Hey everyone! Small change: we have moved this discussion over to Canvas! See below for instructions.
You will be writing a commentary on the book you will have finished for the Independent Reading Requirement this term. Post the commentary and your reply to someone else’s commentary on CANVAS! (slcschools.instructure.com –login: first name . last initial last 3 numbers in school ID @slcstudents.org –password: your usual password)
Requirements of this assignment:
-Each commentary should be at least 300 words long and written as a personal, critical response to the book
-Select at least one passage from your book that you think is significant, in terms of how you reacted to the book’s theme, problem, character development, or plot arc, or to the author’s style. Choose a chunk of text that you think shows something essential. In your commentary, quote—copy—the passage you chose, and write about what you think it shows about the book, the author, or your response to either.
-Cite the name of the author of the book and its title.
-Also write a 100 word response to another person’s commentary.
7 thoughts on “A 1/2 Book Commentary Discussion Term 1”
(Spoilers for Ready Player One ahead, read with care) -Alex Arendt
The neat little book I got acquainted with is called Ready Player One (By Ernest Cline). Another book that takes place in a less than ideal the near future that, guess what, stars teens, unique, I know. The book stars a chubby loser of an 18-year-old named Wade Watts who lives in a world filled with overpopulation, poverty, and the real twist, a bunch of computer nerds. I myself may be considered a computer nerd, but that’s not the point, mostly because they don’t use the computer for fun. Said nerds are nerds because of a guy that died, a REALLY rich guy. James Donovan Halliday Is the founder of the best game in the world, the Oasis, a VR game where you can do anything you choose, as long as you can afford to buy it. One funny little thing is how much people complain about costs in the book, you see, You can buy “in-game” items, and they can cost a lot, but the game it self-costs a whopping 25 cents, so you don’t really need cash to play, unless you don’t have anyone to give you transport, then you’re dead meat. Back to Halliday, as I mentioned he’s dead and really wealthy, Once Mr.Halliday died He said he added an easter egg to his game (something special hidden inside that game). His Easter egg just oh so happened to give you his entire fortune which consisted of billions of dollars. This, of course, pulled countless people to the game, Honestly, I would definitely get it too. Then after years of nobody finding any hints as to the location of the easter egg people started to drop out (by the way people hunting the egg are called “Gunters”). Then the aforementioned Teen dude figures it out while he’s sitting in his virtual high school. Also, side note, a Virtual high school in Vr seems amazing, especially with the mechanics to make it so you have to follow rules, just seems like a better learning environment where teachers can do what they wanted to do from the start, teach. Back to the nerd, once this but finds out where the egg is he goes and gets the ⅓ keys. Another lady was also trying to get the key before him, but she couldn’t overcome the dungeon it was held in, until the next day. That girl gets the second key though, and the day the protagonist is about to kill himself he thinks, oh wait, I’m still in the running for the egg, so he stops killing himself and gets back into the game. Also, side note again, I still don’t understand why he was going to kill himself, I mean, the girl he liked (and cyber stalked) told him to stop talking to her, (she’s also the one getting the keys) but jeez, this man was about to kill himself because a girl said she didn’t like hi saying “I love you” when they’de never even met. He wasn’t even depressed when his aunt got blown up and, like, 70 civilians died because some guys tried to assassinate him, that only mildly worried him, ANYWAYS. He ends up finding the second key with the help of his friend Aech (H) who basically tells exactly where it is (Aech is also on the run to get the easter egg). Then, surprise surprise, he finds the 2nd out of the 3 keys. That’s when things start to heat up (there was an evil organization I forgot to mention, they’re called IOI, they want to win the money and then buy the oasis to make it pay to play, through a monthly subscription. I would die if my games suddenly got a monthly fee. BIG surprise, The main character gets the third key and wins the race for the easter egg, Although Lots of people die in the process, like almost every person in the whole game, and you lose your items when you die, so that kinda sucks for, well, everyone. That’s fine though because the main character got a respawning item, because of plot armor. In the end, he gets the girl he stalked and shares the billions of dollars between himself and his friends. (I know it’s longer than 300 words, but I don’t care)
Response to Ready Player One commentary
I’ve never read this book before but the you had a great commentary on it that was easy to follow and very descriptive. I liked how informative your commentary was because I could easily understand the plot in the story. The story itself sounds very interesting and suspenseful which would be really enjoyable to read. The comments you left on while describing the plot of the story were interesting because I got to see how you interpreted different parts of the story. I think this was a very well done commentary on a book that sounds super cool and enjoyable to read.
(Heads up there might be spoilers, I tried my hardest not to put spoilers in, no promises)
I read I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan in two days. It was fantastic. It captured me right from the start in all the emotions of the characters. Sam Border (one of the main characters) frustrated me because he would never tell anyone what was really going on with his dad. Even though it is scary to talk to someone that there is a domestic abuse issue, it is a necessary conversation that has to happen. Sam also frustrated because once he got out of the canyon he didn’t ask anyone how to get back to the town to get back that he was previously in. I liked how the Bell parents were so willing to let Riddle and Sam into their home and how caring they were to the two boys which the parents could clearly see were in need of help. At the very beginning of the story a girl named Emily (also one of the main characters) was in a church choir and was singing to Sam Border even though Sam was in the back of the church and Emily couldn’t sing very well. It was a Christian song titled “I’ll be there” not only did Sam feel an immediate connection to the lyrics he felt a connection with this girl who was singing (he didn’t know her name was Emily at the time). I thought it was way powerful that when Sam was actually starting to feel some of the emotional damage that his father had done to him. I chose to read this book because the title grabbed me right from the get-go, it was a title that made me think of something that might relate to me personally. The writer was very straight forward on their language and it was very easy to understand. I honestly hope there isn’t a sequel to I’ll Be There to be honest, because I don’t want to go through the suffering of all the emotions I went through just reading this book.
I have not read this book myself, but from what you say it seems like a very enjoyable book to read through, even though it leaves emotional trauma. From what you say this book seems to be one that connects you to the characters through rough experiences and the challenges they face through their life. Now I haven’t personally ended up far from home, but I can easily see that this story could be relatable to many people due to them being able to recognize and appreciate the emotions the characters feel throughout the book. Overall, even though i haven’t read it, I’d say this book seems like it would be worth looking at.
Andrew J Furst
Response to commentary (I’ll be there)
Based on the narrative of “I’ll be there” (I’ve never read the book) it seemed very interesting with a deep underlying theme. I like the quotes and plot points chosen and the commentary leaves me wondering more about the book. I like how there were no real spoilers and but you get a feel for the events that unfold, I question the narrators perspective on not wanting a second book, I understand the feeling of not wanting to ruin a original work but at the same time if the same author reboots a series there is always a chance for the second book to be just as good if not better then the first.
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George is a very exciting book about growing up eskimo (or inuit, because apparently eskimo isn’t pc anymore), and the uncertainties of adolescence, as well as a hidden political meaning.
The plot begins something like this: Julie, who’s inuit name is Miyax, leaves her village after her arranged husband, Daniel, tries to forcibly kiss her and rape her. Miyax then ventures of to San Francisco, where she knows a pen pal, through the arctic tundra. With little to survive, she braves the north pole with her new-found wolve pack and the survival knowledge of her father, Kapugen.
The Narrative is told excellently, weaving our heroine’s survival in the present with her childhood on the Eskimo reserve in the past, without writing it like a movie flashback on a screenplay. It did win the Newbery award, so it ought to be well written, or else that would be false advertising. The only thing that’s given to the wolves in text are names, and they don’t even have quotations when they “talk”, but you still see them characterized just a much as Julie, or Miyax.
That’s a good question; is it Miyax, or Julie? Miyax’s pen pal knows her as Julie, while Julie’s inuit friends know her as Miyax. On The back of the book, it says “… she is Miyax of the Eskimos – but Julie of the Wolves.” Whatever her name is, throughout the book, she struggles between choosing to live the more conservative, homogenous, and analogue lives of her Eskimo forefathers, or the newer life of the rest of North America with white people, often referred to as “gussak”. This represents the dueling relationship between between two extreme lifestyles, often with grave flaws, but not without their own appeal. In the Eskimo world, you only concern yourself with living your life and surviving, it’s much simpler: however, you are forced to marry someone you may not love, and you may even despise. In the gussak world, you are totally removed from nature, but although life is a little more complicated, you live a little easier.
These are just two examples of the many in Julie of the Wolves, which are questions raised from the author that may never be answered by the reader.
Andrew J Furst
Commentary: The Martian
The book The Martian by Andy Weir is a masterpiece of a book, centered around a man on mars struggling to survive with only the help of science after being stranded on mars by a large dust storm. The author took a lot of creative freedoms with the actions of the characters, but at the same time I think that the author balanced creative freedom and the story line with the scientific facts and theory’s very well. Andy Weir brought up some thought provoking questions about the safety and the morals of space travel, as well as how law, and even international conflict, means very little in the big picture. From his writing I really get the impression that Mars is “trying to kill him” and his struggle and hardship throughout the entire book, showing one of the main themes-never give up. I enjoy the fact that Andy Weir took the time and effort to check the math and principles of astrophysics, and at the same time make a book that was appealing to the less scientifically minded people. Due to this interest he created and the move based on his book, along with the rising importance of space exploration and travel, he is really an icon to those interested in the field, in a way unseen sense the space race of the Apollo missions. Upon completion of the book, the audience is still left wondering if the problems that occurred could influence astronauts in this way, and how space agency’s handle and take care of problems similar to this when they arise in real life. We are also left wondering how the Irish starved to death during the Irish potato crop failure and one man, in a probable situation was able to survive for years on a staple crop grown using human waste as fertilizer.