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Reading Assignment: pp.119-169 in Out of the Dust

Writing Assignment: Please write a paragraph introducing and describing some character from a book with whom you identify. Make sure to introduce the book's author and the book's title. Then talk about the character with whom you feel you have something in common. Be sure to describe the characteristics or behaviors you have in mind and explain why you think you are similar. You all said some interesting things in class today on this subject, so see if you can put some of those thoughts on paper. 

Last edited by Laraine
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In Karen Hesse's Out of the Dust, I identify Billie Jo on doing things you like can help you throw unhappiness off. She was born in a very poor family, she has few things to play. Nothing could make her happy except playing the piano. And she loves playing the piano so much, so when she is playing the piano, she can forget all the unhappiness and only focus on the piano: she forget that she was poor, she forget there is dust everywhere, she forget her dad's wheat are dying that they would have a hard time. I also felt like that too. When I rode a bike with my best friends, we only focused on the road before us and didn't care about any other things. Although we would have a exam on the next day, but we relaxed and had lots of fun.
In Suzanne Collins’ book The Hunger Game, the main character Katniss Everdeen really has the same personality with me. In the book one, when Katniss know that her sister is been chosen to be the tribute. Katniss volunteer to replace Primrose to be the tribute. I think I have the same personality with Katniss because when my family or friends were in trouble I will throw them into the breach, even this isn’t as importance as the Hunger Game. But I will do it. Also, in the last book Mockingjay. Katniss had been hit by a gun in her speech. But she still does what she wants: Help the refugee. I will do this if anyone needs my help. Even it isn’t as important as a gun hit.

@ Mark, very nicely put here when you say you and your friend are "focused on the road before us and don't care about any other things." You have definitely understood what it means to identify with a fictional character. I like, too, the sentences about everthing she can forget while making music. That's the kind of concrete detail that makes writing come alive, I particularly like what you say about her forgetting the "dust everywhere." Nicely done. 

@CindySince we have known each other for a while now, I can say that I totally believe you. I think in a situtaion like the one that Katniss is in, you would sacrifice yourself for someone you loved.  Like her, protecting others who are weaker is just in your nature.  You certainly understood the assignment, and you did a great job of explaining why you identify with Katniss. Very nice work. That's the ticket (idiom meaning, you have or had the right idea).

Last edited by Laraine

Here is Alice's lovely response:


Every person is different, no one has the same personality, but maybe you can be similar with each other. For me, I’m just like Leslie in The Bridge to Terabithia. In the book, Leslie is an active girl who can ran very fast, just like me, well although I’m not that fast. What’s more, she is good at making friends and helping others, friendly and kind. The most important thing is that I love to imagine pictures in my mind, to write stories, or to play with myself all day long (not now), in the book, Leslie and Jess had imagined their own kingdom and playing all day long just because Leslie is really good to imagine. Compare Leslie and me, I think I still need to work on helping others to find themselves.

  In Karen Hesse’s novel Out of the Dust, the main character, Billie Jo, wanted to help during the fire accident but only burned her mom and herself badly in the end. In an emergency, many people would become extraordinarily nervous and always do something that doesn’t not help but only make the situation worse. In the story, Billie Jo wanted to throw the fire out but she didn’t notice that her mother was coming right after her, so her mother became a pillar of fire. In a really bad situation, her brain didn’t think as carefully as usual, so finally cause the disaster. After that, she wanted to make the fire off, but she didn’t use the water or something else but her own hands. That didn’t help much and only hurt her fingers.

  I am just like her. Always feel nervous and don’t think too much in an emergency. One day, when all of the students were enjoy eating pizza at the cram school, I wanted to get some soft drink. I poured the soda into the cup, but I was too greedy then that I wanted to fill the cup with drinks and forgot the bubbles of the soda. The bubbles overflew quickly, so I was really nervous and wanted to drink them instantly so the situation wouldn’t be too bad. I successfully did that, but I forgot the most important thing—to put the bottle carefully, so the whole bottle of soda dropped off the ground. If I wasn’t too nervous and placed the bottle slowly, the trouble wouldn’t come. Next time, I’ll be calm and think carefully when things happened like that.

You did a great job on this Alfonso. And I love how you incorporated the metaphor from the book, "pillar of fire" into your own writing.  

Your use of transitions is excellent and I really like the opening transition to the second paragraph, "I am just like her." Particularly when you are introducing a new and key point, as you are here, these kinds of short, direct transitional sentences are just perfect for getting the reader both ready and interested in what follows. 

You are also using much more sentence variety than you once did.

I owe you some comments on your writing, and I will get them to you. I promise.

You have such a great poker face, when you want to use it, I bet no one even noticed you dropped anything. 

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