Archive for the Category »Language Arts «


This summer I read a book called Puddin’, by Julie Murphy. It’s a dual narrative about two teens named Millie and Callie. Millie has gone to “fat camp” since she was little, but this year she’s determined not to. Although Callie is next to be captain of the dance team and has a popular boyfriend, she has more frenemies than friends. Callie thinks she has it all, and she does, until one day when everything changes. When Millie and Callie become friends, they surprise everyone, (including themselves), they realize they have more in common than they think. Can Callie and Millie keep their friendship? This is a teen book, but I would recommend it to anyone who likes a story of an unlikely friendship.


Catching Fire

I recently finished Catching Fire, by Suzzane Collins. It is the second book in the Hunger Games. The two competitors from district twelve, Katniss and Peeta, won the Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeta are living in Victors’ Village, after winning the Games. They went to all of the districts to celebrate with them. That year was the Quarter Quell, where something exciting happened. Quarter Quells happen every twenty-five years. That year all of the people who had won the Hunger Games (that were still alive) were to compete in another Hunger Game. Katniss will have to compete in another Game, after barely surviving the first one. Will she be able to survive again? I really enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait to read the last book, MockingJay. 

The Hunger Games

I recently finished the book The Hunger Games, by Suzzane Collins. It is about a girl named Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the ruins of North America. There are  12 districts, ruled by the Capitol. Katniss lives in poverty in district 12. Every year, each district holds a reaping, where they select one boy and one girl from each district to compete in the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are held in the Capitol, and everyone tries to make it out alive. It is held in an arena designed by the game makers.  The competitors have to fight and kill each other to win. Katniss’s sister was selected, but she chose to take her place. She will be going with the baker’s son, Peeta. Only one can survive. Who will win the Hunger Games? I found the book extremely exciting nd interesting. It is a little violent, but I would recommend it to anyone who likes science fiction and adventure.

Falling Over Sideways

Recently, I finished a book called Falling Over Sideways, by Jordan Sonnenblick. It’s about a girl named Claire, who’s beginning to fall behind her friends as a dancer. She’s also dreading the first day of 8th grade. One night, she gets into a fight with her father, and then the next morning, he slumps over the dinner table. After a trip to the hospital, they discover he had a stroke. Will Claire be able to catch up with her friends, or will she fall further behind? I enjoyed this book a lot, and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys realistic fiction.

Quest for the City of Gold

I finished a book called Quest for the City of Gold, by James Patterson. It’s the fifth book in the Treasure Hunters series. I enjoyed this book, along with the other four books in the series. When Bick and Beck find a treasure map from the Incas, they realize it will be dangerous.When the map is stolen, they have to rely on their sister’s photographic memory to locate the treasure. Well, they did until she was kidnapped. They need to find the treasure to save her. Will they be able to find the treasure before it’s too late? I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mild adventure.

Big Miracle

This week we watched a movie called Big Miracle. It’s about 3 whales stuck surrounded by ice in Barrow, Alaska. The people of the small town were reluctant at first, since whales are an important resource in Alaska. An animal rights activist named Rachel, flew all the way to Alaska to save the whales. The movie was based on a true story. At first, no one wanted to help, except for a reporter named Adam Carlson. Adam was the first to see the struggling whales, unintentionally. He was filming someone when he saw a blow spout.

People from all over the country came to report there to get public attention. The family of whales named Wilma, Fred, and Bam Bam, who was under a year old. Bam Bam was injured and was not doing well. There was a huge chunk of ice blocking the whales from being able to migrate to Mexico. Everyone was beginning to worry, since the temperature was -70 degrees.

This relates to צר בעלי חיים, the ethical treatment of animals relates to this movie. Rachel went scuba diving to save Bam Bam because he had a net around his tail. The National Gaurd sent 2 helicopters to bring something to break the ice. Everyone was reluctant at first, but they came to help. New anchors came from all over the country. People were with the whales all hours cutting the ice.


Recently, I finished a book called Click’d, by Tamara Ireland Stone. It is about a girl named Allie who designs a game called Click’d. She deigned it at a coding camp with her friends. Her friends at school urge her to launch the game before a big competition. Allie wants to wait because she doesn’t want something to go wrong. She decides to launch the game, thinking that more users will look good for her competition.

Her game encourages people to click, the name of the game being Click’d. You take a quiz, and people with similar results will end up meeting. There is a twist though. You find the person you scored the same with, using flashing lights and sounds from your phone. Then, a picture from the person’s Instagram feed will pop up on your screen. Once you meet the person, you take a picture with them, and they appear on a leaderboard. People begin to be obsessed with the game. Then there is a glitch, embarrassing one of Allie’s best friends. Will Allie be able to fix the game before the big competition? This was a great book and I think it is a good read for anyone.


Recently, I just finished a book called Unfriended, by Rachel Vail. It is about a girl named Truly who unintentionally dumps her best friend for a chance to sit with the popular kids. She got her nickname Truly from the name her parents used to call her, Yours Truly. She got the name for being honest and considerate. She hopes her friend Hazel won’t mind. Her former best friend, Natasha, dumped her and became popular. Will Hazel forgive Truly? This was a great middle school book, describing complicated friendships. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes realistic fiction.

Yanek’s Story, a Story of Survival


The book Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz is about a boy named Yanek. He is living in Poland during the Holocaust. He overcomes many obstacles in hopes of surviving. In my opinion, the most dreadful thing that Yanek had to deal with was when he was in Auschwitz.

     The first thing that Yanek had to endure had to do with his best friend Fred. First of all, Fred became Yanek’s first friend since the war began. Yanek hadn’t had a true friend since the war since Uncle Moshe, Yanek’s uncle, told him to be no one and make no friends. Fred made Yanek feel stronger because he had someone to talk to. They ate together, slept near each other, and worked side by side. Unfortunately, Fred became sick. One morning, Fred couldn’t get out of bed, and the Nazis beat and hung him. I can’t imagine losing my best friend, especially in such a cruel way.

    Secondly, Yanek lived in horrible conditions. The floor of his barrack wasn’t even a real floor. It was a muddy swamp. Everyone slept on a wooden shelf. There were no pillows, no blankets, and no mattress. I can’t imagine living in these conditions and am grateful that I have a bed. The food, like always, was awful. They were only given a bowl of tepid soup. The prisoners had to use latrines instead of a normal bathroom. At night, they were forced to use a bucket.

Finally, Yanek was put in a death march. Everyone from Auschwitz was forced to walk to the next camp. The Nazis forced them to go in the death march because they were afraid of the Allies coming and liberating the Jews. I can’t imagine having to walk so far, especially in the cold. They were only given half a loaf of bread to last the trip. Yanek watched people fall to the ground, either from frostbite or Nazis shooting them. Yanek watched Ally planes flying overhead and dropping bombs. He wondered if they would be liberated.

In the end, Yanek had to endure so much pain. No one should ever be treated that way or suffer that much. Yanek witnessed the death of his best friend, walked endlessly for miles and miles, and lived in horrible conditions all to survive. I can’t imagine having to suffer that much. All in all, Yanek had to overcome many hardships to survive this terrible time in his life.

A Poem for Jewish Literature

In Language Arts, we finished a book called Night of the Burning, by Linda Press Wulf.  We were supposed to create a project about the book, and I decided write a poem summarizing the book. I hope you enjoy it!


Devorah and Nechama,
Lived with Papa and Mama.
They played with dolls
That was all.

Then came a day,
That Uncle Pincas was taken away.
He came back feeling bad,
Then he died and they were all sad.

Then money was tight,
They stayed awake at night.
Papa carried his cart,
With a heavy heart.

He died of swelling.
Aunt Friedka moved in,
To be with her kin.
Aunt Friedka and Mama,
Were all that were left for Devorah and Nechama.

Then a day came,
Mama got sick.
She died of the flu.
Sad, but true.

During the Night of the Burning,
Fire burned bright.
Devorah couldn’t bear the sight.
They ran for a barn,
They saw a young child playing with yarn.

Thought they could hide,
Then a soldier came,
With a knife at his side.
Aunt Friedka was killed that very night,
In the glow of the flames that burned bright.

Devorah and Nechama were alone.
No place to call home.
A woman came,
But not to play games.
To take them somewhere,
Anywhere but there.

They were hidden from sight,
During the night.
The Night of the Burning,
Fires burned bright.

They were in the back of a cart,
Sobs and cries of broken hearts.
They were taken that day,
Far away.

Devorah wasn’t sure,
But Nechama was going to go,
So what could she do.
They would leave the place they once called home.
They would be free to roam.

They got on a train.
The noise hurt their brains.
They went to London.
It was a sight to be seen,
With colors of golden yellow and green.

They got on a boat.
It was windy,
So Devorah needed a coat.
She met two sailors,
Named Pete and Joe.
She was friends with them.
They were meant to be working even so.

They got to the orphanage.
They had been waiting ages.
They met the Matron.
She was the boss,
And she was cross.

Devorah and Nechama go to school.
It’s a long walk,
They had to talk.
To keep each other busy,
But they felt dizzy.

Nechama was adopted,
By the Steins.
Mrs. Stein said, “Nechama is mine.”
The Steins were rich and then Nechama was too.

Devorah was alone.
No Papa or Mama,
She stayed awake at night.
And she just lost Nechama,
She Cried into the night.

Devorah was adopted,
By the Kagans.
Devorah was nervous as a tick,
When she found out Mr. Kagan had been sick.

The Kagans weren’t rich,
Like the Steins.
They were still kind.
They lived in a flat.
Devorah walked in,
And wiped her feet on a mat.

Devorah made a friend,
Her name was Monica.
Devorah’s first friend.
Monica and Devorah went to school together.
Devorah and Monica fed the squirrels at the park together.

Mrs. Kagan took Devorah to get a kitten.
The kitten crawled into her mitten.
Devorah started to cry.
She didn’t want to keep the kitten.
She wanted it to go home.
They turned around and returned the kitten to its family.
The kitten then lived happily.