The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Breaking News
  • February 16First time in Colonia basketball history both the Girls' and Boys' advanced to the GMC Final
  • February 16Girls' & Boys' basketball play on 2/16 in Monroe against STA for the GMC championship
  • February 6Attention All Heroes and Cool Kids...OUR RESCHEDULED CONFERENCE DATE IS WEDNESDAY, 2/14
  • February 6Celebrating Black History this month
The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration


This poll has ended.

What is the best study method for finals?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.


The Second Time is the Charm with The Alchemist

Photo Credit: Photo via under the Creative Commons license.
While reading The Alchemist by Paul Coelho You will learn valuable life lesson.

Paul Coelho a well-known author wrote The Alchemist, a  197 page fable about following your dreams. Coelho a novelist was born August 1947 in Brazil with the native tongue of Portuguese. Coelho  conjured up the dream to be a writer when he became a teenager, which was not a very practical profession for him to enter. Coelho’s drive for writing really kick started when he had a spiritual awakening which is the motivation and theme for his writing today. Coelho has won many awards for his work, one of them including the Crystal Award.

The Alchemist was Coelho’s first big break. This was his second book after The Pilgrimage.  While The Alchemist was his first big break it also wound up being his most known book and best seller, selling over 210 million copies as of June 2015. That is not one small feat especially for Coelho who was doubted in this area.

The Alchemist is about a Andalusian shepherd that had a reoccurring dream every time that he slep under a sycamore tree at a church where he had the same very specific dream every time. In the dream a child tells Santiago the shepherd to find treasure at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids. After getting a second opinion from a gypsy who advises Santiago to go he gets  even more reassurance when Melchizedek the King of Salem convinces Santiago to take the trip to Egypt.

While trying to sell his flock Santiago gets robbed and is forced to find work with a crystal merchant. After giving some small advice to be more riskier helps the merchant he become a very wealthy man. After having money out  of the way Santiago starts to pursue his personal ledgend yet again a year later from his original start date.

Story continues below advertisement

On his way to the pyramids, Santiago falls in love with Fatima in Al-Foyum. Fatima isn’t the only person that Santiago met up with on this detour. After warning about an attack on the neutral oasis an alchemist catches word about Santiago’s vision. The alchemist then  influenced Santiago to complete his ledgend and that the he would travel with him.

During the journey Santiago learns a lot of new things from the alchemist, even things about himself. Santiago and the alchemist’s trip comes to an end when they make it to a monastery which is the alchemist’s stop. Santiago takes some gold and then is on his way to finally finish his journey.

While digging for the treasure trouble seems to interrupt him when he is beaten until he tells his personal ledgend which diverts the men from beating him and one of the men talks about his personal ledgend in Spain under a sycamore tree. Santiago reroutes his trip to Spain where it all started. Santiago completes his personal ledgend and then returns to his love Fatima who awaits his return to her.

Personally, when I first read The Alchemist I could not grasp all the lessons and themes that were always talked about from other readers and quite frankly the beginning was pretty slow. After deciding to read The Alchemist again without any pressure, I learned a lot of crucial life lessons. For example, never being afraid to fail, and making myself have dreams and goals and not only having them but never giving up on them. Reading it the second time was definitely worth it. I use those life lessons everyday and they help further me to reaching my goals.

The Alchemist is a thought provoking book, although it is written with simplistic terms the book has a deeper meaning. It makes you think on a whole new level and even question things about yourself. I think the book would be a good read for both males and females of any group that are looking for self-help or to better understand themselves. Although the language in the book is simple enough for middle schoolers, the concepts are better suited for high school and older.

In my opinion The Alchemist is not only worth one read but it is also worth a second.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Mikeala Westbrook, Fall Reporter
Mikeala Westbrook sophomore at Colonia High School was born April 7, 2000. Westbrook likes to take on a challenge in every sector of her life. In school she likes taking on harder classes and taking on more chores at home. At home she lives with her mom, brother and sister. Her family of four moved to Avenel in 2013. She was originally born in Queens, New York and not many years later the Westbrook family started a new adventure in New Jersey. Her life wasn’t always easy, over the past few years death has struck her family way too often but has taught her to live life to the fullest and to not take anything for granted. Westbrook hopes to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in fashion design, marketing, and fashion journalism at the FIT campus in New York City. She then hopes to move on and create her own fashion line and maybe even obtain her masters and doctorate degrees.

Comments (0)

The Declaration reserved the rights to not publish comments that are offensive, are hurtful, are in bad taste, are not constructive, or are spam.
All The Declaration Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The student news site of Colonia High School
The Second Time is the Charm with The Alchemist