Northland students enter Texas Art & Literacy contest | Northland Christian School

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Northland students enter Texas Art & Literacy contest

Two Northland 6th graders (Jonathan Trenholme and Collin Scamp-Gross) entered Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Texas Art & Literacy Contest that combines the power of art with the power of words. The contest provides an opportunity for students in grades 6-8 to take us into the mind of their favorite literary hero or villain using the visual medium of their choice. 

Students were asked to create a black and white piece of art representing their favorite literary hero or villain that includes one splash of color to highlight a main element of the character. Contestants could use any medium they chose and had to accompany the piece with a written work of any length explaining why they chose the character. 

The top 20 finalists will win a $50 Visa gift card. The first-place winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card and 100 novels for his/her school.

Good luck Collin and Jonathan!

Villain Essay
by Collin Scamp-Gross 

Villain Essay
by Jonathan Trenholme

At the end of 1976, George Lucas published his first Star Wars book, the adventures of Luke Skywalker. Shortly after, in 1977, Star Wars the movie was published, directed by none other than George Lucas. After those opening years, the Star Wars franchise continued to grow, and fan counts continued to mount. People loved the sci­-fi of the movie and the overall plot. The villains in the Star Wars franchise were well thought out. One of the main villains in this franchise was Darth Vader.

After the movies and books of the ‘middle’ trilogy were created, George Lucas made a new trilogy before the events of the previous books and movies. The plot is over the whole republic’s problems, but it centers around a boy named Anakin Skywalker. Anakin is believed to be the chosen one who will bring balance to the force. After entering the Jedi order, which is full of force welders who serve the ‘light’, Anakin becomes a Jedi Knight. Is this trilogy Anakin is the good guy of the story. However, at the end of this trilogy, Anakin turns to the dark side of the force, known as the sith, and is named Darth Vader. He then goes on to kill most of the Jedi, and the sith rule as a dictatorship.

This is where the middle trilogy begins. Unbeknownst to Darth Vader, Anakin’s wife, Padme, was pregnant. Padme died in childbirth and gave birth to twins. The twins are hidden to keep them safe, and they never know each other until they inevitably meet. Luke Skywalker joins the resistance, the group that opposes the Empire, and meets his twin Leia Organa. They do not know they are twins until later on in the trilogy. At the end of the trilogy, the resistance is trying to destroy the 2nd Death Star. Luke is on board with Darth Vader in Emperor Palpatine’s throne room. Palpatine manipulates them to fight each other, so that he can take the strongest as his apprentice, which before was Darth Vader. When at the end of the battle, Luke refuses to kill Darth Vader, Palpatine shoots lightning bolts into Luke. Watching his son die, Darth Vader grabs Emperor Palpatine and throws him into the core of the Death Star, severely damaging his artificial breathing, but joins the light side. As Luke escapes the Death Star, Darth Vader dies, his journey finished.

While Jedi’s lightsabers are different colors, the sith’s are only one color. Red. The lightsaber represents the power of being able to kill someone and makes a Jedi or Sith complete. Without their lightsabers, the Jedi wouldn’t be able to keep peace. The Sith would be less intimidating and powerful.

Darth Vader is my personal favorite villain. He is intimidating and has all the qualities of a good villain. Even to this day, Star Wars is one of the most well known franchises in the world.

You’re strolling along a dimly lit street on your way home from work at The London City Bank. The street is cracked and uneven, much different from the classy paved roads you're used to on your usual route home. You must have taken a wrong turn somewhere back at Montgomery Rd and Allison Blvd. You’re just about to turn back when your eye catches a red gleam from the darkness. A street lamp shines on a young British man. You recognize him from the bank as Dr. Jekyll. He took a loan from you a few months ago. You heard he had gone mad searching for a cure for Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD).

He looks quite fearful and anxious as if he knows something horrific is about to bestow him. He is holding a small glass vial containing a bright red liquid. Your mind races to find out what it is, and you come to the conclusion of “Poison! ” You shout with all might, “Stop! You there! Don’t do it! You have so much to live for!” He turns his head and gives a nervous scream. Just before you could reach him, he yanks off the cork concealing the liquid and takes a huge chug.

The remaining liquid transforms into a green, foul-smelling slime. The man gives a wail of anguish. You see him change. He becomes taller, more slender. His fingers become long and bony. Hair covers most of his body, and pokes through his classy suit and tie. He hunches over and smiles the most horrific smile. When you see it, you almost faint of complete terror. His teeth are a bright yellow, they criss-cross at almost every opportunity, and some teeth stick out while others are pushed in. But his smile is nothing compared to his face. His nose is so pointy it could stab a fly in mid-air, his eyes are bloodshot and maniacal, and his hair is ruffled and looks like he just got out of bed. He laughs a spine-chilling laugh. You stumble down while attempting to take a step back. The man towers over you and asks the last thing you’ll ever hear, “Do you know who I am?” He asks in a deep raspy voice. “Duh-duh-Dr.Jekyll,” you stutter. He laughs his eerie chuckle once more, “He - He - He- He. No!!!!!! Dr. Jekyll is dead!!! Now there is only Mr. Hyde!!! Ha - Ha - Ha - Ha - Ha!!!” You close your eyes hoping it will go away. That you will wake up to your wife calling you to a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and eggs. That you’ll be able to give your daughter a long embrace of love once more. That this was all just a bad dream brought on by stress. Your eyes close, only to never open again.

Just three months before this, Dr. Jekyll returned to his lab with the generous loan from The London Bank to help with his experiments. He was working on a cure for MPD, and he recently had a breakthrough. He thought if he could separate the different personalities, he could get rid of them and leave only the original. For example, he himself loved to be sober, dignified, and respectable. Yet on the other hand, he enjoyed practical jokes, destruction, and revenge. He spent day after day in his old mansion, passed down from generation to generation of his disapproving family.

The townspeople occasionally stopped by his house to see the strange lights. They would peek through the windows and then eventually leave realizing they had something better to do then pity a mad man in the making. What a shock was given to the town when two children were admiring the miniature light show and were startled by an insane Dr. Jekyll who ran out of his house and shouted, “Eureka!!!! Eureka!!! Eureka!!!” When he saw the two children paralyzed in fear he grabbed them both and held them in the air above his head, laughing a lunatic’s laugh. The children had shrieked and cried for help. That’s when Jekyll set them down and shooed them away and told them, “Leave immediately! I still have much work to do.” And that he did.

He ran inside and barricaded the doors and windows for the safety of the town if something went wrong. He entered his laboratory, opened his triple locked safe with a small wooden box inside. He removed a tiny vial yanking the stopper out and flinging it through the air. He hunched around the vial withholding the thick, bright red, glowing liquid. Jekyll whispered a little prayer and prepared to consume the drink. Then everything changed. Then everything went wrong. How could just one vial of liquid hold so much power? So much destruction? So much… death? He sent the juice down his throat sealing his fate. Sealing his doom. All with just one vial and it’s contaminates.

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