What’s New With Nate

What's New With Nate?

WPL has their own Clark Kent and his name is Nate Stillman. Sure, he can’t fly and his weakness isn’t kryptonite. But that doesn’t mean our teen columnist doesn’t have something to say (or write about)! And who knows? Maybe he has a Superman costume put away in storage? You’ll have to tune in to Nate’s column to find out! Twice a month, WPL’s teen volunteer and journalist will be writing about his passions, preoccupations, books, music, and anything newsworthy! Will you join us?

About Nate

My name is Nate Stillman and I am in 7th grade. I enjoy reading, sports (especially soccer), and playing with my three brothers. I decided to create What’s New With Nate because I enjoy reading and I wanted to volunteer in my community. I know that sometimes it is hard for students to find books that they enjoy. With this column I hope students find books that sparks interest and hopefully some discussion. Contact me at: stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org!

Book Review: Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma - March 18, 2021

  

If you are not familiar with the Mysterious Benedict Society, you might want to check out my other reviews for book one and book two. In the first book, we learn that the Mysterious Benedict Society started when four kids (Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance) met each other via a newspaper ad. They were brought together by Mr. Benedict, who was looking for gifted children he could use to stop his evil twin brother Mr. Curtain from wiping out everyone’s mind in the world. Mr. Benedict had adopted two daughters who were named Number Two and Rhonda. Mr. Benedict also saved someone named Milligan, whose memories had been wiped. The children snuck in and foiled Mr. Curtain’s plans. At the end of the first book, Kate found out that Milligan was her father. 

In the second book, they found out that Mr. Benedict was kidnapped by Mr. Curtain. They found clues and had to battle Mr. Curtain’s Ten Men. The Ten Men are people who have ten different ways of hurting them. They then follow clues Mr. Benedict had placed for them, find Mr. Benedict and narrowly escape. 

In the third book of the Mysterious Benedict Society thriller series, the Mysterious Benedict Society has to try to evade the notorious Mr. Curtain again. They manage to evade him and his evil group of Ten Men for a while, but then they realize too late that they had fallen into a trap set by Mr. Curtain. The trap was set by the Ten Men dropping clues to where Mr. Curtain was located. Once they found where Mr. Curtain was located, Reynie figured out that it was a trap, but it was too late. They try to escape the clutches of Mr. Curtain, but they fail each time. They finally get their chance to escape once Mr. Benedict and the rest of the gang come to break them out. Once they have been broken out, Mr. Curtain tries to take his own life, but his faithful and kindhearted servant S.Q. saves his life. 

This was a good book because it had a lot of challenging riddles that were fun to solve. Also, I liked that there were a lot of heartwarming moments added into this book. For example, Milligan sacrificed himself to save his daughter and the rest of her friends. Even though he survived, it was amazing to see him put his life on the line for the people that he loves. This book had its highs and its lows. Overall, it was not the best book in the series, but it still was a pretty good book. I didn’t really like it because a lot of the book was the kids being captured and trying and failing to get out. I would still recommend this series as a whole. Stay tuned for the last book of the Mysterious Benedict Society series.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns contact me at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org.

Black History month: john lewis - February 20, 2021

This month is black history month, and I have decided to write about someone who I have recently learned about: John Lewis. John Lewis was a civil rights activist whose work was primarily focused on getting voting rights for minorities. I had first learned about John Lewis as I worked on creating a documentary with my friend about the history of voting rights. Recently, I heard about a movie documentary about John Lewis called John Lewis: Good Trouble, and so I decided to review the documentary. 

John Lewis:  Good Trouble is rated PG, and received a very good score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Watching this documentary really showed me what John Lewis was like and how he lived. One part of the documentary that I enjoyed was when it showed a scene where John Lewis was rallying votes for Stacy Abrams, who was running for governor for Georgia in 2018. I liked this scene because it showed how relentless John Lewis was and how many people listened to him.  

Another scene that stood out to me was when John Lewis marched on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965. The day he marched on the Edmund Pettus Bridge became known as Bloody Sunday. On Bloody Sunday, John Lewis and hundreds of other peaceful protesters were stopped by police officers on the bridge and beaten. This scene stood out to me because it showed the resilience and the dedication that John Lewis had. It also showed how passionate he was about equality. 

One last scene that stood out to me was when some politicians told stories of how John Lewis had influenced them to become who they became. This stood out to me because it showed how inspirational John Lewis was and how he encouraged other young people to become politicians. I also learned a few things about his activism life that I had not heard of before. For example, I had not known that he had spoken at the March on Washington. I also did not know that he was part of the freedom riders, and that he was asked to chair SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee). I do know one thing for sure though:  John Lewis played a key role in African-Americans having the right to vote, and he changed a lot of lives. Thank you, John Lewis.

I would recommend this documentary to teenagers who are going to be voting soon, so they can learn how the right to vote is not something to take for granted, but something that people like John Lewis put their lives on the line for. I would also recommend that if a younger person is watching this documentary, that they watch it with an adult so the adult can help the child understand.

 

In Memoriam of John Lewis

Born: February 21, 1940, Alabama

Died: July 17, 2020, Atlanta, GA

Super Bowl Sunday - February 10, 2021

This year’s Super Bowl was anything but boring. This was one of the most exciting Super Bowls I have ever watched. Let’s start off with the score of the game: the score was 31-9, with Rob Gronkowski getting the first touchdown from a Tom Brady throw. The Chiefs scored 3 field goals, and Brady threw 3 touchdowns, one to Antonio Brown and two to Gronk. Leonard Fournette also ran for a touchdown. I think that the people who deserve a lot of the credit are the members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, who did an excellent job pressuring Patrick Mahomes and shutting the Chiefs down. It was a one-sided Super Bowl, but it sure was an exciting one. 

Some people might say that the Chiefs lost because Patrick Mahomes had an injured toe that affected his running and throwing. One thing is for sure though: Tom Brady is amazing. This is his first season with the Buccaneers, who have had the worst franchise in major professional sports. Brady was able to turn them around to become Super Bowl champs. 

One part of the Super Bowl that I thought was really amazing was near the end of the first half, when the Buccaneers started near half field and went the length of the field in 40 seconds to get a touchdown. Another highlight of the Super Bowl for me was the halftime show. The Weeknd was amazing, and he executed his performance splendiferously. 

It was a game to remember, and Tom Brady really deserved that MVP. I cannot wait to see what happens next season! Do you think that Brady will win another with the Buccaneers, or will someone else take the crown? Tell me what you think at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org

School Schedules Changing - January 19, 2021

Are you ready to go back to school full-time and in-person? Based on communications posted on the Windsor Public School website on January 11th by Dr. Tyrell M. Hill, the interim Superintendent of Schools, I learned that school would be switching to four days per week in-person for all students beginning January 25th, with the only other option being total distance learning. One reason Dr. Hill said he was going to do this was because it would create a better learning environment, since the students would be in the same room as their respective teachers. His second reason was that a lot of other schools in the district had successfully made the switch over to full in-person, so he thought it was time for Windsor to do the same. Lastly, he said that, “We continue to do contact tracing and our district data repeatedly indicates that the transmission of the virus is happening outside of our schools.” 

I interviewed a Windsor High ninth grade student about his/her thoughts on this topic. This person’s name was changed to respect his/her wishes to remain anonymous. Our exchange is below:

Me: What were your thoughts when they announced the change to full-time in-person school?

Student: It is quite early to do that. I think the news is saying that there is a lot of COVID going on and they should give it more time before they put everyone in one spot to stop the spread of COVID.

Me: How did you like distance learning?

Student: It is a lot more comfortable, and there is less worry about going to the bus, more sleep, and more family time.

Me: Do you think changing school to in-school will be better for the teachers? Why or why not?

Student: When students are at home, teachers cannot tell whether their students are paying attention to class or not. And they might not be able to tell if someone is fooling around when their mic is off. If the students are in school, there is more of a risk of covid exposure.

Me: What is your main concern about everyone going back into school and why?

Student: COVID because it is dangerous.

Me: Do you think that more people will start going into school, or will more people do distance learning, and why do you think that?

Student: Distance learning, because people will likely play it safe and want a lower risk of getting the virus.

Me: Would you rather the school stays as is or goes full-time in-person?

Student: Full-time distance because I think with full-time in-person not everyone will be able to do that. I think we should do full-time distance for a few weeks and let the cases of COVID drop, and then go full-time in-person.

Me: What did you expect high school to be like?

Student: A lot of work.

Me: What were some challenges you faced this high school year?

Not having access to talk to my teachers as much as I did before, and not having enough resources. It is harder to do online learning because some teachers do not know how to operate a computer and sometimes technical difficulties can knock me off of a call and I could lose a lot of work time. There are also a lot of distractions that I face at home, which makes it harder for me to learn. 

Me: Thank you for talking with me.

I can understand both sides of this topic. The thing I liked the most about Dr. Hill’s decision was that he gave students the option to stay home if they were like the student I interviewed and preferred to stay home. I think there are a lot of pros and cons with each side, and if there was a debate about it, it could go either way. What do you think about this change? You can contact me at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org.

Book Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart - 1/28/21

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the first book in the thrilling Mysterious Benedict Society series, in that book the main character, Reynie Muldoon, goes to take a test that he sees in a newspaper advertisement for gifted children. After he passes the test, he joins three other kids who passed the test, and they become the Mysterious Benedict Society. Mr. Benedict, the person who organized the tests, recruits the children on a mission to infiltrate L.I.V.E (Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened) in order to stop Mr. Benedict’s twin brother Ledroptha Curtain and his plan to brainwash the world. The kids work together to save the world and capture Ledroptha’s evil device, The Whisperer. 

This story continues in the second book in the series, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey. This book is about the Mysterious Benedict Society’s quest to save Mr. Benedict, who got kidnapped. He got kidnapped by his twin brother Ledroptha Curtain, because he believed that Mr. Benedict knew about a new plant that was connected to The Whisperer. The kids get sent on journeys across the world, and have to escape Ten Men, who are people that can harm them in ten different ways. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book. One big twist was in the beginning, when they came to Mr. Benedict’s house and found out that he had been kidnapped. The kids then found out that the clues that Mr. Benedict had given them would help lead them to Mr. Benedict, and they had to sneak out of the house and past government officials to start their journey. 

This book was exciting, and it had me on the edge of my seat on every page. One thing I liked about it were the riddles that Mr. Benedict had written for the children. I liked them because they allowed me to try to solve the riddles, and it was always fun when I learned what the riddle meant. Overall, this was an amazing book, and I would highly recommend it. I cannot wait to read the next book in this gripping series. 

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this book or have any recommendations for me to read and review next! You can contact me at stillman.nathaniel@stu-windsorct.org.   

Book Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

In the book The Mysterious Benedict Society four kids get selected to be part of the Mysterious Benedict Society. The kids are given multiple tests to figure out if they are able to get chosen to be in the Society. Once they are in the Society they go through a series of twists and as they try to unveil the evil plot of Mr. Curtain who is the headmaster of a mysterious and prestigious boarding school. At the end you will be amazed at what happens. If you like mystery books you will love this book. One thing I love about this book is the different characters. I like the characters because there are a lot of different personalities with each of the characters. One of the characters was a boy named George “Sticky” Washington; Sticky is very smart and has a really good memory, but he is also shy and very withdrawn. Then there is  Kate who is resourceful and is not afraid to get her hands dirty. Then there is Constance who is a cranky and small kid who will do whatever it takes to succeed. Last but not least the main character of the book Reynie who is smart, calm, curious and level-headed. I liked the mix of personalities because it was really interesting to see how they solved problems together and how they worked together. In the end they worked together and used all of their talents to succeed. 

 

4/5 

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