Why a good book is a secret door

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Blog 7

Blog 7



  1. In this chapter, it was a lot about how each child reader has a “preference” when it comes to books. Each student will have a different idea of what kind of books they want to read (i.e graphic novel, short story, novel, young adult, etc).  In general, I loved that theme of the chapter, because it’s something most teachers wouldn’t really think about when they begin teaching. I know for me, at first, when I thought of my first days teaching, I was planning to know WHAT I would teach and just assume it was curriculum and that it was set in stone. But Miller helped show me that since each child is obviously different, they might be able to learn better if they see things a different way. I tend to be a visual learner, but not everyone is like that. Some kids really like just the cut and dry note taking and studying. While others prefer pictures, or even oral studying so it sticks in their brain. So Miller speaking out children having different book preferences also helped me think of other preferences my students my have in other areas in class.
  2. Like I stated before, I am a much better visual reader than just staring at words for hours on end. That’s why I enjoyed the graphic novel we read this semester more than any of the other book. When I read, my mind already makes a “mental movie” to help me follow along, so having pictures already laid out for me made it even easier.



  • My YA novel was “We Are Ok” by Nina LaCour. I decided to focus on the main character, Marin. When reading, I found out that she is blond with “tiny freckles across [her] cheeks” (58). Her mother, Claire, passed due to a surfing accident when Marin was a child. She never really knew her father, she is told he was from Australia. Gramps is her grandfather and the person she lived for the majority of her life until she went to college in New York. It’s no surprise when you find out the plot of the book, you can guess Marin is a pretty sad young adult. Marin’s voice, to me, I would describe distinctive and strong. Marin is particularly nostalgic when she reflects on her past and you can tell she isn’t happy, and her reflections seem almost like a wanting to be back there. Then on the other end, when she describes the present, the sentences are spare and short, and reflect the winter cold and the isolation that she clearly feels.
  • Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s on the more sad side, but it’s a great book to help young adults relate to things they may be feeling. I wouldn’t exactly have a freshman in high school read it but definitely someone maybe going off to college for the first time could relate and it would help a lot of younger people see that what they may be feeling is more common than they might have thought.
Sarah Roberts blog 7

Sarah Roberts blog 7

One thing I really liked in chapter 5 was when she talked about name to reader on assignments. I think this is a good way to motivate kids who don’t particularly enjoy reading. This book made me realize how much I actually do enjoy reading even though I never find time for it. Reading is never something I look forward to but once I get a good book I can hardly put it down. I think I need to make reading a priority in my life especially as a future teacher.

I chose Eleanor she is someone who doesn’t fit in with the rest of the kids in high school. Her physical appearance sets her apart as different. Not only is she very curvy with distinctive, bright, curly red hair, Eleanor often dresses in men’s clothing with loud accessories. She tries to make herself stand out with her outfits as part of her defense mechanism. A quote that is significant for this character is “She hadn’t told him that he was prettier than any girl, and that his skin was like sunshine with a suntan. And that’s exactly why she hadn’t said it. Because all her feelings for him—hot and beautiful in her heart—turned to gobbledygook in her mouth.” This is a milestone in her life, and a big deal given that Eleanor has an especially difficult time admitting her feelings to both herself and to Park. Overall I really am enjoying my YA novel and am eager to finish the rest. I would definitely recommend it to others.

Blog 6 Sarah Roberts

Blog 6 Sarah Roberts

I clicked on the School Library Journal Link from the resource guide. On this website you can find many different books and they are all sorted into different categories such as age level, diversity, and reviews. I learned about many different books that would interest me to read in the future. This could be very useful to us when looking for books for our students to read in the future.

The graphic novel I chose to read was Smile. Smile is an graphic novel written by Raina Telegraima. It gives an account of the author’s life from sixth grade to high school. Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader, but one night she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. The entire story goes from Raina’s sixth grade to tenth. The way that I read graphic novels is by panel to panel. I usually look at the pictures first and then go back and read the words. This is the same way my neighbor reads graphic novels by comparing but I do know many people that read the words before looking at the pictures.

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.
Blog 7: YA Novel

Blog 7: YA Novel

I greatly resonated with the discussion of reading preferences. It can be really difficult to pick out what book to read next that you think you’d enjoy. It can be even more difficult to pinpoint what it even was that you liked about books you’ve enjoyed in the past. You could distinguish it by author, genre, or topic, but I think that by always focusing on just one of these aspects could really narrow down your options and hinder the growth of moving into others. I like that there was a discussion about what the students like to read and why they liked to read it. I like even more that they were also asked what they don’t like to read and why. I find that that can be much more useful in recommending books, especially based off of their explanation. I think there’s a lot of bias towards certain topics and genres based off of one book that’s been read under that category. But the reality is, not every book is exactly like that one you’ve based your opinion off of. I think this is important to discuss about in a future classroom and will keep this in mind when recommending books to others and as well as recommendations for myself.

I’ve personally always struggled with the question, “What do you like to read?” I currently have a small bookshelf packed with books that I’ve read over the years and have a difficult time narrowing down these genres or topics. I can certainly group them together based on common themes, but that was never why I chose them or began to read them. The only thing I can say for sure is that my mother, little sister, and a few friends have have influenced my decision on what I should read next. Only a very few recommendations of books that I have borrowed from others have been quickly returned to these people. Most of the time, I end up buying the book myself and the rest of the books if it’s in a series. I’ve also broken my bias towards vampires with 2 book series about vampires on my bookshelf as evidence. Also, my initial absolute insistence on only liking to read fictional fantasy books has deteriorated with books that are still fictional, but much more realistic in its story. So, I think that by just giving other types of books a chance, you could lead yourself into the option of much more paths that branch off into all sorts of topics of interest.

Finn O’Sullivan is a main character in “Bone Gap.” He has dark eyes, brown hair, and is fairly tall. Just not as tall as his older brother. He’s considered very good looking and is even described as looking like a famous actor by one of the popular girls from school, much to his best friend’s Miguel’s obvious resentment. Finn lives in the small town of Bone Gap, Illinois where everyone knows everyone. He has many nicknames that others call him mostly out of endearment. He likes to taunt and tease Miguel and another man he’s close to, Charlie Valentine. But he also does so towards the Rude brothers under unfriendly circumstances that mostly ends up in a fist fight. He gives special attention to his love interest, Priscilla “Petey” Willis and used to towards Roza, who is now missing. Which caused him and his brother, Sean, to not be on much of a communication basis. Although he knows all of these people, he seems to occasionally prefer talking to the animals on the farm and spending time alone outside. Trying to avoid the whisperings from the corn field. He’s very conscious of his actions and how it would affect others, but he still occasionally does some reckless things. He also hardly seems to be mentally present around others or fails to make eye contact, thus his nicknames of Spaceman, Moonface, and Sidetrack.

“Finn shrugged. It was odd to be sitting on a million-dollar horse, talking to Priscilla Willis in the middle of the night, but then it was a relief to be talking to someone besides the cat.”

Even though he’s most often a loner, he still wants/likes to connect with others. He doesn’t hate people. He just prefers not to be around a lot of them that are gossiping and judging others.

I can’t decide if I like the book or not. I think it’s the mysticism sprinkled throughout the realism of the book. It doesn’t seem to mesh very well for me. But the book is primarily realistic, so I find it tolerable. What I mostly enjoy about it is the mystery of what in the world happened to the missing Roza. Her story is told in about every other chapter along with Finn’s and a few other residents of Bone Gap. I’ve always loved stories with alternating character narratives, so that also makes the reading more enjoyable for me! But, I don’t really think that I would recommend it to anyone that I know. I think I need to finish the book for there to be a definitive decision for that. I hope knowing the outcome of the story makes it completely worth reading it!

Blog 6 & 7

Blog 6 & 7

Blog 6:

After navigating through the website, I chose the Diamond Bookshelf. At first I was a little confused by the website. Regardless, I explored it more and found a lot of resources. There is information regarding new graphic novels and news dealing with graphic novels. I also found suggestions for graphic novels. There are also many lesson plans that are detailed and for a variety of ages.

My book was The Best We Could Do. Reading this book concluded that wherever we are, the path that we chose will always be a bumpy road but the end can result in a prosperous reward. Life may seem tough but we all just have to put in all our effort into everything we do.

When reading a graphic novel, I read it like to how you would read a book. The way I read graphic novels is by going through it one panel at a time. I usually start with the dialogue and then the pictures. One thing I do differently is that I will often go back to the top of the page before continuing on, to look back at the pictures just to see what I’m missing. I often feel that I can better understand the pictures that were at the beginning so I can comprehend what is going on in the book. I would like to discuss with other how they read graphic novels and why. Trying a new method could lead to opening up more doors to learning and understanding.


Blog 7:

On page 166, the teacher asks students to pick their favorite genres of books. I think giving students the option makes the students a little more successful. I would love to allow my students to read what they desire to.

I like to read outdoor books. Sometimes I’ll read about survival books or even guides outside of the house. It contains so much knowledge and is quite interesting to me.  I love knowing how to make a handmade fishing pole or trap. It proves that I love being outdoors than being stuck in the house all day.

The main character in the novel “The Best We Could Do” by Thi Bui. As an adult, Thi wants to be more emotionally close to her parents. After a trip to Vietnam in her twenties, she begins researching her family history and asks her parents about their lives in Vietnam. She begins to trace back history through the birth stories of each of her parents’ children, including two babies who died. She then remembers her early childhood in America and the difficult relationship she and her brother had with their father who was a stay-at-home dad. She remembers their family home as a place that embodied the frustrations and challenges of being an immigrant in a new country. When she was a child, her father was a frightening figure. To better understand him as an adult, she asks him about his past. The story goes into talking about the difficulty of Bo’s background story and Ma’s background story and how they had to learn new ways to cope in America

I think “The Best We Can Do” is such an important story, especially with how corrup the world is. This book means a lot especially due to the fact of hardship and adaptation. It takes so much for some to understand the foreign land they are in and especially have to go through such tragedies in life.

Blogs 6 and 7- Lauren Imelio

Blogs 6 and 7- Lauren Imelio

Blog 6

  1. The website I looked at was http://www.diamondbookshelf.com/. This website is a guide about graphic novels that is really helpful for educators and librarians. There are articles on the site with the monthly “Top 50” graphic novels. The website also includes a tab about the history behind the creation of graphic novels which is really interesting.
  2. The graphic novel I chose to read was “Smile,” by Raina Telgemeier. This novel is an autobiography, telling Raina’s true life when she was in 6th grade and busted out here teeth in a fall. When I read a graphic novel, I read each picture’s caption, and then I look at the picture and visualize the words for each picture. I feel like most people read this way because it’s easier to visualize when you immediately look at the picture.

Blog 7

I. a. On page 166, the teacher asks students to pick their favorite genres of books. I think giving students the option to give their opinion would be very beneficial in the success of the students. I would love to give my students the chance to read whatever books they wanted, as long as they enjoy what they’re reading.

b. I have realized that I like to read in phases. Sometimes I’ll read 3 books a week, and sometimes I’ll go 3 months without picking up a book. My favorite genre of books are memoirs and biographies. When I was younger, I was a huge fan of the “Pretty Little Liars” series and other fiction books.

II. c. The main character in the novel “The Hate U Give,” by Angie Thomas, is Starr Carter. Starr is a sixteen year old black teenager living in a primarily black, lower class neighborhood. She attends a primarily white, upper class prep school a little bit away. This story tells her story after her friend, an unarmed black man was shot and killed by a police officer. Starr interacts normally with the white people at her school. She is dating someone and interacts with her basketball team well also. Starr stands up for what’s right when her friend is shot by a police officer after he’s pulled over for a broken headlight.

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” -Starr page 252

d. I think “The Hate U Give,” is such an important story, especially right now with everything that is happening in the world. The brutality that black men and women face everyday is sickening and needs to be stopped. This tells a story can open the eyes of many people. This would be a great novel to introduce to middle school aged students.

Blog 6: Graphic Novels

Blog 6: Graphic Novels

Drego Little promotes the usefulness of reading graphic novels and comics in his article titled, “Can the X-men Make You Smarter.” He reflects on his own experience of reading comics as well as introducing his son to this genre and what he’s noticed. His son was having trouble moving on from short picture books to short novels and was concerned that he wouldn’t continue to love reading or have interest in finishing a longer book. He found in “the Read Aloud Handbook,” by Jim Trelase, “that comics are good “bridges” because the language was just as complex as that in regular books but comics broke the text up into manageable bite-size chunks.” Using comics/graphic novels can be a useful transition for those struggling to get through fairly lengthy books. He argues that encouraging comics could even bring down the levels of illiteracy. I could definitely see the implementation of graphic novels being useful for children who are intimidated by the seemingly never ending flow of words in short novels. Even if they never make it to a love of reading the short novels, they are still reading a large amount of text that use fairly big words and often involves context of educational value such as the mythology found in “Thor” and the science or astronomy found in “X-men.” He includes a few recommended graphic novels including one that I would actually be interested in reading myself called, “The Cartoon History of The Universe” by Larry Gonick. And I could see it being a very useful resource while learning history in a classroom and perhaps even make history more inviting to learn about.

I decided to read “El Deafo” by Cece Bell for our graphic novel unit and I’m very glad that I did. As the title indicates, it’s about a girl who becomes deaf. It’s actually a true story about the author who became deaf when she was only four years old due to meningitis. The story follows Cece’s experience being a deaf kid in a regular elementary school and her self-consciousness about being different from everyone else. She realizes that her super powered hearing aid actually gave her some sort of special power since she can hear her teacher anywhere outside of the classroom while at school. It’s from this that she re-invents herself as a secret superhero called El Deafo and it helps her in many ways to embrace who she is.

The panels are neatly placed next to each other, separating moments that help move the timing and the events of the story along. Without it, it would be pretty hard to understand one moment from the next and what is trying to be shown.

The word balloons indicate either thought or speech and who it’s coming from. Without it, you still get a pretty good idea about what’s happening from the art, but you know nothing about the characters personality.

The sound effects help emphasize the sound like a loud sound in big, bold letters saying FLUSH. I don’t exactly find it essential, but it’s definitely more interesting than a narration saying that they heard a loud flush. It helps you to “hear” the sound easier.

Motion lines was especially helpful when the story begins to have ASL and you can tell how they’re moving their hands for sign language. Without it, you wouldn’t always know who a character is looking at or what direction they’re going in or what they’re doing.

When there’s narration, it’s written in a yellow box in the top of the panel to give context about what’s happening or setting the scene. Without it, you wouldn’t know that it’s a new day or what they’re doing in the change of scene. It gives more context without adding more art and panels to explain it.

The background is either where they are or a color that contrasts from the white gutters when the panel is more focused on the character speaking/thinking. You know where they are and know when to just focus on the characters.

I find all of these essential to the story in order to understand it and also to make it more interesting for readers. These are all basically components that are found in short novels, but it’s not all described and conversed through text. Really, you could turn any short novel into a graphic novel using these elements and still have it tell the same story.