All My Rage takes us from Lahore, Pakistan (then) to recount the story of Misbah and Toufiq (who are Salahudin’s parents) to (now) in Juniper, California to join the stories of Salahudin and his best-friend, Noor.
Noor is a Pakistani orphan who comes to live with her uncle in America, and she plans to make good on her second chance at life. Noor becomes lovingly entwined in Sal’s family, supported and cared for when she feels like an outsider everywhere else. But life is messy and complicated. Noor unwittingly falls in love with Sal; Sal makes a series of poor decisions to try and keep his family afloat; Noor tries to navigate attending college when her uncle forbids it; Sal tries to hide his father’s alcoholism and grieves for his mother– and they face it all while both intensely hating and tenderly loving each other.
It is a fantastic YA novel told in three points of view– tackling issues of Islamophobia, alcoholism, and domestic violence; while also exploring the pressures of highschool, the heartbreak of family, the beauty of friendship and the gift of forgiveness and compassion. Heartbreaking and tender, well worth the read.
Trigger warnings: drug and alcohol addiction, physical abuse, Islamophobia, sexual assault, tense exchange with law enforcement and death.
Snapshot of the book in my classroom
There are some craft study moves worth noticing in our Writer’s Notebook. Tahir makes some writerly craft choices worth exploring: using repetition, italics, and single word sentences that follow the rule of three. The first repetition is the italicized “Bang. Bang. Bang” taken from her reference to a song which is punctuated with the actual sound of gunshots. (Many young readers will likely get this reference.) Her next paragraph employs the rule of three: the names of the three Universities that she has been rejected from in single word sentences, one after another– just like the gunshots. And, followed by yet another magic three: the repetition of the word rejection. Each letter, each rejection, are like gunshots to her hopes.
“The letters come in hard and fast. Like the gunshots in M.I.A’s “Paper Planes.” Bang. Bang. Bang.
Yale. Columbia. Cornell.
Rejected. Rejected. Rejected.”
The book itself is divided into six parts. Each part opens with a stanza from Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “One Art.” Noor selects the poem for her English analysis essay because she liked the first sentence. Or, she amends: “Well. Sort of. Mostly I picked it because it’s short. But it’s also weird. It’s about misplacing stuff, like keys and houses. How the hell do you misplace a house?”
But it is really about accepting loss as inevitable. And so is this novel.
Tahir gives us Noor’s inner thoughts as she reveals the veneer of Noor’s college admission essays, juxtapossing the truth next to what she actually submits.
“A problem I solved. (Truth: heartbreak. What I wrote: a poor English grade.)
A life-altering experience. (Truth: my entire family dying and the smell of their bodies rotting around me. What I wrote: working at Juniper Hospital.)
My biggest life challenge. (Truth: they don’t want to know. What I wrote: bullying in highschool.)” (p.110)
Noor struggles to understand the poem, to get at the heart of it, to make sense of what Bishop is saying. She reworks the paper over time– and her final draft is excellent, because she knows what loss really is.
“One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop
The art of losing isn’t hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went. The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident the art of losing’s not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
Snapshot of the book in my life
Throughout the novel Noor is plugged into music or at the very least referring to it. Here is (a mostly complete) Noor’s Playlist. It already has some songs I do love, wonder what else I may discover? Check it out here.
As the school year was crawling to a slow, hot, close I realised that I had not even had the energy to build a summer reading stack ( a task I usually adore). I turned to Facebook and asked friends to send me their recommendations. This is actually a brilliant exercise to take you outside of genre, comfort, and into books that may easily be overlooked or never discovered at all. Look out for shout outs to those who recommended the books that found their way in to my stack!
Here are the books that I devoured in the month of July!
Lesswas reccommended by my friend, Bonnie Creber. It was the perfect, lighthearted way to begin enjoying summer break. There were a few things appealing about this story– Arthur Less is a failed novelist who is celebrating his fiftieth; a wedding invitation to attend his ex-boyfriend’s wedding has him seriously reflecting on his life and his decisions. What ensues is a madcap tour around the world (accepting all of the invitaions and cobbling them in to a grand voyage). It is slightly silly, and then full of sadness and longing. It is written beautifully (it won a Pulitzer). Two snaps.
There is no Arthur Less without the suit. Bought on a whim, in that brief era of caprice three years ago when he threw caution (and money) to the wind and flew to Ho Chi Minh City to visit a friend on a work trip, searching for air-conditioning in that humid, moped-plagued city, found himself in a tailor shop, ordering a suit. Drunk on car exchaust and sugarcane, he made a series of rash decisions, gave his home address, and by the next morning had forgotten all about it. Two weeks later, a package arrived in San Fransisco. Perplexed, he opened it and pulled out a medium blue suit, lined in fuschia, and sewn with his initials: APL. A rose-water smell from the box summoned, instantly, a dictatorial woman with a tight bun, hectoring him with questions. The cut, the buttons, the pockets, the collar. But most of all: the blue. Chosen in haste from a wall of fabrics: not an ordinary blue. Peacock? Lapis? Nothing gets close. Medium but vivid, moderately lustrous, definitely bold. Somewhere between ultramarine and cyanide salts, between Vishnu and Amon, Israel and Greece, the logos of Pepsi and Ford. In a word: bright. He loved whatever self had chosen it and after that wore it constantly. Even Freddy approved: "You look like someone famous!" And he does. Finally, at his advanced age, he has struck the right note. He looks good, and he looks like himself. Without it, somehow he does not. Without the suit, there is no Arthur Less. (Greer, p. 25).
Ummm. This one was weird. Really weird. It’s hard to write about why I struggled with it. Suffice it to say, I felt weird reading it and wanted to hide it from my son when he looked over my shoulder while I was reading. The main character is relatably flawed, awkwardly vulnerable, and at a white-wine- guzzling-rock-bottom when her boyfriend leaves her and she uproots to house and dog sit in Venice Beach. She is terrible to her sister’s dog, I hated that part. She is cutting and pointed in her observations and summations about others. Again, made me uncomfortable, but okay. But the merman erotica? Just couldn’t get into it. Thanks to Jake Stillwell for taking me out of my comfort zone– but a miss nonetheless. Oh Snap!
Broder is best known as the woman behind the Twitter account @sosadtoday, which has six hundred and forty-nine thousand followers. Recent tweets include “in a threesome with anxiety and depression” and “unfortunately i’m very self-aware.” On her personal Twitter account, @melissabroder, she offers similar sentiments: “i’m gifted at finding ways to never seem like enough,” she wrote last month. She has also written four books of poetry, most recently “Last Sext.” In 2016, she published a collection of personal essays called “So Sad Today,” in which she grounded the universalized Internet sadness of her Twitter presence in concrete individual experience. She was twelve when she started dreaming about her family burning up in a house fire, thirteen when she started obsessing about the Holocaust. During adolescence, she could only orgasm when she imagined people vomiting. (The New Yorker, 2018.)
A compassionate and unflinching queer coming-of-age story. Little Dog writes a series of letters to his mother in order to make sense of his place in the world. She cannot read a word of it. Vuong is a daring writer– he goes where the hurt is, creating a novel saturated with yearning and ache. He stares down the violence, trauma, and pain and somehow uncovers the innocence, compassion and tenderness. Loved every minute of this story. Two snaps.
In that room, among the Star Wars poster (Empire Strikes Back) peeling above his unmade bed, among the empty root beer cans, the twenty-pound dumbbell, one half of a broken skateboard, the desk covered with loose change, empty gum packets, gas station receipts, weed crumbs, fentanyl patches and empty dime bags, coffee mugs ringed brown with old water and joint roaches, a copy of Of Mice and Men, empty shell casings from a Smith & Wesson, there were no questions. (Vuong, p.110)
I loved this book! The quote on the cover reads: “It’s like being wrapped up in a big gay blanket. Simply perfect.”
Reccommended to me by my colleague, Gabrielle Maillet, she had said it had Schitt’s Creek vibes– and I ran with that! (Love me some Rose Motel feel goodery.) It did not disappoint.
Linus Baker is rule-following case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He’s tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn.
The House in the Cerulean Sea is a beautiful story with fantastical characters (a sort of blobby slug want-to-be-hotel porter; a bearded female gardening gnome; a fairy sprite; a wyvern; a werewolf crossed Pomeranian and the purported son of Satan, nicknamed Lucy.) They live on a beautiful, secluded island where the inhabitants outwardly hate them, make up stories and rumours about them, and hang signs that say: “If you see something, say something.” Arthur arrives determined to do his job and report back on the intricacies of the orphanage, the children and Arthur– but he is taken up by the magic of the island and the love of a family. A saccharine-sweet cotton-candy-novel. Love wins. Two (loud) snaps.
Humanity is so weird. If we're not laughing, we're crying or running for our lives because monsters are trying to eat us. And they don't even have to be real monsters. They could be the ones we make up in our heads. Don't you think that's weird?
Another wonderful recommendation, this one from my colleague Catherine Tait.
Woodrow (Woody) Nickel takes us along for his journey of a lifetime to deliver two traumatized giraffes saved from a tumultous Atlantic crossing in New York to the San Diego zoo. Our 105 year-old narrator takes us back through the twelve-day journey that ever changed his life.
...I'm older than dirt.
And when you're older than dirt, you can get lost in time, in memory, even in space.
I'm inside my tiny four-walled room with the feeling that I've been... gone. I'm not even sure how long I've been sitting here. All night I think, stirring from my foggy mind to find myself surrounded by other old farts staring at a fancy TV. I remember the man on the screen talking about the last giraffess on earth and rushing over in my wheelchair to punch him. I remember being pushed back here quick and a nurse bandaging my bleeding knuckles.
Then I remember an orderly making me take a calm-down pill I didn't want to take.
But that's the last time I'll be doing that. Because right now, pencil in this shaky hand, I aim to write down one singular memory.
Fast as I can.
I could spend what I feel in my bones is my life's last clear hours to tell you of the Dust Bowl. Or the War. Or the French peonies. Or my wives, so many wives. Or the graves, so many graves. Or the goodbyes, so many goodbyes. Those memories come and go here at the end, if they come at all anymore. But not this memory. This memory is always with me, always alive, always within reach, and always in technicolor from deadly start to bittersweet finish, no matter how old I keep getting. And-- Red, Old Man, sweet Wild Boy and Girl-- oh, how I miss you.
All I have to do is close my worn-out eyes for the smallest of moments.
And it begins.
A great recommendation from my friend and former colleague, Janet Sloan. Eighteeen year-old Stella Sandell is accused of murder, and that changes everything.
The story is divided into three parts: the first told by the father, a pastor, who believes his daughter can only be innocent. The second part reveals the story from her mother’s view, a defense attorney, who believes no one is telling the truth. And finally from the perspective of Stella herself. Each shift in perspective is jarring–just when you think you understand these characters, the way others view them opens up new understandings of their skewed sense of reality. What lies will they tell (or believe?) to just be a normal, ordinary family again? Two snaps.
I believe this is deeply human. There's no understanding it if you've never experienced a direct and serious threat to yourself and your loved ones. You make irrational decisions and overstep boundaries as you never would otherwise. A person who can no longer flee must fight.
(Edvardsson, A Nearly Normal Family)
This was a blissful surprise. It was peripherally on my radar ( a few casual “you should read this”… had come my way)… and then I started listening to Dax Shepard’s podcast, “Armchair Expert” (recommended by colleagues and students alike) and while enjoying a sunny walk with my dog, Teddy, we listened to the interview with Matthew McConaughey. And then I bought a copy of Greenlights.
I love memoirs. And I absolutely love memoirs that start by saying they are not really memoirs. McConaughey opens this way:
THIS IS NOT A TRADITIONAL memoir. Yes, I tell stories from the past, but I have no interest in nostaligia, sentimentality, or the retirement most memoirs require. This is not an advice book either. Although I like preachers, I'm not here to preach and tell you what to do. This is an approach book. I am here to share stories, insights, and philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it.
This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life. Adventures that have been significant, enlightening, and funny, sometimes because they were meant to be but mostly because they didn't try to be. I'm optomistic by nature, and humour has been one of my great teachers. It has helped me deal with pain, loss, and lack of trust. I'm not perfect; no, I step in shit all the time and recognize when I do. I've just learned how to scrape it off my boots and carry on. (McConaughy, p. 3)
Reaching his fiftieth birthday, McConaughey became introspective and sat down with the diaries and journals he had been keeping most of his life. Within them he finds inspirational quotes, intricate poems, sketches and doodles, deep thinking, perceptive questions and sum-it-all-up bumper stickers that show who he was, who he became and who he has always wanted to be.
It’s a love letter. To life.
It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights – and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too. It is simply delightful.
McConaugheyconsiders himself a storyteller by occupation, believes it’s okay to have a beer on the way to the temple, feels better with a day’s sweat on him, and is an aspiring orchestral conductor.
In 2009, Matthew and his wife, Camila, founded the just keep livin Foundation, which helps at-risk high school students make healthier mind, body, and spirit choices. In 2019, McConaughey became a professor of practice at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as Minister of Culture/M.O.C. for the University of Texas and the City of Austin. McConaughey is also brand ambassador for Lincoln Motor Company, an owner of the Major League Soccer club Austin FC, and co-creator of his favorite bourbon on the planet, Wild Turkey Longbranch. Two (very exuberant) snaps.
This last school year was not like most of those I have experienced in my career. Not even my first year was as challenging as this one. For many different reasons, this year felt heavy and tumultous, unpredictable, and emotionally heavy. I didn’t find myself with the time nor energy to write about what I was reading. I did read, as I always do. But I guess I was just enjoying them on their own for what they brought me when I needed to escape, to learn, or to just be alone for a bit.
I still enjoy letting people know what books I have read, and what I enjoyed about them. So, today I felt like writing, and this seemed like a place to start getting back to that as well. Between February and June, in the last semester of school, I read seven books; this post gives a snaps to all of them together here, and can also be linked separately and searched by category.
Jenny Lawson is a vulnerable, courageous, and hilarious memoirist. I love the way she openly discusses depression and anxiety, and the hilarious way she does it. There are tough stories there too, but they are honest and brave. Jenny is relatable but eccentric– her life is broken, in the best way possible. Two Snaps.
Jenny has written two other memoirs: Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and they are amazing for all the same reasons. These memoirs are mirrors for those who struggle with mental health and wellness and windows in to the world of depression and anxiety for those who are reading to learn.
“I can tell you that ‘Just cheer up’ is almost universally looked at as the most unhelpful depression cure ever. It’s pretty much the equivalent of telling someone who just had their legs amputated to ‘just walk it off.’ ” (Lawson, Broken).
After just bingeing the Netflix series “The Crown” I fell in love with Kate Quinn weaving the story of Osla, a debutane World War II codebreaker and girlfriend to Prince Philip of Greece, in two vacellating stories: 1940 and 1947; allowing the reader to see past come to future, and, spoiler alert: Prince Philip doesn’t marry Osla. Three women’s stories are shared: Osla, Mab, and Beth are the codebreakers united at Bletchley Park past (1940), and now (1947) must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together before Philip marries Elizabeth. Two Snaps.
Kate Quinn is also the author of The Alice Network, which I have not yet read, but it has been highly recommended to me, and so I likely will.
"If you were a man and you wrote funny pieces about daily life, they called it satire. If you were a woman and you wrote funny pieces about daily life, they called it fluff." (Quinn, The Rose Code).
Reni’s book is a deeper exploration of her 2014 blog post of the same title. She explores issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism, to the inextricable link between class and race. Born of her frustration with discussions with white people about race, she offers solutions of how to counter racism. Hard not to judge a book by it’s cover here: the whitewashed and embossed “to white people”, from afar can look as if the title is “Why I’m No Longer Talking About Race” a visual representation the way white people are blind to the structural racism that benefits them. It’s that clever all the way through. Two Snaps.
“Not seeing race does little to deconstruct racist structures or materially improve the conditions which people of colour are subject to daily. In order to dismantle unjust, racist structures, we must see race. We must see who benefits from their race, who is disproportionately impacted by negative stereotypes about their race, and to who power and privilege is bestowed upon - earned or not - because of their race, their class, and their gender. Seeing race is essential to changing the system.” (Lodge, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race).
This was a professional read, obviously. It led me to enter Dueck’s Twitter contest by tweeting a photo of myself and Teddy with the book. We won!
Dueck skillfully delivers on topics that resonate with how I teach. Just as the title says: giving students a say is essential in empowering, engaging, and also in communicating student learning. I also strongly believe that in order to accurately report on a student’s learning, they must be a part of the conversation; they know how they learn; who they are, their strengths and areas for growth; and what they have learned: that’s essential information in student-centered pedagogy and essential insight into accurately assessing a student’s learning. From teachers they need: the why of their learning; you can’t hit a target you don’t see. It offers a necessary piece of triangulation evidence: conversations, amongst observations and products. Triangulation means using more than one method to collect data on the same topic. Giving students a say ensures the validity of the assessment: who knows more about their own learning than the learner? Two Snaps.
"If assessment means "to sit beside," we need to stop figuratively placing the learning outcomes on the table between us and our students, informing them of what's right and what's wrong, and instead slide our chair around to the same side of the table to facilitate a conversation. Assessment would then become a process by which we collectively strategize and codesign how we will best approach, evaluate, and report on the learning objectives. Students would ideally be able to demonstrate understanding over a period of time, drawing on examples and discussing challenges and what's been learned from these experiences. Just imagine the transformational potential if learning were to truly become a partnership between the teacher and the learner." (Dueck, Giving Students a Say).
Finding peace and happiness within a global pandemic wasn’t always easy– so this just sorted of landed when it needed to. Nina and Kate share stories and advice to put your life in perspective, take each day one step at a time, and find calm amid the chaos. It really is not worth worth holding onto sh*t.
Let That Sh*t Go has over 100 tips on how to find more peace and happiness in your everyday, a no-filter approach to mindfulness.The chapters are as follows:
Awareness: Goodbye Past & Future Worries
Self-love: What You Didn’t Learn in Middle School but Probably Should Have
Acceptance: You Can’t Control the Number of Instagram Likes You Get
Perspective: You Are Made of Fucking Stardust
Authenticity: There’s Only One Magical You
Forgiveness: It’s Time to Use the F-word
Behind the Screen: Finding Your Tech Zen
The Reveal: What the Fuck Did You Just Do? (Mindfulness)
Next Level: The Mind Workout (Meditation)
I am currently practicing yoga and the mantra of: leave it on the mat, while also practicing next level mind workouts by meditating. A good reminder to keep things in perspective. Two snaps.
Also helpful, this chart on when to give a f*ck:
If any of this sounds up your alley, may I also suggest:
I believe I am on the journey to fully master the subtle art of not giving a f*ck. Join me.
“Imagine if life were always simple and easy. You wouldn't appreciate the good times in the way you do if you haven't endured the bad. You wouldn't be who you are today without your challenges. It's what built your character. It's what made you value life the way you do. It wasn't fair that you had to go through what you did, but you are a different person because of what you experienced.”(Petriw & Purewal, Let That Sh*t Go).
Brene Brown has been accompanying me on my walks, in my earbuds, via Spotify, within her two amazing podcasts, Dare to Lead and Unlocking Us. I have been thoroughly enjoying the interviews and conversations. This led me to apply for a grant and launch a faculty book study for #daringeducators. Myself and 28 colleagues read, discussed, and bonded over the reading and weekly work of Dare to Lead. It was exactly what I needed in May of this year. I am grateful for our shared experience, and the amazing co-workers who committed to it.
Divided into four parts: rumbling with vulnerablity; living into our values; braving trust; and learning to rise– Brown shares two decades of research and experiences inside hundreds of organizations to give a practical, actionable book on what makes a daring leader.
She defines a leader as: “anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential” (Brown, p.4).
The heart of daring leadership?
1. You can’t get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability. Embrace the suck.
2. Self-awareness and self-love matter. Who we are is how we lead.
3. Courage is contagious. To scale daring leadership and build courage in teams and organizations, we have to cultivate a culture in which brave work, tough conversations, and whole hearts are the expectation, and armor is not necessary or rewarded.
Through the work, I defined my two values (she insists you must narrow down to only two) to: balance and learning. These are the values that define me. If I am at my best, I am learning and I am also in balance. These values also provide a filter to make hard decisions: am I leaning into my values? I need to balance work, play, and parenthood. When I must, I also evoke Walt Whitman’s quote as a mantra to remind myself to lean into my value to learn: “Be curious, not judgemental.” Seen also in one of my favourite Ted Lasso clips, an Apple TV series that should not be missed. You want feel good entertainment? Ted Lasso is your man.
I’m ready to rumble (with vulnerability and courage), and so are my colleagues!
“Tell me more— what are you thinking?” and respect his truth as a full truth, not just an off version of my truth.” (Brown, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.)
Angie Thomas takes us back seventeen years, to the Garden, where she first introduced us to Maverick Carter, unravelling the back story of Starr Carter’s dad (from Thomas’ previous novel, The Hate U Give) and his struggles with black mandhood: gangs, drugs, and parenthood.
Another clear YA win for exposing the heart of our humanity, examining race and priviledge with honesty, and telling a great story readers can invest in. Two snaps.
“Son, one of the biggest lies ever told is that Black men don’t feel emotions. Guess it’s easier to not see us as human when you think we’re heartless. Fact of the matter is, we feel things. Hurt, pain, sadness, all of it. We got a right to show them feelings as much as anybody else.”(Thomas, Concrete Rose).
If you are one of my students, then you have already heard how much I love Jason Reynolds. Right after reading and loving his novel co-authored with Brendan Kiely, All American Boys, I was lucky to attend the National Council of Teachers of English conference in Atlanta.
All American Boys is a 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature. In it, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension. This novel went on to be a class novel I studied with a group, and a title that is always on loan to students.
Following that read, I was quick to pick up The Boy in the Black Suit, for which Reynolds won yet another Coretta Scott King Award. Matt wears a black suit. First, beacuse his mother has died. Second, because he got a job at the funeral home to help pay the bills. Life is rough, and then he meets Lovey– someone who understands his loneliness and tries to to ease its burden as well. Then I read the story of Ali and his friends, Noodles and Needles in When I Was The Greatest. I loved the story of these boys and how they end up exactly where they shouldn’t be and how they manage it somehow just the same.
Reynolds captivated me in Long Way Down, which I reviewed here; and in his letter to teens everywhere in For Everyone, which I talk about here.
Simply, I love everything he writes.
He writes young middle grade novels too (which I haven’t yet read or reviewed, but plan to get at…) titles include, Ghost, Patina, Sunny and Lu.
I even taught a lesson on writing a bio, using Reynolds’ bio as a mentor text for my writers, because he is irreverent, honest and funny. Check it out here.
Currently, Reynolds is also hosting the Write. Right. Rite. Series a GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story video series. Throughout the series, he shares his passion for storytelling while discussing topics like creativity, connection, and imagination. At the end of each video, Reynolds will share a prompt that encourages young people to work toward a specific idea. The activities are fun-filled and some are more challenging than others, but Reynolds always makes sure to include brainstorming “get-you-going” questions.
If you have teenagers in your life, get them reading Jason Reynolds! Or, writing with Jason Reynolds!
In sentence study, I share sentences with students that stand out while reading. After we notice and note what’s going on, they are invited to try and imitate the techniques. Take a look at this one:
“My ankle sang a terrible song like my tooth ache had sunk to my foot. Rot and damp and hopelessness and hunger and fear and anger twisted up in a clamp around my ribcage.” (The Marrow Thieves, p.13)
Dimaline uses personification of the ankle singing in pain, and then adds the simile of tooth ache pain- she makes clear the terrible pain, giving readers a relatable pain to connect with. The second sentence bumps along with and, and, and, and, and… adding on all of the things piling up on the chracter. This technique is easy for students to imitate!