MINP: January #2: Connect With the Protagonist/Conflict

Connect with the Protagonist and the Conflict

First & Then, by Emma Mills, is a realistic fiction novel about Devon Tennyson. Devon goes to parties, does homework, and hangs out with friends like any other normal senior. Things start to take an unexpected turn in her life as the year goes on, though. She is hopelessly in love with her best friends, Cas, but he doesn’t seem to take a hint. Her cousin suddenly moves in with her and her family and now they are “siblings.” She surprisingly becomes friends with the best football player at the school who nobody else seems to be able to figure out.

At the beginning of the book, Devon is at the Road-to-College Club and is showing the counselor, Mrs. Wentworth, her college essay. The only problem is that she didn’t put any thought into her essay and didn’t really expect to. Throughout the book, she struggles with trying to improve her college resume so that she can get into her dream college: Reeding College. She volunteers as a TA, joins the school paper, and searches for help from the best student she knows.

“‘Devon, I really need you to take this seriously.’


I just couldn’t find it in my heart to do that.


‘But it reads like you wrote it during a commercial break.’

I took offense to that. I wrote it during at least four commercial breaks.

‘How much thought did you really give this?'” (Mills, p. 2)

I can connect with Devon because although I am not a senior preparing for college, I am an eight grader preparing for high school. I have gone through similar conversations as she had with my mom about the essays that I had written for honors next year. I had also struggled a bit with writing my essay because I didn’t really know what to write about.

Mills, Emma. First & Then. New York: Henry Holt, 2015. Print.


NaNoWriMo Reflection

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Overall, I think that my NaNoWriMo story went pretty well. I was able to accomplish my goal and write 10,664 words. At the beginning, I had a hard time starting the story because I couldn’t think of a story and then I couldn’t figure out how to start it and space it out so that it would be long enough. But after I got the first couple hundred words in and I got into the flow, it became much easier and I was able to just write. One thing, though, was that since I was focusing on writing so much, the quality of the writing wasn’t that good.

Something that I learned about myself was that I get writer’s block really easily but that once I get started, it gets much easier and I am able to write a lot. Something that I learned how to do really well and that helped me when I wrote this is using a thesaurus. It really helped me a lot because I would always be coming back to it to look for better words to use than the boring ones that I had already used five times in my story and it actually helped me a lot. I learned that next time when I am writing, I should always keep one open just incase.

Although I did accomplish my goal and am pretty proud of my story, it is not very well written and I have gotten a little tired of it. The plot wasn’t that good to begin with because since I was writing such a long story there were parts that were just there to add more words and fill up room, but actually aren’t interesting at all. But, if the story was read by someone, it would have to be read in it’s entirety – just reading one chapter wouldn’t really make any sense. Also, trying to condense it into one short story wouldn’t really work because there is a lot that happens and just too much to fit into a few pages. I think that this was a great experience and taught me a lot, but I am not going to clean it up and publish it.

MINP: October #2: Connect with the Protagonist: “I could be even bigger…”

In Fat Kid Rules the World by KL Going, the protagonist, Troy Billings, is an overweight teenager who has no friends and is constantly being laughed at. He decides that he has to future ahead of him and that he should just commit suicide until he meets Curt MacCrae, a high school dropout and guitar legend at Troy’s school. Because of one lie, they form a band together and Troy becomes his drummer, but struggles with him self to decide whether he really wants to be.

Troy changes a lot in this book because he goes from being depressed, insecure, and conservative to a confident, happier teenager who is willing to try new things and put himself out there.

“I’m worried about potentially eternal humiliation. I’m worried about being manipulated into something I absolutely, positively, no-way-in-hell can do…..’I’ve got to go home,’ I say firmly. ‘This has been fun and all, but there’s no way I’m playing a gig. I Can’t play in front of people. I hyperventilate. I can’t. . . do it…'” (Going, p. 68)

“My body swells until I fill the room. I’m not fat. I’m enormous. I look over the crowd and think for the first time, I could be bigger. I could be even bigger…” (Going, p.94)

“I’m a total freak, but that’s no one’s problem but mine. Mine, damn it. Mine with a capital ‘M.’ I am the Rocky Balboa of obese drummers.” (Going, p. 113)

At the beginning of the book, Troy is very self-conscious about himself and always worried about people laughing at him and getting embarrassed. But as the story progresses and as he becomes better friends with curt, he gains more and more self-confidence until he realizes that he shouldn’t be thinking those things about himself, that just because he is fat doesn’t mean he should be lower than everybody else and that being fat is bad. Troy and I are alike because we care a lot about what other people think of us and are worried about being laughed at. Although it might not be as bad for me as it is for Troy, of course I still think about things like that. Also, our friends are very important for both of us. Troy only has one friend, Curt, who is probably the best possible person to be friends with at his school. He worries a lot about saying or doing the wrong thing and then loosing Curt, so a lot of his decisions are based on that. I care a lot about what my friends think of me, too, but the difference between Troy and me is that I don’t really worry about loosing them. Sometimes, like Troy, I will think about what they will think of me if I do something, but I don’t just do exactly what I know they will approve of. A difference between me and Troy is that, because he grew up with no friends, being made fun of, he has very low self-esteem, which means that he always likes to stick to the things he knows and is more scared to try knew things because of the possible consequences. I grew up with many friends and family who supported me, so I am more confident with myself and don’t think about if others will make fun of me if I try something new.

MINP: October # 1: Multimedia Newspaper: Set Huey Free!

Set Huey Free!

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One Crazy Summer E INP – Cayman Chen

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia is a historical fictions book set Oakland, California, 1968. It is about three African American sisters – Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern – and The Black Panthers Party.


 “Free Huey! “You Can Jail a Revolutionary, But You Can’t Jail the Revolution”” Free Huey! Xroads, n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.

 Garrow, David J. “Newton, Huey P..” World Book Student. World Book, 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015.

Hamilton, Charles V. “Black Panther Party.” World Book Student. World Book, 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015.

 “Huey P. Newton.” Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. 

Schladweiler, Kief. “Eldridge Cleaver and the Black Panthers – The Black Panthers.” Eldridge Cleaver and the Black Panthers – The Black Panthers. AAVW, n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.

MINP: September #1: Meltdown

Climax – Connect with the Protagonist


In Hunger, by Michael Grant, Sam Temple had taken up a leadership role as Mayor of the FAYZ after chaos broke out when all the adults in Perdido Beach disappeared. I think that I am similar in some ways but also different in others. I have also taken up many leadership roles, like Sam, but have jumped to take it instead of having it forced on me, which is one of our differences.

An example of when Michael Grant showed that Sam was changing was on page 436:

“And Sam…well, Sam wasn’t acting like Sam.

Sam looked like a zombie listening to Quinn and Albert’s confession last night.

And then, this morning, Bug told his story. It was every kind of bad news rolled into one shamefaced confession after another, and Sam had just stared.”

This shows that Sam was changing because at the beginning of the book, he was always well put together and strong and new just what to do and would act on it. He was the person to go to if you had a problem, and he would fix it. But the pressure of all of the chaos and problems and death in the FAYZ had eventually put too much weight on him and he broke down.

This also shows that I am similar to same because in stressful situations, it gets really hard to stay positive and not to just break down, which is what happens sometimes. For example, sometimes I have a lot of homework and important tests coming up and I just can’t find the time to get it all done, or I get stuck on something really hard and I also get really stressed out and just stop doing anything for a while, which is basically how Sam was acting at the climax of the story. There was too much stress and pressure on him, so he gave up and had to stop.

MLA: Grant, Michael. Chapter Thirty-fourGone. New York: HarperTeen, 2008. 436. Print.

Champions Relfection

The thing that I liked most about our Champions project was that we had so much freedom to do things on our own. I liked how there was an outline but there weren’t strict steps for everything. One of the things that I really liked in this project was when we got long periods just to work on whatever we needed to get done. I really liked this because we had a big chunk of time to focus and finish everything up.

I think that something that helped me learn well was the peer checks that we did. This really helped me because I was able to get a lot of feedback from others. I was able to get feedback  from another point of view that I had that I had never really thought of, which helped me make my work a lot better.

Something that I found really hard in this unit was the timeline. This was hard for me because there isn’t a lot of information about Melinda Gates because not many people know who she is. This made is really hard for me to find things about her and then to find important events in her life.

If I were to do this project again, I would choose somebody who is a little more famous than Melinda Gates. I would do this because, like I said before, the research was a little hard for me since Melinda Gates is not very famous. I think that if I choose somebody who is more famous, I can find more information on him/her, and can improved my work.

I think that next year, facebook should be an option for a free choice instead of a mandatory assignment. I think this because since there was a template it was pretty easy to accomplish, easier than the other assignments.