Saturday, December 4, 2010
Appropriately titled CATALYST, Kate's story is about what happens when she chooses to apply to only one college. "Bad Kate" struggles with telling her father that she didn't choose any safety schools, her jealousies over her fellow students' early college acceptances, her insomnia and midnight runs, and her desire to be the absolute best at everything she does. She struggles to please everyone, at the risk of not pleasing herself. However, when her former enemy Teri Litch's house burns down, Kate's loses control. Teri and her little brother are forced to move into Kate's house and Kate must tend to their every will. While living with the Malones, Teri skips schools to rebuild her house with some volunteers in the community. One day, Kate decides to help out after school and when they are almost done, they decide to take a break and rest on the front porch. Teri then asks where Mikey is, her little brother, and they search through the house for him. Tragically, they find him dead on the ground. They immediately call the ambulance while Teri is screaming, "My son! My son!" Kate later finds out that Teri's father had raped her, therefore, that was the reason why he was in jail. The rest of the book is about Teri trying to get over the tragedy while Kate is trying to help her and to become friends with her. It is also about how Kate learns how to stop making life so hard for herself and to relax and live in the moment, like finding a new college to go to because MIT did not accept her. In the end, Kate and Teri become friends and Kate begins to ask her father for help because she realizes she cannot take care of everyone on her own.
Question #1: Why do you think Kate only applied to one school?
Question #2: How do you think Teri's son, Mikey, died?
Friday, December 3, 2010
Hannah Swensen runs a successful bakery, called The Cookie Jar, in the small town of Lake Eden. The town is the stereotypical small town where nothing exciting ever happens. In fact the only exciting thing in Hannah's life is avoiding talking to her mother, Delores, who fixes her up with every man in town. However, that will all change when she finds herself caught in a sticky situation.
When she is taking her garbage into the alley behind her store, she discovers her beloved milk man and friend, Ron LaSalle, dead in his truck and a bag of her chocolate chip crunches in his seat. Determined not to have her cookies get a bad reputation, she tries to track down the killer. Could it be the owner of the dairy, a local dentist, or the richest family in Lake Eden? Hannah needs to be careful with her undercover investigation or she might be next.
1. In the novel Hannah breaks into places to find out information. Do you think that it is right for her to break the law and risk her life to find the killer?
2. If someone close to you was murdered, what extremes would you go to to find the killer?
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Even though everything works out for the three friends in the end it wasn't always that way. Isabel is a very judgemental person and she doesn't originally like Collie because she has a lip ring and her hair is dyed jet black. She makes many comments to her about how she is different and she didn't even want her to work at the restaurant with them. If you were Collie, would you forgive Isabel right away, would you confront her on it, or would you just let everything go to not start drama? And why?
Collie always knew she never really fit in. She also knew that she was going to somewhere new for the whole summer. One of the lessons in this book is to be yourself and love yourself for who you are. If you were Collie, would you change who you were for one summer to see if you could possibly fit in somewhere? Why or why not?
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Carmen bought a pair of jeans at a thrift store and the pants magically fit all four girl perfectly. The pair of pants brought out the best features in the four gilrs. No pair of pants have fit the girls like these did.
This summer was the first summer they would ever be apart and they had the idea of sharing the pants between the four of them. They all met eachother at Gilda's, the aerobics place where thier mothers met, to dicuss the rules and procedure for the pants. Each girl would have the pants for no more than a week and then pass on the pants and a letter talking about all their experiences in the pants to the next girl. They made ten rules the girls must follow while wearing the pants.
Lena was the first one to have the pants during the summer. Her and her sister Effie spent their summer in Greece visting their grandparents. Her friends call Lena "the beauty." Lena is not very into boys but her grandmother insisted on her meeting a boy named Kostos. She had no intention of meeting Kostos because she did not want to deal with any drama but when she finally ran into Kostos, her feelings changed. The pants gave Lena trust and she soon realized that the only person she could not trust was herself.
Tibby stayed home for the summer and believed she was living a depressing life. Tibby's freinds think of her as "the rebel." She had to stay home because she had a job at a place called Wallmans. While Tibby was home she was working on a documentary about the lameness of her hometown. One day at work she met a girl named Bailey. When Tibby first met her she thought of Bailey as one of those annoying girls who talked too much but she soon developed a close relationship with her. Bailey was very interseted in Tibby's life and helped her with the documentary she was making. One day Bailey's mother told Tibby that Bailey had a disease called leukemia. Tibby did not think anything of it at first but when Bailey suddenly stoped showing up at Tibby's house to work on the documentary, Tibby began to get scared. She soon found out that Bailey has been spending all her time at the hospital. When Tibby went to visit Bailey, she brought the pants hoping they would work their magic on Bailey. When Tibby first met Bailey she did not think anything of it but it turned out that Bailey taught Tibby many things about time and living your life.
Carmen's parents were divorced and she wanted to spend her summer with her dad. She did not know what her friends thought of her so she just thought of her self as "the Puerto Rican." When her dad picked her up at the airport she was expecting to go home to the apartment he used to live in but when he pulled into the driveway of this perfect house, she had so many questions. It turned out that her dad, Al, had a fiance he was soon going to marry named Lydia. Lydia had two kids, Krista and Paul. Carmen did not like her dads new family because she thought they did not like her. They were too proper and perfect for Carmen to handle. They were nothing like Carmen. She was tan and built and Krista, Paul, and Lydia were small and blonde. She became very upset because she thought her dad did not want Carmen in his life and forgot all about the life he used to have with Carmen's mother. She was so upset she did not want yo go to his wedding. The pants gave Carmen the courage she needed.
Bridget's mother died a few years before and she continued to live with her dad and brother, Perry. Her father was not very concerned with Bridget's life because she spent most of her time at her friend's houses. Bridget's friends thought of her as "the athlete." She spent her summer at a soccer camp in Baja California. She made many friends at camp and she had the biggest crush on one of the soccer coaches named Eric. She knew she could not have Eric but that only made her want him more. She tried so hard for him to notice her and did anything she could to get attention. She snuck out of her cabin every night hoping he would follow her.
At the end of the summer right before school started, they met again at Gilda's. They did not really talk about what they did during their summer but how the pants brought them together even though they were apart. The theme of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is that friendship is important and someone could rely on it in every aspect of their life.
1. Who do you think needed the pants the most and why?
2. Who do you think had the most memorable summer and why?
Sunday, November 28, 2010
On the other side of New York Letty gets to see a whole different aspect to the infamous city, she has to tough it out mostly alone. She gets a job in a club as a cigarette girl. As she struggles through a less privileged life then Cordelia she learns a lot about herself and how the world really is.
Throughout the story all three girls lose a bit of their innocence. They have to face things about themselves and about the world they previously thought they knew. Do you think it would have been better if the two girls stayed in Union Ohio and left their lives they way they were?
Which of the girls do you think learned more about themselves, Cordelia who was able to become part of the well off side of the city and meet the supportive Astrid or Letty who had to make her own way on the less privileged side of the city?
1. In some way, do you think Anna's mother, Sara, was relieved to find out that Kate would receive the organ she would need in order to survive?
2. If you were in Sara's shoes, would you do what she did and side with your favorite daughter? Why?