Tuesday, 4 June 2013

And Our Most Awesome Litspiration Challenge Is...

1) Our most awesome litspiration challenge was #3!!
2) This challenge stands out from the rest because it is the most aesthetically pleasing, had the "deepest" thinking, is symbolic, represents the entire book, and more ! Plus, we loved it!
3) This is the best, because we put the most effort in, there were specific details (or we talked about the characters), and also the reasons in question #2!
4) We could have improved on collaborating more! While we used everyone's idea, it would have been cool for everyone to add their own touch! (This does not mean some of us didn't work on it!)

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Litspiration Challenge #3 - Theme !!!!!

This here, ladies and gentlemen, is our very last litspiration challenge (and probably our best) !

This is our round table, where we discussed what we thought the theme of the book was...

...and *drumroll* here is our theme statement!

Breaking free of the things that hold you back!!

So here is our challenge!

The theme of the book to us was breaking free of the things that hold you back. This statement not only applies to the book, but also to the world around us. In the book, the biggest thing that was “holding” everyone back was El Patron. El Patron refused to let go of anything that was his... ever. As a result, many characters like Felicia and Tam Lin never really escaped from El Patron’s grasp.

Our visual of the dove and the hand represents breaking free. Of course, El Patron wasn’t the only thing holding Matt back. Society, judgement, discrimination...these were all things that held Matt back from being a normal, accepted, and a happy person. Infact, these are all things that hold us back in the real world.

We used a dove to represent Matt breaking free of El Patron’s grasp, because it was actually a recurring thing that came in the book. The first time the dove appeared was in the chapter, “A Cat With Nine Lives,” on page 101. The second time the dove appeared was in the chapter, “Death” on page 233. The doves were there every time it felt like something really bad was going to happen, and Matt could always hear them saying “no hope, no hope.” Doves really do mean hope though. We thought that it meant that as long as Matt was in El Patron’s grasp, there would never be any hope! That is why we chose to show a dove filled with the words “break free” flying out of the hand filled with words that were the things that held Matt back.

We also wanted to pass on the message that Nancy Farmer gave to us to you!
Break free of the things that hold you back. Don’t just sulk and accept your fate...change it!


That is actually all for the group portion of this novel study! For more, check out our individual blogs!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Litspiration Challenge #2 !

Hello! This is our second litspiration challenge. We were challenged by our teachers to come up with a playlist of songs that a character from the book was listen to...and we weren't aloud to use Matt! Our group chose Tam Lin! Here is our brief discussion on who to choose:

Here is our playlist! Esperamos que lo disfruten!

1. Phantom of the Opera - Sarah Brightman & Antonio Banderas (Sean&Logan)

We chose this song, because it represents Tam Lin's more peaceful side, and his mysterious side. The music shows his mysterious side since we recently found out Tam Lin was a terrorist (what's up with that?!). The dramatic beats add to the effect of his mysterious-ness. What caused Tam Lin to do a bombing (other than politics...what was he thinking!)? Will we ever figure it out?

The farm patrols referred to him as "above the others." We think that this music encourages us to want to learn more about him and his past.

2. Unforgiven - Metallica (Kalindee)

Tam Lin was (was, being an assumption) a terrorist, the reason why El Patron took him to Aztlan - it was pretty much blackmail. Since we know Tam Lin as a nice, and kind-hearted person; an ally for Matt...it makes us wonder! We think that Tam Lin is genuinely regretful for what he did as the results were probably not what he had wanted, and does not like the person he used to be. To me, this song is about someone who has lived his whole life (“The young boy learns their rules” “To die regretfully. That old man here is me“) haunted by the decisions he made ("He's battled constantly. This fight he cannot win” Also see the second pre-chorus) or didn’t make. This reminds me of Tam Lin, and how he probably is also haunted by the decision he made to bring terror upon innocent people. This is probably why he treats Matt like an equal, why he is always so fair (usually); he’s just trying to battle his past.

3. Numb - Linkin Park (Amanda)

Tam lin is this big rough and tough guy, but as this song says, he is so numb that he can't even feel anything. I am sure this is what he felt like after he set off that bomb that happend to kill that school bus of kids, because in the book, we can see how big of a heart he has - being a friend to Matt when no one else would. The lyrics, "so much more aware," represent how Tam Lin will be much more considerate of his actions for the rest of his like, and how he now realizes what that bombing actually meant. 

“Can’t you see that you're smothering me holding too tightly afraid to lose control.” These lyrics remind me of what Tam Lin probably thinks of El P├ítron; his master

“And every second I waste is another mistake” This reminds us of how Tam Lin is trying to make a difference in himself and the society around him.

4. February Song - Josh Groban (Logan)

This was an odd choice. This song is more of something that Tam Lin isn't, but at the same some of the lyrics still relate. We all have that song on our iPods that we wouldn't usually listen to...but here were are, listening to that song.

This song is thoughtful, which Tam Lin is, but the song is still much to peaceful and slow for it to accurately represent both sides of him - a person as a whole. Tam Lin is most definitely not a peaceful character as I would put it. We find that the lyrics "And I never want to let you down. Forgive me if I slip away. When all that I've known is lost and found. I promise you, I, I'll come back to you one day." reminds us so much of Matt and Tam Lin's relationship. Tam Lin can do nothing but follow El Patron's orders, but it seems as if he deeply cares about Matt (ex. he actually left Matt a box of useful and awesome things!!!!). The box left in the oasis almost seemed like a promise to Matt from Tam Lin that he hasn't abandoned Matt.

5. Demons - Imagine Dragons (Kalindee&Amanda)

“When your dreams all fail..." This is some abstract thinking here. We think that Tam Lin's goal was to make a political statement, not to kill innocent people. His vision of a better future - which we are assuming what he wanted, because Hugh and Ralph were telling Matt how Tam Lin "wasn't motivated by beer like the rest of us....With his fancy ethics and social conscience." - was ruined.

“I want to hide the truth, I want to shelter you, but with the beast inside there's nowhere we can hide.” These lyrics seriously sums up what is going on with Matt and Tam Lin. Tam Lin never has told Matt about this inner beast side of himself, probably because he wants to protect Matt...who knows what could happen if someone were to find out Matt knew the truth?!??  

6. Nobody's Fault But Mine - Led Zeppelin (Sean, Logan, Kalindee)

This song is very contrastable. It shows both sides of Tam Lin in different ways - inner feelings, and outer "cover." The music sorta represents Tam Lin's more forceful and tough cover, but the lyrics represent Tam Lin's regret for doing the bombing. What must he be thinking? It's all his fault. There could've beena better way to approach the problem. What had he done?

"Gonna change my ways tonight. It's nobody's fault but mine." These lines from the song are perfect to describe what we think Tam Lin had felt. He knows the blame is on him, it was his decision. But Tam Lin's character just can't be just a terrorist. There's more to the story. This is why we felt like regret was one of the biggest themes that would occur on Tam Lin's playlist. We think that Tam Lin really is not proud of his past, and wants to change who he his.

7. Warrior's Code - Dropkick Murphys (Sean)

This song fits Tam Lin in a couple ways. First, just the title, Warriors Code, is an interesting match for Tam Lin - as he is a body guard. Tam Lin seems like the type of body gaurd who takes his job seriously and personally...it's a part of him. The lyrics, "You fight for your life, because the fighter never quits," sorta remind me how Tam Lin feels as if his past life shouldn't affect his new one, and that he should never quit rebuilding his new self. It fits.

8. Bleeding Out - Imagine Dragons (Amanda&Kalindee)

This song is about how the singer knows that if he is the reason to bring someone else down, he would rather die than to do that. So if the last thing that I do Is to bring you down I’ll bleed out for you.” I am assuming that Tam Lin was regretful for what he had done, and has learned his lesson. He doesn’t seem so fond of violence and probably would not (anymore) want to be the cause of bringing someone down; in other words, to be the reason for someone else's fall. Also, when the singer says “Innocence is gone, and what was right is wrong,” I think it means that the singer realises that all the wrong decisions and morals that he followed before and thought were right, were actually false...everything he believed to be the right way turned out to be the wrong thing (at least in most people's morals and ethics it is wrong). I feel as if this is exactly what happened to Tam Lin.

9. Capricorn - 30 Seconds to Mars (Kalindee)

I believe the singer is talking about their bad and troubled past. There are so many parts of their past that they just want to “disappear” from...the best way to do that? Just start over. No connections to the past whatsoever. And something else that I got from the song was that you can’t get out of a bad situation without changing your ways. I think that this is exactly what is going on with Tam Lin (I’m assuming...). He doesn’t seem to ever act like a terrorist, or someone who has done something to terrible. Tam Lin wants to just disappear from his past, bad doings. And that was working, up until now...

10. Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson (Kalindee)

This song is talking about how if you want to make a change in the world, you have to start with yourself - you can’t change other people. This song doesn’t fit entirely or perfectly with Tam Lin’s situation, but I chose it for the sole concept of changing yourself ("I'm starting with the man in the mirror."). It is evident that Tam Lin has changed and is a different, more sensible, and better person than he was before. I think that Tam Lin has realized that approaching his problem through violence is not the way to go, and does not make the world a better place. I believe that he wants to make a difference, however, there is no specific evidence from the text about this. I am only assuming this by his behaviour towards Matt, Celia, and others, and also his decisions and choices. I am interested to learn more about Tam Lin and what he actually thinks!

PS. This song is just amazing!!! Who wouldn't have this on their playlist???

And that is our playlist!!! What do you think...agree or disagree? What would be on your playlist?!??  

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Round Table Discussion #3

Here is our round table #3!

So, tell us. Have you guys read this novel? Are you currently reading it? Thoughts??

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Round Table Discussion #2

Hello viewers, fans, subscribers and peers!
This is our #2 Round table discussion. Enjoy!

Ps. Our group was in a deep conversation, so I just started to record which is why it might not make much sense to start and why it might be a bit longer than anticipated. We'll try our hardest on the next round table to keep it under 5 minutes!

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