Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan #12 - Sample Reviews by SNN Reporters

Note: We recommend that you print these articles and distribute it to your students.

Book Review: Stephen King rules with Bag of Bones
By Tara C, St. Stephen High School St. Stephen, New Brunswick

This book was amazing, and terrifying. You become completely involved in the story. There are several reasons why, Bag of Bones by Stephen King, is so great. Firstly, the characters are very well developed. Secondly, King focuses on small details that are normally overlooked. Thirdly, the events are unpredictable so you never know what will happen next.

More is revealed about each character until you feel as if you know them personally. Each has their own unique personality and method of dealing with problems. In some novels you are presented with characters who are either too good to be true or all evil who you feel no sympathy for whatsoever. This is not the case in Bones. Stephen King carefully describes touching little details that most authors would not bother with. The main character, novelist Mike Noonan, tells us things like how his wife would twirl her hair, or how the bumper stickers in the local restaurant came to be there. These things add to our understanding of the characters. This is the kind of writing that you could read many times and take something new from it each time.

This is a fairly long and challenging read, so if Dr. Seuss is more your speed, this would not be a good book for you. But for the rest of you, King does an amazing job as always giving you something to think and wonder about. Just when you think you've figured out what the ghosts want, you are completely stunned by an unexpected turn of events.

The best things about this book are the character development, the touching detail, and plot changes that leave you breathless. By the middle of this novel you find yourself rooting for some characters and cursing at others. You are moved by the little things that seem to be throw away phrases at first. And you are always wondering what will be waiting for you after the turn of a page. If you do not mind being scared and you enjoy quality writing, Bag of Bones by Stephen King, is the perfect book to have on your night table.



Game Review: Asteroids Hits Rock Bottom
By C. Thomas, SNN Entertainment Editor, Elizabeth Lynwood Alternative School, Ottawa, Ontario

Through the commercials they blasted through the tube for weeks on end and the mind-numbing pleasure of the original and highly addictive product, I was sucked into the hype about the Asteroids game and gave it a try. I must say the load time in this game is appalling. Every time this game starts, it's a ten minute wait, followed by an annoying and repetitive cinema cut scene. The game itself has very little over the original Asteroids. Of course, graphics and sound have come a long way since the archaic days of the Atari but overall there is really nothing new in this product. And here's the biggest shock, it's not even 3D!

That's right, there is nothing about his game that can even remotely be described as three dimensional, other than the short-cut scenes perhaps and possibly the asteroids themselves which were polygonal this time around. The spaceship, which you control, moves on a totally two-dimensional plane, and the camera cannot be toggled to different perspectives. These are features we have come to expect from a game which calls itself to be 3D nowadays, so I think anyone who actually buys this product should be aware that it's really nothing more than a 2D game with some polygons.

It took me about two hours to finish this game on the medium-skill level, two hours of the same old blasting and zipping around that's still very addictive. Each stage is almost exactly the same as the last, with the odd space monster or black hole thrown in to keep things interesting, though just barely I might add.

This one ends in an action-filled stage in which you must defend the earth from a hail of - you
guessed it - asteroids and leaves you cursing at the screen as you are given a five-second victory cut scene and your initials are inscribed in the Asteroids hall of fame.

All in all, this game is as addictive as the original without offering anything you would expect from the commercials. Buyer beware! This one isn't worth the money. My suggestion is to find one of the shareware clones at download dot com, or better yet, pop a few quarters into the old arcade game.

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