Readers Journal 28: The Secret Language of Sisters

Dear Readers,

I am reading The Secret Language of Sisters and I want to focus on setting this week. Here is my quote from Roo’s perspective:

I woke up being restrained – or at least that’s what I thought. I thought they tied me down. Then I realized, No, there are no straps. It’s me – I can’t move. I can’t speak. I can’t get anyone to hear me.”

This quote shows the fact that there is no physical setting for Roo. She can see and hear, but she can’t talk or move. She is trapped inside of herself. Her body has pretty much tied her spirit down, it is being held a prisoner inside the brick called her body. Thank you for reading!


Readers Journal 27: The Secret Language of Sisters

Dear Readers,

Yay! I finished the ENTIRE Unwanteds series! I just started the book The Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne Rice. This week we have to talk about theme and I found a LOT of theme in the first page but I have decided to a quote from the very first page of the book. Here is my quote:

I am unfashionably into landscapes; I apologize to no one. I park my dad’s old Volvo in the sandy lot behind the bait shop, shuttered up for the winter. Grabbing my camera, I cross the street to snap a few shots of cold winter sunlight on the broken ice.

Remember, this is the first page and it’s just giving you an introduction to the characters and all of that kind of thing. I could tell that the author wants you to see the joyful regular life of Roo (the main character) before she crashes the car and ends up in the hospital. The theme is just that. Simply the regular-ness of everything between sisters Tilly and Roo. Thanks for reading!


Readers Journal 26: Island of Dragons

Dear Readers,

Don’t laugh, I’m still reading The Unwanteds! Ugh!!! It’s sooooooooooo repetitive! Anyway… I’m almost done! Also please understand I’m writing this on my phone because I don’t have my computer with me at the moment so please remember I’m trying! Here is my quote about the theme:

Out of components, but armed with hid immortality and swift healing, Aaron valiantly threw himself in front of several of his commerades in danger, taking the brunt of many swords and saving a few lives in the process. He cringed and fought off the pain, and checked to make sure the wounds were shedding little blood and closing up swiftly as the first one had. They were.”

I think the theme of this quote is that sometimes you have to take risks to save your friends. Even though Aaron is now immortal due to some magical immortal seaweed, he can still feel pain. He can heal fast but he, again, still feels pain. He risked his own well being to save people he doesn’t know. I think this is an important theme but the author doesn’t make this extremely mind blowing because he knows he can’t die, Lisa McMann tried again. And slightly fails. But the theme isn’t totally not obvious. Thanks for reading!


Readers Journal 25: Island of Dragons

Dear Readers,

I am still reading Island of Dragons, and this week we are supposed to write about theme. As I was read, I stumbled upon this quote and I thought: “This is absolutely perfect!” this quote doesn’t sum up the entire book, but more of this section of the book. Here is my quote:

Another round of flaming tar balls lit up the sky around the island. It was almost beautiful to watch them, so synchronized. Alex didn’t have time to watch, though, as the one aimed at the mansion struck the side of the building near the top, right next to the existing hole. The tar ball vanished inside it.

The theme in this particular paragraph, I think, is that war is tragic yet sweet. Alex is at the teetering edge of a battle, and he is able to see the beauty of it. After the war burns them down, they will be able to regrow. All of a sudden, he is snapped out of this and runs into the mansion to stop the fire and finds someone dead. This is tragic, but as long as there is even a sliver of beauty, you have to enjoy it. You should see the jar half full and half empty.


Brightwater Waste Water Treatment Plant

Today we went to the Brightwater Treatment Plant. I learned a lot about the water that we drink and how it’s cleaned. One of the things I learned today was that Brightwater uses some amazing engineering and technology to clean their water the coolest one in my opinion was the little strings they used called membranes to keep little microbes for getting into the water. I’ll now try to use eco-friendly cleaners. I wonder how it is safe for us to drink all of these chemicals.  We need to solve the chemicals-in-our-water issue before it builds up into a really bad problem.

Readers Journal 24: Island of Dragons

Dear Readers,

I am now reading The Unwanteds: Island of Dragons. The FINAL book in The Unwanteds series by Lisa McMann. I am half happy this series is over slightly sad. The first few books were interesting and captivating and packed with loads of adventure, but as the books went on, the adventure repeated and the word choice dropped by at least 10%, but I still REALLY wanted to see how the story would end, so I am reading the last book. Anyway… (Sorry about my ranting…) These week we are focusing on setting, and this book has very little setting. This is my quote:

Before Henry knew it, the crab’s mouth was closing around him. He sucked in a breath as the world grew dark, and when the jaw clamped shut, Henry sat inside, trying to get his bearings. The water sloshed around his shoulders, and the briny smell of impending death inside was horrid. Despite the bubble of air above the water, Henry began to panic.”

This is the best thing I could find, but I guess it’s pretty good considering it kind of tells you what the character is thinking about his surroundings. If I were this character, first of all I would be freaking out, second of all I would’ve barfed, third of all: why would you not panic in this situation?!

There were a few core setting phrases here (they are the bolded text) they all demonstrated a concept of setting, mostly what the place looked like, but they do not mention the time or country in this specific quote. The one thing I just had to notice was a word that stood out to me as imagery. Clamped was that word. When I hear the word clamped, I hear, see it and feel the power of the jaws clamped together, making a trap (also a part of setting. I think this is really funny, the first time I read this quote, I didn’t think about the fact that it became a trap!) I hope you enjoyed this Readers Journal! Thanks for reading!


Chumash Video Responses May 3rd

Who is Suzy Eban, who speaks in film #1? What was the role of her husband in the events of the late 1940’s in Israel?

Suzy Eban is the wife of a man named Abba Eban who joined forces as a soldier with the UN during the war to help get Israel.

What was the Balfour Declaration mentioned in the first film?

The Balfour Declaration was a declaration made by the Britains to say that they were okay with the Jews getting a national home.

When the UN finally took its vote what was the final score of countries who voted for or against a Jewish state?

When all of the votes had been counted for, the result came and said: “33 people have adopted this, 13 against and 10 abstained”.

At the end of the film, Yehuda Avner says, regarding the British soldier, “now, we were all friends!” What role did the British government (mandate) have in Israel in the 1940’s, and how was that role going to change with the UN vote?

In the 1940’s the British Government was ruling the Middle East. They were the ones that made the rules and now that they had given the land to the Israelis, “they could all be friends” not just ruler and follower. They didn’t have to be so uptight with each other because they didn’t have that same kind of relationship anymore.

Where is there a hint in the film that many Jews, both in and outside of Israel, saw what was happening as a sign of “redemption” and leading up to the coming of the Mashiach?

The Jews thought that this was a sign of redemption because they were now aloud to have their land after they made many mistakes. They thought this was a sign of the Mashiach coming because it was something where the world came in peace (or at least most of it) to let them have their promised land.

There were a number of people, including several Americans, one South African and one British Jew who were interviewed in the second film.

  • Pick one of those people

I have chosen to talk about Harold Katz, a man from Indiana who got involved with this war.

  • Summarize what he or she says in the different interview excerpts in the film

When Harold was young (in Harvard at Law School) he started to really hear about what was happening in Europe with the Jews in the Concentration Camps. He looked at his own life and felt a big imbalance between his amazing life and the horrible lives they woke up to every morning of their lives. So after his first year of college he and a few of his friends left their homes and went to Miami, then to New York to find the ship they would be on for the next long while. It was a big ship that would carry over 1,500 people from Europe to Israel. They set off on their journey and docked in the coast of Italy and started to help the Jews onto the ship homeward bound (Israel). Harold felt an amazing sensation knowing that this was his extended Jewish family. This was his people. “It was a profound experience.” Says Harold, this changed him forever and the way he views the world will probably never be the same again.

  • Explain what you learned from this person’s approach to being involved in the founding of the State of Israel.

I learned that you don’t have to be the person in the front rows of war defending your country and your people. You can be the person saving your people in a different way. You can help by being that subtle person in the background, helping your dispersed people find their way home. No matter if this is physical or not, you can do something to help a bad situation.

This is Harold’s Story:

“Part of my motivation in becoming a Zionist, was a sense of having a refuge where Jews could come if they wanted to and if they needed to. (He volunteered for the Clandstine immigration) went to Harvard after he finished fighting in Israel. He started to learn about what was really happening in concentration camps and the Jews trying to get out of Europe and into Palestine. And I by sheer chance grew up in the United States, nurtured, schooled, a place to eat and sleep all the time, secure, and there was imbalance here, a real imbalance. I had the good life and they had horror it was an imbalance that had to be righted. We couldn’t just sit in law school while this was going on, this was history being made.  We didn’t go back to our second year in law school, we just didn’t go back. They flew us down to Miami, the Palmach guys from New York, where they took us dockside and there was this hulk, it was a boat that didn’t inspire confidence. We prepared our ship which carried 20 different officers and men. We prepared this ship so it could accept and safely carry 1,500 people. We took the ship to the coast of Italy to pick up our illegal immigrants, and there I remember them coming from the shore. When you see human beings who have individual characteristics, they’re not just concepts, they’re real people, there are the numbers… They’re Jews, they’re like me, we’re fellow Jews, and what they’ve been through. It was a profound experience.” –Harold Katz