Monthly Archives: August 2013

Teen Review: Masque of the Red Death

Masque of the Red DeathTitle:  Masque of the Red Death
Author:  Bethany Griffin

Summary:  In this twist on Edgar Allen Poe’s gothic short story, a wealthy teenaged girl who can afford a special mask to protect her from the plague that decimated humanity in the mid-1800s, falls in love, becomes caught up in a conspiracy to overthrow an oppressive government, and faces the threat of a new plague.

I started reading it because… the title reminded me of Mask of the Red Death written by Edgar Allan Poe (one of my all-time favorite authors.)

I kept reading because… I wanted to know how Bethany’s version of Red Masque of Death was different than Edgar’s.

Main character(s): If they were in a yearbook, they would be voted Most Likely To:  Araby will fall in love with the most atrocious man if he is handsome. 
Will will destroy the whole world for the sake of his family.

Six Word Recap:  Plague has claimed many human lives.

This book reminded me of Mask of the Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe because both books have the same antagonist and the plague is the cause for the death of half of the entire world’s population in both books.

Websites of interest:  Bethany’s Blog

Endrias, Lake City Teen Blogger

Turning "Mature"

Keep Calm 18I’ve fantasized for years about the age of 18. Free to live on my own, go out when and where I want and no one telling me what to do. Now it’s four months after the anniversary of my 17th birthday… eight months left and counting.

As I get closer more responsibilities come my way.  I pay a few bills and drive around doing errands all while having school.  It’s cool.  I feel grown up, but it’s hard to imagine more to do!  I love my family, and the closer 18 gets, the more staying around doesn’t seem so bad.

Independence is being brought up often through friends and teachers about the approaching age. It’s exciting but frightening all at once! In the present moment my plan is to enjoy the rest of being a kid.  🙂

Jesslyn, Northeast Teen Adviser

Teen Review: Octavian Nothing (Book)

Octavian NothingTitle:  Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: The Pox Party
Author:  M. T. Anderson
Summary:  Octavian was born in a strange society in Boston during the 1770s. In this society, strange experiments are taken everyday and observations are always made. For example, each person is called by a number and is only called that. The only exceptions are Octavian and his mother. Later on Octavian discovers the true nature of the experiments and his part in them.

I started reading this book because it seemed like a strange twist that what I usually read. The experiments are strange and it keeps you interested because you want to know what is the nature of this society.

I kept reading because I don’t really know any other books like this because it is strange and unusual. It keeps you entertained though and it makes you keep on reading to discover what is going on.

Websites of interest: M. T. Anderson

Fabio, Northeast Teen Adviser

Teen Review: Angel Burn (Book)

Angel BurnTitle:  Angel Burn

Author: L. A. Weatherly

Summary: Willow lives in a world where angels are fierce stalkers whose irresistible force allows them to feed off humans and drain them of their vitality. When she falls in love with Alex, an assassin of angels, she discovers that she herself is half-angel. She faces devastating consequences, but is still determined to fight.                                                               

Gut Reaction: Fun to read, but not too special.

Why: This was a fun book for a fast read. I enjoyed the somewhat unusual plot, especially in the beginning. The way Weatherly twisted other conceptions we have about “angels” was interesting. Though it became more predictable as it went on, I was still totally immersed. Willow’s character is somewhat relatable; I enjoyed her ability to stand up for herself and how she deals with problems. However, I didn’t like how the plot was slow for a long time in the middle, but then changed pace much too quickly at the end. The story is intriguing in parts, and I see what the author was trying to do, but there were many tactics that have been used too many times before. I guess you could say that Angel Burn is unique in a stereotypical way, if that makes any sense. Even though it could have been better, I still couldn’t put it down.

Who would like this book: Though I never classified myself as one, fantasy-romance lovers will like this book. Personally, I detested Twilight and still liked Angel Burn, so don’t dismiss this just because it sounds too Twilight-like. Most fun for teenage girls (14 and up) who like a strong female main character.

Helen, University Teen Blogger

Dancing in School

Ballroom-DancingThe typical day to day activities in my Spanish class are doing worksheets, practicing pronunciation and answering questions. Recently however, instead of doing the normal day-to-day stuff, we got to dance! A dance instructor came in and taught us how to do a bit of the cha-cha, salsa, and mambo. The cha-cha also called the cha-cha-cha originated in Cuba in 1953 and is counted in 4/4 time. The salsa, derived from a dance called the Cuban Son and is danced with eight beats. The mambo originated in Cuba and is counted in fours.
 
We started off with some warm ups and weight changing exercises, basically shifting our weight from one foot to the other. Then we got to incorporate some Spanish and practiced counting so we could keep time while we were dancing. First we learned a few different moves from each style of dance. Then we learned how to do pivot turns and how to spot ourselves while turning. At the end we got to put it all together into a several minute dance. It was really nice to get out of the classroom and get to experience more of the Spanish culture, rather than just talking about it.
 
If you would like to learn more about Latin American dancing you can check out this book, entitled Latin American Dancing from your local library.
 
There are also many other books about latin American dancing or any type of dance. It was really nice to have this opportunity and I hope you can enjoy this art in some way too, whether that is through a book, on television, in movies, or even doing the dances yourself.
 
Maddie, Northeast Teen Adviser

Book Shorts: The Hunt

HuntTitle:  The Hunt

Author:  Andrew Fukuda

Summary:  Seventeen-year-old Gene has passed as a vampire for years, carefully following every rule, but now, just as he finds a girl worth fighting for, he is chosen to participate in the hunt for the last remaining humans among ruthless vampires who soon suspect his true nature.

I started reading it because… The plot is super non-cliche, unlike so many other books out in the world.

I kept reading because… ​I wanted to know what would happend to the main character, how would he deal with this huge challenge??

Six Word Recap:  Boy is sheep in wolves clothing.

Some scenes have graphic decriptions, if you can’t handle melting skin and such beware this book.

This is a trilogy: The Hunt, The Prey, (Third book TBD…)

A Wonderful Trip to DC (Essay)

FeasibleIt was on Friday, May 10th that I participated in the Congressional Art Competition among Seattle Public School students. It was held at the Seattle Art Museum in downtown Seattle. The Competition included elementary and middle school students. When the award ceremony started I felt my heartbeat increase so fast.

I never thought that I’d win first place at the 2013 Art Competition hosted by the SAM. So When I heard my name called I was in complete shock. I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I was dreaming. When Congressman Jim McDermott told me to make a speech, I didn’t even know what to say. I just started thinking about my past, how many things I went through to get here, and that finally it felt like my hard work was starting to pay off.

Because I won first place in the competition I was able to visit Washington DC. to participate in the Congressional High School Art Exhibition (which included districts from all across the country), visit the ­­­US Capitol, various museums, memorials, and the White House.

I was so lucky to be able to go to Washington, DC. This was my last chance to participate in Art Competition in High School. I was so excited to go there to represent my school and my district. I am always appreciative of all my teachers at Chief Sealth International High School. They helped me a lot. Because of them I could stay strong and focus on school. Before I went to DC I made good plans to visit every museum with the help of my teacher Ms. Autenrieth. Continue reading