November 21, 2013

Princess Diaries Series Review by Natasha

Natasha Zwijacz
Extreme Reading
Hour: 8
May 25, 2013

            Did you want to be a princess when you were growing up?  Well Mia Thermopolis sure didn’t want to and when she was told that her father was the prince of Genovia, which made her the princess of Genovia, she wanted to run away.  Meg Cabot is an author of many novels and series but her most well-known series is the Princess Diaries.  In Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries book series readers are introduced to a Mia Thermopolis’ growth over ten novels with a few novellas’s tucked in between.  Mia starts off as a quiet, shy, tall, flat chested female with uncontrollably wild hair but by the time we reach the end of the final novel in the series Mia is more outgoing has had a makeover and figured out who her true friends are and who her heart lies with.  So since Mia started off as a normal teen, she wasn’t perfect and wasn’t good with boys, it made her a very easy character to connect with and what made me want to read the entire series; it also helped that there was a character that Mia falls in love with who Meg describes so perfectly I wish I had a boyfriend like him.
            By the time readers read Forever Princess, the last novel in the series, Mia is getting ready to take on her role as heir to the throne Amelia Migonete Grimaldi Thermopolis Rinaldi princess of Genovia.  She isn’t exactly popular but she has friends who love her and a boyfriend who wants to take her to prom, which is one of the most important things about her senior year.  Now to the outside world Mia seems okay but on the inside she is fighting with herself because Lily still won’t talk to her, and it’s been that way ever since she started dating J.P, and Michael Moscovitz has been back in town and confusing all of Mia’s feelings.  Then prom happens and Mia becomes even more confused but can she really ever make out the truth?
            I was hooked so quickly on this series but Forever Princess really held my attention.  I couldn’t put the book down because Meg Cabot was so clever with her writing.  The most important thing about Mia is that she didn’t let what others say about her affect her in a negative way and she didn’t let the princess thing go to her head.  Now Mia is quiet and self-reserved unless it is something she is really concerned about, like the environment, then she puts her whole heart into it and makes sure that the world knows what is going on.  This is easy for many teens and even adults to connect with because when people care about something they tend to pursue it more strongly than if it is something they do not care about.  So although this is just a fictional novel Meg Cabot does such a fantastic job on writing Mia’s character so as to connect with anyone from teen to adulthood.
            Now the thing about Mia is that sometimes she becomes so hard headed about something that she doesn’t look at the in plain sight facts around her.  Mia wouldn’t listen to Lily when all Lily was trying to do was tell her that J.P. was bad news and that her brother, Michael, didn’t do anything wrong.  Since Mia refused to listen to Lily, Mia lost Lily’s friendship and ended up getting hurt at prom.  What this proves is that being strong headed is great when you are trying to be passionate about something like saving the planet, which Mia was, but being too strong headed can cause many to lose focus and miss important details that can save them from getting hurt.
            So in the end Meg Cabot made it very easy for me to connect with Mia in not only Forever Princess but all of the Princess Diaries books.  She is a very passionate person that I tend to look up to.  Forever Princess was a great end to a fantastic series!  I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who has seen the movies and liked them, likes strong heroines, or drama and romance.

October 31, 2013

By the Time You Read This I'll be Dead Book Review by Azure

By the Time You Read This I’ll be Dead is a deep with feeling. The book was written by Julie Anne Peters. In the book there is a young teenager who wants to pursue her death in perfection. My personal opinion on the book is I loved it.
After many suicide attempts Daelyn is sure to get it right. When she finds a website for completers-people who execute suicide with perfection, she is determined for death in twenty three days. With every change of school the same suffering is still there. With this new move Daelyn meets a boy a charming boy with the name of Santana. Isn’t it too late for Daelyn to be letting people in her life now?
I personally believe this is an excellent book. I prefer books written in 1st person, with knowing that this book did persuade me. I like how Peters keeps you on edge. She keeps you hanging at the end of the chapters, tries and makes you think as if you are Daelyn. I love how the author became Daelyn. She would make it seem as though you were in Daelyn’s head; you knew what she was thinking. How Daelyn actually felt about the situation but what she did not say or do to change the situation; she just dealt. I loved how this book portrayed the teen view. The author did an excellent job of making it sound like she was a suicidal fifteen year old female instead of a middle aged woman trying to be a teen again. This book made me grow emotions for Daelyn it made you feel and hurt. The author was great at describing you could almost see and feel the suffering of the character.
If I had to say anything bad about this book, it would be that it is very depressing. You want to jump into Daelyn’s life and be there for her. You want the character to know there is other ways out and that this is not a needed procedure to be at peace with yourself. You feel bad for the girl that is suffering and you want to help her, make it stop, hurt the people that did this to her. Then you also have to remember it is just a book and a very good one at that.
I believe that this book deserves 5 stars. I would personally read it again. I believe the book has a great message to it and really opens your eyes to the world, and reality.

October 16, 2013

Inkheart Book Review By Jake

          Inkheart by Cornelia Funk was a fantastic book. The book has so many twists and turns, you will never want to set it down! Inkheart is about a father who can read things out of books if he reads out loud to his daughter, who he dearly loves. 
          One day, he read the wrong person out of a book. The evil man he reads out of the book is named Capricorn. He wants to go back to his world so desperately, he is willing to use anything and anyone in his power to get that book back and to capture Mo, the man who read him out of the book. 
           I thought the book was great, including the development of the characters throughout the story and all of the plot twists. This story will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. This book definitely deserves a five star rating. This has been one of the best books I have ever read and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. 

Fallen Book Review by Lizett

           Lauren Kate's novel Fallen is a story of romance with a supernatural twist. Fallen tells a story of forbidden love that I can't get enough of.
           Have you ever felt something oddly familiar about someone even though you've only just met them? That's what Luce Price feels about the strange and mysterious Daniel Grigori. He captures her attention from the moment she stepped foot at Sword and Cross Boarding School. Except Danial isn't interested and he makes it very clear, but Luce won't let it go. She wants so desperately to find out what Daniel is working so hard to keep secret, even if it means she won't be able to see the world the same again.
          Fallen is one of the best books I've read about fallen angels. The author wrote so many details that it wasn't hard to visualize the scenes in your head. How she mixed supernatural and romance blew me away, and that kept me waiting anxiously until the end. I loved everything about this page turner. From the beginning to the end nothing disappointed me.
           If you're looking for a dangerous, dark, and exciting book, Fallen is what you've been looking for. I promise you, it won't be a waste of time.

October 10, 2013

When It Happened Book Review by Bree

The novel that I read was “When It Happens” written by Susane Colasanti. Overall, the book was great; it kept you interested and it was difficult to put the book down.
“When It Happens” was a teenage love story about Sara, a high school senior who was academically driven and had dreams of attending New York University the following year for college. At the beginning of her senior year she thought she had found Mr. Perfect, Dave was the cute popular guy in school that everyone wanted to be friends with. When Sara started dating Dave, people started to notice her and the popular kids wanted to hang out with her, Sara gained the popularity but lost her true friends. While Sarah was dating Dave she lost herself and found that in their relationship, it wasn't the relationship she wanted it to be anymore; Dave pressured her into sex and only cared about what his friends thought, she wasn't happy anymore and Sara was already interested in another guy, Tobey. Tobey was the complete opposite of Dave, he was kind and intelligent and Sara was falling for him. Sara was confused with what she should do so she decided to end things with Dave because when she was with Tobey, she felt sparks fly and she wanted something happen between them.
The novel was a good book, you really felt the emotion of Sara and how she felt throughout each situation. The only thing that I did not like about the book was how it ended. At the end of the book they graduate high school and describe how great college is going to be and how much fun it will be. I wish the author would've written on about how the summer went.
“When It Happens” was a good book and Colasanti.  is such a good author. The book was exciting and it was about a high school relationship that I hoped would turn out good for Sara. After reading this novel, I want to read many more by Colasanti.

September 19, 2013

Someone Else Life Book Review by Yessica

“Someone Else’s Life” is a great book written by Katie Dale.  I believe none of us would really know how quite we would react if we found out our whole life is basically a lie.  This book does that for us, it puts us in the shoes of almost every character especially the main character named Rosie.   We are able to see how tragic her life and the people that surround her turn out when the truth is revealed.
Rosie is a young girl who is done with high school and like many of us can’t decide what to do with her life.  Yet, there are things that differentiate her dad died when she was young and her mom dies from a rare disease known as Huntington’s.  For the past years she had watched her mom slowly die and feared that she would too have this disease since it’s hereditary.   She had a 50% chance of having this disease until one day a family friend reveals the truth and turns that 50% to 0% by revealing the truth.  That the mom she saw die wasn't her real mom therefor; there was no way she was going to get it.  With her boyfriend this girl Rosie goes out to find her real mother, only to find out her mom wants nothing to do with her.  She finds more than her real mom, she also find her non biological moms real daughter.  At this point she has to decide to either go back home and just live with her life or to reveal the truth.  To reveal a truth about a deadly disease that this young girl might have and destroy not only her, but her family too.
Personally I really enjoyed this book and I’m very picky when it comes to liking book.  It had a lot of suspense which I think is a must because it makes you want to keep reading.  It was also very informative about this disease I didn't even know existed, so I learned a lot.  I also loved that it has a lot of twists and it narrated from two different characters.  It kept me guessing to what the outcome would be, but I got surprised every time.  As I had said before the author does a great job great a scenario, it makes us feel like we as a reader are part of the story?  The only thing I would have like better would be a more detailed ending.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes reading especially books that have conflict and lots of emotion.  I’m sure a lot of people would be able to connect to it, for example I had a connection because I love traveling and so did the characters and I have a mom with cancer so I know what it’s like to have someone you love ill.  I would give this book a big five ***** because I highly enjoyed and really recommend it.

August 29, 2013

Ender's Game Book Review by Andrew

Ender’s game, by Orson Scott Card, is the futuristic tale of a young boy who is conscribed into Battle School, a space age military school for boys. The story chronicles the protagonist, Andrew, ‘Ender’ Wiggins’ with many conflicts, both internal and external, as he progresses through trials of his destiny to save Earth.
Andrew Wiggins was born a Third, which is prohibited by Earth’s new two-child policy. In a deal to keep their son Ender’s parents agreed that he would be monitored by the Government in a program that searches for potential brilliant military officers for the war against an alien race known as the Formics. Eventually Ender is taken to command school, a military institution for young boys that orbits the Earth. Ender gradually works his way up the rungs of the power ladder when he shows his strategic prowess over his peers in battle simulations, but it is only after numerous grueling tribulations instigated by Commander Graff, who constantly monitors Ender and manipulates situations surrounding Ender to mold him into a strategic genius. When Ender is through with command school he is sent into exile on asteroid 433 Eros to be trained by Mazer Rackham, the man who will teach him everything he needs to know to save Earth from defeat in the war against the Formics. What happens after the war is over is the true surprise.
I think that Orson Scott Card wrote a very interesting and powerful book. I would go so far as to say that this book is a science fiction masterpiece. Card places you in the mind of the protagonist like only a masterful writer could, and the character development is very deep; as Ender goes through changes you can tell, they changes don’t smack you over the head, but they are obvious highlights of the book. Card constructed a story that is difficult to put down, a great plot filled with poignant physical and moral conflict. While the entire book is very compelling, it is in the ending of the book where Card demonstrates his writing prowess. The book resolves itself in a way that is unique and unexpected and it does so with the lilting cadence of a poem. The book’s resolution is Card’s stroke of creative genius. This book is rated a five out of five.

August 15, 2013

Living Dead Girl Book Review by Tricia S

I read the Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. I really liked the book it was intense and a page turner.
At ten years old, Alice, was kidnapped by a man named Ray. Throughout the 5 years, she has been sexually abused and tortured. Now, Ray wants a new girl to “play” with and wants Alice to find her for him. Alice will do anything to be free from him, even put a little girl in her shoes. The end is bittersweet, and Alice finally gets the freedom she’s been wanting all along.
The book was great and right away gets your attention. The first sentence, “Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.” Instantly makes you want to find out what happened to this little girl. I like the way Alice told her story and it really surprised me throughout the whole book on how she wouldn't just leave and tell the cops what was happening. Alice knew where Ray was and she could have led the cops to him and they could have put him away without the harm of her family. When I read books like this I love the feeling and thought of what would I do in this situation? Feeling helpless and alone made me connect with other situations I have been through in my life and my friends and her story really touched me. 
I would recommend this book to anyone. The Living Dead Girl really pulls you in with every word and Alice’s story is very interesting and I love the suspense of the story. I rate this book a 5 out of 5.

July 25, 2013

Fullmetal Alchemist Manga Review By Sterling C

                Fullmetal Alchemist, as another manga series I decided to start reading, it’s probably one of the best right behind Death Note. Written by, Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist is a story about two young boys whose goal is to bring their dead mother back from the dead. The only problem with that is that it’s never been done before.         
                In the failed attempt to do so, the two brothers lose a piece of them, the oldest, his arm and leg, the youngest everything but his soul. After years that have passed the eldest brother Ed went into the military as a state Alchemist. With the two brothers working for the government they try harder and harder to get to answer of their question, how to successfully bring someone back from the dead. They go to many different places and try to figure out how they will find there answer.  
                With the boys searching they get close, but yet have the hardest time trying to find the actually answer itself. Going from the library which had burned down, to the “secret place” which they got caught and almost died at, and then going back to their teacher whom won’t teach them anything else and is too weak to do much. After all the traveling the two boys have found many clues as to what may help them in there soon to become long journey to find the secret ingredient, the philosophers stone.
                As a very good book and a very good series, Fullmetal Alchemist is a book for people who like books that keep you interested and like action. This book/ series is probably one of my favorite books so far, I rate this book series a four and half out of five. Now my question to you is, will you find out whether they find the stone or not and retrieve there long lost mother?

July 4, 2013

I Heart You, You Haunt Me Book Review by Megan E

                The book I read was “I heart you, you haunt me” by Lisa Schroeder.  This book is quick, sad and heart-warming all at the same time.  I wasn't crazy about the verse set up, but the story itself was really good, and it really connected you to the characters.
                A teenage girl, Ava, just lost “the love of her life”, in a tragic accident.  Now, her dead ex-lover, Jackson is literally haunting her, reminding her constantly of their love together.  Her parents start to become worried about her because she never leaves the house.  Then one day at the beach, she meets a boy named Lyric, and once he asks for her number, she quickly withdrawals, thinking of Jackson, and went home.  Then one night, her friends want her to go to a party with them and her parents insist that she goes.  She tags a long and it ends up being at the place where Jackson died.  One of her friends wants to introduce her to a boy they like, and it ended up being Lyric.  After a while of being at the party, Ava starts losing it and Lyric ended up driving her home.  Towards the end, Ava begins to discover that even though she will always have a place in her heart for Jackson, she can’t separate her life from actual living people and makes a decision that will change her life for the better.
                The only thing I did not like about the book was how it was written in verse.  Otherwise, I thought it was phenomenal.  The author cut right to the chase, and did not make it unclear that someone had died.  It lets me as a reader feel more emotionally connected to the character and story.  “ I've never been to a funeral until today” is the opening sentence, even though it’s really short, it holds so much meaning and sets the tone.   This book showed the stages of grief when you lose someone, and that is something that almost everyone can relate to.
                This book hold a lot of purpose, it showed someone struggling to let go of her best friend, her other half and they had to learn how to cope and live life without them.  They started finding themselves and moving on, but never forgetting.  I loved this book; I would recommend it to anyone.  I give it four out of five stars.

June 13, 2013

Alice in Zombieland Book Review by Ray

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter is about a girl named Alice and how her whole world changed after the accident. At first I thought this book was boring so I didn’t really want to read it or get into it but soon after the first chapter I started to get interested. The more I read this book the more I got into it and the more I enjoyed it.
In the book Alice and her family gets into an accident and all but Alice died. Alice life starts to change from where she lives, goes to school, and the people she hangs out with. She goes from this shy fragile girl to a courageous strong girl. She makes many enemies as long as many friends in the end. In the beginning Alice would have never guessed her life would end this way and now she won’t give up what her life has become.
Over all, this book was great; I love the secrets that go on between Alice and Cole. It keeps me on my toes and wanting me to keep reading to know what is going to happen. I didn’t like the very beginning it just really bored me when it was just Emma and Alice talking in the yard. This book doesn’t have too many hard words to read. I also like how the author put the italic words showing that Alice was talking to herself in her head, this made me feel like I knew what she was thinking all the time and that I knew everything about her.
          Alice in Zombieland overall was a great book about Alice and how her whole life gets turned around after the accident. I encourage everyone to read this book if you enjoy zombies and mysteries. This book just keeps you on your toes and gets you hooked the more you read it. I would have to give this book 5 stars.

May 23, 2013

Flawless Book Review by Yessica

This book is name Flawless and the author is Lara Chapman, this is a fiction book written in 2011.  It’s a book I really enjoyed reading and would encourage others to take the time to read it as well.
A girl named Sarah Burke’s has a body image issue that really makes her self-esteem go down.  She tells everyone that she accepts herself just the way she is, but in this book we see how that small detail of her body really makes up her low self-esteem character.  A new cute boy arrives at her high school and Sarah finds they are perfect for each other, sharing the same like and dislikes.  The only thing that holds her back is that her best friend in the entire world likes that same exact guy.  Being the loyal friend that Sarah is, she has to let go of the idea of having this guy be hers and actually help her friend get into a relationship with a guys she thinks is perfect for her.  The question is... Will she let this small body defect affect her? Will she lose that loyalty towards her friend, in order to get with the guys of her dreams? I suppose you will have to read to find out.
I personally enjoyed this book and would be something I would recommend to anyone.  I believe there are many valuable lessons any reader can learn from this book.  It teaches the reader how important loyalty is, how to embrace our body, how to always speak with the truth and truly try to be happy.  I really liked how the author conveys that perfection isn’t the most important aspect of a person, especially when it comes to body image.  I would have liked if she had added a little more detail at the end , but besides that It was a book I enjoyed reading. 
For anyone who enjoys reading love story’s with conflicts, or anything having to deal with friendship or insecurities, I would highly recommend this book.  I would rate it a 4 star book because I liked it and I’m sure other people would to.  I’m not implying that everyone is going to love this book; many of you can take a meaning out of this book if you gave it a chance.

May 2, 2013

Speak Book Review by Ashleigh


            The Book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is about a teenage girl who has problems with feeling liked and accepted, and even having a problem with even liking herself. In my opinion of Speak; I think it is a great book.
High School days are filled with cliques, and groups that live off of judgment and lies. Trying to be accepted and liked as much as the next person.  Melinda’s freshman year is already ruined and makes high school way much scarier than it already has to be. Melinda is a shy girl and doesn’t like to be exposed and not in control of her life. She finds ways to deal with herself hatred for who she is as a person as her emotions take complete control of her way of thinking.  Melinda’s only close friend left her, instead of helping become the beautiful kind girl that she is, she left Melinda to be destroyed and ashamed of what she has become. Through freshman year she tries to find herself and who she really is and how to speak out to someone that is willing to help.
I think Speak was a stunning book, because it’s Realistic Fiction; they are giving examples of how girls think in high school all the way from freshman to Senior. I think it’s a great book because it’s a book where a girl is insecure about herself image and I can relate to that. For example Melinda is a very timid shy girl that only has a few friends that she really trusts. Melinda is depressed and doesn’t except that she is thin and beautiful. Also Melinda feels like if she does the things she does because she is the one who get to decide whether or not to stop.  In my own opinion there is nothing that is dislikable about the book Speak.  
            The book speak is a great book and could be enjoyed by teens through adults.  I rated this a four out of five, this book is a book about how a girl tries to find herself and tries to come to terms with the past. When she figures out how to deal with the past she understands that her body and her face are not the problem she will open up and just maybe even make a new friend.

April 18, 2013

Itch Book Review by Bri

Reading "ITCH" by Simon Mayo has really changed my perspective on how I view science. This book made me itching for more, a marvelous piece of work by Mayo. We follow the story of Itchingham   Lofte, "Itch", and his epic adventures revolving around a single rock. When I started this project I was immediately excited when I read the back and seeing that there is an featured augmented reality animation app,  the animation was truly fantastic a short snippet of the book, which part... well you're gonna have to read the book to find out.
Itch is 16 year-old teen who has an unusual hobby: he collects all the elements on the periodic table and it gets him in trouble with his mom, a lot. For instance like an explosion that burns off Itch's eyebrows and automatically demotes his collection to the shed in the back yard and weekly check-ins of his room and his collection. It's just not Itch's week, so to protect his most valuable pieces he brings them to school, which includes wallpaper laced with arsenic. Itch and his cousin Jacqueline, Jack for short, are in the same class, and they are on a trip to the school's greenhouse and when everyone becomes violently ill Itch blames himself because he brought the wallpaper to school. But when Itch and Chloe, Itch's little sister, met up with Cake Itch's "supplier" of almost all of his collection, says that there wasn't enough arsenic to make arsenic gas, so Cake gives him a rock saying that it is an element.  
However when Itch brings the rock to his professor Mr. Watkins, he suggests that they inquire the help of another professor Dr. Flowerdew a chemist; when Dr. Flowerdew runs tests on the rock they find out that it is highly radioactive and Dr.Flowerdew runs out of the school saying that he has a lead container at home. Itch agreed to let Dr. Flowerdew to take it but when Dr. Flowerdew doesn't return it, that's when things get crazy. Itch, Jack, and Chloe are in a race for their lives and a race against time, with the police, secret organizations, and multiple other countries following the three teens every move they only have letter to follow and help them make their decisions. Will Itch, Jack, and Chloe be able to beat the clock before their time runs out, or will the rock fall into the wrong hands?  
I loved this book, I usually don't read books from this genre and I was really surprised on how much I liked the action and thrill. Not trying to be cliché or anything, but this book keep me at the edge of seat the whole way. This being written by a British author, there were a few terms I didn't quite understand. Over all a marvelous book, with a sensational ending that I didn't expect. I would definitely recommended this book to science lovers and to people who don't know what "2Na + 2H2O = 2NaOH + H2" creates, I give this book a 5 out of 5 hands down. An excellent work that should be in everyone's collection.

I can’t wait for the sequel that is coming out in 2014. Try to take a moment and look at the Sterling Publishing website for the book, I put the link at the bottom and check the book out, Itch came out this April and is now available and don’t forget the about the app!


is one of Britain’s best-loved and well-known radio DJs. He works for BBC radio, and in 2008 he was recognized as the "radio broadcaster of the year" at the 34th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and the "Speech Broadcaster of the Year" at the Sony Radio Academy Awards. Itch is his first novel, and he’s working on a sequel, Itch Rocks!, scheduled for 2014. Simon lives in England. 1. What gave you the idea for ITCH? A number of things all happening at once! Firstly, my son Joe started to take a real interest in science. Not just a passing interest—a real "let’s talk about quantum mechanics" interest. This was new to us. I thought I’d write him a short story, but it turned into a slightly longer one.
Also, I had just finished a nine year run on a talk show for BBC Radio where we made a point of inviting the world’s top scientists on to explain their ideas. When you have the best teachers, it is impossible to be unmoved by all this stuff! Then I read that someone who collects the periodic table is called an element hunter, and that was that. I was sure someone else must have written the adventures of an element hunter (it seemed such an obvious thing to do). But they hadn’t, so I did!
2. Itchingham Lofte is different from other children his age–his hobby is collecting elements! He doesn’t have a lot of friends and is often teased by his peers. Was it important for you to show your young readers that being different is okay? I didn’t set out with that intention; I just wanted to tell a good story. But I did want to write about an outsider, someone who doesn’t fit the mold of what a 14-year-old boy is "supposed" to be like. The pressure to be the same as everyone else is overpowering for pretty much everyone. Itch is lucky to have Jack and Chloe, though; many outsiders are really just on their own the whole time. Great minds can develop there, but that’s not always a great alternative to friends. 3. Where did your interest in science first begin? Did you have a favorite teacher who was highly influential, like Mr. Watkins? Actually, I never liked science at school. I’m a history and politics man, but when you spend your day researching the great theoretical physicists of the day, it kind of rubs off on you. I think it took me a few decades to realize the beauty and wonder at the heart of science, so I’m playing catch-up here. But this is not a science book. It is an adventure story about a boy who collects the periodic table. 4. The Periodic Table of Elements is almost its own character in the book. Can you explain a little more about the periodic table, and its important history? Well the somewhat baffling lines of boxes, letters, and numbers are everything that there is in the known universe… and unknown universe. You can’t get more important than that! When you look at a chart you can see that it is a bit like the castle that Jude observes, with Hydrogen and Helium being the turrets and the rare earth elements as the moat at the bottom. She doesn’t really get it though! Itch thinks of it more as a map around the known universe.
It was all put together in this form by a Russian chemist called Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869. The elements are listed in order of increasing atomic number—the number of protons in the atomic nucleus (this gets tough quickly). The "period" bit refers to the horizontal rows where there are recurring or "periodic" similarities in some elements. The vertical columns or groups are more important and often the elements in these "families" have very similar properties. In the book where Jacob Alexander is checking his charts and figures he would have found element 126 fits under the Fe, Ru, Os, Hs column (Iron, Ruthenium, Osmium, Hassium).
Of the 118 elements, 92 are found naturally on earth; the rest have to be made in labs, with expensive things like particle accelerators. Chances are your school won’t have one.
5. Element 126–Itch’s discovery–could change the world. Is it possible that more elements could be out there, waiting to be discovered? Yes, absolutely. The Golden Book of Chemistry, which is referred to in the book, came out in 1960 and its table of elements stops at 103 (Lawrencium), but now it stops at 118 (Ununoctium, a temporary and very dull name!).
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6. The book delves into topics like "Gaia Theory" and "The Island of Stability." How much of the book is factual, and how much is not yet reality but still rooted in scientific principles? Can you talk a little about these ideas?I wanted a story where the magic really exists and can/could one day happen. So yes, it is all rooted in science. Gaia Theory is the idea of James Lovelock, "one of the most original and influential living scientists," to quote the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees. Lovelock suggests that the earth should be thought of as one big living thing, not a billion different ones; that the earth is alive and looks after itself and disapproves of much that humans do. I know it sounds crazy, and Itch and Jack think so too when Jacob Alexander explains some of his ideas. But James Lovelock is widely respected now and has changed the way many view the earth.
The island of stability really does exist! Or at least, I didn’t make it up—it has been talked about for many years. All the elements at the top end of the table are fantastically unstable and some have only existed for seconds or fractions of seconds. There are scientists who think that there may be some, as yet undiscovered, elements that will be sufficiently stable and courteous enough to hang around for long enough to be quite useful; element 126 would be one of them.
7. Some very dangerous and powerful people come after Itch for element 126. How is Itch an unconventional hero in the book? He’s heroic in as much as he wants to do the right thing and has staggering amounts of courage and determination. He makes a mistake early on in the book and is trying to make amends. I think most heroes are unconventional. Very few real heroes would be considered normal. Who wants to be normal?8. Itch uses his science know-how to get himself and his family out of trouble, and to protect his discovery. Do you hope Itch’s adventures could inspire kids to be more interested in science? I have come to realize how thrilling science is and I wish I had discovered this a long time ago! There is a particular need here in the UK for girls to be more interested in science and take it up as a career. Maybe that’s true for the US as well, but with Chloe and Jack at Itch’s side I hope girls find this journey every bit as thrilling as the boys.9. This is your first novel. After successfully working for years in the radio industry in Britain, what made you decide to write fiction? I am constantly surprised by this! The honest answer is that it had never occurred to me before. It was the peculiar coincidence of the events I described above that led me to take pen to paper (or keyboard to screen, if that works). Once I had the element hunter idea I couldn’t stop for fear someone else would get there first. Mid-book, I watched in horror as Daniel Radcliffe sang the periodic table on a British chat show. This was a calamity! The biggest boy hero of our age and he was reciting the whole list (well, as many as Tom Lehrer’s song listed anyway). Surely someone else would get there first! But they didn’t, so here we are…10. What’s next for Itch in the second book, coming out in 2014?AHA! Well I can promise more bone-crunching action. Itch has become the most protected boy in the world and hopes that his drastic actions in book one have been enough to deal with element 126 once and for all. But the forces unleashed by his discovery are very powerful… I don’t want to spoil it by saying any more!
nicknamed Itch, has an unusual passion: collecting specimens of every element in the periodic table. But when he gets his hands on a suspiciously warm rock made of a new, previously unknown element, things really begin to explode. Soon, a malevolent teacher, an evil corporation, and a top-secret government agency are all after Itch. Can his science know-how keep him one step ahead of everyone...and help him stay alive?Available at bookstores everywhere. | Visit for fun downloads!

April 11, 2013

Death Note Manga Reveiw by Sterling

Death Note, probably the best manga series I have ever read in my life! Written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, Death Note has me on the edge of my seat waiting to get my hands on the next one. About a teenage boy who finds himself in the biggest situation and has not only the cops on him or the state and country after him but his own father, all because of a single notebook.              
It takes place in the big city in Japan that is known for not many killing besides the last few years. There is also another world which contains Gods that are called “Death Gods”, they kill people/ anything from other worlds to keep their life going, they each have a notebook to write down in it whether someone is going to die and how and also when.  When a 17 year old boy named Light comes to find one of the Death Notes on the ground he picks it up as a prank. Yet finds out that this single notebook has changed his life forever, he wants to change the world as it is and turn it into a Utopia because of all the current murders. He uses the “death note” to kill all the murderers and “bad” people and finds himself in a bad position getting chased by the cops, a secret organization, and even his own father. Will he be able to find a way to get out of the position he’s currently in, or will he be caught?
Personally I thought that it was very good! It has intense, it makes you think and best of all has a fantastic story line! The book at times would tell you one small thing but if you don’t pay enough attention to it then you won’t get it. For example at one point in the book he says he’s got to find a place to hide the Death Note, and the reader thinks, “Oh ok”, but then later on it becomes amazingly intelligent by the way he hides it, but I’m not going to tell you that…you got to figure that out by yourself.
In total the entire book is great! I, myself, have read the first three books and thought it was fantastic and can’t wait to pick up the next one! I rated this book a four out of five, the story line and plot is probably what keeps me hooked even though I think my favorite part is that Light is able to think the way he does and how he makes you guess threw out the whole book. So if you’re into Manga and graphic novels and confusion, this book is perfect for you.