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WHS Literature Circles Journaling

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message 1: by Julie (last edited Apr 27, 2016 05:45PM) (new)

Julie Balen | 12 comments You will post here often.
1. Pre-reading;
2. When you have questions about the book;
2. After each lit circle meeting;

message 2: by Starlee (last edited Apr 25, 2016 10:07AM) (new)

Starlee | 3 comments Keeper'n Me

In this book Keeper’N Me by Richard Wagamese, I made the connection between the book and reconciliation. Reconciliation means to restore a relationship and reunite. The main character Garnet Raven, was taken away from his family when he was a toddler. He has been moving from place to place trying to find his sense of identity for example during the beginning of the book he says, “ how all those things leave little holes in your gut and how eventually they all turn into one great big black hole in the middle of your belly and how on lonely nights it still felt like the wind was blowing and whistling through me” (33). Garnet eventually gets tracked down by his real family and they want to reunite him.

Since he has been without a true identity for so long and after getting out of jail he finally has a chance to reconcile and see his family again after his brother reaches out to him. Therefore, seeing his family again he can finally restore all the years lost without them. Being with his family at his real home can fill the black hole which represents that part of him he lost so long ago.

During the literature circle, the passage I had picked was Garnet referring to that hole being a jigsaw puzzle, and there were missing pieces representing his family. Later Garnet says, “ well that’s kinda how I felt all my life. Tried to make other pieces fit but they never did. Pisses me off more. Now I’m here with two pieces of that puzzle right in front of me and I don’t know if I wanna use ‘em.” (65). This book exemplifies how a relationship between an individual and his or her family can be reconciled.

message 3: by Eric (new)

Eric Cooper | 3 comments Eric C.
C. Black
April, 14th, 2016

The book I am currently reading is called ‘The Reason You Walk’ by Wab Kinew. The book starts off with a boy named Tobasonakwut (Tobaaswanakwat(proper spelling)), and the challenges he faces during his lifetime, such as residential school, and what happened within the residential schools… Examples like physical and verbal abuse (directed racial comments), and also sexual abuse from the nuns and priests, which eventually led to an internal build up of emotions. The book continues on with the storytelling between other characters in the book, and how the abuse had effects against the protagonist.
In the beginning, there was racist people and places that did not tolerate “coloured” people in general. The reason being for that is so the ‘whites’ and indigenous peoples didn’t start conflicts.
(evidence from the text… Tobasonakwut had finished residential school and started working)
“The hard work had its effect on Tobasonakwut. The thin teenager who first ventured into the bush that winter had emerged a few years later as a muscular man. And he tolerated no abuse. From anyone. When Tobasonakwut went into town on his days off, he still heard comments like “dirty Indian” or “jack pine nigger,” names he had heard when he was a boy. But now he would call the speaker on it, and sometimes challenge him to a fight.” (24)
Afterward, Tobasonakwut had met an african-american boxing trainer, and he felt he was finally putting the anger and other stuff built up inside of him (internal forces) into something positive.
(The book mentions also that Muhammad Ali was in the same gym using his unique styles to win against the other boxers)

message 4: by Starlee (new)

Starlee | 3 comments It sounds like a really interesting book, does Tobasonakwut mean anything in the language? I like the fact that in the book the character does something positive with his anger like going into boxing, and Muhammad Ali is even mentioned! What is your favorite part of the book so far?

message 5: by Eric (new)

Eric Cooper | 3 comments Starlee wrote: "It sounds like a really interesting book, does Tobasonakwut mean anything in the language?..."

Yes it does actually. It means "Low gliding cloud".. *aanakwat* kind of means cloud.. *toba* kind of means "glides low".. like a tobaagan. I forget what tobaagan actually means. But they have a different name for it in other communities like 'the working sled', or 'the board that glides low' depends on how you look at it and describe it i guess

message 6: by Julie (new)

Julie Balen | 12 comments Starlee wrote: "Keeper'n Me
In this book Keeper’N Me by Richard Wagamese, I made the connection between the book and reconciliation. Reconciliation means to restore a relationship and reunite. The ma..."

Your point about personal reconciliation is well made. First, it recognizes that the issue is complicated because both sides need to want to reunite, forgive, and be willing to move forward together. I think that identifying the analogy of the puzzle is an important point because it shows how complex the understanding of our identity is. I would add that the word Bih’kee’-Yan is another symbol that Wagamese uses in the book to emphasize the theme of home. Bih’kee’-Yan means “come home”. It is the one word in a single-word-song that Garnet’s mother sang to herself when she didn’t know where he was. It captures the main themes of the first part of the novel of displacement and loss of identity, and it connects to the idea of reconciliation because it shows the desire to make things right.
This conversation has given me lots to think about.

message 7: by Isaiah (new)

Isaiah Peltier | 4 comments Literature Circle Post #1

The Green Star Lakes Series: Jimmy Comes Home

Jimmy is the main character in the novel in my literature circle novel, he is a 17 year-old Cree first nation from Green Star Lake Reserve in Manitoba who has a bad history with crimes. I pictured Jimmy looking like your average rez kid, brown skin with braided hair and dirty looking clothes (since he was in prison). He is often seen as a rebel or mischievous young boy because of his criminal past around the reserve, he one time broke into the band office to steal bingo money and he he attempted to burn down the building. Because of his criminal past, Jimmy faces a lot of challenges in the beginning of the book, like being stared at with fear whenever he walks by someone’s house and sometimes it just makes him nervous (Character vs Society).

The most important event in this book is when Jimmy was walking back to his grandmother’s place and started to experience good memories. Despite of him feeling like an outcast and being feared, he felt very comfortable once he came home to his grandmother’s place. He remembered some good memories like hanging out with family and friends and riding on his skii-doo. This was the first time Jimmy ever felt happy coming back home.

The Setting of the story is Character vs Society. Since Jimmy had a criminal past in the reserve he had a lot of negativity surrounding him like being stared at, and being bothered by the local kids, he still kept moving forward. One time, he got frustrated with a teacher in his high school and attempted to give up until he had a talk with the teacher face to face and resolved the problem.

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