Category Archives: Entertainment

Famous Horror Figures Inspire Teen Thrillers

By Mrs. McHugh

HHS Librarian

Mary Shelley is often considered the mother of horror stories, having published Frankenstein in 1818 when she was just 20. Lizzie Borden is famous for another kind of horror; she was accused of killing her parents with an ax in 1892. She was found not guilty, but the verdict has been debated for decades. These famous figures inspired two recent young adult thrillers that are fast-paced, exciting reads.

The Mary Shelley Clubby Goldy Moldavsky – After surviving a traumatic attack, Rachel moves to a new home and school. But her emotional scars and her scholarship make it hard to fit into the elitist Manchester Prep. Soon she stumbles upon a group of classmates who are as obsessed with horror movies as she is, and she thrills to join in with the pranks they compete to pull off. When someone starts targeting their group and people begin getting hurt, Rachel must confront her dark past if she hopes to survive. This engaging novel pays homage to many horror movies and has the high school vibe of TV shows like Gossip Girl.

It Will End Like This by Kyra Leigh – The author says Borden’s story led her to imagine what could lead someone to commit such an awful crime and this novel explores those possibilities. Two teenage sisters lose their mother and begin to fear their father and his girlfriend actually killed her. Their grief and sadness spiral into suspicion and paranoia, and the consequences are deadly. The depiction of their grief is raw and realistic, the climax is exciting and the reader is kept guessing until the end. I felt there were some flaws with the story, so I’d love to discuss it with other readers. But it was still a page-turner.

Featured image: Credit: Creative Commons Zero – CC0

Drama Club Shines at METG Festival

The Hawk Staff

The HHS Drama Club received rave reviews for its performance in the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild’s Drama Festival at Duxbury High School on March 19. Presenting the one-act play Badger by Don Zolidis, the cast and crew performed brilliantly with individual awards going to stage manager Karen Bell, actors Ben Manning and Morgan Gentile, choreographer Callia Gilligan and musical composer Jacob Asnes. While the show will not be moving to the next round, the cast and crew did a fantastic job representing HHS.

the 2022 METG logo designed by Jashia Sikder of Brockton High School

The METG Drama Festival is an annual theatrical competition. Schools gather together and each presents a 40-minute one-act piece, with just 5 minutes to put together and strike, or take down, their sets. At the end of the day, each play is scored and three winners are named. Drama Festival is a wonderful and exciting day, an event that HHS Drama annually participates in. 

In the past, HHS has presented shows such as The Scheme of the Driftless Shifter, an over-the-top comedy. In 2019, the club advanced to the semi-finals with its production of At the Bottom of Lake Missoula. Last year, due to the pandemic, the festival was moved to a virtual presentation. Hanover still participated with 4 A.M. by Johnathon Dorf, submitting a video of the performance. 

This year’s play Badger focused on four women working in a munitions factory during World War II and the challenges they faced as women in the workforce. It is both a heartbreaking and uplifting story that paints a strong picture of the hardships of domestic life during the war. 

The cast was led by Sammy Burke (‘22) as Rose, Gentile (‘22) as Irene, Lauren Casey (‘22) as Grace, and Caris Mann (‘22) as Barbara. Manning (‘22) played Tim, another factory worker who takes an interest in Rose, and Rose Giordani (‘22) played Barbara’s husband, John, who is overseas fighting. The Chorus included Erin Shea (‘23), Kendall Sherwood (‘22), Mary Longueil (‘22), Paulina Leskow (‘24), Addy Potter (‘24), Bella MacDonald (‘24) and Kaya Biunculli (‘23). The Chorus is the backbone of the show, taking on various characters and roles within the factory. 

Rehearsals began before the fall musical was even complete, under the direction of Mr. Fahey and the stage management of Bell (‘22) and Paulina Leskow (‘24). Asnes (’25) composed original music for the play. A performance for the HHS community on March 17 served as a final rehearsal before competition.

A New Epidemic Strikes Seniors

By Callia Gilligan, ’22

Staff Writer

As winter rolls into spring here at Hanover High School, the mysterious disease known as “Senioritis” has officially fallen upon the Class of 2022. 

Scientists are unsure if Senioritis is a virus or infection, but common symptoms are lack of motivation, fallen grades, tiredness, and overall apathy for all things school-related. Usually, Senioritis falls around the spring and has been known to only increase in symptoms as Graduation comes closer. 

Senioritis can manifest in different ways. 

Tiana Wakefield said that she suffers most from a lack of motivation. “I can’t bring myself to do work anymore, and I think that’s everyone too.”

McKenzie Bottomley doubted the existence of the sickness when she was an underclassman, but now says, “Senioritis is real, I’m literally just staring at this paper right now. I literally can’t bring myself to even read my notes.”

Jack Dolan couldn’t even give me a quote because “that’s how little I care right now.” 

Even the projected valedictorian and class brainiac, Bella Kelley, has taken ill. “I feel like I’m feeling it,” she said. “I feel like I’m still keeping up with all my classes but we’re definitely getting closer to the end.” 

Senioritis, interestingly, seems to be in direct conflict with the work of teachers, who have frustratingly taken notice of the widespread symptoms plaguing the Class of 2022. 

“Late. Absent. Tardy. Missing. Is there anything else to say?” Mrs. Curtis stated. “Senioritis”

Mrs. Galotti noted in her sixth-period Calculus class that the disease was “definitely affecting this class” but stopped to tell talking students to “do some math.” She added, “this is not my favorite time of year.”

Even teachers who do not teach seniors like Mr. Perry said, “From what I’ve heard, Senioritis is a problem. It seems to start earlier every year.” 

Clearly many teachers are frustrated by the yearly apathy that strikes the Senior Class but some aren’t too concerned. 

“I think we should wait nine or so weeks and it will all blow over,” said Mr. Henderson. Coincidentally, in nine weeks, the seniors are done with school. 

https://www.metroparent.com/education/school-issues/symptoms-cures-senioritis-high-school-seniors/

Many are connecting the Senioritis plaguing the high school to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“I’ve had senioritis since COVID started,” said Emma Talbot. 

Could Senioritis really be pandemic fatigue? Mr.Fahey doesn’t think so. “Senioritis is a disease that gets contracted by students the very first year they come to high school and meet their first senior,” he said.

If you find yourself feeling ill with Senioritis, doctors recommend prioritizing assignments that you might actually like, so you can bring some enjoyment back into your schoolwork.  If you feel yourself still struggling with motivation, doctors also recommend reminding yourself that colleges can revoke your offer of admission if you fail your classes. If even this doesn’t work, you should cut your losses and enjoy your nap. 

With college applications completed, Graduation looming on the horizon, and the weather warming up, can you really blame seniors for wanting to take a break? As Mr.Fahey put it, “Senioritis is earned.” Seniors have worked hard to get to this point, so as long as we keep up the good work (or at least some work), we deserve to slow down and enjoy this last stretch of our high school career. 

Featured image: https://www.scholarships.com/news/tips-for-curing-senioritis

Memoirs Bare Trauma of Childhood Poverty, Abuse

By Mrs. McHugh

HHS Librarian

Rex Ogle’s memoirs may be deceiving. With cartoonish covers and less than 200 pages each, the books might seem easy or meant for younger readers. But the subjects he deals with – extreme poverty, homelessness and physical abuse – are for mature audiences. While his younger school self narrates the stories, readers in high school or older may be best equipped to handle the content. This isn’t meant to warn anyone off. It’s just to make clear that what may look like a short or easy book from the outside in fact deals with some pretty heavy stuff.

In Free Lunch, Rex struggles to fit in at the start of sixth grade. With his mother and stepfather unemployed and prone to fits of violence, Rex is desperate to hide signs of their poverty: he can’t sign up for football because there’s no medical insurance if he gets hurt; he sleeps on the floor in a bedroom with no furniture; he often skips breakfast so his younger brother can eat; he wears threadbare clothes and sometimes the same outfit two days in a row. Rex doesn’t understand why his parents can’t provide. By telling the story from his younger point of view, Ogle exposes not just the experience of poverty that is all too common in this country. He also reveals the confusion and anger of a child whose adults are unable to care for him.

Punching Bag follows Rex into high school, focusing on the physical and emotional abuse that were paired with his family’s poverty. Since he was little, Rex’s mom has blamed him for the death of his stillborn sister, although his stepfather’s violence is really to blame. While his parents wage war against him and with each other, in scenes often brutal to read, Rex struggles with the darkness rising inside him. Does he give in, resigning himself to repeat the cycle in his future relationships? Or does he break ties with his toxic parents? He reveals the answer in an afterword that provides hope and resources for others suffering from violence. 

These books are similar to the series by Dave Pelzer, which begins with A Child Called It: difficult topics, honest and moving writing, incredible stories of resilience. Reading these types of books may be heart-wrenching, but they can also build compassion for others and understanding of the issues that many people face, often invisibly, in our communities.

Featured image: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dad-kicked-me-out-gay_n_5b33b23ae4b0b5e692f38ab7

First Live Show in Two Years is the Comic Relief We All Needed

By Norah Kelley, ’24

Staff Writer

Hilarious. Stunning cast. Amazing performance.

These were some of the comments from audience members who attended the HHS Drama Club presentation of Spamalot the Musical Feb. 11-13. For each of the three performances, the first live shows at HHS in two years, the theater was filled with family, friends, teachers, and students. 

Rehearsals began in November for the show, based on the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Led by Mr. Fahey, Mr. Wade and Mr. Harden, the cast and crew put in many long hours to make the show a success.

“Spamalot was an incredible return to the stage for HHS Drama!” said Mr. Wade, the Vocal Director. “Students performed, ran tech, and played in the pit band, which showcased all of the talent and skill the performing arts has here at HHS.

“All together,” he added, “this was an amazing team effort that resulted in a creative, wacky and fun-filled production that our community greatly appreciated.”

Sammy Burke, a senior in the cast, said the experience was one she’ll never forget.

“I had so much fun in Spamalot,” she said. “The music was so much fun to learn and will be forever stuck in my head.”

Olivia Morin, a sophomore cast member, called her time spent on Spamalot “awesome.”

“After not being in a production for two years because of Covid, it was really nice to be a part of something so fun and exciting!” she said. “Not only did I have so much fun getting to act, sing, and dance, but the cast and crew made it even more memorable.”

New members of the club found out what makes it so special, and many are excited to be a part of upcoming productions. 

 “This musical was just great and a funny experience, becoming close to everyone,” said Paulina Leskow, a sophomore in the cast. “I can’t wait to do more plays in the future!” 

Seniors in the cast were very sad that this was their last high school musical, but they ended with a bang and finished with an amazing and funny show that kept the audience laughing the whole time. 

“I am so glad I got to be a part of Spamalot!” said senior cast member Bella Kelley. “It was a super fun experience and I loved being part of such a funny production!”

As Mr. Wade said, “We look forward to continuing our successes on the stage here in years to come. Kudos & congratulations to all involved!” 

Super Bowl’s Long-awaited Hip Hop Show a Hit

By Abby Van Duyn, ’24

Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl last Sunday by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20. Millions of fans were excited to watch the game, but many were even more excited by the halftime performance that showcased hip hop and rap for the first time. Featuring Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige, the show was labeled by many on social media as the “greatest halftime show of all time.” Among the songs that were performed were “The Next Episode,” “California Love,” “In Da Club,” and “Family Affair.” The choice of artists brought in many viewers of all ages, old and young. 

“It’s crazy that it took all of this time for us to be recognized,” Dr. Dre said in an interview. It was time that Super Bowl halftime shows started to highlight different genres of music other than pop, he added. Although many pop music halftime shows have been a big hit, fans of hip hop and rap have been waiting a long time for their favorite genre to be showcased.

The performance was very nostalgic for many viewers, as it catered to an older group of people than the halftime show usually does. The stage was set with structures representing Tam’s Burgers, Randy’s Donuts and the Compton courthouse. It made the performance feel like Los Angeles was inside as well as outside of SoFi Stadium, located in Inglewood, Calif. 

The artists vowed that this performance would open doors in hip hop and give opportunities to the artists in the genre. All the artists agreed that the NFL was too late in acknowledging this genre and giving them center stage. Viewers seemed to agree: the Super Bowl gained a total of 112 million viewers, the most it has had in five years.

Author Tells Stories Often Overlooked by History

By Mrs. McHugh

HHS Librarian

Author Ruta Sepetys calls herself a “seeker of lost stories.”  Her award-winning novels shed light on people and events often overlooked in history. “Through character and story,” she writes on her website, “historical statistics become human and suddenly we care for people we’ve never met, we can find their country on a map, and then—the history matters. Through historical fiction we can give voice to those who will never have a chance to tell their story. “

Sepetys’ passion comes through in well-researched, powerful stories suitable for both teens and adults. Whether set in one of Stalin’s Siberian gulags, a New Orleans run by the mob, or a crumbling Cold War dictatorship, her books explore the depths of human cruelty and resilience – often with a teenaged protagonist. She sometimes has multiple characters tell the story, reminding us that history has many different perspectives and layers. Her author notes, giving historical context and shining a light on her motivation for writing, are as interesting as the novels themselves. If you like historical fiction or even just thrilling stories of survival, check out her books.

Between Shades of Gray follows 15-year-old Lina who is sent with her family to a Siberian gulag (prison) when the Soviets invade her native Lithuania. As she struggles in unimaginable conditions – including brutal treatment from guards, meager food rations and extreme weather – she vows to share the story with the world. Sepetys was inspired by the experiences of relatives who were among the millions of people who Stalin deemed enemies of the state and sent to Siberia during his regin of terror (1922-1953). Many never made it home. This book was made into a movie called Ashes in the Snow.

Salt to the Sea is a story of the largest maritime disaster in history, killing more people than the sinking of the Titanic or Lusitania. It was largely ignored by history, though, overshadowed by so many other stories of World War II. As the Nazi losses were mounting in 1945, thousands of German civilians fled the rampaging Russian army. They flooded two ports in hopes of evacuation, joining countless wounded German soldiers on overcrowded ships. When the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk by Russian torpedoes, it took more than 9,000 people – mostly women and children -with it. Sepetys tells the story from four points of view, drawing a complex picture of the hatred among nations that led to, and resulted from, that awful war.

Out of the Easy takes places in New Orleans in 1950s, where the mob rules and crime thrives along with the rich culture of the city. Josie, 17, dreams of life far from the brothels where her mother has carved out a desperate existence. But as Josie strives for a way out, she becomes tangled in a murder investigation that tests her loyalties. The story explores what makes a family, the burdens of poverty and the gray area between crime and survival.

I Must Betray You is the most contemporary of Sepetys’ stories, taking place in 1989. The Soviet Union is on the brink of collapse, along with communism throughout Europe. Romania is still within the grip of a cruel, murderous dictator when 17-year-old Cristian is forced to become a government informant. He must decide whether to spy on his family and friends, or risk his life to fight for a better future. The story brings to life the fear, oppression and desperation of an isolated society, which was found in many Communist countries during the Cold War.

The Fountains of Silence follows Daniel, a wealthy 18-year-old tourist who visits Madrid in 1957, when Spain is ruled by a tyrannical general after a bloody civil war. Madrid is a beautiful city in a country ruled by fear and repression, but the affluent Daniel is slow to realize how bad things are. When he meets Ana, a hotel maid whose father was killed and mother imprisoned in the resistance, he falls in love. He also is drawn into the dangerous world of secrets she inhabits.

Black Authors Combine to Explore Modern Love, Friendship

By Mrs. McHugh

HHS Librarian

I don’t read a lot of romance, but I was intrigued by Blackout, a series of interconnected stories written by six Black female writers. The book imagines romance in many shapes and sizes among contemporary teens when a power outage rocks New York City. The project was the brainchild of Dhonielle Clayton, an author and leader of We Need Diverse Books, a nonprofit that works to increase representation of marginalized voices in publishing. While binge-watching TV and movies early in the pandemic, Clayton’s niece asked her “why Black girls didn’t get big love stories.” Clayton contacted her friends to see what they could create. The result is a sweet, short, engaging book that I believe many teens will relate to and enjoy.

Tiffany Jackson, author of Monday’s Not Coming and other thrillers, writes about a couple who is angry over their recent breakup when they are forced to rely on each other to get home in the dark. Nic Stone, author of Dear Martin and other fiction for children and teens, focuses her chapter on two boys admitting their feelings for one another amidst fears of what their friends and teammates might think. Ashley Woodfolk, who wrote The Beauty That Remains, among others, tells the story of two queer teens brought together while helping at a retirement home. (The depiction of the wise-cracking older characters was one of my favorite parts of the book). Clayton, whose work includes fantasy and realistic fiction, writes about whether two long-time friends can take their relationship from “like” to “love.” (This section has an after-hours adventure in the  grand New York Public Library which calls to mind From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, one of my favorite children’s books). Famous for The Hate You Give, Angie Thomas writes about a school trip of teens from Georgia caught in the city — and in assorted love triangles (The stressed-out chaperone is funny). Nicola Yoon, author of The Sun is Also a Star, closes the book with a chapter about a girl intent on getting back her boyfriend before she meets a rideshare driver who reminds her of what she’s really looking for. The final section brings all of the characters – who we learn are siblings, cousins, neighbors and classmaters – together at a block party in Brooklyn.

In addition to celebrating love and friendship in all its forms, and elevating the stories of Black teens in a genre that often overlooks them, the book is a tribute to New York City. The city that never sleeps stays wide awake even during the blackout, providing an exciting setting for the stories. The highs and lows of the relationships are very true to life, and many of the teens are facing decisions about college and their futures, something most high school students can relate to.

If you like any of the contributing authors, you’ll probably enjoy this book. If you haven’t yet read their work, these stories may have you rushing to the library or bookstore to give them a try.

For more books like this, check out the Black History Month display in the HHS library

Drama Club Prepares One-Act for State Festival

By Callia Gilligan, ’22

Staff Writer

The Hanover High School Drama Club is alive and well and participating once again in the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild’s Drama Festival with their presentation of Badger by Don Zolidis. 

The METG Drama Festival is an annual theatrical competition. Schools gather together and each presents a 40-minute one-act piece, with just 5 minutes to put together and strike, or take down, their sets. At the end of the day, each play is scored and three winners are named. Drama Festival is a wonderful and exciting day, an event that HHS Drama annually participates in. 

In the past, HHS has presented shows such as The Scheme of the Driftless Shifter, an over-the-top comedy. In 2019, the club advanced to the semi-finals with its production of At the Bottom of Lake Missoula. Last year, due to the pandemic, the festival was moved to a virtual presentation. Hanover still participated with 4 A.M. by Johnathon Dorf, submitting a video of the performance. 

This year, with the festival returning to an in-person event scheduled for March 19th or 20th, Hanover is presenting Badger by Don Zolidis. The play focuses on four women working in a munitions factory during World War II and the challenges they face as women in the workforce. It is both a heartbreaking and uplifting story that paints a strong picture of the hardships of domestic life during the war. 

The cast is led by Sammy Burke (‘22) as Rose, Morgan Gentile (‘22) as Irene, Lauren Casey (‘22) as Grace, and Caris Mann (‘22) as Barbara. Any good show includes some romance and this play does not disappoint. Ben Manning (‘22) plays Tim, another factory worker who takes an interest in Rose, and Rose Giordani (‘22) plays Barbara’s husband, John, who is overseas fighting. The Chorus includes Erin Shea (‘23), Kendall Sherwood (‘22), Mary Longueil (‘22), Paulina Leskow (‘24), Addy Potter (‘24), Bella MacDonald (‘24) and Kaya Biunculli (‘23). The Chorus is the backbone of the show, taking on various characters and roles within the factory. 

Rehearsals are already underway with the direction of Mr. Fahey and the stage management of Karen Bell (‘22) and Paulina Leskow (‘24). This play is certain to be fantastic so be sure to catch it in March as part of the 2022 METG Drama Festival!

Featured image is the 2022 METG logo designed by Jashia Sikder of Brockton High School