About The Book
Freak The Mighty was written by Rodman Philbrick. It was published in 1993 and it’s sequel, “Max The Mighty” was published five years afterwards in 1998. For a lot of us that are in high school it may seem like it was some time ago, but don’t worry, this book definitely lives up to modern day. So, the story starts us off with the narrator and very important character, Max Kane’s point of view. Max is a very angsty teen who is almost nine feet tall! He’s had a terrible childhood as he saw his mother get murdered by his father when he was only four years old. Yes, this book gets very sad, so have some tissues prepared when you’re reading. Max experiences trauma throughout his teenage years and doesn’t have many friends until he meets Freak. Freak’s real name is Kevin, but the name Freak stuck with him because he is an absolute freak for all things technology related! I believe Freak is the dreamer of this pair of friends. Freak’s dreams are so big, even though he so small. Freak is only three feet tall, and is forced to walk with crutches. He suffers from a disease called Morquio Syndrome. Morquio Syndrome affected Freak’s metabolism by adding a lot of sugar molecules to his body, hence making him very short and small. This particular pair of friends goes on many adventures together, and find peace within each other since they are both outcast.
About The Author
Rodman Philbrick is 66 years old and was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He currently lives in both Florida and Maine. He is married to Lynn Harnett, unfortunately she died in 2012. Rodman is best known for his Freak The Mighty and sequel book, Max The Mighty. Yes! There is a sequel to this book that I didn’t even know existed! The Freak The Mighty book has won seventeen awards including the Newbery Honor award in 2010 and the California Young Reader Medal in 1995. In the early years of his life Rodman graduated from Portsmouth High School in New Hampshire in 1969. After high school, he attended the University Of New Hampshire. When he started professional writing his first book was actually Freak The Mighty! He is not retired, and still writes books today!
Personal Thoughts About The Book
I LOVED this book. When I first read this, I was in the sixth grade, but now reading it as a freshman, I still qualify it still as good as it was in sixth grade. Like I said before, this book is very sad, so prepare for some tears. It can also become a little intense like I said before about Freak’s intense childhood.On the other hand, I also like this book because it shows a lot of character development. Now, I know there is a sequel, that I didn’t know about until conducting this book review! I am definitely going to read the sequel called “Max The Mighty” and hopefully read some more great character development! All in all, Freak The Mighty is definitely in my top ten book recommendations for any age really. I hoped you liked this book review! Thanks for reading!
By Hailey Mckane
After Anna is a thriller/suspense novel written by Alex Lake. The book starts off with this family who is not perfect, but is just like any other family with their own family problems. The mom, Julia is soon going to be a single mother as she's breaking up with her high school sweetheart boyfriend, Chris, because she wants to experience some new things and have a little space. Chris is very sad, and practically begs her to stay with him, while his bat crazy mother, Edna, is furious at Julia for breaking her son's heart. Anyways, back to the point. Chris and Julia are not married but they have been together for at least ten years, since high school. They have a five year old daughter named Anna who attends preschool. Anna means the world to both Chris and Julia so it is a drastic event for the both of them when Anna gets abducted from her school. Anna is waiting in the parking lot for her mother to pick her up from preschool. When Julia is running wildly late to pick her daughter up, Anna wanders from the parking lot as a car picks her up and drives away. Yes, you heard that right, a car just drove away with her! Her teachers later said they expected that it was just Julia picking her up. I know right! Super crazy! I remember reading this part and just wanting to scream! Anyways, Julia and Chris are now faced with guilt, panic, and fear as they are working with the police when nobody can find Anna. How will Julia handle her pain with being late to pick up Anna and breaking up with her boyfriend in a time like this? Yes, I am leaving you on a cliffhanger! Haha, I am sorry but if you read it all the way through, you will thank me later!
About The Author
This will be a short one because Alex Lake is a very hidden guy. Alex Lake was born in North West England. His first book was actually After Anna which became somewhat popular in the United Kingdom, and then started to trail to the U.S. He has also written recently new books such as “CopyCat” and “Killing Kate.” I’m sorry to say, but that's kind of it. He does seem to have some social media such as Instagram and Twitter if you’d like to check out that.
Personal Thoughts About The Book
This was the best thriller/suspense book I have ever read! Now, I would like to just put out there, I do not read a lot of thriller books. If we are being honest here, the only “scary” book I’ve ever read was Goosebumps when I was like eight years old. So yes, I don’t have much familiarity about thriller books, but I’d like to say that After Anna was written in a very well manner. I practically read this entire book in one night because the suspense became so intense that it would bug me all night not knowing what was going to happen next. In other words, Alex Lake did a great job with keeping the readers on the edge of their seats.
with Angelica Golbin
This young R&B/Soul singer-songwriter’s identity may be unknown, but that has not stopped H.E.R. from hitting the charts.
The faceless artist prefers to keep the focus on her music instead of herself. This allows listeners to indulge on the sounds of her gorgeous, velvety voice alone as they play with the different shades of love and heartbreak, as well as touching upon familiar insecurities and self-empowerment.
In her debut EP, she told Rolling Stone earlier this year in March, “This project came from an emotion, and that’s what I want it to be about - not what I look like or who I’m with, but the raw emotion and support for women.”
With the arrival of H.E.R. Vol. 2. This summer, she talked about the innovation behind the new music to the L.A. Times during her first face-to-face interview. “Everything was a lot more optimistic and a lot more fun. Still very vibey, still very emotional, but just in different ways.”
H.E.R has up to 1.7 million monthly listeners on Spotify and her debut project H.E.R. Vol. 1 reached No. 1 on the iTunes R&B chart. For fans of songs that put you on an emotional rollercoaster, I suggest that you listen to her latest 8-track EP H.E.R. Vol.2.
By Hunter Marson
Walking into freshman year, I was a stubborn, very Fairfield-material kid. I was a shrimpy 5-foot tall football player. I had a sort of attitude that I was above my peers as if I was something special. An exception. Little did I know that I was the stereotypical foolish teenager. I had been living in the “perfect world” bubble of Fairfield my entire life, where nothing bad ever happens and everyone is the same. Fairchild Wheeler changed me. As a white kid from Fairfield, I was a minority for the first time in my life. It was a scary thought. I just tried to keep my head down freshman year and do my work. I was antisocial and quite frankly, I wouldn’t have wanted to be my friend at that time either. When I came back to school, the summer after my freshman year, I was ready to embrace my differences. To my surprise, Fairchild welcomed me back with open arms. I quickly made many new friends as I opened myself up more and more to my peers. My grades started getting better, I felt better as a person, and I was just in a better overall state. Since sophomore year, I’ve been enjoying this school more than I ever thought I could. I love this school. It has opened me up and introduced me to new friends, new music, new styles of clothing, and just so many bits and pieces of different cultures. This school is truly a gift and a blessing for kids like me.
By Khaled Hussein
“Belief is not the beginning but the end of all knowledge.” No one understood this better than the last great polymath, Johann Von Goethe. A man whose insatiable appetite for knowledge has advanced the literary, scientific, and political world beyond what most achieve. All this stems from a simple desire to just learn the truth. Knowledge is the art of knowing the facts through experience and study. It is an art because of the elegant way information flows to those who seek it. In Latin, the word knowledge translates to cognitionis, a word that sounds quite similar to cognizant, which means to be aware. You might ask how does one begin to become aware? Through my experience, it was realizing that I knew nothing, a lesson in which Socrates was an avid teacher. Unfortunately, this will always be true.
Soon one realizes that the more knowledge acquired means the less you truly know. This is due to the bigger world of information you create for yourself. It seems to be a curse that plagues those who free themselves from ignorance. Thomas Grey hit the mark when he said, "Ignorance is bliss." Nothing rings truer than this statement. You must know that before embarking on the journey of knowledge that pain follows. The increased knowledge will have you question all that makes up your life, such as religion, tradition, responsibilities, and actions just to name a few. It is a sacrifice that you can only make for yourself.
Even though I spend many nights tossing and turning due to to the ineffable questions provoking my mind, I still pursue knowledge. It is a choice to begin being cognizant but an obligation once it starts. The best way to learn is by reading and experiencing life. Books are the foundation and the best place to start acquiring knowledge. However, you must not only obtain information but also use it for a purpose. Otherwise, what's the point? Experience is the platform that allows us to examine, critique, and learn from things that have personally happened. The old are typically thought of as being wise because of their experience. Yet, it isn't the ticking of the clock that makes them wiser but the choices they make as time goes on. It is the reflection and critical thinking that sparks the learning process. Inevitably this would lead to new knowledge as each one of us are unique with specific experiences.
Today when I think of knowledge I envision a flaming sword, burning steel that melts the ice it strikes. It removes the unsound fallacies pervading the minds within humanity. To me, knowledge is the grandest of beauties and the fiercest of warriors. With knowledge comes freedom and with this follows the opportunity for power. Gaius Julius Caesar used his knowledge to influence the Roman Empire as William Shakespeare used it to transform literature. There is power in knowing that can be used to impact a lot of things ranging from your own life to that of others. Knowledge is important not just for oneself but for humanity to prosper. No great inventions or ideas have been made without knowledge because it’s a major staple of advancement. With knowledge comes a plethora of awakenings. You awaken from the nightmare of blindly following and the state of ignorance. However, you not only awaken but rise and soar to be as you wish to be.
Nonetheless, all questions have answers. But the knowledgeable person doesn't pretend to know them. So, what do you know?
By Khaled Hussein
Since its beginning, advertising has had and continues to have a profound impact on our daily lives. From what brand of toothpaste you should use, to your thoughts on gun control, advertising has in some way whether subliminal or direct influenced the decisions you make. This form of promulgation can be viewed as manipulative and predatory. However, there is no denying that it’s an effective strategy for achieving the desired outcome that a company, person, or organization seeks. Most advertisements promote products that aren’t necessarily critical for our survival. We can live without that new rose shade lipstick, fruity flavored ice cream, memory foam pillow, and luxurious Tesla Model S. Yet, if people aren’t buying products then the economic machine which is built on consumerism will falter. Spending is just as important as earning when it comes to sustaining a high functioning government. In a way, ads are a ‘necessary evil’ since they are unfavorable but crucial for a greater good. Advertisements can be thought of as the grease that allows our consumeristic government to run smoothly.
One highly effective ad is from the recent Heinz Ketchup campaign that launched in 2017. I came across the picture early last year while strolling through Manhattan. The bold and simple image caught my eye, but the ingenious design is what really stood out. After a few minutes of staring at the picture, I recalled seeing it before. Initially, this ad appeared in the sixth season of the critically acclaimed television series, Mad Men. In the episode, the main protagonist, Donald Draper, pitches this unique ad for Heinz Ketchup and gets rejected. The three pictures portraying the same idea were originally created specifically for the show by the producers. However, after a few years since the episode aired, the compelling ad motivated Heinz to adopt it in the exact way Draper intended.
This ad campaign by Heinz consists of three distinct picture, each behind a pure white backdrop. The one I saw in Manhattan is a close-up of fifteen french fries with golden ridges. The fries are stacked up starting from the bottom and up to the middle of the picture. Oil gleams off the fresh batch due to light reflecting from the left side. Each fry is roughly the same size and golden color. The top of the advertisement reads three words in bold font: “Pass The Heinz.” The text is significantly smaller than the food displayed under it. The other two ads are similar in style. One shows a classic cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles enclosed inside of plain burger buns. The other ad portrays a piece of steak, cooked rare, that's pierced through with a black plastic fork. All three contain the same caption within the same location. The clear vivid colors of each ingredient behind the all-white background help to highlight the smallest details of each meal. For example, the slightly darker ridges on the french fries, the cracks and grooves in the steak, and the smoothly melted cheese overlapping the meat are all enhanced by the manipulation of color. Even though the images portray mouth-watering foods, there seems to be a missing element to the meal. It feels as though the foods are insipid due to the absence of a critical ingredient. The small caption placed above gives off a vibe similar to a whisper that reminds us of what’s lacking.
By focusing on three classic foods that are prevalent in all countries, this ad works at connecting with a wide audience of all ages. Many men, women, and children love eating cheeseburgers with a side of french fries or a steak cooked to their preference. These three foods just so happen to go well with ketchup; which is the key ingredient missing in each picture. The phrase "Pass The Heinz." is succinct and authoritative in tone. With the period at the end, this sentence sounds like an uncompromising command. The food accompanied by the phrase in front of a white background sparks up one image: someone reaching for a bottle of Heinz Ketchup. This simple advertisement is so ingenious because it has you thinking about their product without ever even showing it. The brilliance of this idea was ahead of its time within the show, yet just perfect for today's modern world.
This ad is successful and the epitome of effective modern advertising. Today our attention spans are lower, leaving no patience for long dense material. Due to the minimal content in these ads, one does not get overwhelmed with information and so it is digested smoothly. This ad can be fully understood from just a mere glimpse. The picture does a great job at transferring one clear relentless image into the viewer's mind. It creates a craving for a product through its absence. I would personally buy the product that Heinz is promoting. In fact, a majority of the condiments I use today are Heinz products. This might be due to the unquestionable influence that advertisements have on our conscious and even subconscious. The next time I look at a plate with a cheeseburger, steak, or fries I won't forget to add some ketchup then Pass The Heinz.
by Angelic Medina
Drawing by Daimian J. Torres
Someone once said, “The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
But right now, we owe the world everything.
Scary thing, isn’t it?
So far, yet right in our face and we submit.
That it’s an idea so absurd, you can’t help but disbelieve.
But it’s real and a solution is something we need.
And we need it now.
It’s obvious we need to change, yet we don’t know how.
What steps do we take?
What moves do we make?
What’s right? What’s wrong?
Time so short for something that takes so long to solve.
Scratch that, it’s terrifying.
Doom impends us.
Someone, save us
But no one’s coming.
And no one will.
Because what have we done to deserve help?
To deserve love?
Nothing at all.
Because when the winds howled and the rain attacked,
And the trees and plants begged us to help them last,
We turned our backs.
And covered our ears.
And prayed that we would never hear.
Our world is no longer a home.
It’s a battlefield.
But the bombs and blows are our own actions.
Our world is divided by faction.
And we don’t know how to take a stand.
So we sit and wait, wait for someone to save our land.
Once, bright skies covered by smog in Beijing.
Hot temperatures all day long on Earth’s four wings
Storms dominating our homes on the islands.
Floods coming towards us.
And leaving children crying.
Threatening to take our domain and maybe our lives.
And Mother Nature cries.
Because she didn’t want this.
To provide and help us survive.
To cherish and let us flourish.
That’s all she wanted.
And the solution is so easy.
Turn off a light? Easy.
Unplug your phone? Easy.
Plant a tree? Easy.
Yet we make it so hard.
And before we deal our final card,
We have to decide,
We have to know,
Is this the path we wish to go?
The path where our home is gone.
The path where we won’t last for long.
The path where we have to leave.
The path where for the life we had, we grieve.
Yet we do nothing
When we could do something.
Fight for what’s right.
Fight for your life.
And like that poem,
“Rage, rage against the dying of the light,”
“Do not go gentle into that good night.”
by Mansi Kabre
The bell rang and I sprung up, out of my daze.
Slowly I got out of my seat, still trying to get a glance at the figure. It was an impossible task that killed me as I continued to fail. At last, I left to walk home.
While walking home, I kept thinking about the disappearing guy in the graffiti, trying to remember a little bit about how he looked when I heard, “Hey why are you still in your pajamas?”
I looked down at my clothes, then backed up to see my best friend Carrie, grinning.
“Pj’s, so that’s what gets you out of your little dazes.”
“Sorry.” I muttered sheepishly.
“So, what were you wondering about this time?”
“Well, you know the building with the graffiti on it, that you can see right outside Spanish class?”
“I was looking at it again, and this time I saw someone in it, but it kept on disappearing.”
“What do you mean by disappearing?”
“Well, he looked like he was there as an outline, but then I tried to look a little more carefully, and he was just gone.”
“Er.. okay. How much homework do you have and when do your parents come back from work?” Carrie asked.
“I don’t have any homework and my parents get home around seven. Why?”
She looked down at her watch, that read, 3:07 p.m.
“My parents don’t come back until around nine, and that building is only about a mile away. We can take a closer look, and make it back before your parents get home.”
“What? We can’t do that, we don’t even know what’s in those woods!”
“Oh please. These woods are completely abandoned. Its not like the trees will attack us.”
Looking out at the building, I felt my curiosity grow once again.
We made a trek through the woods, in order to get to the building faster. It was your typical, backyard woods; trees, soil, and bumpy rocks and roots. Yet something made me feel a little off. I gulped and continued on.
Looking down, I made my way through and over the obstacles, when I felt a sudden shift beneath my feet. “Carrie, come here, get down, now.” I whispered with urgency.
“What is it?” she asked
I paused looking around finding nothing unusual or large.
“I thought I felt something underneath my feet.”
“Well, I felt nothing. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I still don’t have a great feeling about these woods though. I guess it was just in my head.”
We continued through the woods, and I was going very slowly due to the strange feeling from before. But, then I felt it again. Stronger. It felt as if I were standing in the middle of a trampoline, and everyone else around me was jumping up and down. I tried to keep my balance, but it was impossible. I fell down and couldn’t get back up. The shaking was getting more and more violent.
“Mel. Melonie! Are you okay? Why are you shaking?” Carrie asked.
Huh? Me? I wasn’t the one shaking. It was the ground. How could she not feel that? And how did she not lose her balance? All the trees around us started whipping around, causing a branch to come hurling towards us. “Duck!” I tried to call out, but it was too late. The branch hit Carrie in the back, but as it hit her, she disappeared, and everything stopped. The shaking. The wind. Everything.
Never did I think the trees would actually attack.
by Britney Guedes
I absolutely hate pink binders. I don't know exactly where my hatred for pink binders originated from, but it's always been there marinating in the back of my mind. I hate the color pink, and I hate binders and there is absolutely nothing that will ever change that.
Pink is definitely my least favorite color. It’s an awful color and I've never understood the attraction people have to it. My hatred for the color pink started a long time ago when I was probably around 8 years old. The feud was so serious that I actually refused to wear the color pink for the longest time (I still refuse hot pink, if you were wondering)
I’m not entirely sure what my original reasoning for deciding to dislike the color so much was, or if I even had one, but I’m sure it was incredibly logical. Although, to be honest, it was probably just one of my strange antics to try to become the complete opposite of what everyone wanted me to be. I was a goofy tomboy that refused to dress up, brush the hair, and practically do anything that could ever possibly connect me to the term “girly.” One of my favorite things to do was actually collect worms and have mud fights with my neighbors across the street. My tomboyish personality is probably where this originated from, and although I am not nearly as attached to being a tomboy, one thing that has remained the same is my disgust for the color pink.
Now, I don't only hate pink binders just because they are pink. That would be way too simple of an explanation. My hostility towards the form of school supplies actually arrived down a separate path. This route probably started around 5th or 6th grade. Now, I don't exactly remember the first time I needed a binder, but for some reason I remember being extremely excited to use one. I honestly think that I believed binders made you cool at one point in time (*cough* “nerd”).
I was obviously very naive and it makes me extremely sad to remember how hopeful I was about what my experience with binders would be. It always started the same way, with an extremely well organized binder. The first trials I experienced with binders were very optimistic. I gave them plenty of chances, however, no matter what I tried, they always seemed to magically explode into a mess of papers.
In 7th grade, I actually remember a teacher of mine sitting down with me to try and help me find a way to better organize my binder… that new system probably worked for about a week. The hopefulness that I had linked to binders slowly turned sour over time, turning me into the binder-hating person that I am now.
This trail has led me to my incredibly negative opinion towards this certain school supplies. I now believe that binders are awful objects that teachers like to force students to use because they want their students to hate them. They take up too much space, you have to constantly fill them with paper, and they are impossible to keep organized. If I could go back in time, I would make sure that Friedrich Soennecken never became an inventor.
Now, there is no actual story behind me connecting the two topics together. The subject just kind of arose one day as a friend of mine had asked me what would happen if they had given me a pink binder as a birthday gift. If this question had not been brought to my attention, I probably would have lived my entire life without coming to this conclusion, however, it has and there is no turning away from it. I now know that pink binders are my ultimate weakness. Just typing the two words next to each other causes my stomach to churn. Because of this, pink binders have ruined my life.
by Mansi Kabre
Beyond the darkness was a faint glow. The only source of light around; I could leave through that opening. But simultaneously, I couldn’t.
When waking up to the sound of a blood-curdling scream, usually all the worst case scenarios run through your mind, right? Well, I might be an exception. In my neighborhood, however, ear-piercing screams were somewhat of a usual happening. The first few times I heard it, after moving in third grade, was because of a spider, bird droppings, and of course because someone dropped their chocolate bar.
But why? I find myself wondering why people were so afraid of everything. Why were things like this always happening in my neighborhood? Also, whenever they happened, I was always alone. I could never ask anyone in my house if they had heard it or not. I can’t tell whether it’s all in my head or if it’s really happening.
The thought never really bothered me too much though. It was simply something to wonder about. That’s all.
That day, during my last period class, I found myself looking out the window at the graffiti on the old abandoned factory across from my school.
For many, their minds process graffiti as vandalism that must be gotten rid of. But through my eyes, I’ve always seen art. Art that can have some pretty weird, or inspiring messages, or no message at all. But art nonetheless. If you stare at it for long, the complex array of colors will take you to a deep state of mind, in which you will notice things in a way you never have before. You can never truly understand one piece of graffiti because even if the illustrator doesn’t mean to. You are able to interpret something new and amazing every time. That is why I always happen to be looking at it. To find something I missed the time before.
This time, I saw an outline. But I didn’t. The outline resembled that of a person. I couldn’t focus on him. Through the blinding colors, I kept on losing him. He was right in the center and I knew he was there, but when I saw him he was gone in a split second.