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The student news site of Stockbridge High School

Uncaged

The student news site of Stockbridge High School

Uncaged

Behind the pages

Books dealing with the struggles of mental health
Behind+the+pages
Maggie Jones

Why Fish Don’t Exist

Lulu Miller highlights the life of scientist David Starr Jordan who studies fish and whose discoveries account for about 20 percent of known fish to man. Throughout his life, Jordan looked at chaos face-to-face and decided to ignore it, regardless of how bad something may be. His mindset and persistence interested Miller, and so she researched everything she could to learn more about him and how he could have such perseverance. How could someone pick their head back up when an earthquake destroys their fish specimen collection, and instead of moping around, sew the parts back together? Miller doesn’t just note Jordan’s experiences, but her own as well including the personal struggles she has gone through and how that may have affected her mindset on certain events in her life.

 

Why Fish Don’t Exist is a compelling and enticing read that captivates readers from the very first page. Acting as a memoir, biography and philosophical piece, Lulu Miller analyzes the struggle of heartbreak, loss and the true meaning of finding one’s self. It’s simply a story within a story, which just adds to the enticement of it all. Reading this book opens up doors to ideas and perspectives you would have never thought to think about, and that is what makes it such an amazing read.


Every Last Word

Teenager Samantha McAllister has a secret that nobody knows but her family – not even her best friends: she has purely obsessional OCD. This disorder plagues her with obsessive thoughts and behaviors that keep her up at night. As Sam battles to stay in her high school clique while also dealing with her inner thoughts, she befriends a shy but smart girl named Caroline, who shows her a world that she never knew existed. This new world confined in a small room in the school basement allows her to express her feelings through poetry. As Sam navigates her new writing journey and friendships, she discovers that some things may not seem as they appear to be.

 

Every Last Word is both a poignant and hopeful novel that encapsulates a young girl’s struggle with her overwhelming OCD. The reader follows fleshed-out characters who begin to feel like close friends as the story progresses. The writing is clever and heartfelt, encapsulating much of the author’s personal struggle with OCD within the pages. Although the plot has slow sections and certain revelations may be far-fetched, Every Last Word is ultimately an engaging story that will tug at the heartstrings and show you the world from a different perspective as well as the internal struggles they face.


Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

Hamnet follows the family of the famous playwright William Shakespeare. Starting in his tense childhood and moving into his old age, Hamnet chronicles the life of Shakespeare as he and his wife Agnes grow their family with their daughter Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. As the Bubonic Plague starts to spread through Stratford-Upon-Avon, Hamnet grows severely ill and dies at the young age of twelve. This tragedy sends ripples of grief throughout the Shakespeare family as William, looking for an answer to his pain, begins to write a new play, one named after his late son: Hamlet. The story ends with the family learning to cope with the loss of Hamnet as Hamlet finds immediate success in the London theatres.

 

Maggie O’Farrell manages to showcase her in-depth research of the Shakespeare family while also crafting a new, imaginative narrative unlike any other. She intertwines the complex themes of grief and love to model what it means to be a family. Her beautiful writing and diction ensure that each sentence is crafted with a certain enchantment, and she relays the story at a hurried pace that resembles a multi-generational story being told around a warm fire. Heartbreaking and powerful, Hamnet is an instant classic that brings a new narrative surrounding both the Shakespeare family and the world-renowned play Hamlet.

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About the Contributors
Taiyler Stanfield, Editor In Chief
Taiyler Stanfield joined Uncaged halfway through her junior year and is an Editor-in-Chief this year. When she’s not yelling at students to do their work or editing articles for hours at a time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family. After graduating, Taiyler plans to quit her full-time job Tokyo-drifting on the way to school to attend Eastern Michigan University, where she will pursue a degree in Young Adult Literature to become an editor for a publishing company. If all hope is lost, Taiyler will instead pursue screenwriting in hopes that one day she will make the big bucks and win an Oscar for the blood, sweat, and tears she shed. You will occasionally hear Taiyler desiring to have at least five cats, as she is dangerously obsessed with them. Because of this obsession, it is with 100% certainty that she will become the neighborhood's crazy cat lady.
Maggie Jones, Reporter
This is Maggie’s first year joining the UNCAGED family. Maggie is the President of the National Honor Society and the co-captain of her volleyball team. After high school, Maggie plans on attending either Central Michigan University or Saginaw Valley University to pursue a Master’s degree in either Dietetics or Occupational Therapy. In her free time, Maggie enjoys reading, hiking, babysitting her two angels, working at the library, and spending time with her family.
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