Why a good book is a secret door

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Author: Cyrill Somera

Blog 6

Blog 6

Cyrill Somera

Blog 6


  1. The graphic novel I chose to read was Smile. This graphic novel explores the ups and downs of being a teenager through the life of the main character, Raina. It focuses on Raina’s struggle to fit in, her developing love life with new crushes, finding true friends, and dealing with parents. To simplify, this novel describes what it is like to be a teenager. Graphic novels are literature. This genre in particular can be used with students who do not enjoy reading. It can be like a segway into more complex novels later in their reading development. This novel was easier to read and very entertaining especially with the illustrations. Although it was easy to read, it can still be challenging since it is mainly dialogue. Some elements included in graphic novels are written narrative, illustration, and poetry. The written narrative includes dialogue to create the plot of the story. The illustration helps readers analyze characters better in their heads. They can see what the character is thinking or feeling through the facial expressions of the characters. Poetry can also be present in graphic novels as a style of writing. The article listed many activities and main things to use from graphic novels. A fun activity to do with students after they read a graphic novel is for them to do some creative writing. This will enable students to use some freedom and become writers themselves! After finishing a novel, they can come up with an alternate ending and create their own comic strip with dialogue and their own illustrations.
  2. H
    The novel takes place from the time Raina is about to start middle school until she finishes high school. Illustration plays such an important role in her character development. Her character starts off as a little girl who is about to get braces and her teeth are messed up. She goes through body changes through her physical appearance that show how she grows up as the novel progresses. I could probably be able to picture what she would look like as she went through middle school and high school, but the illustration in the novel really did help. The pace is really slow in terms of watching her teeth improve. It takes years of braces and dentist appointments, so for more than half of the book she was illustrated with braces on. A faster development that took place in the novel was when the writer showed how Raina had first broken her teeth. It all happened so fast, and the illustrations made it seem like it was a scene in the movie, Raina tripped and fell and just broke her two front teeth.
Out of My Mind Make

Out of My Mind Make

I read the book, “Out of My Mind”, by Sharon Draper. The girl in the book had cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is affects body movement and muscle coordination. Because of this disorder, Melody, was not able to move, talk, or eat by herself. I tried to imagine a life where I wasn’t able to do tasks that I consider to be simple now. It was hard for me to even try to fathom how hard it must be to basically not have control over your own body the way you want to have control over it. I wanted to put myself in Melody’s shoes, so, I tried not speaking for a bit to see how hard it would be for her to communicate with other people. In the book, she had a communication board that had letters and some words that she might be important for her to use throughout the day on it. I made my own communication board for this experiment and this is what happened.


I didn’t speak for about 2 hours on Friday. This was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am a talkative person, so relying on my communication board to say what I needed to say was so restricting. I could definitely feel Melody’s frustration. I hung out with my friends that day, it was so weird for me because I tried to jump into their conversations, but the communication board was so limited, I eventually would just sit there and listen to everyone else talk. We went to eat and I had to order with my communication board, and that was different. The cashier just looked at me like I was crazy, but I was able to order the food I wanted.


In conclusion, I think this was a great thing to try out. It really helped me understand what Melody was going through a little bit more. I know, not speaking does not even come anywhere close in comparison to actually having cerebral palsy, but to not be able to speak was definitely a challenge for me. I think I take my ability to speak and move everyday the way I want to for granted. This made me a little bit more thankful that I am able to do these things everyday.


Below is my communication board.

We’re All the Same – Cyrill Somera

We’re All the Same – Cyrill Somera

Summary: Melody was born with cerebral palsy. This disease leaves her unable to move by herself or speak for herself. Everyone thinks she isn’t that smart, but little do they know that Melody actually has photographic memory, she can remember everything that happens around her, and she is very smart and can think complex thoughts just like everyone else. The problem is is that she can’t communicate all her knowledge because she can not speak. When Melody is in the 5th grade she is able to take normal classes with the other students at school. Later, she gets a Medi Talker that is a computer that speaks for her. This really helps her out in her new classrooms. The Medi Talker allows Melody to take tests by herself, she takes a test to be on the Whiz Kid team at school. She scores a perfect score, but her teacher thinks that she’s lying. Melody takes the test again and she eventually proves she wasn’t lying at all and gets to be apart of the team. She wins a competition for her team. The day her and her team are supposed to fly to Washington D.C. for nationals, her team leaves her behind on purpose. After her team did this to her, she still wants to go to school. The next day, Melody’s mom is in the car ready to drive her to school. Penny, Melody’s little sister was running up behind the car, Melody didn’t have her Medi Talker so she couldn’t warn her mom her sister was there so her mom hit Penny with the car. They rush her to the hospital, Penny ends up having a broken leg and survives. When Melody goes back to school, her team admits that they left her on purpose and they give her a trophy, she was still mad so she broke the trophy.


  1. I think this text wants its reader to realize that even though someone might have a disability, does not mean they aren’t able to learn. This book definitely opened my eyes and made me not take my life for granted. Melody never gave up and she always wanted to learn new things even though it was difficult for her.
  2. When I went to high school, the disabled kids were always allowed to eat lunch with us like Melody was allowed to sit in class with her other classmates. I remember, I would sit with the kids during and just talk to them. I never really thought how happy this might’ve made them until I read this book because of how excited Melody was to be in a classroom.
  3. People usually think that if someone has a disability that they can’t learn or they are unable to learn or that they are just not smart. This is not true at all. This book just made it more clear because it was told by Melody’s perspective. The way she has to live and look at the world everyday is so much more different than I have to live and look at the world. I think the author was trying to tell people that we are all the same despite some physical differences.
  4. This book really does mirror reality, but it makes you think. The book is told by Melody, who has cerebral palsy. Her life is much harder than the people who will read this book. We get to see what it’s like to live in her life as a reader. This perspective is rare and I think i really felt how frustrated she was at times and it made me feel more sympathetic to people who really can’t talk or move by themselves. I guess I can say that this book made me feel like I might take my ability to talk and walk for granted.
  5. I think this is a great book to have in the classroom. This will help younger readers understand what Melody is going through and to show that even though someone has a disability that they aren’t stupid, they just have limits on what they are able to do, but underneath that, they are exactly like everyone else and this is important for a young reader to realize.