The Book Thief Review

Staff writer


Markus Zusak’s novel, The Book Thief, is a creation of pure literary genius. The Book Thief follows Liesel Meminger, a young German girl in Nazi Germany, going to live with her destitute foster parents. As she struggles to navigate her new life, she awakens her profound love of reading. Soon, she befriends of a mischievous and charismatic boy, Rudy Steiner. However, because Liesel’s thirst for words cannot be quenched,  stealing becomes a normal occurrence. Her family begins hiding a Jewish boy, Max Vandenburg, from the Nazis. This significantly alters her life, as her and her family’s actions may have consequences in the tumult of World War II.


This book explores the importance of words in the world and how they can change entire societies, cultures, and even the world. The charismatic characters stay with readers long after the book’s confines.


Additionally, the book explores the greatness of friendship. Liesel has close relationships with many of the other characters and with people who see the world as she does. This book expresses the wonder of what friendship can do, and even the pain it can bring. Perhaps most importantly, it highlights that not all Germans were not supportive of the Nazi’s extreme beliefs and that some were still upstanding people.

Humans are Weird


Staff Writer


I can’t sleep.

I know that I only have four hours to sleep before a really long day of communicating with beings and with fixing things that other people broke. And I know that if I don’t sleep now, then I will probably be so tired by the end of my 18 hour-cycle shift that I will fall asleep where I stand, but whaatteveerrr.

My thoughts drift from one thing to another. Finally settling on the first day that I joined this crew on the ship.


I had came out of my Ship Repair class on top, having the fastest time of pretty much everything. Afterwards, I was stationed with a good crew before I got transferred to this one. First day, I was feeling really salty. I didn’t want to be transferred. I remember R’deel, walking up to me as I stalked onto the ship. He held his hand out to shake– a human gesture rather than his own species, a R’Oraag. I purposely disregarded it and walked past.

“I had notice that you were the best of your class, Human George.” R’deel said, making conversation.

“Nonsense, I am merely faster than my comrades, nothing more.” I informed him.

“I see. I have arranged for a pleasant tour of the ship for you to–”

“That is not necessary, I need only to see the engine room, I will begin repairs immediately.”

My new peer looked somewhat taken aback, but conceded with my wishes.


As the weeks went on, I made little effort to make conversation or even friends. I was the only human. Which sucked. After a time, the otherworlders on the ship stopped trying to talk to me in general, but none seemed particularly bothered that I was present, and went on with their own conversations. They were amusing to say the least but I never felt the need to join them. I had the feeling no one else wanted me to either. Although, I did make them new computers. I scavenged for parts and made some of the Karacks a computer, along with R’deel and R’sakas. They seemed to appreciate it and I was happy they were happy.


One day, there was an attack on the ship. Pirates. I was in the engine room and by the time they stormed in there, I was hidden behind a substantially sized barrel of oil and other minerals from a nearby planet. R’Cowd was not so lucky, though. He was near fainting, and the pirates saw him, holding him at plasma point against a wall. I came up behind them and managed to steal a small plasma shooter from their side sheathe, hitting both in their legs and enfeebling them. R’Cowd looked at me for a couple seconds and then actually fainted. I sighed. I pulled him behind the barrel, stole a big plasma shooter and then made my way to the control room. As quickly as I could, I hacked into the system of their interworld translators. I ran to where the pirates were holding my crew captive and I shot a few fireballs into the air.


“The first thing you should know is that I have control of your interworld translators, so everything your comrades says will sound like gibberish.” I yelled. They tried, and slowly panic settled in. “the second thing you should know is–” I shot a plasma ball inches to the head of the leader, “the next one goes in his chest.”


My crew stared at me. The pirates quickly ran off the ship and to their own. Minutes passed and once I made sure my crew was okay, I walked up to R’deel, ginning.


“Phew that was fun, are you alright?”

“Why?” He breathed. My grin faded.

“Why what?” I said.

“Why did you bother to save us? You could’ve kept hidden.” He said.

“I couldn’t have kept hidden, all of you guys were in trouble. Why would you ask me that??” I furrowed my brow and frowned.

“You have made no attempt to befriend us, Human George.” he said. “We were all working under the belief that you disliked us.” His expression looked angry. I felt like I’d been punched.

“I… you.. You don’t like me? I thought we were friends…” I could feel my eyes watering.

“You made no effort we just thought…”

“But I made you guys new computers.” I said. I could see that he didn’t understand. Of course, computers didn’t equal friendship. “I made you guys new computers.” He connected the dots. Why would I specifically make anything for anyone if I did not consider them friends. A minute passed before he said anything, and then he held his hand out.

“Greetings. My name is R’deel, and this crew welcomes you.” I suddenly noticed that the entire crew was around us, watching and listening. I let out a choked laugh and shake his hand.

“Hi, I’m george, and I appreciate your welcoming.”


And the rest is history.

I checked the time, and I had three hours and 56 minutes left to sleep. I closed my eyes and drifted off.


By Violet Verver

Staff Writer


Life is a maze

But life is amazing

Maybe this life isn’t so much about trying to achieve your goals

But rather understanding that we should embrace what comes and free what goes

Whether good or bad accept all things as the seasons flow

Realizing that everything you experience happens only to feed your soul

What you consider blessings might later be lessons that you find

And all of your lessons will be blessings in due time

How to Survive a Shark Attack


Staff Writer

The first thing people should know is to not swim in river mouths due to a lot of attacks occurring there. If someone also spots a fishing boat in the area they plan to swim in, they might as well just leave because that is a sign of sharks residing there. Avoid swimming in morning and night time because that is when the sharks are most active and experts beg people to not pee or bleed in the water. Sharks have an extraordinary sense of smell and will follow the scent to a person. If one does run into a shark, maintain eye contact with the animal. So they would know where is it at all times. People could actually give off the impression that they are big and powerful or weak and small, either one will cause the shark to ignore them. Also, experts encourage people to not play dead and to make sure they are near a surface to quickly escape to. Finally, one could slowly back away and try not to cause too much attention to oneself. Surely the shark will ignore and continue swimming.

Da Vinci Sold for $450 Million


Staff Writer

A rare Da Vinci painting sold for a record breaking amount of $450 million dollars. The painting was sold at an auction and the painting is one of the few pieces that they have found. They have only authenticated about twenty pieces of work from Da Vinci.This piece was predicted to sell at around $100 million but instead approximately twenty minutes later, the piece was sold for a recording breaking amount. Before this piece was sold, the record holding piece was Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger” which was sold for $179.4 million in 2015. The previous owner, Dmitry Rybolovlev,  bought the painting in 2013 for $127.5 million in 2013. The rare Da Vinci was sold in this year’s biggest fall auction season.

Cowboys Vs. Falcons


Staff Writer

Week ten in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys took on the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It did not go well for Dallas since they were missing their star running back Ezekiel Elliott due to suspension. The Falcons trampled the Cowboys with the final score being 27-7, the cowboys worst loss in three games. The star player of this game was most definitely Adrian Clayborn, who had a whopping six sacks. It did not go too well for the Dallas Cowboys with Adrian Clayborn on the other side of the ball causing two forced fumbles and recovering one of them. To seal the win against the Cowboys, Matt Ryan had a 24-yard pass to Julio Jones to get the Falcons into the Cowboys red zone then, on third on three, the Falcon’s running back put six on the board for his team. The Cowboys’ hope faded away as the replacement kicker for Dan Bailey missed his 38-yard field goal. The Falcons marched right down the field again, bulldozing right through the Cowboys defense to secure the win. The Cowboys will go back home to play the Philadelphia Eagles while the Falcons will travel to Seattle to play the battle of the birds against the Seahawks.

Black Lives Matter

By: Michelle See

Staff Writer


Black lives matter is a social movement that can’t be sued, but a police officer anonymously sued the movement. DeRay McKesson is a prominent activist in the movement after being injured by a rock being thrown during a protest over a deadly police shooting in Baton Rouge last year. U.S district Judge Brian Jackson had dismissed the officer’s suit and ruled that Black Lives Matter is not an entity capable of being sued.


“It’s clear that I did nothing wrong that day and that the police were the only violent people in the streets,” McKesson recalled on Thursday after learning of the judge’s ruling. “The movement began as a call to end violence and that call remains the same today.” The officer also attempted to add “#BlackLivesMatter” as a defendant, describing it as a national unincorporated association based in California. But the judge has ruled that a hashtag cannot be sued either.


The officer’s attorney, Donna Grodner, said “not at liberty to discuss the case.” During a hearing in June, she had argued that the Black Lives Matter should be held liable. “It’s organized. They have meetings. They solicit money. They have national Chapters,” Grodner said.” This shows a level of national organization.” Grodner had also filed a separate suit against Black Lives Matter and Mckesson on behalf of a sheriff’s deputy that was wounded by a gunman who shot and killed three other law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge Last Summer.


The lawsuit dismissed Thursday, because they did not accuse Mckesson of throwing the rock that injured the officer’s jaw and teeth, but it claimed he “incited the violence “and”was in charge of the protest,” and that he was seen and heard giving orders. “This is a movement, and there isn’t a person who is responsible for it, or the leader or the founder of it,” he told the judge.


Mckesson and Black Lives Matter were sued after the sniper attack by Larry Klayman, founder of the conservative group Freedom watch. A federal judge in Texas ruled that the plaintiffs did not provide any support for their “proposition” that Black Lives Matter is an entity capable of being sued on June 2. All of Klayman’s claims against McKesson and Black LIves Matter have been dismissed or withdrawn.

Fatal Hit-and-Run Suspect gets 4 Years




Staff Writer


Richard Navarrette was sentenced to four years in prison on Wednesday November 8th, for the fatal hit and run that took place on August 25th. On August 25th Navarrette was at the Visalia Vallarta driving at an excessive speed when he hit Angelina Ayala.


Navarrette left the scene before first responders could get there and hid the vehicle he was driving. When first responders arrived on scene they immediately took Ayala to the hospital, where she later died.


Investigators were able to arrest Navarrette a week later by looking at surveillance cameras and by asking witnesses to identify the man in the incident.


Richard Navarrette, 30, of Visalia, entered a no contest plea to charges of felony hit-and-run driving causing death, one felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter, one misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest.

The Deadly Iran-Iraq Earthquake of 2017



By JUSTIN EVANS               

Staff Writer                   


A powerful earthquake struck near the Iraqi border, killing more than 500 people and injuring thousands of others in the world’s deadliest earthquake in 2017.


The quake, recorded at 9:48 p.m. on Sunday, was felt as far away as Turkey and Pakistan. The epicenter was near Ezgeleh, Iran, about 135 miles northeast of Baghdad, and had a magnitude of 7.3, according to the United States Geological Survey. Seismologists in the country said it was the biggest quake to hit the western part of Iran.


Approximately 530 were killed and 7,460 were injured in Iran, according to the state-run news agency IRNA. At least eight people were killed on the Iraqi side of the border, according to Dr. Saif al-Badir, a spokesman for the Health Ministry, and at least 535 were hurt.


One of the hardest hit locations was Pol-e Zahab, a city in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah, according to the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency. The authorities said that at least 236 people had died in the city, which has a population of 30,000, and the main hospital was believed to be partially running. “My friend was screaming, saying, ‘I lost my home,’ ” one resident wrote on Twitter. “Thank God, she and her family are doing well. She said people were only mourning and their loved ones were under the rubble.”


The earthquake had reached as far as the Mediterranean coast of Israel. Shiite pilgrims in the Iraqi city of Karbala, for the annual religious commemoration of Arba’een, posted videos of people gathering on the streets after the earthquake.

Iran lies on dozens of fault lines and is vulnerable to earthquakes. In 2012, a double earthquake in the north of the country killed 300 people. When residents learned of the government’s uninvolving relief efforts, some started organizing aid groups themselves. After that quake, the United States, which does not maintain normal diplomatic relations with Iran, sent several planeloads of aid.