Thursday, April 26, 2012

Children's Writing Club need your support

Imagination - Creativity – Inspiration

Neptune Public Library is proud to present the very first fruits of our Children's Writing Club
- an essay, a short story, and a film review.
We would like to hear what you think and help us choose our "Feature of the Month"

Please vote using the poll on the right.
Thank you for your support!

An Essay by Bobby Dykeman

Easter is awesome! Easter is a wonderful time to hang out with friends and family to catch up. For me though, I just like to fool around with my friends and play. This Easter was one of the best ever!
This Easter, my friends came over for brunch and an Easter egg hunt. We spent a long time setting up for the egg hunt. We hung the colorful plastic eggs from strings under the deck and on trees in the backyard. It looked so cool when we were finished! It was all worth it in the end.
To make the hunt even more fun, along with the candy, we put letters in the eggs too. These letters at the end would be unscrambled to spell the words CHOCOLATE BUNNY! One boy, Nicholas, guessed what the letters would spell from the minute my dad said there were fourteen letters. Nicole didn’t get any letters and claimed she was “too cool”.
After the hunt we went inside to watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It was the perfect way to calm down from all the excitement of the Easter egg hunt. We watched Harry play Quidditch and kill a Basilisk. I loved this Easter.
Easter is a very special holiday to me. It is one of my favorites! I hope everyone had a happy Easter this year.
Now I have one last question for you. What does Easter mean to you?

Lost and Found
A short story by Wildflower

It’s a beautiful beach day. After some long hours of surfing and diving into the waves, I became so hungry that my stomach started making funny noises. I jumped out of the water, walking over to my beach bag and dug out a packet of my favorite cookies. As soon as my pale, wrinkle finger picked out the first cookie, my stomach rumbled even louder.
Just then I made a big mistake, a very big one. I was hungry alright but at the same time I was also curious to know how loud my own stomach could sound. So instead of eating the first cookie right away, I kept holding the cookie under my nose, a quarter inch from my mouth. And how amazing! My stomach was not just rumbling louder, it growled, growing so loud, that it was growling like a monster! I couldn't help but smile with the thought that there was actually a monster inside my tummy and I would do anything to stop it from growling at me. While I was smiling and thinking my interesting thought, a “SQUAWK” sound blasted my ear drums and my precious cookie was snatched out of my fingers. “squawk, squawk, squawk!” a big seagull was flying away with my cookie.
” Thief! Ugly seagull thief!” I was so mad, I swung my hands above my head and chased after the bird thief. I was so mad to think that the chase between a bird and a human was never a match won. I was so mad to realize that while swinging my hands after the bird, I dropped all my cookies into the water. And worse, in a blink, a dozen of seagulls gathered around me for a surprised feast. Some gratefully thanked me with a generous dropping on my head. I was dumfounded, humiliated and so mad at myself. All I could do was dip my head into the water and clean away the bird dropping.
- “ Don’t you throw that plastic onto the water?”
I was startled. I looked up and saw a girl my age staring at me with a challenging look. It took me a long second to realize she meant the empty cookie bag still in my hand. Without saying a word, I walked past her toward the garbage can. My face was getting hotter and my legs became heavy as I could feel her eyes still on me. The only good news was the monster inside me seemed to be calmer. It might be too sad to growl...
- “That’s my favorite cookie by the way” she shouted after me.
God, leave me alone I prayed but still said nothing.
But the girl didn’t seem to take my silence as a hint. She quickened her step and caught up to me by the garbage can.
- “I have never seen anyone feed the birds the way you did. It looked really fun!”
I wished I could disappear into the sand. Just as I turned to walk away, she reached out her hand and handed me another packet of the same cookies. At the sight of those cookies, my stomach started growling louder and louder...

By the way, her name is Ally, she is now my best friend and my worse enemy.

Hunger Game
A film review by Nicole Dykeman

On March 23, at 6:15 pm, my life was changed. I laughed, I cried, and I jumped ten feet out of my seat. All of this happened within the course of two and a half hours at the mall movie theaters.
I waited one hundred thirty three days. It seemed like one hundred thirty three years. Yes, I counted. I don’t care if you think I’m a nerd, or a geek, or another creative name you wish to think up. Do you want to know why?
It was worth it. The Hunger Games movie had to be the best book based movie I’ve ever seen in my entire time on this planet. Every “i” was dotted, and every “t” was crossed. They really hit the nail on the head this time.
Normally movies based on books are really terrible in comparison, one terrifically awful example being the Percy Jackson movie. It was nothing like the book, and I was ashamed of it. For example, one of the characters, Annabeth, was supposed to be a blonde, and in the movie she was a brunette. For the Hunger Games movie, Jennifer Lawrence dyed her hair from blonde to brown to be Katniss, Josh Hutcherson dyed his hair from brown to blonde so he looked more like Peeta, and Liam Hemsworth dyed his hair from blonde to brown to look like Gale. Even the extras on set let the stylists dye their hair insane colors like blue and pink to be citizens of the Capitol!
The Harry Potter movies were actually well written, and most details were similar to the books. I mean, I understand that you can’t make a seven hundred page book into a two and a half hour movie and expect every little detail to be included. That’s why the Hunger Games movie was so amazing. They only had three hundred pages to transfer to screen.
Even though the mood of the Hunger Games is very suspenseful and serious, there were some funny moments included in the movie. Most of those moments were my favorite parts. There is one scene in the movie where Katniss slams a knife into the table so it’s sticking out. Another character, Effie, gasps from across the room and yells, “That is mahogany!” while Haymitch, Katniss and Peeta’s mentor tells Katniss, “Congratulations, you just killed a table!”
Every bit of this movie had terrific acting. One of the best scenes in the movie takes place right before Katniss is going to be sent up the tube to the Hunger Games arena. Katniss is being comforted by her stylist, Cinna, who is played by singer Lenny Kravitz. Jennifer Lawrence does a phenomenal job at making herself seem completely terrified, from the expression on her face, to the way she talks, and the way her body is shaking uncontrollably. It was so emotional, and it made me cry. The realistic acting is the same reason I cried when Katniss was speaking to her little sister and best friend Gale for the last time before she has to get on the train for the Capitol, and at the death of Rue, an innocent twelve year old sent along with Katniss to the heart-breaking fight to the death the government broadcasts on television.
I nearly had a heart attack when Peeta and Katniss are attacked by mutated dogs in the arena. It had suddenly gone completely silent and dark, and I knew it was coming too, because I read the books! Yet I still jumped out of my skin when the hideous monsters attacked.
Not only was reading these books and watching the movie enjoyable, but I learned a lot. Katniss is a great role model not just for girls, but for all young people in general. She is a strong independent individual who always puts her family before herself, just like when she volunteered to go to the Hunger Games so her sister Prim didn’t have to. I decided to start living my life as Katniss would, doing more for my family and making careful choices, knowing it affects everyone around me what I do. Maybe I’ll even start braiding my hair and take up archery – then I’ll be just like Katniss!

Comments for Children’s Writing Club

Essay:  “Easter” by Bobby Dykeman

Not only did Bobby turn Easter into a literary event, the hunt itself was literary!   This essay was charming and really conveyed the excitement of the Easter celebration.  I could visualize the fun everyone had in setting it up—perhaps just as much as the hunt itself.  I would like to have known more about the idea for using “Chocolate Bunny” in the eggs. Who came up with it, and how did it work? Did each egg have a single letter?  This was not clear and if Bobby had spent a little more time explaining it, it would have made the essay even better. As a writer, you always have to keep your reader in mind, and realize that the reader knows nothing until you explain it.

Story:  “Lost and Found” by Wildflower.

This story, which has at its center a grumbling stomach, is very original.  I remember when I was young and my stomach would grumble, and how embarrassing that was.  I hadn’t thought of it in years.  That no longer seems to happen, but this story brings back the memory in vivid detail and the embarrassment that went along with those stomach noises.   There are nice images here:  for example, the “pale wrinkled finger” from having been in the water so long. The story takes an great little twist at the end with the appearance of another girl, her warning not to throw the plastic bag into the water, and the narrator’s embarrassed response.   How a potential fight turns into a friendship makes a splendid ending.

Review:  Hunger Game by Nicole Dykeman

Thank you, Nicole, for explaining to this out-of-touch adult why the Hunger Games is such a huge phenomenon.  It seemed to come out of nowhere and now it is the talk of the country.  Thanks to you, I not only understand what it’s all about but why it’s so popular.  As a critic, you did a good job of telling about the movie without giving away the plot, and also conveying its excitement.  I liked your descriptions of the acting.  Your tears and fears—telling readers about them was strong evidence of the movie’s power.  Reflecting on what you learned gives the movie an added dimension.  It actually makes me want to see it! 

P.S. I had my hair cut today, and the people in the salon were talking about the movie.  Nothing they said gave me the sense of it the way Nicole’s review did.

--Mary Walton 

Mary Walton is a member of Neptune public library and a published author of 16 books

No comments: