Saturday, 16 November 2013

Round Table 2

Here is my second global issues novel study round table discussion. My group for this discussion was Julia, Jami, Maggie and myself. We discussed the research we completed regarding issues within or novels.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Global Issues Novel Study: Post 3

Here is a national profile about the country mentioned in my book The Dressmaker of Khair Khana. The country I researched was Afghanistan.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Global Issues Novel Study: Post 1

We are starting a new assignment! We have to chose a novel about a global issue and reflect on it. I chose the novel The Dressmaker of Khair Khana after reading the first 45 pages here is a reflection on the content of the novel.

The Dressmaker of Khair Kahna addresses woman's rights and the decline of them in places under the Taliban's control.  The novel follows the story of a woman named Kamila Sidiqi who struggles with the harsh war and the iron grip of Taliban. When her father and brother are forced to leave she has to find a way to support her family. An abundance of characters have been introduced into the novel so far including Kamila's sisters Milika and Saaman her brother Najeeb and her mother and father. I predict there will be a lot more characters introduced further into the novel since, the synopsis of the book says Kamila has to support herself and five other sisters.  I chose this novel for my project because it seemed like an intriguing story and the fight for woman's rights is an issue I am personally passionate about. It pains me to think of how difficult life must be for woman in Afghanistan. I also chose this book because I wanted to become more educated  on the challenges they were facing and what I could do to help. Before I started reading this book I didn't have much knowledge on the issue. I knew the woman in these situations had to cover everything but their eyes and I knew they weren't allowed to leave the house without a male relative. As a delve further into the novel I realize I can't even fathom how difficult their lives must be. The one question I have constantly in my head after reading the first section of the novel is how is Kamila going to help her family when she is under so many strict rules. My inference to the answer of this question is that the Taliban will allow the woman to do basic jobs because the economy is failing and they will need to find a way to support it.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Third Litspration Challenge

New year! More litspiration. For my third litspiration challenge I created a fake twitter account for the protagonist of the novel Article Five. To view it click the link below:

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Identity Poetry Anthology

We were asked to create a poetry anthology regarding our identity. Here is mine:

Monday, 30 September 2013

Bamfield Short Story Reflections

The grade nine students at my school got the incredible opportunity to go to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre in Vancouver for a six day field trip. While there we read two intentinaly chosen pieces and were asked to reflect on them. Here are my thoughts on "The Sea Devil" and an excerpt from Whale Song.

"The Sea Devil"

by Arthur Gordon

In the stunning setting of a marine science centre facing the ocean I was asked to read and react to a short story titled "The Sea Devil". The title made me apprehensive by looking at the story I predicted I would be reading an entirely fictional and far fetched novel about demons that lurk in the sea. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the story reminded me of a fisherman's tale about a man catching a giant ray or the devil of the sea. As for my thoughts on the protagonist or the fisherman catching the ray  my first impression of him was that he was someone who liked to isolate himself. I took this from the story first because it says he likes to go fishing alone at night for no reason other than to be by himself in nature. I also got this impression because when the man hears the porpoises call her refers to the porpoise as his friend meaning he might connect more to animals than to people. This element may also be foreshadowing as the porpoise truly was his friend as it helped him later on in the narrative. Also the name of the man is never mentioned in the story perhaps because the man does not want to achieve any form of fame. Another impression of the main character that I got was that he was rough around the edges. I thought this because he enjoyed the hard labour of fishing and seemed to live in a small house away from civilization. He seemed to have a very wild quality to him. The other piece of foreshadowing I was able to pick up on either than the porpoise was that the two "fins" in the water are actually part of the sea devil. I predicted this because the story had began to slow down nearing that point and since it was a short story I knew there was not a lot of time for exposition and seeing the mysterious fins and discovering the sea devil seemed like a plausible  point for the action to pick-up. The theme I pulled from this story was that man does not have as much control over nature as he thinks. I found this to be the theme because during the falling action of the book the main character spots an airplane completely unaware to the harrowing experience he went through at the hands of the natural world. That anyone could go through at the hands of the natural world.

 "Whale Song"

by Cherl Kaye Tardif

While reading "Whale Song" I was shocked to discover it took place in the same place I was staying which happened to be a small area in Vancouver called Bamfield. Experiencing this really helped me to visualize he setting of the story. For example as she was mentioning seeing the ocean for the first time I glanced out the window and saw the ocean waves crashing against the show I was able to vividly imagine what the protagonist Sarah is experiencing. Another element of the story that intrigued me was that the protagonist was reflecting on the story from later years as it was told in past tense. I think she is looking back on the events from five years or later as she often mentions the faults of her youth. Considering the ending of the story which included a voice calling out to Sarah who was resting on the dock. I think that the voice belongs to the sister of the boy that drowned both of whom are mentioned earlier on in the story. I believe the sister will talk to Sarah and both of them will swim to the mysterious and forbidden island in order to look for the missing boy. I had a difficult time identifying the theme of the novel just looking at the exert because it was mainly exposition and did not even identify the main struggle taking place in the novel. If the exert was representative of a separate short story, I would identify the theme to be that change is a good things since Sarah finds many good things within the move she was apprehensive of. 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

List Of My Summer Reads!

Hi everyone I decided to post a list of my favourite books I read over the summer and my reactions to them. Enjoy!

Legend: max. 5 stars

*=Normal star
*= Half star

1. Partials by Dan Wells

This was my favourite book I read over the summer. I will be posting a full review soon for now I will tell you it contained intriguing characters, surprising twists and a fascinating vision for the planet's future.

Star review: *****

2. Fragments by Dan Wells

This novel is the sequel to Partials. I found them quite different. Fragments was much more action packed but it contained less twists and less information about the dystopian future of our planet. If it wasn't for  a frustrating ending I would have liked this book as much as the first for different reasons.

Star review: ****

3. Ink by Amanda Sun

My favourite part of Ink was that I got to learn all about life in Japan. I liked how the characters were seemingly normal people in an abnormal situation but as you delve further into the book you discover that the people in Katie's (the main character) life aren't who they seem. At some points the character's made some frustrating choices which made me quite annoyed at some times. At one point in the book the action slowed down and bored me, but it picked back up and all in all I can't wait for the next book to come out.

Star review: ****

4. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

This book was a perfect summer read because it had a relaxed pace but was not boring. I really enjoyed it and the characters faced meaningful real life issues. This novel evoked so much emotion in me it made me cry.

Star review: ****

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on my top four summer reads!

Friday, 23 August 2013


Hello everybody I would like to inform you that I have joined Goodreads over the summer if you would like to see my account and such my username is Lovely Luna.


I am so sorry that I did not post over the summer I was having difficulties getting on to my blog. I promise there will be more posts so do not fear.

Monday, 24 June 2013


Ooops I realized my most recent post was titled final post. This post is not my final post on this blog it is my final post on the Scorpion Project Blog but I will try to continue posting over the summer. Hopefully I will post a bit more I have just had a very busy couple weeks. Sorry

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Final Post

As a group we have posted our final post on our The House of the Scorpion novel study blog. (Arthrophobia) It is a post about our favourite litspiration challenge. To see it click here.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

I have started creating posts for Top Ten Tuesdays which is a reading meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Stay tuned for my Top Ten Tuesday Posts.

Top Ten Favourite Book Covers (of books you've read)

1. The cover of The Sight

This is the book I am currently reading right now and after getting a recommendation for it on goodreads I had to buy it! There are several reasons I like this cover first of all it is pretty! I know, I know don't judge a book by its cover. #judgingbooksbytheircovers. Secondly it relates with the novel. Most covers in books today have intriguing graphics however they don't make sense as you read the novel. A good example of this is the cover for Cinder. It shows a leg wearing a red high heeled shoe and metal under the skin but throughout the book Cinder never wears red high heels nor does she have skin over her metal leg. For The Sight however the cover makes sense with the book. Finally I like how there is a synopsis about the book on the back of the novel that way I don't have to go through all the effort of opening the book to find the synopsis! I also like the way the text is laid out everything is clear and easy to read or find and the title is large and important looking but not over-powering.

2. The cover of Plain Kate 

When I saw this book in a book store I quickly grabbed it off the shelves because the cover interested me. The book sounded intriguing so I bought it and I was extremely happy to discover that the cover matched the novel. The main character never wears a blue scarf however she does go on the roof tops at one point during the novel and she has a cat. I also really like the font and colour of the title.

3. The cover of Insurgent 

I love the graphics of this cover I like the way the tree looks and I  thought the use of dark and light colours it really illustrates the mood of the book. 

4. The cover of Prodigy 

I thought the contrast between blue and black on the cover made the book extremely eye-catching. I also really enjoy the graphics on the cover.

5. The cover of Tiger's Curse

I love the image of the tiger and how the corners of the cover are decorated. I also thought the font of the title made the cover more intriguing and eye-catching. 
6. The cover of Blood Red Road

The image on this cover is stunning and it really suits the mood of the book. Even when everything is bleak and all seems the lost the main character Saba remains determined.

7. The cover of The Hunger Games 

The colours and graphics are eye catching and relate to the book.

8. The cover of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

I love the art work on this cover and the whimsical feel to it. 

9. The cover of Poison Study 

The mix between photography and graphics on this cover work well together. 

10. The cover of Wonderstruck 

I love the silver lettering and striking image on this cover. The electric blue in the sky really makes the book pop.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Individual Post on Film Study

For this individual post I will be comparing the protagonist from the novel The House of the Scorpion (Matt) and the film Gattaca (Vincent).

I was surprised by the amount of similarities I discovered between the two characters. The strongest connection I made between Matt and Vincent was that they were looked down upon by society and no matter how many times they showed they could do just as much as anyone else they were not treated equally. Throughout the novel The House of the Scorpion Matt proves through his lessons that he is incredibly smart yet he is never sent to school because, the other children would criticize him. In Gattaca Vincent trains very hard to be accepted into Gattaca however he never is because he did not have perfect genes. Another similarity between the two characters that I found was that they both had a defining force in their lives that helped them feel like they could be a part of society. For Vincent the defining force was an event, when he saved his brother from drowning it helped him realize he could be just as strong as a valid. For Matt the defining force was Tam Lin. Tam Lin actually treated Matt like a real person, which greatly helped him develop as a character and learn lessons that would be important later on in the novel such as how to climb rocks. Tam Lin also did not have any special ways of treating Matt and expected him to act like and person and not an animal. (“A human doesn’t run and hide, in dark places because he’s something more. (Farmer 138) One other similarity I identified was that the female leads looked past others opinions of the characters and loved them for who they were not what society thought. Finally another similarity that I discovered between the two characters was that they found a passion that helped them overcome the grasp of discrimination around them. For Matt this passion was music as it set him apart from El Patrons other clones and was a talent that made him feel unique. For Vincent the passion was space and his dream to be there helped him fight against genoisim. The main difference I noticed between the two characters was that Vincent's dream helped him have the bravery to break the law and go against what society was telling him. For Matt it was encouragement from other characters that supported him such as Maria and Tam Lin and the need to for him to leave Opium and the way he was discriminated there. 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Individual Post on Real World Connections to The House of the Scorpion

Here is my individual post on a real world connection I made to the novel The House of the Scorpion.

   The real world connection that was the strongest for me from the The House of the Scorpion was comparing the situation the orphans in Aztlan were facing to that of children working in factories. I made this connection throughout Matt’s trip in Aztlan because in both situations youth were being taken advantage of by adults and were being treated horribly. Looking further into the horrors of child labor, here are some more connections I was able to make. I discovered that 73 million children working in factories are under ten years old. This fact made me connect with Fidelito since he was eight and is expected to do as much work as the older kids in order to have  enough food to eat. I also learned that by definition child labor is a child participating in work that is harmful for them physically or mentally this made me connect how the children in Aztlan are forced to do what the keepers tell them to do or else they will be beaten which harmed them physically. I also discovered that 4 out of 5 children working in factories are working without pay. In Atzlan the children worked only for food and for the "good of the people." I think Farmer used Matt’s situation in The House of the Scorpion as a way to spread knowledge about issues in our world by using events occurring today and when she wrote the novel in 2002. Allowing readers to form a deeper connection with characters in the novel and connect more with what is occurring in the novel. I think Farmer chose powerful subject matter such as child labor and drugs to impact the reader and keep them thinking about the book even after they have read it. After I read about the orphanage it really struck me how wrong the situation was. That is why I chose to write about it and the connections I made to it during my research. This made me connect to the phrase YOU ARE THE CHANGE.

information from: "Facts about child labour." Unicef: New Zeland. UNICEF, Web. May 2013

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Individual Post on the Narrative Structure of The House of the Scorpion

Here is my individaul post I created regarding the narrative structure within the novel The House of the Scorpion.

   I think The House of the Scorpion followed a typical narrative structure that you would find in most novels. The book consisted mainly of rising action with very little detail during the falling action or resolution. One thing that I thought was unique about the structure of The House of the Scorpion was how the end of the book changed so drastically from the rest of the novel. I thought it was very risky of Nancy Farmer to do so as it may leave readers confused or  disappointed by why all the characters changed, however I thought she pulled it off by introducing interesting new characters and letting the reader see a different side of Matt where he is viewed as human by everyone. She did a good job tying both of Matt’s lives together.  This was also an interesting choice because she had to introduce Matt’s second life and in order to do so she had to write another mini exposition about the situation he was in. Creating a very unique structure to the novel. If there was one thing I could have changed about the narrative structure of The House of the Scorpion I would have created a longer resolution/falling action as Nancy Farmer left me with a lot of questions and the ending itself seemed very abrupt and everything took place much to quickly. I would have liked to have more detail about Tam Lin’s motives and how the survivors felt about the event that occurred. (“Sometimes Mr. Ortega would burst in with an opinion.” Farmer 273). I often found myself wondering what his or anyone else’s opinion was. I think the main mini climax occurred when El Patron had the heart attack at the wedding and Matt realized his true purpose. I think the actual climax of the novel occurred when the keepers found the orphans and the convent. I think Farmer’s use of high points of tension or mini climaxes throughout the novel really drove the narrative forward an example of one of these was when Matt was taken away from the hospital after he was cleared for transplant (“The bodyguards, keeping a tight hold on Matt’s arms, led him down the hall,” Farmer 231).  Without this tension and suspense the rising action and exposition would seem to detailed causing readers to lose interest in the novel.  

Third Litspiration Challenge

We have created and uploaded our third litspiration challenge regarding The House of the Scorpion novel study. It is a litspiration challenge about the theme of the novel to view it click here.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Fifth Group Discussion

My group and I have posted our fifth post regarding The House of the Scorpion novel study. It is a round table discussion about the young adult section of the novel. If you would like to listen to it click this:

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Individual Post on the Theme of The House of the Scorpion

   I think the main theme of The House of the Scorpion is that no matter what others think they cannot tell you your self worth. I believe this is the theme because throughout the novel Matt is told he is a beast and does not belong in this world. (“This does not belong here!” the priest thundered. Farmer 152). Matt is not the only character in this situation, throughout the novel people also try to manipulate Maria into changing however she stubbornly clung onto what she believed and throughout the book her fight for what is right only became harder as she and Matt discovered more secrets about Opium. Evidence of this is when he sees the eejit dead in the field and learns the truth about how opium is grown and harvested. I believe Tam Lin is put in a similar situation as throughout the novel he struggles with a weighty conscious and others may not tell him what he can and can’t do he was always under a moral struggle (“No, I’m talking about moral consequences.” Farmer 244). I also think the main theme develops throughout the book just as the protagonist and round characters do. For example when Matt goes to the orphanage he is thrilled to actually be treated like a human by everyone and even though he is there for a short time he developed a lot in those few chapters really illustrating the point that when the weight of being judged harshly from all sides is lifted it truly helped the characters change. Matt was not the only one that when through major changes in the last few chapters I think without constantly being judged by Mr. Alacran really helped her gain confidence and find out what she truly wanted.  I think a sub-theme of the novel is that even if you are hated by most some one will look past your imperfections and love you. I believe it is a sub-theme of the book because almost everyone at the estate hates or ignores him however he is truly loved by Celia, Maria and Tam Lin who help him face the cruelty of the life he was given and give him hope and guidance throughout the novel.