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!

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.