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  • February 2020
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Teen Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Samantha – Hi! I’m a 7th grader and really excited to be blogging. I LOVE to read and write so I’m most likely going to have a lot of posts. I’ll give you the most honest reviews possible. I hope you read them!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In the future, in the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, no one reads books (which I can’t imagine), and firemen start fires to burn books instead of stopping them. A fireman named Guy Montag has never really thought about the books he burns, until one night one woman loved her books so much that she told the firemen that if they were going to burn her books they would have to burn her too. That got Montag thinking. What was in these books that caused people to die rather than live without them? He thought about that so much he decided to steal a book and read it. Then he saw what that woman saw in her books.

But then he got caught, in the exact same way. If you decide to read this book and like it as much as I did, you can see the play at Prime Stage Theatre.

I saw the play A Wrinkle In Time there in the spring, and it was really good so I also advise you to see all of the plays they will be showing this year:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Nov 2 – Nov 11, 2012
Directed by Justin Fortunato

His fear in 1953 was that television would kill books. Bradbury imagined a future of giant color sets — flat panels that hung on walls like moving paintings. Televisions “walls” and its actors as “family.”   Has his Science Fiction become our Fact?

The Great Gatsby
Mar 1 – Mar 10, 2013
adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel by Peter Joucla of Tour de Force Theatre, UK.
Directed by Richard Keitel

“This new stage adaptation is filled with live jazz music to recreate the glitz and decadence of the Roaring 20’s. Gatsby’s motives are driven by love and hope, rather than greed. The absorbing drama is fast-paced, visually evocative and highly theatrical.”  Theatre Basil, Switzerland.

Walk Two Moons
May 10 – May 19, 2013
adapted by Tom Arvetis, based on Newbery Award book by Sharon Creech
Directed by Lisa Ann Goldsmith

“Flawlessly adapted, Walk Two Moons challenges audiences to look outward into a world where everyone has the immense power to help one another. Walk Two Moons has a poignant, valuable message for audiences of every age.” – ChicagoBeat.

Teen Review: Samantha Reviews 3 Very Different Books

Samantha – Hi! I’m a 6th grader and really excited to be blogging. I LOVE to read and write so I’m most likely going to have a lot of posts. I’ll give you the most honest reviews possible. I hope you read them!

When I was at overnight camp, I read a lot of books. But there are three that are from three different time periods that I am going to compare and share with you.

The first book is Night by Elie Wiesel. Night is a true story about the Holocaust from a child’s point-of-view. The cool thing about this story is that the author is the main character and it’s really amazing that he remembers everything from so long ago so clearly that he can write it down in great detail. I really liked this book because I am very interested in the Holocaust, however it might be too scary for some people. Also if you like books like Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, The Devils Arithmetic, or Number The Stars you would like this book.

The second book is The List by Siobhan Vivian. The List is realistic fiction and takes place in your average high school. Every chapter is told by a different person on “The List”, a list of the prettiest and the ugliest girls of each grade. Everyone has a different reaction to “The List”. One girl was happy she got ugliest junior, and one girl was sad she got prettiest senior. I loved this book because it made me think about how high school might be for me in 3 years (I hope it’s not like this!). I recommend you keep an eye out for this book. It will be out soon.

The third and final book is Starters by Lissa Price. Starters takes place in the future in a world where you are either young and extremely poor or very old (like 150 years old) and rich. A couple years earlier, a bomb hit a town that killed anyone who wasn’t vaccinated for it (everyone between the ages of 30 and 60) killing the parents of a young girl named Callie. Three years later, Callie and her sick little brother are living on the streets. Callie felt helpless until she found a company that would pay her to lend them her body and put her in a temporary coma while an old person (with the help of technology) would rent out her body and pretend to be her. Everything is going great until something goes wrong on her third body rental which causes her to be awake during certain times in her rental. This causes Callie to get in lots of trouble. Read it to find out more! Like The List, I loved this book.

Now that I have explained the three books, I have a question to ask: Which time period is the best? Why? I think the past is the best because it’s interesting to learn about how things used to be and think about what it would be like if it were still like that now.

Teen Review: False Memory by Dan Krokos

Hi! My name is Lucy and I’m in middle school at Winchester Thurston School. Besides reading I like to play tennis, dance, and draw. I love cats, I’m very creative and do a lot of crafts with my hands. I am an avid reader and read about 20-100 pages a day. If you like what I read, you probably like Harry Potter.

False Memory by Dan Krokos

False Memory is the first book of the series by Dan Krokos. He has written one other book called The Planet Thieves. Dan Kronkos can write amazing fight scenes and great characters. But I suggest that if you don’t want to read a series of books, don’t read this because there will be another coming out.

False Memory is a truly captivating book. The book starts when Miranda wakes up alone in a mall with no memory. She panics, and in doing so she releases a mysterious energy that smells like roses and incites pure terror in everyone around her except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s strange ability. Miranda is left with no choice but to trust this stranger. The story goes on when she discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of a force of genetically-altered teens who possess awesome combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. She has a hard time going back to her old life when she finds out about Noah, her was-boyfriend. Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team, Noah, Peter, Olive, and herself, on the run–there may not be a future for their own world.

This book is truly intoxicating and I recommend it to teen girls in middle school. This book is for you, especially if you like good fight scenes and science fiction. This book might be confusing to you if you read it too fast, so I suggest not to read too quickly and let the meaning sink in. Overall, I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars. With a fun mixture of guns, pills, and exploding clay metal you will fall in love with Miranda’s incredible adventure in False Memory.

Teen Review: Cinder by Merissa Meyer

Hi! My name is Lucy and I’m in middle school at Winchester Thurston School. Besides reading I like to play tennis, dance, and draw. I love cats, I’m very creative and do a lot of crafts with my hands. I am an avid reader and read about 20-100 pages a day. If you like what I read, you probably like Harry Potter.

Cinder by Merissa Meyer

Cinder is the first of the Lunar Chronicles, a series by Merissa Meyer. There is known to be at least four books in this series. The second book is expected to come out February 5th of 2013. So if you’re a person who has trouble waiting for the next book, put Cinder on your list of books-to-read.

Linh Cinder is a cyborg. She has a mysterious past and runs a mechanics shop in the market of New Beijing. She makes all the money for her legal guardian (her stepmother) Adris and her two step sisters, Peony and Pearl. A deadly and dangerous plague has decreased the population catching the Emperor in its grasps. Lunar people from the moon watch to see when they will make their next move. When her life becomes intertwined with handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

This book will be a very good read to young-adult girls especially in middle school. The genre of the book is science-fiction. It is a very fast read and I would give it 4 ½ stars out of 5. In this book of strategy, tricks, disease, and lies, a cyborg can find out who she really is.

Teen Review: Adam Reads The Hunger Games and Asks ‘Book or Movie?’

Hi! I’m Adam, and despite being a senior at Central Catholic I try to find time to do anything and everything. I will read any kind of book I can get my hands on and even though my reading list is currently a million books long I will finish it someday. Maybe. If it weren’t for the fact that I add something new to it literally every day…

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Once in a while a man will try to sound smarter than he really is an roll out that age old question, “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” This question is dated and useless (after all, we all know the DINOSAURS came first), especially to people of a younger disposition. We aren’t farmers- so we need something practical. So I propose the question: “which came first: the book or the movie?”

Right about now, a lot of you are probably pulling out your Captain Obvious hats and saying “but Adam! Of course the book came first, why else would they make the movie?” Then there is that small segment of you screaming about your movie novelizations and screenplays, claiming the opposite. These are, of course, valid points—if it weren’t for the fact they miss MY point altogether.

A few weeks ago I broke down to peer pressure (I’m not a good example, kids) and read the Hunger Games. Everyone had been telling me to, and I decided just to get it over with in a day or two. While I do admit it was an alright book (certainly not great, but don’t get me started), watching the movie a few days later made me realize that it was one of the few movie adaptations that I’ve ever seen that was better than the book. It made me wish I had (GASP) seen the movie before the book.

That’s where my question comes in: do you read the book first, or see the movie? That is, of course, if it even matters to you. I have a personal unwritten creed to always read the book before the movie—which is why I’m currently trudging through Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on a long trek to seeing Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman on the same screen—but I am sure that is a foreign concept to a lot of people.

I have a friend who has watched all seven Harry Potter films without reading a single book. To me, that is absolutely absurd, but it proves that there are indeed people out there who will watch the movie adaption of something first. So, faithful reader, how about you: the movie or the book (or are you some sort of savant who reads the book while watching the movie?!?)

Genre Classics: Vintage Sci-Fi Picks

“Anything you dream is fiction, and anything you accomplish is science. The whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.”

-Ray Bradbury, 1920 – 2012

Ray Bradbury. Photo by Alan Light.

Ray Bradbury, one of the great pioneers of science fiction, died this week. He helped lay the foundation for the genre as we know it today, from movies and TV shows to the contemporary tales of futuristic chaos and dystopia that have popped up in teen lit recently.

Science fiction is fascinating because it asks us to imagine possibilities. How will our world evolve? Where will our society be in thirty years? In one hundred years? As technology expands at dizzying rates and infiltrates every part of our lives, we are faced with big questions about humanity and progress, conformity and individuality, and a future that might not be so far off.

Many of the masters of the sci-fi genre got started back in the day, when the threat of the atomic bomb made people ponder the potential of nuclear destruction, and the thrill of space travel made the future seem nearer than ever before. In honor of Ray Bradbury and his visions of the techno-future, check out one of these vintage science fiction hits.

The Martian Chronicles (1950) by Ray Bradbury

This short story collection explores the struggles of humans as they colonize Mars in the wake of Earth’s destruction. The stories poetically dissect topics like space travel, aliens, and global nuclear devastation. Pure sci-fi bliss.

“There was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves.”

Foundation (1951) by Isaac Asimov

Foundation: the original novel in sci-fi master Isaac Asimov’s epic Foundation series. This one is about a group of scientists in the Galactic Empire who discover that their civilization is crumbling around them and must figure out how to preserve the knowledge of their dying culture.

The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity—a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop. “

A Wrinkle In Time (1962) by Madeline L’Engle

A Wrinkle In Time is a teen lit classic that blends sci-fi with fantasy. The brainy protagonist Meg travels through strange folds in the space-time continuum guided by mysterious entities named Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which in a quest to rescue her scientist father from some unknown dark force. Quantum physics, romance, tesseracts, and teenage heros…what’s not to like?

“What could there be about a shadow that was so terrible that she knew that there had never been before or ever would be again, anything that would chill her with a fear that was beyond shuddering, beyond crying or screaming, beyond the possibility of comfort?”

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Philip K. Dick

This one explores a post-apocalyptic Earth where humans coexist with androids on the burnt out planet and nearly all animals have fallen to extinction by radiation poisoning. The story (which inspired the 1980’s classic Bladerunner) shifts between a bounty hunter of androids and a group of his fugitive targets in the ultimate study of man and machine.

“You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity. At some time, every creature which lives must do so. It is the ultimate shadow, the defeat of creation; this is the curse at work, the curse that feeds on all life. Everywhere in the universe.”

-Maggie, CLP- Carrick

Teen Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

My name is Jenna. I go to a high school where I’m part of the marching band and the cheerleading squad. I’m pretty busy, but I always find time to read. I’m also very creative and I like doing little crafts out of random things I find.

Tempest by Julie Cross

Jackson seems like a normal guy on the outside. He is a college student, volunteers, and has a wonderful girlfriend. But in reality, he is holding a very interesting secret. He can time travel, or rather, perform time jumps. He can go back and forth to different years, without any consequences except sickness.

The present year, otherwise known as the home base year, is 2009. The only person that knows about Jackson’s time traveling is his best friend, Adam. Adam and Jackson perform experiments to try and fully grasp how powerful this time traveling is.

When visiting his girlfriend, Holly, at her college dorm room, strange men bombarded the two and Holly was fatally shot. On instinct, Jackson time jumped. This time, he couldn’t get back to 2009.

Jackson ended up in 2007, two years before meeting Holly, and now he doesn’t know how to get back to 2009 or what is going to happen to Holly.

With nothing else to do, Jackson starts to search for answers. He finds out a whole different side of his father that he never knew, and he decides that he wants to meet the 2007 Holly and Adam. Jackson opens up a whole new level of dark secrets about his abilities, and once he learns about them, he can’t go back.

This novel was interesting and the main character Jackson was extremely lovable and readers will admire him for all of his brave decisions. The time travel talk could get confusing at times, but the time travel that Julie Cross invented is very interesting and unique. This novel is a page-turner… a very suspenseful and gripping story.

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