AJReader03

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    So…..when the summer is over, does that mean that we can’t go on this website anymore? Or can we still do the challenges? Maybe not for points, but just to know that we’re done. Also, if the website is kept up, we can talk to each other during school.

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    I call it a Brother's Sacrifice. I wrote it for a school assignment. Enjoy! “Welcome to sunny San Francisco! Oh my goodness! We’re going to have such a wonderful time living here! Oh, and we have a view of the city skyline….blah blah blah.” That was Mom. Always excited over what? A (I quote Mom when I say this) “new place to enjoy and experience!” Ugh. I put my headphones on, and let Mom’s annoying high pitched voice fade and finally disintegrate into loud, ear-bleeding music.
    My name was Oliver Franco, but everyone calls me Olly. I like listening to music, and annoying my sister, you know, the usual brother-in-a-family stuff.
    I closed my eyes for a minute before I felt my left earpiece leave my ear and then snap against my head.
    “OOLLLYYYY! Stop listening to music and start listening to Mommy!”
    I sat more upright , and glared at Marina, my sister. I shouldn’t be so mad at her, since she’s only 7, but I can’t not be furious when she tortures me with her selfish, 7-year-old ways.
    I smiled at her, and said sarcastically,” Of course, little sister that I care dearest about.” Then, I flicked her. Her face turned from smiling to shock, to crying. Oh, great. I absolutely love that noise. It’s somewhere between a lahar siren, and a dying mule. I put my headphones back on, and rolled my eyes. It was complete serenity for 10 minutes before we pulled up to a small, cookie-cutter condo, or apartment, I wasn’t really sure.
    I got out, slammed the door noisily, and put my hands in my pockets. I waited by the front door, and finally after what felt like forever, Mom, Dad, and Marina in her obnoxious neon pink dress appeared. Their hands were full of luggage. Mine were filled with lint.
    I raised my eyebrows and gestured to the door. Mom sighed, and awkwardly handed me the one lonesome key. It was rusty, small, and it took 4 times before I actually unlocked the door. When I finally did, the door took a lot of oomph to open. I almost toppled forward, but caught myself. I bowed like actors taking their final bow, and walked upstairs to claim the best bedroom.
    I looked at the two bedrooms offered for me and Marina. I went back and forth, trying to decide which room was bigger. Unfortunately, they were the same size. Fine, I’ll use my second tactic, I thought. Which room is closest to the bathroom? The left one. Okay.
    I walked into my room, and took my hoodie off. I let it fall to the floor. This was my way of saying,” My stuff in this room equals my room.” I walked back to the moving truck that followed behind the car. I lifted the metal wall that reminded me of a garage door, and started hauling boxes to my room. Once the boxes were in my room, I went back for my mattress. I positioned it over my shoulder, and in between grunting, got it to my room. I plopped it down lazily, and went back down for lunch: Pizza. We didn’t have any other food with us, so we just ordered it. 3 slices later, I went back to my room to prepare my backpack and things for school tomorrow. Backpack, check. Pencils, check. Highlighters, check. I picked out an outfit for tomorrow: A black t-shirt with torn up jeans. I splayed the outfit along my bed, and started taking antiques and knick knacks (mostly made up of old time record cds and tapes) out to hang up on the wall. But I needed a hammer and nails to get the shelves up. I stomped back downstairs and walked up to Dad.
    "I need a hammer, some nails. You know, the basics." He nodded and made his way to a box labeled," Tools." I rummaged around until I found what I was looking for. I hammered away until I was called for dinner.
    Pizza again, but this time, we had to heat it up. When mine was done, I took it out of the beeping microwave. I started to take a bite, but burned my tongue in the process.
    ¨Ow! God, mrgh! That hurt!¨ I yelled, furious at my own foolishness to not blow on it. Marina started laughing, and little bits of food fell from her mouth. Gross. Thankfully, she swallowed before she could choke, but started right back up laughing. Then, her laughing turned into coughing, then gasping. I immediately ran to her side. I lifted her head more upwards so she could breath better, and found her oxygen mask. I carefully applied the clear plastic cup around her mouth and nose. Her breathing slowed, and she looked gratefully up at me.
    You see, Marina has asthma. But a really severe case. Any start of a bad breathing scenario, and she could basically die from loss of oxygen. That´s why she has her oxygen mask. So she can breathe better. I relaxed back in my seat.
    ¨I´m going to bed,¨ I said, feigning sleep.
    ¨Okay then, Olly. Make sure to set some sort of alarm so you wake up on time,¨ said Mom.
    I waved behind me to acknowledge that I heard her, and tramped up the stairs to my room. I flopped down on my bed. I lay there, staring at the ceiling. My mind was whirring with thoughts of Marina. There have been multiple times when she had her gasping moments, but none as bad as this. As much as I didn't want to admit it, I didn't want her to leave this family. Sure, she could be a pain, but she was my sister. I spent the rest of the night worrying about her.
    Beep! Beep! Beep! The alarm from my phone reverberated all around my room, annoyingly waking me from glorious sleep. I groggily pulled myself up and out of bed, and started getting dressed. I went to the bathroom, and brushed my hair. After applying a thick coat of gel, I went downstairs for breakfast.
    I made myself some toaster waffles, and began munching on the golden wafer. 6 waffles later, I went back to the bathroom to brush my teeth. The suds bubbled and slightly burned my gums. I smiled in the mirror, and made several different faces. Finally, I gathered my backpack, and made my way to the door.
    ¨I´m going to school! Love you guys!¨ I yelled. I heard a faint response of,¨ Okay! Love you sweetie!¨, and I walked outside. I made my way 2 blocks to my school, San Fran Academy. That was my high school. I walked inside, immediately turning into the office. I got my schedule, and made my way to my first class: Math.
    I got my assigned seat, and listened to the lesson. We were learning about variables that will eventually lead to algebra. I understood all of it, thankfully. When the class was over, I walked into the hall was going towards Social Studies when I felt a rumbling beneath my feet. I froze, as well as others around me. The rumbling grew until it literally felt like the ground was a massive wave pool. It looked that way too. I knew what this was.
    “EARTHQUAKE!” I yelled. I ran back into my math class, and buried myself underneath a desk. Other students obviously frightened, made their way under desks as well. The rumbling made my blood roar in my ears, and my teeth chatter. The walls and floor looked like jell-o.
    I gripped the desk leg so hard my hand hurt, and my knuckles went white, but I didn’t let go. I heard glass shatter. The window! I felt a sharp pain in my thigh, and looked down to see a very small piece of glass lodged in it. I methodically took the small piece of glass out, and put it as far away from me as possible.
    And just as quickly as it had started, the rumbling and shaking stopped. I waited a few seconds before a static message came through the intercom. I could only make out a few words.
    “Thank you…..cooperating. We…..word of…..9.0 Richter scale. Please….make…..safely.” I released a gust of breath I didn’t realize I was holding. Many thoughts were going through my head. I’m alright, nothing broken. Hopefully Marina is okay…MARINA! Without thinking, I started running through the school, avoiding blocks of cement, brick, and glass. Thankfully, all the schools were fairly close, so the building across from us was my sister’s school.
    I tried the main doors, but they wouldn’t open. I stepped back and realized the building was crumbling in some spots, but otherwise the building was structurally sound. There was a small opening in the side of the building. I just barely fit through. When I entered, I could tell there had been a staircase, a few classrooms, but the rest was unidentifiable. I needed to find Marina.
    “MARINA!” I yelled. No response. I continued farther in the rubble. “Marina! Where are you?” I cried desperately. Then I heard it; a faint noise. I went closer to the sound.
    “Marina?” I asked the pile of rock, cement, and brick. The pile heaved and moved.
    “Marina! I’m here!” I probably yelled louder than I should have, but I was too relieved. I threw rocks to the side until an ash and dust covered Marina stumbled out. I let her lean on me while we made it out.
    Suddenly, there was rumbling under my feet again. It was weaker than the last, but still strong. Suddenly, the building groaned.
    “Run! Go, run Marina!” I yelled at her. She was frightened, but she found the courage to run. I started running after her, the building collapsing around us, and the ground trembling under our feet. I looked ahead of Marina and noticed a structural beam. It seemed out of place. It was leaning…NO! It was going to crush my sister! I pounded my legs harder, my legs protesting against my pushing when I needed to stop.
    I lunged for her. I cradled her in my arms for just a second, and everything seemed to be in slow motion. In my peripheral vision, I saw the beam leaning farther, looming over us; Marina coughing uncontrollably. Her asthma was taking over. Her lungs must have filled with the smoke and ash and dust being kicked up from the earthquake.
    I loosened her a bit, and with the last of my strength, flung her so she could get out of the unstable building. My last moments of seeing were filled with my sister’s eyes; the tears on the edge of brimming over. The eyes said,” Don’t leave me!”. Before the beam could crush me, I said to her,” Everything will be alright.” Then, everything was black.
    I woke up to a bright white light shining on me. Am I dead? I thought. I squinted, and more objects came into…[Read more]

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    What does YA book stand for?

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    It's sad, but out of all twenty-five of those movies, I've only seen E.T., Ghostbusters, and Back to the Future. I'm disappointing.

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    Matched, written by Allie Condie, is a great dystopian book because it really expresses the meaning behind "dystopian". Cassia, the main heroine in Matched, fights with the Society after finding that her supposed Match was not who she expected it to be.

    "Love triangle+ struggle against the odds that be= perfect escape."- MTV.com

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    Did anyone figure out the old fashioned French homonym for glass? I searched non-stop all over the internet using the French dictionary and even French homonym lists, and they all come down to verre. But when I tried it in the activity code, it didn’t work. I also tried miroir, but that didn’t work either.

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    Is it okay to ask for help on some of the challenges if we are really stumped?

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    I love my local library, which is Milton Library because it is cute and tucked away in a little strip mall. It has AC that immediately cools me off when I walk through the door, and the workers are very kind and courteous. Of course, it's quiet, which I love. Also, it's just so cute! To walk in and see all the organized bookshelves and people lounging in the little sofas included. That's why I love my library!

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