North Bethesda Middle School
Home of the Phoenix
Enjoy the great work from from Ms. Hopkins' and Ms. Partlow's 7th and 8th grade Fall Art classes!
Hello, my name is Seyun Park and I am in 6th grade. In 4th grade, I started a newspaper called the "Center Chronicle," which I was the editor-in-chief. When I saw "Polaris" magazine on the school's website, I became interested in participating. I came to the first meeting, and from there I decided I would commit to Polaris for the rest of the year. By our second meeting things were starting pick up. We were talking about what to write for our first issue. By our fourth meeting, most people knew what their topic was and had started writing their article. We working along at a good pace until in November. We had three back to back weeks with no "Polaris" meeting, once because of a half day, once because of the snow day we had, and once because Mrs. Brown wasn't here, and none of us showed up in Mrs Hill's room, where we should've gone. By that time we should have been on Lucidpress, but some us were still writing our articles. After one back breaking meeting, we were ready to start putting our work into Lucidpress, the publishing tool we use to make :Polaris". Over winter break, I worked putting everything in. When we got back from winter break, we were finally back on track for a late March publication. We worked on the finishing touches of the magazine, inserting photos, and then, finally, after a lot of delays, it was ready for administration to examine. I hope you enjoy this issue of "Polaris."
North Bethesda's New Wing ............................4
Info on Care Cash.............................................. 6
What's Up With the SGA ....................................8
Meet Ms. Steimer............................................ 12
Black Eyed Susan Awards............................... 14
Student Poetry................................................. 16
Staff Bios........................................................... 17
The City of the Fourth Dimension..................24
Unwind Book Review.........................................28
Writers Claire Blackman, Izzy Clark, Gokce Onal, Anna Mockel, Ziyi Lu, Audrey Stelzig, Milan Tenn, Rokhaya Diop, Lilia Gana, Melody Duggan, Mireya Gutierrez-Micallef, Seyun Park, Ibrahim Seleznev, Maria Serran, Trey Greenwald, Gabrielle Barke, JJ Cuneo, Libby Benton, Liliana Katz-Hollander, Logan DeVoe, Adam Sall, Ada Shin
Note From the Editor
The Polaris Staff
This fall, we experienced some big changes at our school. We got a new wing, an expanded cafeteria, and a second gym. Suggested in 2013, this addition has long been in the works with multiple delays. We talked to the coordinator and 6th grade administrator Mr. Allen McDaniel.
This school was built in 1959, and consisted of only the original box of the B-wing, C-wing, and gym. But, the school was closed in 1981 due to low enrollment. During that time, this school was leased to St. Andrews Episcopal School currently in Potomac. Due to increasing enrollment at Tilden Middle School, MCPS decided to reopen the North Bethesda. Before the school reopened, the A-wing was added. The school reopened in the fall of 1999. When the school opened the capacity was 847 students.
In 2013, enrollments were on the rise. Then, a feasibility study was conducted by Samaha, the architect. Soon, portables were coming in. With more classes, teachers were sharing rooms, and bringing carts to and from their classrooms. There was never an unused classroom. During transitions, the A-Wing would be super crowded because 6th, 7th, and 8th graders were all trying to get to the 6 portables to attend world languages classes. When students wanted to come back in, staff would have to open the doors for them. Also, the lockers right outside Mrs. Paul-Phillips were in use so that area was always crowded during transitions. The end of the 2nd floor 7th grade hallway was sealed off. Noise levels were through the roof. Fights were more common. Overflow lunch happened in classrooms and outside the staff lounge next to the main stairwell. Obviously, life before the addition was not good.
The addition was approved and work began. In the addition, 49,127 square feet were added. Now, our school capacity is 1,208 students.
In our cafeteria, the ceiling has been raised and panels were adjusted to reduce noise levels. 14 new tables have been added and the student capacity has increased from 312 seats to 408 seats.
When it rained or snowed, huge gym classes would try to fit in the main gym and the small auxiliary gyms. Now, our 2nd gym allows multiple classes to stay indoors comfortably.
Most importantly, our D-Wiing has had added 14 new classrooms and 2 new science labs. The D-Wing was built on top of the old basketball courts. Before the new addition, our school capacity was 847, but now, our capacity is 1208 students.
The new wing has had a huge effect on our students and school, and will continue to have a big effect on our school.
Some of the portables outside during construction
By: Seyun Park
North Bethesda's New Wing
A new D-Wing classroom
One of the new locker pods
Overflow lunch outside the cafeteria
A new hallway in the new wing
The new cafeteria expansion
By: Milan Tenn
The door to the care cash store
"I like the care cash store.
I bought fuzzy bear socks from there"
The sign on the door to the care cash store
Info On CARE Cash
If you are in the 6th grade, you are probably wondering what CARE Cash is. CARE Cash is the school’s currency, which is earned by 6th and 7th graders for behavior that exemplifies our school’s CARE values.
An action that shows CARE values is completely under the discretion of the teacher who is giving the CARE Cash out. Don’t get surprised or disappointed if some teachers give out more CARE Cash than others.
This year, there is even more news, which you’ll want to know if you are in either 6th or 7th grade. There is a CARE Cash store built into the new extension to the cafeteria. This year, it will no longer be necessary to leave the lunch room to buy things with the CARE Cash that you worked so hard to earn. You will be able to just walk over to another part of the cafeteria and buy whatever you want without the need to sign out. Some items to buy include gift cards, candy, and school supplies. Earn CARE Cash quickly and buy whatever you want in the new store!
If you are wondering how to earn CARE Cash, worry no longer! There are many ways to earn CARE Cash. Unfortunately, it depends on your teacher. Some teachers only reward the most exemplary behavior, while others do a lottery to determine who gets it. However, a basic guide to the ways in which one can obtain CARE Cash is that doing good things consistently is the way to go. You might get recognized for your good deeds and earn CARE Cash to spend. Also, teachers are required at certain times every year to give some CARE Cash to students who are prepared for class, such as by bringing their handbook. Still, don’t be sad if your teachers are not as liberal with CARE Cash as others. You can still be happy and should definitely continue to do the right thing!
Did you know that there is not any CARE Cash in 8th grade? While this might seem to be a loss at first, there is a new system to reward good deeds.
"Pizza Possibilities" are a currency somewhat like CARE Cash, since they are earned by doing the right thing. However, the rewards that you can obtain are completely different. While CARE Cash is used as a currency to buy items at a fixed price from the CARE Store, Pizza Possibilities are entered into a lottery with a few names being drawn out. The more Possibilities that one has, the more likely they are to win the great reward. Winners get a pizza party where they can bring a few friends rather than eating lunch.in the dining hall.
Most eighth graders agree that it is a much better reward than any that can be won through CARE Cash. Can you wait to get this new opportunity in 8th grade?
Inside of the Care Cash Store
The Student Government Association (SGA) tends to keep quiet about the various things that go on in their monthly meetings. Because of this, students at North Bethesda cannot help but feel like their student government does not do anything to help their school. This is very untrue. The SGA is always working hard behind the scenes to make this school a better place.
The first SGA meeting of the year was held on October 3, 2018. It was led by Ms. Armstrong, an 8th grade English teacher. President Edric, Vice President Zion, Treasurer Melanie, Secretary London, and a lot of ambassadors (myself included) attended, all eager to get started.
The meeting began with joining the Google Classroom and going over each of our roles as representatives. We quickly jumped into the Montgomery County Junior Council meetings that we would have the privilege to attend, as well as Spirit Week ideas. At last, we got to the elephant in the room: the upcoming Fall Dance.
Most of the students at the meeting were unhappy with the dances they had attended to in the past, so we discussed with Ms. Armstrong ways to make them more fun. We planned for lights, spider webs (much to the dismay of the arachnophobic people in the room), and a generally spooky vibe. We ended the meeting with putting up posters for the dance and the “Kids Helping Kids” food drive.
One week later, the SGA held the Fall Dance. Orange Halloween lights and giant spider webs were hung up around the Gym transforming it into a spooky dance floor. Kids were rocking out to “Cupid Shuffle” and and “Classic” like there was no tomorrow. The DJ led everyone in games and coordinated dances, and soon all of the kids forgot about grades and schoolwork.
A couple of weeks later was Spirit Week. On Monday, kids got to go to school in their favorite onesies and pjs. Next, everyone wore pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Wednesday was Halloween, so the halls were a sea of black and orange. Even though we were all very tired from gathering candy, Thursday’s Sports Day was perhaps the most popular out of the whole week. People wore apparel such as Patriot's jerseys, Redskins' attire, and Capitals' t-shirts (go Caps!). Finally, everyone had a great time showing their school spirit on Friday when they wore their NB colors.
The Fall Dance and Spirit Week are only the beginning. The SGA has a lot of plans to make your school year as much fun as possible. Be sure to listen to the announcements and look at the posters up around the school to see what is happening next!
By: Gabrielle Barke
What's Up With The SGA?
By: Gokce Onal
In the past year, there have been a two games that have been rocking our nation. Or, at least, Maryland. One is called Fortnite. and the other is PUBG.
Both Fortnite and PUBG are a multi-player battle royale-style games. While PUBG costs a lot of money and is a realistic-looking game, Fortnite is free, but many people spend thousands of dollars for the variety of cosmetics to enhance the experience. Anyway, I am sure you already know enough about Fortnite and PUBG.
Another game that is earning a lot of hype is Fallout 76. This new game is another multi-player game, but it is an action-RPG style game.
Brawl Stars is yet another game that has gained popularity. Pull out your phone and enter the battle in Brawl Stars, a multiplayer arena fighter. This game is fun, cartoony, and has a lot of players! You can level up and unlock the brawlers from Brawl Boxes, which you can then use those brawlers to win battles!
Are you thinking" Is this whole article going to be about video game?" No, it is not. On to the dance trends! Many people are doing the dance “Orange Justice” from Fortnite. This dance just looks completely impossible to do. That is not the case, though, because many people, not just in North Bethesda, but around the nation, are doing this dance. There are some real pros, too!
Next, there is the Floss. A year and a half ago, in May 2017, a kid by the name of Russell Horning also known as “Backpack Kid”, invented the dance. Horning was dancing to a Katy Perry song, and suddenly he invented this new move. He video taped it In a few months, it went viral and everyone everywhere was "flossing."
Finally, the Default Dance, another dance from Fortnite. This dance is given to every player as a starter dance. It quickly became the sign if you were a noob or not, or a troller or not. In a few months, people randomly started doing it in the hallways of North Bethesda and across the nation.
Besides video games and dances, Fidget Spinners and Squishies swiped the nation last year. Fidget Spinners are really weird toys that you spin in your hand. You can do tricks with them, and they are just simply fun to play with, even if you do not know how to do tricks on them. Squishies are another fidget toy. These were satisfyingly squishy (obviously) and had little characters printed on them. There is also another variant of Squishies which are filled with orbeez, jelly-like little spheres. And when it is inside a piece of rubber with a cutesy face, then it is pretty fun to play with.
Related to Fidget Spinners, there are Fidget Cubes, which is like a bunch of tiny fidget items attached to a cube. The cube can be any color or even have a design, so this toy is pretty cool.
Now, if you want hardcore stress objects that I have found to be exceptionally satisfying is at the Paper Source down in Bethesda. They sell these huge, squishy stress balls. They weigh about 6 pounds each, and some types can even change color!
Finally some memes have gained fame also. For example, every now and then some kid says a term called Yeet!, which is a term used to convey excitement.
"...one of the most important parts of my job is to teach people to discuss important issues without fighting, using civil and informed discourse.”
Meet the Staff
By: Liliana Katz-Hollander
NBMS Model UN Delegation.
Mrs. Natacha Steimer has been teaching at North Bethesda Middle School for five years as a social studies teacher. This year she teaches a new class, History and Inquiry into Global Humanities. She has also taught at Maryvale Elementary School as a student teacher, Potomac Elementary School as a 4th grade Social Studies and English teacher, and Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary school as a 4th grade teacher.
When asked why she teaches, Mrs. Steimer replied with “I think that education is probably the most important thing from an individual, community, country, and global perspective. On an individual level, a student’s education affects their economic prospects-whether they will be able to pursue a career that is fulfilling to them. From a community and from a country basis, education helps people participate in discussions about local and national policy questions in meaningful ways and to fulfill their civic responsibilities. In a democracy, our government relies on citizens who are critical thinkers and can make decisions and vote from an informed fact-based standpoint. I believe one of the most important parts of my job is to teach people to discuss important issues without fighting, using civil and informed discourse.” If Mrs. Steimer could have any other job, she would be a White House advisor so she could make a difference, although if she could be anywhere in the world, it would not be the White House but an over-the-water bungalow in Fiji, painting a sunset.
Mrs. Steimer’s favorite time period is the Classical Age, which encompasses the end of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. Her favorite artifact, the Standard of Ur, is from slightly before then, originating in Mesopotamian times.
NBMS is experiencing a lot of change this year. A new logo, a new wing, and a new principal! So much is new, even in the library! Our new media specialist, Ms. Woods, is going to continue the Black Eyed Susan Book Awards voting in our school. Black Eyed Susan is an award given to authors of books nominated and voted on by middle and high school kids. Every year, students vote for their favorite Black Eyed Susan nominees from different categories, such as graphic novels and 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade literature. One book is chosen as a winner from each category. The authors and/or illustrators of these books receive the Black Eyed Susan Book Award.
Some of the graphic novel nominees include: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani, All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson, The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag, and Five Worlds: The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel.
Some novel nominees are: Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, The Safest Lie by Angela Cerrito, Chester & Gus by Cammie McGovern, Posted by John David Anderson, and Restart by Gordon Korman. Of course, there are many more books that were nominated, but these are just some of the nominations.
When voting day rolls around, those who have read some or all of the book nominations and submitted a form to Ms. Woods will be invited to come in during SOARR for a voting party with food, games, fun, and prizes, too! Black Eyed Susan voting parties aren’t new to North Bethesda. In the past years, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders have been voting on Black Eyed Susan books. One of last year’s Black Eyed Susan voter commented,
“It was totally worth it. Reading books and being able to give feedback to the authors makes you feel proud. It’s a good feeling to know that you as a kid actually have the power to vote, even if it’s just on a book. Someday it’ll be for a president. It’s good practice.”
Over all Black Eyed Susan is something NBMS students should definitely look into. It’s a cool and fun way to give your feedback about books you either really enjoyed, or weren’t so enthusiastic about. Either way, expressing your opinion is still important, and you as a student should seize that opportunity!
Book Wars Coming Soon!
By: Mireya Gutierrez-Micallef & Audrey Stelzig
Visit the Media Center!
Black Eyed Susan Book Awards
G.B., an 8th grader, has been in the Montgomery County Public School system since kindergarten. She lives in Bethesda and went to Wyngate Elementary School where she won the Principal's Writing Award two years in a row. G.B. has always loved writing and is so excited to be writing for Polaris! When she is not at school, G.B. enjoys playing the flute and hanging out with her friends. In the future, G.B. hopes to open her own business or write for The Washington Post.
Meet L.B.B., one of our sixth grade staff members. She is a great writer and loves to draw. She does congressional debate and has two younger sisters. She has a dog and a gerbil, plays the cello and Fortnite. She has moved four times and will move a fifth next year. She loves all animals and loves to explore. Some of her favorite books are: Maze Runner series, Divergent series, Hunger Games Trilogy, and Room. She reads for about two hours and twenty minutes a day.
L. D-V is a news and creative writer for Polaris. He has been writing since he was in elementary school. Although he is always having new ideas, he has never completely finished a story. He enjoys playing Dagorhir, reading, creative writing, browsing reddit, and watching anime (such as Attack on Titan, Noragami, and Your Lie in April) and playing video games, all of which he does in his free time. He has a profound interest in science (specifically physics and immunology) and is part of the Science Olympiad team.
R.D. is a 13-year-old 8th grader at North Bethesda. She was born in the United States, but then moved to Nigeria at the age of six. She stayed there for about four and a half years, then came back to the U.S. In her spare time, she loves to draw and read, and sometimes write things too! She is bilingual, but sometimes thinks that she is trilingual, because she understands when her parents speak Senegalese (wolof). However, she does not speak it well. She has traveled to several places abroad throughout her whole lifetime. The ones she liked the most were Morocco, Paris, and Canada. This is a little bit weird, but R.D. can tell where someone comes from due to their accent when they speak French.
L.G., a student at NBMS, is probably one of the best poets-just kidding-but she does love writing and making all sorts of art. In her free time, she loves watching horror movies and mystery television shows. When bored, she likes to play games with her siblings. She has been writing for Polaris for about two years now.
T.G. is a 7th Grader at North Bethesda Middle School. He loves to read and write and use Google Translate. His mom and older brother live in Chicago, as well as his dog, Lupi. He also has two stepbrothers who are sometimes at their dad’s house and their mom’s house. T.G. also loves dogs and cats, and misses Lupi greatly. He goes over to his mom’s place in Chicago during summers and breaks, and he cherishes the time that he has with his mom, brother, and dog. This is because he lives at his dad’s place for most of the year, due to the fact that he goes to school at North Bethesda. T.G. loves traveling and has been to France, Brazil, Austria (not Australia), Bermuda, Costa Rica and more. He also loves to read, write, play video games, knit, sleep, and more.
Z.L. is an artist and amateur graphic designer. She is a Writer’s Club veteran, having been part of it since its formation two years ago. Almost every day, she stays up late drawing dragons in her sketchbook, much to the chagrin of her parents. She has played the piano for almost seven years. Some of her favorite foods are pineapple on pizza and anything without vegetables. She really enjoys chatting on Discord with her friends, Photo shopping her chickens, dank memes, immature humor, bricks of all kinds, and telling everyone that Nebraska does not exist. She lives with her six chickens, pleco, countless guppies, little brother, and snails in Bethesda.
M.S., a 7th grade student at North Bethesda, came to NB after living in Brazil until the age of seven. She learned to read when she was two, and began writing basic sentences at the age of three. Therefore, she has always had a great passion for reading and writing. Her favorite things to write are plays, advice, and short horror stories. Overall, she is thrilled to be joining Writer’s Club this year and thinks she will be successful!
A.M. is an avid writer, and loves creating short stories and poetry. She also enjoys boxing, congressional debate, playing video games, and reading. Her favorite books are Maze Runner series, Divergent series, Hunger Games Trilogy, Artemis, Golden Compass Trilogy, The Fifth Wave, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy, and The Discworld Series
M.D. is just an generic human student that attends North Bethesda Middle School. She enjoys writing horror stories like every normal human would, although may be morbid at times. Basic necessities such as food and sleep are things she cherishes as well as electronic entertainment dubbed as “video games.” M.D. hopes to become a psychologist as studying other humans is enjoyable, though she promises that she wouldn’t use it against others to gain power over their race. On a better note, M.D. is glad to be part of the Writing club so she can show off her mediocre skills.
L.K.H is a 6th grader, and she loves to read and write. She is constantly writing poems, stories, and short paragraphs. She also loves to sing, draw, and act. While she is a dog person, she thinks that cats are quite adorable as well. Although she has lived in California, Florida, and Virginia, Maryland is by far her favorite. Her favorite food is Greek food, but the food group known as candy is pretty awesome too. All her friends are extremely awesome, but that can sometimes be outbalanced by the extreme craziness.
A.S has been in Writing Club for two years now, but has become more invested in it over time. He is a pro at existing and some other things that are not important. One of his best achievements was getting that #1 Victory Royal in Roblox Battle Royal. Swimming is one of his favorite past times, mostly doing it during the winter and the summer. He also plays soccer in the spring and the fall. But he loves writing, so the experience of helping with the newspaper is very fun for him.
I.S. is an 8th grader who came to Writer’s Club because, he enjoys writing. I.S. enjoys writing Science Fiction, alternate history, and fan-fiction of certain franchises. I.S. discovered Writer’s Club as a sixth grader and has stuck with this club through thick and thin. I.S. is an accomplished Boy Scout and enjoys the outdoors as much as he loves the Internet. When he is not writing, I.S. can be found reading, playing Team Fortress 2 (better than Fortnite), browsing alternate history, and Deviantart for cool and interesting alternate items like maps and scenarios, and having friendly debates with his sister.
A. S. is a sixth grader that has many hobbies like singing, dancing, writing, and traveling all around the world! She was born in Washington D. C., but her mother was born in Korea while her dad was born in Canada. All of her mom’s side of the family lives in Korea and all of her dad’s side of the family lives in Canada. Above all places she visit those two the most! But she has also been to Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and many more places. She plays the violin and ukulele and is learning the guitar. The one thing she is most known for is her love for dessert. She has a gigantic sweet tooth and her favorite dessert is chocolate cupcakes with red velvet icing
topped with confetti sprinkles. She loves to write and is thrilled to be part of the Polaris Magazine Staff!
A.S. is a sixth grader at North Bethesda Middle School. She loves to write, read, and draw. She has been reading and writing since preschool. She lives in Old Town Kensington with her mom, dad, younger brother, and puppy. She also has two half-brothers. She has been playing the violin since she was 5, has been on her pool’s swim team since she was eight, and loves to roller blade. She has been to many different places, some of which include Thailand, Malta, Greece, and Iceland. She loves to travel, and can not wait to be a part of Polaris this year.
S.P. is in 6th grade and is an only child. He likes to travel and especially likes museums. He is an avid advocate for the Turkish economy. In 4th & 5th grade, he was the editor-in-chief of the Center Chronicle, a newspaper at Barnsley ES. Before going to NB, he went to Barnsley and Luxmanor. During his time at Barnsley he moved from the Tilden neighborhood to the North Bethesda neighborhood. He loves to read, write, research boring things, and ride his bike until his chain breaks. He lives with his parents and his computer in Bethesda.
M.G.M is in 7th grade and is 12 years old. She started writing when she was about 8 years old. Since then her writing has definitely improved! She lives in Kensington, MD, with her cat, Cloud, and her brother. In her free time, she enjoys figure skating, reading, and playing the piano. M. also loves to challenge herself with puzzles and games, and she adores escape rooms. She enjoys learning about separate cultures as well, and likes to turn her dreams into stories. M.G.M. hopes this creativity will carry into her Polaris articles and stories.
There was once a school
Called North Bethesda Middle School.
It was a real big school
With real wide halls for all of its students.
But it wasn’t big enough.
A few years ago
There were plans.
Big plans to build an extension
For this school, which was bursting
At the seams.
Those plans took
Quite a while to process.
(That was 2013.)
Soon enough, construction
Started in 2017.
Took them long enough, didn’t it?
It’s 2018 now.
The extension is done!
There’s a giant
Atrium that lets in plenty of light.
The new classrooms
Are fitted out with the newest technology.
New chairs, new desks, and new Promethean boards!
(However, I have one complaint:
The new wing doesn’t make
School any more fun, though.)
Story by Ada Shin
Genesis Xenakis pulled her hat tighter around her head and pulled her coat towards herself. She had recently come to her hometown, London, England, and it was raining, which was typical. But she had completely forgotten her umbrella, and she trudged through the muddy puddles of water over to her dad’s work building. Soon, she saw the entrance, and she rushed in; muddy, sopping wet, and grumpy, but she had finally arrived.
“Come in. The master can see you right now,” said a lady when Genesis had explained her business, “Make it quick, though. He’s always busy.”
“Hey, da,” said Genesis, walking into her father’s office.
When the boss, a big man, and Genesis’s father, saw Genesis, he looked like he’d been punched in the gut. “What?” he asked, “Is this my wife back from the dead?”
“Your daughter, da.”
“But I thought… I killed her when you were still in the womb.”
“Actually, she wasn’t dead. She wanted to stay alive for her child, so she fought the pain and called an ambulance. There they tended to her wounds, and her child-me, Genesis Xenakis-was born.”
“And she named you Genesis? That name is horrific.”
“I’m right here, you know,” said Genesis, “Anyway, where’s my office?”
“Wait, you aren’t working here."
“Thanks!” Genesis grabbed her bags and rushed to the first open office she could find. There she jumped onto the computer, and her dad rushed in.
“Do you even know what you’re DOING?” he asked incredulously as she set straight to work.
“Of course,” Genesis said, “You think I don’t know what business you run, da? You run a business that I would love to work in. You research the fourth dimension; the dimension in which you believe the bridge to is through a black hole.”
Genesis served to be a good employee, and soon she had talked it out with her father’s money lender to lend them around 10-11k, to be paid back in two years. Then, with the money, they had hired the most skilled mechanic to make them a spaceship. It was the day of the takeoff, and the mechanic was giving the boss more details.
“And this ship should be strong enough to withstand the pressure of the black hole,” the mechanic said, “But steering and staying on course, you will need to do by yourself.”
“Gotcha,” said Genesis, full of confidence. “Our suits, now?”
“These suits are from the silk of a metalweaver spider,” said the tailor, rushing forward and holding up two blue-grey suits. “Extremely light, but very strong.”
“Thank you,” said the boss, putting on the suit. “It’s a perfect fit.”
“Actually, that’s no account on me,” said the tailor, stuffing the suits into the suit compartment on the ship. “The cloth actually immediately comes to be a perfect fit to his or her owner.”
Genesis couldn’t wait to travel to the fourth dimension. She ran up and asked her dad about it; he ought to have some information, right?
“It’s a city,” explained the boss, “With giant sparkling lights and flying light-powered cars. They don’t have sun on their world, so it’s all electric lights, which they make very well. It’s simply a perfect, world and they have an operation with the electric lights so it seems like the sun is setting or the moon is in the sky. It’s a wonderful place, and I want to go there again.”
“Wait, you’ve been there before?”
“That’s the reason I tried to kill your mother.”
“Anyway, let’s go, Genesis. The plane is gonna take off.”
Genesis met the other crew mates inside. There was Oscar Larsson, a Swedish astronomer, Captain Liam Porshin, the captain of the ship, and all of Liam’s crewmen, along with an American astronaut, William Jot, and his son, Gregor Jot. Genesis buckled herself in to her seat, and then closed her eyes.
“It’s going to be a horrible crushing sensation. Ready yourself for that,” said William Jot.
“We’re going to takeoff in 10…” started the captain.
Genesis turned to her father. Her father smiled back at her, saying, “You’re just a child, Genesis. Please be careful; you’re going to be in space, where there is no air.”
“Relax, dad, I’m not retarded.”
“9…” counted the captain.
Gregor turned to me. “I wouldn’t think like that.”
“My dad has had me tag along with him to space many times,” said Gregor, “but the first time was when I was around 9.”
“Wow.” Genesis was 15, but she didn’t think she had the guts to go to space when she was 9.
“I thought just like you. ‘Relax, dad, I’m not a dumb kid. I wanna go to space. It’s cool; I see all those no-gravity videos.’ The truth is, it’s not what you think it is.”
“It’s not fun?”
“Of course it’s fun. But it’s extremely dangerous if you’re not cautious. You need to listen to your dad. Don’t be like me; I was careless about what my dad said.”
“What did your dad tell you?” Genesis asked.
“He said I was going to be surprised. I said I wasn’t. I said that I knew what I was doing, not like he thought. But the truth was i really didn’t know what I was doing.”
“Well, I know what I’m doing. I’ve been studying outer space for as long as I remember,” said Genesis, shrugging.
“So have I. So we’re equal.”
For the first time, fear crept up to Genesis. All her life she had lived in confidence, but now she was feeling fear, and she didn’t like it. “I KNOW what I’m doing.”
“So you say.”
“Stop it,” said Genesis, “I don’t like it. Stop.”
“Stop trying to terrorize me!”
“I’m not. I’m just trying to warn you,” said Gregor, “And it’s probably best to take my advice.”
“Just stop talking!”
The City of the Fourth Dimension
The New Wing
to the student artists and photographers
and their teachers for sharing their work!
Thank you to Dr. Ann Marie Smith, Mrs. Rudd, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Hill, Mr. Earenfight, Mr. McNavage, and Mrs. Paul- Phillips. Thanks also to the NBMS staff for willingly giving their time to support our writers.
What if your parents decided to sell you for your organs? That’s what Connor, Risa, and Lev had to go through. The Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman, which can be found in our school library, is something science-fiction fans should definitely consider reading. It follows the in-depth, breathtaking story of three teenagers selected to be unwound, but decided they would not “stop living” so quickly.
If you liked books such as Divergent, The Hunger Games, or The Neptune Project, you should definitely try Unwind! However, if you enjoyed books like All the Light we Cannot See, The Princess Diaries or Speak, I might look elsewhere.
This dystology is not so much for the people who like the human element, things showcasing more realistic problems, or (possibly) not for historical events fans either. However, it is great for the action/sci-fi fans, as the main characters are not displayed struggling to balance a realistic, normal life.
A comment I do have about the dystology is that the full story is too long. Although the author does find new conflicts to keep the reader hooked, the first book had a semi-satisfying conclusion and you, the reader, may want to leave it like that by reading only the first book out of the four. Also, I enjoyed the separate story lines for each character, but the author would sometimes make a storyline confusing by dragging it out or trying to blend it too much with a different character’s story line. Overall, I would rate it a strong nine out of ten and recommend reading.
Unwind Book Review
By: Maria Serran
The North Bethesda Writer's Club meets
every Thursday after school from September to May
Anyone who loves to write is welcome and encouraged to join us!