June 18, 2019—Written by Deb Fredette, Cohasset, MA

Roe Act bill 1209 and 3320 will be voted on sometime over the next weekI attended the hearing at the MA State House yesterday regarding the above bills. These bills are an amendment to Roe v. Wade. If these bills do not pass, Roe v. Wade will remain as it is. If the bills do pass, here are some of the changes: 

1. A girl as young as 12 years old can have an abortion without the parents consent. She will also receive pain medication and a prescription for anti depressants if she is depressed. 

2. If an abortion is performed during the 24th week or later and the baby survives the abortion, the doctor is no longer required to give the baby medical attention. As such, if the doctor/mother chooses the baby will be left to die on the table. 

3. Abortions no longer have to be done in a hospital; this includes late term abortions as well.  This puts the mothers health at risk. 

I was actually going to testify at the hearing yesterday, but the meeting went so late that I had to leave. I would like toshare what I was going to say regarding a baby’s US citizenship:

If a baby survives an abortion attempt and is alive out of the womb, it is no longer a fetus. If this baby is in America, it is actually an American citizen. According to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Therefore, if this bill passes it is denying a citizen their rights to life, because the doctor is no longer required to give the child medical attention.

The Cruelty to Animals law prohibits animal abuse, neglect and cruelty. Did you know that neglect is failure to provide an animal with food and water, or veterinary care for disease or injury? So, we have a law that protects animals from neglect, but not ones that protect babies that are premature. 

This being said, where are we headed as a society.  Fertility institutes offer “Babies by Design.” You can now pick the color of your babies’ eyes. Eugenics is not a new idea. It was one of Hitler’s dreams; in fact he had a physician at Auschwitz holocaust camp working on it. That doctors name was Josef Mengele and he was one of the most evil men that every existed, because he performed his medical trials on Jewish children in the camp. Are we basically saying that babies are only worthy of living if they are healthy with no birth defects, or is that people only want to have children that will be considered perfect in society? If so may God forgive us and have mercy on us. 

PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE REP TODAY AND ASK THEM TO VOTE NO ON THESE BILLS!

Written by Kyle Banker of Needham, Massachusetts

High school consists of the four most transformative years of your life, both academically and socially. The introductions of parties, substances, peer pressure, and popularity can completely change one’s personality and mindset. In “The Right Person,” Stacy Padula tells the story of a group of freshmen at Montgomery Lake High as they encounter and face countless social scenarios that change their lifestyles for the long run.

“The Right Person” focuses mainly on Chris: an athletic, partier who has spent the past two years reliant on many substances. In the first weeks of his freshman year, Chris decides that he wants to avoid his partying ways and instead desires a healthier lifestyle, which is influenced by his new girlfriend Courtney: a girl who has strong morals and opposes drugs and alcohol. Courtney, however, pursues Chris’s interests and inserts herself into the party scene with Chris’s friends, sacrificing her values to fit in.

“The Right Person” depicts the struggles many kids encounter during their high school years through the eyes of compelling characters. The social scene can be very difficult to adjust to, and this can result in many bonds being broken, while also many new ones being formed. I recommend this book to high school and middle school students who are preparing for these tricky, yet important years.

Synopsis

Growing up in the shadow of two NFL-destined cousins, Chris Dunkin has high hopes for his own future in football. However, a drug addiction threatens to destroy everything he has worked hard to attain. When Chris meets Courtney Angeletti–the mayor’s straightedge Christian daughter–he believes she could be the source of inspiration he needs to overcome his destructive lifestyle.
Courtney, however, has other ideas.
The desire to rebel has been tugging on Courtney’s heartstrings for some time, and Chris’s “bad-boy” reputation draws her to him like a moth to a flame. After all, he is a central part of the most popular clique in her high school. Will Chris pull Courtney away from her faith or will Courtney inspire him to overcome his rebellious lifestyle?
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About Kyle Banker

Kyle is a Senior at Beaver Country Day School. His favorite subjects at school include Biology, English, and Entrepreneurship. Some of his hobbies include playing soccer and hockey, volunteering, and being with friends and family. Kyle plans to study Biological Sciences at the University of Miami beginning this fall.

Other Articles by Kyle:

Why You Should Read the #1 New Release “Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told”

Kyle Banker on The “Gripped” Characters

A Teen’s Review of Gripped Part 1

Looking Ahead to Gripped Part 2 with Kyle Banker

What Should Readers Expect from Gripped Part 2 (To Be Released Later This Year)

May’s Q&A with Kyle Banker of Beaver Country Day School

When Darkness Tries to Hide by Stacy A. Padula not only shows the positive message that its protagonist, Jason Davids, was able to learn through faith and friendship, but also shows that even in tragedies, we must search for the positive things.

Even though Andy Rosetti was severely injured in an accident and may not wake up from a coma, many of his friends and classmates came together to organize a prayer service to support his family. Another positive aspect of this situation was that Jason began to realize how harmful his lifestyle was and started to consider relying on friends and faith to right his wrongs.

Additionally, two life-long friends—Jason and Chris Dunkin—who had been separated when Jason gravitated towards the party scene were reunited after Andy’s injury, when they realized what was truly important in life. This shows people that regardless of horrible circumstances, there will always be positive aspects to a situation. This is an important message for high schoolers because many teenagers are overwhelmed by schoolwork, sports, friends, relationships, responsibilities at home, and the mood swings of growing up. Oftentimes, high schoolers are so overwhelmed that one small thing goes wrong, and they easily get discouraged or frustrated.

The message of this book reminds us all, especially high schoolers, to count our blessings and try to find the good in every situation.

Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries To Hide

A powerful supercell is spawning above Montgomery Lake High School, while a separate storm is brewing in its halls. The question is–which one should Cathy Kagelli, Jason Davids, and their friends fear the most?

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About Jennifer O’Sullivan

Jennifer O’Sullivan is a junior at Dover Sherborn High School who enjoys reading, playing the piano, spending time with friends and doing volunteer work. Jennifer leads her school’s community service club, runs on her school’s cross country and track teams and loves to travel, especially to Ireland where she spends time with friends and family.

Articles by Jennifer:

Why “The Right Person” is a Perfect Book for Teens

“The Right Person” by Stacy Padula Shows How Faith Can Benefit Teenagers

Last month, Michael Farinacci of Medfield, Massachusetts—a junior at St. Sebastian’s School—read and reviewed Gripped Part 1 by Stacy Padula: the first installment in a young adult book series that highlights the perils of prescription drug abuse. Afterwards, Michael was one of five teens selected to read Gripped Part 2 before its publication. Below Michael has answered a couple of questions about what he is most looking forward to uncovering in the next installment.

There are a few different storylines running through Gripped Part 1 because it is setting up the rest of the series. What storyline do you find the most interesting and why?

I find the storyline with Taylor and the police to be the most interesting. Toward the end of the story, Taylor seemed to be getting back on track and putting himself back together, and it will be interesting to see how this event with affect him. It will also be interesting to see how Jordan and especially Marc will be affected by this event. Marc seems to be stuck in the middle, which could lead to some potentially dangerous situations.

Gripped Part 1 sets up the rest of the series but leaves a lot of things “hanging.” What are you most curious to uncover by reading Gripped Part 2?

Cathy & Jason

Personally, I’m most curious to uncover what happened to Cathy in Gripped Part 2. Cathy and Jason seemed to be in a normal relationship, and Cathy was a huge proponent of any substance. However, during the last chapter, the book looks forward to Cathy at Taylor’s house with Marc. Taylor is shocked, because Cathy is known to have used drugs, and Marc is super against that like Cathy used to be. I’m looking forward to seeing how Jason and Cathy’s relationship went and why Marc is now dating Cathy.

Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told

In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.

One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.

When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake High School, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.

$3.99 Kindle | $13.50 Paperback

Gripped Part 1 by Stacy Padula tells the gripping story of a star student athlete who let a mere setback turn into a major addiction. It exemplifies the importance of understanding that nobody is safe from drug abuse, not even the classic golden child, and expresses the unfortunately realistic young ages at which this abuse starts.

This book is also a very good example of the ways in which others are affected by one person’s irresponsible actions. I would highly suggest Gripped to anybody in high school, as it is an extremely good resource in seeing just how greatly your actions can affect your future.

Gripped Part 1 Synopsis

In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.

One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.

When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake High School, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.

$3.99 Kindle | $13.50 Paperback
About Rebecca Ronning

Rebecca is a junior at Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, New York. As a city kid, some of her hobbies include riding the subway and exploring the city with friends, making all kinds of art and traveling with her family and experiencing new and exciting things along the way. Rebecca was chosen as Intern of the Month for May 2019!

More Articles by Rebecca:

Montgomery Lake High #1 by Stacy Padula Truly Captures the High School Experience!

Q & A on “The Right Person” by Stacy Padula with Rebecca Ronning

Q&A with Rebecca Ronning on Young Adult Lit!

Rebecca Ronning on When Darkness Tries to Hide by Stacy Padula – YA Lit for 2018!

Q&A on When Darkness Tries to Hide with Rebecca Ronning

A Teen’s Opinion of The Aftermath by Stacy Padula

Q&A with Rebecca Ronning – November 2018 (NYC)

Q&A with Rebecca Ronning on Young Adult Thriller “The Forces Within”

Joanna Dakoyannis
Dover-Sherborn High School
Class of 2020

The second book in the MLH series, When Darkness Tries to Hide, is a riveting story that continues to follow a group of high school teens through their lives. When a tragedy strikes their group of friends, it causes many of them to take a step back and re-evaluate their recent actions and behaviors. The story demonstrates how impactful our actions, both good and bad can be on others around us.  

When Darkness Tries to Hide also reinforces how important faith and friendship can be to teens, especially when they are in a period of personal turmoil. The book displays the importance of persistence in pursuing faith, even when you feel at your lowest. Likewise, taking just a small amount of time to support people you care about can make a life-changing difference as is illustrated through Chris and Jason’s relationship throughout the book. I would highly recommend When Darkness Tries to Hide to anyone.

Although the book’s storyline focuses on the challenges that teens face in high school, its lessons are applicable to anyone struggling with something in their life.  The story is also very eye-opening in terms of discussing alcohol and prescription drug addiction. Reading the story of this group of friends shows that these vices are more commonplace than we might realize and can make us more aware of the dangers that they pose. This is definitely a must read!!

  Montgomery Lake High #2: When Darkness Tries To Hide
A powerful supercell is spawning above Montgomery Lake High School, while a separate storm is brewing in its halls. The question is–which one should Cathy Kagelli, Jason Davids, and their friends fear the most?
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$3.99 Kindle | $10.50 Paperback
About Joanna Dakoyannis

Joanna Dakoyannis is a junior at Dover-Sherborn High School. She enjoys creative writing, traveling, going to the gym, running track for her high school team and loves cheering on the team at school sporting events. She plans to be a science major in college and hopes to eventually attend dental school.

Articles by Joanna:

An Exceptional Book I Recommend to Teens & Preteens

Q&A with Joanna Dakoyannis on “The Right Person” by Stacy Padula

Kyle Banker of Needham, Massachusetts is a senior at Beaver Country Day School. He will be attending the University of Miami in the fall as a biology major. This month, Kyle read “The Right Person” – a young adult novel by Stacy Padula – and shared some insightful feedback:

Who do you think should read “The Right Person”?

I would recommend “The Right Person” to all incoming high school students, as this novel brings out the truth in how high school can change relationships very quickly. Furthermore, this novel heavily touches upon how drugs and alcohol can have a great effect on one’s life, even at a young age. Through the juxtaposition of relationships and substances, I believe that “The Right Person” will show the reality of what drugs can do to a student’s social life, and even more, towards their overall satisfaction with their life.

What can be learned from Chris and Courtney’s story?

At first, I think that Chris and Courtney’s relationship was very valuable and strong. But, as time moved on, it was clear that Chris had influenced Courtney to switch her morals to make her a totally different person. Overall, this dynamic relationship shows that people can change very rapidly based upon their surroundings, creating them into partners who were entirely different from who they began as. This can sometimes be a good thing, but when a relationship is revolved around substances and partying, these kinds of changes can definitely be for the worse.

What did you enjoy most about “The Right Person”?

I really enjoyed the individual internal thoughts from many characters that were scattered throughout the novel. In my opinion, this allows the reader to completely analyze the situations occurring in the novel and to truly see within the thinking of each character. This was very effective in the ending of the book, as these paragraphs gave an interesting and thorough conclusion on the mental status of every character. Overall, I really enjoyed this new style of writing as I have rarely seen it in this format in any novel that I have read.

What is one major theme you noticed running through the story?

The major theme that I noticed throughout “The Right Person” was the conflicts and changes with relationships. In high school, it can be very difficult to find the ideal friend or group to be around during the four years. Because of this, relationships can be altered very quickly, causing your whole social life to be flipped upside-down. This is ultimately because as you grow older into a teenager, you start to gain independence and confidence by making your own decisions. In this novel, decisions arise such as breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend, “cutting off” old friends, and formulating new groups. Through these scenarios, “The Right Person” paints the realistic picture that nothing remains consistent throughout middle/high school, resulting in rapid changes of personality and relationship statuses.

How do you, as a teenager, personally relate to this story?

I can directly relate to “The Right Person” as I have been involved in a lot of controversies within high school with my friends. Luckily, we are all still together, but I understand that this is normal within any social group: nothing socially will go perfectly for your whole life. Outside of my friend group, I have seen a lot of people at parties and get-togethers make impactful decisions, similar to some in “The Right Person.” Besides all this, I truly believe that adjusting to avoid these conflicts is very important, but not entirely so that you are not the same person you originally were.

Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person
Growing up in the shadow of two NFL-destined cousins, Chris Dunkin has high hopes for his own future in football. However, a drug addiction threatens to destroy everything he has worked hard to attain. When Chris meets Courtney Angeletti–the mayor’s straightedge Christian daughter–he believes she could be the source of inspiration he needs to overcome his destructive lifestyle.
Courtney, however, has other ideas.
The desire to rebel has been tugging on Courtney’s heartstrings for some time, and Chris’s “bad-boy” reputation draws her to him like a moth to a flame. After all, he is a central part of the most popular clique in her high school. Will Chris pull Courtney away from her faith or will Courtney inspire him to overcome his rebellious lifestyle?
amazon-buy-button_2
$11.50 Paperback | $3.99 Kindle
More Articles by Kyle:

Why You Should Read the #1 New Release “Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told”

Kyle Banker on The “Gripped” Characters

A Teen’s Review of Gripped Part 1

Looking Ahead to Gripped Part 2 with Kyle Banker

What Should Readers Expect from Gripped Part 2 (To Be Released Later This Year)

Michael Farinacci, a junior at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham, Massachusetts, read and reviewed Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told—the first book in a young adult series that examines the perils of prescription drug abuse amongst teenagers. After reading the novel, he was asked a series of questions about its main characters. His responses are below.

Who do you most relate to?

Jason Davids

Until the last few pages of the book, I felt as if I could relate the most to Jason. Jason, like myself, does not go to the same school as all the other kids, and on the weekends, he’s away skiing, which causes him to miss out on a lot of things. Although I don’t go away skiing every weekend, I understand how it feels to be gone for a while and then return to a group of friends and be a little bit confused. People can change very quickly, and if you are not with them every day, it is very easy to miss out on these changes.

Who do you like the most?

Marc Dunkin

I like Marc the most out of all the characters. Marc, like Taylor, has it all, but he doesn’t show it, and he doesn’t mess up. Marc never brags about his football commitment to Boston College, and he is never seen drinking or doing anything irresponsible. Marc knows he has a promising future, so he is responsible about it, which is why I like and respect Marc the most out of all the characters.

Who do you feel bad for?

Chantal Kagelli

I feel bad for Chantal. At the beginning of the book, Chantal has a steady boyfriend and more importantly a best friend as a sister. Although I am not blaming Cathy for their breakup, Chantal’s twin broke up her and her boyfriend, which devastated her. In addition, Chantal is beginning to “lose” her sister to Jason, and, as foreshadowed by the end of the book, to drugs.

Who frustrates you?

Taylor Dunkin

Taylor frustrates me the most by far. Taylor seemingly had it all and has the ability to play high-level Division I football. He was a hero for the town and a role model for the younger kids, but he threw it all away for drugs. I do applaud him for trying to get back on the right path, but the fact that he threw away his future frustrates me.

Who do you hate?

Jordan Dunkin

I hate Jordan the most out of all the characters. Jordan, like Marc and Taylor, has incredible football potential, including a Division I offer. Despite his bright future, he still goes out, parties, does drugs, and makes terrible decisions in general. What infuriates me more is that his older brother, Taylor, made these same sort of decisions and lost everything, yet Jordan still doesn’t see how his decisions can come back to haunt him.

Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told
In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.
One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.
When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake High School, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.
$3.99 Kindle | $13.50 Paperback

Michael Farinacci
St. Sebastian’s Class of 2020

The book Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told investigates the complicated social lives of young adults ranging from middle-school to college. The story follows numerous people throughout their lives outside of school and demonstrates how difficult decision can be for young adults, and the consequences that these decisions have. The book deals with drug abuse, relationships, and the effects of miscommunication as it follows the lives of the children from Montgomery Lake, while brilliantly setting up the rest of the series.

This story is perfect for Middle School and High School students, as it is a quick read and deals with many of the issues that they may face. The book offers not only a warning against drug abuse, but also has the ability to teach many life lessons and guide young adults through the tumultuous times that are Middle School and High School. This book is a must read for all Young Adults, and I would easily rate it a 5/5!

In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.

One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.

When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake High School, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.

$3.99 Kindle | $13.50 Paperback

There are a few different storylines running through Gripped Part 1 because it is setting up the rest of the series. What storyline do you find the most interesting and why?

I thought the police storyline was the most interesting. It lets the readers see what is at stake for Taylor and what could be happening in the future. I also thought Cathy and Jason’s story was interesting because the readers are aware they break up, so I am interested to see what happens to their relationship.

Gripped Part 1 sets up the rest of the series but leaves a lot of things “hanging.” What are you most curious to uncover by reading Gripped Part 2?

I am interested to see how Taylor’s future pans out and hope to see him straighten up. I think it will be intriguing because it seems as though he wants to improve his life but does not know how to get out of his situation. I also want to see Cathy and Chantal rekindle their relationship.

What character do you feel bad for and why?

I feel bad for Chantal. I feel bad for her because years have gone by and she has not spoken to her twin sister, Cathy, over a misunderstanding. I hope that when she learns the truth, their relationship can be fixed.

Who frustrates you and why?

Taylor frustrates me the most. He frustrates me because he was given so many great opportunities and threw them away for his addiction. I hope to see him change and get back on track in the future.

Who do you most relate to and why?

I think I can relate to Jason, as most young adults probably can as well. I can relate to him because he is aware of his mistakes and how they have affected his relationships. Most young adults make mistakes because they want to fit in, but when they take a step back as Jason did, they realize what is at stake.

Who do you like and why?

I like Jason the most. I think he has made poor decisions in the past, but I believe he is beginning to see his mistakes and is changing for the better. I also like how he is still looking out for Cathy and is trying to help her even after they broke up.

Who do you hate and why?

I do not really hate any of the characters. I think some of them, like Taylor and Jon, need to get back on track and try to fix some of their mistakes, but I believe they will all be given the chance to redeem themselves.

Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told
In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.
One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.
When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake High School, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.
$3.99 Kindle | $13.50 Paperback
In its release week, Gripped was ranked by Amazon as the #1 New Release for Children’s books about drug use on Kindle.

About Jenna Finnerty

Jenna Finnerty is a senior at Norwell High School in Norwell, Massachusetts. She is planning to major in nursing next year. Jenna has accrued years of experience as a cheerleader and gymnast. She also has a passion for traveling and looks forward to studying abroad in college.

Other Articles by Jenna:

Q&A on MLH #1 with Jenna Finnerty

The Right Person by Stacy Padula Accurately Depicts High School Social Challenges

Hope Found in Darkness: A Young Adult Book Review by Jenna Finnerty

Q&A with Jenna Finnerty on Young Adult Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

Jenna Finnerty’s Take on New YA Novel “Gripped” by Stacy Padula