Review: More Than This

 

more than this

By: Lydia Robinette

The novel More Than This by Patrick Ness is a thrilling, mystery that focuses on the strange happenings around a sixteen year old boy named Seth Wearing. The novel starts off with Seth’s death. Soon after in the novel, he woke up again in a small English town that he used to live in.

The novel’s mystery is centered on futuristic coffins in which the entire world’s population now resides in a form of stasis, and is guarded by a mysterious robot that protects the people inside. In the book Seth and two other characters escape the coffins and discover exactly what has happened to the world, and why.

More than this is a thrilling novel, with its insane plot-twists and writing that makes the reader feel as if they were right there living through the action with the characters. Ness’s book radiates a matrix-esque feeling, because the characters are given the knowledge that all of the world’s population is in a fake computer world and they are the only three that exist outside of it.

The main character wasn’t so sure until the final moments of the book that he knew which world was real or not, and this struggle is what made the story so much more relatable. Instead of having a hero who knows exactly what to do to survive and manages to fix everything and gets a happy ending, Ness gives the reader a child who reacts in a realistic way to everything thrown at him. Seth’s story of fighting to know the truth then fighting to cope with it is so raw- leaving the readers with many emotions.

Published in 2013, by the Candlewick Press More Than This has been reviewed by many prominent magazines and people, one of which was John Green, another author of young adult novels who simply said, “just read it.” This book deserves 4.5 out of 5 stars for its amazing writing and perfectly executed mystery.

 

 

 

Students Have Mixed Opinions On Year-Round School

 

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Student Eric Munguia feels a change in calendarwould not be beneficial.    Photo by Daris Chikliwala

By: James Nordbergand Darius Chikliwala

Summer is around the corner, and students are very eager to get out of school, but this prolonged break can have negative consequences on students of all ages. A solution is to exchange the current calendar for one that features the same total number of school days, but extends into summer while adding shorter more frequent vacations.

7 students were interviewed randomly at lunch about if they supported the current calendar or favored a year-round alternative. An example given to them was a calendar featuring nine weeks of school alternating with three-week breaks. The kids were also given two quotes from summerlearning.org before they made their decision. The quotes were “Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains,” and “Children lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. Most children—particularly children at high risk of obesity—gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break.”

“I’d like more frequent vacations,” said student Nathan Barboza when asked if he would prefer the year-round calendar. “Yeah staying healthy is important,” was his response to if the quotes impacted his answer.

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Nathan Barboza, Sophomore, gesturing towards himself

Other students were more skeptical of the benefits of changing the calendar. “No because I still feel kids will still lose knowledge over the smaller breaks,” said student Eric Munguia when asked if the calendar should be changed.

Some students feel it simply doesn’t matter much to which calendar is used. “I don’t care,” said student Abigail Boudreau. “I’m not going to get obese,” said student Sarah Pimental when asked how the quotes impacted her choice.

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Sarah, Avery and Abby (L-R)

Sentimental feelings factored in for other students. Matt Jimenez and Will Pion both agreed that Summer has always been something to look forward to. “I like it the way it is because it’s the way it’s always been,” said student Avery Schroder.

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Will (Left) Matt( Right)

Some schools already use a year_round calendar. “During the 2011-12 school year, the most recent year for which data is available, about 4 percent of public schools were operating on a year-round schedule, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s 3,700 schools, 400 of which are charter schools,” said Jaclyn Zubrzycki from edweek.org. While not many schools operate on this system nearby, it is much more common in the South and the West.

A year-round calendar doesn’t come without its own problems. According to Elisabeth Palmer and Amy Bemis, things such as increased administrator burn-out, scheduling conflicts with family vacations and school or community activities, difficulty in arranging daycare, having siblings on different attendance schedules, and difficulty in scheduling teacher in-service days are all disadvantages.

Bemis and Palmer also believe that this “May require additional operating costs, lack sufficient time for maintenance, be inconvenient for teachers (who may have to change classrooms during the year), lead to overworked clerical staff or administration, increase difficulties in communicating with staff or parents, and result in some students missing school events scheduled at off-track times.”

 

 

 

 

Getting ready for the Fourth!

By: James Nordberg

Over Memorial Day weekend a carnival took place at Lasalette Shrine in Attleboro Mass.  Festivities included rides, games, food, and a firework show. The Attleboro Fourth of July events will be held at Hayward Field on North Avenue beginning at 4:30 p.m., Sunday ,July 4th. Lets hope the festivities are up to par with Memorial Day’s.

 

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SAVE OUR SCHOOL

 

Save Our School

Welcome to our Blue Pride Community   Photo by: Lydia Robinette

 

By: Abbie Strobel and Lydia Robinette

The recent cuts made in regards to the budget will strongly affect the education of schools like Attleboro High School (AHS) and its students. There is a great deal of confusion and frustration over the current predicament, alongside the necessary changes that must take place.

With 25 percent of the staff being let go at just the high school alone, students are going to be forced into cramped classrooms where the number of students per class will grow from around twenty individuals to forty. This large group will most definitely impede on the learning ability of each student.

The result of the classroom size could possibly produce stress on students who suffer from social anxiety and large crowds but will also create issues with teachers laying out ground rules and lessons for students to follow. If the budget cuts insue, classrooms may turn from orderly to chaotic in just a short amount of time.

This is unfair to the remaining teachers whose workload will suddenly double with the flood of students in a single room. Classrooms at the moment manage the proper amount of pupils, but once the headcount increases, not only will rooms be a tight fit, but the issue of safety will arise.

In cases of fire drills and lockdowns, it would be much more difficult to manage the large quantities of students in any given classroom. There would be less space for students to move, making it harder for them to get out of the way or remain hidden and quiet in times of emergency. Students may also have problems exiting the building safely if a fire was to occur.

Students who suffer from social anxiety and claustrophobia may have issues when it comes to doing presentations, completing work, or even feeling relaxed and comfortable in their environment.

School curriculum  is going to suffer as well because with budget cuts comes the loss of precious classes and activities that help represent the diverse students and all of their interests. If classes and teachers are being cut, students will lose parts of school that make them more passionate about their education. Schedules will become strictly academic and will place a greater stress on students, creating a less engaging day.

With so many classes in danger of being removed from the curriculum, staff members in charge of managing the schedules will face more difficulties, seeming that schedule creation has already gone under way. Students may not be able to participate in classes that interest them, which could eventually lead to a drop in grades.

Many students already struggle with the aspect of education, often times questioning the school system and whether or not receiving an education is worth their time. Eliminating beloved classes will reinforce students’ beliefs on school being a waste of time and energy.

Students may feel less inspired in classes and their work ethic is sure to drop. Without positive reinforcement and rewards, school days begin to look bleak. Elective classes provide students with skills and experience that they may not receive anywhere else.

For some students, art and music are what open their eyes to the world of learning and allow them to enjoy their high school years. Without a proper balance between academic and electives, students are more likely to struggle, which could cause an incline in behavioral and emotional issues.

If classes involving the arts, vocational practices, and electives are cut, students who look to create a career in those fields will lack experience, knowledge and ability, and may lose future career opportunities.

Alongside cuts to art programs and electives, students will be deprived of their sports. With the cuts being made to the budget, the prices will incline drastically, making it extremely difficult for families to afford such high costs. The athletes who are forced to quit may miss the chance to receive sports related scholarships when entering college.

Overall, the cuts made to the budget are going to strongly affect Attleboro and its students on a personal level. Redistribution of funds will allow for students to receive proper attention from their teachers and ensures a comfortable working environment for both the faculty and their classes. On behalf of the affected schools, consideration in the readjustment of the budget would be greatly appreciated.

 

Red Queen Review

 

Red Queen

Red Queen Novel  Photo by: Abbie Strobel

By: Abbie Strobel

Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling novel Red Queen has reached #1 on the New York Times, leaving behind waves of fans eager for more from the author.

Red Queen is a dystopian novel that displays the growth and journey of the main character Mare Barrow, as she learns to deal with the land’s great divide over blood color. Mare is a seventeen year old thief who spends her days on the streets, scrounging for money and avoiding the inevitable conscription to the never ending war. However, life for Mare suddenly becomes much more complicated when she gets caught in a whirlwind of lies that could only mean trouble.

Silvers act as royalty throughout the novel, containing superhuman powers that the Reds do not possess. Reds are forced into a life of poverty causing their hatred for royalty to grow ever more. Mare finds herself working as a servant for the Silvers and despite her feelings towards them, she discovers that she is different, holding a power of her own that has never been seen among the Reds before.

With Mare’s new found ability, she becomes a threat to the hierarchy and becomes betrothed to a Silver prince. She is forced to lie about herself, saying that she is the long lost princess of a famous war hero. Even though trouble can be found around every corner, Mare secretly joins the Red Guard, a group set on causing the downfall of the Silver’s reign.

Mare is pushed into tough situations, where she often finds herself questioning where her allegiance lies. She has to decide between whose lives are valuable and whose aren’t. Mare learns that you cannot trust anyone in the world she is in, and she is prepared to lose the ones she loves most.

Red Queen is intended for young adult readers and presents a seamless combination of trust, rebellion, and romance. Those who are looking for a book comparable to The Hunger Games and Divergent are sure to find enjoyment and thrill in the novel.

Readers will become attached to characters quickly and are in for an emotional ride. With being thrown into the book’s plot, they will experience the betrayal and heartbreak first hand and will be caught questioning who to trust through the entirety of the novel. Those who chose to become immersed in the book will definitely have a favorite character.

The novel displays the abuse of government forces through the ever changing monarchy and the discrimination amongst humans. With the mix of differences and superhuman powers, the book creates a world that is perfect for fans of dystopian lands.

Alongside the hero that isn’t afraid to make mistakes throughout the book. Aveyard creates a spectacular world of superhumans and their rule over the commoners.

With twists and turns around every corner, the novel is sure to please the minds of those seeking tales of ultimate betrayal, giving this book a five out of five star rating. Readers become enthralled in the world presented before them and are often found wanting more and more of the characters and their stories.

Aveyard has since published the prequel Cruel Crown, which features the two e-novellas, Queen Song and Steel Scars. The sequel Glass Sword was also published, following the release of the prequel in February of this year.

Fans are currently waiting for the third and fourth installments of the novel, which can be expected in the upcoming years. Aveyard has been sure to preview the third book on Twitter, while she is in the process of writing, boosting excitement in fans everywhere.

Advice to upcoming Freshmen

 

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My personal advice to upcoming freshmen Screenshot by: Ashley Liriano

 

By: Ashley Liriano

There are a lot of expectations entering high school:  making many new friends, finding the love of your life, excelling academically and socially, the list can go on and on and on. In some cases, this does happen, but in most cases, it doesn’t.

By the end of our high school years, students are left wishing it could happen faster, eagerly waiting graduation day. Now that my high school years are coming to a close, I’ve learned quite a few things along the way.

My first piece of advice for upcoming freshmen would be to take appropriate classes. Don’t take classes that are too easy for you, but don’t take classes that you know will be too challenging for you. Sometimes, you’re just not ready to take a class, and that’s alright. Don’t force yourself to take a class because you think it’ll make you “look good” to colleges.

 

There’s no point in taking challenging classes if you’re not ready because you’ll get poor grades when you could have earn exceptional grades in a class appropriate for you. As far as grade expectations, it may be annoying or tedious to study or do homework, but you’ll miss out on scholarships and awards in the long run, if you don’t maintain a decent grade point average. The range of schools you can apply to, with a decent chance of getting in, widens when you have exceptional grades.

It shows colleges that you care about your education, but the rewards you can receive from good grades make the hard work worthwhile.

Figure out what you want to do after school. Do you want to enter the workforce, go to college, or take a year off? Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s in your best interest. Don’t let your parents impose their way, don’t let your friends pressure you, and don’t even let your teachers or guidance counselors persuade you to do something you’re not comfortable with. In the end, it is not them but you who has to live with the decision, so make sure it’s something you want to do.

Figure out what your interests are and what you thoroughly enjoy. What can you spend hours on end doing and not get bored? This could lead you to your passion and further clear the path for what you want to do in life.

Don’t pay too much attention to other people, do what’s best for you, and take care of yourself. Friends are great to have, but sometimes you need to let them go. If they don’t have your best interest at heart and putting you into situations that are detrimental for you, you have to weigh the option of keeping or dropping them. It may be hard, but it also may be necessary.

Your high school years are the time to have fun, but you don’t need to be getting in petty trouble because real life will hit you hard. Ultimately, enjoy high school. High school is the only time you don’t have any real responsibilities, but you shouldn’t act recklessly. Just have fun and work hard.

 

Summer Plans: Man on the Street

By Meghan Lancaster

With summer just around the corner, students and staff alike are counting down the days until the school year is over. Here is what Attleboro High School (AHS) students will be up to this summer.