Student Book Review

Seraphina by: Rachel Hartman


Seraphina is a delicately woven tale, full of breathtaking music, sacrifice, and a heroin’s struggle to find belonging in a world turned against her. The book sweeps its readers into a whirlwind of romance, fear, love and hate while simultaneously incorporating a strong theme of music with every turn of its pages. One of my favorite characteristics of the book is how personal the author makes everything. With every experience our heroine went through, the emotion was always there. It was as if the reader was standing just feet away from the characters peering into their lives, experiencing everything with them while still keeping the suspense and rapid pace that is such an appealing asset of the book.

–Grace Friedman, 7th Grade


RSS Senior, Danielle Sang, Reviews September Girls


“September Girls, by Bennett Madison, is an enchanting teenage adventure without the unnecessary frills. Following the eerie, unpredictable and romantic tale of protagonist, Sam and his summer spent at the beach “where people come to disappear”, this story will leave you hooked to the very end. You will discover that we may not all be alluring, September Girls but you can feel for Sam, as he discovers what makes these Girls so special.”

-Danielle Sang, 12th Grade

Perspective on the Middle East

After my trip to Israel over Spring Break, I’ve been eager to do more reading on the subject of Israel’s history as a state and her relationship with her neighbors.  Luckily, I could turn to our own collection for a gem on the topic by Pulitzer Prize winner, Richard Ben Cramer.

I highly recommend this book for it’s poignancy, humor (where appropriate), and first-hand knowledge of the region and it’s difficulties.  I found the “holy land” to be an intriguing place, and I’m always eager to share pictures/stories about my experience with any curious students and colleagues.  Our travel blog:

I was lucky enough to spend my time there with a former colleague and friend, Shani Cohen, who has returned to her home country and lives with her husband, Adam in downtown Jerusalem, participating heavily in the musical and artistic life of the city.

Read Well…Write Well?

Recently our library has acquired what I have found to be the most surprising book about writing imaginable: Verlyn Klinkenborg’s “Several Short Sentences about Writing.”

Voracious readers should be able to “naturally” write well…right?  Not according to Mr. Klinkenborg, and I’m more and more inclined to agree with him.  I invite all ambitious writers and readers to come explore this highly unorthodox take on what is usually boring beyond all reason: the writers’ guidebook.  Instead of charts or tricks or mantras, Klinkenborg presents a poetic manifesto on the power and hard work behind a carefully crafted sentence.