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.

6 thoughts on “B 5/6 Book Commentary Discussion Term 1

  1. Marlena Ruhling
    B5
    SPOILER: In the book The Sister Pact, by Stacie Ramey, Leah, Allie’s sister, said let’s make a suicide pact together. Allie agreed to it, but always thought it was just a joke. She thought everyone goes through rough times, wanting to not go to school or to get away from friend drama. But Leah was serious. In result of that she took her life. In this passage Allie is seeing Leah’s ghost.
    “Leah’s ghost that isn’t really a ghost but really just me says, “The blue ones mellow you out. Take two.”
    I don’t want to, but that makes sense. Mom always took two. Should I? No one answers. Of course they don’t. Another test failed. I take two pills.
    “It’s about the colors, Allie. And the pills. And the choices. Which bottle, which pill, which color, which guy? The red one gets you up. Do you want to get up? The blue one gets you down. You already seem pretty down, so I’m thinking red.”
    “Oh, baby…” Mom cries as she wipes my cheeks. “Why?”
    “I didn’t mean it… I wasn’t…”
    I wish I could make her understand. I wish I could explain everything.” (193-197)
    I think this part is significant to the story because Allie didn’t want to commit suicide, she never did. In this passage, I took fragments of a few pages describing how Allie was handling her sister’s death. She was hallucinating her sister due to drugs that she was taking. Which is also a bad thing, first her psychologist gave her antidepressants which she wouldn’t take. But then a ‘friend’ offered her stronger drugs she had never try. Which came with a price. I think that Allie starting off getting prescribed drugs then having an almost overdose is definite character development. Because before her sister died she didn’t really take drugs. Also, her Mom having strong drugs that she could get her hands on also played a role in this. I think that the author did a good buildup of how the suicide pact was supposed to go about.
    Overall, I think this book was very insightful, and everyone should know and be watching for signs of suicide. I thought it was interesting how things played out with the role of drugs and how they were integrated back into the story. I think that it was very sad and hard to read how the death of a sibling impacts the family as well as the kids at school.

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  2. Micah Leavitt
    B5
    I choose the book The Darkest Part of the Forest, by Holly Black. Normally when I read a book it’s because my sister recommends them, so I choose this because she told me it was really good and the fact that it is a fantasy book. Starting out I had a hard time loving the main character, Hazel. I wasn’t sure why, but there was something about her that made it difficult for me, but I tried not to let it affect my judgment on the book. Other than the main character I really enjoyed the book, I liked how the author described this small town they live in and how the creatures(the Folk), that lived in the forest, interact with the locals. The relationship between the human characters and the fantasy characters was different from any other book I have read, which made the book more enjoyable.
    Near the end of the book the author takes us back to when Hazel and her brother Ben were children. “Once, there was a girl who found a sword in the woods. Once, there was a girl who made a bargain with the Folk”(300). This clears up a lot of the confusion I had in the beginning. It seemed like Hazel and Ben knew everything about the Folk, but how? Why? Most questions I had in the beginning got answered through out the end of the book. The only question I still have is what happened to Ben? He stayed in the land of the Folk and once Hazel left we never heard about him after.
    Though I had a hard time with Hazel in the beginning of the book, her character developed quite a lot throughout the book. By the end of the book I really liked Hazel, her character got better as well as some of the other characters in the book. Overall I’m very happy I read the book, even with the few things that bothered me it was still an amazing book and I don’t regret reading it at all.

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  3. Trajan Benson

    B5

    The book that I read this term was Surviving Hitler by Andrea Warren. The thing that struck me most during this book was when Jack keeps talking about he sees the whole situation with the Nazis as a game. I think it really shows on what a person will do to turn such a bad thing into a more positive view. He keeps talking about beating Hitler at this “game” and that is what keeps him going.

    Another idea that really caught my attention was how Jack constantly thought about his family. He goes on to say later on in the book that him thinking about his family is what kept him going. They drove him to survive. I thought that was really interesting and deep because people will do lots of things for their loved ones. I think Jack really expresses the idea that love is a lot stronger than hate and if you focus on hating someone, it will get you nowhere. He credits loving his family for his survival in the Holocaust.

    I really enjoy how we the reader see Jacks character development. At the very start of the Holocaust, Jack and the other jewish people are thinking that the war will be super short. Then, he realizes that it will not be and he starts to realize that he needs to fight to survive. Towards the end, Jack starts losing confidence that he is going to survive. He seems like he is about to give up. I think it is really interesting to see him go from being so optimistic to giving up. It shows how stressful this situation must have actually been.

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    1. This book seems very interesting and I think i would read it. The Holocaust was really bad and there are a lot of sad stories that we gain from it. I liked when you said Jack was going to beat Hitler at his own “game”. I do think Hilter maybe thought of it as a game, which is sad because it really wasnt. I think also that people did have to fight in order to survive. If they had family with them, Im sure that maybe brought them a little comfort and drive. Your right, if you love someone, you will do a lot for them or they will motivate you, in this case it was motivation to survive. Sadly though, it looks like Jack won’t make it because of what you said in the last paragraph. He lost motvation and lost his will to keep going. If it were me, I would have probably lost mine as well.

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  4. Graydon Lambert
    B5
    (SPOILERS)
    I read a book called Everything for a Dog by Ann M. Martin
    There are 3 different story lines in this book told all by dogs. There is a dog named bone who narrates the first story, telling of his earliest memories of being a stray along with his mother and sister, Squirrel. One day his mom leaves and doesn’t come back, and Bone and his sister leave from the shed they lived in.
    A guy finds them, but he ends up dropping them off at a shopping mall where a woman saves Bone. She doesn’t take Squirrel though which is sad. Then the woman realizes the can’t take care of him because she has a baby and a job to worry about, she gives Bone to her father, whose name is Franklin. Then because of his age, Franklin must move into assisted living where he can’t have pets, making Bone stray again.
    Eventually he becomes friends with this kid because he was leaving food out for him. The kid tries to train him to. One day, Bone went to explore and got caught in a hunter’s trap. The kid and his dad find him, take him to the vet, and when he’s done at the vet he go’s home.

    The second story focuses on a 4rth grader named Charlie Elliot. He and his family were struggling because of the loss of RJ. RJ was 14 and was great at sports and smart. His death is shaped as heroically. He was trying to get Charlie’s, kite and fell of the tree and died. The result is that Charlie feels responsible for RJ’s death.
    It was summer time and Charlie could recover from his brother’s dog Sunny. Sunny and Charlie did lots of things that helped Charlie feel better. Charlies mom on the other hand went to live with her sister for the summer because of her grief. After the 1-year anniversary of RJ’s death, its hunting season. There are a bunch of gun shots and then Charlie finds out that a hunter accidently shot Sunny. They bury him next to where RJ fell.
    The next story ties up to the last with a boy named Henry. Charlie is Henry’s father. Henry wants a dog so bad, he asks for one every year for Christmas. Henry finds a stray dog and plans to become friend with him, train him, and clean him. Then he will try and persuade his parents to keep him. Then one-day Buddy goes missing. Henry then must talk to his parent about him. His parents agree to help and after 2 days, they find him in a hunter’s trap. Then they take him to the vet and get him healed up. Finally, Henry gets to take him home and keep him.

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    1. This book sounds extremely interesting. I think it is really cool how the book is broken up into different stories. The dogs stories sound as though they could be a humans life. Like if you did not state that they were dogs, they could be mistaken for humans. Maybe that’s what the author was trying to do. I like how the one death is seen as heroic death. It adds a little extra on to the story and I think that allows the reader to be sucked in. Overall this book sounds like a really good read. I am personally an animal lover so I think I would really enjoy this. Thanks for such a great review!

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