What effects do the children’s perspectives have on the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee?

**This post assumes that you have already read the novel**

Children are often considered inferior to adults, yet they have so many positive and beneficial qualities that adults have unfortunately lost, resulting in the development of many negative aspects in society. The realistic fiction novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee narrates the trial of Tom Robinson. The speaker, Scout Finch, recounts the events preceding the trial, the trial itself, as well as what happens after the trial. Although the central event is the trial of Tom Robinson and the injustice faced by colored people in America, Harper Lee cleverly implements the themes of courage, coming of age, and perspective. Specifically, the voice of young Scout Finch and the actions and dialogue of the rest of the children provide perspectives of innocence and impartiality, as well as a strong moral compass to portray societal aspects in a unique way.

Scout’s naive mindset allows readers to understand the events of the novel as they are, without the influence of prior biases. This genuinity enables readers to have a clear understanding of the unjust actions in Maycomb’s society. One such example is provided when Scout recognizes Mr. Cunningham in the group of people who arrive at the jail where Tom Robinson is being kept. Although she provides some background facts on Mr. Cunningham, Scout does not state her specific opinions or thoughts about him. She does not describe the group’s intentions, nor does she explicitly say that they are a mob–she simply describes what is happening. Harper Lee created the character of Scout as an honest young girl. With Scout’s unbiased account of events, readers are able to use their prior knowledge and develop their own opinions and understandings on the intentions and morals of the group. Many works addressing the topic of stereotypes and prejudice have authors writing with an argumentative tone, so the open-mindedness of Scout’s narration provides a sincere perspective, allowing readers to evaluate the negatively segregating aspect of society in a new way.

In addition to Scout, the rest of the children’s actions are highly notable. They place strong emphasis on morals and ethical behavior. Arguably, one of the most momentous examples of children displaying ethical behavior in the novel is woven in Dill’s disappointed and angry reaction with the way Mr. Gilmer is talking during the trial. Dill is not quite as young and naive as Scout, nor is he as understanding and observant as Jem, so his behavior during the trial is very significant to the theme of justice. On the other hand, Jem is a character whose growth and increasing comprehension is a major part of the novel, yet he is still young enough to not have caught “Maycomb’s usual disease”: the racial prejudice in Maycomb. His earnestness is seen in his reaction to Tom Robinson’s verdict: he starts to cry, and says that it is very wrong. With his comparatively higher level of maturity and understanding, Jem’s behavior again depicts the immorality of Tom Robinson’s case. In turn, it depicts the immorality of many aspects of society, especially the aspect of racism, stereotypes, and assumptions. 

Children are considered the epitome of innocence, kindness, morality, and ethics. The use of children in To Kill A Mockingbird unveils an aspect of society otherwise obscured by prior judgements, influence, stereotypes, expectations, prejudice, and much more. A youthful voice allows for readers to evaluate multiple aspects of society in a new way, and it also ensures a strong sense of morality throughout the novel. The use of children’s perspectives in Harper Lee’s work help to emphasize the just and unjust aspects of society, and readers also acquire significant insight into these aspects. Memories and qualities may fade away, but insight is never lost, and people will be able to adopt habits to improve their ways. After all, if children’s qualities are so admired, it only makes sense to make an effort to eradicate the negative effects the absence of these qualities have on society.

-Ayati M.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

Why Discord is the Best Social Platform

Nearly everybody has heard of or used social platforms such as Instagram or Snapchat. However, a less commonly used platform is Discord. Discord has all the features most social platforms already have, which include a messaging system, ways to attach media files, and the ability to create group DMs. However, it has extra features that are very nice and make Discord heavily underrated.

Discord was created back in 2015 and was meant to be a platform only for gamers. Since then, they have promoted their platform to include other activities and to make their platform more favorable for many people. For example, people can set up what is called a server, to do activities together. A server is a sort of group chat with a lot more features, such as voice channels, the ability to add bots, and different roles. These can promote a better form of communication and control between people. Discord users can join up to 100 servers, so there is a wide variety of servers they can join. These servers include public servers, such as servers for a video game or a server for memes, or private servers, which can include servers with just your friends. The possibilities are nearly endless with servers.

If users really want to step up their game with their servers and really make them complex, yet efficient for the user, they can add in bots. One very popular bot that a lot of servers have is the Mee6 bot. This bot has many customizable features, such as giving users a role when they react to a certain message, or timed messages (a certain message that sends at a certain time of the day).

The possibilities of Discord are nearly endless, and people meet new people nearly everyday on this platform. So if you are getting bored of the normal social media everybody has, consider Discord!

-Jeremy L.

Film Review: The Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin, a film adaptation of Herge’s comic series, is an underrated masterpiece. Here’s why!

To start, a brief synopsis of the movie should be given. It begins with Tintin, a young reporter who shops at an outdoor market in Brussels, Belgium. Attended by his dog, Snowy, he buys The Unicorn, a replica of an old ship. As mysterious characters attempt to obtain the model from him, Tintin discovers that it contains clues that lead to a hidden treasure, but before he can act on it, he is taken by the notorious Sakharine. 

Now with a little context, I can move on with my explanation! 

#1: Visuals! Tintin is considered a “Noir Film,” since it applies shadows and dark radiance in order to capture audiences. It allows for the atmosphere to feel mysterious, harsh, and prepared for action. 

#2: Scene transitions! It’s somewhat hard to elaborate upon, but shifts between events of a movie can be quite difficult to smoothen out, but Steven Spielberg (the director of this film) was able to capture these moments easily while remaining true to the spirit of Tintin. If you decide to watch the movie, consider this!

#3: Characters! Tintin is portrayed as an energetic, curious reporter, exactly as depicted in the comic series. However, the added element of obsession that stems from his search to uncover the “secret of the unicorn” makes him more fun to watch. 

In 2019, there was some debate on plans for a sequel, as the original idea was to have two more movies after the release of the first. However, there have been some delays, due to redrafts of the script, the recast of certain actors, and slow production. As a major Herge fan, I hope there’s a chance of a second film in sight …

Before I conclude, I’d like to recommend that you check out Herge’s original comics. They’re a terrific, sweet read, and quick to grasp! Plus, it might also assist in the film’s general enjoyment. Therefore, look for “The Secret of the Unicorn” and “The Crab with the Golden Claws,” as these had the largest impact on the motion picture. 

Side Note: Top 3 Favorite Tintin Comics 

#1: The Castafiore Emerald – it reminds me of Seinfeld; as much as its conclusion might frustrate you, the elements of suspicion, doubt, and wonder hold your attention

#2: Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon – written almost two decades prior to the Apollo 11 mission, Herge’s imagination gives significance to space exploration

#3: The Seven Crystal Balls/Prisoners of the Sun – not only is it filled with action, but it gives insight on old civilizations and customs thought forgotten

Final Result: a firm score of ★★★★★ 

Manga Review: Erased by Kei Sanbe

Many of the popular manga we see nowadays center around action and fantasy. Such famous mangas still have amazing reads and obviously attract readers around the globe for a reason, but they fall short of meaning or depth in their plots. Yes, there’s a lengthy plot, lovable characters, and other factors that appeal to minds of all ages. But do these mangas also talk about the reality of our world? Do they bring heart-throbbing events where the main character can’t gain hope from a 30-minute monologue? I admit, Erased may not be the best book to those looking for a light-hearted novel, but it’s definitely worth reading and allows readers to see both the beauty and cruelty of our real world.

Erased is also referred to as Boku dake ga Inai Machi (僕だけがいない街), which is directly translated as “The Town Where Only I Am Missing.” Written by Kei Sanbe, the series is filled with thriller, mystery, and a bit of science fiction. The story entails of a young man named Satoru. He enables the ability to time-travel before a life-threatening event and prevent it from happening, also known as “Revival.” One night, his mother is murdered by an unknown killer; the pain-staking event sends Satoru eighteen years back into his childhood. After discovering that the murderer is tied to his past, Satoru is now given the opportunity to prevent his mother’s death by discovering who the murderer is, as well as solve the case of three missing children in his home town.

To be honest, there are moments where the plot doesn’t make sense—especially since the author never mentions why Satoru is able to time-travel. Regardless, the plot of the book series remains absolutely phenomenal; the author quickens the plot’s pace when necessary and fills it with extreme twists and events that leaves the audience filled with emotions. The characters themselves are either loved or despised, and every character reaches their fullest potential, regardless of being a hero or villain.

But I digress—what is most enjoyable about this book is its uniqueness and how meaningful the story is. Time-travel itself is quite a cheesy plot factor, but the connection between reality and fantasy is what makes the series interesting. Overall, the plot remains realistic; characters often make mistakes and feel lost, some moments seem hopeless, and a glimpse of light that every reader looks for rarely shines. Sanbe weaves the cruel reality of our world into the plot with regards to child abuse and kidnapping. Yet he still gives signs of faith and hope through time-traveling and fiction, giving Satoru another chance at making things right, and a bittersweet ending. Such factors are simply not found in any typical manga.

Overall, the Erased series is truly underrated. Although it does fit those who prefer the gory over glory, Erased does what any manga rarely does—give hope and faith to the hopelessness of our real world.

– Natisha P.

Erased by Kei Sanbe is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Odysseus: An Honorable Hero

This is an argument of if Odysseus is a hero worthy of praise.

Many believe that the character of Odysseus in the famous epic The Odyssey is not worthy of praise. From foolishly taunting a cyclops, leaving a beloved comrade behind and killing a crowd of young men, it is argued that Odysseus’s actions are far from commendable. As narrated in Book 11 of The Odyssey by Homer, “One shade came first Elpenor, of our company, / who lay unburied still on the wide earth / as we had left him dead in Circe’s hall, / untouched, unmourned, when other cares compelled us” (lines 24-27, 388). Leaving a man behind has incongruity with the expectations of an epic hero. It implies a selfish side of Odysseus unfitting of praise. Although it is true these actions do not seem to be classified as heroic or admirable, the opposition fails to recognize the motive behind Odysseus’s decisions as well as the magnitude of Odysseus’s many meritorious deeds.

Odysseus is an epic hero who employs his wit more than his weapons; although killing a crowd of young men may appear to be antagonistic, one must remember that these men were trying to win Penelope’s hand in marriage in dishonorable ways. Book 1 of The Odyssey clearly explains how the suitors disrespect Odysseus and his family. If a hero cannot battle for family honor and respect, then what can he fight for?

Another prime example of Odysseus’s brilliance can be seen when Odysseus refrains from slaying the Cyclops at the first opportunity; instead, he ties his men under Polyphemus’s rams so they could secretly elude the Cyclops (Book 9, lines 336-346, 381). The profound self control Odysseus exhibits is a quality identified as a classic characteristic of an epic hero. It shows his ability to make rational decisions in circumstances under which a common person may panic and act spontaneously. Additionally, Odysseus’s care for his men and loyalty to his comrades is depicted.

Throughout the epic, Odysseus’s choices and deeds characterize him as an epic hero well deserving of praise.

-Ayati M.

Chick fil A vs Raising Canes

Fried Chicken is one of the most iconic foods that almost everybody loves. However, everybody has different ways of obtaining fried chicken. One popular place that people get fried chicken is KFC. However, it is widely agreed that KFC is not the best friend chicken chain. So what is? There is no definitive answer to this, but most people agree that it is either Chick-Fil-A or Raising Canes, and I want to give my opinion on this topic.

Everybody loves a good chicken sandwich from Chick fil A on a Friday night. In fact, the only thing better is a box combo from Canes on a Sunday evening. Although Chick Fil A does a lot of things right, Canes has higher quality chicken and is cooked better. However, I will agree that Chick fil A does season their chicken better. Unfortunately, that is about as good as it gets for Chick Fil a, as Canes stands out in nearly every other perspective. One of which, is that Canes serves Texas Toast and their signature sauce with nearly every meal.

When it comes to fries, Chick Fil A’s waffle fries are about neck and neck with Cane’s crinkle cut fries. Both are usually cooked similarly, and is a very pleasant side to the chicken we order. However, Canes’ crinkle cut fries are better, as they are cut in a way that is less messy and easier to eat.

So that is why I believe that Canes is better than Chick Fil A.

~Jeremy

Book vs. TV Series: Shadow and Bone

In this book vs. TV series, we’re going straight back to the Grishaverse. Recently having her debut novel, Shadow and Bone, become a screen adaptation, there’s a lot of buzz around Leigh Bardugo right now. The Shadow and Bone Trilogy is the best introduction to the Grishaverse, so this is the base of the action for this screen adaptation.

Streaming on Netflix, Shadow and Bone is based on the first Grishaverse book and some parts of Bardugo’s novel Six of Crows. It explores the plot and character of the book Shadow and Bone while also introducing characters from Six of Crows. While having dual plotlines, they both interweave in ways that are only hinted at in the books.

Firstly, the main plot of the TV series is with Alina, Mal, and the Darkling. There are fantastic book reviews in previous blog posts, so definitely check those out to get a deeper understanding of these characters. The series spaces the events out wonderfully while also adding in some details that add to character development and suspense. Both the book and the TV series’ first season end at the same point in time for all characters. So, it is simple to follow along according to each book.

On the other hand, with the addition of the Crows, the overall plot becomes a little bit more complicated. Not all of the Crows from Six of Crows are involved, but I would argue that the ‘main’ ones are. When I say ‘main,’ I’m referring to the characters who would require the most backstory and would therefore be a hindrance in flashbacks were they to explain along the way. So, I believe that the producers made an excellent decision in aligning the timelines of the flashbacks that occur in Six of Crows to the events in Shadow and Bone. Six of Crows takes place two years after the final events of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy. So, this simplifies the timing of events for the audience who haven’t read the books.

With the timeline being well-executed, I also thought that the TV series did a brilliant job connecting all of the characters. Having read all of the Grishaverse books, I know that each character knew of one another. But, in the show, they seamlessly have characters from the Shadow and Bone Trilogy meet characters from the Six of Crows Duology. When Kaz, Inej, and Jesper end up getting a job to capture Alina, this is where their plotlines interconnect, thus leaving their adventures bound to get tangled. Also, at the same time, are the adventures of two other future Crows, Nina and Matthias. Throughout the first season, they are having their backstory explained.

Overall, I adamantly believe that this TV series was very well executed. It brought to life all of these charismatic characters while also revealing the magical world that Leigh Bardugo put together. It introduced characters from the Six of Crows Duology, which is a significant indicator that we will be getting more Crows screen-time. And, hopefully, there will be enough seasons to explore the true might of what these Crows can do. I would highly recommend reading these books and watching the series after; it’s honestly incredible how talented the actors, producers, and directors of this series can do.

-Katherine L.

Why Twitch is going to die soon

We all know Twitch as the live streaming platform that millions of creators stream daily. It is one of the largest content-creating platforms today, falling shortly behind YouTube and other websites. However, in a couple years, we may not see Twitch as it is today unless Twitch does something to change these things.

To start off, growing and starting off on Twitch is very hard. When people stream big games like Call of Duty or Minecraft, it is very hard for people with a small number of viewers to get noticed, as the Twitch discover page is sorted based on viewer count. In order for streamers to get noticed, they have to branch out on other platforms, and then bring their following on those platforms to their twitch channels. However, this may cause people to take these other platforms more seriously than Twitch, which can be a negative effect on business.

Another reason why Twitch is dying is because of other platforms people stream on. As YouTube streaming becomes more common, Twitch streaming will become less common. Since nearly all Twitch users watch YouTube, once their favorite Twitch streamers switch to YouTube, it gives the viewers no reason to go back to Twitch, contributing to Twitch’s fall as the best streaming platform.

So to top it all off, streaming on Twitch is becoming irrelevant. However, hope for Twitch is not lost. If Twitch can change their algorithms to make small streamers more discoverable, and add more features to streams to make them stand out compared to other platforms, Twitch will stay the top streaming platform for a while.

-Jeremy L.

The Debate Between Libraries and Bookstores

I have recently written an essay on the prompt, “Are libraries still necessary?”. Just from the question itself, I was a little bit offended. But, it proved to be a passionate topic that I could write my essay on. Now, a different and perhaps better question to ask would be, “Which is better: libraries or bookstores?”

First, let’s just establish what each one is. Without the fancy dictionary.com definition, I would say that a library is a place that allows for people to borrow from a collection of books, resources, films, etc., usually meant for a community. It can also be a quiet place for working and studying. Now very similar, bookstores are everything libraries are, however instead of borrowing their resources, they have to be bought.

Now into the finer details of each; imagining a bookstore like Barnes and Noble, I walk into this massive store. It has shelves and shelves of perfect, freshly printed books. They all have the classic “new book” smell and minimal to no damage. But, the store is lacking in character.

On the other hand, when someone says library, I imagine passed-down hardcovers wrapped in the iconic plastic to protect its dust jacket. I picture hundreds of books with multiple copies and different editions lined up on shelves that categorize them by genres. I see a kids/middle-aged section, a romance-filled young adult section, and the ever-so-imposing adult section. The books themselves show their years of dutiful use on their cracked spines, small bends, and tears from being tossed around in a backpack. So with each book that I pick up, I get to glimpse at what each reader’s journey with the book was like. Through its physical condition, I have been able to laugh, cringe, and wonder what exactly happened to this book before it got to me. Whether it be spaghetti sauce stains or hilarious side notes, a library book really gave me two adventures instead of one.

Though bookstores do a fantastic job at presenting their products for customers to buy, personally, nothing can beat the feeling that overwhelms my senses when I walk into a library. I grew up going to libraries at least once a week to study or pick up another round of books, so I may be biased. But, one thing I know for sure is that sometimes it’s better to have the used book: it reveals more than any new book could.

-Katherine L.

TV Review: Ginny & Georgia

Recently dropping on Netflix, Ginny & Georgia has quickly become very popular amongst teens around the world. Packed with witty comments and hysterical jokes, it climbed to Netflix’s top ten list within 24-hours of dropping.

This TV series follows a teenage girl, Virginia “Ginny” Miller, and her mother, Georgia Miller. When Georgia’s very wealthy husband suddenly dies in a car accident, Georgia moves her two children, Ginny and Austin, to Wellsbury, Massachusetts. Finding some stability in the town, Ginny and Georgia use this town to leave their past behind and to truly get a fresh start.

Starting with Ginny, this television series emphasizes her character in ways many other shows have not. Ginny is one of a couple biracial characters in the show as her father is Black and her mother, Georgia, is white. Since she grows up primarily with her mother, she can’t fully grasp which culture she is supposed to fit into. Although she seems a little lost with her own self-identity, her beliefs and morals are steadfast and unwavering. Within the first twenty minutes of the show, Ginny shows her unwillingness to be a bystander to racism and underrepresentation in her education. Overall, Ginny is a strong 15-year-old lead who depicts not only the problems in society but also a relatable teenage life.

Next, is the famous Georgia Miller, or maybe infamous. Georgia is the definition of a strong woman who does not rely on anyone. She flaunts her beauty and Southern accent not only to attract men but to get what she wants. Georgia will stop at nothing to give Ginny and Austin the childhood she never had, even if her children don’t recognize it. Throughout the ten episodes that have dropped, her character has been developed through scenes from the past and present. The constant flashbacks make every aspect of her present life clear, and this is what makes Ginny & Georgia such a phenomenal show.

Lastly, I just wanted to add that this show is one of the closest representations of a high school teen’s life. I recommend it to anyone at least sixteen years and older because it does have topics and scenes on the more sensitive side. So, please make sure that you are a part of the appropriate audience/age to watch. I only touched on two of the characters, but there are so many personalities and underrepresented aspects of life within this show that it would be a mistake not to give it a try.

-Katherine L.