The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Pitch Picks books

Pitch Picks books #1
Rhea: “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown (Mystery)

“The Lost Symbol” is the second book in Dan Brown’s series following protagonist Doctor Robert Langdon. The story takes place in Washington, D.C., surrounding the mysteries of the Freemasons. It is a perfect novel for thriller, mystery, suspense and crime. Although it is written in the third person perspective, Brown follows the individual timelines of Langdon, Katherine Soloman and the antagonist Mal’akh, each having their own chapter. The structure keeps readers attentive and on their toes, wanting to find out what happens in the next chapter. Unlike “The DaVinci Code” and “Inferno,” which is part of the three-book series including “The Lost Symbol,” “The Lost Symbol” doesn’t have a movie adaptation. However, it does have a miniseries on Peacock, which is a must-watch. The protagonist, antagonist and other supporting characters are well-written with engaging backstories. The plot itself does a great job of keeping readers entertained and yearning to find out what happens next. This book is a must-read. Overall, this book is a solid 9/10.

Rhea: “The Girls of Atomic City” by Denise Kiernan (Biography)

“The Girls of Atomic City” is a great book about women in history. It dives into the untold story of the women who contributed to the making of the first atomic bomb. I recommend this book now, especially since the release of “Oppenheimer” reignited interest in the history of the Manhattan Project. The author, Denise Kiernan, does a great job at capturing the challenges, secrecy and the overall lives of the women involved through the mixture of personal stories with historical events. In history, especially military history, the involvement of women in major developments is often overlooked or just not mentioned. This book is important because it shines a light on the role of women in scientific and military history. Kiernan also does a great job at writing a historical book that doesn’t glorify war or the invention of the atomic bomb; she reflects on the ethical dilemmas and long-term consequences of the atomic bomb throughout the book. Personally, I think that “The Girls of Atomic City” is the perfect book for diving into women in history. 10/10.

Liam: “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline (Sci-Fi)

“Ready Player One” is hands down one of my favorite science fiction books of all time, matched only by masterpieces such as “The Martian.” The movie adaptation is more well known, but it butchers the plot so brutally I don’t consider it worthy of being called an “adaptation.” The story centers around Wade Owen Watts, a teenager living in the year 2045 on a dystopian parody of Earth. Pollution, global warming and overpopulation have made most people turn to the OASIS, an immersive virtual reality universe with billions of users, to escape their worries. But when its creator, James Halliday, dies, it’s revealed that his fortune of more than $200 billion is hidden somewhere inside the game, sparking a global search for the “Easter Egg." The book is packed full of ‘80s references that have introduced me to several great songs and classic video games and, frankly, is made by a geek for geeks. If you like sci-fi/dystopian books and somehow haven’t read RP1 yet, I highly recommend it. It also has a sequel! 9/10.

Liam: “Flamecaster” by Cinda Williams Chima (Fantasy)

Fantasy books certainly don’t have to be medieval, but a good author like Chima can make you wish you’d been born in their 1500s world. Beyond the tried-and-true setting, “Flamecaster” has a well-developed magic system, a varied, engaging cast of characters (with their share of flaws!) and an overarching conflict bringing them together. The world-building isn’t the best I’ve ever read, but it’s in no way lacking, with varied systems of government, educational institutions and local customs. “Flamecaster” focuses mainly on Adrian and Jenna, two very different people united in their desire to assassinate the tyrant who killed their friends and family. To keep things fresh, however, future books in the four-part series greatly flesh out other perspectives. It’s not quite at the level of a masterpiece, but it has a special place in my heart as one of the first YA fantasy series I really got hooked on. If you’re in the mood for magic, dragons and quite a bit of combat along the way, look no further. 7.5/10.

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About the Contributors
Liam Barrett, Podcast Editor
Junior Liam Barrett is the Podcast Editor for his first year on the Pitch, and hosts The Change-Up. Liam is also a member of the Mock Trial and the Morning Announcements teams, and his hobbies include reading and martial arts.
Rhea Noumair, Print Opinion Editor and Illustrator
Junior Rhea Noumair is in her third year of Pitch and is the Print Opinion Editor and Illustrator. She enjoys playing and watching soccer, painting and listening to music in her free time.
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