Being seen is important. It just is. It is part of what makes us human. Without social interaction, we would not be as advanced as we are. Conor needs to be seen, because he is beginning to become almost less human. When he is seen, he is seen as something completely different than a human. It is like his mom’s sickness has contaminated him. Even though Conor so desperately wants to be seen, he still pushes everyone away. This I think is because he doesn’t want to be seen as the kid whose mother is dying, he wants to be seen as Conor, but whenever anyone looks at him, that isn’t how they see him. Conor wants to be punished, because it would make him feel at least a little more normal, because he would be punished if his mom wasn’t sick. The monster made it so he was seen, but then he said there is something worse than not being seen, but didn’t really explain what that meant. I think Conor has reacted in the wrong way to not being seen, he tried to make people see. Instead of making them see, he should have asked to be seen, and let those who were trying to see him do so. When we feel like we are not being seen, it will be hard to be kind to others, and to be social at all, but that is really the only way we can fix it.
Believing something is not to give it up when hardships or trials come up. The Parson did not truly believe in what he was teaching the people. He was willing to give it up, and not stand up for it, to save his daughter. Many people would have done this, so why was the parson punished? I think he was punished because his belief was harming the parson, but by giving it up so easily, he proved that he didn’t actually believe, and that it was pointless in the first place for him to have those beliefs. So, when the apothecary didn’t give his medicine to the parson for his daughters, although it wasn’t very nice, he was completely justified in doing it. The next question is: What does this have to do with Conor? I honestly have no idea what this has to do with Conor, because it doesn’t really seem like he has any beliefs. I guess you could consider him hating his grandma, Lily, and believing his mom would die and that is why grandma and dad came over.
I have no idea why the monster is telling Conor the stories. We may find out later in the book, but my best guess would be that it is to teach him lessons, even if the Monster says it isn’t. It is to teach him that there is good and bad in everyone, and that maybe he should treat them that way. Think of Lily, she told everyone at school about Conor’s mom, and Conor isn’t forgiving her, even months later. Also, Conor’s Grandma, Conor sees her as a witch, and that she doesn’t like him, so why should he like her. It is teaching him that Grandma and Lily, are not actually bad, but there are bad sides to them. This story also teaches us that things are not as they seem. We can learn all of this from the story, and He is telling it to Conor so he can hopefully learn it too.
A Long Walk to Water By: Linda Sue Park Pages: 117
Genre: Children’s Historical Fiction Rating 3.5/5 stars
How it Starts: Salva is at school, when there are gunshots outside. His teacher tells him and his classmates to run to a bush. They do, and then they begin to walk.
How it Gets complicated: Salva doesn’t know where his family is, but he is determined to find them. When his group abandons him in an old farm house, he must find a way to get to them.
What I liked: There are kind of two plot lines going on throughout the book, that make it interesting to read both of them, although kind of confusing. It is also fun and scary to go through all the things Salva went through, with him.
What I disliked: I don’t like that the story doesn’t give you very much background, you are kind of just thrown into the story, and it is up to you to make sense of it. If you don’t pay careful attention, you can miss a seemingly small part of the story, that will come back and bite you because you missed it.
Recommendation: I would recommend this as an out loud reading book, for smaller children, and then they can talk about it, because it teaches life lessons, and shows that hard things do happen. I’m only reading it for battle of the books, but it is still pretty good.
A Long Way from Chicago By: Richard Peck Pages: 148
Genre: Children’s Historical Fiction Rating 3/5 stars
How it Starts: two kids go to their grandma’s house every summer, and they learn new things from her, and they go on adventures with her.
How it Gets complicated: Every time they go up to her house, there seems to be a new problem to solve, or another way that they have to trick someone. Grandma kind of drags them along for the ride, and they begin to have fun.
What I liked: There are many tricks in this book, many of them funny, and they sometimes work and sometimes don’t. It makes it more interesting that the things don’t always work, so they have to do them again, or find a different way to do them.
What I disliked: I didn’t like that the story didn’t really have much of a plot line at all. It just had them doing different things for different reasons every time they came up to their grandma’s house.
Recommendation: I recommend this for small(ish) children, I only read it becuase I’m doing the battle of the books, but I hope that not all the books are like this. I would also recommend it for people who want a little comedy here and there, and to learn how to be a little more clever, and get around problems a little easier.
A Long Walk to Water By: Linda Sue Park Page#: 55
Quote: Salva tried not to look as he walked past the bodies, but his eyes were drawn in their direction. He knew what would happen. Vultures would find the bodiew and strip them of their rotting flesh until only the bones remained He felt sick at the though tothose men – first dying in such a horrible way, and then having even their corpses ravaged. If he were older and stronger, would he have given water to those men? Or would he , like most of the group have kept his water for himself?
Context: Some of the women from Salva’s group saved the 4 men by giving up some of their water. There were 5 men who were already dead before they got there.
This makes me think: I’ve never seen a dead body outside of a casket, and I wonder what it would be like to just have to leave them there knowing what would happen to them, and that there would barely be any trace of them left, would be absolutely horrible. This may be the thing that would convince me to give up my water to the other men, so they don’t die.
A Long Walk to Water By: Linda Sue Park Page#: 55
Quote: Salva’s group drew nearer. Salva counted nine men, all of them collapsed on the sand. One made a small desperate motion with his hand. Another triedto raise his head but fell back again. None of them made a sound. As Salva watched, he realized that five of the men were completely motionless. One of the women in Salva’s group pushed forward and knelt down. She opened her container of water. “What are you doing?” a man called”You cannot save them!”
Context: The group had been traveling in the desert for two days now, and they met a group of men dead, or near death.
This makes me think: What would you do if you were in the position of the woman, or one watching. This would be a very hard descision for me, because I would want to live, and I would be very thirsty and not want to lose any water, but I would not want the men to die, I would at least not want to watch them die. If I were in that position, I think my brain would go into survival mode, but I would try to fight against it so I could help the men.
A Long Walk to Water By: Linda Sue Park Page#: 54-55
Quote: The next day was a precise copy of the one before: the sun and the heat and, worst of all to Salva’s mind, a landscape that was utterly unchanged. The same rocks. The same acacias. The same dust. There was not a thing to indicate that the group was making any progress at all across the desert. Salva felt as if he had walked for hours while staying in exactly the smae place.
Context: After the first day in the desert that was very hard and draining, the hardest part to Salva was the fact that everything looked the same. Even though he knew that the were moving, the same landscape almost tricked his mind into thinking they weren’t moving at all.
This makes me think: This would be the hardest part for me as well. I could maybe travel in heat and desert and thirst, but if there was no way to recognize that I was actually moving, I would break down. After too long, I would not be able to go on. I would give up all hope, and just die. I really hope I never have to go through something this hard, in this way.
A Long Walk to Water By: Linda Sue Park Page#: 53-54
Quote: “Salva Mawien Dut Ariik!” he said using Salva’s full name loud and clear. Salva lifted his head, the sobs interrupted by surprise. “Do you see that group of bushes?” Uncle said, pointing “You need only to walk as far as those bushes. Can you do that Salva Mawien Dut Ariik?” Salva wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. He could see the bushes; they did not look too far away. Uncle reached into his bag. He took out a tamarind and handed it to Salva. Chewing on the sour juicy fruit made Salva feel a little better. When they reached the bushes, Uncle pointed out a clump of rockes up ahead and told Salva to walk as far as the rocks. After that, a lone acacia… another comp of rocks… a spot bare of everything except sand
Context: Salva was walking in the desert very tiredly, he had just stubbed his toe, and the toenail had come off, and his Uncle was using this tactic to get Salva to keep moving with the group, and not give up.
This makes me think: I sometimes use this tactic, if I’m tired. Whether I’m hiking, running, or biking, it usually helps. I think it was very smart of Salva’s Uncle to use this tactic with Salva, because there wouldn’t really be a way to keep him alive if he didn’t stay with the group. It both saved him for the day, and possibly saved him for the rest of their journey.
A Long Walk to Water By: Linda Sue Park Page#: 53
Quote: The worst momment of the day happened near the end. Salva stubbed his bare toe on a rock, and his whole toenail came off. The pain was terrible. Salva tried to bite his lip, but the awfulness of that never-ending day was too much for him. He lowered his head, and tears began to flow.
Context: Salva had been traveling through the dessert all day long with thorns in his feet, and burning hot sun beating upon him, at the end of the day, he when his toenail came off, he finally couldn’t handle it anymore, and he cried.
This makes me think: My toenail or fingernail has never come off before, but one of my sister’s and my brother’s fingernail has. It looked extremely painful. And gross. I don’t know if I would be able to go on if I had stubbed my toe and got it hurt that bad after a long and tiring day in the desert. I might just give up. Going through this would be extremely testing for anyone, and the fact that Salva could do it without knowing anyone but his Uncle is just incredible.