English 341: It’s Like This

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Author: amberlie

31 year old gamer girl. Big reader, and an English Studies major.
Roller Girl

Roller Girl

I really enjoyed this graphic novel. I felt like the artwork was not overly colorful, and the line art was great and consistent.

The story itself was a strong lesson on finding ones own identity while dealing with other’s finding their own too. It deals with jealousy, identity, forgiveness, and acceptance. Overall, this is a great book, and I would totally recommend it to girls 10-14.

Inside Out Centos

Inside Out Centos

I read the book Inside Out and Back Again. Initially I was a little skeptical about how much I was going to enjoy the book, but I was intrigued about the background of the author. I was curious about how the use of poetry as a vehicle to demonstrate a series of memories. Although I have read similar styles of poetry, rarely is it an entire book depicting a chronological series of events in a child’s life. I was also a bit worried about the effectiveness of poetry when it is supposed to be recollections of a child.

All of the issues I thought I’d have with this book were quickly quelled. The structure of the poetry, although a little rough for a refined adult, was melodic and incredibly accurate for the memories of childhood. The short, burst-like lines forced me to focus on certain aspects of the events she was describing. I ended up really liking this aspect of the poetry style. As I read, I found myself thinking back to school memories from that time period, and the parts I remember were short, almost sporadic descriptions, not unlike how Thanhha Lai created her memories.

Since I am not intending on being a teacher, it is difficult for me to attempt to ponder how I would use a text such as this in a classroom. As an older student who does enjoy writing, I can make only one assumption, and that it is an example of how to use structure as a mode to clarify memories. Perhaps I would, in theory, have the class read sections of the book, analyzing the structure and language, and discuss how that structure affected the way the poems were read. I would have to find other works that complimented this use of poetry. Using that discussion, I would have students construct memories of younger childhood in poetry form. I think this would be a fitting exercise for older children, perhaps 6th grade plus, or even junior high/high school age kids.

I read my cento in class, but here it is again. All of the lines I drew from my book, and I did retitle it as a new, standalone poem that is unrelated to the original text.

The First Dance

Our lives will twist inside out

            The chant is long,

                        The voice low and sure.

            I love him.

                        I shiver with hope.

We glide

            And I feel

                        That I am floating.

I wanted to play with the line structure a little, to slow down the pacing of the poem. The lines themselves, because of the style of the book, were fast paced, and I wanted to slow it down to match the idea of a dance at a wedding. I actually really like how it turned out.

Kids and their books

Kids and their books

Sorry I am so late! Had family stuff come up, so please forgive me, here we go!

The Wishing Spell has been a great book so far. I am still in the first quarter of the book, so I am a little behind. I can say that, had this book been available to me when I was in the age range this book was aimed at, I would have eaten it whole by now. It is a great story and moves smoothly and convincingly. The characters are very real, and the language used in the book reflects the mentality and language used by children in the age range the book was intended for.

The story reflects a situation I know now to some extent; my dad committed suicide and left my mom with the four of us kids, two of us still living at home. My twin brother and I had a similar dynamic to the twins in the story, except I was the poor student, and my brother was the smart one.

I really like the fantasy characters in the story. I am early in the book, as I said before, but I really liked the personality of the Frog, and I am looking forward to meeting others later in the story. I also love the whole idea of falling into a book. It is a daydream I always had as a kid. Alex putting random objects into the book is sooooo what I would have done!

As for Miller, I agree with most of what she says. Mostly, allowing children to pick what they read seems to be the strongest point I have come across thus far. Kids who are forced to read things they don’t like will, to some extent, feel that all things they read later are ‘forced’ and therefore not fun. The few times I can recall having a choice with books, there was only a few, and they were all the same type, and none of them interesting. I recall reading an article lately about a girl back east who was tired of reading about ‘white boys and their dogs’ because she cannot connect to the characters in the books she was reading. She later went to collect 1000 books about African American children and donated them to local schools in her area. I bring this up because it is the opportunity to see what giving kids the books they like and can connect to can do.

Kids who may have hated reading because it is simply not interesting can find interest, and therefore read more. Even later, when they are forced to read books they don’t like as young adults or full adults in school, can learn to bear it a little better. On the other hand, I can also say that kids will tend to pick ONLY things they like, and it may, to some degree, lessen their willingness to try new things.

The Right Book

The Right Book

Miller makes some very good points in this discussion. If I had a teacher as attentive as she is when I was in early schooling, I would have had a much better time. I was always behind in reading skills, really behind, and no teacher said anything or did anything to help me with that (to the best of my recollection). I didn’t enjoy reading, and they just thought I was being stubborn or troublesome. It wasn’t until 5th grade when my mom actually did this tactic of searching for the ‘right book’ for me, and after that I was hooked. I can say from experience that this is a useful and life changing idea that teachers should utilize when addressing students.

who am I?

who am I?

Sorry I am a little late, but here is my best shot!


There is a ball

Three days in all

No shoe to loose

But which dress to choose?

Evil sisters may have to pay

On the princesses wedding day.


Original Gamer Girl

Original Gamer Girl

Actually, that title may be a little misleading.

My name is Amberlie Arave (pronounced R-V), I am 31 years old, and a senior, finishing up an English Studies Bachelors. Someday I’ll go back for my masters and maybe a PhD, but I really want to travel a little first, and pay off some of those pesky student loans! Right now, I live in Paradise with my kitty Sammi. I am the oldest of four kids (we are all over 25 now), and the first woman in my family to receive a degree.

I am a huge gamer, particularly into role-playing games, I am trying to clear all of the content in Dragon Age: Inquisition at the present time. I am also an avid artist, painting and drawing mainly. Although I am actually quite introverted, I love the outdoors, and am always looking for a new trail to hike (even if I am not overly confident in my ability to finish it), gardening, or just laying in the shade on a warm spring morning, or sitting on the porch watching the sunset with a single malt. Romantic eh?

I also consider myself a reader. Funny, because until the 6th grade, I was actually well below my level in reading. My twin brother (I am older, honestly, 3 mins older) has always been gifted and started reading at a very young age, albeit in order to play video games, since that was when the classic Nintendo came out. I really didn’t feel like there was a point to it if I couldn’t keep up with my brother. It was all in the right book. I had always enjoyed The Hobbit growing up, but never managed to read that far into it. Later, in the 6th grade my mom handed me the series my name came from (and a recent tv show on Mtv) and I haven’t gone anywhere without a book since. Today, I have read almost every piece of literature that JRR Tolkien has published, and dozens of related texts.

To me, being a reader is not only reading for pleasure, but the person needs to feel it is necessary for their happiness. Personally, I have some sort of reading material on me wherever I go. Even if I don’t think I will like the book, I will generally try most that are recommended to me. I don’t care much for ebooks, but I have used them when it was convenient. Reading could be social media, could be paper books, could be ebooks, zines, graphic novels, magazines, newspapers, even audio books, for the enjoyment and gain of knowledge. I would argue that someone who doesn’t enjoy reading in some form is rare, but not unheard of. Just because they don’t pick up a book doesn’t mean that they don’t spend hours on Facebook or The Onion, or even reading comics from Syonide and Happiness, and messages on Twitter. Arguably, I could even fathom that people who play video games that are more text heavy or story line based like RPGs could be considered readers too.

Well, that was a healthy rant, See you all in class!