We are the Ants is the first book I've read by Shaun David Hutchinson and it did not disappoint. Henry has a lot going on in his life: his mom is struggling, his grandmother is sick, his brother got his girlfriend pregnant, his boyfriend committed suicide and he was abducted by aliens. Could it get much worse for Henry? Short answer, yes. Long answer, no. He has been informed by the aliens that the world is coming to an end, but he has the option to stop it from happening. Henry is seriously debating whether or not to prevent the end of all mankind or to just to let it all end. You'll have to read the book yourself to find out what decision Henry made. You can expect a dark read with moments of humor and over the top situations. But somehow it all was down to earth. I rate the book 5/5. Read it.
When I was little my parents told me if I learned to read well, I could learn anything from a book. As I have grown older I have seen how true that is!
My first big chapter book I read was the Harry Potter series. My mom and dad started reading it to me but I got annoyed at them because they were going so slow. I snatched the book from their hands and started reading it immediately. I was off on my reading journey!
I enjoy reading non-fiction books. They have taught me all sorts of things from the names of minerals to things about World War 2. For example, I read a Neil Armstrong biography, I would not know as much about the space program, being an astronaut and space if I hadn't chosen to read that book.
I have also realized that fiction books can be a good place to learn. If I had not read the Percy Jackson series, I would not know it's nearly as much as I do about the Greek and Roman gods. Reading this series sparked an interest and I began reading many other books about these subjects and now have a really good understanding of the ancient gods.
When I went to Petra, I had a good idea of what to expect and some of the history. I read about it for months before I went so I knew more about it when I did go. All of a sudden, the words that we just printed on a page in the book actually came to life right before my eyes.
I will continue to read into the future because now I know that if you read you can learn anything you want to.
Every day, you capture something beautiful. It may be a picture of the sun sitting on the horizon. It could be a sketch of a girl sitting in a corner. It could be a sculpture of a butterfly. Whatever you create, we want it.
The Belmar Teen Advisory Board is looking for your art. If you send your art in, it will have a chance to be displayed in the August art exhibit. To enter, you must be between the ages of 12 and 18. To submit, you may email Librarian Lisa, or drop off your work at library before July 15. If your work is chosen, you will be notified by July 22. The exhibit will open with an artist’s reception on August 2.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. With your art, you must include the dimensions, artists name, age, grade, school, title, medium, and year of creation
2. You can unfortunately, only submit five pieces of art
3. You will be notified by July 22 if your art is included
4. Your art must be dropped off at the library before July 30
We are excepting most forms of art, including paintings, sketches, photos, sculptures, structures, and ceramics. If you have any questions, please email Librarian Lisa.
I took a walk in the park
today. Begun with heavy
footsteps, each thud tinged with
hurt and frustration. Solace
found in the quiet. Footfalls
softened. It spoke to me through
whispers and swishes rushing
'round. It lifted my chin and
placed a soft smile on my
face. Gently pulled me off the
ground and into the sky. I
became a kite soaring high
above my griefs with the world.
Swirled and twisted, the leash
of the dog I was walking
the only thing keeping me grounded.
Image Credit: Patrick Down on Flickr.
This crazy maniac is Mindwipe. Before he got his cybernetic parts he was a normal man. One day when he was driving in his car a large piece of metal fell from another superhero battle and most of his body was damaged. Later, other organizations of villains use new technology to bring him back to life. But he came out crazed. Now he runs about in the street wondering what he will do next.
Be warned: this film is rated R.
Watching Eye in the Sky will infuriate you to no end, no matter what political stance you hold going in. That comes largely from the fact it’s chiefly a political film, and, as shown by our good friend Mr. Trump, politics tend to upset people. It’s a complex, fascinating movie that’s hard to pin down. There are laugh out loud moments followed by ones of quiet suspense. Scenes that elicit empathy are followed by ones of righteous anger. Political Satire probably best describes the movie, but then again it doesn’t truly do the film’s themes or content justice. Eye in the Sky is a war movie with little action. It’s a horror movie with little bloodshed. It’s a comedy with little joy. At its core, Eye in the Sky is just a lot of people talking, all trying not to have to make a hard decision; it’s also incredibly compelling.
Eye in the Sky follows an inter-governmental terrorist capture operation in Kenya, and the many ways in which it goes awry. The outfit is led by the British Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) and about 8 other officers working with her in the war room. She though, of course, is not solely in charge of the operation. Powell answers directly to British Lieutenant General Frank Benson (played by the late great Alan Rickman). Benson throughout the film is surrounded by British officials and politicians, all of which have their own agendas and moral stances. Powel directly commands 2 main things: American Air Force pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul), who controls a drone from a shed in Las Vegas and Sergeant Mushtaq Saddiq (Babou Ceesay), commander of the actual capture unit in Kenya. There is also an American facial recognition specialist operating out of Hawaii, two key soldiers in Kenya, and a little girl selling bread in Kenya (but more on that in a moment).
The situation complicates further when the terrorists move to a new location for their meeting, and further when they start equipping themselves with suicide vests, and even further when a little girl sells bread right next to the building, complicating the drone strike option. Through it all the characters argue about what the right thing to do is, and no one wanting to take responsibility for a drone strike.
The film is paced excellently and with precision. Every scene is masterfully executed, in no hurry to shock the audience or reveal what will happen. The film rather lets us, the audience, suffer through the indecision and ambiguity, squirming in our seats with anticipation. The suspense caliber is almost something out of a Hitchcock movie: in the execution, the patience, the payoff. It’s nice to see this sort of filmmaking nowadays, the type that requires an engaged and intelligent audience.
Helen Mirren is a commanding central lead, delivering each line with enough conviction, passion, and ethos to thoroughly ground the film. Without Mirren, the film could have perhaps strayed into the realm of unbelievable parody. She is a large reason the movie works and fits together so well. Aaron Paul delivers a lot of pathos, performing in one of the most human and emotional roles of his career. Alan Rickman reminds us just why we’ll miss him, playing a cold, logical, and dryly funny character, similar to others he has played. The rest of the cast was great too, even the little girl, but these three actors really stood out.
Eye in the Sky was a great movie, but it did have a few flaws. An obvious one is that some of the smaller characters acted a bit like caricatures, specifically the American characters. I’m not sure if this is a flaw of screenwriting or an intentional point the filmmakers were trying to make. Either way it is a noticeable blemish in the movie. Also, some of the point of view shots from the drones and other equipment were unbelievable to put it lightly. A robotic beetle flying shouldn’t have such stable footage streaming from it when going through wind. Of course, the filmmakers had to take a few liberties to deliver the movie they wanted to, and I don’t necessarily fault them for it, but this detail nagged at me throughout the whole film.
In the end, it’s their indecision that will frustrate you. You will probably side with one party at the beginning, as I did, and become increasingly angry at the characters with contradictory views, the ones that prevent progress. What Eye in the Sky does so well though, is not vilify or commend any characters. The situation is complicated and messed up; there seems not to be a single right answer about how to respond. In the end, every character tries to do the best thing that they can, but it’s not enough. This intercharacter struggle suggests many deep thematic topics. It suggests that war is terrible, evil, there is nothing right or good about it, but also it’s a necessary evil that cannot, unfortunately, be avoided. It’s a compelling piece of cinema, one that kept me on the edge of my seat, and overall I would rate it 9/10.
For more reviews, visit my blog.
Image Credit: Irish Typepad on Flickr.
In the scene before me, snow swirls around a lone cabin.
It rests, blissfully silent here: the middle of nowhere.
I set down my snow globe and focus on the homework before me.
*Sijo: a Korean poem with three lines, a total of 44-46 syllables, each line having 14-16. The sijo may be narrative or thematic, introducing a situation or problem in line 1, development or "turn" in line 2, and resolution in line 3.
The first half of the final line employs a "twist": a surprise of meaning, sound, tone or other device. The sijo is often more lyrical, subjective and personal than haiku, and the final line can take a profound, witty, humorous or proverbial turn. Like haiku, sijo has a strong basis in nature, but, unlike that genre, it frequently employs metaphors, symbols, puns, allusions and similar word play.
Image Credit: Rachel.Adams on Flickr.
I still am a little unsure how I feel about Dream House, written by YouTube star, CutiePieMarzia. And to be honest, I had not heard of her before...but back to the subject at hand, Dream House was an interesting read that left me with a lot of questions. This story is about a girl named Amethyst, who finds herself in a very weird situation in a big creepy house with some sketchy, creepy people. The more time she spends in the house, the more I was asking myself, "what in the world is Amethyst doing"?!
She comes across this big, beautiful house and a nice litte old couple who lives there. They invite her inside and welcome her to stay the night. One night turns into many as strange things happen to her each day.
At times I found the story to be a little over the top and silly, (seriously, why didn't she leave?) but I pushed through it and on the other side I found it to be a pretty scary read, though a little unbelievable at times.
I would not read it again, but I didn't find it to be a waste of time. I give it a 2/5
Once there was a man who lived alone in a hut overlooking an ocean. The sky was often gray with storm clouds, and the constant rain brought a chill to the air. Though the wind howled despondently, the man was quite content. He woke early every morning, pulling on a raincoat and chest waiters before leaving the hut. He would walk down to the shoreline with an old fishing net and a thermos of coffee. After spending hours tossing in the waves in his boat he would return home. Although he was alone and there was little coziness to his hut, he would never dream of leaving. For his grandmother told him years earlier when he was a little boy that you can only be truly happy when you look inside yourself and can smile at what you see there. He had traveled the world and lived in many a place, but it was only in the lonely hut on the gray blue ocean that he could smile.
Image Credit: mightymighymatze on Flickr.