
Niall Horan: AWFUL!!!!!!!!
Teacher X: I think it is a good idea.
Puzzels: It is okay but mostly boring.
Skog: Classic novels are the bomb-diggity: :)
Adam West: brilliant idea!
Frediliacorn: Classics are good, but variety is also good!

So my thoughts on this is some classics are really good, like Charlotte's Web. But some can be really boring but I can't name any because they were so boring I don't remember the name!!

Well, what are your thoughts on classic novels (write in the comments)


Monday, April 29, 2013

Twilight: A Review Lillian

Twilight Post by Lilly,The Muse
Title: Twilight
Price: $10.99
Format: paperback
Author: Stephenie Meyer

Bella (main character) moves to a place she hates because she thinks she needs to. At first her life sucks until she sees  Edward Cullen (a vampire) and immediately has a huge crush on him. Then she finds out he is avoiding her and acts like he doesn't like her. Then they suddenly start dating? Then he tells her he is a vampire and shows her that he can.....Sparkle? Then things get out of control. Will Bella go for the werewolf or the vampire?

Opinion of the book: Well, it was boring at first and then it got interesting. A strength of the book was the drama and the sparkling. A weakness was the boring beginning. It really took endurance to start the book. They should tell us more about the book other than she hates where she lives. One of my favorite parts was the sparkling because it was funny. Here's what I would have done in my head if a guy showed me he could sparkle, I'd be like, "YOU CAN SPARKLE!" and then he'd be like, whut. And I'd say, "YOU GLIMMER!" and then I'd annoy the heck out of him doing that over and over. *evil giggle*

Chocolate bars: 4.23 out of 5
Cover thoughts: Awesome but it looks like it should be in an art gallery instead of on a book.
APPROPRIATENESS: a Vampire (hehehe I made a funny)

Friday, April 26, 2013

The search chapter 1 by fluffyvragon

1 The Start

Once not long ago a little kid (not as little as you think), went to his family's cabin on mount. Olympus. It was a warm summer, to hot for a jacket yet to cold to keep you out of the water,(I almost forgot, Ben was his name.) 

"Ben, come help me unload the car," asked his mother Jennifer (Jen for short).

"Yes coming mom," said Ben. 

"Dan, you too," yelled Jen. 

When they unloaded the car, they checked out the cabin. "This cabin feels weird," exclaimed Ben. 

"Don’t you worry, Ben," said his mom. 

Though his mom said not to worry, he still did. Everything was creepy: the rooms, the stairs, even the outside was creepy. After supper, Ben decided to check out the surroundings of the cabin. There was a lake and a lot of trees there, but the strangest thing was there was a cabin only a few minutes away.  
That night Ben was in the middle of a good night's slumber, and then he heard a loud scream coming from the living room. He ran out and saw a truck driving off. He ran to get his parents, but they weren’t there. Then the phone rang. He answered it he heard on the phone, "If you want them back you have to do the following: go outside, go 350 yards into the wood, come to the nearest cabin, look for a red truck, and look into the window then you will see them." So Ben did. He went outside and started to look. Very quickly he noticed that there were many traps.

To be continued...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

No Respect! an essay by Jacqi

No Respect
“The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it.”- George Bernard Shaw.

The English language is full of beautiful words. They practically take all of your concentration to say because they have that much emotion.

Unfortunately, most words like that don’t exist in the average American’s vocabulary anymore. Suddenly, shorthand took over and there were no more long and luscious words, just short, misspelled words that can be interpreted any way instead of the specific and detailed beauty of Shakespeare’s words. Generation by generation, we’re losing our language to words that completely rewrite the rules of grammar. To teach it in schools is absurd. Formal writing is the best, and only, way to write.
With all our new technology, it’s no wonder that shorthand became a main part of teen culture. Apple practically comes out with a new product every month, which is the same as the last, except it has one new and advanced feature. Then, teens beg their parents to buy it for them, and for what? To sit around all day, playing games, going on social networking sites, and texting, plus doing all of those things while lying on a couch for multiple hours. They’re so lazy; they don’t even have the energy to type a whole word out. It doesn’t help that their phones’ keyboards are so small. It makes it easier for them to shorten words. But while they think they’re being productive, with every word they misspell, they’re ingraining that misspelled word into their brains and changing the English language as we know it.
Language, as we know it, is still completely different from what it once was. Long ago, people spoke with lots of emotion and detail. They spoke almost melodically and in a way that seemed specific to that situation, but could really mean anything. Nowadays, teens say “Was up?” Not even “How was your day?” Just two words, was and up. Where’s the beauty in that? By shortening every thing, the words lose meaning and become less important, thus deteriorating the English language.
Letting our children speak like that is one thing, but teaching that to them is preposterous. In the article, they say that as teens add new words to the English language, they remove others. That throws millions of years of work and the making of words straight into the garbage.
Shorthand, besides emoticons, is hard to translate into other languages because of the shortened words and loss of vowels. Learning it is going to make learning a different language that much more complicated and the English language is complicated enough. There are so many punctuation, grammar, and spelling rules that most people can barely keep track. The article claims, “Half of the teens surveyed said they sometimes fail to use capital letters or proper punctuation in assignments.” Teaching shorthand in schools will just promote bad grammar and blur the lines between English and shorthand. The formal way of writing will be ruined.
Why would you want to ruin the English language? We’ve built it up and it still has so much potential. Teaching shorthand in schools will make teens think that it’s okay to ignore that. Shorthand disrespects the English language and teaching it makes Shaw right.

Monday, April 22, 2013

My Sisters Keeper: A Review by ArwenPond

Title: My Sisters Keeper
Book Format: Kindle Book
Author: Jodi Picoult
Number of Pages: 432
Price: $7.85

Anna Fitzgerald is the youngest of three and her older sister, Kate, is sick with leukemia. The only reason Anna was ever born was to save Kate, and everyone knows it. Now, after 13 years of donating, Anna is suing her own parents for the rights to her body. And the right to not give Kate a kidney that could save her life.

This book kinda left me speechless. I really don't know what to say about it. I simply can't imagine going through anything that the people in the book do. When I read the ending I was crying so hard, it's written so beautifully. Seriously, I don't have a clue what to say. I guess that since I read it for a book report I expected myself to not want to read it, but then I just couldn't stop and not because I was being forced to read it but because I just couldn't put it down without knowing what happened next. Read the book, ok? It's more than amazing, there aren't even words to describe it.

I give this book 5 out of 5 chocolate bars.

The cover, it has two girls leaning against each other which fits the story perfectly, Anna and Kate need each other. One would die with out the other. Perfect.

There is swearing and it's a banned book, so it's not appropriate for all ages. It's very serious and there are things that can be considered controversial so if you're in 5th grade or younger I wouldn't read it, well, maybe if you're in fifth grade, but I don't know. Anywho not totally appropriate.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fangs on My Neck Ch. 2, original fiction by The Muse

Title : Fangs on my neck
Author: Lillian G 
By The Muse
Warning: Swear words are replaced by beep,Violent scenes and romance are in this book.

Light pounded my eyelids and I opened them to see a night black wolf beside me. I couldn't believe my eyes, but there it was -- a real in the flesh, midnight-black wolf. It looked me in the eye. We stared each other in the eyes for a while. Then it looked away and growled. I looked up, and I saw the most disturbing images of my life. All around me were people in chains and fairy-like creatures in cages. The most disturbing of all was a beautiful, white-winged horse chained to the middle of this holding cell. The only way we could see was by the tiny amounts of light produced by the tiny pieces of wax they called candles. Occasionally THEY would pay us "slaves" a visit. Usually one of the people left with them and they didn't come back...alive. 

On those days when they died we got their bodies and a fire to cook them on when our overlords felt generous, but on bad days we "human toys" were forced to work outside. If other overlords liked one of us they paid the overlord to entertain them. I could hear their cries as the Overlord bit into their necks. Pretty girls here never last long.

They told me stories about the overlord, and his real name is Zuko. At first I laughed but the tale of the servants he bit and the extent of his power scared me into silence. Then  a guard came in and unchained us all and said, "So move it!" We ran to the kitchen got our food and ran back and ate in our cells.That was our usual schedule: work, then return to our cells and run to get our food and run back. 

Sometimes the days blurred together and I was about to eat the last of my food when a tiny voice asked, "Can I have a bit of your food please?"

I turned to see one of the fairy people on my shoulder. It honestly surprised me. I turned to her and replied,"Of course," and she almost jumped into my crude bowl. I caught her and lowered her to the rim. Others asked and I said, "Why not?" to most of them, and suddenly all the food in my bowl was gone! 

Then another guard came in and said, "OK all of you females in this cell come with us NOW!"and all of us girls went with them submissively but I held my head high. Most of the smaller girls crowded near me. To them, I was a sort of mother because...well, I was the oldest human girl there, so I had to help them and take care of them. Then  I was tugged out of my mind by one of my favorites, Ally. Most of the children taken were too young to remember their own names, so I gave them names. Ally was my favorite because she reminded me of Lily, my best friend I told you about earlier. She had a limp because she hurt her ankle carrying her best friend Silas.

She looked at me pleadingly and asked,"Can you please carry me?" and I couldn't resist her big eyes. So I said, "Sure." Then after a while we came to a door and other guards and their charges stopped at the door with us and naturally the kids crowded behind me only the fairies, elves and many other creatures stayed up front with me. Then the doors opened and the guards ushered us in. Then right behind me and the creatures the doors shut. The children started moaning my name like this,"Luuucy, come back,Where are you?" I ran to the door and pounded on it as hard as I could, but the door was unyielding and sturdy. I was hauled away from the door by the guards, but they weren't as rough as usual. They were still pretty rough. Then the doors creaked open and there stood Ally.  She said, "You know the doors were open, right?"

I blushed and said, "Ohh..... really." Then she started running at us and the guard grabbed her by the hair and said, "What should we do with this one?" I struggled in the guard's grasp, helpless to help her. Then a comandling voice said, "Stop Now!" and that's all I can tell you people for now.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I < 3 Texting! an essay by Flannery

(for the first essay on this topic, check out Camille's view here!)

Ttyl. Lol. Brb. Idk. Rofl. Gtg. These expressions are commonly used, but what about in formal writing? Informal text language should be allowed in formal writing in schools.

Experts warn that it could "change the English language" (Teen Writing Makes Teachers :-() but the English language is always changing. Our current form of English is very different from Middle English, which was spoken not so very long ago. Our language also changes when slang words are added and obsolete words are removed.

But opponents say that text lingo could make proper capitalization and grammar obsolete. "Half of the teens surveyed said they sometimes fail to use capital letters or proper punctuation in assignments" (Teen Writing Makes Teachers :-(). Blaming texting for a a lack of capitalization or punctuation is an extrapolation. Students may be lacking these qualities in their writing because of a deficit of knowledge or just plain laziness, not texting. If texting lingo is used in formal writing assignments, then the improper writing should be specifically addressed by the teachers. The differences between formal and informal should be taught throughout school, just like traditional grammar.

Our language is how we express ourselves and our traditional grammar and rules have changed as we have new outlets to express ourselves. As we approach an increasingly digital age of communication, it makes sense that so does our language. Language is a reflection of the culture and in our culture phones are a status symbol and bigger, better phone plans are constantly being marketed toward us, then are language should reflect that culture. Using texting lingo in a formal writing in schools would make writing more relevant and more appealing to the children who use texting as their dominant form of education.

Texting is now a permanent part of our culture and society. To reflect that change, texting lingo should be allowed in formal writing in schools.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Zach Chronicles by Cecilia

At 7:00 Zach jumped out of bed. Today his mom would get married; she left him a list
of what to do while she goes out. So he will do it. Number one on the list is call Tyler.
Email Emalia, etc.… I hope Abby is going to be there, thought Zach. 

Beep, beep, beep!

Zach jumped up; it was all a dream. 

Abby jumped out of bed at 9:00 to the beep beep beep of her cell phone. Her hand knocked over her lamp. Her heart fluttered. The text was from Cece. She opened the message. It said, "See you soon!"

Never, thought Abby. “Dad, time to go! I need to get to the store so I can get you and Sonja a wedding present."

"Murf," he mumbled. "10 more minutes."

"Okay, dad I’m going to bike. See you in 20."

"Mom I’m going out to get a wedding present for you and Tyler, see you in 20. I don’t need a ride. I’m going to bike." He pulled his bike out of the driveway. Only 10 more minutes till town, he thought.  

Beep, beep, beep! He reached for his phone. "Mom, I’m fine arrrrrrrrg I’m fine." He crashed into somebody. "Okay, not fine." He jumped up to see if the girl was okay. The girl was sitting up, shaking her head. "Hello I’m Zach, are you okay?"

"Yeah I’m fine. I’m Abby by the way. I was just on my way to get a Sonja wedding present are you--"

"I was going to get Tyler a--"

"What you're Zach!" 

"And you’re Abby." 

After the wedding 

At 7:00 at night Zach was hanging upside down on a tree scaring random ladies.  Abby was just across the street. She was going to get cake, pizza and pop. Zach saw her and asked her if she needed help. She told him  he had to ask his mom, and she had to get changed for the party. Zach’s mom was okay with it. "Bye Mom see you in 20." He went to help Abby get the food for their little party.

Abby was walking down the staircase in a strapless prom dress, ready to go to the party. She had curled hair, was wearing makeup, and looked really beautiful. He felt all mushy inside. "Uhm...you look nice."

It was then Zach figured out he was in love with his step-sister.
more soon!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

White Magic, Ch. 2. Original fiction by Ahool

Chapter 2: I ditch school ( first time and hopefully my last )

The dragon seemed puzzled for a few moments but finally answered my question, “Well.. I am here because of the danger here."

“What does that have to do with us?”

I asked. “Well I have come to take you from this place”. The dragon replied softly.(I then realized that the dragon was in fact a she.)  “Well how are we going to leave?” Jesse asked with nervousness in her voice. 

Before the dragon could reply a wolf/like humanoid leaped right in front of me. “What the bleep!?” I quickly hit the creature with my back pack and ran as fast as I could. As I looked over my shoulder the wolf was gone but in its place was a dude that looked about the age of 16. I then repeatedly hit him on the head with my textbook and ran for it. The boy’s eyes flashed amber and he s-l-o-w-l-y got to his feet.

I kept running. When I reached the dragon I did something out of pure instinct. I leaped onto the dragon’s back and pulled Jesse up by me. “Fly!!” I yelled . The dragon nodded her head and leaped into the air.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Title: House RulesAuthor: Jodi Piccoult
Format: paperback
Price: $16.00
Summary: The main character, Jacob Hunt, was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome when he was an infant. Aspergers is on the Autism spectrum, and has many hallmarks that, to those who havn't heard of it, can look a lot like guilt. Most are thing like not picking up any social cues, being terrible at expressing himself and despiratly sticking to routine. But, shying away from eye contact and nervous ticks are both things that make his story even less convincing.
Jacob went with his social skills tutor, Jess Ogilvy, to a pizza shop for his lesson on Sunday. During pizza, they got into an argument and Jess stormed out telling Jacob to "just get lost". For their next lesson, on Tuesday, Jacob went to Jess's house not realizing that she meant what she sayed on Sunday.

SPOILER ALERT: (highlight text to read)
Jacob went into the house, and when he couldn't see or hear anyone, he went upstairs. He found Jess's body naked, and lying in a pool of blood in the bathroom. EVEN MORE OF A SPOILER ALERT: He cleaned up the blood in the bathroom and got Jess dressed. Thinking that he would get caught, he put false evidence in place to point the blame in a totally different direction. He then dragged Jess's body into a culvert 200 yards away from her house. OKAY, END OF SPOILER ALERT.

Jess's boyfriend reported her missing and detective Rich Matson was assained the her case. He looked in Jess's day planner and found jacob's leson written down for the day she went missing. He interrigated Jacob and later took him into custody. While in prison, Jacob could not handle it. he constantly injured himself and got into teouble. It got so bad that he was put into a flesh clorored, padded room. The day Jacob was put into jail, Jacob's mom, Emma Hunt, got him a layer named, Oliver Bond. After a couple days, Oliver succesfully got Jacob out of prison and under house arrest. While preparing for the upcoming trial, Jacob tried to tell Oliver what really happened, but he never listened. At the very end of the trial, the defense's last witness was Emma. Jacob got so agitated by the prosecution's questions and his mother's answers that he interrupted the interrogation and demanded to speak. Oliver didn't previously put Jacob on the stand because their defense was an insanity plea and if Jacob testified, Oliver was afraid that it would go horribly wrong. Yet, Jacob told his story and then left the jury to decide. Six days later, the Hunt family received new evidence pertaining to Jacob's case. On the way to the court house, the book ended.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 chocolate bars
Cover Thoughts: I didn't hate the cover. It didn't nessesarily pertain to the book at all. There was no lake in the book, and it might have just been me, but I imagined Jacob a totally different way; even when he was a child. I do realize that it can be hard to get a good book cover, and make it represent all of your book.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Omg! Lol, Thatz Cray! 0.o By Camille

A recent survey was done concerning the topic of text language or informal writing. Text language is shorthand usually used by teenagers in text messages (ex: omg, lol, ttyl). Sixty four percent of the 700 students said that, sometimes, their texting language slips into their formally written school assignments. Writing in text language shouldn’t be accepted by teachers as a piece of formal school work.
Some people say that this new way of writing could change the way we write normally. First of all, informal writing is immature and should not be thought of as a new way of language. When people see a piece of informal writing, it looks sloppy and it seems like it took you five minutes on something you might have worked hard on. If you’ve ever read something in text language, you’ve seen that capitalization and punctuation are often missing, which is important for an impressive piece of writing.
 With that said, text language is not a good thing to be familiar with in your writing. For example, in school it might seem fine to write informally, but when you get older, you’re going to look unprofessional to future employers. If you write a resume or an essay for college in text language, they’re going to see you as immature and not experienced. When you write informally you tend to leave out big words that make you sound smart. If you don’t look smart, why would the school or an employer want you? 

If you have even tried to read texting shorthand you’ve noticed that, finally, informal writing is hard to understand. When people write in text language, they make most of it up as they go along. There is no universal book on “how to talk in text language”, so everybody’s take on the words aren’t going to be the same. The words are usually spelled exactly how they sound, but when you see the word, the letters don’t make the same sound in your head as when you look at it. Plus, different people sound out words differently than others.  

There are many reasons to stop informal writing. It’s immature, hard to understand and unprofessional. Writing in text language should not sneak into formal things for school.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Skeleton Crew, a review by Lianna

Book Title : Skeleton Crew
Format: Hardcover
Author: Stephen King
Length/number of pages: 566
Price : 8.99

"In this brilliant collection of stories, Stephen King takes readers down paths that only he could imagine-A supermarket becomes the place where humanity makes its last stand against destruction-a trip to the attic becomes a journey to hell-a woman driver finds a scary shortcut to paradise-an idyllic lake harbors a bottomless evil-and a desert island is the scene of the most terrifying struggle for survival ever waged." 
~ Summary from Barnes And Noble website

This book is extremely well written and clever. King is at his best with a great mixture of humor and horror. The characters feel like real people even though they are only in short stories,and they are generally well-rounded. The stories are also truly  horrifying at some points and will have you on the edge of your chair with suspense. 
The only bad points are that a few of the characters, despite being well-written are not very likeable. Because of this some of them are not relatable. Also some stories are not as good as others, but overall most of them are excellent.

Rating (out of five chocolate bars) 4.5 I would give this a five but some of the stories are not as good as others.

Appropriateness: Death. This book is not only pee your pants scary, it is full of swearing and other content I would only recommend this book to people who are comfortable with this kind of content. 

Cover Thoughts: I think the cover was kind of boring. All it is is a bunch of skulls.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tatianna M.'s Book Review of Last Act

Title: Last Act
Author: Christopher Pike
Pages: 226
Last Act is about a teenage girl named Melanie. She had to move to a new town because of her parents' divorce. At her new school, she didn't have any friends until she helped Susan cheat on a test. Susan convinced her to try out for the school play. But on opening night, a disaster strikes the stage!
One of Last Act's strengths is that it's very suspenseful and keeps you interested until the end. It is short enough not to get bored with but long enough so it doesn't take five minutes to read. Last Act also had a well thought out and somewhat complicated plot and a surprise ending.
Some weaknesses of Last Act are that it doesn't take very long to read. Also, the character that everyone becomes fond of is negatively viewed in the twist ending. But, on the other hand, that also makes the last chapter of this book really good.  Another weakness is the cover design. Last Act has a few different cover designs but none are really amazing. They give away what the entire book is about and leave no mystery to be uncovered.
I liked Last Act and I rate this book 4 out of 5 chocolate bars. This book is rated vampire because it's about a murder and an investigation.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

White Magic, original fiction by Silver Dragon

                     White   Magic

Chapter one: Welcome to White Lake (please excuse the dragons)

I never knew that when I was transferred to a new school my life would change forever. My name is Ally and I am eleven years old. Today was my first day at my new school. White Lake Middle School. But of course on the first day it just had to be raided by monsters. But I should really start from the beginning.

"Hurry up!" I yelled over my shoulder.

"Ok, ok I’m coming!"    Jesse replied. (Jesse was one of my best friends) Together we rushed towards the school. As soon as we got to the door my backpack was slipping off my shoulder, the little key chains rattling against each other.

"So you know your schedule yet?" I asked her. 

"Yep, art first then math. Sweet!"

"We have the same class! We better hurry or we will be late." Before we could get inside I heard roars from the sky. "What the heck?!" I yelled. Then I saw why. A giant, blue, thing soared over our heads.

"What is that?!!?" Jesse yelled. Before I could reply the large flying creature landed in front of us its eyes narrowed.

I silently mouthed, "Oh my god…" My face turned pale white, then I heard a very clear voice in the back of my head,  "Are you alright?" I quickly shook it off and looked at Jesse.

Nervously I replied to the dragon’s question, "I’m ok.." 

Jesse turned to look at me. "You can talk to it?!"

The dragon replied to Jesse’s question before I could, "I can talk through mind and through voice." The dragon’s voice sounded like a soft rumbling like a cat purring, only in the tone of something 100 times its size.

"So…" I asked, "why are you here?"

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Pokemon Essential Handbook, a review by Clifford

I read The Pokemon Essential Handbook. It is a really good book. It gives you cool facts about every Pokemon in the world alphabetically. It gives the height, weight, region, and type of over 640 Pokemon. My first favorite Pokemon is Gible. It is called the “Land Shark” Pokemon. It will nest in holes that it makes in caves. Gible will attack any Pokemon or human that goes by its hole. My new favorite is called Aron. It is called the “Iron Armor” Pokemon. Aron will be tempted to eat railroad tracks if it gets too hungry. This book will tell you all the moves that a Pokemon will learn and also it points out their next evolution. This book is for someone who really likes Pokemon. It is really helpful for someone who plays the video game.

I would give this book 4.5 out of 5 chocolate bars.

This book is appropriate for all ages (I read this book to my little brothers all the time). 

The cover is very shiny and shows some of the Pokemon that are in the book.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Book Title : Catching Fire
Format: Hardcover
Author: Suzan Collins
Length/number of pages: 289
Price : 13.99

Short Summary: Katniss Everdeen has to go back into the hunger games for the Quarter Quell. But it’s different scenery. And this game works like a clock. There are twice as many tributes because two victors from each district has to go in. This happens every twenty-five years. Some new characters are in this, too. Also their beloved district won’t be there anymore When Katniss returns to what she thinks is home. Some people believe that there is a thirteenth district; they are headed there because their districts are getting attacked because of some recent uprisings that have occurred in a few of the districts.

Peeta has to go back into the games to protect Katniss but she is really trying to protect him because last time Haymitch and Peeta were set on protecting her. Also they have to convince everyone one that they are in love because some districts think it’s just an act and some people aren’t very happy with them.

 Strengths/Weaknesses/Favorite Parts: My favorite part was when Katniss blew up the forcefield and they took them out of the games. And Peeta disappeared but a few people think he’s dead because they don’t know where he went.

Rating (out of five chocolate bars) 5
Appropriateness: Anyone
Cover Thoughts: I thought it represented the book very well because the mocking jay was what Katniss wore in the hunger games and it represented her district. And it still does throughout the entire series