"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A student's reflection after reading The Boy on the Porch

I recently, somewhat reluctantly (sorry to admit this), handed my ARC of The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech to a student. I asked her to come see me when she had finished reading the book, which she did.  After our animated discussion, I asked if she would like to reflect upon her reading experience.  She happily took on the challenge.  

One of my goals in teaching last year (and again this year) is to explore ways, both with and without technology, to give students a voice.  I am exploring and experimenting with ways that students can express their opinions, their ideas, their knowledge, and their understanding. Here are Carrie's words. I am so glad she shared her voice.

The Boy on the Porch Reflection

       I was so thrilled and honored to receive an Advanced Reader’s Copy of The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech. I have enjoyed Sharon Creech’s writing in the past, had the opportunity to meet Sharon Creech at school last year and heard raves about the book from Mrs. Reed (my awesome library teacher!); needless to say, reading this book was of excitement to me. I began reading the book Saturday night and once I got into it, it was difficult for me to put the book down until the moment that I finished on Monday morning. I ran into Mrs. Reed later on Tuesday and we had an excellent book discussion about it.
       The book starts out introducing a young couple that you could relate to from any age, Marta and John. The two of them live alone on a farm in a small town. One morning, as they go about their regular morning routines, they see a young boy sleeping in a chair on their porch. Curiously, they sit with him until he awakes hours later. After him spending a few days with them, they figure something out; the boy, Jacob cannot speak, though communicates through tapping on any and every surface. The boy also gives Marta and John a note stating (with spelling and grammar errors) that the child’s name is Jacob and that he is a good boy, and “they” will be back for him when they can. The young couple assumes that this means a few hours to a day.
       My favorite part of the book is how Marta and John really have no parenting experience and work much on trial and error. They do always try to do what is best for Jacob, though don’t always succeed. I really enjoy how you can see what Marta and John are thinking and really just how hard they are trying with Jacob. John, appears tough, not quite understanding why Jacob finds joy in music, art and riding cows, but not in “dirty work” though he really does have that father-like soft spot that comes out various times throughout the book. Marta, on the other hand, is a gentle, kind “mother,” always looking out for Jacob’s sensitive feelings. Marta and John soon grow attached to Jacob and are faced with many difficult choices because of this.

No matter what type of book you ordinarily enjoy, this is a great pick for everyone!

Need I say anything more?

1 comment:

  1. Amazing book report that makes me want to pick up the book. Very well said Carrie!