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sarabeth_donaldson

sarabeth_donaldson

Joined June 2024

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sarabeth_donaldson
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At the beginning of this book, I wanted to make a post that talked about how I thought this informational chart, referencing friend groups of characters, was helpful. It was going to be pretty superficial. However, now that I have finished the book, I realize just how much friend groups can change; I realized, more importantly, how friend association matters. It matters just how interacting with a post on social media matters. Great book.

Alexa_Cussans I also really like how the book shows how friendships can change! I haven‘t read a lot of book that tackle topics like these, so I found that to be very interesting! 7h
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sarabeth_donaldson
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I love Slater's poetic creativity here. This poem is formatted and structured in such a way that the lines look like they are forming an hourglass - something that represents time. It demonstrates how much time and intentionality Slater had when doing this project. I also love the mix of poetry and prose throughout the novel - it keeps readers on their toes and makes it interesting for most everyone reading it.

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The personal experiences described, such as the one highlighted above, are the most impactful to me. Slater does a great job pointing out that some memories are confused with others‘, or that some of those involved didn‘t want to be interviewed. She also uses words like ‘____ remembered‘ or ‘____ recalls this differently than others did‘. I really appreciate her complete honesty.

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The page shown above is a little deeper into the book. That being said, I really like the way Slater is framing this story. She doesn't give us photos of the account or reveal all the information about the account toward the beginning of the story, but she slowly gives us bits and pieces of the account as they become prevalent to the novel. I really like the way that the story seems to unfold as new pieces of the account are being introduced.

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sarabeth_donaldson
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Overall, I really like the writing of this book so far. Here, not only does Slater call out inappropriate stereotypes, she also engages the reader by talking about exactly WHAT those stereotypes are. In the second highlighted section above, Slater describes the “model minority myth“ in language appropriate to the topic. She uses more complicated words because it's a complicated issue.

abbyleap I agree with you here. I think that Slater captures the exact tone that's necessary to talk about these complex issues without feeling like she is 'dumbing' things down for her reader. She expects her reader to be able to keep up with the complex and nuanced topics and the way that they intersect with the situation, but she also does a really good job of explaining those topics. 4d
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After finishing the book and looking back at my highlights, I came across this page from the beginning of the story. Later in the book, Oliver and Aaron become much more comfortable being seen together (as lovers) in public, so reading this page made me think about how far they came as people and as a couple. The way that Gow fleshes this story out is very neat.

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sarabeth_donaldson
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This part of the book is so interesting because it highlights parts of history we never learned in school. As I mentioned in my previous post, both of the main characters talk about how they didn‘t hear a lot of queer history in their classes, and how they wish that could change. Here, Oliver is giving some of that history to the reader, like he is changing the narrative for the future. Not only does he present a problem but also a solution.

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Yasmin consistently reflects on what she previously wrote and continues to summarize. It feels as if she is constantly saying, “Because this… then what about this?” in an if-then pattern. She has an increasing depth of exploration on this topic, which has increased my curiosity as well.

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sarabeth_donaldson

One of the two main characters in this book, Oliver, is fascinated with the American Revolutionary War. He is particularly interested in queer representation in history. When I read the title, “A Million Quiet Revolutions”, I thought of revolutions as cycles. After reading further into the story, I figured out that the author was talking about actual revolutions, like rising up - but quietly. I thought the title was well done.

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I love the way Yasmin launched into why stories are important, not only for our brains but also for our worldviews. I was busy learning all about how our brains work, then, all of a sudden, the author pulled me into a very interesting and moving fact about our perspectives and how stories affect them. This is great writing!

Laurenwhite0508 I completely agree with you. This book has been very compelling so far, but I still feel like I am absorbing a lot of information that I did not know prior to reading this. I think that non-fiction can be a difficult thing to put in the hands of young readers, but this book could be a great jumping point for that. 1w
ms.reagan One of the best things about this book is how well Yasmin demonstrates in real time what she is talking about! You don‘t have to wait on a complicated example; you become the example! 6d
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sarabeth_donaldson

“What the Fact?” was published in September of 2022, just a few months before ChatGPT from OpenAI was released to the public. This marked the beginning of easily accessible AI, especially written AI. I wonder what Yasmin would say about information disorder now, after so many people have discovered and are currently learning about AI. This is definitely something that could be used in a classroom regarding artificial intelligence!

Laurenwhite0508 I really like the idea of using this in a classroom that is talking about or using AI! I would also be curious to know more about what she thinks now that we have access to AI. 1w
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sarabeth_donaldson

My first impression of this book: I usually don‘t love nonfiction, but this nonfiction is very interesting to me so far! Yasmin does a good job of grabbing the reader‘s attention, and I think students would enjoy this - especially those who are not huge fans of nonfiction. I would recommend this!

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sarabeth_donaldson
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This book is about the experience of a transgender boy. It‘s written mostly in second person, and the “you” refers to the person he loves. He is also a transgender boy, and they are figuring this journey out together. So far, I‘m enjoying the poetry-style narrative in this book.

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I loved this moment in the last part of the book. The use of a telegraph wire here is interesting because of the Telegraph Club‘s name. The Telegraph Club is where Lily fully realized her love, and realized that it could be accepted by those at the club (at least). This was a super cool ending to a good book!

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This part of the novel - where Lily stays at Lana‘s - is so impactful and symbolic to me. Lily doesn‘t have any keys to her own house, where her mother disapproves of her; Lana gave Lily the keys to her apartment after only knowing her for a short while. This symbolism is very subtle, but so representative of where Lily feels accepted.

kristinsmoyer Oh wow, I didn‘t notice that! That‘s an interesting take (the keys representing where she feels she is able to express herself vs conform). 2w
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sarabeth_donaldson

I love the way Lo presents history from the perspective of a Chinese American high school senior. Obviously, this is mostly a story about a girl discovering who she is, but the emphasis on timelines and the underlying story of America in the 1950s displays the importance of this history. The mere occasional mention of Communism, especially early on in the book, demonstrates the intensity of which Lily feels her romantic emotions.

Alexa_Cussans I also really like how the book explores both the protagonist and the world! 2w
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sarabeth_donaldson
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I love the way Lo uses parentheses in this novel. Many of the other narrators use it as well as Lily, like Grace and Judy. Not only does it demonstrate the ways Lily is feeling romantically and about the Telegraph Club, but it also shows Grace and Judy's emotional ties to China. This was a very cool aspect to this book, and it makes it clear that these emotions/memories are very strong.

ms.reagan The parenthesis really allowed for the reader to emotionally connect and sympathize with the characters. So often it‘s hard to really understand what characters are experiencing, but seeing their thought processes and innermost feelings really brings their struggles into a more understandable light! 2w
CassidyCheatwood I also appreciate this so much! Sometimes I find I do it myself because it gives the recipient clarity on certain feelings I‘m trying to portray, so I definitely see how the author used this as a great technique to make us feel closer to the characters. 2w
3 likes2 comments
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sarabeth_donaldson

Overall, I really liked this book. I appreciate the way Whimsy personified Sorrow, but also how she and Faerry spoke plainly about their depression. It has great depth of sadness, but also incredible amounts of hope woven throughout. Great book!

ms.reagan Personally I loved the choice to personify Sorrow! By giving Sorrow a body it makes it seem easier to overcome it and it doesn‘t seem as scary as before! 3w
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sarabeth_donaldson

Leaves are super important in this novel, and I think this has to do with the tea leaves in Hoodoo. They are used as measurement tools, but as the novel progresses, we see less and less of the leaves being important. We see less of Whimsy‘s metaphorical life and more of her reality. The shift is very interesting to me.

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sarabeth_donaldson

Whimsy uses the number 11 often throughout the book, especially when it makes more sense to use the number 10. For example, she makes several lists of things people say or her thoughts, and always extends the numbered list to 11. She mentions in Chapter 5 that she is “always wishing for October 32”, which is an impossibility. These extended numbers are very interesting to me.

Alexa_Cussans I never even noticed that! That‘s very interesting! 3w
abbytayloryalit I never would have noticed that. Interesting catch! I wonder what the significance of 11 is to her and would be curious about the author's take! 3w
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sarabeth_donaldson

This novel is in a structured in a very poetic format. I really like the way, when there are multiple people in conversation, their dialogue is on different places of the page. Also, the dialogue is not in quotations, but in italics, which is unique. I like the structure!

Alexa_Cussans I also really liked the dialog is written! It‘s so unique from anything I‘ve ever read! 3w
Laurenwhite0508 I also like the way that the dialogue in this book is done! It is very visually appealing to me and makes the book feel like a really quick read. Great for a students who is not super interested in reading! 3w
2 likes2 comments
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Unless it catches my eye, titles don't jump out too much to me. Kwame Alexander's short story-in-verse, “Seventy-Six Dollars and Forty-Nine Cents“, was no different. I read to the end of the story, still wondering how much Angel Carter's mom paid to get her hair braided (including tax). It didn't matter much, but I was surprised Alexander didn't reveal that detail to the audience. But he DID - in the title! It made me laugh.

ms.miranda_readsbooks OH MY GOD! I just audibly gasped! The way I didn‘t even realize this until I read your post 😹 thank you so much for clarifying this because I was still wondering how much she paid for her hair! 1mo
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sarabeth_donaldson
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In “Main Street“, Jacqueline Woodson breaks up these sentences into sections (not just paragraphs). It isn't quite verse, but it gives it a very poetic feeling. She also uses the italics to show quotations, which is also poetic. Her style is abnormal, especially in a short story format, but it highlights the feeling that the main character's emotions are all over the place. Very impactful.

kristinsmoyer This passage‘s writing style also stood out to me. It captured my attention compared to the other passages, and I thought it was emotive/poetic. 1mo
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In “Secret Samantha”, Tim Federle does a great job with the tone of the book. The main character, Sam, is a sixth grader, and the way she narrates her story feels like a diary. For example, in the image provided, Federle puts a “(!)” in the middle of a sentence, which felt very much like a sixth grader‘s diary. That is one example. Other examples include phrasings that stood out to me, like the other highlighted example.

abbyleap I also really appreciated this story in particular--it felt very approachable and relatable. I loved the little moments like the (!) and I also appreciated the way the Federle plays with what the reader doesn't know as well--like Blade's actual name. 1mo
Laurenwhite0508 I also liked “Secret Samantha“ a lot and agree with you that the tone, tone, punctuation, and style of the writing really added to the effect of the essay. Like Abby said, the story felt very relatable and really captured what I think of as the mind of someone that age! 1mo
Alexa_Cussans I also really liked “Secret Samantha.” I think your observation on the punctuation is quite interesting! I never picked up on that while reading it. 1mo
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sarabeth_donaldson
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The first two stories in the book, “How to Transform an Everyday, Ordinary Hoop Court into a Place of Higher Learning and You at the Podium” and “The Difficult Path”, both had similar themes. The main characters in both are expected to be someone they aren‘t. The protagonist of the first is expected to NOT be Hispanic if he wants to play basketball with the others, and Lingsi is expected to be a boy for good education. Yet, THEY don‘t waver.

abbyleap I agree with you! I am also very interested in the way that both interact with an play with gendered expectations. I think, as a pair, putting them together was a very smart move on the part of the editors. 1mo
Laurenwhite0508 This is a great point! I did not give much thought as to why the stories would be placed back to back in the book, but this a great comparison of the two that gives two examples of different kinds of discrimination that each of the main characters faced. 1mo
1 like2 comments
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sarabeth_donaldson
Solito: A Memoir | Javier Zamora
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Throughout the memoir, Javier wonders about family. His family in El Salvador, his parents in California, and his fake family in The Six, then The Four. Strangers become family, but what is incredible to me is that those family never become strangers. Even those who he traveled with, with whom he lost touch with - Patricia, Carla, and Chino - he still wants to have a relationship with and thinks of them fondly.

kristinsmoyer I thought this book was a great depiction of the human desire and need for familial connection. (edited) 1mo
kodieleidson I really loved how important Zamora makes familial connection in this book! He showcased it in such a way that was really impactful! 1mo
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sarabeth_donaldson
Solito: A Memoir | Javier Zamora

I had no idea what was awaiting Javier in the U.S. At first, I thought the whole point of the book was to tell about his new home with his parents, but Zamora surprised me. I never realized how difficult it is and how long it takes to migrate to another country, and that, I believe, is the one of the reasons Zamora shared his story.

amw40488 I agree! I also really enjoyed how Zamora put such an emphasis on the journey instead of just skipping to the destination. Javier's reunion with his parents was the whole reason for the journey, but his relationships with Patricia, Carla, and Chino were what pushed him to that finish line during such a treacherous time. 1mo
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sarabeth_donaldson
Solito: A Memoir | Javier Zamora
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There are several times in this book in which I'm surprised at the style. Zamora is clearly a good writer, as he uses different tools throughout the book, such as multiple sentence structures. In chapter 3, when Zamora is recalling his travel on the boat, he uses very short sentence structure to highlight detail. Not only that, but it also demonstrates his continuously changing moods. He does this also to show his overwhelming emotions.

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sarabeth_donaldson
Solito: A Memoir | Javier Zamora
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From Chapter 1

I like the way Zamora combines memories with current feelings. For example, here, he speaks about his mother in a photo. He remembers the way she used to be and the way she seems to be now. This happens throughout the book because all the time, he‘s thinking about his mom and dad. He doesn‘t have much to remember, but he holds on to what he does remember.

CassidyCheatwood I think this really shows Javier‘s personality. Throughout his journey, his POVs and opinions on The Six‘s adults change a lot. One minute he thinks they‘re mean, then they actually care for him. It‘s back and forth and I think it contrasts with his view of his mom. She stays a constant since she is so far away. 1mo
ms.miranda_readsbooks HI Sarabeth! I also really loved the way Zamora uses memory and nostalgia throughout the story. I think it just really makes him so much more relatable which really highlights why diverse YA lit is so important. There are so many people who can relate to the feeling of trying to hold onto the little memories we have with things we were only able to love for a short time. 1mo
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