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Pages and Files
Art of Racing in the Rain
Book of Lost Things
Chant to Soothe
Curious Incident 1
Curious Incident 2
Cutting for Stone
Devil in the White City
For the Win
Half a Life
The Help 2
In Cold Blood
Koko Be Good
Life of Pi 1
Life of Pi 2
Lost Symbol 2
Miracle of St. A's
Other Wes Moore
Pride & Prejudice
Red & Me
Thousand Splendid Suns
Thousand Splendid Suns 2
Town Called Alice
Where Men Win Glory
Year of Living Biblically
Jacob Smith (junior)
Location: Mr. Farrington's Room
by Emma Donoghue
• Introductions (Name, grade, ex.)
• Opinion of the book and why?
• What did you care most about in the book?
• Describe your leveling of understanding
• How did you respond to a certain character?
2. Run though characters
• As a whole group, make a master list of all significant characters
• Go around the group and each person says one thing about the character
• Go through the process with other important characters.
3. Three A's
• What part(s) of the text affect you? In pairs find passages that impact you
• What do you Agree with in the passages
• What do you Argue with in the text.
4. Brief discussion of what you think is the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
5. Choose a partner and describe the book in ten words or less.
6. Another Point of View:
1. Choose a scene or longer passage that is ripe for discussion.
2. Together, examine how the story is narrated. Describe the narrator’s position, level of power, and tone. Open discussion for three minutes or until you’ve covered it.
3. After you feel content with the discussion in #2, re-examine the scene from another character’s or narrator’s point of view, especially a person who has a different level of power than the narrator.
4. Discuss the scene/passage openly from both points of view.
7. Book specific questions:
• Why does Jacks mother never let Old Nick meet Jack until they escape?
• How would this story have been different if Ma had been the narrator?
• Thoughts on the long term effects on primarily Jack (as his entire life was spent in Room until the escape), but also Ma?
• Why does the author choose to make everything in room a noun?
• How do you think Jack’s life will be affected later because of his experiences in Room?
• What do you think was going through Ma's mind when she first woke up in room?
• How do you think grandma reacted when she saw her daughter on tv when she thought she was dead?
__Link to an interview with Emma Donoghue__
____New York Times Review...Might generate some ideas____
- The main character. The book begins on his fifth birthday. He lives in the shed with his mother, but after their escape he begins to learn what the outside world is like. Other than characters such as Dora that Jack knows from watching TV his mother is really the only person he knows.
- Also known as "Ma" throughout the course of the book, she was kidnapped at the age of 19. Old Nick keeps Ma in a shed known as "room" in his backyard. She is continuously violated by Old Nick, and eventually she becomes pregnant with Jack. As Jack gets older Ma is constantly thinking of a way to escape. In my opinion Ma is very determined and stubborn. Occasionally she would take days to herself while her and Jack stayed in "room." Those days were spent in bed with little to no noise coming from Jack.
- Old Nick is the man who kidnapped Ma. He lives in a large house all alone, and he constantly takes advantage of Ma. He's not allowed to see Jack at all, but every Sunday him and Ma receive what's called a "Sunday treat." In the few discussions that Ma and Old Nick have the reader can clearly tell he's an angry man. He repeatedly shuts off the electricity in "room" and leaves Ma to fend for herself and Jack.
- He's Ma's brother. During Ma's stay in the hospital Paul takes care of Jack.
- Jack's step-grandfather, also known as "Steppa." Him and Jack tend to get along quite well throughout the course of the book.
- She has a hard time with Jack when he's without Ma
Creative Writing Pieces:
Book Soundtrack - Meagan Lambert
Song Number One: Never Grow Up - Taylor Swift.
This song talks about staying a child forever, and how everything only gets harder as you get older. It’s from the perspective of an older sister watching her younger sister grow up. As a child we have no regrets. In my choice book, Room Jack, the main character starts to learn what the world is at the age of five. Jack knows the world as a one-room shed that he shares with his mom before his fifth birthday. When him and his mother come up with a plan to escape he is forced to learn what exists outside of his comfort zone. As the book continues and time passes Jack so clearly starts to lose some of his innocence. I chose “Never Grow Up” because while reading the book I began to care about Jack, as if he were a real person. Watching him grow up and start to realize what the world actually is made me regret his escape.
Song Number Two: Chains - Tina Arena
Although not all of the lyrics in this song go along with the idea of Room one of the verses relates to how both Jacks mom and Jack felt while trapped in the shed. “I pretend I can always leave,free to go whenever I please, but then the sound of my desperate calls, echo off these dungeon walls.” One of their daily events was to scream as loud as they possibly could while standing on the table, the closest way to get to the only window they had, the skylight. After so many years there was just a lost sense of hope, but they still tried. Jack’s mom spent most of her time spent in the shed trying to think of a way her and her son could escape.
Song Number Three: When You’re Gone - Avril Lavigne
Shortly after Jack and his mom escape his mom is put in the hospital for trying to commit suicide. Jack is then forced to stay with his grandparents, and is not permitted to see his mother. As you can probably imagine Jack is very confused when this happens. He begins to act out because he misses his mom. “When You’re Gone” is about someone who misses a loved one. “When you’re gone the pieces of my heart are missing you. When you’re gone the things I came to know are missing too.” Jacks mom is everything he knows, which is why I chose that song.
Song Number Four: Broken - Lifehouse
Although this book is from a five year old's point of view while reading it you can’t help but understand the kind of constant pain that Jacks mother goes through everyday. The first verse in “Broken” explains what I think she must feel like. “The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight. Maybe it can’t stop tomorrow from stealing all our time. I am here still waiting, though I still have my doubts. I am damaged at best, like you’ve already figured out.” There’s no doubt about it, anyone would be damaged after going through the events the occurred in this book. I also really like the line about waiting. Jacks mom had been waiting for the right time to escape since she was first kidnapped at the age of 19. She didn’t get the chance until the age of 27.
Song Number Five: Kristy Are You Doing Okay? - Offspring
Throughout her time there Jack’s mom was raped many times. This song talks about the damage that can be done to a persons mental health when dealing with something like that. “Don’t waste your whole life trying to get back something taken away.” As said above shortly after escaping she tries to commit suicide because she can’t find a way to help herself get over the emotional stress that was put upon her while living in the shed. I chose this song because that line suggests trying to move on, and living for the moment.
Book Soundtrack - Taylor Sisk
1. “Hero” by Mariah Carey
“Hero” by Mariah Carey can be connected to Room in two ways. It can be a song for both Ma and Jack. In Jack’s case he needed to get the courage to do both plan A and plan B and escape. In the lines: “Look inside you and be strong. And you'll finally see the truth. That a hero lies in you” the song explains how Jack had to be brave when he was pretending to be dead and running to find help. Jack became the hero to Ma. The song can also be about Ma. Mariah Carey sings, “But don't let anyone tear them away. Hold on. There will be tomorrow. In time you'll find the way.” Ma was kidnapped and held captive for seven years. She tried escaping through the floor and ended up finding a fence under the floor. She tried screaming, but the shed is sound proof. She also tries smacking Old Nick on the head with the toilet seat cover when he opened the door so she could run away. She could not get out and she lost all hope but in time she found a way to escape with Jack. This song would have given Ma hope that things would get better.
2. “A Little Bit Longer” by the Jonas Brothers
This song is good for the sound track of Room and in telling what Ma is feeling and thinking, “All this time goes by. Still no reason why. A little bit longer and I'll be fine. Waitin' on a cure, but none of them are sure.” Ma is kidnapped, raped almost daily, and she is in this little shed behind Old Nick’s house for years. No one can tell her why this has happened to her. No one can make everything completely better. No matter what, she has spent those seven years in the shed and that can never be completely erased. After she was released, the doctors try to figure out ways to make everything more bearable though. While in the Cumberland Clinic, Ma over doses on her medicine and has to stay for a while while Jack stays at his grandparents house; “Got the news today. Doctors said I had to stay. A little bit longer and I'll be fine” On the phone, that is what Ma tells Jack. That the doctors said she has to stay a little bit longer and when she is okay to leave she surprises Jack at his grandparents. This song by the Jonas Brothers is about Nick Jonas getting diabetes, but it can also apply to other hardships in life.
3. "Skyscraper" by Demi Lovoto
This song is a song of empowerment. If there was dialogue between Ma and Old Nick where Ma tells him what she is thinking, this would be the song: “Do you have to make me feel like there's nothing left of me?” Ma knows everyday that he is coming and she sits there just waiting for those beeps that mean the door is about to open. That was her life until Jack was born. Then she would play with Jack all day until those beeps sounded and then she would hide him in the wardrobe so that Jack would not be seen by Old Nick; “You can take everything I have. You can break everything I am like I'm made of glass, like I'm made of paper. Go on and try to tear me down. I will be rising from the ground like a skyscraper” Old Nick can have his way with her but she will survive him. She is going to get her life back.
4. "God's Will" by Martina McBride
Will, in Martina McBride’s song "God's Will," is like Jack in Room. Jack and Will both don’t walk so well. Will doesn’t walk well because of a disability and needs braces on his legs which Jack doesn’t need. Jack has just been in one room all his life and never needed to look at things far away or really gauge where or how close an object is to him. Because of that, he runs into things a lot. Another way they are similar is that they both beat incredible odds and don’t have a father; “He was a boy without a father and his mother's miracle.” To Ma it was a miracle when she had Jack by herself and he lived and was healthy. The two boys always had faith and would pray, but never about themselves. They are going through totally different things in their lives but have these things in common, which is why this song could be on the playlist for Room.
5. “She Thinks His Name was John” by Reba McEntire
This song is about a woman who has her life change in a second. “But there is one she can't put her fingers on. There is one who never leaves her thoughts and she thinks his name was John” The woman in the song meets a guy by chance and spends the night with him. She gets Aids that night and it changes her life forever. The same goes with Ma. She just happened to be the girl that Old Nick asked to help find his dog. It could have turned out differently if she had not gone to the parking lot at that time. She could have been earlier or later and her whole life would have turned out differently. There would not have been a Jack. Old Nick is the one man that never leaves Ma’s thoughts just like that stranger will never leave the woman in the song’s thoughts.
Escape Scene from Perspective of Ma - Joss Richards-Daniels
We wait. We wait for what seems like hours, Jack rolled inside that filthy rug, me on the bed. Perhaps this plan is mad, perhaps I have gone mad, but what other choice do we have? I can’t bear it any longer in this prison, with so much neglect, so much pain. Jack is all I have.
My heart pounding, I begin to panic. So much could go wrong! What if he, Old Nick, as Jack calls him, is suspicious or sees that Jack is still alive? God knows what would happen. I may never see my son again. What if Jack can’t get out of the rug? What if he loses the note and can’t speak? I’m the only one he’s ever spoken to in his five years. What if he hurts himself, or gets caught by Old Nick, or...
The door. I see Jack jump a little. Please, Jack, please be my brave little prince I say in my head while briefly stroking his hair.
“Here you go, antibiotics, only just past the sell-by. For a kid you break them in half, the guy said,” says Nick. I stay quiet, preparing myself.
“Where is he, in the wardrobe?” A pause. “Is he in the rug? Are you crazy, wrapping a sick kid up like that?”
“You didn’t come back,” my voice is small and my throat choked up. “he got worse last night and this morning he wouldn’t wake up.” Am I convincing enough?
Nick says mockingly, “Are you sure?”
“Am I sure?” I raise my voice, screaming it. I can’t help it. I have never been so terrified.
“Ah, no,” he sighs. “That’s just terrible. You poor girl, you–”
Is he playing? Oh, please, God, let him believe me...
He says something I don’t hear. “You killed him!” I shout. He tells me to calm down. I think he’s convinced.
“How can I calm down when Jack’s–” I start hyperventilating, tears streaming, so much sweat...all the more real looking, but I’m not completely faking. He moves towards Jack. “Don’t touch him.”
“Ok, Ok! You can’t keep him here.”
“I know, it’s a terrible thing, But I’ve got to take him away now.”
“No.” What’s the word? Reverse psychology? I don’t remember, but I hope it will help.
“How long’s it been? This morning, you said? Maybe in the night? He must be starting to–it’s not healthy, keeping him here.” As if we weren’t rotting already. “I better take him and, and find a place.”
“Not in the backyard–You never should have done that, it’s too close. If you bury him there I’ll hear him crying.” I remember my first child. I can’t lose another one. Please, let this work.
“I said OK.” He sounds annoyed.
“You have to drive him a long way away, all right?” Oh no, was that suspicious?
“All right. Let me–”
I resist a bit more, partly to be more believable, partly to stay with my Jack for just another moment. I make Nick swear not to unwrap him, to even look at him. “I’ll know,” I cry. “I’ll know if you put him in the backyard, and I’ll scream every time that door opens, I’ll tear the place apart, I swear I’ll never be quiet again. You’ll have to kill me too to shut me up, I just don’t care anymore.” That should seal it.
“Take it easy.” He’s talking carefully and slowly now, like I’m insane. Am I? “I’m going to pick him up now and carry him to the truck, OK?”
“Gently. Find somewhere nice. Somewhere with trees or something.” I don’t know if he can understand me, I’m crying so hard. I miss trees, and Jack’s never seen any. He’s never seen anything, really. Soon enough, I think, soon enough...
“Sure. Time to go now.” He’s impatient.
“Jack, Jack, Jack,” I squeeze his shoulder one last time, and that’s our goodbye. Nick lifts him and soon they’re out the door. I can only pray that he doesn’t see Jack breath or move. Come on, Jack, be brave, be my Prince JackerJack. I talk to him in my head, just like I promised. If only he could hear.
Now I just have to wait. It’s the hardest part, the longest hour of my life..
So many thoughts run through my head, so many worries. Images of Jack coughing before Nick gets him in the truck, of him crying out when Nick drops him in the back, Jack struggling to unwrap the rug. Another worry: what if he can’t remember the plan?
Dead, Truck, Wriggle Out, Jump, Run, Somebody, Note, Police, Blowtorch. I keep saying to Jack. Even if he can’t hear it, it gives me some comfort. Almost out, I think, almost out. A painful hour goes by, and I’m stuck with only a mixture of bleak and horrific memories along with concerns. Where are they now? Is Jack at Run or maybe evenPolice? Did Nick catch him?
I start pacing. I don’t know how long it’s been. I don’t know how this will turn out. It will either be the best or the worst. I pace. I pace and I pray.
Bam! It’s a shotgun. Then, just like that, it’s open.
A burst of fresh air. I’m in hysterics. After seven long years, freedom at last! I grab the officer, sobbing, “Thank you, thank you! Oh my god, thank you!” They say something, but I ignore them. I have to see Jack. He’s in the police car, banging on the window. I run over to him and scoop him up, hugging tight. “We did it! Well, you did it, really.”
“I kept messing up the plan,” Jack says, shaking his head, expecting me to be disappointed.
“You saved me.” I kiss him. My Jack, my Prince JackerJack. My life, my savior.
Poems - Hannah Felker
Me, stuck in a rug
Remember the list mom made
Note, police, blowtorch
(From the perspective of Jack when he is stuck in the rug and reciting what he has left to do in the plan Ma and him made.)
Old Nick’s Haiku
You, come to my truck
My dog is sick and needs help
You’re mine forever
(From the perspective of Old Nick when he is kidnapping Ma.)
Where is my family?
Will they ever come for me?
How do I get out?
(From the perspective of Ma just after she is put in Room.)
I hold on to hope
She must be out there somewhere
I will not give up
(From the perspective of Ma’s mom after Ma has been reported missing.)
I know she is dead
No one could survive this long
Please, just let her go
(From the perspective of Ma’s father when he has given up hope on finding his daughter and wishing his wife would do the same.)
Once There Was and Now There Is
There was a time when dogs were just T.V.
When there was one Lamp and one Rug
When Dora and Ma were my only friends
When Ma was my only family
When I could only get special treats on Sunday
When Old Nick could come and squeak the bed
When I could have some
There was a time when all there was was Room
Now dogs are real life
Now Dora is just T.V.
Now there are so many of everything that I can not count them all
Now I have a Grandma, a Grandpa, a Steppa, an Uncle, an Aunt, and a cousin
Now Ma and I can buy whatever we want whenever we what
Now Old Nick is going to jail
Now there is no more left
Now there is a whole world to explore
(A free verse poem about how Jacks life has changed since he lived in Room.)
Five Years Later - Jake Smith
Today I got to to 10. I mean, I turned 10. I get so self-conscious whenever I speak wrong. I don’t remember that much from Room, and my ma refuses to let me see the unauthorized Lifetime movie about those seven years she was trapped there. She says it’s because Brittany Spears doesn’t do Ma any justice, but I know that’s a joke. I feel like there’s something about me that everyone else knows that I can’t remember and it makes me crazy sometimes. We both try not to think about it, and I’m glad to be normal. Few people recognize me, even just some weeks after we got out. I started school late, so this autumn I get to go to the fourth grade. Ma and I always still talk about everything, so she asks me about school a lot.
“Are you learning anything really cool at school?” asked Ma.
“Today Mr. Beir read a book about shooting stars and outer space.” I’ve been to many parts of the world with Ma since I was 5, and every time someone talks about outer space, I can’t almost believe that it is impossible to see everything and that everyone on Earth is less than one bit of dust in the whole universe.
“Really truly? Once when I was young, I wanted to go to the moon. Maybe that can be our next trip? What do ya say, astronaut Jacker Jack?”
I look up at her and I smile really big, because she called me Jacker Jack. She’s the only person that I’ve met who calls me that, and I love it.
“Tonight! What’s a better birthday ... surprise.” I forgot not to say treat. I do remember getting a Sunday treat from Old Nick, and that’s one word I don’t like saying. Treat.
“Oh darn it all, I forgot, there’s no room for Uncle Paul and Deana and Bronwyn! Tomorrow we can go and see all the planets.”
I can’t believe I forgot Bronwyn and Uncle Paul and Deana are going to come tonight. Sometimes when I joke with Ma, we forgot stuff. Forgetting should be bad, but I like this kind.
5 Years Later - Sam Valach
“geez, I wish this red light would hurry up and change....I don’t want to be late for Jack’s game!” Jack’s mother was excited to see her son play.
As she pulled into the parking lot, she saw the team lining up on the side lines of the football field. Her phone had started to ring, it was her mother checking in. “ Hows everything going” says her mother.
“ Good, everything is settling down now after my business had opened up” says ma.
“ That’ s good how’s jack doing I remember he was very nervous to start his new school this year after making all these friends last year here at Roosevelt Elementary”
“ Jack is doing well.He likes school he has made some friends and he even tried out for the football team.”
“ Thats good, did he make the team?”
“ Yes, thats where I am right now, you should come to one of the games, he would really like to see you since its been almost six months since we left.”
“ Alright I would love to come just let me know when it is and I would love to come.”
“ Ok well I got to go Jack’s team is being called up, love you.”
“ love you too, tell Jack that I said good luck and I love him.”
“ Ok, I will bye.”
She heads down to the field and sits next to her best friend Ariana, which is Jack’s best friend, Tyler’s, mother. They both had got on the team and they were so proud of both of them.
Jack looks over and sees Ma and Ariana. He went to go get Tyler to tell them that they were there at the first game of the season. Tyler always wanted to ask Jack how it was being locked in the room with no windows or any connection to the outside world, but he never had the courage to ask because he knew Jack and Ma didn’t want to talk about it. Tyler knew that they were locked in there for a very long time.He was happy that they got out because he and Jack are best friends and Jack was his first friend that he got along with, and he didn’t want to risk that by asking anything about the room.
The game had ended up to be thirty to twenty-seven. Jacks team had won by a field goal, and they were very excited. Ma was very happy for Jack, now after being out of the room for five years, he had became more independent, he does not always want to be by ma’s side anymore. When Jack went to see Ma he was very excited. When they were walking to the car, he saw a truck pull in and it was a chevy. He always knew who that truck belonged to so he got really happy to see it pull in. They parked right next to Ma’s car,got out,and the truck pulled away. It was Brad, Jack’s step dad. He missed his first football game, which was ok with Jack because he knows Brad is in a very busy work place and he can’t always make it to sports games. Jack gave him a hug and told him that his team had won the game. Brad was so proud of him.
Tyler and Ariana walked over to say hi to Brad and ask if they wanted to go get pizza. They went to Pizza Hut, for the sports special.
On the way to Tyler’s house to get him for a sleep over, Jack was telling his Ma and Brad how his first day of school went and how he likes his teachers and classes.
“ Did the counselor come and talk to you today?” asked Ma
“ Ya, and that helped a little bit with my fear of being the new kid” say’s Jack
“ Well i’m glad”
“ You know bud, you have done pretty well in the past three years that I have known you” say’s Brad.
“ Thanks” say’s Jack.
They pulled in to Tyler’s house and he got in and they left. They went to grandma’s house also because Jack kept begging to go and see her to give her something he made for her for her birthday. He wanted to tell her about the game. When they got there she wasn’t home so they left. At the red light at the end of grandma’s street they turned left onto Washington, Ma and Brad were hoping that Jack didn’t remember that street or the house. When they came up on it there was the yellow tape around the house and the shed still that said “Do not enter”.
“The cops are still trying to investigate I guess” says Ma.
“ Don’t worry about it, you are free now” says brad.
“ Ya your right” says Ma.
“ I just hope” .. Jack Interrupts her
“ Ma isn’t that the shed?”
“ Yes Jack” says Ma
“ But let’s not talk about it anymore. You are free now” say Brad
“ Ok” says Jack
They drove by the house and Tyler just looked and then felt bad, but he had noticed that they are happy and living there lives. They had left the street to know that they will never go down it again because it brings back to many memories for the both of them. They now have successful lives that they both want to live and not have to worry about Old Nick coming back to get them anytime soon.
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