Join me on a journey to the blocky world of Minecraft

Minecraft is a creative, all-aged building game, created by Mojang. It is a block world, where the only limitation is your own mind and imagination. Worlds in the game update each month, so there is always something new to try and new ideas to explore.

My personal opinion on Minecraft is that people should definitely spend time creating in the Minecraft Universe because it is worth using as it really gives the creator an outlet for his or her creative energy.

To get started on Minecraft, you either have to purchase the game or find a place to use it, such as a library that hosts Minecraft events. Once you do that, you want to start with a tutorial world that you can find in the start menu. It is here that you can learn the controls, how to maneuver through the world, and basic building skills. You can also find “how to” books on Minecraft either online or at the library, and you can look up tutorials for Minecraft building on Youtube.com.

Once you familiarize yourself with game play, you can start learning in survival mode, which is the ultimate goal of regular game play. Survival mode is where you have to live off the land, figure out the story, and survive against the environment and the mobs/creatures within the world. You may also have to survive against other players who choose to raid you or who just tend to attack other players for no good reason, other than to do it. This, of course, isn’t very fun so you have to decide if you will continue to play with these types of players or move on to other worlds as you get better at getting around. Multiplayer mode is optional, so you do not actually have to play with other players at all, if you do not want to.

One essential element that you will want to familiarize yourself with, and get good at, is crafting. This can be explained as being able to make something else out of materials that you find within the Minecraft world. You have to gather the materials, and some of these materials are not always available, so you have to do special things to gather them. Once gathered, you make things with your materials, using a crafting table that you first must make using your inventory crafting table. To do this, you gather one piece of wood from a tree that you find anywhere in the world, and craft the wood into wooden planks. You then form a 2×2 block in your inventory crafting table, which then creates your crafting table in the Minecraft world. Examples of things you can make on your crafting table are tools, other blocks, different foods, and pretty much anything else within the world.

You always have to watch for your health and your hunger, because if either of these are depleted too much, you can die or you cannot sprint fast which means that you might not reach food and you could starve and then die slowly. I like to explore a lot and knowing materials are sometimes scarce, whenever I get the chance I will set up camp so that I can replenish my stock of supplies.

The mobs that you might have to deal with, if you choose survival mode, usually spawn at night and consists of skeletons, zombies, spiders, creepers, and Endermen. These five are the normal mods that will spawn regularly at nighttime. Skeletons are weak ranged attack enemies that have bows and arrows. Zombies are typically the easiest to deal with, because they have weak hits. They do have more health than skeletons, and get annoying in packs, but are easy to fool into going into the water which turns them into a new mob called “drowned”. This is a water only based mob, that can’t come out of the water during the day. Spiders are big and creepy, and like to climb walls. They sometimes get the chance to poison you by hitting you. Creepers are easy to deal with if you know the round about ways of defeating them. To do this, you can hit them once and back away to avoid their explosion, since they come towards you to explode in an attempt to harm your character. Endermen are a relatively safe mob if you do not look at their face. They do attempt, periodically, to steal blocks from you.

I have been playing Minecraft for many years now, and I have loved every minute. I have used it in education as a homeschooler, to build DNA strands, the Alamo, Castles, Art Museums, Government buildings from US History, and other virtual field trips to made up places that came from my mind. I have played for enjoyment, to challenge my building skills, and to see what my friends and I could create together. When I first started out, there was definitely a learning curve, but the game is so fun, it goes fast. You will be a master in no time.

As you know, there are many facets to Minecraft that I have not gotten to in this first blog entry. I hope that this has given you a little opener that will get you started and interested in the Minecraft world.

Girl Against the Universe by: Paula Stokes

Kelly Maguire thinks she’s cursed. She thinks she is bad luck. Maguire has experienced many traumatic events that make her feel like the Universe hates her. But what happens when her grandmother Siobhan invites Maguire and her mother to a memorial service in Ireland? She hates being with other people or riding transportation if she’s not sure what to expect. But Ireland is a plane ride and a lot of work away…

Why, on that fateful day, did her Uncle Kieran, her dad, and her older brother Connor die in that car crash while she walked out untouched? Or that time when the roller coaster derailed and many people got injured, and Maguire was alright. Was that really her? And what about when Maguire forgot to blow out a candle and she went for a run, and in that time frame, her neighbor’s house had gone up in flames? Is that even possible?

Even all the good luck rituals and crystals do her no good. She’s always afraid to go where others are, so she likes to stay home all the time. She goes to therapy to learn to let go. And that’s when she meets Dolphin Lover. Or, more specifically, Jordy.

Jordy faces his own problems. He’s a great tennis player and he’s thinking about going to the professional level. (Yes, he’s that good.) But there’s a slight problem. He’s got overprotected parents and two different personalities (or persons) battling inside of him. He calls them Real Jordy and Tennis Jordy. He meets Maguire when she walks outside of therapy lessons. Soon, the two of them become friends who help each other with their goals.

Soon the two of them start getting really close, but Maguire is sure she has to stay away to protect him, but Jordy just wants to be her best friend and maybe more than that. Will Maguire be able to face her fear of being cursed, figure things out with Jordy, and go to Ireland for the memorial service?

Now, that part’s up to you. I’ll tell you, though, this book is one of my favorites. I loved the characters and their goals, hardships, and decisions. The author, Paula Stokes, was very good at making me read the book until the very end. I was never able to put the book down! I give this book a 5/5. If anyone wants a new book to read, this book is perfect for any reader. Enjoy!

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is one of my all time favorite games. This was the game I would spend hours playing in the living room. I had a blast playing through the game and it was always very exciting to unlock new worlds. I would play the same levels over and over again and never get bored. I always enjoyed exploring the open worlds and finding secret levels. There is always something to do in the game that has not already been done. After you complete the main game, there are more levels and challenges to complete. The game wasn’t easy for me to complete, which also made it worth playing.

Like other Mario games, the game is very long. I think it took me two years to complete the main game. There are many different worlds and levels inside of them. The game’s graphics and the open worlds are extremely good. That is what mostly took me away about this game. Everything in the game is open and you can see an entire galaxy from a space ship. It’s as if seeing it in real life. This game also breaks the laws of physics with the way gravity is altered.

Star Wars: A New Hope Movie Review

Description: Star Wars: The Last Hope is the first film in this legendary series created by George Lucas. It follows the struggling rebellion against a tyrannical government called “The Empire”. One of the leaders named Princess Leia, sends droids named R2-D2 and C3PO to get Obi-Wan Kenobi before Princess Leia is captured. R2-D2 and C3PO make their way to the Tatooine, the planet of Ben Kenobi. A local named Luke Skywalker, buys the drones and quickly finds a message in R2-D2 from Princess Leia. He then delivers it to Ben Kenobi who tells Luke that he has a special gift called the force just as his father had and he should use it to take down The Empire and save Princess Leia. Skywalker begins his journey and meets a con man named Han Solo and his Wookie friend named Chewbacca. They quickly find out about the Empire’s plan to build a mobile battle station which can destroy planets at one time. Will Luke and his newly found allies be able to save the universe? Find out in Star Wars: A New Hope.

Pros: This movie was revolutionary for it’s time and made way for, and inspired, the creation of countless other movies. It has an all star cast ranging from Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill to James Earl Jones. The story was amazing and immersed you to a new world like no other movie can. The soundtrack, composed by John Williams, was so perfect that even if you haven’t seen the movies you would still recognize some of the songs.

Cons: The shooting doesn’t look real but it was filmed in 1977 and to be honest it looked more real than the prequel movies.

Final Rating: 10/10, a cinema masterpiece which has stood the test of time.

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone

I loved reading the Harry Potter books when I was 9. That was when I actually enjoyed reading, which was a long time ago, but I still like the series. I never read the seventh book, but I watched all the movies so I know what happens. Harry Potter is one of those series with a dark, ominous mood, which I like to read.

The beginning of the book is very detailed and well thought out. J.K. Rowling does a great job with the setting. J.K. Rowling also does a marvelous job introducing new characters, of course some of the characters are left a mystery because they’re supposed to be shady, like Professor Quirrell. The entire book sorts itself out by revealing new things throughout the story. What I also like about the book is how you never know what happens next.

When I read a Harry Potter book, I usually read about 50-100 pages at a time because I would get so into the story. There are a lot of moments in the story that make me want to keep reading to find out what happens next. Harry Potter is a very interesting series and is worth giving it a try.

First Man: Movie Review

First Man was a very powerful experience for me. I remember leaving the theatre in awe of what I just saw. I consider this the best movie of 2018. This is my review of “First Man”.

The plot of this movie is about Neil Armstrong and his life leading up to the moon landing and the landing itself.

I loved that the movie went into his life when he wasn’t on the moon or on a test mission. We see here that Neil was actually a bit of a jerk at times, but he still cared about his family and friends.

The story is also just great in general. The story had a sense of direction unlike anything I’ve seen in cinema.

The acting in the movie is great. Everyone does a great job here and succeeds spectacularly at translating the characters’ emotions.

Also, the soundtrack is great. It really helps display the tone the film tries to present.

Verdict: First Man is a great film and in my opinion the best film of 2018. It’s moving, it’s insightful, and has sheer determination that I’ve never seen before.

Rating: 9.5/10

My next review is about a film I won’t give away, but I’ll give you a hint. It’s called “Hobbs and Shaw”.

 

 

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by: Louise Gornall

Norah is different. But she is strong. Stronger than she thinks, and when a new neighbor moves in, Norah will try to see herself through his eyes.

Norah suffers from mental health issues and many phobias. She can’t go outside because there are many germs, earthquakes are possible, and many other things. She’s afraid of irrational numbers. She stays home, not going to school, but instead attending an online school, and she goes to therapy.

When Luke moves in, he sees Norah, a smart, funny, and extremely brave girl. He doesn’t think of all her health problems and phobias. Instead, he respects them. The two of them become friends. They both like Transformers, Norah helps Luke with his French, and they watch horror movies together. Soon, Norah and Luke develop feelings for each other, which Norah likes, but she is also afraid. Because of all her “problems,” will they ever be compatible?

This book was very thought-intriguing. I loved the characters and loved seeing them develop throughout the story. Norah was an unforgettable character and I learned and felt the fears and pain she went through. It was heartbreaking at times, but in the end, reading this book made me feel different. I have grown much more respect for mental health issues and I loved that the author could spin me in with such an intriguing plot.

9/10 rating for this book because I sometimes had to re-read a few passages to make sure I was reading it the right way. I highly recommend this book for all ages. There isn’t much swearing, 2 or 3 places, and there are no highly inappropriate scenes. If you need a next good book you can’t put down, read this book!