Independent Reading Project: Student’s Own Ideas !!!


[Emilia B.] Character’s Homes


Written by Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows is a fantasy/young adult novel that takes place in a make-believe universe. The book starts off in Ketterdam, the capital of Island nation Kerch, in a world where people called Grisha (humans with unnatural abilities) exist. In the city of Ketterdam, a new drug called Jurda Parem is discovered to be able to enhance Grisha abilities and control them due to it’s intense addictive properties. Because the drug has not yet been introduced to the public, Jan Van Eck ( One of Ketterdam’s wealthy merchants) sees a prosperous opportunity in the monopolization of the drug. To accomplish ownership of Jurda Parem, however, Jan Van Eck first needs to retrieve Bo Yul-Bayur (the scientist who created Parem) for the formula. However, Bo Yul-Bayur has already been captured and contained in the ice court, a high security military stronghold in Fjerda that is said to be impossible to infiltrate. Because of the extremely low chance of successfully capturing the scientist and making it out alive, Van Eck has no choice but to to hire seventeen year old Kaz Brekker for the job, a seemingly amoral well known underground gang member who has gained the name Dirtyhands due to his dangerous reputation of doing anything for money. 

[Marcus O.] Photography Study

[Dahlia B.] Where The Crawdads Sing

The book I chose for my IRP is Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens. The genres are mystery and coming-of-age. The story begins in 1952 at a marsh with an introduction to the main character, Kya, who is six years old. A second timeline in 1969 is introduced in the second chapter, and starts off with two boys finding the body of Chase Andrews. As the chapters switch between years throughout the book, the first timeline continues to progress as Kya grows to be 24, but the second timeline is constant throughout the book, while revealing more about the murder mystery. Kyas’ childhood was very difficult because her mom, siblings, abusive dad, and her first love and childhood friend, Tate Walker, all abandoned her. Kya had to learn how to earn money, find food and clothing, and educate herself from an extremely young age. She had developed trust issues thus, she mostly kept to herself. Correspondingly, most of the town developed prejudices towards her, deeming her as unseemly or dirty and nicknaming her “marsh girl.” Later, we discover the town accuses Kya of murdering Chase Andrews. The main theme of this book was knowing who to trust and love and recognizing the impact of prejudices.

[Maisy S.] Know My Name

For my Independent Reading Project, I chose the book Know My Name by Chanel Miller. This story is an autobiography about Chanel’s sexual assault story. It all starts when she goes to a party with her younger sister. They get drunk and just have fun together. Chanel goes outside to pee. Next thing she knows, she’s waking up in the hospital. She had blacked out when she went outside to go pee. A man named Brock Turner found her unconscious on the ground and proceeded to take advantage of her. She was found passed out and was taken to a safe place. The way they found out it was Turner was because he had also found her sister at the party and forcibly made out with her. Chanel’s family had to go through many court trials. She got some justice but not enough. Their reasoning for this was because she was drunk and that it was “her fault,” he raped her. He should serve a life sentence in jail. He hasn’t learned and it’s obvious because he had many other rape allegations and he lied in court. He is a rapist.

I chose to read this book because it is very real. In that sense, I mean that this is a nonfiction story about an asian american woman. It shows that this can happen to anyone. Reading this book has helped me feel more at ease with my own experiences and has taught me how to be stronger as a woman in a man’s world. Chanel sharing her story has helped so many other young women that have had similar experiences to her. If it hasn’t happened to the reader, it can help them be prepared and careful with their whereabouts. I would definitely recommend reading this book. Not just to women but to men too. We are taught to educate our daughters, to tell them to cover up, that it is their fault. That is wrong. It is never their fault. Educate your sons and teach them about consent. I recommend this book for everyone, no matter your gender identity.

[Isabel L.-C.]

For my project, I decided to build a model of a combination of the scenes from the book and movie that I found very important to the plot, or that I deemed beautiful. I chose this project after being inspired by one of my classmates’ models for the previous IRP. In my model I depicted how I pictured the Nitta Okiya burning, which was from a scene in the movie, that I believe better showed the development of the character Hatsumomo. In the movie, Hatsumomo burns the Okiya in a fit of many intense emotions, but in the book she falls into alcoholism, and it is implied that she dies that way, as she is rarely mentioned again. The second scene in the model shows the place where Sayuri met her beloved Chairman for the first time, as this left a major impact on her and would change her life forever. For the third scene, I made red cloth hang from a washing post, which I believe was used as symbolism in the movie to depict the blood shed by soldiers and civilians in World War II. In my model, these pieces of cloth are shown floating through a stream that connects the three scenes I chose for my project, as water is often mentioned in the book. I believe that water is meant to symbolize change, because it is mentioned every time a major change is presented in both the book and movie. This connects to what I believe is the theme of the story of Memoirs Of A Geisha. Water slowly washes one away. What led me to this conclusion was that the streams and lakes mentioned in the book and movie are like transition periods, which slowly chip away at our protagonist, Chiyo. She loses a little part of herself as the water runs, and when she finally reaches the ocean in the movie, she mentions her heart has died. 

Independent Reading Project: Film


[Tiffany D.] Movie Trailer

Demian by Herman Hesse is a book written during post-war Germany times. Demian is a philosophical piece of literature highlighting humanity and the root of selfishness that is deeply present in our characters. The book also questions one’s values and morality, and how the world has come to a point where many things have been permitted from man to see into. Demian explores a sinister concept that strays from the usual heroic persona of what a main character is expected to be, and narrates a young boy, Emil Sinclair who is torn between the worlds of the forbidden and righteous: “The realms of day and night. Two different worlds coming from two opposite poles mingled during this time.” Emil Sinclair grew up from a religious, catholic family who’s always believed in morals and righteous values, but he was more intrigued by the other half of the world: the cruel, ugly, and grotesque reality. Together, Sinclair and Demian embark on an internal journey in exploring the truths surrounding their identities and reality, encapsulated with philosophical and questionnaire monologues gravitating towards the constant questioning of what “borders” are permitted or forbidden for mankind to pass through. Throughout the book, there are multiple references to the Mark of Cain and the Fallen Angel, who has fallen from heaven and strayed from grace after a momentary rebellion because of what the angel has believed in that opposed God’s values.

Click on the image above to open up the IRP movie trailer.

[Tilly S.] A Thousand Ships Animation

The book I chose for my independent reading project is A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes. A Thousand Ships is a novel, a retelling of the infamous Trojan war, as told from the eyes of the women whose lives were forever altered by the war. A Thousand Ships is told through varying perspectives throughout the story—  from Calliope, the muse of poetry, to Penelope on the shores of Ithaca; from Cassandra the cursed prophetess, to Iphigenia unknowingly awaiting her death on Aulis. This book shows a revisionist depiction of the Trojan war— what led up to the conflict, as well as the consequences. It provides insightful remarks on the two-dimensional heroes of epics, showing that these  “great heroes” were also filled with fear, ego, lust, greed, envy and jealousy and sometimes downright stupidity. The plot of this story intertwines different threads of narrative beautifully, connecting different perspectives together to create a dazzling, full depiction of the Trojan war.

For my book project choice I chose to do an animation as I thought it would be super wonderful to see my favorite moments, and characters, come to life in the book. The steps for my project included storyboarding and drawing designs for the characters, looking through the book to find quotes that matched each different scene that I drew. My favorite part of this project was coming up with ideas of how the characters would look and drawing them.

Click the image above to watch the animation project.

Independent Reading Project: Character Astrology & Character Sheet


[Paula C.] Where The Crawdads Sing

For the second independent reading project, I chose to read Where the Crawdads Sing, a beautiful book written by Delia Owens. She uses immaculate imagery and description to help the reader visualize and understand the marshland of North Carolina in the 1950s-70s and how it thrives in parallel to people and wildlife. Kya, the main character, is abandoned at the young age of 7 or so, who learns to survive off of the marsh, it being the only thing that has ever offered hospitality to her. With barely any money or sober parenting by her flighty dad, she makes it through her childhood without school but plenty of reputation as the “Marsh Girl” because she lives isolated from the nearby town, Barkley Cove, on her personal beach surrounded by a lagoon. Kya immerses herself in the nature and animals of the marsh and becomes one with it. She learns to hide from unfamiliarity but one day a rare feather is left on a tree stump by her shack and she meets Tate, a boy a few years older than her that is a part of a childhood she can barely remember. Being the only person from the town that has ever approached her with kindness, Tate finds great interest in Kya and her collection of bird feathers, insects and other specimens. Since she had never been to school for more than a day in her life, Tate teaches 14 year old Kya to read and they grow very close. Tate has to attend college and never fulfills his promise to visit Kya in the marsh. She grows into a dignified young woman along with her collection, and Chase, one of the popular guys from Barkley Cove, tempts her with the idea of being her lover. She gives in to his ingenuine interest in her and they remain in an unnatural relationship for years before she realizes he only wants one thing, her virginity. He implements ideas of marriage in her brain but one day in the paper, she sees the engagement announcement of Chase and a girl from the town. Heartbroken yet again, she hides from Chase and starts working on a book about wildlife that sets off her writing career. Overall, this book has reinforced the idea that all you really have is yourself.

[Roenne S.] Character Sorting (Harry Potter Houses)

The book I chose for my IRP #2 was Charming as a Verb, by Ben Philippe. The book was centered around Henri Haltiwanger, a senior in high school and the son of a firefighting mother and an apartment building manager father. He is born of Haitian descent, and this is used prominently during the story, as the author himself is black. The idea behind the story is that Henri is very charming, in looks and especially with his words (hence verb). He also runs a dog business (it’s a scam!). One day, he is asked to walk the dog of his neighbor Corrine Troy. She then finds out what he is doing is a scam and decides to blackmail him into helping her become a better social person, as she personally was told by her counselor that she is very “intense.” This word is brought up multiple times throughout the story.

Since both of them are seniors, they are also applying to college, so this is an added stress to both of the characters. Interestingly enough, Corrine’s mother is part of the school board of a college Henri wants to apply to. Before, when he tried to get a recommendation from someone else, they said they didn’t believe he’d do well in the college he wanted to go to. One day, after walking Corrine’s dog Palm Tree, he sneaks onto Corrine’s mom’s computer and sends a fake email under her name, recommending Henri to the school.

The worst part is that he is caught one day, so he jeopardizes his chances of getting into this school. 

Some of the most prominent plot points in this story are:

1. His father wanted him to go to that specific college, because that was his father’s dream.
2. Corinne struggles socially.
3. Henri tries to make sense of his senior year, and what it means to grow up.

[Mariel D-LS] Six of Crows Character Sheet

The book I chose for my independent reading project is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. The genre of this book is fantasy. The main characters of this book is: Kaz Brekker, a 17 year old convict that has Haphephobia and thirst for revenge, Inej Ghafa, a 16 year old acrobat who had been sex trafficted and then turned into spy, Jesper Fahey, a 17 year old sharpshooter, who tries to hide his grisha powers and ends up being a heavy gambler, Wylen van eck, a 15 year runaway demolitions expert that cant read and resulting in his rich dad attempting to murder him to save the family name, Nina zenik, a 17 year old Grisha spy who was taken captive and saved by one of her captives, Mattias Helvar, a 18 year old druskelle who hated grisha until he was saved by one. The Story takes place in the fictional capital of Kerch, called Ketterdam that is the epicenter of rampant capitalism, complete with the extremely rich, and the extremely poor who has to resort to work in gangs, sex work, or unsafe factories to survive. So to survive all of these characters had to work in a gang called the dregs until they were offered a job to kidnap a scientist for a very large sum of money by an extremely rich mercher. Desperate as they were, they accepted and successfully completed the mission when they were double crossed by the mercher and left in the dust. Leigh Bardugo uses this story to show us the unfairness in life and How we look down on criminals for choosing this life, when people in power are the ones taking all of the good opportunities away from them.

I chose this project because I wanted to make a comic out of this book, so first I needed character sheets in order to do that. My first step was to design and then re-design the characters until I liked it, or I ran out of time. Then I made the color palettes according to their personality and clothing. And lastly, I gathered all of the quotes and information and put it all together. Something that went well was that I liked most of the designs. For example, I liked Inejs character design. Some challenges were coming up with the color combinations to fit the character but also look good. For example, I needed yellow for Mattiases hair, but then I would have to do an analogous or a split complimentary and I wouldn’t be able to get blue or red which is necessary for his eyes and his bloody scars.

Independent Reading Project: Magazine & Character Journal


[Oscar B.] Kirabo Writes: The Ugandan Paper

[Sachi B.] Everest Magazine

The book I read for my Independent Reading Project is Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer. It is a nonfiction novel from Krakauer’s point of view about a horrible disaster, which took place on Mount Everest. Ever since he was a boy, Krakauer dreamed of climbing Everest. He had climbed smaller mountains, but as time went on, the dream of climbing an over 29,000 feet above sea level mountain started to fade. In March 1995, he received a call from Outside Magazine, an editing and publishing company, proposing he join a guided Everest expedition, in order to write an article about the experience. He requested they pay for his fees, then immediately accepted, eager to accomplish a long term dream of his. In 1996 he finally climbed Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. It was a wretched and painful struggle to the summit, however descending the mountain would be the most difficult thing in his entire life. Unfortunately, Krakauer would not be the only one fighting to stay alive, “It had been a little sketchy there for a while, but in the end, everything had turned out great. It would be many hours before I learned that everything had not, in fact, turned out great. That 19 men and women were stranded on the mountain up in a storm, caught in a desperate struggle for their lives” (Krakauer).

[Rin M.] The Hobbit Magazine

For my creative project, I decided to make a magazine about Bilbo Baggins as if I were a magazine writer in Middle Earth, which is where The Hobbit’s story takes place. I chose a magazine project because I saw a student from another class do a magazine project for their first IRP and their work looked really interesting. I also imagined that it would require some editing and editing is something I like to do in my spare time. I also outlined how I would make the magazine. I was planning on splitting the magazine into sections; Meet Bilbo Baggins, The Journey, A Town on the Lake, The Battle, Exclusive Interview, and Bilbo’s Journey. I kept some of the ideas but I took some out when I realized how small my storage was and how much time it would take me to write two different summaries of Bilbo’s journey, copy and paste the font, and then edit it all. I ended up very proud of the magazine as I tried to write it with the wording that J.R.R Tolkien would have used. In the book, he added a bunch of parentheses to clarify things, and told the story as if he was there and was explaining what happened to little kids.

[Beatrice] The Perks of Being a Wallflower ZINE

The book I chose for my independent reading project is The Perks Of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky. The Perks Of Being a Wallflower is a young adult coming of age novel, centered around a 15 year old boy named Charlie and his start of high school. The book is told from his point of view, in the form of letters he writes to an unknown “friend”, or us the reader. The story is set in the early 1990’s, and Charlie is starting his freshman year. He is a shy character who is very thoughtful and thinks deeply about the world. I see him as an observer. He struggles with mental health and had various upsetting experiences, including his aunt passing away and the suicide of a best friend. He begins high school without any friends, but meets two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who are more spontaneous and expose him to the high school experience, and make him feel like he belongs somewhere. Towards the end of Charlie’s freshman year he struggles mentally with the fact that all his friends will be gone and off to college, leaving him alone. This leads to a breakdown, and time in the hospital, but he makes it through, these letters he has been writing have helped him along the way.

[Tesla] The Martian ZINE

Have you ever had a dream or thought about what you would do if all of a sudden everybody in the world disappeared. Sometimes the dream would include a zombie apocalypse. Or you would be thinking “What would my friends do?”  Well for Mark Watney, it wasn’t a dream.The book I chose for my independent reading project was The Martian by Andy Weir. The Martian is a science fiction novel that follows the adventures of Mark Watney, who as you may have guessed, is stuck. Alone. On Mars. Mark is one of the six astronauts a part of the Ares 3 mission to Mars, but soon after landing disaster struck. A deadly sandstorm strikes their habitat causing them to run for an abort. Unfortunately, Mark is struck with loose debris and proclaimed dead while the rest of the crew aborts mars. To his surprise, Mark wakes up alive and alone on a barren planet, and nobody knows it. As I followed Mark throughout his journey across the planet I learned a lot of important life lessons and about Mars in general.

For my project, I chose to create a magazine starring Mark Watney after his return to earth. I wanted to use my media skills to portray Mark and his stories of being stuck alone on Mars. To do this I started off by gathering quotes from the book to create a fake interview. I collected images online and put them together to make it look like Mark was being interviewed about his journey on Mars. I really enjoyed researching all the hidden eggs I didn’t notice when I first read the book. Unimportant details like his birthdate and where he went to school. I felt like I was researching a real person. When I got everything I needed I used photoshop to put everything together but because I had never used photoshop before I spent a lot of time learning how to use the tools. I think this set me back but was also a good learning experience because I had a project to edit using photoshop.


I chose the book Vicious by VE Schwab for my independent reading project. It is a sci-fi novel about people with superpowers. It takes place in modern day but the book is written so that it jumps across a period of 10 years. Vicious touches on key themes of revenge, heroes and villains, and power. The main character Victor Vale is a college student. Ever since Victor met his roommate Eli he had noticed something different beneath the arrogant typical boring college boy. Eli had noticed the same thing about Victor and they both became friends. For their senior thesis they both choose to research adrenaline, near death experiences, and people with superpowers. When they discover that ExtraOrdinary people can be created in near death experiences, they decide to experiment on themselves. When they succeed things start to go wrong. 10 years later, the book follows Victor and his mismatched group of friends, including a hulking criminal with bad luck and a young girl who can bring back the dead. They are on a hunt to find and get revenge on Eli who has been tracking down other EOs and killing them, saying he is being led by god.

[Kiara T.] Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

In the science fiction novel, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams creates a story about Arthur Dent, Ford Perfect, Zaphod, Trillian, and Marvin, who is a depressed robot. The story begins in England, present time, where Ford saves his best friend, Arthur, right before the Earth is destroyed, and takes him to his old home, The Galaxy. Arthur and Ford hideout in an alien ship before being saved by Zaphod and Trillian. Together the four ride in their ship, The Heart of Gold, while facing challenges living in The Galaxy, and Arthur discovers the truth about Earth.

For my IRP, I wanted to create my own project again. I was inspired by the children’s book assignment, but slightly altered the option by making it a journal instead of a book. I think it is interesting the way Arthur Dent has to adjust to a new way of life very quickly, and I wanted to create something that highlighted that. To begin, I looked over my notes from the book and just focused on the parts that included Arthur in them. Using those I created the basic idea for each notebook spread, and wrote them all out. The final step was my favorite part of this project, which was designing each page in the journal and adding different color themes and titles for each book spread. However creating the small details in each page was also challenging. I had to look further into the character development of Arthur Dent, and write each page as he would and not as I would. I also had to create a drawing style I thought suited him, which turned out to be a kind of sketchy and messy style. In the end I believe the pages I created reflected Arthur’s personality pretty well, and I had a great time completing this project. 

Independent Reading Project: Music Playlists


[Bebe S.] Dune

The book I chose for my independent reading project was Dune, a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert that follows the story of a prophetic boy named Paul. When the book begins, we are introduced to a sheltered, but not ignorant or pretentious version of Paul. As the book continues, we see Paul mature, especially after the death of his father and the time where he leads a tribe known as the Fremen. As Paul learns the way of the Fremen, the characters around him such as his mother and Chani, a girl whom he is very close to, go on their own journeys, meet their destinies, and support Paul, who is now known as Muad’dib among the Fremen. The story develops as Paul loses his son and nearly loses his sister to war. During this period in the book, we finally see Pauls’s journey from boy to man, and the political weight that rests on his shoulders. As he makes important decisions that may sacrifice the lives of his loved ones, accepts his role as a prophet, and leads a religious revolution, we see the goals, struggles, and highlights of humanity in Paul’s character.

Please click image above to open up project.

[David A.] The Martian Playlist Project

Andy Weir’s The Martian, is about Mark Watney, an astronaut all alone on Mars after his crewmates left thinking he was dead. Watney’s goal is to survive, find a way to communicate with Earth, and eventually get rescued. During his time on Mars, he avoids near death situations like the Hab (main building) exploding due to a hole in the ceiling, but relies on his instincts to survive. Some other things Watney goes through include building a potato farm and growing the first crops ever to be grown on Mars as well as driving over three thousand kilometers in a modified rover to get to a spaceship. There were a total of six astronauts on the trip, each with a different skill set and Watney is the engineer and botanist. Against all odds, Watney gets the spaceship to work and flies up until he reaches his crewmates waiting for him in space to then enter his crewmate’s spaceship and fly back to the safety of Earth.

Click on the image above to open up the playlist.

[Sky K.]

In a dystopian world of institutional misogyny, girls are sent to an encampment to ride out their sixteenth year and more importantly expel their dangerous womanly magic. Before they are sent off, their fathers barter with the eligible bachelors of the town and reveal the matches during a veiling ceremony. Our protagonist Tierney — stinging from the betrayal of her childhood friend forcing her into marriage and targeted by an angry Kiersten who wishes to marry Michael in her stead — enters the grace year with a reliance on logic. However, Kiersten uses the girls’ belief in magic to turn the encampment against her and soon she is chased from the safety of the encampment walls into poacher territory, wounded with only an axe to protect her. She blacks out, and awakes in the home of a poacher who claims to be nursing her back to health, rather than skinning her alive to be sold to cannibals believing that the flesh of grace year girls contains eternal youth. She convinces herself that she is taking advantage of his hospitality, using him for survival, but she can’t ignore the fact that she is developing feelings for him. Over time she realizes that her feelings are reciprocated and they make a plan to run away together. Unfortunately the plan is thwarted by the poachers best friend, who threatens to kill her and the poacher if she doesn’t return to the encampment. She returns to the encampment and discovers that the well is laced with a hallucinogen, slowly she weanes the girls onto fresh water from a stream in the forest, and they regain their senses realizing that the magic is in fact a lie. The girls board up the well and leave the encampment clean and equipped with all of the tools they’d fashioned over the course of they’re grace year. The grace year girls return to the town and Tierney reveals that she is pregnant. Michael persuades the council that the baby is his and the book ends with the child’s birth and the realization that Michael is a better man than she’d thought. 

The Grace Year the Musical 
(skip to 8:11 for my favorite song!!)

Click on image above to open up full musical.

Independent Reading Project: Infographic / Timeline


[Gen H.] History of Nike

Written by Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows is a fantasy/young adult novel that takes place in a make-believe universe. The book starts off in Ketterdam, the capital of Island nation Kerch, in a world where people called Grisha (humans with unnatural abilities) exist. In the city of Ketterdam, a new drug called Jurda Parem is discovered to be able to enhance Grisha abilities and control them due to it’s intense addictive properties. Because the drug has not yet been introduced to the public, Jan Van Eck ( One of Ketterdam’s wealthy merchants) sees a prosperous opportunity in the monopolization of the drug. To accomplish ownership of Jurda Parem, however, Jan Van Eck first needs to retrieve Bo Yul-Bayur (the scientist who created Parem) for the formula. However, Bo Yul-Bayur has already been captured and contained in the ice court, a high security military stronghold in Fjerda that is said to be impossible to infiltrate. Because of the extremely low chance of successfully capturing the scientist and making it out alive, Van Eck has no choice but to to hire seventeen year old Kaz Brekker for the job, a seemingly amoral well known underground gang member who has gained the name Dirtyhands due to his dangerous reputation of doing anything for money. 

Click on image above to open up the project.

[Justice J.] Industrial Society Infographic

The book I chose for my independent reading project was Industrial Society and Its Future by Theodore John Kaczynski. Industrial Society and Its Future is a nonfiction book about the industrial revolution. Kaczynski is an anarchist/domestic terrorist and author who lived off the grid for a majority of his life, and who spoke about the industrial revolution and how it has affected society. He focuses on how technology has modified the way we go about our daily lives, and how it has had a psychological impact on humans. In his 120 page manifesto, Kaczynski focuses on the more negative effects that the industrial revolution has had on people, mentioning multiple times how everything was a lot easier and there was a lot less to worry about primitive society, where your only job was to provide for yourself and your family. Kaczynski is of the opinion that everyone should know or learn how to fend for themselves, be able to hunt, swim, live without electricity and running water, and be completely self sufficient.



March is Women’s History Month!
Students will be creating posters that amplify words from women we studied in this class (during our “Power of Language” Unit) or women that you look up to.

STEP 1: FIND 2+ MEMORABLE QUOTES from Jamila Lyiscott, Liz Acevedo, Amy Tan, Claudia Rankine, Solange OR find your own quote from other women that you admire. *You are encouraged to center the words of BIPOC / LGBTQ+ women who are historically left out of WHM celebrations.

Create a poster that showcases your chosen quote & author of the quote.
Every “poster” needs: 1) quote 2) name of quote author 3) symbol/visual that corresponds with the quote (optional). You may work independently or in partners.


Jackson S.

Sachi B.

Beatrice W.

Sam P.

Sophia T.

Bebe S.

Hazel F. & Dylan D.

Oscar B.

Linn S.

Melody B.

Lily L.

Emilia B.

Tilly S. & Isabel C.

Independent Reading Project (IRP): Book Magazine


Ever wanted to be an editor for a magazine? Create a magazine or ZINE with important information from your book. As the magazine editor, you can choose unique ways to cover the author, book characters, theme, plot/story arc, setting, memorable quotations, etc. You may choose between short articles (an interview with the author, main character’s conflict) comics, editorials, what character are you? quizzes, etc.


[Amali H.]

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, follows Starr Carter on her journey in fighting racism.  Starr goes to a predominantly white school, and lives in a predominantly black neighborhood, and she’s always struggled with feeling like she belongs in either society.  When she witnesses her best friend’s murder, both of her worlds are flipped upside down, and she has a harder time than ever keeping them separate.  The trauma of losing her childhood friend, Khalil Harris, causes Starr to push away some of the most important people in her life, such as her boyfriend, Chris, and her best friend, Hailey.  When Starr goes to an interview and talks about an anonymous drug dealer in Garden heights, she gets herself into trouble with the gang leader, King.  This book is about Starr’s experience in using her voice as a weapon to speak out against racism, and discovering who her true friends are along the way.

I chose the magazine as my project, because the events in the book are very similar to events going on in the real world right now.  I scandalized the plot, as a magazine trying to get publicity would do.  My favorite part of this project was getting to use my artistic creativity and expression, and getting to write about the events of the book from a different point of view. 

Click on the image above to open up the student project.

[Kiko T.]

The book I chose for my Independent Reading Project is Eleanor and Park, a novel by Rainbow Rowell. The story is told from both Eleanor and Park’s perspectives, allowing the reader to gain a deeper understanding of their actions and feelings. The story takes place in Omaha, Nebraska, from 1986-87. Eleanor is seen by her classmates as a slightly chubby girl with fiery red hair and odd clothes. On the outside, Park is a quiet, Asian, and forgettable character. They meet on the school bus and they are both repelled by each other, sitting as far away as their seatbelts would allow. Something about each other draws them in, each bus ride bringing them closer. They are connected by Park’s comic books and music, and Park even (awkwardly) gives a mixtape to Eleanor. Their relationship is born from the moment after countless exchanges of music and comic books where Park holds Eleanor’s hand. Their relationship is put on the test by bullying, parents, and their battling personalities. Eleanor’s step dad is abusive, forcing Eleanor to conceal her relationship with Park. When her step-father discovers Park and Eleanor’s relationship, he wrecks her room, proving that Eleanor coming home would be more dangerous than usual. To Eleanor’s disbelief, many people band together to help her escape to her uncle’s house. Park emotionally drives her up to her uncle’s house, returning in hopes to hear from her immediately. In the months that pass, no word is heard from Eleanor until Park receives a postcard, three words long, I love you.

[Jade R.]

The book I chose for this project was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It follows the story of a girl named Starr and how she lost her  friend Khalil due to police brutality, she lives in a little town called Garden Heights that’s controlled by a gang which her uncle (King) leads. You can see how after  Khalil’s death she starts to notice things that she normally brushed over like racist comments made by peers or how differently people treated her. She feels the need to code switch between “Garden Heights Starr” and “Williamson Prep Starr”  ; it follows her story and how she tries to bring justice. She takes part in protests but faces enormous guilt.

I chose to make a magazine talking about different types of racism and what to do about it because in the book it was excused and only after Khalil’s death did Starr recognize what her friend was saying was racist. I wanted to make sure that people knew the difference between the things racist comments are said to “actually be” and show the truth behind them and to speak up about it.

[Eve M.]

I chose The Thousandth Floor series by Katherine McGee for my independent reading project. They are dystopian novels set in 2118. The trilogy is a Gossip Girl esqu highschool romance series, heavily laced with drugs, money, and power. In New York city, a 1,000 floor skyscraper, called ‘The Tower’ by its residents, is home to Avery, Atlas, Leda, Watt, Rylin, and Cord. The first book, The Thousandth Floor, is written using their perspectives, excluding Atlas. The book begins with Leda coming back from a rehab center and Atlas returning from his year abroad. Avery and Leda are lifelong best friends but their relationship becomes strained after Leda keeps her rehab stint hidden. Eris and Cord are part of the uptower group as well. Unlike the rest of characters, Watt and Rylin don’t come from uptower (money). Rylin only becomes involved with the group as Cord’s maid, but that privilege is taken advantage of when she steals his drugs for money. Watt and Nadia, his illegal quantum computer, become involved after anonymously becoming employed by Leda to update her on everything Atlas. An awkward love triangle is then formed between Atlas, Avery, and Leda. Publicly Leda and Atlas got together but Atlas and Avery are the true couple. That creates even more of an issue because Atlas is Avery’s adopted brother. Watt and Nadia figured this out and relayed it on to Leda. Eris finds out her dad isn’t her true father and is actually Leda’s half sister.This information never gets out until after her death, a fatal ‘accident’ involving her drunkenly ‘slipping’ of The Tower’s roof.  On the day of Eris’ death, Eris, Avery, Leda, Rylin, and Watt had end up on the roof. In the heat of a shouting match and in a slightly impaired state, Leda accidentally pushes Eris off the roof. All the witnesses, however, claimed the incident to be accidental. Leda’s blackmail over them; Watt’s illegal quantum computer, Avery’s forbidden love, Rylin’s stealing from her now boyfriend, made sure that the truth never surfaced.

[Sara Y.]

I read The Beautiful and the Damned, by F. Scott Fitzgerald for my independent reading project. The novel takes place during the 1910s to 1920s. This era was called the Jazz Age and the term was popularized by Fitzgerald’s writing, and documentation of the time period. The novel features Gloria Gilbert and Anthony Patch, who meet through Dick Caramel, a mutual friend. Anthony is a Harvard graduate, who has spent his whole life waiting for grandfather, Adam Patch to die, so Anthony can inherit a large portion of his 40 million dollar fortune. Gloria Patch, a New York socialite, aspiring actress, the heroine of the story, is beautiful, but she lives in the constant shallow fear of growing old and losing her beauty. Gloria and Anthony get married, but their happiness doesn’t last. Anthony begins to worry while waiting for his grandfather’s death, and Gloria fears with every new day that she will lose her youth and beauty. When Adam Patch dies, Anthony is disinherited, and he frantically turns to alcohol as an escape. For the first time in their lives, the Patch family is struggling, and they actually have to work. Anthony ends up cheating on Gloria with a 19 year old girl, and the family falls apart and down the social ladder. 

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Independent Reading Project (IRP): Graphic Novel / Children’s Book


Want to retell the story you just read in your own way? Perhaps for a younger audience? Create a graphic novel or a children’s book version of your chosen novel.

[Melody B.]

[Ben F.]

The book I chose was The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos. This book is fantasy fiction with magic and friendship. The main character is called Sam and is about his whole senior year. He is one of the three students of the magic club called The Fascinators. The main plot is about a magical book with powerful spells. The main theme is about friendship and that they might not last forever, things change. The book starts with his first day of school and a big secret that his best friend has kept from him which led to a lot of worried days. He stole a very powerful book and the group that he stole it from wants it back and when the group has it they use it to drain people’s magic.

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The Hunger Games is a dystopian novel written by Suzanne Collins. Our protagonist Katniss Everdeen, a witty and resourceful girl, goes on this wild journey through the Capitol of Panem’s nationally televised death show called the Hunger Games. In the Hunger Games, two youth from each of the 12 districts are selected to play in the games. Katniss is thrown into the arena with nothing but her hunting skills and her determination. She wins the games by swaying the Capitol away with her and Peeta’s (the boy tribute from district 12) love story. One of the main themes in Hunger Games is freedom versus oppression.

Explanation for Creative Project:
I adapted to my target demographic by making it look as interesting as possible. Comic book lovers are crazy about action scenes and I think my cover perfectly captures that need. The vibrant colors and composition promises the reader a book full of intense and action-packed shots just like it.

Color is a very important part of telling a story. Color sets the tone and mood. If your story is intense and thrilling, adding the color makes that much of a difference. The themes in my drawing are clear thanks to the Girl on Fire’s fire absolutely consuming everything in its path. In addition, the dark, gloomy, and eerie atmosphere of the Hunger Games arena along with the mysterious characters on the side really set the mood.

[Sky K.]

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is a science fiction book in every sense. The story follows Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect as they hitchhike their way off of earth before its demolition. They team up with Ford’s semi cousin Zaphod Beeblebox and his human girlfriend Trillian (who Arthur fancies). Together, they discover the seemingly dead planet Magrathea, and the truth about the demolished planet earth. 

 I enjoyed reading this book immensely, due to Adams’s witty sense of humor. This book has a perfect balance of head spinning theories and laugh out laugh one liners. My personal favorite being “‘Ford,’ he said, ‘your turning into a penguin. Stop it” (Adams 82). Reading his writing is almost like reading music in the sense that I can feel where all the beats are. This makes the emotion of the novel incredibly potent. 

I used technology to my advantage, specifically the dilation tools and the copy and paste buttons. I determined that using the bulk of my time to create high quality sketches of each of the main characters, and using the remainder of my time to create low quality backgrounds and side characters gave me the best results. I am proud of the work that I have submitted.


The book I chose for this independent project is When The Sea Turned To Silver by Grace Lin. This book follows a young girl named Pinmei and her friend Yishan, on a journey to find a luminous stone that lights the night, after Pinmei’s grandmother is kidnapped and kept prisoner by the emperor. When The Sea Turned To Silver is centered on Chinese folklore, which depicts strenuous journeys completed by the main characters in their path to save Pinmei’s grandmother. In these adventures Yishan and Pinmei encounter powerful and mysterious characters such as Noble Lady Meng, a grieving woman who rides a glowing white horse in a search for her deceased husband, and the Sea King, a wise individual who rules the sea, and guards the most important treasures. With a combination of storytelling and adventure, this book weaves together dragons, goddesses, and cruel emperors, in a fast-paced, hooking way. 

I chose this book because I had developed a large interest in Chinese folklore after reading the first two books of the series, Where The Mountain Meets The Moon and Starry River Of The Sky. Grace Lin describes her scenes in a fun, almost playful way, but does not fail to pull at one’s heartstrings. In addition, in certain parts of the book there are beautiful illustrations made by Grace Lin herself, that are very hard to replicate. The fact that there are illustrations lets you see the book in a different light, because even though one would be able to picture the wondrous sites in their mind, the experience would not be the same. I believe that the illustrations truly have to do with how special Grace Lin’s style is. Before reading this series of books, I had no prior knowledge of Chinese folklore, but now I find myself enthralled by longmas, marble fish, and paintings that come to life. I hope to soon read Grace Lin’s many other books, and possibly dive deeper into the world of Chinese mythology. 

Independent Reading Project (IRP): Character Astrology


A fan of astrology? After researching astrology or sun signs, figure out which signs you think 4-5 of the characters from your book were born under. Create a character astrology presentation introducing your character and their sign, including why you think they fit the sign after drawing on their actions, attitudes, and thoughts from the novel.


The book I have chosen for this project is To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. It is a historical fiction book that takes place in a fictional city called Maycomb, Alabama during the Great depression. Jean Louise Finch, or otherwise known as Scout Finch, is the narrator of this novel. She lives with her four years older brother Jeremy Atticus Finch, her father Atticus Finch, and the family’s black cook Calpurnia. Her mother died when she was only two years old. Scout is six years old at the start of the novel, and ages to nine years old. Atticus is a Lawyer and defends a black man named Tom Robinson not able to bear the racist community of Maycomb. Scout learned the darker side of the world, even though she is still seven years old. This is an event that symbolizes the most important lesson, “To kill a mockingbird.” Mockingbirds represents innocence, because they only sing and do not eat farm crops. They do not harm humans, so it is a sin to kill mockingbirds. Many characters like Tom were killed for innocence. Scout learns that the world is unfair and many innocent “Mockingbirds” like Tom get killed, so she has to remember not to kill the innocent people.

I chose this book because I saw a lot of Black Lives Matter movements across America. I wanted to read a book that was about segregation and racial prejudice to learn deeper about what is happening to America right now.

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[Eve H.]

Why I killed my best friend, by Amanda Michalopoulou translated from greek by Karen Emmerich is a book that tells the stories of the life of a girl named Maria. It starts off from when she was young and lived in Africa with her parents, and it tells of how she moved to Athens, Greece at a time that there were many political issues in the country and how her life began to change forever. When Maria begins her new life in Athens she quickly makes friends with another girl in her class named Anna. Anna is “all knowing” in the eyes of Maria and in the beginning their friendship is great for the both of them. But as they get older and their interests change and they themselves evolve, we see how Maria and Anna struggle to keep their friendship afloat. Regardless, they have many adventures and find themselves in crazy situations that put their friendship to the test. Even though they may grow apart, they always find their way back to each other for better or worse. Something that is unique about this story is that it jumps from the past to the future and the way that Michalopoulou uses that method helps the reader really see into the complex friendship of Maria and Anna. The reader can see how events that occurred when they were younger influenced the future. Maria and Anna go through many obstacles but in the end, will they still be friends?

I have recently been getting very interested in crystals and in connecting more with my spirit and true emotions and as I was reading this book I felt that the main characters especially really struggled with their self identity. I really enjoyed getting to learn more about different crystals and making the connection between the book and the gems. I felt that I was able to portray the meaning of the crystals and the decision behind choosing which one for each character in my slideshow and I am very proud of that.

[Tiffany D.]

I read the Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard. The genre is fantasy fiction. The main character’s name is Mare Barrows, and the other characters go by the names Cal (Tiberias) Calore, Maven Calore, Evangeline Samos, Shade Barrow and Kilorn Warren. The setting is in a fantasy Victorian era with a royalty hierarchy. The plot is about a commoner who turned into a princess after a discovery of her magical powers and abilities, then strives to take the Queen’s throne. Social classes are depicted by the color of blood they have, and the two common colors significant to the book’s plot is Red and Silver. Red is a lower class, while Silver is on top. Silver people in the book are known to possess magical elements and abilities while Red doesn’t, making it a huge mystery when the main protagonist, a Red, discovered her lightning ability. The general theme for the entirety of “Red Queen” is how the protagonist sees the hierarchy corruption and the displays of injustice given to Reds by Silvers, and how the protagonist wishes to change that for the better.

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