Fictional Characters: Why do we like them so much? *Spoiler Alert*

Today was a ‘dress as your favorite character’ Spirit Day at YIS. In English, we look at what it is about our favorite characters that makes us like them so much. I’ve chosen Peeta Mellark from the Hunger Games to examine. I like Peeta because, for his caring actions to Katniss (which I also wanted to pick for my favorite character).

However, if an author just told us these things it would be pretty boring. Instead, they show us using characterisation techniques (actions, appearance, speech, thoughts and interactions). Peeta is characterised as a caring and brave character that risks his life to save Katniss. Through his actions, you can know well how much he is brave and wants to save Katniss. For example, he volunteered as tribute to take Haymitch’s place to go in the arena with Katniss in Catching Fire in the 75th Quater Quell.  This show how much he cares about Katniss and go in to the arena with her even if he might die in the arena. Also you can know that he is a likeable character because, in the victory tour when they went to District 11 and Peeta and Katniss did the speech, he feels very bad for Rue and Thresh’s family. So he says that “…as a token of our thanks, he will give the tributes family from District 11 to recieve one month of our winnings every year for the duration of our lives.” If I were him, I don’t think I could’ve said that and he was really brave.

I really liked how the Suzanne Collins (Author) describes Peeta and how she made Katniss and Peeta really different. Because, by making them different from each other, it creates a easier way to know each of their character and their feelings.

Reflecting to Journey to Jo’burg

In the past English classes, we have been evaluating the project about apartheid and racism. Please take a look at this Post I posted. This post is a novel response to the book we read as a class Journey to Jo’burg. This book is a historical-fiction book based on a true story of what happened in South Africa during apartheid. Other than this book, we watched a movie called Invictus. This movie is about Nelson Mandela and the South Africa’s national rugby team and the rugby world cup.

I think Journey to Jo’burg and Invictus connects in a lots of ways because, they are both based on apartheid and South Africa and they are both based on real stories which happened in South Africa that happened in the past. But the difference of these are that Journey to Jo’burg is a historical fiction novel but Invictus is a movie. But I thought there idea is both the same. Because the whole point of these movies and books are to let people know how much black people suffered from apartheid, and how much it was not fair compared to white people which were said as high class and got better education, and good seats on the bus and they didn’t have to carry passbooks where ever they go liek the black people had to carry passbooks and when they go in the train they were checked if they have their passbook. If they didn’t have their passbook, they will be more stuff.

I thought that the movie gave me lots of information of apartheid in it was a more easier shape to understand what the message is compared to the feature article or Journey to Jo’burg. Because, it will be easier to understand if its in images, and movie and you don’t have to imagine whats happening. From the movie I learned that how much Nelson Mandela worked hard for the South African national rugby team the Springboks to win the rugby world cup.But I thought that the book was a really good use to understand what happened during apartheid in South Africa too. Because it gets us exciting with the story and if its a historical fiction, it can be attractive and it will be easier to understand the story so you won’t get bored with a story which is non-fiction and only have facts in them. But Journey to Jo’burg is a historical fiction novel which the story is based on true stories and facts. So the merit of historical fiction books are that they don’t get you bored but you can enjoy the story and at the same time, you can learn what happened in the past and history.

I thought that the feature article was the least best way of learning the history because, it is harder to imagine what is happening in your head and you might get bored because, in a lots of ways feature articles can be really long. So people like me can get bored fast and easy and not learn any thing. But if you still read it, it can take lots of time and most of the feature articles uses really hard words. So I thought it was more of a complicated and hard way of learning the past.

I think these books, movies and feature articles main ideas are all the same. They are telling the readers, that if you try your best and if you never give up, you will achieve something like Nelson Mandela did. Because, he thought that apartheid wasn’t a good thing to do so he protested. But because, he protested, he got sent to prison and was sentenced 27 years of prison life. If I was him, I might of stopped fighting and protesting against apartheid. But Nelson Mandela didn’t give up. After he was out of prison, he made apartheid end and at the first elections when black people were allowed to elect, Nelson Mandela was elected as the first black  president of South Africa. So from this unit/project, I thought that it is easy to give up. But it Mandela didn’t give up, so he was able to change the history of South Africa. Because, if Nelson Mandela gave up and stopped protesting, maybe their might of still been apartheid now too. So I thought it is really important to not give up and speak up to what you think is not right and express your feelings.


Fact or Fiction: Journey to Jo’burg Novel response

Recently in English class, we have been working on a project about Racism and Apartheid, and we read a historical fiction story called Journey to Jo’burg written by Beverley Naidoo. This story is about a 2 children which goes on to a journey to where their mother works for a old lady in Jo’burg.


The part that made a clear image in this novel is when Dineo was sick, Mma and Naledi went to the hospital to make him cured. Next to them their was a young women with her baby wrapped to her back. Then she went to the doctors room and in little time she came back clutching a plastic bag. Her whole body was shaking and a a man close to the door caught her just as her legs gave way. “My baby, my baby… he’s dead, he’s dead!” Her sobs filled the waiting room. Before Mma could go to comfort her, the nurse reappeared calling for Dineo. This part of the novel made a clear image for me because, the author used sentences like “Her whole body was shaking and a man close to the door caught her just as her legs gave way.”. This sentence makes it easy to imagine because, she used words like “whole body was shaking” which means she was really shocked and sad at the same moment. (You can find this quote in chapter 13 “Life and Death” in page 72)


  • Connection to the World

I think the part when Grace talks about when she was in the protest to finish apartheid and racism, their was a girl about 8 years old who was shot dead near Grace. I thought this connects to the world because, I remember that in 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot three shots in the head by a Taliban gunman. Malala Yousafzai is a activist and she protests about human rights and the educations womens. I thought the 8 year old girl that was killed and Malala connects because, they were both protesting for something and they were both shot. But Malala was sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and she has recovered and in 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and now is the most youngest winner.

  • Connections to Me

This connects to me because, in english class we watched a movie called Invictus. This movie is about Nelson Mandela leading the South Africa’s national rugby team “Springboks” to winning the world cup. I thought that this connects because, it is both about protesting. Nelson Mandela was protesting for apartheid and Malala was protesting for human rights.

  • Connections to Other Texts

I couldn’t really think of a book that connects to Journey to Jo’burg. So I will skip this Question.


I thought the text wasn’t clear on page 60 when people were protesting and a girl standing near Grace. In the book is says “A little girl standing near Grace, about eight years old, raised her fist, and next thing she was lying dead. I didn’t understand this part because, it looks like she was killed because, she raised her fist? One more thing I didn’t get was because, in the text it says “about eight years old” so I thought why would she be in a really dangerous place where theirs police shooting guns and helicopters firing from above.


I think the main idea of this book is that how much Apartheid was unfair to the black people compared to the white people who didn’t have to walk around with a passbook. Naledi and Tiro face lots of problems while traveling to Mma’s place. But I think the author was trying to send a message from the book to the readers how much apartheid was unfair and how much the black people suffered to be maids for the rich white people,and how much they feared that they might be fired any time and they can’t raise their children if they don’t get any money, like Mma was working as a maid for the old Madam.


I thought this book is good to learn history of apartheid because with the exciting story, the author puts some challenges for the main character(s) which is based on facts which happened to the real world. This helps us understand easily then just putting facts which are not really fun to read. So I thought the author did a good job at getting the readers attention by a catchy story then putting in some facts in so you can learn from the story. For example, when Naledi and Tiro went on the bus which was only for the whites and someone in the bus shouted at them “What’s wrong with you? Are you stupid?”. Another example is when Grace, Naledi and Tiro went on the Train and the police came to check the pass books for the non-whites. I thought these facts helped me understand what really happened in the past in South Africa.


Responding to In a Glass Grimmly -by Adam Gidwitz

The book I chose is the book I just finished. It’s called In a glass grimmly by Adam Gidwitz. This book is about a girl called Jill and a boy called Jack. They go to adventures to find the magical seeing glass with a talking frog. They almost get drowned by a Mermaid, Jack almost cutting off his hands with a sword and more..


Picture From

The first connection with me and this book is that, as same as Jack and Jill, I’m always interested in lots of kinds of stuff and I’m very adventurous. The Second connection with me and the book is that, I like mysteries and I try to solve it. Just like when Jill and Jack were trying to find out what happened to the Mermaid.

This book reminded me of a book called Swindle by Gordon Korman. He is one of my favorite author and in this book, the main character goes to find out mysteries and tries to solve them. I thought these books are kind of related because,  they go to adventures and try to solve them with Friends and with an animal.

This book doesn’t really have a connection to the world because, lots of magical things happen. For example a talking frog, mermaids and more. But I think that one thing that connects to the World is trust. In this story, while Jack and Jill go to an adventure, they face a lots of problems and they trust each other. Like the real world, you have to trust to each other a lot.



How and Why do we tell “Myths”?

In English class, we are doing a Project on “Myths”. Also known as “Mythology“. Myths are Story that people told to each other in Ancient Times.

They told Myths to each other to learn lessons and to learn how the Earth was made etc.. For Example, “The Golden Touch“, “Viking Sagas” and “The Weaver”. In the Myth “The Golden Touch” the Lesson is to not be Greedy. This is the Story of King “Midas” that wants more gold and “Bacchus” the Merry God of Vine.

So King Midas tells Bacchus that he wants power of “The Golden Touch”. (The power of the Golden Touch means that if he touches anything for example an apple, that apple will turn in to a golden apple. But you can’t eat it!) So Bacchus gives King Midas the power of the Golden Touch. And the King gets so happy and touches everything he sees. But when it was time to eat, and when he touched his food, it turned in to gold!

And Remember. You can not eat GOLD!

So he goes to Bacchus and says he does not want his Golden Touch Power any more. Bacchus said that if he goes to River “Pactolus” and wash his hands, his power will go away. Midas did, and that is the start of gold in Rivers. (Maybe…?)

And this is my 4-slide Myth presentation. In this project we had to choose a Myth and draw the Myth. So I chose a Japanese Myth, “Urashima Taro”. This is my Presentation!

Author Visit (Adam Gidwitz)

We had a Author Visit from Adam Gidwitz. He is a Author from  3 books, “A Tale Dark And Grimm”, “A Glass Grimmly” and his new book “The Grimm Conclusion”. He came all the way from New York US. He tolled us a story called  “The Juniper Tree”, it was a story from the new book “The Grimm Conclusion”. I liked the way he was telling the story “Juniper Tree”, because, when he was telling the story, he was doing sound effects. For example when the little bird sang. At the end of the day, we did a activity of making our own story. We got a piece of paper that said “My Story” on the top. And for about 1 hour, we made our own story. With a Hero, Problem, Adventure, Biggest Problem, All lost, Climax and Happy Ever After.

After we spent some time working with Mr. Gidwitz to plan our story, I learned that we shouldn’t choose the Title when you first start your story. Because, we still don’t know what kind of story it is going to be, so we shouldn’t choose the Title first. Second thing we learned from Mr. Gidwitz is that we shouldn’t choose a Adult to be the hero. He said that “We should choose a hero that everyone likes. Like Kids and Animals.

It was a really fun Author visit!