In our book club, we are reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio. We are thinking about the challenges the characters face and how their challenges affect them.
August faces many challenges. He has a facial birth defect and it’s a challenge for him every day to try and tell people that he is a normal person. He often bullied or left out in school, and he is judged on how he looks. These challenges prevent him from making that many friends. Soon, with all the people bullying him, he starts regretting that he had gone to school in the first place. He thinks that he doesn’t have any real friends because Principal Tushman assigned people to be his friends but he actually has real friends. The kids who bully him at school affected him to change his costume at the last second so he wouldn’t be picked on. The way that people treat him has made him when he was younger, to wear an astronaut helmet to prevent any looks or sideways glances. He stopped wearing it only because he lost it. I think that if he didn’t lose it, he would have kept wearing it. August acts differently both when he is with people and when he is alone. When he is with people, it depends who he is with. If he is with his family and friends, he acts completely normal. If he is with people like Julian, he tries to avoid them the best he can. When August is alone, he thinks about himself more and his mind wanders to where it makes him scared, sad and angry.
In class we are reading Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park. We wonder on some questions about the main characters, and their traits.
What are the qualities of effective leadership? How does Salva demonstrate these quilities? Well, first you need to know that everybody trusts you and likes you and what you say. You need to have strength to stay at the top and also not to cry or fall behind because of a tragedy. Like Salva when he couldn’t find his parents. He cried and lagged behind. You need to be smart to know and identify what is ahead. Uncle Juir had this quality. When the group went into the land of the Atuan, he warned the group that there are lions. You need to protect whoever you’re leading and not to let them get out of your watch. You need to keep everyone together. Uncle Juir did not have this quality because Salva’s friend was dragged away by a lion under Uncle Juir’s nose.
How might Salva’s philosophy help you in life? If you look over something at its full length, you might get worried that you might not make it there. For example, if you do things at a smaller point of view, as Salva did in the desert, you don’t have to worry about it. You’ll think “Thats Easy!”, and you will do it again, and again until you reach whatever goal you have.
Why is perseverance so important? Perseverance is crucial to life because, without it, you can never get anything done if it is not on your first try. Reflecting on the book we used to read Home of the Brave by Catherine Applegate, Kek shows this by trying harder to make himself feel at home. Salva, shows this by the bit by bit strategies that I talked about earlier. When his uncle got murdered, he didn’t sit in a corner and cry, he tried harder and walked swifter and with more strength to try to be what uncle had been, the leader.
How can better develop the ability to persevere? Perseverance isn’t obtained, someone slowly develops it. One thing to strengthen your perseverance is try a challenge. When you fail at it, try again, and keep trying until you succeed. If you don’t have the ability to do that, then, try playing or doing something that you aren’t good at. Keep trying it, and you might get better at it.
I think Donovan is naughty because he doesn’t have a very close connection with his family. I think this because every time he gets a letter home from school he expects it to be because he was in trouble, so when his dad reads the letter he looks up and expects to see “the vein throbbing” because his father would be mad. I also think this because makes fun of his sister who is 26 years old and is pregnant while her husband is in Afghanistan. He doesn’t know how much stress her sister is in so that means he does not have a close connection.
I think that Griffin is just a very weird, bad guy. He must be mentally disturbed or something else. He is also very destructive; like the time he took Eric’s bike, like its his bike? That’s just crazy. Also, Griffin smoked? It’s so wrong. Why would anybody do that? But it makes sense since his dad beats him up all the time since he drinks and is a retired police officer. He must have grew up with it at home.
Eric is feeling very guilty that he became friends with a known bully. He thinks he did the right thing when he gave Hallenback (to Eric, “ketchup boy”) away to Griffin, and he realizes that. Know he doesn’t know what to do; tell his mom, give Griffin away, or keep it secret. Then he figures out that Griffin is pretending to be charming to his mom and helping the elderly at the mall, but really is just a fraud, trying to steal stuff from those people. For example, he stole some gum from an old lady called Mrs. Chaves, when helping her with shopping, and gets away with it easily.
Harry is relieved that the castle is empty so that Malfoy (his evil arch enemy that teases him) can not annoy him. He likes it because he has time to figure out the puzzle of the golden egg, which he won from the first task of the Triwizard Tournament. He really is happy to be with Ron and Hermione (his two best friends) and relax.
I understand why Harry is relieved because because Malfoy is a real git to Harry, he teases him, he says Hermione is a “filthy mudblood”(which is a terrible name to call someone if their muggle-born), blurts out that Ron is poor and and rubd it in his face, and he always tries to humiliate Harry in front of the other students. Malfoy is always mean to Harry because he didn’t except his friendship in his first year at Hogwarts.
The golden egg puzzle is a really hard thing to figure out because it emits a screaming/wailing sound when opened. The answer is only reveled when it is opened under water. Harry finds out that the merpeople living in Black Lake have taken something from him. Harry is now ready for the second task!