Category Archives: #2 Independent Reading Journal

Independent Reading Journal #1 (Oct./11) : Specials


Title: Specials                        

Level: 6.1

Points: 12

Question you are answering: How do the main character’s relationships with others change in the novel?

Main point you are making (What are you trying to convince me of?) : The character’s relationships constantly change.

In the book Specials the main character Tally changes very often, and when she does find a friend, it doesn’t last very long. One of the ways Tally ruins relationships is because of her temper. Because she is a Special, she can turn happy to furious in an instant. An example of someone Tally had so much temper with that their relationship changed is Shay, one of her best friends who is also a Special. Shay saved Tally from being hurt, but when she wasn’t looking, Tally ran away from her because she was upset for some reason. The second way Tally makes it hard for people to like her is because she thinks shes doing good for others, but it ends up being damaging to others and also harmful to herself. For example, Tally thought it was a good idea to have her friend Zane move to the city “Diego” but chemicals in the air slowly killed him. As you can see this didn’t work out at ALL for Zane or herself. He ended up losing his life and she ended up losing her only true friend. The last way Tally changes friends quickly is because she feels alone and she needs a friend. So it ends up being easy for her to be sucked into a relationship that she hated. A great example of someone who hurt Tally but ended up being her only “friend” is David. This happened because he was the only one she knew. These ideas all support the fact that Tally changes friends very quickly.

This is the cover of the book Specials


Independent Reading Journal #4 (May): Run For Water Flows Again.


Question: Record at least 3 intresting pieces of imformation or ideas with examples.

Title: Run For Water Flows Again

Author: Cam Tucker

AR Level: N/A                  AR Points: N/A

I was very interested about reading an article called “Run For Water Flows Again” because it had many interesting facts about the event and the impact it has on everyone. The first fact about Run For Water is that they are hoping for more people to participate in the runs. They think this will happen because over the years of doing the marathon, more people have showed! An example of why I think this is an important event for Abbotsford and how there will be more runners is when the town participates together, they feel a better energy and would want to do more within the community. The second thing I learned in this article is that all the money raised in the “Run For Water” marathon goes towards clean water in a country that doesn’t have much water. In this case, they are giving water to Ethiopia! This really showed me that our small(ish) community can make a difference that could possibly save a person’s life!! 🙂 An example of why i think we should continue with the runs is because it gives everyone from the mayor to a Grade 6 student a sense of pride.  What I’m trying to say is one small gesture can become large and make a MAJOR difference. The last thing I learned about the run held here, in Abbotsford is everyone can participate in the run, even us! Now your probably thinking, “Uh, I’m not much of a runner!” You  don’t have to run far distances because there are 3 different lengths of runs. There is the 42.2 km run for major athletes, a 22.1 km for pretty good runners and last but not least, a 5 km run for anyone! They like to call the 5 km run the “Fun Run”! This is a very good thing for our community! For example, middle schoolers can run and learn how to give at our age! These facts all encouraged me to think about doing the “Run For Water.” 🙂

Independent Reading Journal #3 (May): Fairy


Question: How does this book make you look at life differently?

Title: Fairy Author: David Bouchard and Dean Griffiths

AR Level: 2.9              AR Points: 0.5

I think that the book “Fairy” really makes me think about life in a different, magical way! The first reason I think of life more magicly when I read this book is because the characters aren’t those normal looking, not out of the ordinary people. They have wacky hair, buldging eyes and fun outfits that make you wonder if anyone is like that in the real world! One character that is out of the ordinary is Mr. Stubbs. Mr. Stubbs has a huge mostash, eyes that are WAY too far apart and hair that looks like it’s never been combed! The second reason why I feel like I am living in a magical world when I read this book is because the characters are so clueless. In a normal world that has no magic everyone pays attention and is at least minorly in tune to what their doing and their surroundings… Something that doesn’t happen very often in the book “Fairy”. An example of a time when some of the family members were totally toned out is when the little fairy man riding a motorcycle threw a flame ball at the father’s newspaper. He didn’t even look up! But maybe that is because of the fact that the fairy man isn’t even as big as a cup of coffee!! The last reason why I feel that the book gives life a magical feel is because all the people are forced against their will to do something crazy. This is all due to the fact that the fairy man has powers that can control anybody he wants to control or punish.  One of the funniest things the man fairy did to make the people look silly is by making the father dance like a ballerina! I think the dad is definatly one of the fairy’s biggest victims. But back to the story.. When the father is dancing wearing a frown on his face, he is also sporting a lovely pink tutu and tights! These ideas all support the fact that the book “Fairy” makes me look at the world like a magical place!!

Independent Reading Journal #2 (May): Giraffes


Question: Give three important facts (with examples) about the book.

Title: Giraffes

AR Level: 5.1 Points: 0.5

Giraffes are very tall animals (like me!) that do have special features and habits that make them unique and incredibly interesting to learn about. The first fascinating thing I learned about giraffes is that the height of these amazing creatures does help them survive. We all know that certain animals need certain things to survive. And that “thing” for giraffes is most definitely it’s long neck and legs. For example, when a giraffe eats it can reach to high places where no other animals can get to. Having a whole fruit tree to yourself can make an outstanding  difference in a giraffe’s eating habits and health. Another special fact that I learned about giraffes is their eyesight is extraordinary compared to other animals like lions or gazelles. Not only can giraffes see predators from far away distances but they also have no tear ducts so they clean their eyes with their tongue. An example of a situation where a giraffe’s eyesight would come in handy is if she had a baby with her and they were grazing in a field. With the advantage that the mother has, she could see approaching predators from miles away and lead her young baby to a safer location. The last, and most interesting thing I learned about the life of a giraffe is they have helpers to lead them through everyday tasks. I thought that giraffes were very independent animals, but as you can tell they are actually more helpless and stressed than you think. I was very surprised to find out that little birds called buffalo weavers or ox peckers do all the extra jobs for such a large animal. A few things giraffes get help from their little friends are grooming the hard to reach places on a giraffe’s back and sending warning calls to large herds of giraffes if there is danger in the area. In result to learning so much about giraffes I have become more interested with the animal and the great things about it.

Independent Reading Journal #1 (May): The Naked Mole Rat Letters


Question: How does the main character’s relationships change with others in the novel?

Title: The Naked Mole Rat Letters

AR Level: 4.3  AR Points: 6.0

In the story, “The Naked Mole Rat Letters” I think the relationships between the main character and others in the story change quite a bit! The first relationship that changed in the story was the relationship between the main character, Frankie and her dad. This relationship did not change in a positive way because Frankie could no longer have conversations with her dad or be able to trust him. For example, Frankie found emails from a strange women from Washington DC that said she enjoyed spending time with her dad! Her dad never told her about his secret girlfriend from another state! The second relationship that changed in the story was between Frankie and the trouble-making, misunderstood Johnny Nye. At the beginning of the story Frankie thought Johnny was rude and obnoxious but later on found out he was a very nice person that was just like everyone else. At the annual “Fall Festival” Frankie hung out with Johnny and didn’t care about what any of the kids in her class. Frankie and Johnny even danced later on! I think Frankie and Johnny’s friendship was possible because both of them opened up to new possibilities. The last (and what I think was the most important) relationship that changed was with Frankie and Frankie’s dad’s secret girlfriend, Ayanna. This relationship probably changed the most out of all of them because Frankie wanted Ayanna to leave her dad and family alone, not to mention stop emailing her. That was at first, but near the end of the story Frankie wanted to meet Ayanna and share all she was holding in with her. An example of what happened after Frankie accepted Ayanna is when she wanted to talk to her dad but was too afraid to she emailed Ayanna and asked her what to do. You can tell that Frankie really trusted her because really, she was a complete stranger to her! Overall I think many relationships changed in this book and I think the book was trying to say that you should always follow your heart and care about what you think is right.

Independent Reading Journal #4: Squirrels


Question: Write three interesting facts (with examples) about the book

Title: Squirrels Author: Justine Ciovacco

A.R Level: 4.7 Points: 0.5

Before I read this book I thought squirrels were kind of useless. But learning new things about an animal can make a huge difference about what you think about an animal. The first interesting thing I learned in my book is that the fluffy tail on a squirrel isn’t just for decoration. A squirrel’s tail can actually be very helpful to the animal! An example of what it can do to help is it can be used as a blanket to keep warm or it can help the squirrel keep it’s balance. The second interesting thing I learned is squirrels have a terrible memory. According to scientists, if squirrels didn’t have such a great sense of smell, they would probably starve! An example of how smell helps squirrels is squirrels forget where they bury nuts, but the smell of it’s own saliva coating can lead the squirrel to hidden food. The last interesting thing I learned about squirrels is they are spread out all over the world! I thought squirrels were just in North America, but it turns out they are practically EVERYWHERE. Some examples of places I never thought squirrels would be are Asia, Africa and up in the Arctic! The weird thing is that there is NONE in Australia. Can you see why I like squirrels now? They are very interesting animals and I learned lots about them in this book.

Independent Reading Journal #3: The Giving Tree


Question: What is the author trying to say about life?

Title: The Giving Tree  Author: Shel Silverstein

A.R Level: 2.6 Points: 0.5

In the book “The Giving Tree” I think the author was talking about what the gift of friendship is. The first way the tree in the story showed true friendship is it was tolerant of the little boy. I think the tree really knew friendship is too strong for hate. An example of this is when the boy carved a heart sign right onto the tree and it didn’t get upset. The second way the tree in the story showed it was a good friend is it was happy when the boy was happy. The tree really put the boy before itself. An example of this is when the boy needed money and the tree gave him apples to sell. This made the boy happy, which made the tree happy. The last way the tree was a great friend is he was always there for the boy. Even though the boy took everything from the tree, who is now a stump, still let the boy sit on it so he wouldn’t get tired. That’s true friendship! I really think the author explained friendship and what is means very well.