I am enjoying both books so far. The House on Mango Street is very refreshing to read especially the mental visuals I can create personally due to Sandra Cisnero's writing. In the other book, A Long Way Gone, it is much more intense. Ishmael Beah also paints a picture I can visualize with his descriptions and details about his life. I would say I am a bit more interested overall with A Long Way Gone due to wanting to read about how he continues to survive these awful times in his life.
I would say my active reading habits are decent. The markings in my books have definitely helped so far with our discussions in class as far as key points as well as parts of the reading that make an impact on me. I have not added any writing in my books as far as key details besides our "nutshell" assignment along with bracketing one word to search for it's definition. It is also nice to hear what other classmates have selected and highlighted in their books from their point of view and opinions. Another key point about active reading for me personally would be that I have applied it to my human biology class notes and that has helped finding answers to questions a few times already.
A Long Way Gone - Chapter 9 - "Surviving Alongside the Atlantic Ocean"
My nutshell for this chapter is written on the last page of chapter nine in my book as follows:
"Ishmael and his current group run into a fishing village that does not welcome them.
They eventually meet a fisherman who helps until he can no longer do so.
The villagers capture them again, but the chief tells them to go after an explanation of their journey."
The vocabulary word I have decided to select is soukous found on page 59 referring to "soukous dance" in the text. The definition from Wikipedia is as follows: "Soukous is a popular genre of dance music that
originated in the Congo basin during the 1940s, strongly influenced by
Congolese rumba. The style gained popularity in the 80s" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soukous
My reasoning for selecting soukous is that this was a time in which Ishmael and his group were having fun together and finally were briefly able to temporarily enjoy life. This part of the story is one of the first in which the group is actually in a situation in which they were not living in fear of rebels attacking them.
A theme, as well as a challenge, for this chapter would be survival. There are multiple instances of survival. We begin with Ishmael and his group once again waking up to survive another day in their lives. As Ishmael and his group approach the huts hoping to get some help, it unfortunately backfires and the fishermen/villagers attack them to protect themselves as well as their village.
The fisherman/villager that was kind enough to let them stay in his fishing hut as well as help them heal their feet ruined from the scorched sand obviously gambled by helping them. At the time he did put himself in a survival situation not knowing what they were possibly capable of until he realized what Ishmael and his group were experiencing. The fisherman/villager also put himself at risk by not allowing his fellow villagers to know he was helping Ishmael and the group. I'm sure if the village found out the fisherman along with his wife would have faced some sort of punishment.
The direct quote I am selecting is (page 61) "As we sat in silence, the man whose hut we occupied came in. He stopped at the door, and was about to turn around when he noticed our suffering. His eyes met our frightened faces." and the reason I selected this quote would be that I can personally relate to the fisherman/villager. If presented that situation, I would do my best to help Ishmael and his group out. Obviously the fisherman/villager knew, or could at least sense, that they were not a threat and lost on their journey.