Class of 2022's Evan Zraket created a rating system for movies based on Somerville's 7 Hills (Central, Clarendon, Cobble, Prospect, Spring, Winter, and Ploughed) with 1 Hill being the lowest rating and 7 being the highest. Highlander News has adopted this system.
Boston Book Festival returns in person
Ella Wilczek, '25
The annual Boston Book Festival was held in Back Bay on Saturday, October 29, including a book fair in Copley Square and a variety of events around the area. Venues included the Boston Public Library, Boston Architectural College, Old South Church, and the Goethe Institute. There were events geared for all ages.
Keynote speaker Patrick Radden Keefe, in conversation with moderator Meghna Chakrabarti, kicked off the event Friday night. Keynote authors who spoke the following day included children’s authors Tui T. Sutherland and B. B. Alston, fiction writers Yiyun Li, Gish Yen, and Malinda Lo, and nonfiction writer Bessel van der Kolk.
This year’s festival was the first held in person for three years. The pandemic forced the 2020 and 2021 festivals online. Librarian Laura Bernheim said of its return, “It was great to be back at the Boston Book Festival in person after three years. This is a fall tradition for me for several years and it was wonderful, as usual.”
Many different authors, writing in different genres and forms, were present at the festival. Festival-goers enjoyed storytimes for young children, poetry readings, and literary walking tours as well as a workshop on writing verse novels, a panel on social change, a conversation around women and memoirs, and an exploration of popular music.
The event Making Change, for example, featured nonfiction writers Ruha Benjamin, Erica Chenoweth, and John Della Volpe in a discussion on community action, civil resistance, and Gen Z’s relationship to politics.
The street fair hosted many booksellers and publishers from the Boston area and beyond. Bookstores Brattle Book Shop, More Than Words, and the MIT Press Bookstore attended, while publishers such as Harvard University Press and Europa Editions sold copies of books.
The Berklee Festival Stage entertained the crowds with performances by Berklee students Zoe Ny and Emme Cannon, among others.
By Matthew Bento Jr., '26
I’m sure most of you at least once in your life have heard the lyrics “Jump up, kick back, whip around, and spin.” Ninjago Crystalized is the 16th and final season of Lego Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu.
Synopsis: One year after the events of Seabound, the ninja begin to track down a mysterious Vengestone buyer. However, this soon lands them in Kryptarium Prison. And what is even worse, an evil villain known as the Crystal King is assembling the ninja's enemies into his “Council of the Crystal King.” Can they win the ultimate battle once and for all?
Review: As a die-hard Ninjago fan, this may be one of the best seasons I’ve ever seen. The animation is so fluent and incredible. The story kept me on the edge of my seat, seeing plot twist after plot twist. And they have brought a ton of voice actors from the past seasons such as Heather Doerksen, Micheal Dobson, and even the one and only Mark Oliver. To top the cast off, it includes a music video called “Inner Steel” made by Ashleigh Ball herself. The fact that they were able to jam-pack this grand finale in only thirty 11-minute-long episodes says enough.
If you left the show a while ago, I suggest you catch up and watch this on Netflix or Youtube. I have been watching the show for years now and I still have my Pythor Day of the Departed Minifigure (that I bought over a year or two ago).
Although, I do have one doubt. It’s that the selling of the Lego sets for this season spoiled some major twists and plotlines. It wasn’t the creator's fault. I do believe the blame is on LEGO. I have seen with my own eyes that both fans and staff of the show both agree on this. I have never seen anything like this. So all I can say is…Lego, you have messed up.
Summary: In all my years of cartoon watching years I have never seen a finale with as much continuity. I recommend this season if you are a former/current Ninjago fan.
Voice Acting: 7/7
Spoiler Protection: 0/7
Duck Tales! (2017)
By Matthew Bento Jr., '26
Life is indeed like a hurricane, especially when watching this show. DuckTales (2017) is a reboot of the classic DuckTales of the 1980s.
Synopsis: DuckTales is about the wealthy billionaire Scrooge McDuck (voiced by David Tennant) and his three nephews Huey (Danny Pudi), Dewey (Ben Schwartz), and Louie (Bobby Moynihan). Together they go on adventures all around the globe. They also have friends who join in their adventures, such as Webby Vanderquack (Kate Micucci), Launchpad McQuack (Beck Bennet), and even the infamous Donald Duck (Tony Anselmo).
Review: DuckTales is one of the best reboots I have seen in a long long time. Most reboots show episodic adventures and change the characters to the point that they're not even recognizable anymore.
But not DuckTales. This show gives us a continuity-driven story and some episodic adventures now and again. After watching all three seasons, I was amazed at the great cast with original characters and callbacks to the original Disney afternoon shows. From a shadow puppet of a sorceress to the terror that flaps in the night himself, these characters are incredible to watch.
The animation is also pretty lively at times. Sometimes the animation causes it to be intense, especially during the season finales. This show was excellent and if you have Disney Plus and nothing to watch, I suggest you check it out.
Summary: I remember back when I was in 7th grade. I would wake up at 5 am and watch the new season 3 DuckTales episodes. All I can say is that this was one of the best reboots I’ve ever seen.
Writing: 7/7 hills
Animation: 7/7 hills
Characters: 7/7 hills
Voice Acting: 7/7 hills