All posts by Kasey Jones

Movie industry walks fine line with screenplays that were originally novels

It is normal for movies to add or take parts out of books to make them more interesting or to shorten the movie length, but parts of the original plot can be lost in the process.

Many of the recent movies targeted toward teens are based on popular young adult novels, such as The Divergent Trilogy and multiple John Green novels. When it comes to books turned into movies, it can be a hit or miss situation, especially with the teen audience. Today’s teens are often judgmental and opinionated when it comes to their favorite movies. Many movies today come from books from many teens’ childhoods as the books helped many through rough times.

Many movies did well in the box office and others were a flop. Books like The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and The Fault In Our Stars were instant successes, while others like Percy Jackson, A Series Of Unfortunate Events and the Twilight Saga did not do as well in the industry.

There are several things that make a good book to film adaptation. The most important consideration when making a book-based movie is the novel chosen has done well on the seller’s list. Nearly all the books picked to be turned into films were at one point on the New York Times Best Seller List. The books are usually not made into films if they do not do well in the industry.

The only exception would be classics, though the book would be circulating for such a long time it would be well-known and popular in a completely different way.

Another way for a book-based film to be successful is to be done well. If a movie is poorly made and doesn’t follow the storyline, it usually doesn’t do as well in the box office. When young adult novels are made into movies, many teens are very picky about how it is made. There are a large amount of teenage girls who read books in the young adult fiction genre who spend a lot of their time on the internet expressing their love for the books. These girls are often described as fangirls. The best way to make the movie and please the audience  is to keep as close as possible to the plot of the book.

In many ways, what makes the movie are the actors. The actors make or break the movie. If it’s a bad actor, the movie won’t give off the right vibe. All the fans have different views on what the character should be like. When casting the characters, the casting agents look for qualities in an actor that fit the character being casted.

If there is a bad actor, then the movie could not end up the way it could be if there was a better actor portraying the character. Teens expect the same image that they got from the character while reading the book and they have very specific ideas.

Book to movie films are a big part of the movie industry in today’s world as every age group enjoys the newest and best movie out. They are go to movie ideas when the industry notices that the book was a big hit, though sometimes it may take years for the book to become a movie. Though a movie could not turn out as well as it could, there is always a chance it could be the next Harry Potter.

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Stow Police raises awareness for Click It or Ticket campaign

The Stow Police are working with the State of Ohio to raise awareness for the national Click It or Ticket mobilization which is running from May 18 to the 31.

The Click IIMG_3438t or Ticket campaign is to encourage and remind people the importance to wear their seat belts. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54 in the U.S. The Click It or Ticket campaign is an effort to decrease the deaths caused by the crashes.

Though the campaign is being enforced both day and night, the mobilization is being enforced more on the night time violators between the hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. The night enforcement is due to the lack of clicking it less during the night and more during the day. More crashes and violators are found during the night due to the lack of light and ignorance of officers on the road during the late hours.

According to CDC.gov, during the 2015 campaign, law enforcement agencies across the nation will conduct intensive, high visibility enforcement of seatbelt laws during both daytime and nighttime hours. Using seat belts can save lives as using a regular seat belt can reduce fatal injury by 50 %.

Though not wearing a seat belt is not a primary offense, officers are able to ticket someone pulled over for another offense for not wearing a seatbelt. During the campaign, officers will be on higher alert for violators not wearing their seatbelt, and it will continue after the effort ends.

Officer Smith said, “There is a big gain from a simple three second action, we always assume it’s not going to happen to us, but crashes happen every day in the state of Ohio, the assumption should always be made that it might happen to you, it only takes a short amount of time to snap your seatbelt. It becomes a habit.

T.T.T. encourages teen reading and writing

The high school book club was given a great honor for the 2014- 2015 school year; they were given the opportunity to review books written by unknown authors.

The book club has teamed up with the Teens Top Ten, or T.T.T., which is a national teen reader’s choice award to pick the favorite teen book of the year. The high school was one of only 16 schools and libraries  picked to participate.

Publishers send the school copies of teen books that have yet to be published before they hit the shelves. Book club members read the books and review them, which are sent to the publishers to read. The students also nominate the books for awards such as the T.T.T.

The program motivates teens to read and to be able to critically evaluate the literature and analyze it. The students are considered book reviewers. The books are not only for members of the club, students are welcome to drop in the library and take a book to read. During the high school orientation, middle schoolers are also showing interest in the program.

The reviews are written and submitted to YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services association. Christina, the stow Public teen librarian nominated the Stow students to review the books by submitting a bio on the students and what they do.

YALSA was founded in 1957, and is a national association of librarians, library workers and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives, YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens, which gives teen the power to review and pick their favorite book, as a professional book critic would.

The book club meets one Thursday a month and many times during the summer at the Stow Monroe Falls Public Library. During the school year, students are able to visit book club during lunch periods or study halls. Students are encouraged to take as many books as they want when at meetings but are urged to make reviews.

The program promotes reading, it demonstrates that reading is still big and  high school kids are reading more independently than they ever have, checkouts are constant, we have a lot of readers here. The high school has also teamed up with the stow public library and Kent state, along with YALSA and T.T.T.

School Librarian Kelly Lanci said, “ I think that sometimes with the new technology and with the way libraries are changing, for the better, for the twenty first century, a lot of times people are very opinionated about libraries and assume or think that we don’t like books anymore, that we don’t promote reading, we don’t want kids reading the newest titles and that is far from the truth. This honor proves that reading is happening, that we love our books, ebook or not.”

Freshmen angered by new standardized test

Standardized testing is a big part of the American education system, but there are many holes and missing parts to the system.

A standardized test is any exam that is administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner. According to parcconline.org the tests are used to determine placement in schools, states and countries. Though the tests show placement, there are flaws in the standardized testing system.

Students do not see the tests as work that shows their great achievement but as a test they need to do well on to live up to the expectations of parents, teachers and higher level education schools. Not doing well on a certain test could prevent students from going to the college of students choice.

The tests do not show what each student is capable of achieving. According to institute4learning.com, the testing process is looking for a specific format for responses and does not value the students’ creative view because  the response is not viewed by an actual human. A machine is looking for something that could not be there in the desired form.

The testing processes are not for educational purposes at all. They exist for administrative, political and financial purposes.                                   The  Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career administration make billions of dollars, and  politicians get elected based on promises for higher standardized test results. Also,school administrators get funding and avoids penalties by boosting test scores.

Students are the only ones who do not directly benefit from the testing. To them, it is a stupid test they have to take each year. The tests often place them into the class level they will be in the next school year.

The tests put unnecessary pressure and stress onto a student to do well. The standardized tests do not test what a student has learned but what they have most likely memorized weeks in advance for the test, meaning that after testing, the student will forget the material to memorize for the next upcoming test.

The new common core standard that schools nationwide adopted set higher standards in education in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade, according to parcconline.org.  The new PARCC assessment the freshmen class  recently took  is  part of the new standard. The PARCC assessments, or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, are assessments made by concerned educators, parents and employers who want assessments that better measure students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills and their ability to communicate clearly.

These tests are designed to prepare young children who have no idea what they want to do for future colleges and employers. The new standardized tests are made to groom a whole new generation to fit into the ever growing and competing world of jobs and real life.

The freshman class has no desire to be part of the PARCC testing process. After testing, students said the tests were hard, the questions unclear and should have been considered as a form of torture. Students were unsure on how well they did on the tests, given that much of it was did not make sense.

“The tests are really difficult and  aren’t worth the time,” freshmen Maria Petrecca said.

To the students, no one saw why the tests were necessary. To graduate, students who are freshman and under are required to have 18 points in each subject; many freshman joked that graduation rates will drop due to the difficulty of the PARCCs.

Only thirteen of the fifty states are taking the PARCCs, the others decided that another standardized test is unnecessary. When it comes to testing that can determine a future, the testing should be seen nationwide and if proven too difficult that thirty-seven states pull out, there should be a reconsideration.

Freshman Cody Kowalczyk said, “The tests were either way too simple or so complicated that there was no way we would have known the answer.”