Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Letter - Wings

On Wednesdays, my posts will focus on my correspondence with a group of eighth graders and their teacher, Lisa Herschberger, who teaches English at Goshen Middle School in Goshen, Indiana. We will be writing about the books we are reading, and Lisa and I hope to model how to talk about a story in more ways then just summarizing what happened. We hope to post our letters to and from each other, as well as letters from the students.

This week's letter comes from Erica, a fellow Starbucks enthusiast.  She told me she likes to read more than she likes to write which surprised me because her letter to me about Wings was THREE PAGES LONG!  To me, it seems clear she likes to not only read, but write about reading.

I can tell Erica likes getting into a story's plot, and the characters, but she tells me she also likes to read to build her vocabulary.  She says she likes to have a "vocabulary cabinet."  I thought that was clever.  She also likes to read a series or a book over again because, "you notice different details, so it's like a new adventure every time."

Erica writes about the book Wings by Aprilynne Pike.  This is a book about a girl named Laurel, who thinks of herself as normal until she "wakes up to find that she is growing a flower out of her back. She is terrified because she can actually feel it, feel the petals and everything."

Erica goes onto explain that Laurel shares her flower dilemma with "her friend David, and he wants to help her learn why she has this on her back, and what he can to do help."  Meanwhile, there is another boy, "Tamani, a mysterious handsome boy who claims he can explain everything to her."  Sounds to me like the perfect recipe for a love triangle.  You got one guy saying he'll help you in whatever way he can, and another one saying he already knows everything about you. 

Erica writes, "I liked this book because it was interesting and action-packed."  She goes on to quote a scene where Tamani kills a troll named Scarface.  Interesting and action-packed, indeed!  She also liked the book because "it came with a little bit of romance."  She shared a scene with me that would make Edward and Bella fans very proud.

What Erica didn't like, was that she wanted the book to "go back and forth between the main characters' point of view."  She was hoping for more than one perspective on a situation, "like in Flipped."  I was very impressed that Erica used another book as an example of what she was talking about.  Having read Flipped I understand how fun it is to read a book with two strong voices to tell the storyI found that this was a great way to read the story and I think it gave me a better understanding of how two people can see one situation completely differently.  Erica was hoping to read the story from not just Laurel's voice, but from David and Tamani's as well.

I think Erica did a good job of not only giving a summary, but describing what she did and didn't like about the book.

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