TV Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society (TV Series 2021– ) - IMDb

You may have read the series, but the TV show is also thrilling! This show is about the first book in the The Mysterious Benedict Society series. With action, adventure, and excitement as well as lots of mystery, the TV show is exhilarating. Seeing The Mysterious Benedict Society’s show after reading about it can be really awesome. To see the story unfold in front of your eyes and being able to see if your imagination was on point with the characters is really exciting! 

The story is about 4 kids, Reynie, Kate, Constance, and Sticky, who are all orphans and incredible kids. They all find an advertisement about some tests that a man named  Mr. Benedicts has created. The kids go through test after test, and are tested on their logic and knowledge. These tests are much more than just tests though, as they help Mr. Benedict to create a team to go to the L.I.V.E. Academy (The Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened) where a man named Mr. Curtain is creating an evil plan to take control of the future in an event called The Emergency. 

I did notice a couple changes between the book and the show, such as S.Q. Pedalian being Mr. Curtain’s adopted son in the show, while the book had him as his servant or companion. The episodes are mainly based off of the book, though. 

The show features Tony Hale, who plays Mr. Curtain and Mr. Benedict, Mystic Inscho as Reynie Muldoon, Marta Timofeeva as Constance Contraire, Seth Carr as George “Sticky” Washington, and Emmy DeOliveira as Kate Wetherall. The show’s first episode was released on June 25th, and the show consists of 8 episodes, which will be coming out every Friday on Disney Plus. 

I suggest this show to anyone who enjoys mystery and action. I have found myself very engaged and I always struggle to wait for the coming Friday in excitement about the next episode! My rating of this show  is a 9 out of 10 so far because I have been really enjoying it! I feel like some of the small details were changed, but overall, it is a very good TV show and I definitely recommend this series to people who really like mystery shows. Enjoy!

-Mert A.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie


Agatha Christie’s books have been the 3rd best-selling books ever trailing only the Bible and Shakespeare. Why you ask? You will receive your answer after reading And Then There Were None. 

10 people are invited to Soldier Island for a vacation by a mysterious U.N. Owen. They all feel excited and lucky to have been chosen to stay there, but that turns around after a night filled with suspense and drama. Each of their guilts are announced loudly so the entire room can hear, one by one. Then, by the end of the night, one of them is dead. They are haunted by a nursery rhyme that counts down one by one and as each person guards their life with every last effort, the rhyme has their fate written out for them. Could the killer be among them, or is it someone else? Things continue to get worse and worse as each person understands that they are between life and death. 

With the drama and suspense in the novel, this book becomes glued to your hands in instants. Once you pick it up, you can’t put it down. I suggest that you read this book because it is so exciting! 

I love this book because of all of the plot twists. Whenever I get suspicious of someone, something else happens and I get suspicious of someone else. I love this book and I can’t wait to read the other books that Agatha Christie has written. 

I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read books. This murder-mystery novel is a thriller and it will not disappoint readers who are looking for a great book. In fact, it will overachieve. I love this book and it is one of my favorite books that I have ever read.

-Mert A.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

List of Video Games to try!

NBA2K21: With the NBA Playoffs in action, if you are a basketball fan, you might want to get on NBA2K21 and play with the real matchups a little bit. With the different game modes from MyCareer where you build a player or the Play Now game mode where you can play with all of the current NBA teams. This is my favorite video game and I suggest you try it. 

Madden NFL 2021: If you enjoy watching or playing football, I suggest you play this game because it is based off of the NFL. You can buy the latest version of the game which is Madden NFL 2021 at the moment, but you can also play the older versions like Madden NFL 2020 or Madden NFL 2019. If you want the current NFL rosters, you might want to play the newest edition, but if you are just looking for the Madden experience, I recommend Madden NFL 19 or Madden NFL 20. You can purchase them at a more reasonable price. 

Minecraft: Building, creativity, and survival are all different elements in this game. You can use your creativity to build different structures and homes, but you need to make sure to survive. I love to play Minecraft, especially with my sister. Playing solo is fun, but playing with friends is awesome! You can play in Survival mode, where you have to collect materials and craft tools, or you can also play in Creative mode, where the game is mainly based off of building. You have unlimited supplies, and can do anything you want without worrying about dying in the game. 

Tennis World Tour 2: If you are a fan of tennis or play the sport yourself, you might want to try this game. With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal headlining the players you can use in this game, there are many great options for you if you are interested in using your favorite tennis players. I recommend playing this game against your friends or family, but you can also play against the computer. Also, it is a fun way of learning the rules of the sport. 

Rocket League: This is definitely one of my favorite video games. You can customize your dream car and use it during matches. My sister and I also enjoy bringing home the championship trophy after a long season filled with competitive matches against the computer. It doesn’t end there though, because you can play online against others or you can play exhibition matches in your favorite Rocket League stadiums. 

The Golf Club 2019: If you have been looking for an incredible golf game, look no further than The Golf Club 2019. In this game, you can customize your character and you can choose if you want to start a career in golf. You can also just play a competitive exhibition match against your friends.  

These games are very enjoyable and fun to play. It might take some time  to learn the controls at first, but later, I am sure you will enjoy these games as much as I have. 

-Mert A.

Tight by Torrey Maldonado

Have you ever felt like one of your friends had another side? Have you ever had a friend who you thought was a good student, kind, caring, and honest, but they shocked you out of your shoes by their behavior? If you answered yes to one or both of those questions, you will definitely find Bryan’s story relatable. Bryan was always told by his mother, “Focus on school. There will be friends later. The wrong friends bring drama, and I don’t want them rubbing off on you.” Then, one day, a kid named Mike showed up at Bryan and his family’s home, and everyone in his family was very fond of Mike.

That annoyed Bryan, until one day, Mike came for dinner and Bryan and Mike became really close after reading their superhero comics together. His mother and father loved Mike because of his good grades and they felt that he would be a good friend for Bryan. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Mike would do crazy things like cutting school by faking his mom’s handwriting and excusing himself from school and Bryan started to notice that Mike was jealous of him under the fake smiles that masked Mike’s face. Bryan felt pressured by Mike because he was afraid that Mike would call him soft or a mommy’s boy. Mike kept on getting Bryan in trouble, and Bryan learned that Mike was not the best friend choice for him. He started to become friends with people closer to his personality like Big Will. 

This book was so interesting and exciting that I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in one day. As I turned the pages, I was curious to see what would come next. As each minute ticked by, I fell more and more into this book. It really fed my passion for reading!  I think this book really shows that you should be careful with the people you become friends with because they can be very good, nice friends, but they can also get you in trouble like Mike did to Bryan in this novel. 

I really recommend this book to anyone who needs a good book to read because this novel will not disappoint. I rate this book a 10 out of 10 and this is definitely one of my favorite books that I have read recently.

-Mert A.

Tight by Torrey Maldonado is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Shark Tank TV Show Review

Many people dream to become rich by being an entrepreneur, but many are unable to achieve that goal. On Shark Tank, all of that can change in 15 minutes. 

In Shark Tank, 6 different Sharks come onto the show and listen to all of the pitches. The Sharks on the show are not real sharks of course; they are humans who are very successful entrepreneurs. Then, depending on how they feel about the sales and inventory, they offer a deal as an investment. These investments can be in the form of royalty deals, loans, or deals for equity in the company. Only 5 Sharks can appear on the show for each episode. There can be celebrity guest Sharks on the show who were able to be successful entrepreneurs in their careers, too. 

The 6 Sharks, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary, have made investments that have changed the paths and outcomes of companies like Squatty Potty and Scrub Daddy. They help companies go from a hundred thousand dollars to a million dollars in sales in only a couple of years, sometimes even in months. 

The way the show works is that 5 Sharks listen to the entrepreneurs’ inventions, ideas about add ons to products, etc. First, entrepreneurs make a presentation and hand out samples to the Sharks. Sometimes they even set up the stage for large products, like earthquake bunker beds, hammocks, tents… They ask the Sharks to test/try their inventions. Next, they give brief information about their companies ( sometimes about themselves, too ) and tell the Sharks the deal that they are looking for. Later, after the pitch, the sharks can ask questions and have the entrepreneurs explain details about their sales and other partnerships. They usually ask questions like, “What are your sales like?” or “What do you need the money for?”. Then, they decide if they want to offer exactly what the entrepreneur was looking for, or if they want to make a new offer. The entrepreneurs have the right to accept, decline, or counter the offer. 

Shark Tank is a great show to watch because you can learn a lot from the Sharks. You can learn about how to be a successful entrepreneur from the advice they give to the ways they invest in companies. Also, you can learn from the Sharks’ experiences with their own companies. 

I love to watch Shark Tank because of the various things about business and entrepreneurship you can learn. In addition, I enjoy seeing different products that may be a big part of the future of our planet. I give this TV show a 10/10 rating because it shows if you work hard you can achieve anything. 

-Mert A. 

Movies to Watch

Lots of us enjoy watching movies, but sometimes we can’t find any movies that we are interested in. If you feel like that, don’t worry because these are some great movies that you can watch! These are all movies that I really enjoyed. I really loved watching these because they were entertaining, made me laugh or they taught me something. I hope that you will be able to find something new to watch off of this list. 

These movies are not ranked or in order. 

The Hobbit: This movie is proof of heart over height. Even though it is just a movie, it really shows that willpower is more important than being tall or big. Bilbo Baggins, a tiny hobbit, who is only a couple feet tall and way shorter than a dwarf or a man, is the main character in the movie series. Bilbo and his dwarf friends work to take back their mountain and kingdom that Smaug the Dragon took from them. There are 3 movies about this adventure. They are called “An Unexpected Journey”, “The Desolation of Smaug”, and “The Battle of the Five Armies”. 

Lord of the Rings Series: As a sequel to the Hobbit, this movie series is about destroying the one ring that controls them all. Bilbo leaves the ring for Frodo, and Frodo leaves on a mission with his friends and fellow hobbits to get to Mount Doom and destroy the evil behind the ring. This is a great movie series that combines fantasy and adventure, and it also sneaks in lessons about friendship and loyalty. The 3 parts to this movie are “The Fellowship of the Ring” , “The Two Towers”, and “The Return of the King”. 

The War With Grandpa: When a widowed grandpa unwillingly moves into his daughter’s home to live with them, they give him  his grandson Peter’s room. Peter, who wants his room back, plans revenge. Peter and his grandpa agree on a prank war. This movie is super hilarious. 

Instant Family: When a couple decides to adopt children, they probably don’t expect it to be as hard as it is in this movie. Ellie and Pete Wagner decide to adopt a teen named Lizzy, but her 2 siblings come as a package with her. Elizabeth, Juan, and Lita are the 3 foster children. First, there needs to be a trial period to see if the children and the foster parents are a good fit for each other. The kids don’t approve of the parent candidates much. Are they going to like each other and form a family unit or keep annoying each other until this trial period ends? 

The Pink Panther (2006): You might know the Pink Panther short episodes, but this is a long movie filled with hilarious scenes from the one and only Detective Clouseau. When the soccer coach is shot dead at the match with a poisonous dart , Detective Clouseau and Ponton work to discover the answer to the question: Who killed him? Clouseau’s clumsy and silly actions cause bad relations with the other detectives, but they keep searching for the murderer and the thief who stole the Pink Panther ring. I loved this movie because of the humor and comedy that takes place, especially with Detective Clouseau. 

The Last Dance ( Michael Jordan Documentary): This documentary series has 10 one-hour episodes with Michael Jordan reliving his basketball achievements and explaining them. These moments that Michael Jordan talks about include the Playoffs against the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons who were known for their rough and physical play style and it also includes his best plays and moments in the NBA Finals against Karl Malone and the Utah Jazz. If you are a basketball or a sports fan, you will love this documentary. This documentary came out on April 19, 2020. 

Tom and Jerry (The Movie):  The perfect comedy for a family! If you have watched the adventures of Tom and Jerry cartoon episodes, you’re gonna love this movie! A combination of real people and cartoon animals, this movie does a great job of blending different worlds. 

-Mert A.

These titles (and more!) are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Posted by John David Anderson

We have all used sticky notes before, either in school, or just to draw on them and give them to our friends, but the characters in this book start a trend of a new way to use Post-its. They use them for bullying, and suddenly there are hundreds of sticky notes on each of the doors, spreading mean messages and statements to innocent teens who didn’t do anything wrong. 

The story starts off with Eric and his friends Deedee, Wolf, and Bench. Eric and his friends sit together every lunch and they are best buddies. He feels like they are the “people”  his mom always tells him about. She says, “You will find your people.” Then suddenly, a new girl named Rose shows up and starts to sit with them every lunchtime. After the 1st day the new girl comes, Bench starts to avoid them at lunchtime, like he has something against her. Eric is a quiet kid, just trying to find his place in middle school and avoid trouble. 

Deedee starts off the Post-it note trend by sticking these notes onto his friends’ lockers. He draws small pictures and asks questions to his group. 

Deedee had no idea that this idea would explode to be this big and offensive. But after one of their teachers asks them to write a nice note around school, not everyone follows the exact directions, and the students find themselves in a Post-it war with hundreds of notes sticking to walls, lockers, and toilets. Right away, people start to leave bad comments about each other, and hurt each other in emotional ways. Something has to be done, but it gets worse and worse by day. It even gets to too bad at some point that Wolf has had enough and he even decides to change schools. Luckily, Wolf has good friends that help him get through this tough time for him. 

This book shows that it is always good to have great friends and to be careful in every action because bullies can cause big problems out of small things. 

This book was very enjoying to read, and I give this novel a 10/10 rating. 

-Mert A.

Posted by John David Anderson is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Film Review: The War With Grandpa

Do you need a movie for Family Movie Night? Do you want a funny movie to bring you into the weekend, or do you want a movie that has valuable lessons in it? Well, you’re lucky because this movie will bring you all of those experiences. The War With Grandpa is a super entertaining and exciting movie. When Peter’s grandpa, who’s wife has died,  is experiencing some difficult times, Peter’s mom invites him in. Unfortunately, they don’t have an extra room in their house, and they have to give him Peter’s room. Peter moves to the attic. Both Peter and his grandpa are not happy about that. Peter wants his room back, and his grandpa doesn’t want to be living in his daughter’s home. To get his room back, Peter decides to declare war on his grandpa. Don’t worry! It is not an actual war, just a fun prank war! Peter and the grandpa each keep quiet about the war, but the pranks are brutal! It’s like a boxing match where each side is struggling, but they don’t throw the towel. The pranks go on and on and get worse and worse, but no one surrenders. Towards the end of the movie, Peter’s pranks end up ruining his little sister’s birthday party and injuring his grandpa. In the end, the grandpa shares the main lesson of the war with Peter. He tells Peter that even though one side comes up victorious, none of the sides actually win because they lose soldiers, citizens, cities, and they are emotionally bruised. 

I love this movie because of how funny and entertaining it is. The pranks are hilarious, and the events in the story are fun to watch. With an amazing plot, this movie is easily one of the best movies that I have ever seen. This movie was actually written as a book first. 

I give this movie a 10 out of 10 stars because it is hilarious. I love comedy movies, so I especially enjoyed this movie. The lessons that the grandpa teaches to Peter are very valuable and deep. I would definitely recommend this movie to a friend. 

-Mert A.

Authors We Love: Jules Verne

Jules Verne was a French author, poet, and playwright. He was born on February 8, 1828 in Nantes, France. He was the author of many popular classics that are still read today by many people in the world. Unfortunately, his writing career didn’t start off as well as he would have wanted. His dad did not support Jules following his dream in writing. He wanted his son to pursue a career in law and become a lawyer. Jules Verne did not want to be a lawyer, he wanted to write novels! 

In 1856, Jules Verne met Honorine Morel at the wedding of one of his old college friends. They later got married in 1857 and had their first and only child in 1861. They named him Michel Verne.  Michel Verne later helped finish writing his father’s stories after Jules Verne passed away. 

Jules Verne is the author of Journey to the Center of the Earth has proven to be one of his most popular books. The story is about a scientist who believes that volcanoes in Iceland have a path that leads to the Earth’s core. So, the scientist and his nephew travel into the caves that led them into the Earth. They take a journey where they find ancient fossils and evidence of huge humans. Then, they make it to the surface by erupting out of Earth inside a volcano.  

He has also written another top classic called Around The World In 80 Days where Phileas Fogg makes a bet to travel the world in 80 days. He takes boats and races through the countries as he works to win his bet. Then, he meets a French servant named Passepartout, who helps him save a princess from India named Aouda. They take Aouda along on their journey around the world. Then, they race to the meeting with the people to see if they won the bet. 

Jules Verne is also the author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is about Captain Nemo and his submarine named Nautilus. He takes 3 passengers on his submarine and they go on an underwater expedition around the world. They face giant squids along the way that try to attack the submarine just like they have attacked ships from all around the world. Captain Nemo and his passengers try to survive the underwater attacks by the squid and try to escape! 

Jules Verne was the author of many popular books that are read by millions of people all around the world. His books have been translated into 140 languages and he is called the most translated author of all time. He gathered ideas and got inspiration for his stories while traveling around France and Europe. 

The French novelist isn’t just a very important and loved author because of his adventurous stories and new ideas, but his books are read because his adventures make readers feel like they are witnessing the adventures themselves. Readers keep coming back to read more of his books because of the ways how his stories make them feel. When I read Jules Verne’s tales, I loved reading because the books made me feel excited and kept me wanting to read more and more. 

Many of Jules Verne’s books were about traveling and exploring the world. In books like Around The World In 80 Days, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, and A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, are all books that include traveling whether it is on Earth’s surface, or underwater. He mainly wrote science fiction books combining world science and his creativity to make amazing stories filled with action and adventure. 

In 1886, Jules was shot in the leg by his nephew, and that bullet stayed there for the rest of his life. For several months, Jules had to rest and put his leg up. Fortunately, he was able to walk with a cane months later he was shot. Later when we was 77, in 1905, Jules Verne suffered a stroke and was never able to recover. He sadly died on March 24, 1905.

-Mert A.

The works of Jules Verne are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. They can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

During the Golden Age of Piracy, treasure was almost the most valuable thing to everyone; pirates, commoners, and rulers. Everyone loved treasure, and they were willing to do anything for it, even kill others. This classic novel does not disagree with that idea, and it does not disappoint readers who dare to board the boat which leads to Treasure Island. 

The book starts off with Jim Hawkins, a young man living with his parents and working at Admiral Benbow, a bar. Jim is then forced to let a blind pirate named Black Dog into the Admiral Benbow to speak with Captain Billy Bones, Black Dog’s former captain. But, of course, pirates are known to be greedy and that was exactly the story with those two buccaneers. A couple minutes after Jim left the scene, they both drew their cutlasses and got into a full fight which led to Black Dog running off and the Captain injured. 

A couple days later, Jim gains some hard experiences with the deaths of his father, and his friend, Captain Billy Bones. Right after the Captain’s death, Black Dog and his crew of pirates all come to steal Captain Billy Bones’s treasure map, but it is not there. Jim Hawkins was one step ahead. Jim and Dr Livesey gather a crew of their friends, and get on their ship and start sailing to the Island with buried treasure. 

This novel teaches readers about betrayal, cooperation, and loyalty. In times where Jim was struggling with what decision to make, he always made the right one, the one that showed his values. In this story, Jim Hawkins learned a lot of life lessons through the experiences he had. Treasure Island is an exciting novel with lots of plot twists which makes it impossible to put down. This book will not make you regret reading it, and while reading it, you will also be on a ship, sailing to Reading Island, where you will find that magnificence that classics have behind them. 

I rate this book a 9/10 because it was a great book. The only negative about the book is how slowly it moves throughout the plot. Treasure Island is an amazing novel! I really recommend this book.

-Mert A.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.