reflectiveteacher2014

reflectively assessing my professional goals

Virtues of blogging- case#1 validation

Virtues of blogging… Obviously the post below validates my students learning but it validates my learning too. As I acquire skills, expand experiences and develop attitudes from my own blogging, I can conceive of ways to implement deeper thinking in my students using theses tools. If I can visualize my learning that’s great but if I cannot exploit my learning to teach better then its just recreation.

http://kssreads.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/the-steampunk-chronicles-the-girl-in-the-steel-corset-kady-cross/

By all means, comment at the above original post so the author can indeed feel some validation.

Between a fellow librarian and an English teacher, lunch table banter about a motivated senior student arose. “She wants to write”, someone asked.
My immediate reaction was send her to me. I have to interview this girl and maybe make her a library staff blogger? Why not write some book reviews or essays that she could curate for college or job application? If nothing else she could get practice but what I really wish for initially, if most of the pieces fit, is give her a venue for independence, responsibility and validation. We met for a job interview. I coached then prepped her on the blog platform and gave her the keys.

Here is the inaugural result.

Reblog from : KSSREADS by Dharmaayla, Kelowna Secondary School

Overview:

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the “thing” inside her.When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no “normal” Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of “them.” The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin’s investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help–and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff’s little company of strays apart, and it isn’t long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she’s on–even if it seems no one believes her.

Rating: 3.5 to 4 out of 5 (varied throughout the book)

Review: When I first saw this novel on the library shelf, I was very intrigued by the title. It sounded very dark, mysterious and suspenseful. I was right in a way. The plot was exactly as I just described it but the way the author (Cross, Kady) worded the situations and the characters’ thoughts didn’t fit the darkness of the plot.

But once I got into the book, it didn’t take me long to forget about the way she wrote. I was so entranced with everything that was happening I definitely could not put the book down. Cross created the perfect recipe for a book by adding just the right amount of action, romance, conflict (between others and oneself), predictability, and suspense and frustration.

When Finley Jayne joins this band of “misfits”, she is immediately swept into helping Griffin find The Machinist and destroy his plans to take over England. She must go undercover and discover what rumors are being spread about him and she is forced to use her “other side” constantly in battle (and against her peers, at times). Also, the others must join her. Sam, a mandroid, is the strangest man in England and must help Finley defeat some of the Machinist’s automatons. Emily, a machine genius and (SPOILER ALERT) machine-speaker (can understand and talk to machines) must put her skills to the test as she is up against The Machinist and his indestructible automatons. Jasper, an american cowboy that can move very fast, also used his ability to his advantage against The Machinist by moving so fast they could barely see him. And finally, Griffin King. His connection to Aether is probably the most dangerous and lethal ablility out of all of them. (SPOILER) At the end of the book, Griff and The Machinist go head to head for what they believe in. All the fighting kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting for more. Once I got into the book, there was barely time to breathe.

There wasn’t too mush romance at the beginning, which was refreshing. But as the book went along, Finley and Griffin grew closer and began to feel affections for each other. Neither of them knew that the other one liked them back though. Finley was scared she was too much of a low-life to ever tempt the richest man in England into marrying her, and even if she did, she didn’t want to ruin his reputation. Griffin was afraid that Finley did not like him back, and did not want to make any unwanted advances. Also, Sam and Jasper were both fighting for Emily’s affection and she had to chose one or the other. cross did a very good job in showing the struggle going through Emily’s mind. I also really enjoyed the growing friendship between Finley and Emily. As the book went along, you could tell they were both grateful to have someone to talk to and share their feelings with. They were true best friends. This is always very nice and refreshing to see, since there is always either too much action or too much romance, and not a lot of simple moments between friends and family.

They way Cross explained Finley’s inner struggle with herself was very good. I could understand her pain immediately. She didn’t want to be a person where she couldn’t control her bad side, but she also thought she deserved to live with it because of all the things she had done. It is very easy to relate to her situation. Should she leave because she didn’t deserve such hospitality and kindness, or should she stay because she hated the other thing inside her and she needed to learn to control it. At one point in the book, Finley runs away because she blacked out for the first time and she couldn’t remember what her other side was doing. She was accused of murder the same day and the trauma of possibly having killed someone was too much for her to bear and she runs away and stays with a very handsome, very cunning criminal named Jack Dandy.

Overall, I found this book very entertaining and I was very satisfied with my having read it. Yes, it was very good. Yes, I was excited to read the second one. Yes, I would buy it and read it again.

Review by: dharmaayla

  • Next week, read the review of Dearly, Departed
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