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Kim Daw's reading guide to the galaxy
Transcript of Kim Daw's reading guide to the galaxy
6/6/2013 "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
By Mark Twain After being kidnapped by his
drunkard father, thirteen year-old
Huckleberry "Huck" Finn manages to
fake his own death and escape to an
island along the Mississippi River. It is there
where Huck runs into a familiar face, Jim,
a slave from Huck's hometown. When Jim
informs Huck of his plan to escape to the North, Huck eagerly agrees to join him, in hopes of finding some adventure. Together, the pair set off on what is to become a tumultuous journey through the Antebellum South. In the end, the harsh reality of racism during that period proves to be a challenge both Jim and Huck must overcome. Media Connection How they compare "Of Mice and Men"
by John Steinbeck Connection: Theme "The House on Mango Street"
By Sandra Cisneros With one name, Esperanza
is unique from the majority of
people in her life. As a Latina
growing up in Chicago, Esperanza
is exposed to a number of different
cultures. Most notably, she is
enveloped in the hispanic culture
which manifests itself throughout her
neighborhood. By consequence, many people, and things
in her life are often given two names, one in English,
and one in Spanish. As Esperanza grows older, she
begins to discover her true identity. "The Glass Castle"
By Jeannette Walls This novel tells the story of Jeannette
Walls and her unorthodox upbringing.
Growing up, Jeannette lived in a number
of places, ranging from a train depot in
the Nevada desert, to a shack in the
mountains of West Virginia. With two
free-spirited parents who had their own
ideas about education, Jeannette and her
siblings acquired most of their knowledge
outside of the classroom. In fact, when
he wasn't drinking, Jeannette's father
made a point to share his eclectic
knowledge with his children. From
Physics to Psychology, Rex Walls
taught his children invaluable lessons
which would serve them well down the road "Little Bee"
By Chris Cleave With the discovery of oil beneath
her Nigerian village, Little Bee's
life is turned upside down. Before
long, Little Bee is on the run from
the men who wish to ensure that
she never utters a word about the
events she witnessed. On one fateful
day, Little Bee crosses paths with
Sarah O'Rourke, a British woman,
and Little Bee's future savior.
Just two years later, the roles are
reversed, and it becomes Little
Bee's turn to save Sarah,
if she can. The Youtube video "Riley on Marketing"
showcases a young girl named Riley shopping
for toys with her father. In the video, Riley is
standing in the middle of a toy isle ranting about
the stereotypes surrounding children's toys. During her rant, Riley asks why all of the Girls toys are pink and all the Boys toys are multicolored. She goes
on to mention that not all girls want to play with
princesses; some want to play with superheros instead. She also points out that the converse could be true as well; not all boys want to play with superheros, some want to play with princesses. In the end, Riley is left frustrated with the stereotypes that are prevalent in today's society. Both Riley and Huck deal with stereotypes in
their societies. In Riley's case, it's the stereotype
that all girls want to play with pink princess toys,
and all boys want to play with multicolored action figures. Although she is still young, Riley recognizes
this stereotype as false. She knows that some
girls might want to play with superhero toys, and some boys might want to play with princess toys.
In Huck's case, it's the stereotype that white people are superior to African Americans. Growing up in the South during the 1800's, Huck always heard that African Americans were inherently ignorant and less civilized than white people. During his journey with Jim, Huck learns that this stereotype is not true. He realizes that some African Americans are very intelligent, and just as civilized as white people. In both cases, it is established that stereotypes about people are often untrue. Each individual is unique and can not simply be labeled and thrown into a category. George Milton and Lennie Small
are two migrant workers struggling
to make a living during the Great
Depression. Like most people during that
period, they have little material
wealth; however, they have something
more valuable than money: a dream.
For as long as they've been friends,
George and Lennie have shared a dream
of owing their own farm. This dream
serves as a guiding force in their lives,
giving them something to work towards.
When the duo eventually finds work on
a farm in California, their dream seems
within reach. Unfortunately, Lennie's
actions ultimately prevent their dream
from coming true. These two novels showcase the role of sacrifice in
friendship. For Huck, sacrifice means risking his afterlife
to rescue Jim. Even though Huck believes that by freeing Jim,
he's damning himself to Hell, he does it anyway to save his friend.For George, sacrifice means shooting Lennie in order to
save him from a fate worse than death. Lennie was George's
only friend, and although it was heartbreaking for him to
shoot Lennie, he did it so his friend wouldn't have to suffer.
Both novels convey the message that true friendship
involves a willingness for people to make sacrifices for one another. Media Connection How they compare "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" is a
song by Bing Crosby, which reminds people
to keep their heads up during the rough passages
in life. As the title hints, the song encourages people
to "wrap their troubles in dreams when skies are cloudy
and gray". In other words, the song is encouraging
people to focus on achieving their dreams rather letting
their problems drag them down. (You don't
have to listen
to the whole
it) "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams"
and "Of Mice and Men" both emphasize the
importance of dreams. The song sends the message
that having a dream may help a person get through
a "cloudy day", or overcome hardships in his/her life.
By having a dream, a person gives them self a goal
to focus on until " the sunshine peaks through". While
George and Lennie never get to see the sunshine
peaking through, they do benefit from havng a
dream. In their case, George and Lennie's dream of
owning a farm serves to motivate and encourage them.
Every time they feel down or frustrated about their
circumstances, all they have to do is remind themselves
o f their goal and they are filled with renewed purpose.
Clearly, dreams play an important role in motivating
people. Media Connection The article, "Saving Aesha" tells the story
of a young Afghan girl named "Bibi" Aisha.
At the age of fourteen, she was forced to
marry an abusive member of the Taliban. When
she was eighteen, she tried to escape from him,
but was unsuccessful. As punishment for her
actions, her in-laws cut off her nose and ears and
left her for dead. Fortunately, she was discovered
and taken to a hospital. Eventually, Aesha came
to the United States, where she received further
treatment. In 2010, she made headlines by appearing on the cover of Time Magazine. The cover featured and evocative photo, showcasing her mutilated face. The headline, written below was just as troubling as the picture:
"What happens if we leave Afghanistan". http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/05/world/saving.aesha/index.html Media Connection http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peggy-drexler/the-kids-are-alright-gay_b_1539166.html The article, "The Kids Are All Right:
Gay Parents Raising Children" talks
about children who are raised
by homosexual parents. Specifically, the
article aims to discern whether or not
children raised by gay parents will turn
out to be "okay".
As the author later discovers, the answer is yes; children raised by gay parents can and do grow up to thrive in the world. In fact, children raised by gay parents often turn out to be some of the most open minded and accepting people in society. How these pieces compare Media Connection Connection In both of these novels, the main character discovers the
power of language. Little Bee realizes that in order for her to survive in the immigration center, she has to either be beautiful or well spoken. Opting for the later, Little Bee makes it her goal to learn
"The Queen's English". This skill sets her apart from many
of the other women in the center. It also serves to aid
Little Bee in her quest to find Sarah.
In "The House On Mango Street", Esperanza realizes that those who can not speak English are assigned to the hardest and lowest paying jobs in society. Growing up in an immigrant
neighborhood, she often witnessed people become confined to their homes. Because many of these people could not speak English, they did not feel comfortable venturing out into the rest of the world. Recognizing the power that comes with mastering language, Esperanza decides to become a writer. "Up Heartbreak Hill" is a documentary
featuring three High school seniors from
Navajo, New Mexico. The storyline follows
Gabby, Thomas, and Tamara as they enter
into their final of High school, and begin to
prepare for life after graduation. Having been
born and raised on the Navajo Indian
reservation, these three individuals are eager
to branch out and see the world; however,
before they are able to, they must
first face a series of internal and
external obstacles that stand
in their way. Connection:
Characters Thomas, Tamara, Gabby, and Esperanza
are similar in that they all hope to achieve certain goals for themselves while also maintaining their heritage. For each of these four individuals, this enterprise creates both internal and
external conflict. Take Tamara for example, when she tells her parents that she wants to attend a college that is far away from the reservation, her ambitions are not well received. Her parents
express a desire for her to stay among her people on the reservation. This leaves Tamara feeling conflicted as to whether she should stay and honor her parents wishes, or go and discovers what's out there. In Esperanza's case, she must take her father's wishes into account when she is considering her future plans. Although he would prefer that she stay home and marry another Latino, she would rather move out and pursue a writing career. Ultimately, these individuals must learn how to balance their
future aspirations with the traditions of their past These two pieces showcase that people
who are raised in unconventional
environments are just as capable of
flourishing as those who are not. Some people believe that children who are brought up by gay parents lack certain components that are essential
to creating a prosperous life.
In much the same way, critics of Rex and
Rosemary's parenting methods argue that the
Walls children were put at a disadvantage
because of the chaotic environment they
were raised in. Clearly, children who grow up
in unconventional households are
perfectly capable of achieving success,
as Jeannette Walls herself
demonstrates. Connection Both "Saving Aesha" and "Little Bee"
depict strong women who have suffered
abuses; however these two pieces of literature
share an even more important commonality;
they educate readers on significant global issues.
The novel "Little Bee" serves to educate people
about the corruption surrounding the Nigerian oil
industry, as well as the horrific conditions in
British immigration centers. The article "Saving
Aesha" educates readers about the inhumane
treatment of women in Afghanistan. To a
reader, these stories can be both enlightening
and inspirational. Connection Both of these novels showcase strong
female protagonists who overcome
poverty and trying times. Jeannette
accomplishes this by actively pursuing
a future away from her parents and the isolating town of Welch. She works her way through high school and multiple jobs before saving up enough money to leave for New York. Once she get's there, she takes on more work in order to put herself through college. Esperanza accomplishes this by taking a chance on her dreams and moving away from Mango Street. In order to pay for her education and apartment, she must also work several odd jobs. After many years of hard work and dedication these two women go on to become writers. With these achievements, they demonstrate that, regardless of where a person comes from, he/she can accomplish great things if he/she is willing to put in the necessary effort.