My overall reading for these books are going descent so far. I think going back and forth between the books is somewhat challenging to keep everything straight and pay good attention to both reads. I think the strength of the book House on Mango Street is that she uses her ways of writing to grab your attention, such as metaphors and alliteration. The weakness or downfall of the book is the way she really jumps around from topic to topic, it is becoming difficult to keep track of who is who and what exactly is going on as more and more characters are appearing in the story. The strength of the book A Long Way Gone is that the way Ishmael Beah goes into depth and detail, it keeps your attention to what the story is about and where it is going. The weakness of the book so far is sometimes he drags out what is going on and it seems to bore me a bit. The House On Mango Street is the book that is going best for me. To me it has shorter chapters, that allows me to be able to summarize and nutshell them easier than the longer chapter in the other book. To be honest, my active reading habits are improving. I am able to detect a metaphor or when a new character or location is introduced. I need to improve on highlighting dialogue and really proofreading it and understand what is actually being said and why.
The chapter I was assigned from A Long Way Gone was Six. I think a good working title for the chapter would be Two Steps Forward and Three Steps Back. Just when the boys get ahead in life, the rebels finally come attack and leave the boys running for their lives again. The nutshell I wrote down for this chapter was, the boys farmed in Kamator and were watchmen in exchange for food and shelter, the rebels came after months and everyone became separated and Beah never sees Junior again. A word in the book that I didn’t know was Cutlass, I’ve heard of the word but I didn’t know exactly what it was. This term is important because Beah talks about using it and how he didn’t properly hold it. After looking it up I found out that cutlass was a short sword with a slightly curved blade, formerly used by sailors.
A challenge the boys faced was being in a group. There were groups of boys who had been told by rebels to kill people and his group reminded them of those other groups. People were scared of the boys, many would run away from them or try to defend themselves by capturing the boys. The boys knew they have benefits and downfalls of being in a group as they have experienced throughout the story. “But we needed to stay together because we had a better chance of escaping the day-to-day troubles we faced” (Beah pg 37).