Monthly Archives: May 2011

So many choices…..

It’s all about you this week.  You will have the ultimate power–choice!  I have given you some different options of how you want to complete your blog–(thankfully I didn’t give you as many as were in food picture below.  You’d spend all your time reading the choices and have no time to type.)  Whew.  Only 3 choice today.  So make your choice and type away.  The rest is up to you!

 

 

 

Your choices are:

  • a connection
  • list 2 themes, pick a picture to represent each theme.—Write a short blurb explaining why the picture represents the theme
  • choose 3 sentence starters & answer them 

As usual, tell me the name of your book and the author.  Then, give me a short summary of what the book is about and then make your choice of how you want to respond. So,  how will you complete your blog today?

Here’s my shot at it:

I’ve been reading “Schooled” by Gordon Korman this week.  He is one of my favourite authors and when someone pointed out this book to me I was super excited.   It starts out with the main character Cap (short for Capricorn) being arrested and then unarrested.  It turns out that he lives on a farming commune (is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, property, possessions, resources, work, and income). –Thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commune for the definition.

This story is about how Cap is forced to live with a foster family after his grandmother Rain, falls and breaks her hip.  The worst part about living off the commune is that he now has to go to school rather than be homeschooled by Rain. Could you imagaine if you’ve never heard a school bell or were forced to go to another class just because the time was up even if you weren’t finished or didn’t need to lock up your belongings in a locker because everyone shared everything anyway? Also, Cap is nominated for 8th grade president simply because he’s the weirdest kid there.  (It was a mean trick played on the nerdiest/weirdest kid every year just so the rest of the students could make fun of him/her),  I’m not going to ruin the rest of the  book but if you want to find out what happens next, I’d definitely recommend reading this book!

My choice is to write about a connection I have.  I could honestly not imagine what it would be like to have to leave the only home I’d ever known and go somewhere else.  This must be what it’s like for Cap.  He has only ever lived on the commune with his grandmother and now he’s forced into a world that’s totally different.  Here’s an example from the book of how Cap describes it, “I don’t like it out there.  It’s too crowded. People dress funny; they talk too fast; and they are interested in things! Cell phones and iPods and Game Boys and Starbucks.  What’s a starbuck?”  My closest connection to how I felt like this is when I moved to Quebec where half the time people were speaking French much faster than I could understand.  Even though technically it was still in Canada things were soooo different.  The traffic was HORRIBLE, (it took me over an hour to drive to work every day even though it should have only taken 15 minutes if it wasn’t rush hour). The signs were all in French and some of them I knew but some of them were things I had never seen before-for example, “Circulation fluide”.  I guess it means that things were going smoothly, but I’ve never seen a sign like that in English.  I also had to get used to French customs, the two kisses on the cheek when greeting someone.  (Sometimes I forget I’m back in Alberta where we don’t do that and almost go to do it to but then realize I’d get made fun of).  And you all by now have probably heard me ask you something in French, I can’t help it–the French just comes out first.  🙂  So while it was a bit confusing for me at first, I would say as time went on, I got used to things.  I can only hope the same for Cap!

As always, I look forward to learning a little more about you and what you’ve been reading lately.  Hope that you all have a wonderful long weekend — if it doesn’t rain too much and I’ll see you next week.

Love Miss Esselink

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To Blog –that is the answer!

And I’ve got the answer!  It’s time to blog. 🙂 Hopefully you’ve been reading a book or two since the last time we’ve met.  I’ve selected some sentence starters for you to respond to as you think about YOUR book. Tell me what book you are reading, give me a short summary and then scan the list below and choose 3 of these to answer. Please write at least 3 sentences for each one. (That makes at least a minimum of 9 sentences–that’s a paragraph!)  If you are having trouble figuring out what questions to answer, here`s a suggestion:  use a random number generator :

Set your maximum at 14, then click on generate at least 3 times and you`ve got some random questions to answer!

 1. I was surprised when… because…

2. I was confused about… because…

3. I learned the most about the main character (choose one) from: -dialogue -events -other characters -his/her thoughts. Explain your answer

4. This book reminds me of _____________(another book/movie) because…

5. I learned… (something about life or how people get along)

6. Something I learned about how to write is… l learned this from…

7. I didn’t like… because…

8. The setting makes me feel… because…

9. I now understand…

10. If I were __________(character), I would… because…

11. A question I have is… A possible answer is…

12. My favorite section of the book is… because…

13. A question I have for the author is…

14. I would/would not recommend this book because…

 Note: I will mark you for how you explain your answers, so be sure to give examples and details. There is no wrong answer here, but you need to take time to EXPLAIN yourself Can’t wait to read your blog!!

The book I’m reading is called Undergrounders by David Skuy.  It’s about a boy who has lived on the streets since his mom died.  It’s a totally different life! Jonathan is able to “rent” space in an underground abandoned building every night for 50 cents.  He doesn’t go to school anymore and usually he hawks (aka begs) for money during the day to pay his rent and for any food that he might eat that day.  But one day he manages to sneak into the hockey store to get warm and he helps himself to some hockey equipment.  Things sure do get interesting from there!

3.  I learned the most about the main character from his thoughts.  He is continually revealing details about his life in his thoughts.  The author does a good job of this though because it`s only a tiny bit of information rather than over-explaining.  For example, after seeing some guys play hockey, Jonathan thinks to himself, “Weird how I hated hockey now“.  Which obviously suggests at one point that he didn`t hate hockey.  I find that I try to do that when I`m speaking as well. I reveal little bits of information in order to capture people`s attention and continue on with the converstation.  8. The setting makes me feel sorry for Jonathan.  I could not image living underground and wandering around the streets the rest of the time.  I think that it would be very cold and lonely.  I don`t know how he manages to handle being alone and not taking to people all the time in case they turn him into social services.  When I lost my voice and couldn`t talk for 5 days this winter, I was so frustrated.  I clearly need to be around people 🙂 –but perhaps Jonathan doesn`t have that same need.  10.  If I were Jonathan, I don`t think I would survive living basically on my own underground.  I think that I would try to go to Social Services and find someone to help.  I don`t know if it makes a difference in our genders–perhaps he has a problem asking others for help.  I sure don`t ! (For example, think of all the times I`ve had people drive that silly computer cart for me).  Or it`s because of bad run-ins with the law in his past and he doesn`t really trust people.  I`m pretty trusting but I do realize not everyone is. 

And that`s it.  Looking forward to reading your blogs. Have a great weekend.
Love Miss Esselink