Grendel by John Gardner Book Review

Book Review by Esha

Grendel is a book following a monster that is one of the few antagonists in a well known epic poem called Beowulf. It goes around his story, explaining why he is the way he is and shows his side of the story that opposes the way that the poem was so quick to denounce him as a monster. However, this isn’t the only thing the book is doing as it follows along in the story. Every chapter uses different philosophies and all of the zodiac signs, and in each chapter, it would bring in themes from both. Sometimes it would be in the dialogue or in the description. Sometimes it would be in the way that the characters behave which reflect both the zodiac sign and the philosophy. It introduces not only the well-known philosophies such as Nihilism and Existentialism, but it also introduces ones that might be new to the readers such as process philosophy or Sophism. In this way, it not only brings an interesting spin to a poem that’s been around for nearly a thousand years, but it also introduces topics that the reader might find interesting and could possibly even change the way that they view the world. Aside from these, it pulls in elements from the time period that the poem was written in, and shows what kind of society they lived in. It shows the beliefs of the characters, how important religion was to them, and the roles of the different people in the community. In many ways this story can be educative- from the themes that are present throughout and the way that it ties in the time period that the original poem was written in, it is an interesting read that ties in well to the writing that inspired it.

Events for Teens in FCPS Area


Join us for a showing of the Addams Family Movie and some Halloween treats. Movie is rated PG-13. Teens and Adults.
Monday, October 29, 2018
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Thomas Jefferson Meeting Room 1 , Thomas Jefferson Meeting Room 2 , Thomas Jefferson Library


Come to the library for an escape room experience. Can you solve the clues in time to find a cure for the zombie virus and save the world? Grades 7-12. R.
Monday, October 29, 2018
7:00pm – 8:00pm
Martha Washington Meeting Room 104A , Martha Washington Meeting Room 104B, Martha Washington Library


Library staff will demonstrate and guide you in printing out a small 3D project on our 3D printer. Adults, teens, ages 9-14 with adult.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
6:00pm – 9:00pm
Kings Park Library


Calling all ghouls and boys….join us for a Spooktacular Halloween Party! Come dressed in your favorite costume, play some games and decorate mini pumpkins. Light refreshments and music. Please register all ad…
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
6:00pm – 7:00pm
Burke Centre Meeting Room 116, Burke Centre Meeting Room 117, Burke Centre Library


Look out for these 3 new YA books!

  1. People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins
    1. A book, telling the stories of six different teenagers who share one common thing- facing gun violence. All of the teenagers immerse themselves into risky situations, but only one of them will die by the hands of a gun.
  2.  Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll
    1. Doris, Nell, and Grant are three people from three different backgrounds but all meet together while working one summer at Unclaimed Baggage and discover hilarious items and establish a friendship.
  3. Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
    1. Darius, who struggles with weight and bullying, can never feel like he fits in at home. But when his grandfather’s illness prompts him to travel to Iran, he sees life in a whole another way.


The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood Book Review

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Set in a present-day dystopian society, the United States underwent a regime and was renamed Gilead; the purged country became a theocracy, a society ruled by religion, and the entire country has to abide by God’s laws. In what used to be near Boston, a Handmaid named Offred experiences dark thoughts about society and observes and recalls her story of living in the terrifying society. Throughout the book, Offred tells shocking moments that could indicate her rebellion against such a totalitarian society.

The Handmaid’s Tale was published in 1985 and has hints of Fahrenheit 451 and George Orwell’s 1984; all of them resembling an almost unrealistic future dystopian society, but still seems scarily accurate. Made into a Hulu TV show just last year, the Handmaid’s Tale is an excellent read and a great show to binge-watch. Atwood does a great job of writing a novel in her own style. With a lot of proverbs and wise sayings, she creates a sense of a sort of “propaganda” by incorporating religion greatly. I would highly recommend both the book and the show- they’re both outstanding!

Book review by Diana Ho

Upcoming TAB Meeting!

Fellow teens-

Come to Thursday’s meeting on October 25th to get some service hours, hear up on community service opportunities, and a chance to hear Mr. McCarthy, an astrophysicist who can answer your questions about NASA, space, and possibly the universe around you.

Thursday, October 25th from 7:00pm to 8:30pm, be there!

Spooky, Scary Books for October!

With Halloween coming up, it’s time for things to get spooky! Here are a few horrifying, scary, spooky books for teens!

  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Made into a Netflix movie, this book starts off with a Dr. John Montague, who studies the paranormal. He finds Hill House and conducts a study to analyze the paranormal. While he conducts his study, he needs assistants and ends up writing to the characters: Theodora, Luke Sanderson, and Eleanor Vance. From there, all of the characters experience horrifying paranormal activities from the terrifying house, which by the way, strangely urges its inhabitants to mysterious deaths and suicides.

  • Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

Hannah, plagued with hallucinations, a cabinet full of pills, and a closet of violet dresses- is tired of being the outcast of her town, so she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home. Though, the town is just as crazy as she is. Meaning, all things are possible and that no one is safe.

  • Carrie by Stephen King

A high school teenage girl named Carrie, equipped with telekinetic powers, is constantly abused by her extremely religious mother and her peers at school. When she arrives at prom, a deadly prank is pulled on her, but Carrie, with her powers, decides to kill everyone at the prom. Later on in the story, she continues to kill anyone who stands in her way.

  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Young thirteen-year-old Connor O’Malley is struck with horrible nightmares every night, that result in him screaming in terror. Each night he is visited by a monster, who tells him that he will tell Connor three true stories. If Connor does not tell a true one, the monster will eat him. Though as the monster visits Connor every night, things start to fall apart in Connor’s life. The book does not specifically name the hero or the villain, but it definitely portrays a description of the complexity of human nature.

By Diana Ho


Brazen by Penelope Bagieu Book Review

Book review by Diana Ho

Brazen, a graphic novel about rebel ladies who rocked the world, is beautifully illustrated and hilariously written by Penelope Bagieu.

The book encapsulates the lives of twenty-nine different women from different backgrounds, cultures and time periods, but all share one similar thing: they were brazen. Brazen, meaning bold and without shame, is only one of the many words to describe the lives of these women!

A few of my favorite biographies from the book were of Hedy Lamarr, a beautiful actress known for her looks in the mid 1900’s, is also an intelligent inventor that proved society and the government wrong, another being of Nellie Bly, a woman in the 1800’s and early 1900’s, who steps up to abandon the role of a housewife and becomes a controversial writer through a fascinating piece of living in an insane asylum, and another favorite: Wu Zetian, a beautiful and intelligent woman of the Chinese empire in the 600’s, who rebelled against her family to become the empress of ancient China.

Not only is this book knowledgeable and fascinating, but the graphic novel also has aesthetic drawings, easy-to-read blurbs, and is a fast read for those who like short books. I would recommend this book to any girl (or boy!) who wants to feel empowered by women’s history, with an interesting and short read.

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