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Young Observer: Mid-May Edition

Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a vivid fantasy that follows Xingyin, the daughter of Chang’e (the Moon Goddess), and her quest to free her mother from exile and sentence on the moon.

The worldbuilding and writing in this book definitely does not disappoint—Xingyin’s story spans years, allowing readers to explore the stunning celestial and mortal realms she visits along the way. Along with that, there is action, battle scenes with elysian and mythological beings, and also yearning and romance.

However, the characters really fell flat for me. There was so much potential for angst and emotion but as hard as I tried, the relationships between Xingyin and her love interests (there is a love triangle) did not appeal to me at all. Instead of rooting for them, I found myself waiting for the book to end.

Overall, Daughter of the Moon Goddess is a story of love and the journey to attain true freedom. It is beautiful in terms of its world and writing, but if you were hoping for a complex and emotionally impacting debut, this wouldn’t be quite what you imagined. However, if you want a dreamy fantasy that transports you to different celestial realms, this would be the book for you.

With the rise of LGBTQ films and novels in mainstream media, one romantic comedy series, in particular, is making headlines among teenage audiences for its commentary on sexuality and friendship. Based on Alice Oseman’s webcomic, Netflix’s newest coming-ofage series, Heartstopper, this show follows the story of two British highschoolers, Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson, who navigate their way through teenage love.

With eight total episodes and an April 22 debut, this queer romance show earned a record-hitting 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. With a graphic novel series adapted from the author’s original webcomic, fans have also indicated their growing demands for the physical books.

From teen romance to queer conversations, according to the public’s overall satisfactory reviews of Heartstopper, it’s time to add the series onto a list of summer binge shows. So, grab some snacks and a couple of sheets of tissues for Netflix’s prized rom-com show.

State-wide testing for elementary students at our school for 3rd through 6th grades took place last week. It is called California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which has been the State’s annual academic testing program since 2014 (it replaced Standardized Testing and Reporting or STAR Program, which ended in 2013). This test is connected to Common Core learning standards intended to monitor student progress. It includes computer adaptive tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. Students in grade 5 will also participate in the Statewide online California Science Test (CAST).

Taking big tests like the CAASPP makes me anxious because this would showcase my learning for the school year. However, with support from my teacher and family, I feel less worried. And these five simple but important tricks seem to help even more:

• Getting to sleep early in order to get a good night’s rest.

• Eating a balanced breakfast with protein since protein helps keep a person full longer.

• Avoiding caffeine and sugar during breakfast.

• Being on time for school

• Having my electronic device fully charged for testing.

• Relaxing during the test by taking deep breaths.

Piercings are extremely popular in today’s society. Although typically done on one’s ears, the piercings with accompanying jewelry can be found in many different places on the body, including the nose, lips, and belly button. The jewelry comes in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some have a decorative gem or stone engraved into them, while others display cool logos and emblems. No matter how they look, each set of piercings are special and unique in their own way. However, they are not just meant to look flashy and stylish in public. The history of body piercings goes back a long, long time, and they tell the stories of many different cultures worldwide.

The earliest evidence of piercings on humans can be found all the way back to around 12,000 years ago. Researchers discovered an ancient skeleton in Tanzania more than 100 years ago of a young man. The skeleton was left alone for a while after its initial discovery and study. But after further examination in the early 1990s, John C. Willman of the University of Coimbra in Portugal noticed something no one else had caught on to. The pattern and shape of the skeleton’s teeth were a bit odd. He analyzed the pattern of the wear on the teeth and came to the conclusion that the distorted shape of the skeleton’s teeth and jawbone came from a piercing on the lower lip. Thus, the oldest piece of evidence of body piercings on a human was discovered. However, this was not the only skeleton to have been found with evidence of piercings. More skeletons from the same or similar time periods were found with marks on their bones left by piercings. The oldest mummy ever discovered in Egypt had ear piercings as well. These discoveries compiled together confirm that piercings were indeed prevalent in older civilizations and cultures.

However, they weren’t just put on the body for no reason. A lot of these fancy piercings, especially in African and Egyptian cultures, denoted social status, represented spiritual beliefs, and protected people from evil beings. Many ancient humans put metal on their earlobes to prevent evil spirits from entering their bodies and controlling the person through their ear canals. In ancient Egypt, members of the royal family had their belly buttons pierced with golden rings to signify their status. Even Europeans had piercings on their cheeks and ears for spiritual purposes. Ötzi the Iceman, a famous 5,300-year-old mummy discovered in the Alps, was found with ear piercings still intact, making him the oldest direct evidence of piercings.

Although body piercings may not have as much of a sophisticated meaning as they did thousands of years ago, they still hold value and importance to the bearer. In fact, some of my own family members have a history of wearing piercings on their ears, nose, and lips to represent and support their own beliefs and values. To them and many other people including those from our community and the rest of the world, they are a stylish means of telling their stories and reflecting their personalities, and they will surely be a staple of human society for centuries to come.

Angel is an angelic little dog whose sweet behavior attracts many potential owners.

Angel is a 6-year-old dog whose history isn’t fully known. A White German Shepherd/Cattle Dog mix, Angel loves treats and will never ever ever ever let you forget to feed him.

Angel has a couple of skin irritants that have caused him to be bald in a few places, but with the help of the veterinary team, Angel now enjoys his own personalized shampoo. Angel is looking for an adult-only home.

Visit www.ocpetinfo.com or call (714) 935-6848 to schedule an adoption appointment today.

Endangered Animal Trivia

Q: Why are sea otters endangered?

A: On the IUCN Red List, sea otters are listed as endangered worldwide due to oil spills and their susceptibility to hypothermia once their fur comes into contact with oil. Without sea otters, the food chain would break. Sea urchins would destroy kelp forests and overpopulate the sea floors. You can help by supporting community efforts and legislation to better the wetlands.

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