Thursday, December 17, 2015

40 Book Challenge Blog


The Help
By: Kathryn Stockett
Pages read so far 1-142

Prompts:
Summarize what you just read
Describe the major conflict. What side are you on?
If the author were here, what would you say and ask him/her?

          The book I am reading is called The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. So far this book is about how three women's lives are during 1962 in Mississippi. Their names are Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter. Aibileen and Minny are maids who work for white women, and Skeeter is a soon to be journalist who wants to write a book about what it it like to be a maid in their town. The main conflicts of this book are racism and fear. Since Skeeter wants to write a book about that sensitive topic, if the people who employ Aibileen and Minny find out they would fire them, or worse. There are moments in the book where you are terrified for the characters, and there are times where you feel sorry for them. This book has been really entertaining so far. 

          The major conflict in my book right now is if two of the main characters should agree to help write a book about their jobs. Their jobs are working as a maid for white women, their jobs are really hard. They don't get paid the minimum wage and they work hard cleaning the whole house and taking care of the children. Aibileen and Minny might not help make the book because they could put some of their experiences in there that the people they work for don't like. In the book they could put how awful their working conditions are and share personal stories about their employers. They might get extremely mad and fire or kill them. I am on the side to write the book. I think that if they were sneaky enough and they didn't get caught then it would be a major breakthrough for their community. The town could use the perspective of a lower class citizen. If a lot of people read it then they would feel bad for them and maybe change how they act. The jobs could be nicer, the employers would cut them some slack, and they might get paid more. Their whole lives could change.

           If the author was here I would tell her and ask her many things. One of the things that I would tell her is that her book has changed my perspective on things. I now realize how little jobs there were for women during the 60s. Another thing I would tell her is that her book will affect people in different ways. Some people could totally see her perspective and that others could disagree with her. One thing I would ask her is how she got all of the information about being a maid during that time. Did she interview a person who was a maid, or did she read someones writing about it? Besides of asking her how she got her information I would ask her why she chose to write about it. Maybe she felt like it was her obligation to inform the new generation about what life was like back then, or maybe she just thought that this topic was very interesting. Those are some of the things I would tell her and ask her. 



   

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Nonfiction Blog 11/30/15

     
Women of the Wild West
By: Katherine Krohn
Finished 
The nonfiction book I am currently reading is called Women of the Wild West by Katherine Krohn. This book has mini biographies in it about daring women who lived through the wild west. Each of the women I have read about were considered odd to do something that was not considered usual. In the book the women I have read about are Calamity Jane, Annie Oakley, Sacagawea, Mary Jane Caples, Luzena Stanley Wilson, Virginia Reed, Eliza Hustler, Molly Sanford, Narcissa Whitman, Abigail Hathaway King, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Margret Tobin Brown. The book describes the hardships and experiences that the women endured. Some of these women faced events that a normal person wouldn't have been able to survive, with their endurance and faith they did. 
       A passage from the book that is very interesting to me is, "In her later years, Annie kept busy shooting in local competition and teaching women how to use guns. Annie gave free shootings to more two thousand women. She trained more than 15 thousand women in firearm safety and marksmanship. She also gave benefit shooting performances. All proceeds went to children's charities and to young women who wanted to pursue a college education. Annie helped over twenty women attend college. On November 3, 1926, in Greenville, Ohio, Annie Oakley died after a short illness. Just a few weeks later, Frank Butler followed his beloved wife. Throughout her life, Annie Oakley reached out to help those in need. She cared about people, especially children. Annie made one final act of generosity shortly before her death. She had her many silver and gold medals melted down and gave the money they earned to a children's charity." This passage is interesting to me because it describes how Annie Oakley did so much for women and children. It made me realize how generous she was and how she devoted part of her life to other people. It is interesting to think that one person could help and touch the lives of so many other people. She helped numerous people change their lives and careers. I feel like she was one of those people that would do whatever it takes to improve a life of an unfortunate person. I was astonished when I read this passage that she had her medals melted to give to charity. This passage was very interesting to me.
     After reading this book I will remember a lot of things. One of these things is that women had a certain role during the Wild West. Women were usually taught to care for children, cook, clean, and serve their husbands. The people in my book broke these rules, they provided for themselves and they didn't take orders from anybody else. I will always remember how they broke the rules of society and the rules of role playing. Another thing that I will remember was how determined the women were that I read about. Some of these women went on journey's for months or years to find a better life. Sometimes with only faith to keep them going. Being that determined helped them make a better life for themselves and kept them from dying. One of these women was Virginia Reed. She was a survivor of the Donner Party, if she didn't have persistence to keep moving forward she would have died. I will alway remember that some women who lived during the Wild West had a certain role and they broke it, and that these women were very determined. 

  
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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Theme Development "A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich" by Alice Childress


Prompt: Theme
A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich Alice Childress
Finished

      In the book A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich by Alice Childress, one of its main themes ,power of the mind vs. authority, is supported by the character’s actions. This theme means what someone thinks against the jurisdiction. In the book it says that the main character, Benjie, is taking heroin and that his family and school are trying to make him stop. Benjie's thoughts is that heroin can calm you down and that it is a good decision to take it. On the other hand the people who control him, his family and school, try to convince him that taking drugs is wrong. The theme is being supported by his actions because he is physically taking these drugs and decides to not obey what his family and school think. His actions are representing what his mind thinks. By him taking the drugs he is going against his family and school's beliefs. The message that the author is trying to get to the reader is that you should sometimes listen to other peoples opinions or ideas. If Benjie listened to his family, he probably wouldn't have gotten into drugs in the first place. That is one of the main points that the author is trying to teach the reader.

     Another reason that power of the mind vs. authority is one of the main themes in the book is that there is a man named Nigeria Greene, a teacher, who thinks that what is said in history is wrong. In the book it states, "When I discuss him, I don't go by what's in these history books or we'd be dealin in lies." This means that Nigeria thinks that some history is incorrect. What he thinks goes against what is supposed to be taught. He thinks in a different way, and makes sure that his students think the same. The reason why the author includes this is because she wants the readers to know that there are different points of views instead of just what everybody tells you.

     The theme is also supported by the setting in which the character lives in. The character lives in a rundown ghetto town, there is violence and drugs everywhere. In the book it says, "My block ain't no place to be a chile in peace. Somebody gonna cop your money and might nock you down cause you walkin with short bread and didn't even make it worth their while to stop and frisk you over." This quote is explaining that the neighborhood that Benjie grew up in is rough and not peaceful. It also says that being surrounded by drugs sort of influenced him to do the same. The combination of living in a place where you are afraid to go down your own street and that you are surrounded by drugs can cause a person to do bad things. The setting extremely supports the theme because it causes the main character to make many hard decisions.



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Monday, November 2, 2015

1st Quarter Reflections



     During the 1st quarter of school I have learned a lot about the world. I have learned about what is happening in other nations, not just what is happening in the US. The Syrian Refugee Crisis was a major event that I studied. It has been taking place in the Middle-East, but is affecting the US as well. This event has taught me that some other parts of the world are not as fortunate as the United States. It has also taught me that the world is facing some horrible things. In the Middle-East some children haven't gone to school in years and haven't seen their families in a very long time. I am grateful that there isn't a huge war occurring in America. Since there is this big war happening in the Middle-East many people are suffering and their lives will never be the same.

    In my 40 Book Challenge I have not improved a lot. I have only read one other book besides the one I am about to finish. This has happened because I have been very busy and have not managed my time properly. This first quarter has been very chaotic for me and I have tried to be involved in a lot of things. I hope that I can at least read 4 books this month and fully understand them. If I do not finish the book I am currently reading in this week I will spend my whole weekend reading. To improve I will read a lot on the weekends and everyday before I go to bed.

    I think that I can improve a lot in the 2nd quarter. In the 1st quarter I didn't fully understand some things and I didn't put my best quality into things. Some of my AoWs I was rushing and trying to finish quickly so I didn't put my best effort into it. This quarter I feel like I have been very lazy. To change this I will focus more of my time on homework and make sure that the standards are met. I hope that this quarter will be an exceptional one.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Narrative Twist


“Love or Jealousy”
By: Sofia A


The king had a daughter with beauty and grace. Loved by all and had the heart of the king. Overprotected and shielded by almost everything, the princess felt too controlled. She found the company of a young man who was as loved as she. Although the two of them loved each other deeply, the princess often saw a commoner throwing glances of admiration to her lover. Doubt crossed her mind, but never once had she thought of it becoming anything serious. The princess was in love and nothing she saw or heard would change that.


After months of this affair the king finds out. With the rage of a bull the king thinks of ways to punish the two. The king ruled by decree that the man would be put on trial in his amphitheater. He thought that it would be punishment enough for the both of them because whatever happens the two would not have each other. If the man picks the door with the tiger than he will die, but if he picks the door with the lady then the princess would have to experience her lover get married to someone else. With triumph in his heart the king pats himself on the back. Meanwhile the princess knows she has to do something about it.


Torn between letting him live or letting him die, she spends her days in anguish. Her humane and inhumane sides are fighting between her and telling her to do the opposite things. This is where the princess


Finally the night before the trial arrived. The only things on her side is that she knows where the lady is held and who the lady is. For the lady is another beautiful maiden who has been caught by the princess admiring the man. At the time the princess barely thinks anything of it. Although now she is outraged by the thought of her marrying her lover. Jealousy oozes out of her and she finally decides what to do.


The next morning the king and princess took their seats in the front of the amphitheater. The princess did not want to attend but her barbaric side told her otherwise. As the man entered the arena everyone in the crowd gazed at astonishment, for he gleamed with confidence. Many who had entered were shaking and crying, but he was different. All because he knew that the princess would tell him exactly what to do. As the man walked up to where the king and princess sat he stared at her waited for  some sign.


Her right arm lay on the cushioned parapet before her. She raised her hand, and made a slight, quick movement toward the right. No one but her lover saw her. Every eye but his was fixed on the man in the arena.


The princess saw the man dash for the door on the right and a grin appeared on her face. She was thinking of the future, of how this one decision would change her life forever. As the man approached the door he hesitated and finally opened the door. Screams and shrieks came from all sides of the arena. The man stepped back and was in shock. Cold and bloody was the lady lying there on the ground lifelessly. The princesses motive was simple. She did not want him to die so she told him to open the door with the lady so his life would continue. She killed her because she thought that there would be nobody else for the man to marry. The princess smiled and almost laughed when she saw the face of her father. His cheeks red with anger and his eyebrows busheled with frustration. He grabbed the girl and threw her to the ground shouting horrible words out of embarrassment. Meanwhile the man stood there unaware of what to do.


For the next thing the king did was shout, “I will not stand to be tricked and deceived! My daughter has killed the lady so she could take this man for herself. If it is the last thing I know it is that my daughter would have not married this man!”


With that the king ran to a guard and took a sword. Almost shaking the ground with heavy steps he headed towards the man.


Unarmed and scared the man yells toward the king, “Please don’t kill me! I know I have disobeyed you because I have loved your daughter without your permission, but I do not deserve this! Innocent people die everyday because of your poor judgement, please do not let another,”


The king replied while walking instead of running, “ Why would I let you live? You do not truly love my daughter,”


The man said, “That is where you are wrong again. We love each other so much that we would walk the entire world and swim all the oceans just to be with each other. Our love is as strong as the palaces your people built, it can hold as much as weight as the strongest bridge. Please don’t kill me, if you do, your daughter will never love you again,”

The king would have let the man live if it weren’t for the last part of what he just said. The king again ran toward him and impaled the man with the sword. Again shrieks from everywhere were heard and the princess fell to her knees and wept a sea of tears.That day turned into what could have been the happiest day of the princesses life to the worst. From that day forward none of the king’s subjects respected him and like the man had once said the princess no longer loved her father. After the death of the man the king locked the princess in a tower where no man could love her.

After years and years of the princess living in the tower the king finally came to visit her and called, “ Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair.”





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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Blog of the Week October 26, 2015

A Year and A Day
By: Leslie Pietrzyk 
P.g: 0- 282


Summary:
The book I am currently reading is A Year and A Day by Leslie Pietrzyk. Alice's mom killed herself, and she must figure out how to manage without guidance, support, and her mother’s famous cooking that comforts her in her darkest hours. Even though she has a brother, he slowly breaks away from her. She hears her mother’s voice when she doesn't want it and needs it when it isn't there. To become comforted she seeks help from different people and finds out secrets from her mother’s past.


Prompts: How the conflict drives character development (causes the character to change)

     There are different conflicts that the main character has deal with in the story. One of the conflicts in the book is that her mother died. She goes through sadness, anger, loneliness, and jealousy throughout the story. For example in the beginning of the book Alice is sad and grieving over her mother. It talks about how she misses her and different things that she is reminded of. This is mentioned throughout the book, but is mostly focused on in the beginning. She also goes through anger in the book. Now she doesn't understand why her mother killed herself when she had two children and responsibilities. Alice blames her mother for her failures and tells herself that she shouldn't be forgiven. Once this stage wear's off Alice becomes very lonely and feels like she is by herself. Many of her friends try to comfort her and talk to her, but she drives them away. Then she realizes that her friends are so lucky to have the lives they have. She becomes jealous of them and thinks she hates them. These are some of the conflicts the main character has to face.

     The main character changes a lot because of these conflicts. She has had to mature way too early. When her mother died she was only 15 years old so she was very young. Her whole life has to fasten up and she has to gain way more responsibilities. Although you would think Alice has to play the grownup role in the family, this is not true. Her older brother ,Will,  has to act like the adult even though their aunt takes care of them. The aunt is described as unusual and delusional. Alice plays the youngest helpless role in the family. Sometimes I think that this has caused her to become more of a child then an adult because she has been pitted the most.

    One way she changed because of these conflicts was that she began to grow feelings for a guy named Joe Fry. He comforted her and made her feel better when she was upset. She changed her idea of who she would like because of her feelings that the conflicts made. In the book Alice says that Joe is a bad boy who skips school and smokes. Alice wouldn't have normally found him interesting, but under the circumstances she felt attracted to him.When Alice felt alone she might have thought that she should make a scene and try to rebel like Joe Fry. Her choice in guys changed. 



   

  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blog for Week 10-14-15 A Year and A Day by Leslie Pietrzyk

A Year and A Day
By: Leslie Pietrzyk
Prompts: What is the mood of what you’re reading (happy, sad, funny, serious, etc.)?
Defend your idea.
What emotions do you feel about your reading? Describe what is going on in the reading that makes you feel that way.
Pages from 0-240 Reading


   The book I am currently reading is A Year and A Day by Leslie Pietrzyk. Alice's mom killed herself, and she must figure out how to manage without guidance, support, and her mother’s famous cooking that comforts her in her darkest hours. Even though she has a brother, he slowly breaks away from her. She hears her mother’s voice when she doesn't want it and needs it when it isn't there. To become comforted she seeks help from different people and finds out secrets from her mother’s past.


   When I was reading this book the mood was sad. The main character’s mom died so she is grieving over the loss. This girl is feeling like her whole world just ended and she has to go through her awkward teenage years alone. For example Alice, the main character, is found thinking about dying herself. She is wondering what it felt like to be in total control with life and death. Sitting in her car on the train tracks just like her mother did, she thinks about throwing her keys out the window and waiting. As she thinks about this her brother comes up and tells her to get off the tracks with a train coming her way. This was a very powerful moment in the book because it shows how depressed and sad she really is, despite what she tells everybody.


   When I was reading this book, the emotions I felt were wonder, sadness, and that I am very fortunate. In the book the girl’s mother dies so I am very fortunate that I have a mother that is alive and well. In the story when the girl talks about her mother’s death while sitting on the train tracks, I wonder why she killed herself. The mother had two children and no husband, so why leave the kids by themselves? This boggles my mind, I wonder if she felt guilty about her past and wasn't thinking straight when she did it. While reading the book I wonder about all of that. The author did an amazing job of making you feel sad for the main characters loss. In the story when the girl is looking for her mother’s cookbooks for Thanksgiving, she goes through a meltdown because she can't find them. While reading this I feel so sad for her and want to comfort her because of how the author made her feel.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Banned Books Vlog


Paper Towns 
By: John Green

video

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Sources:

"About." Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week, 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <http://bannedbooksweek.org/about>.

"About Banned & Challenged Books." American Library Association. American Library Association, 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <http://www.ala.org/bbooks/about>.

Brunner, Borgna. "Banned Books." Infoplease. Infoplease, 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <http://www.infoplease.com/spot/banned-kids-books.html>.

Crum, Maddie. "Banned Books By The Numbers (INFOGRAPHICS)." Huff Post BOOKS. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/22/banned-books-week-infographic_n_5852234.html>.