Everything You Need to Ace Math in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide

Book Cover for "Everything You Need to Ace Math in One Big Fat Notebook"

Everything You Need to Ace Math in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide was written to help middle school kids do well in math. One question I had was whether or not this book is actually able to fulfill the needs of a middle school student. So, as a current middle schooler, I set out to solve this question.

The book is separated into multiple units, which are broken up into chapters. These units include number systems, proportions and ratios, etc. In each chapter, the author briefly explains the topic, provides examples, defines key points, and finally quizzes you. Although, this book attempts to teach you all of middle school math, it really only works as a study guide, as said in the name. If you do plan on using this to learn math, then getting a tutor or using other books as well are advised. The reason you can’t use this book alone is due to the fact that it does not explain everything thoroughly. Otherwise, this book would have been double the size!

One problem faced while reading was getting confused. For example, on page 399, the author tells the reader to set up a model and count the number of possible outcomes to find the probability of rolling double sixes. In simplification, you can just square the number of possible outcomes when rolling only one die. This shows that this book may teach you a different way than what you are taught in school. Another point to note was that this book may teach different curriculum, due to the fact that some students may be taking more advanced courses than others.

Overall, I personally found this book useful. It is a useful guide for studying on the go and quickly catching up on school work. The best part is that it is also part of a series. So if you liked the math book, the series also includes a science, social studies, and ELA book as well. I highly recommend this book for any middle school student who needs help studying or wants a general review of topics. This book has helped improve my grades and can probably do the same for you!

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Review of the Movie “Bring It on: All or Nothing”

Two competing cheerleading squads

Summary:

Britney Allen is the most popular girl in school. She’s the cheer captain and soon-to-be prom queen. But all of that changes when she is forced to transfer to a new school, her cheer squad’s rival. As she struggles to fit in at her new school, she tries out for the cheer team. At first, she has a conflict with the cheer captain of the new school. Camille. But Camille soon realizes that she needs Britney on her squad because of her skills. Rihanna holds a cheer competition and the winning team gets to be in her new music video. Britney’s new and old team are both competing in that competition. Britney has to figure out what team she is fighting for.

Rating: 10/10

My Opinion:

I absolutely love this movie! It was amazing! The choreography is great and the actors do a very good job at playing their characters! I love the plot and the movie is also funny. This movie inspired my love for cheer. This movie is PG-13 so it’s not the best movie for a younger kid to watch. There are many other movies in the series but this one was my favorite! I have re-watched this movie so many times!

A Series of Unfortunate Events: A TV Show Review 

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Will the Baudelaire orphans be able to escape their misery? Or will they land in the hands of the wicked actor Count Olaf? It couldn’t get worse than this, or so they thought…

The story entitled  “A Series of Unfortunate Events” was originally written in a phenomenal thirteen book series by author Lemony Snicket. For the most part, the television series stays true to the books with a few minor exceptions here and there. The story begins with Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, who were having an ordinary day on Briny Beach. Tragically, they are told that their parents died in an unexpected house fire that also burned their home. However, this is only the beginning to the tragic tale of the Baudelaires. With the help of a friendly accountant, the children are left in the care of a new guardian, Count Olaf, who plans to steal the enormous fortune their parents left behind. While escaping from Count Olaf’s clutches, they learn more about their parents, a secret organization, and the legacy they are bound to fulfill.

All in all, this is a great TV series. The makers of this show managed to recreate the books in a way I would have never expected. Taking on the role of Lemony Snicket, Patrick Warburton does a fantastic job narrating the story. Although redundant in some points of the show, I found the narration of explaining phrases and key points, true to the books. One great addition to the show is its humor. The jokes and witty banter of this TV show are downright hysterical. For these reasons, I would definitely rate this show an 8.5/10.

“If you are interested in stories with happy endings, then you would be better off somewhere else. In this story is there not only no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle.”- Lemony Snicket –The Bad Beginning: Part 1

 

Part 1: Summary – “A Cold Legacy”

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“A Cold Legacy” is the third novel of “The Madman’s Daugher” series, by Megan Shepherd. Published by HarperCollinsPublishers, it is a young adult science fiction novel.

The events in this novel take place during the Victorian Era, in Scotland, once Juliet and her cohorts have left London due to the murder they committed.

Juliet and her best friend Lucy found out that their fathers had been corresponding for years, even after Juliet’s father, Dr. Moreau, escaped London after a scandal. He was thought to be dead at this point; instead, however, he was on an island, conducting revolutionary experiments by creating human-like creatures through the process of vivisection (dissection on live creatures, without the use of anesthesia). He was connecting organs from various animals and was preventing rejection by inserting tissue in the form of a serum. In the first novel of the series, called “The Madman’s Daughter”, the author reveals that Juliet was actually his first experiment. When she was little, doctors said that she was going to die due to a spinal cord deformation. Her mother had desperately asked him to do anything to keep her alive. For that reason, he implanted deer parts to replace her problematic ones. Therefore, she, too, has to take the serum in order to survive.

After people learned about Moreau’s experiments, the family’s fortune had been taken away, leaving them penniless. With her mother dead and believing her father was also, Juliet was left on the streets; Dr. Moreau, however, was living on an island where all residents were products of his experiments, except from his assistant, Montgomery.  All that time, Dr. Moreau and Mr. Radcliffe, Lucy’s father, an investor, were sending letters to each other regarding the experiments. Radcliffe would send large amounts of money for scientific equipment, and Moreau would conduct the experiments.

Moreau had come up with a new idea to perfect his creatures—to use human blood in order to turn an animal into a human. The only outcome of that procedure was Edward. When Montgomery was ill, Moreau drew blood from him for “blood tests”. Instead, he used that blood on Edward. However, due to Montgomery’s illness, the blood which he injected Edward with was infected with malaria. That, in addition to the rabies-infected jackal organs that he had used to create Edward, caused an anomaly in the posterior lobe of the brain. That created another personality within Edward—two creatures in one body. Edward himself was a nice, kind person. However, the “Beast”, or what the characters refer to as his second half, is far from nice. When Edward turns into the Beast, he changes entirely—both mentally and physically. In a matter of seconds, he gets taller and bigger, grows six-inch-long claws, a cruel personality, a deep voice, and frightening yellow eyes. Though Juliet hates the Beast, she can’t help admiring him at the same time. She is jealous of his freedom, and even though she doesn’t want to admit it, she knows that both of them have a lot in common.

After her father really dies, three men—Dr. Hastings, Scotland Yard Inspector John Newcastle, and Mr. Radcliffe—try to steal his research. Since the Beast is so powerful, they want to use Moreau’s notes to create an army of similar creatures and ship them to France. Juliet and Montgomery know that this is a terrible idea. If just one of the creatures was able to create such havoc, they can’t even begin to imagine what a whole army of them could and would do.

“What darkness began, only madness can end.”

 

Stick Fight: The Game Review

Stick Fight: The Game is a 2-4 player PvP-only fighting game with thousands of players. You and your opponents play as stick figures who battle it out on very interactive stages. With many different weapons and stages, there is no end to the fun that this game brings. Boasting an 89% recommendation rate on Steam with over 17,000 reviewers, it is shown that the community loves this cartoon-like fighting game containing infinite possibilities.

Stick Fight: The Game was published by Landfall and later released on Steam on September 28, 2017. It is currently $4.99, and solely multiplayer. However, to make up for the lack of a single-player mode, it is possible to play both locally and online, or even both at once. You can join friends who invite you, or you can host a game yourself. There is also an option to let anyone in, so you can play with both your friends and random people at the same time. As the game supports 2-4 players, you don’t need to wait for other people: you can start a game once you get at least one other person to join. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t connect in time, because they can join in the middle of a match. The host of the lobby is able to control certain aspects of the game, such as the frequency and type of weapon spawns, the health of all players, and the next stage. There are also general settings that anyone can change, since it only affects the computer of the person that changes it. These include settings that control graphics, sound, and other game-specific options.

 

Stick Fight: The Game has many stage packs, and each of them have their own unique style and mechanics.

The laser pack, as its title suggests, contains a lot of lasers that can move, spin, and turn on and off, and do heavy damage to players on contact. This pack also contains platforms that tilt based on the position of players, so a good strategy is to tilt platforms that have lasers attached to them to try to hit your opponents with the beam. The overall feel of these levels is very futuristic.

The ice pack contains stages that have both normal and icy platforms. The ice platforms can be broken by weapons, causing anyone standing on the platform to fall if they don’t react fast enough. One stage in particular is great for 1v1s, because it spawns both players on opposite sides of the map, and the easiest way to be victorious is to shoot and destroy the platform below the other player, as it is impossible to jump to the other player’s platform.

The western pack includes a more western-like feel with barrels that explode, countless snakes (which trap and continuously hurt you), a sandy background, and wooden buildings. There is even a stage where exploding barrels fall from the sky, causing players to have to worry about getting cornered into an explosion while fighting.

The special Halloween pack, which was recently introduced, consists of platforms that appear and disappear, a dark and dreary background, and stages that contain powerups. These powerups trigger what is basically a boss battle between the collector of the powerup and everyone else playing, and the “boss” is able to use special attacks that nobody else can use.

 

There are two main types of weapons: ranged and melee. Ranged weapons, which include pistols, shotguns, SMGs, machine guns, and game-specific guns, like the black hole gun, are normally used more than melee weapons, since the latter is only effective when you are close to the other player. However, unlike the spear or katana, which have this flaw, there is a knife that allows you to teleport a short distance in the direction of where you click, damaging whatever you pass by. This allows you to virtually fly around the stage while attacking everyone, since there is little to no cooldown between teleports.

 

Overall, Stick Fight: The Game is very fun and creative, and it is always a blast when I play it with my friends.

I Am Still Alive – Review

 

Lost in the wilderness of Canada, alone, and injured, will Jess be able to survive?

Sixteen-year-old Jess hasn’t seen her father in ten years. She’s just been through a tragic car accident that killed her mother and left Jess with months of physical therapy and a permanent disability, and all she wants is to make it through the next two years and graduate from high school. When she hears that she’ll have to move to the wilderness and live with her father for those years, her only goal becomes escaping or convincing him to let her leave.

Her dad lives in the remote wilderness of Canada, above Alaska—so removed from civilization that Jess is the only passenger on the tiny plane she takes to get there. She begrudgingly starts to rebuild a relationship with her survivalist father, but soon after she arrives some “friends” from his past show up and wreak havoc. Lost, alone, and separated from everyone and everything she’s ever known, Jess—along with her one ally, her father’s dog Bo—must fight to survive the winter.

I Am Still Alive alternates between “Before” and “After” sections, which ramp up the suspense and dole out backstory slowly enough to keep readers intrigued. Jess is a relatable heroine, terrified and with almost no experiences in the outdoors besides the few weeks of lessons her dad was able to give her. It’s incredibly satisfying to see her struggle, fight, and hold her own (sometimes!) against the elements and the cruel winter weather. Even simple things, like finding firewood or something to eat, become life-or-death scenarios, and her experiences definitely put our relatively comfortable lives into perspective!

This novel is an action-packed wilderness survival story, with an added element of family struggles and adjusting to life with a disability. I would highly recommend it for older YA readers, due to its serious themes and intense subject matter.

Brain On Fire: The Movie

Image result for brain on fire

Based off of the autobiography Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, the movie immediately draws the viewer in with the well-known actress, Chloe Grace Moretz. Moretz plays the woman, Susannah Cahalan who, at first lives a normal life as a rising journalist at the New York Times. As the weeks advance, her madness intensifies. She becomes overcome with voices in her head, and series of seizures. Her behavior quickly changes from violence to a state of catatonia. After a sequence of misdiagnoses, from, to bipolar disorder, to schizophrenia, a last-minute intervention by Navid Negahban, who plays Dr. Najjar steps in and equips him to properly diagnose Cahalan, treat her properly, and give her the chance to have a better life. I personally would give this movie a 10/10, because it shines a much-needed light on an unpopular mental illness, let alone mental illness at all. The way that the directors captured every aspect of her journey to curing this mental illness is phenomenal. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who hasn’t seen it. The acting in the movie was remarkable, and overall the plot and thrill of the movie was exceptional. I have no complaints about the movie.