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If You're Reading This

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Rachel Gertner

on 13 October 2014

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Transcript of If You're Reading This

If You're Reading This
by: Trent Reedy

Literary terms
definition: the base topic or focus that acts as the foundation for a literary piece
example: death, grief, and loss- Mike is still grieving death of his father
Author Information
Trent Reedy
born in a small town in Iowa
majored in English at the University of Iowa
enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard
in 2004 his combat engineer unit was activated
and sent to the war in Afghanistan
after returning home, he taught high school English for four years
lives in Washington
spends most of his time writing for children and young adults
Author's Message
Perseverance and hard work can pay off in the long run.
Rising Action
Falling Action
main character: Mike Wilson
important characters: Allison (Mike's mom), Mary (Mike's sister), Derek Harris, Isma Rafee
setting: small town in Iowa, present day
main conflict:
Mike's father died in 2005
Mike's mom is overprotective
Mike really wants to play football
Mike's mom doesn't want him playing football
Mike receives letters from his father
Mike's father had written the letters before he died
the letters: written seven years earlier while Mike's father was serving in the war in Afghanistan

In the Letters
Mike's father issues Mike "missions" to complete
go out for/join a club or sport
take a chance and ask a girl out on a date
do something nice for Mary and his mom
go to a party or throw a party
ace a school assignment
get a drivers license
forgive someone
try to help people

hard worker
does well in school
enjoys reading
wants to have fun and hang out with friends
likes football- really wants to play football in high school
Mike learns about a secret his mom kept for years about the family
he goes to confront her about it
he ends up confessing to her about playing football
Rising Conflict/Issue
Mike begins lying to his mom
he says that he is staying late at work
he is actually at football practice/games
Mike finds out who the 'mystery mailer' is
Mike learns that "we need to find a way out of the war, of what we've lost, and of the past. We need to stop trying to hide from the truth of all that so we can start living for today and tomorrow. We have to. All of us." -quote by Mike (page 282)
Mike and Isma make up and get back together
Isma and Mike are dating
Some football players say racist things about Isma
Mike doesn't defend her very well
Isma and Mike break up
Mike is devastated
Isma is mad and won't talk to Mike
Isma avoids Mike at school

Mike knows he can't avoid the family issues any longer
Mike follows the 'cowboy way'
internal conflict:
definition: the psychological struggle within the mind of a literary or dramatic character
example: Mike debates with himself on whether to forge his mother's signature on the football forms, and ends up doing it
definition: a literary device where the author depicts the occurrence of specific events that have taken place before the events that are currently happening in the story
example: Mike's memories of when is father was alive and at home with them
definition: when the author uses words and phrases to create “mental images” for the reader
example: Karn (a football player) forces Mike to smell his lucky game jersey- it had never been washed
definition: drawing parallels or comparisons between two unrelated and dissimilar things, people, beings, places and concepts, by using the words: 'like' or 'as'
example: Mike says life is like a high school chicken nugget
Honesty is important in every type of relationship.
information from:


tells the stories of his experiences in Afghanistan, and the people he met, written for young people
to show that people can over come obstacles
to show people how war can drastically change lives
help spread the belief that it's important to help the people of Afghanistan find their way to a new and better country (shown in the letters to Mike)
Connection to Life
This novel made me think more about the families of the soldier's who have died in the war, fighting for our country. The book reminded me that I need to be grateful for what I have, and not take freedom or anything else for granted. The sacrifices the soldiers and the families make are huge.
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