Graphic Novels

As a new unit in writing and reading, a teacher named Mr. DeBerry has been coming in and teaching us about graphic novels. At first, we were just reading graphic novels but eventually, we began to write our own. As we were reading the graphic novels, we made noticings about how each page and chapter was structured.

The reading was very different compared to reading other genres of books. I like reading graphic novels so I was very excited to start this unit. The reading went by much faster and you had to pay very close attention to every page. At times I got very confused about who was who because the names were rarely mentioned in graphic novels. The story had many details you needed to find in the pictures. I learned so much from reading graphic novels and all of this knowledge helped me write my own graphic novel.

Writing a graphic novel is also very different from writing a novel. I thought it would be a lot easier than it was. You have to plan out your story and then do a draft. Then you have to draw each picture carefully with a lot of detail. Then you have to color everything in. I am not very good at drawing so this took a long time. I am sure I will try again to make an even better graphic novel!

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So B. It

In school my book club has been reading a book called So B. It by Sarah Weeks. It is about a girl named Heidi. Heidi’s mother has a mental disability so her neighbor, Bernie takes care of them.

One challenge Heidi faces is her mother’s disability. This is a challenge because Heidi’s childhood was affected by her mother’s disability. Bernie has agoraphobia. That means she is afraid to leave her house. Bernie and Heidi’s mother can’t drive Heidi to school so Heidi had to be homeschool. This meant she didn’t meet any kids her age. Heidi had to grow up too fast! She had to act grown up because if Heidi was upset, Heidi’s mother would throw a tantrum. When Heidi’s mother had tantrums she would hurt herself.

This affects how Heidi interacts with the world when Heidi began to lie. She wanted a different life so when people asked about her life she would lie. Once she sat with a woman named Alice on a bus. Alice asked about Heidi’s family. She told Alice she had a mother, a neighbor named Bernie and a grandma. Heidi then began to lie that her fake grandma knew Shirley Temple. She said Shirley Temple would come over and bake at their house. Heidi’s lie grew bigger and bigger until she had a completely different life.

Heidi barely knows anything about her mother so she makes list about her mother in her free time. She made a list of all the words her mother knows. Heidi also made a list of everything she knows about her mother. She knows almost nothing about her mother though. Heidi also made a list of questions she had about her mother. Heidi’s whole life revolves around her mother and her mother’s disability. I can’t imagine what Heidi is going through, and I think she is more patient then I would ever be.

A Long Walk to Water

In class we are reading a Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park. It is based on a true story about a boy during the Sudan War. We were asked to answer some questions about the book:

In A Long Walk to Water, one of the main themes is leadership. Some qualities of effective leadership are kindness, intelligence, bravery, persistence and confidence. Salva shows many of these qualities throughout the book. Salva is very persistent because he keeps walking even though it is tiring and difficult. Salva is intelligent when he didn’t cry or complain. This is intelligent because if he had cried or complained his group would have left him behind. Salva is brave because he left his friends and family behind and his uncle and best friend were killed but he just keeps on walking. He doesn’t know where he is going, he doesn’t know anybody but he just keeps on walking.

In the book, Salva says “Do things bit by bit, one step at a time.” Salva’s philosophy can help me in my life when I am playing sports. I go to the track sometimes with my dad. When I am running a long distance I can just tell myself one more step, one more step until the end. Perseverance is important because even when things get tough you will just keep on going. Salva was very persevered because he just kept walking. If Salva had stopped walking he may not be alive today. You can develop the ability to persevere by doing sports like soccer, track and field hockey because in these sports you have to keep moving the whole time. In soccer you have run and pass the ball for the whole game, in track you have to run long distances without stopping and in field hockey you have to run down the field and score goals. Perseverance is a very important quality to have because it can teach you many things.


In our fifth grade class we are reading a book called HOME of the BRAVE. The book is about a boy name Kek who lost his family and his home. He needs to move to America because his country is at war. He is struggling. He finds a farm and a cow. We have been talking about why Gol is important. Here was one of our questions.

Gol is a cow, but Katherine Applegate (author of Home of The Brave) also uses her as a symbol. How does Gol represent Kek’s past, present, and possibly his future?  

I think that Gol represents his past because at his home he used to herd cattle just like Gol. Gol also means family. All of Kek’s family is either dead or missing. Cattle and family were a huge part of his past. Gol is a symbol in the present because he is also lonely. Gol is old and lonely just like how Kek feels. Gol is going to need to leave the farm soon and I think that Kek might want to leave with Gol. Kek really gets how Gol is feeling.  Gol is Kek’s only piece of his old life. 

This picture is from Goodreads, Home of the Brave.