English Assignment

For this discussion, I’d like you to choose one of the four questions below and write a post answering the question, following the instructions there. After you are done, read through the other posts and respond to one of your classmates by adding on or expanding on to their answer to their question.

1. Family and heritage are important in the story. Choose two example passages from the first 22 chapters of the book that you think send a message about why or how family and heritage or ancestry are important to the characters in this book. Write a post where you say which two passages you are writing about (you can quote part of them too) and then explain exactly what you think those passages mean and the message they are sending about the importance of family and heritage.

2. This book is a fantasy (including magic and supernatural beings) set in a realistic place (21st century Brooklyn, NY). This is the first fantasy that we’ve read this semester, but fantasy is common in coming-of-age stories (like Harry Potter, A Wrinkle in Time, and fairy tales). What does the fantasy element add to the story? What ideas or themes does Older communicate more clearly to the reader by using the fantasy elements? What about fantasy makes it useful for coming-of-age stories like this one? Choose two example passages from the first 22 chapters of the book that you think are good examples of fantasy in the book. Write a post where you say which two passages you are writing about (you can quote part of them too) and then explain how they help you answer the questions above.

3. The magic in this book is based on artistic expression (painting, drawing, storytelling, music). Why is it significant that art is the medium for magic (not magic wands or potions)? How can the different paintings and works of art in this book be interpreted and what deeper meaning do they have? Why did Older choose specific images? Choose two example passages from the first 22 chapters of the book that describe works of art and write a post where you analyze them to answer those questions. Make sure you say which two passages you are writing about (you can quote part of them too).

4. American racism plays an important role in the book, in both small moments and more significant episodes (including the book’s central conflict). Choose two moments from the first 22 chapters of the book where you think racism is impacting the lives of the main characters, or where you think the book is commenting on race relations in New York. Write a post examining those two examples in detail to explain what each episode means, what it adds to the overall story, and what it tells us about the role race plays in New York. Make sure you say which two passages you are writing about (you can quote part of them too).

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