Top five books to read in the library

Looking for something to read in the HPSH library? Here are the top five books (in my opinion) that you should read:

1. Crossover

This book was published on March 18, 2104, and the author is Kwame Alexander. The entire book is a novel in verse, which means each of the pages are short. This book is about two twin boys, Josh and Jordan Bell, who are the sons of a big time star basketball player Chuck Bell. Josh and Jordan love basketball like their father, and the boys experience normal life, relationships, and family time dealing with difficult moments. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves sports, especially basketball.

2. Rebound

This book has the same author as Crossover, but this one is about the father, Chuck Bell, and what he went through when he was his sons’ ages. After the death of his father, he skipped school, and didn’t do his schoolwork. Instead, he read comic books. He spends the summer at his grandparents home, and things start to get better as he begins to heal and explore new things.

3. Booked

This book is also written by Kwame Alexander, and he won the Goodreads Choice Award for best poetry for it. This book is the story of Nick, who loves soccer but hates to read books. He is  forced by his father to read dictionaries daily. Things take an unexpected turn when his parents announce that they are getting a divorce. I recommend this book to anyone who likes soccer and is into children’s fiction.

4. Long Way Down

Long Way Down is written by Jason Reynolds, and is a novel told in verse. This book has great reviews, and has won many awards. This book takes place in an elevator, and it focuses on Will, who is seeking to get revenge for the murder of his brother. As he travels down the elevator, the doors open on different  floors. Will is confronted by different figures from his past, each a victim of gun voilence, and each important to his life. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fiction and who likes novels in verse books.

5. The Hate U Give

This book is written by Angie Thomas, has won many awards, and has great reviews. This book is about a 16-year-old black girl named Starr, who witnesses her friend getting shot by a white police officer. The story goes on with her finding justice for her friend by protesting, and testifying in court, about what she witnessed, with the help of her friends, family members. I recommend this book to anyone who is into young adult fiction.

The first foldable smartphone coming in 2019

Next month, Samsung is expected to release two new phones: the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy F. The F is the first foldable smartphone that will be on the market. Samsung is currently working on the physical and UI features at the Samsung Design Innovation Center (SDIC). The SDIC is responsible for the design of Samsung’s new products, services, and the report notes for new devices.

Just like many new smartphones these days, this one will be just as expensive, if not more, because of its new, unique design. The phone will have three screens when unfolded, including the primary panel that’s placed on the inside of the phone, as well as a smaller display on the outer shell.

“Our group here is working to reinvent and reimagine how we can create new experiences based on this new platform,” the Samsung executive said. “And of course we are very well situated here because the Android system has not been designed for that (foldable). We need to explore new ways to do so.”

Since Google is helping Samsung with the Android powered software for this new foldable phone, customers will probably see foldable Android phones from various companies in the not too distant future. This includes Huawei, Microsoft, LG, Xiaomi, and Oppo.

Apple is also rumored to be trying out some new design ideas for foldable smartphones, but there will for sure not be an Apple foldable phone in 2019.

The Golden Globes

The 76th Golden Globe Awards honored the best in film and American television of 2018, as chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Produced by Dick Clark Productions and the HFPA, the 76th Golden Globe Awards was broadcast live on January 6, 2019, from The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California beginning at 5:00 p.m. PST / 8:00 p.m. EST. The ceremony aired live on NBC in the United States. Actors Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg hosted the ceremony.

The nominees were announced on December 6, 2018 by Terry Crews, Danai Gurira, Leslie Mann, and Christian Slater. The ceremony marked the debut of a new non-competitive award rewarding excellence in television, the Carol Burnett Award, with Carol Burnett herself being the inaugural recipient, along with a brand new trophy design.

Green Book won the most awards for the ceremony with three, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Bohemian Rhapsody and Roma won two awards each. In television, The Kominsky Method and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story were the most awarded, with two awards each. Jeff Bridges was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement.

This is a complete list of the winners:   

Best Motion Picture, Drama:

Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy:

Green Book

Best Director, Motion Picture:

Alfonso Cuarón, Roma

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama:

Glenn Close, The Wife

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama:

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy:

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy:

Christian Bale, Vice

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture:

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture:

Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture:

Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly, Green Book

Best Motion Picture, Animated:

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language:


Best Original Score, Motion Picture:

Justin Hurwitz, First Man

Best Original Song, Motion Picture:

“Shallow” — A Star Is Born


Best Television Series, Drama:

The Americans, FX

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama:

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Drama:

Richard Madden, Bodyguard

Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy:

The Kominsky Method, Netflix

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy:

Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy:

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, FX

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television:

Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television:

Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:

Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:

Ben Whishaw, A Very English Scandal

Stan Lee: Creative legend

Last year, Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95. He died after suffering from a cardiac arrest brought on by respiratory heart failure. Many fans of the Marvel Universe were heartbroken when they heard the news. Many people loved and admired his work and were deeply saddened by his passing.

Stan Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28, 1922. He was born in New York, to immigrant parents, and was always a talented writer.

He graduated high school early at the age of 16 and went on to pursue his creative calling. He started out working in the comic book office, that would one day become Marvel comics, as an assistant. He kept with the job and ended up contributing to his first comic book, Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge, in 1941.

Aside from writing comics, Stan Lee created a fulfilling life with his wife Joan. Together they had their daughter Joan Celia Lee. Stan and Joan were happily married for 70 years before his wive’s passing in 2014.

Stan Lee has been involved with the creation of most of the Marvel movies. These movies from Marvel Studios have been some of the most profitable.

Lee created Black Panther in 1966 with artist Jack Kirby. When the film Black Panther was released in 2018, it made over 700 million at the box office.

Some of Lee’s most popular comics were the Spider Man series, Fantastic Four and The X-Men. When asked, Lee has always said his favorite comic creation of his was the Silver Surfer.

Throughout his life, Stan Lee was able to build himself a successful career while doing something he loved. This passion can be seen in everything he produced, and that’s probably why his work was so successful. Stan Lee, the superhero legend, will be missed by not only his family, but by all his fans, young and old. 

Ice skating in the Twin Cities

Winter break has started! If you’re looking for something to do with family and friends, we recommend ice skating. Here are some great places to go ice skating this winter!

A great place to ice skating is at the Wells Fargo WinterSkate. This is at Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul. It’s open every day, and Monday through Thursday from 11am until 4:50 pm. Friday through Saturday it’s open from 11 am to 10 pm, and on Sundays it is open from 11 am until 4:50 pm. Skate rentals cost $4 per person, and if you have a Wells Fargo credit or debit card it’s free. Read more about Wells Fargo WinterSkate here.

If you wish to skate au naturel, we suggest Centennial Lakes Park. The Park features a large lake that is as smooth as any indoor rink. Admission is free, and renting skates costs $6. However, be sure to check out the Centennial Lakes website to make sure the lake is frozen. Centennial Lakes usually opens up around mid-December. The hours change day to day, but the skate rental opens several hours after the park opens for guests with their own skates.

Another great place to skate is The Oval in Rosedale. It is located close to the Rosedale mall. Admission costs $6, and skate rental costs $4. This is a very good option if you want to skate outside, but would still like to have a wall to lean on. To check open skate hours in December, check the December schedule.

If you want to visit a skating rink in the Highland Park area, then you can try the Charles M. Schulz Arena. Admission is free, and skate rentals are $5. This is a good option for you if you would prefer to stay indoors. To check open skate hours visit Ramsey County’s website.  

Our final recommendation is Skate the Star at the Mall of America. It is located outside of the north entrance to the mall, and will be open until January 27th. The rink is a circle around the giant star sculpture. Admission is free, and skate rental costs $5. The mall also provides lockers next to the rink that you can rent. You must have a waiver, and it must be signed by a parent if you’re 18 or under. The hours change from day to day, but to check out the times and learn more about Skate the Star, go here.

Why are Ancient Greek concepts and stories still used today

Have you ever wondered why we still use books, stories, and information which came from people from a very long time ago?

Well, Ancient Greece brought up important ideas to the rest of the world – things like important advancements in mathematics, and creating concepts like democracy. They also created things such as theater, which is recognized all around the world today. They created their own style of architecture and art.

And, they had a religion which was called Hellenism, or Greek mythology today. The gods represented different aspects of life and nature (Poseidon is the god of the sea and earthquakes). Greek mythology has also been used today in books and movies such as Percy Jackson.

Stories from Ancient Greece are used really commonly today, but why?

Well, the first reason is because they are entertaining. For some reason it is entertaining watching Ancient Greek gods messing with the people that believe in them.

But not only are they entertaining but they can also teach you many things. The story of Orpheus and Eurydice teaches people about patience and trust in other people. Stories such as the one of Hades and Persephone teaches you about love but also teaches you about one’s greed. Stories like the Odyssey teach you about how bad it was to defy the gods of Greece, and how people back then thought that things like that would really happen to them if the did defy them. And stories like the Iliad show you events that happened back then in their perspective.

Greek stories are used today in school because they teach you lessons, show important character personality traits, and show important parts of reading. Like how in the Odyssey it shows Odysseus and how he, as the main character, gets himself and the rest of his men constantly in trouble. And this is because of his fatal flaw, he is very arrogant and prideful, and that goes on to be his downfall.

The idea of a fatal flaw is an aspect of English literature that is still relevant today. The concept of the fatal flaw can still be seen all over today’s movies, TV, and media. 

5 fun Christmas activities to do with your family during the holidays!

By: Maggie Alarcon

1. Gingerbread houses:
Making a gingerbread house creates a magical moment with your family I recommend you try this.

– Start from scratch and take inspiration from your favorite places. When rolling out your dough, make sure it is of even thickness before baking. This helps with construction later.
– Build your house on a cutting board or serving tray so it can be moved easily if needed.
– Trim baked gingerbread with a serrated knife.
– Use royal icing. Just make sure it’s the right consistency, not too stiff, neither too runny. Put in piping bags.
– Get creative with candies. Incorporate your family’s favorites and create your windows, the roof, etc.

2. Go sledding
Sledding is a fun wintertime activity for adults and children.

– Get the right sleds. Make sure they have brakes to slow them down. Avoid sleds that can’t be steered.
– Dress appropriate for the weather, and avoid wearing scarves or any clothing that can get caught in a sled and pose a risk of strangulation.
– Choose the right hill/place to go sledding. Not all hills are safe.
– When you are in the sled be very cautious at all times.
– Keep your arms and legs within the sled at all times.
– If you find yourself on a sled that won’t stop, roll off it, and get away from it.
– Have fun and enjoy your time sliding.

3. Go ice skating
Ice skating is one of the best ways to enjoy the season.

– Have the proper gear. You’ll need a pair of skates for everyone.
– Have a good set of winter clothes (thick socks, hat, jacket, gloves, scarf).
– Make sure when you get to the skating rink that you warm up and take it easy the first time you go in unless you already know what you are doing.
– Start with basics until you’ve mastered skating without falling.

4. Christmas movies with hot chocolate.
There’s nothing quite like Christmastime. When the cold, snowy season comes, what better time to curl up on the couch and watch some Christmas movies with your family. Here are some Christmas movies to put on your to-do list this holiday season.

– The Nightmare Before Christmas.
– A Charlie Brown christmas.
– The Polar Express.
– Home Alone.
– The Grinch.
– How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

5. Build a snowman

Children build snowman. Kids building snow man playing outdoors on sunny snowy winter day. Outdoor family fun on Christmas vacation. Boy and girl play snow balls. Winter clothing for baby and toddler. Image taken from:ß-gm859142848-141913305

Get outside this winter and spend some quality family time building a snowman.

– Get outside in the cold.
– Get a snowman kit or just simply get a top hat, a scarf, sticks for the arms, eyes, a nose and mouth.
– After you’re done getting the things you need, start rolling the snow and making 3 big balls of snow for the body.
– Start getting creative outside in the snow and start building your snowman.

I hope you guys enjoy this suggestions!

New Music: released and coming soon

Every year, in November and December, a lot of music is released by many different artists. One of the main reasons music is typically released at this time is because of the Grammys coming up in early 2019. This is where awards are presented for best new artist, best album, best song, and many more.

Here’s a look at a few of the most popular artists, with new music that has been released, and that are slated to be released.

One popular new song that was just released is “Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande. This is an upbeat pop song and so far has pretty good reviews from her fans.

An album that was just released is Everythang’s Corrupt by Ice Cube. Cube is an old school hip hop artist who was part of the famous Los Angeles rap group, N.W.A. Cube hasn’t released a new album in 8 years so his fans must be excited he is coming out with new music.

Another album that has just been released is SKINS by XXXTENTACION. Despite his passing six months ago, multiple new albums have been released with his recorded music, and SKINS is no different. This album captures more of X’s themes about anxiety and depression.

A few more artists with new music released are: Gucci Mane, Shoreline Mafia, Brett Young, Chief Keef, Coldplay (live album), and more.

There are also new albums being released soon by the following artists: Meghan Trainor, ZAYN, Cody Johnson, Backstreet Boys, Papa Roach, and many more.

Seasonal drinks at Starbucks

Starbucks Corporation is an American coffee company and coffeehouse chain. Starbucks was founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1971. As of 2018, the company operates 28,218 locations worldwide. Starbucks is one of the many coffee places that sell seasonal drinks, a favorite being the holiday drinks. Here is a list of the Holiday Drinks that are coming out.

  • Peppermint mocha

“A holiday classic made with our signature espresso, steamed milk, sweet mocha sauce and peppermint-flavored syrup. It’s all topped off with whipped cream and dark chocolate curls.” 



  • Caramel Brulee Latte

“Espresso, steamed milk and rich Caramel Brulee Sauce, topped with whipped cream and Caramel Brulee Topping.”



  • Chestnut Praline Latte

“Espresso, steamed milk and flavors of caramelized chestnuts and spices. Topped with whipped cream and spiced praline crumbs.”



  • Eggnog Latte

“This perennial holiday favorite is made with rich, steamed eggnog and our signature espresso. Then we top it off with a dusting of ground nutmeg for the perfect finish.”



  • Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

“Our signature espresso, steamed milk and flavors of caramelized white chocolate are finished with whipped cream and a topping of holiday sugar sparkles and crispy white pearls.”


  • Gingerbread Latte

“Sweet and delicately spicy gingerbread flavors mingle with our classic espresso and steamed milk and are topped with whipped cream and ground nutmeg for the perfect holiday touch.”



All images taken from:


I’ve heard a lot of different reviews on Starbucks Holiday drinks, and some people have positive things to say, while some others don’t really like them at all.

One response that stood out to me, by someone who wanted to stay anonymous, was that the flavors that are represented in the ads, don’t really match the name of the drinks. For example, she had said that the Gingerbread Latte had “good flavor” but “did not taste like gingerbread.” She did say though, that she really enjoyed the decorations of the Starbucks cups, and that it somewhat made up for the drink flavors.

In my opinion, I understand what Starbucks is trying to do: promote the holiday season by selling seasonal drinks to get everyone in the holiday spirit. However, I do have to agree with the anonymous responder that the flavors don’t really match the drink titles very well. I have also tried the Gingerbread latte and I have to say that I really did enjoy the flavor of it, but again, felt they could’ve added a little bit more gingerbread.


by: Vivian S

Image taken from: Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

In July 1999, 21 people in the San Francisco Bay Area challenged one another to write 50,000 words in one month. Surprisingly, they found it fun and decided to continue on doing it. It has grown since then, with 394,507 people participating in 2017, in 646 regions.

National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, is a challenge that anyone can take on to write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. They have a website where you can sign up and make an account, and it tracks your progress and tells you how many words you should write each day to complete that goal. With the website, you can receive pep talks from other authors, get support, meet other writers online, find out about events in your area, and all around challenge yourself. NaNoWriMo awards badges that you can earn over the month for your achievements.

Some novels written over the course of NaNoWriMo have been published and become successful. Examples include Marissa Meyer’s Cinder and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

NaNoWriMo is run by a non-profit organization that hosts other events as well. They have a Young Writers Program and a Camp NaNoWriMo. They used to do a script writing event, but they don’t do it any longer.

In the Young Writers Program, you can participate alone or in a classroom. You can set word count goals and work toward them. Educators can create online classrooms where they can keep track of student progress.

In April and July, Camp NaNoWriMo is hosted, and it is where you set your own word count goals and work toward them.

Even after November, you are still urged to continue to work on your NaNoWriMo novel. In January and February, they host “Now What?” months where you can work on revising and publishing your novel.

NaNoWriMo is an event that anyone can take on to put words on paper (or computer) and challenge themselves.

For more information, go to