Tag Archives: Opinions

Jacob – What I look for in a novel…

novelsThe term “novel” encompasses so much territory that it seems silly to talk about them as a whole. Everything from Anna Karenina to the Twilight series falls in that category. Nevertheless, I’m going to try to explain what kinds of features that I enjoy in a novel and why I like them. Obviously, these are just my preferences. I don’t expect everyone to agree.

According to Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, “Movies and books form a mental structure in your head of what is possible and what is not. But these are artificial structures based on the rules of fiction. They do not necessarily represent what is practical or possible in the real world.” By this, he means that the principles of cause and effect work differently in fiction than in real life. If, say, someone in a movie punches a jerk in the face in the middle of school, and everyone respects him for it, you might get the wrong idea about what would actually happen in real life. Probably something closer to a long term suspension. He’s saying that if you read a lot of fiction, you might start to confuse reality and fantasy, resulting in some mistaken impressions of how the world really works. That’s one reason why I like books that have good internal consistency. Continue reading

My summer of Volunteering: Hailey

SWTA group of teens spent their summer volunteering at the Southwest Branch Library. Now Hailey tells us what she really thought about her volunteer experience assisting with programs, planning a program for other teens, and helping out their librarians!


Hailey, what did you think about volunteering at the Southwest Branch Library this summer?

As the end of summer is unfortunately and rapidly approaching, I reflect on what I have accomplished as a free teenager for the past months, and hopefully I come to the conclusion that I’ve done something purposeful.  I know that most kids totally and utterly detest the sheer thought of anything related to school, and I’m not denying the fact that I am one of those people, but this summer I did something out of the ordinary for me.  This fall, I’ll be a high school freshman, and as much as I am excited, I’m also just as nervous.  I already have nine years of school under my belt (don’t forget preschool), so what could be so different?  Although I don’t have older siblings, I’ve gone through life without any helpful advice from experience such as homework help and some morale support, but I have heard through the grape vine what to expect this school year.  Continue reading

My Summer of Volunteering: Dawson

SWTA group of teens spent their summer volunteering at the Southwest Branch Library in addition to the rest of their obligations. This was Dawson’s second summer volunteering at the Southwest Branch.  He tells us what he really thought about his volunteer experience!


What did you do this summer?

This summer a lot of what I did outside of programs was the same. I boxed up FOL [donations for the Friends of the Library] books, helped straighten shelves, and so on. The major differences were in the programs, with many of those being different from last year, or at least different from what I had volunteered at before. While last year, the programs seemed a bit more varied, with things like learning how to juggle, playing games, or making buttons, this summer the programs seemed to have a theme, with the majority of programs I’ve helped with being used to help teach science, though this was in a wide variety of fields.

Why did you sign up to volunteer? Continue reading

Doctors Shouldn’t Give You Shots!

201312 Denny_MS_flier_croppedDenny International Middle School partnered with The Seattle Public Library and other local organizations to publish student writing in the community.  This is one of the best expository essays submitted:

Doctors Shouldn’t Give You Shots

Do you hate shots?  I do.  If my mom or dad tells me it’s time to go to the doctor I won’t even get in the car.  I don’t think doctors should give you shots at all.  When I think about shots I just think about needles all around me.  They hurt, they are scary, and they have other substitutes for them!  Doctors just shouldn’t give you shots.

One reason doctors shouldn’t give you shots is because they hurt.  Specifically, it’s like they are stabbing you with a tiny knife!  I mean, no one really wants to be stabbed!  This shows that doctors shouldn’t give you a shot because they hurt.

Similar to the fact that shots hurt, they are also very scary.  What I mean is that they are piercing your flesh with a tiny knife and injecting stuff into you!  Scary, right?  And gross!  For example, I have to get surgery in January for my teeth and they are going to give me a shot in my elbow to make me pass out.  Also, I don’t understand why they call them shots.  That is literally like getting shot with a gun!  I mean that just makes it even scarier!  This proves that shots are scary and doctors shouldn’t give you them.

My final reason that doctors shouldn’t give you shots is because they have substitutes.  To illustrate, they have other things they can give you, like nasal spray.  And with all of today’s modern medicine they should be able to give you pills, right?  For example, my friend went to the doctor and he got nasal spray instead of a shot.  This proves that doctors shouldn’t give you shots and should give you nasal spray or pills.

In conclusion, doctors shouldn’t give you shots because they hurt, they are scary, and they have substitutes.  So next time you go get a shot tell your doctor about this and maybe they will stop giving you shots and start giving you a spray or a pill.

–Natalie, Southwest, Teen Blogger


D.I.M.S. Authors and Scholars: Elephants

Denny Int'l MS Presents...

Denny International Middle School partnered with The Seattle Public Library and other local organizations to publish student writing in the community.  This is one of the best expository essays submitted:


Did you know that wooly mammoths and elephants are related?  Ever since a few years ago, when I symbolically adopted an elephant from Africa, elephants have always been important to me.  We need to save elephants, because they are amazing, in danger, and it’s our fault.  Elephants should be saved.

One reason why elephants should be saved is because they are amazing, beautiful creatures.  What I mean is, imagine them walking across a wide open space with their herd, and happily playing in the water with their trunks.  Awesome!  This shows that elephants are amazing, because almost no other animal has a trunk like an elephant.  This is why elephants are amazing.

However, not only are elephants amazing, but also elephants should be saved because they are in danger.  In particular, according to an internet research, there are only about 60,000 African elephants left in the world.  This proves that elephants are in danger, because there aren’t as many as there used to be.  This is why elephants are in danger.

Third, and perhaps the most important reason that we need to help elephants, is because it’s our fault they are in danger.  For instance, poachers have killed many elephants over the years.  This is evidence that shows how humans have killed and are responsible for the loss of many elephants.  Elephants are in danger because it is our fault.

In conclusion, elephants are amazing creatures, they are in danger, and it is our fault.  Elephants need to be helped.  I bet the next time you think of elephants, you will be a bit sympathetic for them.

–Casey, Southwest, Teen Blogger

D.I.M.S. Authors and Scholars: Zombies

201312 Denny_MS_flier_croppedDenny International Middle School is partnering with The Seattle Public Library and other local organizations to publish student writing in the community.  This is one of the best expository essays submitted:


Imagine yourself, running away from flesh-hungry, man-eating zombies. Do you know what to do? Do you know where to go? Of course you don’t. The monsters are fictional. But if there were to be a zombie outbreak sometime, here are a few steps to survive. First things first, you’re going to need a safe house/shelter. Also, you’re going to need LOTS of food. And last but not least, you’re going to need to learn how to defend yourself.

The first step into surviving a zombie apocalypse is to have a safe house or shelter. A safe house is a “zombie-proof” shelter. Try to make it so that no zombies can get in. Shelter is an essential need in surviving, well, anything! An important thing to keep in mind is that you need a shelter that you can fortify. Like fencing, or maybe even something like a guard tower. You will also need to board all of your windows; mostly the ones on the ground floor. And if you’re going to try and be a “hero” and try to rescue other survivors, make sure there’s enough room in your safe house to house them. These are a few tips into finding or creating a safe house. Continue reading

Exhibit: Denny Middle School Writing

201312 Denny_MS_flierThese essays from Denny Middle School students will be up until the end of Winter Break at the Southwest, Delridge, High Point, or South Park branches.  Schedule a visit soon to see these great expository essays about how to survive a zombie attack, the plight of elephants, why dead bodies are scary, and much much more.  You can also take a look at some of the past pieces created by Denny Middle School writing at their blogs for 7th and 8th graders.