For the third quarter I picked up the novel North of Beautiful, by Justina Chen Headly. I would consider the genre of this book to be realistic fiction. So far I have read to chapter six in this book. The beginning of the story was a little on the boring side, but it has gotten a little more interesting. It starts out with the main character, Terra Cooper, a high school girl who can’t wait to get out of high school and leave for college. She wants nothing to do with her family, especially her know-it-all father. The problem is that her father will only allow her to go to a local college, not Williams College 2,800 miles away. I have a feeling that Terra will find a way to go to this college, no matter what. She seemed to have her mind set on it and will not stop short of her goal.
This quarter I read the story “Tangled”, by Carolyn Mackler. At the start of the book I thought it was a little corny and very predictable. After learning about all the background information of the characters, I fairly enjoyed reading this book. I thought it was very cool and unique how the author split the book into sections. This allowed me to be able to get to know each character and understand where they’re coming from.
My favorite part of the book happens at the end after Owen has accomplished all he came to New York for. As he lies in bed he thinks to himself, “Maybe when I board the bus, I’ll decide not to put my duffel on the neighboring seat. Maybe I’ll tuck it above instead so that someone can sit next to me. When the person begins telling me their life story, maybe I won’t reach for my iPod. Maybe I’ll decide I have a life story, too, and I’ll reveal some of it.”(308) This is my favorite passage because it shows how Owen has really made a positive change in his life, choosing to be more social. All this happened because he met Jenna. He no longer is the shy, scared, skinny boy everyone sees.
In this story Jenna is very insecure about herself. She thinks that she isn’t beautiful because none of the guys at her school treat her like it. She is very disappointed in herself. Towards the end of the book she realizes she has to go out and take what she wants. After that, she loves herself so much more both inside, and out. Jenna becomes very outgoing and confident, just like the person she was behind her computer. She becomes a fearless woman.
In the beginning I think that Jenna’s main motivation was just to be liked and to be a “normal” teenager. She wanted attention from Skye, even if it was just for her to acknowledge that she was there. She was also very concerned with her peers around her. She found two suicide notes and took them very personal. Even though she had no idea who they were from, she hurt inside knowing that someone out there felt so hopeless.
This book taught me to think more as I am in someone else’s shoes. Not to judge anyone by the looks of things, but to actually go though it and understand the emotions going on in each situation. And most importantly, I learned that I need to be my own person.
I am reading the book, Tangled, by Carolyn Mackler. The genre of this book is coming of age. I am about a quarter of the way through the book. So far in this book the main character, Jena, goes on a last minute vacation to the Caribbean. Jena and her mother were invited to go with her mother’s old college roommate, free of cost. She even had a daughter close in age, Skye. This seems like the perfect vacation, but not for Jenna. Skye is a Hollywood actress and wants nothing to do with Jena, a self-conscious, quiet, country girl. All Jena ever wanted was to find love, like in the novels she had read. One night while sitting in the hot tub by herself, Jena’s dream boy, Dakota, slipped in beside her. They talked, and decided to meet up day after day. Jena felt like she had finally found love, until Dakota met Skye. Just like Jena had predicted, Skye would steal him from her.
While reading, I somewhat knew that this would happen. I thought everything seemed too good to be true this early in this story. I could tell that Skye was a little jealous, since she hadn’t found a guy yet. I predict that at the end of the story, Jena will go back to school and have the confidence and courage to stand up for herself. After this, I believe that she will find her dream guy and more people will give her a chance at her high school.
The major conflict in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is that Katniss Everdeen, the main character, has to fight in the Hunger Games. It all started when her sister Prim was chosen, her one paper out of thousands. Since Prim was only 12, and her first time eligible to be apart of the Hunger Games, Katniss would not let her be apart of it and risk her life. The only way she could stop it was to volunteer as a tribute. The setting of this book is near the Capital. Katniss is from District 12- which is in the present day Appalachian Mountains. The setting reminds me of my own town. District 12 has about 8,000 people which is very close to the population of my city. A major symbol in this book is a mocking jay. Katniss is given a mocking jay pin from Madge, the mayor’s daughter. This doesn’t just symbolize home for her, but also her father that died in a coal explosion. It reminds her when her father used to sing back and forth with the mocking jays in the forest. Katniss and Gale are pretty similar characters. They both go hunting together to put food on the table for their families. Gale is a few years older, but Katniss is a better hunter. They are both very adventurous. “Prim!” The strangled cry comes out of my throat, and my muscles begin to move again. “Prim!” I don’t need to shove through the crowd. The other kids make way immediately allowing me a straight path to the stage. I reach her just as she is about to mount the steps. With one sweep of my arm I push her behind me” (22). I chose this as an important passage because this is when Katniss volunteers as a tribute to go fight in the Hunger Games. This shows how much she loves her sister to give up her life. This book reminds me of a book I read when I was in elementary school. I can’t remember the name but is about surviving alone in the woods, which reminds me of Katniss and how she survives by getting food from the woods. There are no words that I do not know throughout book. I was really surprised when Effie Trinket read out the name Primrose Everdeen. This ment that she would have to fight in the hunger games. This surprised me because she only had to put one slip of paper in out of the thousands. She was totally against the odds of getting picked. So far I am not confused at all with any of the events that happened. The story is told very clearly. If I could ask Suzanne Collins one question, it would be how would she think of a story like this? This story is based of child slaughter but yet it is a great book. I definitely would recommend this book to other people because it is very exciting. Something new always happens when you least expect it.
For our visual analysis we chose the theme loneliness. We thought that Mayella Ewell was one of the loneliest characters in the book mostly because her family has a bad reputation. She never had any friends or really left the house. She never had a boyfriend or never has been kissed. Part of the book leads us to believe that she was abused by her father. In the visual we wanted to use symbols to show some of the main events that happened with Mayella. We also used colors to portray the feelings and emotions that the character was feeling.
In the images we drew, we tried to show parts of her being lonely. The biggest image in the middle of the paper is a picture of Mayella. Her hair is messy and she looks scared. She is very pale and has really no color in her face because she isn’t an original person. She goes with the flow and lets others control her. There is a tear falling down her face because she knows that what she is doing is very wrong. The word “loneliness” is written on her shirt because it is the main theme. We made her eyes and shirt blue because it shows how she is sad and alone. We included the chifferobe because that was the reason she called Tom into her house, which ended up being a total lie. Under that we drew a mallet which stands for the court trial she was in. It’s red because it stands for anger. Another image we included was a wilted flower showing how she is dead inside. Under that is a chained up mockingbird. This represents Tom Robinson, an innocent person being chained up for false information. The background is black and blurry showing her dark life.
There were some differences from the book to the movie. One of them was that in the movie Jem didn’t tell Scout about the things he found in the tree until after she found the little carvings of them. Also they never asked Mr. Radley why he was filling up the hole. In the movie, it didn’t show the fierce winter or Miss. Maudie’s house starting on fire. During the court trial Calpurnia didn’t come to find the children. In the movie they never showed any part of the Finch family and Aunt Alexandra never came to live with them either. The movie never showed Jem wrecking the camellia flowers or having to read to Mrs. Dubose. Dill still came every single summer without having to run away. I liked the book better because there were a lot more details. The movie skipped too many important parts in my opinion, but it was still very good. I think that Jem was best portrayed in the movie because he has all the same qualities and is just how I pictured him. He is fearless and is a leader just like in the book. He takes care of Scout and Dill. While I was reading, I pictured Scout and Dill to be totally different looking, but they both had the same qualities as in the book; Scout was always told what to do and bossed around, while Dill did everything with Jem. I pictured Miss. Maudie to look a little older. Mrs. Dubose, Atticus and Calpurnia are right on, I pictured them to look and act exactly how they do in the movie. My favorite scene from the movie was when Jem walked Scout back from her school play. It was very suspicious because they were in the woods and they kept hearing foot steps following them. They couldn’t figure out who it was until they were attacked and beat up. To make it even better, Boo Radley finally came out of his house and saved the children. Now they don’t have anything to be afraid of anymore. I really wasn’t that disappointed in the movie because I kind of expected it to be a little different from the book. When the people were talking, they normally said the same exact quotes from the book. I think most of the characters in the movie fit the characters in the book very well. If I made the movie I would’ve kept in every single event that happened because no matter how big each event was, it was a learning lesson for everyone.
In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the intensity level is rising. Even though there is no symbol revealed in this section, the tone is very emotional. The setting mostly takes place in the courthouse. The author created a clear image by describing every little detail about the courthouse. I could imagine it perfectly. She also did a great job describing the Ewell’s house by using a lot of details. The major conflict is that Mayella Ewell and her father claim that she was raped and beat up by Tom Robinson. This conflict was person vs. person. Harper Lee made this more intense by making the whole town go against Atticus. She also described the trial very well and made it very emotional. It turned out that Tom Robinson was guilty, even though it was clear that he wasn’t. I think it was solved like this partly because Tom is a black man. The author created a lot of emotion when Mayella was on the stand. She could not hold herself together and let her tears pour out. She also said that she was scared of Atticus because she thought he was trying to embarrass her. If Atticus was in my literature circle, he would definitely be the one taking charge and leading the discussion because he is a great public speaker and a great leader. In my literature circle we talked about how it was clear that Tom Robinson was guilty. Mayella’s face was beat up on the right side, therefore the person would’ve had to been left handed, like her father. Tom also made it obvious that she was forcing herself on him trying to kiss him. This shows me that many court trials end up going the wrong way sometimes, which is terrible. I learned that if you are nice to others, then they will be even nicer back to you. An example is when Reverend Skyes invited Jem and Scout to sit with the African Americans to get a better view. He did this because Tom Robinson is part of his church and Atticus is helping him so much.
While I’m reading the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I noticed that I can make many connections with my own life. When I think of Maycomb County, it reminds me of my own community. They are both small, and when something happens- everyone finds out sooner or later. Just like probably every other school, there is always some sort of bully involved. Jem and Scout remind me of my sister and I a lot. We get along very well most of the time and hangout together, but sometimes we can get into big fights over stupid things. Just like Maycomb, there are many people who are still very racist. Just like Atticus, my parents want my sister and I to do the right things. We believe in doing what’s right instead of what everyone else is doing. Aunt Alexandra reminds me of many of my far away relatives. When I see them, I don’t really know what to ever say, just like Scout. This book kind of reminds me of Where the Red Fern Grows because it has an earlier setting and both of the boys love the outdoors. In our discussion we talked about Jem and Scout’s journey to First Purchase African M.E. Church with Calpurnia. Everyone there welcomed them because they knew that Atticus was helping out one of their members. This taught me that if you treat everyone nicely you will get good treatment right back, even if they are different from you in any way. We also talked about what we thought about Aunt Alexandra coming to live with them. It made me wonder if this was really Atticus’s idea. I personally think that she doesn’t need to be there helping out, especially since that is what Calpurnia is there for. Aunt Alexandra is acting like their mother and speaking out for Atticus. She also seems to get the kids into more trouble. I think that it’s important that Dill ran away and can now spend the summer with the Finch’s again. He will probably have more influence of Jem finding out more about the Radley’s because Scout is too scared to do any of that.
As I am reading the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I noticed that throughout the book, the setting takes place in Maycomb County around the Finch’s house. Within chapter’s eight to eleven, many important events happened. To start out, it has been the coldest weather since 1885. School was canceled, so Jem and Scout made a snowman for the first time ever. This is important because all the neighbors think that Jem and Scout caused this weather, as in a curse or something. Later that night, they had awakened to see that Miss Maudie’s house was on fire. Everyone came to help, but they couldn’t stop the fire in time. Most of her house was gone. Another important event is that many children at school are starting to bully Scout about Atticus defending a black man. She promised not to get into any fights about it and was fine with it at first. Then adults and her cousin Francis got on her about it. She had had enough. She got in a fight with Francis. To me, this shows that she loves her father and wants to stand up for him. A few days later as Jem and Scout were walking to the store; Mrs. Dubose started harassing them about Atticus defending Tom Robinson. On the way back Jem wrecked all of her flowers and now has to read to her two hours a day. I predict that Jem will get to know her very well and learn to respect her a lot more. Lastly, Jem and Scout found out that Atticus has the best shot in Maycomb County. He isn’t proud of it, but had to shoot down Tim Johnson, a mad dog. This is important because they now have something to be proud of Atticus for, even though they decided not to go and brag to everyone about it. Overall I predict that this will make all of the characters a lot closer. The tone of this section was very sad and depressing because a lot of bad things happened. As my group was talking we decided that Maycomb County is similar to our own community. Everyone helps each other when they are in need. We thought it was cool how even though Jem and Scout found out about Atticus’s talent, that they choose to keep it secret and benefit only themselves. I think that the author is trying to tell us that we are all people and we make mistakes, but we all have to be forgiving and help each other out.
“Smoke was rolling off our house and Miss Rachel’s house like fog off a riverbank, and men were pulling hoses toward them.”(70) In this passage the author used a simile to compare the smoke to fog off a riverbank. I think that Harper Lee used this to put a picture in our mind of how much smoke there really was and how hard it probably was to see through it all.
“Her face was the color of a dirty pillowcase, and the corners of her mouth glistened wet, which inched like a glacier down the deep grooves enclosing her chin.”(106) In this passage the author used a simile to compare the wet corners of her mouth to a glacier. I think she used this to let us imagine how slow the spit was moving down her chin. It shows us that she is really sick and old that she can’t really control her body anymore.