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English Book Talk ISU

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Mathew Harden

on 20 January 2015

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Transcript of English Book Talk ISU

English ISU
Book Information
- Title: The title of the book is "Safe as houses". The book is called this because in the story, the main character (Liz) always says this quote. This quote, through many parts of the story reassures her during upcoming battles, whether emotionally or physically.

- Author: Eric Walters is a well known Canadian, science-fiction author. He was born on March 3rd of 1957, and is 57 years of age. He started out as an elementary school teacher for a grade 5 class and wrote his first novel there. It was called " Stand Your Ground". He wrote it to help get his students to take an interest in reading and writing. He included many of his students names in it and featured many parts of the community. He later branched out to write many novels like the "Camp X" series, "Run", and "We All Fall Down". As of January 31st of 2014, he has written a total of 92 novels.
Plot Summary
A thirteen year old girl named Elizabeth, is a regular grade. 8 teenager who has a babysitting job for the McBride family. She babysits a grade 2 girl named Suzie and her grade 6 brother, David. David feels like he is way too old for a babysitter and feels the need to go out of his way to bother her all the time.

On the night of October 15, 1954, Hurricane Hazel rips through all of Toronto. This caused an aftermath of extensive flooding and powerful winds.The McBride house is situated down by the Humber river.

The children's parents are unable to get home due to flooded roads in downtown Toronto. Elizabeth will have to stay the night in a flooded house with no power in order to keep everyone safe. Elizabeth reassures the kids by saying that they are "safe as houses" meaning that they will be protected as long as they stay in the house, but as the water keeps increasing higher and higher up the house, Elizabeth doubts about living more and more.
Literary Devices
In this novel, it shows many great examples of literary devices. Some of them are foreshadowing, symbol's and motifs.

The foreshadowing in the novel was whenever she would use the quote "safe as houses" which lead me/the reader to believe that they were not going to be safe in the house. Its almost like she was jinxing her chances of living or being safe every time she said that.

The symbol which is used in this novel also comes from the quote "safe as houses". It does not just mean, safe as a house, but talks about living a long sturdy life, like a house. This symbol helps foreshadow that they will be ok or at least close to it.

The motif in the novel would be the rain/water. This is commonly talked about throughout the novel and is the main subject against the kids/protagonists. They keep wondering if they will overcome this dreaded storm or die trying.
Major Themes
One of the three major themes in this novel is courage. Elizabeth knew that she had to be strong for the kids especially for Suzie since shes only in grade 2.

Another major theme in "Safe as Houses" is survival. The three kids needed to survive in cold, wet and nerve racking conditions with no adults for any help. Elizabeth had to make nearly every decision that night, not knowing if it was the right choice or not.

The final major theme of the novel is responsibility. Elizabeth went from a part time job watching two little kids to protecting them in a life/death situation. She was not prepared for this at all, but did best she could to try to save them.
I would recommend this novel to any reader who loves suspense. This book is full of it and in almost every Eric Walter novel, there is suspense. I would recommend this novel to teenagers and adults just because that there is some content in this that younger children might not understand and because Eric Walter writes his books for our specific age group, so it will most intrigue our type of audience and encourage us to read and write more, just like what he did for his elementary class.
Part Enjoyed
The most enjoyed part for me would be when the water was right up to the rafters of the McBride house and the kids had to get out somehow. This part kept me intrigued and I didn't want to put the book down while I was reading this chapter.

"safe as houses" (Elizabeth)

"matter of fact, I think its right about here. Come on, I need your help." (David. ch.7.pg 95)

"Power? Oh, yes, we have electricity" (Elizabeth. ch 2. pg 25)
Safe as Houses
By: Eric Walters
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