Movie Review – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

By: Gigi LeFebvre

MV5BMTcxNDI2NDAzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODM3MTc2MjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Like most movies based off of Young Adult series (or YA for short), the last movie/book is split into two parts. The last Hunger Games book, Mockingjay, was published in 2010 where in shortly the first movie was produced and was a huge hit. For many fans, the last book was disappointing and was hoping that the movie would change a few things that would help improve it, which it did.

The movie starts at least a month after the ending of Catching Fire where Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is now in District 13, the district many thought was destroyed by the Capitol many years ago. The Rebellion against the Capitol has taken base underground in District 13 and are planning on using Katniss as the image for the cause. Katniss not only has to deal with inner demons as she continues to suffer from PTSD but with the treats from the Capitol and from the leader of the Rebellion itself.

Unlike the first two movies, there isn’t much action in this first part. Much of it takes place in District 13 where the Rebellion is planning propaganda (or “Propos”)and getting all of the districts of Panem on their side. The few times Katniss is seen outside is when she’s being filmed for Propos, in which Lawrence shows off her best.

Acting wise, the cast is still very strong. Jennifer Lawrence is powerful as ever and continues to portray a teenager with PTSD appropriately and near flawlessly. Julianne Moore (who plays President Coin, the leader of District 13 and the Rebellion) is able to show that she’s as much of a dictator as President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Best of all, Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark) has greatly improved as an actor in these past movies. Having to play a person suffering from more than one kind of pain and doing it well not easy, but Hutcherson does it.

As a fan of these books and the movies, I have to be honest in saying that Mockingjay is the weakest of the books. They’re all written in Katniss’ perspective, which lets you know that she makes it through the end and that much of the interpretations of the situations are biased. However, the movie was very good.

The real question is: Was it necessary to split it into two parts?
In some ways, yes. Since they added and changed a lot in the movie, like showing what was happening in the Capitol and in the Districts rebelling, having the first part as a calm-before-the-storm was what was going to set up the main action of the ending. Obviously Lionsgate split it up solely for money reasons, but for the plot it makes the most sense. Reading the book should not be done in one day, it’s far too slow for that. Having the first part show the plans and the consequences of said plans leads up to an explosive ending (badaboom stss).

Four Stars (There would’ve been more if my favorite line hadn’t been cut out)


Friends of Highland Arts (FHA)

By Maeve Gimpl

Image source:

Friends of Highland Arts (FHA) is a newly launched organization here at Highland that supports both curricular and extra-curricular arts education. Visual, cultural, musical, literary, and performing arts will be supported. FHA believes the arts are a great way to create a stronger community for students, families, teachers, and volunteers.

This new non-profit organization will reach out to the middle and elementary schools in Highland in an effort to support arts programming and to facilitate older students mentoring younger middle school and elementary aged children. The vision is to create a unique Highland Park arts identity.

FHA will also strive to develop community partnerships and funding for arts education. In addition, the organization will provide exciting volunteer opportunities for parents to get involved.

Mrs. Colleen Zuro-White and Mrs. Anne Gimpl (my mom) developed the organization as new parents to Highland Senior last year. Conversations and early reports indicate a great deal of support and enthusiasm for the organization. Highland Park Senior High School’s IB Coordinator Ms. Charlotte Landreau has agreed to serve on the board. After asking what FHA is hoping to accomplish in the near future, Mrs. Gimpl replied, “Right now, Friends of Highland Arts is in its beginning stages. We want to get the word out and create some enthusiasm for our awesome arts programs!”

CALLING ALL THOSE WANTING TO SHOW OFF THEIR EXCELLENT DESIGNING SKILLS: Friends of Highland Arts is looking for a logo to represent their organization. Stay tuned for more info on the HP website.

Questions? Comments? Email

Prezi presentation “FHA Overview”(

Highland Math Team Heading Towards 20th Year at State

By: Tate Bosler
The Highland Park Math Team had its first meet of the 2014-2015 season Monday at Central High School. While the team has been very successful for a long time – going to the state tournament every year for the past 19 – Monday’s meet brought another triumph as Highland defeated Central and the rest of the St. Paul City Division for the first time in six years, with a final score of 83-74. Juniors David (“D-Wheezy”) White and Katie Watson led the team to victory with 13 and 12 points respectively.
The math season runs from mid-October to mid-February, and it is composed of five meets plus a state tournament in March. Highland competes with the seven high schools in the athletic conference, plus Cretin-Derham Hall and Saint Paul Preparatory School. The meets have four individual events, lettered A, B, C and D, and a team event at the end. Each of the individual events is centered around a specific topic – Event A is mostly algebra, while Event B focuses on topics from geometry – and is worth 7 points. Events are much like short math quizzes, with students only having 12 minutes to complete them.
Eight students are pre-selected as “starters” before each meet, and their scores count towards the school’s score. They also participate in the team event at the end of the meet, a 20-minute, 6-question, 24-point event that they work on together. Highland scored a perfect 24 on the T event this meet.
The math team is well on its way to participating in the state tournament for 20 consecutive years. The team’s next meet is November 24th.
Team Twitter: @hp_mathteam
Team Coaches: Michael O’Connell & Christopher Anderson
Team Captains: Tate Bosler (senior, @ichiefboz) & Katie Watson (junior, @coffeemoose)